There are many benefits to receiving care in your own home. Care staff can help you prepare meals; this will generally improve service users’ diets. When on their own, older people can often lack the motivation and inspiration to cook for themselves, causing nutritional problems. With the right person encouraging you, food can become more appealing.
Often, people receive help in washing or bathing which may result in better personal hygiene. If mobility is an issue, climbing in and out of a bath or shower can be a daunting task, especially with the risk of slipping. This will often cause people to use their showers or baths less and result in lowered standards of hygiene.
Some of the main tasks that service users struggle with are their housework, shopping and their personal care.
Another factor that may not be considered is the problem of loneliness in our older generation. Based on The Homecare Service Users Survey in Northern Ireland 2009, 93% of service users reported that their carer made them feel less lonely in some way. This is a staggering statistic, as it has been shown that isolation can cause sleep disruption, lower immune system, higher blood pressure, an increase in depression, generally reduced levels of well-being and an increase of the stress hormone Cortisol. A regular smiling face and a good listening ear coming into a person’s home daily could dramatically reduce these effects and improve their lives.