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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

How to Get NHS Funding: What You Need to Know

How to Get NHS Funding: What You Need to Know

Did you know that you may be eligible to receive funding from the NHS that would cover every penny of your care costs? The NHS may pay for your care if you have long-term complex care needs, they may also  pay for any home adaptations that you need.   Let us guide you through understanding what NHS Continuing Healthcare funding is, whether you are  eligible for this money and how to get NHS CHC funding. We’ll also break down what a CHC funding checklist consists of and how continuing healthcare assessments work.    What is NHS Continuing Healthcare?  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 is when care is mainly needed to support or maintain a person's health, as opposed to helping them with any social or personal care needs.   Keep in mind that an adult’s eligibility and health needs are open to the interpretation of a professionally trained and experienced assessment team and 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 and the needs of an individual can change, so a person’s eligibility for CHC funding can also change.   However, you have nothing to lose. If you get accepted then all of your care is paid for, and if you don’t then the NHS can help you get the support you need in other ways, such as through local authority funding.  It’s worth mentioning that the financial situation of a person will not be included in an NHS CHC assessment as Continuing Healthcare is not means-tested. So, there’s no need to worry about  how much money you have. This is because 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 solely on a person’s health needs, which can vary greatly person to person.     When should I be assessed for NHS funding?  In some situations, you will not need to apply for NHS funding, but instead a doctor or nurse will talk to you about your care needs. These situations include the following:  ·     If you are being discharged from hospital  ·     If your mental or physical health declines significantly  ·     If you are going into a residential care home    How do I 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, and if you are in hospital, you can talk to your ward consultant. 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 need long-term care. An assessment should be set up for someone whose health deteriorates and needs care, but this does not always happen. In short, if you’re unsure about whether you are eligible for CHC funding, you should still ask for an assessment to find out.     All About the NHS Funding Assessments 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. Let’s take a closer look at these assessments below.   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.  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  ·     Nutritional needs   ·     Bathroom needs  ·     Skin-related needs, such as ulcers or wounds  ·     Mobility needs  ·     Communication needs   ·     Psychological and emotional needs   ·     Understanding  ·     Behavioral needs   ·     Medication and treatments  ·     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 the results of an NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment?  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. A person's needs and care package are reviewed after the first 3 months of receiving it, and then once a year after that.   What if I need help with an NHS CHC assessment?  The assessment period for Continuing Healthcare funding can be confusing and difficult. If you need support or advice you can visit the Beacon website or call their helpline – 0345 548 0300.    We hope that this information makes you feel more at ease about funding your care and encourages you to seek the support you need. If you are interested in hiring a carer, you can download the Curam app today. 

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 £15 per hour).   Aside from our mission to create a better care community, in our reviews, clients told us the 7 best things about finding a carer with Curam included:  ·     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. 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 you can view the profiles of those carers who have applied for the 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 Curam’s Domicile Solution Can Relieve The Strain On Hospitals 

