Elderly in home care – why is it necessary?
Elderly in home care. What on earth is the point of elderly in home care if they have orders that due to health & safety, if their host falls over and is lying on the floor incapacitated, you just simply leave them there until the experts arrive. Yes- call the doctor or an ambulance…that might have worked 30 years!!
What would our carers do if their elderly host sustained a fall and was lying on the floor?…for sure every single time- help them up! Unless of course there was obvious signs it could do more harm than good. Sadly in most cases for the sake of that one in a million chance it may do more harm than good, every single old person found lying on the floor has to be left there until the proper professional arrive. They say due to health and safety we say it’s ‘danger to health and safety.’
So, everyone’s backside is covered. Neve mind the poor elderly person (someone’s mum or dad) in the meantime could have died.
Correctness is so stupid I recall a bizarre situation where my own elderly father had run out of his regularly prescribed aspirin. I would hasted to add he had daily carer visits to administer his medicines etc. Anyway my resourceful sister sensibly went to the chemist to purchase some of the same strength, and quantity over the counter. Incredibly the carer refused to give them to him, as the box did not show the Doctors label that he prescribed them.
Elderly in home care and lawyers
The team seemed more preoccupied with reams of paper work which comprised of largely useless reports. Massive box ticking exercise.
In times gone by a carer was not regulated and allowed to use common sense. Many small time entrepreneurs these days are unable to begin as a professional carer company due to complying with over regulations. There are hundreds of papers on safety guidelines, risk assessment stuff to absorb. Written hypothetical care aim programmes to fill in and say the right things.
The biggest obstacle are the lawyers! Fear of litigation disables common sense approach. Most of the bureaucrats are more concerned with covering their backs. The litigation culture was one of the worst import ever from the USA.
In 1947 the famous Group Captain Leonard Cheshire generously opened up his own home as a place where wounded ex servicemen could come, and be informally nursed by him whilst recovering. A very noble gesture he went on to establish the world famous Cheshire Homes. I suspect if health and safety and the regulators were around in those days, he probably would never have got off the ground. Leonard Cheshire is someone the author of this article greatly admires and inspires what we do.
Yes of course its logical to carry out criminal record checks, but even if someone years ago made a minor mistake not involving theft, violence, or ill treatment of people, why not give them a chance too?
Elderly in home care – price
As it stands today most regulated care providers are in a good position financially. They have a ready supply of clients thanks to social services and the norm is pay a live in carer around £450.00 per week and charge the client £850.00 per week. Yes their cost are quite high but most of this is down to bureaucracy. For example a specified training manager, nvq courses, handling experts, high insurance cover, and numerous other accompanying baggage.
This means unless the local authority pick up the tab, its very costly paying an agency provided live in carer.
This means in many cases old people finish up in a residential care home, due to being left on their own in the earlier stages of frailty. What happens is due to failing eyes sight, lack of awareness, or shuffling around the house (Parkinsons) they fall over. Falling over often precipitates a sharp decline in the old persons condition. Fractures, poor healing, poor hospital diet, lack of exercise, as the fracture (especially the hip) often renders them partly disabled-permanently.
This usually means bringing in drop in carers which helps the person out of bed and back to bed in the evening. However the individual is still on their own most of the day and the falls continue. My own father fell on at least 4 occasions each one resulting in a small heart attack.
On each occasion he returned from hospital his physical and mental state deteriorated. The number of drop in carers were doubled up costing over £500.00 per week, and yet he was still on his own most of the time. Eventually due go weakness he was unable to stand unaided and a hoist was introduced to get him to the toilet etc. Eventually just before dad was due to be moved into a care home, he passed away. A walking skeleton, with arms blue from injection puncture marks, and very sad vacant look in his eyes.
So, where were we when all this was going on?
Elderly in home care is something requiring a lot of thought.
We did live within a few miles of Dad. He was content on his own and I called in on him every day..sometimes for a few hours. Often we take a drive in the car, he liked little trips out and the occasional budget carvery lunches. However we were not able be with him 24/7 as we had a home and a business to run too. Things started to go downhill when he was stuck in his bath for some time. Then one day I found him on the floor after a fall. This was the beginning of his demise.
We naturally went down the social services route like most other people. So we did our best but events caught up gradually. Whereas my description above is a catalogue of all events over a period of time.
What would we have done differently in hindsight? After that first fall we should have employed a live in helper. Dad could have afforded it. Also from a mercenary point of view his admittance to a care home would wipe out our inheritance.
So this is how we came to set up Team Home Help. Borne our of our own real experiences. The key was bringing live in care to the masses-money wise.
Has it worked..yes..moderately. Still of course costs are an issue. But the alternatives can prove even more costly.
If that elderly carer/au pair companion had been introduced earlier he may to this day still be enjoying his old age.
In virtually every case a live in companion is the answer.
We appreciate elderly in home care is a serious and indeed stressful matter…we can help