Caring for an elderly parent – your 2015 resolutions

Caring for an elderly parent – your 2015 resolutions

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One of the most difficult things a person can experience is taking care of an elderly parent or relative. Juggling 24-hour care and the needs of your family can place a huge strain on your life. Therefore, to help your elderly relative receive the support they need and provide you with a much-needed break, we have put together a few New Year’s resolutions for you to follow in 2015.

Look after yourself

It is important to remember to look after yourself when you are caring for a relative. They say that prevention is better than cure, so if you feel you are prone to becoming poorly, make appointments for vaccinations, take time to exercise, relax and eat well.

These simple steps will ensure you are not only caring for your well-being but the well-being of your relative.

Attend a Support Group

Caring for a parent can be stressful and cause frustration and worry.
Support groups for carers are held locally and provide you with the opportunity to socialise and share experiences with others who are in similar situations.
Help at home.
There is nothing wrong with admitting you need support or some respite when caring for a relative. Support with care at home can include assistance with personal care, household tasks or company for your loved one whilst you have a break.

Time is valuable

Being responsible for the care of elderly parents takes time. Be aware of how much time you are spending looking after them. Prioritise tasks so that you don’t find yourself running around in circles, instead of achieving your desired tasks and goals.

Share moments

And finally, have fun with your parents and share moments such as looking at old photographs, sharing old stories and maybe listening to or singing their favorite songs.

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.

Day Centres And Clubs To Help Elderly To Stay Independent

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In Bishops Waltham a new Age Concern building is being built. This will not only create new local jobs but it will also help to provide somewhere for elderly people to go and socialise with one and other.

This is because half of the building will serve as a day centre, providing a place to meet with other people in similar situations to themselves, and receive the support that they need. The centre will also offer Dementia services.

The other half of the building will serve as a wellbeing centre. The wellbeing centre is designed for providing services, information and assistance. This would be staffed by trained customer advisors that will have a wide range of knowledge, and have access to a wide variety of information surrounding all aspects of daily living for the elderly.

There are a number of benefits that this new building will have on the local community. For example it will give elderly people the opportunity to get out and socialise with others, which is something that they may not have had the opportunity to do previously.

There are also a wide variety of other services available for the elderly. For example Brendoncare offer a variety of clubs within the local community. At the cost of £1 you can visit one of their drop in clubs, which give you the opportunity to meet and get to know new people within your local community. Companions clubs offer a wide range of activities such as: quizzes, kurling and tea and coffee mornings. This club costs £2.50 to attend. Brendoncare also offers an activity club which features an organised activity. These activities can range from interesting speakers, and music sessions, to going out on outings. Refreshments are provided at this club, and the cost to attend is £4.

Age UK also offers a befriending service, and this is where a volunteer can visit you at home. It gives you the opportunity to meet new people, broadening interests and it also gives those who are unable to get out and about very often the opportunity to experience the outside world. This can be extremely beneficial as it can help to boost confidence and self-esteem, and it may also help people to stay independent and at home for longer.

Lunch Clubs are also held by Age UK, and there are a number of locations for this club in the Winchester area including: St Barnabas Church in Weeke, The Baptist Hall on Swan Lane, The Salvation Army Hall on Parchment Street and the Winnall Community Centre. The lunch club costs £3.50 and you get a cup of coffee and a warm two course meal. This provides you with the opportunity to get out and socialise with others, whilst receiving a warm cooked meal, which some individuals may struggle to do themselves at home.

What support is available for Dementia sufferers and their family members?

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There are currently 670,000 people suffering from Dementia in the UK and it is estimated that by 2021 over a million people will be diagnosed with the condition. With the disease becoming even more prevalent, what support is available to those dealing with the difficult symptoms associated with Dementia?

Day centres and activities:

In some communities day centres may be available for individuals suffering from Dementia. Day centres offer therapeutic activities that may help tackle the symptoms of the disease, which can have an extremely positive impact on the individual’s general health and well-being. From arts and crafts, musical activities, gardening, baking and activities based on the individuals’ lives (e.g. story work), day centres provide a much needed break for both the sufferer and the caregiver. The Alzheimer’s Society runs the Winchester Dementia Cafe, which provides a social activity to support people with dementia in the local area, providing an opportunity for sufferers and caregivers to meet and talk to other people in a similar situation.

