All Carers should consider what would happen in the future should you be unable to continue to care, but especially those who care for anyone with long-term Health or Social Care needs, and particularly Older Carers. The aim is to prevent crisis situations for either yourself or the person you care for, by planning practically and financially for the future. We recognise that some Carers may require complex plans, some may just need emotional support to allow you to raise issues with your family and friends
The first steps may involve opening up discussion with the person you care for and other family members and friends. This will allow them to identify what information they require, whether other agencies need to become involved, and at what stage to take these steps. The Carer Support Workers at the Carer's Centre can provide practical information and assistance with referrals, and emotional support before and during this sometimes difficult time. Carer Support Workers work with Carers to identify any current needs, think about the need to plan ahead, discuss the options available, start to make plans and decide when to begin implementing them and offer continued support once the Cared For person accesses any alternative support.
Other services available at the Carers Centre include the Carers Emergency Card, Training sessions on financial planning covering topics such as Power of Attorney, Wills and Trusts


Click the Social Care tab at the top of the page for further information about Social Care Needs Assessments by St Helens Council. Or telephone or drop into the Contact Centre at Wesley House, 01744 676600 for referral to the various sections of St Helens Council Adult Council Social Care, for the person you care for, if you feel it is the right time for them to live independently from you, with assistance. This may be in their own property with support from Care Workers, in Supported Living schemes or in residential or nursing care homes. See previous sections of the pathway for specific services for Vulnerable Adults or Older People. This is a difficult choice to even think about, and members of the Carer Support Team are available to listen to you, discuss the options with you, and provide emotional support


Sheltered Housing is self contained homes designed for older people so that they can live independently in a comfortable, secure environment.
Some sheltered housing schemes have a warden service, who provides advice, support and help with social activities. Most sheltered housing will have a call system or community alarm. This means that, in an emergency, you can get help from either the warden when they are on duty and through an emergency contact service at other times.

St Helens council is a non-stock holding local authority so all sheltered or retirement housing for rent is provided by private businesses or Housing Associations (also referred to as Registered Social Landlords or RSLs.) They offer housing to people in the greatest need, setting criteria describing who qualifies for their housing. To buy a property there is usually a minimum age for people living in retirement/sheltered housing, but younger people can often buy properties on behalf of an older person. There are usually service and support charges, which contribute to the cost of wardens and communal facilities. The majority of properties are sold on a long lease which sets out in a legal and binding form the duties and obligations of both the management company and residents. Shared ownership is also becoming a popular option on many housing association developments. You can part buy, part rent, which can be an affordable way to protect your assets whilst still qualifying for benefits

Extra Care Housing is designed with varying levels of care and support available on site. It comes in many forms, flats bungalow estates and retirement villages. It may provide an alternative to a care home for some people. If you are considering Extra Care Housing you should check what care services are available in the scheme you are considering, whether they meet the needs of the person you care for, how they are paid for, how they are planned and whether the person is eligible for financial help. Professional advice should be sought before signing any lease or tenancy agreement
You should ensure you are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled, especially any supplements to your retirement pension including Pension Credit and Council Tax benefit. People who are renting and have a low income and limited capital should check their eligibility for Housing Benefit, which you can do here at the Carer's Centre

To apply for sheltered housing in the social rented sector in St Helens there is a scheme called 'Under One Roof' where all properties for rent are listed, and people can bid for the tenancy. For further details telephone 01744 636363 or go to the website 

Housing Care -  - Comprehensive website with details of all the various housing options, and search facility to find local information

Housing Options - 0845 456 1497-  Independent advisory service on housing, accommodation and support options for people with learning disabilities. Initial telephone advice, and info from the website is free, there are charges if individual plans are commissioned.

Reeve Court Applications and enquires - Margaret Devine 0151 493 2999


Moving into a Care Home can be a difficult, emotional time for both yourselves and the person you care for. It can be made much worse if you lack information about how to access details of Care Homes, how costs are met and how to get the specific information and support everyone requires.

Before you begin looking for a care home, you should contact St Helens Council Contact Centre on 01744 676600. A referral will be made to a Care Manager, who will assess the needs of the person requiring long term care, and arrange a financial assessment to establish who will pay the care home fees. Even if you know there are capital and savings available to pay fees, you should still have an assessment. Care Managers will be able to provide advice about the selection of homes to meet the individual assessed needs.

The subject of moving into long term care will involve many emotions for you as the Carer, it is normal to feel great sadness, guilt and anxiety, but also a sense of relief that the person you care for will be provided with the level of care required in a safe and secure environment. You will also have to consider the fact that the person you care for will have their own feelings, they may fear losing independence and choice, may feel abandoned and that they will lose their dignity. However, many people going into long term care feel a great relief because they have felt a burden at home, and as long as they have been involved in the process of choosing the home and know their wishes have been considered, they will have a more positive feeling about the future. It will be a confusing and highly emotional time, but consider the fact that rather than giving up on the person you care for, you are doing the very best you can for them by ensuring their needs are met.

Care Homes generally fall into two categories. Independent Care Homes are homes owned by private individuals or companies, normally run as a business charging fees for accommodation. These fees will vary depending on the standards and facilities of the home. Local Authority Care Homes are managed by the Local Authority Adult Social Care and Health, and will have a standard weekly charge

CARE COMPARISON WEBSITE - you can find and compare care services locally and nationally. Enter the type of care required and postcode this will provide a list of providers with ratings and link to CQCreports. 


