June 19th was the National Care Homes Open Day, a UK-wide initiative to raise the profile of good care and an opportunity for care homes to open their doors to prospective clients and their families. We welcome such ideas as it helps answer some of the concerns an older person may have when considering their options for the future.
However, there is a problem with this… According to the Office for National Statistics* (ONS), there are approximately 352, 000 people currently resident in a care home in England and Wales. The UK Home Care Association** (UKHCA) estimates there are approximately 883,000 people receiving domiciliary care; almost 2 ½ times more than those living away from home.
Whilst the number of people receiving local authority funding for homecare has decreased by 18% since 2009, the numbers of people aged over 65 is expected to increase by 48% by 2035.
Given these two sets of figures it seems possible, even probable, that of those needing some support the largest proportion will require support at home rather than in residential home. In other words, if the current need for homecare is 2.5 times larger than residential care it is reasonable to assume a similar or larger number in the years to come.
Why then is there a focus on showcasing residential care? As one of Kent’s top providers of quality care, we welcome enquiries from people at all stages of need. From those merely exploring ideas for the future, to those who are actively seeking support at home.
We signpost to community support organisations such as Age UK or Carer’s Support. We refer people to statutory organisations when appropriate. That is part of good care; a joined up system that incorporates the best of all sectors.
So come on UKHCA, CQC et al, let’s celebrate the variety and quality that is found in the community by helping people make a real choice about future care!