All posts in Home care

What Good Care Looks Like

Every older person has the right to live safely, in a warm, clean environment and be treated with kindness and respect for their individuality.

Unfortunately despite some good care practice carried out by dedicated staff, the media has frequently highlighted the poor care and shocking treatment given to some of the most vulnerable people living in our communities.

Someone you know may need or be receiving care and support. They may be either living in their own home, a care home or somewhere else and you need to know what good person- centred care looks like, to root it out if you are looking for it or ensure they are receiving it already.

It is important that everyone feels able to say if they are concerned about someone else’s safety or the care they are receiving (or lack of it) who perhaps is unable to speak up. Some things to look out for that demonstrate good care are: iStock_000004809750Medium

  • People are treated with privacy, kindness, dignity and respect and seen as individuals before their disability, illness or needs. (“We cannot care for people unless we care about them and we cannot care about them, if we don’t know who they are”)
  • Care records are kept and include what is important to the person, what is important for the person and how they like to be supported
  • Needs and expectations are reviewed regularly with the individual and/or the people who know them well
  • Eating and drinking well and maintaining a healthy weight. (People’s likes and dislikes for food and drink are investigated. Drinks put within reach and people with a memory impairment reminded to drink)
  • The right medication is given at the right time and taking it observed
  • Well trained staff are available and training includes dementia care (80 per cent of people living in care homes have a form of dementia or severe memory problems)
  • The right sort of equipment is available
  • Meaningful and age appropriate social activities are available and informed by choice.
  • Relatives are made to feel welcome and included
  • Financial security is investigated
  • Care home is integrated with the local community (e.g. joint gardening or history
  • Leadership is strong and supportive. (Senior staff set a good example)

If you have a concern about someone else’s care and the danger is immediate dial 999. If the danger is not immediate, contact their Local Authority and ask to speak to the Adult Safeguarding Team.

If you are concerned about the quality of care provided by a care or nursing home or domiciliary provider, contact the Care Quality Commission on 0300 061 6161 or www.cqc.org.uk

Keeping Older People Safe From Elder Abuse – Institutional abuse

Elder abuse has again caught media attention. It seems that far from improving, the situation has got worse. This post is part of a series on elder abuse to keep you my reader informed about the signs to look out for.

It is about institutional abuse which can occur in any setting where one or more people receive a service on a daily or residential basis, for example in a person’s own home, a day centre, care home or hospital ward. Places where we trust staff to care for our vulnerable elderly ones with care and compassion.We all have the right to feel and be safe, regardless of our age or circumstances. We therefore need to be vigilant to ensure older people, their property and belongings are safe and they are treated with the dignity and respect they have a right to and deserve.

What is institutional abuse?

Institutional abuse arises from repeated instances of poor care of individuals or groups of individuals. It occurs when there is poor professional practice as a result of routines, systems and policies within a care setting, which override the needs of the people it is there to support. The service may not meet the necessary professional standards or there is a training need for a more personalised approach.MP900178843

Examples of behaviour

These include: inflexible routines set around the needs of staff rather than people using the service, for example requiring everyone to eat together at specific times, limiting bathing to times that suit staff rather than the individual and no doors on toilets. These situations can arise through lax, uninformed or punitive management regimes. The behaviour is cultural and not specific to a particular member of staff.

Possible signs of institutional abuse are:

  • Set times for refreshments with no opportunity to make alternative arrangements outside these hours
  • Inappropriate approaches to continence issues such as toileting at prescribed times as opposed to when a person wishes to use the toilet
  • No evidence of care plans that focus on an individual’s specific needs
  • Staff not following care plans
  • Lack of privacy for example leaving the door open when someone is
  • taken to the toilet
  • Dehumanising language that does not treat a person with dignity and respect
  • Overuse and abuse of medication
  • Locking people in rooms
  • Failure to promote or support an individual’s religious or cultural needs
  • No access to personal allowance or personal possessions
  • Failure to knock on a person’s door before entering for example their bedroom or bathroom
  • A couple being prevented from living together.
  • Inflexible visiting times

Maisey’s Story

Maisey is confined to a wheelchair and lives in a care home. She needs to be taken to the toilet as soon as she feels the need to go, to avoid having an accident and does not like wearing pads. While this is made clear in Maisey’s care plan, staff regularly ignore her requests to use the toilet until it is too late. When she complains about this to staff she is told it’s because she always asks when they are busy and, while they respect her choice not to war pads, if she did so accidents could be avoided.

If you are concerned

If you have a concern about someone else involving harm or abuse and think the danger is immediate phone the police now on 999!

If it is less urgent, you can either:

Phone the police on 101 or

Contact the older person’s Local Authority Social Services Department

If you are not sure, ask yourself whether you would report it if it were a child. If the answer is Yes, report it

How to make the home safe for mum and dad

One of the major problems for the elderly in the home is trips and falls. According to the CDC, one out of three adults aged 65 or over fall each year, resulting in injuries ranging from hip fractures and head trauma to grazes. To make the home safer for mum and dad, you should consider the following:

To begin with

  • Suitable footwear: Make sure non-skid, secure footwear is worn by the elderly in and out of the home. Also, have your feet measured when buying shoes as foot size can gradually change.
  • Sudden movements: Loss of balance can result from sudden, unsteady movements when getting out of a chair or bed, for example, which is why slow, steady movements should be promoted.
  • Hazards: Take time to look for any possible hazards, including clutter, loose carpets and spilled liquids.
  • Lighting: Access to a light switch should be available before entering a room.

Visit the doctor

Regular visits to the doctor are important for identifying potential problems and will generally include an examination of vision, hearing and mental status. Other health factors to consider include:

  • Mental health and mobility: Mental health problems such as dementia can lead to mobility difficulties affect decision making.
  • Medications: Lethargy or wooziness can result from some over-the-counter drugs. Be aware of this and consider moving away from medication to relevant exercise or nutritional changes.
  • Health issues: Arthritis, diabetes, low blood pressure and bone-weakening conditions such as osteoporosis can lead to falls in the house. Be aware of this and make sure safety guards are in place.
  • Occupational therapist: These are medical professionals who can help to improve the safety of daily living tasks for the elderly.

Safety tips for around the home

To improve safety for mum and dad in the home, you may wish to consider an emergency response system, using colours to indicate changes in surface levels or having a phone extension in each level of the home. Other rooms where you need to consider safety include:

The bedroom

  • Nightlight: Include a nightlight in the bedroom to ensure seniors can see what they are doing.
  • Clutter: Remove and store away clutter such as clothes and shoes.
  • Bedside rails: These provide a sturdy surface when transferring to and from a bed row when getting changed.
  • Adjustable bed: These are easily adjustable and will often improve comfort and safety in the bedroom.leg-lifters

The kitchen

  • Easy to reach: Keep safe to use kitchen items easily accessible.
  • Cords: Ensure any wires or cords are not likely to result in trips or falls.
  • Stool: Have a step stool at hand to aid the elderly when reaching for highly placed items.
  • Non-slip: Try not to use floor polish or wax which make the kitchen surface slippery.
  • Handy devices: Consider safer utensils for mum and dad such as kettle tippers, knob turners and thick-handled cutlery.

The bathroom

  • Non-slip surface: Because the bathroom can often be slippery, it will make a big difference if you install non-slip mats inside and outside of the tub.
  • Grab rails: These can provide support in the shower or when transferring from inside and outside of the tub. Placing one next to the toilet can also help when getting up.
  • Shower chair: These are ideal for stability in the bathtub and will also increase comfort.

Your parents are unique

No two elderly people are the same and the needs of one person will ultimately differ from another. It is therefore important that you consider the unique needs of your parents and implement home safety changes according to their needs. If you would like more information on home safety for the elderly, or if you have any further advice, please let us know in the comments.

This article was provided by Carol Robinson who works with Manage at Home, a leading provider of mobility aids for the elderly and disabled.

Keeping Older People Safe from Elder Abuse – Neglect

We all have the right to feel and be safe, regardless of our age or circumstances, so you may be surprised to know that incident reports of abuse towards older people are increasing and many are not reported. It is therefore important that you are vigilant to ensure older people are safe and treated with the dignity and respect they have a right to and deserve.

Unfortunately I come across abuse all too often and typically nothing has been done about it until I ask the following question ” Would you report the matter if your concerns related to a child? Why should it be different for older people?” 91 years of life

A definition of elder abuse

Action on Elder Abuse, defines abuse as: “A single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to another person”

Elder abuse is a complex issue

Elder abuse is a complex issue and often involves more than one type of abuse. For example financial abuse may also involve emotional abuse if someone is being threatened as well as complying with inappropriate demands for money.

Over the next few weeks we will look at the different categories of elder abuse that you are likely to come across in relation to older people in a bit more detail so that you know what you are looking for.

