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This first part of this section looks at the various care options available to you, either in your own home or in a residential or nursing home. The second part focuses on the vital role of carers, services available to them and some of the issues they have to face.

Care Options Assessment

It is the duty of Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care, following a request from you as a disabled person, your carer or your authorised representative, to assess your needs regarding practical help in the home. Carers are also entitled to an assessment in their own right and Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care need to consider the carer’s ability to provide care on a regular basis.

Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care aim to arrange for the provision of services to allow you to live in your own home for as long as possible. An assessment of need is carried out by a Social Care Assessor. They will help you identify the most appropriate facilities and services, and put together a package of care, including costs.

If you apply for residential care and your assessment shows that you could stay at home with an appropriate package of care, this will be discussed; Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care bear the cost of the care package and you will be means-tested and might have to contribute.

Home care

A Care Plan is intended to supplement the help and care provided by relatives and carers. Community Care Assistants can help you with personal tasks such as washing, dressing and eating and you would be expected to pay an amount, per hour, for their services.

Arrangements can be made to provide you with a hot meal either at home or at a day centre or luncheon club. Support to manage child-care can be offered if your disability makes this difficult.

The level and amount of help you receive is determined by the Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care assessment and resulting Care Plan of which you will receive copies.

Age UK (Tel: 01733 564185) administers a Home Support scheme using self-employed people to carry out services such as cleaning, laundry and shopping. There is a charge for these services.

Peterborough Crossroads Ltd, Bushfield Health Centre, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, PE2 5RQ (Tel: 230463), offers services for carers. A trained care manager can make home visits to discuss your needs and care provision is tailored to individual situations. The level of service is agreed between the person with care needs, the carer and Crossroads.

Day centres, residential and nursing homes

Again, a list of registered homes can be obtained from the Registration and Inspection Unit. Tel: 01733 563141

You may also wish to refer to the “Peterborough Community Care Directory”, Contact Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care, the library or your G.P.

Residential care homes are run by Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care, private individuals or companies on a commercial basis, or by voluntary groups such as charities. They provide help if you cannot manage alone and need help with personal care. They cannot provide long-term, full-time nursing care. You should advise Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care if you have special cultural, ethnic or religious needs.

A nursing home is appropriate if you need nursing care on a regular basis. Homes have qualified nursing staff, 24hrs per day. Most are owned either privately or by voluntary organisations. Some homes offer both residential and nursing care, so that you do not have to move if your nursing needs change.

The Sue Ryder Home, Thorpe Hall, Thorpe Road, Longthorpe, Peterborough PE3 6LW (Tel: 01733 330060) is a registered nursing home which provides palliative care to patients who are terminally ill and also respite care for chronically sick people. It offers a wide range of services and also operates as a day centre for many local groups of disabled people.

Funding

Costs vary hugely between residential homes, depending on the level of care required.

We recommend that you seek independent advice from groups such as DIAL, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or Age UK before making any decisions or contacting Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care

If you are assessed as being eligible for residential care, Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care will meet some of the cost of care. You will still be expected to contribute to the cost of your care. The amount of your contribution is calculated according to a set formula and will usually be based around the amount of benefits or pension you receive.

Respite care

Many residential and nursing homes are able to offer respite care. Check with Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care.

The Link Family Scheme is a respite care scheme for children with a learning disability. You need a referral from Peterborough Community Services Health and Social Care but you can get more information from the Link Family Scheme on Tel: 01733 747474
Childrens respite care, to discuss your needs as a carer of a disabled child and arrange a carers assessment call Childrens and Families Department on Tel: 01733 864180
INFORMATION FOR CARERS Carers Project

The Carers Project Co-ordinator, PCVS can provide details of services for carers. This project, based at PCVS, aims to provide emotional support, information and advice for carers. For training in subjects such as lifting and relaxation techniques the Carers Project can supply contact names and telephone numbers and will include you on their mailing list. Tel: 01733 342683

First-Aid Training

Carers might find a basic course in first aid very useful. The Red Cross run training sessions in First Aid at their Peterborough Branch in Brassey Close. There is a course of 13 consecutive sessions, which includes First Aid, Resuscitation and Care of the Unconscious. Tel: 01733 313274 for dates of courses.

St. John’s Ambulance also runs courses Tel: 01733 565708.

Financial and legal matters

If the person you care for cannot get to the Post Office to cash benefit orders, you can become their agent by completing form BF73 and obtaining card BF74 (both available from the Benefits Agency). The person you care for can sign the back of the benefit order and you can then cash it on their behalf.

If the person you care for becomes incapable of managing their affairs you can become their appointee. You need a letter from their doctor confirming the situation. If you take the letter to the Benefits Agency and complete form BF56, benefits will then be sent out in your name. If you have power of attorney you will automatically be able to become an appointee once the Benefits agency has a photocopy of confirmation of this.

It is worthwhile planning ahead in case the person for whom you are caring, becomes incapable of managing their own affairs, otherwise you may find yourself unable to access bank accounts and other money. Unless you do this in advance by obtaining enduring power of attorney, lengthy and expensive proceedings in the Court of Protection may be necessary. See a solicitor for advice.

What to do after a death

Registrar of Births and Deaths, 33 Thorpe Road, Peterborough Tel: 01733 566323

When someone dies at home you need to call your doctor who will sign a medical certificate confirming death. If the death is in hospital the doctor there will sign the certificate. Within five days of the death you have to take the medical certificate to the Registrar of Births and Deaths, the office is open 9.30am-4pm weekdays. You will need to take personal details of the deceased including their date and place of both birth and death, and also their marriage certificate if applicable. The Registrar will want to know if they were receiving a pension or any welfare benefits. The Registrar will then issue the death certificate and the notification of disposal, which should be given to the Funeral Director. You will probably need up to five copies of the death certificate, for the Will, pension, insurance claims etc.

The Benefits Agency produce a guide, D49 “What to do after death”, giving detailed advice on this subject. Copies should be available through GP’s surgeries, CAB the registrars office or Tel: 0800 665 544

Further information:

The Carers UK has a publications list for carers which includes their factsheets and suggested books. They also produce the national carers’ newsletter. Tel: 0207 490 8818/8898

A Carer’s Guide“, a booklet for carers on lifting elderly and disabled people is available from the Back Care Tel: 0181 977 5474.