Fostering financial independence via Care Vision’s ‘Resident Fund’ Tool

Right from early childhood, the appeal of having money to spend on what we wish can have a strong allure. Not only to secure items or services that we need or want, but to enjoy the feeling of independence and security that access to money can bring. When someone moves into residential care, they can feel like a lot of their independence is being removed. One way to ensure that people in residential care can retain more independence and choice is to facilitate a way of providing them with the means to manage and control their own funds for everyday spending.

Financial empowerment

It is hardly surprising news that the more control we have over our own lives, the better our mental health can be – and usually, our physical wellbeing will follow suit. Taking decisions about our health care, food choices and what we choose to buy can all contribute to increased confidence, greater quality of life and retention of dignity and self-esteem. Money allows us to buy both essential and luxury items and experiences that enhance our existence and ensure our ongoing survival. Being able to access our own money means that we can make independent purchasing choices rather than having to ask permission, which can make us feel both infantilised and powerless.

After an active, responsible lifetime spent making financial decisions, this loss of control can cause a great deal of emotional distress. It can lead to anxiety, fear for the future and poor mental health. A feeling of financial security is, after all, a basic human need that never goes away, even when we enter residential care where everything required for daily living is provided on site.

We still want to feel able to buy things ourselves if we need them, rather than rely on other people to provide them. Or, if residents no longer have the capacity to make purchasing decisions for themselves, their friends and relatives need to be able to step in and carry out what they believe the person’s wishes would be as part of person-led care and helping care home residents retain as much dignity as possible.

Essential and luxury items and services

While the main care home invoices, insurances, utility bills etc. are normally covered by monthly or weekly fees, there will still be a number of essential and luxury items and services that the resident may wish to buy for themselves. Services could include hairdressing appointments, chiropody visits, therapeutic massages and more. Other spending avenues could include outings, transport, tickets and meals out. Items could cover all kinds of physical objects, such as birthday cards and presents for relatives, cosmetics and toiletries, new clothes, books, phone or TV streaming subscriptions and flowers.

Access to money can also help residents keep on doing hobbies that they enjoy. These could be anything they choose, from tracking down new jigsaw puzzles and doing craft sessions in the care home to learning a musical instrument and going out to the theatre. Even picking up a new interest or two, now that they have more time to spare than when there were working or raising families. Such activities can stimulate the mind and bring people together for greater socialising and human interaction.

Care Vision’s Resident Fund

Digital care management software from Care Vision offers a range of tools to help care home residents retain dignity and independence in a safe setting. Resident Fund is the perfect feature for families and friends wanting to connect their loved one in a care home to enough money to buy what they need. Friends and family members can pay funds in and either authorise their use by the resident, or manage purchases on their behalf.

This enables residents to manage spending digitally, with support from their friends and family and the care home manager and staff. Those with authorised access can top funds up whenever they are running low and keep track of how much is being spent – and on what. Full data protection and confidentiality is assured. The system does away with the need for residents to keep cash around, heightening security and reducing the risk of money going missing or being stolen. Users can also set budgets to ensure that residents don’t go over pre-agreed spending limits.

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