19 April 2017
The not-so-simple matter of trust
The not-so-simple matter of trust
Ensuring an older relative remains safe and secure while they are living at home can be a challenge; worrying about their safety when you’re not there can be emotionally exhausting. We know you can’t protect people 24/7, but there are precautions you can take to reduce risks and stress, for you and your relatives. Below is some advice on how to best protect your loved ones.
Find a trustworthy tradesperson
For those times when your relative requires some outside assistance around the home, the best
bet will usually be someone with whom you already have experience. Failing that, personal recommendation from someone you know is invaluable. It’s also worth noting that Age UK runs handyperson services specifically for older people, using only trusted people, as well as an online business directory.
The next most reliable way to find a reputable tradesperson is to look for TrustMark approval. TrustMark is a quality scheme backed by the government. We also recommend that, if your relative is vulnerable, that you or someone you trust is present when the tradesperson first visits.
Avoiding scams, conmen and burglary
Nuisance calls are problem enough in themselves, but sometimes the voice on the other end of the call isn’t just a pushy salesperson but a scammer. A basic rule to follow is that if you’re not expecting the call and you don’t know the caller personally, never issue any personal details at all, let alone address, bank details, PIN number, passwords etc. Registering with the Telephone Preference Survey will stop sales calls from reputable UK-based companies; if calls still come in and a simple ‘No, thank you’ doesn’t deter the caller, forget old-school good manners and hang up, they’ve got other people to harass. Your relative’s telephone provider can also help you out with barring numbers, enabling caller ID and ways of reporting scam/nuisance calls.
But it’s at the front door that older people often feel most vulnerable. We recommend putting up ‘No cold caller’ signs in the front window, installing a door chain and good lock, and making sure that your relative keeps back doors and windows closed and locked before answering the front door.
Give them simple written reminders, if you think it’s necessary: put the chain on, don’t let anyone you know into the house – even if the person claims to be from the gas company. Take the ID – but don’t phone the number on the card itself; instead look the main number up in the phone directory and call that. Never allow a tradesman or salesman into the house without a prearranged appointment.
It’s also worth contacting your local Neighbourhood Watch organisation or Safer Neighbourhood police team; they can give you more advice and check your relative’s home security is up to scratch. It’s important that large quantities of cash are never kept at home and that personal documents are locked away.
Choosing a care home
We know that staying at home isn’t an option for everyone and choosing a care home has its benefits – security, peace of mind and companionship. But it isn’t something many of us have experience in choosing, so what is important to look for when searching for the right care home for your relative?
When choosing a care home there are many things to consider. So we’ve put together a list below of some of the key things to think about.
Choosing the right location
It is important that family members maintain relationships with their loved ones so location should be a big consideration to ensure that you can still spend quality time together. For family members who live some distance away make sure that your chosen care home can assist residents to use Skype or Facetime.
Choosing the right type of care
It’s essential to ensure that you choose a care home that can cater for your loved one’s specific needs, even if they change over time. So you will need to know and understand what options are available such as residential, nursing or dementia care and which one is most appropriate for your relative. And, once a resident has moved into a care home it is equally important their care plan is reviewed regularly to meet any changing needs that arise.
What healthcare services are available?
It’s also worth investigating about the different healthcare services that a loved one can expect once they move into a care home. For instance will they have regular visits from dentists, opticians and podiatrists?
These are but a few considerations that you will need to reflect on and no doubt you will have many other questions too. So to make things a little easier, we’ve put together a helpful guide of all the things you need to think about when choosing a care home. You can download it here.
For more information, or to speak to us about our various care options, call your nearest care home today. You can also see a range of independent reviews of our care homes at www.carehome.co.uk.