Live-in carers in London

Research shows that live-in care offers a better quality of life

An alarming study shows marked differences in quality of life between people who have live-in care and those who live in residential care, with the latter being more likely to suffer falls, and – shockingly – less likely to ever leave their home.

The study, commissioned by the Live-in Care Hub and carried out by Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) in 2016, surveyed members of the UK Homecare Association and their service users, then compared the results with data from the Office of National Statistics and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

It found that people with a live-in carer, compared to those in a residential or care home, are:

  • Nearly a third less likely to suffer a fall. Falls are common in older age, but less likely to happen to someone with a live-in carer. As well as being an often-overlooked cause of injury, falls can cause a lack of confidence which in turn can contribute to social isolation.
  • Nearly 75% less likely to suffer a hip fracture. Hip fractures are the most common cause of injury-related death and sadly, according to the report, nearly one in five of these injuries happens in a residential or nursing home.
  • More likely to leave the house regularly. The findings showed that a shocking 53.5% of people in nursing homes and 39% of those in residential care never leave their home. For people with a live-in carer, that number drops to just 14%.
  • More likely to eat the food they enjoy. More than 80% of people with a live-in carer who were surveyed said they get the food and drink they like when they want, compared with 52% of people in nursing homes. Freedom like this isn’t only better for physical health, it’s crucial for good mental health, too.

What exactly is live-in care?

Live-in care is when a fully trained professional carer lives with the person they’re supporting, in their home, 24 hours a day. It allows the person or couple being cared for to remain in their own home, rather than having to move into a residential facility, and to stay as independent as possible whilst still receiving a high level of care and support.

For many older people, having a live-in carer isn’t just about having medical and physical support available 24 hours a day. It also means a better quality of life: the opportunity to continue living in the surroundings they already enjoy, and to receive one-to-one professional, personalised care without having to change their lifestyle or routine too much.

This independence and freedom to live with fewer external rules, together with daily companionship, can bring huge benefits to a person’s mental health. Just having control over a routine, and knowing that someone is available for a chat, can make a big difference to someone’s overall wellbeing.

Live-in care can provide a sense of security for the family, too. When time is tight and responsibilities are overwhelming, knowing that a relative is being looked after 24 hours a day, in a way that suits them, can be a great relief to family members and loved ones.

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