How Curam’s Domicile Solution Can Relieve The Strain On Hospitals 

The smooth and timely vacating of hospital beds has been presenting discharge nurses and case managers, around the UK, with the ultimate care conundrum long before the arrival of the pandemic.   Just how long are patients remaining in hospital after they’re deemed fit enough to go home?   The number of patients staying in hospital longer than necessary, and the major impact it has on their health and recovery, are well documented. Newton’s report, commissioned by the national Better Care Support Programme followed the journey of over 10,400 patients in 2018, and found that at any given time, almost 30% of these individuals were fit enough to go home, but were waiting to be discharged.   The average wait time for these people to leave hospital, ranged from a not insignificant 22 days to as high as 44 days. The report also found that between 32-54% of patients were discharged to a setting that failed to match the patients’ needs and an eye watering 92% of these individuals were moved to a setting that provided a more intense level of care than was required, reducing their independence.   What are the implications of delayed discharge for elderly patients?  The subsequent likely outcomes of a prolonged delay for elderly patients have serious mental and physical repercussions. These include:     -loss of mobility, due to loss of muscle mass   -being discharged to an unsuitable care setting for their needs  -the loss of existing support systems and continuity of care  -less confidence to live independently  -family and carers also lose confidence to support the patient to live independently  -greater risk of contracting a serious infection     This is exacerbated by the fact that the longer a patient stays in hospital, the less likely they are to be discharged into an appropriate setting that caters for their needs. There are numerous cases of elderly patients going into hospital for a minor procedure only to then become delayed in hospital and for their needs to change leaving them stranded as they’re then deemed unable to return home.    What are the delays to patients being discharged?  Bearing in mind the complexity and the severity of these possible outcomes, there’s no one singular cause behind these delays. However, finding the right care package is undoubtedly the most prominent reason that’s keeping patients in hospital.   The right care package, implemented at the right time, won’t just ensure a prompt hospital discharge process, but could see nursing and residential placements reduce by half according to the Newton study. The report also found that the availability of convalescent care would have tripled the amount of people being able to leave hospital at the point they were deemed fit enough.   The cost implications of delays to the discharge process are phenomenal, not just because a patient is spending longer in hospital than required, but the resulting, often more intensive, care package comes at a significantly higher cost.     The Newton report calculates the savings that could be made, had all the patients they tracked had the right care package without delays in hospital, and the resulting figures range between £4.9 M to £11.9 M. If this were to then be applied to all general and acute beds throughout the U.K, there’s a potential saving of as much as £1.2 Bn.    What is the cost of adult social care?  The average price of a nursing home is around £893 a week but this varies greatly depending on geographical location and the patient’s needs. This is an expensive option when a patient may not need round-the-clock nursing care and in fact would make a better recovery with support at home. However, examining agency hourly fees doesn’t present a cost-effective alternative, as these average at over £20 an hour, of which the carer is paid less than half this.   When domicile care is needed, Curam has the solution to speeding up the hospital discharge process  Our platform is the largest source of self-employed carers in the UK.   Curam’s streamlined technology means you can advertise your role on the platform free of charge with complete anonymity and contact the carers you think would be best suited to the person you’re arranging care for. You can then interview them and decide if you’d like to hire them. The carer’s hourly rate includes our fees and they’re fully insured. Because you’re speaking to the carers directly, this makes the process even quicker, with clients arranging care in as little as 20 minutes.  The carers are required to pass our thorough vetting process (which includes verifying their DBS check, that they have the right to work in the UK and have 2 checkable references) to be approved to use the platform to find care opportunities. Curam carers are self-employed, insured and they charge an average of £16 an hour. This includes our fees, which at 12.5% plus VAT, are the lowest in the sector. There are no contracts, hidden fees and our secure payment system processes the carer’s payment once they’ve completed their shift.   Arrange hospital after-care today  How you start the process of arranging a carer with Curam is completely up to you. You can either:  -Download our easy-to-use Curam app  -Go online to tell us your care requirements  -Email us at client@curamcare.com  -Give us a call on 01387 730766  Whether it’s online or over-the-phone, our dedicated client support team are available to answer your queries. Once you’ve set up your free account, we can support you all the way with selecting the carers who best match your requirements.   We are Curam: creating a better care community.  

