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The Homecare Association: Balancing the Needs of Businesses, Workers, and Elderly People

Updated: Jan 30


A Nurse brining an elderly person a healthy meal on a tray

Introduction


The Homecare Association is the UK's leading trade association for homecare providers. It represents over 1,000 homecare providers, who provide care and support to over 700,000 people in their own homes.


Focus


From our research the Homecare Association's focus is to promote and support the delivery of high-quality homecare in the UK. It does this by providing a range of services to its members, including:

  • Advocacy and representation

  • Research and development

  • Training and development

  • Networking and support opportunities

Public Perception of Homecare


Public perception of homecare is generally positive. A recent survey by the Homecare Association found that 83% of the public believe that homecare is an important service for older people and people with disabilities.


However, there are some concerns about the quality of homecare, particularly in light of recent media reports about abuse and neglect.


Salary Levels & Average Age of People Employed by Homecare Businesses


Salary levels for homecare workers are generally low. The average salary for a homecare worker in the UK is £18,000 per year which is half of the UK average salary of £36,000.


The average age of a homecare worker in the UK is 48.


How Salary Levels and Average Age Impact on the Quality of Care


Low salary levels of homecare workers can impact on the quality of care provided.


Low salary levels can make it difficult to attract and retain high-quality staff.


The high average age of homecare workers means that that workers do have life experience, but with many elderly requiring support getting in and out of bed, bathroom and some workers may not be able to provide the same level of physical care as younger workers.


What The Homecare Association has Done for Workers


The Homecare Association has done a number of things to support homecare workers, including:

  • Campaigning for better pay and conditions for homecare workers

  • Providing training and development opportunities for homecare workers

  • Lobbying the government to improve the regulation of the homecare sector

What The Homecare Association has Done for Businesses


The Homecare Association has also done a number of things to support homecare businesses, including:

  • Providing advice and guidance on best practice

  • Representing the interests of homecare businesses to the government

  • Negotiating discounts on products and services for its members

Funding Model


The Homecare Association is funded by a combination of membership fees and grants.


Organisations that Influence The Homecare Association's Policy and Direction

The Homecare Association's policy and direction is influenced by a number of organisations, including:

  • The government

  • The Department of Health and Social Care

  • The Care Quality Commission

  • The Local Government Association

  • The National Association of Local Authorities

Conclusion


The Homecare Association is a valuable organisation that plays an important role in supporting the homecare sector in the UK.


However, it is important to note that the Homecare Association is a trade association that represents homecare providers. This means that its focus is on the interests of its members, which are primarily businesses.


How My SOS Family Helps Support Elderly People Who Want to Live Independently at Home


My SOS Family is an emergency alert app that can help elderly people live independently at home. The app allows users to create a network of emergency contacts, or SOS Contacts. SOS Contacts can be friends, family members, co-workers, or caregivers.


If a user experiences an emergency, they can use the app to send an alert to their SOS Contacts. The alert will include the user's location and a message with details of the emergency. SOS Contacts can then provide assistance to the user, either by coming to their aid in person or by calling for help on their behalf.


My SOS Family can also help elderly people to live independently at home by providing them with a sense of security. Knowing that they have a network of SOS Contacts who can help them in an emergency can give elderly people the confidence to live independently and remain in their own homes for longer.


Idea's for Redressing the Balance


The Homecare Association could consider doing more to redress the balance between the interests of its members (businesses) and the interests of homecare workers and elderly people. For example, the Homecare Association could:

  • Campaign more vigorously for better pay and conditions for homecare workers, to put this into context the average salary of a Bin man (or woman) in the UK is £24,989 that's nearly 40% higher than the £18,000 average home care worker.

  • Lobby the government for more funding for homecare services, councils and local authorities have a growing aging population who financially struggle and who they have to support, supporting homecare frees beds in hospitals and helps improve the health and wellbeing of the nation.

  • Work with homecare businesses to develop best practice guidelines for supporting homecare workers.

The Homecare Association could also do more to engage with elderly people and their families to understand their needs and create a large movement of voters that have a collective voice as well as the chance to use that voice in how they vote locally and nationally.


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