Finding the right help for elderly parents can be a challenge. Understanding the language of elderly care and care definitions – particularly when you’re in an emergency situation or struggling to cope – can make the challenge even harder.
Acronyms, slightly different terminology for what turns out to be the exact same thing… if you need to learn to speak the language then read on.
This is our introduction to the language of elderly care, all the important things you might need to know, in plain English – just click on the tab to open the definition.
Care Needs Assessment
A care needs assessment is carried out by the Local authority. They make an assessment of the level of assistance and services a person needs to remain independent at home or move to residential care. This plan for care is mandatory regardless of finances or eligibility.
A carers assessment is means-tested support from local authorities which can be made available to those providing care to others. This support aims to provide some relief for carers in term of help around the house, activities for them or even respite care.
Care at Home
Care Home/ Residential Home
A care home is a registered home providing help with personal care, such as washing, dressing, taking medication and going to the toilet. They provide a community for elderly people and most organise social activities.
End of Life Care / Palliative Care
End of life care (or palliative care) is support provided to those in last months or years of their life, allowing patients to live as well as possible and die with dignity. It can be provided at home, care homes, hospital or hospice.
A financial assessment determines the levels of funding available for care. It is determined by a financial means test. Contributions to care are available for anyone with capital up to £ 23,750. Note in Scotland and Northern Ireland, social care is free.
NHS Continuing Care
NHS continuing care provides for personal and healthcare needs where there is ‘primary health need’ and patients have a complex condition with ongoing care needs. A ‘primary health need’ means the main need for care must relate to your health. This care package is provided outside a hospital setting. It is complex to assess and not everyone with a long term condition or disability is eligible.
Healthcare is provided free at the point of delivery including NHS hospitals, GPs, district nurses and medication.
A nursing home provides the same personal care support as a care home but additionally qualified nurses are on staff at all times.
Respite care is planned short term or temporary care designed to provide relief to carer. This maybe a few hours or weeks duration.
Social care is support and help for everyday needs provided by local authorities. Eligibility for funding is means tested.
The important thing of course is to ask. To ask questions if you’re unsure about what a professional is talking about because the terminology is so convoluted and different in different situations and settings. Good luck…..