Family care for an older person
Family care means that an older person gets care and attention in the family carer’s home or his or her own home. Family care may be given over long term, temporarily or part time.
Family care means that an older person gets care and attention in the home of a family carer, in a professionally run family care home or in their own home. Care in the older person's home is usually provided on a temporary or part time basis.
An older person may receive family care over the short or long term. Care is regarded as long-term care if it is provided for at least three months, or for at least 14 days in a month. Family care may be provided round the clock or for part of the day. It may also be temporary.
For example, on older person may receive short-term family care when their informal carer has a day off.
An older person may get family care after their needs for services have been assessed. The older person, their family members and the service experts of the municipality talk about the situation to find different solutions. If they decide that family care is the best choice, the municipality will make a decision on this together with the older person and their family.
The older person, their family members or authorities may ask for an assessment of service needs, but if necessary, the request may also come from friends or neighbours.
Family care is suitable for older persons who can still partly manage living at home by themselves, who do not need help from two carers at a time to cope with their personal daily life and who can manage the night without regular help. Family care is also suitable for older persons who would like to live together with other people.
The objective of family care is that the older person can live in a home-like environment and have close relationships with other people. In family care, the older person is treated the same as all others living in the home. Everyone in family care has the right to privacy. Older persons can bring some of their own furniture in and decorate their rooms. The home must be easy for older people to get around in, and it must take good care of their safety.
Family care is given in a home-like environment in the family carer’s private home. Short-term family care can also be provided in the older person's own home.
In family care, older people can have long-term relationships with other people. Other advantages about this form of living are that the older person may be looked after by the same carers at all times and feel at home.
Many older people feel lonely. The care provided in family environment is very individual and the older person can become close with the carers.
In family care, older people can take part in the family’s daily life when they feel up to it and if they want to. If there are children in the family care home, the older person can enjoy the company of people of different ages. In family care, the older person may take part in interesting activities and enjoy the company of other people.
The fees for long-term family care are determined in the same way as for sheltered housing with 24-hour assistance.
The fees cover the services provided by the family carer, food and housing. The fee may not be larger than the costs of providing the service. Any other costs are paid by the older person.
If the older person does not have enough money to pay for the fees, the fees may be reduced, or they may not be collected.
When an older person is in family care, no fees for home care are charged for the same time period.
You may get support for the costs of family care in the same way as support for the costs of sheltered housing with 24-hour assistance: you can apply to Kela for a pensioner’s care allowance. An older person may apply to the municipality’s social welfare services to get support for transport from their home to family care and back again. This support is discretionary: an older person may get it if the municipality has enough money for it. People with severe disabilities have the right under the law to get support for transport.
The municipality is responsible for organising and supervising family care. The municipality is also responsible for providing coaching and training for family carers.
As a family carer can be approved a person who has completed the coaching and who, because of their training, experience or characteristics, is regarded as suitable for the task. A care home with a single carer can have no more than four residents, and a home with two carers no more than six. Any children under the school age who live in the same household are included in this number.
Family care may only be organised in a home where all people living agree on it.