What types of homecare are available?

With the UK’s population ageing as medical diagnoses, interventions and treatments improve over time, demand for support mechanisms for the elderly is soaring – particularly to enable older citizens to remain in their homes for longer without loss of their existing quality of life. Younger adults, such as those with mental health conditions, may also benefit from homecare in order to live independent and fulfilling lives safely. For those seeking rewarding jobs in social work, a role in providing homecare for adults offers high levels of job satisfaction in addition to an entry point to the social care sector.

Homecare is available in different forms, with the level of intervention directly related to the particular needs of the individual patient. In its simplest form, homecare can be provided by a home helper who can support a homeowner or tenant with basic daily tasks which have become burdensome or challenging due to restrictions in mental or physical health. Some senior citizens require high levels of support to remain in their homes, which care assistants or carers can provide, while social workers can coordinate services in more challenging situations to ensure that the patient remains safe and independent for as long as possible.

Homecare is suitable for individuals or couples who are unable to carry out routine daily tasks which are necessary for a comfortable lifestyle. These include:

• washing, grooming and dressing
• cooking meals
• domestic work, such as polishing and vacuuming, and simple home maintenance and repairs, such as changing light bulbs
• visiting shops
• simple nursing and healthcare
• arranging finances or claims for benefits

Homecare can be provided on a needs basis, with the amount of time and level of support directly related to the circumstances of the individual or couple receiving it. For example, carers may offer short visits of only 15 minutes in length or may attend for an entire day. Homecare might be offered on a short-term basis, to relieve an unpaid family carer from his or her duties, for the long-term, in emergencies or overnight. The exact organisation of the homecare will depend on the ability of the patient to live a safe and comfortable life independently.

A career in homecare is a rewarding way to play a positive role in helping adults to enjoy independent living in their own homes, while providing essential intervention when it is most needed.

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