It is an unfortunate fact that elderly people become more frail and accumulate a number of health conditions that gradually erodes their ability to live an independent lifestyle. There are a number of alternatives available such as having a spouse or relative provide care, or receive residential care in a nursing home. There is another alternative, than can bring considerable benefits – live-in care, which we will explore in this article.
What is live-in care?
When an elderly person requires a significant amount of daily care, a live-in care plan may provide the answer, particularly if the senior is keen to remain within his or her own home, rather than live in a nursing home.
Live-in care is provided by a carer who actually lives in the care receivers home so they are on hand to attend to the seniors needs whenever required. They are mostly employed by healthcare businesses who specialise in the care of the elderly.
The carer will offer a friendly service and will get to know the senior and understand how to deliver the best care to meet the needs of the care receiver.
You can learn more about the various types of live-in care here, but generally there is short term care available, which could last around four days or so, and is provided by the same carer who temporarily lives with the senior, or longer term care plans in which two carers are assigned to the elderly person, each working shifts to provide 24 hour care, 7 days a week. if required.
When two carers are required for long term assignments, they live in their own homes, but stay in the care receivers house during their shifts. This causes less disruption to the carers as they can live in their own homes with their families.
The benefits of live-in care
There are significant benefits for an elderly person with complex care needs to subscribe to live-in care. A key benefit is that the elderly person does not have to leave his home and move into a residential care home. For many senior citizens, this can bring significnt advantages as it prevents the upheaval of a move, and the challenges of adapting to new surroundings and circumstances at a time in the their life when they are at their most fragile and vulnerable.
Another key benefit of live-in care is that the carer not only provides the required care, but also acts as a companion to the senior, getting to know them as a person rather than as a patient, thereby interacting with them with empathy and understanding. This companionship can be invaluable if the senior is living by themselves and may be feeling lonely and isolated, particularly if they are losing mobility and are finding it difficult to engage socially with other people.
It has to be expected that receiving tailored and individual care throughout the day is going to be expensive. A suitable room and facilities will have to be provided to the live-in carer. In addition, food and travel costs will also have to be provided, so subscribing to this level of care will be costly.
However, if the alternative is to endure a move to a residential care home which could be hugely disruptive to the elderly person and present challenges to their lifestyle, the costs of live-in care coule well be worth paying. This is also likely to be cheaper than paying for residential care which is generally comprised of two cost elements – the board and lodging costs and the care costs.
Depending on the needs and circumstances of an elderly loved one, cost considerations could be overshadowed by the benefits of staying in their own home and receiving care and companionship within a familiar environment that is also hopefully close to friends and family.