What are my care and support choices?
- By Nick
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When you first need to consider getting care and support services, either for yourself or for a loved one, it can be quite overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start and who to turn to for help.
Depending on the severity of the care and support needs, the council may be able to help organise appropriate services and provide funding, but this is reserved only for the most serious needs. The local council can still advise and give a list of local services. There are also other support services who may be able to help get you started in your local area.
For those who do qualify for council-funded care and are able to remain in their own home, you may be offered a personal budget to help pay for homecare services. These homecare services can be arranged directly by the council so that you don’t need to do anything, However, you can also opt to use your personal budget to arrange your own private paid carer, who can either work for you as an employee, or you can contract with them if they are self-employed.
You can also opt to work with a care agency. There are pros and cons of choosing to receive your care via an agency . If you let the council provide your homecare for you, it is likely they will use an agency. You can also work with an agency as a self-payer or with your personal budget.
Another option, rather than using a private paid carer or a care and support agency, is to get help from a family member or friend in an informal capacity. Our care system couldn’t cope without the help of family carers, and many people with care and support needs are looked after in this way, particularly early on when needs are less complex. This could involve having someone pop in a couple of times of a week to help you around the house, or more frequent visits, or even, eventually, you may live in the same house as someone who will care for you. Family carers are very important, but it is also key to make sure that their own health or life isn’t being compromised. A good solution can often be a mix of family help as well as some paid care and support to give a balance.
Other Care and Support Options
As well as help to manage at home, there are other services available to support you with your care needs. For example, there are many support groups that are available in most local communities. These are good for meeting people who have had similar experiences or have the same conditions, so that you can talk and share ideas, which can be very useful. These groups can prevent isolation and help people to make new friends or take up new hobbies. Take a look at our directory of services and see if there is something near you.
It’s important to have hobbies and interests, as this makes day-to-day life more interesting and gives a structure to your week. Just because you may have a disability or are feeling the effects of ageing, there is no reason to give up the things that you love. You can continue to live independently as much as possible. This could mean finding some suitable employment, if relevant, or choosing to learn a new skill.
It also means being able to get out and about. There are dedicated services available to help with things like weekly shopping trips, organised day outings and even holidays, all with a care and support structure in place to make sure that you’re well looked after. Look around your local community and see what is available to help with transportation to make getting around easier.
You can look at adapting your home to help you live independently without having to move. There are many aids and adaptions available to you, from large-button phones to mobility devices, to make every and any area of your life simpler. There are also care technologies that give you and your family peace of mind, such as alarms and sensors so that assistance can be sought quickly if needed.
Residential Care and Support
There may come a time when it’s not possible to stay at home any more, and at this point, it is worth considering your different residential care options. This includes sheltered or supported housing, which enables you to still have your own space but with on-site assistance; as well as a care home for those who require 24/7 care and support.
Throughout this website we go into each of these care and support options in more detail, so that you can make a care plan that is right for you, or your loved one, to provide the right care and support options at the right time, so have a browse around to get the answers you need.
- Published on May 07, 2018