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There are more than one million people in the traditional care system. They live full-time in care homes and nursing homes. Some pay for their care, others receive help from their local authority. But there are other options to these more traditional forms of care.

Moving in with a carer

In recent years, councils have become increasingly involved in shared-lives schemes – paying individuals to provide care, including personal care, in their own home. Providers are regulated and used to provide short breaks for family carers as well as full-time arrangements. More than 13,000 people benefit from shared lives, including those with learning disabilities and mental health problems as well as older people. Of the 150 schemes in the country, two-thirds are run by councils, with the rest provided by the voluntary sector.

Home share and befriending

The price of property has prompted growing interest in home-share arrangements – someone who can provide help moving in with an older person who has space free in their house. The carer provides only basic support such as shopping, cleaning or gardening, not personal care, in return for accommodation that is free or for a small rent. There are now about 20 home-share schemes in the UK, helping several hundred older people.

Another popular idea in a similar vein – older people are linked up, usually by a charity, with a volunteer who provides companionship and some low-level support, such as shopping and trips out.

Home Care or Care at Home

Living independently at home is something most of us would like to do for as long as possible. When that time comes to make the decision to ask for extra support to continue to live independently as much as possible, our home care services are tailored for exactly that. Home care  can be arranged on an hourly, daily, weekly basis or a much longer plan to suit your needs.

Home care supports activities of daily living . At home care services allow adults to receive day-to-day help with the personal care they need, preserving their dignity and maintaining a good quality of life. Assistance with activities of daily living can include bathing, grooming, and medication reminders

Costs aside, one-to-one home care offers a number of substantial benefits over residential nursing home care, both for the care recipient and for their family. One-to-one home care provides innumerable benefits, including: The maintenance of your independence and freedom to live life as you choose.

Retirement villages

Unlike in a care home, retirement-village residents usually buy an apartment on the site, although in some schemes they can part-buy or even rent the property. Residents bring their own furniture, decorate as they wish, and are free to have friends and family come to stay. Most villages allow pets to come too. They can also pay for care and support services, which are on-site, as and when they need them.

The properties have been designed to keep the individual living independently as long as possible and so can be kitted out with alarms, fall sensors and easily accessible showers. Such complexes are popular in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, but have yet to completely take off in the UK. There are fewer than 30,000 units in the UK – Australia has six times more – with the highest concentration in the affluent South East.

Sheltered housing

There are many different types of sheltered-housing schemes. Some will have a warden, living on or off the premises, and all provide 24-hour emergency help through an alarm system. Rented accommodation is usually self-contained, but there are often communal areas, such as the lounge, laundry room and garden.

Many schemes run social events for residents. For those needing more support, extra-care sheltered housing may be available where residents can have personal care and meals provided. Most schemes are run by councils or housing associations, and there are often waiting lists for places.

Adapt your home

Equipment can be provided by councils or brought privately to make it easier for older people to live in their house for longer.Traditional aids such as stair lifts and grab rails are still popular, but technology has opened up a whole host of other options, from flood detectors to sensors that raise the alarm when the individual does not move around their property normally.

Councils and the NHS are also investing in ” telehealth ” and ” telecare ” technology, including devices to remind people to take medication and ways for carers and health staff to remotely monitor things such as blood pressure.

Relying on family and friends

By far the most popular option is family and friends. An estimated 1.5 million older people rely on them for their care needs.The care provided can be pretty substantial. A third of carers provide more than 100 hours a week of care, with many of the carers older people themselves. Sometimes this is supplemented by formal help from councils, but surveys suggest that is decreasing.

However, the pressure is having an impact on the health and wellbeing of those providing the care. Six in 10 older carers who provide 50 or more hours of care a week say their health is not good.

If you wish to learn more about how we can support you, please contact us and let one of our advisers come to see you and your family for a more detailed plan on how we can support you.

Social Care providers say they are “dismayed” after the government failed to commit to paying a potentially devastating back pay bill for sleep-in shifts.

