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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

Helping hand at a stressful time O

UR family members mean so much to us that it can be upsetting having to think about finding them care if they can’t look after themselves, or worse, making funeral arrangements if someone close to you has died.

There are so many questions, so in this supplement we hope to help you through the different processes with useful information and the options available. Whether your relative is simply looking for somewhere a little more secure to live, such as sheltered accommodation, or they need full-time care at a nursing home, there are plenty of options available. Your relative may also be thinking about getting all their estate and belongings in order by making a will. This would solve any issues later on, and relieve a little bit of stress on the family when they’re grieving.

These days you can often make a lot of your funeral arrangements before you die – for example, how many cars you want or where you want to be buried or cremated – and it can all be paid in advance, too. Have you considered organ donation? It’s not always pleasant to think about, but if you’re happy for your organs to go to someone who needs them, then let someone in your family know this – or better still, you can register with the NHS. Log on to the website www.organdonation.nhs. uk for more details. If someone close to you has died, it can sometimes be hard to talk to the people around you, especially if you’re trying to be strong for them. So have a think about counselling if you feel you need to let all your thoughts and emotions out – it might relieve some of the strain. Also keep an eye on others around you who

have lost someone. They may be suffering the effects of bereavement and could need your support. If your loved one or relative has passed away, then there’s a lot to think about. Check if they’ve left any requests – did they want to be buried or cremated? The funeral director you choose can often make a lot of the arrangements for you, from deciding on a coffin to any flowers you may want and where the service will be held. The funeral director will go through everything with you, along with the costs. Remember if you arrange a funeral you need to be able to pay for it. You may be able to get some help with cost if you get housing benefit, Council Tax benefit, Job Seeker’s Allowance and Working Family’s Tax Credit. It can be a stressful and upsetting time, but remember there’s plenty of help and advice available.

● There's plenty of help and advice available to support you through this hard time

Care at Home... There are many reasons why people require extra help at various times of their life

Sometimes you may require some extra physical assistance, respite or living care or simply some support with your everyday life. Community Care Direct can arrange for a kind caring person to come to your home and help you or a family member with any of the following tasks: Complex care needs catered for Day and night sitting service We cater for adults aged 18 years onwards Personal Care Bathing Hairwashing Medication Management Domestic Duties Visits from half to full 24 hour care

We can also accompany you on visits to the Doctors, opticians or medical appointments. We try to sensitively match suitable carers with clients ,and arrange a introductory meeting wherever possible before long term arrangements are put in place. Community Care Direct provide tailor made services that deliver the highest quality of health and social care, and are happy to discuss any care needs for yourself or a loved one.

All staff enhanced CRB checked

Office Address: 33 Shakespeare St, Southport. PR8 5AB T: 01704 544460 F: 01704 539212 M: 07967 041 138 Email: enquiries@communitycaredirect.co.uk

www.communitycaredirect.co.uk


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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

Experts can take care of the details T

HE practicalities of arranging a funeral for a friend, loved one or family member can include everything from organising a funeral service and choosing flowers, to arranging a fitting memorial or gravestone.

If you have been tasked with the job of arranging a funeral then the first thing to do would be to check with the deceased’s executors to see if they had left any instructions, in a will for example, for their funeral arrangements. You need to know in case they have pre-paid for their funeral and left specific details about the ceremony. In the case that no specific arrangements have been made, your first port of call should be to contact a funeral director. It is certainly helpful to discuss all arrangements with experienced funeral directors, as they will have so much useful knowledge on how the funeral can be organised as easily as possible. You may find it useful to ask friends or family to recommend a local funeral director they have used in the past. Alternatively, you could contact the National Association of Funeral Directors to find a reputable local firm. A funeral director will be able to assist with things such

as organising the time and place for the funeral; explaining the different options with regards to types of service and the prices of these, purchasing a suitable coffin and where to rest the body before the funeral. Of course, you do not have to use a funeral director. If you want to handle everything yourself then that is possible and may not cost as much, though it will take more organisation. You will be responsible for looking after the body and preparing it for the funeral. You will also have to book the service through a church, cemetery or crematorium. Then transport, music and flowers need to be arranged, plus a grave plot may need to be reserved. There can be a lot of stress and sadness involved in handling all of these arrangements oneself, so if you are choosing to arrange the funeral without the help of a funeral director, try to make sure you have the assistance and support of friends and family. Along with deciding upon the type of funeral service and whether the deceased should be buried or cremated, you may wish to mark the person’s final resting place with a memorial of some kind, such as a gravestone or even a

● Arranging a funeral is not easy, but help is available simple plaque. Funeral costs can be paid in a variety of different ways, so make sure you know where the money should be coming from. Often the deceased will have left money to pay for

their funeral, or this may come from a life insurance policy or pension scheme. Alternatively, they may have been paying into a specific funeral plan. If there has not been any

money set aside for funeral costs and you need financial assistance to pay for a funeral, you may be able to receive a funeral payment through something called the Social Fund. You can find out more

