Guide to social services for older people
There is a wide variety of social care services available, primarily there to support people in their own home. The type of service your older relative will get will depend on their needs, which will be assessed by a social worker via a referral from their GP.
You can read more about how to get a care assessment for your older relative HERE
Before you have an assessment, try to think about the specific problems your older relative has and what they need to the best quality of life going forward.
Social services will include help with:
- Specific equipment to move around the home
- Assistive technology items to help around the home
- At home care
- Care home services if required
- Day care centres
- Community activities
- Legal and financial support
Helping your elderly parent to stay at home might mean adapting the bathroom to ensure they do not need to step into a bath, attaching grip rails by the toilet, ensuring the stair lighting is adequate or even providing raised toilet seats for tools to help with opening jars and tins. For mobility problems, hoists can be supplied, as well as walking frames and wheelchairs. There might also be a requirement for in house monitors to prevent wandering or falls.A social worker and occupational therapist will help your relative to get the items they need to remain at home safely and comfortably.
You can read more about how an occupational therapist can help HERE.
Social services can provide carers to come into your older relative’s home and help with washing, dressing, cleaning, laundry, eating and getting in and out of bed. You may be provided with a personal budget to choose your own care.
You can find out more about managing personal budgets HERE
AND about how to employ at home carers HERE
If your elderly parent can no longer manage at home, social services will work with you on how to move them to a suitable care home, dependent on their needs. There are several types of care home. They might be run by the local authority, by a charity or by private firms.
Read more about care home options HERE
AND Read more about how to choose a good care home HERE
If your elderly parent has difficulty living at home because of porr mobility or other problems, it still makes sense to try to keep them in their own home if possible. It might be possible to get kitchen surfaces lowered to allow for wheelchair use, provide easier storage, to widen doorways for wheelchairs or walking frames and improve flooring and lighting as fall prevention methods. This should all be looked at within a care assessment.
Social services can provide help to older people in terms of transport and help them to get out and about to meet like-minded people in community centres. Such centres are invaluable to many older people to prevent loneliness and isolation. Additionally, the local authority may run volunteering schemes, to help your older relative to remain active and engaged within the community. Your older relative’s local authority should have a full list of activities.
Day care centres
Day centres provide food, company and activities and food, which many older people will struggle to access if they always remain at home. They can also provide daily respite care for family carers. Your older relative’s local authority should have a full list of day care centres
Read more about respite care HERE
The funding of all of the above should be discussed with your older relative as part of the care assessment provided by the local authority.
Find out more about how to fund care HERE
Looking after an elderly relative is difficult and stressful. You can get a carer assessment which will help you with respite care and support.
Find out more about carer assessments HERE .
If your older relative has an on-going health condition, they might be eligible for NHS Continuing Care. Read more HERE