What are the early signs of dementia?

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850,000 people in the UK have dementia (according to the Alzheimer’s Society), with one in six aged over 80. Although there is no cure, early diagnosis can help ease the symptoms, which include behavioral changes and memory loss.

The symptoms can be divided into three main stages. It can take years to progress from mild to serious, and each person will develop them at a different rate.

The NHS state that the most common early symptoms are memory lapses including:

  • Forgetting place or object names
  • Forgetting recent conversations
  • Regular repetition or asking the same question several times
  • Poor judgement and finding it tough to make decisions
  • Forgetting events or whereabouts of household items
  • Becoming less flexible or resistant to trying new things

There may also be mood changes, increased anxiety or confusion.

As the disease develops from the early stage, memory deteriorates further, with names of loved ones harder to recall. Even recognising friends and family can become difficult.

For more details, go to alzheimers.org.uk

For more information about how we help people and relatives of those suffering from dementia, please see our main site: https://www.deckchaircare.co.uk

Is the Government Ignoring Dementia?

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Senior figures from Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dementia UK, and Alzheimer’s Scotland have urged the health secretary to put dementia “at the heart” of health plans for the next 10 years.

“We are deeply concerned that dementia has not been recognised in these top areas of focus,” the charities write, describing dementia as “the greatest health challenge of our time”.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Dementia takes a huge amount of resource for the NHS – one in four hospital beds are occupied by people with dementia, and the condition currently costs the UK economy more than cancer and heart disease combined. It’s imperative that our health system is able to respond to the challenges dementia poses today and in the future, and we must begin by placing dementia at the heart of its priorities.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We remain committed to making this the best country in the world for dementia care, support, research and awareness.

“NHS England is committed to offering support for patients diagnosed with dementia and over the last few years has seen the diagnosis rate increase from half, to more than two thirds of patients, enabling earlier care and support.

“We maintain a focus on diagnosis and support for people with dementia and their carers, as we develop the ten year plan.”

For more information about how we help people and families help care for dementia suffers, see our main website:

https://www.deckchaircare.co.uk

Encouraging the Elderly to Exercise

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Research shows it’s never too late to adopt and reap the health benefits from a more active lifestyle.

For example, older adults who are active will reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke to a similar level as younger people who are active.

If people have been inactive for a while, they can gradually build their activity to reach recommended levels.

Physical activity and exercise can help you stay healthy, energetic and independent.

Many adults aged 65 and over spend, on average, 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down. This inactivity comes at a high cost with higher rates of falls, obesity and heart disease.

As we get older, it becomes even more important to remain active if we want to stay healthy and maintain our independence.

There’s strong evidence that people who are active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia.

It is reccommended that people aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week, for example 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.

Examples of moderate activity include:

walking fast
playing doubles tennis
pushing a lawn mower
water aerobics
riding a bike on level ground or with few hills

Even if people aren’t very active there are ways to safely increase the heart rate and start benefiting from the health benefits.

The NHS has some great resources to encourage the elderly to exercise, find out more on their website here.

For help looking after the elderly and more about how Deckchair care can help, see our main website https://www.deckchaircare.co.uk

Take Part in the Largest Dementia Research Study Ever

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Playing this game can help research dementia.

Sea Hero Quest has been created to help research the disease, help diagnose dementia early and eventually find a treatment.

One of the first symptoms of dementia is loss of navigational skills, Sea Hero Quest has so far provided enough data to help create the world’s first benchmark for human spatial navigation.

3 million people have played the game so far, making it the largest dementia study in history.

Partners of the initiative include Alzheimer research, University College London and the University of East Anglia.

Find out more here: http://www.seaheroquest.com

For help looking after someone with dementia, see our main site : https://www.deckchaircare.co.uk

Potential Care worker shortage after Brexit

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According to a Department of Health report, there will be up to 28,000 fewer care workers in five years.

In a worse case scenario, the reduced service could mean people quiting jobs to care for relatives.

The report, a response to the call for evidence issued by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), says women in particular will be forced to take up the slack.

“Considering rising life expectancy, population structural changes (significant increases in those aged 85 and over) as well as increases in the number of people living with one or more long-term conditions, there are significant demand implications for the health and social care workforce,” it says.

“Unless we ensure such demand is met, there is a wider risk to labour market participation more generally, especially when considering increasing social care needs. If we fail to meet social care needs adequately we are likely to see a decrease in labour market participation levels, especially among women, as greater numbers undertake informal care.”

The report says there are already 90,000 vacancies in the sector.

Read the full article here.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/06/carer-shortage-after-brexit-will-force-women-to-quit-jobs

Deckchair care are a Cheshire-based care agency helping relatives look after loved ones. We currently have capacity to help in a number of areas and are always happy to talk to people wanting to move into the caring profession.

www.deckchaircare.co.uk

Helping the Elderly Avoid Hoax Calls

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Whilst at a clients house recently we answered a call from someone claiming to be from BT.

They said that our clients “IP address” had been hacked and that they needed to complete a security process so things could be rectified.

Obviously this is absolute nonsense, but when said convincingly could have even experienced IT professionals wondering how that could be possible and why anyone would do it.

The caller included all the usual techniques to persuade people into giving over personal information:

  1. Reputation – Calling from a wellknown brand – in this case it was BT.
  2. Worry – You are in danger of losing something (money / access to services).
  3. Urgency – act fast (usually in the next 20 minutes) to avoid a bad situation becoming worse.