Alongside you through life

LATER LIFE PLANNING FROM BREENS Wills Probate Powers of Attorney Court of Protection Estates and Trusts

We help you make the right judgements in life www.breensonline.co.uk or e-mail info@breensonline.co.uk 01704 532890 Waterloo Office: 34 Crosby Road North, Waterloo, Liverpool, L22 4QG 0151 928 6544 Southport Office: 30 Hoghton Street, Southport, PR9 OPA

about this through the Direct.gov website. All-in-all, with good organisation and the support of loved ones you’re sure to be able to arrange a successful and memorable funeral.


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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

Learning to cope with personal loss E

VERYONE copes with bereavement differently and, whether it's a partner, parent or sibling, there's little that can prepare us for the pain that it can bring.

Unfortunately, it's an experience that affects most of us at some point in our lives and the word bereaved is the term typically used to describe losing someone we love through death. It may take months or years to come to terms with what's happened, and every part of us is affected, with the most intense, and very often overwhelming feelings, including loss, pain and grief. However, it's important to remember that there is no wrong or right way to grieve or deal with bereavement. Just like other situations in life, everyone reacts differently and, as a result, they will seek

different ways to cope. Feelings of sadness, anger, loneliness, shock, disbelief, numbness, anxiety and helplessness are all natural emotions and crying, becoming withdrawn, insomnia, absent-mindedness or even hallucinations can be common. The way we grieve can even be affected by our gender. In general, women tend to be more open about their feelings and have a larger network of friends who can help them deal with their loss. Men may want to appear 'strong' and not reveal how they really feel. Each reaction is a coping mechanism in its own right and should be respected and supported. Other factors surrounding the loss may also affect the grieving process. Perhaps you're loved one died suddenly and you didn't get the chance to say goodbye? Or maybe you weren't present at the

death and don't feel ready to let go? Whatever it is, certain circumstances can make it more difficult to come to terms with a death and it's understandable that you might find it harder to grieve fully. If this is the case, make sure that you, or the person affected, is surrounded by a strong support network of close friends and family and, if necessary, seek professional help from a family doctor or one of the bereavement charities. So, how can we help ourselves or a loved one going through the trauma of bereavement? The first step is to understand and appreciate that you've just suffered a huge loss and accept that it's natural to feel lost or that life may feel meaningless to begin with. Grief is something that can take a long time to get over but there are some steps you can take to ease

yourself through the darkest times. Taking care of yourself is one of the biggest steps and, as well as dealing with your feelings, remember to eat and exercise properly. Take things slowly and don't make any big decisions, like moving house or giving away your loved one's possessions away too soon. Be extra kind to yourself and, while painful, it can be healing to remember happy memories and, perhaps, look through photographs. Of course, learning to adapt to your new life is one of the biggest challenges and, just like a physical injury, recovering from a bereavement will take some time.

● If you, or someone close to you, has lost a loved one contact Cruse Bereavement Care, www.cruse bereavementcare.org.uk or call 0844 477 9400.

HUNTERS Funeral Directors Run and Managed by Lisa Hunter Dip.F.D and Sally Hunter Dip.F.D 24 hour personal service

Here to help you every step of the way Private chapel of rest All areas covered Pre arranged funeral planning available

128b Burscough Street Ormskirk L39 2EY

01695 572997

● Bereavement can take years to overcome and it's natural to feel overwhelmed by your loss

Physical symptoms of bereavement AS well as the emotional effects of grief, bereavement can also take its toll on your health. With both your mind and body being under an extreme amount of stress, it's natural to experience a range of physical symptoms. These can include:

IMMUNITY Bereavement often causes a fall of activity in the cells that fight infection so colds and other infections are common. Other conditions, such as arthritis and chronic health problems, can also worsen so it’s important to care for yourself or friends and family members that may be bereaved.

MENTAL AND PHYSICAL PROBLEMS It’s not unusual for those suffering a bereavement to become ill themselves and, as the mind and body are closely linked, psychological problems can also cause physical problems. Whether you're suffering from depression which has resulted in a loss of appetite and sleep, or your anxiety is causing hot flushes, a racing pulse and insomnia, it's essential to seek help.

NERVOUS SYSTEM Other common side effects of grief include tiredness together with a heightened state of awareness. The body responds to stress

● Coping with bereavement can lead to physical symptoms including colds and flu as the immune system and resistance is lowered and grief by producing high levels of natural steroids which can result in the 'fight' or 'flight' feelings, as well as an increase of pulse and

blood pressure. These feelings are perfectly natural and it's crucial to remember that it's all part of the grieving process.


