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It’s only natural that you have questions

Please browse our FAQs below to find the answers to the most common questions we get asked. If for whatever reason you can not find the answer you were hoping for, please contact us and one of our friendly team will be more than happy to assist you.

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What is a day care centre for the elderly?

A day care centre for the elderly provides specialist care and support to meet the individual needs of older members of the local community. As well as being a physical meeting place, day care provides regular opportunities to socialise with new and existing friends, who can discover and enjoy new hobbies and interests together.

Regular day care visits often take place in a residential care home, offering an insight into daily life there, an opportunity to meet residents and staff, and a chance to sample the all-important home-cooked food. Day care can be a great option to supplement any care you may be receiving in your own home, as well as a means of connecting with your local community, safe in the knowledge that your specific care needs are being taken care of.

Who is eligible for respite care?

Anyone can be eligible for respite care, provided that their chosen care home can safely meet their care and support needs, and has availability on their chosen dates.

All of Somerset Care’s residential care homes and nursing homes offer respite care throughout the year, so we can offer plenty of choices! Our helpful enquiries team will be happy to discuss your care needs and respite break options with you. They will be able to share a range of respite care options which meet your needs and suggest alternative care if your original choice is unable to accommodate you.

How is respite care funded?

Depending upon your individual circumstances and care needs, you may be eligible for financial support towards the cost of your respite care.

Respite care may be fully or partly funded by your Local Authority if you meet specific criteria in terms of your finances, or medical needs. Some Local Authorities will provide eligible individuals with a respite ‘allowance’ of a set number of days of respite care per year or will pay up to a certain value of respite care fees, which you might be asked to top up.

To find out if you qualify for respite care funding, the best place to start is by contacting the Adult Social Care team at your Local Authority, who will be able to advise if you are eligible.

If you are looking to get the maximum value from your respite stay, we also run seasonal respite care offers for selected Somerset Care residential homes throughout the year, so it’s always speaking with our enquiries team to check if there are any offers running when you book.

What is respite care in a nursing home?

Respite care in a nursing home is a short-term stay complete with the tailored, expert nursing care you need.

Depending upon your care needs and circumstances, a respite care break could support your recovery and rehabilitation following time in hospital, to ensure that you can return home safely. If you are normally cared for by family members, it can also offer them a much-needed break, giving them a chance to relax, recharge, and return to simply being your loved one, rather than your carer. You and your loved ones can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that all of your needs are being taken care of.

You can also look upon respite care in a nursing home as a little holiday and change of scene, without the worry of having to arrange specialist care and support to meet your needs.

How can I arrange respite care?

The first step to arranging respite care, for yourself or a loved one, is to get in contact with the care home you would like to stay in. They will discuss your care needs with you to ensure they can safely support you within the home, and check that they have availability for the dates you would like to stay.

All of Somerset Care’s residential care homes and nursing homes offer short term respite care, subject to availability and being able to meet your individual needs. To find out more about booking a respite break at your chosen care home, please contact our friendly enquiries team, who will be able to chat through the options available, and answer any questions you may have.

What is short term respite care?

Short term respite care is a temporary stay in a residential care home, with access to all of the tailored care and support, facilities and amenities available to permanent residents.

Taking a short respite break in a care home is a brilliant way to get to know the home and residents, and experience the atmosphere, facilities, food and activities for yourself, perhaps as a stepping stone to moving in as a long-term resident.

A respite stay can last for anything from a few days to a few months and can be a really helpful option if you normally receive care in your own home, perhaps from a family member, but they are away or unable to support you for a period of time.

What is dementia care?

Specialist dementia care is person-centred, meaning that it is completely tailored to the care and support needs of the individual who is living with dementia.

One of the most important aspects of dementia care, particularly for those where dementia presents itself as confusion and memory loss, is a safe, secure and stimulating environment. Somerset Care’s specialist dementia care homes have dedicated dementia care suites, where residents are supported to live as independently as possible, safe in the knowledge that their care needs are being met.