Lets begin with neglect.

What is neglect?

Neglect is a form of abuse whereby people responsible for providing care for someone who is unable to look after themselves, fail to meet their needs. Neglect can be intentional or can occur as a result of not understanding what the person’s needs are. Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, wilful neglect and ill treatment became a criminal offence.

Neglect occurs when there is failure to provide food, shelter, clothing, heating, medical care, hygiene or personal care, and the inappropriate use of medication. Examples could include not giving someone proper assistance with eating and drinking, or failure to provide a warm, safe and comfortable environment, failing to provide adequate personal care or ignoring someone’s health needs. Repeated calls for assistance may be ignored or someone’s care plan may not be read or followed.

Possible signs of neglect are:

•​Urine smell in a person’s environment

•​Pressure sores

•​Depression

•​Lack of stimulation or prolonged isolation

•​Person has unkempt appearance or is dressed inappropriately

•​Signs of malnourishment or dehydration

•​Person has untreated medical condition

•​Not being helped to the toilet when assistance is requested.

•​Home has insufficient or no heating

•​Under or over medication.

Paula’s Story

Rose has Alzheimer’s and lives in a specialist care home for people with dementia. Her only relative, Paula, is unable to visit very often as she lives more than a hundred miles away and works long hours. When Paula visits her aunt she is concerned to find that Rose does not have her own dress on and it is too big for her. Her hair had been cut badly and not been styled and her lower dentures were missing. Paula is aware of a strong smell of urine in the home and observed that her aunt was wearing an incontinence pad that needed changing. The most worrying thing for Paula was that her aunt appeared depressed and withdrawn.

Rose’s care was clearly being neglected and her niece was advised to report the matter to the Safeguarding Team at Social Services

 What to do if you are concerned about elder abuse

If you are concerned or have a concern about someone else about harm or abuse and think the danger is immediate phone the police now on 999!

If it is less urgent, you can phone the local police or contact the Local Authority Adult Safeguarding Team. You will find these numbers on-line or in a  telephone directory.

Here Come The Baby Boomers Changing Elderly Care

Have you thought about where and how you want to live as you become older? My interest in the issue was ignited by watching the film Quartet, a joyous, entertaining and uplifting story about a group of retired musicians who live together in a care home.

The care home is an opulent manor house in beautiful and extensive grounds and while the thought of living with like minded people who share a common interest appeals to me, I felt rebellion rising when one of the residents had to negotiate the time he and his friends could return after a meal out. I haven’t done that since I was a teenager and I didn’t do as I was told then! 

Care homes are unlikely to suit most Baby Boomers

Now I know a fair bit about care homes from both a professional and personal perspective. Enough to know that I most certainly do not want to live in one. The notion of being in a care home where underpaid carers tell me what’s good for me, encourage me to play bingo and put me to bed at night before I am ready because they are due to hand over to the night staff doesn’t bear thinking about. I actually hope to live in my own home until I leave feet first, but if I need care and support that might not be possible.

If I am one of the unlucky one in three people who will need care and support when I grow older, my options will be limited. This is because as a professional I have worked hard and gained a reasonable pension. This leaves me with too much income to access help from the state if I need care  but not enough for a carer to move in and look after me or for me to move in to one of the expensive assisted living apartments that are springing up everywhere. Sound familiar?

Some of us have already become carers for our parents or seen friends in this situation. Often, we’ve seen one parent outlive their partner by many years. We’ve seen stigma and we’ve seen dementia and it brings home to us some of the negative possibilities of old age.

Where we live is crucial in terms of ‘living’ rather than existing and we live in a diverse, multi-cultural society where older people come from different social, religious and economic backgrounds. We will all have different ideas about the kind of place we want to live in and the kind of care we want to receive.

Thoughts about future elderly care

I have been thinking about getting together with a group of friends to buy and adapt a large property into self contained apartments, one of which could be reserved for up to two carers, the cost of which will be shared between us (so care can be affordable and brought to us rather than being moved to the care) We could also share the cost of a cleaner and property maintenance and make optimum use of technology to maintain our independence, provide a less oppressive living environment and limit the cost of care.

Shaping future care for older people

Have you any thoughts or plans about how and where you’d like to live when you’re older, or are you sticking your head firmly in the sand? Isn’t it up to us to figure out where we go from here? I would love to hear your comments – let’s pool our ideas so we can begin to shape our future. Us Boomers have changed most other things so why not where and how older people live?

