Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Private Care – What is private care and why it is important?

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Growing older or living with dementia or Alzheimer’s need not mean leaving your precious home. Private care can help you stay in your home, allowing you to remain comfortable and independent. But what about the expense? Care will, of course, incur costs, but you can seek help for this. Let's take a look at how you can get help with the financial aspect of your care.

Three Options

There are three ways to arrange care. You yourself can hire a care assistant; this way, you would be the employer. You could use a reputable agency such as Guardian Carers to find you the right carer to suit your needs; they will assist you with the selection and administration. The third way to begin arranging care, is to contact the charity Age UK who may be able to help you to find the care.

Private Care

Needs Assessment

Whichever way you decide to arrange your own care, you should contact your local council's Adult Social Services, and they will carry out a care needs assessment. This assessment is free from all councils, and your council must do what they can to help you with your care. So, what will happen during the care needs assessment process?

Firstly, a social care professional will visit you and talk to you about your health, both physical and mental, and how you manage everyday tasks. They will ask you about your abilities, what difficulties you have, and any potential risks. They will discuss your routine, the social and emotional aspects of your life. They will ask about your family and friends, and your support network. They will discuss your religious views, and your cultural background.

Importantly, they will ask you what you want. What are your wishes and personal needs? How do you want your care to be? If you already have a carer, a family member perhaps, the assessor will ask them their opinions and needs, for example, respite care might be the answer. The assessor will also talk to your GP, to get the full picture of your health and your needs now and in the future.

You can prepare for your assessment by making a list of what you want from your care. Reminders to take medicine perhaps, or help with getting in and out of the bath. Perhaps your social and cultural needs are at the forefront, weekly worship or continuing to see a dear sibling or friend regularly.

Private Care

You can have a friend or family member with you during the assessment. Once the assessment is complete, a care plan will be made for you. This plan covers a breakdown of your needs and what care plan is right for you. Following this, there will be a means test to determine what financial help you are eligible for. Then you can arrange your care, and continue to stay in the home that you know and love.

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