What care services are available?

What care services are available?

Coming out of hospital
If have been referred to adult social care services by the hospital, and you meet Health and Community Services’ eligibility criteria, you will go through Health and Community Services’ enablement service which aims to deliver benefits to older people with physical and/or mental health problems by helping people to live as independently as possible, preferably in their own home.

Intermediate care – both residential and community-based – aims to give recovery and rehabilitation support to help older people regain their independence when they come out of hospital or, just as importantly, prevent them going unnecessarily into hospital. Reducing the strain on hospitals and their therapy resources, intermediate care means older people will not have to move into residential care (at least in the short term) or stay longer than desirable in hospital.

When it is provided through a residential service it includes care staff, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, additional support provided by the local GP surgery, social workers and community nurses. This combined resource helps older people to regain their independence so that they can move back into their own home, feeling confident in their ability to manage for themselves with any necessary additional support.

Intermediate care, including care home fees, provided by the NHS, is free. It can be provided in your own home or in a care home and is usually limited to a maximum of six weeks. Age UK Hertfordshire offers a hospital discharge support service which provides practical and emotional support.

Care in your own home
Home care can be arranged following an assessment by Health and Community Services to help with personal care, such as bathing, dressing and some domestic tasks. This can also be specialised, for example home care aimed at people with dementia.

All home care providers must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who inspect agencies against the regulations and essential standards of quality and safety. The CQC regulates and inspects all care homes in the UK. Up to date information about approved home care providers is available at: www.herstdirect.org

You may wish to arrange your own care at home. Ask your care manager about the possibility of receiving a direct payment. You will still need to have an assessment of your needs, but then you can decide whether you would prefer to arrange the services yourself.

Home adaptations and improvements may be needed to make life easier. This may include simple adjustments or more major changes, such as installing a hoist over the bath, or making a home suitable for wheelchair access. The council may support you to make these changes if you need the adaptation to maintain independence. For major adaptations you will need an assessment by a Health and Community Services occupational therapist.

It is possible for a choice of meals to be delivered to your home if you are having difficulty in cooking for yourself. Special diets and diets based on your culture can be catered for. Frozen meals can be provided, so that you can defrost, heat and eat when you wish. This is also known as ‘meals on wheels’. Contact Health and Community Services or your district or borough council for more information.