How to Keep your Independence as you Grow Older

image of an elderly couple

As we get older, we all face certain setbacks which means it is more challenging to be as independent as we’d like to be. Ageing affects us all in different ways, but certain health problems or social issues, such as no longer being able to drive, can have a huge impact on daily life. When entering the golden years it’s important to stay as healthy and happy as possible, but losing independence can have a negative effect on mental health.

There are various stages of losing independence in the ageing process, and the timeline will differ depending on the health conditions someone has to deal with, and how well they adapt to change. For example, an older person may experience the following in the first stages:

  • No longer able to walk long distances or be standing all day
  • Mobility problems
  • No longer able to drive
  • Less energy – needing to rest after short trips out or tasks they used to do a lot
  • Hearing or vision problems

For some people, these slight changes in day to day life can cause frustration or anger. Independence can be further impacted if the elderly person also experiences:

  • Memory problems
  • Physical conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s etc.
  • Continence issues
  • Sight or hearing loss

Ways to maintain independence

If an older loved one lives alone, it is more likely they will need extra support as they age. They will probably try to be independent for as long as possible, but at some stage, support with daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, shopping and washing may become a real possibility. It’s at this point that you must decide, as a family, the way forward. Is someone prepared to be on call for the older person when they need help, will the family be able to provide 24/7 care if needed?

If relatives don’t have the time to support them, then it’s time to start looking at professional care. Many people can’t commit to caring for relatives because they have a career and/or young family to look after – even daily short visits can be tiring if you don’t live close by. However, you can help the older person maintain independence for longer by looking at professional home care. A carer can help with simple jobs such as running errands, buying groceries and domestic care, as well as personal care and medication.

Take a look at our home care packages for more information.

Coping when a Loved One has Dementia

picture of an elderly man looking into the horizon

Dementia is a very common condition which usually sets in during old age. It is difficult to know the exact number of people living with dementia, because there is a low diagnosis rate, but 24.6 million people in the UK know a family member or close friend with the condition according to Alzheimer’s UK research.

With an ageing population, the cases of dementia will only increase and there is still no cure. Age is the biggest risk factor for developing dementia, and 1 in 3 people born in 2015 will develop it during their lifetime. However common the condition is, it is still very upsetting when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia.

As dementia is a progressive disease, you may have quite a bit of time before having to talk about care. There are different stages of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and as your loved one moves through the stages they will need a higher level of care. Whether you decide to care for your relative yourself or require professional dementia care, it can be very difficult to see someone you love struggle with communication and their memory. During the later stages they may not recognise you and this can be particularly upsetting.

Coping strategies for those affected by dementia

If someone you love has dementia, it’s not just their life that changes – yours will too. Whether it’s a parent or a spouse, and whether you are the primary caregiver or not, your relationship will change. You may both feel angry or frustrated at the lack of control over the disease, and take out these emotions on one another.

Here are some top tips to remember:

Give the dementia sufferer independence – one of the most difficult things to accept is the loss of independence. Don’t always offer to help, let them do as much as they can for themselves. Focus on what they can still do and don’t make a big deal of what they can no longer do.

Educate yourself – do your research on the type of dementia your loved one is suffering from. This will help you understand their mood swings and changes in personality, and help you know what to expect.

Stay positive – positivity speaks volumes. If you stay positive about the situation, hopefully so will your loved one. Remember that people with dementia can live for decades, so this could be a long process and it’s important to make the most of the good times.

If you need help, reach out to a family member or find a support group. You can’t look after a loved one if you don’t look after yourself.

Novus Care Opens New Godalming Office

Novus Care are pleased to announce that we have opened a new office in Godalming!

We are now currently recruiting for care staff and taking on new clients in and around the Godalming area.  

If you are interested in working for us, please come in and have a cup of tea with Gemma to discuss the opportunities available.

If you are looking for care for your loved one, please give us a call on 01483351220  or email us at godalming@novus-care.com and we can arrange to come out to provide a no obligation assessment.

