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A few years ago you might not have even heard of what a vegan diet was, but nowadays veganism is infiltrating our news, social media feeds and shopping aisles daily. You might’ve even considered a vegan diet yourself for its supposed positive health, ethical and environmental benefits.

Although it is easier than ever to go vegan – with more access to vegan products and an internet full of tips and recipe ideas than ever before – there are some people who might struggle with the transition of going vegan, and these are those with eating disorders, those with autism, the malnourished and older populations; to name a handful.

Older populations sometimes struggle with getting out to the shops to buy ingredients and also with cooking for themselves, which might make it difficult to go vegan for them. There is also the problem of malnutrition within older populations and the risks of osteoporosis, which we know dairy products can help protect against thanks to the calcium in them.

That isn’t to say that all older people cannot attempt to go vegan, however, should they want to. A report commissioned by The Telegraph showed that more over-60s than ever before are ditching meat and dairy to go vegan. In fact, a new documentary on Netflix called The Gamechangers interviewed Arnold Schwarzenegger, who at 72 has now adopted a new plant based diet. Previous research from The Vegan Society in 2016 found that close to half of all vegans (42%) were in the 15-34 age category and only 14% were aged 65 and over, but that seems to be shifting slowly.

Older people might consider going vegan to improve their health, as age is well known to make it deteriorate. An article published on Livestrong said that “on average, vegetarians of consume less saturated fat, salt, protein and overall fewer calories than those who eat meat, and according to the American Heart Association, the plant-based diet is generally healthier, regardless of age. Vegetarians not only pile more fibre and fresh vegetables on their plates, but also have a lower incidence of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure—conditions that often plague older people.”

If you are considering going vegan as an older person, the NHS have some healthy eating guidelines which may be helpful.

For a healthy vegan diet, they suggest:

• Eating at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
• Basing meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates (choose wholegrain where possible)
• Having some dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts (choose lower fat and lower sugar options)
• Eating some beans, pulses and other proteins
• Choosing unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat in small amounts
• Drinking plenty of fluids (the government recommends 6 to 8 cups or glasses a day)

If you do not plan your diet properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12.

The NHS goes on to say that good sources of calcium for vegans include:

• green, leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach
• fortified unsweetened soya, rice and oat drinks
• calcium-set tofu
• sesame seeds and tahini
• pulses
• brown and white bread (in the UK, calcium is added to white and brown flour by law)
• dried fruit, such as raisins, prunes, figs and dried apricots

A vegan diet can be high in iron, according to the NHS, although iron from plant-based food is absorbed by the body less well than iron from meat.

Good sources of iron for vegans are:

• pulses
• wholemeal bread and flour
• breakfast cereals fortified with iron
• dark green, leafy vegetables, such as watercress, broccoli and spring greens
• nuts
• dried fruits, such as apricots, prunes and figs

The NHS adds that the body needs vitamin B12 to maintain healthy blood and a healthy nervous system. “It’s only found naturally in foods from animal sources. Sources for vegans are therefore limited and a vitamin B12 supplement may be needed.”

Sources of vitamin B12 for vegans include:

• breakfast cereals fortified with B12
• unsweetened soya drinks fortified with vitamin B12
• yeast extract, such as Marmite, which is fortified with vitamin B12

If you are thinking of changing your diet, it’s important to consult a doctor or medical professional first to see if you are suitable for a vegan diet, especially if you are over 60.

We all know what cancer is, and the unfortunate likelihood is that we all probably know someone who has been touched by cancer. But with the enormous amount of different variations of cancer, it can be overwhelming to know how to show your support or even spot the signs of the each individual strain of the disease. The important thing is to start somewhere and with education, and a good place to start could be this November with Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

The month of November is dedicated to pancreatic awareness, having evolved from a Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Week originating in the United States. Now the awareness month spreads worldwide, and brings together different charities and individuals who want to make a difference.

According to pancreatic.org, pancreatic cancer is the “third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States surpassing breast cancer and it is expected to become the 2nd by 2020, surpassing colon cancer. Every day more than 1,250 people worldwide will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In nearly every country, pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a single-digit five-year survival rate of 9%. While death rates decline for other cancers, they are increasing for pancreatic cancer. Survival rates have not improved substantially for the past 40 years.”