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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

Helping children come to terms with death

C

HILDREN can find it very difficult to cope with the loss of a loved one and, no matter what their age, it's never easy to break the news of a death.

However, it is essential that children come to terms with their loss and it’s up to the adults around them to make sure that they understand the full implications of what has happened. As their parent or guardian, start by breaking the news gently while comforting and reassuring them. Try to answer questions as honestly as possible and don’t be afraid of showing your feelings. Use factual words, rather than phrases which may confuse them and, most importantly , don’t try avoiding the subject. If you do, this can leave them feeling more confused and scared than the reality itself. Like adults, children also need to understand saying goodbye to a loved one, so try and find a way that will help them understand its finality. Perhaps they would like to write a letter to say farewell? Or maybe place a toy in the coffin? Funerals can be as important to children's understanding as it can to adults, but make sure that they are prepared for what will happen so that they can choose if they want to go. And if they decide not to, ensure that they are with a close family friend or adult

who they are comfortable with. Children can also experience physical symptoms when someone dies, from tummy pains, headaches and insomnia to bed-wetting. Sulky or unruly behaviour can be another expression of grief, together

with the normal trials and tribulations of growing up. Fortunately, most children will work through bereavement at their own pace – much like adults. All they need is some solid support and the chance to discuss feelings or share memories.

● It's essential that children come to terms with the loss of a loved one

Moisters YOUR LOCAL

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Private chapels of rest All locations covered Fully qualified staff Speciaists in monumental work Pre paid funeral plans Our caring staff are here to listen and advise you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 25a Sefton Street, SOUTHPORT Tel:01704 501501

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8 Station Road, AINSDALE Tel: 01704 575282 8 Marshside Road, Churchtown Tel:01704 227 430


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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

Make a will and look after loved ones F

● Making a will ensures your partner is taken care of, whatever happens

OR a lot of people the thought of making a will can seem a little morbid, with many people often putting it off until later in life.

You might feel you’re too young to write a will, but the reality is that death will affect us all and without a will you can’t make sure that your family and friends will receive exactly what you would like them to, as the law decides how your possessions will be divided up. If you die without a will – even if you are married or in a civil partnership – your partner may not inherit all of your belongings and estate and, consequently, may not be provided for in the way that you would like. Likewise, if you are not married or in a civil partnership and die without making a will, your partner does not automatically receive a share of your estate. Writing a will can seem daunting but, with an up-to-date and legally valid will, you can have the peace of mind that, should the worst happen, your loved ones will be provided for. There are many different ways to write a will. You can write your own will with the help of DIY books, software and willwriting kits, which are available to buy in most stationery shops. This can be one of the simplest ways to write a will for those with relatively straightforward

estates but, to ensure your will is legally valid, it’s always a good idea to have an expert, such as a solicitor or professional will writer, check it over. They can also guide you through the process of writing a will. As there are many legal formalities to take into account, a solicitor can also make sure that your will is legally valid and may also be able to provide advice on issues such as inheritance tax. Before you start to write a will, it’s recommended that you consider issues such as who will benefit from your will, who will take care of your children (if they are under 18), how much money and what property and possessions you have, and who you would like to be the executor

BarringtonS independent funeral services

of your will. It is wise to appoint more than one executor, in case one of them dies. You can appoint up to four executors should you want to. The executor of your will is the person who will be responsible for sorting out your will and carrying out your wishes after your death, so it’s best to appoint someone who you feel will be able to handle the responsibility and who will be able to ensure all of your wishes are carried out. As circumstances change throughout our lives, it’s also recommended that you update your will at least once every five years and always after a major life change, such as getting married or divorced, having or adopting children or moving house. The cost of writing a will varies

H

from solicitor to solicitor and also depends upon how complicated your estate and wishes are. When choosing a solicitor or professional will writer, it’s always a good idea to ask friends and family if they can recommend someone. You can also find out which solicitors specialise in wills in your area by contacting the Law Society. To help make the whole process more time and cost effective, it helps to give some thought to what you want your will to include before you appoint a solicitor. As well as specialist solicitors and will writers, there are also a number of other organisations that can provide help and advice when writing a will, such as charities and the Citizens Advice Bureau. Once you have written your will, it’s advisable to keep this important document in a safe place, such as at home, with close friends and relatives, or with your bank or solicitor. You can even apply for your will to be kept in the Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court, a District Registry or Probate Sub-Registry. So, whatever your personal circumstances, start the process of making your will today, to ensure that whatever happens, your loved ones are provided for according to your wishes.

● It is always advisable to consult a solicitor or will writer when making a will

elping

people p peopl plle through h difficult times

Established since 1949, Barrington’s Independent Indepen Funeral Services pride themselves on helping you through this thr difficult time.

We have a warm and friendly approach and will strive to give the highes possible service We only use the highest quality products from local suppliers wherever possible

Having served the community for 60 years, we have built a reputation for a flexible and sympathetic approach, reliable service and commitment to quality.

We only use veneered coffins, not wood effect coffins like other companies As we don’t have large head offices to run, we can keep our costs reasonable without compromising the service we provide All our products come from timber that is sustainable As well as traditional funerals we can satisfy virtualy any request a family can ask

Perfect Choice

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We are an approved supplier for colourful coffins the premier picture coffin specialist in the UK

BarringtonS independent funeral services

28 Crosby Road North, Wateerloo, Liverpool L22 4QF

0151 928 1625

Mr David Barrington

We can supply, cardboard, wilow, seagrass or water hyachinth coffins, balloons, doves, horse drawn or motor cycle hearses, even a volkswagen camper van or a landrover hearse if necessary, whatever the family wants to make a lasting memory we will endeavour to supply.

www.barringtonsfunerals.co.uk


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Mediamix Supplement â—? Wednesday, February 3, 2010

For over 10 years as specialists in Personal Injury,Wills and Probate. For all your legal requirements in

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Have you made a Will? If you die without making a Will, or if you’re Will is poorly prepared, you could be leaving your loved ones with huge legal and financial headaches. Davies & Gribbin solicitors offer a professional Will writing service. Our expert team uses the most up-to-date Will writing techniques and will work with you to ensure that your instructions are effectively incorporated into your last Will and Testament.

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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

How to plan your perfect farewell S

for their family to have to contend with regarding their funeral. Making plans for your funeral doesn’t have to involve its complete advance organisation. It can be as simple a matter as putting your preferences in writing, so that your family know for certain what type of ceremony you would prefer. Perhaps you can state your preferred location and include things such as the music or hymns you would like played at the service. Such information can be put down formally and given to your next of kin or executors. Other information they may find useful would include a preference on flowers, and whether you should be buried or cremated. You can even arrange to have all the costs of your funeral taken care of before your death. Many businesses offer pre-paid funeral planning which allows you to pay for your funeral and specify the arrangements for it. This way you can feel completely secure in the

OME people might think it a little morbid to think about and plan what should happen in the event of one’s own death.

However, it is certainly not unusual for people to think about death, particularly their own death, in a very practical and pragmatic manner. Often people decide even to plan their own funeral. It can be a blessing for your loved ones to have the burden of organising a funeral taken from them. It is certainly difficult to make arrangements and all the preparations for a funeral service and burial at a time when you are grieving the loss of a loved one. That is why planning your own funeral in advance can be beneficial. Making sure that everything is taken care of in the event of one’s death can help put the mind at ease. If a person finds that they are close to death, it can bring important peace of mind to know there will be no further stresses and worries

knowledge that your funeral will be as you want it and also that your family will not have the funeral arrangements to contend with after your death. The best advice when organising a pre-paid funeral would be to get a few quotes from different companies, then compare prices and options available before making your decision. You may find it useful to ask the advice of your family too. It is also wise to check that the company is a member of the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), which regulates the funeral plan industry and has a code of practice that members have to comply with. You can get more information from their website: www.funeral planningauthority.com/ Also of real use to those planning their own funeral is a brochure the BBC has produced explaining many of the steps to consider. It is available to view online at: www.bbc.co.uk/health/ tv_and_radio/how_to_have_ a_good_death/planning_a_ good_death.pdf/

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● Arranging your own funeral can give you peace of mind and make things easier for your loved ones


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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

Funerals tailored to the individual W

HETHER you’re thinking about planning your funeral now or you’ve just lost a loved one, there are a variety of funeral types you can opt for.

The traditional funeral is conducted by a funeral director and is usually the most expensive. The funeral arrangement can include embalming and preparing the body for viewing; a viewing of the deceased, the day before and/or the day of the funeral; the hearse to transport the deceased to the cemetery; and/or the burial or cremation. In addition, you will have the expense of a casket and the cemetery plot or crypt. Another type of funeral arrangement is where the deceased is buried in a simple casket with no viewing or embalming. The funeral home will transport the deceased to the funeral home for placement in the casket and then to the cemetery. The deceased can also be cremated and, again, the funeral home will provide transport to a crematorium. The ashes are placed in an urn,

which can then be buried, kept at home or scattered. These last two types of funerals will cost less than the traditional funeral because fewer services by the funeral home are performed. There are alternatives to the religious funeral service or traditional burials and cremations. Some people, for whom religion was not a significant part of their lives, ask to have a humanist funeral. They or their family might feel that a religious service would seem insincere or inappropriate to the memory of the deceased. In such cases, a humanist funeral ceremony is a worthy option. Such ceremonies are tailored to celebrate a person’s life and recognise their loss, all without religious funerary rites coming into play. Of course, the likes of music and readings special to the deceased can be incorporated along with times for reflection on their passing. Log on to www.humanism. org.uk for more details. With so many of us

