Supreme Healthcare Services Acquisition

Novus Care are pleased to announce the purchase of Supreme Healthcare Services last week. Supreme Healthcare Services have a strong presence in both Woking and Reading and thus increases our serviceability in these two regions.

Novus Care and Supreme Healthcare Services both hold a passion for delivering high quality person centred care and by combining the two companies we feel it further strengthens our ability to do this. We believe that by being larger organisation we will be able to provide a wider array of services. Also recruiting and retaining excellent people is a constant challenge. A larger organisation will also mean our staff will benefit from even more and stronger career opportunities.

The Knaphill office and Woking office will be consolidated into one office over the coming weeks with the central office being in the Boundary Business Centre in Woking. Teams from both offices remain intact and the day to day points of contacts for our staff and clients will not change. The combination of the offices and two teams ensures further strength and focus on service delivery in the area. The Reading office will continue to operate from Beacontree Court and points of contact in Reading will remain the same.

We welcome the new teams to Novus Care and as we make progress as one big happy family and we will continue to communicate openly and provide updates through our website.

If you have any questions please email them through to info@novus-care.com .

This entry was posted on April 30, 2018.

Recognising the Signs of Dementia

paper head puzzle jigsaw pieceDementia is a very common illness, affecting one in six people over the age of 80. By 2025 it is expected that over one million people in the UK will suffer from a form of dementia. It affects everyone differently, so it is hard to predict how long somebody will be able to live a normal life following diagnosis.

Recognising the early signs of dementia is important, so you or your family member can get the appropriate help and support as soon as possible. Dementia is not a normal part of ageing – so don’t think that your GP won’t be able to help. Find out more about the common symptoms of dementia and what to look out for.

Memory loss

One of the first signs of dementia is memory loss. Becoming generally forgetful is not always a signal towards dementia – but short term memory loss can be one of the early signs to watch out for. A person suffering with dementia will forget familiar dates or names and also the context in which they remember them.

Change in personality

As a disease that affects the brain, dementia can also have an impact on a family member’s personality. If you have noticed any recent changes in mood or behaviour, such as out of character mood swings or emotions, this could be a warning sign. Memory problems can often make people frustrated and angry.

Misplacing possessions

We all forget where we put our keys from time to time – but for someone with dementia, misplacing items is a common occurrence. They may also misplace possessions in unusual places, for example items which are not food may end up in the fridge.

Disorientation

Somebody suffering with the onset of dementia can become easily disorientated to time and place. For example, they may get confused about the time of day and turn up for dinner in the morning. They may also become lost in familiar places, which can be distressing.

Social withdrawal

Dementia can make a person very passive – they may sit staring into space for long periods of time, sleep a lot or watching TV. If you notice somebody is losing interest in their hobbies or social events, it may be a sign of dementia if there are other symptoms pointing in that direction.

Dementia affects brain function and over time, a dementia sufferer will lose the ability to perform basic tasks for themselves. It is important to secure the right dementia care for yourself or your loved one before the condition takes hold.

Top Recovery Tips Following an Operation

pills in darkness

Having any kind of operation can take its toll on your body – especially if you are frail or have an underlying health condition. With a shortage of hospital beds in NHS hospitals, you may be discharged but not fully well enough to look after yourself at home. Post-surgery it’s important to have somebody around to make sure you are recovering as expected, whether it’s a friend, relative or home carer.

Regardless of whether you’ve had a major operation such as a hip replacement or something more minor, it’s important to follow doctor’s advice once leaving hospital. You are likely to feel very tired and the whole experience can be unsettling. Many people start to feel at ease once they are in the comfort of their own home.

Here are some top tips to speed up the recovery process so you can get back to your normal routine as soon as possible.

Caring for Wounds

If you have a dressing on the site of the operation or an open wound, it’s essential to look after it properly to prevent infection. If you get an infection this can delay the recovery and you may even be readmitted to hospital. Follow the advice given at the hospital about caring for the wound and ensure personal hygiene standards are increased.

Medication

You may be prescribed certain medications after an operation, such as painkillers or antibiotics to prevent infection. Remember to take these as advised by your doctor or surgeon. If you have trouble keeping on top of your medications, make sure somebody else is aware of the instructions so they can remind you when to take your tablets. If you are in pain, then you may not move about as much as you usually would do, to help the body heal and build strength.

Physiotherapy Exercises

If the operation was to replace a joint such as a knee or hip, you will be given physiotherapy exercises to complete at home while you recover. This type of rehab is critical to the recovery process, and if you refuse or forget to do the specific strengthening exercises then you may not be able to be as active as you were before the operation.

Eat Well

It’s even more important following an operation to eat a healthy, balanced diet and to stay hydrated. Your body will need all the nutrients it can get to fuel the healing process. If you are struggling to cook meals or prepare food because of limited mobility, you should consider getting some domestic support during the recovery process.

