While everything is fine we don’t tend to think about needing care or support in the future. Sadly one in three of us, over the age of 65 will need some long term care and support. Planning may help you to live the life you choose as far as is possible and making your wishes known can ease any worry for you and those around you at a time of crisis.
Whether sudden or planned this can be a worrying time especially if you are;
- Living alone and worried about securing a property or looking after a pet, managing money or being able to return home.
- Caring for someone else and aren’t sure how they will manage when you aren’t there.
- Frightened of having to stay in for longer than expected, not being able to go back home or make your own decisions.
These are all very real issues for many people. We understand that not knowing how long you are going to be in Hospital can be a dilemma in itself as you aren’t sure what plans you have to make or for how long. Please ask if you need some help to make these preparations.
This is one of the most common points of crisis for care needs. A stay in Hospital may be the very thing needed to make us feel better and able to return home but it can also make you feel more dependent or make you realise that maybe you weren’t managing as well as you had thought.
Many people want to go home but maybe feeling tired, less confident or able to manage. A spouse/partner or friend, family, carer may feel unable to cope. Sometimes this need is being highlighted for the first time, it’s a shock and the situation can seem unmanageable.
A Local Authority assessment of your care need may be appropriate at this stage and we can make sure Continuing Healthcare has been considered as this may mean your care will be free and can be paid wherever you live.
Who is paying for the care you are or may be receiving and will that continue? For how long? Is it free or means tested?
Starting to struggling with everyday things or a caring role
For many people it is at this point that there may be quite a lot of support. Financially, benefits and specialist financial advice may help. Legally a solicitor can help you plan for future needs and ensure your wishes are adhered to.
Voluntary organisations may offer support for carers, advice and guidance or advocacy services and the Local Authority may have services that can help you stay as independent with things like pendant alarms, adaptations to the home, information, advice and advocacy, respite care or support for a carer.
Your GP may like to review your medication and can provide access to other community services for example; district nurses, mental health services or falls prevention classes.
Please don’t struggle in stoic silence or rely on a loved one who may find it a struggle to manage your care and support needs alone.