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Can you be forced into a care home?

As you get older, it is important to start considering the options that are available to you with regard to elderly care. It is a good idea to know your rights so that you can plan ahead, ensuring that your wishes for the future are met. It is wise to do this before anything happens that may mean the ability to choose is taken out of your hands.

Statistics indicate that in older people, around 2 in every 100 will develop dementia and that here in the UK, someone will have a stroke every 5 minutes. It makes sense, therefore, to think about planning for your future early because both of these are reasons why you may not be able to choose the type of care that you want. Planning ahead means that you can set out the type of future that you want in case anything happens that might compromise your ability to make those decisions for yourself.

Many elderly people worry about being forced into a care home, often against their will. Whilst this is something that can be worrying, it is important to learn about your rights. This is particularly important if you believe that social services may press you into making the move into a care home.

Live-in-care or professional home care are very real alternatives to consider.

Can a person be forced into a care home?

The answer to this question is that in the UK, generally, no one can be forced into moving into a care home. If you are in possession of your mental faculties, regardless of whether you are deemed able to take care of yourself or not, you can arrange for professional home care or live-in care, even if the recommendation from social services is for a care home.

If you want to be cared for in your own home by a professional carer, then there is no reason for there to be any conflict between your family, social workers and friends. If you are strongly against the idea of living in a residential care home in later life, then there is an alternative. Live-in-care provides a fantastic alternative where you can remain in your own home but still receive professional care.

However, Social Services do have a duty of care to all individuals, and they will need to assess your needs to ensure that the services you are receiving as an older adult are suitable for your needs. If your care requirements are not being met by the services that you receive in the home, then Social Services may need to intervene and place you in an alternative environment where they feel that those needs will be met. They will, however, only do this when they believe that it is the safest option for the person involved. Sometimes this may also be for the safety of those around the person, for example, in the case of someone who has become violent towards others as a result of dementia.

With the right level of care, most care needs can be met in the home by a professional live-in-carer, including for people living with dementia.

Live-in-care – a first option

It is recommended by Social Services that those who are concerned about the well-being of an elderly relative speak to them about these concerns. In the first instance, they will normally arrange for a care assessment to be undertaken and if the elderly person has a preference to remain in their own home, then a carer can be arranged who will visit the home at regular intervals to help them with their care needs.

For those who may need a little more help than regular visits, live-in-care is an option. This involves a professional carer living in the elderly person’s home to assist with greater care needs. If Social Services are involved, this option can be discussed with them.

Live-in-care means having a trained carer in the home 24/7 to support the elderly person to remain in their house safely and with greater independence. This care is tailored to the needs of the individual and provides help with those tasks that they might otherwise struggle with. It also provides companionship, and this form of 1-2-1 contact can be very beneficial for both mental and physical health.

The Obligations of Social Services

There are certain obligations that fall upon Social Services when it comes to the care of an elderly person. The local authority can only move an individual against their wishes, or those of their family, into a care home under certain circumstances:

  • When care needs are not being met in the home
  • When the elderly person poses a risk to the safety of any other people who might live in their home
  • When the person is not capable of making an informed decision about their own care

A local authority is, however, legally required to follow the appropriate guidance that permits an elderly person to have a proper choice over where they might live. Decisions that are taken need to be in a person’s best interests and must look at all of the available options to achieve the best outcome for them. When there is an issue of mental incapacity, the local authority is required to complete a mental capacity assessment.

If you will be paying for your own elderly care, it makes sense to be prepared financially. The type of financial planning you need to consider will allow you to protect your future and make sure that there is money available for the type of care that you would like. It also allows you to make your wishes clear so that a trusted family member knows what you want regarding your care needs.

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Get in touch

Leave your details and we’ll contact you to answer any questions and schedule your care assessment at your convenience. Alternatively you can email hello@greenwoodhomecare.co.uk or call one of our offices:

Peterborough 01733 808531
Grantham 01476 849522
Cambridge 01223 850938

Home Assessment

We will agree a time to come and visit you in your own home. We will take the time to fully understand your care needs, and provide recommendations as to what type of care is required.

Care delivery

Once agreed, we will begin to deliver the care. Whether hourly, live-in, or night care, we will endeavour to deliver the best possible care.