Prepare to Care

Everything you need to get started with elderly care

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Prepare to Care is our comprehensive guide to help you with elderly care. You may have noticed a worrying decline in the health of your parents or relatives; perhaps there's been a fall, a medical emergency or the death of a spouse. Or perhaps you're concerned to help them remain independent and safe at home this winter. Prepare to Care will guide you through all aspects of elderly care.

1. Where do you begin?

Do your parents need more help and if so how do you help them make the best decisions?  

Often it's the little things that indicate a decline in health or increasing frailty. Over time these mount up and daily life becomes harder. Our checklist is a good place to start.

There are 3 conversations to have with parents and relatives which will help you work out where they want to live, what care they might want, and how it will be paid for.

We've packed loads of resources, guides, and ideas into our care section to give you as much information as possible to make the best decisions at the right time.

2. Legal Matters

3 practical legal matters for your parents to manage their finances and well-being. These are priorities for any future care needs, and should they become unable to make their own decisions sometime in the future.  

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A Lasting Power of Attorney is the legal authority given to a family member or friend to make decisions on someone's behalf about their finances and health if they can no longer do so themselves.

Guide

Writing a Will formalises what happens to belongings and money after we die. In the process of making these decisions issues such as care funding can be made clear.

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An Advance Decision or Living Will enables someone to formalise what treatments they will/won't accept should they not be able to say so themselves.

3. More Help at Home

A priority may be enabling  parents and relatives to remain living independently and safely at home.  Affordable alterations and some fantastic tech will help prevent falls or accidents at home to give them, and you, peace of mind. 

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Safety and reassurance without compromising dignity or independence

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Prevention is better than cure regarding a fall, the consequences of which can be devastating.

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Tech to support independent living at home need not be scary or intrusive.

4. Care Options

If your parents need care there are different options, and many considerations and decisions. If they are going to be paying for their care, investigate local services so you know what choices are available and the likely costs.  

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Browse hourly domiciliary care with a provider near you

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Care for those who need round-the-clock care but want to stay in their own home

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Browse the best care homes in your area, hand-picked for your needs

5. Finances

Funding care is complicated and expensive. Whether funding their own care, or receiving care through the local authority or NHS, it’s important to get to grips with all the options.  

The first step in accessing care is getting a care needs assessment from the Local Authority. This will include a financial assessment to determine who pays for care.

If you know you will be self-funding your care this is where you should start

There is funding available for everyone regardless of means; from Attendance Allowance, to grants for alterations at home.

6. Care for the Carer

Whether it’s you, a sibling or a parent, taking care of the carer is vital. It’s exhausting and emotional and so easy to become completely overwhelmed.  There are a few useful things to consider:  

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Undertake a carer's assessment to be guided to what help you need and what help is accessible to you

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Whether it's an afternoon off, or a proper holiday, taking time out from caring is essential for both the carer and the person being cared for. Easy to forget though.

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A parent carer or you may be applicable to receive £69.70 if you care for someone for 35 hours per week and they receive certain benefits