Age Space is always looking to share new information, case studies or research about elderly care. You can read our most recent Age Space press releases in full below, and find downloadable PDFs of all of our other releases at the bottom of this page.
Age Space and Laterlivingnow Partnership
Agespace.org – the one-stop online resource and guide for anyone with concerns about, or caring for an ageing parent or relative, neighbour or friend, has formed a referral partnership with Laterlivingnow – a leading equity release specialist adviser.
Whether someone is facing an immediate crisis, or are just beginning to worry, Age Space has compiled information, resources and guides that can help. Annabel James, Director of Age Space commented “Finances are a big concern for many of our site visitors, who often want to know where they can turn for trusted advice, with Equity Release just one of the areas we signpost our visitors to. Laterlivingnow impressed us with their professionalism and sensitive manner in dealing with the needs of older people, giving us confidence in partnering with them.”
Equity Release can provide an invaluable means of supporting people in later life, whether it’s in meeting the bills or paying for private care at home. With the average sum released now standing at a substantial level of £104,501* it is increasingly important that homeowners and their families receive the highest standards of advice.
Simon Chalk, founder of Laterliving now said “Our advisers not only have vast experience in equity release, but also have knowledge of the care system and how housing wealth can be utilised to keep someone in their own home for longer. Having been trained in looking after vulnerable people and holding specialist qualifications, our advisors are superbly placed for offering the best possible support to people referred by Age Space.”
Get SMART and Keep the Elderly Safe this Winter
Worries and anxieties around caring for mum and dad can easily escalate during the colder months, especially if we don’t live around the corner from them. With the Covid-19 crisis far from over, and uncertainty about how long restrictions will be in place after Christmas, it is vital families start planning how older people can be kept safe this winter.
Elderly care experts, Age Space are urging families to ‘get SMART’ by integrating Smart Home Technology into their elderly parent’s homes. Founder Annabel James says:
“Whilst the pandemic has resulted in many negatives for older people, the generational advancement in terms of technology shouldn’t be ignored. Now is the time for families to embrace this new eagerness to learn and use smart technology to help elderly relatives feel safe and connected in their own home. With winter setting in fast, and uncertainty about where we will be in the new year, we advise families to start researching and getting home tech solutions in place now before it’s too late.”
A recent Ipsos MORI survey* by The Centre for Better Ageing revealed how older people have embraced technology during lockdown. The biggest change being in relation to video calling and three quarters (75%) are now doing this more often.
Whatever your concerns are about your elderly relative’s safety, there is likely to be a Smart Home solution. Age Space have outlined six common worries, and how technology can help to solve the problem.
Don't be Confused by Delirium
Finding elderly parents or relatives in a heightened state of confusion or seeing a rapid decline in mental function and behaviour could be due to delirium according to a new initiative, Think Delirium, launched by AgeSpace.org. It is a little-known condition which can be confused with signs of dementia and is easily missed by families and care professionals.
A state of mental confusion, Delirium is caused by other health conditions often prevalent in the elderly including urinary tract infections, strokes, dehydration or low blood sugar levels. Unlike dementia, symptoms of delirium develop rapidly over hours and days, but when the underlying causes are treated, recovery can be fast and effective, although there can be long-term consequences, and at worst, occasionally death. The earlier it is detected, the better the outcome.
Elderly patients with delirium are more susceptible to coronavirus. Due to the mental confusion and disorientation, they are less likely to understand social distancing, the need to wash hands or taking care of themselves. In addition, restrictions on households mixing mean some of the most vulnerable are isolated and may be suffering the condition unobserved. Sadly, there are also less opportunities to educate relatives about delirium because of social distancing.
According to research, one in five elderly hospital patients are diagnosed with delirium* and up to 60% of long-term care residents* experience delirium. It is estimated that every patient diagnosed with delirium costs the health service an extra £13,000 in increased hospital stays, therapy and support.
The Think Delirium initiative from Age Space aims to provide families and carers with the information they need regarding prevention and diagnosis particularly through this winter with many elderly people alone or isolating due to Covid-19 with limited visits from family.
