All too often, the decision to move to a residential care home is made amongst negative thoughts. It’s all too easy to focus on a loss of independence, or how it represents a sizeable life change. However, the benefits of using a residential care home are broad and extend to the individual themselves, and their family.
Even in our prime, very few people leap at the opportunity to clean and undertake the myriad of housekeeping tasks involved in daily living! Without the need to organise individual housekeeping or cleaning staff, all cleaning, laundry and housekeeping tasks are simply taken care of in a residential home.
Living on your own often means you face a lack of enthusiasm for eating a healthy balanced diet. In a residential home, meals are provided offering choice, interesting options and favourite meals. And there’s no need to do the washing up!
If you struggle with personal care, such as washing and dressing, then you may feel ashamed or embarrassed if you need to ask a loved one for help. In-home carers can help you with all of these tasks, whilst ensuring your privacy and dignity, allowing your relationship with your loved ones not to be clouded in anyway. The same is particularly true if you need any help with continence needs, such as changing pads, or stoma or catheter care.
Unfortunately, as we age we can collect quite a number of different medications. Keeping on top of medication can be bewildering and time consuming. In a residential care home, you will be given support with your medication, whether that’s a friendly reminder, or help administering it.
Most UK homes are not suitable for any degree of mobility issue. However, care homes are specifically designed to be safe and navigated with mobility problems. Whereas modifying a private home can be costly and disruptive, this is taken care of in residential homes.
By having all of the above needs met, individuals in care homes often comment that they feel more independent, not less. They feel more secure, safer and daily living tasks are taken care of, leaving more energy and time for socialising, enjoying hobbies and relaxing.
1.4 million elderly people are chronically lonely in the UK. It can be incredibly difficult for busy or geographically distant relatives to meet the companionship and socialisation needs of an elderly individual who has a lot of time to fill. Moving to a residential home provides companionship with other residents, as well as with staff. Usually, social events, trips and activities are planned to ensure all residents can benefit from a stimulating environment that alleviates loneliness.
It’s tempting to think of residential homes as something akin to an institution. In reality, the vast majority of care homes don’t have an institutional feel at all. Look for a care home that feels homely and you’ll discover that everything from paintings on the wall, to the furniture and gardens give a home-from-home feel. A residential home should be just that – a home.