What are the alternatives to a care home?

Around 90% of people would prefer to stay at home as they age rather than in a care home

Many people are afraid of ending their days in a care home, it is nearly always seen as the last move and care homes have not been painted in a great light by the press in recent years. Around 90% of people would prefer to stay at home as they age rather than in a care home but there is still a lot of misunderstanding of what is available and how it can work.

Depending on your situation, your health, your physical mobility, where you live and what sort of a house you live in there are many alternative options. In this article we are going to look at a few of those alternatives to a care home and discuss when they might be appropriate.

Retirement Living

There are more and more of these purpose built blocks of apartments or flats that are specifically designed for older people to retire into. They are usually fairly central in a town to enable easy access to local amenities, there is normally at least a part time manager to help with maintenance and ad hoc issues you may have. Most have a shared lounge area and sometimes a dining room and meals provided.

Moving into a retirement block can be a great success. It reduces the worry of house maintenance; if you are no longer able to drive then it probably gives you better access to local amenities without the use of a car and it can increase social interaction with other residents and group activities.  

There are plenty of retirement living venues in South West Surrey and North East Hampshire – some examples are listed below;

Home Care

A good home care provider should be able to offer you pretty much any service you need to stay living independently at home. Their team should be well trained and able to support you with social needs, housework and any care needs including personal hygiene, medication and even end of life care.

Using home care to support you to stay at home can work really well; the huge benefit of home care is that it is very flexible. If all you need is a weekly trip to go shopping then you can organise that, if your care requirements increase and you would like support every morning, then that can be arranged. Many people underestimate the level of care that can be provided in people’s own homes, it is nearly always possible to remain at home if that is your wish.

There are many home care providers covering Guildford, Farnham, Fleet, Aldershot, Farnborough, Godalming and surrounds; they may offer anything from a 15 minute visit up to 24hr support. Right at Home offers visits from 1 hour upwards from regular, fully vetted and trained local CareGivers.

Live In Care

Live in care is when someone actually comes and lives in your home with you. Depending on the person they may be able to help with the same sort of things that a home care CareGiver can help with. It is important to remember that although a live in CareGiver may be there 24hrs a day they cannot work every hour of the day. If you do need this level of support then you may need two live in CareGivers or a regular visit from an hourly CareGiver to relieve the live in CareGiver.

Right at Home offer a managed live in care service with support from additional home care if it is needed. For more about live in care and the different options do read our blog Live In Care Options – What are the Costs?.

Moving in with your Children

For some people there is the option to move in with their children. This can be a fantastic opportunity not only to spend more time with your loved ones but can also make great financial sense. However, it is a big decision and can mean moving away from your local support network and friends.

Before making this decision it is really important to have thought it through really well and discussed it properly with everyone who will be impacted. Some of the things to consider are;

  • Finance – how will household bills be split, who will pay for what including food etc
  • House Ownership – how will this work – it may be worth discussing with a financial advisor
  • House rules – who is responsible for what, how will mealtimes work
  • The Future – we are all getting older, it is worth discussing future scenarios
  • What it if doesn’t work – there is a chance it won’t work out and it is so much easier to have discussed this in advance

Finally, once you have all discussed it and agreed that it is something you would like to do, it might be worth agreeing a trial period if that could work. A couple of months living together will really let you all know what it is going to be like before making a long term commitment.

All in all, it is really worth considering the different options and most importantly talking about it with your loved ones before making any long term changes that cannot be put back. If you would like to discuss any of these options with our team then don’t hesitate to get in touch for some free advice (see below).

Related articles

Advice on when and how to choose the right full time care

Eight tips for when Mum or Dad lives with you

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