There are a number of different ways care can be accessed. You could have care at home, join local day care centres, have rehabilitation care or have care in a specialist environment such as a care home.
The start of this is usually a Social Services assessment of the type and amount of care that is needed. Once written up, this assessment should be made available to the individual and their family to see if they agree with it. A personal care plan is then put in place, and this should not only include care and medical needs but also social needs as well. The Care Act has brought the actual needs of the individual into the spotlight.
We have access to individuals who offer a review of this assessment/care plan and will discuss it with you. They have experience in social work and/or nursing and effectively offer an independent assessment. If they feel that the assessment should be challenged they will help you through this process.
There are three forms of funding care – through personal contributions, through Social Services Funding and through NHS Funding.
Care after a hospital stay (rehabilitation care) is often provided free of charge as it is paid for by the NHS. The amount and timing of this care will be set out.
Care at home is the preferred route for many, as they like the familiarity and privacy. However, this can often lead to loneliness if the right social needs are not also met. So in addition to actual care, a social agenda (being taken out, help with gardening, meeting others) is essential. This may even be just someone sitting watching television with them. Social Services funding is usually limited in this area to those most in need and then just a few hours a day.
There are numerous day centres in the local areas, and they often offer transport. They offer socialising in a safe environment and often offer a wide range of activities. Generally these have to be privately funded.
Care homes have not had good press in recent years due to poor levels of care, but thankfully these care homes are in the minority. There are a lot of care homes offering all types of good care, whether they are family run places or luxury homes offering almost a five star hotel service. They offer a safe environment enabling social needs to be filled and for people who have come in from living on their own, offer a welcome that can noticeably improve their outlook and health.