Carers Top Tips
This page features top tips for carers, kindly sent in to us by other carers in Leicestershire. We hope you find them useful and please let us know if you have any tips you’d like to share. You’ll also find carers top tips in our newsletters.
This tip was given to us by one of our carers, Rita:
"When it was coming up to Christmas one year, and my brother asked if there was anything I would specifically like, I took a deep breath and said “Actually, yes there is; could you spare me a day, or even a weekend, to stay with dad, so that me and my husband could have some much needed time on our own, which I feel we really need, instead of a wrapped up gift for a change?” He said he’d have a think about it. I felt really awkward at the time of saying it, but actually, it was worth it, as that Christmas, my brother gave me a card he’d made up, with ‘A Week’s Breakaway’ on it, and he came and looked after dad for a whole week! This allowed me to ‘switch off my state of constant alert’ and recharge my batteries, and boy did I feel better for it! It did them both good too, allowing them to spend time together alone, which they don’t normally get. As the saying goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, and if they say no, you are no worse off than if you hadn’t asked! Hope this helps someone else who may be frightened to ask for help."
This tip was given to us by John Fairbrother, from our Melton Mowbray Carers Support Group:
“If you’re a carer who looks after the finances of a loved one, my tip would be to review the benefit arrangements regularly. To review any benefit arrangement every two or three years isn’t unreasonable, if the circumstances change, ask for a review immediately.
My mother had to go into a care home because she needed 24 hour care. After three year’s of self-funding, my mother’s savings were getting very low and she wouldn’t have been able to pay.
I applied to the local authority for help with care funding. During the process of assessment, I was told my mother would not receive her attendance allowance. I informed the assessor that my mother had not received any attendance allowance and the investigations continued.
The end result was that my mother received a cheque for several thousand pounds for unpaid attendance allowance. The funding for the care issue was also sorted and now my mother receives financial help with the monthly care bills.”
Many thanks John!
Here are some more top tips from our carers:
“Organise a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to avoid any problems with finance and care in the future. An LPA will allow you to make decisions on behalf of the person you care for, if they’ve lost the capacity to make specific decisions for themselves. But, the person you care for must be able to make the decision to grant the LPA in the first place, or it’s not an option. There are two types of LPA, financial LPA and personal welfare LPA. You can find out more at www.carersuk.org under Help & Advice.”
“Always have an escape plan in case of a fire. You can find out more and get help at www.leicestershire-fire. gov.uk under Communities and Safety.”
“If the person you care for has trouble getting in and out of cars, try using a plastic carrier bag on the passenger seat, to help them twist in and out.”
“If the person you care for has memory problems, use a wipe-clean ‘reminder board’ for useful information and instructions, to help guide them through each day.”
“Make sure you’ve made a will and that it’s up to date.”
“If the person you care for is your spouse or partner, and you own your home in their name, would it better if you owned 50% each?”
“To help empty a commode add about a pint of water and a cap of fabric conditioner before use. It smells nice, is better than disinfectant and makes it easier to empty afterwards.”
“If you need to blend food do each bit separately i.e. potatoes, carrots and meat so you still get colour on the plate.”
“Fix a toilet roll to the arm of your commode so you don’t have to look round for it.”
“Write down everything professionals say during visits to hospital and let them see you’re doing this.”
“Carers must do their best to join carers’ groups or other helpful groups run by charities for example. They’re a great source of information and useful tips.”