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What do you think of when you picture older people in care? Are they seated? Watching TV? Probably.

Despite what our preconceived ideas are of elderly people, the truth is that physical activity and exercise is important for people of all ages. If someone has an age-related health problem, they may be put off exercise, but staying active may actually be the key to maintaining health and independence for them.

According to the NHS, many adults aged 65 and over spend, on average, 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group. This inactivity makes them at risk to higher rates of falls, obesity, heart disease and early death compared with the general population.

Why is exercise important?

If you do not stay active, even into old age, all the things you’ve always enjoyed doing and taken for granted may start to become harder. There’s evidence that people who remain active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia.

According to the Care Workers Charity, exercise can also improve the strength and tone of your muscles, meaning you’re less likely to have an accident or a fall and injure yourself. As well as these benefits, regular exercise can help our ability to continue with everyday activities, can keep your brain functioning and can affect your sense of wellbeing and self-esteem.

Importantly for older people, exercise can help sustain social connections. Whether that’s an exercise class at the local leisure centre or a regular walk in the park with a friend, reinforcing social bonds is a vital component of good health in later years.

Studies have shown that regular exercise can add 3-5 years to life expectancy figures, and not only does it add years but improves the quality of those years.

How can I get started?

The NHS adds that if you’ve not done much physical activity for a while, and are part of the older population, you may want to get the all-clear from a GP before starting.

Aim to do about 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, along with some muscle strengthening activities. During moderate exercise, your breathing and heart rate are faster and you feel warmer.

If you’re just getting started, take it easy at first and gradually increase how much activity you do to build up your fitness. The most important thing is to spend as little time as possible being inactive.

If you’re already regularly active, you could try doing 75 minutes of vigorous exercise spread over the week. This is the type of activity where your breathing is much deeper and rapid, and your heart rate increases quickly. Or you could do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.

If you struggle to exercise on your feet due to a long-term illness, it’s even more important to try to exercise. Exercise can improve your mood and is really beneficial for your mental health. Chat to a professional about what the best sort of exercise is for you.

Chair exercises

For elderly people, these NHS recommended gentle sitting exercises can help to improve your mobility and prevent falls, and can even be done at home.

For these exercises, choose a solid, stable chair that doesn’t have wheels. You should be able to sit with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent at right angles. Avoid chairs with arms, as these will restrict your movement.

Chest stretch

• Sit upright and away from the back of the chair. Pull your shoulders back and down. Extend your arms out to the side.
• Gently push your chest forward and up until you feel a stretch across your chest.
• Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.

Upper-body twist

• Sit upright with your feet flat on the floor, cross your arms and reach for your shoulders.
• Without moving your hips, turn your upper body to the left as far as is comfortable. Hold for 5 seconds.
• Repeat on the right side.
• Do 5 times on each side.

Hip marching

• Sit upright and do not lean on the back of the chair. Hold on to the sides of the chair.
• Lift your left leg with your knee bent as far as is comfortable. Place your foot down with control.
• Repeat with the opposite leg.
• Do 5 lifts with each leg.

In an article published on ITV, it said that nurses have missed out of the UK Government’s latest announcement that it will be giving two million public sector workers a pay rise. Instead, nurses have the option to be offered supermarket discounts and cheap gym membership in an effort to persuade workers to stay in the NHS. But is this enough?

Speaking to the Telegraph, Simon Stevens, the head of the UK’s health service, will call for the wider rollout of such schemes which have given staff savings of up to £1,000 a year on their shopping. The plans will see nurses offered access to promotions and discounts in a bid to encourage staff loyalty.

It has been revealed in the London Economic that many nurses are quitting the NHS to work in Lidl because pay, hours and benefits better. With a shortage of 40,000 nurses across the UK, the NHS continues to face a drain on staffing as nurses quit, yet they have not been announced as deserving of a pay rise in 2019.

Last year NHS leaders warned that the health service is now so understaffed that patient safety is being put at risk. Chris Hopson, NHS Providers’ chief executive said in the article: “Years of pay restraint and stressful working conditions are taking their toll”.

