Looking after elderly parents at their home – what are the options?

senior woman behind a handful of flowers

When it is realised that your elderly parents need help at home, decisions have to be made. You will have noticed and assessed the signs that lead to this conclusion and it is worth noting them down so you can include them in the conversation to explain that you are looking at ways they can receive help.

How and what help they get depends on the extent of what they need – as well as what they will accept. These are the main options:

Make the Home as Safe as Possible

There are many ways to make a home safer for the elderly. The extent of help may be reduced with some assisted livings aids such as mobility aids (a stair lift, for example), dressing aids, and hygiene aids (mobility bath). Even something like a “helping hand” litter picker type tool can make a big difference. You can also consider a personal safety alarm – various companies offer a 24-hour monitoring service.

Family Assistance

Family can help in various ways if support required is fairly minor and the parents are not at too much risk when alone. The support can be as simple as being able to be contacted 24/7 to someone being there to help first thing in the morning to get their day started, or at mealtimes to do the cooking.

Local Authority Home Healthcare

Your parents may be entitled to home help from the local authority. This may be in the form of a regular home help visitor funded by the local authority or a financial contribution towards the cost of a private carer. The elderly person/people will need to undergo a needs assessment. The council will also likely carry out a financial assessment. If your parents are not eligible for assistance, the council will provide advice and also, the needs assessment will help you to explain to an agency or carer the kind of help needed.

Agency Healthcare

Using an agency for in-home help is an increasingly popular option. A home carer enables your parents to stay in their family home, in familiar surroundings and to maintain a good quality of life. A home carer will assist in a full range of healthcare from general lifestyle assistance to medical assistance. Agencies like Frasercarebournemouth.co.uk will have staff trained in all aspects of healthcare including qualified medical professionals. If you are going to engage an agency, do your research and make sure the agency is registered with the Care Quality Commission and is a member of the United Kingdom Homecare Association.

Live-in Care

The last option for an elderly person to remain at home and receive help is to have live-in care. This is usually when one of your elderly parents now lives alone although there is no reason why a couple cannot enjoy the benefits of live-in care. A Live-in carer is best employed when a person needs significant help on a consistent basis. The live-in carer may be medically trained if required or merely provide general living assistance.

The important thing about the care you provide for your elderly parents is that it is the right level of care and it makes a difference to their life. They should be safer, more secure, and at less risk.

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