Opinion

Embracing the challenges for home care

Martin Jones, CEO, Home Instead Senior Care

In the UK, there is a widespread assumption that following retirement, people will live at home until they no longer can, and the next natural step is moving into a residential home or care home. The ONS has predicted that by 2068 there will be 8.6 million people in the UK over the age of 65 – a staggering number which means this “traditional” path of ageing isn’t sustainable.

In order to survive and thrive, home care providers need to work to shift the public perception of the ageing pathway, educating them on the support which is available and how they can access it.

Home is where the heart is

A recent study by Home Instead Senior Care revealed that over two thirds of over 65s would prefer to stay in their home with a visiting carer, over moving in with a family member or into a care home.

The challenge for home care companies is how to deliver this wish to stay at home at scale and with quality of care as number one priority.

At Home Instead, our answer has been to provide flexible, personalised home care based on a client’s specific requirements; we believe in delivering the kind of care that we would want and expect our own parents to receive. This approach allows clients to stay in their own community, under their own roof, surrounded by their own things and to continue to live by their own rules. Enabling this level of independence and offering personalisation is key if home care providers are to thrive.

Home as the hospital ward of the future

Technology and medical advances mean the way people’s care needs are met is rapidly changing. In response, home care providers need to place innovation at the heart of what they do and see delivery of quality care as a continually evolving process whilst never forgetting this is a people-based industry.

It is my personal belief that people’s homes are going to be the hospital wards of the future. People should have access to the products and services they need, to help them stay at home for longer. We provide a wide range of flexible help at home, whether it be a need for companionship, someone to help with domestic tasks or just a lift to medical appointments. It doesn’t always have to be traditional services – home care companies like ours can stay ahead by encouraging our clients to adopt positive behaviours such as maintaining a healthy diet, keeping mentally and physically active, getting good quality sleep and socialising with others.

Attracting the right talent

In order to provide the high-quality care that will see them thrive, home care companies must strive to attract and retain the best talent.

At Home Instead, we have several measures in place to help our CAREGivers, including support services which offer benefits such as professional advice, resources and counselling. Additionally, we offer a blended 12-week training and development programme of face-to-face, virtual reality and theory-based learning delivered in line with the Care Certificate in England, as well as a suite of ongoing development tools.

Never Faulter On Quality

If home care providers want to stay ahead of the pack, then they must never faulter on quality. This means focusing on the frontline care offered to clients, the training and treatment offered to teams delivering care and continuing to embrace innovation and technology. Home Instead’s commitment to never faltering on quality has seen more than 60 of our offices awarded with an outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission. There is no reason why this sort of excellence cannot become the industry standard.

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