What is home care and why should I consider it for my elderly relative?
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We spoke with Emma Denny, owner of Emma’s Home Care who explains the difference between home care and residential care and how care at home can benefit your loved one.
Q: What is home care and what does it include?
Home care is a service that looks after a client from the comfort of their home. It involves a carer visiting the client’s house to assist them in their day-to-day lives.
They can help with their shopping, cooking, washing, and administering medication. Home care is a personalised service, so what the carer does during their visit depends solely on the needs of the client.
Q: How is home care different to residential care?
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Home care offers the clients and family much more control over the care they receive. The client can feel more relaxed in their own environment and have more say over their care schedule.
Unlike care homes, clients of a good home care company will usually only be assigned one or two carers, allowing them to form close, trusting relationships.
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For those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, moving into a new place with unrecognisable faces could not only be daunting, but also potentially worsen their condition very quickly. Receiving care at home eradicates the risk of this as they can be supported in their normal routine and comfortable in their own space.
Q: What are the main benefits of home care?
Home care enables elderly people to stay happy and healthy at home for as long as possible. Families are safe in the knowledge that their loved one is well looked after and encouraged to live as independently as they can with the help of friendly, one-to-one care.
Home carers are often viewed as friends by their clients, accompanying them on trips out as well as helping with daily activities. The level of care provided in the home is tailored to the individual, and often this form of care is more affordable than residential care.
Q: Have you got any advice for families on how to discuss home care as an option with their elderly relative?
It can be incredibly difficult for some people to come to terms with the fact that they need extra support, and they may be in denial and respond defensively when questioned about it.
To start a conversation about home care on the right foot, make sure you do your research around the benefits and can explain to your loved one why they should consider it. Perhaps wording it differently may help. Here’s an example: “Someone will just pop in daily to see how you are and have a chat with you.”
Q: How are you keeping your clients and staff safe during the pandemic?
All staff are wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when visiting clients and are washing and sanitising their hands regularly. PPE is changed throughout the day when necessary.
At the moment, we ask that family members do not visit their loved one at the same time as the carer, as we must minimise the risk for staff members also.
Since the start of the pandemic, each client has only one carer that visits them to further reduce the risk to the health of them and the carer.
It is impossible for carers to keep to a distance from their client all the time - they are responsible for helping them wash and get dressed, for example – however, staff members are being responsible and adhering to the government guidelines outside of work.
Emma’s Home Care offers client-centred support for elderly people and those with learning disabilities in and around Bury St Edmunds.