“How can I find the right care for someone else?”
If you believe an elderly person is beginning to struggle alone at home, this could be a parent, grandparent, friend or neighbour, it could be a good idea to arrange social services to carry out a free “needs assessment”. This is available to anyone irrespective of income, savings and individual needs. You or the person in question can arrange it but if you do it for them they will have to agree to be assessed.
It will be carried out by an occupational therapist or social worker, either in a telephone interview or face to face meeting. A paper or online self-assessment form may need to be completed which would be followed by an interview.
Once this process has been taken a care plan with care support solutions will be provided. The assessment will help provide guidance so is worth completing even if care has to be paid for.
“What kind of support is available?”
There are a number of services someone could be entitled to, to meet a specific persons individual needs. Many of these are means-tested but could mean someone is eligible for home carers or a personal assistant. Services to help someone continue to live at home include:
- Getting in and out of bed
- Bathing and washing
- Preparing meals
- Fitting equipment and adaptations to your home, such as stair lifts and bath seats
- Going to a day centre
“Will they have to pay for care services at home?”
Likely. Most local councils will charge for the services they provide at someone’s home. Some place an upper weekly limit on the amount they have to pay.
The local council will first need to work out how much an individual can afford to pay and ensure they are left with a reasonable level of income.
“Where should we look for help if we’re arranging care ourselves?”
The UK Home Care Association can give you details of home care providers that follow its code of practice.
There are some private agencies that help with things such as, cleaning, shopping and personal care. These agencies must be registered with the Care Quality Commission. Local adult social services department should be able to provide you with details of approved agencies.
Asking friends or relatives for recommendations can also be a reliable source.
Employing a Carer
If you are considering employing a care worker directly, a contract of employment will need to be drawn up. This is so both parties understand clearly what is expected as well as being aware of financial considerations such as National Insurance contributions.
Following new pension rules you may now be legally obliged to contribute towards a pension for the carer.