Christmas, New Year and into 2019

30 November 2018

During the winter when the nights are long and the days are cold many older people experience loneliness more than at any other time of the year.

Families and friends get together and may become aware for the first time that, in addition to being lonely, their Mother, Father, Grandparent or a friend needs care support.

Discussion with the older person is the first step, how do they wish to be cared for? There are two main choices, to be cared for in a residential care/nursing home or to be cared for in their own home.

In such a discussion, many factors come into play. How much does the preferred care support cost? Is help available to help pay for it? What is available in the area in which they live and how to begin to find out the answers to these questions?

Recent media publicity of care providers shutting down with short notice, CQC reports on care homes that are not performing well, care homes closing, newspaper articles telling about missed visits by care staff leading to neglect, all lead to fear and anxiety.

Advice for any person or family contemplating the need for care is to research before the need is critical.  Check out the local care homes, look online, get a brochure and even pay a visit.

Find out about your local home care agencies. Visit and have a chat, check out their hourly rate, does it change for weekends, nights or Bank Holiday cover?

Ask both options questions such as ‘how do you recruit your care staff?’ What is your staff turnover?

It may be helpful to read the latest report from CQC and/or you can ask around for local opinion on the particular service being considered.

As a customer of any care service you have the right to change providers if you are not receiving the service you are paying for. The idea of changing is often seen as onerous, especially if it involves moving from one care home to another but if complaints are not rectified and the poor situation being experienced continues, there is no choice.

It is easier to give a home care organisation notice and if a care package is being funded by a local council, then they should enable a change of provider within a reasonable time frame.

Able Community Care is a Live-in Care provider established in 1980 and we have provided over 70 million hours of care in people's homes. Each week we publish a Care Newsflash giving information about the UK care sector and other information which may have been missed from the daily newspapers.