If you are concerned at any point following an operation, contact a medical professional.

How to Support a Family Member with a Terminal Illness

holding hands support sunset

Coping with a terminal illness is hard for the whole family. When a friend or family member is diagnosed with a serious disease or illness, it can be difficult to know how to help. From offering practical help to emotional support, there are many ways you can help someone who is seriously ill, but they may not feel ready to accept help just yet. The best thing you can do is let them know you’re there for them, and visit regularly if you don’t live in the same house.

Your relative could feel confused, angry and upset, and may behave differently towards you as they accept their diagnosis. This is normal and usually passes, so don’t retract your support when they need it the most. Here are some ways you can help your loved one throughout their illness.

Hire a carer

Many people feel obliged to step up and care for their relatives in times like these, and become the primary carer. However, there are many benefits to hiring a professional carer with experience in terminal illnesses. You’ll have extra support around the house, and your relationship with your loved one doesn’t have to change too much. If you have a home care worker, you can both look forward to the time you spend together which will be separate from the palliative care provided. Your loved one may not be comfortable with you having to complete some personal care tasks for them, even though you would do them with dignity and respect.

Do what they enjoy

When a person has little time left, it’s essential to give them as many happy and memorable experiences as possible. What do they consider the pleasures in life? From visiting the garden centre, going for a walk in the local park or watching their favourite TV show, make sure you plan lots of things they enjoy and can look forward to. Even making your loved one’s favourite meal can be a nice gesture they will appreciate. Also be aware that they might like some time on their own too, to read or take part in another quiet activity, as lots of visitors in one room can be overwhelming.

Be a good listener

The most important thing to do is to be there for your loved one when they need to talk. Lend your ears if and when they are needed, but don’t force conversation – your relative may not be ready to talk about their feelings yet. If the person blocks out worries and fears for a long period and refuses to talk about them, feelings can become impossible to deal with. Depression can also affect people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, if they feel like they can’t cope. If they don’t want to talk to you then suggest a doctor or a counsellor, or a support group so they can meet people in a similar situation.

Dealing with a terminal illness is difficult for everyone involved, so remember to take care of your own wellbeing too.

Keeping Fit at All Ages: Top Exercises for the Older Generation

old man weights fitness smiling

It’s natural to slow down as we get older, but to stay fit and healthy it is important to keep moving! People aged 65 and older should be staying active as much as possible, as well as completing strength exercises to improve balance and coordination for preventing falls. Keeping fit at all stages of life is vital, and exercise shouldn’t stop as we get older unless certain health conditions get in the way.

Here are some of the top workouts and exercises recommended for the older generation, to keep happy and healthy. If you want to stay mobile and independent for as long as possible, try and do these activities at least twice a week.

Walking

A brisk walk to the shops or a walk around the park on a pleasant day is a great way to stay fit. If possible, try and increase the workout by walking on uneven terrain and uphill routes which can strengthen the muscles while undertaking cardiovascular activity. Sitting for long periods of time is bad for you at any age, so try and get out of the house and take walks when possible.

Dancing

Taking part in a weekly dance class is not only great for your body, it’s good for your social life too! Any kind of dancing, including ballroom, Latin, line dancing or dance aerobics is classed as moderate exercise. It can also improve balance and coordination, and help to strengthen some muscles.

Swimming

Swimming is an all-over body workout, and is great for those with weak joints. Swimming doesn’t put any extra strain on the joints so if you find other workouts painful, visit the local pool once or twice a week. You can also try water aerobics.

Gardening

Making your garden beautiful could also keep you healthy. Various gardening activities including mowing the lawn, shovelling compost and planting plants can improve your strength. Remember not to overdo it and take breaks if you need to, but gardening is often a great workout!

Lifting

Muscle strength becomes more important as we age for maintaining a healthy weight and all daily movement. However you don’t need to go to the gym and lift weights to maintain strength. Moving heavy loads, such as groceries, can count as a strengthening exercise, as can carrying babies and toddlers.

Our home carers can help you stay active in your senior years. They can take you out on walks, take you to the swimming pool or accompany you to the supermarket to do your shopping – just let us know if you need a fitness companion.

How to Discuss Care Requirements with a Loved One

care hug elder

The prospect of needing full time care can be very daunting and it’s a difficult subject to approach. An elderly relative may refuse care for a long time before admitting they need any help. Naturally, older people are scared about the future and worried about losing control of their life. They may think that accepting care means they have to move out of their home, or they may fear losing their dignity and independence. These are normal concerns which families need to discuss.

It’s always best to have a discussion about care requirements before they become essential. You can speak about care as if it’s in the distant future, to get an idea from your relative about what their wishes are. An ageing loved one may suddenly need help, or may struggle before asking for support, so it’s a good idea to have approached the topic before it becomes urgent.

