Does your family support someone with a Learning Disability? Have you started a conversation about planning for the future?
For many families who support someone with a Learning Disability, there is an underlying worry about what is going to happen to the person they care for in the future. Sometimes, the topic can be avoided because it can provoke too much fear and anxiety alongside the other day to day pressures that families face. Does this sound familiar?
In Worcestershire we want to support you to prepare for the future at a time and pace you feel comfortable with. We acknowledge it can be an emotional journey for all involved but with the right information, advice and support, informed choices can be made to shape the future for your family member. This will give everyone reassurance that plans are in place whilst you are able to be fully involved.
Where to start?
You may decide that the time to start planning for the future is when your child leaves school or when they return from residential college. You may be getting older yourself and are recognising that you are not able to support in the way that you used to. You may even need support yourself to manage some day to day activities and would struggle to manage without your family member helping you with practical tasks around the home. It is important that everyone is helped to get the right support.
It would be helpful to discuss your situation with family, friends and professionals to consider what the future could look like for your family member. By starting to talk now, you will be able to explore the best options for your family. There are custom made booklets that can guide you through the process step by step, outlining every area that should be considered at a pace to suit you. These are detailed in the Resource Section at the end of this page.
Housing and Support Options
In Worcestershire there is a mixture of housing and support options that reflect the range of needs and aspirations of people with a learning disability and their families.
You will want your family member to make informed choices about where they live, who they live with, how they are supported and who supports them. Further information can be found on the Housing Options Guide page.
If you need social care and/or housing advice you can contact the Access, Triage and Intervention Service on - 01905 768053.
Worcestershire County Council also has a number of You Tube videos from tenants with first-hand experience of supported living in Worcestershire.
Visit Worcestershire County Council's YouTube channel (opens in a new window).
Legal and Financial Planning
There are several areas you may want to consider such as wills, trusts and estates. Considering what money and assets you might want to make available to your family member is an important element of planning for the future. Worcestershire Integrated Carers Hub provided by Worcestershire Association of Carers run several Legal and Financial workshops around the county and have an information handbook which provides information on, amongst other things:
- lasting powers of attorney
- wills and trusts.
Worcestershire Integrated Carers Hub has experienced Carer Pathway Advisors that operate a helpline if you need advice in your caring role. They can assist by providing accurate, local information and advice.
Worcestershire Association of Carers (opens in new window) or call 0300 012 4272
Adult Social Care Needs Assessment - People 18 years or over, who have, or appear to have, an illness or disability that has or could have an impact on their well-being and ability to live independently, can have an assessment to explore their care and support needs. For further information or to request an assessment contact Worcestershire County Council’s Access, Triage and Intervention Service on: 01905 768053. If you already have an allocated Social Worker you can discuss future planning options with them.
Worcestershire County Council’s Learning Disability Carer Support Workers If you are a carer over the age of 60 and support someone who is known to the Learning Disability Integrated Service, you will have support from a dedicated Support Worker. They remain allocated to you to enable a relationship of trust to develop and discussions around planning for the future can take place when you feel ready. The initial conversation often takes place as part of your Carer Assessment or Carer Review. To see if you might be eligible for support from a Support Worker contact Worcestershire County Council’s Access, Triage and Intervention Service directly on: 01905 768053.
Supporting you as an older family carer is a booklet to support older family carers to get the right support now, plan for emergencies and the longer term.
You can download this for free from the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (opens in a new window).
The Foundation also has a more comprehensive booklet called - Thinking ahead: a planning guide for families. This is an intensive guide covering different aspects that should be considered when planning for the future. The cost of this booklet is £13.80, to request a copy contact: 020 7803 1150.
Safe and Secure Book from Thera Trust - This book acts as a manual, taking you gently through the topics families need to consider when planning for the future, giving advice and tools to ensure your family member has a safe and secure future. To request a copy of the Safe and Secure Book, contact Petra Patty on 0300 303 1280.