One of the hardest things for people of any age to do is to ask for help, and this is particularly true of older generations. How many elderly people do you hear saying “I don’t want to be a burden”?
For fiercely independent folk who may have gone on proudly managing long after they could physically cope, having someone come into their home who helps with the daily chores or assists with washing, clothing and food preparation, it may feel as though they are 'taking over' and this can be distressing at first. However, home care is a way for the patient to receive the help they need while maintaining independence in their own environment – something that residential care does not offer but which greatly improves patient well-being.
It’s important to keep people safe, healthy and independent in their own home, without stripping them of their dignity or freedom of choice. That is what 'person-centred' home care is all about.
Person Centred Care In The UK
Person-centred care is becoming increasingly common in the UK, as a progression towards providing sick and vulnerable people with a more caring and holistic approach to health and social care – focusing more on the person than their medical or social status.
One of the main reasons the UK is moving towards person-centred care is to combat the tendency in the past for vulnerable people to become 'invisible'. Particularly with elderly people with dementia, it’s far too easy to overlook them or see them as a set of medical conditions.
This is not helped by the fact that the elderly are sometimes unable to communicate what they need or want. A person-centred approach to home care, therefore, involves a team approach: discussion with the client but also their families and anyone else involved to ensure they benefit from 'joined up' support.
To provide person-centred care in someone’s own home means that the emphasis should not just be on meeting physical requirements but also supporting their mental and emotional needs. It means getting to know the person – their preferences and choices – to protect and extend their ability to live in their own home, as independently as possible, for as long as possible; offering an extra hand where it counts, without being intrusive and certainly without taking over.
How We Apply Person-Centred Care
With the Great Care Companies Home Care service, we never lose sight of the fact that every client is an individual person. There is no 'one size fits all' belief in our services – everything dovetails with the preferences and abilities of each separate client. We involve them in what we are doing, offering compromises and encouragement to protect their sense of identity.
For all this to work, we get to know each client well enough to become a friend as well as a service provider. After all, when The Great Care Company Home Care comes calling, we want our clients to feel that their day just got better!