So what exactly is pancreatic cancer?

Webmd explains that pancreatic cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the pancreas. “The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach and in front of the spine. The pancreas produces digestive juices and hormones that regulate blood sugar. Cells called exocrine pancreas cells produce the digestive juices, while cells called endocrine pancreas cells produce the hormones. The majority of pancreatic cancers start in the exocrine cells.”

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can include jaundice, pain in the upper or middle abdomen and back, unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue and/or depression. Your risk of developing pancreatic cancer can increase with smoking, chronic pancreatitis, inherited conditions, familial pancreatic cancer syndromes, long-standing diabetes and obesity.

The NHS says that in about 1 in 10 cases, pancreatic cancer is inherited. “Certain genes also increase your chances of getting pancreatitis, which in turn increases your risk of developing cancer of the pancreas. If you have two or more close relatives who have had pancreatic cancer or you have an inherited disease, such as Lynch or Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, your doctor may recommend regular check-ups as you may be at increased risk of pancreatic cancer.”

How can you get a diagnosis for pancreatic cancer?

The NHS further adds that your GP should be your first port of call, so if you are experiencing any symptoms that have you worried, it’s advisable to book an appointment. Your GP will first ask about your general health and carry out a physical examination. They may examine your stomach for lumps and to see whether your liver is enlarged. They’ll also check your skin and eyes for signs of jaundice and may request a sample of your urine and a blood test. If your GP suspects pancreatic cancer, you’ll usually be referred to a specialist at a hospital for further investigation.

How is pancreatic cancer treated?

Sadly this type of cancer is difficult to treat as because it rarely causes symptoms early on, meaning it’s often not detected early enough.

The NHS explains that if you have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, your treatment will depend on the type and location of your cancer and how far it’s advanced, also known as its stage. The three main treatments for pancreatic cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

How can you show your support during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month?

Pancreatic cancer is daunting, but there are things you can do to show your support and make a difference during the month of November. Your support can help fund vital research, provide specialist support and campaign for change.

Pancreaticcancer.org suggest that you could try doing their ‘Challenge 24’. They explain that in the UK, 24 people die from pancreatic cancer every day. “You can help change this shocking statistic by taking on Challenge 24 this November. Walk, run or ride 24 miles in November for a day, a week or a month.”

Another idea for supporting Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is to bring your friends and family together for a Bake Off and raise money for a good cause. Actually, you can support Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in any way you can think of. Every penny really does count and your support will make a difference and save lives, so be creative, host a karaoke party or even have a bingo night.

Lastly, during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month you could go to the extreme of shaving, dyeing or waxing your hair or even dressing purple (less extreme) as a way to raise vital awareness of pancreatic cancer. Even the smallest of gestures can go a long way to improving the lives of those with pancreatic cancer.

If our eyesight is bad, we as a nation have no problem going to the opticians to get glasses – in fact, glasses can be quite the fashion statement. However, the doesn’t seem to be true for hearing aids, and the reason could be that hearing loss is mostly associated with the ageing process. According to Action on Hearing Loss, there are 11 million people with hearing loss across the UK, which is around one in six of us.

It isn’t just the elderly who suffer with hearing loss, as there are around 50,000 children with hearing loss in the UK. Around half are born with hearing loss while the other half lose their hearing during childhood. On the flip side, more than 40% of people over 50 years old have hearing loss, which rises to 71% of people over the age of 70 and around one in 10 UK adults has tinnitus.

If you are worried about your hearing, the NHS describes some early signs to look out for. These include difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places, asking people to repeat themselves, listening to music or watching TV with the volume higher than other people need, difficulty hearing on the phone, finding it hard to keep up with a conversation and feeling tired or stressed from having to concentrate while listening.

