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Autism Care Options and Treatments: Everything you need to know 

Autism Care Options and Treatments: Everything you need to know 

Find out about the different care options available to autistic people and the possible treatments available to people that have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.   Autism affects people differently, therefore, the care that each autistic person requires can differ greatly. Autism care must also be personalised to suit an individual’s needs, interests and lifestyle.    Different care options for autistic people Care for autistic children or young adults is often provided by family members or a professional carer. It is important that those with an autism diagnosis get the support they need to maximise their independence and quality of life.   Some people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder do not need a lot of support. However, others need daily support from a carer. It is important that a care plan is focused on providing support to autistic people using a person-centred approach, meaning that the individual’s unique symptoms and needs are taken into consideration. Here are a few specialist autism care options available:  ·     Live-in care  ·     Hourly care  ·     Overnight care   ·     Respite care  Live-in care for autism  Live-in home care is often the preferred method of care for autistic people as they feel more comfortable in their own space. Moreover, a live-in carer is able to come to know and adapt to a person’s situation which is important when you consider that no two autistic people have the same symptoms. Here are some of the ways in which a personal assistant or carer can support an autistic child, young person or adult:  ·     Assisting at medical appointments  ·     Encouraging the development of independent life skills such as budgeting  ·     Helping individuals get to school, college, university or work   ·     Supporting individuals with personal care, such as washing and bathroom assistance  ·     Helping with cooking and maintaining good nutrition   ·     Accompanying individuals outside of the home, such as shopping, leisure activities, public transport or social events  ·     Helping to maintain relationships with friends and family and supporting social skills  Hourly care for autism  Carers can also be hired on an hourly basis to provide help when you most need it. Short-term care can be useful at times of the day when a carer needs an extra pair of hands, or wants to offer an autistic person the chance to gain independence.  ·     For an autistic child, hourly care could provide the help and support needed when they are getting ready for school in the morning, or going to bed in the evening  ·     For an autistic teenager or adult, hourly care could offer support at social events, at the shops or at medical appointments  ·     For an autistic elderly person, hourly care could offer support with good nutrition and cooking at meal times   Overnight care for autism  The night can be an anxiety-provoking time for many people. Therefore, some autistic people may require an overnight carer to provide support if they’re feeling anxious or if their symptoms are less manageable at this time of day. Here are just some of the things a carer can help an autistic person with at night:  ·     Security and peace of mind  ·     Prompting someone to take their medication  ·     Assistance with mobility within the home, such as climbing stairs or getting into bed  ·     Bathroom assistance  ·     On-hand help throughout the night  Respite care for autism   It is important to take a break from caring. Whether it’s because of family commitments, work or a carer’s need to address their own health and mental wellbeing, respite care can provide necessary time off.   Moreover, respite care can be a good way of trying out an alternative method of care. Professional support could seem like a good option for someone looking to become more independent in the future, perhaps after leaving school or home.   Care homes for autism  Residential homes can be a good option for some autistic people. If someone does not want to stay in their own home, residential services are an alternative option to home care.  Community support services for autism  Centres, social groups and family support groups also exist within the community for people who are looking for additional support and advice.     How much does autism care cost?  In 2018/19 the cost of care for working age adults rose by 1.6%. Almost £6 billion was spent on care for people with learning disabilities and over £6 Bn was spent on care for people who need physical support.   According to the NHS, at-home care can typically cost £20 per hour (this can vary depending on where a person lives). On average, in the UK, a live-in agency carer can cost between £650 - £1,600 a week (depending on the level of care needed).   With Curam, you only pay for the care delivered. Carers’ fees vary depending on their experience and your care requirements:   ·     Hourly Care: You can expect to pay from £13 to £16 per hour.   ·     Overnight Care: Overnight care typically covers the hours between 10pm and 8am, and can cost a fixed rate of around £90 per shift, or £14- £18 hourly for waking care.   ·     Live-in Care: Live-in care costs begin at £120 per day or an average of £800 per week.   Prices can be negotiated with the carer and include Curam’s fees.    Treatments for autism  Autism is a spectrum disorder. Therefore, some treatments are more successful than others depending on the individual and how they respond. It’s important that interventions are adapted to the specific needs of each autistic person.   Carers often work alongside therapists to implement effective treatment plans. Some of the therapies and treatments that help autistic people include:  ·     Occupational therapy  ·     Physical therapy  ·     Speech and language therapy  ·     Play therapy   ·     Behavioural approaches such as Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)  Occupational therapy for autistic children  Occupational therapy is used to plan programmes that consider the physical, social, emotional, sensory and cognitive needs and skills of autistic children. These programmes aim to improve an autistic person’s quality of life, encouraging them to learn and gain independence.  Another purpose of occupational therapy for autism is targeting a child’s sensory processing. This helps autistic people to keep their senses balanced, have a longer attention span, deal with transitions with less stress and learn in a calm, focused way.  Physical therapy for autism  Physical activities, such as puzzles or exercise, allow an autistic child to develop an awareness of their body and coordination. It can also help some children with autism to develop motor skills, posture and the ability to imitate other people’s behaviour.  Speech and language therapy for autistic people  Some people diagnosed with autism can have difficulties with speech and communication. Speech and language therapy helps autistic people to develop and improve their speech, which helps to improve their quality of life and gain more independence.  Play therapy for autism  Play therapy lets autistic children access their thoughts and feelings, express emotional or behavioural difficulties, and develop social interaction skills and communication skills. Playing is natural for children, therefore difficulties can be explored safely through this type of therapy.  Behavioural therapy for autism  Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) can help autistic children with many activities. It means that a behaviour analyst will figure out the causes and consequences of a person’s behaviour to create strategies to help them overcome difficulties. This is a person-oriented approach, meaning that each child will receive unique help tailored to their specific needs.  Common behavioural approaches to autism include:  ·     EIBI (Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention)  ·     Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)  ·     Structure, Positive, Empathy, Low arousal, Links (SPELL)  ·     Treatment of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH)  ·     Social stories    NOTE: Biomedical interventions, like medication, shouldn’t be used without the supervision of a medical professional who understands autism and the effects of this must be assessed carefully and regularly.     Support for autistic people and their families  You many know an autistic family member or friend that needs care or support. At Curam, we want to support you as best as we can by allowing you to choose the right carer and care-type for you or your loved one. There are other places you can go to find additional support for autistic people and their families:   ·     Find a local support group.  ·     Find regional support services.  ·     Subscribe to Autism Parenting magazine for the latest news, information and professional advice on autism.  ·     Call or find more information from the National Autistic Society – 0800 800 4104 (Mon-Thurs 10:00 – 16:00, Fri 9:00 – 15:00)  ·     Call or find more information from Ambitious about Autism – 020 8815 544.  If you’re unsure where to start with arranging a carer, download the Curam app today. Our technology gives you choice and control over who your carer will be and many Curam carers specialise in caring for autistic people.  

