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Last Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006, 06:00 GMT 07:00 UK
The care maze: Diana Moran investigates
Diana Moran reports for Breakfast
Catch up with Diana's special reports for Breakfast
An increasing number of us are going through the agonies of trying to organise care for an elderly relative.

In days gone by, the task of looking after a frail parent might have fallen to one of the daughters in an extended family.

But these days, most women go out to work - so increasingly, the only option is to go into a home.

But just how hard is it trying to find the right kind of care?

We asked Diana Moran, who used to be a regular on Breakfast as The Green Goddess, to investigate the care maze.

Tuesday April 4

Diana Moran talks to Joan and Mick James
Joan worries about the future with Mick
Today, Diana Moran heard what it's like to care for a frail relative in your own home. She visits Joan James, who's been caring for her husband since he had a stroke seven years ago.

Joan, who has arthritis, worries about whether she'll still be able to look after Mick as they get older.

To sum up her conclusions, Diana joined us in the studio, with the National Director for Older People's Services, Ian Philp

Monday April 3

Geoff and his mother Joan Collins
Geoff: finding a home was "fraught with difficulties"
In her first special report for Breakfast, Diana looked at some of the biggest challenges facing care homes.

She heard from Geoff Collins, who found the search for a care home for his mother was made even worse because his local social services department failed to conduct an assessment on her.

They've since had an apology - and Joan is now settled in a home.

Diana also talked to care home owner Michael Lawrence - and heard how paperwork and ever-changing rules make his life much more difficult.

  • Getting help
    As we mentioned in our reports, your first port of call for getting extra help should be your local authority's social services department.

    They can organise services such as home helps, meals on wheels or carers who can help disabled people get out of bed and dressed in the morning. You may be expected to pay for some of these services.

    If you're having trouble working out what help you're entitled to - or getting social services to help, you can find out more about your rights from the Citizen's Advice Bureau, Carers UK or the other organisations which we have linked to on the right hand side of this story.

  • We'd like to hear your experiences of navigating the care maze. You can use this form to e-mail the Breakfast inbox direct:

    Your E-mail address
    Where you live

    The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

    The Care Maze: 1
    Diana Moran looks at the problems of running a care home

    The Care Maze: 2
    Diana Moran looks at the help on offer, if you choose to stay in your own home

    BBC Breakfast


    The care maze
    30 Mar 06 |  Breakfast
    Your Comments
    10 Dec 04 |  Breakfast


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