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We Brits love to solve all of life’s woes with a hot cup of something. It’s the first thing we offer when we welcome someone into our home and it’s the lubricant for which awkward conversations are facilitated.

Although we are well-known tea drinkers – drinking approximately 165 million cups of the stuff a day – we love our coffee too. But which is better? Taste is down to preference, but in terms of our health, which should we be drinking more of and which should we be leaving on the shelf?

One of the aspects of drinking tea and coffee that we are constantly told to be cautious of are their caffeine contents. The NHS explains that caffeine is a stimulant. “Drinks containing caffeine can temporarily make us feel more alert or less drowsy. Caffeine affects some people more than others, and the effect can depend on how much caffeine you normally consume.”

For context, a cup of brewed coffee has around 92 milligrams of caffeine, a cup of brewed black tea has 47 milligrams of caffeine and a cup of brewed green tea has 29 milligrams of caffeine.
The NHS advises that pregnant women should limit their intake of caffeinated drinks and that they are also unsuitable for toddlers and young children.

They add: “It’s fine to drink tea and coffee as part of a balanced diet. Bear in mind, though, that caffeinated drinks can make the body produce urine more quickly. Some people are more susceptible to this than others, but it also depends on how much caffeine you have and how often you have it. If you have problems with urinary continence, cutting down on caffeine by changing to low-caffeine tea and coffee, fruit or herbal teas, or other types of drinks can sometimes help.” Going to the toilet more often could make you dehydrated.

Another thing to be cautious of is added sugar when it comes to tea and coffee. They explain: “If you drink tea or coffee with sugar or you have flavoured syrups in your coffee-shop drinks, you could be unwittingly damaging your teeth and adding unhelpful calories to your diet.”

In favour of tea, health.com says that tea is rich antioxidants and helps to fight inflammation. “Tea drinkers have a significantly lower risk of stroke and heart disease, and tea is known to boost brain health. One study, for example, found that compared with older adults who drank less than three cups a week, those who drank more than two cups of green tea a day had a significantly lower risk of age-related declines in memory.” It’s been found that regular tea drinkers also have higher bone density levels and slower rates of bone loss and tea has also been associated with anti-ageing.

However, tea isn’t all great. Unfortunately, it can impact your iron levels due to the tanins in it, which is a type of antioxidant that interferes with the absorption of non-heme, or plant-based iron. In one study from 1982, drinking tea with a meal resulted in a 62% reduction in iron absorption compared to 35% for coffee.

The BBC adds that tea is also staining for your teeth. “Most dentists seem to agree that tea’s natural pigments are more likely to adhere to dental enamel than coffee’s – particularly if you use a mouthwash containing the common antiseptic chlorhexidine, which seems to attract and bind to the microscopic particles.”

So what’s good about coffee? health.com say that “a brand new Harvard study found that those who drink about three to five cups of coffee a day may be less likely to die prematurely from some diseases than those who drink less or no coffee.” Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and has also been linked to protection against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, and certain cancers.

However, in some cases coffee has been shown to raise cholesterol levels slightly. Also, coffee is more acidic than tea, so if you have stomach or digestive issues, tea might be more soothing for you. health.com adds that “coffee has long had a reputation for bone issues, but it remains unclear how significant the effects are”. One study found that a high intake of coffee reduced bone density by 2-4%.

Another con of drinking coffee is that due to it’s high caffeine content it could leave you feeling overstimulated, jittery and anxious. If you have high blood pressure, you should limit your caffeine intake because it can cause a dramatic spike in blood pressure. The BBC adds that coffee can negatively affect your sleep quality more so than tea. They said that University of Surrey researchers found that coffee drinkers tend to find it harder to drop off to sleep at night because of the higher caffeine content.

The conclusion seems to be that neither coffee or tea are particularly harmful to your health if consumed in small quantities (like everything). It’s more dependent on taste preference and lifestyle choices as to which you’d rather drink more of.

Christmas is an incredibly exciting time for most; especially if you have young children (or are one). However, having to spend Christmas alone – whether you’ve been widowed or estranged from your family – can be very difficult.

According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, loneliness can even impact your physical health, as it increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%. The effect of loneliness and isolation on mortality is comparable to the impact of well-known risk factors such as obesity, and has a similar influence as cigarette smoking. Loneliness is also associated with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke and can increase the risk of high blood pressure.

Loneliness can also affect your mental health, as it puts individuals at greater risk of cognitive decline. Lonely people have a 64% increased chance of developing clinical dementia and are more prone to depression.

