After a nervous couple of weeks of waiting, we were extremely pleased to learn last week that we’ve been shortlisted for the Excellence in Innovation Award at the Winchester Business Excellence Awards! The award was open to businesses offering an innovative, product, process or service that has or will accelerate the development of the business, and our soon-to-be-launched EveryLIFE online care platform struck a chord with the judges. The platform was designed to reduce the volume of paperwork and empower carers and families to manage the patient or loved one’s care online, allowing for easier communication and a more transparent care process. The Awards are now in their 15th year and celebrate the efforts and achievements of local businesses in Winchester. We’ll be heading to the ceremony on Friday 2nd June to find out if we’ve won. Wish us luck!
When the time comes to look into care for a loved one, you want to be sure that you’re doing it with their best interests in mind. However, if this is something you’ve never experienced before, it can be a nerve-wracking experience; especially with so many myths surrounding the elderly care sector.
It can be hard to know whether what you’re reading is reliable, which is why we’ve put together this blog, where we’ll be dispel some of these myths and giving you the facts you need to know, to give you some peace of mind.
Myth 1: Staff aren’t very well trained
Just like with any other job, there are requirements in terms of skills and training for care home and live-in staff. Your loved one’s care is paramount, and employers understand this too; it’s very unlikely that someone will be hired who isn’t qualified enough. Staff are required to undergo a range of training courses throughout the year and are also given regular opportunities to expand their training and knowledge, to make sure they’re providing the best care possible.
Myth 2: Care homes are the only option
Care homes are a popular route for many; however, there are alternatives. Live-in care for example is becoming increasingly popular and gives your loved one the ability to stay at home, while still being cared for on a 24/7 basis.
Myth 3: Care is too expensive
While care may not be free, there are certain schemes and laws which can help and protect you and your loved ones. Often you and/or your relative will be required to take a ‘means test’ which determines how financially stable you are. People who have a total capital of over £23,500 (this includes things such as savings, pensions and house valuations) are required to pay for care themselves; however, if you or your loved one has less than this you can apply for funding.
Myth 4: Care is not safe
There’s no denying that in recent years there has been quite a lot of negative press surrounding the elderly care sector; however, it’s important to remember that these cases of abuse and neglect are rare. The vast majority of care providers put your loved one’s well-being and safety at the forefront of everything they do. As always, undertake some research, looking into the providers you have shortlisted. Look out for their CQC review.
Myth 5: I won’t be able to visit my loved one as much
One of the biggest concerns people have when putting a loved one into residential care is that they won’t be able to see them often enough; however, with proper planning, this needn’t be an issue. When looking at care homes, look for ones in the local area, which are easily accessible. This way you won’t have to worry about losing quality time with your family member or friend. Live-in care removes this concern entirely. Your loved one can remain in the familiarity and comfort of their own home and live a full and enjoyable life, free to accept visitors as and when they want.
Whilst it’s certainly not an easy experience, choosing care for your loved one doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. If you would like to have a chat to discuss your situation or would like to discover how our care services can help you and/or your loved one, give Everycare a call on 01962 842548.
When you get to a point where you are struggling to look after yourself at home you may be considering getting help or thinking about residential care or Live-in care but be concerned about what choices there are and not sure how to go about finding out.
We believe at Everycare that we are willing to give you appropriate advice in making a decision about what you need. In this article we give some basic advice but you are more than welcome to give us a call on 01962 842548.
This article is assuming that you are past the point of just needing limited help which can be achieved using daily visits from a carer.
Often people believe that they can turn to relatives or neighbours but so many people are living busy lives and can help out but cannot commit to being available full-time. It can often be stressful looking after relatives or friends, especially when the person doing the caring wants to go on holiday or is being over-stretched by other responsibilities.
People often think that their only choice is to sell up and move into Residential Care but this can feel like a drastic and final move. There is not room in Residential Care to take all your belongings with you and you have to like living by other people’s rules. For some this suits them because there are other people to interact with and the home may have social events to take part in.
