Main Office: 01206 866 252
Domiciliary Care Office: 01206 583 743
Carer serving a meal to an elderly patient

What Is Domiciliary Care?

10 January 2023

Domiciliary care, (also known as home care), is when you provide support to help people with various conditions continue to live an independent life in their own home. The care is usually given by trained professionals who make regular visits, sometimes several times each day, or live with you so you can receive 24-hour care at home.

Whether you choose half-hour daily visits or a round-the-clock live-in carer, the great advantage of domiciliary care is that you stay in control of your care, and don’t have to move out of your home, which can be time-consuming, costly and stressful. 

With a home carer looking after you, your normal routines aren’t disrupted and you continue to live in the environment you’re comfortable and familiar with. You can have as many or as few care visits as you like, and step up the level of care as your ability to cope on your own lessens.

Domiciliary care is often provided by relatives as “unpaid carers”. If the needs of their loved one become too burdensome or complex, or they require medical intervention, the family can turn to paid professionals to provide the care at home.

When should you consider seeking help from a professional home care provider?

It’s very common for family members to step in and support an older relative who is struggling with living alone. Frequently, a spouse will end up becoming a carer for his or her partner. And it’s increasingly common for young people to care for parents with physical or mental incapacities

Choosing to care for a relative comes from a natural desire to look after those you love. But caring for someone you’re close to can be very stressful, emotionally as well and physically, particularly if you don’t have professional training. 

If you’re already thinking you might need professional help caring for a relative, then the right time to seek help from a professional home care provider is probably now! A fully-trained at-home carer will ensure your relative is getting the right kind of care at the times they need it.

Seeking help from a professional home carer will also:

  • Reduce loneliness and concern. There can come a point when it’s too hard to cope on your own. It’s reassuring to know there’s professional help at hand.
  • Share the workload. Family members who are caring for a relative are doing so on top of their own daily lives. Professional home carers will take a lot of pressure and responsibility off of the family.
  • Reduce family conflict. Some family carers can feel resentment for other relatives who they feel aren’t doing enough to help a loved one, which just adds to their stress.
  • Ensure specific needs are met. This could include dementia, disabilities, nursing and medical care (alongside GPs and district nurses).

Who is domiciliary care best suited for?

Contrary to common misconceptions, it’s not just the elderly that require additional help and support at home.

Domiciliary care is also suitable for people with a wide range of physical or mental conditions who want to continue living independently because they can perform many activities themselves but need some extra help with daily tasks.

Domiciliary care is flexible. By staying in your own home, you’re not paying for care when you don’t need it. Unlike being in a residential or care home, the amount and type of domiciliary care you receive is entirely up to you, and can change as your individual needs change. 

Having care at home is also ideal if you don’t don’t feel comfortable in a care home environment. This can be the case for people who struggle in different social situations, such as those with autism or ADHD. 

Younger people may also feel more comfortable with in-home care, as the general population typically associate care homes with older people, so this can help reduce any sigmatism. 

What support and tasks can at-home carers provide help with?

At-home carers provide a range of care and support services. At Butterflys Care Group we understand that each client is different, so we assess your individual needs and create a personalised care plan, taking into account your existing routines. Our goal is to support each client’s independent living and improve quality of life.

Domiciliary carers are recruited from a variety of healthcare backgrounds, and are carefully trained to provide care in a professional and non-intrusive way, following high moral standards. Whether your carer visits you once a week for a chat and a cup of tea, or is a live-in carer providing 24-hour support, the tasks they can help with include:

  • personal care, like helping you shower
  • cooking your meals
  • clinical care
  • cleaning and tidying
  • making the bed 
  • going for walks 
  • continence care, including catheter management 
  • shopping and other day to day errands
  • administering and managing medication
  • companionship and conversation.

How much does domiciliary care cost?

The cost of your care will depend on the type and frequency of the care you need. If you only require a few hours of help each week with household chores and meal preparation, the cost will be less than if you need a more intensive live-in personal care package, with medication preparation and mobility assistance.

Domiciliary care costs can vary widely from £15-£30 per hour. According to the NHS, typical hourly costs are £20, which will vary depending on where you live. 

Fees for a overnight live-in carer will be higher than daytime care, with typical costs at around £800 a week (but it can cost as much as £1,600 a week if you need a lot of care).

What financial help is available to cover the cost?

Generally, you’re expected to pay for your own domiciliary care. 

But you may be entitled to financial help from your local council if your savings are below the ‘upper capital limit’, currently £23,250, but rising to £100,000 in October 2023.

You will need to take a needs assessment so that the council can decide what care they think you need, and a financial assessment to make sure your finances are below the upper capital limit. You would be expected to put any state benefits you’re entitled to, such as attendance allowance, personal independence payments and universal credit, towards the cost of care.

If you are entitled to financial help from the council, you can: 

  • Ask the council to arrange your at-home care. This would suit people who prefer not to deal with finances, keep records or employ carers.
  • Receive direct payments from the council and arrange the care yourself. This would work for you if you want a wider choice of care options than the council offers, and you’re confident in managing the payment of your carers, or have a trusted friend or relative who can do that for you.
  • a combination of direct payments and council care.

How do you choose an in-home care provider?

Finding the right in-home care provider for you or your family member is so important. The fact that you need care means you might be more vulnerable than you were, or that bit older and frailer. So it’s essential that at this stage of your life you make the right choice and find a caring, professional and suitably qualified at-home carer, who understands your needs and puts them first. 

  • Identify your care needs. Before you start looking for a care provider, be clear what range of care services you need. If you’re looking on behalf of a loved one, make sure you involve them and help them create a list of their needs, perhaps with the help of a healthcare professional. 
  • Do your research. There is so much choice out there. Take time to plough through the available directories and local agencies, and make the most of the internet. 
  • Use word of mouth and testimonials. A recommendation from someone you trust is worth its weight in gold. Check care providers’ websites for feedback and testimonials from clients, as well as online review communities like Trustpilot. 
  • Ask your social worker and GP. Local healthcare professionals should have a good knowledge of what’s available locally.
  • Check the care provider’s credentials. Look out for accreditations from the Care Quality Commission, check the provider’s mission statement, how they train their staff and deal with emergencies. 
  • Meet the carers face to face. There are few better ways to get a feel for how suitable and professional a home care provider will be than to meet them, ask them questions and see how comfortable you and/or your family member feels in their company.

What are the benefits of professional home care?

So, you’ve identified that you need some additional help and support at home, but you’re unsure whether to use a professional care provider. 

In this blog we’ve identified the benefits of bringing in professional help as an alternative to uprooting yourself or your loved one into a care home, or continuing to rely on family members as ‘unpaid carers’.

  • Professionally trained care to help with mental and physical support needs
  • Less emotional and physical stress for family members. 
  • Continue to live in your own home without disruption to your routines.
  • Choose a care package to suit your needs.
  • Step up or reduce the care as your needs change.
  • Feel secure that you’re receiving compassionate and professional care from trained and experienced carers.
  • Avoid the costs and stress of moving into a care home.

Do get in touch for a confidential and friendly chat if you or a loved one need home care help in Essex.

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We are more than happy to speak to you regarding any of our services or for some general advice.
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01206 866 252

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01206 583 743

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