A great turnout for TechFest65

A great turnout for TechFest65

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We were delighted to host the first ever TechFest65 last week at the Winchester Discovery Centre. The event was exclusively for the over 65s and designed to help them become more confident using modern technology.

The Everycare team welcomed a host of Winchester residents, all eager to learn more about how the use of smartphones, tablets, laptops, social media and apps can revolutionise their lives. Attendees were treated to a number of technology presentations, live demonstrations, along with the opportunity to quiz the experts, with Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse team members on hand, for one-to-one Q&As and demos. The morning also gave attendees the chance to network over tea, coffee and cake.

Mike Frizzell, Managing Director of Everycare (Central Hants), said “TechFest65 was a great opportunity for the older population of Winchester to learn new skills. Getting to grips with new technology isn’t easy but we hope that attendees are now able to go off and demonstrate their newly-founded tech skills to impress their grandkids!”

TechFest65 is already helping the elderly population of Winchester become more tech-savvy. Neil Sackley, BBC Radio Solent presenter, speaks with attendees. Listen below.

 

Such was the success of the event, that plans are already afoot for TechFest65 2018!

Live-in Technology Brings Peace of Mind

Live-in Technology Brings Peace of Mind

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For the past year, the team at Everycare Winchester have been working hard to implement a new system that will transform the way we are able to deliver care, for our customers and their friends and family, and after much testing, we’re delighted to announce its official launch.

As the world starts to embrace digital technology in ever more diverse areas of life, overlooking the obvious benefits that new technologies can bring to the care sector would be remiss of us. At the same time, we are passionate believers in there being no substitute for real, face-to-face relationships when providing care. Taking both these points into consideration, we spent a considerable amount of time looking at how we could utilise emerging technologies to supplement and improve our existing service, without undermining the special relationships we have forged with our clients. Pass, created by Everylife Technologies, stood out as a system that will do just that.

Pass‘s ability to create tailored care plans for all our care and live-in care clients is just the start.

The system’s unique array of features will benefit our clients and their loved ones in many different ways, some of which we’ve outlined below:

  • Customised care plans are created digitally, enabling us to go paperless, thereby reducing the opportunities for error.
  • Instant medical and health updates are sent to the client and their relatives, ensuring they stay informed and have peace of mind.
  • Our clients and their relatives can access their tailored care plans online, empowering them to make changes if the need should arise.
  • Care workers are able to report back to the office real-time with feedback on tasks and activities and make amendments to suit the client’s requirements.
  • Book visits that fit with our clients’ schedules.
  • Alerts are sent immediately to management and relatives if visits are behind schedule or have been missed.
  • Medication is controlled online, enabling us to check that the right medication is being taken, at the right time.

Not only will our implementation of Pass enable us to improve our in-home and live-in care services, but it will also bring significant peace of mind to our clients and their family and friends who care for them.

If you would like to enquire about any of care services for you or a loved one, give us a call and speak to one of our team on 01962 842 548.

Can I Reduce My Risk of Getting Dementia?

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Dementia is a disease that many of us worry about getting in old age because of the affect it can have, not only on the sufferer, but the whole family. Our other worry comes from the fact that is no known cure at the moment and often there is no clear diagnosis.

With no cure and difficult diagnosis we ask ourselves is there anything I can do to reduce my chances of getting Dementia. The good news is there is things we can do but the bad news is that for many of us we are too late in life to change what we have already done!

The risk of dementia, disability and frailty will sometimes be determined by factors that can’t be changed, such as inherited conditions, injury or our early life education. But changing specific risk factors and behaviours can reduce the risk of dementia, disability and frailty for many people. These changeable factors include smoking, lack of physical activity, alcohol consumption, poor diet, being overweight and mental health.

Even if you think it is too late to change your lifestyle, think again because modifying our lifestyles at any stage can increase our chances of living healthier for longer.

Looking at the changeable factors where we can influence our health:

 Smoking

Smoking has an extremely harmful effect on the heart, lungs and blood vessels, including the blood vessels in the brain. Research shows that smokers have a 50 per cent greater chance of developing dementia than those who have never smoked, but this risk can be significantly reduced by quitting the habit.

Personally I do not get why people continue to smoke, how many times does it have to be said that it is really bad for your health and is anti-social. If you want to stop smoking it is a good idea to visit your GP. They can provide help and advice about quitting, and can refer you to an NHS Stop Smoking Service. The help is there, use it.

