All posts in Carers

Need Help With Managing Care Of An Elderly Loved One?

For several years I cared for my elderly parents at home. At times I found the challenge of juggling my own life and demanding job with their complex and growing needs overwhelming. I consider myself fortunate in having a brother and sister who were willing to help, but sharing tasks, when my brother worked shifts and my sister lived over 50 miles away and didn’t drive, wasn’t always easy to organise.

There are currently over 2 million people caring for elderly relatives in the UK. With an ageing population and rising life expectancies for those with illness or disability, caring for our elderly loved ones presents a huge and growing challenge.

Something I would have found helpful myself is a new tool that has been developed by Carers UK called Jointly,  to help families manage care for loved ones alongside their increasingly complex lives

What is Jointly? MC900433934-2

Jointly is a simple solution to sharing care for a loved one. It is a mobile and online application (often called an app) that is available for mobile phones, tablets and computers. It offers a simple, practical way to share information and co-ordinate tasks amongst an invited circle who are helping look after a loved one.

Jointly is designed to make caring a little easier, less stressful and a lot more organised. It combines group messaging with other useful features including to-do and medication lists, a calendar and more.

You can create a circle of care around the person you are looking after and invite people to join you and share the caring. Alternatively, you can use Jointly on your own to organise the care around someone.

Creating a circle

The Circle will comprise of people who have accepted an invitation to join your Jointly circle (sent by you or another member of your circle). All members of your Jointly circle can view the content posted on Jointly, so make sure to take this into account when you post.

The Profile

The Profile enables you to keep all the information about the person in one place. Use it to store information about the person you are looking after and be able to access it at any time at a click of a button! Make a note of their date of birth, disability, illness or condition, their caring needs, the things that are important to them, likes and dislikes, how they like to be cared for and anything else you may think is relevant.

Messages

Communicate with everyone in your Jointly circle at a touch of a button! Simply post a message or upload an image. Members of your circle will receive a notification and can respond.

Tasks

Keep organised and on top of things by using tasks and task lists. Simply create a task and assign it to any member of your Jointly circle, including yourself, and monitor its status.

The Tasks page gives you a summary of all tasks. They are divided into Tasks (for stand alone tasks, such as: Pick up Mum’s medication) and Task lists (for tasks that belong to a list, such as: Mum’s weekly groceries list -under which you can store more items such as Buy milk, dog food, etc.).

Calendar

Use the calendar to create date/time specific events and invite anyone in your circle. You can also use the field provided to invite people outside your Jointly circle. You can keep tabs of all planned events in Jointly’s calendar while at the same time sending and accepting invitations in your personal calendar.

Medications

Use the medications feature to keep track of current and past medication of the person you are caring for. You can see today’s medication with an indication of the time it should be taken as well as the dose (Today view) and see all current and past medication in a list (All medications view)

You can also upload an image to quickly recognise a medicine.

Contacts

Nothing helps more than having the right contact details at the right time! Jointly stores the contact details of the members of your circle and also allows you to store other useful contacts e.g. their GP, chiropodist and a local plumber and you can access their details anytime, anywhere! You just have to click on someone’s phone number to place a call or on their email address to send an email.

Notes section

Here you can store longer text notes or images and assign them categories so that they can be easily found later.

How to order Jointly

Jointly is available to download as a mobile app from Apple and at Google Play stores for a one-off payment of £2.99. A PC/Laptop version is also available from jointlyapp.com

Once you have purchased Jointly you can invite as many people as you want to share the care with you. There is no additional cost for the people you invite to join you.

10 Top Tips For Communicating With Someone Living With Dementia

Communicating with people living with dementia is one of the greatest challenges to relatives and carers alike so I hope these tips will help you.

All communication has a purpose and no word or action is meaningless. What sounds like nonsense or repetition of the same question or sentence is, to express a feeling, to show a need, to give information or to get a response. What appears to be an inappropriate response or action may be a form of communication and there can be different ways of interpreting their words or actions.

