How to help your parents in their 80s and struggling

Yesterday (Monday 2nd Sept) Guardian Money asked readers for advice to acouple who were looking for care solutions for their elderly parents. You can read the article and the comments here.

Readers have shared some valuable advice and opinions much of which we agree with, but we had to jump in and bust a few myths that always seem to crop up when care of the elderly is discussed.

Firstly – if you want a private carer you Do NOT have to become an employer. Many Private Carers (and indeed all the ones we work with) are self-employed so you have no liability for NI or pension. We are not the only introduction service who work this way and it can be far more cost-effective for you. It’s also fairer for the carers – they pay tax and NI themselves but are able to earn a living wage.

Secondly – It is possible to check identity with the government-approved online service so you know that the person you are working with is who they say they are. When we were setting up our service we insisted on the highest possible ID checks and all our carers are on the DBS update service, which goes to show that it is possible.

If you decide not to use an introduction service (like PrimeCarers) you can try the .Gov basic DBS check online service. There will be a fee for this which is currently £25.

A few other things you will want to consider will be making sure they are insured and that cover is available when they take a holiday. Whilst this IS a downside, most private carers will be able to recommend someone, and we will always step in and help you find cover if you are struggling.

There is some excellent advice on this thread but please do make sure you take EXPERT advice when you’re looking for the care solution that works for you and your family. AgeUK are a great first port of call. If you have any questions about finding an independent carer, then feel free to contact us for a no obligation chat.