Support at home
If the long-term effects of broken bones have left you less able to care for yourself, it doesn't always mean you need to leave the home you love. There are support services on hand to help you continue living at home safely.
Types of support available in your home
Carers provide help with personal care, such as getting washed and dressed, or practical assistance with preparing meals or shopping.
Some councils offer a hot meal delivery service or can organise a delivery of frozen meals for you to heat when you need them.
Support work, day centres and luncheon community groups
You may be able to attend community groups in your area which provide day care, lunch and various activities. Sometimes transport is also provided.
Equipment for daily living
Occupational therapists provide equipment and adaptations that make it easier to continue living at home.
This varies from simple equipment, to renovations in your home. Your occupational therapist can advise you on what funding is available.
These include pendant alarms or sensor mats, which you can use to call for help or to alert a carer to a problem.
The Community Emergency Alarm Service
This is a special unit connected to your telephone line, which is fitted with an alarm button. It means you can call for help quickly at any time of day or night.
Short break service
This can be:
- care in the home
- day care (away from home)
- care home breaks
- for you, or the person who cares for you.
How to get support
If you’re starting to find it hard coping with day-to-day activities, the best place to contact is the social services department at your local council.
Everyone can request to have their care and support needs assessed. Whether you receive assistance depends on your needs and circumstances, including your finances.
Getting your needs assessed
On your initial phone call, you may speak to someone in a ‘first point of contact’, ‘gateway’ or ‘intake’ team, or a duty social worker. They usually ask for some personal details and basic information about your circumstances.
The second stage of the assessment process usually involves a home visit by a care professional. They discuss your situation and care needs with you, and advise what help is available to meet your needs.
The new Care Act also includes the needs of carers. So if a loved one is caring for you, you can ask for a separate assessment to consider any support they may need.
After the assessment
After an assessment, social services funded by your local council may be able to:
- provide help directly
- arrange for a charity or home care agency to help
- arrange for you to have a personal budget to pay for the services you choose
The funding you are offered depends on where you live.
In England and Wales
If you have a certain level of income or savings, you need to contribute to the cost of some community care services.
If you’re using community care services in your own home, most councils use a savings limit of £23,250 when considering how much you need to pay. This doesn't include the value of your home. In April 2020 this limit is increasing.
Personal care is free if you are over 65 and your local authority has assessed that you need it.
In Northern Ireland
You don't normally have to pay for care in your home, although you do have to pay for some services, like meal schemes.
If living at home is no longer possible
One day, you may come to the decision that it's no longer safe for you to continue living at home. Or after your assessment, social services may advise the best option for you is to move to a care home.
Moving into a care home is a big decision, and it's natural to want to stay in your familiar surroundings for as long as possible. But it is worth considering the benefits of the support, safety, peace of mind and sense of community that a care home can offer you.
There are different types of care homes:
- Some offer 24-hour help with personal care
- Nursing homes have registered nurses who can provide medical support
- Retirement villages offer you your own home, with on-site support if you need it