The Telepgraph adds that health officials say a similar NHS discount scheme in Birmingham – which gave staff access to discounts from 700 retailers, including Sainsbury, Tesco, Boots, Morrisons and B&Q – has helped the trust to keep its staff, at a time when others are losing workers. Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust has cut turnover of nursing staff by two per cent since starting the scheme. The trust says its discount website, which has more than 2,300 users, helps staff save up to £1,000 a year.

It has been announced that two million public sector workers including police officers and teachers but excluding nurses are to receive above-inflation pay increases, the biggest for six years. Police officers will receive a 2.5% rise while the salaries of teachers and other school staff will increase by 2.75%. Soldiers will get a 2.9% increase and dentists and consultants will get 2.5%, according to the Times.

Most public sector workers’ pay increase will be higher than the 2% rate of inflation. Many have been forced to accept below-inflation pay increases during the government’s austerity drive of the past decade, while rents have risen by more than the cost of living.

A recent report warned that London and the southern regions of England are facing a shortage of teachers, nurses and police officers as rising rents make housing in large parts of the UK unaffordable for key public sector workers.

The report, published by PricewaterhouseCoopers, warned that the high cost of rental housing in London and in the South East could contribute to a shortage of nurses in the area. It found that rental costs in London accounted for 39% of nurses’ and midwives’ income and noted that a ratio of 30% was the conventional benchmark that is considered affordable.

So are discounts enough to keep nurses in the NHS? Ultimately shopping budgets and gym memberships are only a couple of pieces to the puzzle. If nurses can’t pay their rents and their bills, we are going to see more and more of them move to other jobs with better benefits and pay.

However, it is a start.

The BBC has estimated that there are roughly 700,000 young carers in the UK. A young carer is a young person looking after a family member who is not well, or helping them by looking after the other members of the family while they can’t. The average age of a young carer is scarily only 12 years old.

Young carers often do more chores than other children would normally have to do. On top of providing emotional support to the person they are caring for, they may also have to learn how to nurse them or look after their personal needs like bathing and dressing. Such tasks can be difficult for grown adults to deal with, let alone young children.

Here’s some advice from the NHS website for if you’re struggling as a young carer:

Where can I turn for help?

1. Your teachers could be a good place to start when reaching out for support if you are a young carer. They could point you in the direction of getting some help from appropriate authorities.

2. A social worker from your local council can arrange to pay you a visit and offer you support if you or your parents request this. Social workers may also be asked to help a young carer’s family if there are problems.

3. Childline is a free and confidential telephone helpline for children on 0800 11 11. You can talk to someone there who may be able to give you advice and get you help and they won’t tell anyone that you have called.

4. If you’re worried about your health, or the health of the person you care for, speak to a doctor or GP.

Local mental health nurses can also offer emotional support and advice about mental health conditions. If your parent has a “community psychiatric nurse”, you can talk to the nurse about your parent’s illness and how you can help your parent cope.

5. You could also call all the Carers Direct helpline on 0300 123 1053.

What happens if I miss too much school?

You may find you have to miss school to care for someone, but missing too much school can affect your whole future. It can mean you fall behind in work, fail exams and can affect your chances of getting into university or finding work in the future.

If you’re missing lessons to help look after someone at home, or struggling to get your work in on time, it’s important to talk to a teacher about what’s going on at home so that they can understand what is happening and give you more help. You might not want your school to know you’re caring for someone, but if they don’t know about your situation it can be difficult for teachers to understand why you are falling behind. Try to get help as quickly as possible so the situation doesn’t go on for a long time.

A GP, nurse, social worker or another person whose job is to help the person you look after should be able to organise more support at home to help you concentrate on school or college.

How do I maintain a social life?

Young carers can miss out on playing and spending time with friends and classmates. You may feel isolated from your friends because you don’t have as much free time as them, because you’re often thinking about the person you look after or because you may be worried they will bully you if they find out you are a young carer.

Local young carers project or a carers centre may be able to help maintain your social life. Meeting up with other young carers is a great way to make new friends, have some fun and share some of your worries with people in similar situations to your own. Young carers projects may offer evening clubs, weekends away, days out and even holidays, as well as friendly advice and information for you and for your family.

