The right care for you

As you get older you may find it harder to manage at home on your own and may start to think about care. Your first thought may be a care home but it is important to make sure you cover all your options first.

If you feel you need some extra help or are unable to manage at home alone, you can ask Adult Social Service to carry out a Care Needs Assessment. This will be free regardless of your income and savings. You can also arrange an assessment for a family member if they are agreeable or they do not have capacity.

A care professional will usually come and see you in order to find out how you manage with day-to-day tasks. It may be agreed that your home needs adapting, for example adding stair lifts, handrails and moving your bed to the downstairs area. They may recommend that some form of carer visit you at home to provide you with support and care to help manage your needs.

If the decision is made that you need full-time care, and a home is the best option for you, make sure you do some research and to ensure the home is right for you. There are two kinds of homes:

  • Care Homes – Provide personal care such as washing, dressing, taking medication, going to the bathroom and may offer social activities.
  • Nursing Homes – Provide personal care with the addition of assistance from qualified medical staff.

Dual registered care homes accept residents who need both personal and nursing care and someone who might initially only need personal care but may in the future require nursing care will not have to change care homes.

There are also homes that will be registered for the care of people suffering from dementia.

Go through all the important things to you: is it close to family and friends so it is easy for them to visit, will it make you feel safe? And eventually feel like home? Will they do activities in and outside of the home? Make a list of what you feel you need and want from your care home.

Moving into full time care is a very big decision and can be a very expensive one.

You can have a Financial Assessment, and this will determine if you need to self fund your care home bills or if you will receive help from your local council.

Age UK have a help line if you would like to speak to someone on 0800 678 1602, they also have a checklist on choosing the right care home for you guide as well as fact sheets.

If you are doing your own research, you can read the most recent inspection reports for the homes, these reports can be found here on the CQC website.

Hayley Wintrup is a caseworker in the private client team at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Suffolk.

For more information on our range of legal services including elderly client care, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email