 Physical Activity

Being physically active is important for the health of both brain and heart, and should be something you do as part of a healthy lifestyle. Research shows that regular exercise in middle-aged or older adults can improve thinking and memory, and reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Try to be physically active for at least 30 minutes, five times a week, with a moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking or cycling. To make a real difference you need get your heart rate up and break into a sweat.

Alcohol Consumption

The old guidance was not to drink more than the recommended levels of alcohol (those recommended levels are shown below) but this has changed in October 2015 to any alcohol consumption between the ages of 40 to 64 increases the risk of developing various forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. It is not about being teetotal but keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum, drop the glass of wine at the end of every day just have it on special occasions.
The old NHS guidelines suggest that men should not regularly drink more than 3–4 units of alcohol a day, and women should not regularly drink more than 2–3 units a day. A pint of lower-strength lager and a standard 175ml glass of wine each contain around two units of alcohol. We have left this guidance in to help people below 40 keep their consumption below sensible levels.

 Poor Diet

Poor diet can affect a person’s risk of developing many types of illness, including dementia. Maintaining a healthy balanced diet and a normal body weight is likely to reduce the chance of developing high blood pressure or heart disease, both of which put a person at greater risk of developing dementia. Avoid those ready meals and many processed foods because they give you too much sugar, bad fats and salt in your diet.

Eating a diet with a high proportion of oily fish, fruit, vegetables, unrefined cereals such as whole-grain bread and olive oil, and low levels of red meat and sweets may help to reduce the risk of dementia. Remember to cut-out the high sugar level drinks as well.

Being Overweight or Obese

Being Overweight or Obese increases someone’s chances of developing risk factors for dementia, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. This means people who are overweight or obese, especially in mid-life (40 to 64), are at an increased risk of developing dementia.

Noting what was said above about Poor Diet and Physical Activity and making those lifestyle changes will help people to avoid becoming overweight or obese and (in most cases) help you to lose weight.

 Mental Activity

Research suggests that people who continual stimulate their brains by reading, learning or doing puzzles are less likely to develop dementia, compared with those who do not engage in these activities. Some research in Sweden showed that early life achievers and those that handled complex data at work had reduced risk of dementia.

Mental activity appears to increase the brain’s ability to cope with, and compensate for, physical damage. By being mentally active your brain can tolerate more damage before symptoms of dementia are detected. Be a life-long learner and take up new hobbies are great ways to challenge your brain and keep it active.

Other areas of risk are:

Depression

Depression is a probable risk in developing dementia. Do not suffer in silence with depression, you should seek help from the GP early because it can be treated, either with drugs or talking therapies (or both).

High blood pressure

High blood pressure in mid-life significantly increases the likelihood of developing dementia in later life. Once you are over the age of 40 you should make sure your blood pressure is checked regularly and follow any medical advice to keep it under control.

Diabetes

The risk of developing dementia has a strong link with having type 2 diabetes. Reduce your chances of developing diabetes by staying at a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet that is low in sugar. If you already have diabetes, it’s important to manage your condition correctly and follow medical advice.

Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels in mid-life have been shown to increase your risk of dementia later on. Cholesterol levels later in life do not seem to have the same effect, but advice seems to change all the time so I would still control it after 65.

If you are the over the age of 40 then get your cholesterol level checked to make sure that you are within a healthy range. Your GP will give you advice on how to reduce your cholesterol if it is too high.

At Everycare, even though we are here to look after people in later life, we want to you all to live as independently and healthily as possible. We recommend you review your lifestyle and adapt it to live a healthy life. We can help by taking on some of the chores you hate doing while you carry on engaging in healthy activities.

Maintaining A Healthy And Active Lifestyle

Health Care

More people are reaching the age of retirement as a nation people are living longer than ever before, the result for the future may mean higher numbers of elderly people with ill health, evidently putting a strain upon care resources and services. Which is why it has never been more important to watch and look after our own health and nutrition in the later stages of life.

As we age our bodies change which may pose a number of challenges as people become less mobile and more frail. In extreme cases some can become malnourished, resulting in low immune systems and an increased percentage of the elderly developing further health issues. Getting older can change our eating habits, sometimes resulting in lack of appetite and motivation when it comes to having a nutritionally balanced meal. The page provided here by Nutritionist Resource gives a number of hints and tips on how to maintain a healthy diet later on in life nutritionist-resource.org.uk/articles/adults-elderly.html.

