Figuring out the types of care available is often a daunting task, and you may be asking ‘what is domiciliary care?’
For individuals who have increasing care needs and need some additional help then domiciliary care is a great option.
Here’s a summary of what we cover in the article:
- Domiciliary care is care that is provided in your own home. Also known as domcare.
- Domiciliary care is tailored to individual needs and you can receive support for many areas of daily living that enable independence.
- Tasks included in domiciliary care can include household help, personal care and more complex care.
- You can pay for domiciliary care independently through private care operators or may qualify for funding through your local council.
What is domiciliary care?
Domiciliary care simply means ‘support of people in their own home’.
This service is vital for older people, those with disabilities or mobility issues, and people who have various care needs.
And care in the home can preserve independence for seniors, as well as for people recovering from illness or hospital treatment.
Domiciliary care, also known as ‘domcare’, or home care visits, can be offered to anyone who needs additional support at home.
Many older people chose to employ the support of a care worker in their own home, or use a home care agency.
Individuals use domiciliary care to help with errands or tasks around the home, to provide companionship and to help attend appointments.
Who needs domiciliary care?
We are all living longer thanks to excellent medical care and nutrition.
However, with older age comes different needs. Domiciliary care has grown in popularity, in order to serve those needs.
Domiciliary care at home is an excellent service to help people stay in their beloved homes for as long as possible.
Surrounded by well-known comforts, in familiar surroundings, individuals can enjoy an enhanced standard of living for longer.
Many people need some support to remain living in their own home through recovery, illness, or through palliative care.
Because older people just need a little additional help around the home, from time to time.
What can you get help with?
A home-help care worker can help with a wide range of tasks in the home including:
- Personal care including bathing and dressing
- Meal planning and preparation
- Food shopping and domestic help
- Running errands, such as collecting prescriptions
- Help with travelling to appointments
- Filling out official forms
There are a variety of carers trained to take on these domestic tasks and much more.
Is full time care necessary?
While live-in care is an option, domiciliary care is not necessarily, or always, a full-time service.
Some carers will visit just once or twice a week to assist with shopping or cleaning and general household administration.
And another option is a visit for an hour a day, to help with personal care or cooking.
Fortunately, all care in the home is customisable to the needs of the person who requires it.
This includes the time a carer attends the home for each week.
It can range from full-time, live-in care, where carers or nurses are in your home 24 hours a day – carers who sleep overnight – or someone could pop in for an hour a day to help with washing and dressing in the morning.
Struggling with independent living doesn't always have to result in moving to a residential care home. Domiciliary care could be a way to preserve that independence for a lower cost.
What are the different levels of domiciliary care?
The most basic level of domcare involves a caregiver attending to everyday tasks and acting as a companion.
This carer might clean the kitchen and bathroom, do a load of washing, and have a chat while doing the housework.
They might bring grocery shopping and tackle the ironing pile and this carer will probably attend twice a week, depending on what you need.
Most domiciliary care then builds from this foundation, with different tasks added on to the package.
If washing and dressing have become difficult, or preparing food and meals, then a carer can attend to help with that.
Complex needs domiciliary care
Should more medical attention become necessary, a home care provider may deploy district nurses or healthcare assistants as part of the team.
They could attend occasionally for things like taking blood tests.
Sometimes they might attend daily to change dressings, administer medicines, and to take blood pressure readings.
More complex needs such as catheterisation and feeding by tube are also available if needed.
Specialist carers are also available, such as for dementia care or other serious conditions, including palliative care.
Is nursing care available?
You can add nursing staff to your domiciliary care package for medical attention if needed.
This can be very useful if attending a doctor’s surgery or hospital is difficult.
Physical therapists may also form part of a domcare team, to assist with recovery exercises and building strength.
Rather than a long stay in hospital to recuperate, doing the exercise at home is far more comfortable.
Who provides domiciliary care?
Often, friends and family provide some level of care.
They might bring some food shopping and help around the home, or offer lifts to attend appointments. Perhaps they’ll make a cuppa and be available for a chat, or bring a cake or a meal for the oven round.
You may employ a cleaner, and have your groceries delivered by a supermarket or veg box scheme.
Meal delivery is a popular service for older people who struggle with the demands of cooking for themselves.
What if your needs change?
However, should your needs change, your local authority can advise on your options.
Your family or friends may not be able to provide the same level of help anymore. Or you may find other tasks are becoming too much to deal with.
The council may decide you are eligible for some funded care, subject to their assessment.
There are many private agencies who offer domcare, with whom you can arrange directly to provide a service.
Domcare can be a more cost-effective option than moving into a residential home, as you can choose the level of care you receive and pay for.
Do I need domiciliary care?
If you aren’t sure if you need domiciliary care right now, then consider these points below.
- Is it difficult to get out of or into bed? Are you unable to wash and dress yourself every day?
- Do you find housework, such as washing up, laundry, and cooking too much to manage every day?
- Are you unable to attend appointments by yourself?
- Do you experience any physical restrictions, such as mobility issues, or incontinence?
- Are you recuperating from an illness or injury and find you cannot complete the recovery exercises?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you may need home care support from a carer.
Is Domiciliary Care Expensive?
Paying for home care is tailored to individual needs.
A needs assessment carried out by your local authority will test what level of care you need. They will also assess what funding you are eligible for.
They may offer you a personal health budget to manage yourself, or they may appoint an agency on your behalf.
Of course, you are free to arrange and pay for domiciliary care independently.
Enjoy flexibility and a personal service
Each home care provider will arrange care around your personal level of need and your budget.
Domiciliary care arranged at a time and level to suit personal requirements, can be a cost-effective option in comparison to care homes.
Care homes vary in price, from local authority homes for those who are eligible, up to more expensive but more luxurious options.
Care in private care homes can be anything from £1200 + per week.