23 February 2018

How can home care help my ageing relative?


When growing older, no-one wants to think about needing to accept the help of a carer to stay on top of their household or personal tasks. However, there comes a point when we all need to slow down and put the importance of our own wellbeing first – and accepting that this is the case is the first step towards continuing to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life.

To many people, the concept of ‘care’ instantly conjures up what can be upsetting images of having to leave the places they have lived for years and move into a specialist nursing facility instead. More and more, however, care is being provided to people in the comfort of their own homes, meaning that they can be well looked after and stay where they feel most settled and already have their own home stair lifts installed.

Here, we will look a little closer at what home care (also called ‘domiciliary care’) can involve, and the situations in which looking into arranging it for yourself or your loved one may be advisable or even necessary, with the help of two of the nation’s experts:

Saga Healthcare


Saga Healthcare provides live-in care, visiting care and a range of related services for elderly people around the UK through four organisations – Country Cousins, Patricia White’s, Saga Care at Home and Saga SOS Personal Alarms. Ashley Law, Managing Director at Saga Healthcare, shared some details about why signing up to homecare does not go hand-in-hand with a reduction in quality of life, as can often be assumed:

“The need for extra support at home is a challenging issue not only for the recipient of care, but also their family, who are often tasked with arranging the right type of care.

“The mere mention of care can be frightening. The word is loaded with connotations of lost independence and a degradation of both respect and faculties, but the reality can sometimes be the exact opposite. A sensible, personalised care plan can help to rejuvenate a person, by giving them the support and tools they need in order to continue living a full and happy life.

Where to begin - the type of care required

“Different people need different types of care for different reasons. Identifying the core reason for considering care will help to clarify the options and allow you to seek exactly the right services for your or a loved one’s needs. For some, it will be physical disabilities that lead them to seek help, while for others it might be loneliness or the first signs of dementia. None of these things will automatically lead to residential care – indeed, a 2015 study, which considered the views of more than ten thousand respondents, showed that nine out of ten people would like to receive care in their own home, should it become necessary in the future. There is plenty of help available so people can do just that – you just need to know where to look.

How family members might help

“Families often help with caring, perhaps by doing the shopping or preparing meals. Sometimes they can arrange for a loved one to move in with them so that they can provide additional support.

“If an individual wishes to remain living independently, however, it’s often a good idea to appoint a ‘decision-maker’ – a family member who can help to make the big decisions regarding their future care.”

The above is an extract from Saga’s Care Guide – ‘Making the right choice about care’ - which can be downloaded from:  https://www.saga.co.uk/care/care-advice/free-care-guide

Barchester Healthcare


We also spoke with Barchester Healthcare, care providers who – although not involved in traditional domiciliary care – do nevertheless offer Assisted Living services in a number of their care homes. The experts at Barchester were on hand to tell us more about how Assisted Living is so beneficial to those residents who choose it, as well as a general overview of their approach to care:

“Barchester Healthcare is recognised as a major UK care provider that is committed to delivering high-quality care across its care homes and hospitals. The organisation has adapted and grown over the last 25 years, focusing on older people needing nursing care in high-quality environments and providing personalised support for adults of all ages with a range of disabilities. We pride ourselves on our expert dementia care. Our Memory Lane Communities are designed to encourage people living with dementia to stay as independent and active as possible. We understand that no two people are the same and take a person-centred care approach, recognising and celebrating each person's individuality.

“Barchester Healthcare provides Assisted Living services at a selection of care homes throughout the country. Offering independent living in spacious apartments, residents are able to live in the privacy of their own homes, safe in the knowledge that 24-hour support is available if required in the future. There are a range of optional care packages available to suit the individual needs of each resident. Barchester’s Assisted Living apartments allow residents to retain their independence whilst still enjoying life in a safe, caring, socially active and supportive environment.”

Image Credit: Christian Schnettelker, Mayur Gala, Michael Havens