Nobody wants to think about it, but if you are over 45 years old then along with other life commitments such as work, marriage and children you may need to start looking ways to help or care for your elderly parents.
So, this week will give you some tips and guidance on getting help for your elderly parents.
Where To Begin?
Carers UK say that in the UK today there are 6.5 million people who are carers and a large percentage of these are people caring for a parent.
It could feel a bit overwhelming trying to sort all of this out, so let’s break it all down into separate sections that may make it a bit easier to tackle.
Can your parents live on their own? If they can but will need help then how far away do they live from you?
Your instinct will always be to look after them of course, but bear in mind how much travelling will be involved and how the time will impact on your work and your own family or relationships.
If you don’t think that they can live on their own, there are several options to consider.
Moving House Options
You may think it is a good idea for your parent or parents to move in with you, which if you have a huge house with many bedrooms, is the obvious choice.
But let’s face it, most of us don’t have a huge house with many bedrooms. So, it is important to try to put emotions aside for a moment and think about the practical implications.
If your parents moving in with you is likely to cause stress and strain then they too will feel the stress and strain.
Obviously, if they or you have the money then buying a house near to where you live is a good but expensive option.
One less expensive option, if you have a reasonably sized garden, is an annexe. They cost less than a house, you don’t need to take out a mortgage and you get a modern, spacious one or two bedroomed annexe with a fitted kitchen.
Here at iHUS we provide many types and sizes of granny annexes, custom made annexes and can offer full project management. You can download a full brochure here.
Instead of moving and if you will struggle with being able to care for your parents, then consider supported accommodation, a professional carer or the possibility of having to move into a care home.
Who Can Help You Look After Elderly Parents?
Are you able to share the responsibility with any brothers and sisters? This may make caring for your parents more manageable.
Contact your local authority, they should be able to provide you with a needs assessment which will tell you what services are on offer along with a means test that will let you know if they can help financially.
They may be able to help provide any equipment that may be needed, such as modified shower rails and walk-in baths.
There are also Disabled Facilities Grants that are available, these grants are for helping to make changes to your parents’ home so that they continue to live on their own. For more information in this, our iHUS changing places company wrote about disabled facilities grants here.
You may also wish to consider a power of attorney; this is used if elderly people are unable to look after their own finances. For example, if the suffer from dementia or have to stay in hospital.
Age UK have an excellent guide on power of attorneys and will take you through every stage of the process.
Speaking of Age UK, they are a good source of information and help.
Benefits To Help You Look After Your Elderly Parents
There are different types of benefits that a carer may be able to get, if you head over to the UK Governments benefit page, they go through each benefit comprehensively and the next steps to take.
Finally, we think it is very important that if possible when you look at getting help for your elderly parents that everything is discussed with your parents openly.
This is an incredibly sensitive subject and if people think others are talking about them and making plans without their input, it could be quite distressing.
So, by broaching the subject openly you can all plan together and they retain control of their lives and you can all help each other.
Get In Touch
If, after reading this you would like to talk to us about granny annexes or would like some more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.