Now that the winter months are upon us, it’s time to think about the impact on the elderly and vulnerable. With the preponderance of food banks, the ubiquity of the ‘heating or eating dilemma, and the many other issues that come with a rapidly aging population, I think these are topics that really need to be discussed. To that end, this is the first in a series of features about issues that effect the elderly and vulnerable, particularly in the winter months. Today, I am tackling the issue of how to stay independent in your own home.
As someone who is not only disabled but has previously had a fairly lengthy stay in temporary accommodation after my marriage dissolved, I know the importance of having somewhere to call home. Somewhere you can go to feel safe and content, to build a life for yourself.
Though only 32, I need help to complete many everyday household tasks, including preparing a meal and washing my hair. This is also true for many elderly people, who may have health issues or may just have become frail. It is important that they are supported, as I am, to carry on living in their own home and live as independently as possible.
I have found people for care positions in a variety of ways. You can search on Gumtree or a similar listing site, or look as ads in the local paper. You can also search the web as a whole, using s search engine such as Google.
If, for example, you live in the Suffolk area then you will want to look for local care services. Searching for support worker jobs Ipswich or can help you find the right people. It is always important to meet the person you are considering hiring and asking them any questions you think will assess their suitability for the job. It is often helpful to have a relative or friend with you at this point.
You can also contact an agency who specialise in providing support workers. Their employees will already be CRB checked and up to date with all training needed to help assist you in your home environment. The down side is that you will pay alot more than if you employ someone directly.
My best advice to anyone considering getting in outside help is to contact your local adult services. They will assess the needs of yourself or a loved one and make an action plan based on what it best for the individual in question. They can also help guide you through the process of hiring outside help, as well as providing funding if you are on a low income.
Getting in a support worker or ‘carer’ as they are often referred to can seem like a huge step back, but speaking from personal experience I can say that making that move has really enriched my life. Having help and support to do the things I find difficult, and for my particular medical needs means I have more time and energy to do the things I love. This has vastly increased my sense of wellbeing, and conversely my level of independence, which is far better than it was before I engaged a support worker. One of my support workers has been with me for 4 years, and I consider her a friend. She even came to my wedding. For that I am so very grateful.
If you have any questions about how to engage a support worker for yourself or a loved one, please do feel free to email me via. the contact me page, or comment below.