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Where Has The Time Gone.

A guide to understanding the Elderly.

I don’t know about you but for me the older I get the quicker time flies, maybe it’s because as a child I had parents who looked after me, I had no cares or worries about food or money I went to school and did my daily jobs at home and spent my summer days sailing on the river.

My teenage years was more of a challenge but we all can look back now and identify just how much of a nightmare we were to our parents and teachers. Then we grow up into adults and form relationships, gain our independence and maybe started our own family.

Work, bills and responsibility follow as we become embedded in our lives and of those around us and our elderly parents are there watching us face life and remembering how they did all this, the circle of life as I once heard whilst watching the Lion King.

One thing which we may both notice but easily miss is the changes our elderly parents go through, they are our parents and we know hem and love them, but there are probably lots of things we don’t know about them like our children may not know about us.

I have had some really interesting chats with my parents and I have found out all sorts of things not just about them but other members of my extended family. My parents have turned into my friends and we chat about many subjects.

Do you know your parents? Time is running out and you may not have the chance to do this again.

Today (March 7th) is the anniversary of my mother passing away and I am so grateful for the time I had chatting to her, I do wish I could have spent more time with her. At her funeral there were stories shared about her life that I had never heard before, how much nicer it would have been if I had heard those stories from my beloved Mother.

Now I phone my Father every other day and make regular trips to see him.

I am still getting to know my Dad finding out new things and still learning from him, he is my inspiration and he is full of wisdom. Probably because he has been there and done it and has learnt the lessons himself.

I have the opportunity to tell my children about their grandparents and great-grandparents, here is a picture of my great, great, great, great Grandfather; I wouldn’t have known anything about him if it wasn’t for talking to my father and Uncle

relative

If your parents develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, then by knowing them more will be helpful for you in the remaining years or moths of their lives, If you have arranged for caregivers to look after your parents, this information can make so much difference to the lives of your parents.

There is a lot of guidance available online for the advice of keeping our elderly parents active such as hobbies and interest that they have done in the past and reintroducing them to these activities (if they are able) is very important especially after they have been diagnosed with an illness.

My Father who is in his 80s recently had the opportunity to do some archery with our extended family, most of whom did not know that my Father once enjoyed this activity and to everyone’s surprise he was the best shot of the day. He spoke about this activity many times after that event and I saw the joy it gave him.

Ways to Better Understand Your Elderly Parents

Below is a list of things you could ask your parents (remember to use open-ended questions)

Tell me some stories about the family you have never shared before?

Tell me about the worst job you had?

What did you know about your parents that may have surprised you?

Where have you travelled and where would you of liked to have travelled too?

What did you do as a child?

What was your biggest accomplishment?

What are your best memories and share a happy one?

What are you most proud of?

What fashion did you wear that your parents disapproved of?

What are some of your first memories?

What subjects did you enjoy at school?

Tell me about your first date with Mum/Dad?

How did you propose to Mum/Dad

What world events had the most impact on you?

Who did you look up to, your role model?

The more you know and understand about your parents the easier it will be to care for them and you will feel closer than ever to them. It will also help your caregiver in providing support, help and activities with them. There is no point in getting the knitting out if it’s something they have no interest in and I wouldn’t recommend you do archery in the house either.

One day you can share these stories with others.

Please share your stories with us on our Facebook page.

We here at Your Care and Support are bringing the heart back into care, please contact us if you have any questions about help for your elderly parents

Living with Dementia

Bee on flower

What’s it like living with dementia

People who live with dementia can go through many changes one of which is a visual misunderstanding or in other words their perception of every day things change. An example of this is a dark patterned floor could be seen as a hole and different colours can blend into one. These can cause people to become anxious, they can get distressed or restless.

At Your Care and Support, we aim to understand what dementia is and how we can meet the needs of people living with dementia. We look to ensure the wellbeing of each and every individual is achieved.

If you are living with someone who had dementia or you know someone then the following tips will help you approach this.

There can be some simple changes that can be made to make the environment more dementia friendly. This, in turn, will be a positive step and influence on a person who is living with dementia, it will help them with their independence and wellbeing. The aim is to create a calmness and reduce the restlessness or agitation.

 

The environment people live in can have a huge impact on people who are living with dementia. This can be done to make the environment being bright, clear and fresh, try to avoid dark bold patterns. Very busy patterns can cause a person who had dementia feel uncomfortable, they feel that they are anxious all the time. Contrasting colours and having bright themes with pictures that can bring up a conversation. Things like photographs or pictures of film stars they may have liked or may have seen. Pictures of the place they grew up or once lived.

