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Is Residential Care A Good Idea Long Term?

Residential care is a consideration if you need long term care or you have a relative who needs long term care. Here we look at whether or not it is a good idea long term.

According to a study released this year from Age UK, the amount of people living in England aged over 85 increased by nearly a third within the last ten years. Within the next twenty years that amount will have doubled.

According to the same study, one in three people struggle with 5 or more daily tasks necessary to live unaided, and up to 50% of people over 85 are frail. These people are the most likely to need care, which means that if the number of people needing this kind of care in residential care homes and as home care services keeps growing, eventually the money available just won’t be enough. Standards of care could slip, and residential home places funded by the state could become scarce, or places that elderly people really don’t want to go and live.

Aside from state funded care being a growing issue, because it is running out, residential care homes are not the most popular choice for most people when it comes to growing old and receiving care.

The Live-in Care Hub Better At Home Report provides many statistics to support the benefits of live-in care over residential care.

  • Live-in care accounts for a third fewer falls than residential care
  • Live-in care accounts for half of hip fractures compared to residential care
  • A person living at home will enjoy food and drink more than if they lived in residential care
  • 37% of people in residential homes never leave their homes

The No Place Like Home report from Live-in Care Hub provided even more shocking statistics supporting live-in care against residential care, including the fact that nearly three quarters of us want to stay in our homes as we get older, and 97 percent of people don’t ever want to go into a care home if they become ill or unable to cope.

There’s just so much evidence to support the fact that wellbeing, physical health and general happiness are all much more supported and able to thrive in an at-home environment. Carers are also increasingly choosing to provide care this way as live-in care jobs allow them to do a better job of caring and are, therefore, more rewarding.

Care homes might be a solution for some, but they are rarely the first solution if everybody got to choose. Of course, there’s the social side and the round the clock nursing care, and in the best facilities there are outings and lovely staff and all kinds of little benefits. But it can never be better than staying in your own home, with a 24/7 carer who is there just to care for you, to keep you company and to take you to appointments, and clubs and generally out and about. You get to stay in the home you love with your pets, with your neighbours who know you, everything familiar stays in tact.

There’s a lot to think about, and it is a personal choice, hopefully one that will result in the best possible outcome for those involved needing care.

Here are some useful resources for you to use when looking into long term care options for an elderly relative:

  • Care home and home care cost calculators
  • Adapting your home guide
  • A guide to live-in care
Author: Robin Gupta
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