Advice & Guidance

Book Case

Getting Organised

Are you wondering how best you can help? If you are considering the type of support your elderly relative might need, then this guide summarises some of the issues you might want to consider discussing with them.

We have worked with our Carents to develop this guide which summarises the common problems and issues which you might want to consider when planning to help your elderly relative. You will find more detailed information in the relevant sections of our Book Case and in Our Neighbourhood Directory.

The Carents Room Getting Organised Guide

Older people tend to have multiple medical problems which need regular treatment and checks. They are also at more risk of becoming seriously ill if they become unwell. Problems like falls, chest or urine infections, and dehydration are common in older people and can be dangerous without prompt attention

You might consider scheduling health check-ups and tests, medical appointments, prescriptions and possibly securing specialist supplies or products such as hearing aid batteries.

Our checklists and guides in our book case will give you more information to help you address these issues. You might also find additional sources of help and support in our neighbourhood directory.

This category covers a broad range of activities which are sometimes classified as social care or assisted living.

Because of problems like fatigue, breathlessness, memory loss or poor mobility, many older parents experience difficulty with simple daily activities such as washing and bathing, shaving, dressing, toileting, or cooking.

Sometimes an elderly parent might cope well at home but need help for activities in the community such as dental appointments, shopping, haircuts, or new glasses.

Our checklists and guides in our book case might help you to consider some of the things you might need to discuss or plan for and put you in touch with services or products which can help. You might also find additional sources of help and support in our neighbourhood directory.

Many carents help out with shopping for weekly groceries and toiletries alongside less frequent purchases like clothing, footwear, underwear, gifts etc.

You might find that the usual shops or retailers cannot meet the specific needs of your parent. For example, some older people need specialist clothing, underwear or footwear to accommodate medical problems like lymphoedema or swollen feet. Or, some parents might prefer to have ready-made meals delivered to their home rather than having to cook for themselves. If this is the case, we aim to help by putting you in touch with professional and reliable experts who can help with specialist supplies.

Most older people want to live in their own home, but running a home (with all the regular activities like cleaning, laundry, refuse, gardening and maintenance) can be difficult if they become unwell. Planning for these activities can help you to make the most appropriate arrangements to suit everyone involved. Don’t forget other responsibilities like repairing, replacing and servicing essential items such as boilers.

If your parents are struggling with their health or memory then routine financial matters like utility bills, tax and pensions or banking might all become too much. In this instance it is essential that someone can act on their behalf and with the necessary authorisation.

Similarly, as their health fails, your parents might start to develop clear ideas about their preferences for health and care, who should take decisions on their behalf and plans for their estate.

These are often difficult issues to discuss and further complicated by an array of legal jargon and paperwork.

The information in our book case is designed to help you consider, discuss and reconcile these issues.

Carents commonly consider Lasting Powers of Attorney

Celebrations, family meals, Christmas cards, gifts, letters, trips out, are important to us all regardless of age. Keeping up to date address books, calendars and schedules can help you to support your parent so that they can participate as fully as they would like.

Interacting inevitably entails phone calls, post, and all sorts of correspondence even junk mail. Dealing with this can be challenging if your parents has any vision, hearing or memory problems.

Some carents find that they act as a personal assistant or informal translator but taking on these roles can have all sorts of repercussions which you might want to consider more fully by consulting relevant information in our book case.

Driving, stairs, slippy floors, cold weather – getting around inside and out, can all become harder with any mobility, memory, balance, breathing or circulation problems.

Modifying the home, using aids and accessing support like the blue badge scheme can help. We explore these issues in the Getting About and Adapting the Home shelves of our book case

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