As the demand for long-term care continues to rise, individuals and families are faced with critical decisions when it comes to choosing the right care option. The Live-in Care Hub’s ‘Choice in Care’ report for 2023 delves into the comparison between live-in care vs other care options, with a particular focus on health, freedom, and costs.
In this article, we will explore the key findings of the report and shed light on why live-in care stands out as a preferred option for many individuals and their loved ones.
When making your care choices, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the various care options available. The report outlines four primary choices: family and friends, hourly visiting care, residential home care, and live-in care.
Family and friends:
Providing care for elderly relatives by family and friends is a common and cost-effective option, allowing the person receiving care to stay in their familiar surroundings. However, it can be demanding and stressful, easily leading to burnout for untrained family caregivers.
Additionally, the lack of formal training may increase the risk of health issues or injury for the person receiving care. While caring for a loved one is rewarding, it may not always be the best option, especially for individuals with complex health conditions.
It can also create tension among family members if the responsibility is unevenly distributed.
Hourly visiting care:
This care model involves trained caregivers visiting clients for a few hours each day or week to assist with everyday activities like cleaning, cooking, and shopping. It provides a comfortable introduction to professional care, especially for those who do not require 24/7 support but still need some help.
The care helps family caregivers take breaks while allowing the recipient to maintain their independence and health at home.
However, introducing a stranger to the home may cause anxiety for both parties, requiring careful consideration and due diligence to find the right fit between carers and the family member in need of care.
Residential home care:
Moving to a residential care home offers several advantages for individuals needing more support than can be provided by domiciliary care at home. These facilities have trained professionals available 24/7 to ensure the residents’ safety and well-being.
Some care homes also foster a sense of community through social activities and provide opportunities for residents to see friends and family privately. For those with severe health conditions like dementia, a care home can be a suitable choice.
However, the disadvantages of residential care include the stress and heartache of leaving one’s home, and the loss of independence as residents must adapt to the institution’s routine. These factors can impact the overall well-being and happiness of care home residents.
Live-in care is an ideal long-term solution for individuals with advanced health conditions requiring 24/7 support. It offers personalised, one-on-one care in the comfort of their own homes.
Professionally trained carers assist with various tasks, including personal care, housework, and companionship. The flexible and tailored approach of live-in care ensures high-quality support, promoting peace of mind for both the care recipient and their family.
However, safety and privacy concerns may arise when welcoming a stranger into the home. Reputable care providers, like Mumby’s, address these concerns by carefully matching carers to clients based on their specific needs, values, and personalities until a suitable fit is found.
One of the critical aspects examined in the report is the impact of different care options on an individual’s health, particularly in hip fractures and other medical conditions. Hip fractures can be a life-altering event for older adults, significantly affecting their mobility and overall well-being.
Hip fractures are mostly caused by falls. And falls can be caused by medication mishaps, dehydration, and hunger. All of these can be largely avoided with good healthcare and monitoring. They can be further averted by older people being looked after in familiar surroundings.
So, to measure the quality of healthcare that Live-in and Residential Care models can deliver, both types of providers were asked to reveal how many client hip fractures they reported in the previous year.
The report states:
“The group of Live-in Care Providers we asked revealed an average rate of 6 hip fractures suffered per 100 Live-in Care users. Comparatively, when asked the same question, our study of care homes in Boston (Lincolnshire, UK) reported a higher rate of 17 hip fractures per 100 residents annually. These results indicate that someone is almost 3x more likely to have a hip fracture if they are in Residential Care than if they receive Live-in care in their own home.”
The report highlights live-in care as a standout option in promoting health and facilitating a faster recovery for individuals with hip fractures. The constant presence of a live-in caregiver ensures that the patient receives round-the-clock support, assistance with mobility, and prompt attention to any medical needs. This one-to-one care not only aids in physical recovery but also fosters emotional well-being, reducing the feelings of isolation that often accompany such injuries.
Freedom and independence are fundamental human needs, regardless of age or health condition. The report emphasises the importance of these factors when evaluating different care options.
Live-in care vs other care options takes a lead in this aspect. It allows individuals to maintain a sense of independence and freedom. Unlike nursing homes or assisted living facilities, where residents might face restrictions on their daily activities, live-in care enables the individual to go out for walks, engage in hobbies, and participate in social events.
This level of freedom contributes to an overall higher quality of life, promoting mental and emotional well-being.
For seniors who have lived most of their lives in their own homes, transitioning to an institutional setting might be disheartening. The familiarity of their home environment, preserved through live-in care, offers a sense of comfort and security that can be instrumental in improving their mental state and overall happiness.
The report states:
“Every single Live-in Care provider told us their clients have the freedom to go for a walk whenever they want. And they can do so safely, in the company of a dedicated carer. Contrastingly, just under a third of the Residential Care Homes we asked said it was either impossible or very unlikely that a resident could go for a walk outside the grounds (30%) unless a family member or visitor took them out.”
Cost is undeniably a significant factor when considering long-term care options. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the financial aspects associated with each care choice.
At first glance, live-in care vs other care options might appear more expensive. The personalised nature of the service, 24/7 availability of caregivers, and the need for a dedicated living space contribute to the initial cost. However, the report reveals that live-in care offers better value in the long run.
The continuous presence of a live-in caregiver often reduces the likelihood of hospital readmissions, which can be a significant financial burden as well as a health worry. Moreover, by staying at home and receiving personalised care, individuals can avoid the higher costs associated with nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Additionally, live-in care offers a more seamless transition between hospital stays and home care, leading to reduced medical expenses and a smoother recovery process.
When considering the long-term financial implications, live-in care emerges as a cost-effective alternative compared to other care options.
The report states:
“There is a lot of variability in care costs. Even in a very small geographical location, the price of Hourly Care and Residential Care can differ by a third or more, depending on the organisation. Live-in Care also shows price variability, but generally less than Residential Care. However, while cost is an essential consideration, it should not be the only factor to consider when selecting an elderly care service. Most families focus on finding the best possible care that meets the individual’s needs and preferences of their loved one in need of care while ensuring their comfort, safety, and well-being.”
In Summary – Live-in Care vs Other Care Options
The Live-in Care Hub’s report for 2023 provides valuable insights into the comparison of live-in care vs other care options. The focus on health, with specific attention to hip fractures, highlights the effectiveness of live-in care in ensuring a holistic and prompt recovery.
The significance of freedom and independence further strengthens the case for live-in care, offering individuals the opportunity to maintain their preferred lifestyle.
While live-in care might require a higher initial investment, the report emphasises its long-term cost-effectiveness, particularly when compared to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Ultimately, the decision regarding the right care option remains subjective and should consider the individual’s unique needs and preferences. However, the comprehensive analysis presented in the report makes a compelling case for live-in care as a preferred and beneficial choice for many individuals and their families.
If you’re currently considering options for care, we can help. Contact our friendly and knowledgeable team who can answer your questions, offer advice and help you make an informed decision.