In 2016, the mental health charity Mind found that one in 10 people aged between 25 and 34 admitted they didn’t have anyone to spend Christmas with, compared with just one in 20 older people.

Research from Age UK showed that nearly a million (928,000) older people unsurprisingly feel lonelier at Christmas time and almost 1.4 million older people surveyed by Age UK admitted that Christmas isn’t a special day for them and just passes them by.

“The charity estimates that getting on towards a million (873,000) people aged 65 and over don’t see or hear from someone for days on end over the festive period. And at Christmas time, on days when older people do not see or hear from anyone, over half (55%) rely on the TV for companionship.”

If you are concerned about lonely older people during the festive period, there are things you can do to help. The Independent suggests getting in touch with Contact the Elderly, who run monthly tea parties during which groups of people over the age of 75 come together to socialise.

“You can also reach out and befriend older people by working with organisations such as Friends of the Elderly. The website offers a variety of opportunities, including the chance to become a Visiting Friends volunteer.”

Another way to help a lonely older person is with a phone conversation. At Independent Age, volunteers spend around 20 to 30 minutes a week speaking on the phone with older people who may not otherwise have many opportunities to engage in conversation with others. The charity explains that talking with an older person regularly on the phone can “empower them, improve their wellbeing and help build their self-esteem.”

The role involves talking on the phone on a weekly or fortnightly basis, ideally for a minimum period of 12 months.

If you are reading this as the person worried about spending Christmas alone – whatever age you are – here are a few ideas for how you could spend your Christmas Day to stave off feeling low.

1. Very Well Mind suggests hosting an Online Christmas

“Do you have online friends? Do you have long-distance relatives? Host an online Christmas by setting up a Skype chatroom or Facebook group. People can drop in and out as they please, and you don’t have to cook, clean, or even get off the sofa.

“As an added bonus, you’ll have a chance to practice your social skills as you welcome new people to the group and catch up with old friends.”

2. Why not volunteer?

Very Well Mind adds that one way to gain a better appreciation for the good things in your life is to get involved in volunteering. “Volunteering during the holidays is a way to connect with others, boost your self-esteem, and bring joy to people who are less fortunate. Consider offering to help serve dinner at a soup kitchen, bring gifts to a children’s hospital, or visit lonely residents at a nursing home.

“If you feel nervous about doing these social activities, all the better; it’s a chance to test your boundaries and expand your social skills. In fact, research shows that practising kindness may reduce your tendency to avoid social situations.”

3. Take part in a group run

The Guardian suggests taking part in a Christmas Day race as a way to feel connected to others. “Parkruns take place in parks across the UK, with most starting at 9 am. After this, all you’ll need to think about is recovering.”

Alternatively, if running isn’t your thing, you could scope out the local country walks nearby and see who you could bump into on the way. Plus physical activity is great for endorphins and clearing your head.

4. Eat out

The Guardian adds that “Christmas Day is a great time to visit and eat at restaurants in Chinatown, and areas with large Bangladeshi, Indian, Turkish and Vietnamese communities. Rebel against traditional Christmas turkey and eat a Turkish lahmacun.”

Don’t forget to book in advance though!

5. Use this opportunity to do whatever you want

This is potentially the one day a year where you can do whatever you want undisturbed. Treat yourself to whatever you enjoy most, whether that’s listening to music, having a bath or people watching. The world is your oyster!

6. Be brave, tell someone

If you can’t stomach the thought of being alone on Christmas Day, tell someone. Contact a friend and ask if they wouldn’t mind accommodating you for a meal. There is no shame in reaching out for help. Perhaps you could contact someone else who you know might be lonely this time of year too to see if they’d like some company too.

Talk of politics and heated discussions about Brexit have been consuming the lives of everyone living in the UK over the past year (or more), and things appear to be changing from an anxious simmer about the uncertain future of our country to a fiery boil, as we approach a general election on Thursday 12th December. No one seems to know what is going on or what the best for the fate of the UK is, yet thanks to democracy anyone aged 18 or over who is a British, Irish or EU citizen is eligible to vote, but you have to register. This of course includes those living with disabilities.

Sadly people with disabilities are still face problems when it comes to voting, as they aren’t always aware of their voting rights. The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 made it illegal to discriminate in respect to employment, services, education and transport based on someone’s disability. Many do not have the confidence to go and register to vote, while others face issues when they go to a polling stations. Mobility issues can make accessing polling stations in person difficult while learning disabilities can make it all the more difficult to understand the voting process.

Mencap say that “learning disability issues are regularly discussed by members of the main political parties. In the last six years, learning disability has been mentioned in debates or official letters from MPs over 1,200 times. That is over three times a week.” Over 150 MPs supported Mencap’s last campaign to encourage people with a learning disability to vote. In 2010, almost 1 in 3 people with a learning disability voted, which is progress.

