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Scientists have made a medical breakthrough by creating a drug that stops the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The drug, which is the first of its kind, has halted deterioration of the brain, which is caused by Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia.

Dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK, and 520,000 of them have Alzheimer's disease, a physical disease that affects the brain. Alzheimer's causes a build-up of proteins in the brain, which then forms structures known as 'tangles' or 'plaques'. These plaques results in no connection between nerve cells, causing them to die, along with a loss of brain tissue. It also limits the production of chemicals in the brain, meaning that important messages are not transmitted.


What is Alzheimer's Disease?

The symptoms of Alzheimer's include memory loss, depression, hallucinations, inability to judge distances and dimensions, inability to concentrate, and becoming easily confused. As Alzheimer's disease progresses, the symptoms become more severe and patients often end up in need of home care services to help support them in their daily routine and assist with certain tasks.

There are already drugs (such as Donepezil) to control the symptoms of Alzheimer's, as well as therapy to help delay memory loss. However, this drug is the first of its kind to stop the deterioration of the brain, with some patients' deterioration rate stabilising for as long as 18 months. Research has shown that those who have taken the drug have had their fundamental cognitive skills maintained throughout the study.

These results were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Toronto by Dr Serge Gauthier of McGill University. He said:

"This is the first time it has happened in our field that a drug reduces the rate of brain atrophy. As a practising clinician, I see Alzheimer's patients, their families and caregivers continually share their desperate need for a truly therapeutic product."

If you have a family member who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease and would like some advice on how best to care for them, do not hesitate to get in touch.
Care at home

Why choose home care?

As we grow older, we can sometimes find difficulty in everyday tasks. From getting around to cooking and cleaning, age and illness can often limit many aspects of our life. Whilst some people have family and friends around to lend a hand, others can find that these restrictions cause a real problem within their routine.

Independence is something that people worry about when they begin to struggle, but requiring a little extra assistance doesn’t need to compromise an independent way of life when it comes to home care.

What is home care?

Home care refers to a level of assistance within your own home. An ideal situation for when hospital care is not necessary, and a care home is not appropriate. It provides a middle ground for people who wish to continue living in their own home but have simply grown to need an extra hand with certain tasks.

There are different levels of care available to cater for different needs. In each case, a specially trained professional visits the home to assist.
  • Personal & Housekeeping Care refers to a rounded level of care. Where any household tasks are taken care off, as well as personal hygiene and general wellbeing. Personal domiciliary care can help a person to continue to feel like themselves, while housekeeping care can ensure they are living comfortably and continuing to enjoy their own home.

  • Nursing Care is best when the person requiring care is dealing with an illness. This type of live-in care ensures that they are receiving the correct level of medication and dealing with any symptoms in the best way possible.

  • Companionship Care is predominantly about providing some social time. According to Age UK, in May 2016, over 2 million people over the age of 75 are living alone in the UK. For those with few friends and family, companionship can make a big difference to their happiness.

How does care at home benefit you?

One of the greatest benefits of home care is its flexible nature. Those being cared for can enjoy their own home and continue to live as they wish, as care can be tailored around them. Home care ranges from 24 hour round-the-clock to short and emergency visits, meaning that each person has an arrangement that has been carefully decided upon based on their individual needs.

Home care offers one-on-one assistance, bringing with it a personal touch and a high standard. All care agencies report to the Care Quality Commission and carers are put through a series of checks to ensure their eligibility in such a position of trust.

If you are considering how home care could benefit you, or a loved one, and would like to know more about our home care services in and around Birmingham, Leicester and Bradford, get in touch with Sova Healthcare today to discuss how we can help.

Caring for someone with dementia can be particularly challenging, but developing a deeper understanding of what they are going through can benefit everyone.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is used to refer to a number of brain-centred disorders, with varying symptoms. It is most commonly associated with a loss of memory and a sense of disorientation, but has many other effects that can be daunting.


How to Care for People with Dementia?

Due to the nature of dementia, those suffering can’t always communicate their feelings effectively. But with research and awareness growing, people are talking more and more about their experiences. We’ve taken a look at what is being discussed, and have found some useful tips for dementia carers to help their loved ones or clients live with dementia

1. The person you know is still there.

Amidst the forgetfulness and confusion, it can be easy to imagine that the person suffering with Dementia has changed. Aspects of their mind may be unrecognisable, but deep down they are still the same person. It’s important not to write-off their old self. Chances are, they are missing them as much as you are. So as often as possible, engage with the person you truly know.

2. It’s not simply an age issue.

Of course, dementia is more prominent in older people, but there are also over 40,000 people under the age of 65 living with dementia in the UK, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. Dementia is not simply a side-effect of ageing; it is something the affects many different people, in many different ways.


3. Good days and bad days will all come and go.

The nature of the condition makes it unpredictable, which means that a good day can turn bad, but then a not-so-good moment can also turn right around. When caring from someone with dementia, going with the flow is a way of life.

4. Trying to reason might not go well. 

In many cases, dementia can lead to irrational thoughts and feelings, which means that it can often strip a person of their ability to reason. This isn’t to say that disagreements need to be totally extinguished, although the scalability of them should be carefully measured.  