Communication is more complex than mere speech and difficulties usually begin when people with dementia struggle to find the right words. With my mother this sometimes turns into a guessing game with howls of laughter when I guess the wrong word and tears of frustration if we go on too long.

Things you can do: MC900433934-2

1. Slow down and present as calm, even if you don’t feel it!  People with dementia are unable to process information as quickly as we are.

2, Look into their eyes so they know you are talking to them.

3. Use open and relaxed body language (difficult in a stressful situation I know) and watch what their bodies are saying too.

4. Listen carefully and interpret the meaning behind what they are saying. What time is it? This might mean, I don’t know what I should be doing or I want to go home.  My mother often talks as if she is on an aircraft.  She probably means she wants to get far away from feeling confused, overwhelmed and forgetful.

5. Look for the meaning behind behaviour.  I find it helpful to replace the notion of ‘wandering’ with ‘wondering’ to find a solution. Wandering may have a purpose or the person might be responding to a hallucination.

6. Divert attention to another subject when the person keeps repeating the same questions.  As the long term memory is usually preserved for longer it may help to talk about something in the past.

7. Give reassurance.  I often find that by stroking Mum’s hand, or giving her a hug, the reassurance takes away the stress of her trying to communicate something that is clearly important to her.

8. Change the subject and go back to it later if the person becomes agitated.

9. End a visit calmly and positively.  Feelings will remain and visits can stimulate warm feelings and bring comfort to the person.  Afterwards your loved one may have forgotten your visit and who you are, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

10. Visual and spacial problems

Mirrors –  People may not recognise themselves and think it is someone else they are looking at.

They can misjudge the edge of the table or bathroom furniture unless distinctive with contrasting colours.

Pouring liquids can be can be difficult or even dangerous.

People with dementia are confused by busy patterns

Make sure there is plenty of light. Older people living with dementia often poor eyesight to!

Important to remember…

  • Feelings remain after facts are forgotten
  • The ability to sing remains after speech goes
  • It is the moment of their experience, the ‘here and now’ that is important to people living with dementia

The Cost of Failing To Review Medication

My  mother has suffered with poor health all her life, having multiple and long term mental and physical health problems, including severe depression and vascular dementia.  When she was at home I managed her medications  The point I would like to make here is that I would always look up a new medication she was prescribed  to view the side effects and contra-indications if I was unaware of them.  I also regularly sat down with the pharmacist to review them.

Since Mum moved into a residential care home, 3 years ago, I have not only lost control of her medication, but also the knowledge of what she has been prescribed.  Soon after being admitted to a care home she was prescribed Aricept, it’s pharmaceutical name is Donepezil. My mother  also prescribed another drug for her dementia, although when I looked it up it’s primary use was for schizophrenia. Her medication for depression was also changed.   These drugs are very powerful.  Unfortunately I did not look up the side effects of these medications, as I would have done had my mother been at home.

Mum’s health deteriorated significantly

Several months ago Mum’s condition deteriorated, she began feeling and being physically sick, and more latterly became floppy, to the point she had to be fed and given her drinks.  Her speech became slurred and incoherent,  she was disengaged, unable to follow conversation and was sleepy all the time.  I kept asking for her GP to investigate Mum’s condition. She was seen by a variety of GPs but never her own, and had various blood tests and changes in medication, including another prescription for a drug to ease her sickness.

Preparing for Mum’s demise

At Christmas my son and I became so concerned about her rapidly deteriorating condition we decided  to let the family know we thought Mum was dying, to prepare them for how bad she looked when visiting her at Christmas.  It was a heartbreaking time for us.

Diagnostic intervention

After Christmas I asked for her own GP to attend and she contacted me to discuss Mum’s situation and possible courses of action.  As one of the considerations was that Mum may have had a stroke I asked that she could have a brain scan to confirm this.  I also requested a psychiatric assessment.

The brain scan identified that Mum had not had a stroke.

