According to Time Independent Ltd, Care Homes Are Not the Only Option for Britain's Elderly - but Live-in Care Is Still Being Overlooked by Self Funders

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Symponia, the national professional body for care fees planning advisers, says that live-in care at home is still being overlooked as a realistic option for elderly people who are unable to look after themselves.

In recent weeks, we have heard distressing and heart-breaking accounts of fleeting visits where frail and vulnerable people have been forced to choose between having a drink or going to the toilet.

At a recent care funding conference in London, hosted by Symponia, live-in care specialist, The Good Care Group, highlighted the advantages of care at home, which include:

  • Being able to stay at home and live independently for longer.
  • Enabling couples to stay together, rather than being separated if one persona enters a care home.
  • Enabling elderly people to keep much-loved pets with them, which is important for well-being.
  • Costs are comparable to living in a care home – and more economical for a couple as care at home is not charged on a per-person basis.
  • Long term and trusted relationships with carers as the same care live-in team – usually two people – work an around-the-clock shift rotation.

Symponia claims that negative reports about state funded care at home are clouding people’s views and adding to the confusion.

Tim Embleton of Time Independent Ltd, a financial adviser and the Symponia member for Reading, Berkshire, says: “In recent weeks, we’ve seen a great deal of negative media coverage about home care and have heard distressing and heart-breaking accounts of fleeting visits where frail and vulnerable people have been forced to choose between having a drink or going to the toilet.”

“Sadly this has been a reality for some people receiving state funded care, although it is rarely the fault of individual carers and has everything to do with local authorities not being able to allocate more realistic funding and resources to their elderly citizens.”

“A huge chasm exists between this inadequate and sad state of affairs and the standard of home care enjoyed by people who are not relying solely on state funding but paying privately for home visits or live-in care out of the family purse. In the case of The Good Care Group, all care staff are directly employed and given a career structure and the highest standards of training to ensure the very best care for clients.”

“There is even a way that people who are relying on state funding can potentially benefit from using a home care provider who employs its carers: by making sure that they get their care allowance paid directly to them. In so doing, they can make their own arrangements with any private provider as long as it is Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered and happy to provide the service. It is worth noting that many ‘introduction’ home care agencies are not CQC registered, so this is worth checking if you are discussing your requirements with a home care agency, and not a home care provider – as clearly there are differences. Symponia receives many enquiries from people looking to do just that, and although setting up direct payments can cause more admin and paperwork at the outset, it also creates greater freedom of choice.”

“Sadly, even with direct payments, in many cases, the funding probably won’t be enough to pay for a full care package and until the Local Authority start to cover the true cost of care - and not their deemed levels which can often fall woefully short - this unfair two-tier system will perpetuate.”

Tim Embleton concludes: “There are times when a care home setting will be the better solution, but including care at home as an option ensures all decisions are truly informed ones. As ever, we would urge families to seek specialist advice from an experienced elderly care financial adviser and/or solicitor.”

For further information, please contact:

Tim Embleton, Time Independent Ltd, 11 Chrysanthemum Drive, Shinfield, Reading, Berks RG2 9DQ
Tel: 0118 327 9895 email: tim(at)timeindependent(dot)

Time Independent Limited is an appointed representative of the Whitechurch Network Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

This press release does not constitute advice and should not be taken as a recommendation to purchase or invest in any of the products mentioned.

We do not hold any responsibility for its accuracy or content. Before taking any decisions we suggest you seek professional advice.    

All figures and data were correct at time of writing.


Notes to Editors:

About Symponia

Symponia (which is the Greek word for compassion) was created by Jeremy and Janet Davies who have over 30 years’ combined experience in long term care. Founded in January 2005, Symponia is committed to raising standards and increasing training and compliance levels within the long term care advice sector.

  • Symponia currently has approximately 120 members countrywide. Members fall into two categories and are either:
  • Experienced financial advisers, who have gained specialist qualifications needed for later life financial planning, or
  • Solicitors who can demonstrate expertise in working with elderly clients and their families.
  • All Symponia members are subject to a rigorous selection process designed to ensure that they have the right people skills as well as technical competence.
  • Members are subject to a Code of Practice and Conduct, and to a Customer Charter, which lays down strict service standards that the member must meet.
  • Members pay an annual fee only (payable monthly). There is no commission split or business related fee.
  • The Symponia Family includes a number of trading styles geared to the financial needs of older people, including Symponia Blu which provides specialist advice for people aged 50 plus. Other trading styles are due to be launched during 2013.
  • You can find Symponia Family on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @symponiaFamily.

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