Older people who opt for live-in care when they can no longer care for themselves are happier, healthier and financially better off than those living in a care home, a new study has found.
The ‘Better at Home’ study, was commissioned by the Live-in Care Hub,
a not-for-profit organisation focussed on raising the quality of care in the UK, and carried out by the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU), a joint venture between the University of Kent and the LSE.
They discovered that people living at home with round-the-clock care are nearly a third less likely to suffer a fall, and half as likely to suffer a hip fracture, than those living in a residential or nursing home.
It also revealed that 39% of those in residential care and over half (53.5%) in nursing homes never leave their home, compared to just one in seven (14%) people living at home.
PSSRU used data from the Office of National Statistics, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, as well as client data from the Live-In Care Hub to compile the report.
Bridget Warr, outgoing chief executive at the UK Homecare Association said: “Live-in’, in general, allows people to maximise their quality of life, often for a similar cost to nursing homes, or less if a couple is being cared for. Financing care is a major issue and the report provides valuable insights and recommendations, as well as reinforcing the messages about the importance of planning for care in later life.
“I wholeheartedly support the Hub’s work in raising the profile of live-in care and the importance of helping people achieve their plans to stay at home.”
Only 40% of care homes can guarantee residents won’t have to move out if their condition deteriorates, the study found, but in most cases live-in care clients enjoy packages that evolve to meet their needs until the end. In fact, a large majority die at home or within 48 hours of going into hospital.
The research also suggests that live-in care is on a par with many care and nursing home fees, especially in the South East and London.
Nationally a third of nursing homes cost £1,000 a week or more and 10% of care homes cost over £1,000 a week. In contrast, the average cost of fully managed 24/7 live-in care for someone with dementia is £1,080 a week.
The Live-in Care Hub is a not-for-profit organisation focussed on raising the quality of care in the UK by giving people the opportunity to be care for at home.
Its members, including Mumby’s Homecare Support, Saga Homecare and the Good Care Group, are members of the UK Homecare Association.