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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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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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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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.

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Care homes: Consumer rights for residents and their families

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has produced a summary that sets out what people need to know when choosing or living in a care home, and where they can go for further advice on their consumer rights

Read the Document Here

“A report by healthcare specialists Laing & Buisson in 2013/14  – Care homes can cost an average of: £29k per year (£2.4k pm) for a residential care home, or. £39k per year (£3.25k pm) if nursing is required.”

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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Consumer law advice sets out obligations for care homes

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is providing advice so care homes understand their responsibilities under consumer law.

The advice is being published as part of ongoing consumer protection work into residential care homes and nursing homes for older people (over 65s).

It follows the CMA’s examination of the sector last year, which found that some residents are at risk of being treated unfairly and recommended urgent action to reform the sector.

The CMA has also published an open letter to care homes, reminding them of their responsibilities under consumer law and urging them to review the advice immediately. Care homes may need to make changes to their contract terms and business practices as a result.

Read more about the article 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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Healthcare Provider Transfers Care Contracts

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A major UK home care provider – is seeking to transfer or sell all its contracts to other providers.

Allied Healthcare was warned this month by the CQC about its financial sustainability. Some local authorities had already taken steps to find new providers.

Home care agencies provide services such as preparing meals, washing and giving medication.

The company said it had to re-evaluate its long-term business plan and was exploring the sale or transition of services to alternative providers, including the transfer of staff.

Allied Healthcare, councils, the regulator and the government are focused on making sure vital care will continue as normal for the more than 13,000 people, who get visits from the company’s staff.

Read more here

About Deckchair Care

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

Currently, we do not work with councils on a contractual basis because the fees that are available are well below what is needed to provide a sustainable level of care.

We pay our staff well above the minimum wage. The level of service we offer would not be possible  based on council funding alone.

However, we do work with private clients that receive council contributions to their care that they top up. We work closely with our colleagues in the council, social care and NHS departments to support clients that are referred to us.

Read more about our care service on our website here.

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Triple lock delivers £220 for pensioners

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Pensioners will enjoy a weekly increase in their pension from £164.35 to £168.60 next year (£220pa),

The state pension is expected to rise by 2.6pc from April next year, although this is below the 3pc increase enjoyed in 2017/18.

As inflation is currently below expectations at 2.4pc (September 2018), the increase is still more than the rising cost of living.

The state pension triple lock means it will rise every year by inflation, 2.5pc or average earnings – whichever is higher.

Read more about the pension increase here.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care is a care company helping to look after the elderly in Cheshire. Read more about our independent care service on our website here.

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Doctors Encouraged to Refer the Lonely to Social Activities

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The long term effects of loneliness have been linked to illnesses including heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

Instead of offering medication, doctors will be encouraged to use “social prescribing” to refer lonely patients to activities that could help tackle feelings of isolation.

Theresa May recently launched the first loneliness strategy saying social prescriptions would reduce demand on the NHS and improve patients’ quality of life.

Mrs May plans for the new approach to be in place by 2023.

In addition, extra funding (£1.8m) has been pledged to support community projects, such as community cafes, art spaces or gardens.

Age UK are on record stating that loneliness is a potential public health concern. More than 2 million people over 50 will be lonely by 2025-26, a 49% increase on the 1.36 million who were socially isolated in 2015-16, according to projections by the charity.

Additional announcements to combat loneliness include an employers pledge to tackle loneliness in the workplace. Additionally, postal workers are to be encouraged to check in with lonely people on their delivery rounds.

Read more about the announcements here.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care is a at-home care company helping to look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester. Read more about our independent care service on our website here.

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Elderly people needlessly admitted to hospital

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According to Age Uk analysis, almost 1,000 elderly people a day are being admitted to hospital needlessly amid a crisis in social care.

Reporting of NHS figures by the charity found that there were c341k avoidable admissions for people aged 65 and over during the year to April 2017.

1 in 10 have no children and 1 in 3 over-65s live alone. These figures are expected to rise as younger generations reach retirement age.

Those who do have loved ones to care for them rely on elderly relatives who may have health problems of their own.

Its report also highlights the problem of older people stuck in hospital and unable to go home. Bed blocking  puts even more strain on the healthcare system.

Care not being in place was the main reason there were delays for older people leaving hospital last year.

Read more about the report here.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are a domiciliary care company helping to look after the elderly. We enable people to live in comfort at home. Read more about our independent care service on our main website. www.deckchaircare.co.uk

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