Cutting the cost of care?

How can you cut the cost of care and still deliver a quality service?

This was a question that was raised by a relative of one of our clients. His parents receive care from Social Services and were due to transfer over to the new provider in September. However once Care-Costs
meeting with the new provider and finding out how much they had won the contract for he had changed his mind.

He discovered that they would be providing care for £2 an hour less than the previous contract in his parent’s village, and up to £5 an hour less in some of the surrounding villages. This led him to question how the care can be delivered so cheaply and what would the care workers be paid.

At My Care at Home we believe that to deliver quality care we need to ensure our home care workers are paid correctly and yes this does have a cost to it.  However by paying our care workers the living wage and their travel time and mileage we feel that we have happier care staff that then provide a top quality service.

At My Care we do not see the care worker role as just a job we encourage our staff to gain qualifications and to further their career, taking on more responsibility. Our training at My Care is all done in house and face to face with our staff. We hold regular training sessions for staff and this improves their confidence and enables our staff to meet each other and share good practice.

If you would like to talk to us about the quality care we deliver please call the office on 01449 763086 and one of our friendly team will be happy to help.

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Home Care in Suffolk

What is happening to Home Care in Suffolk?

Over the last few month people receiving care in Suffolk will have had a letter through their door telling them that from September 2015 their home care provider will be changing. Home-Care-in-Suffolk
This is because Home Care in SuffolkSuffolk County council have awarded Support to Live at Home contracts to a smaller group of providers and given these providers a geographical area that they are responsible for. If you are in the area for a specified provider, that provider automatically becomes your new care company.

So what happens to those people that have been receiving care for many years and have built up relationships with their care company and their care workers?

These are their options:

Move to new provider and Social Services will continue to pay for their care and take care of all bills
Take out a Direct Payment where the money they are entitled to will be paid in to their bank account and they will then organise their own care and arrange to pay their own bills.
Set up an Independent Service Fund (ISF) with the company that they choose to provide their care. This means the Care provider will manage the personal budget for their client and effectively pay themselves.
There does appear to be choice for the individual to still choose who provides their care. Or is there?

Imagine the situation Doris, aged 94, is in. She currently receives care from us that is paid for by Social Services. She is happy with the care that she receives and has her regular carers that she knows and loves. She has now been told that her care provider is changing and as you can imagine is very distressed by this. Who will her carers be? What is this company like? Will they know how to look after her in the way she wants? She has been told that she can use her personal budget, but at the age of 94 and with no family to help support her to do this she does not feel that this will be right for her. She could take out an ISF and use that with us of her choice but again is unsure of what this all means.

So does Doris have choice?

If you or someone you know has found themselves in this situation give My Care at Home a call on 01449 763086 to see how we can help you. You can get further advice from

Social Services, Contact.STLH@suffolk.gov.uk By phone: 0345 600 2077
Age UK 01473 351234
Citizens Advice Bureau 01449 676060
Tagged with: age uk, citizens advice bureau, Home care in Suffolk, independent service fund, ISF, social services

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Staying Hydrated during the summer

Staying Hydrated during the summer

How to help our elderly relatives or neighbours avoid dehydration

Why is drinking water so important? staying hydrated

Water makes up half of our body weight and every cell, tissue and organ needs water to function correctly.

Now that the summer is here it is important to make sure we keep hydrated, this is important for everyone but is important that we make sure our elderly relatives avoid getting dehydration.

Dehydration is one of the most frequent cause of the elderly being admitting in to hospital. There are many reasons for this, firstly our thirst for water changes as we get older and our sense of thirst is less acute with age so our elderly relatives may not be drinking as much as they used to. Also our bodies are unable to conserve fluids as much as they could as our body ages. Secondly some medications can cause dehydration.

How to spot dehydration

Two early signs of dehydration are thirst and dark coloured urine. This is the body’s way of trying to increase water intake and decrease water loss. Other symptoms can include:

Dry mouth
Dizziness or light-headedness
Headache, confusion or fatigue.
Loss of strength and stamina.
Water is the best way to keep hydrated. However if your elderly family member is not keen on drink
ing water try a little squash. Always make sure there is a drink available and within easy reach. Encourage relatives to drink or remind them if they haven’t had a drink for a while. Other ways to increase water intake is by giving them an ice lolly or eat fruit with a high water content. Not all fluids are as good at keeping you hydrated. Drinks with caffeine in, such as tea, coffee or alcohol work to remove water from your body so try to avoid these.

When the weather is hot please keep an eye on family members and help to prevent them from getting dehydrated.

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The Care Cap

What the Cap on Care Costs will really mean to you

At My Care at Home we have been recently seen an increase of the number of clients and individuals who contact us for advice. Care-Cap-Pic
They believe that due to the implementation of the Care Act 2014 Care Capthey will be protected by a “Care Cap” that will ensure that there is a limit of £72,000 on the total they will ever have to pay for their care costs.

