There are many options available within the private and public sectors each offering various levels of support. Choosing the right care for a member of our family is something we only think about when we really need to but when the time comes, it can be a complex and stressful time. Families often have to negotiate an unfamiliar arena during what can be a time filled with emotion and worry. There is help out there and with careful research you will find the best options available for your loved one. However you will have to bear in mind that before any decision is made an assessment of their needs will have to be made to understand the level of care they require.
A care needs assessment is carried out by the local authority who have a duty to assess anyone living in their area that might need their services and will evaluate what care a person needs and where this care should be provided. Regardless of an individual’s situation, they cannot refuse to assess a person who appears to have enough money to pay for their own care. The assessment will evaluate the state of health of the individual, how this might change in the future and how this affects their day to day life. Consideration is given to the current help that they get from family and friends as this will guide the level of care that is required.
A care and support plan is produced from this assessment which will show what type of care is needed to meet the requirements of the individual, whether care can be provided in their own home or whether a move to one of the local nursing homes would be the best option. The needs are reviewed to decide whether the individual is eligible for local authority help subject to a financial assessment and each local authority will set their own eligibility measure.
Financial assessment is the next stage and involves capital as well as income. The financial assessment will vary depending on the type of needed and the total income from both private and state pensions, savings, dividends, pension credits and any other allowances as well as capital from property savings and investments will be reviewed. An individual who has capital over £23,250 will be expected to pay for their own care and if they own their own home they will need to sell their home to pay for the fees of their residential care. In April 2016, the passage of The Care Bill will mean that there will be a cap of £72,000 on the amount an individual will have to pay towards their care before state funding starts. The Government will also offer financial help to those with £118,000 worth of assets increasing the number of people that can apply for funding.
When all of the assessments have been completed you will be in a position to start looking at the type of care recommended that is available in your area and falls within your relative’s budget. Do your research thoroughly, understand what is important to your relative and what they need from their next home, after all they need to be happy there. Then draw up a short list and arrange to visit each one. This is essential as it’s the most important decision you and your loved one will ever make. Make sure you have a full tour of the building, that you check the rooms and communal areas and ask all the questions you have prepared. You need to ensure all of their needs, physical, emotional as well as social will be looked after giving them security and you peace of mind.