The choice between care home and private care for the elderly at home is not the easiest one. Unfortunately, people still do not talk much about helping the elderly, and the subject of home care is stigmatised to this day. However, sooner or later, most of us will face such a choice, so it is worth equipping ourselves with the necessary knowledge now, in order to ensure the best possible quality of life for our beloved seniors. Therefore, today we will try to disclose the pros and cons of both options to help you get a better picture of the situation. We will also try to answer the question: how much does a care home cost, and what is the cost of live in carer services, helping you to make the best decision in the future.
Home care and care homes – what is the difference?
While the two concepts sound similar, in fact, they are completely different. By home care, we mean private care for the elderly at home provided by professional carers. Meanwhile, the care home is an umbrella term that refers to residential and nursing homes, to which a person usually moves when their health and condition requires it, either permanently or for a certain time.
Advantages of private care for the elderly at home
No change of environment
The biggest advantage of hiring private carers for the elderly is definitely the fact that they provide round-the-clock care for the person in question, with no significant changes in the seniors’ lives. Older people are usually more accustomed to a particular environment and surroundings, and as a result, are often not as comfortable with changing them. That’s why private care for the elderly at home is a great option to provide professional care without overstressing the elderly person.
Companionship and full attention of the carer
In addition to medical care, private carers for the elderly create companionship and mental support for the often lonely elderly. By providing our loved ones with such private care, we can be sure that the caregiver’s full attention is focused on one person, which fosters closer bonds between the two. Private care for the elderly at home is a service that makes the elderly more relaxed about their ailments and ageing, thus promoting better well-being.
Professional one-to-one care
Depending on the physical condition of the senior, you can choose to provide care in the form of companionship or assistance with household chores or hire a qualified nurse or physiotherapist to provide comprehensive one-to-one medical care, which usually promotes better health and mobility of the elderly.
Although it may seem that private care for the elderly at home will represent a more significant expense than facilities with more people, it is quite the opposite. So, how much does a care home cost? Well, it turns out that the cost of live in carer services is between £700 and £1000, while a week’s stay in care home costs more than £1000.
No need to part with your pets
By choosing private care for the elderly at home, your loved one does not have to part with their beloved dog, cat or ferret. It’s a flexible form that eliminates the need for the senior to make drastic changes in their lives, but rather accommodates their preferences.
Disadvantages of private care for the elderly at home
Lack of a sense of community
One of the disadvantages of employing private carers for the elderly can be the lack of integration into a community of elderly people, as is the case with a stay in a nursing home. However, this is eliminated when the elderly are surrounded by family, neighbours and friends.
Advantages of care homes
- 24-hour medical care – in a well-chosen care home, qualified medical staff should be employed to monitor the senior’s health around the clock.
- A community for the elderly – people living in a care home can establish a meaningful community, sharing experiences and stories. Being part of such a community can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, especially among singles.
Disadvantages of care homes
- A major disruption of senior’s life – moving to a care home, compared with private care for the elderly at home, involves accepting drastic life changes and adjusting to a new reality, which can be difficult for older people.
- The need to change one’s lifestyle – older people have their own habits and often treat any attempt to change them as an attack on their freedom. However, in every care home, there are certain rules to which the elderly must adapt.
- Lack of one-to-one care – usually, there are several seniors per one caregiver in care homes, so we cannot speak of comprehensive one-to-one care.
Care home or private home care for the elderly – what should you choose?
As you can see, both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one should depend on specific conditions such as the senior’s lifestyle, health, adaptability, budget, presence of pets, or need for communication with others. So be sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons and all other factors when deciding on one of the options, and communicate with your senior.