Care at home
Home Care and Home Helps
We want to help you live at home independently, safely and for as long as possible.
If you or a relative needs help at home, the first thing you need to do is call for an assessment. Many of these services are free but there are charges for some.
Care at Home is there to help if you have a disability, a chronic illness, a mental health illness or dementia.
We can provide help to ensure that you:
- carry on living independently in your own home, rather than having to go into a residential home or a nursing home
- we can provide an assessment of your need at home following your discharge from hospital to enable you to return home safely
- your carer needs support to enable you to carry on living at home.
After an assessment our home carers can help you with personal care and basic tasks around the home (known as non-personal care.) Personal care includes help with:
- Eating and Drinking
- Getting up and going to bed
- Using the toilet
Your service all depends on your needs. We will speak to you regularly to make sure you are getting the best service. Over time you may need less help or more help. By keeping in touch with you we can ensure that the service is adjusted to help you achieve your outcomes.
Home carers are either employed directly by Fife Health and Social Care Partnership or one of our partners and can be identified by an ID badge.
All of our home carers go through regular training. We work with NHS Fife, Police, Fire and Community Safety experts to train people in other skills such as continence, dementia care, palliative care and community safety awareness.
Meals on Wheels
Who can get meals on wheels?
You can get meals on wheels if you are any elderly person or an adult with a disability, chronic illness, mental health issue or dementia.
We can supply meals for the long-term or to cover short-term situations such as after a fracture, or while you re-learn cooking skills after a stroke.
What are the meals like?
We provide you with tasty, nutritious lunch time meals each day if cooking for yourself is too difficult. Our meals are:
- tasty and nutritious
- traditional meat, fish and vegetarian meals
- soups, hot and cold sweets
We can supply meals to suit any dietary need including:
- special diets for specific medical conditions, such as reduced sugar, gluten free, lower fat, low salt, energy dense and weight reducing.
- those suitable for a soft or pureed diet.
When are they delivered?
Our meals are delivered between 11.30am and 1.30pm every day except Christmas and New Year's day. We deliver the meals hot to you in your home, they come in foil containers, which we can be transfer to your own crockery if requested.
Is there a charge?
There is a charge for meals on wheels of £2.80 for a main course and £0.95 for a soup or sweet. You will be invoiced monthly for the meals you have received. These invoices can be paid by direct debit, at any Post Office or Paypoint or by post.
NOTE – the charge will change shortly to a flat rate of £3.75 for up to 2 courses.
How to get Meals on Wheels?
Meals on Wheels is a direct access service. You simply need to call the number listed at the bottom of this page, and a customer service advisor will take you through a referral form. Alternatively someone could phone on your behalf, for example family, health professional or social work professional. Your meal will be delivered from the next day.
Community Alarm Service
Fife Council have a community alarm scheme to help you stay at home if you are older or have a disability.
It is a personal alarm system that gives you the security of knowing you can call for help in an emergency – for example if you fall, or feel ill, at any time of the day or night.
How does the alarm work?
You wear the alarm as a pendant so it’s with you at all times. When you press the alarm it sends a signal down your telephone line to a central control room where our operator picks up your call.
Once you have signalled for help, an operator can speak to you through your alarm unit to establish what the problem is. You do NOT have to lift your telephone to make contact. If for any reason you can’t speak, the operator can still arrange for help.
After the operator has spoken to you, they will contact:
- your carer (usually a neighbour, friend or family member who has a key) or
- Mobile Emergency Care Service or
- the emergency services
If the situation is not an emergency we will do all we can to help and advise you but may not be able to visit.
Who can use the scheme?
You can have an alarm system fitted if you:
- live alone (or with a resident helper) and cannot leave your home
- are at risk because of ill health, frailty, disability, extreme anxiety or isolation
- are capable of using and understanding the system
Is there a Charge
A Community Alarm costs £2.
How do you get an alarm?
If you think you need an alarm, please contact us and we will carry out an assessment over the phone. Please call the number listed at the bottom of this page or alternatively some one could make the call on your behalf, for example a family member, health professional or allocated social worker.
After you have been assessed as needing an alarm, we will visit you at home to install the system – it connects to your telephone line. The cost of the Community Alarm system is £2.00 per week. We will also explain how to operate the alarm.
Normally you can have an alarm system fitted within two weeks.
How often do we check the equipment?
We will visit you regularly to check your pendant and the alarm unit. We will also check with you that the contact details we have for your carers are still correct.
Fife Falls Response Service
Fife Falls Response Service is a service operated by Fife Health and Social Care Partnership for people who fall in their own home. (Keep this guide about the Fife Falls Response Service handy and give a copy to your family and Key holders too).
1. If you have fallen and need help then please do one of the following:
- Press your community alarm pendant
- Call your GP Surgery
- Call NHS 24 on 111 (If GP Surgery is closed)
We will ask a few simple questions about you over the phone. If you are not hurt we will send the specially trained falls response team to help you back on your feet safely, avoiding any injury to you or a Carer by using the ELK lift.
