7 Steps for Carers to Consider When Navigating The Care Maze

To help you navigate this tricky life stage, we share seven bite-sized practical steps to consider when preparing to care. 

Whether you know your family is entering the realms of caring for elderly relatives, you’re already in the thick of it, or you can see the phase just looming on the horizon, hopefully you’ll find these seven steps helpful.

1. Face the Near Future Together

  • Prepare ahead for the difficult conversations, think about the language you use, and enabling your elderly relative to still feel they have a say and control over their decision-making
  • Ensure family members are on board - this can be difficult, but as much as possible, agree on a common purpose and goals for the best welfare of your relative
  • Do your research - it will help you to be reassuring and knowledgeable
  • Choose your moment; it has to be right for your relative, not on the doorstep when saying goodbye or when surrounded by grandchildren!
  • Give them time to prepare their thoughts, don't rush them, and expect delaying tactics
  • Gain their acceptance that they need support
  • Reassure them about their future - it is a scary time and most people dread this life stage, so try to have empathy for their situation
  • Be honest with yourself about what will work for them

2. Understand Costs, Procedures & Legalities

  • Ensure that you put in place Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for health and welfare as well as property and financial affairs and register it before you are concerned about any mental incapacity
  • Ensure there is an up-to-date will in place
  • Find and consult with a specialist financial adviser - with a Society of Later Life Adviser Qualification that's registered with the IFA - this will be invaluable when trying to calculate costs and budgets for care
  • Explore costs & arrangements for different types of care
  • Connect with their GP and other medical specialists as necessary to ensure you are aware of what needs your loved one currently has - and importantly - may have further down the line
  • Keep and share vital contacts and information
  • If necessary take legal advice from a recommended law firm

3. Explore & Evaluate Options

There are many different types of care and it's important to understand what each one is and the costs involved. You can get expert help with this or research the following:

  • Retirement Villages
  • Assisted Living
  • Home Care