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Live-in Care Options for Elderly Couples

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Whether you’ve shared your life together since your late teens or if you’ve met more recently, for many people, living with a partner or spouse is a way of life and someone that they can’t be without. As well as not wanting to be apart from your life partner, your beloved home is a place that you may have built together over a number of years for yourselves, your children and the more recent joys and mischief of your grandchildren. It’s a place of comfort and safety, somewhere that holds many happy memories of birthdays, Christmases, get-togethers and a place that you know and love. If the time comes where one or both of you needs extra support with your care needs, live-in care for couples from Helping Hands could be the ideal solution for you both.

Home care for couples

If you both require extra support or one of you has complex needs that your partner cannot support you with alone, live-in care enables you to get the right level of assistance that you need, all from the comfort of your own home.

With better health care and medication available and more robust research into different diseases and health conditions, the aging population is growing and will continue to do so for the over 65s. Even if you are relatively unscathed by health conditions by the time you reach your late eighties and nineties, the chances are that you may become unsteady on your feet and need extra help with the housework, cooking or attending appointments. That’s where having a live in carer could be the right step for you, rather than feeling the need to leave your home and move into residential care, leaving your partner behind.

Live-in home care can help you in a variety of different ways:

  • Support with personal care, washing and dressing
  • Help to prepare healthy and nutritious food, as well as your favourite dishes
  • Household tasks such as cleaning, vacuuming and laundry
  • Looking after your beloved pets
  • Light gardening duties such as watering the flowers
  • Running errands and taking you to appointments

Regardless of your care needs or medical condition, your health and wellbeing will always be put first, which includes your state of happiness and fulfilment too. So, if you both enjoy sitting in the garden and watching the birds go about their daily routines but worry about getting outside, a live-in carer can assist you to do so safely and comfortably.

Supporting couples with a live-in carer

Some assume that companionship is a given when you live with someone else, particularly if they have been a lifelong partner. Live-in carers are much more than that: they are people you can rely on when things become difficult or you’re unable to do things autonomously; they provide comfort and support when you’re not feeling like yourself; they could be your only link to the outside world and the person that enables you to get out and about; and most importantly, they may become more like a friend or an extended member of the family.

What’s more, they are able to support you if you require specialist clinical care for a multifaceted health condition. Supervised and overseen by a team of expert nurses, Helping Hands live-in carers can assist with complex needs such as:

  • Tracheostomies
  • Stomas and catheters
  • Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) and nasogastric (NG) feeding tubes
  • Ventilated care
  • Complex medication

Welcoming someone new into your home isn’t always easy. Fitting into your routines and doing things the way you like them done is very important, and perhaps most vitally – you need to be able to get along with them too. That’s why everything will be taken at your pace when selecting a carer because they really do need to be the right fit for both of you, and equally you should be the right fit for them too.

Ensuring that they have experience in your care needs and share similar interests to you are both as important as one another. So, if one of you has Parkinson’s and you both enjoy supporting your local football or rugby team, a carer should be selected that is experienced in this condition but who also shares the same passion for sport that you do.

Advantages of care for couples

Choosing live-in care as an option for both of you could really benefit your physical and emotional wellbeing. Not only does it allow you to receive reliable, professional and empathetic care from a fully-trained carer that is dedicated to both of you, it also means that you are able to stay together in the place where you take sanctuary and refuge, the place where you feel relaxed and content – your home.

Whether you’re living with an acquired brain injury and need round-the-clock support from your carer and partner, or if you’re an elderly couple and one of you has the early stages of dementia – everyone has the right to choose how their care is delivered, something which cannot always be guaranteed in a nursing home.  If you want to get up at the same time as your partner or prefer to have different meals, a live-in carer can accommodate this because your care package is tailored entirely to your needs and preferences. And if things change, your care plan can be changed too, giving you total reassurance that you’ll always have everything you need.

Case study – Alzheimer’s live-in care for a couple

With life expectancy increasing every year, this also raises the prevalence of diseases that typically affect the elderly, such as dementia. In 2017, dementia accounted for over a quarter of deaths in those aged 75 or over and this is set to continue. But a dementia diagnosis doesn’t mean that you have to move into residential care; you can receive the very best and most up-to-date dementia care all within the comfort of your own home – just like 61% of those living with dementia currently do and just like Helping Hands’ customers, Bob and Betty.

Bob and his wife Betty live together in their home in Suffolk, and after Betty developed Alzheimer’s, Bob became her full-time carer. During the early stages of the disease they were still able to get out and about, but Betty’s condition soon took a turn for the worse and their son grew increasingly concerned for his father’s well-being. He contacted Helping Hands to see if we could help.

After getting to know the family and their requirements, we matched them with a live-in carer, Melissa, who soon arrived to provide ongoing support.

“Melissa is extraordinarily calm,” Bob said. “She will do anything to help and knows Betty so well that she knows when to pull back if she can see her anxiety rising. She cares efficiently and expertly, and it has made such a lot of difference and relieved a great deal of stress. I really do not know what I would do without her.”

Melissa supports Betty with all of her personal care needs and helps to keep her routine just the way the couple like it. With the reassurance that he can leave his wife in safe hands, Bob can now play a few rounds of golf and attend a lunch club when he has the opportunity.

Bob explained about the importance of live-in support: “I couldn’t have Betty in a care home after all of these years,” he said. “This is her home.”

 

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