1. Where can I get advice and information about care providers?
Information is available from a number of sources such as Citizens Advice Bureau, Social Service Departments, Independent Care Advisers, telephone directories, specialist directories and the internet. However, it is important that people receive independent advice regarding the most appropriate care provider according to an individual’s specific care needs.
2. What is a Care Adviser?
A Care Adviser is an understanding professional who will listen to your needs, assess your individual care requirements and give the best possible advice on suitable care options. It is important to speak to a care adviser who is truly independent and does not accept commissions from care providers. An Independent Care Adviser will provide unbiased information and advice according to individual needs. The Association of Independent Care Advisers (AICA, tel 01483 203 066) maintains a register of members, all of whom adhere to the AICA Code of Practice, and will advise you of your nearest Independent Care Adviser.
3. How much is care going to cost?
Costs will vary greatly according to the type and level of care required, and the geographical location. Fees in a care home with nursing, for example, can vary from £450 per week to over £1,000 per week. It is advisable to speak to an Independent Care Adviser to address your individual needs.
4. Where can I get financial advice?
A number of Independent Financial Advisers specialise in advising
on long-term care. Before taking advice, it is recommended
that you establish your IFA does have this specialist knowledge.
The Association of Independent Care Advisers (AICA, tel 01483 203 066) maintains a register of specialist long-term care IFAs.
5. Is my relative entitled to financial assistance?
Depending on their circumstances, financial assistance is available to older people. For information on benefits, the Benefits Enquiry Line is a useful source of information – 0800 882200. For further advice, it is recommended that you contact an Independent Care Adviser.
6. What type of care will be appropriate on a long-term basis?
The answer to this question will depend on a number of factors according to individual requirements and circumstances. Options include care at home, a care home, sheltered accommodation or a care home with nursing. It is important to take independent advice before making any long-term decisions.
7. How do I know what to look for when choosing care?
Choosing care is a very personal decision and there will be issues specific to each individual situation when making decisions regarding care.
It is important to make a short list of factors that are important to you or your relative. However, there are a number of issues that you should particularly take into consideration. For example:
- Is the home/care agency registered to provide appropriate care?
- Does the home/care agency have a good reputation locally?
- Are the care provider’s terms and conditions clear?
- Do you understand the fee structure?
- Is there a clear complaints procedure?
- Are copies of inspection reports available to you?
- Are care plans in place and are these regularly reviewed?
8. Can the hospital discharge my relative before we have found care that the whole family is happy with?
Acute hospitals have an agreed policy to address this situation. If there is no clinical reason for your relative to remain in hospital and your chosen care home does not have any current vacancies, “transitional care” may be necessary. This is a temporary placement until a vacancy in your chosen home becomes available. The older person and his or her family will be given notice of a hospital’s decision to consider this type of placement.
9. Can I insist my relative leave his or her own home and move into a care home?
Older people have the same rights as every other adult throughout the UK and, as long as they are mentally capable of making and communicating their own decisions, no-one can insist that they leave their own home. If you are concerned about an older relative’s (or friend’s) ability to care for themselves in their own home, you should discuss this with their GP.
10. Do I need a Solicitor to arrange an Enduring Power of Attorney?
No, but it is advisable to take legal advice. For further information about Enduring Power of Attorney contact the Public Guardianship office, your local Citizens Advice Bureau or a Solicitor.
11. Who do I turn to if I am not happy with care received?
Every care provider should have a clear complaints procedure and it is advisable to initially try to sort out any issues or concerns with the Manager. However, if you remain dissatisfied then depending on where you live, you could speak with:
- The Commission for Social Care Inspection in England (0191
- The Care Commission & Scottish Social Services Office in Scotland (01382 207100)
- The Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales (01443 848527)
- The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland (028 905 20500)
If you require further assistance or would like to speak to the Independent Care Adviser this site recommends please call 0800 137 669 or complete the e-mail enquiry form.