 

This entry was posted on August 29, 2017.

Elderly home care Watford

Elderly home care is, as expressed by many people to be the preferred option to moving into residential care. Visiting home care and live-in care services aim to support independent living within a familiar community until it is impossible to do so avoiding all the trauma associated with an upheaval to unfamiliar surroundings. Care can be delivered as required or continuously by way of live-in care.

Live-in elderly home care

Twenty-four hour home care offers support and security while reassuring family members that a carer is always on hand to provide help as and when required. Live-in home care means: Home care worker providing comfort to an elderly lady

  • pets can continue being part of your life
  • friends and family can visit
  • you can continue attending all social engagements/activities
  • keep up with hobbies without disruption
  • maintain independence
  • benefit from keeping your own routine
  • continue to enjoy all the space, familiarity, memories and comforts of your own home
  • stability

Live-in care is when a care worker lives in your home and offers support day and night. This one-to-one care gives a person respectful companionship and reassuring assistance with everyday tasks. Live-in care also supports those with more advanced needs.

Live-in care services are tailored to the needs of each individual

  • Personal care services – each live-in care plan is tailored to the needs of the individual including personal care such as washing and dressing
  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s – routine for suffers of mental illness can be of the utmost importance. Being able to receive care in familiar surroundings with established routines can provide crucial stability and often has a significant impact on quality of life
  • Flexibility – a care plan can be changed as frequently as needed
  • Empowers elderly adults with a choice about how they want to be cared for

Home care in Watford?

Novus Care have a dedicated live-in care team ready to discuss your care support requirements to provide you with a service that is tailored to your needs. From general housekeeping, meal preparation and companionship through to personal care and support for more complex needs,

We strive to uphold all the values expected from a professional home care provider and continually provide the highest level of support for service users and their families by ensuring they understand and are happy with the care plan being determined. We are also members of the UK Homecare Association and members of Hertfordshire Care Providers Association.

Choosing to have care delivered in your own home can be a daunting task and that’s why we are here to guide you through the process, every step of the way. 

Call us on 01923 252 401

We tailor each of our home care packages to the needs of the individual and are able to provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Care worker jobs with Novus Care Watford

Home care workers are characterised by their passion, enthusiasm and respect towards elderly adults and individuals who require extra support to enable them to continue living independently in their own homes. Becoming a home care worker is regarded by those in the profession as a highly rewarding job that offers a great sense of achievement. It is about providing service users the ability to stay in their own homes and be as independent as is possible. It is also about promoting choice and person centred care.

If you feel that you have the commitment and patience to care for elderly people in their own homes, then this may be the job for you. Care worker jobs with Novus Care are currently available at our Watford office. Joining our team of care workers will develop your skills to become a highly regarded provider of home care services. Novus Care recognise that our people are the most important part of our business because they are there to deliver the very best care to our clients. Home care worker jobs and personal care for the elderly

Care worker job skills

  • the ability to remain calm under challenging circumstances
  • the ability to communicate with sensitivity and respect
  • the ability to relate to people from a wide range of backgrounds – cultural, ethnic, socio-economic
  • ability to manage services and timelines – client care plans

Care worker jobs are open to those individuals who are also self motivated, reliable, continually strive to achieve good time management and have a genuine passion for care.

Care worker jobs require that you have your own transport, a DBS check and employment references.

If you are interested in a care worker job in the Watford area or want to find out more please do not hesitate to give our Novus Care Watford office a call on 01923 252 401 or email watford@novus-care.com

Novus Care have been supporting people in the Watford area for over 10 years.

 

 

This entry was posted on April 21, 2017.

Importance of safety and home care for the elderly

Home care for the elderly means that independence can be maintained but with some help so that health and safety are not compromised. One in three older adults are reported to be living at home as opposed to taking up residency in a care home.  With this high number and the possible behavioural and short-term memory changes that may be bought on by cognitive decline of an ageing brain. This can then mean there is a greater need to assist with safety as an important step in home care for the elderly.

