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Care Advice

Helpful advice on Care

Does palliative mean end of life?

When someone begins their Palliative care journey, they are embarking on a plan of treatment, care and support for a life-limiting condition.

Palliative care isn’t just for the person themselves though, it will also include emotional support for their loved ones, to ensure that the person lives as good a quality of life as possible in their last years or months.


What is the CHC decision support tool?

NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is when someone with complex long-term health needs qualifies for social care arranged and funded solely by the NHS.

Continuing healthcare can be provided in a variety of settings, but with Helping Hands you have the advantage of your continuing healthcare being provided in your own home, rather than having to move into a care home to receive it.


The best phones for people with dementia

When you’re living with dementia it’s important that you have access to technology that is going to enhance your life, not make the world around you even more confusing, and this is where telephones with simplified features can be helpful.

For instance, the phone may have larger buttons than usual, ‘one-touch’ buttons with space for photos, a loud volume setting, larger displays or a combination of several features.


How to help someone with dementia tell the time

Being unable to make sense of time is something that can happen quite early in a person’s dementia journey, which is why the tests that a GP uses for memory assessment usually include drawing a clock face, with hands set at a specific time.

Being unable to make sense of time is something that can happen quite early in a person’s dementia journey, which is why the tests that a GP uses for memory assessment usually include drawing a clock face, with hands set at a specific time.


Why does dementia care cause hallucinations?

A hallucination is a sensory experience of something that appears real but is simply created in our mind. Hallucinations are commonly experienced by persons living with dementia although exact estimates of their frequency differ. The frequency of hallucinations may also depend on the type of dementia. For example, as many as three quarters of persons diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies, and up to two-thirds of those with Parkinson’s Disease dementia, may at some point experience hallucinations.


Ensuring brain health: the importance of mental stimulation

Mental stimulation can be classed as anything that exercises the brain. As Age UK explains, “if we want our brain to stay in peak condition, we should use it.” If we don’t, we risk cognitive decline in the form of reduced thinking skills, memory problems and creativity, amongst others.

They go on to say that “people who do more mentally stimulating activities have better thinking skills in older age.”


Improving your quality of life when living with dementia

Receiving a diagnosis of dementia can make you feel that life will never be the same again and while that’s true in some ways, living well with dementia is a very achievable situation for many people post-diagnosis. If you’ve got as far as seeking medical advice and a diagnosis, you and your loved ones will already have gone through some difficult times, involving worry, frustration and concern about the future.


How to prevent loneliness in older age

Loneliness is recognised as a condition that can significantly impact on a person’s physical and emotional wellbeing, in fact according to the Campaign to End Loneliness, it “increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%.” This is comparable to risk factors such as obesity and cigarette smoking and can also have a recognised effect on mental health.


What is a memory assessment service?

Whether it is you or a loved one who is finding that they’re persistently forgetting things, struggling with words, losing their bearings regularly or other similar symptoms, you may be concerned about the onset of dementia. Find out more about the memory assessment service here.


How to use public transport with a disability

If you’re planning to use public transport, it’s worth getting in touch with the transport provider before travelling to ensure they can prepare to help you in whatever way you need. Trains and buses almost always have seating reserved for elderly people and people with disabilities, as well as dedicated space for wheelchairs.

 


What are the signs of dehydration?

When your body loses more fluids than you consume, it no longer contains enough water to carry out its normal functions and dehydration starts to occur. Depending on the severity of the dehydration, it can be a very debilitating condition, causing a wide range of symptoms that can affect you both in the short term and in the long term.


Home adaptations for the disabled

The primary reason disabled people adapt their home is to make it safer and easier to move around in. Home adaptations can enhance the simplicity and safety of everyday routines such as cooking, cleaning, climbing stairs and using the toilet, providing a valuable boost to independence and confidence.


What is a care needs assessment?

A care needs assessment is for anyone who thinks they would benefit from additional support day-to-day for themselves, a friend or a family member. A needs assessment can, via carefully worded questions and their responses, show if an individual needs support via special equipment or care and if so, what form it should take.


How can live-in care help with fragility?

