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Elderly care

Elderly care can be very challenging, the line between adequate care, attentive support and independence being very thin and sometimes delicate. When caring for the elderly, we can all do our bit to ensure that independence is being promoted. A recent article in the Guardian suggested that few in the UK feel older people have a good quality of life. According to Age UK, nearly 900,000 older people now have unmet needs for social care. With the proportion of older people in the country due to rise from 23% to 28% and the number of those aged 85+ set to double by 2030, we have a joint responsibility as a population to promote quality of life for older people and ensure that we are avoiding negative stereotyping and casual ageism.

This is why our various home care services can be adapted to every single client's personal needs and requirements, ensuring that older clients receive the quality of care that they deserve. At Sova Healthcare, we also ensure that all staff are compliant with Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Disclosed Barring Service (DBS) procedures, and that all of our care services are defined by providing the best quality of life for everyone regardless of age, gender, disability or illness. Likewise, we all have an individual responsibility to look out, care for, support and assist elderly people as much as we can whilst respecting their independence.

In doing so, here are a few aspects to consider and take into account when engaging with older people:

Older people can be lonely

Loneliness is a key factor when considering quality of life. Now considered a serious public health issue, isolation has been proven to impact blood pressure and is closely linked to depression. Helping limit isolation can help improve an older person's quality of life, while enabling them to remain in the comfort of their own home. Community initiatives are helping to tackle loneliness for those who do not necessarily have any family nearby to see, but likewise, many of us are able to have a positive impact on an older person's life by spending valuable social time with them. Your spare time can be a source of vital companionship and emotional support. Alternatively, we can also provide companionship care services, helping older people to manage their everyday tasks whilst also keeping them company.

Allowing for independence

If you are caring for an older person, promotion of independence is key to not only quality of life but also to their morale. Often, losing your independence can lead to compensative voluntary isolation, and sometimes even depression. Being supportive and caring is key, and yet not being overpowering or overbearing can really help to promote independence. Considering when you don't necessarily need to assist can not only help mobility but also remind older people that they are still independent and respected. For example, an able older person can often complete simple household tasks, and allowing for this ensures that they are not being made to feel fully dependent and therefore maintain their regular physical activities and morale.

Respecting, nurturing and valuing relationships

Maintaining the promotion of independence as integral to your relationship will naturally raise an older person's quality of life. Some older people may be reluctant, but if you can make someone feel respected and let them know that you are still seeing them as individuals, they will often be instilled with a sense of pride and a heightened sense of identity.

Ensuring that care needs are met

Allowing for independence is crucial, but you also need to make sure that care needs are being met, notably with recent concerns. An older person might decide to opt for domiciliary care services rather than going to a care home, simply to as to remain in the comfort of their own home and preserve their independence. This is a great decision - if the quality of the care services is adequate.

This is why we at Sova Healthcare strive to offer a wide range of home care services, such as night care services for the most independent. Indeed, we assess each situation based purely on an older person's needs, and there are a variety of enhanced care options available, such as assisted living, home care, and Alzheimer's and dementia care services.

If you are looking for specialist elderly care services, or if you would simply like more information, get in touch with one of our branches, email us, or call a member of our friendly team on 0800 688 8866.
Men's Health Week

Men's Health Week 2014 specifically focused on health in relation to work, unemployment and stress, as health issues have been increasingly noticed following hardship brought upon men as a consequence of the recession, and issue which was far too often overlooked.

This year, healthy living for men will be the main focus of Men's Health Week, taking place from the 15th to the 21st June 2015. Promoting a healthier lifestyle and aiming to increase awareness of specific diseases, illnesses, and conditions related to unhealthy habits often showcased by men (such as excessive drinking, eating, smoking, and a reluctance towards routine check-ups and consultations), this week will be challenging men to change their routines for healthier alternatives.

Indeed, smoking, drinking, and food overconsumption are likely to lead to serious diseases, notably heart diseases and strokes which are more prone to developing. Although women are more prone certain illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer's, heart problems in particular are increasingly experienced by men due to the laxer diet that is often permitted due to the common stereotypical belief that it is feminine and 'womanly' to watch your weight, and metrosexual to take care of your body.

Yet most fail to realise that with good life hygiene and a nutritious diet comes a strong immune system, health, and thus stability. The reluctance to consult when ill or injured is also a common behaviour observed in men, most likely due to a social pressure to display what is thought of as 'manliness', fighting diseases and showing strength and endurance as associated with a prehistoric basic hunting instinct that tells us to fight nature and battle the elements whilst striving for survival.

"Men are less aware of their symptoms than women, and are more reluctant to seek help" says Peter Baker, Chief Executive of the Men's Health Forum. In fact, a study by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) showed that men are less likely to seek medical advice or face-to-face treatments from pharmacists when ill, as well as being less willing to access NHS services than women, which can sometimes have devastating consequences.

As a result of this reluctance to seek medical advice or treatment, men are less likely to access disease screening or seek professional advice that will help them to shift towards healthier lifestyle alternatives (such as support plans to stop smoking). Unfortunately, this behaviour can lead to late diagnoses of serious conditions, and prevent adequate treatment from being prescribed as a preventative measure.

Indeed, this also continues through retirement, and notably when it comes to having to make the decision of whether constant care is required or whether home care services would be more appropriate. In light of an inherent need for independence (related to this need to identify with 'hunters'), men are often very reticent to the idea of a nursing home. Whilst we want to make sure that every single one of our clients receives the best and most appropriate care for their condition, we also strive to respect the choices and preferences of our clients, which is why we will always do our very best to provide the most supportive home care services for as long as possible.

