Plea Over Carer Voucher Scheme

The owner of a leading Lancashire care home is calling for greater awareness to be given to a county-wide scheme to help people caring for their elderly relations to get some respite. The Social Care scheme run by Lancashire County Council Social Services means that people looking after their loved ones can get vouchers to pay for a care home when they need a break.

But Louise Ruane, owner of Cherry Tree Lodge Residential Home in Rawtenstall, says that she comes across many people who are unaware of the system.

She said: “It’s an excellent scheme it means that people can have a break, safe in the knowledge that their loved one is receiving care to the standard they would normally be given. It’s good news for the carer and the vulnerable, elderly adult they look after.

“The problem is that not enough people know the voucher system even exists. We are constantly being approached by people who need a break and who would be eligible for the vouchers but they don’t know anything about the Social Care scheme.

“The long-term danger is that if few people use it then the council may conclude that there isn’t really a need for it and end the scheme. That would be a tragedy.”

One voucher represents a full night of care the voucher has a monetary value to assist in meeting the full cost of care, including making sure they eat properly and their personal care is looked after.