Here are some organisations to look at:

1. The Children’s Society runs services for young carers in many areas.

2. KIDS is an organisation specially for carers under the age of 18.

3. Action for Children can put you in touch with other young carers. It also has free places for young carers at its residential activity camps.

What do I do about money?

Most young children do not have to worry about money, but when you are a young carer your loved one may not be able to take control of finances on your behalf.

Citizens Advice has information on money, benefits and your rights. The National Careers Service has a helpline, webchat and email service about education and careers for 13 to 19 year olds. Support is also available up to the age of 25 for those who have learning difficulties or disabilities.

We’re feeling hot! Hot! Hot! And not only do we feel hot due to the weather our clients can’t get enough of how incredible our healthcare professionals are. Secure Healthcare Solutions have had such an incredible month and our agency nurses and healthcare assistants have excelled with the level of professionalism they have had and it has brought brilliant feedback. We have had another training day this month which has allowed our nurses to develop on their current skills and we have plenty more to come this July for our healthcare assistance and nurses. Our domiciliary care team has introduced their new care coordinator, Lindsey, who has brought a positive energy to the table and has been able to help organise the clients we already have as well as helping new clients receive the package they require. We have also had a clinical lead join us this month, Irene, who has been able to provide more training then we have previously and has been able to improve the quality of care our candidates are able to provide.

With such an incredible month for Secure Healthcare Solutions, we could only say thank you to all of our healthcare assistants, support workers, nurses and NHS staff members for their incredible work ethos, their commitment to their service of providing care and how lovely they are as individuals. For this month we have two candidates who have shown excellency in their own way. We are pleased to announce Diane is our Healthcare assistant of the month as she is always happy to help us out by travelling to different areas to cover shifts, is such a polite person and we are constantly getting incredible feedback for this lady we can only say thank you. Our Nurse of the month has to be our young gentlemen Buddy, due to being able to calm the people around him, dissolve any problems on his shifts very easily, which has made him an extremely likeable person that our clients can’t get enough of and for his quality always being first class and never faltering over the many years he has worked for Secure Healthcare Solutions.

Congratulations to our winners of employee of the month and to rest of the Secure Healthcare Solutions for the hard work you continuously display.  Let’s get our sun cream on and sunglasses out and enjoy summer!

It’s often the case that you don’t know much about an illness or a condition until, or if, it happens to affect you or someone you love, and spinal injuries are no different. According to Mayo Clinic, spinal cord injuries can be caused from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or disks of the spinal column or to the spinal cord itself. A traumatic spinal cord injury may arise from a sudden, traumatic blow to your spine that fractures, dislocates, crushes or compresses one or more of your vertebrae.

Should you be affected by spinal injuries, you may find yourself seeking extra support and care and could feel overwhelmed by information on how to cope with this sudden shock to your life. According to Spinalcord.com, spinal injuries are serious and complex and each spinal injury is unique, affecting victims differently and for different lengths of time. A spinal injury may result in only temporary back pain, but at worst it can leave victims completely paralysed.

Here are some things you never knew about spinal injuries, with help from Grey Law and the Mobility Resource:

1. It’s hard to regulate body temperature

When a spinal injury occurs this might mean that the person has more difficulty warming up when they are cold and cooling down when they are hot. This is because the spinal cord is used to communicate between the brain and the body when temperatures change and without this function it can be hard to keep up.

2. People with paralysis can have sex

This is a question most asked when discussing paralysis or spinal injuries. People who are paralysed can still have and enjoy sex. For some, their injuries might compromise sensitivity and feeling, but research suggests that there are nerves associated with sexual pleasure that completely bypass the spinal cord.

3. More men suffer with spinal injuries than women

There is much speculation as to why this is, and some suggest that this could be as more men participate in fighting, sports and tend to be faster behind the wheel, but the truth is that there isn’t the scientific evidence to back up such theories as of yet.

According to Shepherd Center, a spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation centre, every year about 17,500 people in the United States sustain a spinal cord injury. That’s 48 new injuries every day. Most of these people are injured in car accidents, falls, violence and sports-related accidents. The average age of newly injured patients is 42, and 81 percent of them are men.