Charges for Residential and Nursing Care - Explains how financial assessments are carried out, what is considered during the assessment and what is disregarded -

If the person requiring care has Capital and savings over £ 23,250 they will be required to pay the full costs of care. Capital includes the value of property, unless it is occupied by their partner, a relative over 60 or who is disabled, or a child under 16 for whom the person has a responsibility to care for. If capital and savings are under £ 14,000 the Local Authority will pay fees in full, up to their usual rate for the particular type of home. Top up fees can be paid if the home chosen is more expensive than the Local Authority will fund, but these have to be paid by a third party, not from the capital and savings of the person requiring care.
Useful factsheets from Age UK provide more information about how assets are assessed and the transferring of assets between family - See  for full list of factsheets available

Eligibility decisions for NHS continuing healthcare depend upon whether the person's needs for carer are primarily due to their health needs, referred to as having a 'primary health need'.
To determine eligibility staff will consider certain characteristics of the needs of a person, and the quantity and/or quality of care required to manage them. They will assess if the person's needs effect health and wellbeing, they will look at the interventions required to manage need and how regularly this is undertaken. They will assess the extent and severity of need and what knowledge and skill is required to monitor and manage care. Assessors will also look for how needs may change in relation to a condition, how difficult they are for staff to manage, and the level of monitoring required to keep the person with the need, or others, to stay safe.


Office of Public Guardian (OPG) - The Customer Contact Centre of the OPG is moving to Nottingham. The contact number remains 0300 456 0300, or email on

Court of Protection - From 8th March the Court of Protection will be launching a dedicated customer enquiry service. For any queries relating to applications to the Court of Protection or to request Court of Protection forms, call 0300 456 4600 or email

MAKING DECISIONS - Click here for link to document. This document covers the principles of making plans to support someone to manage finances and property, information on Lasting Power of Attorney, how to be a Deputy if there is no LPA, make Living Wills and Advance Decisions.
For LPA forms and guidance books go to

WILLS AND TRUSTS - Trusts are a way of arranging an inheritance, managing money or other assets and can avoid benefits and care funding being stopped. Income Support and other benefits stop being paid if a person has more than a certain amount of money, but this can be avoided by a Discretionary Trust. Once assets are put into a Trust they belong to the Trust, not the person intended to benefit. They may get gifts or payments from the Trust. Trusts may be a way of managing the family home, this is useful if a person lacks legal capacity to enter into a contract to own a home. Trusts are normally set up as part of a Will, however they can be set up at any time. The most useful form of trust for someone with a learning disability is a Discretionary Trust. Anyone wishing to set up a Trust is advised to seek the assistance of a Solicitor who is an expert in Trust law

• MENCAP - LINK TO LEAFLET - Information on financial planning services provided by MENCAP
• Law Society of England and Wales on 0870 606 6575 or 
• The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners on 0207 8384885 or 
• Help the Aged - If you are over 60 you can get a free Will Information Pack. Write to Wills and Legacies Department, Help the Aged, FREEPOST LON13257, London, N1 9BR



ALZHEIMER'S SOCIETY - Information about planning for the future, factsheets on Power of Attorney and Receivership.

BETTER CARING -  - This site allows people to search for day care, respite care and long term care facilities in their area. The search can be made specific by adding special needs criteria such as Dementia or physical disabilities. It also covers issues important when making care choices and supporting someone who is using care facilities.

CARE AWARE - 0161 707 1107 - Provide an advocacy service for Care residents and their families. It is designed to ensure that care residents and their families have access to all the independent help and information they will need in dealing with long term care needs


CARE HOME SELECTION - 0800 008 7193. Provide free and impartial service - help with selecting a care home, things to consider etc. Also provide useful factsheets.

CARE DIRECTIONS -  - This site aims to offer information and support to older people and their families as they make choices about where to live, how to obtain support, health service issues and financial issues

CIRCLES NETWORK - A national voluntary organisation which uses the principles of inclusion and person centred planning to build a support plan, with the person who needs that support at the centre 

COUNSEL AND CARE - 0845 300 7585 - A National Charity which offers support and advice to Older people, their families and Carers. They operate the advice line and have factsheets which cover a range of subjects, including moving into long term care

FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR RETIREMENT - Ask at the Centre for a copy of the leaflet from the Financial Services Authority which covers how to make the most of your money, things to think about now and as you get older and where to get more help.

FIRST STOP - 0800 377 7070 - Advise on care, housing and finance options for older people and their carers. 

FOUNDATION FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES - National organisation promoting rights, quality of life and opportunities for people with learning disabilities. Have several projects for families, including the 'Older Family Carers Initiative'. 

INFO4CARE - Really useful national website that also has information on local services including details of St Helens Council Social Care services, paying for care, care providers, NHS continuing care, legal matters and useful local voluntary organisations - all in one handy location. Website link click here

MENCAP -  - Major charity supporting those with Learning Disabilities and their families. Wide range of information on Mencap services, advice on Housing, Community Services, and link to 'Ask Mencap' site, which has factsheets on issues faced when planning for the future





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