The service is available to people who:
- Have fallen in the home environment
- Have no visible signs of injury
- Are aware of their surroundings
- Are able to move without causing/increasing pain
- Have no physically able person(s) who could assist with guidance to rise from the floor
- Are normally able to weight bear
- Are not under the influence of alcohol
- Are not bleeding
If you are hurt then we will send a Doctor, Nurse or Ambulance. We may also contact your emergency contact person to sit with you until we arrive.
2. After you have recovered?
The Team will leave you information and a self-assessment form. Please take time to complete the attached self-assessment form and contact the appropriate service within 5 days.
Mobile Emergency Care
The Mobile Emergency Care Service (MECS) allows vulnerable people and their carers to call for help in an emergency at any time, day or night. The service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The MECS team are the people who respond to you when you trigger your community alarm or any of the Telecare sensors.
About MECS Staff who work for MECS wear identity badges, including their photograph, which give their Fife Council details and our telephone number.
Please do not allow anyone into our home if they do not have photographic identity.
The MECS carer’s role is to respond to your alarm if your nominated carer is not available. They don’t provide ‘personal care’ such as going to the toilet, getting dressed or showering.
What is Telecare?
Living independently is a concern for many people who worry about having an accident at home. Telecare can provide a range of devices and services that use new technology to enable people to live with greater independence and safety in their own homes.
A wide range of sensors, monitors and devices can help manage risk and raise the alarm automatically to incidents that include:
- Dementia wandering
- Cooking accidents and fires
- Bogus callers
- Epileptic seizures
- Forgetting to take medication
How does it work?
Sensors in your home are linked through your phone line to a 24-hour monitoring centre. If the sensors detect a danger to you, staff at the community alarm monitoring centre will immediately contact you. They will check on your well-being and take appropriate action such as contacting a friend or neighbour or calling the emergency services. Here is an example of how it works:
- A bed exit monitor under Mrs H’s mattress detected that she’d got up in the middle of the night.
- After 10 minutes, she hadn’t returned so the bed exit monitor sends an alert to the community alarm monitoring centre.
- A mobile emergency carer arrived to find Mrs H had fallen in the hallway. Not wearing her community alarm pendant, she was unable to call for help but early intervention helped Mrs H make a full recovery.
What are the benefits?
It stops relatively minor incidents becoming major ones that affect your life. Quick action can prevent you spending time in hospital. If you have Telecare it can mean you are discharged from hospital more quickly. It all gives you and your family a feeling of safety and security 24hrs a day.
How can I get Telecare?
We will need to carry out a Telecare Assessment. To arrange this please call the number listed at the bottom of this page.
What do I need to have in my home to get Telecare?
All you need is a telephone line and an electrical power point within six feet of each other. We can fit this for you if that’s a problem.
How much does it cost?
A community alarm monitoring fee of £2 a week is required in most cases. This fee provides a 24 hour service at out our alarm receiving centre (ARC) where a specialist call handler will arrange a response to the situation.
Who can use Telecare?
The service is available for vulnerable adults of any age who would like to feel safer, more protected and independent in their own home, including people
- who are frail or unsteady on their feet
- affected by dementia
- who have been discharged from hospital and need additional support at home
- with high anxiety living alone
- with sensory loss or physical disability
- with learning disabilities
Is there help for carers too?
Providing care can be exhausting and at times quite stressful. Some Telecare devices are designed to alert carers or family member in the same house that something has happened to the person they provide care for. This could be a fall or a confused person going out in the middle of the night. Telecare can often mean the difference between a good night’s sleep or a very unsettled one.
Where can I get more advice?
As well as Social Work Services, staff from many other agencies including NHS Fife, Housing Associations and the Fife Carer Centre can offer advice on Telecare.
Occupational Therapy Service
The Occupational Therapy Service works with people with disabilities to enable them to be as independent as possible. We work with all age groups.
We may be able to help with every-day activities like washing, dressing, getting on or off the toilet or getting around your house safely.
To find out if we can help you we will carry out an assessment of your needs. We work to Fife Council Social Work Eligibility Criteria (see publication below).
We will visit you at home to look at any practical difficulties you have and work with you to assess what you need. When we do the assessment we listen to what you and your carers tell us. It's not about us telling you what you need. We'll take into account any disability or medical condition you have.
What can Occupational Therapy do?
We can provide you with advice, equipment and adaptations that you'll need to help you live more independently in your own home or to make it easier for others to care for you.
We may be able to:
- Show you, or anyone who cares for you, different and safer ways of doing things. We can also refer you for other services.
- Help you to regain confidence at home after time spent in hospital.
- We have a range of equipment to help with tasks such as getting up from the toilet or out of a bath. We may provide a specialised bath lift so parents can bath a child in a supported position.
- We can arrange for minor adaptations, such as grabrails or additional banisters at a staircase. We can also make recommendations for more major structural adaptations to your home. Examples of this would be a ramp or lift so that you can get around your home in a wheelchair.
- Give advice about re-housing if your current home is not suitable to adapt.
How much does it cost?
Our information and advice is free. Any equipment we supply is on long term loan, free of charge. Minor adaptations are also free.