Tips to reduce the chances of developing dementia

Home Care Agency

A Major review has recommended 12 health measures that can reduce the risk of developing dementia.

The biggest known risk factors for dementia are:

  • Smoking
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Head injury
  • Depression
  • Hearing loss
  • Exposure to air pollution
  • Lack of exercise
  • Education
  • Little or no social contact

Minimising these risks could potentially prevent or delay up to 40 per cent of dementia cases globally, according to the review of the latest evidence by 28 leading dementia experts from around the world.

The review finds that individuals can partially protect themselves by: Not smoking, drinking less than 21 units of alcohol per week, maintaining good blood pressure, avoiding activities that could lead to head injuries, using hearing aids if needed, eating a healthy diet, and exercising and socialising regularly.

It’s never too late to think about reducing your risk!

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2250401-these-are-the-12-ways-you-can-drastically-cut-your-dementia-risk/

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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Caring for someone with Dementia

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More than 47,000,000 people in the world are living with dementia. Numbers are expected to increase by 300% over the next thirty years.

Dementia – of which Alzheimer’s is a form – is a horrible disease that takes away mental faculties and even a personality; it is not just sufferers that are affected. There are millions of people providing billion of hours of care for loved ones suffering from dementia. Caring for someone with dementia can become a full-time job and many caregivers admit the burden of care has affected their own health.

Providing care for dementia patients is by no means easy. If you find yourself in this position, effective strategies for communication and care can make things a bit easier.

Helping People with Dementia

Communication

As your loved one moves through the stages of dementia, their ability to communicate is going to get worse. Keeping communication effective for as long as possible is essential for their mental well-being.

You will have to learn how to communicate effectively throughout the stages of dementia.

  • Turning off the TV or radio. Close curtains or blinds and shut the door. This will help your loved one focus. Eliminate as many distractions as possible.
  • Don’t start talking until you have your loved one’s attention. Ensure they are listening. Address them by name, remind them who you are if necessary, and use gentle touches to keep them focused.
  • Remain positive in attitude and body language. Although your loved one may have experienced some mental decline, they will pick up on body language. Try to keep open, don’t fold your arms, keep your tone upbeat, and your mood positive.
  • Speak clearly and slowly but don’t dumb things down – this may only cause more frustration. Repeat things if necessary.
  • Remember to listen – spend as much time listening as speaking. You;ll need to be patient and may need to ask them to repeat things. Don’t get frustrated!
  • As you chat with your friend, client or loved one, there may come a point when they cannot remember certain words, or they lose track of their thoughts. They may become agitated. Acknowledge their feelings and offer a distraction to avoid further distress.

In the early to middle stages of dementia, your friend, client or loved one will have some awareness that their mental ability is getting worse. This can be frustrating and scary, which is why it is so important for you to be patient and understanding in the moments when they are really struggling to communicate. Just be patient, ask questions, and make sure to listen intently.

Keeping Dementia Sufferers Safe

In the early stages of dementia, they may still be able to care for themselves, albeit with a little help. As things progresses, your loved one may struggle with daily tasks such as preparing meals, bathing, and getting dressed. Part of your job as a caregiver is to make adaptations in the home to ensure safety.

  • Take an objective look around the house to spot potential danger zones, such as the garage, storage room, or basement, and install new locks or other safety devices where needed.
  • Disable the cooker so your loved one cannot use the it without supervision – you may need to make adaptations to the sink and bath, as well.
  • Double smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Install locks to keep your loved one from wandering outside – make sure the locks are hidden or out of reach.
  • Add extra lighting to keep stairwells, hallways, bathrooms, and doorways well-lit to prevent accidents.
  • Put medications and cleaning products in a locked drawer or cabinet – if your loved one can still be trusted with medication, make sure they have a pill organizer that you refill for them.
  • Install safety measures in the bathroom, such as grab bars and non-slip mats. Avoid using rugs that might slip out of place.
  • When you start to become concerned for their safety at home, you might consider installing a camera or smart speaker so you can see / talk to them easily.

Handling Difficult Behaviors

It is common for those with dementia to wander off, often without any destination in mind. Try taking your loved one for short walks to reduce restlessness. You may also need to install new door locks or create physical barriers so they can’t leave without your knowledge. Technology can also help here with sensors, smart locks and cameras.

