The elderly and housebound can be especially prone to door to door fraudsters, particularly during the run up to Christmas. It is important that we all stay one step ahead of criminals looking to take advantage of vulnerable individuals.
Please do take time to watch the excellent video linked below which has been created by the Safer Neighbourhood Team of the Metropolitan Police, South Richmond.
People want health and social care support that works for them. See what these people are saying by viewing the latest piece of analysis published by Healthwatch on the 4th of September.
Confectionery giant Cadbury is helping to raise awareness of loneliness among old people with the brands latest on-pack activity that features an almost blank front face wrapper on Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bars. This is a great initiative that will hopefully make more people across the UK aware of this growing problem.
ITV News reports:
Age UK has highlighted the fact that hundreds of thousands of elderly people in Britain are struggling to cope with loneliness and are not having their care need met.
The charity has stated that there were more than a million older people who needed care but did not receive it from any source – whether that be from family, friends, neighbours, or their local council.
Age UK also goes on to say that for those people who did receive some sort of care or support, they were much less likely to be lonely. Their research has shown that loneliness not only has an adverse affect on quality of life, it can also make people more susceptible to illness.
PHC Home Care comment:
Modern day society appears to be far less caring and considerate of people’s needs – particularly when it comes to the elderly. Just a simple ‘hello’ over the garden fence or better still, time spent with an elderly relative or neighbour can make the world of a difference. It can also help highlight and bring to attention that person’s need for more dedicated care, whether from within the family, the local authority or specialist care provider.
A study carried out by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has found that elderly people have more calming positive emotions than their younger counterparts.
University study leader Rebecca Ready said: “Older adults report feeling more serenity than younger persons. They also have a richer concept of what it means to feel serene than younger persons.”
PHC Home Care comment:
We have always known that elderly people can bring balance and the benefit of life experience to younger generations. This study highlights yet another positive aspect of growing old that should be welcomed and learnt from by people of all ages.
According to a report published by the Kings Fund and the Nuffield Trust, the care and support that elderly people receive is increasingly dependent on where they live and how much money they have, rather than their specific care needs.
Ruth Thorlby, Deputy Director of Policy at the Nuffield Trust said:
“No one can predict whether they will have care needs later in life. But if they do find they need help with the basics – eating, washing, going to the toilet – most will discover that unlike a health problem where care is free, they somehow have to manage themselves.
“Our research found that local authorities have done their best to make savings while protecting funding for the poorest, but care providers are struggling on the low fees councils can afford. Shortages of home care staff and affordable care home places mean older people are often stuck in hospital, putting both their lives and vital NHS processes on hold.
“The number of older people needing care is increasing and yet we are continuing to put less money in. Unmet need is rising, providers are threatening to pull out of contracts, the wellbeing of carers is deteriorating, access to care is getting worse. A Government that wants to create ‘a country which works for everyone’ should not tolerate the oldest and most vulnerable falling into a social care system riddled with holes.”
PHC Home Care comment:
It is imperative that affordable care is made available to all those that need it. This latest report has further highlighted the seriousness of the issues facing the health service and in particular the care industry both now and in the future. Hopefully our government will have taken note and will be addressing the problem in this year’s autumn statement.
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Richard was only 55 when Martha started to notice the first signs of memory loss.
At first, it was the little things like locking the door and remembering to have lunch. Then it got worse. His thinking started to become muddled and his writing became illegible.
Within 18 months, Richard was diagnosed with dementia. His decline was rapid and heart-breakingly cruel. He became doubly incontinent, lost the ability to walk and before long, also the ability to speak. Within months, Martha and Richard were compelled to move into sheltered accommodation as Martha could no longer cope with caring for her husband and manage their large family home. Moving into smaller sheltered accommodation enabled Martha, with the help of carers, to cope better. And that’s when the nightmare began.
I have worked in the area of social and health care for nearly thirty years, and the one thing I know is that when someone you love loses their health and needs long-term personal care, finding the right kind of care and the best people to deliver it, is crucial. Sadly, this was not Martha’s experience.
Richard’s Alzheimer’s had left him virtually speechless, barely able to move, and periodically suffering from seizures. What he needed was a small team of experienced dedicated carers…
What he got was a succession of strangers to attend to his most intimate needs; a staggering seventy, in all. Like many people with dementia, Richard was fearful of strangers and this succession of unfamiliar faces only served to distress him. To top it all, their lack of compassion and sympathy for someone they barely had a relationship with made the whole experience traumatic for him. This practice of providing disjointed, impersonal, ‘tick-box’ care is all too common in the social care industry. It’s one of the reasons why we, at PHC Home Care make it our business to ensure that our clients are looked after by a team of dedicated carers who are both compassionate and sympathetic to the needs of those that we provide care for.
I have always believed and still believe that dignity is the right of everyone, in particular the most vulnerable, especially when care really matters.