 

My Wishes For Elderly Care in 2013

As 2012 draws to a close I am saddened by what I see around me regarding the care of older people and wonder  where the humanity in caring has gone and why things so essential to the essence of humanity, as dignity and compassion cannot be managed in one of the richest societies in the world.

I frequently come across examples of neglect and institutional ageism in my work, such as an elderly person being discharged from hospital to a care home in only a hospital gown with bare feet, another with such a nasty bed sore they were unable to sit down. A nursing home resident who asked for the toilet and was told there was no need as he was wearing a pad, another who had her discharge from hospital delayed for a week so she could be rehydrated via a drip because staff hadn’t realised she had not been drinking enough. I could go on.

And so looking forward to a new year I find myself reflecting on the changes I would like to see in the way we care and support older people in 2013.

Here then are my New Year wishes for elderly care 

  • I wish national and local Government and the NHS would take responsibility for their gross failure to prioritise and resource basic standards of care for older people. The Government needs to stop sitting on the fence and make a decision about long term funding of elderly care. Putting the burden of rising costs of long term care on the taxation or National Insurance system must be considered as  the costs of care should surely be shared across society as a whole to provide the dignity we seek.
  • I wish commissioners would realise that older people, especially those with dementia, need longer to help them with daily living tasks and to make decisions. More staff are needed in hospital wards for older people, care homes and to support older people in their own homes and yes, it will cost more.
  • However, I believe dignity is only partly about money. It is also about heart and recruitment of staff at all levels working with older people needs to test attitudes and training needs to focus on basic standards, such as making sure older people are eating and drinking enough. We need to rely on health professionals and social care staff to be consistently kind.
  • I wish regulators would rate the care services they review with more precision than merely ‘meets or does not meet minimum care standards’ so informed choices can be made.
  • I wish management in local government would be honest about the reality of the funding shortage and stop pretending they deliver a person centred service. They have to put money before individual needs so stop the rhetoric that pretends otherwise.
  • I wish the bad care providers would learn about person centred care from the good ones or be driven out of the market.
  • I wish as a society we could prioritise the value we give to our carers, especially the thousands of unqualified staff who are paid little more than the minimum wage for skilled and demanding work. We pay more for people looking after our money than we do for people looking after our most vulnerable citizens.
  • I wish you my reader would consider the likelihood of yourself or family needing long term care, as 2 out of 3 of us surely will. Think about what kind of things would be important to you if you need care. Discuss it with those closest to you and encourage your elderly relatives to do the same. Decisions often have to be made during a time of crisis and it will be so much easier if loved ones know what the person would want.
  • Finally I wish we could all adopt zero tolerance towards poor care practice of older people. It is time to act , so complain, use social media to name and shame (honestly) change care providers if necessary, write to your MP, do whatever you have to do to stamp out unacceptable care standards.

Finally, I wish you a peaceful, healthy and purposeful New Year and compassionate, dignified care for your elderly loved ones and clients.

Care of the Elderly at Home – Winter Warming Tips for Older People

Winter has now arrived and begun reeking havoc on the roads, depleting our bank balance with extortionate energy bills and generously spreading coughs and colds to innocent victims. Whilst Christmas provides diversion to these seasonal miseries it will soon be over and we will all be trying to loose the weight we have gained over the festive period and managing a financial hangover.

However, before we start  feeling too sorry for ourselves let’s spare a thought for older people and the family members who care for them, because no-one will feel the effects of winter more than they will. 

Older people’s circulation is less efficient than ours and they have less subcutaneous fat to keep them warm. Their income is usually much lower to pay for heating bills and their social and family networks reduced by the loss of friends and loved ones who have died or moved away. Icy pavements (real or imagined) and fear of falling, compounds the problem, as does the demise of small grocery shops and local post offices that gave older people a reason to go out for a short walk.

The result is that most older people do not go out much, if at all, in the winter and become prisoners within their own four walls. As a result their limbs get stiffer and more painful through inactivity and the lack of social interaction and human company makes them feel lonely, isolated and depressed  (Depression is under diagnosed for older people)  So what can we do?

