Care at home and maintaining independent living.

  • Sep 13, 2018
  • Kay

The benefits of support at home and maintaining independent living.

The NHS thinks that Care at Home is an extremely important factor in maintaining good health in the elderly. This is what they say “Care at home and housing support enables people to live independently and well in their preferred environment for longer, providing continuity and familiarity with your surroundings.”

As you get older ‘living’ gets harder and harder for some people who slow down, don’t particularly want to clean the house or cook meals let alone wash the dishes.

Home Care – Support in your own home – What you may experience.

  • Regular visits from a home care worker to help with house work, shopping and preparing meals.
  • Other services could include meals on wheels, monitored personal alarms and household equipment and adaptations to help with everyday tasks.
  • You may visit local day centres where you can socialise and enjoy various activities, with transport available to get you there.

Good bits

  • Independence
  • Have to be active
  • Carehomes are unattractive and expensive
  • Friends and groups are local and at hand
  • Familiarity with the locality
  • Couples are together
  • Keep the pets
  • You will feel more in control of your care and your life, there is no set routine.
  • The value of your home isn’t taken into account when calculating how much you have to pay towards your care.

Not so good bits

  • Loneliness
  • Family in this day and age is often far away
  • Have to maintain the accommodation
  • Despite alarm systems and regular visits from carers, you can still be at risk.
  • You might not like the care staff.

The alternatives..

Independent Living accommodation

Independent senior living communities are housing designed for seniors 55 and older. Independent senior living communities commonly provide flats, but some also offer cottages, condominiums, and single-family homes.

These developments often come with..

  • 24 hour assistance.
  • A secure environment.
  • Usually high spec accommodation.
  • Community lounge, laundry, kitchen and parking.

You will most likely be selling your property to move into one of these apartments which you will still own and be able to surround yourself with your own possessions.

Look at McCarthy and Stone and Firstport for more information and read this article from the Telegraph.

Care Homes

There are two types of Care Home:

  • Care homes without nursing care that provide help and assistance with personal care.
  • Care homes with nursing care that have registered nurses providing 24-hour nursing care and experienced care assistants providing personal care.

Both are places where you can live (often with a spouse) and have your care needs met by trained staff.

Some also have accommodation and support specifically designed for older people with dementia.


  • Trained staff are always on hand.
  • You’ll always have company.
  • There will often be organised activities.
  • No need to worry about utility bills, meals and household chores.
  • It’s safe and secure.


  • It may be prohibitively expensive.
  • All your belongings will need to fit in one room.
  • You might feel that you’ve lost some of your independence.
  • Pets might not be allowed.
  • You might not enjoy the company of the other residents in the home.

The costs

Home care costs

Costs are very different depending on where you live and whether you need support during the day or at night, on weekdays or at weekends.

  • You should allow an average of about £20 per hour – that is nearly £15,000 per year if you need a carer for 14 hours a week.
  • If you need full-time care during the day, costs start at £40,000.
  • If you need carers to move in around the clock, you can easily be talking about more than £200,000. In those circumstances, residential care is usually more cost-effective.

You will still have the cost of maintaining your house, but you have the advantage of being in familiar surroundings.

Care home costs

According to PayingForCare, a report by healthcare specialists Laing & Buisson in 2013/14) depending on where in the UK you live, care homes in the South East can cost an average of:

  • £38,500 per year for a residential care home, or
  • £54,000 per year if nursing is required.

There can also be extra charges for things like trips out, hairdressing and some therapies – you will need to check what’s included in the care-home fees.

NHS Nursing Care Contribution

If you’re living in a nursing home and are receiving care from a registered nurse or doctor, you might be entitled to NHS Nursing Care Contribution towards the cost of treatment.

This is essentially a contribution towards your fees, paid by the NHS or your local trust.

Independent Living accommodation costs

A recent development in St Albans in South East England advertises the following.

  • 1 bed flats - £425,000 upwards
  • 2 bed flats - £579,000 upwards

You may opt to part own the flat you live in whereby you will have to pay rent to the landlord for the part you do not own and there is also a monthly service charge.

At Nannies 4 Grannies Ltd we offer Companion Care and Support for residents in St Albans, Harpenden and the surrounding areas.

Contact Kay on 01727 857988 to discuss the range of specifically tailored services we can provide for you or an elderly loved one. For full details go to our website Nannies 4 Grannies. Stay up to date with older issues by following us on Twitter or Facebook