 

Build a memory box with them, this is a box that contains pictures, photographs or ornaments, anything which will allow them to remember, something familiar, and something they can recognise and say this is mine. Something else that may help is having cupboards and draws and put items and pictures and memorabilia in them so they can open and look inside. Paint the door handles different colours as contrasting colours will catch their eye.

Look at the colours you use in the rooms and where possible stick with block colours and avoid heavy dark patterns as multiple colours can cause confusion. Put a sign or a picture on the bathroom door. Try to avoid or minimise shadows in the house

Try to have as much natural light as possible and avoid obstructing windows, it’s important for people with dementia to see into the garden so if you have room position a chair that looks directly outside and maybe put a bird feeder outside

raised garden

If finances allow investing in some specialist lighting will help as in the evenings a lot of people with dementia experience something called sundowning.

(Sundowning is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It’s also known as “late-day confusion.” If someone you care for has dementia, their confusion and agitation may get worse in the late afternoon and evening. www.healthline.com)

As the sun goes down, they can have an increase of agitation, by having specialist lighting this can help, a light sensor can be set up so if they swing their legs out of the bed at night a light in the room or in the bathroom will come on automatically.

Plenty of fresh air and a garden that can be used can benefit people who have dementia, try and design the garden that can be interactive where they can sit and touch plants, different themes, raised flower beds, an area they could plant in so they do not need to bend down, your local garden centre will be able to advise you on organising the garden and choosing appropriate plants.

Just because they have dementia it doesn’t mean that they need to give up certain activities, yes they may need supervision but the more active they are the better, encourage them to continue cooking, even if it’s only heating up some soup, making a sandwich or washing up after. Give them the opportunity to do what they have always done for as long as they can.

These are just some ideas that make the living environment better for people with dementia but remember everyone is different and are individuals and it’s important to understand what is important to them and make sure they have familiar objects around them, try to understand what agitates them or over stimulates them and if you do then you know what needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Remember to do what is right for the individual and if you need advice please contact us here at Your Care and Support.

 

How to communicate with someone who has Dementia

 

This is for anyone who has loved ones who are living with dementia

 

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You will be aware that communicating with someone with dementia can be a challenge and at times we may feel frustrated or inadequate. People living with dementia will have challenges they may feel angry or frustrated about what is happening to them, they may not be able to do the things they once enjoyed.

Just because they have dementia it doesn’t mean that they are a different person, they just need to do things differently, they shouldn’t stop doing the things they use to enjoy, they just need to do it in a different way, it’s important to focus on the things they can do and try not to let your loved ones become isolated. Yes, you have busy lives but your parents too had busy lives when you were children nd they made time for you.

 

I would like to provide you with some ideas and tips in helping you communicate better and in a meaningful way. One way you can do this is to try and see things from their perspective. Often people who have dementia will have their long term memory and those memories make sense to them.

I remember my mother didn’t recognise my father at times but when she saw a picture of him as a younger man a smile came across her face and I could tell she was tapping into her long-term memory.

They may start talking about going to work or think that they need to go and meet with someone, rather than mention that they are confused it will benefit them if you ask about their friend or what they did at work, this may encourage them to participate in a conversation.

Don’t correct them because reminding them that they don’t work there or the person has passed away and is no longer with us may be hard for them and could cause anxiety.

Other ways in which you can communicate are to introduce yourself when you meet them and to obtain their attention before making any physical contact, make good eye contact be reassuring and encouraging, reminisce with them and speak clearly and slowly, try not to say anything that may upset them by saying everything will be ok instead put yourself in their shoes and tell them that you understand why they may be feeling upset or anxious.

I hope these simple steps will help you better communicate and have a more enjoyable experience with your loved ones, remember it’s not about you or what you have been doing, it’s entering their world and joining them remembering the things of the past

How to help your loved ones who are suffering from Osteoarthritis

osteoarthritis, your care and support

6 Way to help people with Osteoarthritis stay safe

 

This can be a challenge for anyone who is caring for someone who has Osteoarthritis, but this is an important part of ensuring the well-being of your loved one’s quality of living.

“Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects your joints, causing pain and stiffness. It’s by far the most common form of joint disease, affecting people all over the world and at least 8 million people in the UK.”

Arthritis Research UK

This means that many adults will be looking after their parents with Osteoarthritis will be increasing and they themselves may not be in the best of health.

As well as affecting the joints in the feet, hip, knees, fingers, it can also affect the spine and limit the quality of life of those who suffer from this.

As someone one who has the opportunity to care for your loved ones, there are ways in which you can help your loved ones maintain their independence.

