Very few people think about their lives in old age and practically prepare for it. In fact, only one in ten people in the UK over the age of 45 have set aside funds to cater for possible future care costs.
Everyone at a certain time in their older age will need some kind of care, especially with 18 per cent of the 65.6 million people in the UK being above 65 years of age and 2.4 per cent above the age of 85. Having an enjoyable, peaceful and happy life in your later years is possible, and achievable with proper planning.
Choose the best care for yourself
It’s not easy to know the kind of care you’ll need in older age. However, a number of options exist. This includes live-in care and residential care. Each has its perks, but they’re not for everyone. Long term care is very broad and could consist of round-the-clock care and palliative end of life care or short-term recuperation from specific illnesses. You might need certain special care at times in your life.
Seek a local authority care assessment if you’ve no idea about your needs and you’d like the local council to fund some of it. The care plan provided will indicate what you need and the best care home for you.
When residential care makes sense
Independent living is the hallmark of every human being, but with old age, you might realise you cannot live by yourself in your own home. This is where residential care comes in. You’ll move into an establishment where specialist care is provided by staff.
An en-suite room is likely to be provided, but you’ll be unable to cook for yourself. Meals are provided throughout at set times. Some independence might be encouraged though it’s your health that determines how much you’re able to do. Residential care is perfect for those with myriad health complications, difficult medical problems and mental health issues.
If you believe you need personal care, personal maintenance and companionship from others, residential care is perfect. You’re assured of support depending on your medical needs and overall health.
When to choose live-in or home care
Not everyone wants to leave familiar surroundings and let other people do everything for them. Live-in care or home care is a superb alternative in such a case. You remain in your own residence in a familiar environment with every belonging you hold dear that you wouldn’t be permitted to bring in a residential care establishment.
To help you make the most of your life and medical challenges if any a professional carer can live with you. If you crave independence, live-in care is perfect. It’s so flexible that you can live on your own and have a carer come only when needed or live with one in case 24/7 care is required.
Live-in care can often cut the cost of care and perfect for couples living together and either both or one of them is in need of some special attention.
Live-in care, residential care and care homes are common options, but not the only ones. You can also plan for assisted living or sheltered living arrangements. You will have to leave your own home and move to a property designated for the provision of sheltered accommodation.
Choose the best sheltered living community for the elderly with amenities you’re used to or need such as pubs, restaurants, leisure centres, parlous and cafes. Assisted living provides you with much-needed independence while still accessing critical facilities and needed care.
The right plan for old age
You should be the one choosing the best option that works for you. In case independence is something you value, where you can remain with your cherished belongings and pets, and care can be provided at home, live-in care is a superb choice.
If you’ve or foresee complex health and medical needs and care cannot be provided at home or expensive if provided in your own residence, perhaps a home with likeminded people of your own age is a better idea. Residential care will do in such a case.
Speak with family and friends about what to plan for. Visit live-in care, assisted living and residential care centres to make the most informed decision. Always remember the decision is very personal and only you can choose for yourself.
Care and health
Note that the care you’ll need in old age is dependent on how you live today. Focus on self-management, seeking support and identifying ill health much earlier to be able to enjoy a happy, independent and fulfilling older age whether in your own home or elsewhere.
Read NHS healthy caring and healthy aging guides to help you prepare for a quality older age accordingly.