Following the recent report by The Insolvency Service, which found that 380 care businesses have shut in the last six years, the popularity of live-in care as an option has grown amongst the elderly and the sandwich generation carers.
First and foremost, live-in care has been found to be better for the care recipient’s health. Studies have found that elderly brain function deteriorated more rapidly when they were removed from familiar surroundings into a residential home. This was primarily due to feeling isolated and removed from existing social bonds and physical familiarities. Allowing the elderly to stay in their own homes for longer also requires less adjustment from both the customer and the client – they don’t need to spend time looking for a suitable alternative, instead just making minor adjustments within the home to accommodate for the care professional. Lastly, many live-in carers are specifically trained to work with certain conditions, such as dementia, MS, stroke or Parkinson’s disease, which means that should the customer have specific demands, they are more likely to be met by a live-in care professional.
As there is one care professional per customer, the care and assistance provided are guaranteed to be of the highest possible standard. Because there are no handovers involved and the carer remains the same, no details, no matter how minor, get omitted. Similarly, because the care professional is with the customer around the clock, they can always keep the family and other involved parties as up-to-date about the care and any arising health concerns as possible. Lastly, by having live-in care, the customer is encouraged to participate more and fully understand their own health problems, reducing risks of relapse for certain conditions, as well as less frequent hospital admissions.
Live-in care also encourages carers and customers to develop better, closer and longer lasting relationships. At Elder, we try and make sure that when we match care professionals with clients, they aren’t only matched based on skill and requirement, but also on common interests. This way, once the carer moves into the client’s home, they have a mutual interest which can help them build strong and lasting relationships, developing into genuine companionship. Beyond the stronger care professional/client relationship, live-in care can also have positive effects on client/family relationships.
Because relatives don’t have to take on the responsibilities and pressures of caring, relationships remain relaxed and frustration-free, while the times spent together continue to be enjoyable for the family and the care receiver both. Live-in care also provides both the customer and the family with greater levels of flexibility. Not only can familiar routines be adjusted to, but the client can also be as independent as possible, continuing with hobbies, interests and even keeping pets, should they have any and should the care professional agree to help.
Lastly, live-in care is often a more financially viable option than residential care. While care homes can cost an average of £1,200 a week, the costs of a live-in care professional are less, at £700 per week. Furthermore, as mentioned above, existing accommodation can be adapted to the care professional’s needs more easily and quickly, than it would take to relocate a customer, which can often require the selling of a home and the sorting of all possessions.
Grainne McCarthy is the Clinical Lead at Elder, an online platform that provides high quality home care to customers across the UK. In her role, Grainne is responsible for making sure customers receive the best possible care and that the company follows correct procedures and regulations, as well as reviewing care practices and maintaining high standards.