Where do you find help via paid-for carers?

We’re about a week away from my Dad’s Needs Assessment and I can’t see that we can manage his needs between myself and my unreliable brother. We’re struggling to find a way to keep Dad safe overnight without someone being there on site. Even if we manage that, there is still likely to be gaps in his care. If the NA says he will need live in care, where on earth do we advertise such a post? I know we can use an agency but it’s mighty expensive of course and many people have advised against agency care because it can be unreliable / not timed to suit etc. Be it live-in or a pop in service, is there a place where you can find independent carers etc? I know I can use local sites but it’s always a bit of a worry declaring that someone needs help! Any advice on finding the right people, questions to ask etc? Many thanks.

This question will be covered at the needs assessment. Will depend on several factors, need, financial and availability of care staff. If the local Authority can not provide or fund they will make recommendations. There are many ways overnight care can be provided. If the needs are such the person is dependant on this type of service.

Do you have Power of Attorney for Dad?
After the Needs Assessment there will be a separate Financial Assessment.

Now would be a good time to help dad to bring all his financial papers together, if he hasn’t done this already.
Details of all bank accounts, savings accounts, income from DWP, work pensions etc.

My own mum was dreadful with paperwork. I tried to teach her what to do after dad died, but she really wasn’t interested!
It took me ages to chuck away all the junk mail and then put all the bills for each utility in order, bank accounts etc.
(Having run a small business, and at one time been responsible for patient accounts in Australia, this was all second nature to me).


I don’t have POA and we’re struggling to get an appointment with the solicitor that he knows. I spoke to him before Christmas and he said he’d have a think about how to get something sorted ASAP because a POA is currently taking around 6 months. I’ve been to Dad’s banks and they can’t see us for several weeks, or a good few weeks in one other case. Covid is making everything even harder than it already is. Dad has capacity so we can’t go via the emergency route at the Office of the Public Guardian (which doesn’t seem to give you any numbers to call, just sends you round in circles!) The solicitor mentioned a special temporary type of POA that he would need to arrange but I can’t even get hold of him at the moment.

The temp carer that he has suggested The Lady or Gumtree. I know that he will have to foot the bill for whatever he needs, which makes is all really cross as this situation could have been avoided if it were not for the craziness of waiting lists (to sort his hearing aids out) & their refusal to take his situation as an emergency when he went blind. Does Adult Social Care take you through the minefield of employing someone etc as well? I wouldn’t know anything about contracts, taxes, NI, etc.

Hi Henry’s Cat. You’re right, it is a minefield. Most councils contract with an agency to help carers and “service users” to manage the employment bit, but there’s a charge with that if you’re self-funding and I haven’t actually come across anyone using that service as I’d become a manager by the time that started and so didn’t have direct contact with it. But I have come across social workers who try to help with this.

The Care Act does make it clear that social services must help people in your situation to manage these things, so start with them. But don’t take employment advice from the social worker - they are not specialists and I have come across some really bad advice that I’ve had to correct. They should at least signpost you to a service that can help.

Assessed needs must be met.
SSD should be helping you, if necessary with their Reablement Team, but it’s ultimately their responsibility, not yours.

Well the assessment seemed to throw up more questions than it answered. They very quickly, despite our best intentions, worked out that Dad would be self funding. But only IF we can find a way to monitor him at night. They would only help us to find an agency, not a private person, & we would have to pay a small fee towards the admin (which is fine). When we said that we would like to care for him ourselves (myself and my brother), she expressed concern and said that there were moral implications as despite having capacity, Dad couldn’t deal with money himself. Eventually after checking back with her office a few days later they have decided that it is fine as long as we are not near the price for a private carer and that we make an agreement in writing that also covers holiday / hospital stays. She said it happens under the radar all the time, of course, but it often comes back to bite you. We can’t do it off the books because we need to show where Dad’s money is going for when he falls below the threshold for help.

Despite my concerns, which I voiced from the outset before New Year, they were intending to remove the live in carer in 6 days times, 2 days of which were the weekend. If we couldn’t take over straight away, she could stay on, of course… but only if he paid over £1000 a week. After digging my heels in, reminding them of how many times I had expressed concern about this, and how we had no tech installed whatsoever for him to be able to communicate / call for help when we weren’t there, they have now agreed to 14 more days.

His current, NHS Reablement supplied carer clearly would like to stay in post as it’s probably the easiest job she’s ever had. Dad is continent, is now managing more and more of his personal care so she merely hands him his toothbrush with paste on, shaves him, helps him dress, and puts cream on his feet. Everything else is preparing meals and poking meds in his mouth. She would be a lot cheaper than us doing it (based on what she has said) or a drop in carer because she doesn’t get an hourly rate and he needs 5 visits a day to cover his medication. The council (when the time comes) will only supply 4 visits a day so I have no idea how that will work as we’ve exhausted possibilities (AFAWK)!