Long Term Care
Understanding your rights when planning or entering into arrangements for residential or domiciliary ("in-home") care can be confusing. Our team can assist you in planning for the time when you or a loved one might need assistance with day to day living. We can also help at times of crisis, to ensure you are not overwhelmed by the processes and terminology connected with the care system.
A feature of the last century is that people are generally living longer lives. Advances in medicine and health care mean that people can survive longer with illnesses and conditions that in the past would have radically shortened their life expectancies.
However, to enjoy this extended life with the highest possible level of independence and dignity, many people will require assistance and support from friends, family members and care professionals.
It is often the case that the need for support is only recognised at a point of crisis. The need for residential care may be identified after you or a relative has suffered an accident in the home, or domiciliary care may be required to replace help from relatives after a change in their circumstances.
A great deal of media attention has been paid to the challenges of funding long term care. These challenges have led to a reduction in the level of care provided by Local Authorities and, in our experience, an increasing reluctance to fund care via the NHS for conditions such as Alzheimer's.
This has been coupled with the quality of assessments for care needs being criticised as too restrictive of access and a greater focus on the part of Local Authorities to investigate and pursue the assets of those in receipt of funded care.
If you are successful in obtaining funding there is a shift towards providing people with direct funding so that they might arrange and enter into contracts with care providers on an individual basis.
Overall, this is creating an environment where individuals and their families are feeling (quite rightly) that they are in a negotiation at the point they engage with the care system. We see our role as to ensure you are well informed, advised and supported during those negotiations.
- Planning for the potential need for care
- Assisting in dealing with the property and financial affairs of relatives who can no longer make decisions
- Advising on the process for assessing needs and accessing NHS and local authority funding
- Supporting appeals against NHS and local authority assessment outcomes
- Negotiating and agreeing funding levels, including 'direct payments' and access to benefits
- Advising on the 'means testing' process and issues such as 'third party top ups' and 'deferred payment'
- Assisting with complaints regarding the quality of care or limits on personal freedom and liberty
- Supporting the parents of a disabled adult child in obtaining 'Property & Affairs' and 'Health & Welfare' Deputyship Orders and in an application for Continuing Healthcare Funding.
- Successfully appealing against a negative Continuing Healthcare Funding decision
- Obtaining backdated Continuing Healthcare Funding for the Estate of a deceased client.
- Advising a Deputy on the risks and benefits of accepting direct funding of care for a client with Alzheimer's
- Supporting a client in the 'means test' valuation of a jointly owned property
- Co-editing a monthly feature in the Somerset County Gazette on Long Term Care
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