The psychiatric assessment identified a serious deterioration in her mental state and a detailed review of her medication was undertaken, with the result that the two powerful medications prescribed for her dementia, the one she took for depression and one for sleeping were discontinued. 91 years of life

Dramatic improvement

Following the withdrawal of these drugs, there was a dramatic improvement in Mum.  She became coherrent, more lucid, stopped being sick and regained control of her body again.  She was able to eat and drink independently, without the need for being fed.

Although my Mother obviously still suffers from dementia, with periods of confusion and forgetfulness, I could finally hold a conversation with my my Mum again, like I could before she was prescribed the drugs.

My family and I feel angry that despite seeing several doctors Mum had to experience sickness and other unpleasant side effects over a number of months before the matter was resolved.  Had her drugs been reviewed properly earlier on, the dramatic deterioration in her health could have been avoided.

I wonder how many other older people living with dementia are suffering unnecessarily.?

I want to make sure you are all aware of the danger of neglecting to ask for your elderly loved one’s medication to be reviewed regularly (not just given a once over at by a GP and hope you find the following tips helpful.

Top tips for reviewing medication

  • Make sure medication is reviewed regularly for your elderly loved ones. I believe GPs are too busy to review psychiatric medication thoroughly enough and pharmacists and community psychiatric nurses are better placed to carry out the review and make recommendations to the person’s GP.
  • Find out what each medication has been prescribed for
  • Are there any contra indications you/ the care home should be aware of?
  • What are the likely side-effects (if only we had known that a common side effect of Aricept (Donepezil) is sickness
  • Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
  • Does the dose need to be adjusted (people need less as they become older and often eat less and lose weight, as was the case with my mother

In addition to the human cost of failing to keep medication up to date for older people living with dementia, it also wastes valuable NHS money!

Caring For An Elderly Relative

Caring for an older disabled relative can have practical, financial and emotional challenges. But you’re not alone. There are over 6.5 million carers in the UK of which 1.5 million are aged over 60.

Carers provide unpaid care by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner. They are people like you who provide care without pay, out of love, respect, responsibility and duty. Carers give so much to our society yet they often experience poor health, poverty and discrimination as a consequence of caring.

Wear the ‘Carer’ label

I have met many people over the years who refuse to wear the label of carer, preferring to perceive himself or herself as a son, daughter or other family member. For some people this is really important and their wishes should be respected. There are benefits though in using the term carer, if you provide regular care and support to someone (your relationship to them doesn’t matter) because it will enable you to get help when you need it.

Be persistent when looking for support

The contribution that carers make is often forgotten and taken for granted. Services can be difficult to access, complicated to understand and information about available services can sometimes be difficult to obtain.

mother and daughter pic

Social Services and NHS Trusts are given grants from central government to provide services for those carers, who provide substantial and regular support to people receiving social care support. Those services include, for example, breaks from caring responsibilities and gym and swimming fees to promote their own health and well-being.

However, it is very much a postcode lottery and the priority given to providing support for carers, especially if the person they care for fund their own care and support, varies enormously across the country.

Take care of YOU

When I was caring for my terminally ill father, I  found that I quickly became lonely and felt isolated, so make sure you have someone to talk to regularly and maybe join a Carers Forum where you can get support, information and advice from other carers. Also you need regular breaks from caring to recharge your batteries. If you check out the organisations listed below, you will find the support you need  to do this.

Looking after yourself is very important.  How can you maintain stamina for such an emotionally and physically demanding role if you don’t look after yourself?

Useful resources

To help you find out what is available quickly, I have listed some services that will help you.

