Britain is getting older; higher living standards and improved medical treatments and facilities over the last 60 years mean that people are living longer than ever before. In 1951, there were just 300 people in the entire United Kingdom aged over 100. By 2031, this number is expected to have increased to more than 36,000.
The Queen, who used to send a hand-written letter to every centurion, realised sometime ago that if she was going to do anything else but write letters to the elderly, this was one tradition she would have to let go.
Since the 1950s average life expectancy in Britain has increased by more than 10 years and whilst this is great news for all of us who are happy to live a little longer, it does create a significant challenge for care providers across the country, particularly at this time when local authority care budgets are under such intense pressure.
The truth is that local authorities are simply not going to be able to provide round-the-clock elderly care for everybody in the future. This is one of the reasons why live-in-care providers, such as Helping Hands, have experienced such an increase in demand for their services in recent years. Another reason for the increased interest is the fact that more people now understand the huge advantages that come from caring for an elderly person in their own home.
When an elderly person moves into a residential care home they leave behind their house, their belongings, often a pet and sometimes their friends. This would be a strain on the strongest of us, so for the elderly and the vulnerable the stress can be unimaginable.
Live-in-care removes much of this worry by enabling people to remain in their home and keep their independence, whilst receiving 24 hour, one to one, specialist care. Of course, there is still some stress involved; a stranger coming to live in your house will never be easy. The key is to carefully match the carer with the customer to try and build a partnership approach to the care.
When a true partnership is achieved, live-in-care is a wonderful and thing which, rather than patronising or demeaning the customer, empowers them and enables them to live their life to the full.