The County of Hampshire is a wonderful place to live and work with beautiful contrasts in the countryside, from heathland to stunning coastline, from downland to rolling farmland and of course we also have the wonderful area that is the New Forest National Park. As is happening across the rest of the UK, the demand for elderly care services is growing and being aware of all available services is important so that you can make the right choice for yourself or your elderly relative.
Depending on where you live in Hampshire, 1 of 8 Hampshire CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) will oversee NHS healthcare in your area. Social care is organised along council boundaries, and charities and hospices make their own boundaries. This can make the health and care system difficult to navigate!
Local authority care services are broken down by county or city council. In Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, there are 4 councils:
Each council have their own provision of adult social care. From the council care homepages, you can find information on access to services.
Care is often purchased privately, but if you or your loved one has savings of less than £23,250, financial support is available from the Local Authority. A Care Needs Assessment is a very good starting point in understanding the amount of support your relative needs, and how much of this can be supplied by the council. Care Homes also often require for one to completed before they can provide care.
For an elderly person who does not have complex needs, but who is struggling with activities of daily living and day to day life, the services of a home care agency may be a good option. This is where a Carer will pop in anywhere between one and four times a day at set times for specific periods of time to help with things like bathing or showering, dressing, medication, preparing drinks, snacks or easy meals and some cleaning and tidying.
Where someone wishes to remain in the comfort of their own home but needs more support and assistance than pop in home care services can offer, Live-in Care can be the perfect solution. A Live-in Carer will provide personalised care and assistance depending on a Client’s needs and wishes and because they are living in, they will offer flexibility, for example, to enable a Client to go to bed and get up when they choose. A Carer will have time to keep a Client’s house clean and will cook delicious and nutritious meals from scratch using fresh ingredients.
They will also have time to take a Client out to engage with and access their local community and provide companionship. Having a Carer can enable couples to stay together, pets can be looked after and a Carer can help with exercises and rehabilitation, to enable Clients to remain as independent as they are able.
There are many home care/Live-in Care agencies operating in Hampshire and, unless you receive a recommendation, you may not know where to start. A really good place to start is the www.homecare.co.uk website where you can put in a postcode and it will bring up a list of agencies who cover that area, tell you what services they offer and you will also find reviews left by Clients and their relatives.
Caring for elderly parents in their home can be difficult, both mentally and physically. Therefore, Live-in Care can give families peace of mind and allow you to feel more comfortable and relaxed knowing your loved ones are safe and being looked after, day and night.
If the time comes that remaining at home is no longer a safe option, the next move would usually be to a residential care home or a nursing home. Hampshire has a choice of high-quality care and nursing homes, each offering different services and tailored to different needs. Care homes have staff on duty 24 hours a day and look after people with a wide range of conditions. Residents have their own private room, and all meals are provided as well as some activities. Nursing homes care for people with more complex health conditions and needs and there are nurses on duty 24 hours a day as well as care workers. A good place to start your exploration into care or nursing home provision is the website www.carehome.co.uk. This shows all homes in an area, the people they are able to provide for, facilities they have and their Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating.
Hospices are places where people can go to for specialist care in the final days of their life. They provide all kinds of support, and families and friends are always welcome. They are charities and don’t receive any Government funding. Hospices can also introduce nurses specifically trained in palliative and end of life care to people in their own homes and this can prove to be immensely reassuring and supportive to families at this stage in their loved one’s life. There are Hospices throughout Hampshire – you can request details via GP surgeries.
Mental Health has come to public attention more over the past few years and mental health services can be very important for elderly people. Lots of older people suffer from things like loneliness, memory loss and confusion, anxiety and depression, particularly following the death of a spouse or if a health condition is changing their life. The first step if there are worries about your relative’s mental health is to speak to their GP who can signpost to different services and charities who may be able to help. Certain charities like Mind have Wellbeing Centres throughout Hampshire. They aim to provide outcome-focussed support to individuals with mental health problems. They are friendly centres with an informal atmosphere.
I hope you have found the above information useful and a good starting point for looking at care options that may be suitable for you or your loved one. There is a lot of information to consider, however, you are not alone.
Access Care is a specialist recruitment and introductory agency based in Hampshire. Although, our business is to introduce Live-in Carers to our Clients, when we receive initial enquiries, we are keen to steer people to the care option that is right for them. Access Care has been in business in Hampshire since 1994 and the office team, who come from a variety of backgrounds, has a wealth of experience and a good knowledge of care options available.
Please call our friendly team on 01264 319 396 if we can help you in any way.