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

Learning Disabilities: How to communicate effectively with someone who has one

Learning Disabilities: How to communicate effectively with someone who has one

A learning disability can make communicating and processing information more difficult. Therefore, it is important to know about the different ways to communicate with children, young adults or adults with learning disabilities.   In this article, we offer tips on how to communicate effectively with people with learning disabilities. We will talk about the management of communication needs in people with learning disabilities. This includes the following communication methods:  ·     Non-verbal communication with learning disabilities  ·     Verbal communication with learning disabilities  ·     Alternative forms of communication for learning disabilities (resources and technology).     Tips for communicating with someone who has a learning disability  People with learning disabilities can find communicating and conversations challenging. This is because a learning disability can make it harder to process complicated information or meanings.   Tips for verbal communication with learning disabilities  It is important to be empathetic and clear when having a conversation with someone who has a learning disability. When talking to someone with a learning disability:  ·     Ask the person with a learning disability how they would best like to communicate.   ·     Use words and phrases that are accessible.  ·     Let the person you are talking to lead the conversation.   ·     Ask open questions instead of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions. It can be difficult for someone with a learning                    disability to process the meaning of questions.   ·     Try not to use phrases, idioms or long words that might be hard to understand.  ·     Do not rush the person you are talking to.  ·     Make sure you have understood what the person was meaning to say.  ·     Check that you have understood what someone was saying by asking them (e.g., ‘I understood this..., is              that right?’).   Each person with a learning disability has their own unique symptoms and experience, and will have different needs when it comes to communication. Here are some other communication tips to bear in mind:  ·     If possible, talk in person (conversations are clearer in person).  ·     If you have to phone someone, speak in a slow, clear manner and use words that are easy to understand.  ·     Communicate in a place without distractions (a quiet, calm space).  ·     Try to talk one-to-one, or make sure people in a group wait their turn to talk and do not speak over one                another.  ·     Go after someone if they take you to show you something.  ·     Make a note of someone’s body language and expressions, these can sometimes tell you more than words.  ·     Use different communication tools (e.g., drawing, gestures, facial expressions).  ·     Bear in mind that some people prefer communicating by using objects, photos or pictures.    Tips for non-verbal communication with learning disabilities  A learning disability can make it more challenging for people to take in information, especially if it is complex and dense. When creating written communication for someone with a learning disability:  ·     Keep information simple and concise.  ·     Use large text, bullet points and not too much colour.  ·     Make sure you use a clear page lay-out   ·     Use pictures to represent what is written  You can also apply this information to online resources. Viewing information online can be a good option for people with learning disabilities as they can often change the text size, font and shape to best suit them. Moreover, it is possible to change the volume on videos and the speed of videos.    Learning disabilities resources for communication  Certain resources and technology can help people with learning disabilities to communicate or engage with information. These alternative forms of communication for learning disabilities are worth utilising if they work well for the individual you care for. Most learning disability communication skills resources use learning disability communication symbols. 3 of the best resources for people with learning disabilities include:  ·     Makaton   ·     Talking mats   ·     Widgit   Makaton  Makaton is a programme that helps children or adults with learning disabilities to communicate independently. It utilises learning disability communication symbols, signs and speech.  Talking Mats for learning disabilities  Talking mats make communication simpler and easier. They help people with learning disabilities to organise their thoughts and express their feelings.  Widgit for learning disabilities  Widgit create software symbols to help people with learning disabilities understand information, and communicate easier. Widgit is very useful for people with learning disabilities that use computers and technology.     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  Curam is creating a better care community. We understand that carers are highly skilled professionals with expertise and experience that is invaluable.   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  

02 December 2020

What are Learning Disabilities? 

What are Learning Disabilities? 

