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Mother Teresa's Anyway Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centred; Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.old-people-beauty-care

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
 Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
 Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
 It was never between you and them anyway.

[Reportedly inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa’s children’s home in Calcutta, and attributed to her. However, an article in the New York Times has since reported (March 8, 2002) that the original version of this poem was written by Kent M. Keith.]

How Do You Know That Your Loved-One Is Receiving the Right Care?

Everyone at some point in life will face a very important decision. Who will care for our aging parents when they are no longer able to care for themselves? At this point families must decide if their care would be best served by at home or in a facility that specialises in this field. There are many various types of facilities that can be considered.

Most care homes for older people will show you around the place so families can see firsthand where their loved one would be taken care of and what the facility has to offer. It is wise to take advantage of this to help you make the right decision. Your decision should be made based on the answers to the statements below; does the facility give the level of care you want for your loved one? old-people-beauty-care

What to look for

As you look around pay close attention to these things:

  • Unpleasant odours
  • Overall cleanliness throughout the building
  • The tidiness or lack of it in the residents’ clothing
  • The number of staff to residents
  • The overall atmosphere of the place i.e does it feel peaceful or gloomy?
  • Look over the daily menu.
  • Inquire about daily activities i.e. what type of therapies, physical activities, church services or crafts are available?
  • Observe the way staff are interacting with residents

It is important to choose the type of facility that is able to meet the needs of your loved one. Here are some choices that are available. The bottom line is how much care is necessary for the older person to be comfortable and content? Here are a few of the more common ones:

Independent Living

Residents have their own individual apartments. They live fairly independently, with some options applied here. They can choose to have some light housekeeping, prepared meals, or even special activities to keep life interesting. Some have security, others do not. Residents have very little supervision and are free to come and go as they please. Some may even still drive and go to work.

Assisted Living

This type of care takes a step up in services and costs vary greatly. Here residents have assistance with many daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, medications, and general daily activities. The services are tailored to each individual’s needs with the level of supervision varied according to the need. Generally residents have a call button to get help and in most cases residents still have the freedom to come and go as they please.

Skilled Nursing

Generally called nursing homes, a higher level of medical care is needed here. Meals and activities are basically the same as the facilities listed above, but with much more supervision and assistance. Residents will vary in their abilities. Some will be completely bedridden while others are able to move about. Security is important to keep residents safe.

Memory Care

These facilities are specially prepared to care for dementia. Everything offered here is on a much greater hands on scale. There are more staff per resident. Security is important to prevent residents from leaving or getting lost.

Over all the guidance and care of your loved ones is in your hands. Be vigilant and observant and be a part of the plan. We must be their advocate to watch over and make sure they are safe and getting the best care we want them to have.

A Philosophy For Life

Reflecting on a week of joys and challenges with my elderly clients and their families and professional networks I remembered this inspirational poem from the book “If Life is a Game, These are the Rules” by Cherie Carter-Scott

 The Rules for being Human

When you were born, you didn’t come with an owner’s manual; these guidelines make life work better.

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s the only thing you are sure to keep for the rest of your life.

2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “Life on Planet Earth”. Every person or incident is the Universal Teacher.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of experimentation. “Failures” are as much a part of the process as “success.”

4. A lesson is repeated until learned. It is presented to you in various forms until you learn it — then you can go on to the next lesson.

5. If you don’t learn easy lessons, they get harder. External problems are a precise reflection of your internal state. When you clear inner obstructions, your outside world changes. Pain is how the universe gets your attention.

6. You will know you’ve learned a lesson when your actions change. Wisdom is practice. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing.

7. “There” is no better than “here”. When your “there” becomes a “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that again looks better than “here.”

8. Others are only mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another unless it reflects something you love or hate in yourself.

9. Your life is up to you. Life provides the canvas; you do the painting. Take charge of your life — or someone else will.

10. You always get what you want. Your subconscious rightfully determines what energies, experiences, and people you attract — therefore, the only fool proof way to know what you want is to see what you have. There are no victims, only students.

11. There is no right or wrong, but there are consequences. Moralising doesn’t help. Judgments only hold the patterns in place. Just do your best.

12. Your answers lie inside you. Children need guidance from others; as we mature, we trust our hearts, where the Laws of Spirit are written. You know more than you have heard or read or been told. All you need to do is to look, listen, and trust.

13. You will forget all this.

14. You can remember any time you wish.

 

A new Kind Of Care Home Has Arrived On The Block

This guest blogger from Extracare Charitable trust will share with us, information about an alternative to residential care for older people.

