Caring for elderly as an expat
Cognitive neuroscientist and age specialist Dr Lynda Shaw is calling for better transparency and co-ordination of services and support for expats trying to find a care home for a loved one from abroad
“If you are an expat you may only be able to come over to the UK for a few days or weeks and need an organised way to find the right care home and possibly treatment for your parent.
At the moment it’s a mammoth task, both organisationally and emotionally. What is needed is coordinated and experienced, expert guidance, so that those living abroad have practical and emotional support that smooth’s those difficult transitions easily and efficiently
There are companies which help expats find the perfect residence for their elderly parent but there is so much to consider from all the administration and paperwork involved, to settling on an affordable financial plan for more long term patients, it is often overwhelming. Even if you are able to afford private care homes, often social services need to be involved but may not be able to move at the speed you need them to as an expat.”
Top tips on co-ordinating care as an expat:
- Look in detail about what type of person the parent is? Do they enjoy company or prefer to be on their own? Do they join in and willingly go with what a group wants to do or do they think they’re just doing silly games for old people. What hobbies do they like? How able are they? Put into place bespoke strategies that really take into account their true personalities and what is important to them so that they can enjoy themselves
- Organise Skype for them so they can continue to have regular contact, even if remotely
- If they like to go out, make sure they have a regular excursion organised once a week
- Organise for other friends and family of all ages to visit relatively regularly. Older people often have a wide social circle but sometimes people aren’t sure of the visiting etiquette
Dr Lynda Shaw offers an advisory service specialising in dealing with emotional issues associated with ageing. Example work includes supporting families through a dementia diagnosis, what it means, what to expect, and how to make the best out of their long distance relationships.
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