ELDERLY residents who can no longer care for themselves are still better off living at home than in a nursing home, according to new research by a live-in care group.

The research commissioned by the Live-in Care Hub, made up of home-care companies in Oxfordshire and beyond, found that those who remained in their own home, in familiar surroundings with round-the-clock care, were around 33 per cent less likely to suffer falls, and half as likely to suffer a hip fracture.

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Joint founder of the not-for-profit hub, Dominique Kent, said of the report’s findings: “It challenges the traditional view that care homes are the only answer for elderly people unable to care for themselves anymore.

“The report also reveals that live-in care is an affordable alternative suitable for most care needs, including dementia, and in particular for couples; so it raises awareness that a care home is not the only choice.”

There are now 12 million people aged 65 or over in the UK, meaning later life care is something more and more families are having to consider.

According to the most recent statistics, the number of elderly people receiving publicly funded at-home care in Oxfordshire significant increased over the last few years, while the number of those being looked after in council-run care homes fell.

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Figures from Oxfordshire County Council show there were 2,222 older people being cared for at home in 2017, compared to 1,389 in 2012. Meanwhile there were 1,550 residents in council-funded care homes in 2017, down from 1,733 in 2012.

The ‘Better at Home’ study was carried out by the University of Kent and the LSE on behalf of the not for the Live-in Care Hub which includes local services Oxford Aunts, Acquire Care and Mumby’s Care.

The university used data from the Office of National Statistics, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, as well as client data from the Live-In Care Hub to compile the report.

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However chief executive at Care England, professor Martin Green OBE, said it was important that the care system catered for a wide range of needs.

The leader of the charity which represents independent care organisations in England said: “There is no one care model that works of everybody, and for some people live in care is a really excellent option, whilst others, the care home will be more appropriate. With increasing numbers of people needing care and support, the care system cannot have a ‘one size fits all’ approach. What we need is a range of services, so that people can choose what is right for them at any given stage in their life.”