The Importance of Companionship

hand elderly companionshipCompanionship is important at all stages of life, but it becomes increasingly significant as we get older. Older people often suffer from loneliness for a variety of reasons – they may have lost their life partner, they could live alone, their family may be far away or they might have mobility issues, stopping them from getting out and about.

Loneliness in old age is a huge problem, and a recent poll revealed that almost three quarters of older people in the UK feel lonely. Retirement, bereavement and feelings of social exclusion can all be risk factors of loneliness. Sometimes disability or poor health can also contribute to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Companionship, offered by neighbours, friends, carers or community volunteers can really make a difference and help to combat loneliness. Having somebody to interact with is the best way to feel connected to society.

What is companionship?

The definition of companionship is the feeling of friendship or fellowship – it’s a vital connection with somebody which gives a sense of togetherness. If you have a companion, you enjoy their company and want to spend time with them. Companionship is a basic human need, and when these needs are not fulfilled it can cause emotional and physical problems.

Companionship is important for establishing a sense of belonging. Without it, people can become lonely and even depressed, which is why society needs to make more of an effort to meet the companionship needs of the elderly.

Companionship Services for the Elderly

Everybody needs someone to talk to on a daily basis, but this isn’t possible for many old people. People who live alone, have no relatives close by or those who can’t get out into the community are missing out on vital social interaction.

Many care providers like Novus Care now offer companionship as a separate service. This is because we recognise the need to give emotional support in addition to physical support. If a person already requires home care, then a carer naturally provides companionship while they carry out other tasks. If a person doesn’t necessarily need help living independently, they should still be able to apply for a carer companion.

There are many ways a carer can offer companionship, including:

  • Engaging conversation and providing company
  • Taking part in hobbies or activities with you
  • Taking you out to meet friends or attend social events
  • Assistance with day trips or visiting public places
  • Looking for opportunities where you can meet new people

We understand that companionship is fundamental to overall health and wellbeing.

Jobs Fair Watford

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending ‘Job Fairs’ recruitment day when it came to town. Job Fair plan and run successful recruitment open days all around the country. This year alone they have run over 100 open days which has given job seekers the opportunity to meet employers face-to-face, find out what jobs are available and pick up some great tips on who to contact.

The morning at The Langley Banqueting Suite in Central Watford saw over 150 people come through the door who were either looking for a new job, looking for a complete change in career direction or looking for some inspiration.

Bethanie and Kelly got to meet a number of keen, good quality candidates which has resulted in plenty of interviews being booked in at the Watford office. Busy times ahead.

It was good getting the opportunity to meet and speak to so many people about how wonderful a career in the care industry really is.

If you are interested in talking to the team about possible career opportunities at Novus Care, then call us on: 01923 252 301

This entry was posted on November 19, 2017.

How Respite Support Can Help you Become a Better Carer To Your Loved One

hot coco milk

As a family carer, it’s just as important that you look after yourself as well as looking after your loved one or relative. Caring full time is a big responsibility, and your health and wellbeing need to be taken into consideration. Staying healthy and making time for yourself around your caring duties is essential, so you can continue caring for as long as possible.

Respite support is available for the times when family carers need a well-deserved break. A carer may need some time off to look after their own health, or take a holiday for some rest and relaxation. In many cases however, carers can feel guilty about asking somebody else to step in, or leaving the person they care for.

Here are some reasons why choosing respite support can have advantages for both the carer and the person receiving care. Everybody needs a break from time to time, and in the long run you’ll become a better carer for it.

Relax and recharge

Being a carer can be very physically and mentally demanding, so your body needs to rest. There are various ways to relax and recharge the batteries, whether it’s lying on a beach in an exotic destination or spending time at home with friends and family. It’s important to give yourself a rest from the responsibilities of caring, however you choose, in order to have the energy to keep going.

Be social

If you are a live-in family carer, it can be difficult to get out and about and do the activities which contribute to your wellbeing. It’s important to have a life outside of your life as a carer yet doing simple things like going for dinner with a friend, taking part in an exercise class or looking after grandchildren can be difficult. Take some time off to socialise with people other than the person you care for, and look after your own needs. After all, you can’t look after another’s needs if your own physical and social needs aren’t taken care of.

Reduces tension

When two people have little interaction with others, tension can build up. A carer can feel frustrated or undervalued, and the person who requires care may feel like they are trapped or not fully supported. If you have the same carer for a long period of time, it can be a welcome decision to have somebody new to talk to. A little time apart can do wonders for any relationship, and when the respite is over you will both feel more at ease.

Everybody needs regular rests to perform at their best. Novus Care can provide you with outstanding respite support, and in some cases you may be able to receive financial help towards it.

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 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

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.