21 January 2021

What is Autism? A Complete Guide

What is Autism? A Complete Guide

Autism is a spectrum of developmental conditions that influence the way people communicate and how they experience their surroundings. It’s a lifelong disability that affects each autistic person differently. Let us walk you through the symptoms, causes, statistics and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.  We have known about autism in some shape or form for at least 50 years. It was first identified in 1943. Since then, theories about this condition have evolved considerably and are radically different in comparison to when it was first identified.    Useful statistics on autism in the UK  ·     1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum  ·     There are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK  ·     More men are diagnosed with autism than women, the current ratio is 3:1    What are the symptoms of autism?    Autism is something that people are born with or show signs of at a young age. It is a spectrum condition meaning that no two people are affected by it in the same way, and some people experience symptoms more severely than others. However, some of the most common symptoms of autism include:   ·     Repetitive behaviours  ·     Difficulties with social interaction and communication  ·     Over-sensitivity to light, sound, taste or touch  ·     Under-sensitivity to light, sound, taste or touch  ·     Anxiety  ·     Meltdowns - a verbal or physical loss of control  ·     Very strong interests, including hobbies/activities    Characteristics of autism in children  Every autistic child will have their own unique symptoms and experience of the condition. However, young children diagnosed with autism often show signs of:  ·     Avoiding eye contact  ·     Getting upset if they don’t like a particular taste, smell or sound  ·     Demonstrating repetitive movements, for example, flapping their hands or rocking their body  ·     Repeating phrases  ·     Not smiling when smiled at  ·     Not reacting to their name  ·     Not talking as much as others  Older children diagnosed with autism often:  ·     Appreciate having a routine every day and get upset if this changes  ·     Do not appear to comprehend what someone is thinking/feeling  ·     Find it hard to articulate their feelings  ·     Find it difficult to make friends or prefer being alone  ·     Take things literally and they may not understand certain sayings, such as “it costs an arm and a leg”  ·     Have a very strong interest in some subjects/activities  ·     Get upset if they are asked to do something  It can be harder to identify autism in girls as they can be quieter and hide their feelings more, seeming to cope better with social situations.     Traits of autism in adults  Adults diagnosed with autism will also have different symptoms and the severity of their symptoms will differ. However, autistic adults often:  ·     Follow the same routine every day and get anxious if this changes  ·     Do not appear to comprehend what someone is thinking/feeling  ·     Find it hard to articulate their feelings  ·     Find it difficult to make friends or prefer being alone  ·     Take things literally and they may not understand certain sayings, such as “it’s raining cats and dogs”  ·     Become anxious about social situations  ·     Can come across as blunt, rude or uninterested without meaning to  People diagnosed with autism also might:  ·     Not understand a social ‘rule’, for example, not interrupting people when they’re speaking  ·     Avoid eye contact  ·     Get too close to other people/get upset if other people touch or get close to them  ·     Notice details like patterns, smells or sounds when other people don’t  ·     Have a strong interest in particular subjects/activities  ·     Prefer to plan carefully before doing something  Some of the symptoms that autistic people experience are not typically caused by autism, but instead are due to conditions associated with autism spectrum disorder. These can include learning difficulties, such as ADHD, or mental health problems, such as depression.     What causes autism?   Nobody knows the exact cause of autism, or even if there is one. However, some evidence suggests that it may be genetic, meaning that it is sometimes passed onto a child by a parent. Autism is also said to be caused by a variety of factors including environmental or physical factors that affect brain development.  Things that do not cause autism  There are numerous past ‘theories’ about autism that have been disproven. Autism is not caused by:  ·     The MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella)  ·     The upbringing of a child or ‘bad’ parenting  ·     A person’s diet  ·     An infection (it is not infectious)  Is there a cure for autism?  There is no “cure” for autism. It is important to ignore damaging suggestions when it comes to this question. Moreover, people should think about autism as making someone different, not disadvantaged. With the right support, autistic people live very fulfilling and happy lives.     What are the different types of autism?  Autism is a spectrum disorder meaning people are affected differently by it. It can be referred to by different names:  ·     Autism spectrum disorder – the medical name for autism  ·     Autism spectrum condition   ·     Asperger syndrome    What is the difference between autism and Asperger syndrome?  People diagnosed with Asperger syndrome tend to experience less severe symptoms and do not typically have a learning disability. Asperger syndrome was used in the past to diagnose people with autism who had average or high intelligence. However, in the UK, doctors do not diagnose people with Asperger syndrome anymore.    Getting diagnosed with autism in the UK  An autism diagnosis can help parents understand their child’s needs, point them to the right support or allow them to access financial benefits.  A diagnosis can help autistic adults understand why they find some things harder than other people, allow them to explain the way in which they see the world differently, point them to the best support for them (at university or at work) or allow them to access financial benefits.  See a GP  ·     Tell your GP about the characteristics you (or people you know well) have noticed that could indicate autism  ·     Ask if they believe an autism assessment is a good idea  Have an autism assessment  A team of autism specialists can check if you or your child are autistic through an autism assessment. In an autism assessment, you will be asked about any problems you have experienced. The specialists will also observe how you interact with others and speak to people you know.  Finding it difficult to get diagnosed?  ·     Ask to get a second opinion from another GP  ·     Phone the National Autistic Society’s helpline – 0808 800 4104  ·     Speak to people who have gone through a similar situation    Support for autistic people and their families  You many know a family member or friend that needs care or support. Here at Curam we want to support you as best as we can by allowing you to choose the right carer and care type for you or your loved one.  There are other places you can go to find additional support and get in touch with people who are going through a similar situation:   ·     Find a local support group  ·     Find regional support services.  ·     Subscribe to Autism Parenting magazine for the latest news, information and professional advice on autism  ·     Call or find more information from the National Autistic Society – 0800 800 4104   ·     Call or find more information from Ambitious about Autism – 020 8815 544 

19 January 2021

Emergency Home Care  

Emergency Home Care  

If someone’s circumstances change suddenly and they need support at home, emergency care can help. An emergency carer can help an elderly person, child, young person or adult who has had an accident, illness or needs to find a carer at the last minute. They can also provide personalised, specialist care to someone with a disability or a specific condition.     How can a carer help in an emergency?  Emergencies, sudden events and unforeseen circumstances can be disruptive and stressful. A carer can help ease the strain by providing companionship, reassurance and support to someone after an incident, as well as assisting with physical and medical needs. If you need to find a carer as soon as possible, emergency care can provide the help you need in your own home. Here are some of the ways in which an emergency home carer can support someone:  ·     Offering respite care  ·     Getting someone home from hospital quickly and safely  ·     Post-hospital care and convalescence - helping with recovery   ·     Collecting prescriptions and groceries  ·     Reducing loneliness and anxiety when someone is recuperating  ·     Medical needs, such as helping with dressings     How can I arrange care in an emergency?  Arranging home care can usually take quite some time, however, at Curam, you can hire a carer quickly, which is helpful in an emergency. In fact, many people hire a carer on the day that they sign up to our platform and clients regularly find a carer within an hour. Our app is easy to download to your mobile phone or tablet and makes finding a carer simple.   Here are some additional benefits to hiring an emergency carer with Curam:  ·     Curam carers have successfully passed our thorough vetting process. This includes interviewing the carer, verifying their DBS check and qualifications and checking they have the right to work in the UK  ·     On average, Curam carers have around 10 years’ experience and are fully insured. You’re also welcome to contact their referees if you’d like to  ·     Once you’ve interviewed the carers you feel are the best fit for your requirements, you can then decide if you’d like to hire them    Is emergency care expensive with Curam?  Remember with Curam, you only pay for the care delivered and it’s completely flexible. Carers’ fees vary depending on their experience and your care requirements and prices can be negotiated with the carer and include Curam’s fees. You can hire an emergency carer on an hourly, overnight or live-in basis.   Here’s a breakdown of the prices you can expect to pay for emergency home care with Curam:     ·     Hourly Care   You can expect to pay from £13 to £16 per hour, depending on the carer’s rates.  ·     Live-in Care  Live-in care costs begin at £120 per day or an average of £800 per week     ·     Overnight Care  Overnight care typically covers the hours between 10pm and 8am and can cost a fixed rate of £90 per shift, or £14 to £18 hourly for waking care.     Whilst we hope you never find yourself in any kind of emergency, we anticipate that knowing a bit more about emergency home care, and how simple it is to arrange, will give you the necessary reassurance to tackle whatever life throws at you.  

