Helping the families who want to help their ageing relatives

We know that families are becoming more and more important to elder care. While there are thousands of full-time carers, there are also growing numbers of people who are trying to support older relatives while still running their own families or working or both. And families are so geographically dispersed nowadays that however much people might want to be there for their parents and other older relatives, they just can’t. So what they do instead is worry and live with guilt.

Huge challenges from small beginnings

Being a supporter of an older relative starts in little ways. Organising the shopping, putting meals in the freezer, becoming the chauffeur on days out. But as people lose their health and mobility the need for support becomes greater. Finding help at home or choosing a care home is one of the biggest decisions anyone takes and caring families want to be involved. Having to take control of decision-making altogether is tough but a necessity sometimes. It’s not only hard emotionally but trying to do the best we can is hugely time-consuming too.

A huge part of the problem is that so many families are starting from scratch as they try to work out how best to support their relatives. That’s why we set up the web service When They Get Older. We’ve been through the mill ourselves and we wanted to help other families help their parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts in the best way they can.

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How we give support on the web

When They Get Older offers practical advice and tips in the form of over 200 articles and downloadable guides aimed specially at the families who want to help ageing relatives.

Across our site we look at issues around finance, law, care at home and in homes, health, travel, housing, technology and relationships – to name just a few. We have our own “agony aunt” in the form of an elder care coach who answers real questions from real people about the art of juggling family, work and life in general as well as the difficulties that can arise as families attempt to work together. We send out regular newsletters highlighting our latest articles – we’re continually publishing new blogs – together with news and tips.

And we don’t just aim to make problem-solving faster. We like to think we can help families to work together better to ensure a good quality of life at any age.

Expert advice and tips from experience

Many of our articles are written by or in association with experts – solicitors, financial advisers and many professionals involved in elder care. We also look for real life experiences of people who have been through the process and are willing to share the lessons they’ve learned to help other people stop re-inventing the wheel.

We’re not attempting to be all things to all people either. We’ll point people in the direction of charities, forums and experts who know each subject and can give practical help where it’s needed.

Working together to help families

It’s important to us that we help each other spread the word about what we can offer the world of elder care.

That’s why we’re always open to ideas about articles and alliances with other organisations. We’d be delighted to hear from others about how we might work together to help families help their loved ones get the best from their later years. Just email editor@whentheygetolder.co.uk with your thoughts.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Age Action Alliance or any individual Alliance Member or associate.

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