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Trying to find help for an older relative can be harrowing. Overnight, they may be struggling to look after themselves. And no one in authority seems to answer the telephone.

 It’s easier getting God on the phone


You are on your own, wanting to know how to get help with a range of problems:


  • Does your parent need carers?  Where would you get them? Would a couple of visits a day be enough anyway?

  • Where can you get advice? The doctor? Social Services? Charities?

  • Should Mum go into a care home? But where? You hear such terrible stories.

  • Should Dad go to hospital?  Is this a temporary condition? Does he just need treatment?

  • Should you have them live with you? Will 'they' think your parent is ok? Will it be an excuse for doing nothing?

If you are in the midst of a crisis, a sudden collapse of health you just want to know what to do NOW.


  • Make sure your parent is safe - see here. This will take the immediate pressure off.

  • If they cannot go to hospital, call for them to be 'safeguarded'. This means getting in touch with the local authority, which is hard. You may need to take them to hospital.  You can ask for a local authority assessment. 

  • Once you know if they will be able to return home, you and they can make decisions about the future.

  • DO NOT BE BULLIED INTO agreeing that your parent should go into A CARE HOME OR ANYWHERE ELSE, if you are being called to make a decision. You do not have to. 

  • Once your relative is safe, you will have more time to think and can delay.

  • You will come under pressure to take on care. If this is not possible, say so. 

  • But if you are not present, you will not be able to make sure your relative receives appropriate care and treatment. Older people often need an advocate - even if they can speak for themselves - because people do not listen to them. 


A surprising amount of help is available to make older people’s lives better.

  • You need to be persistent.

  • Prepare to listen to canned music, as you wait for someone to answer the phone, and then get ready to ring back because no one ever comes back to you.

  • Help is not all in one place, nor is it consistent across the country.

  • Try, try and try again and you may make contact with those whose job it is to help.

 Local Authorities can be indispensable and social workers are key to many services

– even if you are self-funding. 

You just have to keep calling. Much depends what help you are looking for.





Help with Everyday Problems
















































































Incontinence Nurses

Huge issue for many older people and help is at hand - who knew?...

Help with Money

Funding may be available from various sources and need numerous forms completed.

Help with Care

Help with social care and advice on residential care generally comes from social workers

GPs are the first port of call for most problems you may have. From dementia to mobility. Talk to your GP and they can refer you to get the help you need.

The Local Authority/Social Workers

The Local Authority, generally in the person of a social work professional, is the gateway to a lot of help. They can help you get funding for care, money off council tax and they are linked to a lot of other agencies.

Occupational Therapists

Key to a whole range of practical measures and advice - can help with home adjustments and provide specially adapted furniture and products. They will come to your home and do a full audit of your needs 

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