18 January 2021

How Much Does Home Care Cost in the UK?  

How Much Does Home Care Cost in the UK?  

Receiving care at home is often less expensive than care home costs in the UK. The average cost of private home care in the UK is £20 per hour, but the cost of in-home care can vary depending on where you live, what type of care you need, and where you choose to get your care.   The average weekly cost of live-in care is usually around £650, but it can cost up to £1600 if someone has more complex needs. You can find out what the cost of care is in your area by using Age UK and Which’s care costs calculator.   Let’s take a look at the cost of home care in different areas of the UK, the difference between the cost of private care and local authorities care, and how much care costs on the Curam platform.    How much does local authority care cost in the UK?  Every year, the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) sets a recommended minimum hourly price for in-home care provided by the local authorities. From April 2021, the minimum recommended price of homecare organised by local councils is £21.43 per hour. It will also be recommended that people actually pay £22.73 per hour for at-home care to ensure the care is sustainable and of the right quality. Due to the higher expense of living in London, the recommended cost of local authority care in the capital is slightly higher at £25.70 per hour.  Although these are recommended costings, the actual average hourly cost of care across the UK tends to be between £16 and £18 per hour.     How much does private homecare cost in the UK?  When hiring a carer privately, the price of home care can vary. As stated above, the average price of privately funded care in the UK is £20 per hour or between £650-£1600 per week. However, the price of at-home care is different in certain parts of the country. For example, live-in dementia care may cost more in the south of England than in the north of England.  The cost of in-home care can also vary according to the level of care needed by a client and when they receive care. For example, the costs of dementia care may be different for someone who has late-stage dementia, compared to early-stage dementia, as their needs are more complex. At-home care may also cost more overnight or on weekends, rather than during the day or on weekdays.     How much does care at home cost in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?  To find out how much home care costs in your area of England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, type your post-code into Age UK and Which’s care costs calculator. Remember, you may pay more than the average price of care in your area if you or your loved one have more complex care needs. Furthermore, care may cost more on weekends, bank holidays or overnight.    How much does care cost with Curam?  The cost of private homecare will ultimately depend on where you hire a carer, as home care companies will have different prices. At Curam, carers’ rates are not based on location, but instead they are based on an individual’s expertise and skills, ensuring a high quality of care.   The price of in-home care with Curam can vary as the self-employed carers that use our platform set their own rates, based on their experience in the care industry.   However, the average hourly cost of home care with Curam throughout the whole of the UK is £15. This is because Curam takes a lower amount of a carer’s fee than the average home care company. This is one of the reasons why our clients would hire a carer with Curam and why our carers would recommend the platform as a way of finding care jobs. You can expect to pay the following prices for care with Curam:  ·     Hourly Care: You can expect to pay from £13 to £16 per hour depending on the carer’s rates.    ·     Overnight Care: Overnight care typically covers the hours between 10pm and 8am, and can cost a fixed rate of £90 per shift, or £14-£18 hourly for waking hours care.    ·     Live-in Care: Live-in care costs begin at £120 per day or an average of £800 per week.    Carers’ fees vary depending on their experience and your care requirements and prices can be negotiated with the carer and include Curam’s fees.   

22 December 2020

The New £588 Billion Government Fund to Get People out of Hospital 

The New £588 Billion Government Fund to Get People out of Hospital 

The government has introduced a fund of more than half a billion pounds to fully fund people’s post-hospital care costs. This means that people can get discharged from hospital on time, and receive fully funded care in the comfort of their own home.   The money that has been offered by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will pay for 6 weeks of at-home convalescent care, and any other immediate care costs patients have after a stay in hospital. In this article, we are going to look at what the DHSC’s fund can be spent on, who is eligible, how the funding will work, and how you can make the most of the government money by choosing a carer with Curam.     When is the fund available?  The funding was introduced in September 2020 and will be available until 31st March 2021. Care needs assessments and NHS CHC funding have also been available since September, and are still taking place to help people with complex care needs receive the support they require to recover quickly.    Who is eligible for this fund?  People are eligible for this government funding if they need care after being in hospital. This could include older people, or people with disabilities that need support at home after a stay in hospital. The funding is for adult social care and any other immediate care costs that will help someone with their rehabilitation and recovery.     How much funding can people get?   The government has provided enough money for people to get 6 weeks of fully funded post-hospital care. The money can also be used to fund any additional care services needed for rehabilitation during this time. This will help people to recover at home and avoid going back to hospital.     What can the government fund be used for?  The £588 billion of government funding will mainly be put towards funding care that people receive in their own home. However, it can also be used to fund for the following:  ·     Support at home  ·     Care home costs (any patients planning to go to a residential care home for post-hospital care will first be tested for Covid-19)  ·     Community nursing services   ·     Services such a physiotherapy   ·     Urgent community responses that stop people from going to hospital     Why has this fund been introduced?  The funding has been introduced to help people get out of hospital as soon as it is safe to do so, and to recover at home. It is often quicker, easier and more pleasant to recover at home and unfortunately, it is often the case that people wait a long time before they get discharged from hospital.  The funding has been introduced to make sure that patients are discharged safely from hospital, as they can count on receiving the care that they need to recover at home. The money comes from the 3 billion pounds that the government put towards protecting health and social care during a potential second peak of the coronavirus pandemic this winter.     How will the fund work?  The NHS will be able to access the money provided by the government. They will be able to put it towards the care of a patient after they have been to hospital.   Guidelines have been set out to make sure that patients are discharged safely, and care managers will oversee this guidance and make sure people are discharged on-time. Care managers will also check that patients are well informed when they are discharged back home, and that someone receives all the relevant assessments and follow up support required.     How to get out of hospital quickly with Curam   The quickest way to hire a convalescent carer is by creating a job ad with Curam. In fact a number of Curam clients have been able to hire a carer within an hour of signing up to our platform. The easiest way to create a job ad is on our app which is easy to use and can be downloaded to your mobile device.    Alternatively you can sign up (for free) and search by postcode for carers in your area – you can then message these vetted and approved carers directly yourself.  Job adverts on the Curam platform receive an average of 5 applications from potential carers. This means that not only is Curam the quickest way of choosing a carer, but it is also the method that offers people the most choice about who they want to provide care in their home.    We’re here to help!  Here at Curam, we want to help you and your loved ones find the best carer for you. If you need any support or want to ask a question about Curam, convalescent care or any other care related issues, do not hesitate to email our client support team on client@curamcare.com.   Our support services will be available everyday (except bank holidays and weekends). If you are a carer who would like to know more about working with Curam, you can contact the carer support team on carer@curamcare.com. Alternatively, you can call us on 01387 730766.   

