Care worker Heather Mead found there was a lack of apps available to engage people with dementia – so set up her own business and created a dementia-friendly game. Here, she tells Care & Nursing Essentials editor Victoria Galligan about her story and explains how animated racing fish are helping to engage the residents she works with.
Heather works in a Bupa care home in Kent, having worked in care for seven years, and said: “The idea came to me on my first day working for the care home. It was having a demonstration of a sensory table mainly designed for children with special needs. The activity ladies and some carers were talking about gaming apps and how there are not that many designed specifically for the elderly or those with dementia that are easy to play.
Ben Kilbey, Business Development Manager at Spearhead Healthcare
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A care home operator has had his Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration cancelled following a rating of “inadequate” in a recent inspection.
The CQC took the action to cancel the registration of Mr Thurairatnam Nadarajah Prakash and he is now no longer legally allowed to provide care at his service Durham Care Homes in Hull.
The CQQ said in a statement: “The latest inspection, in February 2019, rated the service inadequate overall and it was placed into special measures. The inspection revealed a significant deterioration in the care being provided and inspectors began the process to take enforcement action.
ELDERLY residents have expressed their gratitude to two school pupils after a week working at their care home.
15-year-olds Hannah Pears and Molly Ratcliff supported staff and spent time with residents living at Pelton Grange Care Home, in Pelton, County Durham.
The pupils from North Durham Academy, in Stanley, provided support with the tea trolley and dining, general housekeeping and social activities.
Hannah said: “I had a great week. I had a lot of fun listening to the stories of the residents.”
Molly added: “I never thought about what it was like in a care home. It was nice to see the residents had so much choice.”
As the population ages, the demand for high quality carers rises. By 2026 it’s predicted that the UK will need around 420,000 more carers, but with the current vacancy rate high and the amount of those showing interest in the care sector diminishing, it’s important that technology is utilised in order to help fill the gaps and provide the best social care possible. Some countries are already embracing technologies in their infancy such as smart home devices and robotics in order to enhance their care levels. Japan, for example, has made care bots prominent in its Shin-tomi nursing home and has committed to funding the development of more devices.
The UK has been slower to adopt technology into its healthcare system but changes are starting to be made. For example, in 2017 Southend-on-Sea was the first council to employ a humanoid robot to assist older people with certain tasks. Is this just the start? Could the future see each elderly or vulnerable individual accompanied by humanoids? It’s clear we’re not there yet, but in the meantime what else could be done? Helen Dempster, Chief Visionary Officer, Karantis360, discusses how human and bot could soon work together to improve domiciliary care.
Christian Brøndum is the CEO of Planday, a start-up that provides workforce management software to businesses working across all sectors including both hospitality and care homes. Here, he tells Care & Nursing Essentials about how software can help deal with the challenges of retaining staff…
Recently, Carers UK announced the results of a report which found that over 600 people quit their job every day to prioritise caring for older and disabled relatives. Anyone working in the care sector will be familiar with the unique stresses of caring for an elderly or disabled person. Perhaps even more stressful is the fact that often, employers fail to provide the flexibility necessary for workers to keep their jobs whilst caring for their loved ones. Whether you work in the care sector or find yourself struggling to care for relatives whilst working, the need for flexibility is a pressing issue.
Twiddlemuffs and dolls have been donated to a North Yorkshire care home to help residents with dementia.
Volunteers from two separate groups knitted and donated the therapeutic items to Sycamore Hall Care Home, in Ripon.
The Ripon Cathedral group of the Mothers’ Union Diocese of Leeds dropped off around a dozen handmade twiddlemuffs at the home.
While the volunteer group Comfort Dolls and Twiddles for People With Dementia made a separate donation of twiddlemuffs and several comfort dolls.
RANDOM Act of Kindness Day saw care home staff and residents donating a trove of supplies for Teesside’s newborns.
Nappies, beanie hats, mittens, blankets, sleepsuits, nappy sacks and baby wipes were among the items collected at The Beeches Care Home, Green Lane, Stockton-on-Tees, following an appeal.
Staff, family members and residents were among those who donated.
The items were wrapped into gift parcels for new mums and their babies on the neonatal unit at University Hospital of North Tees.
A TEESSIDE care home transformed into a pizzeria for the day as residents baked their own Italian creations. National Pizza Day was celebrated by staff and residents at The Beeches Care Home, on Green Lane, Stockton-on-Tees.
Alwyn Behan, 86, Marian Knightly, 83, Jane Monaghan, 72, and Sylvia Smith, 77, were among those who created their own pizzas.
The residents chose their favourite toppings, including pepperoni, chicken, ham, and a variety of vegetables, before baking them in the oven.
Great Oaks in Bournemouth has appointed a soft food diet specialist to allow for a wide range of diet requirements to be catered for at the care home.
Patrick Fensterseifer, head chef at Great Oaks, specialises in the production of dysphagia meals which means he is able to cook dishes for residents who have difficulties with swallowing. Patrick is passionate about preparing meals that are flavoursome, nutritious, well-presented and meet the specific dietary requirements of every resident.
As a Dorset Healthcare NHS dysphagia practitioner, Patrick has a wealth of knowledge which has enabled him to lead the rest of catering team confidently and help expand their skills and understanding of the disorder. Patrick has more than 18 years’ experience as a head chef and has demonstrated to the rest of the team that it is still possible to be creative when catering for a resident who requires a soft food diet.
Residents at a care home in Plymouth say that regular visits from pupils of nearby St Budeaux Foundation School are ‘a breath of fresh air.’
The Year 4 pupils come to see their older friends at Freshfields care home as part of the Archie Project, a scheme that links local schools with people with dementia.
Freshfields’ activities co-ordinator Paul Hutt said: “This is the fourth year that St Budeaux children have been coming here and our residents just love their visits.
“They sit side by side and enjoy a whole different variety of activities when they come here.
“On their most recent visit they did seasonal arts and crafts activities.”
Staff at a Plymouth residential care home are celebrating after the service was given the Care Quality Commission’s highest rating following a recent inspection. After its previous CQC inspection in January 2016, Restormel House was given an overall rating of good. But following its latest inspection, in September this year, it has been upgraded to outstanding.
Carla Dearing, who has been manager of the service for four-and-a-halfyears, said: “I’m so pleased that the hard work, commitment and passion demonstrated by the staff here has been rewarded with the CQC’s highest rating.