Care and support to help you live at home
We want to support people to live their lives as independently as possible. We can provide advice and information and tell you how to find facilities and community services that can support you. If you are eligible for our financial help and have a personal budget, you could choose to have a Direct Payment and access the market place to make your own arrangements.
If you choose for us to make the arrangements for you, we will usually select the most appropriate services from the list below.
Equipment to help you live independently
Somerset Community Meals Service
Support for carers
Daytime support and activities
For more information about any of these services please use the links in the 'related services' section of this page.
To start with, most people will be supported by our Independent Living Team.
This is when you ask a care worker to visit you in your own home, or ask us to arrange someone for you. They will help you with your personal care and some practical household tasks so that you stay as independent as possible. This is often for a short time until you can manage for yourself again, or it can be for longer if you need it.
You can get help with things like:
Getting washed and using the toilet
Getting out of bed and dressing
Undressing and going to bed
You can arrange and pay for home care yourself. If you buy help privately you can choose the type of help you receive and the amount that you want. If you would like more information about care providers in your area there is lots of information available on the Somerset Choices website www.somersetchoices.org.uk (available from June 2015), in the Somerset Care Services Directory www.carechoices.co.uk/e_books/somerset.html, or please phone us on 0300 123 2224.
You can also find out about organisations that provide home care on the Care Quality Commission website: www.cqc.org.uk
If you are eligible following a care and support assessment and a financial assessment, you can have a personal budget and we can help you arrange the services you want. Or you can have a Direct Payment so that you can make your own arrangements.
You may find the following webpages useful:
Care assessment explains what happens at an assessment and how we can help you;
Help with paying for care and support explains how we work out if you are eligible for our help to pay for your care.
Personal budgets, explains about your personal budget and care and support plan.
Support for carers
If you have someone who cares for you, for example a family member or neighbour, they are also entitled to an assessment and may qualify for support. You will be asked about this when we talk with you.
Who provides home care?
Home care is provided by private organisations registered with the Care Quality Commission.
The registered care staff are experienced and trained to care for people in their own homes. Care workers will help you do the things that you used to do for yourself, and where appropriate, help you to do them for yourself again so that you can be as independent as possible.
Senior care staff will first of all talk with you about what you need and provide your care and support, adjusting it to make sure it is right for you.
When they are sure that you are getting the right amount of help, they will arrange for you to receive your care from a regular group of care workers who will get to know you and provide most of your care and support.
If you have a personal budget we will regularly talk with you to see how you are managing. The care and support you have will change as your needs change, and will end when you no longer need help.
What time will the care worker visit?
The time that your care worker will visit should be agreed between you and the senior care staff during the early part of your care.
The exact times of your visits may vary depending on your needs and the demands on the home care service.
If you have needs that must be met at definite times, for example medical, special diets or things you have to do at fixed times, this can agreed with your care worker. However, your care worker is allowed to visit up to half an hour before or after that time. Please, only phone the care provider if your care worker is more than half an hour early or late.
Self Directed Support
You are in control of the care and support you receive, and by talking with the people who provide it you should be able to make flexible arrangements as long as you give enough notice - 48 hours is recommended.
You may have care arranged to help you in the morning. However, your daughter is coming to visit you for a couple of days so you temporarily don’t need this help. If you talk to your care provider in advance, they may be able to provide your care in a different way on these days. Or they may be able to arrange for it to happen on another day instead, providing it meets the agreed personal outcomes listed in your self-directed support plan. You may choose just to cancel it altogether temporarily.
What if you don’t need your care one day?
You must tell the people who provide your care at least two days in advance, if possible. Otherwise, if they arrive at your home and you don’t answer, they will be worried. They will contact your neighbours and ask other family members to try and make sure you are safe. After that, if they still have reason to be concerned for your safety they might ask the police to break into your home to try and find you.
Please see our webpage 'What we will do if you do not reply when we visit' if you would like to know more about this.
You will be charged for your care if you don’t let your provider know or cancel too late, unless the circumstances are unavoidable, for example an unexpected hospital admission.
Do you have to pay for your care?
If you have care arranged by our Independent Living Teams (short term services – not more than six weeks) it is free.
People with savings of £23,250 or more will then usually pay the full cost of their care, otherwise:
If you have not had care at home before you will be financially assessed by a member of the Financial and Assessment and Benefits (FAB) team who will tell you how much you need to pay. Your contribution will start from the date they tell you or the date your longer-term care starts if this is later.
If you have had care at home before and a member of the FAB team has already worked out how much you could afford to pay, you will be asked to pay your original contribution.
To find out more please read our information sheet C6: ‘Working out your contribution for care and support’.
Your care provider will invoice you directly for your contribution.
What if I want to stop my care?
If you feel you no longer wish to have care workers visit you, please contact us to discuss this. We want to make sure that you will be safe and may talk about other ways you could be supported.
What if I move house?
If you have a personal budget from us and plan to move home, please contact us so we can make sure that your care arrangements continue when you move. This could be for you and your carer if you have one.
If you are moving to another Local Authority area, for example from Somerset to another county, with your permission, we will let your new social services offices know.
They may wish to contact you to talk about your care and support needs before you move. We will provide them with your care and financial assessment information, personal budget allocation, and care and support plan so that they can make sure their agreed level of service is ready for you when you arrive in your new home.
They will probably contact you soon after you arrive to make sure you are happy with the arrangements and to see if anything needs to be changed.