The Role of Social Services
If you need more help and support at home, or are considering moving to sheltered accommodation or a care home, you should contact your local social services department who will organise a care assessment to identify the type of care that you need. You have the right to a care assessment no matter what your ability to pay for the care you might need.
Once your care assessment has been completed, social services will be able to advise you on the type of help they are able to offer.
Can I stay in my own home?
If you wish to stay in your own home, the council should make every effort to make that happen. You may be entitled to meals delivered to your home, help adapting your home to ensure your safety (everything from stair lifts to fire alarms), help with heating your home and even help with garden maintenance.
If you need a higher level of support, social services can arrange for a carer to visit your home, with frequency depending on your level of need.
What if I need to go into a care home?
If your care assessment indicates that a care home would be the most suitable place to fulfil your level of care and you are happy with the decision, your local social services will organise a financial assessment, looking at your income, capital and assets in order to determine how much you may have to pay towards your care home fees. You should make sure that you are receiving all the financial benefits to which you are entitled, because the financial assessment will assume that you are in receipt of all correct benefits and will calculate your contribution to the care home fees accordingly.
For more information about care home fees and your entitlements, visit our financial advice pages.
Following your financial assessment, social services can help you choose a care home and even if your council is contributing to the care home fees, you still have the right to choose which care home you live in. However, for the social services to support your choice, you must select a home which is suitable for your care needs, which has a vacancy, which can work contractually with the council to provide your care and which will not charge more than the council normally pays for someone with your level of needs.
Can I go to a care home in a different area?
If the social services in your area have assessed your needs and agreed to pay the care home fees, they are still responsible for your care home fees if you wish to move to a different area. Many people select care homes closer to family or friends and as long as the care home selected fits the criteria mentioned above, the funding will continue.
If the care home you have selected does not have a vacancy, you can make arrangements to stay in an alternative care home or remain in your own home until a place becomes available. Your local council should be able to help with both options including home care if they are helping with your fees.
Written for yourcarehome - author: Mark Sadler
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