Why choose homecare?
People choose homecare for a variety of reasons. Some people return home from a period in hospital to find they can’t manage temporarily until they are fully recovered. Others find that a long term condition, disability or becoming increasingly frail means they can no longer cope as well as they did. For many there just comes a point when a little bit of extra help will keep them living comfortably and safely at home.
How you access homecare can also vary:
- If you spend time in hospital it may be that, before you are discharged, a social worker may carry out an assessment of your situation to see if homecare will benefit you.
- You, or those close to you, might notice changes in your ability to manage the day to day things you normally cope with easily. For example, it might become more difficult to prepare meals or manage to get washed and dressed easily.
Councils have a duty to carry out a community care assessment for anyone who might need help, which is very useful for all your subsequent decision making. It will equip you with information that will be invaluable in finding the right help.
Some people also qualify for state funded care, while others pay for a homecare service out of their own means.
Paying for homecare
Each local authority should publish and make available to users and carers clear information about charges and how they are assessed. This information should be made available at the time a person’s needs assessment is carried out and, after the means test, written information should be provided detailing how any charges are worked out and payable.
In most cases, people who receive funding or services from their local council will usually make a contribution to the total cost of care that a council’s social services department arranges on their behalf. Alternatively, you may be offered a personal budget which allows you to source and pay for homecare services which, in the past, would have been supplied by your council.
If your care needs do not meet your social service department’s eligibility criteria and have been arranged privately you should check carefully the fee rates charged and exactly what the payment you make covers.