New Technology to help people with dementia.

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Technology is increasingly being used to help people live for as long as possible in their own home.

The expanding tech research programme aims to improve care for the increasing numbers of people living with dementia.

Recent Tech Developments

  • The Care Research and Technology Centre lauched.
  • A project to use self-driving car tech (Lidar) to help look after people at home.
  • A smartphone app to remind people with dementia how to carry out everyday tasks.
  • An experiment to personalise live radio.

The aim is that sensors around the house or on the body to track signals such as heartbeat, blood pressure and body temperature, gait, brain activity and sleep.

Using AI (artificial intelligence) this information can alert familiy or carers of any risks or changes. For example illness or fall risk. Catching illness early can avoid hospital stays.

Memory and cognitive function are also being researched and monitored. This can then be used to intervene early to assist them if they are showing signs of being agitated.

Dementia also causes problems with sleep. Motion sensors in beds and sheets can track problems. Sensors can also alert if a cooker is left on or if there is liquid on the floor.

Light detection and ranging – Lidar – uses safe low-power laser pulses to build up a three-dimensional scan of objects and people moving around a room. This information can be used to spot deviations in diet, toilet habits, sleep or mobility. It could also activate an alarm if there is an emergency, such as a fall.

Sensors in the home can be better because people with dementia either forget to wear them, or just don’t want to. It also avoids privacy concerns that cameras present.

Monitoring consumption of electricity and water can alert carers if there is an unusual deviation from the normal pattern.

The Alzheimer’s Society is looking for new ways to improve the lives of people with dementia. It helps start-ups with funding from its crowdsourcing programme.

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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More Care Cuts in a Failing System

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Some councils are warning that further cuts to care services will be needed in the coming year.

Local authorities plan to spend £22.5bn in 2019-20 on services for older people and younger adults with disabilities. Up £400m on 2018. However increasing demand and inflation means that this is not enough (according to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services).

The government – now nearly two years behind schedule – has said it would be looking to publish plans to overhaul the system “at the earliest opportunity”.

Councils have had to make £7bn of cuts to care budgets since 2010 and it is predicted that there needs to be another £700m of savings in the coming year.

This means even more focus on those with the highest needs to make ends meet.

There is a desperate lack of money in the system and over a third of the anticipated spend for 2019-20 would come from charges to the public and separate one-off grants.

In England, 30% of older people get little or no help. 38% get help from family and friends, while 21% get council help and 12% pay for help.

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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The Deckchair Team

Home Care Agency

We try to meet up regularly as a team, although it’s hard to get the whole team together at the same time because someone is always working!

Here is a picture of some of the team having a coffee in Costa in Gatley.

Some of the The Deckchair Care Team

If you’d like to find out more about how we help the elderly live comfortably at home, please get in-touch.

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

Talking with Someone with Dementia

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It can be difficult for people without dementia to engage with people that have. People living with dementia can find it hard to communicate.

It’s important that the environment you talk in is conducive to a good chat. Try to minimise background noise as people with dementia can become easily distracted.

Try to establish eye contact and be on the same level as the person you are talking to. This will help them pick up on visual cues about the conversation. People with dementia won’t move or talk at the same pace as you, so take you time and speak slowly and clearly.

People with dementia can often remember feelings but not what has caused them. An effective way to start a conversation with someone living with dementia is to really look at their mood and comment on it, for example ‘You look happy today’ or ‘You seem worried today.’

Keep sentences short to make it easier for a person with dementia to follow you. Think of a subject meaningful to you both. Be a good listener and give them time to think and respond. For those with short term memory loss it is easy to forget the beginning of a conversation.

Having a visual aids can really help people with dementia stay focused. Pictures and objects will help. For example have the medication with you if that is what you need to talk about. If it is about a family member, have a picture of that family member with you.

There are lots of online resources to help start conversations or just help the dementia suffer relax and reminisce. For example: https://www.deckchaircare.co.uk/blog/music-website-help-dementia-suffers/

For those living with dementia, their long-term memories will be precious and often still vivid to them.