becoming ever more ecologically-minded in our lives, it makes sense that many would want to continue to take the “green” approach after their deaths. For this reason, green funerals and burials are becoming increasingly popular. There are a number of sites around the country that promote eco-friendly funerals. These involve green ceremonies at special woodland burial grounds, wild flower meadows or pastures. Cardboard or wooden coffins are used, along with woollen shrouds. Funeral directors are, more and more, incorporating green burials into their work and should be able to offer assistance with the purchase of the coffin and the transport of the body to a suitable site. Graves can be left unmarked or marked by planting a tree or leaving a small wooden plaque that will naturally biodegrade. For many, this is seen as a perfect, natural end to their time on earth. Visit www.naturaldeath. org.uk for more information.

● There are a range of options available when organising a funeral

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Mediamix Supplement â—? Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

Why talking can ease the pain I

F you're struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one, counselling may be able to help.

A type of talking therapy, counselling comes in many forms and is able to help ease negative thoughts and feelings of anxiety, as well as, depression and stress after a bereavement. It can take place as part of a group session or, more commonly, on a one-to-one basis and is a helpful way of coming to terms with your grief. Giving you a chance to talk openly and freely about your feelings and fears, counsellors can provide a confidential and non-judgemental place where you can explore your loss. Most importantly, counselling gives you the opportunity to be heard, time to talk and cry or even think without the interruptions of everyday life. And, whether you need help to work through your

bereavement or learn coping mechanisms to help when you're on your own, counselling can help you come to terms with loss at your own pace. Of course, there is no set pathway for grief but counselling may be of help if you feel that your emotions are becoming so overwhelming that they are beginning to affect your everyday relationships and job Many of us are guilty of keeping our feelings of sadness and anger locked away and, even though it might seem like a daunting prospect, talking about how we feel is an essential part of moving forward. It can also help to find the best way to accept the changes that your loss will bring and ensure you find a suitable way to allow life to continue while keeping the memory of your loved one alive. Many counsellors are specially trained in bereavement and are able to provide a sympathetic ear, as well as offering that

extra helping hand that many people need after experiencing the loss of a loved one. If you feel that counselling may be beneficial for you, there are many places that can help. Charities such as Cruse Bereavement Care, 0844 477 9400, or the Samaritans, 08457 909090, which offers emotional support 24hours-a-day, provide a place to turn for advice or simply someone to talk to. Your local GP may also be able to put you in touch with a counsellor and The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has a list of registered counsellors across the UK and will locate an experienced therapist in your area. Seeking help is a sign of strength, so if you're struggling with grief and feel that counselling may help you or a loved one find out more today. Remember that your loved one would not want you to be suffering.

â—? Counselling can help you work through your bereavement or learn coping mechanisms


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Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

Find the right sort of care for you A

S we get older our requirements change – including our accommodation needs.

You may reach retirement and no longer work, so need extra company or start to feel the strain of keeping a large family home in good condition. Your home needs to suit your lifestyle, and there’s no point in staying somewhere you’re not comfortable with. There are a number of options available. You could downsize and buy a smaller home, though if you’re looking for a little bit more security then retirement (sometimes known as sheltered) housing could be for you. Retirement or sheltered housing is designed specifically for older people, often with minimum age requirements. It is usually built in developments of about 20 to 40 self-contained flats or bungalows. There is almost always an alarm system linked to a 24-hour communication centre‚ which can summon help for you in an emergency‚ and usually a scheme manager (warden)‚ who may live on-site. If you decide to look into sheltered housing, think about the location of the development, the duties of the manager/warden, the size and design of the individual flats, and the support available.

● Retirement or sheltered housing gives you security while still being independent You should also note what costs are involved, including service charges, and any rules such as keeping pets. If you or someone you know needs a little more care or even professional nursing care, then there are a variety of options available here, too. Care homes provide accommodation‚ personal care and sometimes nursing care. They are staffed 24 hours a day and all meals are provided. Care homes are intended for

older people whose care and support needs mean they can no longer live independently. The costs are usually high compared to other housing options, and the main source of help with fees is local authority social services. Before moving to a care home, get social services to assess whether this type of care is needed. Choosing a care home is an important decision; it will‚ after all‚ be your new home.

The local authority‚ the national regulatory body and charities such as the Elderly Accommodation Counsel should all have lists of homes in your preferred area. Any list is only a start, though. Always visit a home before deciding to move there, and take a list of points to check and questions to ask. As well as asking specific questions about the care and facilities‚ consider whether you like the atmosphere: do

the residents seem happy? Ask to see copies of the home’s inspection reports. If you like a home‚ see if it is possible to go there for a trial period before making a long-term commitment. It is vital to choose the right type of home. If a home cannot offer the level of support you need it will not be suitable; or in a home that usually looks after people with more intense needs than yours you may feel out of place.

