domiciliary careThe world of health and social care can be confusing. And domiciliary care is no different.

With all the different options available, it can be hard to know which services will best support your needs.

Because your requirements may change over time depending on your situation or medical condition, finding straightforward answers can be difficult.

In this guide, we look to break down domiciliary care and some of the services it can provide.

Let's take a look.

What is Domiciliary Care?

Domiciliary care is essentially another word for home care, or care delivered in your own house.

It can prove an attractive choice for those suffering from short-term illness, longer-term medical conditions or anyone needing extra help with activities of daily living.

Cover can be provided for a range of clients, from children to younger adults and the elderly. What's more, support can be arranged for the short term or for those with longer-term needs, permanent interventions are available.

Domiciliary Care Services

The exact nature of these services depends very much on your needs. Sometimes elderly individuals may require general companionship or help with basic housework.

Other clients may require temporary care to get them back on their feet after an operation, including help with activities such as shopping and cooking. 

Those with longer-term needs arising from a medical condition such as Parkinson's Disease or early stage Dementia may require extra support with personal care, such washing and dressing.

More complex needs can also be managed in the case of progressive medical conditions such as Motor Neurone Disease. 

In this instance, trained nurses and healthcare assistants may provide help with wound care or dressing, medication administration, catheter care, feeding care, or ventilator care.

How Often is Domiciliary Care Provided?

Again, this is dependant on your needs. Domiciliary care can be provided anywhere from once or twice a week, to a few times a day, all the way up to live in support.

There's no one size fits all when it comes to caring. The flexibility of adjusting the care to cater to individual needs is what draws many to this option.

After an assessment, a care plan can be established which identifies the exact help you require and how often.

What Are The Benefits of Domiciliary Care?

There are many pros to having care delivered at home. Indeed, it's the flexibility of domiciliary care and its varying levels of support that's attractive to many families starting their care journey.

Let's take a common scenario:

Joan is 81 years old. Suffering from arthritis, her mobility has deteriorated. She now struggles to perform basic household chores and is developing some issues with washing and dressing.

She has some support from her family, but due to work and children, they're unable to be on call at all times. Her neighbours help where possible, but Joan doesn't want to be a burden.

She still enjoys living in her own home and receiving visits from her family and friends. In this situation, residential care may not be the preferred option. 

Joan enjoys her independence and simply requires a little support at regular intervals to continue enjoying the familiarity of her surroundings.

In this case, domiciliary care may be a great option for Joan and her family.

Indeed, domiciliary care is great for those who wish to remain independent for longer. They're often able to stay closer to their loved ones and engaged in their community.

They have established routines and freedom of choice, which they're reluctant to disrupt by entering a residential facility. They can remain an active member of their community and participate in their favourite hobbies.

What's more, the care costs can be lower compared to a residential setting depending on the level of domiciliary care required. There's added flexibility, with friends and family able to supplement the care provision, reducing the need for trained staff even further.

With residential and nursing care home costs soaring and a frequent lack of beds available in specialist care facilities, more people are turning towards domiciliary care to provide the support they need.

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Where Can I Find a Domiciliary Care Provider? 

Numerous domiciliary care agencies are available throughout the UK. Firstly, check Thompson or the Yellow pages for agencies that provide cover in your area.

It's important to vet each provider before narrowing down your choices. You can do this by visiting the Care Quality Commission and viewing the independent rating awarded to each agency.

A simple Google search should provide access to reviews, testimonials and any press about the agencies you're considering.

Word of mouth recommendations will also be valuable, as local providers should have a history of delivering care in your area.

When you've ensured that your preferred agencies are of a high calibre, you can visit their websites to see what services they provide, their values and whether they align with your needs.

It's normal to be apprehensive when trusting a stranger to enter your home, but agencies are aware of this. They should provide well-trained staff, who have all undergone DBS checks to ensure their suitability for the role.

Most agencies will attempt to provide you with well-matched staff with whom you can develop a good rapport. Therefore, it's essential to meet potential caregivers first to ensure a strong working relationship and get any questions you have answered prior to developing a care plan. 

Many domiciliary care recipients find it preferable to have an established carer in place rather than a series of new staff who are on rotation.

What's The Difference Between Residential Care and Domiciliary Care?

While residential care involves entering a specialist care facility, domiciliary care delivers the support in the comfort of your own home. 

Note that residential and nursing care are slightly different, with nursing homes needing a special license to cater for clients with more complex needs. 

Both residential and nursing care services can be provided at home, but if an individual's needs become too intensive, they may find it easier to move into a specialist facility with the appropriate equipment and staff on hand.

Hopefully, this short guide has answered some of your questions about domiciliary care.

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