Some Important Questions About Your Job

How was work today?

Was it interesting and a bit challenging, or dull and routine, just like every other day?

Did you feel like you did anything worthwhile or something that made you feel valuable, proud or happy?

Are you looking forward to work tomorrow or are you desperate for the weekend to come around?

And what about the future? Is there a long-term demand for your skills, or could the work you do be swallowed by artificial intelligence or robotics?

In the Right Job?

How you answered those questions may say something important about whether or not you’re in the right job. If your answers made you reflect on the fact that your work is dull, unfulfilling and insecure, the good news is that you have an alternative.

It can’t have escaped your notice that we have an ageing population. And as people live longer, more of them will have care needs. Care workers do worthwhile and fulfilling jobs, they are much in demand and that situation isn’t going to change any time soon.

What Do We Mean by Care?

Care needs cover a wide variety of situations. For the majority of people, it’s help with everyday tasks so that they can continue living active and fulfilling lives; doing more of the things they enjoy and less of what they find hard to manage.

Others need more specialist care because of illness, dementia or disabilities. Care workers make an enormous difference to the quality of life for these people. Carers may feel challenged, occasionally exasperated, but they never go home thinking that they’ve been wasting their time doing something that doesn’t make a difference.

Is it for Me?

There are plenty of opportunities to join the care sector and do something worthwhile. Employers are more interested in the values and enthusiasm you bring than any prior care experience.

There are different directions you can take your career. With the right training and support you can specialise in different types of care. There are also pathways into supervision and management for those with the ambition to climb the career ladder. The Skills for Care website has plenty of information.

If you’d like to find out more, or maybe see for yourself what our care teams do, we’d love to hear from you. You can contact us here or look at our current openings here.

Could Live-In Care Give you the Best of Both Worlds?

When continuing to live in your own home becomes too difficult residential care may seem like your only choice. And for a large number of people it’s an ideal option. Not having to worry about household chores, help with personal care and guaranteed company and companionship are just what they need.

But for some people, having to leave their own home is a last resort. Home is where their memories are; it’s at the heart of their family, friends and a community where they feel they belong. The potential upheaval of moving home to unfamiliar surroundings can seem a daunting prospect. Residential care might also mean having to say goodbye to much loved pets.

For these people, live-in care can be an attractive alternative to residential care.

How Does Live-In Care Work?

As the name suggests, your carer will live in your house with you so that you have round the clock care and support. Your carer can take care of domestic tasks such as cooking, cleaning and shopping as well as helping with personal or medical care if needed.

Other than that, your home is still your home. Family and friends can drop in as before and you can continue to take part in the leisure and social activities you currently enjoy.

For people needing end of life care, live-in care can also be an alternative to a hospice.

What Are the Benefits?

In short, live-in care means you can get as much help and support as you need without having to change where or how you live. You also have the advantage of companionship and emotional support from a specially trained carer.

Live-in carers are special people. Obviously, the relationship between you and your carer is important. The Altogether Care live-in care service will help you choose a carer who can support your personal and medical care needs as well as being somebody you can get along with. Find out more about our live-in care service or contact us here.

Elderly Care Funding – Your Step by Step Guide

Many of us are likely to need some level of care support as we get older. And the reality is that most of us will have to pay for some or all of that care. Uncertainty over how care funding rules work can cause anxiety and may lead to people not seeking the help they need.

This guide briefly explains how the process works. While there’s no easy way to avoid care costs it’s always helpful to understand how your care needs will be assessed and how your local council will decide what you will need to pay.

1. The Care Needs Assessment

The first step is to have your care needs assessed by your local council. You can request a care needs assessment by contacting the adult social services department. You can also do this on behalf of a relative as long as they give their consent. The assessment is free.

You may also have a care needs assessment if you are about to be discharged from hospital. If you need medical rather than personal care the NHS will pay. This would normally apply only if you have a disability or complex medical condition.

2. The Care Plan

The assessment will look at your physical and emotional needs. Based on these needs, your preferences, and what you would like to be able to do more easily with care support, the local council will draw up a care plan. They will most likely consult your doctor or any other health professionals you come into contact with regularly.

The care plan will specify the help you need and any modifications that might be needed to make you home easier for you to live in. It may say whether the most appropriate option is for you to receive help from a care at home service or residential care.

3. The Means Test

The council will ask about your income, savings and other assets to assess how much you need to contribute to the cost of your care. If you are planning to use a care at home service, the means test will not include the value of your property.

If you are going to enter residential care the cost of your property will be included unless your home will continue to be occupied by your spouse or partner, a relative aged over 60 or a child under the age of 18.

If you live in England and have assets of more than £23,250 you will have to fund all of your care. Below this level the local council will meet some of the cost. If you have assets worth less than £14,250 the council will pay for all of your care.

Giving away assets to family members to avoid care fees is unlikely to work. It is often possible to defer payments so that they are collected from your estate after you die.

4. Paying for Care

If you are eligible for council-funded care they can arrange this for you, or you can receive direct payments and pay for the care yourself. If you are self-funding, your council can still provide advice and help you choose a reputable care provider.

Altogether Care is a family-run business providing a range of care services to people in Dorset, South Somerset and Hampshire. If you have any questions about the support available, costs or any other aspect of care please get in touch, we’ll be happy to help.

Joy for All Companion Pets at Sherborne House

Sherborne House residents welcomed a new addition to the home earlier this month – a Joy for All Companion Pet Cat.

Joy has certainly been a big hit with the residents. Many of them spend hours talking and interacting with her.

Joy is a wonderful robotic stuffed toy cat that is lifelike and engaging, as well as being cute and cuddly. Being battery-powered means that Joy can act and move like real cat when petted or hugged.

Research has linked animal assisted therapy to improvements in mood and quality of life for elderly people, especially those with dementia, for quite some time now. However, the research jury is still out on whether robotic pets are as effective as their flesh-and-blood counterparts. Nevertheless, having a few in Sherborne House has certainly had a positive effect on residents and their relatives during their visits.

Some recent day to day activities