A behavioural change can lead to a decline on personal care including their home environment. The urge to accumulate things and resist de-cluttering or throwing away their rubbish is not an uncommon behaviour. This can lead to their safety at home becoming a real risk. Family can be of huge assistance but being patient and speaking with compassion are critical when trying to help them regain a safe home. Here are a key safety tip to safety at home to prevent falls, poisoning or structural damage through fire or flooding.

Home safety tips for the elderly

  • Keep passages, stairs and floor space in kitchens free of clutter or objects the could result in a fall – free of books, post, loose rugs, mugs etc.
  • Check the smoke alarm regularly and change the battery at least once a year. Smoke alarm systems should also be replaced every ten years.
  • Avoid the use of candles. If they are used they should be put out properly before leaving the room (a house in the village caught fire in March this year – a lady took her dog for a walk and thought she had put out the candle in her bedroom properly – devastating!) – if their is a power-cut it is better to have torches handy with charged batteries rather than striking a match to light a candle.
  • Mop-up spillages on floor surfaces – and that goes for food too! We all know that a banana dropped on the floor can have serious consequences. Safety at home for the elderly living at home
  • Wear proper fitting shoes – flat to low heel shoes will help to maintain balance and avoid trips or falls.
  • Ensure there are sufficient well maintained banisters and well-lit stairways and passages.
  • Install grab rails and grab bars in the bathroom.
  • Mark “ON” and “OFF” positions on all appliances in the kitchen.
  • Invest in a kettle with an automatic shut-off switch.
  • Use a medication aid or tablet alert to take the correct dosages as prescribed.
  • Keep a list of all emergency numbers in a visible place for easy access if needed.

Home care for the elderly should include a supportive environment that encourages mental activity and social interaction. This along with physical activity are known to help prevent cognitive decline. Safety and home care for the elderly should be balanced and will be based on each individuals unique situation. Planning ahead and speaking to a home care provider is key to helping older adults live longer in their own homes.

If your loved-one lives in Watford, Canvey-island, Knaphill or Cranleigh geographical locations, give Novus Care a call today to speak to a member of our home care team.

 

This entry was posted on April 14, 2017.

Dementia care and communication for better outcomes

Dementia care is needed more today than ever before with more older adults being diagnosed. With this there is also a growing need for professional home care workers trained to support those with cognitive impairment.

Novus Care provides home care services within locations in Hertfordshire, Surrey and Essex. All our care workers are trained in dementia care and how to deal with the different behaviours displayed. They are also trained to keep a dementia patient safe and mentally stimulated.

Dementia care can be very challenging particularly when it comes to managing behavioural changes – anxiety, agitation, aggression, hallucinations, wandering-off – which are no fault of the person so they need managing very carefully. Dementia is not just about the affect it has on memory and behaviour, but also the diminishing ability to manage their own personal care, and keep their homes in a clean and orderly state they were once accustomed to.

One of the important aspects of dementia care is communication. This needs to be done with a lot of understanding of the disease to show due respect and compassion. Dementia care for when the memory goes and behaviour changes

Communication skills of dementia care

  • speak only in a caring and respectful manner
  • before you discuss anything, you need to make sure you have their full attention with no distractions – turn-off the radio or TV, close the curtains on outside activities – and where you can’t be interrupted
  • Speak slowly and clearly with a reassuring tone. Avoid the temptation to raise your voice. Patience is key!
  • Ask one question at a time and avoid open-ended questions – use simple questions with a one word- ‘yes’ or ‘no’ reply as they work best
  • If the they didn’t hear what you said, repeat your sentence exactly as you did before. They will related to visual gestures so include them in your communication with them
  • Encourage through motivational communication to get them to do things for themselves as much as possible – reminding them each step of the way of what they need to do and how.