09 December 2020

Funding your Care: Means Tests and Financial Assessments 

Funding your Care: Means Tests and Financial Assessments 

Are you wondering how you are going to fund your own or a loved-one's care? Or maybe you have had a needs assessment and are now planning for a means test? If someone has a low income or needs financial support to fund their care, they are entitled to receive money from their local council.   In this article, we are going to tell you all about what a means test is, how it works, and how to prepare for a financial assessment. We will also look at how to avoid ‘deprivation of assets’.    What is a means test?  A means test, also called a financial assessment, is an assessment of whether a council should pay for someone’s care. It is based on how much money a person has (their means), and how much care they can afford. In England, a council will usually pay for someone’s care if they have less than £23,250 in savings. If the council agrees to pay for some or all of a person’s care costs, they will receive a personal budget.    When should I get a means test?  A financial assessment takes place after a needs assessment or a carer’s assessment. You do not need to apply for a financial assessment, instead you need to first get a care needs assessment. This assessment decides what a person’s care and support plan should look like. If after a means test someone is given a personal budget, their finances will be reassessed every year.    What is included in a means test?  In a means test, the local council looks at a person's financial information. This is how the local council calculates how much money they should put towards a person’s care, or if they should pay for any alterations to a person’s home (e.g., installing a stair lift). During a means test, a Financial Assessment Officer from the council visits someone at home and asks about the following financial information:  ·     Savings  ·     Property (also second homes and properties that are not in the UK)  ·     Income  ·     Pensions  ·     Benefits (Attendance Allowance or PIP)  During the financial assessment, a person will not be asked about possessions or life insurance.   If you share savings with someone else, a means test will assume that you own half of those savings. If someone’s spouse or partner has their own savings, these won’t be taken into account in a means test.  NOTE: It is important that people do not try to reduce any of their finances before the assessment. If someone spends their money or gives away property before the financial assessment, a person will experience ‘deprivation of assets’ as the assessment will take into account money and property a person used to own and the assets a person tried to reduce will still count.    What's the difference between an at-home care means test and a care home means test?  There are 2 main differences in the way a person’s financial assessment works if they receive care at home, as opposed to a residential care home.  Firstly, if someone receives at-home care (if a carer needs to go to their home for care), then the value of a person’s house won’t count in their means test. The value of someone’s house will count if they are going into a care home unless:  ·     Their spouse or partner lives in the home  ·     A close relative who is 60 or over lives in the home  ·     A close relative who is younger than 16 lives in the home  ·     An ex-spouse or ex-partner lives in the home and they are a single parent.  Secondly, if someone receives at-home care then they are allowed to keep more of their income to pay for bills and to live on, meaning that during the financial assessment their income figures can be higher.     How to prepare for a means test  You can prepare for a financial assessment by making sure you have all of the information you will need. Make sure you have the following information about your financial situation ready for the means test:  ·     Savings (bank accounts, building societies, ISAs, premium bonds)  ·     Stocks and shares   ·     Property  ·     Land  ·     Benefits   You can also keep a diary of your care needs and disability-related expenses ready to talk about during the assessment.  Take someone you trust to the assessment with you for support and to give you confidence. You can also call the helplines listed at the bottom of this page for confidential, personalised advice.  Make sure you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to before a means test as the financial assessment will assume you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to, even if you have not applied for them yet.     What is deprivation of assets?  Deprivation of assets is when a person tried to reduce their assets on purpose so that they won’t count in a means test. This could include money, income or property. If someone gives away money to stop it from counting in their means test (trying to get funding for care from the council), the council may still include the value of the money or assets they don’t have any more in their financial assessment. The following actions count as methods of reducing a person’s assets:  ·     Giving away money  ·     Giving the title deeds of a property to someone  ·     Spending lots of money, more than usual  ·     Gambling money away  ·     Transferring savings so that a spouse or partner owns the money.  ·     Spending savings on possessions that would be excluded from a means test.    How does the council decide if there has been a deliberate deprivation of assets?  If a council suspects that someone may have gotten rid of money or assets to reduce their financial figures in a means test, they will consider two things to confirm whether it counts as deprivation of assets:  ·     Someone knew they might need or needed care and support when they got rid of their property or money. (the timing and knowing about care needs)  ·     Someone got rid of their home or reduced their savings mainly in order to avoid paying for care. (your reason for getting rid of assets)    How to avoid deprivation of assets  It is important to avoid deprivation of assets so you receive the right amount of money and support for your care or the care of a loved one. When you find out you will need care, and you are planning for a means test:  ·     Do not try to spend savings  ·     Do not give away money or property to reduce your assets   ·     Do not try to reduce your income  ·     Do not spend your savings on possessions so they won’t count in a means test.  ·     Do not intentionally try to reduce your assets.  If you need more support about deprivation of assets you can visit the Age UK website or call their helpline – 0800 678 1602.    Can I appeal the results of a means test?  Yes, you can appeal the results of a means test. If you don’t agree with the results of a financial assessment or the way it was carried out you should:  ·     Complain to your local council (on their website or over the phone).  ·     Complain to the local government and social care ombudsman (someone who has been employed to investigate complaints about organisations).    Support for financial assessments   If you are worried about a means test or deprivation of assets, and you want to find out more, there are services that offer advice and support: ·     FirstStopAdvice give advice about means tests, you can call their helpline – 0800 377 7070  ·     The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) can help you with a financial assessment, you can call their helpline – 0333 2020 454  ·     The Money Advice Service offer support to anyone about financial assessments, you can call them on 0800 138 7777   