When looking into ways of caring on a 24 hour basis for your elderly relatives and friends it’s important to make sure you are informed about the best and most up to date options available. This is especially important because there has been a massive growth in technology and people are living longer, introducing tensions between age and technology. It is therefore important to consider the things you need to take on board when considering the menu of options available.

The new generation

When we hear those words we tend to consider the next generation of children coming into the world, how their future will be shaped, and how, in turn, they will shape the world. People scarcely consider that older people have to deal with generational shifts as well, but they have to deal with it all the same. The problem here is that the media loves to lump all older people together and categorise them as  ‘the elderly’ without considering their generational needs. Unlike previous generations, use of computers, email and internet services are now common across all age groups and contemporary physical activities such as Tai Chi and Zumba have also exploded in popularity resulting in needing residential retirement buildings that recognise and keep up with it all.shutterstock_16791445-1

What makes a good alternative to a care home?

You need to begin by considering the old and stale image that people associate with the words ‘retirement home’. The public perception, aided and abetted by the media, is typically of mini institutions offering poor quality care that offer a containment solution. Good alternatives focus more on building a community of people and support that is connected to their local community. Extracare Charitable trust is an example of one of these community-building retirement charities. They offer a space where older people can be supported, alongside modern activities such as tai chi and computer training, making sure that they’re appealing to today’s older people rather than stagnate as the blanket demographic of ‘the elderly’ would have us suggest.

We need to ensure our elderly community stays active and remains an important part in the lives of their family and friends in order to promote a happy and healthy retired community.

We are increasingly made aware that physical health is connected with mental health, especially in older age, and that keeping active can reduce and slow down the effects of ageing.

When trying to choose the best care environment for your elderly loved ones, it is important to shop around, as this can be a life changing decision for an older person. Any reputable care environment will be happy to have a chat and will understand what a big decision it can be.

 

 

Long Term Care Fees – The Truth

After months of number crunching the Government has set the cap for social care fees at £75,000 which is very misleading. It only applies to the personal care element and is subject to both eligibility criteria and the prevailing local authority rate. The cap will not cover accommodation, food and general living expenses, or above the rate paid for by the local authority. This can be as low as £276 a week with the average cost of a care home with nursing in the South East  being around £800 a week. So in reality the cap is nearer £200,000.MB900423551

Change in financial threshold

The current financial threshold of £23,250 will increase to £123,00. As the value of the average UK house is higher than this it will make little difference to many older people needing care and most homeowners will still have to sell their homes to pay for care fees. The plans will be paid for mainly by taxpayers in the South East by raising inheritance tax thresholds.

An underfunded care system

The stringent rules around care home fees are only one aspect of our grossly underfunded care system, and not the worst. The decision by most local authorities not to fund people who are in desperate need, but not technically ‘critical’ is an even worse problem.

Will insurance be the answer?

The insurance industry will be planning ways to cover that first £75,000 of costs. With the exorbitant mark-ups for which the industry is known, these products will be unaffordable for many. Experience has also shown that the market for insurance products to fund elderly care has hitherto been very small, largely because most people believe that social care, like the NHS, is free at the point of demand and therefore fail to plan for them.

Self funders

While I am pleased that at last a decision is made to place a cap on care fees for older people, which is particularly important for the 41 per cent of elderly people in the care system who are “self-funders” because they have over £23,250 in assets including property, many are not very wealthy, yet I believe they are among the most overlooked and underserved in the care system.

They are people like you and me who have worked hard all our life for a pension that will make us ineligible for most welfare benefits, yet have savings that will not last long when paying care fees at the rate of over £2,000 a month.

 

Paying For Care – New Policy But Don't hold Your Breath

An announcement today is expected to say that the cap for long term social care will mean that no one in England will have to pay more than £75,000 after 2017 for their care in old-age. Big deal! The amount was most likely decided by people who have no clue what life is like to have less than £75,000! The cap will be so high it will only help a few and many will still have to sell their homes to pay for care under £75,000.bigstock-House--2632885

Only actual care costs will be included

The cap will only cover personal care (help with washing and dressing) at the rate Social Services will pay, meaning the lowest rate possible and will not include the cost of accommodation or food. The figure is much higher than that recommended by the Dilnot report, which said that the cap should be set at £35,000.