Some of the greatest challenges of dementia care are dealing with personality and behaviour changes that can become progressively worse as parts of the brain fall further into decline. Being creative, flexible, patient and compassionate helps – but most importantly it’s about not taking events personally and maintain your sense of humour. 

If you are struggling with dementia or finding it difficult to cope with a loved one at home with dementia, you are not alone. Whether you need help with daily practicalities, companionship or respite support, we are here to help you. Call Novus Care today on 01923 252401

This entry was posted on April 5, 2017.

Tips to prevent cognitive decline and avoid dementia

Dementia describes symptoms of cognitive decline that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or speech. The onset often displays as small changes initially, but for the person with dementia the changes can be severe affecting daily life.

Dementia, as described by the Alzheimer’s Society is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The specific symptoms that someone with dementia experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia.

Evidence strongly suggests that a healthy lifestyle, especially in mid-life, can help reduce the risk of dementia.  Keeping our brains healthy is wise as there is no cure or treatment for dementia. Healthy living lowers the risk of developing dementia by more than a third – as many studies have found.

In this article we share lifestyle changes that can prevent or delay further decline in brain activity. Stimulating the brain has the power to slow progress particularly in the early stages of dementia. As we get older, many prefer to settle into a calmer lifestyle with fewer challenges. However, this is not what our brains want! Those that keep working past retirement years in jobs that challenge the brain to think are less likely to suffer dementia. Challenging ourselves to do entirely new activities such as learning a new hobby, language or creative skill go along way to keeping our brains healthy.

  • Regular physical exercise increases your heart rate which in turn increases blood flow to the brain. Physical exercise whether aerobic, resistance or balance activities are all effective in warding off cognitive decline in healthy older people and reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Healthy eating by following a balanced diet including fruit, vegetables, grains and healthy fats will help avoid obesity and high blood pressure.
  • Quit smoking and excessive alcohol consumption – it never too late to quit smoking to reduce the chances of cognitive decline
  • Get sufficient sleep – too little sleep will affect our physical health. Sleep is in involved in the repair of the heart and blood vessels so ongoing sleep deprivation can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Stay socially involved with friends and family doing activities together that you enjoy
  • Challenge yourself – avoid falling into a comfort zone – play board games, do puzzles, attend quiz evenings, do mental maths rather than use a calculator. A good use of cognitive functioning through life is linked to reduced risk of cognitive decline later in life.
  • Protect your brain – avoid head injuries by wearing a seat belt when you travel, wear a helmet or protective head gear when participating in motorised sports, cycling, skiing or contact sport  – in fact any activity that suggests the use of protective head gear.

How to slow progress of dementia

Encourage a person in your care with early onset of dementia to engage in activities such as reading, writing, playing a musical instrument, board games and crossword puzzles. Activities where they interact with others are particularly effective. Even participating in daily chores around the house can be a form of mental workout. The important thing is to find an activity that they enjoy and are motivated to participate in regularly.

Simplifying their living environment to avoid stress and anxiety can also help – such as setting up online banking to pay bills, sticking to daily routines and familiar surroundings and do everything in moderation.

Infographic on how we can prevent cognitive decline and onset of dementia

Dementia care when you can no longer cope

The reality though is that there are a growing number of people suffering with Dementia and the numbers are forecast to grow as our population of over 65 year olds increases. When someone with Dementia is faced with the difficult reality that their capabilities of coping with daily activities are steadily declining they often require support and reassurance.

At Novus Care our home care workers receive specialist dementia care training and they are committed to working with service users and their loved ones to ensure that their dementia care needs are being met whilst retaining their sense of identity and protecting their dignity and independence.

Dementia affects people in many different ways and our home care workers are trained to deal with the person and what the person can do as opposed to what they cannot do.

If you are struggling with dementia or finding it difficult to cope with a loved one at home with dementia, you are not alone. Whether you need help with daily practicalities, companionship or respite support, Novus Care are here to help.

