Vitale Care: advice for family carers, what happens if you're not around?

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Caring for a family member can be deeply rewarding, but also a challenging, responsibility. Vitale Care Registered Manager Nicola Munday uses her many years of care experience to advise family caregivers about how important it is to plan for times when they might not be around.

Vitale Care's Nicola Munday said, "As professional carers supporting clients across the Chichester district, we must have contingency plans to ensure we can always support our most vulnerable clients. If you are a family carer it is crucial to plan for unforeseen circumstances where you might not be able to continue caring for your loved one."

According to data from Chichester Wellbeing, there are approximately 84,500 unpaid carers in West Sussex, with around 17,000 people providing 50 or more hours of care per week.

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"We believe that it is not sustainable to rely on family members to care for a growing elderly population," said Vitale's Nicola Munday.

Vitale Care: advice for family carers: what happens if you're not around?Vitale Care: advice for family carers: what happens if you're not around?
Vitale Care: advice for family carers: what happens if you're not around?

Vitale's Care Coordinator Keeleigh Powell explains, "Life doesn't always go to plan. If you are a family carer and you fall ill, or have a work or other family emergency, you may find you are struggling to pull together support for your loved one. This can add stress to an already difficult situation for both you and your loved ones."

Nicola Munday said, “The Vitale team has created a guide for family carers that offers essential advice on planning ahead and provides specific resources for those living in the Chichester area. You can read the full guide here”.

Create a Care Plan

A comprehensive care plan about your loved ones' needs and preferences can be a helpful document. It should include detailed information about the daily routine, medication schedules, dietary requirements, and any special needs or preferences of the person you care for. Ensure this document is easily accessible and regularly updated.

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Vitale Care's Keeleigh Powell explains, "As professional carers, Vitale Care creates a care plan with and for all our clients. It is updated regularly. It enables us to share information across a client's care team, notice any changes and ensure consistency of care. Whether we are supporting someone living with dementia, Parkinson's, stroke, cancer or mobility and frailty issues, care can be tailored precisely to their needs."

Involve Family and Friends

If you can, engage other family members and friends in the caregiving process.

Engage Professional Carers

Having Care Professionals as part of the caregiving team can be a lifeline.

Registered Manager Nicola Munday said, "Vitale's professional care can start from just an hour a week, with family and friends supporting at other times. If something changes, we can be flexible and provide more support as required."

Legal Preparations

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Make sure all legal documents are in place. This might include a power of attorney, a living will, or an advance directive. These documents ensure that the wishes of your loved one are respected and provide clear guidance to others in your absence

Financial Planning

Ensure that the financial aspects of caregiving are well-organised. This includes managing the budget, paying bills, and handling benefits and insurance.

Utilise Local Resources in Chichester

Chichester offers various resources and services for carers. Connect with these organisations and keep their contact information handy.

Local Resources:

Carers Support West Sussex: Provides information, advice, and support to carers in West Sussex.

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Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove: Offers support and services for older people and their carers. Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove

West Sussex County Council: Offers a range of services for carers, including respite care and financial support. West Sussex County Council Carers Support

Chichester Wellbeing: Provides support for carers, including health and wellbeing advice. Chichester Wellbeing

Planning ahead as a family carer involves creating a comprehensive care plan, involving family and friends and Care Professionals, preparing legal and financial documents, and utilising local resources. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your loved one continues to receive the care they need, even if you're not around.

Vitale’s Nicola Munday added, “Remember, we are here to help. Call our team to book a free care consultation.”

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