Is extra care right for you or your parent?
Talking to your loved ones about needing extra care at home can be difficult to discuss.
If you have noticed they are finding it difficult to get up and down the stairs, are struggling or forgetting to cook or forgo getting dressed, it might be time to discuss extra care.
It's important to always approach conversations with understanding, empathy and an open-mind. Always respect their wishes and beliefs, and listen to their concerns.
Where possible, it’s beneficial to start talking about extra care early, so you can be in a position to action any decisions made and prevent the need for any more serious measures. Below are some ways to start talking about extra care with loved ones:
Ask questions about their daily routine
You could start by asking them questions about their daily routine to find out how they feel about their capabilities or struggles. Some questions could include:
- How are they at managing the garden or housework?
- Are they finding walking a strenuous activity?
- What kind of meals are they cooking throughout the day?
- Are they up to date with their medication?
- Is getting dressed becoming more of a challenge?
- Is getting in and out of the shower or bath a challenge? (Do they feel like they would benefit from some modifications?)
- Are they struggling to get around the house?
Is extra care the right choice?
Understanding the different housing options for older people can be a difficult task, but the first place to start is to get a care needs assessment, which can be arranged with your local council. It’s free and will allow you to find out what support is needed and how you can arrange it.
However, it might be that an alternative service can help instead of extra care. For example:
Getting help with cleaning
If cleaning is becoming more than a chore think about particular tasks that they are struggling with. Is it vacuuming, mopping the floors, dusting, taking out the rubbish or making and changing the bed? Thinking about things specifically will help when you want to work out the cost and timings of employing a cleaner.
Getting support with shopping
If it is getting help with shopping, most supermarkets allow you shop online and deliver for a small charge. However, many people like to go out to the shops, which has shown beneficial in reducing loneliness and keeping mobile.
Age UK offers a number of different types of shopping services including escorted services for older people who need extra assistance in getting to and around supermarkets. Royal Voluntary Service also have a getting out and about service where their volunteer drivers can help with transport to get to the local shops.