Preparing for Domiciliary Care – A Guide
Speak to one of our experts
Our friendly experts are here to help from 9am to 7pm, 7 days a week.
What is domiciliary care for elderly?
Domiciliary care for elderly people is another term used to describe elderly care services that are provided at home. The definition of domiciliary care refers to care taking place in the home. This type of care allows the person to remain in the comfort of their own home while receiving support with various activities, household tasks and personal care. A care package is tailored to meet the needs of the individual and care can be provided for as long as needed and as frequently as needed. Many people value this type of care because it is person-centred, flexible and non-disruptive to the client’s life. A domiciliary carer is well-experienced at adapting to the client’s environment and will not only offer a pair of helping hands but also provide companionship for the client and family.
How to prepare for domiciliary care services
Depending on the type of domiciliary care services you are opting for there are various things you can do to prepare for home care. For all types of care it is a good idea to explain clearly to your loved one about the arrangements that have been made and to make them feel included in making these arrangements. For instance, you can discuss what they might like a carer to help them with, or they might like to be included in helping to choose the carer. Often, a domiciliary care agency will take a lot of the stress away from this part of the process as they will have already interviewed and performed a background check on the carers they employ and will also know which domiciliary services match your situation the best. A domiciliary care agency can also help you to understand more about the finances involved with care and the options available to you.
If you are getting a carer who is going to be living with your loved one, then the preparations may need to be around ensuring there is a suitable space for the carer to sleep. This should be a private bedroom with access to bathroom facilities and storage. It is important to try to make the carer feel as comfortable as possible and allow your loved one and their carer space and time to get to know each other.
What are the advantages of domiciliary care for the elderly?
Domiciliary care for elderly means that your loved one can stay within their own home which can be greatly comforting for those growing older. This can also help your loved one stay active within their local community and maintain friendships with neighbours. Loneliness can contribute to poor mental and physical wellbeing and it is important to preserve social connections in elderly people as they may find it hard to rebuild these with others. Domiciliary carers can also help with taking care of any pets that are in the home with your loved one. 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.
Domiciliary care consists of a tailored care plan for your loved one that is one to one and flexible. What this means is that unlike in many care homes, your loved one will receive the full attention of a carer who is then able to meet your loved one’s needs in a timely manner. The care is flexible which is really important because care needs will change overtime and the care offered will need to reflect this. A domiciliary carer will be observant 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.
Services within domiciliary care
Domiciliary care for elderly people is a term that covers various different aspects of care at home. This section will take you through the different forms of home care that are available to you and your loved one.
24 hour care at home
This care is usually for those who have significant care needs since this type of care is provided at all times of the day and night. It does not need to mean that your loved one loses their independence or relies on the carers to do everything for them but it does mean that they have someone with them at all times to ensure that they are safe and supported. For someone with moderate or severe dementia this can be a helpful package of care to ensure your loved one is safe and looked after. A residential care home may also be something you consider at this point, depending on your preferences and circumstances.
Elderly live-in care
A live-in carer for elderly people cohabits with the person they are caring for with an aim to provide adequate input to support the person to withhold independence in their daily activities whilst ensuring that the person’s needs are being met in a safe manner. Live-in carers quite often become companions for clients since they are living together and supporting them daily. This can foster better mental and physical wellbeing and help the cared for individual retain autonomy.
Live-in home help for the elderly will provide a variety of supporting duties for the client, in a tailored approach to meet the needs of the specific individual. Some of the common duties and activities where live-in carers provide support are listed below:
– Morning and evening routines
– Helping with personal care (dressing, bathing and grooming)
– Preparing and cooking meals
– Helping with housework
– Support with finances
– Medication management
– Helping with shopping
– Assisting clients with trips and social events
A live-in carer is different from a 24-hour carer since often live-in carers will work a certain number of hours a day. They need to be able to sleep and have time to themselves too! However, the number of hours your loved one needs care for can be discussed and arranged beforehand. If 24-hour live-in care is required, then this can be arranged for by bringing in more carers who can work in shifts.
Respite care at home
Respite care is offered when the usual carer needs to take a break from their care duties, needs a holiday or becomes sick. Respite care replaces the usual care provided for a certain amount of time, so if a live-in carer was previously in post then a respite carer will replace the live-in carer. The carers who come in as respite carers are trained to handle emergency situations which may happen while the family/usual carer are away.
Following a hospital admission, many people prefer to return home as soon as they can and having the support of a carer at home can greatly improve recovery. This option may be suitable for someone who needs support following an operation, accident or a fall. Carers are usually trained with the recovery process so that they are able to efficiently manage medication, postoperative care procedures and liaise with healthcare professionals to ensure appointments are attended and medical advice is abided by. They can also help with the running of the home so that your loved one is able to focus on recovery.
Overnight home care for the elderly
This type of care can be included in other care packages (such as 24-hour care, live-in care and respite care) and it is something to consider particularly for those individuals who are more prone to falls and confusion during the night. If your loved one is suspected to have dementia then this can be important for their care needs as they may need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. A carer can support them to the bathroom and ensure that they are not at risk of falling or hurting themselves which can be more common at night when the lighting is poorer.
Palliative care is care that is often provided when someone has an incurable condition or when they are nearing the end of life. This care is usually provided for many hours of the day and night and may include family members who also stay to help keep their loved one as comfortable as possible. District nurses and wider healthcare teams may also be involved with the care of the person, to help with medical needs and ensure your loved one remains pain free. Carers at this stage will not only help with personal care for your loved one but also support the wider family with household chores and extra support in order to alleviate stress.
How to choose a domiciliary care agency
In order to help choose a elderly live – in care company that is right for you it can be helpful to know what type of care you would like to opt for so that you can choose a company that is able to provide the care you need. For instance, do you want 24-hour care, palliative care at home, personal care services or do you want a carer who will help with shopping and driving? It is also a good idea to think ahead and consider whether the care agency is able to provide care for your loved one if their needs change at any time.
These questions can be helpful to consider:
- What type of care is required?
- How many hours a week of input would you need?
- What days would you like your carer to visit?
- What things would you like a carer to help you with?
- How many hours a week of care are you able to afford?
Once you have an idea about the answers to the above, you can search for local care agencies in your area.
You can find out more about the different types of elderly live-in care here.
You can then check the ratings and view the websites of agencies that you like the look of. Don’t be afraid to call up the agencies to ask them questions. They can help you get a better idea about whether they are a suitable service for you and can give you more information about their carers.
Help with funding
Funding care can be quite a daunting task and the various options available can make it a confusing process.
Your local council offers a financial assessment of your assets and income to determine whether you are eligible to receive support. Local authorities help fund care for those who have assets below a certain threshold. This threshold is £23,250 in England but higher in other parts of the UK. So, if you are considered to be eligible to receive help, then the council will arrange for funding towards your care needs, which they would have assessed separately. You can still choose whether you want this care to be at home or in a care home, the council will just help you pay for what you need.
If you are not eligible for this funding, you may still be eligible for other benefits provided by the NHS. If you have long-term, complex care needs then you can be assessed to see whether you meet the criteria for NHS continuing healthcare. Your eligibility depends on your assessed needs, and not on any particular diagnosis. If your needs change then your eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare may also change.
This booklet is a helpful guide to better understanding NHS continuing healthcare.
How we can help
At The Live in Care Company we understand that making care arrangements can be a daunting task so we make the procedure of arranging for a live in carer as hassle-free and straightforward as possible. Our knowledgeable and helpful team are on hand to discuss your needs and answer any questions you have and they will take the time to help you to understand your options fully before matching you with an experienced live-in carer.