Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) about Care

“The Clarity team gave us good, clear advice on what is a very difficult situation. Our case was very much dealt with on an individual basis and we were shown great compassion and understanding. The advice was practical and concise.”

Mrs S, Winchester, Hampshire

Introduction

We are often asked questions about finding care. Here we have provided answers to the most frequent questions about finding Care Homes, Home Care Agencies and Live-In care.
This is not a comprehensive list, so should you have a question please don’t hesitate to contact us if your question is not on this list, we are happy to provide you with advice about care services.

General Care Questions

Care Homes

What is included in the fees for a care home?

You will need to speak with the care home to get a clear definition of what is included in the fees, but these should include the costs of the room rental, cleaning services for the room, general repairs and maintenance of the room, room furniture, use of common areas, all food and drink, care services and a range of activities provided by the home. Some homes will include personal care services such as hairdressing and chiropody. There may be additional charges for days out, daily papers, and the like.

For other questions about care fees, please visit our care funding FAQs page.

Can I visit my elderly relative at any time?

Most care homes are happy for you to visit at any time, but it is important to check with each home what their visiting policy is. Some homes may discourage visitors at meal times if they feel it will impact on their residents with Dementia, as they become easily distracted. This should be explained when viewing the home.

In extreme circumstances, such as in the recent COVID-19 Pandemic, visiting may be restricted or banned completed.

Can family members take our elderly relatives out on trips?

Each care home will have its own policy, but most will be happy to allow you to take your elderly relative out for a trip if they feel it is safe to do so. They will ask you to inform a member of staff before you leave and what time you are expected to return.  In some cases, it is advisable to let the home know in advance, this way they can assist your relative to be ready when you arrive.

Can my elderly relative take their own furniture to the care home?

Modern care homes provide rooms that are fully furnished, and this furniture is designed for the elderly, so it is more difficult to take large items of furniture. However, they are keen for your elderly relative to feel at home so will encourage them to bring smaller pieces of furniture if they can be accommodated in the room safely as well as pictures, books and other mementos that will help make it feel like home. Items such as armchairs will need to meet their fire regulations and you will be advised by the home manager what to look for.

Do care homes have a good choice of food and cater for special dietary needs?

When viewing the home, ask to see a sample menu and ask how frequently it is revised. They should provide a good range of meals and be able to cater for any special dietary needs your relative may have. Some homes source local produce or even grow their own, with the help of residents.
They should also be able to provide ‘an alternative’ for people who don’t see anything they like.

Can my elderly relative keep their own GP if they move into a care home?

Provided the GP surgery is within the catchment area of the home, this should not be an issue. You will need to talk to your GP and the home to confirm.

What will happen to my elderly relative’s pet?

There are many animal friendly care homes available, so if your elderly relative has a pet then you should talk to the home you are considering. There are times that homes will ‘adopt’ a small pet, so long as there are no risks to other residents.
Many homes have small animals visit on a regular basis, this is known as Pet Therapy, although not the same as the person’s own pet, it is a popular activity within care homes.

My elderly relative tends to wander, how will I know if they will be safe?

Different types of care home are designed and run to help people with different levels of need, so it is important to discuss this with the home and be satisfied that the home you are considering is able to cope with the level of wandering that your elderly relative does.

My elderly relative smokes / likes an occasional drink, will they still be able to do this?

Different homes have different policies on smoking and drinking, so check this out with the home as part of your initial conversation.

Care at Home / Domiciliary Care

Will I get the same carer on each visit?

Good care providers will do their best to have the same carer or set of carers visit you to provide care as they know that it is best for you and the carers if you get to know each other. However, it is likely that when care first starts you may have a number of different carers, as the provider will be having to provide your care with availability in their staff rota.
If you are finding there are too many different carers, speak to the office team of your car provider and they should work to resolve the issues.

How do I know what services will be provided?

Each home care provider will be able to offer a range of care services. The services they deliver to meet your needs should be based on a care needs assessment. Your care provider should provide you with a care plan that details when the carers are due to visit and what they will be doing on each of those visits.

Will carers visit at the same time every day?

Domiciliary care providers should endeavour to schedule carer visits based on the days and times agreed in the care plan that has been agreed.

However, there will be occasions where visiting times will change, either in advance (for instance if your carer is on holiday) or at short notice (for instance if your carer is sick or there are traffic problems). In either circumstance, your care provider should give you as much notice as possible.