Here is a list of things you can do

One way is to encourage them to live a full life for as long as they can.

Be knowledgeable, some people may not want to question a doctor with your knowledge you will understand the condition a lot better and will be in the position to ask relevant questions and have a better understanding of treatments. You can do this by researching on line, reading appropriate books and talking to health professionals about how to live with Osteoarthritis.

You can make changes in the home. One of the biggest challenge people have is falling, when someone falls the results can be very serious if not fatal. The progression of Osteoarthritis can cause the muscles around the joints to become weak and stiffen up which can increase the risk of trips and falls. A fall at home will affect your loved one’s independence.

You can make your home a safer place by making some small but important changes.

 

1. Ensure good lighting in entrance halls and at the top and bottom of the stairs. Make sure light switches can be easily used and lamps can be easily switched on and off.

2. If finances are available have difficult light switches changed or moved and have motion sensor lights for when people get out of the bed or go to a bathroom at night. A torch nearby will always be useful.

3. Check the carpets and repair any loose fitting edges, remove any electric wires that can cause trips and rearrange low furniture like foot stools and coffee tables.

4. Adding hand rails in the bathroom around the toilet and in the shower/bath, ensure adequate hand rails on the stairs.

5. Look at the kitchen and maybe redesign where items are kept so that they are within easy reach, don’t give your loved ones a reason to stand on a chair to reach something that may be too high.

6. Remove loose rugs from entrance ways and near stairs, and provide good storage space for shoes to avoid trips.

By making their home safe will help them be independent for longer and reduce the risk of trips and falls.

Diet and exercise will also benefit your loved ones in face diet and exercise will benefit everyone (note to self) Promoting fitness and weight loss can help relieve the pressure on the joints. Exercise has been known to reduce stress and help people relax and improve their emotional well-being

Osteoarthritis Caregiving:

You may not be in a position to be with your loved ones all the time so to help with that it may be an idea to invest in an emergency response system. This allows the wearer to push a button to request help in an emergency. I remember my father falling in the garden and he was there for about 20 minutes before he found the strength to get himself up.

Be aware of your own health as caring for someone who has osteoarthritis can be stress full and can cause the carer depression and worry.

We here at Your Care and Support are here to help and advise you with all your care needs, you are not alone. Please call us for any help and advice and if you need someone to pop in to help your parents in the morning and evening this can be arranged.

Call us on 07584906053

A Day In The Life of Domiciliary Care

Your Care and Support

A Day In The Life of Domiciliary Care

As soon as you walk through the doors it’s that feeling of mystery…………….

Will it be a good day or will it be a manic day?

The first question is always – has anyone gone off sick, are we all covered for the day and how are the rotas looking for the rest of the week?

The wonderful thing about domiciliary care is that there are never two days the same. You never know who will phone or what they will be phoning about. It can be good, it can be bad but it is rarely indifferent.

We have our usual suspects who will ring in on a daily basis to have a chat and let us know that they are ok, sometimes numerous times during the day. We love chatting to them but sometimes it can be a bit much when they are ringing every 10 minutes but we still answer the phone with a spring in our step and a smile on our face.

We have the screamer calls where it doesn’t matter what you say to the person on the other end of the phone they are just intent on screaming their frustrations at you but again we remain polite and professional because even though their concern might not seem major to us it is obviously major to them.

Then there is the dilemma of what are we going to have for dinner………major decisions have to be made and this can take in excess of an hour on a really bad day. Lots of choices are thrown out there for consideration but the indecisiveness can be a problem – but it is something that cannot be rushed as the wrong choice of lunch can have a serious impact on the rest of the day. But you know that if the senior management are coming into the branch then your sugar fix will be covered as they always come in armed with bags of goodies which they are more than happy to share out and that is one of the reasons they are made very welcome on each visit.

We all love our jobs and yes it can be very trying at times but generally, there are more good times than bad. Being part of a team is what makes it much more enjoyable because when you are having a particularly bad day you know that your team are going to pull you back up and vice versa when they are having a bad day. We all know it’s not a nine to five job but being in a team that cares means that if you have to stay behind then its everyone that stays and we all leave together. We will usually all stay on a bit later having a chat and discussing what has gone on during the day (almost a chill out session but without the alcohol).

Then it’s time for all to go home and rest up for the following day – all except for one – that one person who has the on call. They take the phone and deal with the calls coming through out of office hours – still talking to those that just want a chat………roll on tomorrow

So my motto is “We deal with human beans, not tins of beans” Human beings – Your Care And Support Tins of beans – Tesco