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If you’re an unpaid carer, you might spend a lot of time making sure that the person you care for gets the support they need. But, have you made plans for an emergency? See the Contingency Planning section for information about how you can get an Emergency Carers Card.

It’s also important to plan ahead and to have documents such as Lasting Powers of Attorney in place.  This means that if the person you are caring for is unable to look after their affairs, e.g. managing their bills, or to guide health professionals, then people they’ve nominated and trust can act on their behalf.

Managing affairs for someone else

Managing someone else’s affairs can mean things such as looking after their bank accounts, savings, investments or other financial affairs, claiming and spending welfare benefits on their behalf and making decisions about their day-to-day personal care or health care.

Why might I need to manage someone else’s affairs?

You might want to manage someone else’s affairs because they are ill or disabled, either temporarily or on a long-term basis, out of the country for a while or are unable to make decisions for themselves because they no longer have mental capacity or for other reasons.

What do we need to put in place?

It is recommended to have a Lasting Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Plan in place. These are useful for everyone, no matter what their age. They are, however, particularly important to put in place as soon as possible if, for example, someone has the start of dementia.

What are Lasting Powers of Attorney and why are they needed?

Lasting Powers of Attorney, or LPAs, are legal documents that allow someone to choose one or more people to help make decisions in their best interests should they be unable to do so physically and/or lose mental capacity. There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney: one for financial affairs and one for health and welfare.

Without these plans in place, it can make simple things like paying a utility bill, accessing a pension, or bringing someone home from a care home to be cared for, very difficult. This is the case even if the person is a spouse or a close family member.

What’s a Universal Care Plan?

Universal Care Plans are set up with your GP. They formalise what someone wants to happen to them in the event of end of life or in an emergency healthcare situation or their care at any time including end of life. This information is available for the emergency services, A&E and healthcare professionals to access. It can help clinicians to understand the patient’s preferences and wishes and is fundamental when in planning someone’s individual care, as well as treatment in an emergency medical situation.

Where can I get help to put these in place?

Age UK Islington runs a Future Matters service together with partner Gentle Dusk provides regular information sessions and free one-to-one follow-up support to help you record your wishes or those of the person you are caring for. See the Future Matters webpage.

Message in a Bottle

‘Message in a Bottle’ is a clearly labelled plastic tube containing information that is stored in the fridge. It includes details like name and age, but also details of your GP, any illnesses you have, allergies, medication you are on and where you keep your medication. It even contains details of any pets, should you have them, so that they wont be forgotten if you are taken to hospital.

If you are part of the scheme you display a sticker on the inside of your front door and one on the door of the fridge. Paramedics, doctors, the police and the fire service will look out for these stickers and know that this information is available.

For more information see the Whittington NHS Foundation Trust website.

Herbert Protocol form

People with dementia sometimes get lost and go missing. If you care for someone with dementia you can fill in this ‘Herbert Protocol’ form containing information to give to the police if the person goes missing. This means you don’t have to remember the information when you are under stress if someone goes missing. And it saves time, so the police can start the search sooner. You can fill in this form on your computer or print it out and fill it in by hand.

For the form and more information see the Metropolitan Police website.

Contact Islington Carers Hub

For more information or if you have any questions, get in touch with us on 020 7281 3319 or email

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