Is a care home really the best option for Mum?
So what do you do for the best when you know your elderly parent isn’t coping at home? You know they need looking after and a little extra support, but is a care home really necessary and is it the best and only option?
“It’s a problem facing many people,” says David Westerby, Village Manager at the soon to open Richmond Witney Retirement Village. “Every day, family members tell me how fiercely independent their parents are, but the reality is often very different with many ageing parents reliant on a great deal of support from a combination of family, friends, neighbours and public services to maintain them in their existing home. The stresses on families can be enormous.”
Of course families and friends are there to help as much as they can and generally do their utmost, but often they’re not local and have many other important responsibilities and demands on their time. “It’s a real conundrum,” says David, “and often people are still isolated at home with no real quality of life despite the sterling efforts of their family and friends to sustain them.”
So what is the alternative? In the past, the only obvious solution has been residential care, but this might seem like an unnecessarily draconian step to take when, with a little extra care and support, an elderly parent can continue to enjoy a more independent lifestyle.
The answer could be a Village Suite at award winning retirement village operator Richmond Villages, which is part of Bupa and has retirement villages in the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire.
People purchase their own apartment and enjoy a level of support which includes all meals, cleaning, laundry and household chores, with personal care on hand 24/7 if required.
“Most people have at least one meal a day with friends in the restaurant or take the option of having meals brought to their apartment,” continues David. “Dining with friends is a regular social occasion for most people, but the social aspect is enhanced further by our activities and events team who facilitate everything from bridge clubs to cultural festivals, all designed around the interests and wants of the people living at the Village. We also have our own fleet of vehicles and drivers meaning shopping and other routine journeys, as well as recreational outings, no longer require ordering a taxi or relying on family or friends if you don’t drive any more.”
Liz Smith, whose father has been living in a Village Suite at a Richmond Village for five years, said, “Dad’s previous home had just become too much work for him. He wasn’t coping well and it was all getting him down. Now he has his own beautiful apartment, a great social life and excellent facilities all on his doorstep. Not only has it been the perfect move for dad, but knowing that support and help from Richmond Villages is there 24 hours a day is very reassuring for me and my family.”
Richmond Village, Witney: 01993 768679 / richmond-villages.com/witney