If you are looking after someone situations that would be an inconvenience to other people can have a much bigger impact on your and the person you care for. Knowing what to do if you or the person you care for is admitted to hospital is very helpful.
And being aware of the benefits to you and the person you care for of Lasting Power of Attorney and more will also make a difference.
There is help and support available for you to plan for the future in your caring role.
Having an Emergency Plan
Being a carer can be difficult, but it can be extra hard if something unexpected happens, to you or the person you are caring for.
Planning ahead helps you manage these changes by being prepared and knowing what to do and, if necessary, who to ask for help.
Having a plan in place can reduce the worry for you, the person you care for and your family.
Or if you need help to write your Emergency Plan contact our Advice Line on 0800 083 1148.
Planning for other emergencies
Risk to life
For all emergencies where there is a risk to life always dial 999 for an emergency response. If there is a fire in your home, have you thought about an evacuation plan? Make a plan and share it with the person you care for.
Other ways to be prepared
There are other emergencies you might need to think about, for example, power cuts, water supply issues and equipment breakdown.
Being identified as a carer in health settings
People looking after family members or friends often say they want it to be easy for them to be recognised as a carer when they are in healthcare settings. In order to help support carers with a Carers Identity Passport is now available, to help ensure you are recognised, and can get the help and support you need.
The Carers Identity Passport is recognised within East Coast Community Healthcare, James Paget University Hospitals, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals, Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust and Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust.
The person you care for being admitted to hospital
If someone you care for is admitted to hospital, it is very helpful to know how to make sure you are recognised as a carer and get the support available to you. You also have a right to be involved in discharge planning.
You can see information about hospitals in Norfolk below:
- Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals – Carers information
- Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals – Patient Advice and Liaison Service
- James Paget University Hospital, Great Yarmouth – Carers information
- James Paget University Hospital, Great Yarmouth – Patient Advice and Liaison Service
- The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn – Patient Advice and Liaison Service
- The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn – Carers information
Carers UK and Age UK have information and advice you may also find useful:
Lasting power of attorney
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) document is a legal document that lets the person you care for appoint someone or people to help then make decisions or to make decisions on their behalf.
This gives them more control over what happens to them if something happens so they cannot make their own decisions. For this to be done, the person you care for must be 18 or over and have mental capacity (the ability to make their own decisions) when they make their lasting power of attorney.
There are two types of lasting power of attorney which may help you and the person you care for:
- health and welfare
- property and financial affairs.
You can choose to make one type or both.
Health and welfare lasting power of attorney is used to give an attorney the power to make decisions about things like:
- daily routine, for example washing, dressing, eating
- medical care
- moving into a care home
- life-sustaining treatment.
It can only be used when the person is unable to make their own decisions.
Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney gives the power to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:
- managing a bank or building society account
- paying bills
- collecting benefits or a pension
- selling your home.
It can be used as soon as it’s registered, with the person’s permission.
If you of the person you care for do not have a will, or circumstances have changed since the will was made, this is something you may wish to consider.
Your will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. If you make a will you can also make sure you do not pay more Inheritance Tax than you need to.
You can write your will yourself, but you should get advice if your will is not straightforward. You need to get your will formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid.
If you or the person you care for dies without a will, the law decides who gets what.
You can get advice from a professional if your will is not straightforward, for example:
- you share a property with someone who is not your husband, wife or civil partner
- you want to leave money or property to a dependant who cannot care for themselves
- you have several family members who may make a claim on your will, such as a second spouse or children from another marriage.
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