The majority of people, though, seem to want to have the option of staying at home as long as possible where they can live by their own rules and have people round whenever they want. This is where Live-in care comes into its own.
Those that are aware of Live-in care often look at the option of finding their own private care worker to look after them, because it can be cheaper. Under the current employment laws it is tricky using the services of a private carer because you are effectively employing them and could be responsible for tax and National Insurance and, even if you are only employing one person, you must offer them a pension scheme.
Private care workers need to have insurance to cover them in case something goes wrong, they will need to have breaks that you would have to find cover for. If the private care worker suddenly got ill you may have a problem getting cover. Private Care workers are not regulated and are therefore, not having to meet any particular standards and there is no oversight of their work.
Everycare Winchester supply Live-in care as a CQC (Care Quality Commission) regulated provider. Be aware that some organisations just introduce the Live-in Care workers and are not regulated, this still leaves you at risk of being in the position of being an employer.
We are unique in comparison to some Live-in care organisations in that we are supplying a local service where we can do hands-on management. As we have already been doing home care for 7 years we can cover Live-in carer breaks and do additional visits if required to deal with more complicated cases.
Please give us a call if you want any advice we are happy to talk to you about the service that we can supply with regard to Live-in care. We are here to help to live a fulfilled life at home for as long as possible.
Everycare do Live-in Care in Hampshire with our office based in the centre of the county in Winchester.
Winchester Bonfire and Fireworks
The evening begins at 6pm- Procession from King Alfred’s Statue. At 6.30 the procession walks through the city streets. The bonfire will be lit at 7.15 with Fireworks at 7.45.
Arlebury Park Fireworks – 5th November
Torchlight procession through town starts at the top of Broad Street at 7pm. Bonfire 7.30pm. Fireworks 8pm.
Early bird tickets can be purchased from 6 West Newsagent Adults £6 Children £3
On the Door tickets Adults £8 Children £5
Ageas Bowl Fire Works – 6th November
Music with Hearts Radio presenters, Funfair, food and drink all beginning from 6pm.
Tickets can be purchased online, phone or on arrival.
Fireworks Display commences at 8pm
Twyford St Marys School Fireworks.Sunday 8th November
Hunter Park, Twyford – An evening of BBQ, and Mulled Wine. Fire works begin at 6pm
The Gun Powder Plot- The History.
In 1605, Guy Fawkes and a small group of men attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
After the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, Catholics in Britain who had been persecuted under her reign hoped James the first would treat them differently. This unfortunately was not the case, so a group of thirteen young men decided to take action
Robert Catesby became the leader of the group, he felt that violence was the way forward- blowing up the Houses of Parliament in an attempt to kill the king. Even the Prince of Wales and Members of Parliament.
Thirty six barrels of gunpowder got in to the hand of these men and were stored in a cellar under the House of Lords.
Plans for the plot thickened and it then became clear that innocent people may get hurt or even killed. Some of the group became hesitant, one even wrote a letter anonymously to a friend, Lord Monteagle to keep away from the Houses of Parliament on the 5th November. This letter reached the King, who made plans for his forces to stop the plot happening.
Guy Fawkes was in the cellar of the Houses of Parliament when authorities came in the early morning of 5th November. He was caught, tortured and executed.
If you would like to go out to firework displays or attend other social functions but feel unable to, then Everycare are here to help. We can escort people to social events or assist in getting ready and transport arrangements to and from the venue. Please contact EveryCare- Karen Whitmill-Care Manager on 01962 842548
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
This March, the team at Everycare hosted a speed dating event for the over 65s at the Discovery Centre in Winchester. We would like to thank all of those who attended and helped to make the event a great success. Local over 65s had the chance to meet new people and form new friendships, whilst enjoying tea, coffee and delicious cakes that were kindly made by our members of staff.
Managing Director, Mike Frizzell, said “On the day, we mixed people around so that they had a good chance to socialise with as many people as possible. As they left they were asking when the next event would be, so I think they enjoyed it!”
We understand the importance of meeting and talking to likeminded people, so it was lovely to have the opportunity to meet you all. We hope to see you again soon!