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A Guide to Arranging Professional Care at Home for a Senior Loved One

There comes a time in the life of a senior when they will need help with certain daily activities. One of the best ways to address this is through arranging home care services for them. This is a special service, which is essentially a professional carer coming to visit the senior in their own home. It is the ideal option in case the person has a special condition like Alzheimer’s or dementia. 

This sort of service, referred to as live-in care or home care, is all about meeting the needs of the individual in their own home. Based on the area, the service costs differently. The council may or may not be able to contribute to the cost. It comes with a great deal of flexibility. The care plan can be changed and switched to make for the best possible comfort for the person and their changing needs. The service may be permanent, 24/7, or perhaps be arranged for a few days a week. 

There are many benefits to home care:

  • It is very flexible. A home carer can assist with many tasks, including personal assistance, housekeeping, pet care, helping the person get about, monitoring the person’s symptoms, shopping and cooking, etc. 
  • It can be easily changed. Depending on the changing needs of the person, a home care plan can be altered and upgraded at any time. 
  • No need to leave the home. This is perhaps the best benefit of home care service. It enables the person to stay in the home, maintaining familiarity within the same environment they have grown used to. 
  • Professional care. A home carer is a person who knows how to address the needs of the senior. They can help them with many tasks around the home. 

Getting help from the local council in the arrangement of the service 

Before the council can help out, those that need the aid should prepare a needs assessment. This is a document needed to assure the council that the person is eligible for getting help in the form of home care. When that eligibility is confirmed, the council can then recommend a provider of care services, and will also help pay for them. If the person is not eligible for getting help, the council will recommend help sources from the community. Families that want to arrange private care can also benefit from the needs assessment. This is useful to the agency and the carer because it presents essential information on what kind of service they need to focus on. 

Paying the cost of home care 

Based on the circumstances of the person in need of care, the council may or may not contribute to paying the cost of home care service. With a needs assessment showing the need for care, the council will help. They take into consideration the income and savings of the person, all of which go into a financial assessment for the council. They will then move to determine a care plan for the person, after having established the needs and how they can meet those needs through home care. There is the option to get the personal budget through direct payment. In this case, the person can arrange the care however they like. 

How to find a local care agency? 

  • Through the NHS 
  • Through the social services department of the local council 
  • Through the Care Quality Commission – that is where every home care agency needs to be registered 
  • Through the UK Homecare association

© Home Care Preferred


4 Ways Home Care Service Aids Seniors


We all have senior parents or other family members, who are growing old and finding that the daily tasks that were once trivial to them, are now becoming more and more challenging. Thankfully, there is often a way to assist them and that option comes in the form of home care. 

Home care is a service that revolves around having a professional caregiver visit an elderly individual in their home and assist them with what they need. The service is highly versatile and customisable, making it very convenient to have. The following are a few of the most likely ways that a home care service can benefit you and your ageing parents or loved ones. 

  • You can have the caregiver visit on days you cannot – one of the main troubles for people with senior parents and loved ones in need of more attention is that it requires a lot of time and effort. But if you are busy with work and your family matters, perhaps you won’t be able to find the time to visit every single day. That is where home care can come in handy. The caregiver can visit the elderly person on the days that you are not able to, providing all of the help that is needed. You won’t need to worry about a thing, as home care is great for getting the aid where it needs to be at the right time. 

  • Allows for customised service – among the best things about home care is the fact that it allows for customisation. Maybe the senior only needs some help one or two days a week? Perhaps their family members can provide help most of the time, and only require a caregiver for a few hours sporadically? That is no problem for home care – the service is flexible and made to fit the needs of the individual at all times. With increasing needs, the home care plan can be changed to meet the new demands. 

  • Enables continued support at home – for seniors it is extremely important to remain in the home that they have grown used to. Moving to a care facility is always associated with much stress. Besides, there is hardly a better place for their well-being than the home they have been in for years. That is why home care is such a beneficial service – it allows seniors to remain there, without having to move. Many seniors would rather deny the need to have any sort of help if it involves them moving out of their home, but they are less apprehensive if the help comes to them. 

  • Seniors can keep their pets – it is well-documented that pets have a very positive effect on the health and wellbeing of seniors, especially if they have been around for some time. There is hardly any need to explain how dear pets can become to us. They are essentially part of the family. But for a senior, who can perhaps no longer take care of the pet, it can be very tough to keep them. That is what home care service can help with. When a caregiver is coming to aid the senior in their home, they can also help out with their pet. This probably means the caregiver needs to come more often, but there is the option. And that option means the seniors can keep their pet, which is great. 