The crisis arose after a court ruled that carers staying overnight, known as sleep-in shifts, were entitled to the minimum wage, rather than a flat-rate £30 which had been paid by care providers. Charities say they had been wrongly advised by government guidance. It means some face bills for back pay covering up to six years, with many saying they will simply fold without a bailout.

Care providers say they are “dismayed” after the government failed to commit to paying a potentially devastating back pay bill for sleep-in shifts. In a long-awaited announcement on Wednesday, the government said it would give care providers 15 months to compensate staff who were underpaid for the shifts, which require workers to stay overnight in care facilities in case of emergency.

In the past carers were paid a flat rate for the work. But after a recent ruling they are now entitled to an hourly minimum wage and compensation for six years of back pay – a cost care providers are expected to bear. The liability could leave the learning disabilities sector alone facing a cost of some £400m, while children’s homes may face a bill of between £40,000 and £2m each.

It is a bill many organisations say will bankrupt them if the Government does not step in.

“Having to pay that amount would drive medium to small providers out of business,” Derek Lewis, Mencap’s chair of trustees, told Sky News.

Under the government’s proposed solution to the problem, care providers will opt into a “compliance scheme” which will give them 15 months and HMRC support to identify and pay what they owe workers.

It is a programme the government says has “been designed to help ensure workers are paid what they are owed, while also maintaining important services for people who access social care“.

But providers have criticised the scheme, and have urged the government to commit to financial help with the bill.

In a statement responding to the scheme, Mr Lewis said it meant only the “promise of further delay”, with “no commitment, even in principle, to accept responsibility for a liability created by Government changing the rules.”

“Today’s announcement may help HMRC understand the extent of the liabilities for back pay but it completely fails to give any reassurance to people with a learning disability that their homes and care are secure and to carers that their jobs are not under threat,” he said.

An assessment of the 2,000 specialist independent children’s homes in the UK found 25% could close if forced to meet the cost of back pay.

Jonathan Stanley, the chief executive of the Independent Children’s Homes Association, said the cost would be the “final nail in the coffin” for providers who had not received funding increases from local authorities for many years.

“Without urgent Government assistance, the residential child care sector faces profound change and one of the most important care options for vulnerable children will be lost forever,” he said.

Secure Healthcare Solutions is proud to support Wolves Community Trust during the 2017/18 season.
 
Wolves Community Trust, the registered charity of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, supports the local community through delivering projects relevant to sport, health, education, inclusion and community donations.
 
We have teamed up with the trust to bring the fantastic sport of walking football to people in and around Wolverhampton. The aim of walking football is to help older people, or those with limited mobility, remain active and fit, while still pursuing their love for the beautiful game in a fun and sociable environment.
 
Each year, the projects delivered by Wolves Community trust reach around 25,000 local residents of all ages, genders, socio-economic and ethnic demographics. Over 4,000 participants are engaged in sports programmes alone, with over 85 weekly sessions being delivered to the communities.
 
For further information about the great work Wolves Community Trust does, and to find out more about walking football sessions, visit www.wolvescommunitytrust.org.uk/.

What is Hypotention ?

Doctors measure blood pressure using two numbers – the first and higher of the two is called the systolic blood pressure, and it occurs when the heart beats and fills the arteries of the body with blood. The lower number is called the diastolic blood pressure, and it’s the pressure in the heart when it rests between heartbeats. A normal blood pressure is said to be in the region of 120/80mmHg (systolic/diastolic) and doctors spend a lot of time dealing with people with high blood pressure. Use a blood pressure chart to see what your blood pressure means.

Low blood pressure (hypotension) on the other hand often requires no treatment but elderly people in particular can find it a problem, especially when standing up from sitting or lying down. In general terms, the medical advice is that the lower the blood pressure the better, and for most people their blood pressure rarely falls below 90/60.

Recognition

However, low blood pressure can sometimes mean there’s not enough blood flowing to your brain and other vital organs, which can lead to symptoms such as:

What to do if you have symptoms

If you think you may be experiencing an episode of low blood pressure, you should:

  • stop what you’re doing
  • sit or lie down
  • drink some water

The symptoms will usually pass after a few seconds or minutes.

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if you have frequent symptoms of low blood pressure. Your GP can measure your blood pressure and help identify any underlying causes of the problem. Read more about diagnosing low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure after suddenly standing up

If you experience symptoms of low pressure after changing positions, such as standing up, it’s known as postural, or orthostatic, hypotension. Symptoms shouldn’t last longer than a few seconds, as your blood pressure will adjust to your new position. This type of low blood pressure tends to affect people more as they get older, when it can lead to more frequent falls. Similar symptoms may also occur after exercise.

Low blood pressure after eating

If you experience symptoms after eating, it’s known as postprandial hypotension. It occurs more often in older people, particularly in those who have high blood pressure or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes mellitus. After a meal, your intestines need a large amount of blood for digestion. If your heart rate doesn’t increase enough to maintain blood pressure, your blood pressure will fall, causing symptoms.

Low blood pressure after standing for long periods

Some people experience symptoms after standing up for long periods of time. This is sometimes known as neutrally mediated hypotension, and most often affects children and young adults.

Read more about the causes of low blood pressure and High blood pressure in the elderly

What is Hypotention ?

Doctors measure blood pressure using two numbers – the first and higher of the two is called the systolic blood pressure, and it occurs when the heart beats and fills the arteries of the body with blood. The lower number is called the diastolic blood pressure, and it’s the pressure in the heart when it rests between heartbeats. A normal blood pressure is said to be in the region of 120/80mmHg (systolic/diastolic) and doctors spend a lot of time dealing with people with high blood pressure. Use a blood pressure chart to see what your blood pressure means.

Low blood pressure (hypotension) on the other hand often requires no treatment but elderly people in particular can find it a problem, especially when standing up from sitting or lying down. In general terms, the medical advice is that the lower the blood pressure the better, and for most people their blood pressure rarely falls below 90/60.

Recognition

However, low blood pressure can sometimes mean there’s not enough blood flowing to your brain and other vital organs, which can lead to symptoms such as:

What to do if you have symptoms

If you think you may be experiencing an episode of low blood pressure, you should:

  • stop what you’re doing
  • sit or lie down
  • drink some water

The symptoms will usually pass after a few seconds or minutes.

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if you have frequent symptoms of low blood pressure. Your GP can measure your blood pressure and help identify any underlying causes of the problem. Read more about diagnosing low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure after suddenly standing up

If you experience symptoms of low pressure after changing positions, such as standing up, it’s known as postural, or orthostatic, hypotension. Symptoms shouldn’t last longer than a few seconds, as your blood pressure will adjust to your new position. This type of low blood pressure tends to affect people more as they get older, when it can lead to more frequent falls. Similar symptoms may also occur after exercise.

Low blood pressure after eating

If you experience symptoms after eating, it’s known as postprandial hypotension. It occurs more often in older people, particularly in those who have high blood pressure or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes mellitus. After a meal, your intestines need a large amount of blood for digestion. If your heart rate doesn’t increase enough to maintain blood pressure, your blood pressure will fall, causing symptoms.

Low blood pressure after standing for long periods

Some people experience symptoms after standing up for long periods of time. This is sometimes known as neutrally mediated hypotension, and most often affects children and young adults.

Read more about the causes of low blood pressure and High blood pressure in the elderly

Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long there are health risks. If a heatwave hits this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn’t harm you or anyone you know. Older people are at high risk for developing heated-related illness because the ability to respond to summer heat can become less efficient with advancing years. Fortunately, the summer can remain safe and enjoyable for everyone who uses good, sound judgement.

