Rise in Fraudsters Making Fake HMRC Calls

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Victims of phone scams can often be older or more vulnerable.

An increasing number of scammers are using landline phone calls to con people out of money.

HM Revenue and Customs said it received 60,000 reports of phone scams in the six months to January 2019 – up 360% compared with the previous six months.

The best advice is always be suspicious of cold calls. End the call and contact the company or government department separately using a phone number taken from a piece of official correspondence or their website.

Helping the Elderly Avoid Hoax Calls

HMRC said criminals were turning to more traditional scams such as cold calling publicly available phone numbers such as landlines.

It said it had worked with Ofcom to shut down nearly 450 lines being used by scammers in the past year.

Very often fraudsters threatens legal action, to put people in jail, or ask for payment using vouchers.

Simply hang-up and report it to HMRC who can work to take them off the network.

HMRC said it would only ever call and ask for a payment if that person was already aware of. Simply hang up and call back using a number from a correspondence.

In summary, don’t assume people are who they say they are.

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 on our website here.

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6 Ways A Smart Speaker Can Help Elderly Parents.

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Don’t write off the idea of getting a smart speaker for the elderly, just because they traditionally shun new technology, or struggle with the latest devices.

Google Home or Amazon aren’t just for the millennials or generation X. Because they are easy to set up and use, they are a great addition to anyone’s home, including elderly parent’s.

Hands-free voice activated.

Smart speakers have a great interface – straightforward, natural voice commands.

What’s better is that you only need your voice to activate a smart speaker features. This is especially helpful for anyone with mobility issues, vision loss, or reduced dexterity.

Once the speaker is set up, anyone can ask it to set timers and alarms, play music, add items to a to-do list and much more.

Search the internet without a screen

For the elderly who haven’t yet interacted with the internet through a tablet, computer or smart phone, a smart speakers provides an easy entry.

There’s no fuss struggling with an app on a mobile device. Anyone, young or old, can use a smart speaker to hear the latest news, get weather updates and sports scores, search the web for anything and even buy things.

Stay connected

Google home is especially good at keeping the elderly connected. Although it cannot call 999 during an emergency, it can call any other UK phone number. In the event that they need help but cannot get to the phone, this can be really useful, they can just say “OK GOOGLE, CALL JANNET”.

Even if the situation isn’t an emergency, smart speakers also work as a great speaker phone to chat with family and friends.

Home Automation

A smart speaker can be the control centre for a growing array of home devices, from turning on the lights to controlling the heating. With a smart speaker and a power socket or smart lighblub, people will be able to speak a simple command, like “OK Google, turn off the lights” to control their lamps hands-free.

A personal assistant

Most smart speakers have assistants to promt reminders and important information.

For example, “OK Google, remember that Deckchair Care are coming tomorrow at 9am” (Deckchair can even send these reminders to anyones personal assistant! Other reminders might be for medication or birthdays.

Entertainment

A smart speaker is a great device for staying entertained.

First, there are hundreds games you can play with your voice to engage the mind. There are classic options like Blackjack and Tic Tac Toe, and even popular real-world games like Jeopardy.

For the elderly struggling with vision loss, audio books can be purchased and then streamed through the speaker.

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 on our website here.

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£3m Social Care Recruitment Scheme

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Charities and care groups have said that the “long overdue” recruitment drive would not be enough without fundamental changes to improve working conditions.

650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 to look after rising numbers of older patients, ministers said.

Care experts pointed out that around 400,000 social care workers leave the sector every year – a turnover rate of 30.7 per cent, twice the national average.

As of February 2018, the average hourly rate for care workers in the private sector is £7.82 per hour, a penny less than the national minimum wage for over 25s. (Deckchair Care pay £10ph and guarantee a salary – no zero hour contracts – unless people want). See our care agency jobs page.

Industry low wages are the biggest barrier to hiring and holding on to staff for 80 per cent of care agencies.

While the government promised social care reforms back in 2017, a pledged green paper has been delayed multiple times and still has not got a publication date. Meanwhile staff leave to work in better paid NHS roles or quit altogether.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our green paper, published shortly, will look at long term sustainable solutions for the adult social care system including how we can recruit and retain a valued workforce.

“In the meantime there is huge demand for more care professionals and we need to spread the word that careers in adult social care can be hugely rewarding, varied and worthwhile.”

Read more about this topic in the Independent 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 on our website here.

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Local Paper Shutdowns Leading to Elderly Isolation

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The absence of printed local newspapers has left many older people cut off from finding out what was going on in their local areas.

Many local papers have recently stopped printing, cutting an important thread holding the local community together.

The Elderly often have no idea what’s going on with thieir hospital, council and schools are doing.

Many papers moving online assumes that everyone has access to the internet. But often this isn’t the case. Also, it’s not just older people, because there are a lot of people who don’t have access to a computer or the internet.

Many have phones, but some can’t afford the data package or they might only look at it now and then.”

A quarter of local and regional papers have closed in the past decade

Charities for the elderly have warned that older people can be particularly affected by the loss of local services, such as High Street shops, post offices, libraries and pubs.

Read more about the article on the BBC 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 on our website here.

