New carer for elderly mum

Hi, new to this and daunted at the moment. Mum, 73, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s I am off work currently with an injury and have just resigned from my job. Trying to keep positive, making lists and writing down my feelings. Carers assessment next week and chance to ask questions, but what do I ask? …

Hello. Welcome!

What do you need assistance with? Think about what your mom finds hard to do, even make a list to refer to in case. You might want to read this helpful resource on needs assessments and this one too Help and advice | Carers UK

Just a few questions to start with, to help us give appropriate advice.
Do you live with mum, have any brothers and sisters, or dad?
Does mum own or rent her house - this is a VERY important question!
Is it a house or bungalow?
Do you have Power of Attorney?
When did mum have her last Social Services Needs Assessment?
When did you last have a Carers Assessment?

Make a big list of all of her needs as they stand. Even if they are needs that she just has some of the time. i.e what is like on her worst day, not her best. This can be anything from personal care (washing/dressing etc) to help with shopping, finance, personal admin etc. Also include help with things that are for her well being - go out, socialising, doing a jigsaw, turning on the telly. This will also help you if and when her needs increase so you can refer back to it.

She should also be exempt from Council Tax, so ask about claiming this.

Ask about whether your social services can help you access other services to keep her safe. We were able to get a key safe fitted and an SOS alarm which have been a godsend. (We did have to pay for these services tho)

Ask what support groups their are locally that you can access. Day care, memory groups etc. They should be able to give you help on this.

Have you claimed Attendance Allowance for her? Age UK can help you fill out the form if you have one local to you? We failed on the claim first time round, but with help it was granted. this should help you get some care in for her so you don’t have to do it all yourself. It is not means tested and you spend it how you like.

Also do you have power of attorney for her? There are 2 types, health and welfare and finance. Definitely worth sorting out both whilst she is in early stages of the disease and can still consent. Most solicitors will give you a free half hour consultation to talk this through. The fees are quite high to sort out through a solicitor, but you can register it yourself if money is an issue.

Hi Louise,
welcome to the forum. You are dealing with a lot of life changes at the moment. In addition to the advice you have already been given, you might find this link useful Help and advice | Carers UK


Caring can seem bewildering to start with, all the different agencies to deal with, all wanting something from you.

My top tip would be to treat it as if you were at work.
Here’s what I would recommend - at one time I was managing lots of accounts for different things. Money for my business, a club, my personal accounts, my son with LD, my disabled mum and my brother!!
Buy a large lever arch file, some Mylar dividers, and some polythene sleeves.
Have a divider section for each organisation you deal with, gas, electric, Social Services.
You might need a whole folder for benefits, dealing with Pension, Attendance Allowance, and Council Tax.
If mum has various bank accounts, building society accounts etc, have a different file for things like this.
I put all statements for each individual account in separate sleeves, starting a new sleeve for each year.
Date the sleeve, and say which account it is for.
As each new statement comes in, just put it in front of the previous one.
Either on the front of the divider, or as a sticky label on each sleeve, write down what it relates to, their address, and phone number.
The keep a diary, just an ordinary notebook will do, who you spoke to, time, date, what was discussed, and what was agreed.

I know this all sounds a bit complicated, but you don’t have to do it all at once. As each statement comes in during the next few weeks, just start another section.