Help! What are the available care options?

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Considering the care options is not as daunting as you may think

Although Ashridge Home care specialises in in-home care, its founder, Trudi Scrivener, understands you will want to consider all the options before settling on the right one for you and your loved one.

The range of care options are, most commonly: moving in with family, a residential care home, hourly home care, or live in care.

If you’re researching care homes, turn up unannounced to visit if possible – this will give you a good sense of the reality of the care provided. Ask about staff levels to get a good indicator of things, such as how long your parent will have to wait to be taken to the loo.

If you are looking for hourly care at home, where a carer comes in to help get your parent up and ready for the day/make lunch/ assist with medication, then a great question to ask is whether the company does 15-minute call visits. If yes, the quality of care might be impacted by time pressures on the staff.

Live in care, which we do, is a fast-growing alternative – in my experience, most people want to stay in their own homes and maintain some independence, and live in care does just that. It’s also cheaper than you think, and compares well to the cost of a care home.

Money matters

There’s no getting away from it, care can be expensive. I’d advise finding a SOLLA (Society of Later Life Advisers) accredited financial adviser to find out what options are available to you. That said, when full-time care is called for, and health becomes the primary need, it could mean all care fees are covered by the NHS through a scheme called NHS Continuing Healthcare. Many people have no idea it even exists and end up paying for fees they don’t need to. Applying for funding can be complex, but there are specialist advisers who can help you through it. Everyone is entitled to request a health needs assessment, which determines whether they meet the required criteria.

Good relationships with the carers are key

Whatever option you choose, be sure to build a good relationship with the carers – it will make everyone’s life easier. You understand the minutiae of what your parents like and need so you can pass on those tips. I always say to my clients it’s the little things that matter – with my own mum, for instance, if you make sure you serve her tea just as she likes it, you’ll go a long way in getting on well together!


If you need any advice about care for a relative, we would love to talk to you. Please get in touch and we’ll do everything we can to help.