I have recently been contacted by two families each with the same scenario and wishing to achieve the same objective. That is, to have a “Plan B” in the event that one of the older couple suffers a sudden deterioration in their health or unexpectedly passes away.
Whilst none of us like to think about such things it is my experience that families can be greatly reassured by such a plan. There is frankly nothing worse than needing to react to a crisis, despite other matters going on in our lives, with no prior preparation for such an event. Families often use the term “constantly firefighting” when describing their situation to me, which is both exhausting and unlikely to achieve a sustainable or desirable outcome for the older person.
In both cases I met with the older couple, together with their concerned family members, in order to explore their medical conditions and the impact they were having on their ability and quality of life, to understand their personal wishes and to discuss a range of care options.
We discussed their home environment and steps that could be taken to maintain their safety and promote their independence, thereby reducing the risk falls.
We discussed measures that could be taken to help them maintain their health status, thereby reducing their risk of unexpected hospital admission.
Consideration was also given to their likely eligibility for financial support from the state towards the cost of care, not all of which is means tested.
My visit was supported by a detailed report letter setting out my advice and further information likely to be helpful to them moving forward. It also confirmed our agreed next steps, that is, that I should research and report on a selection of local care agencies and comfortable care homes for their future consideration.
They subsequently received a report of suitable options to consider for both respite and long term care.
Both families are now in a position where they know what the most suitable care options in their area are, based on health and care needs, personal criteria and budget and can establish contact and ultimately a relationship with them at pace that works for them, if indeed this is required.
If you require professional, friendly and individually tailored advice provided in person by Claire Edwards, please give her a call on 07415387129.