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Keeping fit over fifty

As old age approaches, many people begin to slow down their pace of life and become much more sedentary than they were in their youth. It’s a common misconception that elderly people need to rest. Illnesses and ongoing health problems often become great excuses to stop being as physically active in old age; when in fact they’re actually a great reason to keep moving.

When we talk about exercising in old age we’re not talking about pensioners spending hours sweating it out in the gym; we’re simply talking about adding some extra movement and activity to your day in little ways.

The benefits of exercise for the over fifties

Maintain or lose weight: Our metabolisms naturally slow with age so it can be a challenge to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise increases your metabolism, builds muscle mass, and burns calories.
Reduce the impact of chronic illness: Exercise improves the function of the immune system, helping the body to fight off illnesses better. It also promotes better heart health, lowers blood pressure, improves bone density, and aids digestive functioning. The risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, and heart disease is much lower in those who exercise.
Improve flexibility and balance: Regular exercise helps to improve your strength, flexibility, and posture, which in turn will help to improve your balance and coordination, thus reducing the risk of falls.
Improve quality of sleep: Many people assume that poor sleep is an inevitable part of aging, but exercise can help you to fall into a deeper sleep more quickly, which is beneficial for your overall health.
Boost mood and self confidence: The endorphins that your body produces during exercise can help to alleviate feelings of sadness or depression, while the physical strength you’ll […]

By |June 19th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

How to spot the signs of dementia

There are currently 800,000 people in the UK with dementia, and by 2021 that figure will have risen to over a million. The condition can affect anyone, with 17,000 young people in the UK currently diagnosed, but it mainly affects the elderly. As care workers it’s our duty to understand the signs and symptoms of dementia so that we can offer the best possible assistance to the elderly people in our care.

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for around 60-80% of all dementia cases, with vascular dementia after a stroke being the second most common cause.  If you’re worried about a loved one, here are the key signs that could indicate they have the Alzheimer’s form of dementia…

Memory loss that disrupts daily life: This is one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s, particularly the loss of recently learned information. Also look out for the person asking for the same information over and over, and an increasing reliance on memory aids and the assistance of others with tasks they could previously do independently.
Difficulty with planning and problem solving: People with early stage dementia may begin to have trouble following a once-familiar recipe, or keeping on top of their monthly bills. If they make occasional errors without any other symptoms though it could just down to old age.
Difficulty performing familiar tasks: Some daily tasks are so familiar that most of us don’t have to think about what we’re doing. For example making a cup of tea, or getting dressed in the morning. People with dementia may forget the order in which each part of the task should be performed.
Problems with language: Most of us have occasions where we misplace a word, but a person with dementia will forget […]

By |May 15th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Caring for the elderly during a heatwave

The summer months are on their way, and with them comes the risk of heatwaves. Whilst most of the UK relish the thought of getting outside and enjoying the warmer, drier weather, it’s not all fun and games for the vulnerable people in our society. Elderly people, young children, and those with long-term or chronic health conditions, particularly heart conditions, are the most at risk of suffering extreme adverse effects from hot weather.

Coping mechanisms

When a heatwave occurs there are a variety of ways in which you can make things more comfortable and safe for the elderly and vulnerable people that you care for:

Identify the coolest room in the house and make sure the elderly person spends most of their time in there during the hot weather. Use light coloured curtains to reflect heat and keep the room cooler, and keep them drawn during the day.
Make sure the elderly person you’re caring for doesn’t go outside during the hottest part of the day, which is between 11am and 3pm. If they want some fresh air try to take them outside early in the morning or later on in the early evening when temperatures are lower.
If the room is cooler than the temperature outside then keep the windows closed so as not to let warm air in. As the temperature cools outside, i.e. in the evening, it’s ok to open the windows for ventilation, if it’s safe to do so.
Ensure that the elderly person drinks regular cold drinks such as water and fruit juice. Tea, coffee and alcohol should be avoided as they have diuretic effects and can exasperate dehydration.
Ensure that the elderly people you are caring for are dressed in light, cotton or linen clothing, […]

By |April 16th, 2014|Blog|5 Comments

5 Reasons To Choose Home Care

By |February 24th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

5 Ways to fund care home fees for elderly relatives

If a loved one becomes ill or unable to look after themselves finding the money to pay for their care can be an upsetting and daunting process.