Our highly-qualified dementia care teams support those living with dementia to continue their existing hobbies and interests, and discover new pastimes which benefit their wellbeing, physical and mental health.

I have just been diagnosed with dementia. Do dementia patients need nursing care?

Different people are affected by dementia in different ways, and so the level and type of care they need will very much depend upon the symptoms they experience. Some may only require a little extra support to carry out daily tasks, whilst others may need specialist nursing care to remain safe and well, particularly if they already live with a long-term or complex medical condition.

Residential care can often be beneficial for dementia patients, as specialist dementia care homes will be set up specifically to accommodate their needs, with care which can adapt and change as their symptoms change or develop. Dementia is often a progressive condition which means symptoms can worsen over time, so choosing a dementia care home which can meet your needs now, and in the future should they progress, is often a good idea.

Look for a home which is ‘dementia specialist’ (rather than ‘dementia-friendly’), and which has a fully-qualified dementia care team who understand the condition, and can support you with the care you need to live the life you choose.

I’m researching care for a loved one – how might dementia conditions influence their care needs?

Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain, and can affect an individual’s ability to think, understand, remember or do certain things. Because every individual can be affected differently by dementia conditions, the type of care that is needed can also vary for each person.

A person-centred approach to dementia care considers the person as an individual, supporting them to manage the symptoms they experience so that they can live well with dementia. It is perfectly possible to live a full and fulfilling life with dementia, with the right support.

Our friendly and knowledgeable Enquiries Team are here to help you understand the dementia care options available, and support you to find person-centred care which your loved one’s needs.

I am caring for a loved one who is living with dementia. When should a dementia patient go into a care home?

When you can no longer safely manage a dementia patient’s care needs at home, it is time to get some help. Depending upon the severity of the individual’s dementia symptoms, this could either be in the form of home care visits, or residential care in a specialist dementia care home.

There is no shame in asking for help if you need it. Caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia is challenging, so it is worth considering all of the options available for dementia patients. Day care visits or a short-term respite break in a care home which specialises in providing dementia care can be a good way of experiencing the dementia support available, and getting to know the care home, care team and other residents, before moving into a care home. This also gives you, as your loved one’s carer, a well-earned break and the chance recharge your batteries.

To find out about the different types of dementia support available near you, please contact our Enquiries Team who will be happy to help.

I’m looking for dementia care, but don’t know where to start. What care is available for people living with dementia?

There are a variety of different types of dementia care available for those diagnosed with the condition. These include care visits in your own home, dementia day care and respite breaks at a dementia-friendly residential care home, or long-term care as a resident in a specialist dementia care home. The right type and level of care will be tailored to an individual’s dementia symptoms – we call this person-centred dementia care.

At Somerset Care, we have carried out two decades of research into dementia with our university partners in Exeter and Bradford. We have used this to shape the support we provide to people living with dementia, helping them to live full and fulfilling lives, with as much independence as possible. We call this approach PETALS, which stands for: Person-Centred, Empowerment, Trust, Activities, Life History, and Stimulation.

Our mission is to support people to live the life they choose, regardless of their dementia diagnosis. Please visit our dementia care page, or contact our knowledgeable Enquiries Team, to find out how our specialist teams deliver tailored dementia support in safe and stimulating environments.

What happens in respite care?

A short term respite care stay includes absolutely everything that you would expect from a longer-term stay in one of our specialist residential care homes:

  • A fully furnished room in one of our well-equipped care homes, which you can personalise to help you feel at home;
  • All of your meals, drinks and snacks (tailored to meet your preferences and dietary requirements);
  • 24/7 Individual care and support including help with medication and personal care;
  • Full use of all of the home’s indoor and outdoor communal areas, garden and facilities;
  • Participation in as many of the home’s activities, events and entertainment as you choose;
  • A warm welcome for any visitors you may like to invite;
  • Utilities, linen, laundry, housekeeping and cleaning.

