With an ageing population, the demand for health and social care has never been greater in the UK. With advances in modern medicine, our life-expectancy is stretching and more of us are recovering from illnesses that we might not have done historically. Of course, that means an increased demand for care and support, and in turn, a need for flexible options.
Live-in care has been around for some years as an option and as the understanding of how it works improves, it is growing rapidly in popularity. It is the right option for many people as it offers them a chance to maintain their independence in their own homes for longer, and preserves their dignity with their friends and relatives nearby.
A live-in carer, as the name suggests, lives in your home and supports you with anything you need - not just medical care. For many, that might take the form of simple companionship and the carer will also offer assistance with cooking and cleaning, and other tasks that start to become a struggle but might be taken for granted by others.
Having someone else living in your home allows you and your family, or friends and neighbours, to continue with the status quo, living as you always have. If friends pop round once a week, they can still do so, but there is no pressure for them to start coming more regularly to check up on you.
For those requiring more specialist care, for example, those recovering after a stroke or living with a condition such as dementia, there are carers with specialist skills and experience so you can be assured of getting exactly the right support. Your family can also be confident that you are comfortable and getting the care you need from someone qualified to give it.
When it comes to reviewing options, do check out all possibilities. Contact a specialist agency such as Guardian Carers which offers live in care services and discuss your requirements. Ask as many questions as you can think of about the process, and listen to your gut instinct. You want a friendly carer, naturally, but the agency themselves will be important; are they professional and organised, courteous and friendly? They should be able to understand that this is a big deal for you and be able to put you at ease, talking you through the process so you understand every step. They will avoid jargon and keep things simple.
A key benefit of using an agency for live in care services is their flexibility. None of us know when we’ll need extra support and it isn’t always a permanent requirement. Care isn’t restricted to the elderly; there are often occasions when much younger people need additional support, or someone needs the assistance urgently, perhaps after an accident. We can provide support at short notice, when required. In an emergency, however, be sure not to let the need for help be the most important factor; it still needs to be the right care for the individual.