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle is by following a balanced diet which can be catered towards the individuals specific needs. Qualified nutritionists will be able to identify specific needs and deficiencies which need to be addressed, and will help to formulate a programme for the individual. To find a local nutritionist expert in your area visit Nutritionist Resource: nutritionist-resource.org.uk/.

Our sources of information:

Age UK have some information on Healthy Eating
NHS Eatwell Plate showing a good mix of foods to eat.
Web MD advice on Missing Nutrients those that you may not be getting in your diet.

As for an Active Lifestyle, it is a sad fact that only one in four people between the age of 65 and 74 exercise regularly. There is an assumption that people are too sick, out-of-shape or old to exercise, this is totally wrong.

Exercise is nearly always good for you. Exercise can make you stronger, prevent bones getting weaker, improve your balance and coordination which helps to prevent falls, exercise can also improve your memory and can ease the symptoms of chronic illnesses.

People believe that getting frail as you age is inevitable but getting frail is usually due to not doing any exercise. There are people in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s running marathons and doing body building. The advice is simple to start doing some exercise and think about getting active.

Resources:

NHS Exercises for Older People to get you active.
Help guide on Exercise and Fitness as you Age

Does someone you know need support at home in meal preparation?

Would you like a friend or family member to have company whilst out and about in the community?

If you would like to know more about support at home, contact Karen Whitmill at Everycare 01962 842548.

www.everycarehants.co.uk

Care in your own Home

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Our Care Story.

George and Anna are husband and wife who have been together for 35 years. George met his wife Anna while working as a Headmaster at a primary school.

George and Anna have always been close and when 2 years ago Anna was diagnosed with MS, George did not hesitate in taking on the role of Anna’s full time carer. George had to to give up some of his interests to ensure that he was there for his wife.
George talks about caring for his wife. ‘ I look after my wife with love and compassion. Many families have loved ones with illness or disability and want to care for them in the best way possible . Caring for my wife doesn’t mean that I have to lose my sense of self or not be able to continue with my life.’

‘Anna’s condition has deteriorated with time, when we are together, on our own I give her my full support and care. Friends of the family have had carers visit their home for some time and had spoken highly of the company. I began to realise that I was becoming very tired and would appreciate assistance for morning and evening care. I contacted the company, who arranged to come to our home, speak to Anna about her care, assess her needs and put all the documents in place for the carers. Arrangements for care at home happened very quickly and efficiently which was ideal. Since that has happened, we have had support from carers coming in to our home which is wonderful and we have been very lucky. Anna sees the same carer each morning, in the evenings she sees a couple of carers through the week. I am now retired, but have taken on another position of Mayor which helps to keep me active and healthy for myself and Anna. Anna’s needs have increased , though due to the support from the carers and her husband, she has been able to maintain some independence’.

Anna talked about her care saying ‘ I would not be able to continue living at home if it wasn’t for my husband and the carers who come in on a daily basis. I believe my husband’s health would suffer if we did not have outside help from carers, I was seeing how tired he was getting when trying to cope on his own.’

You may have heard or experienced similar situation to George and Anna.

If you would like to know more about having care in your own home, whether it is for yourself, a friend or family member, contact Karen Whitmill at Everycare 01962 842548.

www.everycarehants.co.uk

Act Fast – Save a Life!

Health Care

All organs in the body need oxygen, when the supply of blood and nutrients to the brain stops, brain cells die and cause brain injury. A Stroke is caused because the blood supply to part of the brain has stopped

Strokes are a medical emergency and you can save a person’s life if you react FAST.
Treatment is required quickly as this will reduce the amount of damage caused.

Strokes are the third largest cause of death in the UK, after heart disease and Cancer.

There are two different types of Stroke:
Ischaemic – where the blood supply is stopped due to a blood clot.

Haemorrhagic – where a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts

Recognise the symptoms- Remember FAST

FACE: Has the persons face dropped on one side? Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye dropped?

ARMS: Can the person raise both arms in-front of them and keep them there?

If you suspect a stroke the person may not be able to lift their arms because of weakness or numbness.

SPEECH: Can the person speak?

A stroke may stop a person being able to speak. Speech may be muddled or slurred.

TIME: If you see any of these symptoms, you must call 999.

Further information is available by following the links

 

www.stroke.org.uk

www.nhs.uk

headway.org.uk

Incontinence – What you need to know

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What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence causes you to pass urine unintentionally; the amount can vary from very little to a large amount.

