Coping with the reality of your loved one requiring long-term care can be an emotional time.
Everyone wants the best care possible for a loved one and there are so many questions: where do you start?
Increasingly, throughout our care home services, we are approached by people in this situation, not sure where to turn and what to do next. Through providing this information, without obligation, we hope it will assist to signpost you through this complex system.
What type of care does my loved one need?
If your loved one requires short or long-term care home services and is currently in hospital then generally hospital personnel will advise you of this. Given the pressures the NHS is currently under, there is generally not much time to find a service; time that you would hope to normally take to find such a service for your loved one.
If your loved one is living at home and is struggling to care for themselves then consult your GP and social services for advice. If they require care then the reasons why this is the case should be explored to identify any underlying health issues such as an infection or the onset of dementia.
How do I go about finding a care home?
Local authority social services departments generally have a list of care homes that they work with.
All care homes are registered and inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC website www.cqc.gov.uk provides details of care homes including the latest inspection report, as part of the inspection process care homes are given a rating of ‘inadequate’, ‘requires improvement’, ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
How can I check the quality of a care home?
There are now a number of care home review websites were customers who have experience of a particular care home service can post their reviews. One of these is www.carehome.co.uk.
Most care homes do have websites now and include testimonials from people who have experienced their care home service, you can see a selection of testimonials that our care homes have received on our website..
There is a lot to consider when choosing a care home, the Age UK checklist ‘care home checklist’ is a useful tool to help you choose the right care home, it is available at www.ageuk.org.uk and is well worth a look. Information and advice is also available by contacting Age UK on 0800 169 2081.
How do I fund the care?
If you have assets worth more than £23,500 then you will be expected to meet the full cost of your care. If you are assessed as requiring services provided by a registered nurse at the care home then you will be entitled to an NHS-funded nursing care contribution which will be made from the NHS. You will be expected to fund the difference between the full cost of care and the NHS funded nursing care contribution.
CareAware is a one stop shop for free advice on care fee funding for older people, their web address is www.careaware.co.uk, they can also be contacted on Tel: 0161 7071107
If you have assets under £23,500 then you will need to contact social services which will arrange for a care needs assessment to be conducted. Your home generally will not be included in this if your partner/close relative still lives there.
If you prefer to live in a care home that costs more than the local authority would usually pay, then this can be done if there is someone else who is willing to make up the shortfall. This is normally referred to as a third-party top up.
Here's a link to AgeUK Care Home checklist - Helping you to choose the right care home
Here's a link to Settling into a care home a publication by Independent Age