The Current Situation

At present people with savings and capital of more than 23,250 have to pay for care costs. Those with assets of between £14,250 and £23,250 have these taken into account when their contribution is assessed. If they have less than £14,250 only a person’s Income is taken into account.

Means tested support will increase

It is likely that those with up to around £120,000 savings and capital costs, including property, will qualify for means tested support after 2017.

What will the cap actually mean?

According to financial expert, Paul Lewis, if the cap is set at £75,000 and doesn’t start until 2017, 214 weeks of care will have to be paid for. So if a person who has to fund their own care pays £500 a week for their care, they will have to spend £107,000 before the cap kicks in. They will also have been paying food and accommodation costs of £10,000 a year for more than four years, so around £150,000 will have been spent before the cap would apply. Most residents will have died before they benefit from the new arrangement!

A drop in the ocean

Although a step in the right direction a cap of £75,000 is nothing more than a drop in the ocean and most older people will still have to sell their home to pay for long term care fees. How long do we have to wait for a Government to seriously prioritise elderly care and realise that most older people have worked hard all their life and paid more into the system than the younger generation ever will?

Time to put our money where our mouth is

The cap of £75,000 for long-term care fees will do nothing to help the huge underfunding of the elderly care system which is a separate matter. Whichever political party is compassionate and brave enough to balance affordability in the current economic climate with a better way of adequately funding the care system for older people, will certainly get my vote. Will it get yours?

Relative Matters are independent specialists in care management for older people and we can often help people access funding (so long as they are eligible) save money and negotiate care fees with care providers on behalf of our clients. Why not give us a call and see if we can help you 0845 319 4870

Paying For Care – New Policy But Don't hold Your Breath

An announcement today is expected to say that the cap for long term social care will mean that no one in England will have to pay more than £75,000 after 2017 for their care in old-age. Big deal! The amount was most likely decided by people who have no clue what life is like to have less than £75,000! The cap will be so high it will only help a few and many will still have to sell their homes to pay for care under  £75,000.bigstock-House--2632885

Only actual care costs will be included

The cap will only cover personal care (help with washing and dressing) at the rate Social Services will pay, meaning the lowest rate possible and will not include the cost of accommodation or food. The figure is much higher than that recommended by the Dilnot report, which said that the cap should be set at £35,000.

The Current Situation

At present people with savings and capital of more than 23,250 have to pay for care costs. Those with assets of between £14,250 and £23,250 have these taken into account when their contribution is assessed. If they have less than £14,250 only a person’s Income is taken into account.

Means tested support will increase

It is likely that those with up to around £120,000 savings and capital costs, including property, will qualify for means tested support after 2017.

What will the cap actually mean?

According to financial expert, Paul Lewis, if the cap is set at £75,000 and doesn’t start until 2017, 214 weeks of care will have to be paid for. So if a person who has to fund their own care pays £500 a week for their care, they will have to spend £107,000 before the cap kicks in. They will also have been paying food and accommodation costs of £10,000 a year for more than four years, so around £150,000 will have been spent before the cap would apply. Most residents will have died before they benefit from the new arrangement!

A drop in the ocean

Although a step in the right direction a cap of £75,000 is nothing more than a drop in the ocean and most older people will still have to sell their home to pay for long term care fees. How long do we have to wait for a Government to seriously prioritise elderly care and realise that most older people have worked hard all their life and paid more into the system than the younger generation ever will?

Time to put our money where our mouth is

The cap of £75,000 for long-term care fees will do nothing to help the huge underfunding of the elderly care system which is a separate matter. Whichever political party is compassionate and brave enough to balance affordability in the current economic climate with a better way of adequately funding the care system for older people, will certainly get my vote. Will it get yours?

Relative Matters are independent specialists in care management for older people and we can often help people access funding (so long as they are eligible) save money and  negotiate care fees with care providers on behalf of our clients. Why not give us a call and see if we can help you 0845 319 4870

How Can We Free Up NHS Resources For Ageing Population?

Statistics of elderly care crisis

Article in Herald re massive increase in hospital A & E admissions

Self care info

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Here Come The Baby Boomers Changing Elderly Care

Have you thought about where and how you want to live as you become older? My interest in the issue was ignited by watching the film Quartet, a joyous, entertaining and uplifting story about a group of retired musicians who live together in a care home.

The care home is an opulent manor house in beautiful and extensive grounds and while the thought of living with like minded people who share a common interest appeals to me, I felt rebellion rising when one of the residents had to negotiate the time he and his friends could return after a meal out. I haven’t done that since I was a teenager and I didn’t do as I was told then! 