Here are my top tips for helping your elderly loved ones during winter:

  • If the older person has friends or neighbours ask them to pop round. Older people often don’t like to bother people but love it once company arrives (you don’t need to tell them you initiated it)
  • Make sure the person keeps warm. Thermal vests, leggings and socks make good Christmas presents.
  • Make a bulk supply of nutritious homemade soup and divide it into ‘pour and store’ freezer bags so all they have to do is get it out of the freezer and reheat.
  • Make sure they have  a supply of salt or de-icer products. These are often hard to get hold of once the snow and ice arrives.
  • A good supply of books, magazines, games and crosswords will keep their ‘little grey cells’ exercised.
  • Pop in to see them as often as you can. I know it’s a busy time but you will feel hugely uplifted by giving  pleasure to an older person and you don’t have to stay long. Little and often is better than a longer visit every few weeks.
  • Contact their local Age UK office and find out what clubs and day centres there are for the older person to go to. Most provide transport.
  • If you live a distance away buy them a cheap or second hand computer and set up Skype so you can keep in regular contact. It can also be used for shopping, playing games and reminiscence. Their carer or neighbour may be able to help them. If they don’t have either, recruit a local volunteer from their local college or advertise in a shop.
  • If there are other older people living in the same street why not see if you can invite them over for a cuppa and a mince pie? The festive season provides a good opportunity to start the ball rolling.
  • Finally, if you are taking care of an elderly loved one, make sure you look after yourself too. Have regular breaks and use on-line forums such as the Carers UK Forum to maintain social contact.

How Do You Know if Care is Person Centred?

You will know by now that I am passionate about care for older people being person-centred. But how do you know if the care your elderly loved one receives is person-centred or not?

Knowing what person-centred care actually means for older people provides us with a good start. It’s about treating people as an individual, treating them with dignity and respect, enabling them to make choices about their care, joining things up, with them at the centre and focusing on what is important to them from their own perspective as well as professionals deciding what is important for them.

We recently reviewed the care of one of our clients who lives in a nursing home and the feedback we gave the Manager provides a good example of person-centred care. Here are some of the things we highlighted:

  • Residents were not ignored or given platitudes when calling out. I watched a carer leave what she was doing to reduce a resident’s anxiety. She sat next to her; made eye contact, held her hand, spoke calmly, ensuring she was comfortable before returning to the task in hand.
  • A resident asked if she could go to the toilet and the carer was with another resident. She was reassuring and told the resident she would be back. It was said with confidence and the resident appeared to trust it would happen and it did.
  • I have often witnessed carers telling visitors and residents how long they have been on shift, how busy they are etc.- I did not hear this kind of conversation
  • Carers were confident in moving and handling and kept residents at the centre by gently explaining what they were doing.
  • Carers were respectful and treated residents with dignity.
  • Care plans lacked the depth of person centred planning, and were scant with some details. They had the medical details but lacked what was important to the person and information about their life that enables carers to personalise care even more. Its not just the end result such as ‘pain relief’ needed, but  – Why? When? and How?

Some of the questions that need to be asked to answer these questions and ensure care is person-centred are:

  1. I prefer to be known as:
  2. I have lived in these places during my life:
  3. During my life I have held the following roles (include work, home and voluntary)
  4. The skills I have gained during my life are:
  5. The things I enjoy doing most are:
  6. The person who knows me best is:
  7. Family and friendsI care about are:
  8. This is how I would describe how I usually am:
  9. The most important thing you need to know about me is:
  10. In order for me to feel happy and content I need:
  11. In order for me to sleep well I need:
  12. This is what is most likely to upset me:
  13. When I am upset I tend to:
  14. What may help me relax is:
  15. When I am not well I need:
  16. When I am in pain I need:
  17. To help me understand what you are saying I need:
  18. The most important thing you can do for me is:

How to Create a Personalised Care Plan

Do you worry that if your Mum had to go into a care home, they wouldn’t understand how she likes to take her tea, wouldn’t realise she has a favourite bed jacket etc? It is often the little things that make the biggest difference when it comes to providing care and support for an elderly person and making sure these things are documented in their care plan will help ensure they are not forgotten and give you peace of mind.

If your elderly relative requires a care service, either in their own home or a care home, the provider is required  to make a care plan by  the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who are responsible for ensuring national care standards are met.  From my personal and professional experience, this often ends up being a list of what a person needs. For example a good night’s sleep and the Why? When? and How? get forgotten. For example, think about how we like to settle for the night? Most of us like our pillows in a certain way, to have a drink and to feel fresh. If we were elderly we may like a reassuring chat before we go to sleep, the closeness of our hand being held, we may like to sleep on a certain side, and to have a hot water bottle to ease the pain in our back. We may prefer a duvet to blankets and so on. I think you get my drift!

