Are You A Carer By Choice Or Default – Top Tips In A Care Crisis
Our attention was recently drawn to an interesting article* about one daughter’s experience of being drawn into the care support needs of her parents. Things developed quickly, you sense her emotional turmoil and that individual attitudes and small actions carried a significance that was either negative or positive at her time of crisis. The article was in the form of a diary and please do read the link below.
This article really struck a chord and made us reflect on both the numerous clients for whom we have had the privilege of becoming their Trusted Advisor at a time of crisis and personal family experiences of providing and sourcing suitable care for loved ones with serious health issues.
In our society generally and in our communities locally, there are financial pressures to withdraw resources, both financial and practical, from those who are least able or aware of accessing relevant advice and support.
So, if you find yourself a carer, you are not alone and help is available but it will take a first step to begin a coordinated effort and strategy to plot a suitable and sustainable way forward. Here are some simple Top Tips that we have compiled which we hope you find helpful to turn increased awareness into action.
Top Tips On Reacting To A Care Crisis
- If at all possible, scenario plan in advance – having a basic plan of priorities and who to turn to in a crisis can be empowering and reassuring
- Seek specialist advice, at the earliest opportunity – prevention is better than cure and having an experienced and accredited solicitor and suitable independent care advice can be invaluable and reassuring
- Prepare not only Property and Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney but also Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney when you are fit and well and have the capacity to plan ahead – we can provide as much or as little advice and support as you would value with this process
- Be brave and take the time to discuss with your loved and trusted ones your personal preferences and priorities when contemplating the possibility of suffering a debilitating illness and end of life care (and document your wishes) – we have sample questionnaires available which we’d be happy to provide to start this process
- Take the opportunity to ensure that you have the peace of mind that your Will is up to date, both in terms of the law and that it is consistent with your wishes – the structure to a will can play an important role in planning for the future care of a loved one/spouse
- In a crisis, share how you feel with someone, preferably a loved one or trusted friend or advisor – it will be a journey you don’t need to travel alone and can move through
- As a carer/potential carer be realistic about what care you can provide and sustain and be open to accepting support from others – start with your own needs, so that you are in the best place possible to play the role you wish to play in providing for the needs of your loved one
- Be clear to anyone assessing your loved one’s needs about your worries and limitations – don’t bottle up emotions or hide important facts about your own health and capabilities when they have a duty of care towards you and your loved one
- Don’t rush into agreeing to the first thing that is offered – it is crucial that appropriate and thorough assessments are undertaken of your loved one’s needs and finances and that a care plan is developed collaboratively, centred on your loved one’s needs and, wherever possible, their preferences
- Always ask the obvious question and be persistent in ensuring you receive helpful answers and responses – the Care Sector is under enormous strain and while generally individuals are very caring, their personal and organisational resources may be restricted so they will need to know that you are on the case
At Bennett Griffin we have developed a specialist team of accredited lawyers and personal assistants who are dedicated to providing a personal advisory and support service to carers and their families. We work closely with experienced independent care consultants having observed the gap where clients are considered to not be financially eligible for a Social Worker but have limited experience or resources to navigate what can be a complex and confusing care sector. This is all at a time that is often emotionally distressing due to the crisis of health their loved one is experiencing.
We have solicitors accredited with Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) and Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP). Elin Dukes is of member of the STEP Mental Capacity Steering Committee, and Ian Macara is one of 71 Panel Deputies appointed by the Office of the Public Guardian to act for the vulnerable. We are also members of Action On Elder Abuse, Dementia Friends and Ian Macara and Elin Dukes are both Dementia Friends Champions, accredited to provide Dementia Friends Information Sessions.
The information contained in this article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be legal advice. Professional advice should always be taken on the application of the law in any particular situation.