A new free resource is now available from AAA members Age Space following research that has highlighted just how much time families and carers spend worrying about their elderly relatives.
The survey of over 700 people, part of a wider initiative called “Prepare to Care”, was carried out by elderly care experts and top findings include:
- Over 50% admitted they worry about their elderly relative(s) nearly every day;
- Nearly 80% spend more than five hours a week as a caregiver, with almost half of those spending over 20 hours a week (35%);
- Over 40% worry about what type of care might become necessary;
- Over a third of those being cared for do not have a personal alarm in case of falls at home, despite nearly half of carers revealing they are mostly concerned about falls;
- Nearly 40% do not know where their relative(s) will is stored and over a third of those surveyed report that their relative(s) has not arranged a Power of Attorney (POA), or they are not sure if there is one in place.
The survey showed that straightforward practical matters – such as having a spare set of house keys, a list of medications taken, bank account details and the name of the GP – were in place for over half the respondents. But the survey also revealed that some key financial and legal matters, including for example the location of a Will and whether or not a Power of Attorney is in place, are not as widely adopted, with less than half of carers having knowledge of either.
With increasing numbers of people taking care of ageing or unwell relatives, Age Space has now launched “Prepare to Care” to raise awareness of the practical matters to consider and important conversations to have. It has been designed to guide both those starting to care for an elderly relative as well as those who find circumstances have changed and more or different care is needed.
“Prepare to Care: Everything you need to get started with elderly care” provides practical advice and guidance to help carers deal with their biggest concerns for their relatives which the survey revealed as loneliness, Dementia, falls and types of care that might be necessary.
Age Space founder Annabel James said: “Our survey amongst people already caring for a parent or relative has highlighted some of the practical matters to deal with. With more people than ever taking on caring responsibilities it’s vital that we give them as much support as we can to help make the best decisions on all aspects of elderly care.”
Prepare to Care step by step guide includes:
- A checklist to help tell if elderly relatives need more help at home
- A guide to having the important conversations about care
- “Getting organized” – a checklist of seven things to prepare
- Diagnosis and support – why a care assessment is important
- Preventing falls at home – home adaptations, personal alarms and other practical ways to help people stay living in their own home
- The paperwork: Powers of Attorney, writing a Will and an Advance Directive
Concludes Annabel: “It can be so difficult, impossible even, to know what to do or where to turn for help caring for an elderly relative, whether you’re just starting out after an emergency, or if circumstances have changed and you need to make more decisions. This initiative will help signpost and guide people every step of the way.”
Copies of the Age Space Prepare to Care checklist can be downloaded from the website.