It’s the everyday things which can become the tipping point for elderly parents and relatives keen to stay independent at home. Keeping on top of household chores, walking the dog or going to the shops may become frustrating and painful. Rather than struggling on, or worse giving up, a home help service for your elderly parents or relatives could be the answer.
Home help isn’t day care. It’s practical, useful, local and above all about companionship and support at home, provided by friendly local people who want to make a difference to their community.
You may find the local authority provides a handyman service (although this is rare post-covid); local charities like Age UK may provide shopping services or befriending. Paid-for home help services are a combination of all the above – and more – providing a flexible single source of help and support. The other benefit of a paid-for solution is choice. Choice to choose the person that visits, how often they visit and when they visit. You also get the same person every time so you can start to form a relationship.
Organisations such as Good Life Sorted recruit and match local people with someone needing help at home. You may start with a couple of hours a week to help keep on top of things at home then as the relationship grows start to spend more time together. The bonus is that it all comes with built-in companionship.
What is home help for the elderly?
As it says on the tin – help at home for older people. Vetted and insured helpers are matched with local elderly residents and their families, who have identified the kind of help they need.
Companionship is part of the package and the first hour of help is free to give both parties the chance to get to know each other.
The cost per hour of help ranges from £13 to £23 per hour depending on the day (weekend visits can cost more). Visits can be weekly, daily or monthly, as well as ad hoc for specific help.
What are home help services for the elderly?
Now – what they might include: a safe pair of hands and a friendly companion to help out with chores and tasks that may have become more difficult; changing a light bulb, clearing the top cupboards in the kitchen, changing the sheets. It’s amazing what can be done in an hour! As well as a chat about the weather, the grandchildren or what’s going on in the world. Such useful help for those who value their independence and don’t want to feel they’re endlessly calling a son or daughter.
With Good Life Sorted we’ve identified some of the key home help services you might find useful.
Companionship at home
You can’t put a price on companionship particularly for someone who is perhaps living alone after a lifetime with a husband or wife; or someone far away from family. Hiring a private carer is not the solution you’re looking for.
Sharing time together doesn’t have to look like our classic perception of companionship visits, a natter over a cup of tea (although that is lovely), but it can take any form – sharing a passion for jigsaws or painting, a walk around the village, or whatever someone enjoys doing.
Home help cleaning and housekeeping services
The palaver of changing the pillow cases and duvet covers or sheets can be a challenge with less nimble fingers or physical strength. Let someone else take the strain out of laundry day. Or some help with the cleaning.
For someone who has always taken pride in their home, the frustration at not being able to see the dust anymore or for whom mobility has become an issue, having an extra pair of hands to take Henry hoovering is a welcome form of practical help around the home.
Help with shopping
Nipping to the corner shop or going to a big supermarket may be easier and more enjoyable with an extra pair of hands – and legs. Having someone who can look in the fridge and cupboards, make the shopping list and push the trolley round AND even unload the shopping. This is a really helpful task.
Getting out and about
For someone no longer able to drive or use public transport, what better than having a local companion to provide transport. For an afternoon out to the garden centre or a local National Trust property to enjoy the gardens and a piece of cake….. Or on a practical level, to take mum or dad to appointments, help them in and out of the car and sit with them if they have to wait. And then collect a prescription on the way home….
Cooking and meal preparation
A home cooked meal on a weekday for one or two, or having the family round for Sunday lunch seem simple pleasures and tasks, but may become harder to do. Rather than relying on ready meals (many brands available), a companion helper can take the strain: the shopping and preparation – and the washing up of course!
Medication bingo is a reality as more medication is prescribed and added to the list of what to take when. A dossette box will certainly help providing marked day compartments to easily sort pills, but having someone to make sure the right pills have been taken would give everyone peace of mind. This is especially pertinent to those living with dementia.
Dog-walking services for the elderly
The most important task of all for so many for whom their four-legged friend is so much more than just a dog.
Knowing that they will receive exercise is a huge relief – whether their owner is temporarily unable to, or sadly can no longer take them out for a regular walk.
We all worry about our elderly parents and relatives staying well particularly if they live away away or you’re unable to visit as often as you like. Or perhaps you’re away on holiday and are concerned about their welfare.
Knowing that someone local can visit, have a cup of tea, a chat, maybe change a light bulb or sweep the steps, and just make sure they’re ok, is very reassuring.
Discharge from hospital support
Having help in place at home is critical to someone being discharged from hospital. Whilst they may not need ongoing medical care, they may well need help with shopping, meal preparation, and other daily tasks. Helpers from Good Life Sorted can work with the hospital discharge team to put the heating on at home, put food in the fridge and then continue to visit until the patient is back on their feet.
How to find home help services near you
Good Life Sorted are very selective about the people who apply to provide home help services to their clients. They accept only 5% of the people who apply to become a helper. Every one of their helpers is interviewed and vetted with references and an enhanced DBS check, and is fully insured. Usually customers will have the same helper for all their visits so they can get to know each other and build a new friendship.
The first step in finding a helper is to go onto Good Life Sorted website and type in a postcode to start the search. You will be asked to say what help they would like and then they are matched with someone local. The first visit is free, giving each the opportunity to get to know each other. There is no contract to sign, and visits can be daily, weekly or fortnightly to suit your needs.