If you have identified yourself as someone who struggles with hearing, you should go and visit a specialist known as an audiologist who may suggest you would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. According to Hearing Aid Know, there are three main hearing aid types. These include:

• BTE Hearing Aids: These devices are worn with the hearing aid on top of and behind the ear. All of the parts are in the case at the back of the ear, and they are joined to the ear canal with a sound tube and a custom mould or tip.
• ITE Hearing Aids: These are custom-made devices and all of the electronics sit in a device that fits in your ear, they come in many sizes including CIC (completely in Canal) and IIC (Invisible in Canal).
• RIC RITE Hearing Aids: These devices are similar in concept to BTE hearing aids, with the exception that the receiver (the speaker) has been removed from the case that sits at the back of the ear. It is fitted in your ear canal or ear and connected to the case of the hearing aid with a thin wire.

Here are some interesting facts you might not have known about hearing aids before today:

1. The website hearingaids.com say that hearing aids “can memorise settings for multiple listening environments and can recalibrate—sometimes automatically—depending on sound input received from your surroundings.” This put simply means that hearing aids can remember different settings and programme themselves to adapt to them; just like a human ear.
2. The website also adds that many hearing aids can sync with wireless devices by using Bluetooth, enabling you to receive direct auditory signals from your smartphone, television, and more. Apple have also recently partnered with major hearing aid manufacturers to develop a Made for iPhone app that streams audio to your hearing aids directly from any iOS device. Pretty cool, huh?
3. According to hear.com you can hear in all directions with hearing aids. “Hearing aids are built with directional microphones to detect all ambient noises and automatically filter them for important sounds. Therefore, you can understand your conversation partner well in noisy scenes – whether he is sitting next to you in the car or in a busy cafe.”
4. You probably did not notice, but hear.com adds that “many celebrities wear hearing aids, such as U2 frontman Bono, Eric Clapton and Phil Collins. Also, Oscar prizewinners Christoph Waltz, Robert Redford and Jodie Foster as well as fashion designer Wolfgang Joop wear hearing aids.”
5. Hearing aids can help to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus, according to 121captions.com. “Some hearing aids provide a kind of ‘masking’ effect for tinnitus, allowing you to hear sounds more naturally.”
6. Lastly, 121captions.com recommend that you shouldn’t buy hearing aids online, as they have to be programmed by a certified audiologist or hearing specialist. “Follow-up visits are just as important to ensure your hearing aids are adjusted properly and working optimally.” Don’t cut corners when it comes to your hearing and your health!

Thankfully, depression is a mental illness that is becoming more easily talked about, with more and more celebrities – from Stephen Fry to Stormzy – coming forward to admit that they have struggled with it. This open conversation is allowing more and more people the confidence to seek help and better manage their depression.

If you’re unsure about what depression is, the Mental Health Foundation describes it as “a common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration”.

Their website adds that depression is the predominant mental health problem worldwide, followed by anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and in 2014 19.7% of people in the UK aged 16 and over showed symptoms of anxiety or depression – a 1.5% increase from 2013. This percentage was higher among females (22.5%) than males (16.8%).

So how can you tell if you have depression? Most of us get sad or lonely from time to time, but it’s when these feelings begin to rule your life and cause physical as well as psychological symptoms that last for long periods of time that this could be classed as depression. It is at this point where it could be worth getting some help; it could even save your life.

Web MD say that recognising the symptoms of depression is key to tackling it. They say that “unfortunately, about half the people who have depression never get it diagnosed or treated.”

According to their website, symptoms of depression can include:

• Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
• Fatigue
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
• Pessimism and hopelessness
• Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
• Irritability
• Restlessness
• Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex
• Overeating, or appetite loss
• Aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that won’t go away
• Digestive problems that don’t get better, even with treatment
• Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
• Suicidal thoughts or attempts (1 in every 10 people with depression result to this)

If you’ve acknowledged you might have depression, a good place to start is with a visit to your GP in order to get a medical diagnosis and some professional help. Your GP can recommend treatments for depression including psychological therapies like CBT or counselling, or antidepressants. Additionally, the NHS have some extra tips that could help you deal with your depression:

1. Socialising can improve your mood and keeping in touch with friends and family means you’ll have someone to talk to when you feel low.
2. Take up some form of exercise. There’s evidence that exercise can help lift your mood. If you haven’t exercised for a while, start gently by walking for 20 minutes every day.
3. Don’t avoid the things you find difficult. When people feel low or anxious, they sometimes avoid talking to other people. Some people can lose their confidence in going out, driving or travelling. If this starts to happen, facing up to these situations will help them become easier.
4. Don’t drink too much alcohol. For some people, alcohol can become a problem. You may drink more than usual as a way of coping with or hiding your emotions, or just to fill time. But alcohol won’t help you solve your problems and could also make you feel more depressed.
5. Try to eat a healthy diet. Some people don’t feel like eating when they’re depressed and are at risk of becoming underweight. Others find comfort in food and can put on excess weight. Antidepressants can also affect your appetite, so if you’re concerned about weight loss, weight gain or how antidepressants are affecting your appetite, talk to your GP.
6. Have a routine. When people feel down, they can get into poor sleep patterns, staying up late and sleeping during the day. Try to get up at your normal time and stick to your routine as much as possible. Not having a routine can affect your eating. Try to carry on cooking and eating regular meals.
7. If you start to feel that your life isn’t worth living or about harming yourself, get help straight away. You can contact Samaritans on 116 123 for 24-hour confidential, non-judgemental emotional support. You could call your GP and ask for an emergency appointment or you could call 111 out of hours – they will help you find the support and help you need.

You hear a lot about scams on the news and through everyday conversations. About how older and often more vulnerable people are targeted in particular. There are some cases where people have lost their life savings to what they have thought were worthy, legal and just causes only to find out that they have been deceived and that the money they had worked so hard for is no longer around to pay for their retirement.

According to a BBC investigation back in 2018, fraudsters scammed nearly 49,000 older people across the UK. However, the true number of elderly victims is likely to be in the millions.

It’s a scary thought, especially if you are concerned of a loved one – perhaps a parent – falling into such a trap. But how can you spot the signs of a scam?

Age UK define scams to be a way of cheating people out of their money. “A scammer may try to approach you on your doorstep, by post, over the phone or online. They’ll often pretend to be someone they’re not, or make misleading offers of services or investments. New digital ways of communicating have led to an increasing number of scams – and more people being tricked by them.”

The Money Advice Service explains that knowing what to be on the lookout for when it comes to scams is one of the best ways to protect yourself.

Here are some ways, according to their website, of how you can recognise a scam:

• If you have received any kind of contact, but particularly a phone call, out of the blue, it is best to avoid it. Since January 2019, there has been a ban on cold calling about pensions. This means you should not be contacted by any company about your pension unless you’ve asked them to.
• If you get an email, expand the pane at the top of the message and see exactly who it has come from. If it is a scam, the email address the message has come from will be filled in with random numbers, or be misspelled.If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
• Personal details, PIN codes and passwords. These are things no legitimate company will ask you for.
• If you are pushed into making a decision on the spot, be suspicious. Scammers don’t want you to have time to think about it.
• Random competitions, particularly if you don’t remember entering them, should ring alarm bells.

But what happens if you’ve already fallen victim to a scam? If you’ve already given money to a scam, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed. Scammers are usually very good at what they do and can sound very convincing.

Age UK say that the first thing you should do is get in touch with your bank so they can cancel any cards or freeze your account. Then contact Action Fraud (0300 123 2040). The information you provide could help authorities track down the scammer, making them pay for their crime and protecting others. You might even get some money back.

“If you paid for something by credit card in a transaction that turns out to be fraudulent, your card provider may offer protection. If you have household insurance, your policy may also provide cover in some circumstances. If the scammer is traced, it may be possible to prosecute them and recover your money.”

If you are concerned that someone you know is being, or has been, targeted by scammers, Independent Age suggest you should try to speak to them about it. “It’s not uncommon for people to feel ashamed or embarrassed if they have fallen victim to a scam, so reassure them that this isn’t their fault and that scammers use devious tactics anyone could be taken in by.”

They add that whether or not the person wants to report a scam, they could talk to Victim Support (0808 168 9111), a charity providing practical and emotional support to people affected by crime. If you’re concerned that someone you know might be at risk of financial abuse – for example, a person with dementia who you’re caring for – discuss your concerns with your local council’s adult social services department.

