Knowing you need to arrange care at home for a family member can be a difficult time for all involved. This may be the first time you have had to organise care and there is a great deal of information to take in. But please be reassured there is also a great deal of support in Suffolk available for you and your family.
One of the first places I would start looking for support would be a local Suffolk based charity relevant to the care needs you are looking for. Age UK Suffolk are a great place to start for information for those over 60 years +, they not only offer advice on local services but also various benefits you or your family member may be entitled to. Suffolk Family Carers are also an amazing charity who offer information, support, groups, events, training to those unpaid carers (of any age). There will also be very local charities specific to your needs, such as the Debenham Project, this charity supports the family members of those within Dementia.
If your family member has been admitted to hospital and you are now looking for care at home, depending on your circumstances, frequently Home First will be put into place. In many cases this is for reablement, 6 weeks after discharge from hospital carers will visit up to 4 times a day to keep you independent. In other circumstances Home First may be in place until you can arrange for a care provider to take over the care. We are very lucky in Suffolk, not all counties offer this service.
Make sure that your family member is getting all the benefits they are entitled to, again Age UK are a great place for going through these. Here are just a few of the benefits available –
· For travel, there are three options available – a bus pass, blue badge or travel vouchers (to be used on taxis).
· A council tax discount is offered for someone who has been medically certified as having a permanent condition that affects their intelligence and social functioning (eg. Alzheimer’s or severe learning disabilities). A 100% discount is given if the individual lives alone, a 25% discount is given if they live with another person who is eligible for council tax.
· Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service offer Safer Home Visits to the elderly and vulnerable people. This can include providing and installing 10-year smoke alarms, along with great advice.
If care and support needs are required, you will need to arrange a Care and Support Assessment from Suffolk County Council, first speak to customer first. They may be entitled to financial help (if they have less than £23,250 in savings) then they have a choice of either getting Suffolk County Council to organise their care or receiving direct payments. Direct payments will allow you to choose who you want to provide the care, you will be able to check the home care company on CQC for their rating and do your own research into the quality.
Caring for a family member can take up a great deal of your time and money. If you care for someone in their or your home, you may entitled to a carers assessment and a carers allowance. Again, Customer First would be the first port of call to get these organised.
It really can be a stressful and confusing time trying to arrange someone’s care and support and trying to do this in the most cost-effective manner. There is a great deal of support (both financial and mental well-being) to help you through this journey. Write a list and take one day at a time, making sure you look after yourself in the process to enable you to still provide care and support to your family member.