The health and wellbeing of an elderly family member is important, and so choosing how they are cared for when the time comes can be very difficult. People are living longer and so the need for care is increasing. The Office Of National Statistics estimates that people over the age of 65 will make up a quarter of the population by 2045. Getting older doesn't necessarily mean needing care but statistics show us that many people do need help because of common health issues such as:
- Being frail and infirm
- Issues with mobility
- Being incontinent
- Mental health issues
- Needing various medications
- Diseases like cancer
A person may also need support with things like getting dressed, eating, cleaning their home, going shopping, or simply caring for their pets. Care needs can be incredibly varied.
Care Options For The Elderly
When elderly care is the next logical step for your loved one there are lots of questions to be asked such as:
- What sort of care do they need?
- Can I care for them myself?
- Are there people who can advise me on the best option?
- What does my parent/ family member want?
- How much will it all cost?
Sometimes organising care for a loved one can mean that you take them into your own home or move in with them and care for them yourself. This kind of care is often complemented with help from NHS carers or nurses who may come in to help on a daily basis and provide vital home help. This option however, isn't one of the main two care options that are the most popular options in the UK today.
The two most popular care options are home care and residential care.
Home care is a good option for people who want to stay at home and they can choose to either have a live-in carer or a carer or home help who comes into the home on regular intervals to provide them with care. The type of care they need, how often they need it and if their home is a suitable place for care are all individual to the person. The Better At Home report and the No Place Like Home report from The Live-in Care Hub are great places to start to get the information you need about live-in care.
Residential care can either be in a residential home where a person is helped with things like getting dressed and bathing, they are fed and amongst other people of a similar age, or a nursing home where they have more intense care needs. Residential care homes vary greatly in style, atmosphere and ratings and choosing the right one can be tricky.
The Next Step
If you do need help figuring out which care options are right for your elderly relative you should speak to them first to find out what they would like to do. Following that, the UK Care Guide is a great place to start to get insights into all the different aspects of care, and it has useful features like the care calculator. There is lots of help available and lots of research and consideration will lead to your loved one enjoying excellent care and a good quality of life in their later years.