 

It’s important to remember that there are plenty of services out there that can support you through the process by offering help, advice and funding – you’re not on your own!  Here are five different avenues to explore when looking for help with funding care home fees.

 

Local authority funding

If your relative’s health is deteriorating then you can request a health assessment from your local authority.  If the results of the assessment deem the person in need of care then your local authority will be able to tell you the maximum amount that they are able to contribute per week towards this care.  The individual will then be financially assessed before a final funding figure is given, their capital must be below £23,250 in order for them to be eligible for funding from the local authority.

 

NHS continuing care

If your relative’s health deteriorates significantly and their need for care is deemed to be very high then you may be eligible to have all of their care costs paid by the NHS rather than your local authority.

 

Claim benefits

There are a number of benefits that could be used to help pay for the cost of care your relative.  Different benefits will be available to different people depending on their circumstances.

–          Registered Nursing Care Contribution

This benefit is available to people in nursing homes rather than residential homes and is usually paid directly to the nursing home rather than the individual.  It is not a means-tested benefit and so is available to self-funders as well as people receiving funding from the local authority.

–          Attendance […]

By |February 21st, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

93% Rise in number of vulnerable patients admitted to hospital

A shocking article that was published in the Telegraph newspaper in January this year stated that in the last five years there has been a 93 % rise in the number of vulnerable patients being admitted to hospital.  The article said that health professionals have said that this is due to patients “losing faith” in care services outside of hospitals.

The article quoted Any Burnham, the shadow health secretary saying: ““It is appalling to think that, every week, there are thousands of frail and frightened people speeding through our towns and cities in the backs of ambulances to be left in a busy A&E. This is often the worst place for them to be and a disorientating experience that can cause real distress. With proper support in the home, this could all be avoided.”

At Angel Carers we provide reliable and professional prevention of hospital admission schemes for patients with a variety of different health conditions.  When you choose one of these schemes we will closely monitor the client’s health so that if necessary we can call out specialists who will respond quickly to avoid the client having to be admitted to hospital.

We use a variety of locally based healthcare professionals including occupational therapists, GPs, physiotherapists and district nurses.  We understand that going to hospital can be a distressing experience for elderly patients and we will never admit a patient unless it is absolutely necessary.  We always ensure that our healthcare professionals arrive with our clients as quickly as possible to minimise stress.

In order to reduce the number of elderly patients being unnecessarily admitted to hospital it is important that care services everywhere work harder to provide high quality, professional and compassionate prevention of hospital admission […]

By |February 6th, 2014|Blog|5 Comments

Are 15-minute care visits too short?

A charity has recently hit the headlines by blasting councils in England for offering “inadequate” 15-minute care visits to elderly and disabled people.

Depriving people of essential care

When the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity discovered that two-thirds of England’s local councils are now allowing short 15-minute care visits to be commissioned they were absolutely appalled.  The charity claims that these fleeting visits are depriving vulnerable people of essential care and instead forcing them to make decisions like “whether to go thirsty or to go to the toilet”.  The charity has stated that they want a ban on what they are calling “the scandal of 15-minute visits.”

The care minister

The care minister Norman Lamb agrees that it is inappropriate to restrict visits to such a short timeframe when people need feeding, bathing or multiple tasks taken care of.  However it doesn’t look like they’ll be banned anytime soon as he also states that these visits are still useful in some circumstances, for example if someone simply needs to be given medicine and nothing more.

