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Elderly parents

Domicillary care - what do I need to ask?

3 replies

partyondude · 18/09/2013 12:49

My dad has just had a couple of weeks respite care in a care home because he wasn't eating or taking his medication when left to his own devices at home.
before he comes home I want to get some domiciliary care in place to support him to ensure we avoid the spiral of depression again. I think what he needs is somebody coming in a couple of times a day to cook lunch and supper for him. He is happy with this notion.
I'm having to put this in place from some distance away and need it to start next week so it's all going to have to be done over the phone.

What questions do I need to ask?

So far I have:
Will it be the same person or one of two or three who visit him?
Can we dictate the time at which they arrive - i.e. lunch at 12 and dinner at 6 for example?
Would they be able to meal plan with dad and then dad could go out and do the shopping?
Will they stay with him and chat whilst he eats it?

What else do I need to know? How on earth do I choose between the dozen local providers? can you share your experiences of domicillary care with me please - stories good and bad welcome!

OP posts:
Needmoresleep · 18/09/2013 15:40

How will this be financed?

If he will be self funding, you can determine what you want. SS can give you a list of local providers. You might then ask local health care workers if they can suggest anyone good. (Note they are not able to "recommend, so be discrete - we ended with a firm run by a former health care professional who is well respected by her peers. National firms have a mixed reputation.) After that, and depending on their resources, you pay, your are the customer, you get what you want. We have the same carer five days a week and two others on the other days, which seems reasonable.

I would have a chat to the CH manager about what he is likely to need as a minimum to keep him safe, and what more will add to his quality of life. We initially used carers to take my mother out, in her case because she has significant memory loss so needed help with orientation. Now she is back to using buses and has resumed her social network and found new friends/activities within her supported housing so we have been able to cut carer time down.

In terms of meals, it might be worth looking at Cook! the frozen food people. They will deliver and though not cheap are likely to be cheaper than buying the ingredients yourself. Tasty and a good variety and used by quite a lot of elderly living alone.

If SS need to fund it will come down to what they decide following an assessment, though you can apply for an Attendance Allowance which you can spend on what you want, including top up care. (The form is complex. If you know a friendly person in the CH you might ask them to read through before sending off, or try someone like a local Carers group. There is a knack to them.) If he has a clear diagnosis of depression you might also try for Council Tax exemption, though here you probably need having AA and a GP signature. The two combined should finance an extra hour a day care at least over and above what SS provide.

(My understanding is that if your dad's income is over a certain level or if he has assets SS will recharge. You are then better off buying it directly as you can then negotiate with the agency and help ensure what you get suits your dad.)

BeckAndCall · 19/09/2013 13:45

My experience is that it takes a while to settle down into a routine - if you want someone to start next week, the agency will already have set their schedules for the next week or more so the people you get will be whoever is available .

But after that, the people who have been out to my ILs have been fairly regular, obviously over 7 days there will be some different people popping in.

If its private you can suggest a time but it will depend on whole se they are visiting in the area - so it maybe you have to start with 1 pm rather than 12 pm for instance.

And again, on the chatting, they Weill definitely stay and chat if that's what you want. You can specify that they do the hoovering, clean the bathroom - whatever you need.

Good luck - let us know how it works out

partyondude · 19/09/2013 20:31

Thanks for your help, I phoned 3 agencies today. Two promised to ring back... and the third was lovely. Its small and local with low staff turn over. I'm going down to meet them at the weekend.

need, dad was having food from cook - there is a branch where he lives but he managed to make himself ill from it. Goodness knows what he did - but he won't buy from there again.

I'll let you know how the weeknd goes!

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