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Getting caring assistance at home
Most of us would prefer to remain in our own
home for as long as possible, but as we get older
we may need some support and assistance to do
so. The Bank Workers Charity (BWC) exists to
help retired bank workers and their families face
life’s challenges. If you’re in need of assistance
in your home we may be able to provide you with free information and support services. At
BWC we have put together a guide explaining what caring means and an action plan which
helps you to take steps to get further support.
Organising care
If you feel you need care or support at home, contact the social services department at your
local council. A representative will come to your home to assess your needs. This
assessment is free, regardless of your financial situation, however, all care delivered by
your local council is means tested. If the assessment shows that you need support at home,
your local authority has a duty to provide it, or to help you arrange it. If you are not eligible
for free home care and support, you are still entitled to receive care services, but you will be
expected to pay for or make a contribution towards them. Exactly how much will depend on
your ability to pay and where you live, as this varies from council to council.
You are not obliged to accept care directly from your local authority. Many people prefer to
have more choice over this and councils are introducing initiatives like personal budgets
and direct payments. You can find out more about these from Age UK. You can ask your
council for a list of approved care agencies in your area or contact the United Kingdom
Home Care Association.
Care after leaving hospital
If you have been an in-patient in hospital, getting support after you’re discharged can aid
your recovery. Many people need only a small amount of support when they leave hospital,
but others require a more comprehensive package of care. A discharge assessment will
look at your needs and you will receive a care plan, detailing the health and social care
support for you. A care plan could include: community care services from your local
authority, nursing care, rehabilitation and equipment such as wheelchairs or aids for daily
living. Organisations such as Age UK also provide ‘home from hospital’ services that can
offer you help with household tasks or shopping while you settle back home.
Adapting your home
If you have mobility issues, adaptations like handrails, stairlifts or equipment such as aids to
help with preparing meals could make it easier for you to manage. The occupational
therapy team at your council will be able to help you arrange these improvements. You can
find contact details on the council’s website, or by ringing adult social care. If your council
has identified that you need home adaptations or equipment, these will be provided free of
charge as long as the cost is under the threshold set by the government. If you have been
assessed as needing adaptations over this threshold, you may be eligible for a Disabled
Facilities Grant (DFG).
If you’re not eligible for a grant and you live in privately owned or rented property you can
contact your local Home Improvement Agency (HIA), who can help you carry out small
adaptations to your home. Your HIA can also help organise larger adaptation work on your
behalf, for example, putting you in touch with local tradespeople, getting estimates for you,
overseeing the work and so on. They will also provide advice on obtaining adaptation
grants from charities or your local council. Remember that BWC can in some cases provide
financial assistance to help with home adaptations.
The Bank Workers Charity
BWC helps you as a retired bank worker by offering a variety of tailored services to
support your specific needs. Call us in confidence today on our free helpline, 0800
0234 834. Find out more by visiting www.bwcharity.org.uk