Blog

Do you love gardening? If you do enjoy spending time gardening then you’re in luck, because it is possible to avoid or at least reduce many of the symptoms of physical and cognitive decline that are associated with aging, simply by continuing to do something you already know and love! STAY IN SHAPE Gardening is a wonderful form of exercise and despite the fact that it may not be an obvious way to stay in shape and look after yourself, it is actually an effective option. Whilst planting, weeding, digging and pruning, gardeners are stretching, bending and exercising without even realising they are doing it! STIMULATE THE SENSES On top of the obvious benefits to physical health, being outside in a natural environment provides a wealth…

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At present in the UK, drivers are required to reapply for their driving licence when they reach the age of 70 and then every three years they must do the same. But this process does not involve being ‘tested’ and the responsibility for declaring yourself unfit for being behind the wheel, ultimately lies with the individual. The trouble is, that whilst lots of elderly people will willingly hand over their car keys and hang up their driving hat when they realise they are no longer safe on the road,  lots of others are not quite so willing to give up this precious independence… For many elderly people who have been driving for decades, the thought of giving up their car and licence is simply unimaginable. The…

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When an elderly person begins to suffer the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, they are often unaware of the changes they are experiencing, so it is often the people around them who initially recognise the changes and subsequently play a fundamental role in the detection of the disease. Early Detection Early diagnosis will give medication the best chance of success because it is most effective when administered during the early stages of the disease. If you suspect someone may have Alzheimer’s due to changes you have noticed relating to their behaviour, moods, or memory loss it is wise to take action early on, rather than wait for the symptoms to become more serious. Managing Your Own Fears and Emotions Depending on the individual, their personality and your…

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As we grow older, it is all too easy to become less active, particularly after retirement age when we are no longer running around after children and struggling to keep up with busy schedules. We all know the benefits of regular physical activity, but sometimes forget that it is every bit as important to remain active as we grow older. A lack of physical activity can lead to a significant deterioration in not just our physical health but our mental health too. Elderly people who remain physically active tend to experience a greater sense of wellbeing and an overall improved quality of life. Staying in shape does not need to involve a gym subscription or rigorous exercise; just making small changes to increase the amount of…

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Living alone in their own home can become difficult for many elderly people who may suddenly find themselves no longer able to cope with the demands of running their household and keeping on top of everything. You may find yourself in a position where you realise that a loved one is struggling to cope and changes need to be made in order to endure that they are safe and looked after. Providing you have sufficient space, one option is to move your relative into your own home in order to give them the additional support they need, but this is a huge decision that must be properly considered. This sort of arrangement can work extremely well for some families, but in order to work it must…

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Is care at home always better than going to a residential care home? Well of course it depends on the level of care and the individual’s needs, in particular any health and safety considerations. However, high quality live-in care offers so many advantages and is still relatively unknown as a truly cost effective alternative to going into a care home. A good care home with 5 star accommodation, engaging residents and stimulating activity at an affordable cost must be a good option for our later years. Unfortunately very few care homes manage to pull this off. And the message we keep on hearing is that we want to maintain our independence for as long as possible. Maintaining independence requires joined up thinking from a legal, financial…

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Leonard Cheshire Disability said that “Flying 15 minute care visits are a disgrace”. I am sure we all agree but when there are insufficient funds – and there is a chronic lack of funding – who decides what the priorities are? “We’re actually introducing an amendment to the Care Bill this week which will require councils to focus on an individual’s wellbeing when they’re organising care on their behalf…” was the hardly comforting response drawn from Norman Lamb, care minister. However another dimension to the discussion, which will not get much press coverage is that of the carer. At the end of the day, how would a true caring person feel having spend significant time travelling between 15 minute client visits – potentially leaving their elderly…

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“Thank you for all your help. You make what is a potentially daunting task into unknown territory so easy and pleasant. The quality of individuals you put forward is very high indeed and the potential matches to the brief are spot on.” When there is all this worry and uncertainty about failing (CQC) regulation of hospitals and care providers, surely the answer must include excellent self regulation associated with protecting a great reputation. Of course, this is essential where patients / clients have a genuine choice. At Heritage, we need to spend more time putting testimonials on to our website so I thought that the testimonial above (just in), was worth sharing as a good example of promoting self regulation!

