Maybe you’re considering live-in care as an option for your loved one. You’ve started looking into it, and had a few conversations with friends and colleagues. And while it seems like there are huge benefits, you also have some reservations.
With so much information available these days, it can sometimes feel difficult to sort fact from fiction. Many of us hold certain beliefs and preconceptions about live-in care. For example, some might believe it’s financially inaccessible, while others might feel that it marks a loss of independence.
Many of these myths and mistaken beliefs are holding families back from taking advantage of the live-in care services they need. In this guide, we debunk 12 misconceptions about live-in care so you can make informed and educated decisions about the best care for you or your loved ones.
Now let’s look at some of the myths and misconceptions around live-in home care that might be putting you off:
Myth 1. The elderly aren’t safe at home
It is commonly thought that once people reach a certain age or have health issues they are no longer safe at home. It may be true for some seniors if they don’t receive regular care and support, but with a live-in carer in the home, statistics show that elderly people are safer than in a residential care facility.
Research from the Live-In Care Hub shows people who enjoy live-in care have nearly 30% fewer falls than their care and nursing home counterparts and 50% fewer hip fractures. Receiving live-in care also reduces the risk of infections, compared to a residential care home setting. This is due to the number of people living closely together.
According to the Live-In Care Hub, the rate at which people died of coronavirus in care homes and nursing homes was about 7,136 per 100,000 people. For live-in care, the rate was significantly lower at 1,482 per 100,000.
Myth 2. Live-in care is expensive
While live-in care is not free or cheap, it is in fact very reasonably priced for what the service provides. Live-in care is comparable, and in some cases cheaper, than residential care.
There are some key benefits to live-in care that residential care cannot provide:
Quality of care
Live-in care provides one-to-one personalised care, tailored to the client’s specific needs and wishes. A live-in carer gets to know a person’s favourite foods, most loved TV shows, what newspaper they like to read or their favourite board game. This level of care and attention just isn’t possible in a care home where staff care for many people at the same time.
Maintain independence and freedom
Remaining at home means remaining in control of one’s life, such as keeping preferred routines and lifestyles, being able to stay living with a beloved pet, or having friends and relatives to visit any time.
Value for money
The cost of live-in care is often similar to residential care but has the huge advantage of personalised one-to-one care from a dedicated carer who can develop a close bond with their client.
For couples requiring care, live-in care is significantly cheaper than residential homes and allows them to remain living together, which is often not possible in a care home setting.
Keeping connections with community and loved ones
Live-in care fosters relationships with friends, family, neighbours and pets. Maintaining a connection in the community we know and love is vital for mental well-being and quality of life.
Help with daily tasks and domestic chores
Live-in carers do more than just take care of a person’s health needs. They provide practical and domestic help on a daily basis, from doing cleaning and laundry to walking the dog and collecting prescriptions, as well as much-needed companionship.
Research shows people receiving live-in care have nearly 30% fewer falls than their care and nursing home counterparts, and 50% fewer hip fractures. Live-in care also reduces the risk of infections, compared to a residential care home setting due to the number of people living closely together.
Having a dedicated carer means that you or your loved one gets to develop a close bond. Many people comment that their carer becomes like one of the family – a trusted person they can rely on and confide in.
Myth 3. Live-in care is not suitable for people with dementia
It is a common myth that people with dementia need residential care to live well, especially in the later stages of the disease. The truth is that live-in dementia care is the most suitable type of care for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia because it allows them to stay in the home they love, surrounded by memories, their loved ones and their preferred daily routines. All of these factors have a huge positive impact on slowing the disease’s progress while providing comfort and reassurance.
People with dementia find changes in environment and routine extremely confusing and distressing. Being able to avoid big upheavals, such as moving into a new residence and having new carers, provides the best environment for a sense of peace, calm and comfort.
Myth 4. Home care means a loss of dignity and independence
Some people think that with live-in care comes a loss of dignity and independence. In the past, health and social care prioritised doing everything for the service user. Today, the opposite is true. Modern health and social care put great importance on protecting the independence and dignity of the client. This is often referred to as ‘person-centred care.’
With live-in care, the focus is always on what the person can do for themselves, what’s important to them, and their wishes and preferences are taken into account over anyone else’s. Live-in care positively promotes independent and dignified living by respecting the client’s wishes and by supporting them to do things for themselves rather than doing everything for them.
Myth 5. Live-in care is for people with complex health conditions
This is another big one. Families often fail to look into live-in care as an option as they assume it is only for elderly people with multiple complex health conditions, or terminally ill people who need lots of medical support.
While live-in care is perfect for people with complex health needs, it is also perfect for any person, old or young, who requires some level of support in order to remain living at home safely and comfortably.
At Country Cousins, we provide live-in care for a variety of needs. From companionship care to avoid isolation and loneliness to night-time care for people who have care needs during the night or who are prone to discomfort or wandering at nighttime.
