This January we at Home Instead Swindon have seen a spike in demand for our home care services. Family gatherings over Christmas have highlighted the need for extra help.
In the run up to Christmas, the frenzy of preparations keep us busy, and for many people with the extra responsibility of caring for an ageing parent or loved one, we plough through the autumn months juggling the multiple demands placed on us, just to get across the line for 25th December. When that special time with family does arrive, seeing Mum or Dad for a longer period of time than normal can reveal a shift in them that may have gone unnoticed over the phone, or on fleeting visits. Christmas has been the turning point for many of the families we now support with care at home. Last January we saw an increase in enquiries of 32% and in December ’23 and particularly January this year, our home care client enquiries are up by 20% and our website visits by 26%. People are seeking help to make life better in 2024.
Cat, our Community Engagement Officer reflects on seeing her own elderly Dad one Christmas Day a few years ago: she says “I lived in Swindon and Dad was in Northampton, so although we’d speak on the phone, I didn’t see him in his home situation day by day. That Christmas when we were all together at my sister’s home and it hit us both (my sister and I) that he was not himself. Usually he’d be game for a laugh, but he wasn’t joining in so much seeming a bit bemused by things like crackers. He seemed withdrawn. We also discovered that he was neglecting himself in that he hadn’t got medical attention for his legs which needed dressing and were by then quite badly infected and needed urgent attention.”
Many of our clients have this “epiphany” experience realising that our ageing parents simply need more support than they’d either realised or are able to provide themselves. The biggest step is often making that first phone call and having a no-pressure conversation with us about how our services can work for you and your family. One of the fears that can prevent family carers seeking out support is fear that it will be impersonal to have an outsider come into the home and that their parent may not accept it. Our Care Professionals are selected carefully for their kind and compassionate nature, and we carefully match clients to Care Professionals so that the service is genuinely relationship-based. We have experience of working with families to sensitively introduce our Care Professionals to clients in a way that works for all. What the Care Professional does can include many things tailored to your unique needs whether that be companionship, help with meals, cleaning, and/or personal and dementia care. The quality of our services is reflected in our rating as “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission.
Some signs of decline to watch out for in older adults living at home include: the house being untidy, unclean or both, post remaining unopened, bruises on arms and legs indicating a fall, food in fridge well past best before dates, and resistance to social situations.
The bigger picture in the UK is that the increased need for care at home at New Year (and throughout the year as a whole) is not surprising considering the increase in people living with a Long Term Condition (LTC). Currently 26 million people in the UK living with at least one LTC, and 10 million impacted by two or more. Another concerning statistic is that 41% of people attending A&E don’t need to be there. Having the right care in place at the right time can be the solution to avoiding unnecessary deterioration in a loved one and even a crisis situation.
If you would like to talk to us about your care needs then call us on 01793 232 585 or click the link:
With greater demand for Care Professionals, we currently have vacancies for 6 staff and anticipate we will need 80 across the year. The key requirement for a Home Instead Care Professional is their kind heart and desire to help people live independently. It may surprise you that we don’t necessarily look for people with a care background, because we can provide the training and support needed to a person with the right personal qualities. For example, maybe you’re retired yourself and could give some hours to support a local older person, or alternatively perhaps you work full time, but would welcome some extra income and could earn this by supporting an elderly person to get them to bed safety in the evening. Or perhaps you want a completely new career for a new year, and many of our best Care Professionals have made that transition from other professions and haven’t looked back!
If you are interested in being a Care Professional click the link:
We wish you all that you would wish for yourself and your loved ones in 2024!