07 December 2020

Local Authority Funding: Everything you Need to Know 

Local Authority Funding: Everything you Need to Know 

Did you know that local authorities have a duty to pay for some people’s care? A council may fund someone’s care costs after carrying out a couple of assessments. Firstly, the council will carry out a needs assessment to find out how much care someone needs, then they will carry out a means test to calculate how much money someone should receive based on their financial situation.   In this article, we are going to look at what local authority funding is, who is eligible for this funding, and how you can get money from the council to cover your at-home care costs.     What is local authority funding?  The Care Act 2014 is the piece of legislation that sets out the duties of a local council in relation to care and tells us who is eligible for local authority funding. The Care Act 2014 lets people know their rights so that they know if the council should be paying for their care.   If a person is a resident in the local area (they live at home there), and their health needs and care needs make them eligible for local authority funding, the council may pay for all or some of their care costs. The council may also organise a person’s care if this is what they want.     What does local authority funding pay for?  Local authority funding can be used to fund care home costs or live-in care costs. Sometimes a council will prefer to pay for care home costs, but it is still possible to get them to fund live-in care costs. You should therefore choose the care option that is best for you or your loved one. A council can either provide carers, or give someone their personal budget (the local authority funding money they are entitled to) via direct payment to pay for privately arranged care.     Who is eligible for local authority funding?  To be eligible for local authority care funding, someone has to live in the local area and need help when it comes to daily tasks. Someone could also be eligible for funding if they are a carer and need support (this is determined through a carer’s needs assessment).  An individual may be eligible for local authority funding if a care needs assessment decides that:  ·     They have a physical health need   ·     They have a mental health need  ·     They have an illness  ·     They cannot complete some important everyday tasks   ·     Their wellbeing is impacted significantly if they do not receive help and support For example, someone may need help with personal care (e.g., washing and bathroom assistance), be at risk of a fall, or need support with a mental health condition.    How to get local authority funding   In England, the first thing someone needs to do to get local authority funding is to ask social services for a needs assessment (or a carer’s assessment). This is a free assessment, and anyone can ask for it if they think they could be eligible for help from the local authorities.   You can start applying for local authority funding online. You just need to type in your post code to find your local council’s application page is and apply for a care needs assessment on their website. It is also possible for a carer or health professional to refer someone to the local council for a care needs assessment.   ·     If your situation is urgent, make sure you state this on your application as your assessment could be fast-tracked.   ·     Once you have applied, make sure to follow up on your request if your local council doesn’t get back to you after a week.    What is a care needs assessment?  A care needs assessment is an assessment carried out by a healthcare professional (a nurse, occupational therapist or social worker). It is the assessment used by the local council to check a person’s care needs, and to find out what care is available to someone. In a care needs assessment, someone will talk to you about daily tasks, what you cope well with, and what you find difficult or need help with. Other topics in a care needs assessment can include:  ·     Skills  ·     Physical health  ·     Mental health  ·     Social life   ·     Wishes and hopes for life   ·     Religion and culture  It is very important that someone is open and honest during their care needs assessment so they get the care and support they need. You can prepare for a care needs assessment by thinking of some examples of day-to-day tasks you find difficult. This will help you to feel more confident about discussing your need, preferences and situation.   If someone has eligible care needs, the local council will carry out a means test to check a person’s eligibility for funding.     How does a means test work?  A means test is the way a council assesses a person’s financial situation and decides if the local authorities should pay for some or all of their care costs. Usually, if someone has less than £23,250 in savings and assets, they will probably be eligible for local authority funding.   Property and income could also be important factors when it comes to assessing a person’s eligibility for care funding from the local council. It is important that someone makes sure they have applied for all of the benefits they are entitled to, as the person doing the means test will assume that if someone is eligible for a benefit, they are receiving it.     What if you can’t get local authority funding?  Sometimes, the council will decide that someone is not eligible for local authority funding. This is either because a person’s care needs are not deemed eligible for local authority support, or a person’s finances and assets mean that they are not eligible for funding. If this happens, there are a few things you should consider:  ·     Do you want to appeal the decision made?   ·     Have you applied for all of the benefits you are entitled to?  ·     Would you benefit from any home adaptations or equipment that the NHS offer?  ·     Have you considered NHS Continuing Healthcare funding?    Appeal the council's decision  If you disagree with the outcome of a care needs assessment or a means test, you can appeal the local authority’s decision. You can also complain about how an assessment was carried out if you do not think the assessor was fair.   It is possible to challenge a local authority’s decision if they have refused to pay for your care, or you think you need more support than they have offered. You can appeal a decision by following these steps:  ·     Get in touch with your local authority to ask for an explanation of the decision.   ·     Read over this explanation to check that there have not been any misunderstandings.   If you are still unhappy with the decision, ask for help with your complaint from the following services:   ·     The Citizens Advice Bureau    ·     Your local councillor  ·     A local disability or support group  ·     Take your complaint to the Ombudsman (Someone who investigates complaints made against organisations).  Look into non-means tested benefits   Some benefits will help you to fund care and they are not all means-tested. This means that a person may be eligible for funding no matter what their financial situation is like.   Consider equipment or home adaptations  If a small piece of equipment or home adaptation costs less than £1000, the NHS may offer it to someone for free. Assistive devices and home adaptations can have a large impact on a person’s quality of life and independence.  NHS CHC funding  If someone needs care after staying in hospital to recover from an illness, operation or accident then they may be entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare. This is fully funded care that is not means tested, so if someone’s post-hospital care needs are eligible, their financial situation won’t stop them from getting funding for the care that they need.     Support for people looking for local authority funding and advice  If you want to find out more about local authority funding, or want to ask for advice about your situation, the following services can help:  ·     Age UK offer useful resources about care funding and their helpline is available for support and advice – 0800 169 6565  ·     Independent Age also offer support and advice about local authority funding – 0800 319 6789  ·     The Money Advice Service will be able to answer any other questions you have about funding care and local authority funding – 0800 138 7777             

07 December 2020

Everything you Need to Know about NHS CHC Funding 

Everything you Need to Know about NHS CHC Funding 

Did you know that people with long-term complex care needs may be eligible to receive funding from the NHS that would cover all of their care costs? The NHS also offer some people the option of having their care organised for them, and they may pay for home adaptations too.   In this article, we will explain what NHS Continuing Healthcare funding is, who is eligible for this money and how to get CHC funding. We are also going to talk about what a CHC funding checklist consists of and how continuing healthcare assessments work.    What is NHS Continuing Healthcare?  In England, NHS Continuing Healthcare is a care package that is fully organised and funded by the NHS to support an adult’s long-term complex health needs. This could be due to a disability, illness or accident. CHC funding pays for the care a person over the age of 18 receives outside of hospital, in the form of at-home care or care in a residential home.     Who can get CHC funding?  To be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding someone needs to have a ‘primary health need’. This means that someone's care is mainly needed to support their health or prevent their health from getting worse (as opposed to social or personal care needs).   An adult’s eligibility and health needs are open to the interpretation of a professionally trained and experienced assessment team. A person’s diagnosis is not the factor that qualifies someone for NHS CHC funding, therefore it is not possible to know if someone will be able to get funding without an assessment. The needs of an individual can change, therefore a person’s eligibility for CHC funding can also change.   The financial situation of a person will not be included in an NHS CHC assessment as Continuing Healthcare is not means tested (it is not based on how much money a person has, or how much care a person can afford). The NHS have a duty to cover the care costs of a person’s long-term complex health needs.   Can someone with dementia get CHC funding?  As mentioned above, the criteria for receiving CHC funding is not based on what condition a person has. Therefore, some people with Dementia may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, but others may not be eligible. This is because CHC assessments and results are based on a person’s health needs (not their personal care or social needs).     How to get CHC funding  If you think yourself, a friend, or a loved one is eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare ask a GP, social worker or healthcare professional for a Checklist assessment. It is also possible to contact your Clinical Commissioning Group’s continuing healthcare department directly to ask for an assessment.  Sometimes, an assessment will be organised for you if you have been in hospital after an accident, fall or stroke, and you may need long-term care. An assessment should be set up for someone whose health deteriorates and needs care, but this does not always happen, so it is important to check if you are eligible for CHC funding.   If you are unsure about whether you are eligible for CHC funding, you should still ask for an assessment to find out.     All about the assessments for NHS CHC funding:  The assessment period for Continuing Healthcare funding can be confusing and difficult for some people. If you need support or advice visit the Beacon website or call their helpline – 0345 548 0300.   How many CHC funding assessments are there?  There are two assessments for Continuing Healthcare funding. A CHC funding checklist assessment and a full CHC funding assessment. The checklist assessment decides whether someone needs a full assessment, and the full assessment decides whether someone is eligible for NHS CHC funding.   Who carries out the Continuing Healthcare assessments?  A nurse, doctor or social worker can carry out a CHC funding checklist assessment. They must get your consent before doing this (unless under the Mental Capacity Act a person lacks the mental capacity to consent).  Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) carry out both CHC funding checklist assessments and full assessments. CCGs are NHS organisations that arrange local healthcare services.  A multidisciplinary team (MDT) carry out a full CHC funding assessment. This team is made up of 2 healthcare professionals with different healthcare jobs. An MDT usually has representatives from health and social care who already help the candidate with their care. You will be told who the people are that are going to carry out the assessment.     What does the CHC funding checklist assessment involve?  The NHS Continuing Healthcare checklist is the first assessment carried out to decide if someone may be eligible for CHC funding. During an assessment a team will consider:  ·     The help a person needs  ·     The complexity of a person’s needs   ·     The intensity of a person’s needs  ·     The unpredictability of a person’s needs  ·     The possible risks if someone does not receive care  The team carrying out the CHC checklist assessment will write down why they think some is or is not eligible for funding, and you will be given a copy of this written assessment.    What is involved in a CHC funding full assessment?  The multidisciplinary team that carries out a person’s full assessment for NHS CHC funding will consider a person’s needs. These needs will be grouped under the following titles:  ·     Respiratory needs (breathing)  ·     Nutritional needs (eating and drinking)  ·     Bathroom needs (continence)  ·     Skin-related needs (e.g., ulcers or wounds)  ·     Mobility needs (movement)  ·     Communication needs (speaking and listening)  ·     Psychological and emotional needs   ·     Understanding  ·     Behavioural needs   ·     Medication and treatments  ·     Consciousness (and difficulties with consciousness)  ·     Other important care needs  These titles and needs make up a Decision Support Tool. A DST is used by the team assessing an individual’s needs. In the assessment a person’s needs will be assessed as ‘priority’, ‘severe’, ‘high’, ‘moderate’, ‘low’, or ‘no needs’. If someone has at least one priority need or two severe needs they will probably be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. If someone has one severe need and other high or moderate needs, they may also be eligible for NHS CHC funding. The unpredictability, intensity and severity of needs are also taken into account.  A candidate’s views will be considered, and the views of their carers. The team will give you a copy of the written assessment with their reasons why you are or are not eligible for CHC funding.     How long does it take to find out if you are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding?  Someone should know the results of a CHC funding assessment 28 days after their assessment was requested or their first assessment took place. This is the case unless someone’s care package is fast-tracked.  If the results take longer than 28 days (and the reason for this is unjustifiable), you are entitled to a refund for any care costs from the 29th day onwards.   Can a CHC assessment be fast-tracked?  If someone urgently needs care their assessment may be fast-tracked. This could be the case if someone has a terminal illness or is nearing the end of life. Fast-track service usually takes around 48 hours.    When is CHC eligibility reviewed?   A person’s care and health needs can change, therefore their eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare can change. Therefore, a person's needs and care package are reviewed after the first 3 months of receiving it, and then every year after that.  