The first step for a disabled voter is to register to vote. Enable Magazine explains that you can register to vote online by yourself or with the help of a trusted carer or loved one. You will be asked where you live, when you were born, your name, address and contact information.

On voting day, our government has a responsibility to ensure all polling stations have a polling booth adapted for wheelchair users and that there is large print versions of ballot papers are available in every polling station, along with aids to enable blind voters to mark their ballot papers without help.

According to the Electoral Commission: “Local authorities now have to take proactive steps to ensure that polling stations don’t disadvantage disabled people. All voters have a right to vote independently and in secret. A person who is registered to vote or who has been officially appointed as a proxy voter cannot be refused a ballot paper or the opportunity to vote on the grounds of mental or physical incapacity.

“Polling station staff must ensure that disabled voters are not offered a lower standard of service than other voters and should be able to explain what assistance is available to disabled voters wishing to vote in person at a polling station.”

Disabled voters are also entitled to the right to request assistance to mark the ballot paper., and this can be done through the Presiding Officer. Alternatively, they can bring someone with them to help them vote; providing they themselves are eligible to vote. If an elector is unable to enter the polling station because of physical disability, the Presiding Officer may take the ballot paper to the elector. If you have any problems on election day, you should call your local authority to try to resolve this.

It’s well worth knowing that if you don’t want to go to the polling station to vote – because you find it difficult going out and about or have a disability that makes this impossible – voters with a disability can have a permanent proxy vote. Voting by proxy means choosing someone else to vote for you. All you need to do is fill in a new form to choose who will vote for you. This person can visit a polling station or apply for a postal vote in order to vote on your behalf.

There is also the option for you to vote by post. You will be sent a form similar to the registration form when voting by post and you should fill out the postal vote application and send it to your local electoral services team. Before elections, you will receive a ballot paper in the post. It will tell you where and when to post it.

If you’d like more information about accessibility to voting, you can call the Electoral Commission on 0333 103 1928 or the Welsh language line on 0333 103 1929 for further guidance.

According to NHS England, wheelchairs are used by approximately 1.2 million people in the UK. The majority of wheelchair users are aged 60 or more – they account for more than two thirds of all wheelchair users in the UK – and nearly 1 million people are believed to have learning disability in England alone.

When so many people use wheelchairs, why then are we so awkward about how to interact with them?

It’s human nature to know how to greet someone, however, when greeting someone with a physical disability, it can be confusing for people who aren’t familiar with wheelchair etiquette, so here are some tips (with credit to KD  Smart Chair, United Spinal and Karman Healthcare) for how to interact with and respect wheelchair users:

1. Ask before you help them

Just because someone has a disability it doesn’t mean they need your help. Adults with disabilities want to be treated as independent people, so only offer assistance only if the person appears to need it. A person with a disability will often times communicate when they needs help.

Some people with disabilities depend on their arms for balance, and so grabbing them, even if your intention is to assist, could knock them off balance. Never touch a wheelchair or wheelchair user without a direct invitation to do so. It is both demeaning and rude. Most wheelchair users consider their wheelchair an extension of their own body, so avoid leaning on, pushing or otherwise handling their chair without their permission.

2. Don’t make assumptions about why a person is using a wheelchair

Many, if not most, wheelchair users are not paralysed and can get up if they need to. Don’t make assumptions about why they have to use a wheelchair or about their capabilities. In addition, don’t assume the person can’t understand you or can’t hear you, try instead to view wheelchair users as what they are – regular people who happen to be using a different tool to get around.

3. Speak directly to a wheelchair user

Don’t disrespect a wheelchair user by speaking to the caregiver instead of them. Just because their legs or back doesn’t function as well as yours, doesn’t mean their brain is any less capable than yours. Making small talk with a person who has a disability is great, so just talk to them as you would with anyone else.

Also, don’t comment on the wheelchair. There’s no need to discuss, question or even compliment the wheelchair. Talk to the person about yourself, themselves, or anything else – but not about their wheelchair. It’s inappropriate and often uncomfortable to highlight their use of a wheelchair or make it the focus of your discussion.

4. Don’t use their parking spots or restroom stalls

This is a real no no. Even if it’s just for five minutes and even if there are no wheelchair users around, you don’t know when one will show up, so please don’t deny them of their right to park closer to a venue or go to the toilet.

5. Sit down for long conversations with a wheelchair user

Don’t make wheelchair users crane their neck for long periods of time so they can speak to you. Take a seat and let the conversation flow more naturally.

