Alternatives to UK Nursing homes
Article by Debbie Harris
Is a nursing home or a residential care home the only option available to you when you need care and support? Not any more…
It is usually the result of a crisis in life that makes an individual, or those around them, believe that they need some kind of care and support.
So what options do you realistically have available to you other than a nursing home or residential care home? This article will outline the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of care available to an individual who needs some extra help either at home or within a nursing home.
Nursing home or residential care home
Sometimes a nursing home or residential care home is realistically the only option available to you. This can be because of personal circumstances or health issues. There are two categories of care home – a nursing home and a residential care home. A nursing home offers more physical and medical support than a residential care home and has qualified nurses on site. Both a nursing home and a residential care home provide accommodation, meals, support with dressing and washing if needed and companionship in a safe environment.
The advantages of a nursing home or residential care home are that it is a safe environment should the resident fall or become ill, friends and relatives can be reassured that should anything happen to you, you will be care for and looked after. In addition to this a nursing home or residential care home is a sociable environment as there are other people to talk to and interact with.
The disadvantages can be a lack of privacy and control over your own life. In addition the individual may have left their own home unwillingly and at the request of their doctor or family. This can create resentment and unhappiness.
Domiciliary agencies, or home care agencies as they are also called can offer an ideal solution for somebody that would prefer to stay in their own home. Home care is the preferred option of the government because it is less expensive up to a certain number of hours and because it allows the individual to stay in their own home. Many people would prefer to stay in their own home rather than move into a nursing home or residential care home.
The advantages of domiciliary care is the flexibility that it offers you within your own home. A domiciliary agency will arrange for carers to come into your home and help you with a range of tasks. These can range from making supper to helping you get up and get dressed or more medical procedures. There are also organisations that provide domiciliary care, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The disadvantages of domiciliary care is that a high level of support may well exceed the amounts expected to be paid for in a nursing home or residential care home, particularly if the support needs to be a trained nurse. It can be very lonely living in your own home with just a carer popping in once or twice a day and serious thought should be given to this if the individual is totally dependent upon these visits and is unable to get out of the house.
Assisted living, or retirement homes are growing in popularity and availability. Hugely popular in America, these communities of retirement homes offer companionship of like minded people, within a secure and safe environment. Many retirement homes are situated within mini villages and can offer a restaurant, coffee shop and leisure facilities. There is a growing trend amongst some of the retirement villages for spas and swimming pools.
In addition to this there will be domiciliary care on site, available when and if it is needed. Many villages also have nursing homes and residential care homes attached to them, or associated with them, providing a further level of support.
The properties can be either for rent or for sale and can vary from bed sits to 3 or 4 bedroom detached houses or bungalows.
The advantages of assisted living are that by moving from your own property and living within a retirement village you do not have the maintenance of your house or flat to worry about, you can use the communal restaurants if you don’t want to cook and you have help at hand either through a domiciliary agency or a nursing home or residential care home should need it.
The disadvantages of assisted living can be very high service charges for maintenance of gardens and houses and if the domiciliary agency that is attached to the development is not very good it may be difficult to get outside help in.
About the Author
Debbie Harris is the Director of Best Care home Ltd an online resource for people who pay for their own care and want to find the best nursing homes and residential care homes. Aware of the difficulties many people face when searching for care she provides information about every issue that affects residents and their relatives. She is @VoiceofCare on twitter and welcomes feedback on the bestcareblog.co.uk.