It is an emotional time which involves lots of decision making and feelings of being overwhelmed, and a complicated system to navigate as you embark on the care journey.
A common theme I find is that people are concerned about making decisions around the right type of care and the cost that comes with it, which is often the most expensive time in later life.
Nobody wants the money to run out; not loved ones, family or care providers. So it is essential to consider the financial aspects and the likely care journey together so that sustainable decisions can be made at the outset.
If the choice of care made is not sustainable and the family cannot afford to top up the care costs when the money runs out, the care arrangements are likely to be reviewed, and a move to a cheaper care provider may be necessary.
That move can be hugely upsetting for families and detrimental to the health of the loved one in care.
Many people have said to me in the past; they don’t think their loved one will survive too long at the point where they have moved into care.
However, it is often the case that loved ones can outlive these expectations because moving into a good quality care setting means they are so well cared for.
Moving into residential care means relatives are stimulated, medication administered is correctly, and on time, they are well hydrated and receiving quality food and nutrition in the care environment.
So where do you start when it comes to thinking about care for a loved one?
It covers the key areas you need to think about when planning, arranging and funding long-term care needs.
Within the guide, you will find everything from how to get a care needs assessment, support for carers, welfare benefits, local authority funding, NHS funding and if you need to sell your home to pay for care costs.
My top 3 tips for anyone thinking about or helping to arrange care for a loved one:
1 – Plan early if possible or at least consider what your loved one’s wishes would be and discuss with the wider family and Lasting Power of Attorney – that way if a crisis happens it can reduce the overwhelm of making those decisions during a crisis.
2 – Have an idea of the cost of care and how it could be funded before you sign the care contract – don’t address care and money separately. Making independent provision for care needs gives freedom of choice in deciding on the timing, location and type of care received.
3 – Ensure your later life affairs such as legal, financial and long-term care planning are in order, and this will mean less stress for everybody.
The most successful plans are those that are worked on early as that usually gives more options and avoids running out of money and all the stress that goes with it.