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Following last week's blog post - which revealed that 46% of people believe they will have no option but to enter a residential care home in their old age - we at Sova Healthcare would like to highlight some of the ways in which elderly people can be cared for in the comfort of their own dwellings.

We appreciate that professional home care is, by and large, more costly than the alternative, but this needn't be a reason to cross it off your list of options. If your own income will not cover the cost of home care, there are several different ways to claim financial support that will allow you or your loved ones to enjoy a bespoke home care package (and all the benefits that this entails).

In the first instance, the best course of action is to contact your local ASS (Adult Social Services) department and inform them of your circumstances. They will perform an assessment to find out if you are eligible to claim financial support for home care.

As mentioned, there are multiple types of funding, including:
  • Attendance Allowance: For over-65s with mental and/or physical disabilities.
  • Personal Independence Payment: For people aged 16 to 64 with long-term health conditions.
  • Continuing Care: NHS-funded care (given outside of a hospital environment) for those with complex medical conditions.
  • Direct Payments: Government payments for the elderly and/or disabled. Available to anyone over 16.
More details here.

Of course, the above list is only a brief summary of the different funding options that may be available to you. For a more detailed overview of potential options, we recommended calling 0800 688 8866 and asking to speak with Sova Healthcare's specialist benefits advisor. We will discuss your specific situation and do our best to recommend a financial support route that will work for you.
A recent study reveals that we need to think more carefully about old age and what will happen when we get there.

Old woman

It seems like old age is something of a taboo subject in modern society. We don't want to think about getting old, and so we don't talk about it - we just push it to the back of our minds and try to forget about the fact that nobody stays young forever.

But recently-published statistics suggest that we should be talking about this topic a lot more. According to this article from PR Newswire...

  • ...97% of people aged 75+ would prefer to live in their own homes (as opposed to a residential care home).
  • ...only 54% of people believe that they will have the option of living at home in their final years.
  • ...23% of people have no idea what will happen to them in their old age.
  • ...86% of those polled have never discussed their wishes regarding old age care with loved ones.
These numbers are very revealing. Firstly, they prove something that most of us already suspected: very few people (only 3% of those polled) would choose to leave their homes behind and live in a care home. Beyond that, though, the report shows that we need to talk more openly about old age.

Here are two reasons why:

  • Almost half of those polled did not think that there would be any alternative to living in a residential care home. This is not true - companies like Sova Healthcare work hard to provide high-quality care in the client's own home, and even difficult circumstances such as dementia and terminal illness can be catered for. We need to change people's perspective on old age care, and this will not happen unless we start talking about it.

  • According to this survey, most people do not discuss old age with their loved ones and make a plan for their later years. Sitting down with your family and having a conversation about your wishes could well make the final years of your life far more pleasant - after all, if you tell them what you want, this puts them in a far better position to help you get it.

Photograph by Andrea

A recent study by the Welsh older people’s Commissioner has brought to light some pressing matters of care-home malnourishment that have been reported nationwide. The study brought to attention some rather alarming details and incidents that supported some of Sova’s own views about the negligence that takes place in some of our country’s care-homes.

The report reviewed 100 care homes and after evaluating their results they deemed the whole situation ‘unacceptable’. In fact, the problem was so apparent that Commissioner Sarah Rochira demanded an increased emphasis on providing nutritionally balanced meals, and sufficient choice for the vulnerable in care.

Many of the homes reviewed were providing poor quality meals and little to no choice for their residents. One particular case reported that there was a gentleman who required a soft foods-only diet, and the only food he was given was mashed potato. In the afternoons many patient’s only food option was cold, dry sandwiches, leaving many care-home residents hungry and unfulfilled.

 

This news was particularly unsavoury to us here at Sova, as we know how important food can be to our clients, both for genuine nutrition, and for morale too. Our staff help clients to cook and prepare balanced, nutritional meals, as well going out and purchasing the food in the first place.

Even more shockingly, some trading standards officers found that certain care homes were offering just 800 calories worth of food to their residents a day – bearing in mind the recommended level is some 2,000 calories per day, this is more than a bit worrying! This kind of negligence would never occur with Sova home care, as our staff can help manage a diet or meal plan to ensure clients are kept healthy and well-fed.

The good thing about a study such as this is it brings to light failings in the care-home system which will now hopefully get address sharply! What reports like this also do however is highlight some of the negative aspects of sending your loved ones to a care home – of course not all care homes are guilty of these malpractices, but such incidents go unnoticed due to the short-staffed structure of many establishments.

If yourself or a loved one require that extra level of support or care, but you’d rather receive a professional service in the comfort of your own home, our personal care service is everything you’re looking for – and you needn’t ever worry about malnourishment.

(source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-29448187)

We know all too well how the damaging effects of dementia can cause major distress to the sufferer and their loved ones. Receiving dementia care at home could be a worthwhile alternative to going into a care home, as not only we do offer compassionate and professional support, but having the opportunity to acquire dementia care at home could ease some of the symptoms.

The highly-experienced staff we employ can help dementia sufferers in a number of different ways depending on the seriousness of their condition, and whatever is agreed with yourself and your family. We can provide dementia care at home in several ways:

  • Assistance with day-to-day activities
  • Help with memory stimulation and refocusing
  • Remind you of certain daily tasks
  • Provide general care
  • Social companionship

We know dementia inside and out, and we also know the best ways to support sufferers in the comfort of their own home.

The amnesia-like effects of dementia can cause distress and even overwhelm sufferers, which is why dementia care at home can be so useful. Receiving day-to-day help in a more familiar environment can help sufferers concentrate on other aspects of their condition, and quite literally feel at home.

When faced with such a crippling condition, any possible improvements that can be made to ease suffering is surely worth it, and having Sova bring their care, support, and compassion to you is a great way to achieve this.

Domiciliary care is essentially another name for home-care, and so it involves a wide range of care and support services given to individuals in the comfort of their own home. In fact, the word ‘domiciliary’ comes from the Latin word for home, ‘domus’; so even in its etymology the importance of the home is critical, and here at Sova we give that same focus to the home, and the importance it plays in our domiciliary care services.

You see at Sova, we believe that by obtaining and benefitting from our services our clients can avoid the dramatic – and often traumatic – ordeal of having to completely move home. As well as offering support, our clients benefit in terms of the boost remaining in your family home can bring – homes are made up of the very recollections we hold dear, so even if our health begins to fail us our memories can keep us strong!

We have a range of domiciliary care services that include: personal, palliative, hospital-to-home, live-in, night, dementia & Alzheimer’s, social companionship, and complex. We deliver all our care and support with the upmost compassion and professionalism, which helps to make the whole process a smooth and enjoyable one.

If you’re interested in learning more about our services please come and visit our site now!