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SOS! My Ageing Loved One Needs Help!

So you've been spending more time with your loved ones over the festive season and you've noticed their health has started to decline... what now?

*Firstly, I'd tune into Episode 58 of The Truth About Ageing podcast, but if you don't have time for that I've included a summary below...

Firstly know that you're not alone. Many individuals become concerned over the festive period that their loved one needs a bit more help. It often serves as a time marker and allow you to compare how they were doing at the same time last year. You might have noticed that they're not walking as confidently, that they're not as well-kept as usual, that they're losing weight, the house isn't clean or a myriad of other red flags.

It's important to note that none of these things on their own are cause for crisis. They're all indicators of change and it's worth unpacking and understanding the depth of that change.

In the podcast episode I discuss two hypotheticals... Scenario A, where your loved one doesn't receive any help at home and Scenario B, where they already receive some assistance.

In both Scenario A and B you're going to start with a conversation. It's important this is gentle, open and free from judgement. You want to understand how they feel they're doing and gently share some of your observations with them. Worth noting that this will likely require a number of discussions before your loved one is accepting of care.

Once your loved one is open to services, the next step is the get assessed. This involves contacting My Aged Care and requesting an aged care assessment. From there they will begin to determine what may be suitable for your loved one.

Once they're approved, it's then coordinating the services and finding a suitable provider.

In Scenario B, you're also going to start with that conversation. Even if they already receive assistance, you still need to tread gently with your observations and concerns.

You can then either a) be re-assessed (if you don't have access to additional services) or b) increase services (if you have surplus funding).

If care at home is no longer suitable, then respite and permanent care can become an option. I strongly encourage families to consider maximising assistance at home before looking at permanent care options, however there is definitely a time and place for full time care.

If you are currently struggling to navigate this space for your loved one and would like some assistance, please head over to my Contact page and send me through your details. I'd love to work with you and your family to connect you with the support you need.

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