Autumn is coming which can only mean one thing. Summer has come to an end. With summer coming to a close there’s no more Ice cream vans to run out too before they drive away, the warms days are becoming no existent and grandparents telling you to get a choc ice out the fridge rather than having an ice cream from the ice cream van. With one door closing another door opens and with winter coming it is the season for big snuggly jumpers, cuddling up on the sofa to watch films about Halloween and Christmas and drinking big cups of hot chocolate.

With Christmas coming Secure Healthcare Solutions have a many opportunities arising. We have vacancies for female domiciliary workers; all we require you to have is a driving License and access to a car. There are opportunities to join our temporary staffing agency, you only need 6 months paid experience within the UK in the past two years and just to us expanding we are recruiting over the West midlands and the South West. Give us a call on 0121 285 9449 and our recruitment team can advise you on the best route for you whether you’re a healthcare assistant, support worker, registered nurses, Allied Healthcare Professionals and NHS candidates. Every little helps and with Christmas fast approaching why not sign up with the agency to help you save up that little extra to put away for Christmas presents.

Our temporary agency employees always go above and beyond to amaze our clients and ourselves with the service they provide on behalf of Secure Healthcare Solutions and the dedication they have towards their work ethos. Our nurse of the month has been an exceptional agency staff member of ours who has excelled in her career as an NHS nurse by working through us. She has had excellent feedback given back from all wards she has worked on and is always positive in any scenario, Congratulations Vashti. The healthcare assistant of the month has been hardworking since he has joined the agency and is always willing to help us urgently as well as with advance bookings; he is a credit to us and a well-respected member of the Secure Healthcare Family. Congratulations Foster.

If you yourself do not struggle with anxiety, you’re likely to know someone (or several people) who does. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year”. Anxiety can affect anyone – from carers, to doctors, to nurses and patients – although women are twice as likely to be affected as men.

It’s difficult to determine whether the number of those affected by anxiety is rising or whether we are all just far more open about talking about it. However, the ADAA also say that researchers have found that using social media obsessively can cause anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsive disorder, problems with mental functioning, paranoia, and loneliness. With social media use increasing daily across all age groups, this sparks fear for our anxious minds and raises questions about how we will all cope in the future.

So what exactly is anxiety? The NHS website explains that anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. “Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal. But some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.”

It is when feelings of anxiety begin to affect your daily life and begin to cause you distress that you should go to talk to your GP about it and get some professional help. Symptoms for anxiety can include feeling restless or worried, having trouble concentrating or sleeping and dizziness or heart palpitations.

If you are hoping to develop ways to manage anxiety – whether you’ve been to see your GP yet or not – here are some tips that could help you:

1. Talk it out

Mind the Mental Health Charity suggest that talking to someone you trust about what’s making you anxious could be a relief. “It may be that just having someone listen to you and show they care can help in itself. If you aren’t able to open up to someone close to you, the Samaritans and Anxiety UK both run helplines that you can call to talk to someone.”

2. Breathe through it

The NHS advise that if you are feeling anxious, the best thing is not to fight it. “Stay where you are and simply feel the panic without trying to distract yourself. Place the palm of your hand on your stomach and breathe slowly and deeply. The goal is to help the mind get used to coping with panic, which takes the fear of fear away.”

3. Move more

When coping with anxiety, WebMD say that if you’re feeling anxious, you should try exercising. “Exercise is an important part of physical and mental health. It can ease your feelings of anxiety and boost your sense of well-being. Shoot for three to five 30-minute workout sessions a week. Be sure to choose exercises you enjoy so you look forward to them.”

4. Get a good night’s sleep

WebMD also say that if we are feeling anxious we should pay attention to our sleep. “Both quality and quantity are important for good sleep. Doctors recommend an average of 8 hours of shut-eye a night. If anxiety is making it hard for you to fall asleep, create a routine to help.”

5. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol

Another one from WebMD! “Both caffeine, which is an “upper,” and alcohol, which is a “downer,” can make anxiety kick into overdrive. Cut back or avoid them if you can. Remember, coffee and soda aren’t the only things with caffeine.” Watch out also for diet pills, tea, chocolate and some headache medicines.

