Personal experiences of transformation: East of England
Raymond, his Care Co-ordinator and one of his Care providers talk about how Raymond is using his Personal Budget to improve his mobility and provide respite for his main carer.
I have severe arthritis and a range of other health problems and as a result have very poor mobility. I really cannot do very much for myself. My wife is my main carer and I rely on her a lot, my daughter also cares for me and my wife. A while ago, I was unable to get out and about at all which I very much wanted to do. This was putting a lot of stress on my wife as well as having an adverse effect on my wellbeing.
My care co-ordinator Pat asked me to think about what I needed to improve things and to plan what support I needed. The main thing I wanted was a motorised scooter to enable me to get around the garden, go into town and generally access the community. We also needed a few modifications around the house, such as bars in the bathroom and a special chair. We wanted some respite care for me to enable my wife to have a much needed break and we wanted our daughter to be recognised as one of my carers.
I was allocated a personal budget which I really appreciate. It has enabled me to buy the scooter and make the house modifications. We now pay my daughter to be a carer and I have respite care in a residential setting of my own choosing.
Raymond's TOP TIP
"Sometimes you don't realise what you're entitled to. It's important to ask and make your case."
Pat's story: Raymond's Care Co-ordinator
I was Raymond's care co-ordinator when his wife contacted us to say the family needed helpI discussed with Raymond what would make a difference for him, his wife and daughter and he indicted the most urgent thing was a mobility scooter and some respite care to give his wife a break. He also mentioned the need for flexible care which his daughter was able to provide.
I decided it would be most advantageous for Raymond to think about what his own support needs were and to take responsibility for his own support plan. He mapped out a plan and I collated it into a summary plan and took it to our panel for agreement. They agreed and it was decided Raymond was able to direct his own support with a personal budget.
The outcomes for Raymond have been highly beneficial. He has got some independence back through having a mobility scooter which was very important to him and he has got some of his old life back. He only needs day care now and then, which many 'block contract' providers are unable to do, so his daughter is able to be 'on call' under more flexible arrangements. Finally, he has the choice about what the money is spent on, so it's much more flexible and responsive.
Day care is not, in any case, suitable for everyone, but the savings for the Council are obvious. The cost of a scooter and the other arrangements are far less than the cost of Raymond going to a day care centre every day, or into residential care. The personal budgets really are the way forward. Everyone's needs are different and everyone is an individual so you need to be able to respond on a personalised basis.
Pat's TOP TIP
"We need to remember to take into consideration all factors of need when assessing for care and support in the community. The main carer should also hold focus, as in Mr C case. Support was 24 hours, If we had failed to take the main carer needs into consideration, the outcome may have been very different.
Clive's Story: Operations Director, The Old Deanery Care Village
Pat from Social Services, Raymond's Care Co-ordinator, contacted me early last year to enquire whether we provided respite care for people using their personal budget to fund their respite stays. This was our first experience of this scheme, Pat explained how it worked and arranged for me to meet with Raymond to assess his individual care needs.
Raymond had spent a lot of time thinking through all of his needs, which included respite care. I assessed his physical, social, and psychological needs and how they could be met at The Old Deanery using a 24 hour care plan and arranged a series of respite/holiday dates for Raymond.
Ray came to us (with his mobility scooter) and settled in extremely well. Supported and assisted by our dedicated care team, he felt he was in control of his life and able to exercise his choices and independence in any decision-making regarding his care and needs. He explained to me the respite holidays also gave his wife some time to herself, so she could go shopping with her daughter and take a holiday.
During his holidays with us Raymond enjoyed all of our facilities; meeting new people in our bistro, joining in with activities, entertainment, BBQs and enjoying our landscaped gardens. Raymond told me it was like being on holiday for him in a hotel, and he looked forward to coming back each time, in fact he said, "I wish I could come more frequently".
In my opinion Raymond has greatly benefited from managing his personal budget, he has regained some of independence and he is now able to make his own informed choices on his activities of daily living.
Raymond is planning his holidays with us this year, and we look forward to seeing him again and assisting him to enjoy his time with us.
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