Posted by Debbie Harris
Whoever said ‘you can have it all’ was clearly misguided!
Many of us are experiencing a demanding time in our lives where we seem to be both cash and time poor (how did that happen?), when, on top of everything else, our parents urgently need support too – perhaps more than we can actually give them, however much we might want to.
So feelings of guilt and frustration often set in.
Presenting at a webinar with employees of London-based professional services firms recently, Autumna’s founder, Debbie Harris found just how significant an issue this is, and confirmed the knowledge gaps that exist amongst those who find themselves responsible for organising care for elderly parents, or even grandparents.
First of all, no one has any ‘spare’ time, and without knowing what is going to be involved in finding the best elderly care solution, it’s hard to know where to start.
Because we don’t tend to plan for later life care, we don’t know what to look for or where to go for guidance, despite the enormous amount of information that is actually ‘out there’. We tend to wait for the situation to reach a crisis point. It’s only then that we find that synchronising a variety of services is immensely challenging. It’s only then that we find that understanding the variety of options available for our ageing parents – whether that be care homes, home care, live in care - requires time-consuming investigation.
'This is precisely why Autumna was established: to provide information and access to everything you would need to know – in one place, and thus help you to plan effectively for the future – whether for yourself, your partner or your parents.'
The webinar attracted more than 300 participants, all of whom had responsibility for supporting their elderly parents in some way. They were all involved in trying to find their way through the social care maze.
Their main concerns and questions, when looking for care for an elderly relative, are highlighted below.
Some of the answers to those questions can be found here: Planning
2. Understanding the different elderly care options
Autumna answers these questions here: Care advice
3. Later life care funding options
Autumna partners with Eldercare Solutions who are accredited by SOLLA (Society of Later Life Advisers). Eldercare have some very helpful advice on Funding care here or they can be contacted free of charge on 0800 082 1155
4. The legal implications of making decisions on behalf of parents who need care.
The following final two categories that can be pulled out of the webinar responses illustrate the need for support in the more emotional areas involved in finding care for an elderly parent as well as the practical. They also highlight the value in planning early for later life care.
5. Managing the emotional challenges of taking care of parents
6. Providing support to ageing and ailing parents
We can all save ourselves a lot of worry and stress if we address a difficult subject in advance – before it becomes difficult – than if we ignore the future and just keep our fingers crossed, whilst that lurking elephant in the room becomes enormous.
As the manager of a truly wonderful care home in Tunbridge Wells said to Autumna just last week:
‘If more people planned for this in good time, they could come in here and really enjoy living, rather than just coming in expecting to die.’
Home Care Services
Live-in Care Services
Retirement Living Developments