These are just a few of the things that home care can be used for in regards to aid for seniors. There is a lot more to this useful service for sure! 

© Home Care Preferred

4 Tips to Help You Pick A Live-In Caregiver for a Person with Dementia


There are many challenges that you will face when you care for a loved one with dementia. It is one of the toughest things you can do. As the disease progresses, your loved one will go through changes, some of which are rather unpleasant. They will not remember things as before, and might develop feelings like paranoia, confusion and anxiety. Being there with them, supporting them during these trying times is perhaps the most useful thing you can do. That, and perhaps arranging live-in care service for them. 

Live-in allows old people, as well as those suffering from conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, to get the help they require at their own home. There is an experienced live-in care professional, who will attend to their needs. As you opt for this kind of service, you want to make sure the care provider is the right one for you and your loved one with dementia. And there are a few tips that can help you in that regard: 

  • Experience is essential – getting a company because they offer live-in care service is one thing; getting a company with experienced caregivers, who know how to look after people with dementia is something completely different. Any caregiver who has worked with seniors with dementia knows how to approach the task and the specifics of it. They are aware that seniors with such conditions require special attention and care. They will do everything they can to reduce the potential of angry outbursts, episodes of confusion and discomfort for the person. They must also be on the constant lookout for distressing symptoms and stressors in the environment, which can trigger anger and confusion. Any caregiver, who has experience with such matters, will do a much better job of looking after a person with dementia than a caregiver who hasn’t done any of it. Getting an agency with such personnel is very important. 

  • They need to be very patient and empathetic – people that have dementia do things differently, in many cases. They slow down, and process information in a more difficult manner. The caregiver needs to be able to get on the same level and show patience and understanding. They must know the unique situation the senior is in, due to their condition. As a caregiver, it is their duty to preserve the other’s dignity to the highest possible degree, all the while managing to serve them well. To do this, it takes understanding and compassion. 

  • The caregiver needs to be flexible – dementia has no cure. There are only certain treatments that manage the symptoms. Because of this, the needs of a senior with dementia are going to change rapidly. At first, they may be able to address takes like dressing on their own, but at a later stage, they may not be able to. Because of it, a caregiver must be able to show flexibility and address the new needs as they arise. 

  • They must be reliable – a caregiver must be someone, who is reliable on the job. They must always be alert if the person with dementia shows signs of an outburst or confusion. They must know how to diffuse the situation and do what is best for the current situation. They must not only possess the skills needed to look after a person with dementia but to be able to tap into those skills at a whim. 

These are the essential aspects of a live-in dementia caregiver. A person needs to possess all of them, for them to be eligible for the job. 

© Home Care Preferred

6 Benefits of Home Health Care you Should know About


Seniors nowadays have access to services and technologies, which can make their lives longer and fuller in every way. As such, more of them prefer to age in the comfort of their own home, without having to move to a care facility. One of the things that makes this possible is home health care. It enables better independence by introducing caregivers, who visit the seniors in their own home according to a predetermined schedule. If you are currently considering home care for an elderly loved one, you need to better informed of the benefits that it provides: 

  • Better personal hygiene – homebound seniors need to maintain proper hygienic care, but as time goes by, they may not be able to. Many of them encounter various difficulties, such as showering and bathing, which were once mundane tasks for them. If they avoid such activities, this could result in developing certain health issues, which is problematic. A home health care aide can be of much help to such individuals, assisting them with their personal hygiene needs. 

  • Doing some light household chores – a clean and safe environment at home is essential for the wellbeing of any senior. That is why a home care service will see to it that the caregiver engages in some basic cleaning tasks, such as dusting, vacuuming and laundry. The caregiver is not a housekeeper, but they can help that. 

  • Safety in the home – safety is no minor issue for seniors, especially if they have mobility issues. Home care service enables a well-trained caregiver to provide support and guarantee the safety of any senior within their own home. It is essential to communicate potential hazards with loved ones and find suitable ways to implement the necessary changes. Whether it involves clearing out clutter or adding more light to dark areas, home care providers can make some valid recommendations for improving the safety aspect. 

  • Meal preparation and proper nutrition – the elderly commonly have the problem of not eating right, since they cannot prepare their meals well. They cannot acquire the products, they cannot cook them well and generally experience poor nutrition. With home care, that is not going to be an issue, since the caregiver can assist with supplying the products and the cooking process. That way the senior can get the nutritious food they require for better health. 

