Help­ing peo­ple get

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Care in Kent -

Many peo­ple’s first im­pres­sion or thoughts of so­cial care might be a res­i­den­tial care home, but there is a wide va­ri­ety of so­cial care ser­vices avail­able and most peo­ple will be able to have care pro­vided in their homes, de­pend­ing on their in­di­vid­ual sup­port needs.

The first step in de­cid­ing which route is best for a per­son that may need care, is to go to the lo­cal au­thor­ity – Kent County Coun­cil or Med­way Coun­cil – and ask for a care and sup­port as­sess­ment.

Af­ter the as­sess­ment, the lo­cal au­thor­ity will ad­vise what kind of care and sup­port is needed, as well as ad­vice on which ser­vices are avail­able lo­cally and how much it is likely to cost.

There are plenty of op­tions avail­able – many older peo­ple can keep their cher­ished in­de­pen­dence by mak­ing changes to their home and liv­ing ar­range­ments in or­der to stay put.

Down­siz­ing to a smaller prop­erty can re­lease equity to sup­ple­ment a pen­sion, cut home run­ning costs and pay for home adap­ta­tions and ex­tra help.

This is not al­ways the an­swer. The al­ter­na­tives in­clude mov­ing in with fam­ily, into shel­tered ac­com­mo­da­tion or per­haps a care home. Mov­ing in with fam­ily can work well in many cases for vul­ner­a­ble, el­derly peo­ple.

It is im­por­tant to be re­al­is­tic and make sure ev­ery­body has the same ex­pec­ta­tions.

Is­sues to con­sider in­clude prac­ti­cal mat­ters like what sort of care will be needed and who will pro­vide it, and whether the house will need adapt­ing.

Fi­nan­cial and le­gal ar­range­ments should be clar­i­fied, for ex­am­ple if rent will be paid or con­tri­bu­tions made to­wards bills.

In­de­pen­dent le­gal ad­vice for both par­ties is es­sen­tial and it may be worth draw­ing up a for­mal agree­ment.

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