If you ask most older people what they value most when they use care services, ‘independence’ usually comes near the top of the list. But what does ‘independence’ mean?
Meet Marjorie. She’s a bit less mobile than she used to be. Her daughter who lives in a different part of the country is worried about whether Marjorie can manage in her own home and what would happen if she had a fall.
She suggests that her mother should move into a specially converted annex in her daughter’s house where she can live independently but with somebody on hand to look out for her.
It seems like a sensible solution. It would suit many people. But for Marjorie it means moving out of the home she knows, away from her friends and her social life. It doesn’t feel like independence.
And that’s the point – independence is whatever it means to the individual.
Altogether Care encourages all of our care home residents to live as independently as possible. We know that this is important for mental wellbeing.
For our clients in residential care this works just fine. Their idea of independence is often the freedom to get on with things they enjoy, including the wide range of activities available, while somebody else takes care of many of the routine chores of daily life. But it isn’t the right option for everyone.
For other people independence means staying in their own home for as long as possible. We help them to live independently with support from our care at home service, which includes assistive technology for peace of mind for all the family. Sometimes they opt for round-the-clock care and companionship with live-in care.
We always listen to the individual and try to understand what matters most. It’s not fair to impose solutions – no matter how well intentioned.
We never assume we know what somebody means when they say they want independence. It’s a personal matter. Good quality elderly care is all about personal choices and supporting people in the way they want to live.
That’s why Altogether Care offers a range of care services that support people in the most appropriate way and so their care can be continuously adapted as their needs and wishes evolve.