We love the Care and Wellbeing Service offered by Plan with Care. Alise, Head of Wellbeing at Plan with Care, tells us more.
At Plan with Care, we provide ongoing practical and emotional support for older people so they can thrive. We provide live-in care and day time at home (if needed) and we also support people living in care homes.
For us it about so much more than providing care: it is about improving wellbeing in addition to care needs being met. We look holistically at what brings people pleasure, their relationships, and the things that are meaningful to them.
- Plan with Care supports Alice on a day-to-day basis on behalf of her son, Bill, who lives abroad.
- Alice’s Care and Wellbeing Consultant liaises with all the professionals involved in Alice’s life – mental health professionals, social services, domiciliary care agencies, GPs and pharmacies.
- Bill is consulted about all decisions affecting Alice.
Alice lives at home alone. Her son Bill, who she is very close to, lives abroad. He got in touch with Plan with Care when he was visiting one Christmas and realised she needed much more practical and emotional support than she had let on. Bill also suspected she was starting to live with dementia.
He started the search for support, but was quickly overwhelmed with the number of different people he was told to get in touch with. Knowing he was returning home in a few days, he contacted Plan with Care and said that he wanted to someone to act on his behalf on a day-to-day basis but who would communicate closely with him about all decisions.
Power of Attorney
As Alice and Bill’s Care and Wellbeing Consultant, I immediately encouraged Bill to apply for Power of Attorney (POA) for Alice’s finance and property, and health & welfare. Alice herself was relieved to know her trusted son would be taking over some of the paperwork on her behalf as this was piling up in her late husband’s home office. Once the POA was registered I was formally given permission to chat to all the professionals on Bill’s behalf.
Building relationships and trust
Alice was struggling with severe depression and paranoia. Although we bonded immediately over our mutual love of singing and nature, it took several visits before I felt she really trusted me and understood that Bill and I were acting as a team together to ensure she would continue to live the life she wanted to live.
It wasn’t about anyone ‘taking over’ (as she feared) but just the opposite – it is about listening carefully to what she wanted for her future and discussing how I could help make this happen. But for Alice it was (and still is) particularly difficult to admit this. She could always come up with an explanation for why things weren’t quite as they should be at home.
Day to day support
Over the years I have liaised closely with mental health professionals, social services, domiciliary care agencies, the GP and pharmacy, and local friends, charities and clubs, to ensure we’re all rallying around to keep Alice as safe, comfortable and joyful as possible.
Bill has peace of mind that all this vital work is being done, but with him consulted and copied in at all times. This enables him to get on with his busy family and work life abroad. For so many families we hear how critical this is – that people get to return to their role as ‘daughter’ or ‘son’, and let go of the full time ‘care and wellbeing management’ roles and tasks.
Two years later and we are at the point of a ‘Best Interests’ meeting where a range of professionals, myself and the family meet to decide how best to support Alice to continue to flourish alone at home – as has always been her wish. It isn’t easy – Alice isn’t always safe at home, but the risk of extreme distress to her of having live-in care or moving into a care home has so far been weighed up as too high. It’s an ongoing calculation, with Alice’s wellbeing at the heart of it.