October 2015 NICE Issues Home Care Guidance


Home care visits to elderly people should last for at least half an hour and focus on what they can or would like to do rather than on what they can’t do, says the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE).

Almost half a million people received home care in England in 2014, with 80 per cent of them at least 65 years old.

Demand for home care is expected to grow in the coming years due to an ageing population and it is predicted that almost 1 in 4 people in England will be aged 65 and older by 2035

Their guidance for the social care sector sets out recommendations that NICE believes require a change in attitude rather than additional funding.

The guidance recommends that care services support the aspirations, goals and priorities of each person, and that they and their carers are treated with empathy, courtesy and respect.

Home care workers should make sure their support focuses on what people can or would like to do. For example, if a person can still feed themselves then they should be supported to do this rather than being spoon-fed.

NICE recommends that commissioners ensure that home care workers should be given enough time to do their job without being rushed or compromising the dignity of the person who uses services. This includes having enough time to talk to the person and their carer, and adequate travel time between appointments.

Home care visits shorter than half an hour should only be made if the home care worker is known to the person and the visit is part of a wider package of support and the purpose of the visit can be properly undertaken in that time.

The guideline also highlights the importance of prioritising continuity of care by ensuring the person has the same home care worker or workers so that they can become familiar and build a relationship.

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