Often people think that they cannot afford the cost of care to remain in their own homes. However more information is now availableabout paying for care enabling people to make an informed decision.
The information around financial planning for care can be confusing, but researching and gathering information about the different options available, can make decisions a lot easier and clearer.
Everyone has the right to assessment by their local Social Services, to see if they meet the requirements to enable them to access financial resources available from the government. These assessments will include a Social Care Assessment and a means-tested Financial Assessment.
Publicly Funded Direct Payments
Once the assessment has been completed and you have met the criteria for public funding, your Social Worker may offer you direct payments. Should you choose to take direct payments, your local council will pay you directly. This enables you to have control of which company provides your care and their payment. Direct Payments aim is to help maintain your independence and give you a wider choice of who comes into your home to provide the support you require.
The Government has plans to increase the number of people getting direct payments and increasing the number who benefit from this service. As long as you are eligible for support with funding the council MUSToffer you the choice of receiving direct payments, rather than just providing you with their service.
Questions often asked:
How will Direct Payments benefit me?
Direct Payments will allow you to:
- Make more decisions about the care you receive.
- Decide which company will provide the care
- Plan care and services at a time which suit your lifestyle
- Control the length of the visits and how often they happen
- Decide between employing an agency or your own staff (Personal Assistant)
How can I find out if I am eligible for Direct Payments?
In the first instance you should contact your local Social Services, and they will appoint a Social Worker to assess your needs and manage your case. If you meet the criteria to receive help from Social Services, you can then receive payments to ‘purchase’ your own care.
- Eligible individuals include clients who have the capacity, or a responsible person who is willing, to manage the payments on your behalf
- Disabled people aged 16 or over, assessed as needing care.
- A person with parental responsibility for a child assessed as needing care.
- Carers aged 16 and over.
What if I am not able to manage a direct payment on my own?
Your appointed Social Worker will usually direct you to their support services, or a local support group, who can help you plan and setup your care. They may also provide you with care in the interim period, so you have time to plan and arrange your own care according to your specific needs. The services offered vary but can range from a list of local Domiciliary Care Providers to advice on employing your own Personal Assistant. If you would rather choose a responsible individual to help, you are entitled to ask them to manage the direct payment scheme on your behalf.
What if I require more care, than the value of my direct payment?
Since you are ‘purchasing’ your care directly, you can add to the amount of your direct payment with your own funds. This way, you not only purchase your care from the agency or person you wish, but can also ‘purchase’ services outside of those in your assessment, should you wish.
For further information on the Direct Payments scheme, contact your local Social Services, or visit the Easy Guide to Direct Payments setup by the Department of Health.
Independent Living Fund
The Independent Living Fund is funded by Central Government and supports people with disabilities. The fund enables them to maintain their independence and live in their own homes, instead of a residential care setting.
Payments are used to cover the cost of employing a personal assistant or engaging a care agency/company, to provide the care and support needed to live in their own home and take an active role in the wider community.
There is a list of things that the fund cannot be used for and you can read more on the Government website - https://www.gov.uk/independent-livingfund
Privately Funded Care
If you are not eligible to public funding or would rather pay for your care privately, you will need to find and purchase your care independently. This can be both time-consuming and overwhelming considering the different options available and often conflicting information.
If you would like help with financial planning, we strongly recommend contacting an impartial Financial Advisor who specialises in Care Fees. They can discuss options with you such as:
- Equity Release
- Funding Care Fees
- Estate Preservation
- Wealth Preservation
For more information on funding, please follow this link http://www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect/guide/practicalsupport/Pages/Chargingforcareathome.aspx
Caring For You in Your Home
We provide support to a wide variety of clients all with differing needs, wants and wishes. As a Care company we recognise choosing to have someone come to your home to provide support to either yourself or to your elderly parents is not an easy decision. Living independently at home is something most of us would like to do for as long as we are able, however when this becomes difficult andyou need a little support we are here to help you and talk through all aspects of the assistance we can provide.
If you would like to talk to someone about your needs, please contact
one of our team who will be happy to come out and see you for a No Obligation assessment and costing.