  • Transportation needs – whether it is to see the doctor, or just get outside, seniors often feel limited by their ability to do things. With a home caregiver visiting frequently, they can more easily do that. The caregiver provides better access to transportation and can easily take the senior where they need to be. 

  • Companionship – one very important aspect of home care lies with the companionship and socialisation that comes from having a caregiver visit the senior. It is not a secret a lot of elderly individuals isolate themselves, which can be problematic in many ways. Without socialising, they can develop depression and anxiety. A caregiver can be the person who provides this so important socialisation aspect in the life of the elderly. They can be the companion that seniors need, someone to talk to and discuss topics. This is crucial for emotional health and wellbeing. 

As you can see, the advantages of home health care are many and you will do well to consider them all. Instead of moving the senior to a care facility, they can easily stay at home and receive the care they need professionally. 


© Home Care Preferred

4 Tips to Help you Find the Right Live-in Care Service


Live-in care is among the best long-term solutions for people who have an elderly loved one in need of assistance. Normally, the most popular solution would be to move the person to a care home, but live-in care presents a viable alternative, which more and more families resort to. 

If you are among the people who need to consider it, you want to make sure that you end up with the right service. You cannot just find a company online and go with it. There are a few more steps to take, to ensure that the one you sign a contract with works for you. Here are a few pointers to consider in that regard: 

  • Consider experience, references and qualifications – the very first thing you should always do during your research for a live-in caregiver is to consider their skills and expertise in this field. Ideally, you want a person who has been in a situation similar to your own. This is most important if your loved one has some sort of condition, like dementia for instance. It is hard to look for a standard in this industry, but certain qualifications are important. Check references and conduct checks, to make sure that the caregiver is right for you. After all, you are entrusting them with the safety and security of your loved one and you need to have peace of mind. 

  • Honesty from the start is key – although it may seem obvious, this is a point worth the mention. You need to be very clear on what sort of care service you expect, both in terms of length and intensity. While it is true that care requirements may change over time, it is a good idea to establish a certain level at first. This will give you solid ground upon which to build your relationship with the live-in care provider. This way you will avoid the scenario in which the caregiver becomes under-qualified for the changing needs of your loved one. Remember, even if you are not sure what the current situation calls for, a good live-in care provider will be able to advise you on the matter, as long as you present them with the full picture. 

  • Do a trial shift – one thing you can do in regards to ensuring the live-in caregiver is right for your needs is to run a trial shift. This gives you a chance to see how they work, how they handle the situation and, more importantly, how they interact with your loved one. After all, the caregiver may have all of the necessary experience and skills. But if there is zero synergies between them and the elderly person, then it is highly unlikely that they are a good pick. You also want to see how your loved one feels around the person, and whether they struggle due to the unfamiliarity or something else. A trial shift gives both sides a chance to see whether the service is right and what adjustments are needed. 

  • Define clear holidays and time off – live-in care service is very intense. No caregiver can go without some time off and holidays. That is one thing you need to define early on. Discuss how caregivers can change and what type of schedule they will adopt in regards to their time off. By doing so, you will ensure that the person caring for your loved one is always fresh for the job. 

Without a doubt, finding a live-in caregiver will be easier when you follow all of these tips. Do consider them when you are on the lookout for such service. 


© Home Care Preferred


Why is Home Care the Best for the Elderly?


If you have an ageing parent or another family member of old age, you know just how much help they need. The day-to-day tasks that they once deemed trivial will become more and more demanding. If you are not able to provide the care these people need, then you need to consider some alternatives. Home care is one of the best services that can help in this situation. 


If you are not able to provide the required care for them, then your best option is to get professional help. For many people, this means moving the ageing person to a care facility. But that is not the best scenario, because moving out of their home brings stress and a feeling of loss of security, which no ageing person likes. 


Home care is a great way to introduce the help that an ageing person needs, without the need for them to leave their home. Home care service means that a professional caregiver can visit certain times of the day, and provide some help to the person. The benefits of such service are many, and it is important to consider them, to see why it is the best option for any ageing person: 


  • The service is flexible – one of the most important things that home care agencies emphasise on is the flexibility of their service. It is all about tailoring the help to the individual. Some ageing people require help with mobility and supporting equipment. Others are mostly dependent on companionship and support. It all depends on what the person needs, to devise a plan that best serves their requirements. As you first contact a home care agency, you will discuss this with them and construct the best course of action. 


