Once upon a time going to a care home was seen as the only option when continuing to live at home was no longer possible. The old cliché of a roomful of sleepy pensioners slumped in armchairs, goggle eyed in front of the TV or subject to bingo and group sing-alongs haunts many of us when we think of late retirement.
Though some of the more expensive care homes provide luxury accommodation and 24 hour professional care, for many this is unaffordable.
Sheltered accommodation seems to be a halfway house many elderly people are choosing as a way to maintain an independent life while having support and a community too. However, given the choice, we believe most people would prefer to stay in their own home. The home many will have lived in for much of their lives. By remaining at home they’ll have a community they are familiar with, friends and family may be close by and it will be a place filled with many happy memories.
Any change can be unsettling as we get older and being surrounded by familiar sights can be incredibly comforting, especially if we are missing a spouse. Live in care then seems to be the perfect way to continue living at home, being as independent as we wish and doing the things we have always liked to do. The carer is there for support and companionship, helping with meals, light cleaning and personal care. Many people find the idea of having a stranger live with them a little unsettling at first but really enjoy it once they become accustomed to having someone new around the house.
From the carers perspective it is important to be senstitve to a clients preferences and to try to fit around them as best they can. In this way the carer is able to offer help when help is needed and to offer a sense of space too.