How you chose to spend your time in respite care is up to you – you can treat it as a relaxing break and change of scene, recovery time to help you to safely return home from hospital, the opportunity to ‘try out’ a care home before making a longer-term commitment, or perhaps the chance to meet new friends and discover new interests.

How long can respite care last?

A respite care break can last for anything from a few days to a few months – it really is up to you! We’re here to support you with whatever works best for you, whether you simply fancy a change of scene or are keen to try out one of our homes, or whether you need support for a particular period of time as your usual carer is taking a break.

Provided we have availability, we’re happy to accommodate whatever length of stay you need in our respite care homes.

We also offer day care packages at selected care homes across Somerset. If you are not yet ready to book an overnight stay but would still like to spend a day with fellow residents, enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal and experience some of the activities on offer, then day care could be the perfect solution. Please contact us to find out about our available day care packages.

What is the criteria for respite care?

Provided the individual’s needs can be safely met at the chosen respite care home, there is no set criteria for respite care. All of our care homes across Somerset offer respite care breaks, subject to availability.

What is the purpose of respite care?

The purpose of respite care is to provide a short-term package of tailored care and support which meets the individual’s needs, within a care home environment. This can be to support rehabilitation following illness or injury, to complement care already delivered in the individual’s own home or at a day care centre, as an introduction to longer term residential care, or simply to provide a holiday with care and support included.

I am in need of urgent support, how quickly can a care home admission take place?

Whilst we like to ensure you have lots of time to make your move to your new home, we understand that on occasion, you may require emergency support. Our homes work closely with Health Professionals across the system to ensure an emergency admission can take place and keep you or your loved one safe and cared for.

How much will my residential care cost?

We have a very clear fee structure for all of our care homes, which are based on accommodation costs and a dependency cost to provide a banding for a weekly fee.

Dependency costs are determined as a result of our assessment process, all of which can be shared with you and explained in full, upon request. All of our care homes have a set fee structure, and the care fee sheets can be found by visiting the individual care home pages on this website.

How are my residential care need costs determined?

Pre-assessments are completed for all new residents by a member of our Senior Care Team. This is so that we can accurately determine your individual care needs and make sure we can safely support you within our care home.

This assessment is used to determine the care element of your weekly fees, which generally range from £280 – 810 per week, dependent upon your individual requirements.

How are my residential or respite care need costs determined at the Halcon Centre?

Pre-assessments are completed for all new residents and respite visitors by a member of our Senior Care Team. This is so that we can accurately determine your individual care needs and make sure we can safely support you at the Halcon Centre. This assessment is used to determine the care element of your weekly fees, which is combined with your accommodation cost to form your overall weekly fee.

What if my residential care needs change?

Your support team will monitor your progress and wellbeing on a daily basis. If a significant change in your care needs is identified, a member of our Senior Care Team will re-assess you to ensure you are receiving the right level of support. We will consult with you and/or your representative about any subsequent changes to your tailored care plan, and any resulting fee increases or decreases. Re-assessments will occur whenever required to meet your changing needs, and any fee changes are separate to the annual fee review.

Do you support Local Authority funded customers?

We have worked closely with Local Authorities and NHS teams for over 30 years to provide support to all those within the community within which we operate. We are passionate that everyone is entitled to quality care when and should the need arise.

We are able to support you if you are funded by the Local Authority, although dependent on the Care Home and your dependency needs, we may require a top up or a higher rate in order to support you with a placement.

Please do contact our teams on 0800 8174 990 so we can talk through your needs in more detail, and advise on how we may be able to help.

Am I entitled to any support with my care costs?

We always recommend that you make contact with your local Adult Social Care department in your local authority who will be able to organise a care needs and financial assessment, to determine if you are entitled to any support.

As a general rule, if you have over £23,250 in savings or assets, you are classed as self-funding.  If you have below this amount, you may be entitled to some support or fully funded care.

We recommend you contact the adult social care team regardless as there are a number of benefits that you may be entitled too, which can support you funding your care needs.

