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At various stages of our lives we all experience big changes or financial decisions that can be difficult, time-consuming, often confusing and even stressful. In many cases, though, with the right information, these complex decisions can become a lot clearer.
We’ve updated this guide for Which? members on planning care for later life to help you make decisions on extra support or care for a loved one, or for yourself. In it, we take you through the typical stages of care for an older person and give you information and guidance. We’ll also point you in the right direction for further information, if you need it.
In this guide
Your home gives you comfort and security – a friendly and familiar place you'd hate to leave behind. With the right additions to their home an older relative can stay independent for longer.
Adapting the home
Nobody wants to leave a much-loved home before they're ready but, with a wide range of clever alterations to consider, it's possible to stay comfortable at home for much longer.
Getting out and about
Even as we age, there’s plenty we can do to stay active and sociable, and avoid feeling frustrated or isolated. There are lots of ways for an older person to get out and about.
Staying healthy and happy at home
Looking after your hearing, eyesight and teeth is more important than ever in later life. Fortunately, there's more help and support available than you might think.
Boost your income
Older people are entitled to a number of helpful benefits. Making full use of this extra support can boost income and open up new options for comfortable, independent living.
Care in the home
With the right care and support, staying at home becomes a lot easier – there’s no need to go it alone.
Caring for carers
Caring for a loved one can have a dramatic impact on your life. It can be as challenging and draining as it can be rewarding, so you must take care of your own needs, too.
The time may come when living at home just isn't comfortable or safe anymore. It’s never an easy decision, but options are out there to make moving to a new home a positive experience.
When to consider a care home
It may feel like a last resort but, if the available support isn't quite enough, a care home could offer security, familiarity and a ready-made community.
The cost of care
Care is expensive and the bills can mount up. Knowing how much you’ll pay for care and how costs might change will make things less stressful all round.
How to pay for care
When it comes to paying for care, thoughts often turn to selling the family home — but this isn’t the only option.
Nobody wants to think about a time in the future when they won’t be able to make their own decisions, but there are ways to make it more bearable.
Dealing with the death of a loved one
The death of a loved one affects everyone differently. Some people like to keep busy with useful tasks, while others need more time before dealing with the practicalities. Either way, knowing what’s coming can be a real help.
Some of the important services, organisations and technical terms covered in this guide, explained in simple English – and where to read more.
© Which? Ltd March 2019 This supplement may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or otherwise made available to third parties without the written permission of Which? Ltd. Commercial use of the supplement is not permitted. To enquire about using Which? content, email email@example.com.
This supplement is not a Which? magazine but is made up of specially curated Which? content. This supplement was printed in February 2019. It does not constitute advice for your circumstances and should be read for guidance only. You should take appropriate professional legal and financial advice regarding your personal circumstances. While every care has been taken in researching the information included in this supplement, no responsibility can be accepted for any inaccuracy or omission, or for any of the information being out of date. The information is subject to change without notification.
All financial figures listed are correct at the time of publication (July 2019).