Heat stress, heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness after exercising in the heat, heat cramps and heat exhaustion are all forms of “hyperthermia,” the general name given to a variety of heat-related illnesses. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, muscle spasms and fatigue after exposure to heat. If you suspect someone is suffering from a heat-related illness:

  • Get the victim out of the sun and into a cool place, preferably one that is air-conditioned.
  • Offer fluids but avoid alcohol and caffeine. Water, fruit and vegetable juices are best.
  • Encourage the individual to shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water.
  • Urge the person to lie down and rest, preferably in a cool place.

Heat stroke is especially dangerous for older people and requires emergency medical attention. A person with heat stroke has a body temperature above 40 and may have symptoms such as confusion, combativeness, bizarre behavior, faintness, staggering, strong rapid pulse, dry flushed skin, lack of sweating, possible delirium or coma.

The temperature does not have to hit 38 for a person to be at risk for hyperthermia. Both an individual’s general health and/or lifestyle may increase the threat of a heat-related illness. Health factors which may increase risk include:

  • Age-related changes to the skin such as poor blood circulation and inefficient sweat glands.
  • Heart, lung and kidney diseases, as well as any illness that causes general weakness or fever.
  • High blood pressure or other conditions that require changes in diet. For example, people on salt restricted diets may increase their risk. However, salt pills should not be used without first asking a consulting doctor.
  • The inability to perspire caused by medications including diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers and certain heart and blood pressure drugs.
  • Taking several drugs for various conditions. It is important, however, to continue to take prescribed medication and discuss possible problems with a physician.
  • Being substantially overweight or underweight.
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages.

Lifestyle factors also can increase risk, including extremely hot living quarters, lack of transportation, overdressing, visiting overcrowded places and not understanding weather conditions. Older people, particularly those at special risk, should stay indoors on especially hot and humid days, particularly when there is an air pollution alert in effect. People without fans or air conditioners should go to shopping malls, movie houses and libraries. Friends or relatives might be asked to supply transportation on particularly hot days. Many communities, charities, networking groups,  religious groups and senior citizen centres also provide such services as cooling centres.

Seek help from a GP or contact NHS 111 if someone is feeling unwell and shows symptoms of:

  • breathlessness
  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • intense thirst
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • cramps which get worse or don’t go away

 

 

 

Thinking and memory skills were most improved when people exercised the heart and muscles on a regular basis, a review of 39 studies found. This remained true in those who already showed signs of cognitive decline. Taking up exercise at any age was worthwhile for the mind and body, the Australian researchers said.

Exercises such as T’ai Chi were recommended for people over the age of 50 who couldn’t manage other more challenging forms of exercise, the study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine said.

Physical activity has long been known to reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including type-2 diabetes and some cancers, and it is thought to play a role in warding off the brain’s natural decline as we enter middle age.

The theory is that through exercise the brain receives a greater supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients that boost its health as well as a growth hormone that helps the formation of new neurons and connections.

In this analysis of previous studies, researchers from the University of Canberra looked at the effects of at least four weeks of structured physical exercise on the brain function of adults.

In a variety of brain tests, they found evidence of aerobic exercise improving cognitive abilities, such as thinking, reading, learning and reasoning, while muscle training – for example, using weights – had a significant effect on memory and the brain’s ability to plan and organise, the so-called executive functions.

Joe Northey, study author and researcher from the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise at Canberra, said the findings were convincing enough to enable both types of exercise to be prescribed to improve brain health in the over-50s.

“Even if you are doing moderate exercise only once or twice a week there are still improvements in cognitive function, but the improvements were better the more exercise was done,” he said.

He said people should be able to hold a conversation while doing moderate exercise.

NHS guidelines recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week and exercise the major muscles on two or more days a week.

As well as staying physically active, Dr David Reynolds, from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said it was equally important to look after our brains by staying mentally active, eating a balanced diet, drinking only in moderation and not smoking.

Thinking and memory skills were most improved when people exercised the heart and muscles on a regular basis, a review of 39 studies found. This remained true in those who already showed signs of cognitive decline. Taking up exercise at any age was worthwhile for the mind and body, the Australian researchers said.

