Going into care is a time of concern for many, and that’s before you’ve even begun to tackle the burning questions you need answering when it comes to care. In an overwhelming situation it can be all too easy to nod politely and agree with all that’s put forward to you, but knowing your options and understanding the care system can help to safeguard you and your future, as well as those close to you.

From how you apply for care, to managing your finances and how care plans are devised, we’ve put together some of the most commonly asked care questions to help you understand just how the care industry works.

What are my care options?

There are plenty of different care options which can all be tailored to suit individual requirements, different care providers will be able to provide you with different services so it all depends on your individual needs.

The most common types of care are; companionship, day and night sits, dementia care, domiciliary, live-in care, personal care, respite care and practical home help. Help with appointments and out of home help is also often available. Care is designed to promote independence and allow those in care to lead as normal a life as possible.

How and where do I apply for care?

If you believe you are in need of care, or a family member or friend is then they will need to apply for a needs assessment. These are conducted by social services local to your area and are used to determine the care you require and whether you need any additional equipment to help aid you.

Once you are aware of the care you need then you can get in touch with your chosen care provider to discuss your requirements further. Care provider staff are highly trained and are on hand to answer any additional questions you may have, and will work hard to find a solution which bests suits you.

How do I pay for care?

How care is paid for depends on your circumstances and the type of care you need. Following on from your needs assessment, a means assessment will be carried out to assess your finances. Your local social services authority will look at your income and your assets to determine the price you should pay.

At present, care is capped at £23,250 although this is due to rise to £72,000 in 2020. This means that if you have more than this current amount in either savings, income or assets then you will be required to pay for all or part of your care.

How much does care cost?

How much care costs really is down to the individual, their circumstances, the care provider and the care you need so putting a price tag on it can be difficult. Your needs and means assessment will help you establish a rough price before you speak to a care provider.

Will I have to sell my home to pay for care?

A common misconception is that you will have to sell your home and all its wares to pay for care, whilst some people do choose to sell their assets to help out with costs you are under no obligation to do this.

For example, if you choose home care then you will obviously need your home in order to receive care. If you have a partner or dependent living in your home then the cost of your home isn’t taken into account during the means assessment which can relieve financial pressure as the amount of ‘free’ care you receive may increase.

Are care plans bespoke?

When it comes to care everyone is different and individual needs should be catered to, and help ensure the very best care is provided. Care plans are often designed around promoting independence and allowing those in care to live a happy, healthy life aided by carers.

How are care workers matched with patients?

It’s essential that carers get along with those in their care and vice versa, so establishing an early relationship is of the utmost priority for both parties involved. Pairings are often matched through common likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests to ensure that both are comfortable with one another.

If you are going into a care home then you should always visit it beforehand to get a feel for the place and gain a better understanding of how they work and the kind of lifestyle you will lead there. It can be a good idea to visit at different times of the day so that you can gain a better overview.

What qualifications do staff have?

All carers will be trained to adhere to the latest industry standards, however many providers continue to train care staff to ensure they are always up to date with the latest developments in the care industry.

Some staff may choose to specialise in a chosen area such as dementia or dealing with Parkinson’s disease. However, you should always rest assured that a carer will only be matched with a patient whom they are sufficiently trained to deal with.

Going into care is naturally a daunting time but equipping yourself with the best understanding and knowledge of the care industry can help to ensure you know where you stand when it comes to your wellbeing.

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