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Elderly care FAQ

28 March 2024

These FAQs cover topics related to caring for elderly relatives.

It discusses how to place an elderly person in a care home, the absence of legal obligation for family members to provide long-term care, and the definition of personal care for the elderly, including regulatory aspects .   

 
 
 
 

If you have an elderly or disabled relative who might benefit from being placed in a care home, the best place to start is by contacting social services and ask them to carry out an assessment. The Care Act 2014 provides a general entitlement for people to have a social care assessment carried out, where they “appear to have a need for care and support.” The assessment process is free of charge and should be completely unconnected to the person’s financial circumstances.

 
 
 
 

In circumstances where an elderly or disabled relative requires long term support, there is no legal obligation that this must be provided by family members, such as parents or offspring. If a family member has need of care and support, the best place to start is by contacting social services and ask them to carry out an assessment. The Care Act 2014 provides a general entitlement for people to have a social care assessment carried out, where they “appear to have a need for care and support.” The assessment process is free of charge and should be completely unconnected to the person’s financial circumstances.

 
 
 
 

Personal care for elderly and disabled people covers a broad range of options, ranging from care and support provided in a person’s own home through to round the clock residential care. Personal care has been legally defined, and anyone offering a service of this type will be regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC publish a rating system across provider types and setting, which may be helpful with informing decisions about suitable providers.

 
 
 
 

Please see the answers to questions 1 and 2. 

 
 
 
 

Financial support may be available if you provide support to an elderly parent or disabled relative. Depending on your age, and whether the care for person is in receipt of certain disability benefits you may be able to claim Carers Allowance. Carers Allowance is a working age benefit and you must be able to demonstrate that you provide at least 30 hours of support per week to qualify.

 
 
 
 

 How care is provided to elderly or disabled people covers a broad range of options, from care and support provided in a person’s own home through to round the clock residential care. If a family member has need of care and support, the best place to start is by contacting social services and ask them to carry out an assessment. The Care Act 2014 provides a general entitlement for people to have a social care assessment carried out, where they “appear to have a need for care and support.” The assessment process is free of charge and should be completely unconnected to the person’s financial circumstances.

 
 
 
 

How much an elderly or disabled relative might pay for residential home care will depend on the types of need they have as well as their location. The Competition and Market Authority have published a helpful guide for prospective care home residents, which provides a useful starting point:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/care-homes-short-guide-to-consumer-rights-for-residents

 
 
 
 

 Respite care for elderly or disabled people is a time limited period of stay,  which generally takes place in a residential care setting, but can be in other places suitably equipped to meet the person’s needs. Respite is designed to provide a break for the person’s primary carer, as well as providing a positive change of scenery, new activity or experience for the elderly or disabled person. If you care for someone and think a period of respite would be of benefit to them, the best place to start is by contacting social services and ask them to carry out an assessment. The Care Act 2014 provides a general entitlement for people to have a social care assessment carried out, where they “appear to have a need for care and support.” The assessment process is free of charge and should be completely unconnected to the person’s financial circumstances.

 
 
 
 

Current UK legislation protects against people remaining in settings such as residential care if they object to this. In all cases, the person’s ability to make a decision about where they will live must be assessed by a health or care professional. If the person is found to lack capacity to make decisions about where they live, decisions can be made on the person’s behalf in accordance with the principles set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. If the person has appointed a deputy for health and welfare decisions, the deputy will be able to make a range of decisions on health and welfare matters within the scope of the deputyship order.

 
 
 
 

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Janice Jefferies or any of the health and care team on 0114 267 5588

You can also keep up to date by following Wrigleys health and care team on X.

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. The law stated is correct at the date (stated above) this article was first posted to our website. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors.

 

 
 
 
 
Janice Jefferies View Biography

Janice Jefferies

FCILEx (Lawyer)
Sheffield

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