The Carers Direct helpline: 0808 802 0202, offers confidential information and advice on caring by calling.  Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 11am to 4pm weekends. Calls are free

Carers Direct also offers lots of information and advice for carers on their website  Carers Direct  and also offer an excellent practical Guide To Caring

Carers UK also offer a comprehensive range of information for carers on their website www.carersuk.org or contact their free Carers Line 08088 08 777

Alzheimer’s Society. Has information about caring for someone with Dementia. You can find them on their website, www.alzheimers.org.uk or look in your relative’s phone book for their local office

The Carers Trust  has a comprehensive site providing information, advice and support services to carers. Check out their website at www.carers.org or telephone 0844 800 4361

Carer’s Allowance Unit. Provides information regarding Carer’s Allowance, the main state benefit for carers, including eligibility and how to make a claim. You can find it at Carers Allowance Unit or telephone 0177 289 9489

Vitalise. Provides holidays and respite care for people with severe disabilities with or without carers at five purpose built centres in the UK. Also offers special Alzheimer’s holidays for people with Dementia and their carers, which are subsidised by the Alzheimer’s Society. Check out their website at www.vitalise.org.uk or telephone 0845 345 1970

A Family Carers' Tale – Caring For Someone With Dementia

Here is a story about how my elderly care consultancy, Relative Matters, helped two sisters care for their elderly mother who was living with dementia, at home.

Emma and Ruth’s Story

Emma had been concerned about her mother Martha for a while, because she had been showing signs of dementia, such as repeating questions to Emma and becoming confused when she carried out basic tasks like preparing scrambled eggs or heating a pizza. Eventually Martha was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

At first Emma and her sister Ruth, took turns to stay with their mother but soon found they could not keep it up. We found a small day centre not far away, which specialised in looking after people with dementia, so Emma arranged for her mother to attend, five days a week. This enabled Emma to continue her career as a physiotherapist and her sister to spend more time looking after her husband, who recently had a stroke. We pointed out to Emma and Ruth that when Martha attended the day centre, she would be kept safe, socially stimulated, receive nourishing food and regular drinks.

As their mother’s disease progressed, we helped Emma and her sister to claim the higher rate Attendance Allowance and arrange for regular carers from an agency to provide care and support for their mother before and after she attended the day centre.sisters

To help provide consistency, we advised Emma and Ruth to set up a Care Journal for their mother. Whoever was with Martha, would record the important details of their shift, such as food eaten, fluids consumed, bowel and bladder movements, activities accomplished and other relevant information.

Emma, Ruth and the care workers became proficient at using the hospital bed and hoist provided by the district nurse, a wheelchair, wheelchair ramps and a food processor to prepare easy to chew, soft food as Martha had chosen not to wear her dentures. We suggested Emma and Ruth arrange for Meals on Wheels to be delivered on a Saturday to give them a break from preparing food and free up time to take their mother out.

When their mother became ill with pneumonia, Emma took special leave from work and moved in to look after her. During Martha’s last forty-eight hours of life, she was loved and comforted by Emma and Ruth, attended by the district nurse and heard her son’s voice over the phone, all the way from Australia.

Living With Dementia – How to Create A Life Story Book

Memories are precious especially for people living with dementia who use past experiences to make sense of their present reality. A Life Story Book will enable you to validate their life. Part of being a person is having your self-worth acknowledged and to feel that you matter. A Life Story Book can also be used to distract attention if the person is feeling anxious or upset.

It couldn’t be easier to produce a Life Story Book. Just gather your loved one’s photos and documents and put them in chronological order in a scrapbook or photo album. It’s a great activity to do with them and I suggest you put simple descriptions on each page.

The power of an image to engage a person with dementia lies, not only in the visual aspect of the image, but also in the following:Untitled

  •    Showing positive emotions such as joy and happiness
  •   A strong sense of narrative that encourages story telling
  •   An element of humour that does not require sophisticated interpretation

You should avoid images that include anything that could be upsetting for someone with dementia such as people in an aggressive or distressed state, or showing people or animals at risk. These can lead to feelings of anxiety or distress that people with dementia may be unable to rationalise.

If you want to go the whole hog  there is a great on-line system that makes it easy and fun to take a treasure hunt through their memories and store them in a beautiful book that becomes a family heirloom. There are written prompts on every web page to conjure up the fashion, sport and news of that time in their life.