Live-in care can also be for general support with things like cooking, cleaning, accompanying to appointments, grocery shopping and much more. Because live-in care is tailored to the unique needs of the clients, it can support people in numerous ways, providing care when and where it’s needed.
Myth 6. Carers are badly trained and underpaid
It is a common misconception that professional carers are paid a minimum wage, are badly treated by their employers and receive minimal training to do their job. The home care industry is in fact highly regulated.
To be a professional carer requires training, dedication and a very specific set of personal skills. All professional carers must complete minimum training, that is regularly updated, in the following:
- Manual Handling
- First Aid
- Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults
- Undergo criminal records checks
At Country Cousins, we only work with experienced and offer in-house refresher training. We support the carers we work with through their journey of developing knowledge, values and skills based on a ‘person-centred’ approach to care.
Training and development are ongoing, with many carers gaining additional training in specialised areas. Above all, we know through 60 years of providing home care throughout the UK that our carers are exceptionally patient and empathic, have buckets of dedication, and are highly organised and responsible. These are attributes that can’t be taught.
Myth 7. Live-in care is only for the elderly
While it is true that the majority of live-in care clients are elderly people, it certainly isn’t exclusively for older people. Live-in care is provided to people of any age that require some level of care in order to live life to the full.
Live-in care can be provided in many different forms, from temporary respite care so an existing carer can take a break, to postoperative care for people who are convalescing at home after hospital treatment, or disability care for those who require assistance with mobility, for example. Where there is a need, there is a home care solution.
Myth 8. The quality of care is lower than in a care home
While the training requirements of carers in live-in care and residential care homes are the same, the quality of care that clients receive is not. Contrary to common belief, one of the greatest advantages to receiving live-in care, as opposed to moving into a care home, is the incredibly high standard of care that is delivered, due in part to the one-to-one client-to-carer ratio.
Live-in care is tailored to the individual needs and wishes of the client. This means they get exactly the care they want, delivered in a way that suits them. As the carer-client relationship develops, a live-in carer gets to know the personality, preferences, likes and dislikes of the person they care for. At Country Cousins, many of our clients comment that their carer becomes like one of the family, a trusted friend who they can share life’s ups and downs with. This type of care and companionship simply isn’t possible in a residential care setting.
Myth 9. The local council and NHS won’t help with costs
There are various ways to fund live-in care. Financial support for live-in care is available from the Government, local councils and NHS, depending on the person’s health status and available funds.
To explore your eligibility for funding, check out these resources:
- NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding is a package of care for adults aged 18 or over which is arranged and funded solely by the NHS.
- Social care funding is means-tested and allocated by your local authority. The level of funding you may be entitled to depend on your financial situation, as well as your care and support needs.
- Government funding and benefits provide a range of support for people above the state pension age. From attendance and carer allowance to help with health costs and winter fuel payments.
Myth 10. I will lose my privacy with a stranger in the house
This is a common and understandable concern for elderly people considering live-in care. Our home is our sanctuary. And many elderly people are fiercely protective of their independence, and who can blame them?
Professional live-in carers are trained and experienced in providing respectful, dignified care. The wishes, concerns and preferences of the client will be recorded in their care needs assessment and subsequent personalised care plan. This means everyone involved in a person’s care knows what is important to the client, including the level of privacy they require.
A live-in carer will have their own bedroom where they sleep and keep all their belongings. They can share the bathroom and kitchen with the client, and in many situations will share meals with the client. A professional carer’s aim is to provide the care and support that the client has requested, in a way that is acceptable to the client, while maintaining minimum standards of care and dignity. Respecting privacy goes hand-in-hand with these standards.
Myth 11. Live-in care is 24-hour care
This could be true or untrue! Let’s break it down to understand the misconception. Live-in care is when a carer comes to live in the home with the person they are caring for. This means that the carer is providing care and support during the client’s waking hours and during the night when the client sleeps so will the carer. If the client has any unforeseen and occasional nighttime needs, like waking to go to the toilet, the carer can be woken up to assist them.
Some people require regular or constant nighttime support. In situations like this, it is common that 24-hour care is put in place. This means that one carer will work during the daytime (and sleep in the home at night) and a second carer will work during the nighttime. This way carers are well-rested, alert and ready to provide the highest standards of care at all times.
Myth 12. Live-in care is only for people without a family
The way we live, work and engage with our family and community has changed a lot in recent decades. It is no longer common for people to live near their extended family or to be involved in their daily lives, as we once were.
This change in the way we live and work makes it harder for families, especially those with ageing parents, to be involved in regular care duties. Live-in care plugs this gap, providing care for people no matter how big or small their family circle, and no matter where they live.
Considering live-in care? Get in touch
If you are considering live-in care for you or a loved one, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.
At Country Cousins, we have been providing live-in care across the UK for over 60 years. Our wealth of experience and community reach across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland means we are uniquely placed to provide the highest quality care to you or your loved one.