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How to Deal with Evolving Care Needs

14/01/2022

In this fourth instalment in our blog post series on professional care, we’re considering how to account for changing care needs.

Stability is a key element of any effective care plan, especially considering the vulnerability of many older people and the understandable need to feel in control of the situation. It’s only natural for loved ones and indeed their closest family to feel afraid and out of their depth when they reach the point that physical or mental support is needed. That’s why considering all eventualities at the outset is important as every member of the family can financially and emotionally prepare.

Ideally, these different scenarios should be considered while the family member is still in good health, sound mind and able to clearly express their own wishes for later life care.

Present and Future Care Needs

Care needs rarely remain the same and plans will look different for every family. While a family member may suddenly fall ill or become disabled and need urgent care, more commonly there are signs of physical or mental decline that we can look for and a more predictable care path that loved ones can use as a guide.

Many families choose to opt for in-home care at the outset in order to maximise independence and keep costs down. While support can vary from a few hours a week to 24-hour in-home care, the family must first decide for how long they wish to prioritise the individual living in their own home before residential care becomes the more sensible and cost-effective decision. This will depend on factors such as the individual’s own health and preferences and the budget available for care.

Considering the Implications of Specialist Nursing Care

Further down the line, specialist nursing care or dementia support may be required and this comes with its own set of costs and concerns. If family history or current circumstances suggest that specialist care might be needed in the future, we would generally advise considering a residential unit that offers both standard and more specialist care, and can increase the level of care provided if and when needed.

This would avoid the need to move the individual from a place that feels comfortable to a brand-new environment should the home you have chosen not have the required skills, facilities or qualifications to account for your changing needs. When specialist care is associated with mental health decline such as worsening dementia, this is especially pertinent to avoid the risk of the individual feeling scared and out of control about the changes taking place. But regardless of the individual’s condition, it will inevitably mean leaving behind the carers, friends and familiarity of their setting.

Changing care home also comes with all the additional stress, concerns and potential costs associated with choosing a new facility. For example, your family member may be tied into a contract in their current home and need to complete a notice period. It can also be challenging to find a new care home after the need arises as the sense of urgency can impact a healthy decision-making process.

Covering the Cost of Care

Working out how to cover the cost of care should always be a top priority because this will be the deciding factor in establishing a realistic, flexible care plan. Costs can vary dramatically depending not only on the type of care needed but also factors such as the facility chosen and your geographical location.

Talking to those you love the most about care can be one of the most challenging conversations of all. Our team at Vintage Wealth Management includes a number of advisers trained in later-life needs including specialist support for people and their families in need of care.

We offer holistic advice in the context of inter-generational wealth planning and provide a valuable source of unbiased, practical support to help everyone involved make the healthiest decisions.

We work alongside your family as your needs evolve, ensuring that you are making the most of the options available and your finances are structured to account for care costs most effectively. We can also guide you to understand the often-complex UK care systems and avoid the risk of any unexpected care costs by working out how your needs may change over time.

If you’re concerned about the health of a loved one and their ability to take care of themselves, check out our recent blog post on how to recognise when someone might need care. You can also have a no-obligation chat with one of our sensitive, qualified advisers – just give us a call on 020 8371 3111.

Disclaimer: The information contained within this communication does not constitute financial advice and is provided for general information purposes only. No warranty, whether express or implied is given in relation to such information. Vintage Wealth Management or its associated representative shall not be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical or other errors or omissions within the content of this communication.