If the local authority has assessed you as requiring care in a care home‚ they have a duty to ensure that suitable care is available to you‚ even if you will be paying the full cost yourself. If the local authority is funding your care‚ you have the right to choose which home you go into‚ but a relative or friend might have to top up your fees if your chosen home costs more than your authority usually pays. Take advice before committing to make a top-up payment. There are also homes that provide care for older people who require extra care and support‚ often due to dementia. These are sometimes known as EMI (elderly mentally infirm) homes. Once you find a home, check that the fees and contract terms are acceptable to you and‚ if you are being assisted with the cost‚ the local authority. ● For more help and information contact Age Concern on (free call) 0800 009966, log on to the website www.ageconcern.org.uk or contact Elderly Accommodation Counsel, which has a database of housing for older people and offers guidance to help enquirers choose suitable accommodation. Call 020 7820 1343.

WHATEVER level of care you or a loved one requires, MCL Community Care can help. From domestic support to personal and 24 hour care, this leading company has a range of professional care services available to ensure you get the expert care you need. Established since 2003, the Eastbank Street based company has a wealth of experience providing care services in Southport and the surrounding area. MCL’s services can be tailor-made to suit your personal requirements and the company’s experienced carers can visit as often or as little as you like. From daily visits to help with personal care like washing and dressing; to morning and evening visits to provide meal time support and help taking medication, or even 24-hour care with the company’s homecare service. MCL Community Care is proactive in its approach to providing care locally. After consultation with local groups, an extended range of innovative services were developed. These include the very popular Safe and Sound, providing home visits throughout the night checking all is well, reducing the need to move into residential or nursing homes.

The company also has a full range of support services, from Out and About, a range of daily activities and trips; to maintenance and domestic support. One particular service that has been welcomed is MCL Holidays, which allows people to enjoy breaks both in the UK and abroad with the support of trained companions. The team pride themselves on their sensitivity, and offer a range of specialist care services, including helping those with dementia or alzheimer’s disease to get the expert care and support they need; palliative care to help make a loved one’s final days more comfortable, and support for those recovering from a stroke. Continuously trained, all of MCL’s experienced carers are registered with the Care Quality Commission, fully vetted and regularly appraised and supervised by management. They are also members of REC and hold ISO 9001, maintaining quality management systems. MCL Community Care produces a regular newsletter ‘Our Community’, listing what’s on within the local area and developments within the company. Please contact MCL to be added to the mailing list.

For more information call 01704 512 906 or visit MCL Community Care, 81 Eastbank Street, Southport.


12

Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

If you care, don’t forget to think about yourself, too

T

HERE are more than six million carers in the UK and, according to statistics, more than three in five people in the UK will become a carer at some point in their lives.

If you are a carer yourself, then don’t worry – you are not alone. There is a whole network of help, support and advice available. A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental illness, addiction or disability. Many people are carers, but everyone’s situation is different. You may be caring for an elderly, unwell or disabled partner, relative or friend full-time, which can mean 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Or you may simply be helping someone out on a regular basis, by doing their shopping or cooking, for example. For some people the caring role has evolved gradually, almost without their noticing. For others, a sudden crisis may have resulted in their becoming a carer. Others still may have chosen to become carers only after considerable thought and discussion. There are carers of all ages too – young carers, taking responsibility for a parent or sibling, middle-aged carers, often women, looking after parents or in-laws, and there are older carers, caring for a spouse, partner or disabled adult child. Often carers juggle the demands of a family and a job with their caring role. Whoever you are and whatever type of caring you do, it is important not to forget your own needs. Caring can be a very rewarding business but

it can also be extremely taxing, calling on all your reserves of emotional and physical energy. It is easy, when you are busy coping day to day and responding to others, to forget your own health and mental well-being. Don’t feel under pressure to do everything – not all the suggestions will be right for your particular way of living, or even your personality. Choose the things you feel comfortable with, but remember that the fitter and healthier you are, the better you will be able to cope, both physically and emotionally, with the demands of caring. ● For information and support on being a carer contact the Carers National Association (CNA) on 0345 573 369, and for advice on what benefits you may be entitled to as a carer, contact your local benefits agency or visit www.direct.gov.uk.

● Being a carer is hard work but rewarding at the same time

Nazareth House Great Crosby Liverpool L23 0QT Registered Charity Number 228906 (England)

Nazareth House, is a registered Residential Care Home providing care for the elderly since 1897 and is managed by the Sisters of Nazareth organisation. The home consists of 64 rooms, many of which are en-suite with a 2 star rating with CQC and a 5 star rating with RDB. Extensive and attractive gardens ensure a sense of privacy and peace. Members of all denominations are welcome Tel:0151 928 3254 Fax: 0151 928 7723 http://sistersofnazareth.com

We also consider requests for short-term respite care, dependent on room availability.