6. Try to accept your anxious thoughts

The Priory Group suggest that a good way of coping with anxiety is to sit with it. They say that “anxiety, although uncomfortable, is a normal emotion and no matter how much you want to get rid of it, we all feel anxious from time to time. Accepting anxiety, can be just like accepting that sometimes we feel angry, or sometimes we feel sad and sometimes we feel happy, and just like those other emotions, anxiety will pass. However, if your anxiety is long term and affecting your day-to-day life you shouldn’t just accept it in order to feel better, you should seek support.”

Often incorrectly described at brittle bone disease, osteoporosis is something that many ageing people will have heard of and will likely be fearful of. Osteoporosis affects over 3 million people in the UK with more than 500,000 people receive hospital treatment for fragility fractures every year as a result of the disease.

Although ageing can lead to osteoporosis, there are ways that you can prevent the disease, and with the help of the NHS’s website here we will explain how.

But firstly, what is osteoporosis?

According to the NHS, “osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break (fracture)”.

The most common injuries associated with osteoporosis are a broken wrist, hip or spinal bones.
However, breaks can also happen in other bones, such as in the arm or pelvis.

What causes of osteoporosis?

The NHS explains: “Losing bone is a normal part of ageing, but some people lose bone much faster than normal. This can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of broken bones.

“Women also lose bone rapidly in the first few years after the menopause. Women are more at risk of osteoporosis than men, particularly if the menopause begins early (before the age of 45) or they’ve had their ovaries removed.”

Osteoporosis can also affect men, younger women and children and there are other factors that can also increase the risk of developing osteoporosis too. These include taking high-dose steroid tablets, a family history of osteoporosis, having or having had an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, not exercising regularly and heavy drinking and smoking.

How can we prevent osteoporosis?

Getting older is hard enough. You are more likely to develop diseases and certain health conditions, you may become unable to get around and do the things you used to do and you may feel isolated and lonely because of this. It is therefore a good idea to work towards prevention of osteoporosis before it’s too late to make life as an older adult a little easier.

Exercising regularly can go a long way to preventing osteoporosis. The NHS recommends that adults aged 19 to 64 should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week. As well as aerobic exercise, adults aged 19 to 64 should also do muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week by working all the major muscle groups, including the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, arms and shoulders.

Weight-bearing exercise and resistance exercise are particularly important for improving bone density and helping to prevent osteoporosis. People over the age of 60 can also benefit from regular weight-bearing exercise. This can include brisk walking, keep-fit classes or a game of tennis.

As well as exercising regularly, the NHS says that “eating a healthy, balanced diet is recommended for everyone. It can help prevent many serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and many forms of cancer, as well as osteoporosis. Calcium is important for maintaining strong bones. Adults need 700mg a day, which you should be able to get from your daily diet.”

If you would like to get more calcium into your diet, try eating more leafy green vegetables, dried fruit, tofu and yoghurt.

The NHS adds that “vitamin D is important for healthy bones and teeth because it helps your body absorb calcium. All adults should consume 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day.”

To get more vitamin D into your diet, try eating more oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver, egg yolks and fortified foods such as most fat spreads and some breakfast cereals.

If you are finding it difficult to get enough vitamin D from foods alone, you could consider taking a daily supplement, but consult your GP first.

Lastly, to give yourself the best chance of avoiding osteoporosis, you should consider quitting smoking, as smoking is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and limiting your alcohol intake to no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

The summer holidays have flown by and just like the typical British weather, where the sun has come and gone our employee of the months have done the same thing. They have come to work and have shown how skilled, productive and their passion for healthcare, then jetted off as a reward to themselves for all the hard work they have done.

The summer has been an exciting month for Secure Healthcare Solutions! We have had training provided by Secure Training Services which has enabled the development of skills for not just our candidates but for external candidates, homes and clients as well. We have training running every month which is on offer to you, why not give us a call and find out how you can take part in one of our training days or find out how we can benefit you.

In addition to this, we have launched Secure Cleaning Services! Do you have a busy lifestyle and don’t have time to clean yourself, then why not call us today to find out how Secure Cleaning Services can help you.

With our candidates being as busy as we have this month it has been hard to schedule our candidates to come in. We have been so overwhelmed with the positive feedback we have received over the summer for our candidates and these are the two had feedback that stood out. Our nurse of the month has been with us for years and has always been a highly respected member of the Secure Healthcare Solutions Family. She has always had extremely positive feedback and has always had a strong relationship with any client she works for, being such a humble person who is a credit to the team, we couldn’t be prouder, congratulations Tilly. Our carer of the month is a new candidate of ours who has hit the ground running and jumped into the full swing of things. She has had incredible feedback since she has been with us and has shown her hard work and dedication to each and every client she has worked for, so congratulations to Sophie!

We hope everyone has had a lovely summer and are ready for the winter months. With Christmas coming soon we all need a little extra money in our pockets, so call Secure Healthcare Solutions today on 0121 285 9449 and find out how you can make a little extra money.

Care workers and nurses need more support to handle the emotional impact of their jobs. According to an article published on Vice, depression is over twice as prevalent in nurses as it is in the general population—18 percent versus nine percent (in the US), and nurses with depression are not only likely to suffer themselves, but their illness may have an impact on their coworkers and potentially the quality of care they provide. In a study from 2014, workers in the healthcare industry had higher ratios for mood disorders, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders and psychiatric disorders. Among workers in healthcare industry, females had higher prevalence of psychiatric disorders than males.

There are multiple reasons as to what makes care work so emotionally taxing, including working conditions associated with the health and well-being of visiting home care workers, being unfairly paid, having minimal benefits, emotional labour, lack organisational support, lack of control over work, and peer pressure. Having to witness and care for some people through to the end of their lives can also be hard on the strongest of people.

In an article in the Guardian, Paul Case a mental health and housing support worker living in Edinburgh, wrote: “It’s incredible how much emotional labour social care workers take on but rarely discuss. We work intimately, often alone, with some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We see, hear and intervene in situations that can be distressing. We witness the realities of abuse, poverty and addiction. Processing the emotional impact of our work takes time and effort.

“The consequences of not having the time and space to adequately perform our emotional labour can be disastrous. As a recovery worker for a mental health charity, I’ve seen staff break down crying, signed off due to stress or simply leave halfway through a shift, unable to cope. A high staff turnover, an over-reliance on agency staff and inconsistent support all appear to be near-endemic in social care.”

We all need a break, no matter how much we love our jobs. If you are not at 100% as a care worker, you cannot adequately care for those in need. Nurse.org say that not looking after your mental health can result in distraction, and when you’re distracted -whether work-related or not- you should promptly tackle the situation. It can also affect physical health, often resulting in heart disease, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, asthma, obesity, gastronomical problems and premature death. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states, “there is no health without mental health.” Poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical ailments. When your mental health begins to affect your physical health, you should definitely use a mental health day to care for yourself.

Here are Mind the Charity’s top tips for staying well at work:

1. Reclaim your lunch break: Why not make the most of that precious hour – or half hour – by trying some of these suggestions…
2. Hold a group activity: If there’s a green space near your workplace why not organise a game of rounders or football, hold a guerrilla gardening session, or a group walk? Take time to enjoy the outdoors and get re-energised for an afternoon of productive work.
3. Take up a challenge: Local sponsored walks or marathons are a great way to keep active. Sign with your colleagues and train together during lunch breaks. Participating as part of a team can give a communal sense of achievement when you complete the challenge.
4. When you’re at work, working hard to complete a task, music can also help eliminate distractions around you. By blocking out the noise of your fellow workers, machinery or bleeping phones you can focus easier on the task at hand.
5. Create clear boundaries between work and home: Try not to let work spill over into your personal life. If you need to bring work home, designate a separate area for work and stick to it, you’ll find it much easier to then close the door on work.
6. Use the time on your commute home to wind down from work: Read a book or listen to your music to set aside some time to yourself. Maybe try cycling part of your journey or getting off a stop early to take a shortcut through a park or quiet streets. These little actions can really help you to switch off.
7. Ask for help: If you feel your workload is spiralling out of control, take opportunity to discuss it with your manager or supervisor. If you can’t resolve the problem of unrealistic goals, organisation problems or deadlines in this way, talk to your personnel department, trade union representative or other relevant members of staff.