Choosing the right care option for yourself or an elderly relative is vital, but the options can be confusing. To cut the confusion, here is an explanation of the different types of care available, ranging from full-time nursing to a little help at home.
Domiciliary or home care
This is the provision of help with daily tasks at home. This can include cooking and preparing meals, housekeeping, nursing and personal care and can range from a few sessions a week to live-in help and emergency care.
This type of care means independence can be retained, and these services can be accessed either through your local authority or an independent care agency. All providers of this kind of care are Care Quality Commission-regulated, and you should ensure that all individuals have undergone a DBS check.
Respite and replacement care
This offers regular carers a break and is sometimes funded by the local authority. Options include short residential home stays, night services and day centres.
Retirement villages and sheltered housing
This form of care can offer reassurance while allowing you or your relative to retain independence and can ensure that all carers have been DBS checked through companies such as http://www.carecheck.co.uk/. You will normally have access to an alarm system, along with communal areas.
Care homes without any nursing care offer more support than the previous options but do not provide specific medical expertise. This is the perfect choice if you need help with practical tasks such as moving around, taking medication, eating, getting dressed and washing yourself but do not need nursing care. Find out more about care home funding at http://www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/care-homes/paying-for-permanent-residential-care/.
Care homes offering nursing care
This is the ideal choice if you need high levels of medical attention. Some will also specialise in particular conditions and disabilities. Many of this type of care home will have registered nurses working at all times.
This is NHS care for severe cases and is normally delivered by nurses at home or in nursing homes. This type of care is specifically aimed at freeing up hospital beds.
Hospices aim to improve life if you or your relative has a terminal illness. The care offered can be full-time or intermittent and can be provided at home or at a care home.