Ask us a question

17 Aug 2017

Q. My son is 15 and struggling with anxiety and depression. I am so worried about him i don’t know what to do or where to turn.

A. I’m so sorry to hear that your son is going through a difficult time. It’s very hard being a teenager in 2017, so much pressure from schools and peers. I also appreciate the effect it has on the rest of the family too.

Jewish Care does not have any services for under 18s, but I’m pleased to say that another Jewish organisation called Norwood does. They have counselling services as well as a range of therapies and support groups, including a family support team. Their number is 020 8809 8809 and you can find them online at

Have you been in touch with the school? It is important for them to know what is going on at home and they will most likely have a pastoral care officer.

It may also be advisable, if you haven’t already done so, to make an appointment with your GP who may suggest a referral to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

Q. We have recently been given devastating news that my wife has terminal cancer. We are trying to be practical and plan to ensure her last months and days are here at home with the family but don’t really understand how to go about this. Can Jewish Care help?

A. Thank you for contacting us; it must be a very difficult time for you and your family right now. We can certainly help you to understand how to achieve keeping your wife at home.

We work alongside many health professionals, both Jewish and non-Jewish in the community who can assist you and your family further. Please call us here at the Helpline on 020 8922 2222.

We have a team of experienced social workers who can help you understand the support that is available for your wife. With your wife’s consent, we will take the details of her circumstances and arrange a time for a colleague from our dedicated End of Life team to visit you both in your own home and make a full assessment of your wife’s needs, as well as talking to you about your own support needs.

This colleague could, should you wish, co-ordinate and communicate with all relevant health and social care professionals, together with voluntary agencies such as Chai Cancer Care or Macmillan who may already be involved, but also bring on board other professionals that need to be involved as and when appropriate. We would advocate and enable you and your wife to obtain the information you are seeking, to give you an understanding of what may be happening and what other support, funding and resources you can expect to receive.

You don’t need to struggle through this difficult time alone, so please do get in touch and we look forward to hearing from you.

Q. My local authority has put up my council tax to pay for social care. Does Jewish Care get any of this money?

A. The government recently gave local authorities the power to add up to 6% over three years onto their council tax bill to help them meet the growing cost of social care. This increase is known as the social care precept. Many of the local authorities we work with have chosen to add a social care precept onto their council tax bill. However, despite a growing gap between the fees local authorities pay us for care and the true cost of care, in many areas we are not benefiting from these increases. Local authorities who are not increasing our fees are citing other budgetary pressures as the reason for not passing the increase back to organisations like us. We know that other independent social care providers are also experiencing the same.

With around 65% of the people living in our care homes being eligible for local authority funding, (this is generally because they have assets of less than £23,250), the real time decrease in funding from local government is putting a huge strain on us.

The good news is we are a caring community who look out for each other and thanks to this ongoing support we are able to raise £15 million each year to ensure we can continue providing a range of services to all who need them, regardless of their ability to pay. We will continue to put pressure on our local authority partners to increase the fees they pay and on the government to review and change our current social care system.

 Q. My aunty and uncle are struggling to care for each other. I have talked to them about a possible move into a care home but they are worried they will be separated. Will Jewish Care guarantee them a place in the same home? Can they share a room or have rooms next to each other?

A. That is a good question. We do all we can to keep couples together, assuming they want to remain together. We will need to spend time with your aunty and uncle to understand and assess their needs and will then identify which of our homes can meet their individual needs. As I am sure you will understand, we often don’t have two rooms available in the same home at any given time so it is a good idea to plan in advance or be prepared to wait. It is unlikely a move of this nature will be able to happen overnight. In answer to your question about them sharing a room. We do our best to keep couples in the same home, if not next door to each other then, if possible, on the same floor. We only have one dedicated double room in Clore Manor Home in Hendon. I suggest you call our helpline on 020 8922 2222 and we can discuss this with you further and arrange for a member of the team to come and meet with your aunty and uncle to understand their needs discuss a range of care options with them.

 Q. My father would like to move into one of your care homes. He’s Jewish, but not practicing. Would this be ok?

A. Of course this would be fine. We provide services for Jewish people across the spectrum of Judaism. Our homes are all kosher and observant of the traditions of Shabbat and Yom Tov. As long as a resident is respectful, it is not an issue if, for example, they don’t want to go to the synagogue services or light candles on Shabbat. However, it often turns out that our residents enjoy getting acquainted, or maybe reacquainted, with the spirituality, fun and tastes of Judaism.

Q. My mother has dementia and my father is her carer. Are there any places she could go during the day to give him a break?

A. Yes there are. Jewish Care has three day centres for people living with dementia, in Edgware, Friern Barnet and Redbridge, which offer activities and a high level of care and support. Your mother could attend one or more days a week depending on your preferences and availability of places.

If you think this is the sort of thing that your father might be interested in I would suggest he calls us and we can arrange for a centre manager to call him for a chat. They can also arrange for your mother to visit the centre, or should she wish, attend as a guest for a day to see how she finds it.

The Jewish Care Helpline, provides confidential information and advice. It is staffed by experienced and knowledgeable professionals, so whatever you need to find out, your call will be treated in a warm and sympathetic manner.

Its opening hours are: Mon to Thurs 8.30am – 5.30pm and Fri 8.30am – 5pm (until 2pm in winter). You can contact the Jewish Care Helpline by calling 020 8922 2222, visiting us at or emailing us at