13

Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

Don’t struggle alone with legal issues W

HEN a family member dies, the last thing anyone wants to think about are any legal or financial issues that may arise.

Unfortunately this is always something that does have to be carefully considered, but it needn’t be the cause of too much worry. Many people are nervous about contacting solicitors, fearing mounting costs and legal fees. However, such fears are often not justified. The various legalities surrounding the affairs of the deceased may appear very confusing, but a solicitor will have the skills and experience to deal with any legal issues arising. One thing that must be done is to register the death. This has to be done within five days, and you must take along a medical certificate of the cause of death, signed by a doctor. Probate is the process of officially proving the validity of a will and the winding up of a person’s affairs after their death. Whether a will exists or not, somebody has to be made legally responsible for dealing with the person’s estate. An executor is the person who is named, usually in a will, to manage the estate. A solicitor will be able to advise on the role of an executor and any issues which arrive from probate. A local solicitor can help you resolve issues quickly and face-to-face. Many offer free initial consultations and advise upon likely costs going forward. It may also be wise to consult a

financial advisor who can help you with issues arising from taxation on any inheritance you may receive. There are a range of organisations that can offer useful help, advice and support to those dealing with the financial and legal implications of a recent death. Similarly, there are agencies and organisations who specialise in helping those who are looking at community and private care solutions, either for themselves or a family member. For general queries and advice on a range of subjects, from making a will and registering a death to getting help to pay for care home costs, the UK government website found at www.direct.gov.uk is invaluable. Your local council should also be able to assist you and point you in the right direction for advice and explanation of any legal concerns you might have. The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is another excellent resource. The organisation has an online advice guide which can prove useful – see www.adviceguide.org.uk. For specific advice on issues for older people, especially on issues surrounding care and support for the elderly, there’s a great service called FirstStop. It provides advice and information for older people directly or by making available the right information for carers and families at the right time, at the click of a button or over the phone. Have a look at the website www.firststopcareadvice.org.uk or give them a call on 0800 377 7070.

● The right professional help can alleviate any worries you may have

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Hodge Halsall has a specialist and dedicated team providing a comprehensive range of services including: Wills Powers of Attorney Inheritance Tax Issues Probate and Estate Administration Estate Disputes Nursing Home Isues Court of Protection Trust Creation & Management Please contact us for a confidential discussion on your individual circumstances

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01704 531991

01704 577171

www.hodgehalsall.co.uk


14

Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

Choosing a fitting memorial W

HEN their loved ones pass away, many families find comfort in having a symbol of remembrance on which to focus their grief.

This often takes the form of a memorial or headstone placed at the cemetery which acts as a celebration of a person’s life. A well chosen headstone should simply capture the essence of the life being commemorated. It is a permanent tribute so it’s important to take your time to choose the right design for your loved one, as hasty decisions can cause later regrets. The first consideration, should be to acquire a plot and find out if your chosen cemetery or crematorium has any rules and regulations with regards to the size and design of headstones. Contact your local stonemasons, who should be able to advise you on these matters. It’s a good idea to visit a few stonemasons before commissioning one to do the work. Ask friends and family if they can recommend a reputable stonemason who specialises in monumental masonry. Before appointing one, always get a written quote

● Always check the type of headstone or memorial you choose is acceptable at the place of burial including all costs and check if they are a member of a trade association. Many masons are accredited by the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) and are bound by the strict Codes of Business and Working Practice to ensure your monument is fixed safely. They also have the necessary insurances and guarantees for added peace of mind. Your chosen mason can advise you on different types of materials available and help you pick a design and inscription. They should be able to tell you which materials are suitable for the type of memorial you require – and for the area in which it is to be fixed – bearing in mind the weather, pollution and surrounding vegetation.

When choosing stone, granite is always a popular choice and comes in a variety of colours it is also very durable and requires little maintenance. Marble, bronze, slate, sandstone, York stone, limestone, Portland and hornstone are other materials which can be used. You will also need to think about the size and shape of the headstone, lettering style and an appropriate inscription, which usually includes the person's name, date of birth, date of death and an epitaph. You may wish to add a vase for placing fresh or silk flowers or a photo or engraved image. A design can depict the deceased’s favourite place, flower, animal, hobby or have religious significance. Lastly, it is important to remember that you will be fully responsible for maintaining the memorial so you need to arrange for it to be regularly maintained – and insured. Many memorial masons offer maintenance schemes which include regular cleaning and checking. ● For more information, contact NAMM, the national association of memorial masons on 01788 542264 or visit www.namm.org.uk

Famous epitaphs “I told you I was ill”

The epitaph above which graced the gravestone of comedy legend Spike Milligan is perhaps one of the most famous ever. Here are some more memorable inscriptions...