07 December 2020

What do Clients Think About Using Curam to Hire Carers?

What do Clients Think About Using Curam to Hire Carers?

Are you thinking of using Curam to find a carer for yourself, a friend or a loved one? Or maybe you are a Curam carer who wants to know how clients feel about the platform? This article will tell you more about why Curam is a great way to find a carer, and why clients love using our platform.  Ever since Curam joined forces with Trustpilot in October, feedback has been flooding in about what it is like to hire a carer using our platform. We have loved reading about how happy our clients are with our service, and we want to share their comments with you.  Curam is creating a better care community for both clients and carers. Our clients have more choice over who provides their care and more control of when they want to receive care. At the same time, carers feel valued and earn more with Curam (on average GBP15 per hour).   Aside from our mission to create a fairer care community, in our reviews, clients told us the 7 best things about finding a carer with Curam:  ·     Speed and efficiency  ·     The high quality experienced carers  ·     The ability to interview carers  ·     The Curam app and platform  ·     Choice and flexibility of care  ·     Client support services  ·     Low, fair prices    Curam clients are relieved about speed and efficiency  We were so pleased to hear that our clients were content and relieved with the care that we helped them to find. Elaine told us that ‘Curam were there’ when she was feeling ‘extremely anxious’ about finding a carer for her mother, and Clara found Curam helpful when she had to find care at short notice for her 85-year-old father.   Chrissy said: ’Curam came very quickly when I needed help’. Not only do we help people find the self-employed carers they need, but we help people find carers quickly and efficiently, giving them peace of mind. In fact, Jess said that Curam ‘massively reduced the burden that had previously’ fallen on her shoulders. We believe that people return to the Curam platform to find carers because it:   ·     Gives people peace of mind  ·     Makes finding carers easier  ·     Is quick and efficient  ·     Offers a greater choice of high quality experienced carers  Jo even told us that the district nurses visiting her parents regularly commented on the wonderful care that they had received at home, and she believes ‘hand on heart, that care at home is much, much better’ than residential care.    Curam clients appreciate their carers  Curam clients had a lot of praise for their carers. They believe that the quality of Curam carers is brilliant, and that carers on the platfrorm are very reliable. In their reviews, clients had lots of good things to say about Curam carers:  ·     Karen D told us that her carer has ‘proven to be reliable, caring & very easy to get along with’.  ·     Karen K described her carer as ‘everything we could have hoped for, kind and caring, patient and thorough’.   ·     Brian called his carer ‘an absolute diamond’.  Jo H also told us that the expertise and experience of Curam carers is impressive. She said that ‘there is a really solid background of working in hospitals, in the home, residential provision and plenty of accredited training’. And it is true, Curam carers have years of experience.    Curam clients can interview potential carers  A second reason why clients love their Curam carers is because they get to interview and choose the right person for the job. Janice told us that Curam allowed her ‘peace of mind’ whilst being away from home as she trusted the carer she had found and interviewed.   Michael and Susan also really valued the chance to interview carers, telling us that this is what made Curam better than other ways of finding care. Interviews help Curam clients:  ·     Feel safer  ·     Check if a carer gets on well with a client  ·     Find out more about a carer’s interests and values  ·     Discuss rates, hours and the type of care needed  Curam carers can be suited to a client not just because they live nearby, but they could also share the same hobbies, language, religion or values as their client.  It is also useful that Curam carers choose who they want to work for as it means both parties value each other. This is one of the reasons why Jo’s carers ‘really enjoy their work and do it to a very high standard, forming loving, person focused relationships’.   Curam also makes it easy for clients to change carers if they want to, making it easy to find the best person for the job.     Curam clients find it easy to use our platform  One of our main focuses here at Curam is our technology. Our client app and website make it easy to find carers near you. Paul said our app was ‘very convenient’ and Jess said the website was ‘easy to use’ and provided access to hundreds of carers that fit her profile.   Willie said that he found the Curam platform ‘invaluable for identifying and engaging a suitable and reliable carer’. The Curam app makes it easy for clients to:  ·     Set-up a profile  ·     Find the right carer  ·     Check a carer’s availability  ·     Hire a carer and discuss hours  ·     Make payments  Willie also thought that Curam made it ‘simple to contact the carers confidentially within the portal’ and Jo H believes that ‘the payment system is extremely easy to use and all is very instantaneous’.    Curam clients like choosing their care  Another upside to finding care with Curam is that we offer different, more flexible types of care. Karen K told us that, when looking for overnight care for her father who has dementia, she was ‘struggling to find this kind of care through other means’, therefore Curam was ‘an absolute godsend’ for her family. Curam offers the following types of care:  ·     Live-in care   ·     Overnight care  ·     Hourly care  ·     Respite care  ·     Convalescent care  ·     Palliative and End of life care  ·     Specialised care for conditions (such as dementia care or autism care).  These care types are also negotiable and flexible as a client can tailor them to their situation. This could be through changing the number of hours, days, or weeks they hire their carer. Or, a client could hire multiple carers to cover their on-going care plan.   Curam carers are self-employed, therefore they tend to have a more flexible schedule and approach to care work. Curam clients also do not have to book a set amount of care (except that 1 hour is the minimum amount of time a carer can be hired for).   Having control over when a client receives care also lets clients increase the amount of care that they or their loved-one receives as they get older or if their care requirements change. In fact, Christina told us that she used Curam and ‘gradually upped the care’ for her mother, and Jo H believes that ‘Curam is a great agency to be in touch with if you are caring for vulnerable family members and feel you might be about to need different, more hands-on, more specialised care in future’.     Curam clients receive great support  One of the best things about Curam is our client support service. Clients can count on our client service team to:  ·     Explain how Curam works  ·     Give advice about how best to choose a carer  ·     Help clients to use the Curam app  ·     Solve any problems clients may have   Customers were really impressed with our support and service and many commented on it in their reviews:  ·     Jess said our ‘customer service has been second to none, with very personalised and timely responses from the admin and management team’.   ·     Jonnie believes Curam staff are ‘helpful, caring and efficient’ and he would ‘highly recommend this great value service where you genuinely feel cared for’.  ·     Lesley says: ‘everyone I spoke to was polite, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their site’.   ·     Erika believes all the people she ‘dealt with through phone and email were efficient and very friendly’ and that answers to her queries ‘were prompt and clear’.   ·     William was ‘impressed with the efficiency you dealt with a repayment when one of the bookings had to be cancelled due to Covid-19'.   Michael and Susan gave Jane a shoutout and said that she helped them a lot and gave them ‘the best advice’, and Jo H and Laura both gave a shoutout to Gemma who was ‘a star’ and provided a real ‘personal service’. Jane and Gemma are part of our great team who help Curam clients on a daily basis.    Curam clients pay better prices   Payments are easy to make and manage on the Curam app, and we make sure that they run smoothly for our clients and carers. Our clients also benefit from lower prices whilst our carers on average earn 25% more after tax than with a typical agency. In fact, Clients pay 10% less than the average UK agency hourly rate for care. Also, because all Curam carers are self-employed, clients can spend the money saved on NI and payroll on extra hours of care.    Annie called Curam an ‘excellent provider of first class carers at reasonable prices’, and Christina noted that ‘the cost per hour is less than other agencies as Curam take a smaller percentage for their work than other agencies’. Also, Jo was also impressed by Curam’s commission, calling it a ‘minimal, transparent amount of what the carer decides to charge for the work’ and likes that the commission paid for background checks, insurance and carer interviews.  Curam's 12.5% + VAT commission is included in the carer's advertised rate, you only pay for care that is delivered and there are no joining fees or tie in contracts.    Hire a Curam carer today!  Finding a carer has never been so easy. If you want to hire a carer, and you like Curam’s model and platform, then sign up to find a Curam carer now!  We promise to make it easy for you to choose the best carer possible. You will also be able to choose what type of care you want, when you want and how many carers will provide it. On average, rates on the platform are lower (carers set their own rates), you can sign-up for free and we have no tie-in contracts. We also promise to give you the best service, support and to make payments easy.   You can hire a Curam carer in 3 easy steps:  Step 1: Download the Curam app and search for carers in your area for free (filter to your needs).  Step 2: Shortlist the carers you like, contact them directly, get to know each other and check references. Then, agree rates, hours and the care type that works for you both.  Step 3: Start your care, the app will make service agreements and payments easy.  Alternatively create a job ad for free and post details of the role you wish to fill on our platform where all suitable carers will be messaged through their app and where you can view the profiles of those carers who have applied for your position. Your details are always kept confidential until you wish to disclose them.    A huge thank you to our clients  Thank you to all of our valued clients that have sent in reviews. Read the rest of our reviews from clients and carers on Trustpilot. We appreciate your feedback and we are delighted to hear how much Curam has helped you to find the right carers easily and quickly.   

