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Home Do you speak care? Breaking through the language barrier

Do you speak care? Breaking through the language barrier

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 Definitions

Care Needs Assessment

A care needs assessment is carried out by the Local Authority.  A social worker will make an assessment of the level of assistance and services a person needs to remain independent at home or move to residential care.  A care assessment will provide a plan for care, what services to contact, and crucially how the care may be funded - either by the individual, or by the Local Authority. 

Carer's Assessment

carers assessment,  carried out by the Local Authority, will identify what support a carer may need, and be entitled to.  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 at home refers to care and support provided at home on either a full time or part time basis. Homecare is also known as Domiciliary care, Visiting care, live-in care. Agencies providing home care will conduct a care assessment as part of the process.  

Care Home/ Residential Home

A residential care home provides 24/7 support for someone.  It does not necessarily provide medical care (see Nursing Home below), or specialist care such as Dementia care. Care homes in the UK are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. 

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.

Financial Assessment

financial assessment can be carried out by the Local Authority alongside a care needs assessment. In England anyone with more than £23,250 in cash and assets must fund their own care. A financial assessment will determine who will pay for any care - the local authority or the person needing the care. 

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.

NHS Healthcare

Healthcare is provided free at the point of delivery including NHS hospitals, GPs, district nurses and medication.

Nursing Home

nursing home provides the same personal care support as a care home but additionally qualified nurses are on staff at all times.

Respite Care

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

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…..