If you need some support at home with personal care such as bathing, dressing and making meals, there are a number of organisations that may be able to help you. These types of services can be known as ‘Care at home’ or ‘Domiciliary care’ services. Read more about care and support here.
What is a home care service?
Home care services provide different levels of support to help you continue to live in your own home, for as long as you want to do so.
These services can provide support with:
- personal care, such as bathing and dressing
- preparing food
- reminding to take medication
- gaining confidence in daily routines
- equipment to get around more easily, or do everyday tasks independently
- household work, such as laundry and cleaning tasks
How do I get home care services?
- ask Newcastle City Council for an assessment to see if you are eligible for support to pay for and organise your home care
- arrange and pay for a home care service yourself
- employ a Personal Assistant yourself
Home care services from Newcastle City Council
You can contact Community Health & Social Care Direct for a Needs Assessment from the council. They look at what your care and support needs are and if you’re eligible for support. This may be through some financial contribution towards the cost of your care and/or help to organise it. If you’re not eligible for their support they will signpost you to services that can help.
Finding your own home care agency
You can choose your own home care and pay for it yourself. This is known as ‘self funding’. Prices vary for different care services and agencies, so it’s a good idea to shop around and make sure that the agency is the right one for you.
Which? have a helpful list of questions and a handy checklist to help you decide which care agency is the right one for you. For example, will the same member of staff visit each time? How do they assess your care needs?
Find care agencies using the websites below:
- Care Quality Commission regulate, check and inspect home care services. You can use their site to find home care providers and read their inspection reports.
- United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA) list organisations that have agreed to abide by the Association’s Code of Practice. They provide advice and information on specialist care providers (for example, care for complex medical conditions, or services for specific ethnic or cultural needs).
- Home care agencies commissioned by Newcastle City Council can be found on Information NOW
If you want to find your own home care agency, you can still get an assessment of your care and support needs from Community Health & Social Care Direct. The assessment can then help inform the agency of the type of support that is best for you.
Employing a Personal Assistant
Employing a Personal Care Assistant requires more initial organising, but it is often a cheaper option than using a home care agency, and also means that the same person will provide your care each time.
Some people prefer the familiarity of having one person provide their care, rather than a range of agency staff. If you choose to employ a Personal Assistant, this means you are an employer and will need to arrange:
- advertising, interviewing for and recruiting an assistant
- checking the individual’s right to work in the UK and DBS (previously CRB) checks
- providing a contract of employment including rate of pay, holidays and sick pay, working hours and work tasks
- Employer’s Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance
- managing the payroll including tax and National Insurance: you can pay a payroll agency to manage this
For more information and advice visit the Skills for Care website.
Using your Direct Payment to employ a Personal Assistant
For example, Disability North can support you with recruiting a Personal Care and Support Assistant and advertise Personal Assistant vacancies on your behalf. They can also manage the payroll aspects of employing a Personal Assistant.
Workplace Pensions for Personal Assistants
The law has changed so now every employer must now provide a workplace pension by April 2019. Whether you’re a hairdresser, an architect or employ a personal care assistant, if you employ at least one person you are an employer and you will need to set up a workplace pension for them.
The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) is a government scheme to help people who don’t have an existing workplace pension.
It’s an ideal workplace pension scheme for small employers, especially for individuals who hire their own carers or assistants, because it’s free to sign up to NEST and there is no ongoing administration.
Disability North can support you with arranging a workplace pension for your personal care assistant.
Other Useful Information
Alongside home care there are other services that can help you stay independent including:
- help with shopping
- equipment and aids
- cleaning services
- meals at home
- hop to the shops service
- home security and key safes
- The British Red Cross helps people following a short stay in hospital by providing extra support and care at home. The service is available on a short-term basis and is provided free of charge. The service includes:
- Rebuilding confidence
- Collecting prescriptions
- Offering companionship
- Assistance with shopping.
- Care at home – Age UK guide
- My Care Newcastle website provides information about the different choices available to help you live independently in your home.
Last updated: December 5, 2019