Choosing where you want to live can be arduous and challenging for you and your family. Our article looks at the differences between care at home and care in a residential or nursing home. We are highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of both. We hope that it will help you and your family as you think about where your future home will be.
When faced with a choice, we are also faced with loss; choosing one thing will lead to losing the other, which can be difficult. However, the more information we have to make that choice, the easier it is to discover which one will be best for us because at the end of the day, that's the question you and your family will be asking; what is best for me.
Both living at home or in a residential or nursing home offer a way to receive support and personal care in a safe manner from professional carers, with care teams at hand to support.
Home Care Benefits
Home care is the most popular option for people who need care, help at home or companionship. This can be provided by yourself as an employer, a private company like Premier Community, or jointly with Social Services if you meet their funding criteria. The majority of people want to receive their care at home and remain independent; who wouldn't. A significant factor in the decision is for you to be around your belongings in a place full of memories – such as photographs and books.
However, this option has other benefits apart from this obvious one. For example, despite what most people think, home care is usually cheaper than living in a residential home. A further advantage is the value of your home will not be included in means-tested asset calculations, which decide if you qualify for public funding.
You can find out more about funding for home care in our article Funding Your Home Care.
Quality home care will always make sure you remain as independent as possible, which can be a significant factor in your decision; read our article on Living Independently.
Premier Community is very responsive and encouraging towards your social life and social circles, often changing rotas to accommodate lifestyles. Our support is tailor-made to suit your needs. Care might start with two or three hours twice a week to help around the house with tasks such as shopping or cleaning – then move up over time to daily care or overnight care. You can always decide to move to a care home later if you feel it's necessary.
Drawbacks of Home Care
If you employ your own social carer, you will need to carry out background checks such as – the right to work in the UK legally, and an Enhanced DBS screening. This can be stressful and difficult to navigate, and it can be difficult to find someone who is the right fit. One option is to use a home care company, such as Premier Community, who will do all the hard work for you, including training, covering holidays and sickness, and are compliant with all the regulations around caring for people. Our staff work in small teams, which means you're likely to see the same friendly faces all the time, building good relationships and bonds with your carers. We schedule all their shifts, make sure they're fit to work, thoroughly trained and compliant with current regulations.
It can feel unusual and sometimes intrusive having someone coming into your home until you get to know and trust people.
Active people find that they need to timetable their life around the carer. However, if you find a responsive company such as Premier Community, they will arrange their rotas around you and what you want to do.
In certain unusual circumstances, your home may need alterations to make your care safe and practical. While it's possible to access funding for this kind of work, https://www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants , building projects can be stressful to organise and undertake. You may be eligible for social services help. They can assess your needs and provide funding for equipment and alterations if you are eligible. Of course, most adjustments are much simpler, and Premier Community can carry out care and risk assessments that need minimal action to enable care. Premier Mobility are on hand for any advice regarding getting around your home.
Staying at home means you'll need to keep on top of the upkeep and administration. This can be a bigger problem if you are living with dementia and unable to manage your affairs. Remaining at home is dependant on the family being around to help with all of this.
Benefits of a Care Home
'Care Home' is a broad term; it covers residential homes and nursing homes and usually involves you leaving your home and moving in. However, it is possible for you to use a care home for short periods of time, to let your family or carer have a rest, or for you to have a closer look at the home to see if you like it.
Care homes are an important part of caring for older people, with approximately 418,000 people living in care homes in the UK https://www.mha.org.uk/news/policy-influencing/facts-stats/.
A care home is the best option for some people when their needs become too demanding or unsafe to stay at home.
There are different sorts of care homes for different needs. Residential Care Homes provide a community home for people who need social and personal care. In contrast, a Nursing Home will have the addition of qualified nurses on hand for nursing care, and for this reason, will be more expensive. All care homes have fully trained staff on hand around the clock, and it's more likely there will be several members of staff on hand to help you, should you need it.
Most Care Homes will provide regular chiropody, dental treatment, optician and physiotherapy visits. A good Care Home will provide social activities and outings that help you to get to know people and prevent loneliness. Most have an activity organiser, hairdresser, and some even have a bar! This can sometimes be better than sitting alone at home, I guess it depends on preference.
Most Care Homes offer your private room and bathroom, and you can bring in some of your belongings. There will be at least one dining room and sitting room for community living. Facilities and upkeep vary from Care Home to Care Home, and it's always a good idea to visit well before you need the facility to ensure your choice will have everything you need.
And finally, the burden of the upkeep of your home will be gone; there will be no worries in that regard. All your bills are included in the cost of being there.
Drawbacks of a care home
Care homes have a poor public image and given a choice, 97% of people surveyed said they did not want to go into a care home and would rather receive care at home.
However, there are some wonderful care homes around, and our advice is to go and view as many as you can and choose one that feels suitable. if you give yourself plenty of time, you can look up reviews from the Quality Care Commission website; there's lots of good information about what to expect from your Care Home, and you can see every provider's latest inspection documents. https://www.cqc.org.uk
When you visit a home it might be a good idea to write down your questions, and some of the things that are important for you that you need to know, for example, food is important to most people; ask to see the menu's, you might even be able to stay for dinner and check out the quality. Some homes allow pets to join you, so if that's important to you, you need to ask if you can bring your pet.
You may find it difficult to secure your place in a popular home as space may well be limited; some homes even have waiting lists.
Care homes are expensive; try using the Cost of Care Calculator to discover how much it will cost you in the short and long term. https://www.which.co.uk/later-life-care/financing-care/cost-of-care-and-eligibility-checker/
You will find a:-
Residential care homes in Nottinghamshire will cost around £38,139 per year.
And a nursing home, around £46,411 per year.
Fees may be secured against the sale of your home.
Finally, Care Homes are communities; there will inevitably be some do's and do nots that will apply to you to keep everyone safe and happy.
Care Home v Home Care
At the end of the day, the choice will be down to personal preference and necessity; Give yourself time to think hard about where you want to live, and involve those around you who have your best interests at heart.
As far as Premier Community is concerned, we want you to be independent, safe, and contented with whichever option you choose.
Remember, as Abraham Lincoln said “It’s not the years in the life that count, it’s the life in the years.