Your Local Authority (LA) can assess your financial status and advise if you are entitled to financial support to cover some or all of your care home costs. Please note that LA funding may need to be supplemented (either by yourself or a third party, as appropriate) to meet your full accommodation and care costs.

If you have been diagnosed with certain long-term complex health needs, you may qualify for NHS funding towards your care costs via the Continuing Healthcare (CHC) scheme. Your GP or other medical professional will be able to advise if you may be eligble. Our nursing homes are able to accept CHC funded clients.

The NHS pay a contribution to care homes that provide nursing care, called Funded Nursing Care (FNC). If applicable, the FNC contribution can cover part of your weekly care home fees. If FNC arrangements are not in place at the time of your admission, you will be charged the full weekly fee until this is in place. Once the backdated FNC has been received, the equivalent refund will be credited to your account.

What is included in my weekly residential care fee?

  • Fully-furnished accommodation
  • Food and drink tailored to your dietary requirements
  • Full use of all communal areas, including lounges, dining rooms and gardens
  • Full use of the on-site recreational facilities
  • Comprehensive activities programme arranged by our in-house team
  • All utilities including central heating, electricity, lighting and hot water
  • Bed linen and towels
  • Laundry services, including ironing
  • Team on site 24/7 to support as needed
  • Grounds and buildings maintenance
  • Daily and weekly cleaning services, alongside regular deep cleaning as and when required
  • Insurance of the building and supplied furniture
  • Internet access
  • Concessionary TV License scheme (if applicable)

What do my care home fees not include?

  • Hairdressing (available in all homes)
  • Toiletries (purchasable from the in-house shop)
  • Clothing
  • Newspapers/Magazines
  • Dry cleaning
  • Care and maintenance of pets
  • Insurance for personal items
  • Private transport to access services and attend
  • appointments (e.g. hospital, dentist, optician)
  • Private telephone lines

What if my residential care needs increase, will I need to move home?

We want your home with us to be for life, however, there are some instances where a move is necessary. If your needs change from residential to nursing, it may become unsafe for you to remain in your current home, if nursing care is not provided in that setting.

Can my family help me move in to residential care?

Yes, and we encourage them to do so. They are welcome to come along before-hand to help set up your room or accompany you on the day. How you do this, is entirely down to your preference, and we are here to help you settle into your new home.

Can I have visitors in a residential care home?

Yes, we love to have visitors in our home, and we love to see you spending time with your family and friends. Your visitors can come along when they wish, and do not need to book an appointment.

We are pleased to say that our homes all have safe visiting pods, should there be any incidents of Covid-19 or other virus outbreak in the home. These visiting pods allow your friends and family to spend time with you, in a safe way.

Do I get to choose my meals in the care home, or are they set each day?

We take meal times very seriously in our homes and understand how important the meal time experience is for all of us. We have daily menus available in our homes, with locally and responsibly sourced produce with our trusted suppliers. Our menu is seasonal, and we have a variety of themed days, where we experience lots of different styles of foods. If you fancy something a little different, just speak to our passionate kitchen teams who will cater to your needs. 

You are welcome to invite your family to eat alongside you, especially on special occasions. We love nothing more than a party and look for any reason to have a celebration – food will always play a central part to these events.

Our talented teams are able to cater to all dietary requirements and soft diet requirements.

I’m moving into residential care, can I bring my own furniture?

We would love for you to bring your own furniture and creature comforts, to make your new home feel as comfortable and familiar as possible. Our rooms are decorated to a high standard but our in-house maintenance team are also on hand to support with any reasonable requests that you have.

Do I need to book in a tour of the care home?

We always recommend that you take the time to view the homes you are interested in. Feel free to visit any of our homes, or call us to book an appointment. A tour allows you to experience the home first hand, understanding the layout of the home, view some bedrooms and communal areas and ask any questions that you may have. Our teams are on hand to show you around and make you feel at ease. Why not join us for a cup of tea and a chat, and we will be sure you leave with all the information you need to make the right decision.

