Home Care or Care Home?

Often, care is required without notice, it is a crisis purchase. A loved one may well be in fine health and independent one day, and in need of considerable, ongoing support on the next.

Part of our initiative to encourage couples, families, and advisors to have the all-important ‘care conversations’ ahead of the point of need, aims to inform those concerned of the options available, in readiness. It’s a topic openly discussed with guests by TV’s Lorraine Kelly and her daughter Rosie, the hosts of the #WhatIf podcast that Home Instead UK are proud to sponsor.

The cost of care options can vary hugely, as does the quality of the services received and the experiences of the recipient. During the covid-19 pandemic, care homes were faced with an almost impossible challenge of containing outbreaks of infection, despite their very best efforts in some cases. Covid 19 remains with us, and as care homes across the UK begin to tentatively open their doors once again, restrictions and concerns remain, leaving prospective residents and their families wondering what other options they could have available.

For most people, staying in the home that they love during times of ill health, or old age, is the ideal. It offers security and familiarity, and for those living with Dementia for example or issues with eyesight, it can be crucial, as they are able to navigate their way around their surroundings from memory.

However, many older people are told that if they require state-funded support, they must go into a residential care setting, because it is assumed that care in their own home is too expensive. State funded home care is an option that many organisations and charities, such as Age UK, are seeking to promote, believing that a ‘home-first’ policy should be adopted, even going as far as calling for this option to be made a legal right. The common belief is that in all regards, older people should be offered the time and opportunity to consider their options for care before they feel that they are under pressure to make such a life changing decision.

Of course, the cost of care is a consideration, but many prospective clients are surprised to hear that home care provision compares favourably in relation to residential care. On average, the cost of residential care in the UK is almost £4000-£5000 per month, and this varies greatly according to area. This is based on a residential home with a ‘Good’ (average) CQC (Care Quality Commission) rating. Locally, residential care homes with a ‘Good’ rating can cost around £1310 per week, as a starting figure. Care homes that provide specialist care, with conditions such as dementia, will often charge a higher fee.

In comparison, home care from Home Instead Exeter & East Devon offers CQC 5 Star Outstanding care - rated as outstanding in all five areas, with regard to safety processes, effectiveness of care, the care and kindness shown, responsiveness of service and also in relation to the leadership of our organisation – for a similar cost.

Home Instead offer a variety of care packages, including Live-In care, that are tailor-made to the changing needs of the client, and which are delivered by a highly trained, fully insured, kind and caring team of known Care Professionals. Our pledge to ‘never have a stranger at your door’ means that clients are safe in the knowledge that they will receive care from a trusted, familiar care professional at all times. In comparison, residential homes have often found themselves having to employ temporary and agency staff in order to continue operating during covid outbreaks, as the close proximity of residents and care professionals means that infections are extremely difficult to contain and spread rapidly throughout residents and team members.

Home Instead has provided many packages of care to clients who had first assumed that the only option available to them, was residential care. Only after conducting their own research online, comparing reviews (from Google or trusted sites such as homecare.co.uk) or very often, after a word-of-mouth recommendation for our care, do they discover that there is another way and that we are different.

Care can be offered via a series of hour-long visits in a day, with overnight care, or in some cases with Live-In care provision. In all regards for our clients, the comfort and peace of mind provided by remaining in the home that they love, is priceless. Our model of adaptable care represents a return to the successful ‘home help’ provision of the past - with the addition of our staff benefitting from a variety of award-winning training schemes in specialist areas including Dementia care, Parkinson’s Training, and End of Life care.

Many Live-In care providers are simply a referring agent, cleverly disguised as a care company. There is a vital point to note in this case: companies that refer independent carers do not conduct quality checks, do not provide training, and crucially are then not responsible, if and when, the care relationship breaks down, or the care provision fails to meet needs or expectations. The contract and responsibility, then lies with the family of the person needing care, as they have technically hired that carer to provide the service.

For those wanting to manage the cost of their care in a predictable way, which includes a fixed monthly invoice, regardless of bank holidays, and local mileage costs etc, Home Instead can provide a “Care Solutions” package. This offers fixed monthly recurring rates, depending on the level of services being received. This is an option that is popular with organisations responsible for managing Private Client matters.

Care Solutions is designed in a similar way to many other modern subscription services, such as mobile phone contracts, where instead of a ‘pay as you go’ contract, you can opt for a monthly contract at different rates, depending on the level of services received.

The Home Instead Care Solutions model offers different packages of care, from 7 hours a week to 30+ hours a week, including specialist dementia care, with increased contact with families or Powers of Attorney from a Care manager, options to use assistive technology in the home, local mileage and transportation included – all for the same monthly cost (regardless of number of days in the month or bank holidays) for ease of budgeting.

Clients can move from one package to another as needs change. Monthly billing is paid via direct debit in advance. All clients have a dedicated Care Manager overseeing their care, and access to numerous resources, from nutrition advice to falls prevention. The designated Care Manager also keeps in direct contact with the clients GP and other care professionals, to offer the best care support. Our clients are local, and therefore, so are our Care Managers. We understand how our community works and this can be key to ongoing quality of care.

Home Instead are happy to offer advice to prospective clients and their loved ones with regard to funding options. Social Care Reform is set to take place towards the end of 2023, but until then, there are some basic limits to the financial support that service users are entitled to, and we are happy to provide guidance in this regard. We offer a number of free community workshops on related matters, which take place online and in person, and we would encourage interested parties to follow our Facebook page for updates and notifications.

If you or a loved one is facing the prospect of having to move into residential care, we would urge you to take a moment to take stock and consider your options. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice and information. We are here for you and are happy to help.

Contact our Home Care Consultants on 01395 200600 and discover why we are different.

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