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The real benefits of Home Care

In recent years, home care has emerged, slowly but steadily, as a preferred option for individuals seeking high-quality personalised care which adapt to their own reality, rather than expect people to fit into the rigorous rules of living in a home with scores of strangers each with their unique idea of what a nice environment is.

It is undeniable that in certain situations, perhaps where constant medical care is required, living in a community home is cost-effective.  It does however come at a cost, and we are not only talking about a financial one here.  

Who is this stranger you have been assigned to share a room with?  What kind of music does she like?  And what if she snores?  What if she is fidgety and doesn’t let me sleep at night?  Or messy and leaves her underwear lying around the room when my family comes to visit?  Also, what about the cat I’ve had for the past 12 years?  Why do I have to part company so abruptly?  Will she be well cared for and treated like a Princess?

While we understand that sometimes joining an institution is the most sensible option available to people who are highly dependent on medical professionals for their physical health and wellbeing, we are relieved to know that an effective alternative does exist, where the care is designed not only according to specific health needs, but also individual tastes, preferences and certain routines formulated over years of independence.  Why have a bath in the morning if you prefer the evening? And why have breakfast at 7am if you fancy a bit of a lie-in today?  Why eat chicken or beef, when you really want pancakes today?  And why have broth when what you really want is a warm salad? 

Here are some of the benefits which home-care brings to you:

  1. Comfort and Familiarity – living in the home you’ve lived in for the past 60 years is a blessing. That familiar sight of the wallpaper you excitedly chose with your husband so many years ago.  The familiar smell of your favourite fabric conditioner and those fridge magnets you collected on your travels.  No risk of getting lost in those long whitewashed corridors or confused which floor to take to get to the dining room.  It’s your old well-loved home – familiar scents, smells, lighting and room setup.  And of course, Pickles the cat lying comfortably on the edge of your bed.  Or in the middle of it.  Or wherever it is she feels like lying today.  She IS the princess, after all…
  2. Personalised Care – everything about your care evolves around you. Whether it is the time your carer or therapist arrives, or when you have breakfast, lunch or a nap.  Even the activities are chosen by you – whether it is watching your favourite TV quizshow in the afternoon, doing some chair-based exercises or baking some muffins together for your grandchildren.  Everything your caregiver does with you is designed with you in mind – your suggestions, your choice.

  3. Maintaining Independence – One of the key advantages of home care is its commitment towards promoting independence. Competent service providers seek ways in which they can support you in sticking to your original activities and preferences.  It is not about stopping your daily walk to the chapel for morning service followed by coffee and shopping for groceries.  It is about finding new ways which can help you continue this routine safely and comfortably.  Pickles may be the Princess, but you will forever be the Queen of the Castle!

  4. Faster Recovery – It is not for nothing that science actually promotes homecare, even for people undergoing periods of rehabilitation following illness or surgery. Research consistently shows that people tend to experience faster and more successful recovery compared to those in institutional settings.  The familiar environment and personalised care contribute to a positive mindset, which we know is a crucial factor in the recovery process.

  5. Emotional Support – when home care providers promote holistic wellbeing, the personal connection formed between caregivers and clients fosters a sense of companionship, reducing feelings of isolation and contributing to mental wellbeing. When caregivers are assigned a number of clients when working in institutions, they often feel pressured to race against time so as to manage to assist as many clients as possible.  Sadly, there often isn’t much time to chat or worry about emotional connections.  In your own home, you are the centre of care all day long.  That is, unless Pickles decides she wants more attention or a different brand food.  Then you’ll have to share the spotlight for a few minutes…

  6. Reduces Risk of Infections – Home care minimises exposure to contagious illnesses, reducing the risk of infections commonly associated with institutional settings, such as MRSA. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with a compromised immune system or those recovering from surgery.

  7. Flexibility – Home care provides flexibility in scheduling services. Care can be arranged based on the individuals needs, ensuring that the assistance is available when required, whether it’s for a few hours a day or around-the-clock.

  8. Family Involvement – Home care encourages the active involvement of family members in the care process, without limiting this due to institutional rules such as visiting hours or visitation areas. This collaboration ensures a holistic approach to caregiving, with all hands on board.  And paws, of course!

In conclusion, home care offers a multitude of benefits that extend beyond the traditional models of healthcare.  From promoting independence to fostering emotional well-being, this approach provides a personalised and comprehensive solution for individuals seeking quality care in the familiar and comforting environment of their own homes. 

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