As we get older, it’s almost inevitable that we start to lose strength, agility, mental aptitude and energy. Things that we used to find straightforward, such as bathing, getting dressed, taking the dog for a walk or heading to the shops, gradually become increasingly difficult. And while this can understandably be a source of frustration, it’s a perfectly natural part of the aging process that we need to adapt to.


How to cope with denial in dementia

Being diagnosed with dementia is a hard-enough time for any person and their loved ones, but what can you do if the person refuses all offers of help and support? It’s understandable that someone may go through a short period of not accepting their diagnosis, this can happen with any serious or life-limiting condition.


What is carer depression?

Looking after another person can be amazingly rewarding but also exhausting at times, and some unpaid carers do it for years with little opportunity for breaks. Carer depression can manifest for a variety of reasons, such as pressure of juggling caring and family, work, and other commitments.


How long does palliative care last?

Palliative care exists to ensure you have the best quality of life possible, regardless of how long that is for, and the healthcare professionals you encounter during your palliative care journey will do all they can to support you with that.


How to find a private carer

Visiting carer and customer laughing

When the need arises for you or your loved one to look for care, it can sometimes be difficult knowing where to start. There are many different types of home care, and many different care providers, and you want to be absolutely certain that you choose a care partner who will be able to support you in every way you need, whatever your condition and whatever your circumstances.


Why get adult mental health support from a carer?

Supporting someone with a mental health problem can be challenging, as not only do you need to support that person, you also need to be able to manage society’s perceptions of that person’s condition, which may think that person is less deserving of care, because they can’t see the ‘hidden disabilities’ they have.


Tips for talking to people with dementia

Dementia doesn’t define someone; it’s important to remember that the person you love is still there when they are living with dementia, it’s just you may have to work a little harder and use different communication strategies to bring them to the fore.


What to do when someone has a stroke

What does arthritis feel like?

If you suspect that you or someone else has had a stroke it is vital that they receive medical attention as quickly as possible. The NHS tells us that “even if the symptoms disappear while you’re waiting for the ambulance, it’s still important to go to hospital for an assessment.”


Pain management in palliative care

Palliative care can last for many months or even years, and it might only be towards the end of their life that a person requires pain relief, or maybe not at all. For people who are experiencing pain though, it’s important it is managed appropriately by suitably qualified professionals using techniques that suit the person best.


What are arthritis nodules?

Arthritis nodules are firm lumps of inflammatory tissue, varying in size, that can appear under the skin in people living with rheumatoid arthritis. They usually develop in overexposed joints, such as fingers and elbows, and affect up to 20% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.


Obtaining a power of attorney for your elderly parent

It can sometimes be difficult to have that initial conversation about power of attorney, particularly if your parents are in good health. The process for appointing power of attorney is a fairly straightforward one, but also requires thought, consideration and compassion. Your parents will almost certainly appreciate the importance of power of attorney, but it still might be a difficult step for them to take.


Moving from a care home to live-in care

A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. You may have lived in your home for many years, raised a family there, shared a life with a beloved partner and made memories in every square foot. Consequently, you may have been very reluctant to leave it, but feel that you had little choice, due to your care needs.


Benefits of holidays for elderly people with disabilities

Holidays are an important part of life, giving people the opportunity to rest, recuperate, and experience a change of scenery.

At Helping Hands, we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to experience a holiday, whether in the UK or overseas.


Best food for elderly people with no appetite

It can often be hard to convince elderly loved ones to eat enough food throughout the day to sustain them and provide their bodies with important nutrition.

We’ve listed eight ways in which you can encourage regular, healthy eating habits in elderly people struggling with their appetite.


Are stroke symptoms permanent?

Stroke symptoms that come on suddenly but then disappear within 24 hours mean it was most likely a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke, but this could be a pre-cursor of a more serious stroke and will give the medical team the opportunity to begin treatment to try and prevent that happening. Although the FAST test identifies most strokes, there may occasionally be different symptoms.


What qualifications should carers have?

