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Care At Home, Coronavirus and the Future

A woman in 1971 would have expected to live to the age of around 77. For a man, life expectancy was a little over 71. By 2017, the life expectancy for women had risen to over 83 and for men it was just under 80.

The increase in life expectancy has been driven by better healthcare, a reduction in smoking, improved health and safety in workplaces, more plentiful and varied food and improved amenities. And as, on average, we are all getting a few more years post-retirement, it’s important to make the most of them.

Maintaining independence is an important feature of the quality of life for many people in their later years. Usually, this means that individuals will want to remain in their own homes wherever possible. In many cases, people living in the own homes during their later years are fully mentally capable and can, for the most part, take care of themselves. If, in your case, you’re not as mobile as you used to be, a few things may become a bit more difficult. But that’s no reason to give up your independence.

Care at home is increasingly popular because it gives people choice and flexibility. They agree with their care provider what type of help they need and how often. They have a care plan that is their care plan, not something that somebody decides for them. And most of all, they are in familiar surroundings in a community they know.

How Has Covid-19 Changed Things?

The pandemic increased the demand for care at home services. This is partly because care homes were sometimes unable to admit new residents and partly because some people recovering from the virus face a long process of recuperation. It was also harder in many cases for family members and informal caregivers to help out because of guidance about isolating and social distancing.

A great deal of the burden of coping with Covid-19 fell on the care sector and we’re proud of the way our team rose to the challenge. The value and benefits that care at home services deliver became much more obvious to the general population.

It was a difficult time but we pulled through. We’re now focused firmly on the future and how we can bring independence and quality of life to even more people in their later years.

Contact 01305 206 140 or email contact@altogethercare.co.uk for more information.

Could Live-In Care Be Right For You?

For many people, the first type of care they need is care at home. In a lot of cases it’s all they’ll ever need as they are able to carry on living independently with a bit of help.

In other cases, the amount of care and support a person needs increases. Eventually it reaches the point where once or twice daily visits from a carer are not enough. It’s then time to make a decision about the next step.

There are several signs that the type of care needs to be reviewed. These could include an increasing number of memory lapses and near misses such as cookers or electrical appliances being left on, or increasing frailty and finding daily living too much of a struggle.

The first thing that probably comes to mind is residential care; but it’s far from your only option. For some people who receive later-life care the overriding priority is to stay in their own home for as long as possible. That’s where friends, family social activities and memories are.

Live-in care makes it possible to continue living in your own home even when you have significant care needs. Often, it’s less of an upheaval than moving into a care home.

What Does Live-In Care Mean?

In simple terms, it means being able to stay in your home (a place you feel emotionally attached to) without being alone or having to fend for yourself. Your carer lives with you so they are always on hand to help you look after yourself, deliver personal or medical care and keep an eye out for your wellbeing and safety.

They can help you with domestic chores, shopping and trips out when you need them. But as well as the practical help you have companionship and security, and the peace of mind that you are not on your own. If you would like to know more about our live-in care service call us and arrange an appointment. We’ll be happy to talk you through your options and find the care service that works best for you.

Contact 01202 894 925 or email contact@altogethercare.co.uk for more information.

What Are Your Care Options if You Want to Stay in Your Own Home?

As you get older it’s likely that you’ll need some kind of care or assistance with everyday life. This might be long-term or for a brief period to help you recover from illness or a fall. For many people it’s important to remain living in their own home for as long as possible while they receive the care they need.

Home, or domiciliary care can be less expensive than residential care. It also means you can stay in familiar surroundings and remain connected to friends, family and social activities.

There are many options available for the care you can receive in your own home. These range from simple tasks such as picking up prescriptions, shopping and preparing meals, through to nursing care and medication. Some people want help with getting out of bed, washing and dressing and some just want help getting out of the house to meet friends.

Visits from your carer could be a few times a week, once a day or several times a day depending on your needs. The Care at Home service offered by Altogether Care is built entirely around the help you need.

24/7 Care

It’s also possible to arrange around the clock care in your own home by opting for live-in care.

This can be particularly helpful in the case of Alzheimer’s and dementia care, where memory becomes an issue and having a familiar carer on hand can be helpful. But many people just like the reassurance and value the friendship and personal bond they form with a live-in carer.

Live-in care helps people maintain a degree of independence. Staying in familiar surroundings can be particularly important for the wellbeing of some people. Keeping pets, for example, is often important and not usually possible in residential care. The live-in carer can make sure that both pet and owner are well looked after.

Depending on your needs and circumstances, residential care could still be your best option. But it’s far from your only choice if staying in your own home is important.

Community Care Team are Outstanding

Staff from Care at Home in Yeovil have been praised for their outstanding care service in a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Over 100 local people receive care in their own homes by the staff in the Yeovil office which received an overall rating of ‘Good’.

The two day inspection took place in June and focused on a variety of areas including safety, management and how responsive the staff are.

A total of 25 care staff work at the office which is part of Altogether Care, a Dorset based care provider which is family owned.

Care skills and knowledge were also praised along with staff’s ability to build relationships with their service users.  The report also stated that dignity and privacy were respected at all times and the Manager of the Yeovil office was open and approachable.

The report also highlighted that systems are in place to monitor the quality of the service and to respond to concerns and complaints and to learn from issues raised and that people received effective care and support from staff who had the skills and knowledge to meet their needs.

Caitlin Hughes, Manager of Care at Home in Yeovil said,

“We are all delighted to receive such a positive result of our recent inspection. We may be a small team but we deliver a big service.  We do our best to offer the best possible care service to local residents in their own homes and we respect that each person is an individual with different requirements”.

Photo L-R: Lisa Charles-Field, Caitlin Hughes, Zoe Jone, Helen Lambden

Why Care at Home Deserves Appreciation and Nurturing

Home care services seem to be continuously in the news. Mostly the coverage focuses on the struggle the sector is having to secure a sustainable future. But away from the headlines it’s clear that there is a continuing and growing need for home care services.

Some care homes are closing, social care budgets are tightening, and some service users are choosing to spend personal care budgets to help them continue living in their own homes. All of these factors, alongside the target to speed up the transfer of care from hospitals to care services, drive an increasing need for care at home.

It isn’t just the ageing population and the projected growth of conditions like Alzheimer’s that affect people’s ability to live completely independently. Many other people find that they need help to live independently in their own homes either in the form of care visits or live in care.

Care at home delivers vital support to people with mental health issues, physical disabilities and learning difficulties. The range of support offered is far wider than many people imagine, spanning everything from temporary re-ablement care for people recovering from serious medical conditions, to long term high dependency care.

The scope of the service is extremely broad and could include practical support to live independently as part of a community, help with personal care, dementia care and end of life care.

Care at home plays a vital role, not just in the context of social care but within the social fabric of the country. And it could do much more given the right support and funding. It’s time that role was more widely recognised and appreciated.

In some circumstances, home care can be more cost effective and better for the emotional wellbeing of service users than residential care, particularly when they are part of a supportive community of carers and neighbours. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where care at home doesn’t play an increasingly significant role in supporting people with additional needs at any stage of life.

It isn’t the best option for everyone but we believe strongly that it should be the needs and circumstances of each individual that determines the care they receive, rather than what is available or less expensive.

If you are currently considering the care options for your loved one and would like to discuss what would best suit their needs, contact Altogether Care. Our diverse range of care options can be tailor made to suit your individual needs, from care at home and live-in care to high end residential homes and specialist dementia care homes. Our experienced and caring team are here to help you, call 01305 300 161 or visit our website for more information.

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