Choosing a Care Home for a Dementia Patient

People suffering from dementia have specific needs that will vary from person to person. An individual going through the process of slowly losing their memory and capacity to carry out normal activities may be extremely frustrated at times, and for many families the experience of caring for someone in this position can be very difficult. Often, it’s the case that people with more advanced stages of dementia may have no choice but to move into a care home in order for their needs to be met on a daily basis.

There are, of course, several different types of care home for families to consider when looking for a suitable home for a loved one. Different levels of care may be offered, including personal care such as help with getting dressed, eating and washing. Nurses may also be on hand most or all of the time to offer medical help, and some homes specialise in caring for people specifically with dementia. In many cases, homes will look to recruit these staff or provide funding for their existing staff to gain qualifications in this field. Dementia training courses for professionals in the UK are widely available and ensure that all staff are training to the same level, which should reassure anyone looking for a suitable residential care home. Continue reading Choosing a Care Home for a Dementia Patient

Cleaning & Hygiene Services for Care Homes

Handling hygiene within care homes is clearly an issue that’s of vital importance. Protecting the health of patients and residents should be the top priority in any home, as elderly and ill people are much more susceptible to the risks posed by inadequate cleaning. Very high standards must be maintained at all times, and this is only possible when a strict code of conduct is drawn up and implemented by the managers of any home. Many staff may not realise all the risks involved or understand how to control them, but it’s essential that they are instructed and training in an organised way.

In addition to day-to-day duties, dedicated in-depth hygiene services are offered by hospital cleaning companies like KDC (Kitchen Deep Cleaning), and example of a firm with a great reputation and years of experience in the field. Regular deep cleaning carried out by such companies should be essential in many care homes. However, in order for this approach to be effective, it must be supported by staff having a good overall understanding of health and safety when it comes to cleaning, including the following basic knowledge.

Have staff clean different areas. Use a rotation system to ensure different team members cover each particular area of the care home that needs cleaning. This means if one person makes a mistake, even if it’s part of their routine, it should be corrected by someone else who is unlikely to miss the same thing.

Have clear systems and guidelines. Using systems like colour coding can make it easier for staff to understand what areas are high priority for cleaning, what products are suitable for use in each area and so on, even without much specific training. Continue reading Cleaning & Hygiene Services for Care Homes

The importance of qualifications in care home work

The importance of qualifications in care home work

As we have covered previously, care home work is extremely varied and the best care workers should understand how to tackle a number of problems simultaneously with the level of care they offer to residents. Vulnerable people with complex needs have to be cared for in a timely, appropriate fashion, which requires a great deal of knowledge, skills and experience. That’s why recruitment for care home staff is such an integral part of the whole process of providing care.

Staff members being recruited for care home work have to go through multiple stages of checks and tests in the vast majority of cases, and in the UK especially there are numerous hoops people must jump through in order to be considered for a job in care. While some of this may be seen as overkill (and bureaucracy is often criticised within the sector), most of the necessary checks are indeed essential. The potential costs of employing people without appropriate skills to work in care could be extremely damaging to confidence in care providers. Continue reading The importance of qualifications in care home work

Increasing literacy levels among care home staff

Increasing literacy levels among care home staff

Among care home recruitment specialists and within homes themselves, it is common knowledge that many of the people employed in care positions may not have a high degree of proficiency when it comes to the English language. Although people may be able to offer medical and practical care to a very high standard, this may be offset by poor communication skills, which can actually present problems for both care home residents and managers. Literacy levels among care home staff are lower than they should be, and this is often an unspoken truth in the sector.

However, there are steps being taken by various care homes across the UK and hopefully we will continue to see these changes roll out in other places. Programmes designed to improve literacy rates are seeing success, with care home workers and managers alike reporting successful results. Training has been found to work best on a one-to-one basis, as group sessions were easier to run but yielded disappointing results. Personal tutoring is evidently the key to equipping staff with the knowledge and command of the English language they need to excel in care work. Continue reading Increasing literacy levels among care home staff

Adding personalisation to care homes

Adding personalisation to care homes

As a care home worker or manager, there is always a focus on providing high quality care that meets the needs of residents. Of course this should be the number one priority, but it can sometimes be easy to get swept up in the busy routine of managing a home and forget to ensure nobody starts to lose their own personal identity. Residents in care homes need to remain as people in the eyes of everyone they come into contact with – vulnerable people who need support and reassurance along with good quality medical help and practical care.

A great way of ensuring this happens is to enable personalisation wherever possible. There’s no reason why anyone should have to spend their days in a bland and impersonal environment, and adding a little personal touch could make a world of difference. Engaging both staff and residents in the process of adding personalisation to rooms and communal spaces can be a really positive way to encourage a happier environment. Continue reading Adding personalisation to care homes

Decision trees & care

Engaging care homes with a decision tree

A decision tree might be a great new way for care homes to develop their status as a place where the opinions of both residents and staff are taken seriously when it comes to making decisions. This fun and quirky tool has been implemented in many care homes across the UK and we’ve heard from many home managers saying the trees are really effective at engaging people and helping everyone to feel included. Maybe it’s time you created one, if you’re currently working in care?

In mathematics, a decision tree is usually more complex than the sort we are referring to. It would be used to analyse the possible outcomes, including benefits and costs, of a particular course of action in comparison to alternatives. The decision tree you might find in a care home would be a simpler process, and usually involves some kind of prop or wall display (you might want to try painting the tree on the wall in one of the main communal areas, and this is something else the residents can be involved in). Continue reading Engaging care homes with a decision tree

Cancer social care

The social side of cancer care

Over a million people in the UK are currently caring for someone with cancer at any one time. This statistic may be shocking and it is still increasing, although some of the figures are more positive. The proportion of people who survive cancer is also gradually increasing, and we have millions more people in the country right now who have survived the disease. However, the point where these groups of people interact is still somewhat blurred with uncertainty, and despite our improving methods for battling cancer, many people still don’t have access to the help they need, whether they are patients or carers.

A major factor involved with this problem is that the social side of cancer care is so often overlooked. From the moment someone is diagnosed, their needs quickly become complex and this goes far beyond immediate medical needs. Someone coping with a diagnosis will mostly likely need a lot of emotional support, but identifying this need (and offering a solution if there is not a simple one to hand) may not be easy for a professional, let alone friends and family members who don’t even consider themselves carers. Continue reading The social side of cancer care

blood pressure monitor

Choosing A Trusted Medical Supplier For A Care Home

Looking after vulnerable people is really the main focus of anyone who runs a care home or any kind of residential health facility. Whether people in your care are suffering with mental health conditions, disabilities or age-related problems, there is a lot of responsibility involved with choosing a trusted medical supplier to ensure you have the supplies and facilities to provide good care.

People in care homes are often more vulnerable to infections and may require specialised medical equipment to help deal with a variety of problems, both for long term conditions and for emergencies. For this reason, it’s essential to consider how your medical equipment supplier can provide you with the capacity to deal with all of the following issues on a day-to-day basis. Continue reading Choosing A Trusted Medical Supplier For A Care Home

How residential mental health care works

Mental health care is an issue that has only recently been given wider coverage in mainstream media, and given a higher priority by governments and health services in countries like the UK. “For around 1 in 5 people, mental health issues can pose a significant problem at some point in life and can create difficult situations that are hard to get out of without help,” says Peter, Managing Director of Swinburne Housing, a residential mental health care rehab in Derbyshire. “For example, thousands of people struggle to get long term employment due to mental illness without support and guidance from professionals.”

One possible solution is residential mental health care, which is a broad term including any organisation that offers services and assistance for people with mental health issues in a residential setting. This might mean service users are able to move into accommodation with 24/7 support around them, or alternatively work with service providers on independent living solutions, with regular visits to get the help they require. Continue reading How residential mental health care works

The Benefits of Specialist Bed Bathing Products For the Elderly

Bed bathing can be an extremely sensitive subject and is often uncomfortable for both the patient and the caregiver. Nevertheless, in instances where mobility has become a serious problem, bed bathing may become the only realistic prospect for maintaining health and hygiene.

The good news, however, is that with such fantastic products available created specifically for bed bathing, the process need not be difficult or uncomfortable.  Specialist bed bathing wipes, in particular, have revolutionised the way the industry approaches bed bathing practices. From continence care wipes to 2% Chlorhexidine Wash Cloths and more, there are so many advantages that come with an investment in the highest quality made-for-purpose products.

1 – Convenience

For example, the convenience of using bed bathing wipes and related products is exponentially greater than that of carrying out a traditional bed bath. With no water required, no towels and no additional equipment whatsoever, it really couldn’t be easier to give any patient a comprehensive cleanse at any time.

