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Health 422 views Aug 06, 2019
Complex medical needs, should you still consider live in care?

If you or your loved one has complex medical needs is the only option to move into a nursing home or is live-in care still a possibility?



Life is never straightforward and perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in how we age. Some people are healthy, active and happy up until their last days while others suffer from multiple conditions, each requiring careful management to ensure a good quality of life.


Research by the Live-in Care hub shows that 70% of respondents thought that their elderly relative might have to go into residential care, yet 97% of people wouldn’t want to move into a care home – even if they were ill or unable to cope on their own.


“Live-in care is just about keeping my Nan company isn’t it?”

The discrepancy lies in the way in which people view home carers – especially live-in carers. The public perception is often of low-skilled workers with just enough to training to make a cup of tea and change soiled bedclothes.


The reality couldn’t be further from the dark picture the media likes to paint. Many home care roles are taken by people who have already got experience in caring for the elderly. Some have spent time looking after their own relatives and want to make it a career, while others are trained healthcare professionals who would prefer to work on a one-to-one basis with an individual client or couple.


Live-in carers are supported by their agencies who will organise training courses to cover specific areas of elderly care. It is perfectly possible to employ a live-in carer who has expertise in dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke recovery, or other conditions, and who is continuing to receive updates to their training during the time they are not at the client’s home.


“But Dad needs those injections and he can’t get out of bed on his own. Won’t he be better off in a nursing home?”

Carers are trained to help transfer from bed to wheelchair or wheelchair to toilet – that’s part of the service. Usually they will require the use of a hoist as they cannot lift a person single-handedly. Where the use of a hoist isn’t possible then two carers may be required to meet the needs of your father – but that still doesn’t mean he needs to move home!


Most live-in carers are not nurses and therefore cannot perform actual nursing duties such as giving injections or wound dressing. However the local District Nursing team may be able to visit, and some live-in care agencies can provide live-in nursing care – complex needs can be managed at home!


“Won’t it be cheaper in a home? Won’t they have economies of scale?”

You may be surprised how cheap live-in care is compared to residential care fees, and those economies of scale can mean quality of life is compromised. For example, 81% of Live-in Care Hub clients say they get the food and drink they want, when they want it, compared to just 52% of nursing home residents and 8% of care residents think they do not get enough to eat and drink!