SO, You Need to Find a Care Home? – What Are Your Options?

The need to choose a care home normally follows a care needs assessment carried out by your local social services department or a discharge from hospital. In either case, you will have an assessment of your needs that will be used to create a care plan.

The Age UK website has plenty of useful information about how care assessments work and the support you are entitled to.

Following the assessment, there will be a means test to determine how much you will have to contribute to the cost of your care. If you are planning to move permanently into assisted living the means test will include the value of your property, but not if you will be receiving care at home.

If it is decided that residential care is the most appropriate option, the local authority will give you a list of local care homes. This may not be a complete list, particularly if the local authority is funding all or most of your care. It is usually a good idea to carry out some additional research yourself.

The internet is a good source of information and a simple search on Google will give you an extensive list of local care homes. You will also find online reviews to help you narrow your choice. Other things to consider are whether a home is convenient for friends and family to visit and how easily you will be able to access leisure facilities, a place of worship or whatever else is important in your life.

Paying for Care

If you have assets (normally savings and property) of more than £23,250 you will be expected to pay the full cost of residential care. The value of your property may not be included if you live with a partner, child, or a relative who is disabled or over the age of 60. This process can get quite complicated so getting help from a friend, family member or carer can be helpful.

When choosing a care home or care at home provider it can be helpful to look beyond your immediate care needs. If it’s likely that care needs will become more extensive over time, will you be able to get the extra help you need without having to find a new provider?

If you are in hospital, any care needs should be assessed before you are discharged and a suitable care plan should be put in place. Sometimes this may be a question of temporary or reablement support while you fully recover from your treatment. Again, this can be either care at home or assisted living. This care will normally be free of charge for up to six weeks.

We have published a number of easy to follow guides covering many aspects of arranging and funding your care. Subjects include funding your care, direct payments, knowing your rights and more about your care options. We would also be delighted to show you around any of our care homes, so you can see for yourself what supported living in a caring environment looks like. Contact us today on 01305 300 161 to arrange a visit.

What Will More Technology in Care Mean for Service Users?

Like most walks of life, the care sector is experiencing technological change. The pace of change is likely to increase rather than decrease.

For some, more technology and automation conjures up an image of a world where social care becomes dehumanised, where conversations are with computer applications and chatbots rather than people. Or where a friendly robot takes care of domestic duties. We believe the reality will be very different, and much more human.

If we look at the technology we are currently using it actually creates more human interaction rather than less. It enhances personal care rather than replacing it.

Care staff use handheld PDA’s to make sure they have instant access to information about service users, their care plans and personal preferences, wherever they are working. Record keeping and observations such as food and drink intake are made in a few clicks.

Real Time Information and Enhanced Care

Care staff have better information to work with and have to spend less time updating or sharing it. Which leaves more time to talk and to develop relationships. Using real-time information enables the delivery of better-quality care that is more focused on the needs of each individual.

Relatives are able to access information for greater peace of mind and have an involvement in care where relevant.

On a grander scale, technology opens the way to even more advancements in care. Artificial intelligence and machine learning ought to do a better job of predicting and planning care needs within an area. Virtual Reality is already helping to improve wellbeing for dementia patients by allowing them to experience environments they knew from years ago.

Good social care has always been, and will always be, something that has human interaction and relationships at its core. Technology will not change this; it will enhance rather than replace those interactions. It will also bring the entire ‘team around the person’ closer together, which includes care staff, health professionals, family and carers.

For anyone interested in better quality, more personalised care, technology is something to be embraced rather than resisted.

To arrange a visit to one of our care homes to see how we are delivering better quality care focused on individual needs, contact us today on 01305 300 161.

Beaminster staff are beaming

Five carers from Care at Home in Beaminster received awards for their individual contributions to care in their community on the 6th October at the 30 Years in Care event at Steepleton Manor.

Well done to Dawn, Jackie, Kellie,
Julie and Jodie!

