Conversations on care: care choices

Choosing care for a loved one can be a stressful and sensitive time for the entire family. There’s a wide variety of services available and it is never too early to start thinking about emotional, practical and financial plans if your loved one needs extra support.

It can be difficult and distressing to accept that your loved one needs additional assistance but too often life-changing choices are made under pressure following a health care emergency. A bout of ill-health or a fall can often prompt decisions to be made in the heat of the moment, without time to think through all the options. We’ve put together some tips to help you open a conversation about care with your loved one here.

In certain cases, following an acute health problem or operation for example, it will be clear your loved one needs support. However, often a gradual decline in health and confidence can make it difficult to know when they might need extra help. There are a number of key signs to spot which can be early indicators that it’s time to start researching care options, these include:

  • Whether your loved one lives alone or is caring for a spouse

If you’d like to learn more about the signs to look out for, you can contact us here.

Types of care

The word “care” covers a wide range of services which range from having a Care Worker visiting for an hour or two every day to going to live in a care home after being unable to carry on independently. There a number of points to consider when thinking about care for your loved one:

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Home care:

if your loved one can manage alone for most of the time, but might need assistance with daily tasks such as meal preparation or personal care, then home care could be the right option for you. Visits from just a couple hours a week can help your loved one remain happy and independent in their own home. As Home Care is flexible, you will be able to increase or decrease the weekly need according to the situation at the time.

Residential care:

for those unable to live independently in their own home, care homes provide rooms, meals and personal care such as help with washing and dressing. Some residential settings, often called nursing homes, are also registered to provide medical care and might specialise in a particular health area, for example, dementia.

Respite or short-term care:

in many cases residential care may be needed only temporarily. For example if a carer needs some time away to take a break and re-energise, the person they are caring for may go into a residential or nursing home for a few days or weeks. Short-term or short-stay care may also be useful for those who are recovering from illnesses or operations. It may also give someone who is thinking about going into a care home an insight into what life would be like there.

Extra Care Schemes:

This is where a person or a couple can purchase an apartment within an environment which offers onsite management, dining facilities, entertainment and all round security for those who live there. Tenants have the comfort of living independently within their apartment as well as using the social opportunities which exist within the Scheme.

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Palliative care:

for terminal conditions palliative care in hospices or care homes can help relieve pain.

You can find out more about comparing care options here. If you’d like more help navigating the different care options for your loved one, contact us on 01903 691762 or at contact.uk@comfortkeepers.com for more information and friendly helpful advice.