Personality changes are also not uncommon. Your loved one may become combative, impatient or agitated at times, sometime even to the point of aggression. Try to remember that they have no control over their behavior and don’t mean to hurt you. These behaviors typically have a trigger – fear, confusion or environmental factors can cause unpredictable behaviour. If you can identify the trigger, you may be able to avoid problems.

In due course, cognitive ability and awareness will decline to the point that the patient does not react or communicate in any way. Before reaching that stage, however, they may develop repetitive speech or paranoia.

Actions, and behavior may worsen at the end of each day. This is known as “sundowning.” Try to remain patient and identify and understand the triggers and underlying factors that may be contributing to these actions. You may also need to develop distraction tactics if they become fixated on something.

Think About Professional Help

It could be a full 10 years or more from diagnosis to needing full-time care. That is a long time for carers to be putting someone else’s needs before their own. At a point, you are going to have to ask yourself some difficult questions – is it time to seek professional dementia care help?

24 hour care for Alzheimer’s patients is very expensive, but your loved one may be more comfortable in their own home and that might mitigate some of the other challenges as their dementia progresses.

One option could be regular 1 or 2 hour care visits to give relatives some respite. Allow them to get out to the shops or to socialise. Domiciliary care companies are experienced at looking after dementia suffers and can be a great support.

If in-home care is not an option, moving them into a care facility may be a better choice. Caring for a loved one suffering from dementia is exhausting, both physically and mentally. Remember, your loved one has no control over what is happening to them. While you can empathize with them and offer love and support, you need to remain realistic about what is and is not possible.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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Covid-19 Homecare Update

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Following the latest COBR meeting, updated guidelines for the Delay phase in Coronavirus / Covid-19 have now been issued by the Government. These guidelines include:

  • People in “at risk” groups being asked within days to be largely shielded from social contact for 12 weeks.
  • 14-day isolation of entire household should ANY member of the household experience symptoms (high temperature and/or a new, continuous cough).
  • The cessation of non-essential social contact and unnecessary travel.
  • Those who are able to, should work from home.

As a Care company, we are doing everything possible to maintain high levels of support to our clients, however we recognise that we may have to adapt our delivery of service imminently, in order to ensure that our most vulnerable clients continue to receive care.

At present, the proposed changes are likely to be as follows:

Those who fall into the following categories will be visited as a priority:

  • Those without family support
  • Those with terminal / life-threatening illness
  • Those who require support with essential medication

Please be reassured that whilst some clients will be given priority, ALL clients will continue to receive care visits at this time.

In managing all care visits at this difficult time, we will no longer be able to guarantee visit times, but will still operate on an Morning / Afternoon / Evening basis. 

Visit durations may need to be altered to accommodate all calls.

With regret, the following visits will need to be temporarily halted:

  • Social Visits / Carer Escorts
  • Meals out
  • Elongated calls to facilitate cleaning and non-essential tasks

As we work together to manage this situation, we will request the following support from family members:

If you are local, we ask that you continue to support your loved ones in any way possible within guidelines. If there are visits that can be managed by family, or that are not needed, please let us know as soon as possible. This will allow us to free up resource to assist others in need.

If you are able, please ensure loved ones have a ready supply of healthy meals, drinks, antibacterial sprays / soaps and tissues.

If possible, increase your phone contact – in a period of isolation with limited social contact – conversation is much needed.

Whilst we will do our utmost to support with necessity shopping, we cannot guarantee staff availability to undertake weekly shopping and therefore request family members organise the shopping of food and other essential items.

When it is deemed necessary to instigate the aforementioned changes, you will be informed however we do expect this to be within the next few days.

As a team, we can reassure you that all staff members are briefed on the latest Government guidelines and know to alert a member of the management team immediately if they, or anyone in contact with a client, has a risk of infection. We urge you to do the same, in order that we can plan and manage our care accordingly. Carers continue to be well supplied in gloves, aprons and sanitisers. Carers continue to carry additional supplies of disinfectant wipes, tissues and antibacterial soap. Antibacterial soaps are now in most client properties for the use of clients, carers and families. Working together we will maximise safety for all.

You can also find further information by following the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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Fraudsters posing as Amazon in scam calls

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Automated calls impersonating Amazon are being reported across the country.

The system says the victim’s personal information has been used for an Amazon Prime subscription and they should ‘press one’ to cancel the purchase.

After pressing one, victims are transferred to a person posing as Amazon customer service who try to remotely access their computer to steal details.

