Carer Guide

Experience shows us that many people start looking for care only when something happens to force the issue: a fall, a hospital stay, problems with memory, a decline in personal hygiene, the loss of a husband or wife. These are all triggers that can create a sudden and urgent need to find a safe environment quickly.

Naturally, Sunrise can help you at this difficult time by calmly and clearly explaining the options available to you. We have helped many thousands of families who have faced exactly this sort of crisis in the past. So, however big the challenges you face may seem, you can be certain that we will have already seen – and tackled – similar challenges in the past.

Once you’ve made that first phone call to Sunrise, you can stop feeling anxious or guilty and start planning for a brand new stage in life for you and your loved ones.

That ‘difficult’ conversation

Very often, families find they’ve been aching to talk to each other about the issue of care for years.

Ageing parents feel as if they don’t want to ‘burden’ their children. Older people can also fear that raising the subject ‘too early’ could spark a premature move into care, before they are ready. There can be worries, too, about pets or about leaving behind a much-loved garden, or moving away from friends and neighbours.

The younger generations can feel awkward about bringing up the topic, fearing that they may be seen as trying to force their parents or parents-in-law into a home against their will. There can be feelings of guilt or concern that you might be seen as “abandoning” loved ones to a care home.

Then, of course, there is the issue of how care will be paid for. Financial discussions can be one of the hardest parts of the conversation.

Starting the conversation is the difficult part. Begin by finding a topic which enables you to bring up the subject naturally. Think carefully about whether or not you’ve noticed changes in life. These can sometimes be quite difficult to spot as they can occur slowly over time and people simply get used to dealing with them. This is in no way a comprehensive list. But ask yourself if any of these observations ring true:

  • A change in eating habits, resulting in weight loss, loss of appetite or missed meals?
  • Lower standards of personal hygiene, such as wearing dirty clothes or body odour?
  • A home that is not as clean as you remember?
  • Changes in behaviour, such as being unusually loud or quiet, ‘paranoid’, agitated?
  • Changes in relationships with friends, family or neighbours?
  • Physical differences, such as burns or injury marks resulting from general weakness, forgetfulness or possible misuse of alcohol?
  • Lower activity levels, neglecting such activities that were previously important to them?
  • A change in memory condition, resulting in unopened mail, piles of newspapers or prescriptions being ignored?
  • Poor financial management, such as not paying bills, paying bills twice or more or hiding money?
  • Different purchasing behaviour, such as buying more than one subscription for the same magazine, increased purchasing from advertisements?

Sunrise Support

If you’re finding it difficult to start a conversation about care, every Sunrise care home has a Director of Community Relations who will be able to advise you. We have helped thousands of families to tackle this difficult subject over the years. We can help you too. Simply contact your local Sunrise.