Popular myths about complex care

Debunking Common Myths: Understanding Complex Care

Do you feel confused about complex care? You’re not alone. There are many myths surrounding this topic, making it challenging to understand the truth. If you’re one of those people struggling with misconceptions, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll debunk eight of the most common myths about complex care, helping you gain a clearer understanding of the subject.

1. Myth: Complex Care is Limited to the Elderly

This is a common misunderstanding. Complex care isn’t just for the elderly. While it’s true that many older adults need complex care because of multiple chronic conditions or disabilities, anyone of any age can benefit from this type of care.

Complex care is designed to meet the needs of people with severe, chronic, or multiple health conditions that require extensive healthcare services. This can include individuals with physical disabilities, mental health issues, developmental disabilities, or life-threatening illnesses.

For instance, a young adult with a spinal cord injury or a child with a rare genetic disorder may need complex care to manage their daily needs and coordinate various medical treatments. The idea behind complex care is to provide comprehensive, coordinated support that’s tailored to the individual’s unique circumstances, regardless of their age.

2. Myth: Complex Care is Only Available in Institutions

This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. Complex care is not limited to institutions such as hospitals or nursing homes. In fact, many individuals receiving complex care prefer to live in their own homes or community settings.

The goal of complex care is to provide comprehensive support and services that cater to the individual’s specific needs, regardless of where they reside. Complex care can be effectively delivered in various settings, including:

  • Private homes
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Group homes
  • Adult family homes

If you are interested in complex care at home, then trained caregivers come to your house to help with medical needs and daily tasks. This way, the person needing care can stay comfortable in their own home while getting the help they need. This includes things like medicine management, wound care, and help with walking or eating.

Home and community-based services are becoming more popular because they help people stay independent, maintain their dignity, and improve their quality of life. Care providers work closely with families and caregivers to make sure that care is provided in the way that the individual wants.

3. Myth: Complex Care is One-Size-Fits-All

Complex care is not one-size-fits-all. Every person has unique needs and situations. Care must be customised for each individual.

People receiving complex care have different medical conditions, disabilities, living situations, and personal preferences. A good care plan considers all these factors. It is tailored specifically for that person.

For example, one person might need help with walking and taking their medicine, while another might need assistance with eating and talking to doctors. The care plan for each person is made to fit their specific needs. This means the care team looks at what each person needs to stay healthy and comfortable and plans their care around that.

The right complex care services look at the whole person, not just their medical diagnosis. Their age, lifestyle, family support, and goals all get taken into account too. This personal approach helps people live more independently and comfortably.

So complex care is flexible, not one universal program. 

4. Myth: Complex Care is Exclusively Medical

Complex care is about more than just medical needs. While medical care is a big part of it, complex care includes much more. It may include help with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, housekeeping, transportation and more. The goal of complex care is to support the person, not just treat their illnesses or disabilities. Complex care promotes independence and allows people to remain in their homes comfortably.

For example, someone with a physical disability may need help getting out of bed and into a wheelchair. Social and emotional needs are also addressed. Complex care can provide companionship to reduce loneliness and isolation.

So while managing medical issues is part of complex care, it is not the sole focus. 

5. Myth: Complex Care is Too Expensive

The cost of complex care in the UK can seem high at first. However, it is often more affordable than many people think, especially compared to residential care homes.

For those eligible, the NHS covers some services like nursing care and healthcare equipment. Local authorities provide means-tested support for daily activities based on needs and income level.

There are also benefits like Attendance Allowance that can help offset care costs. This is a non-means-tested, tax-free payment for individuals over 65 or those with disabilities requiring assistance.

Employing a full-time live-in carer is typically the most economical complex care option. While self-funded, it allows seniors and those with disabilities to remain independent at home for longer.

Overall complex care costs vary widely depending on the individual’s circumstances and level of support required. 

For many families in the UK, complex care at home works out to be better value in the long run, both financially and for quality of life. 

6. Myth: Complex Care Neglects Autonomy

Complex care does not neglect an individual’s autonomy and independence. In fact, promoting personal choice and control is central to providing quality complex care.

The care plan is built around the person’s own goals, preferences and values. Care recipients are actively involved in deciding which services they want and need. Their input shapes every aspect of their care.

For example, someone may choose to have care assistants come by a few times a week rather than having a live-in caregiver. Or they may want support with specific tasks like grocery shopping and laundry but can handle other daily activities independently.

Complex care maximises an individual’s ability to care for themselves. Caregivers assist only with the activities the person is unable to manage alone. Care recipients also have the flexibility to change up their services as needed. If their circumstances or needs evolve over time, their care plan can be adjusted accordingly.

7. Myth: Complex Care is Only for Severe Cases

Complex care is not reserved just for the most severe situations. It provides different levels of support that can benefit many individuals.

While some do require intensive, round-the-clock care, others may only need assistance with certain daily tasks. Complex care services can be tailored to meet any range of needs.

For example, someone recovering from surgery may temporarily require help with bathing, dressing and meal preparation as they regain strength and mobility. Or a person with mild cognitive impairment may need reminders to take medications properly.

Even just a few hours per week of in-home care can make a big difference. It allows people to maintain their independence while getting the support they need to stay safe.

The level of complex care can also increase gradually as an individual’s circumstances change over time.

8. Myth: Complex Care is Isolating

Complex care does not have to be isolating. In fact, quality complex care helps individuals stay socially connected and engaged with their community.

While receiving care at home, there are still plenty of opportunities for social interaction. Care workers can provide welcomed companionship through conversation and shared activities. Clients can also maintain hobbies, attend social groups, and visit with family and friends.

For those with mobility limitations, complex care can actually increase social participation. Caregivers can assist with transportation to events, appointments, and more. This allows clients to access the community more easily.

Complex care also helps reduce social isolation that can occur due to health issues or disabilities. Having regular assistance at home provides a social outlet and emotional support.

Additionally, care plans coordinate services that promote an active lifestyle based on the individual’s interests and abilities. This could include adult day programs, visits from volunteers, or technology tools to connect virtually.

The key is creating a comprehensive care plan that looks after physical, emotional and social needs. With the right support network, complex care recipients can live independently while remaining socially engaged.

How Can Innovate Help?

Don’t let myths and misunderstandings hold you back from accessing the care you deserve. At Innovate, we’re dedicated to shattering these complex care misconceptions and empowering you with personalised solutions.

Our person-centred approach ensures your unique needs, preferences, and goals shape every aspect of your care plan. We collaborate closely with you and your loved ones to craft tailored support that optimises your independence, dignity and quality of life.

We offer flexible care that can change as your needs change. We’ll be there for you and your loved ones. Contact Innovate today to discuss your situation and how our care can help.