There is help available for carers and the person you care for – this section covers the main sources of support and how to access them.
You, or the person you care for, may be eligible for support from social services. To find out what support is needed social services will carry out an assessment of care needs but this will only be done if the person you care for meets the eligibility criteria – click here for details.
You can also ask for an assessment of your needs as a carer – this is called a carer’s assessment.
How to get an assessment
You can refer yourself by phoning Milton Keynes County Council on 01908 253772 or via email. You can ask your GP or other health professional to refer you; Carers Bucks can also make referrals. Please note that you may have to wait up to 28 days for an assessment, unless your situation is considered urgent.
Once an assessment has established a need for help, social services may provide one or more of a variety of services which could include:
Care at home – such as help from care workers, laundry services or meals.
Care away from home – eg residential care on a permanent or temporary basis. It could also include respite care, day centres or short stays in care for rehabilitation.
Occupational Therapy assessment for things that will make living at home easier eg minor home adaptations (grab rails, stair rails), equipment such as raised toilet seats, recommendations to District Councils or housing providers for major structural alterations to kitchens and bathrooms, stair lifts and ramps
A financial assessment will calculate whether you, or the person you care for, have to make any financial contribution. If it’s the person you care for that is offered community care services, the financial assessment will normally take only their own income and savings into account. If you’re offered carer’s services it will be your income and savings that are taken into account.
You, or the person you care for, will normally be able to choose whether to ask social services to arrange a specific service for you or to have a direct payment so that you can buy in the service yourself.
There are advantages and disadvantages to receiving a direct payment that should be considered before you or the person you are looking after make a decision.
Arranging your own care
If you feel that you don’t want social services involvement or if your financial situation means that you will have to pay for care you may want to choose to organise a package of care yourself.
Help for Self Funders
Milton Keynes County Council has a service for people who are not eligible for financial support from them which can advise on how to fund their care.
As well as advice about what welfare benefits may be available, eg Attendance Allowance, they can refer people to three independent financial organisations who offer options to cover their care costs.
For more information call 01908 253772 or email.
Care Agencies – there are many care agencies throughout Milton Keynes offering care in the home. Care workers will help people with personal care (washing, dressing, toileting) at various times of the day. Some offer help with shopping, light housework and sitting service (ie to sit with the person so that you can get out for a short period). Charges vary but are approximately £17 per hour.
All care agencies should be registered with the Care Quality Commission and are inspected on a regular basis. When choosing a care agency it is advisable to check their inspection reports on the CQC website. Also, some care agencies only cover certain parts of the county.