Ask us a question - Careline 81

06 Aug 2019

Jewish Care’s free confidential helpline provides advice and information about support on offer either from Jewish Care or other local service providers.

Q: My wife has recently been diagnosed with dementia. I have been advised to get a lasting power of attorney. How do I go about this and why is it important?

A: A lasting power of attorney (LPA) needs to be in place before your wife loses her ability to make her own decisions, should this happen. An (LPA) is a legal document which would allow you generally to make decisions on behalf of your wife, if or when she is no longer able to do so. There are two types of LPA – Health and Welfare and Property and Financial Affairs. A Health and Welfare LPA would allow you to make decisions about your wife’s medical care, personal care, where care is provided (e.g. in a care home) and so on. A Property and Financial Affairs LPA covers things like managing a bank or a building society account, paying bills, selling a property etc.

It’s important to have an LPA because, without one, should your wife be unable to make decisions for herself, you couldn’t just step in to do this on her behalf. You may need to apply to the Court of Protection to become a deputy for your wife. This can be a very lengthy and costly process, and if you were not appointed as your wife’s deputy, in some circumstances the local authority would take on this role instead.

The necessary forms can be obtained from the Office of the Public Guardian (telephone 0300 456 0300) and you can complete them yourself.

However, please be aware that if they are completed incorrectly, they may be rejected. Alternatively, you can arrange an LPA through a solicitor which, although more expensive, will ensure an application is accepted.

Q: I have recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). I am in my 50s, married with a family but feel very isolated. I don’t know anyone else in my situation. I am worried about my future and just need to talk. Is there any support out there for me?

A: There is support out there for you and Jewish Care has many ways to support you and to ease your worries about the future.

Firstly, we have a dedicated Social Work and Community Support Team who can meet you, discuss this further with you and ascertain how best they can support you. Our approach is a holistic one and will look at all aspects of your condition and suggest services and support that you can access.

There is also the option of connecting one of your family members with one of our Family Carers Practitioners who could meet you and discuss your recent diagnosis. Our clients find this really beneficial as a way of receiving specific coping strategies.

We also have a multiple sclerosis support group called JEMS that meets on the first Wednesday of the month in Edgware. Here you will be able to meet up with other people living with the condition and access professional and peer advice.

If there is any further information you require, please get in touch with our helpline on 020 8922 2222. We look forward to hearing from you.

Q: I read about the work Jewish Care were doing to raise awareness of the issue of elder abuse. The article mentioned a couple who were befriended by a family in the community whose intentions were questionable. I am a volunteer for my shul’s welfare team and am now concerned about a vulnerable member in our community and her relationship with another member. Should I just let it go because it’s probably nothing to worry about. What should I do?

A: Thank you for contacting us. We are pleased to see that our campaign has alerted you to the issue of elder abuse. We launched the campaign because we know that the only way we can begin to address this growing issue, is by increasing awareness and encouraging people like you look out for older or vulnerable people in our community. If you have a hunch or concern that something may not be all it seems, the best thing to do is to begin by talking it through with someone. If you have a welfare officer at shul, I suggest you go to him or her as a starting point . If you don’t have anyone to discuss this with contact Jewish Care. It may be nothing but it is often those niggles and concerns people have that lead to an unravelling of a situation that may need addressing.

Q: I am about to turn 85, living alone and thinking of downsizing. I am fairly independent, but a little help wouldn’t go amiss. I don’t know where to start.

A: Why don’t you start by giving us a call. There is a range of options we can discuss with you including Jewish Care’s independent living apartments. These apartments are ideally suited to older people who want to live independently but have some support needs – this could be anything from having help with putting the rubbish out to helping with washing or having someone support you to go shopping.  The Jewish Care independent living apartments are available to rent. If you want to buy a new home, we can signpost you to various retirement community options. It is

a big move and we know it can be daunting. It is worth considering all the options and thinking about your longer-term care and support needs before you rush into anything.

Q: I am struggling to live at home. I have some help every day but it’s not enough. I now just want to be cared for. I don’t have dementia or any other illness I am just getting on. I want to be in a caring environment but am worried if I move into a care home, I won’t find people like me. What would you suggest?

A: Thanks for contacting Jewish Care – you’ve definitely come to the right place. It may be that we have just the place for you – a kind of care home with a difference. Wolfson Assisted Living located in our Sandringham development, in Stanmore, offers 16 one-room flats to members of the community who want to be in a 24/7 care environment, but retain some independence. Wolfson Assisted Living gives you the best of both worlds – 24-hour access to care (and of course housekeeping and all meals), but a larger room with some kitchen facilities. So, if you fancy making yourself tea and toast, you can. The one room flats offer a large bedroom and living area, a small kitchenette, a bathroom with wet room-style shower and a beautiful balcony.

Located on the top floor of Anita Dorfman House, residents at Wolfson Assisted Living benefit from a set up that is perfect for people like yourself, who have lower care needs and you can also join in the activities at the home.