How common is Urinary Incontinence?

It’s a topic most people don’t like to discuss, but there’s no need to be embarrassed. Urinary incontinence is more common than you might think! In the UK around three million people are regularly incontinent; this is around one in four adults. This form of incontinence can happen at any age and is especially common in women, affecting one in five over the age of forty.
Statistics for incontinence are likely to be higher in reality as many people do not inform their doctor because of embarrassment.

Stress Incontinence.

This is a common form of incontinence and is caused by pressure on the bladder through weakening pelvic floor muscles. Actions such as coughing, laughing, sneezing and exercises can cause urine to leak, as there is extra pressure on the bladder.
Child birth can cause weakening of pelvic floor muscles. Women who have had several children may experience stress incontinence.
Stress incontinence can also affect men who have had treatment for Prostate Cancer.

Urge Incontinence.

This is the second most common form of incontinence where one experiences the need to pass urine urgently.
Urine sometimes leaks before there is time to reach the toilet. This is caused because the bladder muscle contracts too early and some control is lost. The causes of urge incontinence is unknown.
In many cases, urinary incontinence can be improved or cured. Different types of urinary incontinence have different treatments. Knowing which type of incontinence and the amount of urine leaking will help your doctor to make the correct assessment. He or she may carry out tests or an examination to find out the cause of incontinence. You may be advised to keep a diary for several days, recording how often you go to the toilet, how much urine you pass each time and how often you leak urine.

Incontinence and caring for your skin.

Incontinence can mean that your skin is damp for short periods of time. You can care for your skin and prevent irritability by:

• Using a cotton cloth or wipes to wash. Flannels and sponges can be rough on the skin.

• Products are available that cleanse the skin without the need to dry. These usually come as foams, spray or wipes. Your doctor may also be able to advise on the best option to use.

• Avoid using baby wipes and soaps as this can cause the skin to become dry and irritable.

• After cleansing, always moisturise and use a barrier cream. This forms a protective layer to block out unwanted moisture.

If you’re suffering from this condition, here are some simple lifestyle changes to help:

• Reduce your caffeine intake – caffeine is found in tea, coffee and cola and can increase the amount of urine your body produces.

• Altering how much fluid you drink a day – drinking too much or too little can make incontinence worse.

• If you are overweight or obese – It is helpful to find out if you are a healthy weight for your height.

Further information, take a look at the links below.

Age UK Incontinence

Bladder and Bowel Foundation

Carers UK

Support Available In Winchester For Dementia Sufferers

Support Available In Winchester For Dementia Sufferers

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There are currently 800,000 people suffering from Dementia, and it most commonly affect those who are over the age of 65. The main symptoms of Dementia include: confusion, memory loss, and difficulties with thinking, problem solving and language. Dementia can affect anyone at any point in their lives, and there is a high likelihood that you or someone you know is affected by Dementia.

The Dementia Advice Service has recently opened an office in Winchester. They offer a wide range of services to help support those experiencing Dementia, and these include: dealing with questions that you may have regarding the subject, identifying what information you need and how to find it, provide tailored information for you, informing you of local services, and supporting you to make plans for the future.

The Alzheimer’s Society also offers a wide range of services in the Winchester area. The services on offer include: activity clubs, support groups, Dementia information drop-ins, musical activities, outings, support and outreach lunch clubs and an outreach services. These services are on offer to help to provide support to those who are affected by Dementia within the local community.

Andover Mind has also reached an agreement with Solent Mind to run a well-being centre in Winchester. This centre is based on Parchment Street, and provides a wide range of support and advice to those who are affected by Dementia. This includes activities: creative writing, career building, , healthy eating, art and self-help groups. Solent Mind also offers Dementia reablement, to assist those who have experience deterioration in health. This is because they may need to relearn the skills essential to keep them safe and independent at home.

The Dementia reablement provided by Solent Mind concentrates primarily on restoring the individual’s ability to function independently as opposed to treating the health-related problems directly. This project also aims to raise awareness about Dementia, through the use of services within the local community aiming to create more Dementia-friendly communities. This is done through supporting relatives, carers and hospital staff to make sure that individuals are being treated well enough during any hospital stays, and by making sure that any individuals referred to Solent Mind are visited daily by a member of staff who will spend plenty of time with them during their stay. They will be able to listen and provided any additional support that is needed to make sure that your voice is heard, promote an understanding of the individual’s needs, and upon hospital discharge they can also make sure that you are referred to Dementia and home support services that are appropriate for you.

