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Services in Christchurch

The Care Act - What is care and support

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On advice from the government regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), some services have changed. Find the latest information and advice about our services for vulnerable adults in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

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Information and advice about care and support is changing for the better.

From April 2015, care and support in Christchurch and all of England is changing for the better. The Care Act 2014 is making the care and support system more consistent across the country.

What is care and support

'Care and support' is the term used to describe help for adults of all ages with things like washing, dressing, eating, getting out and about and keeping in touch with friends and family.

Many of us will need care and support at some point in our lives, and many people will pay a contribution towards the cost of their care. Local changes across Christchurch are designed to help you plan for the future and put you more in control of the help you receive. Care and support planning will consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family, so you can stay healthy and remain independent for longer.

People with care and support needs

The Care Act changed the way care and support needs are assessed for the better. Decisions made about the help you receive now consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family.  We have information and advice about care and support for all adults.

There are national eligibility criteria for care and support needs that all councils consider when they assess what help they can give you. This makes it easier if you move to another area. if you decide to move to another area. Councils have to work together to make sure that there is no gap in your care when you move.

Care planning

If you receive care and support, the Care Act puts you more in control of the decisions that affect you, including putting together a care plan tailored to your needs. Your plan will work out how you can do the things that are important to you and your family, with the right level of care and support. You will also know how much it will cost to meet your needs and how much the council will contribute towards the cost. You will also have more control over how that money is spent.

Everyone's needs are different. They may be physical or emotional. You may find that the support you need could be met by something going on in your local community, for example services organised by local charities or other support networks. Whatever your level of need, Dorset County Council should be able to put you in touch with the right organisation to support your wellbeing and help you remain independent for longer.

Carers' wellbeing

In Christchurch many people provide unpaid care or support to an adult family member or friend, either in their own home or somewhere else.

'Caring' for someone covers lots of different things, like helping with their washing, dressing or eating, taking them to regular appointments or keeping them company when they feel lonely or anxious.

If this sounds like you, you may be able to get more help so that you can carry on caring, and look after your own wellbeing.  The first steps are to check your own wellbeing and Dorset has introduced a new helpful 'wellbeing check' for carers.

You may be put in touch with local support groups so you have people to talk to.  You may be eligible for support, or to have someone to step in when you need a short break.

We can offer you information, advice and support if the person you care for lives in Dorset.  Our information about care and support for adults may help you find the right support and we may suggest that you have a carer's assessment. If you live in Dorset but are a carer for someone outside Dorset, their local council will be your link council.

Carers' assessments

A carer's assessment looks at the different ways that caring affects your life and work out how you can carry on doing the things that are important to you and your family. Your physical and emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of this assessment. As a result of the assessment, you may be eligible for support from the local council, who will also offer you advice and guidance to help you with your caring responsibilities.

You can have a carer's assessment even if the person you care for does not get any help from the council, and they will not need to be assessed unless they would like to be.

Deferred Payment Agreements (loans)

A deferred payment agreement is a loan arrangement with the council that will enable some people to use the value of their homes to fund residential care home costs. If you are living in Dorset and eligible, Dorset County Council may be able to pay your residential care home bills on your behalf. You can delay repaying the council until you choose to sell your home, or until after your death.

Deferred payment agreements will suit some people's circumstances better than others. There are administration and interest charges on the amount owed to the council, but the council does not make a profit from these loans.

A deferred payment agreement is only one way to pay for care. To find out more about the options available, you can speak to a financial adviser or seek advice from an independent organisation such as the Money Advice Service.

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