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How incapacity affects the individual and wider family

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Finding suitable care for yourself, a relative or friend can be extremely daunting and it can be very difficult to know which way to turn, especially if the care is needed in an emergency situation rather than over a gradual time period.

Having access to practical advice and a structured process to follow can be very helpful for everyone involved.

What do you do when you think an elderly loved one needs care assistance? Small changes in their behaviour or day to day pattern of doing things that can mount in to larger challenges are the sorts of things to be looking out for. Are they becoming forgetful, becoming disinterested and not taking as good care of themselves? This is when it may well be time to seek outside help from services such as Home Instead Senior Care York & Ryedale, Healthwatch York, Age UK York, York Carers Centre and professional advice on the legal and financial aspects from a Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) accredited lawyer and Society of Later Life Adviser (SOLLA).

The Home Instead Senior Care York & Ryedale team offer a Needs Assessment Worksheet  and Home Safety Checklist as part of their Take Care – Caregiving Guide, which helps you better understand your loved one’s limitations and the potential needs requiring help or support. This can be a great tool to highlight the level of incapacity and what can be done to help and what support is available to the wider family to help them with care need expectations.

Having an ill or disabled relative can place burdens on family caregivers and non-caregiving family members. The illness can affect many aspects of family members' lives, from physical, financial and emotional health to quality of life and well-being. Family members can experience strong emotions, such as guilt, anger, sadness, fear and anxiety.

According to the ‘Age UK Briefing: Health and Care of Older People in England 2019 published in July 2019’, between 2017 and 2040 the population of people aged over 65 is projected to increase by 49 per cent. The numbers of people aged over 85 – the group most likely to need health and care services – is projected to rise even more rapidly, nearly doubling from 1.4 to 2.7 million over the same period. By 2040 the total number of disabled older people is projected to increase by 67 per cent to 5.9 million. An ageing population means increasing numbers of carers over 60; around two thirds of whom also experience long-term health problems or a disability.

Our care and legal system is complex and confusing so timely advice is vital to avoid later complications. Specialist legal advice from SFE members ensures older and vulnerable people and their families and carers will get the impartial advice to act in the best interests when caring for an elderly person including nursing home fees, tax planning, selling your home, equity release schemes, immediate care insurance plans, funding long terms care, contracts for care home, making a Will, living Wills, lasting powers of attorney, court of protection, gifts or estate planning and much more.

Solicitors for the Elderly is a national organisation committed to providing and promoting high-quality legal services for older people, their family and carers. Members of SFE have a wealth of experience within this key legal area and they are required to have spent a substantial amount of time working for elderly clients so you can be confident about the service you receive.

The decisions and plans you make now will have a huge impact on your later life. Getting them right is essential. An SFE accredited solicitor is an expert in elder client law and will ensure you get the best possible legal advice for your future or the future of a loved one.

SFE solicitors understand the issues affecting older and vulnerable clients and follow a strict code of practice that has respect and dignity at its heart. They are committed to providing affordable, high quality legal advice and will ensure any decisions are your own. SFE solicitors understand the wider, often sensitive, issues around health, care and family that might affect your plans for later life.

Sharon Richardson and Belinda-Jane Poulter, solicitors in our Private Client team at our York office, are both accredited members of Solicitors for the Elderly and have a wealth of experience within this key legal area and they are required to have spent a substantial amount of time working for elderly clients so you can be confident about the service you receive. If you would like advice for yourself or an elderly member of your family, do not hesitate to contact Sharon or Belinda on 01904 624185. Find out more about our elderly client services.