Start the conversation

Bite the bullet and start the conversation. Explain to your family member that you want to help them as much as possible in the future, but they need to tell you how they would like to be cared for. Discuss care requirements as early as possible, especially if your ageing relative lives alone. Focus on the things a carer could help them do, rather than the tasks they might not be able to do independently in the future. If you are met with conflict or reluctance to continue the conversation, explain how important it is for you to understand their wishes, and emphasise that the situation is probably in the distant future.

Loss of independence

The main fear for ageing adults is a loss of independence. Explain that this doesn’t have to happen – care helps people live independently for longer, rather than taking away independence. Accepting care is not a sign of weakness or dependence, especially if a carer is only visiting once a day. It may be a good idea to suggest home care as a way of staying at home independently for as long as possible, rather than moving into a residential care home.

Many people also worry about the types of tasks carers will help them with, such as washing and dressing. Explain the difference between personal care and domestic care, and that your relative will be looked after by a professional who understands their concerns.

Money worries

Now is also a good time to discuss any financial concerns regarding care. Find out if your loved one will be entitled to any help when paying for care, and how much they are willing to spend on it. Money worries are very common in the elderly but there is usually help and support out there. Try and ease any concerns they have, and be honest about the cost of care. Compare the prices of different care options and see which is the most affordable.

Choosing care for a relative can be confusing, but once you understand their wishes and concerns you can find a care provider they will be happy with.

4 Things to Look for in a Home Care Provider

man computer pointing helping care choose

There are probably many home care companies servicing your local area, so how do you know which one to choose? Before making any decisions about yours, or a relative’s care, you should gather as much information as possible and make sure your expectations of quality and service are met.

The home care industry is regulated, by the same independent organisation which inspects residential care homes. However all home care providers are different and may provide a range of different services, so it is important to find an agency which best addresses your personal needs and requirements.

When comparing different domiciliary care companies and providers, here are some factors to consider.

  1. Budget and requirements

If you are organising care for a loved one, have a conversation with them about their care requirements. You may need to explain exactly what is needed and which tasks they need help and support with. You should also set out how many visits per week your relative requires, and the maximum care budget they have.

  1. CQC regulated

Before you contact a provider to enquire about their services, make sure they are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. The government body inspects all home care companies and publishes reports on safety and quality standards, which are available for members of the publ

ic to read. The reports are published online and can help you make decisions about which care providers to trust.

  1. Client reviews

Once you are satisfied with the findings from the provider’s most recent CQC report, it’s time to find out what other service users are saying. Does the home care provider have a lot of testimonials and positive reviews on their website? Do the testimonials look real and believable? Beware fake reviews! As well as reading online reviews about the care company, why not ask around in the local area and speak to a service user first hand who can be an advocate for the care provider.

  1. Ask questions

Once you have a shortlist of recommended care providers in your community (which you can get from your local authority), it’s time to find out more information to make the final decision. Make contact with the companies and make sure they can provide everything you need. Find out more about both the provider and their care workers – what is the company mission and what safety procedures are in place? Never be afraid of asking too many questions – here is a suggested list of enquiries you should ask a home care provider before signing a contract.

Choosing a home care provider isn’t easy. We are here to answer any questions you may have about the process and offer guidance in making the right choice.

Novus Care Christmas Jumper Day

On Friday 15 December, the Novus Care offices all enjoyed joining in the festive fun by taking part in Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day. We are pleased to say we managed to raise around over £150 on the day.

All over the country, thousands of people took part by donning their daftest, most wonderful woollies, all for a great cause. Just by donating £2 to take part, we were able to support in making a difference between a hot meal or no meal, bringing essential healthcare, education, protection and food to millions of children around the world who are missing out on these basics. Supporting to protect children from easily preventable yet deadly diseases like malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia.

We were helping to stand up for children all over the world.

It is not too late for you to help, you can still get involved by donating £5 by texting MERRY to 70050.

This entry was posted on December 26, 2017.

Season’s Greetings from Novus Care

On Saturday 17 December, the Novus Care team were lucky enough to be able to let their hair down and celebrate Christmas early.


China Town came to London for the night in the form of the Cirque Shanghai Christmas Party with amazing acrobatics, dazzling dragons and oriental wonderment.

Everyone had a wonderful time after all their incredibly hard work throughout this year, in their efforts to continue building up Novus Care to be the fantastic company that is today.

And going into 2018, we look set to be enjoying another very exciting and busy year. We look forward to continuing to provide the highest standards of care to those in our local communities whilst developing important relationships with our health and social care colleagues.

The whole of the Novus Care team would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our Service Users, Carers, Customers and partners a wonderful Christmas and a very happy, healthy new year.

This entry was posted on December 26, 2017.

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.