Care Funding and Advice
Care funding advice - June 2020
To ensure that the residents of West Sussex have access to high quality information and advice about care and support options and the most cost effective ways of paying for this, our Carewise Care Funding scheme was established by Age UK West Sussex, the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA), the County Council’s Adults’ Services and Trading Standards departments and West Sussex Partners in Care.
The potential financial benefits to both individuals and the County Council, and the predicted demographic increase in numbers of older people, particularly those with dementia, over the coming years, means that promotion of the Carewise scheme is imperative. Carefully targeted marketing and promotions campaigns have run from 2014-2020. A marketing campaign for 2020-21 has just commenced using evaluation data from previous years to identify successful activities which will inform implementation. The marketing aims to ensure that the momentum of past campaigns is maintained and public awareness increased. The 2020-21 campaign will be designed to reflect the Adults' Services vision for the future which focuses on increasing people’s independence and wellbeing and encouraging more people to plan early for their long-term care needs in later life.
We know that many people do not immediately want a referral to a care fees specialist but would rather have information in the first instance and then make a measured decision later about whether to proceed. It is, therefore, recognised that the number of referrals is never likely to increase dramatically in a short period of time and that any campaign will take time to yield results. Partners, including the care fees specialists, have advised that the quality of referrals should be a key focus rather than simply aiming to increase the numbers.
Age UK West Sussex provides a free Money Advice service which is part of the Carewise scheme; this service includes benefits advice. Maximising benefit entitlement enables people to purchase care and remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible and can reduce the need for reliance on County Council funding. Increased financial security can also enhance people’s wellbeing, a key principle of the Care Act. In addition, the local economy can benefit from people using their benefits to employ people to provide domiciliary care, personal assistants, gardening etc.
The yearly target for referrals to the Carewise care fees specialists is being revised to reflect a realist and achievable figure. This will be agreed following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
The target for Age UK West Sussex Money Advice Service for 2020-21 is to maintain 550 individual sessions per month throughout the year.
June 2020 FIGURES
Marketing and Promotions
The marketing campaign comprises a wide range of promotional channels including radio advertising, direct mail, social media and digital methods, all of which are subject to robust monitoring and evaluation.
We will continue to issue invites to care home providers to hold Carewise 'surgeries' for their staff, residents and their families once the Covid-19 situation has ceased . The template recommending that new care home residents access good financial advice which was developed for inclusion in admission packs, has been updated to resemble more of an information flyer. The flyer was circulated to providers and it is being suggested that existing residents are also included. Carewise is referenced and promoted to care providers via the Contracts regular provider newsletter. West Sussex Partners in Care (representative body for care providers in West Sussex and a Carewise partner) is playing an increased role in promoting Carewise.
- To review targets for 2020-21 together with Carewise partners at first meeting post-Covid-19 situation. To be realistic and achievable.
- To review and refresh Carewise website - promotions to encourage residents to self-refer
- Marketing and promotional campaign for 2020-21 underway - limited by Covid-19 situation. Social media and radio ads planned .
- Regular promotion of the benefits of Carewise to residential and domiciliary care providers and their customers/residents and families via the Contracts newsletter.