5. It’s more than forgetting things.

Forgetting names and faces is an unfortunate aspect of many people’s experience, but dementia can be much more than that. Dementia can mean hallucinations, delusions, angers and other disruptive effects. Each one of these present an unpleasant situation, which means that dementia care is ultimately about gaining a fuller understanding, so that these symptoms can be suitably handled when they occur.

6. We know that something is going on.

Dementia is a disorder that disorientates the brain - something that can undoubtedly lead to confusion. The realisation that something is not quite right can be distressing for those dealing with dementia, so it’s often beneficial to help embrace changes rather than to add to any confusion.

7. We’re still adults.

There’s a tricky, fine line to be tiptoed along here. In a distressing, lonely, confusing time, it’s easy to find your tone of voice softening and body language becoming more animated. Each and every person is different, so there is always personal preference, but when it comes to dementia care, it is always worth remembering that the person in question is not a child.

8. Our eyes still work.

Though some aspects of a dementia sufferer's mind may not be as they were before, other parts may be perfectly unaffected. Much like the first point, it’s vital to always be aware of how they are feeling and how they would like to be treated. Something as simple as keeping eye contact can boost the confidence of someone who may be feeling low or left out. 


9.We know it’s hard.

Caring for someone with dementia is by no means an easy feat, and dealing with dementia is certainly not a walk in the park either. It’s this mutual appreciation that can help relationships strengthen in these situations, and ensure that everyone is as comfortable as they can be.

To learn more about dementia and dementia care services, get in touch with Sova Healthcare, a team of leading healthcare specialists in Birmingham, Leicester and Bradford, to discuss how we can help you and your loved ones.
hospital to home care

Being a carer is a selfless yet hugely rewarding role, and it certainly takes a special person to fill it.

People require care for all kinds of reasons, from live-in assistance to a little extra help in some aspects of their daily lives. At Sova, our carers provide flexible care and assisted living to those in need across the Birmingham, Leicester and Bradford areas. Enabling them to better fulfil their daily routines and to live their lives how they would like to.

The role of a care assistant in the UK has changed over the past decade. People are now living longer, and are accustomed to a better quality of life. While the demand for carers increases, the various types of care offered have also expanded, ranging from hospital-to-home care that is designed to smooth the transition between hospital care and home life through to live-in care, which is a 24-hour service for those in need of more constant assistance. Despite such variation between positions, the core requirements of a care assistant apply to each situation.

What skills do you need to be a care assistant?

  • Empathy. Many people who require assisted care, particularly in the early stages, can find themselves feeling unsettled. Many are dealing with life-changing symptoms that will inevitably have an effect on their thoughts and feelings. Being empathetic in difficult times is an essential skill that will strengthen the relationship between carer and patient, making the relationship work for everybody involved.

  • Patience. Caring is about helping others, meaning that a level of mutual understanding is needed for everyone to be content. When caring for somebody, a great deal of communication and appreciation is required in order to help accurately meet their needs.

  • Strength. Alongside the mentally challenging aspect of being a carer, there can be a physically challenging side. Helping people to go about their daily lives will often include fetching, lifting and rearranging; all of which can be physically demanding.

  • Sense of humour. As with many positions, a sense of humour helps. Being a carer brings you in contact with people every day. With those people very often experiencing low times in their lives, it is great to be able to add some light relief where appropriate.

How to apply to become a care assistant

Whether you are looking to enter the healthcare industry, or are already a healthcare professional, Sova Healthcare can provide you with all of the training and support that you need - if you know you have what it takes to become a carer, we want you to join our team!

We are constantly looking out for hard-working, compassionate care professionals. To find out how you can apply to work with us, visit our careers page.

Being a carer is no easy feat, but for those up to the job, it’s second to none.
Birmingham office

Providing clients with the highest quality of home and domiciliary care services, tailored to their personal needs and requirements, Sova Healthcare has been growing over the last year. As a result, and in order to expand the areas we can offer our care services to, we have decided to open new offices in Birmingham to offer the best Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Night Care and other services to the Birmingham and West Midlands.

Home & Domiciliary Care Services in Birmingham

In our experience, the Birmingham area has sometimes been lacking in providing personal, high quality care to the elderly. In fact, earlier this year the City Council was accused of being heartless when finding care home placements for the elderly with an ‘eBay-style auction’ system. This system, which is said to take the humanity out of care, has brought a sharp rise in safeguarding issues in the region and has been called 'broken', leading to a system from which ‘our elderly are suffering’. 

Sova Healthcare is different. We offer a range of home care services that all have one thing in common, which is our absolute priority of putting the clients first. Our home carers and assistants, specialising in Alzheimer's, Dementia and other types of care services, are all highly trained towards providing clients with the most personalised, understanding and professional care and support, while also always ensuring that their independence isn't being taken away. Indeed, we pride ourselves on helping our clients to maintain their independence and freedom to enable them to enjoy their golden years as much as possible, while also ensuring peace of mind for relatives and loved ones. 

We will soon be opening our new offices in Birmingham, providing the area with a range of personalised home and domiciliary care services.

To find out more about the various home care and domiciliary care services we offer, download our brochures or get in touch with a member of our friendly team.