07 December 2020

How to Get Out of Hospital Quickly 

How to Get Out of Hospital Quickly 

Patients often don’t get discharged from hospital quickly and have to wait a while after being deemed medically fit to leave. The main reason for this wait tends to be the time it takes to arrange post-hospital care. Many people in hospital may feel worried about not getting out of hospital in time for a family event, work commitment, or important occasion. With Curam, clients can hire a post-hospital carer quickly so that they are able to leave hospital as soon as they are ready to.  Let’s look at why it often takes so long to get discharged from hospital and how someone can get out of hospital faster with Curam.    How long do people normally have to wait to get discharged from hospital?   People often end up staying in hospital for longer than is necessary. At any given time, almost 30% of people in hospital are fit to go home, but have not been discharged. Moreover, on average, people wait between 22-44 days after being deemed fit to leave hospital until they actually get to go home.      Why do people stay in hospital longer than is needed?   The most common reason why people have to wait to be discharged from hospital is the time it takes for decisions to be made about their future care. This could be due to a needs assessment or waiting for a package of care to become available. Unfortunately, often the level of care provided to a person is not suited to their needs when they leave hospital and thus was not worth the wait.    In fact, the number of people that are sent home after a stay in hospital is only a fraction of the amount of people whose best option would be to receive care at home. According to the Integration and Better Care Fund, the number of people who should receive at-home care should be double and the number of people receiving convalescent care should be triple what it currently is.      Why choose a post-hospital carer with Curam?   If you hire a convalescent carer with Curam, you can quickly get the care and support you need. We often see clients hiring a carer within an hour of signing up to our platform. This means that people will be able to be back in their own home as soon as they are deemed medically fit enough.   The Curam app is easy to download to your mobile device. Our app is also easy to use, and a free job posting will receive an average of 5 applications from potential carers. This means that with Curam, not only will you be able to hopefully leave hospital on time, but you will also have a choice of who you want your carer to be. This helps the care recipient to feel in control of their recovery and care plan.  It is important that clients have a positive, friendly relationship with their carers, especially after a stay in hospital. The carers on the Curam platform are trusted, vetted and experienced, but don’t just take it from us, check out the reviews from both our clients and carers on our Trustpilot page.    How much does post-hospital care cost with Curam?    With Curam, you only pay for the care delivered. Post-hospital care can come in the form of hourly care, overnight care or live-in care. A client can expect to pay the following prices for convalescent care with Curam:    ·     Hourly Care: You can expect to pay from £13 to £16 per hour.     ·     Overnight Care: Overnight care typically covers the hours between 10pm and 8am, and can cost a fixed rate of £90 per shift, or £14- £18 hourly for waking care.     ·     Live-in Care: Live-in care costs begin at £120 per day or an average of £800 per week.      Carers’ rates vary depending on their experience and your care requirements, and these prices can be negotiated with the carer.       How to hire a post-hospital carer with Curam    The quickest way to find a carer is to create a job advert on the Curam website (we'll walk you through how to create this in the next paragraph). You'll then be able to hire a post-hospital carer as soon as possible, and return home to your family, friends and pets.   Job adverts are completely anonymous and free. Carers will not see who is posting the ad until you have accepted their application for the job, and you only pay for the care that is delivered. As soon as a carer applies for the job, you will be able to review their profile and arrange to interview them. This way, you can meet a post-hospital carer before hiring them to make sure they are the right fit for you and your family.      How to create a job ad for post-hospital care with Curam     You can create a job advert on the Curam website, all you have to do is fill in a few details about yourself and the carer you are looking for. Click here to create a job advert now!   Curam will post the ad on their jobs board to allow suitable carers to apply for the role to help you get home. You will be able to interview the candidates that you like the most and you can always call our client support team if you need any help with your choice or the hiring process.     We’re here to help!   If you would like to hire a carer, or you know a friend or family member that wants to hire a post-hospital carer, you can create a free job advert on the Curam platform now!   Here at Curam, we want to help you and your loved ones find the best carer for you. If you need any support or want to ask a question about Curam, convalescent care or any other care related issues, do not hesitate to email our client support team on client@curamcare.com. Our support services are available every week day (except bank holidays).  If you are a carer who would like to know more about working with Curam, you can contact the carer support team on carer@curamcare.com. Alternatively, you can call us on 01387 730766.     