What a lovely birthday or Christmas present a life story book would make for an elderly relative!

The Impact of Elder Abuse

Did you see the ITV drama, Scott and Bailey, this week? It focused on a care home at which several deaths had been reported in a short space of time. Although they didn’t always get their facts right, for example assuming that a member of staff who had completed NVQ level 3 was qualified to give injections, which they are not (thus confusing health and social care for viewers who already get the two mixed up) some useful issues around elder abuse emerged from the programme that we can learn from.

I thought a definition of abuse would be helpful to ensure we are all on the same wavelength. The charity, Action on Elder Abuse, defines abuse as ‘A single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to another person’

Six important ways to lessen the likelihood of elder abuse

Senior Man with Cane

Report concerns straight away

Despite being concerned about her father being subjected to physical abuse and neglect, the relative did nothing beyond reporting her concerns to the Manager, until after her father had died.

Any concerns remaining after being reported to the manager should always be reported to the Safeguarding Team at Social Services straight away.

Expect your concerns to be taken seriously

The Manager was complacent and did not carry out an investigation after a relative had reported incidents or when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised concerns.

Relatives are often perceived as ‘difficult’ and while this may occasionally be true, all reports of bad practice should be taken seriously.

Good practice comes from the top

The relative was correct in saying bad practice comes from the top. Any care home is as good or bad as the person/people in charge.The manager’s view that the relative’s standards were unreasonably high is not uncommon.It is important to be able to trust the manager and senior staff in a care home.

Good practice would be for the manager to develop and foster good relationships with residents and relatives and hold regular meetings with them. Also monitor things like incident forms and sickness levels to flag up potential problems. With the right managers and supervisors in place, neglect and abuse in any form should not be possible to go unnoticed.

Staffing levels must be consistently adequate

Low staffing levels were used as an excuse. This is a common problem in homes struggling to provide high standards with inadequate funding from Social Services.

It is important to  recruit and train the right staff.

The importance of staff  support

There was clearly a lack of staff support and monitoring at the care home in the programme.

Working with vulnerable people can be draining especially when low paid staff have to work long hours in order to receive enough money to live on. Good role modelling is important and regular one to one meetings to discuss challenges, identify training needs and give praise, encouragement and support.

People living with dementia need more intensive support

Dementia was  targeted in the  programme

People living with dementia are even more vulnerable and therefore need additional monitoring. Staff need to be recruited who are patient and have the right attitude and values. These ‘softer’ issues are harder to measure and require different and more creative interviewing techniques. There also needs to be more staff and on going training in relationship centred dementia care

Of course elder abuse doesn’t just occur in care homes, it can happen in a person’s own home, at a day centre or when they are in hospital. Surprisingly, the perpetrators of abuse are very often the older person’s relative friend or neighbour or someone who provides support to them such as a home care worker.

I would like to leave you with a final thought. If you saw something happening to a child that was unacceptable, why would it be any different for an older person?

You can watch this episode of Scott & Bailey on ITV Player until 6th June 2013 in which “the duo investigate the death of a care home resident whose daughter complains about the level of care he was receiving. Will they find evidence of foul play?”

4 Important Ways To Up Safety in Your Elderly Parent's Home

Today we have a guest post from Alexis Bonari who tells us how we can improve safety in our ageing parent’s home.

As people grow older, they become more at risk of slips, trips and falls, which can be potentially life threatening. Even familiar and seemingly safe surroundings can become hazardous when eyesight dims and people become frail, leading to a bad fall or the fracturing of fragile bones.

If you have older relatives, it is important to make sure their home is as safe as possible to minimise the risk of accidents. Here are a few tips about how you can makeover their home to limit the risk of accidents for your older relatives:

Create an Accessible Area

Instead of asking your older relative to climb up and down stairs to get to a bed or a bathroom — creating the potential for falls — you may be able to create one area on the ground floor that has everything they will need.