There is a wide variety of support options available for those who are affected by Dementia in any way. These services can be beneficial to both the person suffering from Dementia, and anyone who is providing support to them.

Is Gynaecological Cancer On The Rise?

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Bethel House in Barton on Sea organised a tea party for The Eve Appeal which was held on 20th March as part of the charity’s Make Time for Tea campaign. This was organised to celebrate Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and help to raise funds and awareness of the disease.

The Eve Appeal was set up in 2005 , with the main aim of raising money to fund research into Gynaecological Cancers in hopes of finding a cure. Since the charity was founded there have been major breakthroughs in improving survival rates for those suffering from Gynaecological Cancers. The other aim of The Eve Appeal is to promote awareness of Gynaecological Cancers.

The Make Time for Tea campaign has been set up for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, which took place in March to help raise extra funds for the charity. The Make Time for Tea campaign encourages you to raise money for The Eve Appeal and have fun whilst doing it. By organising a tea party with friends, work colleagues or in your local community you can raise awareness and make money for funding the research of Gynaecological Cancers

Gynaecological Cancers include: Ovarian Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Vaginal Cancer, Vulval Cancer, and Uterine or Endometrial Cancer. In the UK Ovarian Cancer is the 5th most common form of cancer among women and is most common in woman over the age of 40.

Research into Gynaecological Cancers is vital, at present women who present with stage 1 or 2 Ovarian Cancer have a 90% chance of survival. However 70% of women are currently presenting at stage 3 or 4 of Ovarian Cancer, and the survival rate at this point dramatically drops to 30%. This is because Ovarian Cancer can be a very aggressive disease, and despite intensive efforts to improve treatment mortality rates are still quite high because symptoms are difficult to identify

The Wessex Cancer Trust has a cancer support service based in the Winchester area. The Winchester Cancer Support Centre is based on St Georges Street and is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 – 16:00 the centre offers a wide range of services including: reflexology, aromatherapy and massage. The Wessex Cancer Trust can help with all aspects of daily life for someone who is suffering from Cancer. They also offer counselling and complementary therapies including services such as: befriending, counselling, and Reiki.

There is a wide variety of support available for those who are suffering from Cancer. For example Hampshire Hospitals provide a variety of services including: outpatient clinics, supportive treatments and counselling sessions. They also have a mobile chemotherapy unit which services: Andover, Alton, Eastleigh and Tadley. This allows people to have easy access to treatment, whilst reducing travel costs and stress to an ill and vulnerable people.

Service To Support Local Community At Home

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In Winchester its has been agreed that Avalon House on Chesil Street will be repurposed and used by the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. This organisation provides health services to the community, and this includes health visitors and district nurses. However the main purpose of the Avalon House building is yet to be decided.

Although the repurposing of this building has had the full backing of the councillors, some members of the general public have raised some concerns. For example some of the local residents feel that they may experience some disruptions may be experienced as a result of taxi’s pulling up and waiting for people. A councillor has also raised the point that the building is in a conservative area, and the NHS may put up a variety of signs which could lead to potential problems.

The Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust provide a wide variety of services including: Mental Health services, community health services, learning disability services, and Social care services. They can provide care and support within the community that will help you to maintain good health and well-being. This can be done by providing you with community nurses or support. There are a wide range of services that are run within in the community, and these include: health and well-being services, mental health services, community dentistry, and minor injury units.

The Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s main aim is to ensure that the general populations health and wellbeing are as good as they can possibly be. This is why they run a number of services targeted specifically for maintaining good health and well-being. These services include: stopping smoking services, advice on alcohol and drug abuse, older people’s health services (including falls advice), and Dental Health services.

These services can be particularly beneficial to older people because they may not be able to get out and about as easily as others within the local community. This is because it can help them to get the help and support that they need to maintain good health and wellbeing, and to potentially maintain some level of independence for longer.

Age UK also offer information and advice services to assist those who are over the age of 55 with a variety of different areas of daily living, including: pensions, family and personal matters, aids and adaptations, and housing and property. These services allow you to gain valuable advice on how to manage and understand a variety of factors and decisions from daily life.

The Royal Voluntary Service also offer a wide range of services to help keep older people active within the community for longer. Their services range from befriending services to visiting people in hospital.