Before a care plan can be produced it is important for have an assessment of your relative’s needs to inform their care plan. Local Authorities (LAs) are required to provide a Community Care Assessment for people who are vulnerable by way of age, disability or infirmity, regardless of whether they qualify for social care funding. So if you don’t have an assessment already you need to contact Adult Services at your relative’s LA and ask for one. Make sure you also ask for a written copy! If your relative is being funded by the NHS (Continuing Healthcare) ask the CHC nurse for a copy of their assessment instead.

Person-centred care planning should:

  • Enter the elderly person’s world and imaginatively consider the situation from their perspective.
  • Include the things that are important to them. This is especially important for people living with dementia, as they may be unable to give detailed information to carers themselves.
  • Be produced in partnership with the elderly person or if they lack capacity, with someone who knows and cares about them, such as a partner, relative or friend.
  • Be mindful of the way the person is communicated with and give them time. It is important for carers to be sure that the person understands the message and that  time is allowed to think through what has been said.
  • Provide the person with alternatives from which to choose but not too many, as it will confuse them

Busy care providers usually produce a care plan as part of their admission process or when planning service implementation. They tend to use their own template as a framework, so you will need to make them aware that you want to be included in the process. If the care plan is already in place tell them you would like to personalise your relative’s care and include the things that are important to them. This is exactly what I did for my own mother who is in a care home.

There are many different things that you would want to include for your own elderly loved one’s care plan. This is what I love about people. They are all different. There will be nearly eight billion of us by the end of 2012 and everyone unique with their own genetic make-up. How cool is that!

So keep thinking about your elderly loved one and the things that are important to them. Always keep them involved and at the centre of the planning process and they will have a great personalised care plan to guide their carers. Don’t forget to review it from time to time, as needs and expectations will change.

Paying for Care – De-mystifying Social Care Costs

There is a great deal of confusion around our complicated care system for older people. In my experience, most people don’t fully appreciate that adult social care is a means tested benefit and over 50% of people requiring care will need to part or fully fund it themselves. 

Adult social care funding has become a significant issue over recent years. An independent care commission was set up to consider the amount people pay towards their own care and have made proposals to the government. There is currently much political debate about this and how the extra money needed will be paid for.

In order to simplify things I have identified the key points that currently apply to make things easier to understand.

Community Care Funding for Residential care

  • If you need Residential or Nursing Home care and have savings (capital) of less than £23,000 it is likely that you will be eligible for financial help towards the cost of your care so long as you have been assessed to need it.
  • Anyone who has capital of their own above £23,000 will be assessed as being able to pay the full cost of their care home fees.
  • Those whose capital is between £14,000 and £23,000 will be expected to make some contribution from their capital as well as income (state pension, Attendance Allowance, fifty per-cent of any private pension or other income)
  • Your relative should not have to make any contribution from their capital below £14,000, but will still be expected to contribute from their income (state pension, Attendance Allowance and fifty per-cent of any private pension or other income)
  • Different financial rules apply for couples and single people.
  • Care in a residential home can be free for up to six weeks if it is arranged as part of “intermediate care” after hospital treatment.
  • All local authority Social Services have their own systems, allowances and procedures, although every person funded by Social Services is entitled to a personal allowance. You can check out current rates at www.turn2us.org.uk.
  • A personal allowance cannot be used to pay top-up for fees or for services that should be included by the home as part of the care service.
  • For the first twelve weeks after Social Services have made an assessment, the value of your relative’s property will be disregarded in their calculations. The purpose of the twelve-week disregard is to give your relative time to sell, let or raise money on their property to fund care costs.
  • If your relative claims Attendance Allowance and Social Services are making an increased contribution to their care fees, the allowance is withdrawn after the fourth week and reinstated at the end of the disregard period.

Community Care Funding for Home Care

  •  The situation for Community Care funding for home care  is even more complicated and varies between each local authority. This is the infamous postcode lottery that the government has pledged to reform. Until then eligibility is determined as much by what each Local Authority has a policy of  paying for, as by their need
  • If you have more than £23,250 in capital (not including the value of your home) you will be charged the full cost of your care.
  • If your capital is less than £23,250, your income will be assessed but you must be left with at least the basic amount of Pension Credit plus 25%.
  • Some councils are more generous and increase the capital threshold or set a maximum amount they expect anyone to pay for their care.