Advice line support FAQs

The Advice Line Number is 0800 319 6789

The Advice line is run in partnership with Independent Age and offers free, independent and expert information and advice about all aspects of care for older people, including residential care. This is a long established and well respected service and feedback from people who have used it is consistently excellent.

Our Development Officer, Debbie Tanner, can also offer local telephone support to people going through the often traumatic process of seeking, choosing, funding and moving into a care home and their families, friends and carers. Here’s what one recent caller had to say about the telephone support:

Debbie at MHLECA provided me with great support and linked me with their advice line when I was searching for a suitable home for my Mum. Then subsequent to Mum moving into the home, MHLECA’s Community Visitors have befriended Mum and it’s nice to know she gets that extra special bit of care and attention. I think they are an organisation who certainly goes that extra mile.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is My Home Life Essex Community Association?

We are an independent voluntary organisation which is part of the wider My Home Life movement and we are working with partner organisations to improve the quality of life for residents in care homes.

We are also developing FaNS, a three year project, starting in January 2014 and funded by Essex County Council. The overall aim is to offer practical help to care home managers, promote public awareness and understanding of the work of care homes and develop a variety of routes through which everyone who shares an interest in the well-being of our oldest citizens can work together help them to achieve the best possible quality of life according to their individual needs and preferences.

Why do you offer a telephone advice line?

Making the decision to move into residential care is a big one and there are many things to consider, both practical and emotional. We work in partnership with Independent Age to provide an expert and confidential telephone service that will address your concerns and offer clear and reliable information. This is important as each enquirer will have a range of concerns to consider and Independent Age ensures its advisors are up to date with the latest rules and regulations concerning social support for individuals, and can offer the best advice to move forward on what are often sensitive and personal issues.

I’ve not heard of Independent Age, can you tell me more about them?

Independent Age is a long established registered charity that’s recently celebrated its 150th anniversary and is dedicated to providing information and advice for older people, their families and carers. Their experienced workers answer our advice line calls, providing a confidential response to individual situations. For example, they provide advice on benefits and entitlements, getting a care assessment, moving into a care home, paying for care, being discharged from hospital and much more.

Who can phone for help?

You can contact Independent Age yourself or ask a relative, friend or carer to call on your behalf.

What does it cost?

There is no charge for expert advice. Using the number shown here 0800 319 6789, the telephone call is also now free of charge. An older number (0845 017 7720) is still shown on some publicity materials from the My Home Life Essex Community Association and calls to the Advice Line on that number will be charged at local rates.

What will happen when I call?

A friendly advisor will take a few details from you and arrange an appointment when you can talk in more depth about your situation and answer your questions. In addition there are a number of guides and fact sheets available which can be downloaded. Alternatively you can phone and ask for them to be sent to you.

What sort of advice can I expect?

We can provide advice on how to get an assessment of your care needs, funding issues for care in your own home or for residential care, challenging decisions about assessment or funding the care provided to you or any issues relating to residential care, care in hospital or care in your own home.

How much time will I have to discuss my situation?

Don’t worry, you won’t be rushed as we know that everyone’s circumstances are different. You will be listened to and your questions will be addressed. If your questions cannot be answered immediately by the person taking your call, you will be put in touch with an expert who can advise on your concerns. If necessary a follow up call will be arranged.

I’m not sure that a phone call is going to be enough and feel I may need more support.

We understand and this is why the My Home Life Essex Community Association offers a personal support service in the county. We will be happy keep in touch with you as you make your way towards the right decision for you. If you live in Essex, please contact our Development Officer, Debbie Tanner, on 0845 017 1095 to find out how we can help you with a local issue.

Can you represent me and act as my advocate?

We aim to provide you and your family with the information needed to help you to reach the best outcome for you that ensures that you enjoy the best quality of life according to your preferences and wishes. Unfortunately we are not able to act as advocates or provide personal legal advice but can point you to appropriate sources of help if required.

How can I contact the advice line?

You can telephone our advice line (provided by Independent Age) on 0800 319 6789 any time between 10am and 4pm from Monday to Friday to speak to an advisor.