May, 2014

Who Cares for the Carer?

Caring for a loved one or a close friend is vitally important for a loved one or a close friend, but what happens when you need help or care for yourself, either for just a few days or for a much longer period? The helpful people over at alzheimers.org explain the potential sets of circumstances very clearly, providing tips to help everyone through those demanding times. Where the carer receives no respite from providing care, day in day out, 24/7, there is an obvious health implication for the person providing the care. Care is provided for and by people of all ages with a wide range of different disabilities. Respite care is provided over a short-term period to provide a temporary alternative to the standard arrangements in place. Where you have been successfully caring for someone with dementia, there is a need for a break from the care activities so that your batteries can be recharged.   It is perfectly normal for a carer to feel guilty if they have to leave the person they are caring for, alone for any period of time, but you are not helping the individual that requires the care when your tasks make you ill. For the patient’s benefit, they will probably prefer to stay in familiar surroundings, rather than moving somewhere else, temporarily. The individual may not be able to understand, completely, why they are moving elsewhere, and whether they will return in a short period of time. This confusion can add to the anxiety of both carer and patient. The website offers a number of tips to help individuals avoid distress, such as; Avoid discussing arrangements too far ahead of the planned date. When the time comes, talk about the break in the context of a ‘little holiday’ and be positive in your explanation. Reassure the person with dementia that they will be well cared for and that they will be coming home again. Remember that any insecurity or uncertainty you show may cause the person with dementia to feel afraid, so stay calm and give information in a clear and simple manner. Stress is infectious, but so is calm. Remember that it is not selfish to want or need a rest. There are many sections, on the website, discussing the different ways that care can be provided and how, principally for patients with dementia. In particular, they explain how care at home can be...

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Buried, Cremated or … Frozen

You are probably already aware of your main choices after you die; do you wish to be buried or cremated, or would you like to be frozen until someone can find a cure for your illness? The kind people over at Remember A Charity want to know if you want to live forever. One person will be chosen to be frozen until medical science is able to retrieve them. As an alternative, you can choose to make a £1000 donation to charity, as the organisation essentially promotes the positive use of including a legacy within your will, so that a charity will receive money from your estate after you die. Using the cryonics technique, you will be frozen to -320 Fahrenheit, where you can be maintained in those circumstances until science has developed sufficiently to be able to restore you and solve your issues. The Live Forever website simply asks “ Do you want to live forever?” By clicking on the yes or no, you can add your details to enter the competition for the opportunity to be cryogenically frozen. Quoting from Rob Cope, Director at Remember A Charity: “Leaving a gift in a Will isn’t an easy topic to tackle, however, posing the question ‘do you want to live forever’ does make it a little easier to handle. We hope this campaign makes it clear that freezing yourself isn’t the only way to live forever. After taking care of your loved ones, including your favourite charity in your Will will help ensure the things you care about can live on.” Planning to leave your assets to charity is an important issue, just as preplanning your funeral and your funeral arrangements will help you and your family prepare for the inevitable, unless freezing of your body is your preferred option. Every legacy to a charity, after your death, helps good work continue all over the world. Should you choose to be frozen for a number of decades or even centuries, success will mean that you can meet family who will only have heard about you, through history. Related articles How cryonics works Want to live forever? Charities offer chance to be frozen after...

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The Last Laugh, After Your Death

Spike Milligan, the legendary comedian, who kept us laughing while he was alive, had the last laugh when the inscription on his gravestone (in Gaelic) read “I told you I was ill.”  American comedian, David Brenner, who died in March, 2014, has gone one step further, by writing his final laugh lines into his last will and testament. His will has lines such as : “All I want is a small stone on the grave site with these words; ‘Here lies David Brenner. He lived, he died, but MAN DID HE LIVE!’ ” Of his gravestone: “On the flip side I want ‘If this is supposed to be a joke — I don’t get it.’ ” “I desire to be buried in or as close to New York City as possible, because this is the city of my dreams, my best times, my heart and my life.” “I request a very modest burial, no fancy box, no pillow (you think at a time like this I’m worried about a headache?), no special suit (jeans and nice shirt will be fine, but make sure my high-top sneakers are tied properly). “Place one hundred dollars in small bills in my left sock (just in case tipping is recommended where I’m going).” Under “Personal Farewell” he wrote, “To those who have been kind to me and have loved me, I thank you. To those who were not kind to me and didn’t love me, I hope you’re next!” Whether you choose to be as amusing with your last will and testament is your own choice and it would be wise to consider the feelings of those you leave behind when considering how they will receive any amusing messages that you choose in your Will writing...

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How to Estimate Your Care Home Fee Costs

You may already have heard about the arguments for holding on to substantial savings later on in your life. If you have some money, you’ll be liable to pay towards care home fees. If you have no savings, the fees will all be paid for you, but what is the reality, today? You will want a great sense of security when you are older and in need of a good quality care home. You have to consider both the cost of the accommodation and the actual care, as local authority funding often covers just the nursing and care needs, rather than your accommodation, haircuts and daily newspaper. As it currently stands, if you have assets of less than £23,500, you will qualify for state help with your care home fees.  From April 2016, the rules will change considerably. Under the next set of rules, you may be able to defer your costs. The local authority (and some do this already) may allow you to take out a loan to cover your fees, with the capital and interest repaid on your death, from your estate, whether that’s your home and savings or any makeup of your funds and ownership. The threshold will increase to £118,000 which means that you can hold those funds before paying for care. Second, you will only have to pay lifetime fees of £72,000 towards basic care home costs, but still be liable for your accommodation, haircuts and newspapers. These changes mean that there will no longer become a complete drain on your funds if you hold assets over these levels. There is a limit to how much you are expected to contribute, although those figures are completely unknown and can only be a best guesstimate. Insurance companies will find it easier to understand the level of cover and premiums required to cover your potential care home fees. By planning ahead and having your will written correctly, you can mitigate your potential care home fees, considerably. You should seek advice as soon as possible. Contact us and we’ll direct you to the right people to help you. These individuals will be from outside our organisation, but are trusted by us in presenting the best possible alternatives to our clients. We, of course, will help you set up your pre-paid funeral as part of your overall...

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