ADVANTAGES OF LIVE-IN CARE
Home care has many advantages and live-in care in particular is often considered as a preferred alternative to a care home whether it is for a period of short respite to enable a regular carer to take a break or as long term care. Here are some of the particular features and benefits of live-in care at home:
- The care is in your own home with all its memories, familiarity and comforts
- You can continue to live your own lifestyle
- Care is one-to-one and this facilitates much greater personalisation
- Care is likely to be carried out by dedicated carers who are personal to you and provide continuity so you do not have to adapt to different carers all the time
- Periods of care can be tailored to your needs and can be short or longer term
- Care can often be arranged at very short notice and/or booked ahead and does not rely on a room vacancy being available
- You may be surprised to know that with the right provider complex conditions and dementia can often be well supported at home
- Costs are often comparable to a care home and yet you are receiving one-to-one care
EVALUATING ARRANGEMENTS AND CARE PROVIDERS
There are different options when it comes to looking at home care. Most people will be familiar with the idea of domiciliary agency carers popping in to provide people with short care calls perhaps to help someone get up in the morning and returning again to help them get ready for bed but considerations change in the context of more extensive care.
Live-in care may be long term and fully 24 hours or perhaps the emphasis might be on night care. Alternatively the care may be relatively temporary to help with rehabilitation after a stay in hospital or to cover a holiday for a family carer. There may be particular health needs to cope with which may be relatively routine like diabetes or something more complex. A good care provider who specialises in live-in care will help you through all this and ensure a satisfactory outcome.
Nursing care at home
Relatively few home care providers will be able to provide registered nurses to provide nursing care at home. Generally of course health care including nursing care is provided by the NHS and so clearly this has the effect of limiting the demand for privately funded nursing care at home.
This may also apply to other more complex conditions which may need specially trained and supervised carers who may not necessarily be registered nurses but nevertheless need substantial specialised training and management support.
KNOW WHO YOU ARE DEALING WITH
Here is where we raise your awareness that not all care providers are what they may seem and not all care providers necessarily have the resources to support your particular needs.
Some care providers will be fully registered with the Regulator (CQC – Care Quality Commission) and will take full responsibility for the recruitment, training and supervision of their care staff. However there are companies which act only as employment agencies and it is possible they might not be registered with CQC. This raises many issues which we will be very happy to discuss with you if you get in touch with us.
Many domiciliary care companies will be more used to providing short calls and may not have the track record and resources to support live-in care especially where there is higher dependency or more complex needs.
You will also find that companies which specialise in live-in care are not necessarily local to where the care is needed. Do not be put off by this. Whilst localised care is important for short calls it is not nearly so relevant for live-in care. Indeed many well respected care providers who specialise in live-in care will provide a regional or even national service from one head office location. Provided their operating and care procedures are robust and properly managed this should not present any problems.
If the care is required to support a rehabilitation programme or support a specialised care plan prescribed by a health professional, you will need to be sure that the care provider has arrangements which enable its carers to support and participate in such care plans. Not all care providers will do this so it is best to check and we can help you by suggesting care providers and questions you might like to ask them.
COSTS OF LIVE-IN CARE
It is up to the individual providers to give their prices and this will vary depending upon the assessed needs; however as a rough guide you can expect live-in care with a fully registered care company to range between £700 -1200 per week. This is clearly a very broad range and reflects the wide range of capabilities and specialisms in the sector. However it compares very similarly to price variations in care homes where weekly prices can very easily mirror this price range.
Complex care can cost considerably more as will nursing care at home.
You may well find there are cheaper prices quoted for live-in care but we would suggest you check carefully what you are getting or speak to us.
Costs for assessment
Care providers vary regarding their practice in regard to assessments. Many registered care providers do not charge at all for assessments for live-in care and if they do then the charge is often modest, especially when considering that a proper detailed care assessment can take several hours of work.
Other companies do make a charge and we have noted that employment agencies who advertise themselves in the live-in care market do seem to commonly charge for assessments.
Generally we would say that whether or not a company makes a charge for assessments should not be a deciding factor and that there are many more criteria to take into consideration when choosing a care provider.
SUPPORTING THE FAMILY
When someone in the family needs care it can have far reaching effects across the wider family and not just the individual who is needing the care. Some conditions in particular can be very distressing and dementia is one of these.
Some home care companies recognise that just putting a carer in place is not everything which can be done and they will have wider programmes which aim to reach out and give support to the whole family.