Ten Tips to Help You to a Better Care Service

Searching for the care service that is right for you is not an easy task. There are dozens of leaflets, websites and telephone numbers all with information that discusses aspects of the care system in the UK.

This page is meant to be a general information guide covering the main factors of interest to anyone who is seeking such information.

Ten Tips For a Better Care Service:

  1. Consider care options before you actually need a care service. Look at local care agencies and residential care homes and request a brochure from those you may possibly be interested in.
  2. Look at your financial situation and find out if you would be able to claim any government help via your local authority/NHS/other state funding. You would be able to claim the Attendance Allowance (non income based) if your care needs fulfil the criteria, obtain an application form from your local Department of Social Security and have a look.
  3. If you have a large amount of savings and would not be eligible to claim any financial help other than the Attendance Allowance, contact a financial advisor who is CF8 qualified to advise you if an Immediate Care Plan is a good product for your situation.
  4. If you are "cash poor" and "house rich" and wish to be cared for in your own home, take advice re equity release. Age UK offices are a good organisation to contact in the first instance. Age UK telephone number will be in your local phone book.
  5. If you are considering a care home and intend to sell your home to pay for your care, contact a CF8 qualified financial advisor/Age UK office for further help and information re protecting your financial position.
  6. If you decide on a care home, visit at least three. There are many questions you should consider asking each care home and if you call Able Community Care on 01603 764567 or email to Ablemg@aol.com and request a free "care home - questions to ask sheet" we will be happy to send one to you.
  7. If considering care at home, contact at least two care organisations to come and meet with you and your family/advocate. There are questions you should ask of each home care organisation before making a judgement as to which company to use. If you call Able Community Care on 01603 764567 or email to Ablemg@aol.com and request a free "home care - questions to ask sheet" we will be happy to send one to you.
  8. If you have a particular health problem and wish to remain as independent as is possible ask your health centre for access to the specialist nurse. The specialist nurse system does not apply to all illnesses and conditions but the following may be available: Parkinson's Specialist Nurse, Admiral Nurse (Alzheimer's Disease), MS Specialist Nurse, Continence Specialist Nurse, and Palliative Care Nurse.
  9. Paying a local person "cash in hand" to help you with your care needs could lead to you being designated as an employer and your carer as being your employee. This may mean compliance with the legal, regulatory system for employer/employee so seek advice. The Citizens Advice Bureau would be one organisation who could advise you relevant to your personal circumstances.
  10. Information in hand before a crisis keeps you in control and allows you to make considered decisions. Many people who need care as a result of an unexpected crisis situation make the wrong decision for themselves or a family member and regret it later. Make your wishes known to your family and friends so they can help you to achieve the choice of where and how you wish to be cared for.

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