Becoming a carer is a highly rewarding and fulfilling role, and even on the most trying days you have the reward of knowing that you made a real positive difference to another person’s life. Achieving relevant qualifications can be desirable for many carers though because it can equip them with more in-depth, specialist knowledge, as well as giving them confidence in their abilities or eligibility to seek promotion.


The 5 most common types of cancer

At Helping Hands we have researched the most common types of Cancer in the UK, alongside possible symptoms and recommended treatments. Read our full guide here for information on:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Bowel Cancer
  • Melanoma Skin Cancer

Why is brain health important?

As we age, our brains naturally change, just like most other parts of our bodies. As our joints and muscles begin to ache and we tire more easily so does our brain feel the effects of ageing. Many people would agree that as they age their brain doesn’t seem to recall facts as quickly as they used to, or words seem to ‘fall out’ of our brain and we end up substituting them with ‘thingummy’ or ‘whatsit’.


What are the qualities of a good carer?

While exceptional training can help to advance a carer’s skills, there are many qualities that a good carer needs that cannot be taught. These are the natural abilities that a carer needs to feel empathy and compassion for someone and subsequently want to do the best job they can looking after their customer.


The End of Life Care Pathway

The End of Life Care Pathway is a holistic, ‘whole-person’ approach to end of life care and dying, recommended to be used wherever someone wishes to die, whether it be a hospital, care home or in their own home. The pathway includes a commitment to honest discussions with the person at the start of their journey so that their wishes for care are respected at all stages.


What is the osteoporosis T-score?

The T-score results from a special type of X-ray called a Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA for short) which examines a person’s bone density to discover how much has been lost. This is a non-invasive procedure which sees you lying on a firm hospital couch and having x-rays passed over the relevant parts of your body. The machine will measure the X-rays that your bones absorb, and the result is your T-score.


Top 5 bathing aids for elderly and the disabled

There is a common misconception that daily living aids are a sign that you are losing your independence, but in fact, they can mean quite the opposite – and bathing aids are no exception. If you are experiencing difficulty bathing or showering, or maybe you have noticed that your loved one is not as confident washing alone as they used to be, purchasing a bathing aid can be a great way to enhance independence and continue living happily at home.

 


What does arthritis feel like?

Unless you or a loved one are affected by arthritis, you may not be all too aware of the condition and how it might feel. Whether you have recently been diagnosed with arthritis, or you are researching on behalf of a loved one, or perhaps you are just keen to learn more; we believe that the more you are educated on the condition, the better life can be for those living with it. We want to break down some of the most common misconceptions and contribute to a better education of arthritis, with the aim to make life easier for those living with it.

 


The best panic alarms for the elderly

A panic alarm can be a reassuring tool in your senior years, helping you to feel safer at home and also providing peace of mind for your loved ones. It could be that you live alone, with a loved one or have periods of time away from your family; whatever your circumstances, panic alarms can bring a great amount of comfort.

 


 

The Best Online Exercise Videos for Over 60s

There are a number of benefits to keeping fit: it can reduce your risk of major illnesses such as heart disease and stroke, it can help strengthen your balance and mobility in your senior years, and with a strong connection between our physical and mental health, it can also have a significant impact on our mood. The prospect of regular exercise can be intimidating for many of us, especially when we reach our older years and physical activity doesn’t feel as natural as it once did.

 


How to use a dosette box

Taking medication is an important part of many people’s routine, particularly if they have underlying health conditions or receive care. For some, remembering to take medication and the quantities they need to take can be difficult to remember, which is why using a dosette box may be much easier and more efficient. Find out what a dosette box is and why they’re such a great thing to have if you take regular medication.

 


What is the continuing healthcare checklist?

The NHS continuing health care (CHC) scheme was created for those that require complex or long-term care and who need financial support to fund it. The application process can be quite complex, so we’ve collated everything you need to know about the checklist and the assessment to help you prepare and keep your mind at ease.

 


The best clocks for people with dementia

Many people living with dementia often get confused about the time of day or indeed forget what time it is. To help with this, we’ve put together a list of some of the best dementia clocks on the market to help your loved one feel more settled and comfortable at home.

 

 

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