“I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” Winston Churchill “Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.” William Shakespeare “Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night: God said, 'Let Newton be!' and all was light.” Isaac Newton “Alien tears will fill for him, Pity's long-broken ern, For his mourners will be outcast men, And outcasts always mourn.” Oscar Wilde

● A well chosen headstone should simply capture the essence of the life being commemorated

“The best is yet to come.” Frank Sinatra

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FROM including a charity in your will to doing something worthwhile during your lifetime, there are many things you can do to ensure your legacy lives on after you’ve gone, but perhaps one of the best things any of us can do in death is to help save someone else’s life. Transplants are one of the most miraculous achievements of modern medicine and, should we need one, it’s not something many of us would turn down. Yet shockingly just 27% of the population is on the organ donor register. According to NHS statistics, many of us (45%) intend to become a donor so that our organs can be transplanted after our death, but just never get around to joining the organ donor register. Many people also believe that they are too old to become an organ donor, but that’s simply not the case, as the main criteria for donation is physical condition, not age. Other reasons why people haven’t got around to joining the organ donor register include not wanting to tempt fate; not knowing how to sign up or being worried about changing their minds in the future. By becoming an organ donor, you could give someone the best gift of all – life. Each year, some 2,700 people are given a new lease of life by a transplant, which is the best possible treatment

● Becoming an organ donor could help someone live a full and active life

for many people with lifethreatening conditions. Some of the most commonly performed transplants are kidney, heart, liver and lung transplants. As medicine advances, other organs like the small bowel and pancreas are also being used in transplants. However, it’s not just your organs that could help someone after you’ve gone, as tissue like corneas, heart valves, skin, bone, tendons and cartilage can also be donated. So, as well as helping to save someone’s life by donating an organ, you could also help someone regain their sight through a cornea transplant, help someone with severe burns with a skin graft or help a child born with a heart defect by

donating heart valves. In the UK, more than 10,000 people currently need a transplant. Of these, over 1,000 people die each year before they receive the organ they so desperately need. So, if you’ve always intended to become an organ donor but never quite got around to it, make today the day you join the organ register. If you would like to become an organ donor, as well as joining the organ donor register, it’s important to discuss your wishes with your family. ● To find out more about joining the organ donor register, call the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 2323 or visit the website www.organdonation.nhs.uk.


15

Mediamix Supplement ● Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace of Mind Matters

Clearing out will help you to move on

I

F you have suffered a bereavement or had a loved one move into a care home, clearing their house is one of the hardest things that you will ever have to face, but with a little help you can get through this difficult but necessary task.

When faced with the prospect of an empty house and the daunting job of sorting through a lifetime of your loved one’s possessions, you will be forced to confront the reality of their death or the fact they have moved into a care home for the remainder of their days. Sorting through their belongings will undoubtedly stir up a wealth of emotions and memories and make you reflect on the finality of the situation. Whether your loved one has moved into a care home or passed away, the key to getting through this daunting responsibility is to keep moving. Move from one room or type of possessions to the next, pausing as little as possible so as not to give yourself the opportunity to dwell on how you feel. Try to be as methodical as possible, and do not examine each object as this can unearth raw emotions and make the whole process take longer and be more painful than it really

● Clearing the house of someone who’s died or gone into care is usually a sad business

needs to be. Be realistic and practical – if you can’t face tackling the whole house in one go, be honest with yourself and set yourself achievable, manageable targets such as sorting through photographs one day and the kitchen the next. Always try to face the task as

a family, too, and work through it together so you can all provide one another with the love and support you need during this difficult time. Do not be afraid to admit that the scale of the task is too much and ask for help. As well as the assistance available from loved ones, friends and

family, there are also many companies who can help ease the burden, including professional organisers, house clearance specialists and cleaners. Whether your loved one has lived in their home for all their life or only for a few years, there is a lot to take into consideration when clearing out someone’s home. Making lists to break down the job can

help you keep track of everything that needs to be done. It can also be beneficial to discuss how the possessions are to be divided up with all concerned before starting to clear the house. Work out a timetable, and be realistic in your goals – remember if it has taken a lifetime to fill the house, you are not going to be able to clear and organise it all in a

week. Do not underestimate how emotionally and physically draining this task will be, and give yourself the time you need to get it done. Above all, remember this is never going to be an easy task, but faced in the right way, with the love and support of friends and family, it can help you to reflect on the situation and provide some closure to help you move forward.


The Will Writing Guild (UK) Ltd • Wills and Updates • Lasting Power of Attorney • Probate Administration • Protective Property Trust Wills • Pre-Paid Funerals • Equity Release • Free Home Visits • Secure Document Storage

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