Whats in this section?
Whats in this section?
What is Home Care?
For many people, it is vital to stay at home in their own, familiar surroundings near to friends and family. Remaining independent may be very important to you but can mean you need a little extra help.
Carefully chosen home care can often be the perfect solution to getting a little help whilst retaining a good level of personal freedom.
Why choose Home Care?
Reasons for choosing home care can vary. For example, sometimes, after a stay in the hospital, someone might find they need some help whilst recuperating. Others can find that a long-term condition or disability means they need some help at home.
How you access care at home can also vary. For example, after a hospital stay, someone may carry out a situation assessment to see if this type of care might benefit you.
You or those close to you might notice changes in your ability to manage the day-to-day things like preparing meals or looking after yourself. If this happens, speak to a home care agency to discuss your specific requirements. Alternatively, you can contact Adult Social Care.
Councils must carry out care needs assessments for anyone who might need help, the results of which can point you towards the right kind of help for you.
How Home Care can help you
Your local Adult Social Care Department can tailor the level of home care provided to meet your needs – ranging from visits once a day to more in-depth support. In addition, home care agencies can support with personal care such as washing and dressing.
Even those with significant health conditions can get skilled personal care that can enable them to stay in their own home. Some agencies will provide ‘live-in’ care, where a care worker will stay with you at home to support you throughout the day and night.
The Shared Lives service offers long term respite or day support for people either:
- within the Shared Lives Carer’s own family home
- or in the service user’s home.
Service users can either live with the family permanently or stay with them for overnight short breaks. Day support can even be for simply a few hours per week. The Shared Lives Scheme is usually available to any vulnerable adult over 18 who meets their local council’s eligibility criteria.
You or someone close to you should contact your local council or adult social care provider if you would like to live in a Shared Lives home and be cared for by a Shared Lives carer.
Finding Home Care
The United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) requires its members, home care providers, to comply with a code of practice. This code includes a commitment to treat customers with dignity and respect and operate at a level above the legal minimum required.
Use our search function to find home care providers that meet your requirements.
Social care regulations do not apply to cleaners, handypersons or gardeners. However, some home care agencies are increasingly providing staff who can help meet these needs too.
You might decide to employ a personal assistant to provide your care privately or have a member of your family who can provide the level of care you need.
However, the benefits of using a regulated agency include:
- assessing your care needs and tailoring a plan to meet those needs;
- advertising, interviewing and screening suitability of workers;
- arranging necessary insurance cover;
- providing training and development for care workers;
- managing workers’ pay, including compliance with the National Minimum Wage;
- managing employment relationships, including sickness, absence and disciplinary matters; and
- managing health and safety issues.
Appropriate home care from a quality provider is a great way to retain your independence whilst getting the help you need to stay happy and safe.
If your loved one requires round the clock support but would like to remain in their own home, Live-in care may be more appropriate.
Understandably, many would prefer to live in their own home than move into a care or nursing home. However, if your relative is feeling increasingly isolated or lonely, then the local authority will take this into account in addition to their physical needs; this could mean a care or nursing home may be the better option.
Live-in care typically offers short-term respite to carers who may want to have a holiday or need a break. However, live-in care can also be helpful when an urgent need for care is placed upon families.
Hospital discharge also relies on having the right amount of care and support in place in your loved one’s house.
In this regard, a live-in carer would help with recovery and rehabilitation. Live-in carers may also work alongside professionals in the community, but this may only be for a limited period.
Paying for Home Care
Information on what you can expect to pay and how charges are worked out is available through your local council. This information must be present when a needs assessment is carried out. In addition, the individual paying for the care must provide written confirmation of how the charge is calculated after a financial assessment.
People with more than £23,250 in the capital, including savings, have to pay the total cost of care. This is because the value of the home is not counted when working out charges for non-residential care. You should inform adult social care if your savings are likely to fall below this amount.
Government regulations cover financial assessments to ensure your finances are assessed consistently and transparently. This ensures people are only required to pay what they have been evaluated as being able to afford.
Adult Social Care can work with you to assess your finances, in addition to carrying out a full benefits check. They can also assist you in claiming your full benefit entitlement.
You don’t have to contact the council to arrange home care services; you can contact providers directly.
For more information on paying for home care see paying for care.
Other ways to fund your care and support
If you do not qualify for a financial contribution from Adult Social Care, there are various ways in which you could consider paying for care and support. It’s essential to seek independent financial advice when considering funding options for care.
Specialist care fees advisers are independent financial advisers that focus specifically on care funding advice. Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), they take shared responsibility for the suitability of any product they recommend.
The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) aims to assist consumers in searching for accredited financial advisers specialising in financial needs in later life. Search its website www.societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk/find-an-adviser to find a SOLLA-accredited independent financial adviser.
The Money Advice Service is a free and impartial money advice service set up by the Government. It offers free and unbiased advice. Tel: 0300 500 5000 or web: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk