Paying for Care Assistance
If you are a carer there may be times when you need to arrange for some kind of extra care, or you need a break or holiday. There is help available to assist you in both paying for and arranging this care. This article will outline some of the main forms of help available.
The options for paying for care assistance are:
- Paying for care assistance services yourself
- The person you care for paying for the services
- The Local Authority paying for the services
- A charitable organisation paying for the services
If you would like help from the Local Authority the person you care for should undergo a Community Care Assessment.
Care AssistanceThe help you need with care assistance covers a wide range of services. These include:
- Respite care
- Help in the home, such as help with meals and personal care
- Day care
- Aids and equipment, such as adapting your home
Carers’ ServicesIncreasingly Local Authorities are providing what are known as ‘carers services'. These carers’ services encompass anything which helps the carer to look after the person they care for. Examples of carers’ services on offer might include help with paying for taxi fares to get to medical appointments, a mobile phone to help the carer and person they care for to stay in touch, or access to free or subsidised counselling and emotional support.
Carers’ services are quite a new concept and some Local Authorities have been quicker to take them up than others. It’s definitely worth contacting your Local Authority or talking to a social worker to see what’s on offer though.
Direct PaymentsDirect payments can give carers more choice and flexibility over the care services they use. Local Authorities use direct payments so that the carer can use this money to pay for services. This is the alternative to social services arranging the care for you.
Direct payments can only be used to pay for care which the person you care for has been assessed as requiring. If you receive direct payments it’s important to keep good records as to how they are spent, so that you can account for them to the Local Authority.
VouchersIf you need to get away for a break, your Local Authority may be able to offer you or the person you care for vouchers to pay for alternative care while you are away.
The vouchers can be used to pay for services from the Local Authority or another approved organisation.
Carers’ OrganisationsThere are a number of charity and voluntary organisations which are specifically run to provide support, information and advice to carers. Your local council should be able to advise you on any groups available in your area. Alternatively you could research organisations who specialise in the disability which the person you care for has.
Such organisations can offer invaluable help to carers, including:
- Information on financial help and availability
- Help with applying for financial help
- Support groups and counselling
- Free or subsidised complementary therapies
- Free or subsidised training
Respite CareIf you are a carer and need a break both you and the person you care for are entitled to an assessment. The council may provide you with practical and financial help with respite care. The monetary help you receive will usually be dependant on the financial assessment of the person you care for though.
Some charities will also provide carers with respite care funding and services.