What should I do if I need to cancel a visit?

If you need to cancel a visit from your carer, let your care provider know as far in advance as possible. If you cancel at short notice you may still get charged for that visit by your provider.

Your provider should give you details of their visit cancellation policy when you first set up your home care package.

Is there a difference between Domiciliary Care, Care at Home and home care?

Generally, all three terms are interchangeable and mean the same thing, which is a service where carers visit you at home on a regular basis to help an elderly person. Visits generally last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and there will usually be one or more visit each day.

The number of visits, times and lengths of each visit and tasks that the carer will do are all agreed as part of a care assessment and care planning service which will identify the elderly persons care needs and detail how the home care services will help meet those needs.

This is differnt to live-in care, which is where a carer lives with you.

Live-In Care

What does a live in carer do?

As the name implies, a live in carer will come to live with you to provide care for you. They can help with personal care, medication, household tasks and support with complex care needs.

Do I need to provide a live in carer with their own room?

Yes, a live in carer does need to have their own bedroom. It is very important that they have any area of their own to relax and sleep in when they are not working. At a minimum the room needs to have a proper bed and a door that closes properly to ensure they haev privacy.

When do live in carers take breaks and time off?

Every carer is entitled to 14 hours of breaks over the course of a working week, but this can be divided so it suits your needs.

Your live-in carer is likely to stay with you for periods of between 3 and 6 weeks and then take a break of 1-2 weeks, during which time your provider will organise a replacement carer.

How do I know I will get on with my live-in carer?

Your live-in care provider should meet with you as part of the process of organising your care. As part of this they should ask questions about the sort of person you get on with and what your interests and hobbies are, so they can provide a carer who is likely to get on with you.

Can I choose whether I have a male or female live in carer?

Absolutely. You can discuss this with your live-in care provider as part of the initial care assessment meeting or beforehand.

Care Funding

Who pays for care services?

If your elderly relative has more than the local authority financial threshold, currently set at £23,250 then they are classed as a self-funder, meaning they will have to fund their own care.

If you have less than £23,250 then some  or all of your social care needs will be funded by your local authority, but you will need to complete a local authority financial assessment, which you will need to arrange with your local authority.

There are exceptions to this, for instance if you have exceptional care needs that mean you qualify for Continuing Health Care (CHC) funding.

Who can I talk to for advice about funding my elderly relative's care?

You should seek independent financial advice as soon as you or an elderly relative are considering paying for care. There are a number of Independent Financial Advisors who specialise in financial planning for care fees and we would recommend finding one who is a member of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA).

Clarity Care Consulting are also able to provide you with care funding advice.

What happens if my elderly relative no longer has the funds to pay for their care, especially if they are in an expensive care home?

As your elderly relatives funds approach the local authority financial thrshold, currently set at £23,250, you should contact your local authority to arrange a financial assessment.

It is advisable to inform your care provider as funds start to deplete, as most will provide support.

Each care home will have their own policy on what to do when funds run short. Most care homes will do everything possible to support the person to remain in their care home, which may include offering a less expensive room for your elderly relative to move into.

What happens if my property is the only asset my elderly relative owns when they need to move into a care home?

It will take time to release funds in this situation, so you should speak to the care home, as they will have their own policy on this.

If your local authority is helping to fund your care then speak to them about the 12 week property disregard scheme.

What if I don't want to sell my house to fund my care?

You may be eligable for a Deferred PAyments Scheme. This is where the local authority pays your fees and takes a charge on your house. They will charge you interest. All local authorities operate these schemes slightly differently so you will need to contact them for more details.

What is Continuing Health Care (CHC) and who qualifies for it?

Continuing Health Care is where the NHS fund your care home fees because you have complex care needs. This is not means tested but there are very strict criteria and most care home and nursing home residents are not eligable to receive it. More information can be found on the NHS website.

If you believe that you are eligable for Continuing Health Care then we can provide you with funding advice and assistance with the process.

FIND OUT MORE

If you are in a crisis, or need to find care for a loved one, or just want to know more about Clarity Care Consulting, please contact us.

Contact Us

Clarity CareConsulting

Address

Suite 16/17
Brambles Business Centre
Hussar Court
Waterlooville
Hampshire
PO7 7SG

Telephone

02392 251351

Opening Hours

M-F: 9am - 5pm (except Bank Holidays)

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