You may have concerns about the costs involved in getting care and support at home. But if you have been assessed as needing care, you will also be assessed to see how much you can afford to pay towards the cost of services, while still having enough money to live on.

Financial help from social services

The amount that social services departments pay towards care on your behalf varies depending on your local authority, although there are minimum requirements.

When you have an assessment, your needs will be judged to see whether you’re eligible for services under the national eligibility criteria.

if you’re found to have eligible needs the local authority has a duty to meet those needs but can charge for services.

If the council has assessed you and you need care and support, you will then be means tested to see how much you need to contribute, if anything and how much the council will pay towards it.

Personal budgets

Depending on which area you live in, you may have the option of using a personal budget to meet your needs. A personal budget aims to change the way in which services are assessed for, funded and arranged.

It gives you more control and choice over the help you receive. From April 2015, everyone now has a personal budget.

The amount of money in your personal budget depends on the needs identified in your care plan. It’s designed to allow you to arrange your care in the way you think is best, with appropriate support.

You could choose to hire a carer directly, or you might prefer social services to arrange your care for you in the traditional way.

New pension rules mean that those who employ their own carers using either their own money or money from their personal budget may now be legally obliged to contribute towards a pension for them.

Paying for your own care and support

If you’re not eligible for financial help from the council, you’ll have to fund your own care. However, you are still entitled to advice from your local services department about how best to meet your needs.

Be aware of the symptoms of common health problems experienced in summer so you can get medical help if you feel unwell.

Dehydration and overheating

Extreme heat and dry conditions can cause you to dehydrate and your body to overheat.

It’s important to eat a balanced diet to help your body replace any salt you lose by sweating. Aim to drink 6 – 8 glasses of liquid a day, and more if it’s hot. Limit drinks with caffeine and avoid alcohol as it can make dehydration worse.

You may also need to be careful if you’re taking some types of medication that affect water retention. Speak to your GP if you’re concerned.

Watch out for certain signs – particularly for muscle cramps in your arms, legs or stomach, mild confusion, weakness or sleep problems. If you have any of these, rest in a cool place and drink plenty of fluids.

Sunburn

Sunburn is caused by UV (ultraviolet) from the sun. The skin can become red, sore, tender or flaky. Too much UV can damage your skin cells and over time this can lead to skin cancer.

Heat Exhaustion

The symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, intense thirst, heavy sweating and a fast pulse.

If you have any of these symptoms you must, if at all possible:

  • find a cool place and loosen tight clothes
  • drink plenty of water or fruit juice
  • sponge yourself with cool (not cold) water.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated – it can also :

  • call 999 immediately.
  • if you have a personal alarm, press the button on your pendant to call for help
  • while waiting for the ambulance, follow the advice given for heat exhaustion but do not try to give fluids to anyone who is unconscious.

If you have a long-term condition such as diabetes, a heart or breathing problem, then the heat can cause stress on your body and worsen your condition. Talk to your doctor about how best to manage your long-term condition in hot weather.