A survey published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlights the stresses faced by the so called Sandwich Generation, people who care for both young children or grandchildren and older loved ones, as they choose care for an older relative.
In the survey 8 out of 10 people said that choosing care for an older relative is one of the most stressful moments in their life – ranking it higher than getting married, moving home, choosing how to give birth, finding a school for a child and getting divorced.
The survey also revealed the important factors in choosing either homecare or residential care, things like ‘a service with friendly, compassionate and well-trained staff’ and ‘a service that offers a choice of time for visits’.
Commenting on the findings, John James Managing Director of Home Instead Fareham and Gosport, said,
“I fully sympathise with the many people who are faced with finding care for a relative; just knowing where to start in making a choice is challenging enough.
But most people leave decisions about care until it’s too late and this adds a lot of stress to an already difficult situation.
What we would urge people to do is to put plans in place before a crisis situation occurs. At Home Instead we talk about the 40/70 rule. It’s simple, if you are in your 40s and you have a parent in their 70s then now is the time to start talking about what the future should look like if they should ever need care.
Would they, for example, like to remain at home for as long as possible or would they prefer to move to a care home?
The moment that this decision is made it’s really important to then find the best quality care. In this regard we would urge people to gather as much information as they can. Speaking to friends is an obvious one, make enquiries at the GP practice, local charities can be a useful source of information, see what choices are available to you in your local community and contact them to start the process of identifying those that meet your requirements.
Arrange to meet with potential providers and talking to them should be a key component of any decision and we are always happy to meet on a no cost, no obligation basis to allow people to make an informed choice.”