4. Professionals won’t always have the answers

As every spinal injury is unique and individual to the person injured, you may find that you are unable to get the answers you are looking for from medical professionals all the time. While nurses, doctors and therapists will try their best to provide you with information, it’s important to remember that it’s impossible for them to know everything about spinal injuries.

Learning everything you can about successfully living with a spinal injury, the different seating options that are available, coping strategies, and staying up-to-date with ongoing research relating to different treatments and advancements can go a long way in aiding your individual recovery.

5. A spinal injury could mean you can’t cough

Spinal injuries affect the muscles in the walls of the chest, not just your ability to walk. Virtually everything becomes paralysed below the the spinal injury and according to BranandSpinalCord.org, “the abdominal and chest muscles can also be affected, resulting in difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing the chest.”

Sadly respiratory failure is one of the main causes of death among people suffering spinal cord injuries, since they cannot cough up phlegm when they are ill.

6. Legs can still move even when paralysed

The nervous system can still enable leg movement even after severe spinal injury. People with paralysis may find that their legs can shake, move, and spasm on their own at any time without the person’s control.

7. You could be less hairy

Most people with a spinal injury notice that their hair thins, or that they lose hair a few years after their injuries. This is because research suggests that the spinal cord connects the rate of body hair growth with something in the brain that provides feedback to the hair follicles. They are not sure why, but something about spinal cord injuries often leads to less body hair on the head and elsewhere.

8. People with spinal injuries can still do sports

Many people living with paralysis play adapted sports and can become very good at them. Even with a spinal injury, it’s important to remain active, and sometimes physical activity can even help those who are paralysed to gain their ability to walk back; under the guidance of professionals.

It’s always a difficult time when it comes to decided whether your loved one might need some extra help or even go into an assisted living situation. It could be a parent who isn’t ready to be looked after by someone they don’t know, or perhaps it’s a disabled family member who is becoming too difficult to look after with the facilities and finances available. Such situations always need to be handled sensitivity, but it is important to remember that sometimes extra help is necessary for the quality of life of the person in need.

Moving to hiring a carer or to assisted living can be a difficult transition, but every individual is different and such changes depend on factors such as current health status and medical and personal needs.

Here are some points to consider from Forbes for when determining whether your loved one might need some extra help:

1. Worsening health

Your loved one might have some manageable health conditions already, but a sign that extra help is needed could be if their health conditions worsen. If your loved one indicates that he or she has fallen and has struggled to get up on more than one occasion, it’s not safe for them to be living on their own. Nearly one third of seniors fall at least once every year, and the death rate for falls has climbed steadily in the past decade. Look out for suspicious bruising and injuries and go seek a professional to speak to if you are concerned.

2. Money problems

Many vulnerable people struggle to keep up with all their financial responsibilities, and if left unattended bills and financial problems can arise. Diseases like dementia can affect a person’s ability to think logically and handle numbers on a complex level and this can lead to difficulties when doing taxes or taking care of multiple bills at one time.

Older or vulnerable people can also be susceptible to financial scams. These scams can put them in debilitating financial trouble, and can prevent them from taking care of themselves as they could lose their savings, for example, which is sometimes all they have to live on.

3. Feeling lonely

Isolation and poor mental health can be a serious problem for vulnerable people. More than 11 million seniors live alone, and isolation can seriously affect a person’s overall health. When vulnerable people isolate themselves, that means they may stop participating in hobbies they once enjoyed, social interactions with family and friends, or just simply leaving the house at all.

Loneliness can spark depression, as the lack of community or sense of purpose can cause them to become depressed. It can also allow addictions to harbour as vulnerable people who are isolated often develop bad health habits like drinking, smoking cigarettes, and prescription drug abuse to fill the void.

4. Messy home

An untidy and smelly home can indicate that someone may not be able to live on his or her own anymore. These can often be explained with a person’s physical inability to clean up after themselves and it can get to the point where they can’t vacuum the house or clean the dishes. They might not even be able to recognise that thinks have gotten so bad, so it’s vital for someone else to step in and offer them extra support.

5. Poor hygiene

While a loved one may have some level of ability to take care of him or herself, a big sign it may be time for extra help is the lack of motivation for doing so. Some signs of poor hygiene include poor grooming habits when they used to take great pride in their appearance, and bad odour, which could indicate that they aren’t washing as often as they should be. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for disheveled clothing, which could signal that they are unable to wash their own clothes anymore.