A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability that affects someone throughout their lifetime, causing them to find certain day-to-day activities more difficult. Someone with a learning disability may take longer to learn and find it harder to process complex information.  Some individuals with a learning disability need more help than others, but they often need support when interacting with other people or learning new skills. Below, we discuss the different types, symptoms, and causes, as well as how to get a diagnosis for a learning disability.    Statistics on learning disabilities in the UK ·     Approximately 1.5 million people have a learning disability in the UK.  ·     About 350,000 people in the UK have a severe learning disability.  ·     Around 40% of autistic people have a learning disability.  ·     About 30% of people with epilepsy have a learning disability.    What are symptoms of a learning disability?  Different people with learning disabilities have different symptoms, and people are affected in their own, individual way. However, people with a learning disability often find it hard to:  ·     Understand complicated information  ·     Develop new skills  ·     Cope independently   ·     Adapt behaviour to different situations  ·     Interact with others  ·     Control their behaviour  People with a mild learning disability are able to talk easily and will not need as much support. Others, with a more profound learning disability may need full time care and may also have physical disabilities.  Some symptoms that people with learning disabilities experience are caused by associated conditions of learning disabilities, such as cerebral palsy.    Challenging behaviour  Challenging behaviour (hitting, kicking, tantrums, throwing, self-harming) is not a learning disability, but people with a disability can show challenging behaviour.  There are ways to manage challenging behaviour and it is important to understand it is often a way for someone to communicate that they are in pain or need something.    Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)  Children and young people with learning disabilities may also have special education needs. This means that a child can find it difficult to:  ·     Socialise and make friends  ·     Read and write  ·     Understand things  ·     Concentrate  ·     Carry out physical tasks  Children with SEND may be able to receive extra support at school (including speech therapy), or receive an education, health and care plan (EHC plan) that identifies the support a person needs and sets up this support.     What are the different types of learning disabilities?   There are different types of learning disabilities, based on the severity of a person’s symptoms and the effect their learning disability has on their life. Someone can have a:   ·     Mild learning disability.  ·     Moderate learning disability.  ·     Severe learning disability.  ·     Profound and multiple learning disability (PMLD)   Mild learning disability  A mild learning difficulty can mean that someone needs help with activities such as managing finances, but will not need as much support as people with a more severe learning disability. People with mild learning disabilities may need longer than usual to develop new skills but they are typically able to live alone, travel alone and work.     Moderate learning disability  Some people with a moderate learning difficulty may need help with mobility, personal care and communication, but not for definite. The symptoms of a moderate learning disability will have more of an effect on a person’s daily life than those of a mild learning disability.    Severe learning disability  People with severe learning disabilities will need help with daily activities such as eating, dressing and washing. They will also need help with mobility and communication.    A profound and multiple learning disability (PMLD)   A PMLD means that someone’s independence and communication is significantly affected. A person with PMLD will need help with eating, washing and bathroom assistance. The symptoms of profound and multiple learning disabilities can include:  ·     Difficulties with sight  ·     Difficulties with hearing  ·     Speech problems  ·     Difficulty with movement Someone with a PMLD will typically still be able to communicate and make decisions. With the right support and care, people with profound and multiple learning disabilities can have a good quality of life and do activities they enjoy.    What is the difference between a learning disability and a learning difficulty?  A learning disability is linked to an overall cognitive impairment and affects a person’s intellect, whereas a learning difficulty does not affect general intelligence (IQ). Moreover a learning difficulty tends to affect a specific form of learning, whereas a learning disability usually affects many parts of someone’s life.  It is possible to have both a learning disability and a learning difficulty. Moreover, some people experience more than one learning difficulty at once, and someone can have a mild, moderate or severe learning difficulty. The most commonly known learning difficulties include:   ·     Dyslexia  ·     Dyspraxia  ·     Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)    Dyslexia  Dyslexia is the most well-known learning difficulty. It affects people’s writing and speaking as it makes processing information and concentrating difficult.    Dyspraxia   Dyspraxia affects a person’s movement and coordination. This can make driving, balancing and playing sport difficult.    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)  ADHD affects a person’s behaviour. It can make someone feel restless, act impulsively or find it hard to concentrate.     What causes a learning disability?  A learning disability can be caused before, during or just after birth, whilst a baby’s brain is still developing. Sometimes there is no known cause for a learning disability. However, a learning disability can be caused by:  ·     An accident or illness that occurs whilst a mother is pregnant.  ·     A baby inheriting certain genes.  ·     Not enough oxygen getting to a child’s brain, or a trauma to the head whilst being born.  ·     A child being born too early.  ·     An early childhood illness (such as meningitis), accidents or seizures.    Getting diagnosed with a learning disability.  It can be upsetting to get a diagnosis, but it is important to do so as it allows people to access the care and support they need during their life.   ·     A learning disability can be diagnosed at any time in a person’s life.   ·     It is possible to diagnose someone at birth or during their early childhood.   ·     Some people never get diagnosed or wait years before getting diagnosed.  Talk to a GP if you are worried about your child’s development. Difficulties with development can be caused by a child’s eyesight or hearing, a condition such as autism or a learning disability.  After receiving a diagnosis, a person’s needs should be assessed by social services to help them find the support and care they need.    Support for people with learning disabilities   If you don't know where to start with hiring a learning disability carer and need care or support, download the Curam app. 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

