The UK is currently experiencing an explosion in the elderly population. As we get older, simple tasks can become difficult and even dangerous so it’s important you know what support is available should you need it.
Contact your council
You do not need to be receiving financial help to be eligible for support from your local council. They should be able to tell you what help and support is available to you, and even refer you to and put you in touch with the correct agencies.
One of the worst things about growing older is the fear of losing independence. Many people do not relish the thought of going into care or a nursing home and wish to remain in their own homes able to make their own decisions.
A viable alternative is to arrange for any extra help you need at home yourself. If you have any doubts or are not sure where to look it is worth getting in touch with your local social services.
Full time live-in carers are an expensive but very effective option although the care is usually provided according to your needs through several individuals who can visit you in your own home at regular times.
You do not need to use an agency. It is possible to employ a care worker yourself although the process is somewhat complicated. You will need to draw up contracts as well as be aware of your duty to pay National Insurance contributions as an employer.
The government has a new policy regarding direct payments for care which could be used to this effect and new policies are being put in place in several different councils.
If you wish to remain living independently in your own home there are many changes you can make to make this easier for yourself. Whilst it is vital to address any issues you currently have, it is equally important to anticipate your future needs.
If you live in a house with stairs there will likely come a point where the stairs become enough of a hazard that you are unable to safely get up and down them alone. This is especially true of a house with one upstairs bathroom, for the cost of installing a downstairs you are far better off looking at installing a Stannah stairlift as a cheaper, quicker and more effective solution.
Other considerations need to be handrails, mobility ramps and even outside stair lifts if your front door is up steep steps. Kitchens can be adapted to make them much safer and easier to cook in and clean. Panic cords can be easily installed that will contact a relative, friend or social service to let them know of your predicament in the event of an emergency.