Support for the individual at home:

Dealing with Dementia can make day-to-day activities increasingly difficult, but with the right help and support it is possible for an individual suffering with the disease to continue living at home for longer. Homecare is particularly beneficial as it gives the individual a sense of familiarity, which can make them feel more comfortable. A care worker would be able to visit the sufferer at home and provide a variety of support including medication management, meal preparation, domestic duties and personal care. They may also be able to provide support in the form of companionship, helping the individual take a break from home and enjoy their much-loved activities.

Residential care for the individual:

When the symptoms of Dementia develop, residential care can provide crucial support to both the individual and family during this difficult time. Although this may be a hard decision to make, the 24 hour support will help take the weight off family members shoulders, knowing their loved one is in safe hands, receiving the support they need. St Catherine’s View is a unique dementia care home in Winchester, which has been specially designed to suit the care needs of residents with conditions like Dementia.

Support for the caregiver:

Caring for a loved one can be very rewarding, but it also involves dealing with stressful situations, changes in family dynamics, extra workloads and financial pressures, which can sometimes become overwhelming. Respite is the main type of support that is available for a caregiver helping an individual suffering from conditions like Dementia. Respite is available on a 24 hour basis to ensure individuals are receiving the support they need and can vary from a few hours to a few weeks. In Hampshire and other parts of the UK a Take A Break service is offered by the local authority. This service works by providing replacement care whilst the caregiver is away. During this time, they can also complete other tasks including domestic duties, meal preparation, and personal care.

Loss Of A Partner? Who Can Help?

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The loss of a partner can be a difficult time for anyone, and it create a lots of questions that need to be answered and tasks to be completed. Did you know:

• In the UK the average life expectancy for women is 82.8 years, and for men its 78.8 years
• You are not alone, there are a number of support options available to help you get through this difficult time
• Implementing a Home Care package may help to support you after losing a partner

This article talks about all of the support options that are available for someone who has recently suffered from a bereavement, and the help that Home Care can provide.
Loss Of A Partner? Who Can Help?:

How Dangerous Is Cold Weather For The Elderly?

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With the cold weather fast approaching, it becomes even more important to ensure that elderly individuals are safe and healthy. Did you know:
• There were approximately 21,700 deaths in individuals aged 65 or over lasts winter
• Far fewer elderly individuals die in countries with lower temperatures because they take the right precautions
• Hypothermia and Pneumonia are the biggest risk factors to an individual’s health for the elderly in colder months
This article looks at how at the affects of cold weather has on elderly individuals, the illnesses and conditions associated with cold weather and the elderly, and the help that Home Care can give…Read On.

What Support Is Available For Dementia Sufferers?

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Dealing with Dementia can be difficult for both the individual and their caregiver. It is important that they receive the care and support they need. Did you know:

• There are 670,000 people in the UK who are currently suffer with Dementia
• In America there are approximately 5.2 million individuals suffering with Dementia, and it is estimated that 5 million of these individuals are aged 65 or over
• There are a number of different types of support that are available for individuals who are suffering from Dementia and their caregivers.

This article looks at the support that is available for both individual sufferers and their caregivers to help individuals living with Dementia to continue living at home for as long as possible …Read On.

Are Elderly Individual’s Receiving Enough Support At Home?

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At present in the UK, as with much of the Western World, there is an ageing population, the knock on effect of this is a much greater level of pressure on both the Health and Social Care sector, as well as individuals family members. Currently in the UK there are over 10.5 million older people, and this number is estimated to double in the next 20 years. There are currently around 400,000 older people living in care homes, leaving a large percentage of older individuals who are living at home.

As we get older, we may begin to struggle with day to day living activities. Often older people require more help and support in and around the home and there are a number of ways in which this can be achieved.

Support Available For Elderly Individuals

The elderly often rely on family members for support but this can be great pressure on those family members and some of the elderly do not want to burden their family members with their problems, so where do they go?

There are a number of different types of support that are available for elderly individuals who choose to remain living at home, and these include: implementing a home care package, specialist equipment, and day centres.

Home Care Packages

Implementing a Home Care package can be extremely beneficial to an elderly individual who is living at home, and this is because a care worker would be able to help them with all areas of daily living. Areas that a care worker may be able to help an elderly individual with include: meal preparation, medication management, domestic duties, and all aspects of personal care.

It may be beneficial for an elderly individual to have a Home Care package because it allows them the opportunity to stay independent for longer, as they will be receiving the help and support that they need from home. This in turn means that they are able to continue doing the activities that they enjoy doing, as it can provide the individual with much more freedom in comparison to living in a Care Home.

Home Care packages also provide elderly individuals with more choice about the type of care or support available, as most Home Care organisations are able to provide individuals with a number of different services to ensure that individuals receive all of the help and support that they need, in order to remain independent for as long as possible.

Specialist Equipment

There are a number of pieces of specialist equipment, adaptations and improvements that can be implemented within an individual’s home to support them with daily living activities. Along with the traditional equipment: commodes, walking aids, hoists, stand aids and bathing aids, there are now more technology products around to assist known as assistive technology which includes Telecare.
Using specialist equipment, adaptations and improvements within the home all add to the elderly being able to stay independent for much longer than they would if they did not use these devices. The message to the elderly is not to struggle but to get advice on what there is available to improve their lives.

Specialist equipment can be used in a wide variety of situations to help to support an individual within their own home, and they can compliment other types of support such as Home Care. For example hoists can be used for moving individuals who are unable to do so themselves as part as a Home Care package.

Assistive Technology such as Telecare can be extremely beneficial for those individuals who choose to remain living independently at home. Telecare is a generic name for device that monitors in real-time that can deal with emergencies and lifestyle changes over time in order to manage the risks associated with living alone. This can be beneficial because it can give both themselves and their loved ones the peace of mind that they are being monitored, and if any problems were to occur someone would be alerted and help could be at hand in a quick and efficient manner.

Day Centres

Day Centres can provide elderly individuals who choose to remain living at home with the opportunity to obtain some additional support as well as getting the opportunity to socialise with other individuals are may be living in similar circumstances, which they may otherwise not be able to do.

Day centres provide elderly individuals with the opportunity to partake in a number of different activities and events that in turn will help them to maintain independence, whilst enjoying socialising with their peers. Day centres help an elderly individual who is living at home because partaking in a variety of activities on a regular basis may help to raise an individual’s confidence and self-esteem, which in turn will make them feel more able to partake in daily living activities independently.


There is a wide variety of support available for elderly individuals who choose to remain living at home. The more the elderly use the support that is available to them, the more the strain on the Health and Social Care sector is reduced, as they will be able to maintain some independence for a longer period of time. The Home Care sector will play its role in trying to educate people in what is available to keep them independent.

Are Respiratory Diseases In The Elderly Becoming More Prevalent?

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The number of elderly individuals suffering from some form of chronic disease is growing ever higher. While chronic cardiovascular diseases are the most common types of chronic diseases, as well as being the most expensive to treat, diseases of the respiratory also rank highly with collected data showing that 14% of the elderly population in the UK are suffering with some form of chronic respiratory condition. In addition, 12 – 17% of the elderly population also suffer from sleep disturbances, where a respiratory condition is the most likely contributory factor.

There are a number of changes that can occur to the respiratory system as we age, and these potentially cause a number of issues with daily living activities. However with the right support and treatment it is possible for older individuals to continue to lead active lifestyles and continue participating in activities that they enjoy.

Types Of Respiratory Conditions

There are a number of respiratory conditions that can affect individuals as they get older, and these can include: Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Pulmonary Embolism, Sleep Disorders (breathing), and other respiratory problems can occur as a result of illness, a common one being Pneumonia resulting from a complication of illness or injury.

Asthma is an increasingly common respiratory problem amongst the general population. Asthma is a chronic airway inflammatory condition. Symptoms include: shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Symptoms occur as a result of ‘triggers’ in an individual’s environment. For example an individual’s symptoms may be triggered as a result of dust or animal fur. Asthma is generally treated the same in elderly individuals, as it is with younger people, however it often goes undiagnosed in the elderly, which means that it often goes untreated. This is because diagnosis can be complex, and there is a high likelihood of asthma in the elderly being confused with another condition that may be more common amongst the elderly (e.g. COPD).

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) is a disease that obstructs the airway, and it gets progressively worse over time. Depending how early the condition is diagnosed some of the effects can be reversible, as there are some treatment options available, however it is likely that an individual suffering from COPD would need oxygen in order to support their breathing. Symptoms of COPD include: coughing, shortness of breath, and a decreased tolerance for exercise. There are a few preventative measures that could be taken against this disease, and an example of this would be giving up or not starting smoking.

As individuals get older it increases the likelihood that complications may occur following a period of illness or injury. For example after a fall the chances of developing Pneumonia are much higher in elderly individuals in comparison to other members of the population. Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition that is caused as a result of an infection. The reason that this condition is much more common in elderly individuals because they are more likely to have a weakened immune system, meaning that they would be more susceptible to infections.

How Home Care Can Help

If you or a loved one is suffering from a respiratory condition it may become beneficial to implement a health care package. This is largely because some respiratory conditions are progressive (e.g. COPD) which means that an individual is likely to struggle in completing daily activities more as the condition progresses.

For example an older individual suffering from COPD may eventually require oxygen to assist their breathing. The use of oxygen can make completing some activities much more restrictive, as individuals who have respiratory conditions that are severe enough to require support from oxygen may feel increasingly tired, and their mobility may worsen over time.

Through the implementation of a home care package an individual would be able to obtain all of the help and support that they need as care workers would be able to assist with all aspects of personal care. For example for those with poor mobility or those who can only complete short burst of activity, a care worker would be able to support them with all areas of life including: washing, dressing, medication management, meal preparation, and going out for outings.

Are Pressure Sores Becoming A Bigger Problem Amongst The Elderly?

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Pressure sores are fast becoming a more common ailment amongst individuals living in the UK. 1 in 20 hospital admissions will end up with an individual developing a pressure sore. It is also estimated that in the space of a year approximately half a million people living in the UK will be affected by pressure sores. Pressure sores are most likely to develop amongst individuals who are over 70.

At present there is an ageing population in the UK, resulting in more and more individuals requiring additional help and support to maintain their health and general well-being. Pressure sores can become a common ailment of the elderly because of individuals becoming less mobile and spending more time sitting or in bed. Pressure sores can cause a number of long-term problems with elderly individuals, particularly if they are left untreated.

What Is A Pressure Sore?

Pressure sores are a type of injury that causes the skin and underlying tissue to break down on an area of the body, where the skin is placed under pressure. They develop when a large amount of pressure is placed on a particular area over a short period of time, or when low levels of pressure is placed on an area for longer periods of time. Pressure sores occur because the flow of blood to an area of the body is disrupted, and the affected area of skin becomes starved of nutrients and oxygen causing the skin to break down. This leads to a sore forming.

How Can Pressure Sores Be Treated And Prevented?

There are a number of ways in which pressure sores can be treated. For example dressings, creams and gels can be used, as they are designed to speed up the healing process and relieve pressure around the affected area.

In extreme cases pressure sores may require surgery. In cases where surgery is required, the main aim is to improve the appearance and hygiene and appearance of the sore, as well as preventing and treating any infection that may be present. Reconstruction of the area may also be a viable surgical route. Reconstruction of an area affected by a pressure sore involves using some of the individuals muscle, and skin or other tissue to cover the wound. This can be an effective procedure because it provides a cushion to the affected bone.

Other treatments include: pain management, antibiotics, a healthy and well balanced diet, and muscle spasm relief. Muscle spasm relief is the use of muscle relaxants (e.g. Valium), as these can prevent muscle spasms, which in turn will aid the healing process of any sores that may have been worsened as a result of friction related to muscle spasms.
Home Care And Pressure Sores

Pressure sores tend to indicate that an individual has a lack of mobility and this in turn means that they may not be able to complete many daily living tasks unaided. As a result of this many individuals may become more and more dependent on their relatives for supporting them to complete tasks required for daily living (e.g. meal preparation, eating, washing, dressing, etc.).
This can have a significant impact on family members as they may feel pressured, or become increasingly tired as a result of having to help relatives all of the time. Implementing a home care package could help a family significantly. This is because a care worker would be able to visit the individual at home and provide them with the help and support that they need in order to complete daily living tasks.

Care workers would also be able to play an active role in monitoring and treating pressure sores, by making sure that they are always kept clean and dry in order to aid healing and prevent infection. In cases where individuals are bed bound care workers would also be able to play an active role in preventing bed sores by making sure that they are regularly turned, and kept comfortable, without causing pressure to build in any area of the body. The implementation of a care package could also be very beneficial to an individual’s family, and this is because it will relieve the pressure on them to provide a relative with personal care, and this in turn will provide them with more time to spend quality time with their family member.