When you’re in the process of looking for care, it can be a confusing process. We’re not taught at any stage in our lives to deal with this process and yet some 873,500 people use domiciliary care in the UK each year1. Further studies show that around 19% of people aged 65-69 and 43% of people aged over 80 needing help with daily activities. Help that often falls to their families to organise.
The terminology used can be confusing in itself which is why we’ve created a guide to answer the top questions that people search for online in relation to one specific term: Domiciliary Care.
What is domiciliary care?
Domiciliary care is another way of describing services such as meals-on-wheels, health visiting and home help provided for people in their own homes. This could be provided by a government agency, private care provider, self-employed carer or family member.
What is domiciliary care in the UK?
The definition of domiciliary care is the same across the UK. However, what you can individually access from your local authority will differ dependent on the funding available for your location. The Money Advice Service is a reliable resource of advice3 and you can also find out more in our Guide to Funding.
What does domiciliary care mean?
Domiciliary care simply means providing assistance to somebody within their own home. This could relate to medical care such as wound dressing and administration of medicines or personal care such as dressing, bathing and toileting. The idea is to help someone to remain in their own home for as long as possible which prevents the unnecessary placing of people in care home settings.
What is a domiciliary care agency?
A domiciliary care agency is an organisation that supplies carers to people in need. They will help to match carers appropriate to the needs of the person requiring care and arrange the dates and times of their visits. In the private sector they may directly employ the carers. Within local authorities they may either employ the carers or contract the work to agency staff. In the case of Helpd, our carers are self-employed which means that they can set their own working hours appropriate to their client’s needs – not based on a rota which is designed to serve as many people as quickly as possible.
What are domiciliary care services?
There are lots of services that fall under the heading of domiciliary care. Here are some of the services that carers at Helpd can provide:
- Personal care
- Help with mobility
- Cooking and feeding
- Medication management
- Applying lotions and creams
- Toileting, including catheter care
- Grooming, including hair care and shaving
- Bathing and showering
What is domiciliary care allowance?
Domiciliary care allowance relates to a benefit payment for disabled children in the Republic of Ireland: http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/1078_Domiciliary-Care-Allowance.aspxc
In the UK, the allowances relating to people that require domiciliary care include:
For more information, you may also find our Helpd Guide to Funding useful.
What date is domiciliary care allowance paid?
If you want to check the payment dates of allowances and benefits relating to UK citizens who require domiciliary care, check with the provider of the benefit or allowances that you, or the person requiring care are in receipt of. The following links may be useful in helping you find the right information:
Can domiciliary care allowance be backdated?
Benefits and allowances related to domiciliary care can sometimes be backdated dependent on the circumstances of the individual and the length of time it takes to complete the initial assessment process. We would recommend visiting the following FAQ sites as well as taking a look at the Money Advice Service – a free-to-use, impartial organisation that can help you better understand your entitlements.
What does a domiciliary care worker do?
The role of a domiciliary carer varies dependent on what the client in question requires. At the heart of their service is an aim to ensure that the person requiring care is assisted with their day-to-day living needs in such a way that they can continue to live as independently as possible in their own home.
The tasks that a domiciliary care worker provide will be determined by a number of factors:
- The requirements of the person requiring care
- The skills of the care worker
- The budget available to the Local Authority
- In the case of private care agencies or self-employed care workers – the agreed fee
- The time available (in the case of Local Authority provided care workers)
- The time agreed (in the case of private care agencies)
In some cases, the domiciliary care worker (with agreement from the person requiring care / their family) may let themselves into the home via a secure key system. The dates and times of visits should be agreed in advance and recorded. They may also take notes and share these with relevant family members and/or agencies.
What is the Code of Conduct for domiciliary care workers?
According to Skills for Care, funded by the Department of Health, Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England must abide by the following Code of Conduct4:
- Be accountable by making sure you can answer for your actions or omissions.
- Promote and uphold the privacy, dignity, rights, health and wellbeing of people who use health and care services and their carers at all times.
- Work in collaboration with your colleagues to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe and compassionate healthcare, care and support.
- Communicate in an open, and effective way to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of people who use health and care services and their carers.
- Respect a person’s right to confidentiality.
- Strive to improve the quality of healthcare, care and support through continuing professional development.
- Uphold and promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
You can read the full Code of Conduct here.
For agency workers or self-employed domiciliary carers, ask to see their relevant Code of Conduct or guidelines contained within their contract before appointing them.
Is domiciliary care right for me?
Domiciliary care works especially well for people who wish to remain in their own home and for families that want to support their loved one to remain in their own home – whether they are living with ill-health, a degenerative illness or an age-related illness. For most people requiring care their preference is to remain in their own home and within the communities that they are familiar with as it helps them to keep links with friends and family that are vital for their wellbeing. To find out more about the benefits of domiciliary care, visit our guide section at www.helpd.co.uk/guide/ .
At Helpd we want to make the process of finding and choosing a carer straightforward – and that includes removing unnecessary jargon.
Our dedicated online introductory service puts you in control of care – from hourly domiciliary care to finding a full-time live-in carer. To learn more, call us on 0118 449 2373 or visit www.helpd.co.uk