04 December 2020

Learning Disabilities: Associated Conditions

Learning Disabilities: Associated Conditions

In this article we will look at the conditions related to learning disabilities. A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability that affects a person for their whole life, making it difficult to process complicated information, learn new skills or cope independently.  Someone with the following conditions will often have a learning disability, but the conditions themselves are not learning disabilities. These conditions include:  ·     Down’s syndrome  ·     Autism  ·     Williams syndrome  ·     Fragile X syndrome  ·     Global developmental delay  ·     Cerebral palsy   With the right, person-centred care, people with these conditions and/or a learning disability can ensure a better quality of life and improve their independence.    Down’s syndrome and learning disabilities People with Down’s syndrome can also have a learning disability. Around 15-20% of people with learning disabilities in the UK have Down’s syndrome. People with Down’s syndrome will each experience a different type of learning disability, unique to the individual. A child with Down’s syndrome may:  ·     Take longer than other children to reach milestones (e.g., talking, walking).  ·     Take longer than other children to develop certain skills (e.g., social skills, writing).  ·     Develop motor skills at a slower rate.  ·     Develop number skills at a slower rate.  ·     Find it harder to hold and process verbal information (find it easier to understand visual information).  An adult with Down’s syndrome may need constant support when it comes to everyday tasks.    Autism and learning disabilities  Autism is not a learning disability, but some people with autism also have a learning disability. Approximately 40% of autistic people have a learning disability. Some of the symptoms an autistic person with a learning disability may experience include:  ·     Difficulties with speech or not talking at all.  ·     Behaviours such as rocking and head banging.  ·     Other behaviours that demonstrate self-injury.  ·     Epilepsy    Williams syndrome and learning disabilities  Many people with Williams syndrome will have a learning disability. As a child it will often take them longer to:  ·     Learn to walk ·     Learn to talk ·     Gain social skills Williams syndrome is a rare genetic condition that occurs randomly (is not passed on from a parent to a child). Those with this syndrome are typically very talkative and overtly friendly people. In addition to a learning disability, people with Williams syndrome can develop mental health problems later in life (including anxiety and depression).    Fragile X syndrome and learning disabilities  Fragile X is the most common way in which a learning disability is inherited. Nearly all boys who have Fragile X will have a learning disability, but only 1 in 3 girls with Fragile X will have a learning disability. Most people with Fragile X encounter difficulties when it comes to:  ·     Speech and language ·     Social and emotional interactions ·     Having a short attention span ·     Getting distracted and restless easily No two people have the same experience of Fragile X, and some people with the condition are also diagnosed with autism.    Global developmental delay and learning disabilities  When a child takes longer than others to reach certain developmental milestones (such as walking, talking, or social interaction) it can be described as ‘developmental delay’ or ‘global developmental delay (GDD)’.  If the delay in development is significant (not short term), and a child needs further support, they may also have a learning disability. Someone with another condition such as down’s syndrome may also have GDD.    Cerebral palsy and learning disabilities  Cerebral palsy is not a learning disability, but some people with cerebral palsy may have a learning disability. Cerebral palsy is caused by an injury to a baby’s brain (for example, through a lack of oxygen or an illness) during pregnancy, birth or just afterwards. A person with cerebral palsy can encounter difficulties with:  ·     Movement ·     Co-ordination  ·     Posture   ·     Speech   ·     Having seizures and epilepsy    Support for people with a learning disability   You many know a family member or friend who has a learning disability and needs care or support. Here at Curam we want to support you as best as we can by allowing you to choose the right carer and care type for you or your loved one.  There are other places you can go to find additional support and get in touch with people who are going through a similar situation:   ·     Call the Mencap Learning Disability Helpline - 0808 808 1111  ·     Find local learning disabilities services on the NHS.  ·     These apps can help people with a learning disability.   

02 December 2020

How to Care for Someone with a Learning Disability

How to Care for Someone with a Learning Disability

Caring for someone with a learning disability can be very rewarding, but also challenging. It is important that someone with a learning disability receives the care they need, whether this is through at-home care, or care from a friend or relative.  In this article we are going to talk about how to care for someone with a learning disability. This includes tips on finding the right learning disabilities care plan, how to manage challenging behaviour (a possible symptom of learning disabilities) and information about important services for people with learning disabilities.    Finding care for someone with a learning disability  First of all, it is important to make sure a friend or relative with a learning disability is receiving the care that they need. Figuring out the needs and preferences of your friend, relative or colleague with a learning disability will help them to get support, and improve their quality of life. Discovering what someone with a learning disability can do by themself is also important as it allows people to live as independently as possible.   After finding out about your loved one’s care preferences, you can help them to find the care plan that suits them. Curam makes it quick and easy to find a carer that suits a client’s needs, routine and lifestyle.     How to manage challenging behaviour for learning disabilities  Challenging behaviour can include actions such as hitting, kicking, head banging, throwing, spitting or self-injury. It can be upsetting and stressful to see a loved one behaving this way, but it is important to remember that most of the time, when someone is behaving aggressively, they are in pain or in need of something. People with severe learning disabilities may find it hard to vocalise their needs.   Therefore, the first step to managing challenging behaviour is trying to understand the reason behind the behaviour, so that you can help the person with a learning disability to cope with their discomfort or anxiety. It is possible to manage challenging behaviour by:  ·     Asking yourself if the person could be bored or in pain?   ·     Offering another way of communicating when someone is in pain, bored or uncomfortable. (This could include a sign or card they show you).  ·     Making a record of the behaviour and figuring out if there is a reason or trigger for it that you could be aware of next time.  ·     If the situation is safe, and the person is not in danger or pain, try distracting them from their distress:         ·     Make them a drink or snack          ·     Put on the TV or music         ·     Tell them to follow you to another room   You should ask your GP or a healthcare professional about challenging behaviour to get further, person-oriented advice.     Important things to know about when caring for someone with a learning disability   When caring for someone with a learning disability, it is important to be aware of what someone with a learning disability should be doing to protect their health, and get the support that they need to improve their quality of life. Carers can help people with learning disabilities to keep on top of medical appointments, social services meetings and assessments. Here are a few things it is useful to know about:  ·     Annual health checks  ·     Reasonable adjustments  ·     Care assessments  ·     Support services  ·     Carer’s assessment    Annual health checks for people with learning disabilities  People with a learning disabilities may have poorer health than others. Anyone with a learning disability and over the age of 14 should go for an annual health check. It is a free medical appointment, and someone should go even if they are feeling perfectly well. It will prevent someone from developing a serious health condition and help them to maintain good health.  Check with your GP whether you are registered for an annual health check. During the health check they will do various activities (check blood pressure, weight, urine samples). They will also talk to you about any other problems you have been experiencing, and discuss any medication or therapies you are using.  Reasonable adjustments for people with learning disabilities  If someone needs a GP or healthcare professional to change the way they are doing something to make it easier for them, this is called a reasonable adjustment. People are legally required to make these adjustments when asked to. Reasonable adjustments for people with learning disabilities could include:   ·     Utilising pictures, larger font or more simple language.   ·     Organising a longer appointment for someone.  ·     Making an appointment when the waiting room isn’t as busy at a surgery or health centre.  Care needs assessments for people with learning disabilities  People from the ages of 0-25 with special education needs and disabilities must receive a care needs assessment and care plan from health, education and social care services. Care needs assessments and care plans are also available to adults above the age of 25. If you think you or your child has an undiagnosed condition talk to your GP.  Carer’s assessment for carers of people with learning disabilities  It is possible to get a carer’s assessment to assess the impact that caring has on a carer’s life. This can help carers and their loved ones to receive support and sometimes funding to help them with their needs.    Support for people with learning disabilities  You many know a family member or friend who has a learning disability and needs care or support. Here at Curam we want to support you as best as we can by allowing you to choose the right carer and care type for you or your loved one.  There are other places you can go to find additional support and get in touch with people who are going through a similar situation:  ·     Call the Mencap Learning Disability Helpline - 0808 808 1111  ·     Find local learning disabilities services on the NHS.  ·     These apps can help people with a learning disability.    Support for carers of people with learning disabilities  Curam is creating a better care community. We understand that carers are highly skilled professionals with expertise and experience that is invaluable for our clients.   Moreover, it is important that carers receive the support and help that they need. Introducing a personal assistant into a family’s life can give people the time they need to look after themselves whilst helping their loved ones receive the support they require. Here are a couple of places you can go for further support:  ·     Go to Carers UK.  ·     Get in touch with the Carers trust.  ·     Consider respite care and other carer options with Curam.   

02 December 2020