Exercises such as T’ai Chi were recommended for people over the age of 50 who couldn’t manage other more challenging forms of exercise, the study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine said.

Physical activity has long been known to reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including type-2 diabetes and some cancers, and it is thought to play a role in warding off the brain’s natural decline as we enter middle age.

The theory is that through exercise the brain receives a greater supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients that boost its health as well as a growth hormone that helps the formation of new neurons and connections.

In this analysis of previous studies, researchers from the University of Canberra looked at the effects of at least four weeks of structured physical exercise on the brain function of adults.

In a variety of brain tests, they found evidence of aerobic exercise improving cognitive abilities, such as thinking, reading, learning and reasoning, while muscle training – for example, using weights – had a significant effect on memory and the brain’s ability to plan and organise, the so-called executive functions.

Joe Northey, study author and researcher from the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise at Canberra, said the findings were convincing enough to enable both types of exercise to be prescribed to improve brain health in the over-50s.

“Even if you are doing moderate exercise only once or twice a week there are still improvements in cognitive function, but the improvements were better the more exercise was done,” he said.

He said people should be able to hold a conversation while doing moderate exercise.

NHS guidelines recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week and exercise the major muscles on two or more days a week.

As well as staying physically active, Dr David Reynolds, from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said it was equally important to look after our brains by staying mentally active, eating a balanced diet, drinking only in moderation and not smoking.

Nursing is Career … Not just a Job

You’re ready for a new job opportunity. Started job search and managed to book yourself an Interview , all is good and as planned, by this point, you need to do your home work to be ready to sell yourself and the best way in doing so is to have a close look at your potential employer’s website.This will help you grow your confidence level and show your future employer you care and want the Job more than the other candidates.

Did you know that you have a chance of asking HR questions before accepting a job offer as a nurse? The widespread shortage of nurses in many places gives you room to be a job seeker with a choice on who to work for. Don’t be timid. Ask questions about what you consider important to you and how you carry out your job. Worth considering the following questions before giving a definite answer :

  1. About salary and allowances

Ask about your starting salary and compare this with what is offered in your area for similar roles .  Inquire about allowances in relation to relocation, overtime and any other special nursing care related duties. Many healthcare agencies fail to guarantee secured working hours for their nurses. A great way to find out is to just ask and check your future employer’s reviews, testimonials and social media accounts.

  1. Job related benefits

What does the company offer for your personal healthcare? This relates to matters such as insurance, paid vacation/leave and maternity leave for women.

  1. Interpersonal relationships

Strive to know the relationship between the administration and the workers.  How easy can you have issues resolved between you and a fellow member of staff or between you and the administration? Does the company have a mentorship program?

  1. Education and Training opportunities

Does the company have a continuing education program that will improve your CV and Overall Career Development ? Opportunities to get certifications in certain areas can help in your professional progression. Many healthcare agencies do offer mandatory training , offer courses and development days to help nurses improve their practice and support their continuing professional development (CPD). It is a great chance to ask your future employer if training is included in your employment contract.

  1. Will your personal special circumstances be considered in your new job role?

This can relate to physical or social-family issues. A pregnant or nursing mother for example may find it challenging to work in certain areas. Such mothers may need a department with more flexibility where it may be possible to take a break or reduce working hours (part time ) when circumstances demand. In addition to talking to the HR officer, talk to nurses and other staff who are already working with the company. You will learn from them some things that HR may not be willing to tell you. All these will help you to decide whether take the job opportunity or not.

If you make it a priority to ask these important questions before you accept a nursing job offer, you’ll be much happier with your decision—whether you accept or decline it. It might seem like a good idea to at first take what you can get, but what you want at the end of the day is to love your job and the best way to achieve this is to do your homework beforehand.

Small things like that can be helpful conversation topics during an interview and, ultimately, they can make all the difference in securing the position. Secure Healthcare Solutions is a specialist in establishment healthcare staffing solutions across England. We are actively recruiting and supplying front line staff in Birmingham and the West Midlands, London, Manchester and Bristol areas.

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