Home care agency is the solution to an elderly or infirm person being able to stay in their own home. Providing support, reassurance, and companionship to enable someone to continue to live as independently as possible, there are many benefits of care at home over residential care.
The UK population is getting older and the healthcare industry is responding with an increase in home care. Accordingly, home care agencies now provide a huge menu of services which range from basic lifestyle tasks to medical and palliative care. A home care agency in Bournemouth will tailor a care package according to the needs of the person they are engaged to care for.
Best described as assisted living, daily care provided at home is designed to help the patient (for want of a better word) go about their life as normally as possible. A carer will help with key tasks such as
- Personal hygiene and grooming – washing and bathing
- Preparing meals
- Household cleaning and laundry
- Shopping and errands
A daily carer provides companionship and social interaction, preventing the patient feeling isolated. The care-giver may also accompany the patient on trips outside the home which might be to a medical appointment or social occasion.
For some this is the same as daily care, however, some agencies regard this as the provision of additional services over the lifestyle care provided on a daily basis. This will usually involve more personal care such as skincare, post-operative care, and assistance with eating meals and going to the toilet. It can also include more specialised tasks such as stoma and catheter care and there might be the option for the occasional overnight stay as required.
Although the services provided for dementia care are essentially identical to general daily care, they are provided by a carer with knowledge and experience of the condition. Carers of patients with dementia need to be a friendly familiar face and be compassionate and professional to maintain a standard of living and reduce confusion in the patient.
Not all home care agencies will provide palliative care which is also known as end-of-life care as it may require some medical training. Palliative care for a terminal illness might be needed on a full-time basis or as intermittent visits as required. Palliative care at home is an alternative to hospice care.
Every person needing care at home is offered a personalised care plan by their chosen agency. The family of the patient or a social care team from the local authority will identify the services needed and how often. A needs assessment is a good basis for this. A service agreement is drawn up which identifies what will be provided by the agency and when. The service agreement can be updated as needs change.
The most important consideration of care at home is that the right level of service is provided to the patient. The patient must feel clean and healthy, nourished, well looked-after and safe and secure enough to remain in their own home with a decent quality of life.