Caring for an elderly relative is a strong commitment that most are more than willing to carry out for their loved ones as they enter more fragile years.
By providing care for an elderly relative there can be many moments of fulfilment as you help to provide a better way of life for someone close and in need. However, most carers’ responsibilities are not just the soul care of one person. The task of having to juggle many different aspects of their own life can often leave carers in as much need of help as those they look after.
There are individual carers who have the time, skills and financially strong background to cope with the added pressure of caring for a relative at home. However, many can find the extra responsibility overwhelming.
Thankfully, there are ways that the government can help you care for an elderly relative at home. By becoming a carer you are entitled to an assessment of your needs to help care for your relative properly. You can apply for a carer’s assessment by heading to the Carers Direct page.
This assessment does not judge your caring skills or put you under any extra pressure or scrutiny. It is simply an assessment to see how much support you need. As a result of filling out an honest assessment someone may come out to help you with personal care of your relative. This can give you short breaks and also extra funding if you are between 16-65 and providing over 35 hours a week of care.
The section 47 assessment can also help; this is community care assessment that directly looks at the support your elderly relative needs. This assessment is carried out by the local services department. This assessment is an important step in providing care for your relative as it can help financially with home adaptations and getting specialist equipment.
Upgrading your home may have to be an essential step to providing the best care for your relative. If your relative is disabled or slow to move then there could be a need to widen doors, lower shelves, install grab bars and most importantly redesign the bathroom.
Many older people needing care need to feel they are still independent. By improving the bathroom it will help the person in care to remain positive about being independent in terms of personal hygiene. By introducing a walk in shower with seats it allows for straightforward cleaning, grab bars to ease movement and a wet room type design ensures that it is much easier to feel safe about your relative in the bathroom alone.
When constantly caring for an elderly relative it is important to have regular breaks and ensure your life still has some variety to it. Try and enlist help from others to give you a break to socialise. Depression among carers is not uncommon and it could affect the relationship you have with the person you are caring for.
Don’t be afraid of asking for help; charities such as Help the Hospices and Crossroads are there to provide respite for you and your family.