Page 60 - Chichester and Arundel Lifestyle Nov-Dec 2019
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                choosing a care home
By Professor June Andrews. Her latest book is due out next year: ‘Care Homes: The One Stop Guide: When, Why and How to Choose a Care Home’
Here is a brief overview of the content...
‘Choosing a care home is one of the more emotional and expensive decisions that anyone ever makes. Your commitment usually amounts to tens of thousands of pounds, and will continue for an unpredictable time, perhaps years. It may never have crossed your mind to prepare for it. You may not have previously discussed what everyone, including the person going into the home, would like to happen when the day comes. You are probably doing this without experience, under time pressure, and in an emotional whirlwind, while adjusting to illness or loss
of capacity in a loved one. You might be reeling from the death
of one parent, while having to decide how to care for the other. You may have difficulty getting other family members to agree to your choices and feel judged by others - neighbours and friends and even the relative you are supporting - for what you eventually decide to do. Sometimes you had promised that you would never allow it to happen, but circumstances are against you.
We might not like to contemplate it, but half a million of us are in care homes at any time, so the chance that you or someone you love or care for will need this is high. If you’re prepared, you can make the best of it. In many cases, the resident has a really good time with kind, caring and knowledgeable friends. A good care home is a reward for a life well spent, and providing that care is a joy for the people who do it well. You want to avoid the pitfalls.
I’ve been working on this for many
years, as a nurse, a manager, and on
the board of a charitable care home. I
wrote the Dementia the One Stop Guide
which people said was really useful. I
work with people who are trying very
hard to make care homes the best they
can be. So, my new book that I’ve just sent to the publisher contains advice from experience about avoiding and then eventually choosing a care home. It will hopefully help others.’
You may also find that another publication by June ‘When Someone You Know has Dementia: Practical Advice for Families and Caregivers’ offers lots of practical advice. Financial issues, care homes and coping in general are covered in depth.
     Why talking about finances could help with your money worries
Talking about money remains one of the biggest taboos for us as a nation. In fact, research shows that people would rather speak to their loved ones about politics or religion than money problems, according to the Money and Pensions Service.
Although it can feel uncomfortable at first, these are conversations worth having as people who talk about their finances report feeling less stressed and more in control. Opening up can be the first step towards getting help.
Retirement can seem a long time away, but it’s important to think about your future and what kind of lifestyle you would like. Money
and Pensions Service figures show that 56% of working-age adults have not done very much or anything at all to plan their finances for retirement, so many of us need to think more about saving for later life.
If you have a partner, talk to them about how you want to live in retirement. Couples can have widely contrasting views about their finances so it’s important to discuss your goals to avoid arguments!
The first step is to work out your options in retirement, and then come up with a plan. You should look at your current pension savings to work out how much more you will need to save. Tools are available to help you estimate your income in retirement, such as the pensions calculator on the Money Advice Service website.
Whatever the situation, sharing decisions about spending and saving, and discussing money openly, will help avoid arguments and tension. Talk Money, Talk Pensions Week is the perfect time to get chatting about your finances and make sure you are on track for the future you want. For any questions about pensions you can contact the Money and Pensions Service by phone on 0800 011 3797.
Talk Money, Talk Pensions Week takes place on 18-22 November 2019
 talk Money, Talk Pensions

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