Shears - Home Support & Relocation

Shears' News: 2014

Looking for a live-in carer? [29th August 2014]

For people who need a significant amount of care and who want to stay in their own home, a live-in carer may be the best option. In which case, the main challenge is often to find a carer who is competent, compatible with the person they are caring for and can fit seamlessly into the home. And with charges similar to a care home, cost too is often a deciding factor. And herein lies perhaps one of the little known facts of the sector, which means that many of the agencies who charge towards the lower end of the scale are not care providers (who employ, train and appraise their staff who then deliver the care) as such - but instead are introduction agencies who introduce self-employed carers, who are paid direct by the client – in addition to an agency fee. As a result these agencies are not ‘regulated’ or ‘inspected’ by the Care Quality Commission and therefore fall outside their jurisdiction. While this distinction between agencies per se may not necessarily directly correlate to the quality of the carer or care provided, and there are pros and cons of each type, in our experience it is a distinction that families are not aware of but should be - so that they can make any necessary checks and allowances. Interesting too that Scotland and Wales appear to take a different approach - as outlined by here by David Brindle in the Guardian ...
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What will the new Care Cap mean for self-funders from April 2016? [11th July 2014]

Much has been made of the new lifetime Care Cap being introduced from April 2016 which limits the amount individuals will have to pay for their care. The figure has been set at £72,000 and the (implied) message is that once an individual has spent this amount, the State will step in and pick up the rest. However this is extraordinarily misleading as a number of costs have been excluded from the calculations and there will also be eligibility criteria, as now, to be met. As such the Cap will not limit an individual’s care costs to £72,000 - instead The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) concluded in a report last month that “on average people are expected to spend around £140,000 on care costs before reaching it”. So ”anyone who is expecting that the cap will pay for care is in for a shock “ ...as they estimate “just 8% of men and 15% of women entering care aged 85 today are likely to reach” it. If you’d like to read the IFoA’s findings...
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The role of an occupational therapist [9th June 2014]

When people think of health or social care, they tend to think of doctors and nurses or carers. But one group who rarely seem to get much profile and yet provide fantastic support to people in their own home or in a care home are occupational therapists (OTs). Occupational Therapy is about physically and mentally enabling a person to be able to undertake their usual daily routines, activities, tasks, hobbies... or occupations. As OTs are most commonly engaged via the NHS or Social Services, they tend to be used to provide rehabilitation services (helping someone to re-learn skills after a stroke for example) or to supply aids and adaptations, such as handrails, walking frames etc. But they also provide support to people with all sorts of conditions, to help them lead more fulfilling lives. The British Association and College of Occupational Therapists outline some of this support in their leaflets, which are excellent and can be accessed here...
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Having your say on the inspection and rating of care services [10th April 2014]

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the regulator for health and social care in England, yesterday launched a consultation to ask people who use and run care (and health) services for their views on the future inspections and ratings of services. The sector was dismayed in 2010 when care ratings were abolished - but thankfully their return was announced by the health secretary last March and work is now in progress to shape them. The consultation embraces a whole new approach to the way the CQC works - within the context of all services meeting what I have always called the ‘Mum test’ - is it good enough for ‘my Mum’? While the words and intent look promising, the proof will be in the robustness with which the changes are applied and the confidence they give families who are looking to find care. The CQC website should be an invaluable source of information for such families and we look forward to the rollout of the new approach in October. You can read the CQC’s press release about the changes here ...
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Combating loneliness for older people [30th January 2014]

The statistics regarding the number of older people who are lonely are both staggering and sad. According to research quoted by The Silver Line, “more than half of all 75 year olds in the UK live alone and one in ten suffers “intense” loneliness ... but is reluctant to ask for help.” In a poll conducted to mark the national launch of The Silver Line last November, “9 out of 10 older people told researchers that “a chat on the phone” is the most helpful solution when they feel lonely but 1 in 4 older people say they never or seldom have someone to chat to on the phone.” Hence our News this month is to help raise awareness of The Silver Line – a 24-hour helpline for older people across the UK. With specially trained staff and a free number (0800 4 70 80 90), The Silver Line can not only reassure callers, especially during the night when friends and family are asleep, but also if needed offer information, advice and links to local services. Calls are totally confidential and will only be flagged with the necessary authorities in cases of abuse and neglect, with the caller’s permission. For more information...
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