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Budgeting for care home fees when you are a self-funding resident

When you are choosing a care home and have to pay your own fees (without assistance from social services or the NHS) you won’t want to be surprised by extra costs added on top of the base fee.

The Chiswick Nursing Centre understand this and do their best to keep charges transparent. Care home fees do tend to increase year on year.

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau estimates that the average price increase is around 9.5% a year. You will be notified of these changes, but how much notice is given varies greatly between homes. At The Chiswick we promise to give you at least 28 days notice of any increase – to be transparent in describing why an increase is necessary and we only raise our fees once per year – usually in April.

Whether or not care home fees are all inclusive depends on the care home. At The Chiswick we offer our self-funding residents an all-inclusive service, with a fixed weekly fee.

What is usually included in your fixed fee at The Chiswick? 

Staff who deliver care

Staff in care homes provide personal care, administer and track medication, keep residents safe, provide companionship, cook their meals, wash their laundry, clean the home and plan and provide activities.

Homes such as The Chiswick that offer more specialist care need to employ and pay staff with specialist skills, such as registered nurses or staff highly skilled in supporting people who live with dementia.

While many care homes do have some volunteers for support, employed staff need to be paid at least minimum wage and usually contributions towards their pensions. At The Chiswick – we do both – because we believe that investing in our staff helps us to provide you with better care.

Residents who require more specialist care may be charged a higher fee than those who need less care, but all this will be pre-agreed in their contract.

Accommodation

Care home residents live in the home full-time, so their fees contribute to the usual costs of running a household. This includes upkeep of the building, heating, electricity and other utility bills.

Food

Residents are provided with three meals a day plus snacks and extras such as tea/coffee,  cake/biscuits, an afternoon tea service and cheese and wine events. The occasional glass of wine and evening alcoholic night caps are all included in your weekly fees at The Chiswick.

Laundry

This is included in fees, with your laundry being collected, washed, and ironed and returned to your wardrobe. There will be additional charges for items that need to be sent to the dry cleaner.

Sanitary items

The Chiswick will have a supply of items such as incontinence pads, but you can supply your own if you’d prefer a branded product.

Hairdressing 

The Chiswick has an excellent hairdresser, costs are in addition to your weekly fee. 

Outings

Outings can accrue extra costs, such as tickets and meals out. This is usually organised in advance.

You may also pay extra for a carer to accompany a resident to appointments or other outings that require one-to-one support outside of the home.

Shopping

Residents can be supported to buy new clothes or any other knickknacks in shops and online, but they’ll need to pay for these things themselves.

Newspapers

If a resident would like to have a newspaper each day, the care home can arrange a subscription this is included within the costs each week.

Visiting medics

At The Chiswick we have a visiting chiropodist, optician, audiologist and even a dentist. It is the care home’s responsibility to organise these and any trips to medical appointments. Those that cost money, such as dental treatment, will usually be added to the bill.

Phones

Residents will need to pay for their own mobile phone and contract, if they want one. All of our bedrooms have phone handsets in place and local UK costs are included in your weekly fees.

Cigarettes

Residents who smoke or vape will need to fund this themselves. Staff may support them to buy tobacco, papers, filters, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, snuff, liquids and cartridges, or a friend or family member could supply these for them.

WiFi

Our fast speed WiFi service is included in your weekly fee. This allows you to support a SMART TV to access internet streaming services if you wish. All of our bedrooms have a TV set included which accessed terrestrial TV and Freeview services. SMART TV sets are provide at a recharge to the resident. 

How can I be sure exactly what care home fees I’ll be charged?

How much a care home resident pays depends on the care they need and the funding they are eligible for.

We will be happy to talk through costs and the contract with you.

Care needs are reviewed regularly. If somebody’s care needs have increased, they may be charged more for their care but they may also now qualify for more funding to support them financially.

At The Chiswick we are all about being transparent and up front on the topic of costs. 

Our Centre Director – Steve Winter (Steve.winter@chiswicknursingcentre.co.uk) will be happy to talk you through any questions or queries that you may have.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Chiswick soon.

The art of caring

There really is an art to caring and there are many bodies in the care sector that are trying to raise it’s profile at local and government levels in order to change public perceptions and government recognition. 

Our specialist Nurse Assessor – Sabina Kelly recently wrote an article which was published in the magazine Carpe Diem (see page 30) to highlight these issues.

