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Considering your Care Options

It is essential that you choose the right care options to suit your personal needs.  A good place to start is to consider the degree of help you need, as this will help determine the amount of care and where you receive this. This will also help you think about the costs involved to provide this level of care.

It is important to remember to also include what care might be needed in the future, and how this will be provided.  For example, someone may explore the options of supported housing in a complex that also has a care home on-site so that if their need for care should increase, the move could be carried out with the minimum of upheaval.

The formal process generally starts with a Care and Financial Assessment carried out by your Local Authority (Adult Care Services).  Everyone is entitled to this Assessment. It is carried out to calculate the older person’s care need and includes details of their financial resources. Many people find it useful when considering care, even if the Local Authority is not necessarily funding the care, as it can provide information and contact details for agencies and providers who may be able to assist you in your needs.  They may also highlight other benefits that you may be entitled to.

Different levels and locations of care could be provided, a brief explanation of which are noted below: -

Care in your home
If your care needs are minimal, this could be the most appropriate and cost-effective route.  However, if your assessed needs include 24-hour assistance, a live-in nurse or care worker, this could prove to be very expensive.  You would also need to consider whether the person needing care would be happier to receive this in their own home, whilst having access to funds in order to pay for this.  If a greater degree of care is required or special medial equipment is needed, accessibility and mobility issues should also be taken into consideration.

Sheltered Housing/Supported Living
Sheltered Housing or Supported Living can be the first step into receiving care services.  It is a good option for people who are still fairly mobile and independent, but would like the extra security of having a warden on site or being able to call for help if needed. Sheltered Housing can be a group of self-contained flats or houses that are purpose-built, which you can rent or buy.  Some accommodation also offers community areas where people can mix with their own age group and enjoy social activities, which can support a person’s ability to remain independent where possible. 

Care Villages
These are a recent addition to the care sector and are predominantly privately-owned purpose-built sites that combine the independence of sheltered housing with other on-site services, such as dining areas and restaurants for meals, medical support with an on-site carers service if required, housekeeping, transport access and various social activities. Some sites offer independent properties such as separate houses or bungalows, and some offer a range of flats within the main building – rather like a hotel.

Care Homes
If you should need more constant, day-to-day care provided on a residential basis, then these homes provide accommodation (usually in the form of bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms), meals, in-house social activities, and extra help co-ordinated by a team of care workers and support staff.  These can be run by private companies or by the Local Authority.

Whilst residential Care Homes will always have Care Assistants, they do not generally provide registered or more advanced nursing care.  They will have connections with a local GP to provide health and medical support within the community.

Care Homes with Nursing (Nursing Homes)
Residential Care Homes with Nursing provide a higher degree of medical care from Registered Nurses on site.  This may be more suited if there is a particular medical condition that needs specialist care and it important that any Home you consider will be able to meet your specific care needs. Some Homes offer specific facilities for dementia care, for example. As they provide more involved nursing care, they can be generally more expensive, although this can vary region by region.


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