What Covid 19 has taught us about senior care is that people tend to ignore eldercare issues until it is too late. Covid-19 has sadly touched many areas of Irish society especially the lives of older people. Current events have highlighted the importance of family relationships and the importance of care for the elderly. Covid 19 affected people in different ways at different stages. In the beginning people over the age of seventy years in Ireland were asked to cocoon and that was detrimental to their mental health. They were also asked to stay away from their children and grandchildren to avoid spreading the virus and they missed their family members calling. Similarly people became rather nervous of seeing or visiting their neighbours and it was forbidden to enter another home for much of the pandemic. Thankfully these restrictions were lifted on 22nd January 2022 but some older people they suffered with loneliness over that time. Daycare centres were closed and it was very difficult to access services. Older people like to be independent and it was difficult for them to have to ask for lifts. As a result of the lack of physical activity many older people found that their mobility has reduced and that they are not as fit as they may have been had they been able to get outside more.
The pandemic put a strain on people who were caring for older relatives at home, as well as having to worry about carers coming into the house and potentially bringing the virus with them. For others it may be time to start considering a more formal system of eldercare now that the majority of the Irish population is vaccinated … Emer Lavin of Emer Lavin Eldercare says :
“What Covid 19 has taught us about senior care is that Irish society depends upon a reliable system of eldercare and in particular well run well resourced nursing homes. Having experience as an advocate in local nursing homes I have witnessed first-hand the tremendous care that nursing homes can deliver to their residents.”
Emer recommends open and frank discussion in families as the best course of action. A conversation about financing senior living needs to take place at the latest when a parent is over 70 years and adult children are aged over 40. Organising such conversations can feel awkward for those involved but will enable the parent to express their wishes and hopefully avoid disputes in the future. It is a good idea for parents to execute Enduring Power of Attorney which appoints a family member(s) to look after their affairs if they lose capacity in the future.
Many older people will go through three stages of care:
1) Family Care
2) Private Homecare Providers
3) Nursing Home Care
What Covid 19 has taught us about senior care is that there is a delicate balance to be struck between paying for private homecare and nursing home care in terms of timing. Family members may think they are doing the right thing by keeping parents at home for as long as possible but the financial costs of private homecare are considerable. Having been a carer herself Emer believes that caring for our loved ones does not need to be as stressful as many people find it if you have the right information to make informed decisions. Emer Lavin can help you navigate the Fair Deal Scheme. Everyone pays a financial contribution based upon 80% of their income and 7.5% of their assets. Emer has a legal background and holds Masters Degrees in Public Advocacy and Human Rights Law. She is an independent advisor and has a wealth of experience in helping older people and their families to navigate the Fair Deal Scheme.
Many families find it hard to understand the Fair Deal Scheme and they may be worried about losing their assets. If you would like to speak with Emer to get advice and information in relation to care of the elderly or filling out the Fair Deal application form please go to www.emerlavineldercare.ie to book a consultation.