Work, childhood, music or food are all great topics of conversation.

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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New type of dementia identified

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Dementia is not a single disease, but is the name for a group of symptoms that include problems with memory and thinking.

According to new research published in the journal, Brain, some elderly people have a form of dementia that has been misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s.

Limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, or Late, shares similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s, but it is a distinct disease. Unlike Alzheimer’s, it is thought that it tends to cause a more gradual decline in memory.

It may partly explain why finding a dementia cure has failed so far.

There are lots of different types of dementia and Alzheimer’s is said to be the most common and most researched.

Scientists have been striving to find a cure for dementia, but with so many different types and causes of the disease, the goal has proved difficult.

Having a better understanding of Late might lead to the discovery of new treatments, say the researchers.

Read more about these latest findings 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

Yet Another Idea to Fund Social Care

Funding social care

The Centre for Policy Studies proposes a system in which everyone receives a state-funded weekly care payment.

This would be part funded by wealthier homeowners being asked to make a voluntary payment of up to £30,000 for their care needs in old age.

Those able to downsize or release equity from their homes would also be encouraged to contribute more to plug the current funding gap.

But critics say it would not be enough to address the £7bn shortfall.

As with every idea to fix the social care funding gap, the opposition has taken the political high ground and called on the government to reject the plan, which would “punish older people with a tax on getting old”.

At the moment, everyone with more than £23,250 has to pay for support. Below that threshold, they contribute to the cost – with the amount paid based on means-testing of both savings and income.

Previous Attempts

Attempts by successive governments to reform provision in England have foundered amid political disagreements and concerns over the financial costs involved.

The Conservatives dropped plans in 2017 to make people receiving care at home liable for the full cost if they were worth at least £100,000 following a political outcry.

Theresa May was accused of trying to introduce a “dementia tax” by charities and pensioner groups who said people would no longer be able to pass their homes down to their children if property values were taken into account when calculating care costs.

A previous idea has been to cap a individuals’ lifetime care costs (£50k then increased to £72k), although the Tories dropped the idea in 2017

Another scheme was to be take into account the value of an individual’s home when assessing both domestic and residential care costs. The PM quickly did a u-turn, saying costs would be capped – then the plans were – as usual – shelved after the snap election.

Labour have also struggled to get cross party support. They proposed charging a 10% levy on the estates of deceased people to pay for care costs. Amid a political backlash, the plans were dropped.

Is there an Answer?

Longer-term, everyone agrees that a radical overhaul is needed, bringing in a Universal Care payment each week for everyone regardless of their wealth. This would be similar to the state pension allowance and be paid for out of taxes.

The trouble is, increasing taxes isn’t exactly a vote winner.

Read more about the latest proposals 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

Our New Ad !

We have just received our new video ad.

This version doesn’t have any sound as it is going to be played in local shops around the area.

Let us know if you see it being played !

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Deckchair CQC Report – March 2019

Deckchair care CQC

In celebration of our recent CQC inspection. We would like to share some of our heartwarming feedback!

“ I have always found Deckchair Care efficient, caring, responsive to any request and very well organised”

“The carers are wonderful, there is always someone at the end of the phone and all of them will do anything to help you.”

“All the carers know what they’re doing, they are wonderful”

“I can’t speak highly enough of the staff and managers, I am totally reassured of their competence, I’m very happy with the service”

“The care staff are fabulous, so caring and wonderful and happily do anything I ask of them”

“ I really can’t fault them both individually and collectively, they are so caring”

There was a positive culture where staff and management took pride in the care and support that they provided.

“The management team are wonderful, they are accessible and sort out any issues immediately. They run a very reliable service.”

This is just a few of the findings,but they illustrate the feeling of the report.

We’re so happy and proud of our Deckchair Family!

You can see 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.

elderly care

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.

elderly care

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6 Ways A Smart Speaker Can Help Elderly Parents.

Care agency service

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.

elderly care