end of life careFor families, caring for our loved ones in times of need is imperative. However, just researching the various options is a daunting task and can be confusing if you’re at the start of your care journey.

Many families are juggling careers and child care responsibilities, which can make it difficult to provide proper care for loved ones with medical conditions. Despite this, taking the first step to entrust the care of a relative to an outside agency can be nerve racking.

Luckily, numerous options are available and you should be able to find a care service you’re comfortable with. 

For example, visiting carers may be able to provide the necessary home care support to keep your loved one healthy and independent. In other cases, specialist residential care or a nursing home may be a suitable option.

When deciding on the best route, communication with your GP and social services will ensure that you make an informed choice. The first step if you’re unsure what help you need is to contact your local social services department to arrange an assessment of your needs.

This is to see what assistance your family may require; such as equipment, home care services or care home facilities. Additionally, home care providers and specialised care homes can evaluate your situation and provide care services to meet your requirements.

Any support or care you receive should be in line with current medical standards and be regulated by the Care Quality CommissionSo whether your elderly parent needs visiting care at home, or you have a relative requiring specialist, condition-led nursing care, we are here to help.

Here are some of your options...

Health and Social Care (The Essential Guide)

Social care is a wide-ranging term and covers huge range of agencies and activities from child protection and youth work through to residential and end of life care. The social care system is in place to provide help to those in need; such as individuals with mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, including vulnerable adults and children.

An example of an area that our dedicated care worker community contribute to is adult social care. On a practical level, this can include help with washing and dressing, along with simple activities of daily living such as getting up in the morning, medication management and daily chores.

Social care is assuming a far more important role in the UK as we face an ageing population and greater incidence of age related illness. Unlike NHS treatment, social care is not free for everyone and how much you contribute to your care will depend on you financial situation. The local government has the primary responsibility for publicly funded social care. In this role, local councils provide information and advice, assess care needs, arrange short term support or reablement, safeguard vulnerable individuals and commission a large range of care services to fulfil their obligations.

Elderly Care

As medical interventions improve and the average living age continue to rise around the world, elderly care is becoming more important than ever.

Because elderly care needs are broad, this type of assistance encompasses everything from full time support to visiting care.

While not all elderly people require full-time live-in care, some may simply require a little help around the house or with their personal care to remain fully independent.

Domiciliary Care

Not everyone is comfortable staying at a care home, with 873,500 people in the UK instead choosing domiciliary care in 2014/15.

Domiciliary care is available for loved ones who wish to remain at home while receiving care.  

Many people choose this type of intervention because it gives them more control over the amount of support they receive, which can be adapted to an individual's needs and allow independent living.

Convalescent Care

Convalescent care is available for those recovering from surgery, illness or injury. Following NHS care, patients are encouraged to work towards independence as quickly as possible, and this is where convalescent care can provide an effective bridge.

With trained carers on hand, you can arrange short or long term rehabilitation to assist your return to full health.

Visiting Care

Individuals needs vary depending on their capabilities. While your loved one may be living independently, they may still need intermittent help with their activities of daily living.

Visiting care provides a great deal of flexibility, with carers able to attend at specific needs at different times of the day, helping with activities like washing, dressing or cooking.

Live-In Care

For most, staying in the comfort of their own home is preferable to entering a residential or nursing environment. Having family nearby and being in familiar surroundings can help remain psychologically and physically independent.

However, medical conditions sometimes necessitate extra help if this option is chosen. For those with more intensive medical needs, live-in care can be a good option, in which a full-time carer provides 24-hour support.

Overnight Care

Caregiving doesn’t end at 5 pm. Sometimes medication must be administered, pre-bed routines supervised and toileting needs covered through the night.

Overnight care can give you the peace of mind that a trained professional is on-hand to respond to any emergency situations.

Nursing Care

Nursing care is designed for individuals with complex conditions that need specific support, such as chronic neurological conditions or acquired brain injuries.

These carers are registered nurses who are highly trained in dealing with complex clinical cases involving needs like tracheostomy, ventilator or catheter care. These clinicians will oversee your case management holistically and liaise with relevant health professionals as needed.

Emergency Care

Life is unpredictable. If you are the sole care provider a friend or relative, there may be times when you’re unable to meet their care needs. 

This is where emergency care comes in; a type of intervention that covers a broad range of services when an accident, illness or emergency has occurred. Emergency care can support a wide range of conditions and people of all ages.

Respite Care

While not every situation requires emergency care, family carers often need a planned break from their responsibilities to maintain their own health and wellbeing.

This is when family respite care services can be arranged to provide short term cover and give you the support you need. Many individuals might also plan short term or respite care as a trial to explore the benefits of further care interventions.

Extra Care

Extra care usually refers to extra care housing, which is sometimes referred to as sheltered or retirement housing. It can be a very effective form of care which bridges the care needs of individuals who may not feel confident enough to live independently but do not require the level of intervention that residential or nursing homes provide. 

These self contained homes are often part of a larger complex for older adults, which can provide assisted and communal living facilities. Domestic and personal care is often provided by on site staff who are able to cater to individual residents needs, while communal facilities encourage independence in activities of daily living and an active social life. 

These facilities include anything from laundry provision, gym equipment, hairdressing salons, computer rooms, dining areas, gardens, shops and even spa facilities! Whats more, many of these organisations operate a pet friendly policy. 

Many older adults are attracted to these self contained homes, with units often rented, bought or part-owned. Separate front doors are commonplace and residents can become legal occupiers of the property. 

The cost of extra care will vary depending on the complex and your eligibility criteria. Generally, you will have to be aged 55 or over and be safe to live alone with some extra support. If you're applying through the local council you will often have to meet strict criteria, so whether you are applying privately or via the council for financial assistance it is worth getting a care needs assessment. Some complexes add a weekly maintenance service charge and possibly a wellbeing charge to access the skilled healthcare workers on site. 

With the flexibility and companionship that housing with care provides, it's no surprise that it's becoming a popular option.

Condition-Led Care

Certain medical conditions require trained staff to provide the best care possible, where varying clinical needs require specialised assistance.

So whether a loved one has Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis or a Learning Disability, you can receive a custom care plan which is adapted based on the results of your care assessment.

Dementia Care

There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UKWhen a loved one has dementia, moving them from their home environment into a care home can be a difficult transition. In recent years, more families are opting for home care instead, which can provide the necessary support in familiar surroundings.

Of course, dementia affects everyone differently; some people display early signs and symptoms, while others are at a more advanced stage of the condition, requiring dedicated intervention.

Thus, while some individuals require weekly assistance, others may need additional support through live-in care or a specialist care facility.

Palliative or End of Life Care

When a loved one is suffering from a terminal illness, you want want to provide the best care possible, without having that support detract from spending quality time with them.

Palliative or end of life care balances care needs while providing psychological and spiritual support. These carers are highly empathetic and compassionate individuals who provide a full range of care services.