6. Forgetfulness

Forgetting to pay bills is one sign that someone might need extra help and another is forgetting to take medication. This is important as some medications, if not taken properly, can have devastating consequences; including death. Check tablet boxes and bottles regularly to see if they are being taken by the person in need.

7. Poor diet or weight loss.

It’s also important for you to look at the food your loved one is eating. Open up the fridge and have a look around on a regular basis. Is there spoiled food in there? Are there a lot of foods past their expiration date? These may be signs that your loved one can’t cook for him or herself anymore or that they aren’t eating healthy food or full meals, which can cause poor health and weight loss.

If the happiness or health of a loved one seems to be being compromised, it’s time to have a conversation about whether it’s time to find extra help for the individual.

It was once widely accepted that as we grew older our teeth would eventually all fall out and we’d all have to wear dentures that we kept floating in glasses of water on our bedside tables. However, with advancements in dental health knowledge and access to free dental care via the NHS, it is now easier than ever to keep our natural teeth and more and more of us are doing this right through to our 80s and 90s.

According to the United Nations, the proportion of older people across the globe is increasing all the time, with around one in 12 people worldwide now being 65 and over; and this is expected to double in the next 30 years. It is estimated that by 2050, almost one in five of us will be over 65. That equates to 1.6 billion people.

Our expanding older generation are extending their lives and at the same time increasing the quality of their lives due to good quality health care and advancements in medicine. However, it appears that in some cases older people who once maintained good dental and oral care are letting this slip as the years continue to pass. Keeping our natural teeth further into life means there is a greater need for support daily, dental treatment and restorative work, as well as more care for unrestored teeth.

According to the Oral Health Foundation, those looking after elderly patients or older family members are more likely to encounter more demands and difficulties when caring for an older person’s oral health because of their reduced mobility, as well as losses in cognitive ability. Elderly people who are suffering with poor oral health could be in pain and discomfort and experience problems their mouth and jaw. They might also have difficulty eating and drinking, which could lead to nutritional deficiencies and this could have a negative impact on their wider health.

There are many factors which may make older people more susceptible to dental diseases, including use of medications. For the best chance of keeping teeth and gums healthy, the NHS says that it’s important to brush at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, floss and to see a dentist regularly. Age UK say that based on the health of your teeth and gums, your dentist will decide how often you should visit them for a check-up; the recommendation is likely to be between 12 and 24 months, although it can be as often as every six months. It’s worth noting when looking after an elderly person that dental treatment is free if you or your partner receive Guarantee credit part of Pension Credit.

Sometimes an elderly person is unable to maintain daily dental care, and so carers or family member will have to help by flossing and brushing their teeth for them and making sure that they attend the dentist. There are special toothbrushes that are curved and ergonomically designed to be more comfortable for brushing someone else’s teeth. The Amercian Dental Society says that if your loved one is having difficulty with brushing and flossing, talk to a dentist or hygienist who can provide helpful tips or a different approach. There are dentists who specialise in caring for the elderly and disabled and you can locate a specialist through the Special Care Dentistry Association’s referral directory.

For those who wear dentures – and lot of elderly people do – it’s important to pay close attention to the wearers eating habits. According to Mouth Healthy, if they’re having difficulty eating or are not eating as much as usual, denture problems could be the cause.

Here are a few tips from WebMD for keeping dentures in great shape:

• Handle dentures with great care. To avoid accidentally dropping them, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water when handling them.
• Brush and rinse dentures daily, but not with toothpaste. Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food and plaque. Use a brush with soft bristles that is specifically designed for cleaning dentures. Gently brush all surfaces of the denture and be careful not to damage the plastic or bend attachments.
• In between brushing, rinse dentures after every meal.
• Clean with a denture cleaner. Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid can be used for cleaning dentures. Household cleansers and many toothpastes may be too abrasive for dentures and should not be used.
• Dentures need to be kept moist when not being worn so they do not dry out or lose their shape. When not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water. However, if the denture has metal attachments, the attachments could tarnish if placed in a soaking solution. Your dentist can recommend the best methods for caring for your particular denture.
• Dentures should never be placed in hot water, which can cause them to warp.

