Elder care options: which one is appropriate for your elders?

care home and nursing home

The term ‘elder care’ is wide ranging. There are a number of available options when it comes to providing the elderly with care when they reach that stage in their life where they cannot manage without some degree of assistance or help. Carefully assessed and well delivered good quality care can make all the difference. It can improve not only their health and keep them safe but also hugely improve motivation and general enjoyment of life and happiness. On the other hand when care needs are poorly assessed and provided for it can quickly lead to an undermining of general health and rapid deterioration in mental capacity and well-being. Here are some of the available options to consider.

In-home care – helping to maintain independence at home for as long as possible

The in-home care option is often first choice where it can be made to work and especially for those who want to take care of their elders at home. In-home care can be provided entirely by family members (and often is) or by a paid care assistant or a combination of both. When a professional care assistant is employed it is possible for families or the individual who is receiving the care to employ the carer directly but it is more common for the care assistant to be employed by a specialist agency who will also usually take some responsibility for training and care planning.

Adult Day Care – A good option for those needing additional diversion and support during the day

Adult Day Care can be very useful for those who need their elders to be taken care of while they are at work or busy with other daytime activities. These home care UK services may provide some free services but more often will make a charge depending on the hours and type of care. Day care centres are often in great demand and it can be difficult to find them and to access them. However if you are able to access day care for your elders they can be a boon often providing not only care and safe supervision but also a range of activities , meals or light snacks and the possibility of a bath or shower whilst you can get on with your other daily tasks..

Assisted Living – where entertainment and social life is given priority

Assisted Living is a generic term for facilities usually but not exclusively elderly individuals who are looking for and emphasis on retaining independence together with a range of activity programmes, social facilities, fun and entertainment whilst at the same time also having access to care support as needed. Assisted living can be a more costly option than simple care at home but may well compete favourably with costs or a care home setting and provide for a more independent lifestyle. It is an option often considered by couples who may have different levels of needs which can be accommodated within the services provided and in particular by those who are looking at a planned retirement with care support available.

Care homes and nursing homes – more intensive options for care

Care homes and nursing homes provide the most intensive care setting and are usually considered when other options are not suitable for whatever reason. In the UK nursing homes are differentiated from care homes by having registered nurses on duty 24 hours per day and these homes are generally considered as the most intensive long term care setting of all. All care homes will offer some activity programmes and many will also include trips out and various entertainment possibilities.  There is a wide range of care homes with some aiming to be effectively hotels with care whilst others provide a more basic level of service whilst nevertheless meeting the minimum standards required by the regulations.  Charges and care fees depend on the geographic location, the quality of the buildings and facilities and upon the levels of care a person needs.

Hopefully this short guide will enable you to be able to consider the most suitable option according to your needs and requirements. However once you have identified the most likely option there are many more detailed things to consider in selecting the actual care provider; for example there are more than 7000 home care UK service providers to choose from depending upon location, fees and categories of care.