Later Life Planning

Later Life Planning – Choosing Later Life Planners (part 1)

Death is an inevitable part of life and yet most people haven’t given it, or the related issues, any thought and end up making hasty and often bad decisions in a time of crisis.

As an expert in elderly care, I often come across people, and sometimes professionals, whose knowledge is limited about the complex care system and the wider issues involved in later of life planning. More so in the nuances of person-centred planning, that puts the person at the centre of every decision and considers what is important to them as well as for them with a fine-tuned, unique and comprehensive profile being developed. Conflicting views and expectations between relatives sometimes emerge and these have to be expertly managed along with many other issues that often challenge older people. I have therefore decided to write a series of blog posts on the wide-ranging aspects involved in later life planning.

I want to start by considering the most appropriate people to give professional independent advice on later life planning. Of course, lawyers and solicitors are the best people to give expert legal advice for things such as setting up a trust, making a will or lasting powers of attorney, all of which are vitally important, and specialist independent financial advisors in later life are regulated to give expert advice about tax and later life planning from a financial perspective.

I want to talk about the importance of specialist care advice for people in later life…

care home quote

In the current climate, it is more important than ever to find expert professional advice and support to navigate the complex care system.

Unfortunately, some care advisors who claim to be independent are driven by the money paid to them by care providers who have a vacancy. This is especially attractive to commissioners of statutory services, as it is usually free, the cost being met by providers. Have you ever heard of the saying “There is no such thing as a free lunch?” I wonder how many of us who wanted or needed to move when we were at our most vulnerable would like our new home decided by someone else, based on where the nearest house for sale was?

For people in later life, it is usually the last move they will make, and the process needs to be treated with the same care and attention as any other home move, plus the care aspect needs careful and expert scrutiny to ensure the placement is truly person-centred. This is important as people in later life find a move of care home stressful and it can have a detrimental effect on them if they have to move again or are unhappy in their new home.

Choosing the most appropriate care does not need to attract expensive costs of solicitors and financial advisors who are not best qualified to give advice on what are essential health and social care issues that require professional intervention.

Finding a care home for a person is much more than a straightforward event. It requires expertise in dealing with challenging family dynamics, other relationship issues and wider knowledge of later life needs. A specialist care adviser understands the complex eligibility criteria of health and social care funding and therefore avoid the client having to move twice.

Would you like your electrical work undertaken by an unqualified person? Unfortunately, some people do not feel they should pay for professional advice or that the cost should be commensurate with training and experience. So, I would like to reiterate the message that I read recently on LinkedIn by Scarlett Derbyshire and it goes like this.

“If I do a job in ten minutes it’s because I spent ten years learning how to do that job in ten minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes”.

When comparing costs of specialist care advice it is important to compare ‘apples with apples’, and not apples with pears. Supporting an older person in later life planning is worth careful consideration about cost, the impact of the intervention on the person’s quality of life and overall value for money.

If you would like to discuss later life planning for one of your relatives, please give us a call on 0800 088 6184