Choosing the right care package for you or a loved one is vitally important
With a constant stream of stories about sub-standard accommodation and care standards, you could be forgiven for wanting to ignore the whole topic in the hope it goes away. It doesn't of course, so what should we be looking for?
With a constant stream of stories about sub-standard accommodation and care standards, you could be forgiven for wanting to ignore the whole topic in the hope it goes away. It doesn’t of course, so what should we be looking for?
There are various organisations giving you good, independent advice. According to the Office of Fair Trading when you are considering a care package you should be looking at topics such as:
The fees or charges and when they are due
The bedroom for you or your loved one
The facilities such as dining room
The number of residents
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Special needs or interests are catered for
The home’s philosophy
Staff qualifications and experience
Any rules the home has
Your rights and responsibilities as a resident
Any recent inspection reports
What the residents think about the home
How to complain
The period of notice
What happens if the home closes or there is a new owner
The arrangements if your funding runs out
A handbook is also produced by Counsel and Care, which is a national charity working with older people, their families and carers to get the best care and support. Peter Watt, the chief executive, said: ‘Whether you pay for your own care or are funded by your local authority finding and paying for a care home can be a real worry for older people, their families and carers.
‘Navigating your way through the complex maze of funding and choices available can be difficult. The Care Home Handbook is there to answer all of your questions and provide a clear way through.’
A recent advice service user said:
‘I called the advice line as my mother was very ill and I wasn’t sure whether I would need to move in to a care home and I had no idea where to start.
‘Someone from the advice team referred me to the Care Home Handbook and the information it contained really helped to resolve the problem my mother was experiencing. All the contacts, phone numbers and addresses are so helpful.
‘Now my mother is in a good care home and we felt that we got the best advice to make an informed choice.
I am recommending both this book and your advice service to various friends with similar problems.’
For more information contact Counsel and Care on 0207 6054200, email advice@ counselandcare.org.uk, visit conselandcare.org.uk or call the advice line on 0845 3007585.