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A growing number of elderly people who understandably wish to remain at home, in close proximity to their family and friends are now opting to engage their own live-in carer rather than leave their own familiar surroundings to move into a residential care home. Choosing to remain in your own home environment, enables you to continue living your life in the way you choose and continue with your own established routines, rather than being bound by the structured environment of a residential care home. It is easy to see the appeal of live-in care and thankfully, engaging your own live-in carer through a company like Heritage Independent Living is an incredibly cost effective way to access tailored, high quality and continuous care, in the comfort of…

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Well done to Sara and the other 2,000 participants who rode in the Thames Bridge Cycle Ride. The event was organised for the Stroke Association which supports 150,000 per year in the UK who suffer a stroke. The 34 mile (stop and start) route from Southwark Park to Hampton Court crosses 16 London Bridges. Sara raised over £300 for the Stroke Association (and more importantly beat my total raised in the Bath Half Marathon for Alzheimer’s Society!)

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Potentially a step in the right direction to free up beds at hospitals but if patients do not need to be in hospital, why not give them the (paid) option of high quality care at home? Instead of investing in new “hotel” facilities the money could then be spent on the carer and the quality of care. While some people will need hospital care, some will need nursing care close to a hospital and others would benefit from quality care at home, the answer has to be to offer patient choice.

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An article published a few days ago by the Good Care Guide revealed that almost a quarter of reviews rated homecare agencies as providing sub standard care – the feedback on quality of care in care homes was also poorly ranked. It is a challenge for us all to be uncompromising in the quality of carers we provide and the respect and sensitivity that our carers need to give, as they fulfil a very valuable role in society.

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I like the “win – win” nature of Live-in care. Let me explain: our clients have the benefit of a Carer living in with them around the clock (one win) and our Carers do not have to pay for accommodation (a second win). So it was with absolute delight to come across a lady (Elizabeth Mills) who runs a charity called Homeshare International. which promotes the concept of homeshare around the world. Homeshare is a simple concept – it is the exchange of accommodation for help. A potential solution for individuals who do not need much care but can use their house to good effect – another win-win?

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Cramp in both legs but very pleased to have finished the Bath Half Marathon in 1 hour and 46 mins – thank you to all who sponsored me and the other 107 runners for the Alzheimer’s Society.

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With one of our directors raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society and running in the Bath Half Marathon and another director cycling for the Stroke Association, it prompts the question of how best to allocate limited funding to two different and worthwhile causes?

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We would like Heritage be a force for good – a social, caring enterprise and not just a commercial one – so part of our remit is to donate significant amounts to good causes and help the community we serve. While the benefits of Live-in care are tailored to the individual, persons suffering from dementia, Alzheimers and Parkinsons have perhaps most to gain from staying in familiar surroundings and maintaining established routines – and perhaps this is where the government’s focus should be?

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The Cap on Care has received a lot of publicity and a very good discussion on BBC’s Moneybox programme helped to shed further light on the latest thinking. While the Cap is likely to start running from 2017, this will only affect one element of Care – Social Care (help with toileting etc) and in particular, hotel costs will not be covered. However, my understanding of the situation today is that if an individual’s primary need is assessed (by the PCT or CCG) as a health need, then the NHS should pay residential nursing care costs. The cloud in this silver lining is that there is already a backlog of 60,000 claims for retrospective payment, are strict time deadlines and that there is no guarantee of…

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David Cameron’s proposal to cap care home fees and therefore helping the elderly to tackle the uncertainty of financial planning in life’s final stages is a laudable step forward. However with the cap likely to be set around £75k and from only 2015 onwards, this will be for many a case of too little, too late. Uncertainty also still prevails on what this new scheme will cover. It is likely that a line will be drawn between nursing costs and accommodation costs, with nursing costs covered but accommodation costs not. Until this policy is implemented, anybody with over £23.5k in assets will continue to have to meet the full cost of care.

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Welcome to our new website on Live-in and Daily Care – we hope you like it and we would love to hear your opinions. If you would like to know more on any of the subjects, please feel free to contact us on 0844 249 2877. Future blogs will be about all aspects of independent living and how to encourage mental and physical well being. We will be looking at the benefits of care at home, costs and funding options, government policies, new services, innovative products and ideas on how to keep both mentally and physically active.

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