There are many challenges when it comes to providing appropriate care long term within the home.
As the government’s Direct Payments scheme gathers pace, more people are choosing to purchase their own care package, giving them
real control over the help they need.
Sam Easen of H1 Healthcare explains, ‘Direct payments are an alternative to community care. Beneficiaries range from the elderly who wish to maintain independence at home to people with disabilities.’
Service users can opt to buy in as much or as little support as they require with the money allocated to them by their local authority.
But there’s more to it than plugging care gaps – it's about enabling radical change, as one client has discovered.
Vic Baxter is a businessman with a young adult son who has autism. After his wife died four years ago, he managed to juggle the complex demands of home and a job which involves regular overseas travel.
His son’s developing needs, and the planned retirement of the much-loved child-minder who has enabled Vic to keep the whole show on the road forced him to find a new direction.
He has been able to enter into a contract with qualified and experienced staff to take the weight off his shoulders, providing daily support and life-coaching for his son, who is happier and is managing new challenges. Vic says he himself is less stressed and more able to focus on his business.
Vic adds, ‘The company is putting a step-change in place here. New leases of life are coming out of this, and pure sunshine is flooding into the living room of our lives.
H1 Healthcare is currently recruiting and training carers in many parts of the North East. They can offer a complete package, from giving direct care, to recruiting personal assistants for service users and helping them manage the payment and accounting processes required by the local authority.
Sam Easen says, ‘As government continues to favour the care of people in their own homes, self support via Direct Payments will become increasingly commonplace as a means of delivering care. And this care will require the support of organisations – voluntary and private – to assist in its management and delivery.’
H1 Healthcare’s Home Care division is headed by new appointee Gwen Robinson. ’In most cases, service users and their carers are the experts in knowing what works best for them,’ she says.