Carry Out Repairs MR900027542

Loose floorboards, broken tiles, leaks and other issues can create the potential for serious accidents. Your older relative could trip on a loose board or tile, slip on water from a leak, or become injured in some other way. Make their home safer by attending to repairs. Even the small things can make a big difference in making their home safer.

Make Use of Experts

There are aids and adaptations their home may need. These may include safety rails next to the toilet or shower, railings on stairs and steps (even just the few steps by the front door), non-slip mats on any non-carpeted areas and covers or bumpers for hard surfaces and corners.

Get advice from an expert such as an Occupational Therapist or your elderly parent’s local Falls Team (contactable from their local Social Services office) They will not only give advice but arrange for the equipment to be delivered and installed on a long term loan basis.

Install an Alarm System

There are many alarm systems that are created specifically with older people in mind. These include call bells, buttons and bracelets that can automatically notify emergency contacts when there has been an incident. This will be especially useful if your loved one falls and no one is around or has a heart attack or stroke and is unable to call for help. There are many options, so you should research the ones that are right for their home and budget.

Making over their home can make sure it is a safe and welcoming place for your elderly loved one. These tips can help you make their home as safe as it can be to prevent accidents and serious injuries.

Have you made an elderly relative’s home safer for them? We would love to hear about it to share with others!

About the Author:

Alexis Bonari writes for one of the largest open databases of college funding opportunities. Specific topics like scholarships for veterans are described in detail to provide multiple resources for students.

Responsibilities and the NHS – The A&E Abuse that's Killing our Ageing Population

Along with rights come responsibilities, right? The NHS is at breaking point for a number of reasons including an ageing population. There can be no doubt that the current healthcare system is unsustainable and we need to do something about it.

I feel passionate about involving people in every aspect of their care because I believe we know ourselves better than anyone else possibly could. I am also motivated to protect the rights of older people and take this responsibility very seriously.

Now as I mentioned earlier, rights come with responsibilities and I am on a mission to help people become more aware of what those responsibilities are.

The NHS is at breaking point for a number of reasons including an ageing population. There can be no doubt that the current healthcare system is unsustainable and we need to do something about it.

The following information provided by Age UK demonstrates the extent of the problem and helps us understand why we must start to take responsibility for our own health without delay.

Facts and figures about the ageing population

  • Nearly one in five people will currently live to see their 100th birthday
  • There are 10.3 million people aged 65 or over in the UK
  • By 2083, about one in three people will be over 60.
  • There are more pensioners than there are children under 16
  • The number of people over 85 is predicted to double in the next 20 years and nearly treble in the next 30.

With the growing number of older people many of whom have, or will have, long term, complex and multiple conditions, it is not surprising that we are experiencing longer waiting times to see our GP, have an operation and be treated at A & E departments.

Increase in use of A & E departments

Ambulance parked outside hospitalA survey undertaken last year by the Care Quality Commission found one in three patients claim they have spent more than four hours in hospital accident and emergency departments in England. And only the other week I read in our local paper about the massive increase in hospital A & E admissions in our hospitals.

This means A&E departments across the country are slowing down and people who need urgent medical care are not getting prompt treatment.

Reason for the increase in use of A & E departments

The reason for this is that many people are using accident and emergency departments for non emergencies, minor ailments and as an extension of their doctor’s surgery. A &E staff have to balance the need to deal with genuine medical emergencies and serious injuries, with the needs of people who are less seriously ill, which results in long waiting times.

It is understandable that if we are worried about our health, we want to get treatment and reassurance. However unless we are seriously ill or have had an accident, there are alternatives which are more appropriate, more convenient and quicker than heading for our nearest A & E department such as seeking advice from NHS Direct, a pharmacist, or making an appointment to see our GP.

Playing our part in reducing demand on A & E departments

It is our NHS and if we want our hospital A & E departments to deliver prompt professional medical treatment when we need it, we must play our part and only seek their help when absolutely necessary and having considered other alternatives.

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?