Common hoax calls could be from Banks, internet/telecoms suppliers, utilities, insurers, tv licence, post office. In general any service that most people would be expected to have.

The caller usually won’t know who the supplier is, but they might just get lucky. BT supplying broadband sounds very credible if that is who actually provides the service. However, a Virgin customer will quickly expose the scam. Don’t confirm who the supplier is – this is valuable information and may be used in future attempts!

Identify Fake Hoax Calls

  1. Where are the calls from? Withheld numbers, out of area or international numbers in fact any number not recognised should be assumed to be a scammer. Don’t give out or confirm any information.
  2. Be alert if any asks you to complete a security process or requests any personal information.

What to do on a suspected a hoax call

Thank the caller for making you aware of the issue and say you will call them back, and hang up. Do not answer the phone again if they call back.

If worried that the call is be real, find the callers number via their website / letter head / phone book and call their customer services. DO NOT USE any number that you were given on a call.

Minimise the chances of receiving hoax calls

  1. Go ex-directory. This will reduce the chances of scammers getting hold of a phone number.
  2. Add your phone number to the TPS. This won’t stop scammers – who are happy to break the law – but it will reduce the number of general marketing calls. This makes hoax calls easier to recognise.
  3. Reject all withheld numbers. A phone line supplier may be able to do this for free, or there are phones that can filter potential hoax calls.

Help the elderly avoid becoming hoax call victims. Make them aware of what a hoax call looks like. What to do if they suspect they get one and how to minimise the chances of getting them in the first place.

 

Find out more about Deckchair Care and how we help the elderly with our at-home service.

Blame and Targets Stopping Better NHS and Social Care Communication

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A recent report by the CQC blames a lack of communication between care providers and the NHS for bed blocking.

Social care and healthcare providers were failing to properly work together, the regulator warned, with divisions “sharpened” by “defensive behaviours”, it concluded.

“The sustainability of the health service depends on a sustainable social care system”

Read the article here

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/02/targets-blame-culture-stop-older-people-getting-proper-care/

Find out more about how Deckchair Care uses technology to improve social care delivery and communication

Set up a National Care Service to protect our NHS

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Writing in the Guardian, Sonia Sodha’s article outlines how the NHS and Social care need to be joined up to save both.

“The founding principles of the health service must be extended to social care. Otherwise, the NHS will be run into the ground”

“.. the NHS embodies not just the principle that the affluent pay more than the poor through their taxes, but that the sick don’t pay more than the healthy”

“.. while it may be alive and well in the NHS, it’s glaringly absent from social care. If you’re unlucky enough to get cancer, you are covered by the NHS. Get dementia, however, and those with modest assets are on their own until they have spent much of their savings; even then, cuts to local authority budgets, out of which social care is paid, mean it’s increasingly hard to get state help.”

“We shouldn’t be expecting baby boomers to meet costs individually, but asking more affluent retirees to pay for the social care system through progressive taxation”

Read the full article here

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/04/nhs-social-care-health-service

Find out more about Deckchair Care and their at-home care services

Councils join demand for tax increases to fund social care services

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A survey carried out by the Local Government Association (LGA), has found that the vast majority of local authorities in England say taxation is the only viable solution to the funding crisis.

There have been growing concerns after another delay to government proposals on resolving the crisis and complaints that funding for care has been diverted to the NHS.

“Properly funding social care and prevention services not only helps councils with overstretched budgets to protect care services for the benefit of those requiring them, it also helps to prevent further crises in the NHS and saves the health service a fortune by keeping people safe and well in their own homes, reducing the number of hospital admissions.”

Read the full article here

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jul/01/tory-councils-call-tax-to-fund-social-care

 

For more information about private home care, please visit https://www.deckchaircare.co.uk

Homecare Software – Now Available For Care Agencies

Homecare Software

The easy to use Home Care Management Software that helps management, clients, relatives and carers all work together to provide the best possible care experience.

Since opening in 2017, the team at Deckchair Care have been working with an independent software developer to design a domiciliary care software package that manages scheduling, care planning, invoicing, communication, payroll, mileage and reporting.

Domiciliary Care Software

By replacing paperwork with an efficient online system, recording notes is quicker, simpler and less time-consuming. Everything previously recorded on paper can be replicated by the system. Including: medication records, visit notes, care plans and more.

Client Care plans are as flexible as a paper-based system, just much quicker to set up, change and manage. Care plans are made up of a schedule of appointments. Each appointment has an associated task list that needs to be carried out on attendance.

Home Care Scheduling Software

The main benefit of the software is that it allows client relatives access to the care notes. We find this builds trust and confidence and provides peace of mind.

“We have invested a lot of time in developing this software and the result is we save time and money and deliver a great service.”

The software is accessed via the internet so requires no downloads and works on every connected device. The core system has managed thousands of appointments so has everything needed to run a care agency.

Our domiciliary care software is especially useful for clients whose relatives live some distance away and want to keep up-to-date with the care being provided.

Care Agency Management Software

If you operate a Care Agency and would like to improve communication and speed up scheduling, then take a look at the software: www.homecare-software.net

 

Free to Try

You can now try the homecare-software.net system for free (for up to 10 clients). This is perfect for newer care agencies just setting up.

For more established care agencies, the software starts from only £250pm.

Visit Homecare-Software.net for more information.

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