There are many ways you can get extra help to do things day-to-day. This way, you can stay living in your own home and not think about a care home until you need to. Find out about what support is on offer in Dorset, and how to get care right for you. 

Checklist to choose care and support

1. Think about what type of help you need

Before you start looking, think about what you need extra help with.

So before you start looking, think about your needs.

It might not be care that you need.

If you find anything hard, equipment could help you to do this.

If you still find cooking or cleaning hard, you might need home help or a cleaner. Or it might be company that you need. You can check how:

2. Think about what you need the most from your care

Only you know what is most important to you in the care you get

If you need support to do things day-to-day, think about your needs.

Make a list of what things you need support with and when you need this.

You might only need help with one or two tasks a day. Homecare could be for you [LINK].

Someone you know who cares for you would like a break. A personal assistant [LINK] or day services [LINK] could be for you.

Or you might need help with several things each day. Live-in care [LINK] or having a home with support [LINK] could be for you.

Explore what might help with our guide to different types of care below.

3. Find out who offers the type of care you are looking for

Check what is available, so you can choose

If you know the type of care you need, find out what is available in Dorset.

Contact people providing the type of care you want. Check if they can do this at the times you need and a price right for you.

You can:

Or if you are looking for homecare or a care home and pay for your care, get someone to find it for you.

Get help finding care from Care Home Selection or call on 0800 008 7193. The service is free and independent.

4. Prepare to talk to people you can get care from

Think about the questions you need to ask to choose

Make a shortlist of the companies you have found. If more than one can give you care for the right fee at the right times, you have a choice.

To choose, you need to ask more questions.

Write down what you need to know so you can ask them.

Get ideas on questions to ask:

5. Meet the carer or visit the place you would get care

Get impressions of who will give you care and where you get it

If you can, meet the carers or visit the places where you would get care.

You can then also ask each carer or care home the same questions. Write down their answers so you can look at them and decide.

If it is a personal assistant you are looking for, it could be useful for someone who knows you well such as your family or a carer to also meet them or come along with you. 

When you meet or visit, pay attention to your thoughts and impressions. You can get a better idea than on the phone or even a video call.

If you do not have a lift, find out how to get one . Or a carer may be able to visit you. 

6. Make your decision, or get help

Think back to what is most important to you

If you have two or more choices that would work for you, you have a decision to make.

Think back to your first impressions when you saw the people offering care or places where you would get care. This will help you to make a choice.

If you are having difficulty in finding choices that would work for you, you can get help.

Call our Adult Social Care team on 01305 221 016 and explain you need help trying to find care.

You can also try Care Home Selection if you have not yet, call on 0800 008 7193.

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If you need some extra support, explore the different kinds of help you can get.