Are they still coping? Care needs do change.

It’s easy to think that your elderly parent is coping once the carer is hired or the stair lift has been installed. But actually their health and care needs will evolve, sometimes gradually, sometimes in a crisis, and you will need to review and adapt their care accordingly. If you are using a care agency they should have a timetable of care plan reviews, which will help. It’s difficult to plan ahead when you don’t know exactly what to plan for, but you do need to be prepared to step up their care.

Some things you might need to consider

  • what are the options for arranging more care at short notice? Could the current carer/agency do more hours/nights?
  • what happens if your parent can no longer drive/cook/get upstairs/get in the bath?
  • what are local care homes like, in case you need to find one in a hurry?
  • if things change quickly what are your parent’s preferences? Conversations about the future are difficult but they are always worth having. Have a look at Difficult Conversations for some tips.

Needs assessments

Ensure that your elderly parents have a needs assessment carried out by their local social services, which can be revisited. More than anything, you just need to be prepared to be surprised, and to change care arrangements, sometimes in a hurry.

Do you have experience of this? If so, do share your story, or see what other people are talking about in Age Space Forum.