Author Archives: Research Writer

  1. Looking for an alternative to a care home in Essex?

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    The recent news of elder abuse in a care home in Braintree will be deeply worrying to anyone thinking about care options for an elderly loved one in Essex. After all, if you cannot rely on a care home which is subject to regular government inspection to treat your mother or father with dignity and respect, what faith and trust can you have in the care system as a whole?

    But why entrust your elderly loved one to the care system in the first place?


    There is an alternative

    Live-in care costsMany people still assume that a care home is the only option for an older person who can no longer manage on their own at home. Thankfully this is not the case and thousands of families up and down the county have already discovered a much easier and safer alternative. Instead of entrusting their elderly loved ones to residential care, they have arranged for them to receive live-in care in their own home.


    The advantages of live-in care in your own home

    The benefits of care at home are many and varied. In your own home you can:

    • Stay in control of your own life
    • Keep your independence and your dignity
    • Maintain your own lifestyle in the home you know and love
    • Enjoy daily companionship and regular outings with a hand-picked carer of your own choosing
    • Have your personal care needs attended to promptly, sensitively and discreetly by a trained professional
    • Enjoy visits from family and friends at whatever time suits you
    • Encourage members of your family to act as your own team of “care inspectors” to make sure the care you are receiving remains of the highest standard

    More information

    If you would like to know more about how Care at Home’s fully managed care service can help your elderly loved one maintain their dignity and independence, please phone Angela on 08000 807 891, or why not request an Information Pack.

  2. The older you get, the happier you feel – it’s now official!

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    According to research published recently in the Journals of Gerontology, as reported in the Daily Mail on 20th March, people are often happier and more contented in their old age than when they were younger. A far bigger worry for most people in their old age is whether they will be able to maintain their quality of life.

    Happiness changes for people as they get older

    The research suggests that the meaning of happiness changes for people as they get older. Despite mounting health and mobility problems, their general level of contentment tends to increase. One of the authors of the study, Dr Stephen Jivraj, believes that this increase in happiness could be related to the fact that, once people have reached, for example, the age of 80, they experience a certain sense of achievement. “If you have reached 80 years, perhaps you look back on all the things that have happened in your life, so that when you’re asked about your level of satisfaction, you feel you’ve achieved a lot.”

     

    Live-in care for the elderly – the alternative to living alone

    For most elderly people the biggest factors influencing their quality of life are firstly whether they can continue living in their own home and secondly whether they are able to enjoy regular daily companionship. Many find that their quality of life takes a distinct turn for the worse, once they lose their spouse or long-term partner and find themselves living alone. Strange as it may seem, the sad fact is that many grown-up children tend to visit their mother or father far less frequently after they have been left on their own than they did when both their parents were alive.

    Loneliness among the elderly can take a heavy toll on both their physical and mental health, yet many view the prospect of moving to a care home with fear and trepidation. Thankfully moving to a care home is not the only option. If your loved one is not keen on the idea of residential care, but is too frail and vulnerable to be continue living safely on their own, why not talk to them about live-in care in their own home? It is the natural alternative to a care home and withlive-in care in their own home, your loved one will never have to worry about feeling lonely again.

    Live-in care – Helping your loved one to stay happy

    With the support of a professionally trained live-in carer from a specialist live-in care provider like Care at Home, thousands of people each year are now able to postpone the fateful decision to move into residential care. Instead they can continue living happily and safely in the comfort and safety of their own home.Live-in care will enable them to enjoy regular daily companionship and maintain their quality of life, while providing their grown up children with the reassurance and peace of mind that their loved one is happy and contented, as well as safe and well cared for.

  3. Palliative care in a hospice

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    It is often assumed that, for someone with a terminal illness, the need for palliative care does not arise until their final few weeks of life. In reality, palliative care is actually the term given to the treatment and care provided to people from the moment they are first diagnosed with an illness from which they are not expected to recover.

    While hospices are best known for admitting people in their last weeks of life and providing them with both medical care and emotional support, many hospices now become involved with the seriously ill at a much earlier stage and are able to offer some support in their own homes. To a large extent this is a response to the fact that there are simply not enough beds available in hospices to meet the demand for palliative care, particularly for those in the last stages of a terminal illness.

    Spending their final days in their own home

    While hospices undoubtedly make a wonderful job of caring for the terminally ill, the fact is that most people would still prefer to spend their final days in their own home if this can be arranged. This is particularly the case where they still have a spouse or partner who would like to spend as much time as possible with them and perhaps share in providing the care their loved one needs.

    Macmillan Cancer Support has found, for example, that 73% of the 157,000 cancer patients who die every year in England and Wales would prefer to spend their final days at home. However, data from the Office of National Statistics shows that more than 50% of these patients (over 80,000) die in hospital and a further 17% (nearly 27,000) in a hospice, with only 27% (just over 42,000) dying in their own home, with the remaining 5% passing away in care homes.

    As Mike Hobday of Macmillan says: “It is a tragedy that, each year, tens of thousands of cancer patients are not able to get their dying wish – to die in their own home, surrounded by their loved ones – because they do not have the support they need.”

    Palliative care at home – offering an alternative to end of life care in a hospice

    Palliative careIf someone close to you has a terminal illness and would prefer to remain at home, Care at Home can help you make it happen. We have been caring for people in their final months of life since 1990 and all our carers receive regular training in palliative care.

     

     

     

    Our palliative care services

    We will provide your loved one with round-the-clock personal care and we will also help you obtain assistive devices for them from Social Services (for example, a riser recliner chair, a hospital bed and a hoist). Most importantly of all, we will help you engage a team of Macmillan or other specialist palliative care nurses. Apart from their overall nursing skill, they play a vital role in palliative care by managing any medication prescribed for pain relief.

    Further information

    For further information on our palliative care and our live-in care services, please select the following:

  4. Home care for the elderly in their own home

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    Home care services

    Many people assume that, once an elderly loved one can no longer cope on their own at home, the only alternative is for them to move to a residential care home. Fortunately this is not the case and increasing numbers of people are discovering the benefits of 24-hour live-in care as an ideal option.

    Advantages of home care for the elderly in their own home

    • Of all the care options available for the elderly, live-in care in their own home is the easiest for them to adjust to, precisely because it saves them from the disruption and heart-ache of having to move out of their own home.
    • Because it offers continuity, live-in care allows them to maintain their normal way of life.
    • The care and companionship provided by live-in care brings peace of mind both to them and to their close family associated with a care home.
    • Instead of having to get used to their personal care needs being attended to by a number of different care staff, they will receive one-to-one care from their own hand-picked carer at the time they choose and in the way they want it.
    • Their carer will cook their favourite meals for them and take care of all the shopping and house-keeping.
    • Both you and other close family members, together with their friends and neighbours, will still be able to drop in on them whenever they like.
    • After no time at all they will form a close relationship with their carer and will soon come to see them as a true friend. They will take pleasure in their companionship and value the fact that there is someone there for them with whom they can enjoy a laugh and share their memories.
    • Their carer will help them get out and about as much as possible and encourage them to remain part of their local community.

    Our home care services

    As  live-in care specialists with over 20 years’ experience, we understand what matters most to the elderly, namely staying in the comfort and security of their own home and enjoying daily companionship.

    Further information

    For further information on live-in care please select the following:

  5. What are the main dementia care options?

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    Care options for someone with early stage dementia

    In a report on 7th January 2014 by the BBC on dementia care options it was highlighted that increasing numbers of Swiss and German families are packing elderly relatives suffering from dementia off to live in care homes in Thailand. Whilst this may not seem a very kind or caring thing to do in most people’s eyes, it does highlight a problem facing families up and down the length of Britain, namely, what are the care options for someone with dementia?

    Option 1 – Provide the dementia care yourself

    Your first instinct might be to think you should really look after your mother or father yourself. Keeping things in the family does have its attractions, not least from a financial perspective. However, on further reflection, you might decide that this would not be a practical solution for any number of reasons. Not least, you might not feel properly equipped to cope with the physical and emotional challenges involved. More often than not, it is the emotional demands of caring for an elderly parent that people find hardest to deal with. It is also important to bear in mind that, as well as having to cope with the effects of impaired memory and understanding, your loved may also be facing the additional age-related challenges of reduced mobility and poor eyesight and hearing. This means that they are likely to need care and support on a daily basis.

    Option 2 – Arrange daily visiting care

    Visiting care provides a lifeline for thousands of older people up and down the country. They look forward to the company provided by the various different care assistants who may visit them in the course of the average week. However, a vital aspect of dementia care is continuity and with visiting carers working different shift patterns (for example, from 7am until 2pm, or from 2pm until 9pm) and with no one able to work every day, it is likely that the care your loved one needs will be provided by 5 or 6 different carers every week.  It is therefore virtually impossible for a visiting care service to provide the continuity of care which is so important for someone suffering from dementia. More fundamentally, if your loved one is living on their own at home, you need to ask yourself if it is still safe for them to do so. Another point to consider is that, once someone requires more than 4 hours of care each day, it is likely to be much more economical for them to have 24 hour live-in care.

    Option 3 – Move your loved one into residential care

    The third option is a residential care home, which is often considered – wrongly of course – to be the only option if you are unable to look after your loved one in your own home. But a care home is not the ideal choice for someone in the early stages of dementia. The problems associated with lack of continuity in the care provided apply equally – if not even more so – in a care home than with daily visiting care. There is also strong evidence to suggest that the symptoms of anxiety and confusion experienced by most dementia sufferers become more pronounced if they are moved away from the familiar surroundings of their own home.

    Option 4 – Arrange 24 hour live-in care for your loved one

    Respite CareWhat is most important for anyone suffering from early stage dementia is to be looked after in familiar surroundings and to experience continuity of care. Another factor which needs to be considered is that, as the condition takes hold, most dementia sufferers tend to experience increasing feelings of anxiety, loneliness and isolation. This creates an additional problem for close family members. With their own lives to lead and their own families to consider, very few sons or daughters can afford to spend more than a few hours a week with their elderly loved ones.

    So the question is, how do you find someone who is reliable and caring who can stand in for you and other close family members and provide your loved one with the kind, gentle and compassionate care they really need? The answer of course is to go to a professional care provider, like Care at Home, which specialises in  the full-time care of  the elderly. All our carers have previous experience in live-in care and they are all trained in dementia care.

    More information

    For further information on dementia care please select the following:

  6. Alzheimer’s Disease and the Benefits of Live-in Care

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    The importance of one-to-one care

    One of the benefits of having live-in care in your own home is it doesn’t matter how you are affected by your condition you will always have the one to one care and the support that you need to enable you to still live your life as independently as you possibly can.

    Our carers are trained to be kind and understanding and to always make time to listen to their clients. They are encouraged to be flexible and allow their client to make their own decisions in their own time. We have recently asked our carers to create a daily diary with their clients where possible as this enables them to look back and reflect on what they have done over the past few days which helps their memory enormously. This has proved to be very successful and the clients families are also seeing the benefits of this as they are able to look through it with their loved one when they visit and can discuss what they have being doing throughout the week which they would not have been able to do previously.

    Our carers are trained to include their clients in everything they do and to work together to enable them to maintain their self-confidence and control. In a care home, even simple choices cannot be personalised – such as meal times and menus.

    Keeping familiar surroundings is an important factor

    Continuing to live in your own home with the support you need also means you are in familiar surroundings with your memories around you. You are able to continue with your own routine that you know and if you have a pet your carer will assist you with feeding it and giving it the love you always have. Family and friends can visit any time they want and they will be offered a cup of tea by your carer and made welcome.

    Being able to maintain your social activities is extremely important as this enables you to lead your life as normally as possible and the carer is always happy to assist you with this.

    To summarise: our carers will assist you to maintain your social activities, maintain choices, maintain independence, ensure you have a regular routine that you are familiar with and assist you with any needs that you have. They are not there to take over your life just to assist you with living your life to the full, safely.

    Lack of support at home can lead to admission to hospital and early entry into care homes which are the two things most would like to avoid.

    Care at Home range of services

    We provide full time care at home for older people who want to maintain their dignity and independence and continue living in the comfort and safety of their own home.

     

  7. Finalists at the Great British Care Awards 2013

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    Sarah Vincent: finalist in the Homecare Manager of the Year category

    Care at Home’s role as a leading provider of live-in care for the elderly has been recognised at the 2013 Great British Care Awards. The award ceremony for the Eastern Region was held at the Peterborough Arena on 25th October. We are delighted to report that Care at Home’s Registered Manager, Sarah Vincent, was runner-up for the Home Care Manager of the Year Award.  Sarah was one of 5 finalists from a field of several hundred eligible homecare managers and Care at Home were the only live-in care specialists to qualify for the final.

    City & GuildsAmong Sarah’s other qualities, the judging panel were impressed that she had passed her City & Guilds Diploma in Leadership and Management (which normally takes students a minimum of 3 years) in just 18 months, whilst working full-time as Registered Manager for a busy care provider. Prior to joining Care at Home in 2009, Sarah had previously worked as a senior carer for a local visiting care agency and before that as a care assistant in a care home.

    Live-in care at home – the preferred option for most elderly people

    With her first-hand experience of all the main branches of social care, Sarah has the experience to judge which type of care is the most popular with the elderly themselves. “Having seen at first hand all types of care for the elderly, I can safely say that most people are happiest if they can stay in their own home. When it comes to care options for the elderly, care at home generally works best.”

    John Towers Care Awards 2013

    A gifted and committed Care Manager

    Her manager, John Towers, said: “From the first day that Sarah joined us as a Care Assessor in September, 2009, we knew she was destined for management. As well as being dynamic and organised, Sarah is a great listener and possesses maturity and insight well beyond her years. Most importantly of all she has a genuine passion for what she does and we count ourselves lucky that she has chosen to build her career with Care at Home.”

    A care home is not the only option

    “Care for the elderly has never been seen as a glamorous sector to work in, so we are delighted that trailblazers such as Sarah are finally receiving the public recognition they deserve. Furthermore, in a society where most older people believe their only option in their later years will be to move to a residential care home, it is important we educate people to realise that a care home is just one option.

    Spreading the message of live-in care

    Given the opportunity, we believe that many older people would prefer to continue living in their own home. We at Care at Home enjoy enabling people to have their wishes respected. Nevertheless, with so many people not even aware that they can receive full-time care in their own home, we need to work even harder to get our message across to a wider audience.