Care homes are unlikely to suit most Baby Boomers

Now I know a fair bit about care homes from both a professional and personal perspective. Enough to know that I most certainly do not want to live in one. The notion of being in a care home where underpaid carers tell me what’s good for me, encourage me to play bingo and put me to bed at night before I am ready because they are due to hand over to the night staff doesn’t bear thinking about. I actually hope to live in my own home until I leave feet first, but if I need care and support that might not be possible.

If I am one of the unlucky one in three people who will need care and support when I grow older, my options will be limited. This is because as a professional I have worked hard and gained a reasonable pension. This leaves me with too much income to access help from the state if I need care  but not enough for a carer to move in and look after me or for me to move in to one of the expensive assisted living apartments that are springing up everywhere. Sound familiar?

Some of us have already become carers for our parents or seen friends in this situation. Often, we’ve seen one parent outlive their partner by many years. We’ve seen stigma and we’ve seen dementia and it brings home to us some of the negative possibilities of old age.

Where we live is crucial in terms of ‘living’ rather than existing and we live in a diverse, multi-cultural society where older people come from different social, religious and economic backgrounds. We will all have different ideas about the kind of place we want to live in and the kind of care we want to receive.

Thoughts about future elderly care

I have been thinking about getting together with a group of friends to buy and adapt a large property into self contained apartments, one of which could be reserved for up to two carers, the cost of which will be shared between us (so care can be affordable and brought to us rather than being moved to the care) We could also share the cost of a cleaner and property maintenance and make optimum use of technology to maintain our independence, provide a less oppressive living environment and limit the cost of care.

Shaping future care for older people

Have you any thoughts or plans about how and where you’d like to live when you’re older, or are you sticking your head firmly in the sand? Isn’t it up to us to figure out where we go from here? I would love to hear your comments – let’s pool our ideas so we can begin to shape our future. Us Boomers have changed most other things so why not where and how older people live?

 

Caring for elderly relatives in the winter season

Caring for elderly relatives is important at any time of year, but when temperatures plummet and weather conditions are less than favourable this becomes even more vital. The winter weather poses a number of risks to all individuals, but those in their later years are often the most susceptible. Limited mobility is obviously a huge disadvantage when it comes to navigating icy paths.

Food and Warmth

Widespread financial issues left many older people with a difficult choice to make last year: eat or heat? Energy price hikes occurred across the board, with suppliers raising both their gas and electricity rates by considerable amounts.

This made it increasingly difficult for older people to afford what is after all, a basic amenity and a shocking number were expected to abandon heating altogether. A report in The Guardian from last winter detailed how Age UK predicted this action could lead to as many as 200 deaths per day, revealing that there had been over 26,000 excess winter deaths in the preceding year (2010-2011)

To prevent a similar situation arising this year, families are being urged to consider these basic needs when caring for elderly relatives. If you are worried that someone you know may struggle to afford food and warmth, then offer assistance.

This doesn’t necessarily mean paying for the services out of your own pocket, but could simply equate to helping am elderly loved one use their heating more efficiently in order to reduce their energy consumption and the bills associated with it.

Investigating whether they could benefit from changing energy suppliers or tariffs could also prove beneficial and looking into government incentives such as loft insulation, cold weather and winter fuel payments can also be helpful.

Health and Companionship

Perhaps the biggest problem experienced by the elderly over winter is deterioration in their health – both physical and emotional. Make sure you keep an eye on your relatives by visiting them regularly. This will help you detect any potential health risks early on whilst protecting their emotional health by providing companionship.

Routine vaccinations such as the flu jab are important defences against winter illness, so make sure your elderly loved ones are up to date with this protection. Ensuring they have appropriate winter clothing, such as thick coats and shoes with plenty of grip, will also help to ensure that they remain mobile over the winter – giving them the support and care they deserve. If your elderly relative is immobile then ensure they have the care and facilities, such as a stairlift, to remain active and to ensure have independence.

Security

Unfortunately, the onset of the Christmas period means that our homes become bigger targets for thieves. This can make some elderly people feel vulnerable and concerned about leaving their homes unattended – thus negatively affecting their quality of life.

To combat this, make sure that adequate security systems are in place. This could be anything from investing in alarm systems to fitting decoy cameras and other burglar deterrents. If there is a neighbourhood watch association in the local area then make sure you speak to them in order to get additional protection for your elderly relatives.