Vulnerable patients and those in need of extra care often feeling scared, vulnerable or intimidated by the uncertainties they face during their health journeys. Nurses and care workers are in the privileged position of being able to ease those negative feelings by showing true kindness and compassion on a daily basis.

According to the Patient Empathy Project, 96% of patients suffer from healthcare-related fears, and one of the top patient fears is having a rude or unhelpful nurse. It’s no wonder that patients are scared, as only recently ten staff members at a learning disability hospital were arrested after a BBC Panorama programme showed footage of staff appearing to mistreat patients. Following an investigation into alleged abuse of patients at Whorlton Hill psychiatric hospital, Durham constabulary confirmed it had arrested seven men and three women in connection with the undercover recording, which showed carers being violent towards patients.

When nurses and care workers are in their training, applying evidence-based research, critical thinking and scientific knowledge to the delivery of healthcare are the main focuses to their study. Nurses also gain a deeper knowledge of medical equipment and technology. However, kindness is the foundation of their work.

Nurses and those working in care should be nonjudgmental, supportive and understanding in order to gain the trust of those they are caring for. Maintaining a kind and respectful approach to health work has many benefits, including improved nurse-patient relationships, increased patient compliance with care plans and treatments, improved patient outcomes and increased patient satisfaction. Open communication and mutual respect can also result in shorter hospital stays, relieving pain, decreased anxiety and an optimistic outlook on recovery. Each person in need should be treated as a unique individual and should be supported in their spiritual beliefs as well as their emotional, psychological and cultural needs.

The University of Texas explains that providing patient-focused care and forming relationships based on kindness and empathy gives nurses the opportunity to directly impact their own happiness and fulfilment too. It is proven that nurses and care workers who have greater job satisfaction tend to be more productive, motivated and committed to quality care.

To stay focused on providing kindness through care work and nursing, staff should be mindful of the patient’s needs, such as their individualised care and listening to their concerns, taking the time to introduce themselves as well as other nurses or healthcare providers who will interact with the patient, address patients by their name and make frequent eye contact. Maintaining ongoing communication with patients, family members and caregivers also helps to build a good rapport. Care givers and nurses should encourage patients and those around them to ask questions, and take the time to answer them to their satisfaction. It’s important to always be respectful and courteous, even when faced with unhappy or demanding patients.

The 6 C’s are the foundations for kindness in nursing and care work:

According to NHS England, the 6 C’s are considered crucial to improving patient relationships. They stand for the professional commitment to always deliver excellent care. Not one is more important than the other and they focus on putting the person being cared for at the heart of the care they are given.

Care: The care nurses and care workers deliver helps the individual and improves the health of the whole community. People receiving care expect and deserve for this to be consistent and correct.

Compassion: Compassion is how care is given through relationships based on empathy, respect and dignity – it can also be described as intelligent kindness, and is central to how people perceive their care.

Competence: Competence means all those in caring roles must have the ability to understand an individual’s health and social needs and the expertise, clinical and technical knowledge to deliver effective care and treatments based on research and evidence.

Communication: Communication builds successful caring relationships. Listening is as important as what we say and do. Communication is the key to a good workplace with benefits for those both in care and the staff too.

Courage: Courage enables nurses and care workers to do the right thing for the people they care for, to speak up when they have concerns and to have the personal strength to keep going when things get tough.

Commitment: A commitment to patients is a cornerstone of what nurses and care workers do. They need to build on their commitment to improve the care and experience of patients.

Smoking is the main way tobacco is used and this is a very addictive habit, it may burn a hole in your pocket but can burn the insides of your body too. The theme for this year’s World Tobacco Day is Lung health and we will be explaining the dangers of using tobacco.

With more than 4,000 chemicals being produced when burning tobacco your cells can adjust from normal cells to cancerous cells. Chemicals such as nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar once inhaled cause the mucus in the lungs and airways to enlarge which increases the chances of an infection.

