Traditionally viewed as the safer choice for a range of social care needs, residential care homes are no longer the default choice. The rise of private sector care at home providers, increased flexibility in local authority care budgets and advancements in assistive technology have made living at home with support an equally viable and often more preferable choice.
A survey conducted on behalf of not-for-profit organisation Live in Care unsurprisingly reveals that 97% of people do not want to go into a residential care home if they become ill or unable to cope with their day to day life. The main alternative to this arrangement has always been to stay at home, but historically in the UK we did not have a large enough private workforce of carers or the user-friendly living aids and related technologies that now exist such as automatic lighting and monitoring systems.
In such circumstances families would get by with a combination of NHS social care, taking turns with visiting and often making do with facilities within the property that had always been in place. Thankfully, over the last 20 years or so that situation has changed, the UK has seen significant leaps forward regarding the depth and breadth of services available to facilitate independent living at home.
For certain health conditions such as dementia, remaining at home has also found to significantly improve the wellbeing of the individual. The familiar surroundings of their own home, with all their personal belongings and memory-evoking items like photographs and books, provide comfort and stimulation. Maintaining a sense of independence and identity can be challenging in a residential care setting. In contrast, home care allow elderly people, particularly those with dementia, to continue experiencing elements of their everyday life in a familiar environment, surrounded by the life they have built and cherished giving them peace of mind. A 2013 study (National Institutes of Health) promoted care at home as the most suitable option for people with dementia. It found that dementia patients who remained in their homes had higher levels of activity, a better quality of life and more social contact than those in residential care.
Care at home vs Residential Care Homes vs Nursing Homes: A financial perspective
The decision between adapting your home for care and moving a relative into a nursing or care home is often a financial one. The costs of a care home can be expensive, and while financial aid is available, it can be challenging to navigate the care system to obtain this assistance. The expense of care homes differs depending on the location, with the average annual cost being £42,536 for a residential home and £51,376 for a nursing home (Which?).
In comparison the average cost of a major adaptation to a bathroom is £15,000, and the cost of adaptations for stair lifts is between £2,000 and £6,000. While the initial investment in housing adaptations may seem significant, it is often more cost-effective in the long run compared to the ongoing costs of residential care. Home adaptations are a one-off expense that simultaneously enhances your property value and everyday life. To provide another example, over the course of 5 years, an accessible bathroom adaptation and approximately 14 hours of private care per week could save you up to £117,000 vs. the fees for a residential care home.
Supporting people to live independently for longer
At Absolute Mobility we specialise in the design and installation of accessible bathrooms that help people to live independently for longer. Established in 2009, we install walk-in baths, level access showers, wet rooms and power baths in peoples homes.
Our company culture is rooted in empathy, compassion and understanding. We recognise that independence and comfort are not luxuries, but a vital necessity that we believe all our customers are entitled to enjoy in their own homes. This ethos drives our dedicated team, from our customer care advisors to our skilled bathroom installers. We are committed to enhancing your living space with minimal disruption and maximum care.
We have been a member of Trading Standards since August 2020 and a member of Which? Trusted Traders since October 2016. From minor adaptations for items such as bath lifts to larger adaptations for things like a walk-in shower, our hundreds of highly rated reviews prove that we are a safe and reliable choice. We work closely with Occupational Therapists and Case Managers, ensuring the appropriate adaptations assessments are carried out.
Our appointment only showroom in Henley on Thames is the place to view and try out examples of walk-in baths, tub style baths, power baths, shower solutions and wet rooms. Alternatively if you or the person you care for finds travelling a challenge one of our mobile showrooms can bring an example of a walk-in bath to you for demonstration.2 February,2024