What is domiciliary care? The different types of home care services

Home care, also called domiciliary care, is when care staff travel to the homes of people in need of assistance – arranged by a local authority or through private agencies.

Care can range from person to person depending on individual needs. Some people require daily visits, round-the-clock care, night-time care, or more infrequent weekly check-ins. 

According to recent statistics by NHSX, there are close to 2 million requests for support with social care services for new clients each year. This demand is growing in line with population increases.

At Unique IQ, we specialise in working with and creating software tailored to domiciliary care providers and associated companies working in the home care sector.

What is domiciliary care?

Domiciliary care is for anyone who wants to stay in their own home but may need some extra help with personal care, medication management, household tasks or any other activity for that to happen.

For some families, care homes provide everything that is required and are seen as a safe environment for their loved ones where they can have constant access to the support they need. But the comfort and familiarity of being at home are often overlooked as an option. This is where the benefits of domiciliary care can be seen.

One of the main benefits of domiciliary care is that it provides a substantial level of support while helping to maintain a person’s independence.

Who provides domiciliary care?

Home care is typically provided by unpaid family members or registered home care providers. According to Skills for Care, in 2019-2020 there were 10,200 homecare services in England registered with CQC. 

Home care workers are properly trained individuals – properly vetted and experienced in dealing with the specific needs of those that they care for. Depending upon the type of care offered and the nature of the agency providing the services, home care workers may also be called support workers, caregivers, care workers, health care workers, domiciliary care workers, and personal care aids – amongst many other variations. Qualifications can play an important role in learning and development and there is a wide variety available within adult social care.

Care coordinators typically work in an office setting and work to match up the person requiring care with care workers – usually using criteria based on location, availability, skills, and personality.

What do domiciliary care workers do?

Depending on the requirements of the individual as detailed in their personal care plan, care workers can provide a range of different tasks and services, including but not limited to:

  • Personal and continence care
  • Managing medication
  • Helping to mobilise in and around the home
  • Household tasks and meal preparation
  • Company and social outings
  • Shopping
  • Respite for family members
  • Clinical care, including catheter and stoma management and PEG feeding

What are the different types of home care?

  • Personal Care – daily support with personal tasks that have been made difficult due to a result of illness or age. This includes tasks, like getting up and dressed, washing, meals or medications.
  • Companionship Care – is ideal for older people at risk of becoming lonely. They may live comfortably independently but need company in order to stay happy and mentally healthy.
  • Dementia Care – specially trained workers help people to maintain a routine and social life and assist with any personal or household tasks to help the person remain as independent as possible. 
  • Respite home care – is a temporary service that aids people who care full-time for a loved one. This could be daily or weekly sessions to help the carer manage other commitments and let them take a break.
  • Live-in care – is when a care worker will come to live in the home of the person that requires care full time
  • Nursing care – is carried out by registered nurses who visit homes and perform tasks that specifically need nursing training – like administering certain medications and treating wounds, or managing other illnesses.
  • Shared Lives – is a scheme by which the person needing care goes to visit or live with a care worker and allows them to integrate with a family while they receive the care they need.
  • End-of-life care – this may include a range of personal care and medical services – ensuring that the health and well being of those with life-limiting/terminal conditions is looked after. 

How has home care changed in the last decade?

In our recent report – Transform: A decade of digital transformation in home care,  we examined the impact and speed of digital adoption in the home care sector by analysing user data from our software from 2016 – 2021.

Our research suggested a 110% growth in home care visits in the past five years and a totally different variety of care visit lengths. 5 years ago, 80% of all visits among our customer base lasted 1-2 hours. It now accounts for 60%, and we’ve also seen much longer visits lasting more than 12 and 24 hours appear in our client’s schedules. This seems to suggest home care agencies are offering a more diverse service offering including live-in care, end-of-life care, and dementia-specialist provision as part of their business models – as more and more people choose to receive care at home.

How do we help domiciliary care workers?

At Unique IQ we create innovative software solutions to help manage, organise and deliver domiciliary care. Care coordinators use our software to electronically plan care, which brings together all of the processes required to develop, deliver and re-evaluate ongoing care such as scheduling, care plans, eMAR, and staff/client management into a singular digital space.

Care support workers use our domiciliary care software on the go, accessing our mobile app to remotely clock in and out of appointments, record notes digitally, follow medication and task instructions and check care plans. 

For more information about the benefits of switching to our domiciliary care platform – request a demo today.

Want to know more about the software that can help your business? Check out our workforce management hub.