As the article notes – a good carer can make such a difference to people’s lives whether in a care home or in people’s own homes. 

In order to maximise independence, good care is the driving force that starts the ball rolling.

At The Chiswick Nursing Centre – a job in care can also lead to excellent career opportunities opening up for you, such as Nurse Associate training, Qualified Nurse registration, or simple progression from Care Assistant to Senior Carer – leading a team of others who all care for our residents.

At The Chiswick Nursing Centre we value our carers and encourage them to undertake further training. If you feel you would like an opportunity to join the Chiswick Nursing Centre healthcare team read the article and it will guide you to the many opportunities that are available to you. Then you can apply by sending an email to: Enquiries@chiswicknursingcentre.co.uk or completing the form on our jobs page.

Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 17 is Random Acts of Kindnesss (RAK) Day – a day when we can all take just a little time to do something for someone else. It can be as simple as a smile and a ‘thank you’ to the person that serves your tea or coffee, running an errand for a neighbour, taking the time to sit and talk with an elderly family member, neighbour or friend, buying a surprise gift for someone you wouldn’t normally …the list is almost endless.

The American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that ‘the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. It is not the length of life, but the depth.’

So, by being useful to someone, you are being kind to them and, by being kind to them, you are also being kind to yourself. Try it and see. Bringing a smile to someone’s face will make them feel better and have a marked effect on your own sense of self-worth and wellbeing.

In a residential care setting, the opportunities are almost endless. By the very nature of their work, our staff carry out dozens of acts of random kindness every day. Without such an approach, they wouldn’t be able to do their jobs, but some will be going that extra step to on RAK Day to make it a bit more special for a resident or a colleague. 

Conversely, our residents are deeply appreciative of the help and service they receive from our team but we are sure an additional thank you, note or small gesture will not go unnoticed. It will make someone’s day that extra bit special.

Relatives and friends too might like to take a moment to think what they could do – a bunch of flowers, an extra five minutes at visiting time, a cheery hello or a quick socially distanced chat with a resident who doesn’t have a visitor, a child’s drawing or a photo of a much loved pet to help decorate a room….

Any gesture of kindness will be magnified given the reduced opportunities we have had to interact with one another during this long, Covid epidemic.

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

Celebrating St Valentine                

Love was in the air on St Valentine’s Day as residents at The Chiswick gathered to toast one another, sing some favourite romantic songs and reminisce about sweethearts past and present.

Of course, we all know that February 14 is St Valentine’s Day…but what do we really know about the history of the day and why it became a celebration of love?

The true answer is ‘not much’ as there is scant historical evidence. The roots are thought to lie in a pagan fertility festival called ‘Lupercalia’ which was celebrated on 13-15 February in ancient Rome. 

In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared 14 February as St. Valentine’s Day to honour the saint of that name as he believed ‘Lupercalia’ to be ‘un-Christian’. Exactly which St Valentine he meant is uncertain as there was more than one.  A likely possibility is a priest who was martyred about 270 by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. According to legend, Valentine signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and, by some accounts, had cured of blindness.

St. Valentine’s Day did not generally become a celebration of love until the Middle Ages. Indeed, Geoffrey Chaucer, author of ‘The Canterbury Tales’ makes reference to a special day for love in one of his poems, in which he also mentions St Valentine. 

Formal love messages began to be exchanged in the 1500s and by the late 1700s commercial cards were in production. 

St. Valentine’s Day is now celebrated in many countries of the world and several have their own special traditions. Did you know that in Norfolk, especially around Norwich, the mysterious Jack Valentine visits houses on 13 February, the eve of St Valentine’s and, under cover of dark, leaves gifts on doorsteps? These are not just for lovers but for people of all generations. So if you woke up on 14 February to find a present outside the door, it might just have come from Jack.

Let’s Get Reading

The benefits of reading are well documented: it stimulates the brain, reduces stress, informs us, excites us, helps us relax and provides a platform for discussion.

How many of us have got lost in a good book that can transport us to another world or time?

At CNC we encourage our residents to read and always have a good selection of material for people to choose from. Even traditional children’s stories such as ‘Winnie the Pooh’ go down well and re-create the magic of that time of innocence.

Coronavirus (COVID 19) - our guidance to service users and families. We are using this link to keep all service users and families as up to date as possible on this fast developing and rapidly changing situation.Please click here for our latest guidance.
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