With the Government issuing its cold weather alert and freezing weather forecast for the rest of the week, the welfare of our elderly relatives becomes a priority. A new survey reveals that a fall and illness are the top two triggers for reconsidering elderly care needs.
Peter Seldon, CEO of Consultus Care and Nursing, who commissioned the survey said, “It is clear that the winter and associated health and lifestyle problems may be a trigger for families to notice that their elderly loved ones may not be coping so well. Enquiries to our Care at Home and Nursing at Home teams increase by around 25% over the winter period, so clearly families are concerned.”
The Care Choice Gap survey identified the top ten triggers for reconsidering the care needs of the elderly as:
– A fall
– Illness/ increasing health problems
– Noticing memory loss
– Struggling to cope – with cooking, housekeeping or personal hygiene
– Daily living becoming more challenging
– The loss of a partner/parent
– Out-of-character behaviour
– Personality changes
– Weight changes
– A change in habits
Many older people hide their growing health problems or difficulties in coping, as they fear they may have to leave their home and lose their independence. According to The Care Choice Gap report, 97% of elderly people feel most comfortable in their own home, with only 3% of people identifying residential care as their preferred choice. A lack of awareness of all the options available and an unwillingness to talk about or plan for care, has led to many ending up in a crisis situation before acting.
Peter Seldon said, “We will all need care sooner or later and we strongly encourage people to plan for care in later life, hopefully avoiding a crisis situation and with the benefit of delivering the option people truly want.”