  • No need to move out – as it was already mentioned, the thing that makes home care such a preferable service is the fact that it brings the help to the person, rather than having them move to a care facility. This is very important since every ageing individual stresses over the thought of moving out of their home. Maintaining their familiar surroundings gives them a sense of security and wellbeing, which is essential for their physical and mental health. 


  • Help with housekeeping tasks – many individuals find housekeeping work to be trivial, but for people of old age, these tasks become impossible feats. A home care operative can assist with some housekeeping tasks, although it should be pointed out that is not the focus of their job. Some minor cleaning, gardening and washing are what they will do, but unlike housemaids, they will keep the focus on the elderly person. 


  • Companionship – it is no secret a lot of elderly individuals feel lonely. One of the things that a home carer will provide is companionship. It is always great having someone to talk to, which is great for their wellbeing. A home carer is a person who can be a friend to the ageing individual, helping them feel less isolated. 


  • Some medical help – a lot of home carers are trained to also provide some medical help. While they are not doctors, they can monitor some symptoms, manage feeds and catheters, adjust supportive equipment and ensure the person takes their medications on time. 

Home care is becoming more and more popular for a good reason. It is a convenient service, which you can always consider if you have an ageing parent or relative in need of help. 

© Home Care Preferred

What are the Most Important Elements of Home Care?


Many people believe ageing is a tough period of our life, full of challenges that no one can help us overcome. While it is true that it is not an easy thing being an elder, there are more than a few ways out there that ensure one can remain positive about this stage of life. 


Live-in care services are one of the tools that make it possible. In essence, live-in care is a kind of service, which provides professional care to aid the elder person in their day-to-day activities. Finding out more about what makes live-in care such a good service is important in ensuring that it is put to good use. In this guide, we will take a look at the most important aspects of live-in care to see what makes it such a good service: 


  • Care service at home – if there is one thing that separates live-in care from other services, it is the fact that it involves the elder person remaining in their own home. This means that a professional carer will visit there regularly to provide whatever assistance is necessary. The elder gets to remain in a familiar environment, instead of stressing over a new place. This can be highly beneficial for them since it will spare them worries and anxiety. 


  • Specialised service – one of the best aspects of home care lies with the fact that it provides specialised service. Whatever the person needs help with, the carer will provide. For example, oftentimes elders cannot keep up with the demands of housework – cooking, cleaning and tidying up. In many cases, their day-to-day activities also require aid – bathing, showering and dressing. Carers often need to provide medical assistance, in the form of monitoring IV-drips, managing medical equipment and ensuring that the person takes their medications on time. A live-in carer is someone who will provide companionship to the elder, which is another important factor of this kind of service. The best thing about it is that it can adapt to the ever-changing needs of the elder person. 


  • Professional attitude – live-in carers are experienced professionals, who are ready to provide the service at the highest possible level. They need to display this unwavering attitude at all times. A few aspects of it include showing up on time, providing the necessary devices, accessories, etc. needed for their job, always remaining vigilant about their client’s needs and having the knowledge on how to deal with all of the necessary tasks of the job. They are committed to providing the best care for the elderly so that the wellbeing and good health of the latter are guaranteed at all times. 


  • Experience and training – a large part of the things described in the aforementioned point come from experience. Live-in carers need to have the knowledge and the special training on how to handle the necessary tasks. Because live-in care features a diverse set of tasks, such as housekeeping, medical expertise and personal assistance, it is important for anyone doing it to be well-trained by their company. 


  • Affordability – there is no denying the fact that home care services are affordable, based on the value that you get for them. With live-in care, every aspect is being taken care of. Housekeeping, medication, shopping and more are all available for a price that leaves no question whether that is the best option. 


Knowing more about live-in care enables people to make better decisions about their older family members. 


© Home Care Preferred


Some of the Alternatives to Home Care You May Like


Many people are not happy with the prospect of going into a care home, no matter how well presented it is and how good of a service they offer. There is some negativity surrounding the concept of care homes, and while for the most part unfounded, admittedly a lot of elderly people are not fond of it.


The good news is that there are several alternatives, all of which should be up for consideration by the family members of that person. If they are hesitant to do a care home, then all of the following are viable options.


Move-in with family - many families, decide to amalgamate two households into one. More often, it is the elder who moves in with their children and families. Now, while it is a viable option, it is not for everyone. Without some strict guidelines on things like privacy, mealtimes and various other house rules, it will be quite a struggle. Parties should be comfortable with the idea of sharing a home together, or else it is not going to work. It is a good idea to try this arrangement for at least a month or two, before finally committing to the prospect of sharing a home.


