Unfortunately it is usually a crisis that forces older people into the care system when they or the person who supports them becomes ill or has an accident. Coming face-to-face with the care system for the first time, particularly if your elderly loved one’s care needs are urgent, can feel daunting to you and your elderly relative.
Find out what your elderly relative wants
Try and keep calm, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee. Don’t worry they are not going anywhere while you drink it! Now think about what is important to your elderly relative as this will help guide you in the right direction and stop you running round like a headless chicken.
Do they want to remain in their own home or want or need to move into a care home? It is obviously best to ask your relative but if this is not possible try and put yourself in their shoes. How do you think they would answer you if they could?
Now much as I want to say “Don’t let hospital staff put pressure on you” hospital beds are in extremely short supply, so if your elderly relative has been considered ready for discharge think about the boot being on the other foot with them urgently needing a hospital bed. You need to support your relative to leave hospital as soon as they can but not until you have firm arrangements in place for future care.
So lets go.
- Confirm whether the NHS, Social Services or your loved one is responsible for funding their care.
- If the person is being discharged from hospital into a care or nursing home this is a life changing decision. Think about how long it took you to find the right property when you moved! The same attention needs to be given to choosing the right home to your elderly relative. Whilst not ideal, you may have to move them to a home that has a vacancy while you find one that is just right for them.
- Live in care offers a good alternative for people who need 24 hour care but want to remain living at home. However it does take time to find the right care/s and a short-term admission to a care home will allow time for this.
- Going straight home from hospital can be too big a step if your relative has been in hospital for a while. Consider moving into a care home on a short-term basis for convalescence or further rehab. This will give you time to plan the right home care support.
- Always arrange admission to a care home on a month’s trial basis to make sure the ‘fit’ is right.
- Moving into a care home can be short, medium (for convalescence or to give carers a break) or long term.
With pressure on your time, arranging urgent care can seem quite burdensome. You may prefer to get help from consultants like Relative Matters to undertake the intensive research for you. We can support you every step of the way, explain the issues and help you make the right decisions for your elderly loved one.