Here is a list of things you should discuss with your elderly relative prior to the assessment and have ready for the appointment.
1. Discuss the main issues with your older relative, so that you can agree on the problems together. It is important that you discuss this together, so that when you have the assessment, you and your older relative do not contradict each other about the care which is needed.
2. It is essential to make a full list of medical issues and also medication which your older relative is taking. It is a good idea to meet with your older relative’s GP prior to an assessment (you will probably have done so already, as they might have instigated it) to agree a comprehensive list.
3. It is helpful to let the assessor know about your elderly relative’s routine.
Given that your elderly relative is having a care assessment because they need care an support, it is important to discuss with them what their preferences would be in terms of care.
Your older relative’s local council will have details online or at their offices about the care services they provide and the eligibility criteria. It is a good idea to review this prior to the assessment, so you understand how the care assessment will be conducted and what care you might expect following the assessment.
Helping your older relative to stay at home might mean adapting the bathroom to ensure they do not need to step into a bath, attaching grip rails by the toilet, ensuring the stair lighting is adequate or even providing raised toilet seats for tools to help with opening jars and tins. For mobility problems, hoists can be supplied, as well as walking frames and wheelchairs. There might also be a requirement for in house monitors to prevent wandering or falls.A social worker and occupational therapist will help your relative to get the items they need to remain at home safely and comfortably.
Social services can provide carers to come into your older relative’s home and help with washing, dressing, cleaning, laundry, eating and getting in and out of bed. You may be provided with a personal budget to choose your own care.
If your older relative can no longer manage at home, social services will work with you on how to move them to a suitable care home, dependent on their needs. There are several types of care home. They might be run by the local authority, by a charity or by private firms.
If your older relative has difficulty living at home because of poor mobility or other problems, it still makes sense to try to keep them in their own home if possible. It might be possible to get kitchen surfaces lowered to allow for wheelchair use, provide easier storage, to widen doorways for wheelchairs or walking frames and improve flooring and lighting as fall prevention methods. This should all be looked at within a care assessment.
Social services can provide help to older people in terms of transport and help them to get out and about to meet like-minded people in community centres. Such centres are invaluable to many older people to prevent loneliness and isolation. Additionally, the local authority may run volunteering schemes, to help your older relative to remain active and engaged within the community. Your older relative’s local authority should have a full list of activities.
Day centres provide food, company and activities and food, which many older people will struggle to access if they always remain at home. They can also provide daily respite care for family carers. Your older relative’s local authority should have a full list of day care centres
The funding of all of the above should be discussed with your older relative as part of the care assessment provided by the local authority.
Looking after an older relative is difficult and stressful. You can get a carer assessment which will help you with respite care and support.
If your older relative has an on-going health condition, they might be eligible for NHS Continuing Care. Discuss this with your relative's GP and at the care assessment.