This is a huge concern for so many unpaid carers. It`s one of those nagging thoughts that can bring you out in a cold sweat in the middle of the night. Regardless of who it is that you care for, many carers are likely to be faced with this situation at some point during their caring role.
It's never nice to have to consider the 'What If?' scenario. It is one of those jobs that we all keep putting off but having a plan in place can save an awful lot of stress, upset, time and anxiety at a point when you need to look after yourself.
At Carers Count we can support you to look at your options and help you to pull together a well-thought-out and considered contingency plan.
Talking it Through
We have advocates available who can talk through your options in regard to what you would want to happen.
- Are there services and family members who could step in temporarily?
- Do you know who to contact in social services for a quick response?
An advocate won't make these choices but help you and your family explore what would work for you.
There are a number of specific tools available that you can use to write a plan:
- Our website not only looks at what support we can offer but also the wider support available in Kirklees for carers. Access our library to find out about the many services, groups and guides out there so you know what's available. https://carerscount.org.uk/resources.php
- Contact or self-refer to our advocacy service to help you write your plan: https://carerscount.org.uk/advocacy.php
- Carers Emergency Cards – as an unpaid carer you could carry a small card that notifies people that you are a carer and somebody relies on you for support should something happen unexpectedly to you.
- Kirklees contingency planning form – is a great guide to help you think about what you want to happen and contains all the relevant information required. Keep it in a safe place or with someone you trust so if the needs arise this information can be quickly passed on.
- Access our Information and Advice service to support you to get a carers assessment. It's always good to make sure these are up to date and that they have a record of your plan.
- Carers Trust Mid Yorkshire also provide an emergency service which includes an Emergency Support Worker on a short-term basis and working with you to arrange longer-term plans if needed.
Further guidance on planning for an emergency can also be found on the Carers UK website.
Lions Clubs Message in a Bottle
Lions Clubs Message in a Bottle is a simple but effective way for people to keep their basic personal and medical details where they can be found in an emergency on a standard form and in a common location – the fridge.
Message in a Bottle (known within Lions as MIAB) helps emergency services personnel to save valuable time in identifying an individual very quickly and knowing if they have any allergies or take special medication.
Paramedics, police, firefighters and social services support this Lions life-saving initiative and know to look in the fridge when they see the Message in a Bottle sticker, supplied. The initiative provides peace of mind that prompt and appropriate medical assistance can be provided, and next of kin/emergency contacts can be notified.
Download the Kirklees Unpaid Carers Contingency Plan (Plan B) form below
Download your Carers Emergency Card below
West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership have produced a detailed guide to Advance Care Planning. Click the image below to view & download.
The Herbert Protocol is an initiative introduced by West Yorkshire Police and other agencies which encourages carers to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing.