The first Carers’ Group of 2019 proved to be a well attended and emotional event.
We welcomed two new members, including one who comes to our Friendship Group.
Given the numbers we asked for issues that people were keen to discuss, allowing them time towards the end for any additional topics.
Finding good care-in-the-home providers
A regular subject for discussion, but one that does not have a simple answer. The group suggested using contacts, personal recommendations, searching on-line and reading the Care Quality Commission reports and guidance (see here for their site).
Social Services will complete a care assessment for adult support on request. This is a key first stage in both finding and accessing services, and discovering what financial support (if any) is available. More information here.
A carer also has the right to a carer’s needs assessment on request see here.
If you are being supported by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust you may find details of their services here. You will see they have a care planning service (mental health) which is separate to the Memory service
When is the right time to look for a Care home?
Group members who have loved ones currently in care homes provided their personal experiences of when “the right time” arrived for them. This is a very emotive subject and members were emotional when discussing this life changing decision.
We had several, very positive, examples of how people had moved into care homes. There still remained a huge burden of emotional issues to deal with for someone who was still alive but “no longer there”.
A helpful perspective was that people in care homes could flourish and also still have days out. If a home did not suit the person they could change it for a different one. It was also possible, for some, to return to their homes.
The emotional impact of sudden changes in a loved one
How do you cope with a situation where someone is fit and healthy and, suddenly, they are rushed into hospital – are later transferred into a care home – and now may never return home? Or, your loved one suddenly becomes extremely threatening and violent and is taken immediately into care?
The group gave members the chance to say how they felt, what it meant to them and how their lives had changed.
We discussed support from family and friends and counselling.
The NHS have information on counselling here. As this is a “talking therapy” it depends on openness and honesty.
Greenwich carers’ centre (The Stables, at Charlton) provide mentoring and counselling support. More information here.
And finally, we discussed GPS trackers – see my post here.