Photo: from left to right;

Dawn Andrews: 5 year service award

Jackie Hill: Dementia Carer award

Kellie Gumbrill: Outstanding Contribution to Altogether Care

Julie Smith: Care and Compassion award

Jodie Hodge: Outstanding Achievement

30 Years in Care Celebration at Steepleton Manor – a Great Success!

On Saturday 6th October, Steepleton Manor Care Home near Dorchester opened its doors to the local community to celebrate 30 Years in Care.

The event was a great success, providing a chance for guests to look around the newly refurbished luxury assisted living rooms and facilities and raise money for local charity Hangers Heroes.

The Dorchester Town Cryer opened the event, following a performance from traditional Highland piper Piper 2000. Live music was provided by Poole Borough Band with songs from the likes of Oklahoma, Singing in the Rain and The Beatles, and Wessex FM broadcasting live from the home. Dorchester Classic Vehicle Club’s display of classic cars took pride of place in front of the home.

Residents, staff and guests enjoyed a performance of ‘The Gold Old Days’ Pantomime from Party Time Productions, with younger guests being entertained with balloon modelling from Totally Twisted and face painting from About Face. Jester Patch provided two lively performances for everyone to enjoy – complete with audience participation! We even managed to fit some Alpacas and Owls into the main hall for everyone to meet.

Altogether Care CEO Steve Knell said: “It was a real pleasure to showcase Steepleton Manor at such a special event celebrating 30 years as a family run care provider. It was great to see so many faces from the past and present – staff, residents, clients and entertainers. It made for a really special day.”

A total of £486 was raised for Hangers Heroes – we would like to extend a huge thank you to all performers, guests and care home staff for making the day a huge success.

You can view the photos from the day from visiting our Facebook page.

Employee of the Month – September

We are delighted to reveal our Employees of the Month for September for each of our care homes. Each month, care home managers at Sherborne House, Steepleton Manor and Weymouth Care Home will hand pick team members who demonstrate a passion for their role and go above and beyond to provide excellent standard of care and support to residents.

Our Employees of the Month for September are:

Sherborne House

Paul Parker

Paul is an absolute Superstar who helps out at the drop of a hat covering day or night shifts. He sings and dances with the residents and has no trouble raising a few smiles!

Weymouth Care Home

Stacey Williams

Stacey has worked at Weymouth Care Home for five years and continues on a daily basis to make a difference to so many resident’s lives with her hard work and caring nature.

Steepleton Manor

Alan Mead

Alan joined the team in 2016 and is simply a great nurse. He demonstrates care, compassion, competence, courage commitment and great communication.

Congratulations to all Employees of the Month!

Forget Residential Care, think of it as Assisted Living Instead

Everyone has their own idea of what life in a residential care home would be like. That view isn’t always based on fact or experience and often isn’t accurate. To help get over some of the preconceptions we like to talk about assisted living rather than residential care.

Care sounds a bit passive. But for most of our residents, living is anything but a passive experience. Assisted living means that we see our role as helping our residents live the most active and fulfilling life possible, free from the day to day tasks and concerns of running their own home. Personal care needs, if any, are taken care of by skilled and qualified care staff, but that is far from the whole picture.

Easy Access to Activities

One of the biggest advantages for our residents is that it’s so much easier to take part in a wide range of activities and excursions. It’s possible to end up with a busier and more active social life than when you lived in your own home. There are always people to go with and somebody takes care of the arrangements and transport.

A glance at a monthly activity programme for Steepleton Manor reveals a wide range of excursions and events. Many of these are free and some have a small additional charge to cover entrance fees, transport and so on.

The programme includes theatre trips, pub lunches, a balloon festival, food festivals and trips out to museums and local attractions. This is in addition to the regular craft and exercise activities at the Manor. How many of these would have been available and accessible without assisted living?

Even if you don’t fancy a trip out, there is plenty on offer. If you just want a pleasant stroll, Steepleton Manor is set in beautiful grounds for you to take advantage of, with picturesque landscaped gardens right outside your door.

For an increasing number of people, assisted living is far from being the last resort. It’s the result of a positive choice to get some assistance with everyday life while getting on with things you really want to do.

Contact us today on 01305 300 161 to find out more or arrange a visit to Steepleton Manor.

Some recent day to day activities