Unfortunately this is incorrect and the reality is that the care cap is that it is a cap that doesn’t fit.

What is the Care Cap?

The government are introducing a cap on the cost of long term care. The cap is set at £72,000 and once this amount has been spent the Government will take over paying their costs. The idea is that this will protect people from using up all of their savings in order to fund their care. As well as this people will be able to keep more in savings before being eligible for financial support.

This all sounds like a good idea and in theory it should be. However there are several issues with the proposal that affect how the cap will work in practice for older people.

Firstly, you will need to be assessed by your local authority as having needs that are high enough to be eligible for care. This means the cap will only apply to people with higher support needs. You will then need to have a care account opened with your local council.

The next thing to consider is the fact that the cap only includes money spent on ‘care costs’. For people needing residential care this will mean paying extra for accommodation, food and any other ‘living costs’. These extra costs do not counts towards the cap. So in reality, most people will have to spend far more than £72,000 before becoming eligible for help with care costs.

Another thing to consider is that the cap only includes spending on care services at the rate a council would pay for that same service. Councils are able to arrange deals from their care providers because they are buying in bulk, which means most individuals paying for their own care will pay a higher rate than the council does for the same care. Again these ‘top up payments’, do not count towards the cap.

Finally the cap on care has been set at an amount that is more than twice as high as was originally suggested by the Dilnot Commission. By setting the cap at such a high level it will mean that most people will never reach it. It has been estimated by the Department of Health that just 8% will benefit from the care cap. Money people have already spent on their care won’t count towards the cap.

The care system is complicated and difficult to navigate and for those that suddenly find themselves needing to arrange care in a crisis this will be an extra issue to understand. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you navigate through this system please contact us on 01449 763086.

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Social Care Commitment

My Care at Home sign up to the Social Care Commitment

My Care at Home have signed up to the Social Care Commitment. The Social Care commitment was launched by the department of health.Social Care Commitment

It is an agreement between employers and employees, where both sides sign up to seven clear commitments to develop skills and Social-Care-Commitment-Footerknowledge within their workforce. It focuses on the real issues people have in the workplace, such as how to achieve effective communication, uphold dignity and protect an individual’s privacy.

The commitment means that we have to promise to implement best practice in a number of areas relating to workforce values, attitudes, behaviours, skills and competence. The majority of this we already do and for us the reason for joining the commitment is to ensure that we are regularly carrying out an audit on how we meet the standards to ensure that we are meeting them at all times and maintaining our quality.

Our employees are also being asked to make a similar commitment, which means both the management and our care workers can work together meaning to maintain the quality of care that we deliver.

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Launch of the Care Certificate

Launch of the Care Certificate

The new Care certificate is being launched on April 1st 2015. It is a qualification for all support workers that work in social care and health in England. care-at-home-purple
Following the Francis enquiry it was found My Care at Home Logothat there was inconsistency in the training and support that care workers receive and so it was decided that there was a need for universal training for everyone which has resulted in the Care Certificate.

Prior to the Care Certificate anyone starting work with a care company had to complete induction training that met the Common Standards. Each care setting was responsible for providing that training, but there was no set rules about how it had to be delivered. Therefore the standard of training that care workers received varied from setting to setting. The new Care Certificate incorporates all of those Common Standards, and has more standards that need to be met. There is a standard workbook and other training resources that have been developed which will show the learning that has been undertaken. Therefore reducing the inconsistency in training between care settings.

At My Care at Home we have been planning for a long while to get ready for this Care Certificate. Our induction training was already very at a very high standard. All of our training is carried out at our offices via face to face training. Therefore we already had a good basis for our Care Certificate training to be based on. The main changes that have been made are that the training will take place over the 12 weeks. New staff will be allocated a training mentor that will be their main contact for the duration of their training. This will ensure there is continuity in the training and their assessments. Our new staff will have 2 full days of training, then they will shadow experienced care workers. This will be followed up with 10 weekly training sessions in the office, where they will be able to discuss their work and share experiences with each other while having further training. At the end of the 12 weeks they will then have completed their training and will be issued their Care Certificate and they will have a personal development plan highlighting the further training that they would like to do to develop their career in care.

What will this mean to the care you receive? Well, you may not notice much change. The standard of our training was already high and the quality of care reflects this. It will mean that our staff are monitored more closely and staff will have more opportunity to share good practice. It will help us to maintain the high standard of care that we aim to achieve.

We look forward to see how the Care Certificate works and are excited that it will make our already great training even better.

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The Cost of Homecare

The Cost of Homecare

What should you expect to pay for Quality Care?

The cost of Homecare is always a tricky subject. No one wants to have care at home, but when you need that extra support to help you stay in your own home the need for care can be inevitable. Cost of HomecareResearch shows that staying at home helps you to be as independent as possible and being where you are happiest can help to prolong life.Cost-of-Care-Pic-1

So when looking for Homecare what should you consider? There are so many companies out there that can offer care at home so how do you choose which is the Homecare company for you? The two things that most people consider to be the most important when looking for care are quality and cost.

The cost of care has to be a consideration as no one knows how long care will be needed for and no one has a bottomless pit of money. The cost of our care is published on our website, we feel it’s important that people know what the cost is when looking at our site. It helps you to make an informed choice and we believe that there should be no secrets when it comes to the cost of our care. We have always tried to keep our cost simple so that everyone knows exactly what they will be paying for.

Quality of care is linked to the cost of care. Along with most things we purchase it is considered that the more expensive means the higher quality. So how do you know if you are paying for quality or just adding to the profits for the care company?

At My Care at Home we ensure our care is quality care by investing in our staff. We believe that a job in care should be a career in care. It should be a job that provides rewards and job satisfaction. By ensuring our staff are happy and feel supported means that they will be able to provide the best care they can.

So how do we do this? Firstly we feel that care workers need to be paid a wage that they deserve. We pay all of ourCost-of-Care-Pic-2 care workers the living wage of £7.85 for every hour of care that they provide. We Cost of Care, cost of homecarealso pay for the time that they spend traveling and for their mileage. They are paid for their training, reimbursed for their DBS and provided with all the equipment that they need to perform their job. We are proud that our remuneration package is the best in the area.

Secondly the training and support we provide our staff goes the extra mile. All of our training is delivered face to face and tailored to the needs of each individual staff member. We then provide staff opportunities to shadow more experienced staff, and again this is tailored to the needs of each care worker. Once new recruits are trained and ready to go there is always someone there to help if they need support. Our on call service is available at all times with someone who works at My Care and the end of the phone, able to give relevant and appropriate advice and support.

Thirdly we feel ongoing training and personal development is important. All staff are encouraged and supported to study for their QCF levels 2&3. We have space at the office where our care workers can come and study in peace away from the hustle and bustle of their busy lives at home.

The cost of our care pays for all of this support for our staff. By choosing My Care at Home you can be assured that you are paying for quality. We make the same profit for every hour of care we provide as companies that charge less for care. We invest the money you pay into our staff to ensure the care is of high quality.

If you are looking for Homecare and are baffled by who to choose look at the value you get for the cost of the care, look at the working conditions of the care workers. It’s the care workers that are providing the care and you want them to be the best possible.

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GEM Awards

GEM-Awards-Photo-on-the-Night

Awards Ceremony for the GEM Awards

On 21st of January we attended the GEM awards ceremony. These awards are run by the Suffolk Safeguarding Adults Board hold an Awards evening that celebrates home care workers and companies that Go the Extra Mile.

The GEM Awards provide the opportunity for providers of supported living, very sheltered accommodation and home care, who are committed to improving the dignity and experience of those receiving care, to have their work recognised, celebrated and rewarded.

We decided to enter as all our home care workers do go the extra mile for our clients and we work hard as a company to make sure this happens through recruiting the right staff, training and our thorough care planning. There were four categories that we entered and we were shortlisted for all four that we entered.

These were:

• My life, My Home – Looking at how we help to support our clients to maintain an environment that is safe and comfortable for them to continue to live at home.
• My life, My choice – Looking at how we ensure every client is fully involved in all decisions about the care that they will receive.
• My life, My fun – Looking at how we enable our clients to enjoy social activities and how we provide companionship for our clients.
• My life, My safety – Looking at how we ensure our clients feel safe and how we deal with their concerns.
• My life, My Independence – Looking at how we encourage our clients to be as independent as possible.

We were invited to the awards, and took a client and care worker with us for an enjoyable lunch and afternoon. We met some great charities and care providers and heard some brilliant stories about how these organisations had gone the extra mile.

Some had helped clients during local disasters, some had worked with individual adults with learning difficulties enabling them to become independent. One sheltered accommodation organisation had worked with their tenants to make a sensory garden that sounded amazing. Listening to the stories gave us some inspiration on how we can develop our services further.

Although we didn’t win any awards it was an honour to be shortlisted and to be in the same room as some of these organisations.

If you would like to find out how we can Go the Extra Mile for you or a member of your family please call us on 01449 763086.

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Support your parents in their decision to have home care

Home-Care

How to support your parents in their decision to have home care.

Having spent time with family at Christmas you may have seen that maybe your parents need more help to keep them independent at home. This can be a difficult time with emotional challenges and practical implications. As well as wondering what caused the decline in health, one of the greatest challenges is addressing their resistance to accept help.

For many people, particularly those who have lived independently their whole lives, accepting intrusions such as daily visits from a carer or wearing an alarm can feel humiliating and as though they’re losing their dignity.

For an adult child, it is hard not to feel helpless and exasperated at what may appear to be your parent shutting his eyes to the obvious.

So what can you do to address this problem? Here are some things to consider:Supporting your parents

Understand their fears and anxieties

Home-Care
Your parents may be worried that admitting they need help will led to them having to move in to residential care. Also the worry about having someone in their home is another thing that can be worrying to your parents.

Give them back some control

Make sure that the discussion about needing care does not become a battle. Find out about local companies get some brochures, find some testimonies and then discuss it with them. Letting them have a say in who will care for them.

Be realistic about the risks

No doubt you will have had sleepless nights worrying about your elderly parent having a fall and being found after three days without anyone noticing. But ask yourself how realistic this is? If you can involve neighbours and ask them to knock on the door a few times a week, that simple check-in can reduce these risks and give you some peace of mind. Having someone you can contact allows you to keep a closer eye on your parents without looking over protective.

Accept that some carers may not be appropriate

What kind of people have your parents gotten along with over the course of their life? What do they enjoy talking about? Are there home care companies who could help with tasks such as gardening or simple companionship? At My Care at Home we fork hard at finding a carer who shares interests with your parent so there’s more friendship and mutual interest in each other.

But most of all talk to your parents and make sure you listen to what they want out of home care. To find out more about the services that we provide please call us on 01449 763086. We are happy to discuss any worries or concerns you have about finding that perfect home care package.

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Dementia Care and Christmas

Dementia-at-Christmas

Having a loved one with dementia to stay for Christmas

Christmas is an important social occasion, but they can be stressful for people with dementia, their carers and family. It is important that people with dementia are able to celebrate with the family and that they shouldn’t be excluded. Here are a few tips on how to make the stay less stressful for your loved ones and to help everyone enjoy the occasion and feel relaxed. We understand Dementia care and we know that everyone wants to enjoy the festive season.

• Plan for the visit – Get advice from the person that normally cares for them. This could be another family member, friend or even their home care worker. They will be the one that knows them the best and will be able to give you tips to help you plan for the visit. At My Care at Home we encourage the sharing of information with family members to ensure a continuity of care for our clients with their Dementia Care.

o Think about the layout of the house. Would it help to labels doors so that the family member knows which room is which?
o Think about any equipment that is needed and plan to make sure that it is in place in time for the arrival of the family member. If there is any moving and handling equipment that is needed speak to the care company about how to use it. At My Care at Home we are happy to show family members how to use equipment to ensure the safety of our clients.

• Getting help if needed – Ask for help from family or friends or ask a local care company if they will be able to do some adhoc care. At My Care at Home we provide short term care to help with situations just like this.

• Safety and security – Make sure that you look around the house looking for anything that could be a potential hazard for the family member
o If your loved one is likely to get up at night, leave a light on in the hall when you go to bed and offer them a night-light for their bedroom.
o Make sure there is a light on in the bathroom or toilet so they can find their way at night.
o Leave the toilet door open when it is not in use, to help the person identify where it is.
o Remove rugs that a person could trip on, and remove clutter or objects lying on the floor. Make sure that nothing is ever left on the stairs.
o Lock away any medicines and dangerous substances, such as bleach or paint.
o If your loved one no longer seems to recognise risk, make sure that potentially dangerous items, such as sharp knives, are removed from the kitchen.

• Noise – The house may become quite noisy and busy during Christmas, or over the entire festive period, this can make it easy for a loved one to leave the house unnoticed.
o Talk to other members of your family and decide on a plan of action, keep doors leading onto busy roads closed or locked.
o Plan times when you will go outside or for a walk
o Remember to keep spare keys in a safe place. Check the house in the evening to make sure that doors leading to the outside are locked and that windows have not been left open.

• Food and mealtimes – food is a large part of Christmas festivities if your loved one has lost their appetite or has difficulties eating this can cause concerns.
o Try to avoid patterned table cloths as this can cause confusion. This is such a simple thing and small things like this can help a lot with Dementia care.
o Think about the size of the meal you serve. An over full plate can cause worry. Don’t worry if they haven’t eaten everything
o Let you loved one take their time don’t hurry the meal time. If there are children around the table plan activities that will keep them busy while your loved one finishes their meal without feeling rushed.
Be prepared for changes in the person’s behaviour with so much going on it can make them feeling anxious or nervous. Think about how they might be feeling. With a bit of planning and preparation it should help to make the Christmas celebrations go smoothly with everyone having lovely time.

Merry Christmas from everyone at My Care at Home!

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My Care At Home Promise

two-hearts-greenWe promise to provide a reliable and friendly service and put a smile on your face. We promote and support independence and will work hard to provide the highest standard of care for you or your loved one.