The Eight Benefits of Live-in Care
There are many benefits of live-in care. This article mentions just eight. There are many more.
1. Live-in care allows you to remain living in your home
In one of his many letters to his wife, Clementine, Winston Churchill wrote “As usual I did not leave Chartwell without a pang”. Chartwell, located in Westerham, Kent, was the property that Churchill purchased in 1922 which remained his family home for the rest of his long life. It was the home that he cared for, where he loved to stay and where he longed to return when absent.
In the opinion of many commentators, Winston Churchill is the greatest prime minister The United Kingdom has had; many would agree that he is one of the world’s greatest statesmen, and for many, he is one of the world’s greatest writers – he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”. And yet this almost super-human, over-achiever was very much just the same as you and me: his heart was where his home was.
Our homes are important. As with all home care, the aim of live-in care is to help you maintain your independence. For many of us, the thought of having to leave our homes is unbearable. Our homes are part of us; and we are part of our homes. They often reflect our identities and the identities of other significant people in our lives. They are our tranquil sanctuaries from the disorder and confusion of a turbulent world. Our homes hold our dearest memories and are where we are most comfortable. Is it any wonder that we don’t want to give them up?
2. Live-in care is specific to you
We are all different. Some of us are early risers; some of us like to lie in. Some of us like cornflakes; some like croissants. Some like to go to the theatre; some like to go to the cinema. A live-in care service allows you to put together a care package that will assist you to live the life you want to live. Your carer is there to help you with whatever it is you require help with whenever you require help with it.
3. Live-in care brings peace of mind
Live in care provides peace of mind for you and your family. This peace of mind comes from knowing that there is always someone with you who can be called upon to help you. In turn, this can help you feel safer, less vulnerable and more confident.
One of the great things about live-in care, and one of the things that helps enormously in promoting peace of mind, is that your care is consistent throughout the week. It is the same person or persons providing care to you and only to you each day.
4. Live-in care provides companionship
Live-in care provides constant companionship. You and your family will build up a relationship of trust with your carer. Your carer, of course, is there to do all those things that you need a little bit of help with. However, it not all hard work. Your carer is also there to do all the enjoyable things with you that you might want to do. This could be sitting in and watching TV, chatting or doing the crossword together. It could be going out for the day, shopping in the morning or eating out in the evening. There is no standard live-in care service: the service you receive is the service you need.
5. Live-in care provides flexibility
If there is one certainty in life it is that nothing stays the same. One of the great things about live-in care is that what is provided for you can change as you need it to change. Let’s face it; none of us can foresee the future. What seems like a good idea today looks very different tomorrow. Live-in care has to be flexible. Just because you usually have breakfast at 8.00 doesn’t mean that you can’t have it at 9.00, or 7.00. You might like to go and visit a friend every Tuesday, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t change this to a Wednesday, or a Friday.
On the other hand, you might like to keep things as steady as an ocean liner in a calm sea. If you say 8.00 for breakfast then 8.00 it is, not 7.55 or 8.05. If Tuesday is your day for visiting friends and that never varies no matter what, then Tuesdays are written in the diary with indelible ink as the day for visiting friends.
6. Your home is the place you know best
There is a great deal of truth in the old maxim that familiarity breeds contempt. Many of us are guilty of failing to respect as we should those activities that we do over and over again. How often have you found yourself driving far more cautiously in an unfamiliar area than you would on the roads where you live. There is a saying about never meeting your heroes because once you get to know them (familiarity) you may well lose respect for them. However, familiarity is not always a bad thing.
Someone once said, words to the effect, that the “…harder I practise the luckier I get”. There is some dispute as to who said this. Some say it was the golfer Gary Player. It doesn’t matter who said it. It is far more important to appreciate exactly what it means; quite simply, becoming familiar with something can help us do things better. Can you imagine actors going on stage without rehearsing?
It is often a very good thing that we become familiar with our homes. We know that we have to turn the key just so to unlock the front door – that lock’s been the same for years. Knowing our physical environments well can be particularly important as we get a little older, especially as our physical selves begin to let us down. And perhaps more importantly as our mental agility declines. There is substantial evidence to show that for people living with dementia a familiar environment, and a familiar routine, reduces stress and enhances well-being.
7. Staying in your home helps you maintain contact with your community
It is, perhaps, important at this point to say that our communities are an extension of our homes. When we have lived somewhere for a while we make connections with people, places and institutions; we make connections that are social, formal and informal; we make connections that contribute to our well-being and contribute to the store of community well-being. Our community connections help combat the scourge of loneliness.
Loneliness does not discriminate. It is a state that has no sympathy for illness, gender, for status or age. Though it is a state to which age makes us more susceptible. There is a burgeoning body of evidence that strongly supports the potential of social prescribing for reducing loneliness. Social prescribing involves health professionals prescribing for people non-clinical activities that are typically available in the community.
Perhaps, Shakespeare’s Touchstone, speaking in As You Like It, knew something when he said that he was in a better place when he was at home.
8. Your home is where your pets live
Live-in care means not only that you can remain living in the place you love; it also means that you can remain living in the place you love with those non-human companions you share your life with. Pets help alleviate loneliness; they help combat stress and are a source of comfort, and as any pet owner will tell us, pets love us unconditionally. Pet owners will also tell us that losing a pet is a painfully traumatic experience.
The above are just eight reasons for choosing a live-in carer. Churchill was talking about temporary absences. How much more intense is the pain of permanent absence. But why should we be surprised?
Home is where the heart is.