Below is a feature which we were asked to write for Kent Life Magazine about Live in Care.
Live in Care is becoming more popular as providing a real and sustainable alternative to the more traditional form of elderly care we are all common to, residential care homes. Yet it is still a surprise to me that many are unaware that such a service exists. Live in Care provides flexibility, maintains choice and independence. How many of you would want to leave your home, your belongings, friends and family behind at an elderly age and move into a group care setting?
Being woken up, taken down to a main lounge and sit through group activities like bingo, having to select what to eat from a menu and then being to taken back to my room once the day staff finish. This daily routine and fixed schedule is not how I would like to spend to last years of life.
Furthermore, I would not like to be shipped out to a group care setting, completely unfamiliar and probably far away from my home. How would I be supposed to select and choose what to take with me? In addition to leaving most of my belongings, all of my memories which matter so much would be left behind as well.
Live in Care provides this option for me, and maybe for yourself or someone you know. I want to be able choose when I want to get up, choose want I want to eat and be free to have an assistant with me should I wish to go outside to the local for an evening pint. Another advantage for me would be the companionship element. Having someone close by to socially engage with would be a great benefit. I am concerned that staff employed at group care settings would solely be there for care related needs and not for a mere a chat and cup of tea. Should I ever have a mental health issue develop like Dementia or Alzheimer’s, I am positive that being in my own home, surrounding by things and family memories would make me more comfortable, even if I am unable to express it.
Live in care is available from a number of different sources which include: Private Carers, Care Agencies and Care Providers. Charges for Live in Care are now comparable to those of what residential and nursing homes charge for group care. This combined with the benefits of a one to one service would mean push me towards opting for a Live in Care and Support package.
Choosing a care provider to provide the services for me would mean that I could also have a choice in who provides my care for me, whereas an agency would provide me with who they have available and in a residential home the member of staff may change frequently as carers would work shifts. What we do not consider when seeking the help of care services is what we would want in the future for ourselves.
The main issue is the lack of readily available information to enable us to make an informed decision. Not only that, but a choice to where we spend our last days. I am a true believer that the Live in Care and Support options for the elderly provide the best alternative to residential group care and the best environment for us to be in, our home.
Published in Kent Life Magazine 2010