If you have sufficient funds you may be able to pay for your domiciliary care (home care) yourself.
As domiciliary care may be required for an indefinite period of time (and may eventually need to be replaced by residential care) you’ll need to consider future costs and how long you’ll need the care for. The intensity and type of care may also change – for example, your condition could deteriorate over time, meaning you require more frequent attendance.
As you are paying your care costs yourself you can sell assets or use savings to fund your care if you wish. Here is more information on using your savings.
7b) Use benefits to subsidise the your domiciliary care costs
If you have money but don’t feel you have enough to cover your domiciliary care costs now and in the future, you can subsidise the cost of the care you receive using benefits allocated for this purpose or a pension fund.
Disability Living Allowance (now known as Personal Independence Payment) and Attendance Allowance. The Personal Independence Payment scheme is for people aged 16-64, whilst Attendance Allowance is for those aged over 65.
If you need guidance or advice regarding the type of benefits you are entitled to, you can find details on the gov.uk website or at your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Certain charities and social key workers can also help with applications for benefit.
7c) Use your benefits to pay for your care
This option is for those who don’t have any funds to use to pay for their care.
Although it is possible to pay for home care solely with benefits, it may limit your choice of care companies and you may not be able to select your ideal care provider. You may need to use government care schemes and charity schemes to supplement your paid care. Here is more information on claiming benefits you may be entitled to.
8 – How can I work out what my care costs will be?
If you’re feeling confused by domiciliary care costs you can try our handy Care Fees Calculator, which enables you to work out your care budget taking into account your various funds available.
If you feel you need help or professional assistance when calculating your domiciliary care costs, you can use our directory to find a specialist financial advisor to help you fund your care costs. The directory has been specifically developed for those needing care funding guidance.
It’s additionally worth noting that depending on your circumstances you may be entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare (a service provided by the NHS for those with on-going long-term medical needs).
This is free of charge and can be arranged through your GP, consultant or social worker. For more information on the Continuing Healthcare Scheme you can read our dedicated article here.
9 – Where can I find an agency to help provide me with my care?
At UK Care Guide we have built a comprehensive database of over 10,000 domiciliary care agencies and home care providers in the UK. You can use our home care search facility to find domiciliary care agencies in your local area.
10 – How can I choose between domiciliary care providers?
The first step when choosing a domiciliary care provider is to ensure you have a comprehensive assessment of your care needs to refer to. Please read our guide to choosing a home care provider for more information.
You then need to assess your budget – as you’ll need to know what you can afford before you start to search for care. This is important, because if you spend time choosing a care provider only to find out they are too expensive for your allocated budget, you’ll not only be disappointed but you’ll be required to start all over again.
Once you’ve ascertained your care needs and budget you can start to search for domiciliary care providers in your area who cater for both. You can do this via our website here at UK Care Guide, which provides a comprehensive directory for those looking for a domiciliary care agency across England, Wales and Scotland.
Once you’ve identified a number of domiciliary care agencies you feel positive about, we recommend making a shortlist of around five. This enables you to really narrow down your original list based on your ideal values, and pinpoint the providers who are close to ‘perfect’.
You should take into account the aspects which are most important to you – but also remember to check reviews and the CQC’s independent rating, watching out for any bad press and poor testimonials.
Once you’ve created your shortlist it’s time to contact the care providers. You should be invited to an initial meeting where you can meet someone to discuss your requirements. Following these meetings you can make an informed decision on which provider to opt for.
It’s also worth noting that a good domiciliary care agency should offer you the opportunity to meet the person who will be administering your domiciliary care.
This way you can ensure that you have rapport with your caregiver, but it also eliminates any fear, anxiety or uncertainty you may understandably be feeling as you welcome a new person into your home. If your domiciliary care provider can’t guarantee that you won’t always see someone new, or refuses to introduce you to your caregiver, it may be best to look elsewhere.
For more detailed information about the steps that you should take, please read our section on how to choose between domiciliary care agencies.
11 – How do I know my provider is safe and professional?
All home care providers are subject to strict domiciliary care standards, as are their residential counterparts. The CQC (Care Quality Commission) individually vet each company, but (as detailed below) it’s worth checking independent reviews and working on word-of-mouth recommendations when choosing a care company.
You can check whether your domiciliary care provider is reputable and registered with your local authority and the CQC by looking on their website or ringing them to confirm. You should always choose a registered company which is regularly vetted by the CQC where possible.
The UKHCA is the UK’s official professional association of home care providers – so any member of this society will be subject to additional scrutiny and regulation.
If you choose to go with an individual (perhaps a person you know or a professional freelance caregiver), make sure you have a list of credentials and testimonials, as they also have to maintain domiciliary care standards. You can authenticate testimonials by asking for the contact details of the person who gave it – that way you can ensure that the feedback is genuine and factual.
Freelance providers should be professional in their conduct and should ideally write up a contract between you (or Service Level Agreement) so that expectations are clear from the very beginning.
If you have any safety or security concerns you should raise these with your care provider early on, to give them the chance to reassure you and put appropriate measures in place if needed.
12 – Who typically works as a domiciliary careworker?
The level of qualification of the individual providing your domiciliary care possesses will depend on your personal situation and care needs. For example, you may only need low-level care from your domiciliary care worker – and in this case a home care worker will be looking after you.
A domiciliary care worker doesn’t need to have any relevant qualifications, but they are required to have some experience and may be subject to DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks for security purposes.
On the opposite end of the scale you may need palliative or on going medical care in your own home.
This will be provided by a qualified nurse (known as a district or mobile nurse) and/or a healthcare assistant. This typically will not be provided by a domiciliary care worker. Both are required to complete relevant training and obtain qualifications to carry out their work.
If you choose to pay privately domiciliary care agencies, you are at liberty to check the credentials and any training your home care provider enrols its staff upon. Any good home care company should be more than happy to explain their recruitment process and demonstrate your carer’s suitability for their role.
Here is a short video that sets out the role of a domiciliary care worker.