Am I entitled to respite care
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- respite care, home help
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Am I entitled to respite care?
Caring for a loved one can often be a twenty-four hour commitment, with little opportunity for rest. But everyone needs some time-out to relax and recover. The good news is that changes in the law have given caregivers important rights. So that now there may be help or financial assistance available to support you to continue caring.
What should I do?
Get in touch with your local council. Local authorities now have a legal responsibility to assess any carer who needs support or asks for help, regardless of their financial means. They should perform a carer’s assessment to see whether you are entitled to respite care.
What is a carer’s assessment?
A Carer’s Assessment is simply a way of looking at the impact the care you provide is having on your own health, work and wellbeing. It may be a chat on the phone, in person or online with a qualified assessor.
They’ll try to identify your support needs. They will also consider your personal wishes, including whether you want time away from your caring responsibilities to rest, study or socialise. The assessment should consider your need for help, whether you are able to continue caring without support and how your needs could best be met.
Am I eligible?
In deciding whether you are eligible for support, the local authority will consider three specific questions.
- Are your needs the result of you providing necessary care to an adult? This includes supporting your loved one in performing tasks that they would usually be expected to do themselves, such as feeding, self-care or toileting.
- Is your caring role causing your health to deteriorate?
- Are you experiencing, or are you likely to suffer a negative impact on your wellbeing? Wellbeing is a pretty broad term; it covers relationships, dignity, accommodation, control over your life, ability to take part in education, work or social activity and protection against neglect and abuse.
What help can I get?
If the answer to these questions is yes then you should be entitled to assistance. Your social work team will work together with you to develop a support plan that addresses your needs.
This support could include being offered a personal budget. This is basically money, allocated to you, that can be spent on accessing the respite care you need. Alternatively, the local authority could offer direct, practical support.
By hiring carers yourself, you could choose your caregivers directly. This gives you the choice of in-home carers for replacement care. You could also get help to access day centres or short breaks at residential facilities.
If you are not eligible for funding, try not to panic. You may be able to appeal the assessment findings and there are other ways to get the help you need.
The local authority should be able to put you in touch with organisations, like local charities, that may lend a hand. Or think about getting together as a family to see if you could either pay for private assistance. You may be able to share the caring responsibilities so that everyone gets sufficient time to recharge their batteries.
Find out more about the range of respite care services that we offer throughout London.