Sheltered housing - sheltered housing means that the elderly person will live in an apartment in a dedicated block, which usually includes an on-site warden. All of the residents can turn to the warden if they need help. Thanks to this, the elderly know there is someone they can rely on, all the while retaining the advantages of independent living. With a communal garden/lounge, the elderly also get a chance to socialize.


Home-sharing - the rising property prices have made home sharing a good option for many people. In essence, home-sharing means the elderly person will offer part of their home to a live-in carer, who will address basic tasks around the place. The carer benefits from the nominal rent, whereas the elderly person gets some help around the house, as well as companionship.


Retirement village - retirement villages are developments that allow people to downsize their large homes. These developments are usually just within reach from the town, and they offer local amenities, like shops. In case of emergency, there should be a local warden to assist the elderly. The concept of retirement villages originated in the USA, though it is quickly taking off and expanding to other continents.


Home care - home care services come as a great alternative to care homes. A caregiver can drop by the house of an elderly person on a weekly basis, to assist with things like shopping and some other household tasks. Private home care comes with a great variety of options on tasks and what hours the carer will invest. This option allows the elderly to remain in their home, which is one of the best things about it.


Live-in care - this is a more involved version of home care, which features 24/7 care for the elderly person. The carer is there to assist them with household tasks and look after them. Not only does the caregiver provides support and companionship, but they can also offer specialized care, in case the elderly person requires that. Live-in care provides the same benefits as home care, and is an excellent option for the elderly people who would rather not leave their home, but need someone to look after them.


Evidently, there are quite a few alternatives to care homes, which elderly people should consider.


© Home Care Preferred

How the Elderly can Improve their Quality of Life?


Have you ever noticed that as people get older, they become more depressed and often feel like a burden to their loved ones? Helping them overcome these feelings is often times a deciding factor for their wellbeing. This boils down to the people who surround them and the steps they can take to ensure their elderly loved ones receive the best quality of life. Here are few recommendations in that regard: 

Address the depression problem

Depression is a major problem for people over the age of 65. It affects a few million and it is usually the stressful life circumstances that precede it – losing a spouse, clinical symptoms, retirement, or not being able to live at home. It is important to remember that depression is a major cause of heart attacks, suicide and heart conditions, which can be severe in the elderly part of the population. The best way to address depression is to recognise it and see to getting some help from a psychologist or a therapist. 

Regular exercise and time spent outdoors

The elderly should engage in regular physical exercise, because it severely minimises the risk of stroke and heart diseases. There are many more benefits to regular exercise, including better sleep, lower blood pressure and immune system boost, which are all essential aspects of the wellbeing for the elderly. The results of many researches show that regular exercise boosts vitality and social functioning. Spending time outdoors also plays a crucial role, especially if it involves natural activities, which help the person exercise. Do note that all exercise should be moderate and light, so nothing excessive is recommended. 

Improving social interaction

One of the biggest challenges that elderly people in need of extra care face is social isolation. That is often the case with individuals with limited mobility. Because of these circumstances, they are at greater risk for dementia. In order to decrease isolationism, you have to improve the frequency of family outings and visits. It doesn’t need to be anything complex; just a simple walk in the park or a lunch together provide great opportunities for companionship. 

Mental exercises are important too

There are different things that can improve cognitive functions, like Sudoku, crosswords, trivia and other exercises that boost cognitive functions. There are also other ways to prevent the cognitive impairments that come with dementia from Alzheimer’s disease and others. Asking for their wisdom is also a good thing to do, because it helps them feel more valued and appreciated. 

Make them feel more useful

A common thing among older adults is that they sometimes feel like a burden, or that nobody wants them to be around. You could easily reverse this by asking small things of them. It could be something trivial, such as folding laundry, running small errands and preparing dinner. This will easily restore their worth. It is important to match their abilities with the tasks you are asking of them. After all, you cannot demand more than their abilities allow, or the effect you achieve will be the opposite. The goal is to make them feel more valued and appreciated and the only way to do so is to engage them in activities that serve that end. It bears mention that many of the abilities that elderly people possess do not wane that severely. It is safe to say that you can even learn something from them. 

By taking all of these steps to improve the wellbeing of elderly people in your life, you can truly help them a big deal. 


© Home Care Preferred