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Finding and Funding Care

You have made the decision that you or a loved one would benefit from care in your or their home, so what next?

First, you will have to decide to whether you would like your local authority to provide your personal care and support or whether you would like to choose a private care provider and pay for your own care. Fortunately in Scotland, personal care for those aged over 65 is free and is not financially means tested. For some though, finding a private care company and paying a little extra money for additional support or companionship is more appealing.

If you do choose a private company to support your care needs, your local authority may still pay for an element of your required care services. This means that even if you do want to self fund your care, you won't end up paying the full cost out of your own finances and you will still receive financial support from the local authority .

The amount the local authority will pay depends on your care needs assessment and how much support you require. You can then decide whether you want to take direct payments from the local council and then top up payments.

Paying for care?

Care costs can vary considerably depending on which company you approach, with care providers charging between £25 and £35 per hour.

As was mentioned above, if you do decide to pay for your own care costs you can take the option of direct payments from the local council and then top up the remainder of the cost. If you do chose to find your own care provider, then you have the flexibility to manage hoe your own care package looks, and you can arrange your care visits to suit your own needs.

Although the cost of care at home may seem expensive, if you compare the cost of home care to residential care the difference in price can be substantial. You also have to keep in mind that care home costs are means tested, so depending on your financial situation it may be more affordable to remain at home.

How to choose a care company?

No matter what choice you make, it is imperative that you check with the Care Inspectorate to read the appropriate care inspection reports, this should give you an idea of standard of care you can expect from your chosen provider(s).

There are other organisations such as where you can read verified reviews of the domiciliary care companies within your local authority. The City of Edinburgh Council can also provide you with a list of providers that they work with.

As mentioned above care fees vary from company to company but we feel at 1st Focus Homecare you really do receive the best care possible at a competitive price.

How to access state funding for your care costs?

if you have made the decision to engage the services of a private home care provider such as 1st Focus Homecare and you have made to decision to pay for your care by self funding you are still eligible for a personal care and support budget, you can put this budget towards the overall care cost.

1st Focus homecare can provide advice on accessing financial support from your local council and can help assisting with social services direct payments.

What is a care needs assessment?

To receive your personal care budget, you first need to organise an appointment for a care needs assessment to be carried out to see if you meet the eligible needs to receive a personal budget to help pay for your care fees. This assessment is carried out by a member of the social work department and can be organised with your local council via Social Care Direct.

When a care needs assessment is carried out by the social work department to ascertain if a person is eligible for local authority funding, you have to keep in mid they are only assessing for a personal care budget which cover the minimal requirement of your care needs. They will not provide funding for other services such as home help or companionship.

During the assessment they will discuss what support you need if your safety and independence are at high risk. For example, you may be unable to carry out essential personal care tasks, such as bathing and dressing. Where the risk is lower, they may not provide you with financial support but will give you information and advice. This will be the case if you are having some difficulties but can manage most aspects of daily living. They will need to meet with you to discuss your needs and will arrange to meet with you in your own home.

Your assessment.

Your assessment meeting will be with someone from a local or specialist social work team. This may be a social worker, an occupational therapist or a community care assistant. You can ask a friend or family member to be present. The assessor will:

  • Talk to you about your needs for support

  • Write down what is discussed

  • Give you a copy of the completed assessment form

  • The worker will record your views if you do not agree with what is written down.

  • You will get a copy of the report.

  • They may need to make more than one visit.

  • They may also ask you if we can contact your GP or district nurse.

This will give them a better picture of your needs. After the meeting they will:

  • Consider all the information and decide what they can offer

  • Let you know of their decision.

  • Discuss your options with you.

  • They use agreed criteria to make their decision.

When they assess your needs, they look at your individual circumstances. Then they use eligibility criteria to decide if you have priority needs. They usually look at:

  • Personal safety.

  • Personal care and domestic tasks.

  • Family and social responsibilities.

  • Carer needs.

What are self direct payments?

Below is a brief description on how the free aspect of your care budget is delivered. The Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 came into force in April 2014. This allows individuals, their carers and their families to make informed choices on what their support looks like and how it is delivered, making it possible to meet agreed personal outcomes. ‘Having more choice and control is empowering. We should all be equal partners in making decisions that affect us. This leads to more of us being confident and independent and achieving our aspirations for a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life. Support and care have a vital role to play in ensuring everyone can enjoy the same human rights - dignity, equality of opportunity and access. And, having greater control of your life and decision-making leads to improved health and wellbeing’ The Act requires local authorities to offer people four choices:

Option 1:

You ask the local authority to provide you with a direct payment, also known as a personal budget, which you can use to pay for support by a company of your choice.

Option 2:

Your funding is allocated to a provider of your choice, also known as an Individual Service Fund (ISF) and ask the care provider to manage the budget, although you oversee how you spend it. (1st Focus Homecare can organise this on your behalf through the local authority).

Option 3:

The council can arrange a service for you. The council will manage the budget and choose the provider. This does not mean you automatically get council carers. Local authorities’ sub-contract to private companies, and in the case of option 3, you are allocated the company and do not have an involvement in the choice.

Option 4:

You ask the local authority for a mix of these options for different types of support.

What Next?

Arranging home care can be a daunting process, if you feel that you would like a real alternative to residential care and think that having a paid carer in your own home would be of benefit, or if you are just looking for advice on arranging home care then please feel free to contact our office at 0131 510 7878 where we can discuss your care needs.

​If we think we can help you or your loved one, we can arrange to meet you in your own home in person to assess your care needs. Not only can we arrange homecare for you or a family member, we can also give advice on how to access the local authority financial assessment and how to organise direct payments. Not everyone can afford to pay for their own care, but the local council can provide direct payments which allow people to organise their personal budget so they can choose from the various home care providers in the Edinburgh area.


​Once an assessment of your care needs has been carried out, we can then build your care plan so that we can deliver the care and support to the high standards that we believe everyone should have access to.

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