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help at home

Often the first port of call is getting some help at home. It might be as simple as having help with cleaning for the first time. It might be a bit more than that, perhaps someone that can help with shopping, cooking, household admin and other jobs around the house like laundry and changing the bed linen. You might need help with washing, dressing or prompting to take medication.

If you make an arrangement directly with an individual it may well cost you less. Although if you are their only source of employment you may need to engage them officially, including responsibility for tax, national insurance & pension contributions, and you will need to deal with any difficulties about how well they are working for you.  If you use a home help or home care organisation it is likely to cost you more. However you will have the benefit of the organisation dealing with the employment side of things, arranging cover in case of sickness or holidays, and handling the bills with you so that you don’t have a direct financial relationship with your helper.

If you are speaking with home help or home care companies make sure you ask if they can ensure you have the same person each time and can guarantee that they will arrive at the time you have requested.

Do make sure that any helper has been DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) checked.

case study – home help to support independent living

We were originally contacted by Mrs P’s daughter saying that she was in the process of finding a care home for her mother but could we provide some home help urgently in the meantime. Mrs P had spent six weeks in rehab following a fall which broke her back, and had no family living nearby. She hadn’t previously needed any support. Her mobility was tricky in the early days, but she was absolutely determined to get better and regain her independence. We helped her three times a week, taking her shopping, to health appointments, keeping on top of the cleaning and laundry, and preparing meals. After just a few weeks her daughter phoned to say the search for a care home was off, and Mrs P was feeling very confident about living independently again now that she had support.

Very little is paid for by the local authority these days. If you have assets or savings of more than £23,250 then you will need to pay for any help at home. If you’re over 65 years and need help and support at home you may be able to get the Attendance Allowance which is not means tested so it’s definitely worth applying for. You can print off the form from www.gov.uk/government/publications/attendance-allowance-claim-form or phone the helpline on 0345 605 6055.

If you or someone you are living with has a dementia diagnosis you may be eligible for a reduction on your Council Tax. Contact your local council office for more information or get advice from the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122. And if you or someone you are living with is providing a carer role for more than 35 hours a week they can claim a carer’s allowance, or a carer’s credit if providing more than 20 hours a week.

We’re fans of anything that helps people to stay living independently at home and a telecare alarm service is a great way to support independence. Many of our clients already have this, wearing a simple pendant that you can press if you need help, or are simply feeling worried and need reassurance. The control centre is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year. In addition to the pendant alarm, companies can install smoke detectors, automatic light sensors so that your lamp comes on when you get out of bed, and bed and chair sensors. Keysafe boxes can also be installed so that helpers and carers can access your key and let themselves in. Ask your local council for their preferred supplier.

If you think some help at home may be right for you do give us a ring.

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