As we all know, common side effects that come with smoking involves coughing, an increase in catching colds, wheezing and asthma. These may not be concerning side effects for you however over a long period of time there is a higher risk of obtaining life threatening diseases such as pneumonia and lung cancer. With deaths from Lung cancer being 83% caused by smoking as well as 84% of people dying with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) it shows there is a greater need for people to stop using tobacco.

With the healthcare industry creating resources for people to stop smoking lead by health care assistants and registered nurses there are many ways that you can find a way to stop you from smoking.

The increasing strain and lack of resources within the UK’s healthcare system is having a massive impact on our elderly people. Age Scotland recently found that more than four in 10 older people requiring “substantial” or critical care were found to be waiting more than the six weeks for care.

Further across the rest of the UK, one in five care home residents have been sent out of their local area, with some stranded more than 450 miles from families and friends, according to official data revealed under freedom of information (FOI) laws. In the worst cases, frail or vulnerable people are being taken from five local authority areas in London and southern England to Glasgow and northeast Scotland, because beds are unavailable at home or cheaper elsewhere. Not to mention that a recent poll by YouGov revealed that out of 2,000 people surveyed, only 1 percent were happy with the idea of going into a care home anyway.

Most people assume that a care home is where they will ultimately end up, but in fact there are a wide variety of alternatives, according to Elder, when it comes to care for the elderly:

Home care

Home care can be provided by local authorities or by private companies and can be tailored to the individual’s needs. Private care offers far more choice than other options of home care, and hours can be increased as the elderly person’s needs become greater.

When faced with illness or immobility, it can be a struggle to carry out the everyday activities that you may have once performed with ease. There is no place quite like your own home, and that is why discreet personal care services can be designed to support you with your day-to-day living, as well as providing you with the encouragement and emotional support that you may need to remain living independently. Personal home care services can assist you with personal hygiene needs, administering medication at a time to suit your convenience.

Live-in care

An increasingly popular form of elderly care is to employ a live-in carer. Private live-in care is the perfect solution when a loved one wants to stay in his or her own home but needs 24/7 care.

Live-in care services are most suited to those who need someone to be with them during the day and night, whilst maintaining a high level of independence within the comfort of their own homes. Live-in care can be offered as a respite or short-term care solution ad can offer an extra set of hands around the house, assist you with gardening or cooking, help you with personal tasks like bathing and dressing and drive you to appointments, social engagements and more.

Live-in care can also cover complex care, which is one-to-one care specifically tailored for those affected by complex health conditions which require nursing care. Those affected by complex conditions will often rely on specialist equipment such as ventilators, colostomy bags, PEG feeding tubes and lift mobility. A one-to-one service can enable those in need to remain in their own homes with the greatest possible degree of independence.

Move in with family

Living between two households is a growing, popular choice for elderly people in need of care, although usually it is the older person who moves in with grown-up children and their families. Depending on the family, this can be a good option, but obviously it’s not for everyone.

If you decide to go down this route, you need to have very clear guidelines about private space, mealtimes, how bills are split and house rules. It is likely that at some point the grown-up child will become the caregiver, so it’s important that all parties are comfortable with this situation.

Sheltered housing

With sheltered housing the elderly person either buys or rents a small apartment in a dedicated block, which is overseen by a warden who usually lives on site. Residents are equipped with personal alarms so that they can notify the warden if they are ill or have an accident. This set up allows independent living but with the advantage of knowing that someone is available if necessary, and there is usually a communal lounge or garden so that residents can socialise.

Retirement villages

Developments exclusively for retired people are a popular option as many elderly people decide to downsize from their larger homes. Retirement villages are specifically designed for older people and are usually sited close to town centres or within easy reach of shops. Apartments can be bought or rented and there are communal areas where residents can gather to socialise or have their meals.

Home Sharing

Home sharing involves the elderly person offering a room within their house for a live-in carer, although actual care work is generally basic, such as a little gardening, shopping or cleaning. The carer benefits from either free housing or nominal rent, whilst the elderly person receives companionship and some help around the house.

Befriending

Some charities organise volunteer support for elderly people in their own homes. The volunteers will visit the elderly person for a friendly chat and a little help with shopping trips or excursions. This can be a valuable way of providing companionship and relieving boredom, but volunteers will not normally assist with personal care and the help that they provide is fairly limited.