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.

A Smoother & Faster Reablement Pathway from Hospital to Home

‘Bed blocking’ in NHS hospitals is a major problem. According to NHS England around 5900 beds are occupied by older people who are medically fit for discharge. They remain in hospital because they don’t have a suitable package of care in place to allow them to return home. That adds up to over 170,000 days of delays for people with a medical need for those beds.

And for too many older people the next stage after a stay in hospital is long term residential or nursing care. This isn’t always what they want and may not be their best long-term option. Happily, it now isn’t inevitable.

Often, what is needed is an interim phase of assessment, support and therapy as a stepping stone between hospital and home. Working with Yeovil Hospital Trust, Altogether Care has been chosen to introduce a new Home First approach at Sherborne House.

Home First is a support and reablement programme involving the NHS, local authority and the voluntary sector. It offers short term reablement support, either at home or in a care home setting. The aim is to help older people recovering from an operation or health trauma to regain the mobility and capability to live more independently.

In late 2017 we opened a 10 bed Home First unit at Sherborne House. It offers ‘Pathway 3’ support (the highest level of Home First support) for up to 28 days.

During their stay the temporary residents receive intensive support from a multi-disciplinary team involving physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other specialists to aid their recovery as they progress to the next stage of their care.

Residents are fully involved in planning the reablement support and in deciding their preferred destination at the end of their stay.

A Success Story

Since the unit opened we have helped 60 people. We are proud and delighted that 33 of these have fulfilled their wish to return home, with whatever ongoing support they need.

“Home First is about giving people options,” says Caroline Sharp, manager at Sherborne House. “Without the reablement support we are able to offer most, if not all, of these people would have gone straight to residential care or remained in hospital using a bed that is badly needed. They may have been stuck in hospital because they were not immediately able to look after themselves at home.”

Home First helps to speed up the discharge from hospital for many patients. This is vitally important because the longer older people spend in a hospital, the more likely it becomes that long term residential or nursing care becomes the only viable option.

“Feedback from our NHS partners, residents and families has been overwhelmingly positive. For everyone at Sherborne House it’s incredibly motivating to be making such a to the quality of life in people’s later years” added Caroline.

Further feedback from Somerset County Council has also proven that the programme has been a great success, as the results of this Home First trial were recently presented to the council’s health and wellbeing board by the strategic manager for adult social care, Tim Baverstock. Tim says that as a direct result of the programme, current residents have become more active. He adds “without getting these people out of hospital, the system in Somerset may have broken”.

For more information on the Home First programme at Sherborne House, please contact us.

Some recent day to day activities