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UK Attitudes towards Dementia – Alzheimer Research UK

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Half of UK adults cannot identify any key risk factors for dementia, according to a study by Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The report, based on a survey of 2,361 adults across the UK, has revealed that more than half of the UK population (52%) has been affected by dementia, with a family member or someone else close to them diagnosed with the condition.

It also found that only 1% were able to name the seven known risk or protective factors for dementia.

The six risk factors are heavy drinking, genetics, smoking, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes.

Physical exercise is a protective factor against the disease.

Although a third of cases of dementia are thought to be influenced by factors within our control, only 34% of people surveyed believe it is possible to reduce the risk of dementia, compared with 77% for heart disease and 81% for diabetes.

Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said that despite growing dementia awareness, there was still a lot of misinformation.

“It is a sad truth that more people are affected by dementia than ever before and half of us now know someone with the condition,” she said.

“Yet despite growing dementia awareness, we must work harder to improve understanding of the diseases that cause it.”

The charity said reducing the number of people who believe that dementia is an inevitable part of ageing is “key”, as “this belief drives other negative attitudes towards dementia”.

Read more about the report here

The full report with some great stats can be found 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 on our website here.

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Workers leaving full-time employment to look after relatives

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Carers UK says nearly 500,000 workers have left full-time work to look after older and disabled relatives in the last two years.

Campaigners have warned that >600 people a day are forced to quit their jobs to care for relatives; and more than three million people in the UK juggle paid work and caring for relatives.

More than 3m people combine care and work, but many are having to give up paid work altogether due to the pressure.

Carers UK says 15% of the population is now working and caring

Campaigners are now calling for the government to introduce a right of five to 10 days of paid care leave, which could save the UK economy billions of pounds each year.

Uplanned absences due to needing to care for relatives costs British companies up to £4.8bn per year.

Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, says there is a “growing need” for employers to be more flexible.

She said: “With 15% of the population now working and caring, there is a real social and economic imperative for UK businesses to adopt carer friendly workplaces.”

Read the full report 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 on our website here.

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Whiteboard Idea Helping Dementia Sufferers

Dementia whiteboard

Talking to the BBC, Dr Philip Grimmer says he was “struck” by the whiteboard and had not seen anything like it before

Words of reassurance written on a whiteboard by a daughter to her mother have led to a global conversation about dementia.

What is dementia?

Dementia is a syndrome – a group of related symptoms – associated with an ongoing decline of brain function. It can affect memory, thinking skills and other mental abilities.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia.

Dr Grimmer says the daughter explained that the board aims to reduce “anxious phone calls” made by her mother to relatives, and has been placed in her eye-line at her home in Chippenham.

Dr Grimmer told the BBC: “I’d not seen anything like it before in thousands of house visits. It’s caring, reassuring and sensible – it’s just such a simple idea.”

Read the full article on the BBC here.

Dr Grimmer is now looking forward to sharing the responses he has received from his tweet to his patient’s daughter.

He said: “Dementia is such a heartbreaking subject for so many people and this simple solution to support often elderly relatives has resonated with so many people around the world.

If you are in the UK and need support regarding dementia there are a variety of options on the NHS 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 on our website here.

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Age UK Warns Government Over Brexit

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Age UK are urging the Government to act to keep EU care staff coming to work in the UK.

The government has already agreed exemptions for the agriculture sector to allow the continued supply of farm labourers into the UK from the continent – Age UK is insisting similar measures are introduced to the care industry.

EU nationals currently make up 104,000 of those working in care in the UK, and that number is rising.

Caroline Abrahams, the charity’s director, said: “The government has granted a partial exemption from the new rules for fruit pickers and Age UK believes it should remove care workers from this proposed post-Brexit regime altogether.

Under a new rule recommended by the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee, carers would be considered ‘low skilled EU workers’ and would not get preferential access to the UK labour market after we leave the EU.

Age UK has written to home secretary Sajid Javid saying EU carers must be exempt from proposed new rules that say low-skilled EU workers should no longer have preferential access to the UK.

Read more about Age Uks campaign 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 on our website here.

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Sandwich Carers

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The social care system is under extreme pressure, so additional stress is being placed on families who are trying to juggle children, work and older relatives.

A report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says more than a quarter of such “sandwich carers” are suffering from depression or stress.

“Sandwich carers” look after their elderly parents and their children.

Researchers say there are 1.3 million people in the UK with such multi-generational caring responsibilities.

People falling into this category are often in their 40s and 50s. This is a result of longer life expectancy and women tending to have children later in life.

The majority of carers in this “sandwich generation” are women – and almost half of these women feel that they cannot work as many hours as they would like.

Read more detail about the sandwich generation on the bbc website here.

About Deckchair Care

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

Read more about our care service on our website here.

elderly care

Virtual Cycling System Helping Dementia Patients

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Residents in a Liverpool care home have been trialling an exercise bike connected to a virtual reality screen to go on virtual bike rides across the world.

The system from Norway enables dementia patients to feel a sense of independence.

It’s also obviously great exercise, so helps with general wellbeing. There is also some evidence that exercise slows down cognitive decline.

Residents in a Liverpool care home have been trying the system out. Watch the video below.

 

See the original article on the BBC website 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 on our website here.

elderly care