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Man in care home beating the flu

Influenza (commonly known as the “flu”) season is in full swing. This usually brings a chorus of sniffs and sneezes as people across the UK battle through illness. While flu outbreaks come as no surprise as temperatures drop, it has been reported that cases are at their highest level on record, and that the current rate of flu is worse than at any point last winter. 
 
This year’s flu season has been challenging for the NHS, with reports of outbreaks across several hospitals, and other illnesses such as ‘coronavirus’ putting more pressure on resources. This also comes at a time when A&E waiting times are at their worst since records began in 2004.
 

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A pack of AYMES for treating Malnutrition in Community Care Settings

Malnutrition is a major clinical and public health problem in the UK. It’s estimated that over 3 million people are malnourished, with 93% living in the community and 1.3 million aged over 65 (1). 

A person is classified as malnourished if they meet a set of criteria which often includes a low Body Mass Index (BMI), significant and unintentional weight loss over a defined period of time, and/or reduced nutritional intake over a defined period of time (2). 

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Eyecare FAQ Infographic

If you are looking after elderly people in residential care, they may need assistance with mobility, self care, and medication, but is anyone helping them take care of their eyes? Older people are most at risk of eye disease, and those in residential care can easily miss out on the important routine sight test which checks on both the health of their eyes and their vision. Read on to find out how you can easily ensure your residents’ eyes are just as well looked after as their other needs. 
Max Halford FBDO is Clinical Lead at the Association of British Dispensing Opticians. He explains, “Eyes, like any part of the body, change as we get older but poor eyesight isn’t something we should accept. People will need to use their glasses more. They may seek better lighting for small print as they get older. However if you notice that a resident is struggling with reading or looking at the television it can be a sign that their vision has changed. If someone you care for has lost interest in reading for example, a visit to your local optician’s practice is recommended.” 

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Eating disorders in the elderly

Challenged to conjure the image of a person with an eating disorder, who are you going to picture?
Someone female perhaps? Skeletal? And, most likely…an adolescent or very young adult.
Of course, no-one can accuse you of being wrong with that assumption.
Indeed, eating disorders have an extremely high prevalence of onset among those of school-age, and slightly above.
But here’s where we’re in danger of being blinded by social perceptions and perceived ‘norms’.
In fact, eating disorders can – and do – affect those as young as six, and those well into their pensionable years.

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Borough Care residents visiting Wonderland Festival

Residents from Borough Care’s Meadway Court in Bramhall recently visited the Wonderland Festival at St Michael and All Angels Church. A multi-sensory interactive walk-through experience, based upon Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, the Wonderland Festival was a magical morning out for residents.
Meadway Court has excellent links with the local community and residents and staff regularly attend events at St Michael and All Angels Church.  Amanda Millett, Activity Lifestyle Facilitator at Meadway Court, says: “We had a fabulous morning at the Wonderland Festival.  We were all so impressed with the organisation and effort the volunteers put into this event to make it such a fascinating experience.”

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Older man holding a mobile phone - going digital

This a question we are often asked at Care Vision and more so in the social sare industry. It is seen as a scary prospect and someone said “It’s like driving without holding the steering wheel”.
In reality for us, it’s adjusting from using manual gears to automatic, saving you all the time and effort on the road that is social care.
Technology, media and the internet has been having a huge impact in our lives for decades now. But the sudden reliance on digital usage has brought much better and more advanced opportunities to business, marketing and general public awareness. 
NHSX’s Chief Digital Officer, Tara Donnelly, stresses “it’s the opportunity for digital tools and personalised care to collectively improve health care experience and outcomes as well as reducing pressure on the system and provide value for money”.

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Resident using care technology

Electronic systems are helping operators in the growing care homes sector to provide caring environments that are not only comfortable and friendly, but also safe, efficient and good business propositions.

Higher standards of living and medical advances are helping to increase life expectancy for many people and security-based technology is becoming an important factor in their later-years care. 

Secom, one of the UK’s top electronic security solutions providers, has a care technology offering that adds sector-specific systems to its overall portfolio for clients in the public and private sectors.

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Nerys Carpenter - Borough Care Home's new area manager

Borough Care has promoted Nerys Carpenter to the position of Area Manager.  Nerys was previously Home Manager of Borough Care’s Shepley House in Hazel Grove.  Borough Care is the largest not-for-profit provider of care for older people in Stockport and has eleven homes across the borough. 
As an Area Manager, Nerys will support Borough Care’s Home Managers in providing the best possible care and making sure services continually improve.  Ensuring the teams at Borough Care’s homes provide a safe, harmonious environment for residents, and support their physical and emotional wellbeing, will be a critical part of the job.  