Commenting on the initiative, Age Space founder Annabel James said: “It is very frightening to see your parents’ mental state alter almost in hours or literally overnight. Delirium is little known but should be entirely treatable. We are particularly concerned this winter when so many elderly people may receive limited or no visits from family and friends whether they are at home, in hospital or in a care home.
“We hope that through this initiative families will be able to spot the signs of delirium before it really takes hold. Treating the underlying causes is critical to recovery, so the earlier the better”.
For families and care professionals alike, Age Space has produced a guide to delirium on its website, along with a podcast explaining the condition with old age psychiatrist Dr Alex Bailey of Westminster NHS.
Elderly care advice site – Age Space is urging the county to #preparetocare with a new campaign to encourage and support families take control of their elderly parents and relatives care sooner rather than later.
Launching their #preparetocare campaign, Founder Annabel James explains:
“Elderly care has certainly come into sharp focus recently and sadly there is so much big picture stuff that needs to be addressed with Adult Social Care, funding and the Care Home system – it makes change feel so far away. #preparetocare is about enabling families to have those difficult care conversations and plan ahead, so that when the unexpected happens, whether that be a sudden change in health or a national pandemic, they can make the best decisions for their elderly relatives. There are five key conversations below that we want the nation to start having with their parents….”
1) MEDICAL HISTORY
In an emergency it is vital to know what medication your parents are taking. Have a list on your phone detailing allergies, previous surgery, chronic conditions and current medication, especially if your parent is on blood thinners like Warfarin. This information is only recorded at the GP surgery, and is not accessible out of hours.
Print out the list and pin it to the ‘fridge in case you are not available during an emergency. Paramedics will have easy access to all the necessary information and will be able to make an informed decision.
2) CARE OPTIONS
There will come a point when your parents will need more help to live independently at home. Rather than wait for that day to arrive (trust us, they will need help long before they ask for it) you should have an open discussion about what care options are available. Depending on their medical needs, the three main options will be: 1) Moving in with you 2) Care in the home from a professional care provider or 3) Moving into a care home. All are costly, can be intrusive and will involve change.
Chatting through these options in advance will help you to prepare financially and mentally for when that day comes.
This is a tricky one as many older people are suspicious of sharing their financial information. For example, in many households the finances are controlled by the husband, leaving mum vulnerable. It is worth chatting about joint accounts and powers of attorney to avoid both parents being left at a loss.
Funding elderly care and later life can be complex and expensive, between £600 and £1600 per week depending on the type of care required and medical needs. A local authority care assessment will determine the care and support needed and how it may or may not be funded.
In England and Wales, if your parents have over £23,500 then they will be funding their own care either at home or in a care home. If cash and assets are between £14,000 and £23,500 the State and local authority will part-fund some care: less than £14,000 and all care funding will be provided by the local authority although this will be subject to their own weekly budget cap.
It is an incredibly unpredictable environment – you don’t know how long care will be needed and when those care needs might change. If you’ve already discussed the type of care your parents would be open to, we advise planning ahead and researching affordable local care options.
4) LEGAL STUFF
Check that your parents have written a will and that you know where the latest copy is. Discuss drawing up a Power of Attorney and an Advance Directive well in advance of potential need. Create a folder containing all important information such as Bank account details, National Insurance number, Passports, Driving Licence and vehicle ownership papers, Birth and marriage certificates and Insurance details including private health insurance. Log important numbers into your phone.
Passwords – this can be a legal minefield regarding agreements with providers and data protection. At the very least it is worth knowing the main login details and password to a computer as well as any details of online accounts and what is stored where on the computer (such as photographs.)
5) GET SMART
None of us want to ‘spy’ on our families so the prospect of monitors and call centres can be, quite literally, alarming. However, used in the right way at the right time such technology can play a vital role in keeping your parents safe and you in the loop. We encourage families to research and discuss Telecare options such as alarms, sensors, trackers and monitoring. Smart home technology and everybody’s friend Alexa can also help your parents to stay independent at home.
Age Space has seen a huge surge in enquiries as people are left confused about caring for relatives in the current climate, fearful of making the wrong decisions and anxious about breaking the law. The site has a dedicated Coronavirus section, a Facebook support group and ASK IRIS for families worried about caring for elderly relatives.
Past Press Releases
Click on the Age Space press releases below to read and download.