15-minute care visits “simply atrocious”

An article on the BBC about the controversial 15-minute care visits featured a case study about a care worker who left her previous employee because she disagreed with the 15-minute care visits that they were enforcing.  Tracey Currey was quoted saying that she found that she was able to do no more that the “bare minimum” for people in this time which she thought was “simply atrocious”.

Without a complete ban on 15-minute care visits it still allows for people to abuse the system and use these brief visits inappropriately at the expense of a person’s wellbeing.

At Angel Carers we wouldn’t dream of offering our clients in-house care visits that were any […]

By |December 23rd, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Breakthrough in search for Alzheimer’s cure

At Angel Carers we are used to caring for elderly people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and are familiar with the upsetting and distressing symptoms that it can present.  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia which affects 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 and 1 in 6 people over the age of 80.  There are currently 80,000 people in the UK that suffer from dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the most common cause.

The symptoms caused by dementia can be distressing not only for the person suffering but also for their friends and family members.  The fight against Alzheimer’s has been raging for a long time, but finally there has been a medical breakthrough that is being hailed as a ‘turning point’ in finding a cure for the disease.

This breakthrough comes in the form of a chemical which is said to be able to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease.  The chemical has been used to halt brain cell death in mice for the very first time.  Tests have shown that the vaccine could not only be used to stop the disease from advancing, but also to repair any damage that has already been done and protect people who have a history of Alzheimer’s disease in their family.

Of course, this isn’t going to be a cure ready tomorrow, there will need to be plenty more research and work in order to develop a drug safe for humans using the chemical.  It has however given people hope that there could be a treatment available for Alzheimer’s in the not too distant future.

By |November 14th, 2013|Blog|6 Comments

The UK’s ageing population

We would all like to think that we’ll be well cared for when we get older.  At Angel Carers we only provide the very highest standards of care for our clients, but with the UK’s population steadily ageing year on year will this high level of care always be an option for the elderly in the future?  It is important that a lot of thought is put into how we as a nation are going to make sure that we are able to continue to offer excellent levels of care to our ageing population even when the demand is at its highest.

There are currently over 10 million people aged 65 or over in the UK and by 2050 this is expected have almost doubled to 19 million.  Unless more high quality care services are created between now and then we are going to find care agencies and health services inundated with people that need their help and completely unable to keep up with the demand that is anticipated.

Why is the population ageing?

The UK’s current ageing population has been caused by a few different factors.  If we look at the ages of the people in the current population we will see that there are a lot of people of a similar age who were all born during the baby boom of the 1960s and will all become elderly at the same time.  We are also seeing our population living longer on average than ever before.  A girl born in the early 1980s was expected on average to reach the age of 89, in comparison a girl born today is expected on average to see the grand old age of 92.

Challenges

With an imminent boom in elderly […]

By |November 5th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

The importance of taking respite from caring for a loved one

Caring for a loved one when they become unable to care for themselves is one of the greatest things you can do. It is a selfless act and one that may require substantial amounts of your time. We understand that many people opt to care for a parent, partner or child themselves at home even in difficult circumstances due to money worries. It’s important to remember though that carers, whether professional or a family member whose stepped up in a time of need, need to take breaks.

Caring is a full time job so we know you’re busy all the time. This shouldn’t make you feel that you can’t ever take a holiday or break. In fact if you don’t take a break you could exhaust yourself and thus not be as fit for caring.

Angel Carers provide respite care where, much like our full time, live in care our nurses will care for your loved in the comfort of their own home. This is designed to be an affordable service that gives you the much needed break you deserve. If you’re still unsure if you should take respite here are a few reasons why it’s so important that you do:

Your stress levels will dramatically reduce. Even if you can’t identify stress in yourself caring takes its toll and the effects can build up unnoticed.
Your ability to care for your family member after taking respite will improve. It’s far better to be refreshed than to continue long days of caring, especially if you also have a full time job.
Your personal time is important. You need to value your own needs and wants in addition to your role as a carer.
Your relationships with other people will be […]

By |October 10th, 2013|Blog|3 Comments