YET AGAIN we ask the question – who’s caring for the carer’s

After yesterday’s media coverage on the challenges facing carers I felt compelled to re-post this blog from last year. The numbers of unpaid carers dedicating their lives to supporting loved ones has risen from 6.5 million to an estimated 8 MILLION. The situation is getting worse not better. This cannot be right in a so-called civilised society. Trust me when I say that we will never give up supporting the carers who rely on us. xxx

Source: Who’s Caring For The Carer’s

Who’s Caring For The Carers

When talking about the future of adult care we must include “caring for the carer” – They need help & support too.

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It’s estimated that unpaid carers save the state £119bn a year. Imagine if this bill was transferred to the government to pay? However, that’s exactly the risk we’re taking as we ignore the stress created when providing full time care for a loved one. Without the necessary breaks it starts to affect the carer’s physical and mental wellbeing.

When talking to carers I often hear “I’ve reached breaking point”  ” I can’t cope anymore”  “Please help” “I don’t know which way to turn”. These cries for help are echoed throughout the land as support networks for carers diminish – some vanishing forever.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s some excellent people out there providing amazing support for carers – but there’s not enough to make the long-lasting, meaningful difference to their lives.

Full time caring is one of the most challenging roles anyone can fulfil in life. It’s 24/7 and “full-on” most of the time…

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An Imperfect Storm Brewing In Elderly Care

When your day job is bringing a little sunshine into the lives of elderly people, this weeks headlines about the crisis in adult care come as no surprise. Here’s a blog that I wrote back in Feb highlighting the challenges – and most importantly a way forward.

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A storm is brewing in the world of social care for the elderly. If there was a ” Social Care Richter Scale” it would be categorised as a “Hurricane”.  We need to get our ageing population out of it’s path before the consequences  are the most devastating ever seen in the world of elderly care.

The storm itself has been bubbling away for some time but it’s now gathering strength as a result of these prevailing conditions;

  • Ageing population
  • Increase in complex chronic illness
  • Reduction in local authority budgets
  • NHS stretched to breaking point
  • 25% of hospital beds occupied by people with dementia
  • Burden of care being left on the shoulders of loved ones
  • Demoralised social care workers
  • Lack of person-centred care services
It’s not too late to avert the disaster but we need to act quickly, think differently and focus our resources on primary, person-centred care for the elderly and their loved ones. If we continue to deliver elderly care…

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Combined Care Plans For Our Golden Generation

On a day when the news headlines are about the crisis in adult care, I’ve decided to re-post my blog about Combined Care Plans (CCP’s).
Whilst the current situation looks bleak for adult social care, there are many ways it can be improved.
Let’s have the open, honest discussion about the future of adult care and look to embrace the innovative, person-centred services already out there that already improving lives.

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As a caregiver I get an intimate insight into the challenges facing our ageing population. Each day I witness heroic gestures of love and support between couples who have spent a lifetime together.

As they continue to enjoy their golden years together they often need additional support to help them through illness, frailty and bereavement. It’s a genuine pleasure to be able to step in and help out, knowing your kindness and support is truly appreciated.

However, there’s a huge number of elderly people out there not getting the support they desperately need. The reasons are numerous but the answer is surprisingly straight forward.

Combined Care Plans (CCP’s) that includes health, social and respite care for elderly people and their families has got to be the way forward. Taking this holistic approach means that you can tailor the support to meet the needs of everyone requiring help.

If you take an example of an elderly lady living with…

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Dementia Scrambles Communication

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We often talk about the importance of communicating clearly and effectively if we want to get our point across. Imagine trying to do this when your brain won’t let you. You know what you want to say but the words come out in scrambled, broken sentences.

That’s exactly what dementia does to the brain. The severity of communication problems varies from person to person. It presents real challenges for loved ones, carers and the dementia sufferer as they struggle to decode the scrambled messages.

That’s why the best thing you can do is be a GOOD LISTENER and get to know the “codewords” that let you decipher the messages. Your communication will have to be adapted to ensure you relay messages in a way that are clearly understood.

You will need to think about TONE, SPEED, CONTENT, CLARITY, VOLUME and your facial expressions and body language.

Again, the communication style needs to be tailored to meet the needs of the person.

Believe me it’s not easy – but when you get it right it can “spark” people with dementia back to life. It takes time, tremendous patience and understanding.

Here’s some tips to help you communicate effectively with people living with dementia.

  • If the person finds verbal communication difficult, speak slightly more slowly and use simple words and sentences. Be more aware of the tone you adopt.
  • A person with dementia may use their behaviour and body language to communicate, such as gestures, eye contact and facial expressions. Carers’ non-verbal communication is also important, and the person with dementia can notice or pick up on expressions and gestures.
  • Try to maintain eye contact. This will help the person focus on you.
  • Try to avoid sudden movements and tense facial expressions, as these may cause upset or distress.
  • Try not to stand too close or stand over someone when communicating – it may make them feel intimidated.
  • Make sure the person is included in conversations. Try not to speak on their behalf, complete sentences for them or allow others to exclude them.
  • Listen to the person. Give them plenty of time, remove distractions like background noise and try to work out the meaning they are trying to convey. The message may be about feelings, not just facts.
  • Avoid asking too many direct questions. Consider giving the person options or asking questions with a yes or no answer.

I hope this article has encouraged you to think about your communication style. When you get it right, it can make the world of difference to people’s lives..

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