Long Term Benefits of Elderly Live-in Care
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In this article, we discuss the long term benefits of live-in care. If you are considering elderly live-in care for your loved one, this guide can answer some important questions you may have. Otherwise, read our guide for more: What is Live in Care?
By opting for elderly live-in care, your loved one can remain in the familiar, safe environment of their own home. This can be really important to someone who is active within their community and can help maintain those social connections. Staying home means that a person will also not need to adapt to a new environment or leave their belongings behind and all of the upheavals that entails. It can be a challenging time for your loved one already, in terms of accepting that they need care. By moving them out of their home to a residential care home can make it feel like they are losing their independence even more. Sometimes live-in care is a great transitionary option from no-care to a residential care home, as it can help ease the process over time. So if you are considering a care home as an end goal for your loved one, you may find that live-in care is a good place to start. Staying at home also allows for pets to remain within the care of your loved one. Pet duties can be supported by a live-in carer to ensure their wellbeing is not compromised. It can be a difficult time to be separated from pets when having to move to a care home, so live-in care at home can help avoid these difficult emotional losses. Elderly live-in care almost always works out more cost-effective for couples than moving them to a care home, so this can be a great option if you have elderly parents who would both benefit from remaining together and having support from a carer.
A full-time carer can offer companionship but this is often slightly disrupted by carers having to change shifts often, which can result in the loss of continuity of care. With a live-in carer, there is less switching between carers and usually, one carer will work for a few weeks at a time. This allows for the client and carer to create a better bond, which can offer more benefits in terms of the companionship role of a carer. By having a carer that comes into the home of your loved one, you will feel reassured that they have a familiar, friendly face to help them each day. In a care home, several different people will care for your loved one so it may seem like there are more opportunities for companionship, which can sometimes be the case. However, quite often there is a fast turnover of staff who are not able to offer one-to-one support for a resident and get to know them. Additionally, the friends that your loved one can make in a care home may not seem the same to them as those that live in their community. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, which can worsen physical and mental wellbeing.
Maintaining relationships with family
One of the reasons why you might like to opt for a live-in carer for your elderly relative is that you can be closer to your loved one. The person being cared for can remain within the home that they and you are familiar with and you are free to keep the visiting routine that works for them and you. In a care home, there may be more restrictions on visiting hours and journey times may be extended.
Private live-in care can ease pressure on you and other relatives from taking on the role of being your loved one’s carer. This can help maintain healthy relationships within the family and keep the pressure off family members having to make sacrifices in their own lives to care for an individual, which can make your loved one feel like a burden.
Elderly live-in care can be as flexible as required. This means that your elderly loved one can have a carer who manages a variety of different care requirements from helping someone with complex needs to being a companion for your loved one. The care can also be adapted if the needs of the individual changes over time. For instance, following an operation, someone may need more support in the early stages and less support as they recuperate and gain more independence. A live-in care package would be able to support the needs of the person throughout their recovery and take a step back when the person finds they are able to do certain tasks again. It might also be that the reverse happens. If we think about Alzheimer’s Disease, this is a progressive disease that will cause an individual to lose the ability to independently manage daily tasks overtime. A live-in carer will be observant and aware of the capability of the individual and adjust their input so as to ensure the person is kept safe and supported. The carer can communicate with family members and medical professionals to update them on the changes to care needs.
How does age impact health and wellbeing?
People in the world today are on average living longer than ever before in history. We are therefore seeing more age-related health difficulties across populations, such as dementia, hearing loss and frailty. As our bodies grow older, we change biologically but we also change psychologically and socially. The impact of ageing on health and wellbeing can be negative in some ways and positive in other ways. The negative aspects of ageing refer to the decline in our physical capabilities such that we may feel less able to do things that we used to. Chronic health conditions can cause people to retreat into their homes and spend more time in the house, resulting in more social isolation.
In addition, retirement and the possible loss of friends or family can contribute to further isolation. Loneliness is a significant cause of mental health in the elderly, it can increase the risk of poor sleep, reduce motivation, increase the risk for depression and lead to more physical health problems, which in turn will all have an impact on isolation. Older people do not suddenly stop needing social support and they will value having friends and family nearby.
What factors are most important for wellbeing in older age?
The factors impacting the wellbeing of the elderly are varied, but in general, having support of some kind can see a great deal of positive change for an older person who is struggling mentally or physically. Support can be in the form of family, friends or carers who can prevent older people from struggling with their condition alone.
For instance, someone with mobility difficulties may have trouble keeping their home clean, with cooking and they may struggle to use transport. This can lead them to feel embarrassed about their homes, eat an unhealthy diet of fast foods and be unable to travel outside the house often, causing them to become more socially isolated and poorer in health. Having help with tasks like cleaning the house, cooking, and being driven to destinations, can improve psychological, physical and social wellbeing.
What is the best way to care for the elderly?
There is no one best way to care for all elderly people, this should be tailored for each individual to support them with what they need help with most. Many elderly people are capable of being independent in the majority of their activities of daily living, but they may be getting more fatigued which can lead to a downward spiral. A carer should take a holistic view of the elderly person’s life and consider not just their immediate and obvious physical needs but also their social, environmental and psychological needs. Elderly live-in care should not aim to take away independence but should lead to someone being supported in their everyday life so that quality of life is improved and wellbeing is optimised. Caring for the elderly should be about the individual and it can be difficult to start to introduce care into an elderly person’s life, so this should be done collaboratively, where possible.
Mental benefits of elderly live-in care
Mental health in the elderly can be helped by live-in care, since a carer can provide companionship, motivation and support with engaging in activities and also be a means of reducing anxiety. Stress can increase if an elderly person struggles to manage their daily tasks by themselves without support. Simple tasks that younger people may not have difficulty with can present as a problem for elderly people, such as getting dressed, finding the bathroom at night or ensuring they turn off the oven. More complicated tasks can also be stressful such as trying to pay the bills and talking to customer services over the phone, since some people may struggle to hear or understand over the phone. A live-in carer can be someone that the elderly person trusts and builds companionship with, whilst also supporting them and keeping them safe. A live-in carer can improve morale and motivation by being someone the elderly person can look forward to doing things with and having someone who can help them in public, should they need support.
You can learn more about our live in care services here to discover how our specialist live in care services can help your loved one.