Additionally, bending down to speak to a wheelchair user is patronising and should be avoided at all costs. If you find it difficult to maintain eye contact while standing, pull up a seat.

6. Don’t ask for a go in their chair

You’d think this one would be obvious…

7. Teach your children about wheelchair users and how to treat them

Children are inquisitive and have a habit of saying exactly what they are thinking out loud. It’s important to educate them about disabled people and explain to them about wheelchair users and why someone might need to use one, so they will grow up to be kind and considerate of others.

Did you know that almost half of the world’s population don’t receive full coverage for the essential health care services that they require? Or that near 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty due to not being able to pay for their healthcare?

The UK is lucky to have the NHS, however, most countries don’t have the same luxuries as we do. We are capable of providing training for Nurses and Healthcare assistants to provide the highest quality of care required to ensure our country doesn’t fall to a similar fate to others. As a country we are fortunate to be able to provide live in carers and domiciliary care to individuals who struggle to leave their homes on the other hand poorer countries are required to travel miles in order to see a doctor to provide them with medication or receive treatment for any illnesses they may have which can cost a wealthy amount.

Universal health coverage (UHC) allows communities the opportunity to receive healthcare services for a small cost ensuring that individuals are able to get better without having to suffer from financial hardship. There services include health promotion to prevent, treat, rehabilitate and offer palliative care. With this in place their services are easily accessible to everyone who shows the more significant causes of diseases or death and assures that their good quality allows improvement to the individuals who receive these services.

As nation we are lucky to receive the healthcare that we are provided. With allied healthcare professionals at hand to query a mild cough to extreme diseases we have a healthcare service in place to ensure we are constantly healthy; whereas poorer countries are required to rely on UHC to help with their health. World Health Day is today, and we are asking you to cherish the healthcare industry as much as we do as we are a fortunate nation to receive such luxuries other countries aren’t able to receive. Thank your doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants for the service they provide; don’t take advantage of the national health services in place see your local pharmacy instead because the doctor’s appointment you’ve booked may be more useful to another individual.

On the 24th March 1882, a Doctor name Robert Koch announced the discovery of the bacterium that causes Tuberculosis which still affects people every day. World Tuberculosis Day (TB) is a way to spread the word in relation to the economic, social and health significances caused by TB. Due to this day over 130 years ago, we were able to open the doors in investigating a cure for the disease.

With nearly 30,000 people being affected by this deadly infectious disease each day, around 4,500 people lose their lives to this illness every 24 hours. With the contributions from around the world since the year 2000, healthcare professionals have been able to defeat and save around 54 million peoples live from TB.

This year’s theme for World Tuberculosis day is ‘It’s time.’ We never know when something could change in our lives. So, value your time with the people around you, enjoy every moment you have and live every second to the maximum.

Secure Health SolutionsSecure Health SolutionsSecure Health SolutionsSecure Health SolutionsSecure Health SolutionsSecure Health Solutions

Secure Healthcare Solutions are proud to support the elimination of racial discrimination with a diverse workforce sharing our services to everyone.

As a human being, we are born free and equal, none of us is any different from one another. We may be different races. We may be diverse in the languages we speak. Our cultures could be completely different. However, we are all born with the same rights.

As an agency, we have a variety of staff types such as nurses, healthcare assistants and support workers who work within the NHS and the private sector. Each candidate is different and diverse in many ways however as a company we treat everyone with the same equality and respect as we treat one another.

The exceptional office team allow our healthcare professionals to feel as though they are part of a family or community rather than a workplace. With the friendly team here for every nurse, healthcare assistant and support worker, we also pride ourselves in making our clients feel part of the Secure Healthcare Solutions family.

Being able to have a workplace that is solidified by feeling like a family unit, Secure Healthcare Solutions have the full confidence that we are racially diverse and accepting of any race or culture that join our family.

Secure Healthcare Solutions

Secure Healthcare Solutions

In the past the UK as a country has suffered with extreme weather conditions, particularly during winter – March is no different. The highest temperature on average is 10 degrees and 2 degrees for the lowest.

It is in this time when we have to pay more attention to our elderly loved ones, as this cold weather can translate into health problems or worsen conditions, especially during stormy or distressing weather. The exposure to cold can cause our own temperature to drop below the normal level which can, in turn, lead to hypothermia.

Domiciliary care or care at home is one of the best options to take care of our elders during this time, as it allows the patient to stay in the comfort of their own home receiving the best care.

With our care at home services, you can rest knowing that your loved ones are in good hands – Our highly trained carers make sure that our elders are safe and warm in their own homes.

