Looking after an older, disabled or terminally-ill relative, friend or neighbour can have many practical, financial and emotional challenges.
Conditions commonly associated with ageing are heart conditions, cancer, memory difficulties including dementia and depression, incontinence, arthritis, osteoporosis (bone thinning), diabetes, breathing problems, frequent falls, sleep problems, eye problems and weight loss.
These can affect mobility, confidence and independence.
If you are looking after an older relative or friend, you need to consider what help they might need. Are they able to stay in their own home with additional support, or do they need more intensive care? Do they need equipment fitted such as a stair rail or hand rails in the bath or shower? Do they need walking aids? Are there issues concerning memory that might affect safety (such as gas cookers)?
Getting an assessment from social care at your local authority might be a good place to start. Many GP surgeries now have a community matron who can assess frail, vulnerable or complex patients in their own home to signpost to local services and provide support. They will co-ordinate with district nurses and the GP.
And here are some resources that might help.
Community connectors – connecting your parents to activities, people and services in Horsley.
As our situations and needs change it can be difficult to know where to look for information and help. Neighbourhood Connections is a community project run by volunteers that aims to help people live well in the Horsley’s by offering a listening ear and providing information and guidance on support services, statutory and voluntary, as well as local activity and interest groups.
Do you need help with the following questions which are typical of those we are asked:
- how can I get transport for my parents to their dentist now they no longer drive?
- can anyone help with filling in forms for a blue badge or attendance allowance?
- who can I trust to provide honest advice on making their bathroom safe?
- how can I find a reliable gardener for them?
- is there an activity group in Horsley that shares their interests (and if so how can they join it)?
- where can I organise support for one of them if the other one needs to go out?
We can help with these and many other questions.
Booking an appointment : Neighbourhood Connections is based in Horsley Medical Practice and is normally available on Wednesday afternoons between 2.00pm and 4.00pm. Appointments can be booked by calling 01483 284151 and asking for a Neighbourhood Connections appointment.
Horsley medical centre, the local GP practice serving the Horsleys and the Clandons.
The Wheel of Care offers help, support, transport and activities which provide, exercise, companionship and friendship. This is available for any person residing in the parish of West Horsley. They also host four clubs a week – Scrabble, seated dance, chair yoga & a film club. Tel:01483 281703. The office is manned between Monday – Friday 10am – noon (excluding Bank Holidays).
Blue badge is a scheme for people with severe mobility problems. It allows Blue Badge holders to park close to where they need to go. The scheme operates throughout the UK and is managed by local authorities, who deal with applications.
Wheelchair provision (you will need a GP referral)
Meals on Wheels deliver hot meals to people unable to cook for themselves because of age or disability. This helps people remain independent in their own home.
Message in a Bottle scheme, run by the Leatherhead Lions, keeps information that emergency services would need, such as the Patient’s GP, medication, allergies, next-of-kin and dependents (pets to be fed etc.) on a paper form that is stored in a small plastic bottle in the patient’s fridge . A sticker on the fridge alerts the Emergency Services to its presence.
Action for Carers Surrey offers free advice and information to carers and parents carers living in the borough of Guildford.
Careline is a 24 hour emergency alarm system worn as a pendant. It enables people to live independently at home, knowing that help is at hand at the touch of a button.
Cruse bereavement care provides support after the death of someone close. Freephone 0808 808 1677
Citizens Advice Bureau (Guildford) help people with a variety of issues, including legal and financial, by providing free, independent and confidential advice, and by influencing policymakers.
Surrey Hubs (Guildford) offer advice and signposting to disabled people, older people, carers and their families. They are mobile and currently run drop-in sessions at Park Barn most Wednesdays 10am-2pm.
Citizens Advice Bureau Guildford offers free advice on issues relating to housing, debt management, employment support and immigration.
Sight for Surrey helps people who are visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing or both.
- Guildford community transport. This includes services such as Dial-a-ride, Door to Store, social trips and transport to social centres for older people. This service allows people to travel to and from hospital appointments.
- Horsley community bus arranges local area trips to Cobham Sainsburys, Brooklands & Woking. Contact Kelvin Hayes: email address firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01483 283314 Mob: 07530 167283
- The Wheel of Care, as above, offers transport to appointments and activities to those residing in the parish of West Horsley. Tel:01483 281703. The office is manned between Monday – Friday 10am – noon (excluding Bank Holidays).
- East Horsley Care offers assistance with transport to those living in East Horsley. Ring 01483 284802 and leave a message with your name, contact number, date, time and place of appointment. The duty controller will then ring you back.
- St Lawrence Volunteer Car Scheme provides transport for those living in Effingham and Little Bookham to local surgeries or hospitals. Contributions to the petrol costs of volunteers are requested (@ 40p per mile). Ring Barbara Henry 01372 452024
Local care homes
- Dene Place, a BUPA run care home which provides nursing, convalescence, palliative and respite care.
- Limegrove Care home. An Anchor care home offering residential care for elderly people, including specialised services for elderly people who have dementia and physical disability.
- St Martin’s Court, located in St Martin’s Close, East Horsley, has 30 one-bedroom flats and one flat with three bedrooms. Each flat is self-contained with a bathroom and kitchen.
Local support and respite for carers
- Cherry Trees for children & young people. Located in East Clandon. Cherry Trees “provides home from home short break/respite care for children and young people aged 0-19 with a range of disabilities including learning, physical and sensory impairments.”
- Support for young carers through Surrey young carers helps young carers under 18 years in their caring role and help young people to achieve their best at school, take part in activities, discover new interests and make friends. Tel: 01483 568269
- Respite care for the elderly is provided by both care homes (above) in East and West Horsley
Links for general support for carers and their families are:
- Surrey Information Point
- Action for carers Surrey
- Carers Support Guildford
- Neighbourhood Angels (PDF)
National resources for carers
- The Carers Direct helpline (0300 123 1053) which offers confidential information and advice for carers
- NHS Choices has heaps of links and useful information on looking after elderly relatives
- NHS Choices general guide to care and support
- Replacement & respite care provides information and resources to allow you to take a break
- Care services in your home gives you some advice about the different types of home service that are available.