Learning Disabilities Care Options: Everything You Need To Know
01 December 2020
This article aims to inform you of the different care options available to people with learning disabilities. Caring for someone with learning disabilities can be a rewarding and challenging role. A professional learning disabilities carer can help clients to ensure that their family member or friend receives the right one-to-one support they need.
People with learning disabilities may take longer to learn certain skills, and may find it harder to process complex information. A learning disability carer can help someone at home to have a better quality of life and greater independence.
Care options for people with a learning disability
Some individuals need more help than others as learning disabilities can range from the mild to the serious and profound. Some carers can help with intimate and personal care with people with learning disabilities, and others can support people with tasks such as administration and communication.
It is important to consider all of the care options available so you can choose a learning disability care plan that is best suited to an individual. It is worth noting that a care plan for adults with learning disabilities should support an adult’s routine, interests and needs. Specialist learning disability care is available in the following care types:
Live-in care for learning disabilities
At-home care is a good option for people with moderate, severe or profound learning disabilities. Live-in care offers people 24/7, one-to-one care in the comfort of their own home. A live-in personal assistant or carer is someone who consistently ensures the mental wellbeing and physical health of a person, and can assist someone who has a learning disability in the following ways:
· Mobility and moving around the home
· Washing and personal hygiene
· Dressing and personal care
· Communication and social interaction
· Helping people to manage their finances and administrative tasks.
· Helping someone to get a job.
· Maintaining nutrition
· Maintaining relationships
· Companionship and fostering confidence
· Using public transport and recreational facilities
· Bathroom assistance and help with incontinence
Hourly care for learning disabilities
Carers can also be hired on an hourly basis to help you when you most need it. Short-term care can be useful at times of the day when a carer cannot be there for a loved one, or needs an extra pair of hands.
Hourly care may be most helpful for adults with a mild learning disability as a carer could help them for a few hours a day, with tasks they find more challenging, such as administration, managing finances or filling out a form. Hourly care can also offer people with learning disabilities friendship and companionship. This aspect of hourly care is especially beneficial for young adults or children with learning disabilities.
Overnight care for learning disabilities
Overnight care is available to people with learning disabilities. As some people with learning disabilities find it hard to cope independently, having an overnight carer allows them the support they need for a good quality of life, independence and to prevent accidents. Carers can help throughout the night by:
· Offering security and peace of mind
· Assisting with mobility within the home, such as climbing stairs or getting into bed
· Assisting with trips to the bathroom and incontinence
· Offering on-hand help throughout the night
Overnight carers offer sleeping night care or waking night care. If someone with a learning disability is unlikely to wake up during the night, then sleeping night care can offer peace of mind and is the best option. If someone with a learning disability wakes up a lot throughout the night, and needs assistance, waking night care will give them the help they need.
Respite care for learning disabilities
As a carer, it is important to take a break, respite care can offer a carer time away from their responsibilities. Caring for someone with learning disabilities can be a rewarding, but tiring role. Whether it’s because of family commitments, work commitments 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 can present a good option for someone when planning for the future. As children with learning disabilities grow up, a professional carer may seem like a useful and necessary addition to their life so they can live as independently as possible.
Care homes for learning disabilities
Living in a care home can be a good option for some people with a learning disability. If care is required 52 weeks a year, 24 hours a day and someone with a learning disability cannot or does not want to live at home, residential services are an alternative option to home care.
Care in the community for learning disabilities
Community learning disability teams work throughout the UK to support people with learning disabilities. Search for your closest team on your council’s website, or search on the NHS.
How much does learning disability care cost?
In 2018/19 the cost of care for working age adults rose by 1.6% and care for an older person by 3.4%. Almost £6 billion was spent on care for people with learning disabilities. Over £6 Bn was spent on care for people who need physical support and almost £2000 million was spent on care for people with conditions that affect their memory or cognition. 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 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 £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.
Support for people with learning disabilities and their families
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.
· Go to Carers UK for support for carers.
· Get in touch with the Carers trust if you need support as a carer.