This entry was posted on March 27, 2017.

Choosing an elderly care provider Watford

Elderly care provider in Watford offers a range of services to meet the many needs of those wanting to continue living independently at home. Home care or domiciliary care is a term used to describe support in the home provided by care workers who assist with daily activities. Support can be requested for 24-hour/daily or for just a few hours a week. Many elderly people choose to use home care as an alternative to moving into a residential care home.

Care following post-surgery, a fall or just struggling to cope with day-to-day activities in the home may all result in the need for different care plans. To know how much care is needed, it is best to make a list and use that to determine your steps to finding the best match elderly care provider  in Watford.

List the elderly care support needed

  • what do they want help with?
  • how often do they want a care worker to visit?
  • what time do they want a visit/s?
  • what activities do they want help with?
  • what is their care budget?
  • how many hours per week can they afford a home care worker?

Home elderly care providers in Watford can be found listed in the Home Care Agencies (Search for Home Care Agencies Watford) directory where you will find contact details and a link to provider websites as well as a rating as given be the Care Quality Commission (CQC UK). Use this site to make a list of the home care providers who meet the needs as you have listed.

Click here to see elderly care providers in Watford >>Novus Care listed in the Home Care Agency directory

Next step short-listing elderly care providers

Here is are further suggestions of what to look for when narrowing down your research for elderly care providers in your specific area:

  • Novus Care listed in UKHCAare they regulated by the CQC?
  • are they members of the UK Homecare Association (UKHCA)? – All member organisations agree to comply with their Code of Practice – the rights of service users comes first; the highest standards of care are provided; and the rights and welfare of care workers are protected.
  • do they offer the personal care services needed?
  • what other activities are they registered to do?

Once you have short-listed elderly care providers in Watford, contact them and ask to meet with them at your home for an informal chat about what you are looking for. This visit is totally free and comes with no obligations. During this session they will discuss what your needs and wants are and the frequency of your visits.

Once the decision has been made to join an elderly care provider in Watford, a field supervisor will come out and do a complete Care Needs Assessment that will involve confirming your details on your Personal Care Plan (the visits that have been requested and their frequency) and carrying out a Health and Safety assessment to ensure that care workers are able to work safely in your home.

This entry was posted on March 20, 2017.

How to care for an elderly parent from a distance

Work, family and the urge for adventure can mean that circumstances may take you to a destination miles away from the home of your parent or parents. As they get older and less able to cope with every day activities, this can create a lot of stress not being available to help or check-up on them regularly. Around 40% of elderly adults have children or family members who live too far away to offer regular help or companionship leaving many feeling lonely and depressed. But, there are steps you can take to better manage the situation so that you feel less stressed and your elderly parent feels secure while continuing to live independently in their own homes.

Ways to be a long-distance caregiver

  • Call on the help of neighbours or friends who live close by to you elderly parent and ask them to be your ‘eyes and ears’. Perhaps they can call in from time-to-time’ to make sure they are coping with day-to-day activities and are able to get to medical or dental appointments.
  • Make a list of emergency numbers, contacts of friends or family living close by and
  • If they are on any medication, keep a record should you need to contact medical emergency services. Smart phone needed to take care from a distance
  • Equip your elderly parent with modern technology so that you can communicate using either smart phone or laptop. SKYPE with it’s video chatting is free.
  • Stay in touch. Regular contact can help determine whether an ageing parent is struggling to cope or suffering loneliness and depression.
  • A lot can be done online to help such as paying bills, keeping family and friends updated, researching medical conditions to support the advice given by doctors or nurses, grocery shopping or booking appointments.

Long-distance caregivers can play a part in arranging for professional home care support when the time comes. Caregiving is not easy for the caregiver and not for the care recipient. There are sacrifices and adjustments for everyone. When you don’t live where the care is needed, it may be difficult to feel that what you are doing is enough.

 

This entry was posted on March 17, 2017.