How will I get to know the residential care team who will be supporting me?

Building a relationship with those we support is a vital step in supporting you to live the life you choose. Your team will be with you from day one, and will work you and your family, where you wish, to support you with your care needs, as well as your goals and wellbeing. 

We encourage you to speak to us, participate in residents’ meetings, chat to our care team, managers and area managers, as well as contact our regulators at the Care Quality Commission should you chose.

How will I get to know the other residents in my care home?

We hold daily activities in our homes and encourage residents to join us in the dining room at mealtimes. We know how important social interaction is to wellbeing, and there are plenty of opportunities to make new friends.

I am not sure if I am ready for a permanent move, do you offer short term stays?

All of our homes offer short term breaks, commonly known as respite. Respite stays have a huge number of benefits from offering a safe place to recuperate after a hospital stay or illness, to the reassurance that you are safe if your family or carers are having a break of their own.

Respite stays are a great way for you to experience the home, before considering a longer-term commitment.

What if I want to extend my short-term respite stay?

You are absolutely welcome to extend your stay with us. Please speak with your care team if you are coming to the end of your respite stay and would like a longer break with us. As long as there is availability, we will be happy to extend your stay.

What is home care?

A home care package supports you to remain independent at home. The support can vary from daily personal care, to supporting with medication, light duties around the home or assistance to get out and about.  Somerset Care home care packages are tailored to your needs, so that you are in control of the support you receive.

I have never received home care support before, where do I even begin?

If you are unsure of where to start, there are a couple of avenues that we would recommend.  Firstly, it is always a good idea to contact your Local Authority, they can visit you and carry out a care needs and financial assessment to help determine the level of care required and if you are entitled to any financial support. 

Somerset County Council can be contacted on 0300 123 2223

Wiltshire County Council can be contacted on 0300 456 0111

Isle of Wight County Council can be contacted on 01983 821000

I am not sure what type of home care support I need, how is this decided?

At Somerset Care we would ask to come and visit you or your loved one to carry out an assessment. This provides us with an opportunity to meet you and understand what your needs are. As a result of this assessment, we will be able to advise what your weekly package of care could look like. This may result in several visits a day, or just an hour a week, it will totally depend on what you need.

I am having an operation and need some support for when I leave hospital, do you offer short-term reablement packages?

Yes, we have a reablement team who can support you on your return from a hospital stay. We work alongside local Acute hospitals to deliver this service. These reablement packages can be funded for you, or you can call us direct to discuss a privately funded package of care.

What if my needs change and I need to increase/decrease my home care support package?

We monitor your care and support on a daily basis, via our electronic care planning systems and work with you, your circle of support and any other professionals involved in your care to implement any changes required.

You are fully in control of your care plan and can discuss this with us at any time.  Either speak to your care team or contact your local office to arrange this.

Will I have a chance to meet you, before you start my package of home care?

Yes, absolutely! As part of the assessment, you will have a chance to meet the team. The assessment is a chance for us to get to know each other, as well as understanding your care and wellbeing needs.

What is dementia?

When we think of dementia, most people think of memory loss – perhaps being unable remember a name or word for something, or not recognising someone they know well. They may also struggle to retain new memories, meaning that they might be able to clearly remember something that happened in their childhood, but not recall what they had for breakfast the same day. These are all symptoms of dementia, but they are not the only ones.

Other symptoms may include difficulties with problem-solving, vision and language, as well as changes in mood or behaviour.

What causes dementia?

Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain. The most commonly recognised of these diseases is Alzheimer’s, but with over 100 different types of dementia, we recognise just how complicated this disease can be in diagnosis, treatment and support.

The location of the damage to the brain from the disease will determine the affect on the individual’s everyday life, with different individuals affected in different ways. The Dementia Friends network explains this by way of a string of fairy lights, with each light representing a different area of the brain, which in turn represents a different skill, memory or function. When the brain is damaged by disease, some of these lights may flicker, dim or go out altogether, affecting the individual’s ability to think, understand, remember or do something. Symptoms often become progressively worse and more visible with time.

