The Care Act 2014 is being introduced in two stages.
The second stage is the one that has grabbed the headlines with changes, which are pretty meaningless, on what you have to pay towards your care. That part comes into effect in April 2016 and there are plans you need to make to get ready for it if you or a relative are in care.
I will come back to that in a later article. The first stage came in to effect in April 2015.
One big difference is the extra help given to unpaid carers who are now entitled to the same degree of help from the Local Authority as those they care for. I have seen many family members, often spouses or partners the same age as the person they are caring for, under huge mental and physical pressure, sometimes makes making themselves ill in giving the care that their partner needs. As a carer you are now entitled to a carer’s assessment from the Local Authority) regardless of the amount or type of care you provide, your means or your level of need for support. You can have an assessment whether or not the person you care for has had a community care assessment/needs assessment, or if the local council have decided they are not eligible for support.
You don’t have to live with the person you are looking after or be caring full-time to have the assessment. You may be juggling work and care which can have a massive impact on your life. It is your choice about whether the person you care for is present or not. You can have a joint assessment and you can have someone there to support you. I was in a liaison group last week, organised by Age UK, and was amazed how much support there is in our area for the elderly, disabled and/or vulnerable and their unpaid carers. Carers Support Cumbria are hosting a Carers Summit at the Forum in Barrow in Furness on the 10th of June. There will be workshops aimed at carers with practical help and assistance, a Q and A session, a real-life story from a carer’s viewpoint and a marketplace of exhibitors with information and advice for you. If you do care, you should go. I will see you there.
I like to know as much as I can about the care and services available so that I can pass the details on to you if I come to see you about your Will or related planning. As well as protecting your assets it is important to protect you. It is not all about the money. If you have not been before, the Forum is straight opposite Barrow Town Hall. It is easy to get to on the train from Grange. It is a 10 minute walk or a short taxi ride from Barrow train station.
I will be doing two more articles in future editions of Grange Now to follow up on the effects of the Care Act on you or your family/friends and the care you might receive in future and how the rules about what you have to pay have changed.