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Maintaining Health and Wellbeing: Why Care at Home May Be the Best Option

There is sometimes an assumption that having significant care needs automatically means residential care. But that needn’t be the case. There are plenty of options for receiving the care you need in your own home. For many people, care at home can even help them stay healthier for longer.

Good health and mental wellbeing are closely linked. And sometimes wellbeing comes from familiar surroundings and familiar routines. This can be particularly important for people with dementia. Being independent also helps people to feel more active and engaged, which also helps to keep them healthier for longer.

Living on Your Own

If you have a spouse, partner or family member living with you, staying in your home is easier. But even if you find yourself living alone it doesn’t mean that residential care is your only choice.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, people with dementia, ‘often feel happier if they can remain independent and in their own homes as long as possible.’ They list a few important factors for continuing to live contentedly in your own home:

  • Have a good support network of family, friends and care professionals.
  • Keep up with social activities and pastimes.
  • Make a point of calling people regularly and consider using a video calling service such as Skype.
  • Investigate local befriending groups.
  • Consider online forums and support groups if you don’t have friends or family you can talk to regularly.

The other important aspect of continuing to live a healthier and happier life in your own home is to find the right home care provider. Even if you need around the clock care to carry on living at home, it is possible to arrange this through a live-in care service. For many more people, it’s likely to be finding help with simpler tasks such as washing, dressing and housework.

Whatever the level of support you need, you should always be able to live at home if it’s where you feel happier and more independent. Talk to the team at Altogether Care and we’ll help you find the home care solution that works best for you. Contact 01305 206140 or email contact@altogethercare.co.uk for more information.

Caring for a Loved One: How to Lift & Handle Safely and Properly

Being a caregiver is a demanding task. It is likely to be a role that you never asked for and maybe one that you never expected to have. It can be thankless, and it can sometimes feel like you are on your own.

Fortunately, there is help and support available from organisations such as Carers UK where you can find advice, guidance and online forums so you can share experiences and learn from other people in a similar situation.

As a family-run and socially responsible care business, Altogether Care also likes to support unpaid caregivers where we can with advice and occasional training courses.

Moving and Handling

One of the trickiest aspects of caregiving can be when you need to help somebody with restricted movement. Moving and handling comes with the risk of personal injury if you don’t do it correctly. You must also keep the dignity and self-respect of the person being moved in mind. Safe moving and handling are important aspects of the training that all our care staff go through.

Free Training Course

To help, we are offering free training to caregivers on how to move people safely. You’ll be provided with a certificate upon completing the course. It will take on Wednesday 18th March at 2pm and Thursday 26th March at 2pm.

The courses will be held at 13 Carlton Road North, Weymouth, DT4 7PY.

Booking is essential to secure your place. Please email ellief@altogethercare.co.uk or call 07881 802196 to book.

We’ll also give you free tea, coffee and cake. As well as the training you’ll have the chance to meet and talk to other caregivers.

Top Tips

If you can’t make the training here are a few moving and handling tips that will help:

  • Take account of the weight of the person. If you don’t think you’re strong enough don’t attempt it on your own.
  • Always get somebody to help if you can.
  • Make sure there are no obstacles or ‘slip and trip’ hazards.
  • Never lift above shoulder height
  • Space your feet to give you a firm and stable base.
  • Have a firm hold and keep any weight close to your body
  • Lift from the knees keeping your back straight
  • Lift as smoothly as possible

Obviously, it’s better to be shown how to do this than read about it. So, if you can, please come along to our free training session. We look forward to seeing you.

For more information, please contact us on 01305 206140 or email contact@altogothercare.co.uk

A Society Learning to Live with Dementia

Until somebody develops effective treatments to prevent or control dementia it is going to be an increasing fact of life for many of us. Not just for the estimated one million plus people who are expected to develop the condition in the UK by 2025, but also the many more people who will be affected as family, friends and carers.

There’s little doubt that the general population would benefit by understanding more about dementia. This can only help take away some of the fear and stigma that unfortunately still surround the condition. It can also help us to build a society and environment that are more dementia friendly.

One thing people often get confused about is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s. Technically, dementia is a syndrome. That means a group of symptoms that don’t necessarily have the same cause. In the case of dementia, the symptoms relate to reduced ability in areas such as memory and reasoning. Different people experience dementia in different ways.

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. It is believed to account for between 50 and 70 percent of cases. Although recent research suggests that many people thought to have Alzheimer’s may, in fact, have a newly discovered type of dementia-related illness called limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, or Late.

Dementia can also result from other conditions such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s, and can be caused by strokes, vascular diseases, depression and chronic drug use.

Understanding Dementia

In many practical ways, the exact cause is less important than understanding how dementia can affect people’s ability to relate to the world and people around them, how it might affect their behaviour, and how best to make life for people with dementia more inclusive and less stressful. This can only come from greater knowledge and being more comfortable about discussing the issues that surround dementia.

Care homes that specialise in dementia care, such as Sherborne House in Dorset, will clearly have a greater role to play as the population ages and more people are affected. But we all have a part to play by being more understanding about a condition that a significant number of us will be affected by – directly or indirectly.

West Moors Care at Home Host a Cake Sale for Alzheimer’s

Last week, the team at West Moors Care at Home hosted a cake sale in the office to raise money and show support for Alzheimer’s Society.

The team were so pleased to see carers, local shop owners, and members of the public getting involved too.

 

How to Spot the Early Signs & Symptoms of Dementia

By 2025, it is estimated that there will be more than 1m people in the UK with dementia. The quality of life of these people will depend to a large extent on how early they are diagnosed. Yet, very few of us are clear about what to look for.

According to the NHS website, possible early signs of dementia include:

  • memory loss
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty with familiar daily tasks, such as confusion over the correct change when shopping
  • struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
  • being confused about time and place
  • mood changes

Where one or more of these symptoms occur at a level that doesn’t significantly affect everyday life it is called minor cognitive impairment. Sometimes the symptoms don’t get significantly worse for a long time, but sometimes they are an early indicator of dementia.

Cognitive impairment isn’t (as many people believe) ‘all part of getting old.’ If symptoms are observed, it’s essential to get a proper diagnosis as quickly as possible.

Alzheimer’s

The largest cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease. People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s may ask the same question repetitively, become confused in unfamiliar environments or become withdrawn or anxious.

In the longer term it’s possible that there will be a blood test that can quickly diagnose common causes of dementia. Early test results are encouraging and further research is underway.

As a family member or close friend, you are likely to be the first people to notice any signs for concern. It’s important to encourage the person to get a proper diagnosis as soon as possible.

While the facts can be hard to face, the reality may be less scary than the uncertainty. And it’s always better to know so that appropriate steps can be planned.

In the early stages, dementia symptoms can often be managed. But eventually it may be necessary to receive residential care at a home equipped to deliver dementia care such as Sherborne House in Yeovil.

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