As we are living longer the cost of care is something we are likely to be faced with but may not consider until it becomes unexpectedly urgent. The types of care are explained here but if you need support we can help you consider your options and find the right care.
Types of Care
Care at Home
Quality care and meal provision, adaptations to the home and innovations such as stair lifts, sensors, community alarms, assistive technology and other specialist aids are readily available.
Getting some support can help you to stay at home. Care and support varies enormously, it may be simple companionship that you are looking for or help around the house. You may need a call once a week, a few times a week or daily, or it could be that you need a live in carer or Personal Assistant. Try not to skimp on the care you need or ignore the fact that you need it as this often ends in trouble. In the same way getting used to too much care can make you more dependent. Finding the right care starts with the right advice.
Helping you to stay at home
Have you thought about asking for?
- A hot meal delivery, help with the laundry
- A pendant alarm or medication reminder
- A door alarm/door camera or movement sensor
- Aids and adaptations to your home or property design
- Some help with the garden, cleaning or daily chores
- Information on local groups/clubs
- Falls prevention, suitable exercise and diet for ageing well
Many people would like to stay at home for as long as they can. The Local Authority and NHS have services designed to support independent living, some of which are FREE!
Extra care/assisted care/ supported living/care villages
This may provide Independent living with flexible care services. Schemes vary and may be privately rented, shared ownership, owned properties or have a social landlord. There may be shared living schemes in your area which can include living with support in a family home.
Residential and Nursing Care Homes
You may consider moving into a care or nursing home for a short time, for a period of convalescence or respite for yourself or a carer. A time of crisis may not be the right time to make a permanent move which may be premature or unaffordable in the long term. Be aware that needs may change and there may be other housing and care services and options that you didn’t know about. If a permanent move is needed to manage your care needs;
Some homes provide help with personal care, others may provide care from a registered nurse, some do both and have ‘dual registration’ with the Care Quality Commission. There are homes that concentrate on rehabilitation and others that cater for specific needs for example; brain injury or a specific group of people such as ex service personnel.
Please ask for an assessment of your care needs from the Local Authority and make sure that Continuing Healthcare has been considered if your care needs are primarily health as this will mean your care will be free and can be paid wherever you receive the care, even in your own home.
If you aren’t sure about any of these things or would like an independent assessment please get in touch
This is one of the most common times for arranging care quickly and it may be taken out of your hands with a process called Discharge to Assess. Often a new or changing package of care (both at home and in a care home) is now arranged by the Hospital (with short term funding). A stay in Hospital may be the very thing needed and enable a return home but it can also make you feel more dependent or make you realise that maybe you weren’t managing as well as you had thought. This is a time to assess the care and support that is needed and whether it can be managed safely at home.
Many people want to go home but feel tired, less confident or able to manage. A spouse/partner or friend, family, carer maybe unable to cope. Sometimes this need is being highlighted for the first time, it’s a shock and the situation can seem unmanageable. Care Navigators can help assess and arrange care and support you to plan financially for longer term.
Choosing a Care Home
Thinking about moving into permanent care but not sure what to look for, what or who to ask? It’s worth starting with what is important to you and may help to consider these key points.
- Location – do you want to be closer to family, friends. How easy is it for a spouse/partner or other loved ones to visit?
- Size – Would you be more comfortable in a larger bedded property or smaller home with fewer people
- Local facilities – Do you want a paper delivered daily or need access to a bus, is there a resident hairdresser, chiropodist?
- Access – Can you or your visitors, pets move around easily? Lifts, stairs, wheel chair access. Public transport routes close by? Do you want Wi-Fi or a telephone in your room, can you get a signal on the mobile?
- Visitors – Are there any restrictions, can they stay over, and is there a visiting time, can children visit and/or stay?
- Grounds – Are they accessible, do you need your own space, is there somewhere to sit outside, does the home grow their own veg for the menu, can you help tend a garden or have a patio area?
- Security – are the grounds secure, what are the safeguards for you personally and for your possessions
- Does it feel clean, smell fresh?
- Are the rooms light and airy? Are there en-suite facilities if you want them?
- Is there enough space? Do you have private outdoor space?
- Can you have your own things in your room?
- Do the other residents seem happy, are they busy and motivated, are there any activities going on- is that what you want?
- Is there somewhere quiet to go for reading, prayer if you need that?
- Are the staff welcoming and friendly, are they interacting with the residents and seem interested
Meeting a care need
Any care provider should assess your care needs to make sure that they can meet it before agreeing to a move but you may want to check;
- What happens if my needs change in the future?
- How many members of staff per resident? How does this ratio change from day to Night time? Is there a manager or nurse on site, can you have your own GP?
- Do the staff change frequently, how are they trained?
- What specialist equipment is available should you need it?
- What % of the staff are agency workers, speak your language?
- How will specific needs be met; religious/cultural beliefs, pets, pub!?
- What’s the menu like? Can your guests use the facilities? Do you have special dietary requirements? Can you have a fridge or tea making facilities in your room?
Check with the Local Authority that you have an ‘eligible need’ and that the home does not cost more than they would expect to pay for your care need as it is possible that they will NOT cover the cost if your funds reduce
We can make sure that when you are choosing care you arrange and control the care of your choice, for as long as you need it which may avoid a move at a later date.
- Is there a trial period?
- Can you see a copy of the contract; does it include everything you need or will there be extra charges for things like transport, hair, nail care, outings.
- What are the contractual fees during hospital stay or periods following death or a move?
- Top ups – if your funds reduce will the home accept your personal budget from the Local Authority without the need for a top and put that in writing?
- What happens if my money runs out or the needs change?