However, there are many ways all of us can each other in ensuring loved ones are prepared for colder days and adverse weather. We are urging friends and family to share some tips on how to deal with cold temperatures:

Avoiding Falls & Bumps

  • Stretch your muscles and joints before going for a walk
  • If the weather conditions are too rough, make arrangements for someone to shovel and salt the drive.
  • Install handrails on the outside and inside of the property.
  • Wear thick shoes with non-slip rubber soles – Plastic and leather soled shoes tend to be the worst for walking on slippery paths.

Stay Indoors

  • Cold temperatures, snow, rain, and wind can all steal body heat. Wind especially as it removes the layer of heated air from around the body.
  • If you have to go outside, make sure you are covering your mouth, head and fingers.
  • Stay dry, Wet clothing chills the body quickly

Keeping Warm

  • Make sure that you are able to maintain your body temperature. You can achieve this by wearing several layers of clothes and wearing warm slippers around the house. It is recommendable wearing several layers instead of a thick one as the body warmth is trapped between the layers.
  • Make sure all the windows and doors between rooms are closed. Coming to the curtains will help to keep your house warm.
  • Have a blanket or a throw to cover your feet, shoulders or legs.
  • Make sure your central heating system has been serviced and your chimney has been swept.
  • Turn the heating on. If it is not possible heating all the rooms, make sure that the living room is kept warm and turn the heater on the bedroom before bed or place a hot water bottle in bed.
  • Never cover heaters and fires, such as with drying clothes.
  • Hot Meals are an easy way of keeping body temperature. Meals such as soups keep you warm, satiated and it is full of vitamins and minerals.
  • Keep basic food items in stock.
  • Keep a list with emergency numbers handy

Day to Day Habits

  • Make sure you keep yourself hydrated in winter, even if you are not thirsty. The recommended daily water intake is from 8-10 glasses per day.
  • Eat frequently, relative light meals.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine
  • Warm beverages and food to help you stay warm.

While at home, keep active in order to increase blood flow that will lead to warmer body heat.

Our care at home services ensures that your loved ones are protected from the dangers of cold weather, regularly checking that they are warm enough, monitoring room temperatures and ensuring the house is kept warm day & night.

Our trained Care assistants can help with daily tasks such as bathing, cleaning the house, preparing hot and warm meals whilst also offering day-to-day support and companionship.

Are you looking for care at home services? There are many benefits to choosing homecare. Care at home is a lot more flexible, offering different levels of care tailored exclusively for you.

Contact us today and find out how our qualified team of carers can help you.

The very first International Women’s Day (IWD) was first celebrated in 1911 and is still celebrated in this day and age on the 8th March and what a day it is to celebrate. We have come such a long way from 1908 where women were subjected to inequality and maltreatment; to a day and age where women are as equal as men. With 15,000 women marching in New York City in 1908 to appeal for us to receive a pay increase, shorter hours and the right to vote; it has been over a century since and the world is a place where women and girls feel empowered every day.

This year the theme for IWD is #BalanceforBetter. With the world constantly evolving the human race needs to match this forward thinking world and create a gender-balanced universe. We all have a role and it is our job to fulfil this all the time, everywhere we go. At Secure Healthcare Solutions, we fully support #BalanceforBetter. As Balance is not considered a women’s issue and more so a business issue Secure Healthcare Solutions are proud to say we allow all of our agency nurses, support workers and Healthcare assistants the same opportunities as one another.

With a gender-balanced workplace, a collective sex of agency staff members and a cultural management team Secure Healthcare Solutions are supporting #BalanceforBetter

BalanceforBetter  BalanceforBetter


February is the month of love and we have loved our healthcare professionals. Not only have we loved them, so have our clients. Everyone needed a date this Valentines and luckily we were able to pencil some of our finest agency nurses, healthcare assistants and support workers into our client’s diary.

We have had an overwhelming applause for our agency carers and nurses over the duration of February and couldn’t be prouder over the reviews we have received. As an agency, we have been able to provide a high quality of service and professionalism due to the remarkable staff members that have joined us.  With the constant flow of work, the reliability of our healthcare professionals and the persistence of the sublime office staff; we have been able to guarantee our clients a 95% fulfilment rate!

This month we had so many incredible staff members and it was a struggle to decide the best of the best however we have come to a collective decision and our February Nurse of the month is Irene and our February HCA of the Month is Yusupha! As an agency you have set the standards for our existing and future staff, picking up every shift possible to you, helping us in urgent situations and being a joy for our clients to work with we couldn’t thank you enough.


Feb employee of the month  HA of the month