This is why we provide a variety of domiciliary care services, from social companionship for emotional support to live-in care services when need be. We want to give men the chance to have their preferences made possible, whilst comprehensively helping them to remain as healthy as possible to enjoy the company of their loved ones.

Men's Health Week is therefore a great opportunity to raise awareness of such behaviours and trends whilst learning about the healthier lifestyles that are available. Father's Day also being almost upon us, remember to take care of your loved ones, and help them to look after their health as a preventative measure by offering them an essentially useful Health Manual.

Working hand in hand, lets make sure that all men realise the importance of their health and increase their sensibility when it comes to attending NHS check-ups and seeking adequate medical help or treatment.

For more information about the home care services that we offer and to discuss your needs and requirements, call us on 0800 688 8866 and get in touch with a member of our friendly team. Together, we can make sure that men get the support they need and deserve.
Old age home care

Choosing the right care option for you or your loved one can be a difficult decision. When we become reliant on assistance from others, it can be hard to imagine how it would be possible to remain in our own homes, but here at Sova Healthcare we believe that every client should have the right to stay in familiar surroundings. Here are five reasons why you should consider home care over a care home:
  1. Surroundings
    One of the main advantages of home care is the fact that you will be staying in an environment that's familiar to you. A change of location can be stressful at the best of times, but it can hit us particularly hard when we are feeling vulnerable or unwell. By staying in your own home you will be surrounded by the people and the things that you know and love best, and your wellbeing is likely to reap the rewards.

  2. Funding
    Surprisingly enough, it is often cheaper to be cared for in your own home than in a care home, as you do not have to pay for accommodation costs on top of your care. You may also be eligible for funding from your local authority for some or all of the expense. You can find out more about available finance options on our Funding page.

  3. Attention
    When you are cared for in your own home, you will have your own dedicated carer. This means that you won't have to worry about competing for attention from busy care home staff, and your needs will be cared for one-on-one by a regular provider who will get to know you and your requirements very closely.

  4. Lifestyle
    Becoming reliant on a carer doesn't mean that life as you know it is over. When you are cared for at home, you are much more likely to be able to retain some independence, and as part of our social companionship service, our carers can even accompany you on trips to visit friends and relatives away from home.

  5. Food
    Mealtimes can be a very personal occasion; everyone has their own likes and dislikes when it comes to food, but unfortunately, care homes are often too busy to cater to individual tastes. When you are cared for at home by one of our highly trained members of staff, you will be able to discuss with your carer what you would like to eat and when you would like to eat it, giving you total control.
Our homes are so much more than bricks and mortar. They have immeasurable sentimental value to us, and by staying in your own home, you can avoid a lot of unwanted upheaval, making the transition into healthcare as smooth as possible.

At Sova Healthcare, we provide more than just healthcare services. Our domiciliary carers can assist with a variety of household chores, including cooking and cleaning, while providing you with assistance for dressing, bathing, medical administration and more. If you would like to find out more about the home care services that Sova can offer you, please visit our care services page, or contact us for more information.
Old age companionship

Although companionship may not seem important in terms of physical care, it plays an incredibly important part in mental well being. Having someone to talk to, and knowing that they are looking out for you, can make all the difference and give you a completely different outlook on life.

At Sova we don’t just care for our customers, we care about them. We recognise the difference companionship can make to individuals, and through our range of personal care services, the care we provide is tailored to suit your needs, and provide a friend as well as a carer.

We understand that everyone is different, and so when assigning carers we take into account your age, interests beliefs and personality in order to get the best match. We also know how important it is to feel independent and we will work with you to ensure that you maintain as much control over your life as you’re comfortable with.

We know that mobility impairment can affect your ability to socialise, and so our services aren’t limited to simply spending time with your carer in your own home - you can also go out for day trips together and visit family and loved ones, safe in the knowledge that you will have a friend by your side throughout the journey.

Our companionship assistance isn’t just restricted to those who require physical care, we also provide a social companionship service which provides company and emotional support to those who live alone.

If you think you, or someone you love, could benefit from more companionship in their life, please get in touch with us today. Please don’t suffer in silence, a friend is closer than you think.

Following last week's blog post - which revealed that 46% of people believe they will have no option but to enter a residential care home in their old age - we at Sova Healthcare would like to highlight some of the ways in which elderly people can be cared for in the comfort of their own dwellings.

We appreciate that professional home care is, by and large, more costly than the alternative, but this needn't be a reason to cross it off your list of options. If your own income will not cover the cost of home care, there are several different ways to claim financial support that will allow you or your loved ones to enjoy a bespoke home care package (and all the benefits that this entails).

In the first instance, the best course of action is to contact your local ASS (Adult Social Services) department and inform them of your circumstances. They will perform an assessment to find out if you are eligible to claim financial support for home care.

As mentioned, there are multiple types of funding, including:
  • Attendance Allowance: For over-65s with mental and/or physical disabilities.
  • Personal Independence Payment: For people aged 16 to 64 with long-term health conditions.
  • Continuing Care: NHS-funded care (given outside of a hospital environment) for those with complex medical conditions.
  • Direct Payments: Government payments for the elderly and/or disabled. Available to anyone over 16.
More details here.

Of course, the above list is only a brief summary of the different funding options that may be available to you. For a more detailed overview of potential options, we recommended calling 0800 688 8866 and asking to speak with Sova Healthcare's specialist benefits advisor. We will discuss your specific situation and do our best to recommend a financial support route that will work for you.