Home care planning

Home care options for the elderly

Home care, sometimes called home help or home support, is care provided in your own home to help maintain independence so your loved ones can continue living in their own home.

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The process of looking for care initally can be overwhelming

Each person’s care needs are different, and home care often includes specialist care for elderly people who require personal care, or those with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Cancer, or those at the end of their life.

Start with answering key questions

It’s a good idea to start with a brief summary of your relative’s situation, considering:

  • What sort of support do they need?
  • How urgently is the support needed?
  • How much support do they currently have from family, friends and neighbours?
  • How much time and involvement can family/friends provide and commit to?
  • How involved do they want to be in decisions about their care?
  • How capable are they of making decisions about their own care?
  • What are their expectations?
  • Do they live on their own?
  • Do they have a good network of family and friends around them or are they isolated or lonely?
  • Is being independent important to them?
  • How active are they?
  • Are they aware of their surroundings?
  • Do they find it easy to make new friends and try new activities?
  • Are their health needs going to improve or deteriorate?

Care needs can change quickly, so it’s best to know what options are available.

Who can provide home care?

Care at home can range from a carer visiting once a week to overnight care or around the clock care live-in care in your own home. This can be provided by:

  • Domiciliary Care Agencies
  • Self-employed carers
  • Introductory agencies
  • Social services
  • NHS

Domiciliary care agencies usually have a bank of carers. Visits can be very short (as little as 15 minutes) and the carer can change according to the agency’s rota. Many of the carers are on zero-hour contracts and paid close to the minimum wage. Domiciliary care agencies are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as they manage the care for you. Due to the cost of their operations, domiciliary care agencies are the most expensive option. Costs are from £27 an hour 

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Self-employed carers manage their own rota and set their own rates. They are usually more experienced and good at relationship building but they are currently unregulated. You may hear of them by word of mouth or see a local ad.

Introductory agencies will introduce you to self-employed carer after understanding your specific care needs. Carers are checked to ensure they are qualified, referenced and DBS checked and can provide high-quality care. TrustonTap is an online introductory agency. The carers set their own hours and availability, are much better paid and committed to providing excellent care.

We will provide you with the same carer every visit wherever possible to build that trusting relationship. Costs are from £17-£25 an hour.

You can start with as little help as you like, and then grow over time as needs change.

Although defined as an ‘Introductory agency’ by CQC, TrustonTap has worked with local authorities to establish a quality standard in which to measure all the carers and to ensure that they are capable and qualified to deliver excellent care. Carers that fulfill all the criteria of the TrustonTap quality standard are endorsed with the QPC Qualified Professional Carer accreditation. Learn more about our quality care.

Qualified Professional Carer QPC Logo

Both Social Services and the NHS can provide care at home if their criteria are met. They usually outsource the care to domiciliary care agencies but you can make your own decisions about who to use to provide caregiving you more choice and control over who comes into the home.

What tasks will my carer do?

Care often involves regular visits to support elderly people with:

  • Companionship
  • Washing, bathing, or showering
  • Toileting, hygiene, and continence care
  • Food preparation: healthy eating, drinking, and medication schedules
  • General cleaning or heavy housework
  • Shopping & collecting prescriptions
  • Washing and ironing
  • Dressing and personal grooming
  • Paperwork

What options are there aside from care at home?

Assisted living or Extra care housing

Assisted living accommodation is usually housing that has been designed for the elderly or disabled. This is also known as Sheltered Housing. The housing will have modifications and adaptions to make life easier but enable residents to maintain their independence. There will usually be a warden on hand in case of emergency, communal areas for residents and activities on offer. The level of care and support available will vary depending on the scheme.

Private assisted living accommodation schemes may require you to buy or lease your house or flat. The standard of the accommodation and facilities on offer vary. Some schemes have rules that allow only residents who have a certain level health and independence.

Residential care home and Nursing homes

Residential care home provides 24-hour care for its residents. Usually residents have their own room with ensuite bathroom. There are communal areas for residents and activities on offer. All meals are cooked for residents and personal care provided (help washing and dressing). Medication can be administered. Care is managed and provided by the care home and costs on average are £800 a week or £41,600 per year, depending on location and standard of accommodation.

Nursing Homes are for those of us with more complex needs which requires the services of a qualified nurse or specialised carer. There are higher staff-resident ratios in a nursing home and nurses can change dressings, give injections and help with PEG feeding for example. Costs of nursing homes are on average £1,078 a week or £55,900 per year.

For a more detailed look at the difference between home care and care homes please see our article Care Home versus Home Care – what is the difference?

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Advice & Support for managing the cost of care

Thoughts will often move quickly to the cost of care, which is of course an important consideration. However this can be difficult to address, but there is financial help available.

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Financial Help & Support

Can I receive financial support for home care?

Depending on your means, your local council might pay for some or all the costs. There is a wide range of benefits available to those in need of home care.

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How much does it cost to have a home carer?

The amount you pay for care at home or home care will largely depend on the level of care you need, the type of provider you choose, and often where you live in the country. 

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Financial Help & Support

Paying for your Own Care

The cost of domiciliary care in your own home can be expensive if you are funding it entirely yourself. While organisations like TrustonTap will work hard to keep the costs to you as low as possible, you are well-advised to seek professional advice if you are entering into any form of long-term commitment.

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Whatever care & support you need, we are here to help.

Give us a call on 0808 278 1112

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