Accessing The Right Support At The Right Time

Published: 08/06/2015

This article looks at the value of accessing the right support at the right time and value of planning when providing care to help someone remain independent

Often questions about care don’t arise until there is a crisis. This may be something like a sudden change in circumstance (such as a fall or accident) or a relative who has provided support which gets all a little too much to manage.

When such a crisis arises, it can be difficult to know the right steps to put in place any support which may be needed. Also, information about the right support can seem fairly disjointed or challenging to find.

This short article aims to provide some detail about what support that is available, how to access it at the right time and shed some light on the value of planning ahead.

What support is available?

Having the right type of support is crucial to maintaining an independent life and there are a number of different services available that may help. Also, for individuals (such as family and friends) who may be classed as unpaid carers, there is support available to help them.

Instead of running through a list of the excellent services which are available, the below example from Jean’s life should help give some understanding.

Jean’s Life Example

Jean is a fictional 95 year old lady whose husband has supported her for many years because her Parkinsons meant that his help was needed throughout the day. Steve retired from a well-paid job in a hospital so he could care for her.

Steve knew that he couldn’t do everything by himself so got in touch with his local carers organisation who made sure that, as an unpaid carer, he was supported. This made sure he was able to provide Jean with the best support possible.

The carers organisation was able to put Steve in touch with people who can help provide additional services to help Jean continue living well. This included specific support from a Parkinsons peer group who taught coping techniques which helped give Jean confidence and Steve know he was not alone.

In her early 80s, Jean was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Steve was finding that he was not able to give the support that Jean’s increased needs required. The carers organisation was very helpful and provided Steve with a few options including some short periods of respite, care at home or making a move into a local sheltered housing village.

As Jean wanted to continue living at home, Steve made arrangements to help her do so for as long as possible. He arranged for Jean to spend some time at a local day centre along with someone to visit in the morning and evening to help her to and from bed. He was even able to access some funding to help him have a little time away for the first time in years!

When Jean was 92, she was still enjoying life at home and although her care needs had increased, Steve was able to help her live the life she wanted. Instead of moving into a care home, Steve arranged for a 24 hour Live-in Carer who slept in the spare room and they were able to support Jean together.

Jean is now 95 and has the right support in place to continue living-well. She continues to live at home Steve is able to enjoy the time he spent with her whilst having the peace of mind that his wife is safe and he is not alone.

How do I access the right support at the right time?

The key thing Steve did was to put the right support in place at the right time which was as soon as he started supporting Jean. This helped avoid a crisis situation where there was suddenly a need for urgent support.

If you feel that some additional support may be required for yourself, family or friend, the first thing to do is to speak with your GP, consultant or healthcare professional who talk about what may be suitable and directly make any referrals if needed.

Following this, your Local Authority will complete a review that will determine what type of care is required and how it will be funded. If care is required, the Local Authority has a duty to make sure it is provided.

If you are an unpaid carer, a local carer’s organisation will be able to help you find and arrange the right support for you. They will also help support you in accessing the right type of support for the person you are caring for.