Supporting family and friends as they get older
Kathy Lawrence is co-founder of the When They Get Older web site.
When my parents first began to need real help I was so grateful to have friends who could give me the benefit of their experience. But there was still an awful lot to learn. From how the NHS works to why you need power of attorney and how to choose a care home, most of us are entering uncharted territory as our ageing friends and relatives need more support. And for many of us that’s something we have to squeeze in between our day jobs, caring for our own families, and having a life for ourselves.
That’s why we created When They Get Older. It’s a web site where we’ve brought together expert advice and experience about a huge range of topics around how life changes as people age. We’re aiming to give really practical help provided by people who really get it, rather than simply regurgitating what’s been written many times before.
It might be the joys of finance, such as applying for Attendance Allowance, or understanding medical issues, such as what really happens in a cataract operation. It could be adding more fun to life, with anything from dementia days out to living well with hearing loss.
It’s our intention that When They Get Older is a first port of call in a crisis and a great place to browse just to be ready for any eventuality. As just as importantly, we want it to be a source of ideas to maintain and even improve the quality of life of our loved ones.
As we’ve become more knowledgeable we’ve become more aware of the gaps in elder care. How people are going to pay for their care if they need it is a major issue, and one that needs a national strategy to address. But there are smaller challenges too, and one of those is something we feel we can help to fix.
We believe that ageing is not just about getting by. It’s about having a full and enjoyable life. And eating well with pleasure becomes increasingly important. Yet not everyone is in a position to cook for themselves or eat out regularly. There are meal delivery services available, but not everyone sees these as adding pleasure to their lives.
So we’ve filled what we see as a gap by creating the Joseph Pip range of handmade, home-delivered frozen meals. They’re everything you need for a meal, in one tasty and nutritious dish. It’s currently a local service in Bucks and Berks but we aim to take it nationwide in time.
For the most part we aren’t a provider of products or services ourselves, though we do review some. We are a place that people can come to gather ideas, learn about other people’s experiences, and find the way to other services that can help them help their relatives. And we don’t forget that our readers need support too. So we have our own Agony Aunt who can advise on the emotional aspects of trying to balance life with care.
You can find out more about When They Get Older’s story on our web site, download our free guides, and browse hundreds of articles about health, finance, legal issues, life changes and more on the site. You can sign up for our regular newsletter there too. And we are always happy to hear from readers who can offer their own experiences for the benefit of those who follow after them. Just mail us at email@example.com