Why live-in care can be a better alternative to assisted living facilities?

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Assisted living facilities
Home care are an alternate to assisted living facilities. Live-in home care for the elderly are reliable and effective methods for providing personalized and dedicated care for the senior loved one.

Most Canadian families struggle to meet the care needs of their parents and ageing loved ones. Many have to compromise their careers and family lives to care for their loved ones and are impacted financially, physically and psychologically by the accompanying stress.  Many children of seniors end up placing their parents in assisted living facilities if they can find space in one.

These facilities are mostly set up as group homes with multiple elderly living together in dedicated buildings or converted houses and apartment buildings. The residents have to share rooms, bathrooms and caregivers, have rigid daily schedules, limited family visits and have to pay extra for more personal care. The risk of infections, such as COVID-19 is high as both the seniors and caregivers are in contact with multiple high-risk individuals and it is almost impossible to effectively isolate an infected person in these environments. 

When they move to these facilities, the seniors not only have to give up their independence, familiarity and comfort of their own homes and neighbourhoods, where they have lived for decades,  but in most cases, their needs are not fulfilled. According to a 2017 Canadian Institute for Health Information report “Almost 1 in 3 seniors admitted to residential care do not belong there and can be supported with home care”. 


Live-in care is a better alternative to assisted living facilities


Live-in care is already a proven model in Western Europe and an increasingly popular choice for seniors across Canada who own their homes and want to age in place. It refers to at-home health care services where a care professional moves into the care recipient’s home to take care of them. This means that a live-in caregiver can provide assistance and perform care tasks at any time throughout the day, on a full-time basis, and around a schedule agreed with the families. Care tasks can range from companionship and personal care to household tasks such as grocery shopping or housecleaning for the care recipient. 

Live-in care can be cheaper than moving into assisted living facilities, especially if full-time care is needed. Seniors can get personalized one-on-one attention and stay in familiar surroundings especially if they are dealing with memory changes. This kind of senior care also helps seniors keep their independence. They can maintain their social activities,  continue with their interests and hobbies, eat what they want and have family and friends visit them anytime. This may not be the case if they were living in an assisted living facility.

Statistics Canada has found that “Home care can lead to improved quality of life, reduced hospitalizations, lower costs and decreased mortality”. Hence, full-time live-in care can be an excellent option for many seniors. 


How does live-in care work?


The agencies providing live-in care usually maintain a large cohort of caregivers which they have already interviewed, screened and vetted. When approached by families looking for care, they try to understand their clients’ needs and match them to the right caregivers in their pools. In some cases, the caregivers are employees of the agencies and agencies that manage them. However, this can mean significantly higher cost as the agencies need to cover their overheads.  In other cases, the agencies act as placement agencies and only introduce the live-in caregivers to the families, and the caregivers become the families’ employees. This is significantly cheaper, but the families have to deal with the hassle of payroll, taxes and managing the caregivers. 

ConsdiraCare has a unique business model which combines the best of both worlds. We screen, vet and match the right caregivers using our state-of-the-art platform, place them with their families and then take care of payroll, taxes, care planning and management on an ongoing basis. This allows us to help seniors get care at the same level of quality as high-end care agencies, but at a much lower cost.


Benefits of in-home care from live-in caregivers


1) Staying at home/ageing in place

For us,  our homes are sanctuaries where we can relax, de-stress and get away from the problems and issues of the outside world. Our homes are filled with memories and decorated with little trinkets and treasures collected over our lives from trips and events. It can be very difficult for people in old age to give up the sentimentality and memories associated with their surroundings and move to a new unfamiliar place.

Staying in familiar surroundings also makes it easy for seniors to navigate during memory lapses and keeps them calm and their anxiety and depression levels very low. This ensures that they are mentally stable which is a vital part of quality treatment and makes care effective.


2)  Dedicated care

Although nursing homes and other assisted living communities have skilled care professionals in service, nothing beats the advantages of having a matched, professional live-in caregiver. Staff in assisted living communities have lots of seniors to look after and cannot provide the same level of dedicated care as a dedicated live-in care professional can provide. 

In a live-in care arrangement, a dedicated caregiver is solely responsible for the well-being and upkeep of the loved one and makes sure their basic health and hygiene are looked after at all times. Seniors can strike up good relationships with their caregivers so they don’t feel alone and have someone to talk to and play games with.


3) Care continuity

In a care home, staff are rotated and work in shifts. Sometimes seniors cannot adjust to such rotations and feel uncomfortable with having a new carer taking care of them throughout the day. Shift workers cannot provide the stability that a full-time at-home care professional can provide. 


4) Peace of mind

The family members of the senior can rest easy and have peace of mind that their loved one is safe, secure and happy with the professionally matched care professional in the comfort of their own home and familiar surroundings. There is additional safety as seniors can have someone with them even during nighttime who can attend to any emergency if necessary.


5) Quality lifestyle

In nursing facilities, often the elderly, especially those who are very social, can feel isolated and trapped when they cannot go out or meet friends and relatives at any time. This causes them to feel as if they lost all their independence.

By choosing a live-in care professional, the lifestyle being lived by a senior is not compromised. They can still meet friends at any time, have family over and even adopt a pet if they want to. They can live and follow their routine as long as they are physically able to keep up with it. 


6) Families Stay in  Control

In an assisted living community, neither the caregivers nor the family members of the care recipient have little to no say on how the person gets care. There is no assurance that the person admitted to a residential care home gets the preferred standard of care.

With a live-in caregiver, the family has a lot of control over the standard of care. Both families and the caregivers jointly participate in the care decisions of the loved ones. Families can make changes and feel included in their loved one’s care. They can review the plan of care at any time and tailor it according to what they feel is best. 


7) Lower cost of care

The cost of care for live-in care can be cheaper compared to assisted living facilities, especially for those looking for full-time care. Hourly agencies and retirement homes can charge between $5,500 to $10,000 per month for full-time care. Costs can vary depending on the location, type of accommodation and care package.

Live-in care can be significantly cheaper. For example,  ConsidraCare’s matched, trained and vetted live-in caregivers are available at less than $4500 per month with all the added benefits of live-in care listed above. 


8) Lower risk of infection

Live-in care also reduces the risk of COVID-19 infection for seniors. The risk of catching COVID-19 is extremely high in assisted living facilities. Both the seniors and the caregivers in a live-in arrangement have much less contact with potential sources of infection compared to shared care facilities.  Live-in caregivers can effectively self isolate themselves from the care recipients so that they are much less likely to contract and pass on the virus. The overall PPE requirements for live-in caregivers are lower, making the supply of appropriate PPE much more manageable. Dr. Sandy Buchman, the  president of the Canadian Medical Association has supported live-in care by stating  that “If you were a senior at home with the same vulnerabilities, you were one hundred times less likely to die than you were if you were in a long-term care institution.”


Want to learn more? 

Please reach out to us at wecare@considracare.com, or call us at 1-855-410-7971 and we will be happy to understand and help you with the care needs of a loved one.

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