Care to Share?
There’s no care manual for all things care related is there? And I don’t mean the Care Act guidance although we will touch on that in later posts. If there is, I sure could do with it, as a daughter of 87 and 90 year old parents and even as a professional. A chap only last week said I could have done with your help this time last year. Where is the help when it is needed? Where is the care when you need it? There are always, of course, a number of decisions to be made, but finding the right choice for you or your loved one, at a time of crisis, when your time maybe taken up with work, domestic and childcare responsibilities. To have all your questions answered. Is that really too much to ask? To have the information in one place. When you want to know the next steps, whether you are the one in need of care, or caring for your adult dependent, your parents or your partner, you or your loved one are unique and special and how care is offered and delivered is also unique and special. The definition of care is ‘the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance and protection of someone’ that’s a big ask, so being responsible for your own, or your loved one’s care, is a serious matter. Handing over to someone else to care is an even more serious matter and requires careful consideration around what works for you or your loved one. I guess first things first, lets start with the basics and the need to plan for care, ahead of time.
Future Proofing Your Care
Have a Conversation about Care – What would you or your loved one want to happen? What is important to you or your loved one? How and where would you want your care delivered?
Take out a Lasting Power of Attorney – for Health and Welfare as well as one for Property and Financial Affairs. It gives you or your loved one the opportunity to state their wishes and for you or your loved one, the script to honour them by. This can only be completed if one has the mental capacity to understand what they are signing. If you feel your loved one’s situation is complex and they lack capacity to manage their affairs then it may be necessary in some circumstances to apply for Deputyship. These are explained on the GOV.UK website or for those with dementia get some information by calling or emailing https://www.pathwaysthroughdementia.org. There is useful information available online. Some of us can act as professional attorneys if there is no one else who can act upon their behalf.
Fire Safety – a simple fire safety check and advice for vulnerable adults to ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in place and provided, in the main, by fire brigades across the country.
Safeguard You and Your Loved Ones –There’s plenty of information about keeping safe online, over the phone, from bogus callers and keeping your money and valuables safe and secure.
Information is Power – Council Information can be found on the local council’s website for the area in which your loved one resides. Usually this will be found under ‘Adult Social Care’. If the circumstances are more pressing and needs urgent attention then you can request an assessment for yourself, your loved one or if you are the carer, from the local Council’s adult social care services. There are lots of enormously helpful websites and local organisations usually designated by the condition they are representing and some have a wider brief. Plenty of information it’s just not in one place.
Declutter – get the home in order, do this together, help each other to decide what to keep or can now let go, if it feels comfortable to do so and it is something that your loved one is agreeable to. It helps bring back memories and can help you to bond. It might not always be the right thing though, if it’s going to be too distressing or your loved one cannot consent. If you need help to do this there are local organisations and some charities that may be able to help. On a more pragmatic level it makes extra space, and in some instances makes for extra rooms that may come in handy. Keep yourself or your loved one free from slips, trips and falls by removing hazards and mats or stick them down and by keeping floors dry.
Acknowledge the Changes – it’s so difficult to know when one’s circumstances are changing even as a professional. It is so often that I am called in my professional capacity when things have entered into a more critical stage, but it can be difficult to gauge when a certain line has been crossed. That’s why getting informed is important and expertise is essential.
Assistive Technology – to help one remain as independent for as long as possible includes considering devices such as GPS trackers, sensors, emergency alarms or audio/visual equipment.
Get the Experts In – well I’m bound to say that aren’t I. Whether it’s to reduce muscle wasting, for the provision of equipment such as a stairlift, a walking frame or wheelchair, a deteriorating health condition, an assessment, finding good care or quality assuring the care there are experts in their field: physiotherapists, occupational therapists, doctors and social workers, and you can request their help via your GP or adult social care services if you or your loved are deemed to need them.
It would be heartening to hear from you and your experiences. What you need and what’s important for you in this care conversation.
More on these matters in later blogs but I really wanted to start the ball rolling. In the meantime please contact me for signposting or free advice over the phone or for my help, all found in one place and start future proofing your care now!
Next time ‘Care to Pay’ The Conversation About Paying for Care
Promise it will be shorter next time.
Independent Social Worker and Best Interest Assessor
0790 601 8238
Just thought I better add a disclaimer as products and services change and my information is mine alone and I don’t intentionally miss you out of the conversation. Do get in touch. And if I may make a plea to keep it polite and courteous.