LOCAL: Why we should have ‘conversations about care’

When we ask the families of our client’s what advice they would give to others, the answer is almost unanimously “We wish we’d talked about care sooner”.  This is a familiar scenario, and there is often no ‘right time’ to have conversations about care with loved ones and it’s often left until it becomes an urgent need. 

This summer we’re encouraging families to talk about care – when you see relatives for a get together, holiday or BBQ why not find out a bit more about how they envisage their future lifestyle.  

“Just put me in a home!”

It’s very easy to avoid talking about care with our relatives – after all it’s not something we ever envisage needing, and often when the topic is addressed it’s often dismissed with a degree of embarrassed humour. However, if possible, finding out what those closest to us would really desire – and talking about the practicalities will make all the difference when the time comes to make decisions about care.  This is particularly relevant when someone has a condition like dementia, where future conversations are likely to become more challenging.  For example, find out whether they would wish to stay at home in familiar surroundings – or whether they really would prefer residential care.  You can read more about the benefits of live-in care for dementia for some more ideas.

Getting care needs in balance

When we meet family members who have been caring for their relatives, they’ve often been fitting in caring duties around their own busy lives.  There’s often the sense that they’ve waited until caring has become a burden, something which they ‘have to do’ rather than ‘want to’ do. Knowing that a professional carer can be there at pre-scheduled times brings peace of mind to families.  We’ve noticed that having a professional care company involved can also help to open conversations about care.  Families do of course continue to ‘care’ for their relative – but their visits can focus more on social aspects of care and enjoying their time together.

A professional care assessment covers so much more than just ‘care’

When we meet new clients to discuss their care plans, we look beyond what they need today to ensure that both the client and their families can think about the options they have going forward – and what they may need to consider when care needs increase. Whether this is funding for home care, including the potential cost of home adaptations, live-in care, or a potential move to residential care.  We’ll also highlight when legal documentation including Power of Attorney for health and welfare may be required. It’s advisable to get legal documents in place sooner rather than later if you think there is any likelihood that a family member will need to take decisions on behalf of the person receiving care.

We understand that care needs often result from an unknown urgency, triggered by a fall or hospital discharge, or the advancement of conditions like Dementia, Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis – and hindsight is always a great thing of course!

As professional carers we can’t always predict the future, but do have the benefit of working with 100’s of clients and their families, all who have been in similar situations to you and your loved ones.  We apply this knowledge and experience to develop a flexible care plan which not only accommodates your individual needs today – but also looks ahead to what you may need in the future.  Don’t be embarrassed to have a conversation about care, get in touch with The Homecare People on 0118 9977499. 

Minerva Studio
Author: Minerva Studio