You may not have stumbled across the word domiciliary care before, but there’s a good chance you’ll have heard one of its synonymous terms used multiple times. It’s an umbrella term which covers care administered in the home environment. So, whilst you mightn’t previously have been familiar with the term, you will have heard of homecare, care at home, residential care, live in care and so on.
Domiciliary Care Broken Down:
Domiciliary care, or care at home if you will, can differ from case to case. Much of the care administered – especially for people in their later years – will consist of a daily half-an-hour check-in. During this type of session, the carer will typically check to ensure that the patient has taken any medication they’ve been prescribed, and generally make sure they’re fit and well. In some cases the carer may carry out some basic errands, such as going to the shops, posting letters, picking up prescriptions etc.
In the severest of cases, where the patient is suffering from a serious illness or been affected by a life-limiting condition they’ll require round-the-clock care – so, a carer to look after them 24-hours a day. This care at home may be provided by one carer, who’ll move in with the patient – commonly referred to as live in care. It may be provided by a couple of carers, who’ll work shifts to administer the level of care required – though, this type of care is slightly less common
When a loved one falls ill, some family members may step in to provide care on a regular basis. This is also covered by the term domiciliary care. But there may come a point when professional care is required.
Care At Home:
Care at home may include what’s often referred to as personal care. Due to their conditions, people are often left unable to dress themselves, wash and get into bed. Carers can help them do this. They may also help with the cooking of meals, maintenance of the home – vacuuming, washing-up and polishing – and helping the patient get out and about to see friends, relatives, or even get to a doctor’s appointment.
Over time carers will often build up a rapport with their patients. For those that have been left housebound because of the conditions, this is great, as it provides them with some company – someone to talk to on a human level.
Because of the complex nature of some illnesses, some carers will need to be more highly-qualified than others. For example, looking after someone who’s sustained a serious spinal injury or a head injury may require more specialist skills than would be required when administering standard care. There are many specialist agencies in the UK that employ carers that specialise in providing care for patients affected by a particular illness. You’ll find dementia care agencies, cerebral palsy care agencies, and spinal injury care agencies, amongst many others.
For families with ill loved ones, or relatives affected by life limiting conditions, care at home provides them with an alternative to residential care homes – one that allows their loved ones to receive the best quality care within their own home.