No two people living with dementia will be affected in exactly the same way, and something that one person might find easy, another might find extremely difficult. This is why our focus is on delivering person-centred support to help individuals live well with dementia.

Who can be affected by dementia?

Dementia is not a natural part of the aging process, and can affect anyone of any age. Whilst the disease mainly affects those aged 65 or over, Alzheimer’s Society estimates that of the 900,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia, more than 42,000 are under the age of 65.

Just as liver disease or kidney disease are not age-specific, neither is brain disease. Anyone of any age can be affected by brain disease, and therefore live with dementia.

Can dementia be treated?

Whilst there is no known cure for dementia, some of its symptoms can be effectively managed with medication and person-centred care, enabling the individual to live well with dementia.

We’re passionate about providing person-centred care which recognises the person living with dementia as an individual with individual needs, and supporting them to live the life they choose.

A person living with dementia is just that – a person first, who happens to experience the symptoms of dementia. Just like someone living with an illness of any kind, a person living with dementia doesn’t stop having hobbies, interests and things that they enjoy – they just might need a little more support to be able to do the things they love.

Our dementia care and support puts the person first, and helps them to live a full and fulfilling life regardless of the condition that they live with.

What is nursing care?

Nursing care refers to the higher levels of bespoke care which may be required to support individuals who are living with complex needs or long-term medical conditions. Specialist nursing care is available 24/7 from our team of qualified nurses based in our residential nursing homes.

What is the difference between nursing care and residential care?

Nursing care is essentially a higher level of residential care, where the individual needs more support. This is not necessarily as a result of living with a particular condition, but more about the amount of support that an individual needs in order to live well with that condition. For example, an individual living with diabetes who is able to manage their condition with tablets which they can administer themselves, may only require residential care. However, an individual whose sugar levels are more unstable, and whose diabetes is managed with insulin injections which they cannot administer themselves, will require more support and may require nursing care

How will I know if I need nursing care?

The level of care an individual requires is referred to as a dependency level. Dependency levels are determined as part of the care assessment which is carried out before an individual moves into a care home. This assessment will look at everything from the support you may need with personal care or eating, to your medication requirements, mobility and wellbeing.

Dependency levels can go up or down, meaning that an individual could in theory move from requiring residential care to nursing care, or vice versa. For instance, an individual who has recently had a hip replacement operation may initially need a very high level of support, but this could reduce as their rehabilitation progresses and they become more mobile. Equally, an individual living with a degenerative condition may initially require residential care, but this requirement could increase to nursing care at a later date.

Will I need to move if my nursing care needs change?

All of our nursing homes offer both residential care and nursing care, meaning that if you are a resident in one of these homes, you will not need to move to a different care home if your needs change.

It is possible for care needs to increase or decrease, so these are reviewed regularly to ensure that you are receiving the right level of care for your safety and wellbeing.

Which homes offer nursing care?

Five of our care homes offer specialist nursing care in addition to residential care. These are: Calway House and Lavender Court in Taunton, Cooksons Court in Yeovil, Stockmoor Lodge in Bridgwater and Wessex House in Somerton.

For full details of the services and facilities offered at these homes, along with a breakdown of fees, please visit our Find a Care Home page.

I struggle with screens and buttons, so prefer to use a smart speaker. Will this work in my care home?

Yes, we can certainly connect your smart speaker to the free wifi in your care home so that you can use this in a way that suits you. This could be to control other smart devices, use it to check the time or the weather, or listen to music, for example.

Most smart speakers need to be connected to a personal device such as a mobile phone or tablet, as well as the home’s wifi network. Some may also require an online account to be set up to give you full access to all of the smart speaker’s functions. We are more than happy to arrange a visit from our Care Technologist, who will be able to help you set up and start using your smart speaker.

Feeling a little overwhelmed and not sure where to start?

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