2 – Regular Hygiene Maintenance

The fact that these kinds of products make it so much faster and easier to go about personal hygiene routines enables caregivers to manage patient hygiene much more meticulously. While carrying out a full traditional bed bath is something that may require plenty of time, equipment and assistance from others, use of specialist bed bathing products is infinitely easier.

3 – Cost-Effective

It’s also worth bearing in mind that specialist hygiene wipes and related supplies can over the course of time work out considerably cheaper than the comparable bed bathing equipment that would be required.  Once again, with no additional equipment, no water, no towels and quite literally nothing else needed, specialist wipes represent an enormously cost-effective solution.

4 – Single-Use

In terms of cleanliness and hygiene, the fact that all such wipes and associated products are designed to be thrown away after one use guarantees absolutely outstanding hygiene. You take the wipe from the pack, you carry out the cleansing and you throw it away – it really couldn’t be simpler.

5 – The Fastest Way To an Anti-Bacterial Clean

Last but not least, Clinicept 2% Chlorhexidine Wash Cloths represent perhaps the fastest and most convenient way of all of carrying out an effective antibacterial clean. These incredible wipes provide effective cleansing with no need for rinsing and a fantastic moisturising effect. What’s more, they can even be heated prior to use for maximum comfort.

Financial Help With Paying For A Care Home

Care homes in the UK are subject to the same system across the board when it comes to charging fees and paying the bills.

Care homes in England specifically work on the basis of two thresholds, one low and one high. Following an income assessment, it will be determined where the household income lies on this scale. Below the low threshold, your local council will be expected to pay for 100% of your care home bills. Above the high threshold, they will not contribute. Most incomes fall somewhere in the middle, so they qualify for some financial assistance and the cost will be shared between the council and the patient or their family.

In order to get more financial assistance from the council, some people may try to artificially lower their income by transferring assets temporarily to someone else. If the local council becomes aware that this is likely to have happened, they can alter the financial assessment to reflect this.

One thing that can have a major impact on this financial assessment is whether or not the patient’s home is counted as income. It will be unless a spouse, civil partner or dependent child lives there, or a family member who is elderly or disabled. In some cases, the same exemption is applied if the person’s carer permanently lives in the property, but it is up to the local authority if they choose to consider this.

If a council or local authority is paying for care, they will set a maximum budget. The patient and/or their family must agree on a suitable care home within that budget in order to accept the financial help. The only way a council can be expected to increase their budget is if the needs of the patient cannot be met by any available care home within the current budget.

Top-up fees are the extra amount that patients’ families can pay on top of the budget allocated by the council in order to put their loved one in a more expensive care home. The council can ask patients to pay these fees if they specifically chose a more expensive option, but only if a cheaper and suitable option was turned down.

In some cases, when patients and their families do not immediately have funding available to pay for care, a deferred payment agreement (DPA) can be set up which works like a loan from the local council. They cover the payments until the patient’s home can be sold in order to contribute to the costs, at which point the money should be repaid according to the terms set out in the DPA. The loan may be subject to interest and other fees.

Advice For LGBT People Going Into A Care Home

For anyone faced with the prospect of going into a full time care home, the uncertainty ahead can be very intimidating. For people who have different sexual orientations or gender identities, this can be another major source of anxiety.

Depending on the condition the patient is suffering from or the reason they are going into care, there are things you can do as a supportive family member or friend to make this process easier. We also offer some advice for patients themselves here.

Firstly, you need to be familiar with the relevant laws relating to LGBT rights. In England and Wales, discrimination of any kind when a service is being offered is prohibited on the grounds of sexual orientation by the Equality Act 2010. This means that it would be illegal for any staff at a care home (which provides a service) to discriminate against LGBT patients. It’s highly unlikely that you would ever be in a situation where you would have to refer to this law, but it is useful to keep it in mind.

When choosing a care home, of course there are a great number of factors to consider. For LGBT people, specific concerns may include signs of the community spirit in the home. It would normally be considered a good sign if relationships between patients and staff seem to be positive. If possible, it always helps to speak to other people who have been in a similar position before, because making these kinds of judgements can be difficult in a short period of time.

You can always ask care homes to provide a copy of their equal opportunities policy, any certifications they may have received on the subject of equality, and similar official documents. It is also worth asking theoretical questions about how the home would deal with any incident involving homophobia, whether from staff or other patients.

For partners, close family members and friends of LGBT patients, it is important to talk with the person going into care and decide how open you plan to be in discussing their relationships or identity. In most cases, honesty will make the process easier, but not everybody is ready for that and the patient’s wishes need to be respected above all.