You may be worried about what might happen if you had to go into hospital, had an accident or were no longer able to care.
Planning in advance and talking about who could provide care if this happens makes an emergency easier to deal with.
Message in a bottle
This is where you keep essential personal and medication details in a small bottle in the fridge. Paramedics, police, fire-fighters and social services know to look in the fridge when they see the message in a bottle stickers.
It saves the emergency services valuable time if they need to enter a property in an emergency situation and provides peace of mind to carers.
Some doctors surgeries, pharmacies and police stations in Lambeth have these bottles but if not, Lions Club International can send one to you.
Planning for the future
The health and support needs of both you and the person you care for will change over time. Your living arrangements may need to change too.
You may want to share the care with family or friends and talk through the pros and cons of different care options with them and the person you care for. If you know their preferences, this may make it easier for you to make decisions when needed.
Care needs change over time but independence can be maintained by making changes to your home or introducing a few simple things to reduce anxiety and pressures on you as a carer or to maintain independence for the person you care for.
It’s better to think about lifelines (alarms), key safes and other equipment, technology and home adaptations before something happens.
If you care for an adult with learning or physical disabilities who lives at home with you, you might want to start thinking about future living arrangements.
Coming out of hospital
If the person you care for is coming out of hospital and you don’t think they’ll be safe when they get home, it’s important to talk to the ward staff and check what arrangements are being made by the health services or what you might need to organise yourself to make things safer.
Legal and financial arrangements
You may want to think about bank accounts, guardianship, powers of attorney and creating a will.
You can apply for the right to look after financial and legal affairs or the welfare of someone else if they can't do it for themselves.
If you need assistance in making financial decisions, and want some independent financial advice, talk to a financial adviser or solicitor.
Some people may want to set out their wishes for the future if they become terminally ill, or in the event they need medical treatment but have lost the mental capacity to make those decisions.
Visit the Age UK website for information about making a living will.