Remember: never install any software as a result of a cold call, always question uninvited approaches and call the company directly.

Any unexpected call or email should be treated with caution. Hangup on any automated calls, and say no thanks to anyone else.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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Global initiative to use wearables detect Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s Research UK has launched an initiative to revolutionise the early detection of diseases like Alzheimer’s. The project will harness and analyse a wealth of digital data to develop signatures of disease – or “fingerprints” – that can be then detected using wearable technologies, such as smart watches.

The collaboration aims to raise up to £100m of investment by 2030 to build and trial its diagnostic device on a large scale. Bill Gates and Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation, are early investors.

Diseases like Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, start to develop in the brain up to two decades before symptoms of dementia begin to show. Researchers worldwide now agree that future treatments and preventions will have greatest benefit when given as early as possible in the disease.

Find out more on the Alzheimer Research UK website.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

elderly care

Concessionary GM travel now costs £10 per year to add tram and train.

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If you have a TfGM-issued pension-age concessionary pass or a Women’s Concessionary Travel pass, to continue to benefit from unlimited off-peak travel on trams and trains in Greater Manchester after 1 February 2020, you will need to pay an annual £10 fee.

There is no change to free, off-peak bus travel across England and, if you only use buses, you can choose not to pay to add tram and train.

The £10 charge does not apply to concessionary passes for disabled people.

The new scheme starts 1 February, but you can pay now, to make sure you’re ready. If you pay early, you will be covered for one year from 1 February 2020. After 1 February, you’ll be covered for a full year from the date you pay.

Visit the website to find out how to add tram and train to a pass: https://tfgm.com/tickets-and-passes/add-tram-and-train

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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Rapid response teams to help older people at home.

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The NHS is planning to relieve strain on hospitals by offering a visit within two hours.

New teams will include nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and social care staff.

The “urgent community response” teams will operate 365 days a year and will help older people and those with complex care needs try to avoid ending up in hospital.

The teams are a key element of the NHS’s plan to provide increasing amounts of care in people’s homes.

The NHS and councils in seven areas of England will start putting the teams together and hiring staff from April 2020, with at least three starting to offer the service before next winter. Cheshire is one of the 7 areas.

Age UK estimates that there are almost 500,000 older people in England who are living at home and have multiple health and care needs.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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The TV repeats help people with dementia

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TV repeats and familiar songs can help people with dementia by stimulating memories and keeping the brain active.

And while people with dementia might not remember the exact details of a film, they may recall how they felt at the end.

Experts say it is the emotional details of a favourite film or song that remain lodged in our minds.

Whether it’s an old song they used to enjoy or a classic film, reminiscing can be beneficial to someone with dementia – it can help to maintain their self-esteem, confidence and sense of self, as well as improve social interactions with others.

However, every person with dementia is different, so it’s important to listen and accommodate your loved one’s unique needs and wishes.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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NHS Trusts trialing video conferencing

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The chief information officer for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, is championing the use of technology to improve the patient journey and enrich the experience of their staff.

An IT strategy runs from 2018 to 2021, that is largely around the programme of work agreed with NHS Digital.

One pilot scheme is being tested with a care home in the region.

The reason for the pilot is that the hospital sees 180 patients a year that didn’t actually need to attend the hospital – with many of them coming from a care home setting.

The pilot means we providing a small plastic suitcase with a tablet computer and a small number of Bluetooth devices that allow the care home staff, under the guidance of clinical staff at the hospital, to check the patient’s temperature and blood pressure and feed that into a virtual triage of the patient.

They can then add other clinical parties to the conversation – including an on-call GP, mental health and social care staff, or other clinicians, in order to reach a decision about what the best course of action is for a particular patient.

Apart from offering a fast, more efficient service, it eliminates the need for some patients to go to hospital and generate a saving in excess of £150,000.

NHS Foundation Trusts should continue to innovate so they can generate a return on investment through better patient care, diagnoses, staff experience and an increase in efficiency.

Read more about the work being done here.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

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Care Agency in Gatley, Cheadle

Autumn is here

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The clocks have gone back and Autumn is well and truly here.

This is traditionally a busy time for Deckchair Care. Our care team has now grown to 18 and we welcome new clients in Cheadle, Wilmslow and Gatley.

If you are looking for some help – either for yourself or a loved one – take a look at our website and find out about our personal and companionship care service.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service

elderly care