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Group of people singing for people with dementia

The transformative power of singing for people with dementia was brought to the public’s attention in the recent BBC1 documentary, ‘Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure’. People living with dementia came together to form a choir and stage a triumphant performance at the Royal Concert Hall. Their experiences showed the power of music to improve the lives and wellbeing of people with dementia.   

Now, a new grant from the Alzheimer’s Society, will allow for further research to examine the effects of group singing on the quality of life of people recently diagnosed with dementia, and the relationship between them and their carer. It is the first randomised, controlled study to focus on how singing can support people who have been diagnosed with dementia in the last 12 months, and their carers.  
 

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Elderly women in social care

Nine in ten over 55 say UK Government needs to rethink social care for the older population

 Audley Group also found that eight in ten (82%) do not think the resources are in place to support a growing older population - a stark reminder of the worries facing those looking ahead to the future. The same proportion (82%) also believe the UK’s attitudes towards care of those in later life need to change.
 
The number of over 75s is predicted to double in the next 30 years1, giving new urgency to act now. Yet 88% of over 55s believe there isn’t the provisions in place to support this growing elderly population.

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Stevenage nursing home residents at a primary school for lunch

Stevenage nursing home residents visit primary school for lunch
School caterers, HCL alongside a primary school in Hertfordshire are piloting a new project that brings elderly people from local Care Homes into its school so that both the children and the elderly residents can share a fun, lunchtime together. 
Four Care Home residents along with two Carers of Roebuck Nursing Home in London Road, Stevenage visited Shephalbury Park Primary School in Burydale on Wednesday 11th December as part of a project that will continue to see monthly visits from senior citizens to the school.
The delighted children set up a special dining room for lunch with their special guests, to enjoy meals served by HCL, the leading school caterers in Hertfordshire. On the menu was Roast Chicken with Sage and Onion stuffing and Roast Potatoes with seasonal vegetables with Gravy and a reduced sugar dessert.

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Speaker at Care Sector Ball

The leading supporters for the care sector's biggest fundraising event have been confirmed for 2020. Specialist care provider, CareTech plc, and independent grant-making foundation, the CareTech Foundation, will once again be headline partners for the event. CareTech plc and the CareTech Foundation have supported the Ball as Headline Partners from the event’s inception.  Their combined support represents a £30,000 contribution to the Ball.
 
The Care Sector Fundraising Ball, which this year raised a staggering £200,000 for charities in the care sector, was first established in 2018. Since then, it has raised a total £345,000 for charities in the care sector. Organisers are confident that next year’s Ball will build on the success of previous years, and the beneficiaries for the 2020 event will be the Care Workers’ Charity and Alzheimer’s Society. 

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Bluebird Care team photograph

Bluebird Care, the UK’s largest homecare provider, has ranked 16th on the prestigious Elite Franchise Top 100 for 2020.

Elite Franchise is the definitive publication for the franchising sector, and each year, they produce a list of the top 100 UK franchises. The core criteria used to determine the rank of a franchise include; longevity, financial performance, network size, contribution to the industry and communities, support, innovation and future plans.

Bluebird Care was established in 2006 and their network is comprised of over 200 franchises. Each region has its own dedicated Business Development Manager and Quality Manager, as well as the network’s Franchise Support Centre. The Staff Guide App, created by Bluebird Care, also acts as a manual for franchises, offering in-app training and guidance.

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Harrogate Neighbours with emergency lifting chair

Harrogate Neighbours cut fall assistance times from 6 hours to 15 minutes thanks to emergency lifting chair.

Harrogate-based Yorkshire Care Equipment have supplied local charity, Harrogate Neighbours, with a Raizer emergency lifting chair.  The specialist lifting device is now regularly used by the team across their domiciliary care services and at The Cuttings, their extra care housing facility. Residents live independently in private apartments with a care team on-site 24/7 to provide assistance if needed.

In the past, the care team had struggled to safely help residents back up quickly. They didn’t have the appropriate equipment to allow a carer to lift someone back to their feet on their own. So, they had to rely on waiting for ambulance call outs.

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Young carer & resident - How To Help & Support Your Activity Coordinators

Calling All Care & Dementia Home Groups, Managers and Regional Support Teams: How To Help & Support Your Activity Coordinators by Gillian Hesketh of Happy Days Dementia Activities & Design

Imagine your favourite hobby or pastime. Consider the equipment you need it. Gym kit? Running shoes? Music Scores? Football boots? Books? Gardening gloves, trowel, spade? Tool box? Canvas, Paintbrushes? Where do you store it all?

On behalf of Activity Coordinators and Life Style Facilitators, I’d like to say to care home groups, managers and regional support teams simply this: ‘Please consider the provision of storage and preparation space for these enthusiastic and dedicated social care teams. During interior design visits to care and dementia homes, I have seen activity materials, games and jigsaws tumbling from bookcases, stacked high up, squashed into corners of tea rooms and stacked on the floor. Lack of space appears to be the culprit.

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