Learning Disabilities Care Options: Everything you Need to Know

Learning Disabilities Care Options: Everything you Need to Know

Let us 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  ·     Hourly care   ·     Overnight care  ·     Respite care     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 almost £6 billion was spent on care for people with learning disabilities. According to the NHS, at-home care can typically cost £20 per hour (depending on where a person lives) and on average, 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.  ·     These apps can help people with a learning disability.  ·     Go to Carers UK for support for carers.  ·     Get in touch with the Carers trust if you need support as a carer. 

01 December 2020

Taking Back Control - Care Options During COVID

Taking Back Control - Care Options During COVID

Over the last year, the pandemic has pitched hospitals and care homes onto one of the steepest learning curves in modern history. The fast-paced transition of both of these frontlines, where the battle of COVID19 continues to be fought, is both admirable and almost incomprehensible.   Hospitals and care homes have had their work cut out  Hospitals and care homes have had to swiftly understand the risks the virus presented, whilst keeping the safety of residents at the heart of procedures designed to manage the impact of Covid-19. This has required them to keep pace with safety regulations, source protective equipment and maintain staffing levels.   Some of the restrictions patients and residents have had to adapt to include:  - Testing   - Tiers   - Limited social contact  This has been difficult, especially for dementia patients. Every process in the logistical management of a patient’s care has been challenged and every weak link exposed. And despite all the efforts made and measures taken, the government now recognises the virus has been devastating for care homes.  Once a care-package is agreed, what happens next?   In an already overwhelmed system, ensuring vulnerable, elderly patients are discharged into the right care setting can be problematic for a whole host of reasons. Being able to arrange timely and cost-effective care, once a patient has been assessed as clinically fit to be discharged, should not be one of them.   What can agencies offer?   With a care agency's average mark-up of 50% on the cost of a carer, this puts their hourly rates at upwards of £20 an hour (of which the carer is paid an average of just £8.69 an hour). Not only are they expensive but the agency also selects the carer on your behalf, and as a result of them acting as the facilitator, also makes the process longer for care to be arranged.     Looking to care homes  With the current lockdown, sourcing a suitable care home is also difficult. A prospective resident is unable to decide if a care home is right for them without looking round them first which is a luxury no longer possible during a pandemic.  How does Curam compare?   In comparison Curam offers you a dynamic, controlled and streamlined approach to arranging care, giving whoever is arranging the care the power to select the carer they feel is best suited to the patient’s needs.   It would be easy to assume that having so much choice makes this process longer, but with our smooth-running platform and app, and the fact you communicate directly with the carers you’re interested in hiring, means we have had clients who have sourced a carer in as little as 20 minutes.   Carers who use the Curam platform are self-employed so Curam’s fees are the lowest in the sector at just 12.5% plus VAT. This ensures you pay less and your carer is paid more.   Let’s break that down:  - A Curam carer’s average rate is around £15 an hour   - This cost includes our fees and insurance and all our carers are vetted, DBS checked, have their right to work in the UK confirmed and have 2 checkable references  - The carer will receive an average of £12.75 an hour  So you’re able to select your carer and ensure they meet the needs of the person you’re arranging care for. Also there are:  - No contracts  - No hidden fees  - You only pay for the care provided  - Our secure payment system ensures the carer is paid after the end of a shift  This gives you peace of mind, as well as knowing who you’re hiring and that they’re being paid a fair wage for the invaluable work they do.   How we continue to support the NHS with safe and rapid discharge  Transfer out of hospital is quickest when your care plan is already in place. A private live-in carer through Curam can be arranged through the Curam app in as little as 20 minutes.   If the COVID-19 pandemic has given you reason to reassess how you achieve rapid turnaround discharge to home, freeing up valuable bed space, whilst ensuring the assessed care package needs are met, drop us an email on client@curamcare.com or give one of our team a call on 01387 730766.   We are Curam: creating a better care community.  

26 November 2020