Planning for emergencies

If you’re a carer, it’s important to plan what will happen if you’re unable to provide care.

What would happen if you had to go into hospital? If you an accident? Or, were no longer able to care? 

Planning in advance and talking about who could provide care on your behalf makes an emergency easier to deal with.

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 that 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 kept by making changes to your home. You can also introduce a few simple things to reduce anxiety and pressures on you as a carer, or to maintain the independence of the person you care for.

Before something happens, it’s better to think about:

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.

Making legal and financial arrangements

You may want to think about bank accounts, guardianship, powers of attorney and creating a will.

If someone can't do it for themselves, you can apply for the right to look after their financial and legal affairs or welfare.

If you need assistance in making financial decisions and want some independent financial advice, talk to a financial advisor or solicitor.

Some people may want to set out their wishes for the future if they become terminally ill, or in the event that 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.

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 sticker.

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. Otherwise, the Lions Club International can send one to you.

Planning for hospital discharge 

If the person that 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. Check what arrangements are being made by the health services, or what you might need to organise yourself to make things safer.

Key safe codes

If you are a care provider (health or professional service) and you would like your client's key safe code, you need to request this by email through Adult Social Care:

We can't provide the key code over the phone, no matter what the situation is.

If there are concerns for the client’s welfare, we would suggest the emergency services are called. If you have the contact details for a family member, we would suggest they are contacted, especially if they are local and they have their own set of keys.

For warden-controlled sites, the warden will be able to grant you access after carrying out the appropriate checks.

If you would like to make a referral for an assessment, please contact us: