Preventing Falls

Around one in three adults over 65 will have at least one fall a year. Most falls don’t result in serious injury but they often lead to a loss of confidence.

Don’t worry! There are lots of ways you can reduce your risk of having a fall – we’ve even outlined some of them below.

 

Tips For Preventing Falls at Home:

  • Immediately mop up spillages
  • Remove clutter, trailing wires and frayed carpets
  • Use non-slip mats and rugs
  • Use high-wattage light bulbs
  • Organise your home so that climbing, stretching and bending are kept to a minimum
  • Get help to do things that you’re unable to do safely alone
  • Don’t walk on slippery floors in socks or tights
  • Don’t wear loose-fitting, trailing clothes that might trip you up
  • Wear well-fitting shoes that are in good condition and support the ankle
  • Take care of your feet – see a GP or chiropodist about any foot concerns

 

Regular Exercise Can Help Prevent Falls:

  • Regular exercise can improve your strength and balance
  • Ask your care worker to help you carry out exercises, safely

 

Preventing Falls While on Medication:

  • Some medications have side effects that may increase the risk of falling
  • Your GP should review your medicines yearly to ensure they’re the right dose for you

 

Sight Tests Can Help Prevent Falls:

 

Home Risk Assessment:

  • A home hazard assessment will make recommendations on how to use your environment more safely – like installing a personal alarm system or safety bars
  • Ask your GP or local authority about the help available near you

 

Alcohol & Fall Prevention:

  • Drinking alcohol can lead to loss of coordination and affect some medicines – so always drink moderately and accordingly

 

What Next?

Contact your nearest Angel Care office and speak with one of our friendly care team about creating a support package to suit you.

Find your local branch HERE.

Avoiding Scams

Scams are schemes to con you out of your money and they come in many forms – including:

  • Bogus callers who pressure you into signing up to a scheme or steal from your home
  • Identity fraud where someone gains access to your personal information – often over the phone or online

 

If you’re vulnerable or look after someone who could be vulnerable to scams it’s important to guard your personal details and remember not to share them with anyone unless you’re sure of who they are.

Your Angel Carer will be able to support you, but we’ve put together a few tips below.

 

Age UK suggests asking yourself these anti-scam questions:

  • Was an offer unsolicited?
  • Do you have to respond quickly? What’s the rush?
  • Do you have to pay for a prize or ‘free’ gift?
  • Do you have to ring a premium rate number (one starting with ‘09’)?
  • Are you being asked for your bank or credit card details?
  • Is the business reluctant to give you its address or contact details?
  • Are you being asked to keep the offer confidential?
  • If you’re getting to know someone online, are they asking for personal information while revealing very little about themselves?

Age UK’s scam fact sheet is available online here.

 

What Next?

  • Action Fraud – Telephone: 0300 123 2040 – Textphone: 0300 123 2050 –www.actionfraud.police.ukthis national helpline gives advice on preventing fraud and what to do if you fall victim to it
  • Age UK Advice –  Telephone: 0800 169 65 65 –  www.ageuk.org.uk – lines are open seven days a week from 8am to 7pm
  • Citizens Advice Consumer Service – Telephone: 0845 404 0506 – www.adviceguide.org.ukprovides information and advice on consumer issues and ad scams by telephone and online

Eating & Drinking Well

Eating well is vital for everyone and your daily food choices can make an important difference in your health and in how you feel.

 

Eating Well Promotes Health:

Eating a balanced mix of foods has many health benefits. A nutritious diet may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, some kinds of cancer, and anaemia. And, if you have one, or more, of these chronic diseases, eating well and being physically active may help you better manage them.

 

Eating Well Promotes Energy:

Eating well helps maintain energy levels. By consuming enough calories you give your body the fuel it needs throughout the day – though the number of calories needed varies from person to person.

Find out more about calories from the NHS website.

 

Food Choices Can Help Control Weight:
Extra weight can increase the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease and can increase joint problems. So, consuming the right number of calories for you can help you control your weight, too.

 

Food Choices Affect Digestion:
Eating more wholegrain foods containing fibre, fruits and vegetables or drinking more water can help with your digestion and other problems, like constipation.

Not sure what to eat? Take a look at the NHS guidelines here or speak with your GP, or care worker.

 

What Next?

Contact your local Angel Care office and speak with one of our friendly care team about creating a support package to suit you.

Find your local branch HERE.

Promoting Physical Activity

Staying fit and healthy is an important part of maintaining good mental and physical fitness at any age – and the benefits are vast.

That’s why our care workers support clients, able to participate in physical activities, to take take exercise at home or even join community classes or events.

 

Why Exercise?

  • A healthy, active lifestyle helps stimulate the brain
  • Exercise helps to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases
  • It aids management of active problems – such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol
  • Exercise improves the ability to function and stay independent – for example, in cases where people have lung disease or arthritis
  • It reduces symptoms of depression and pain
  • Exercise improves balance and helps prevent falls
  • It can also be fun and a great way to socialise

 

How We Can Help

We encourage and support our care clients to take part in simple, healthy activities, taking into consideration choice and individual ability.

Our care workers will discuss your preferences with you as part of your care and support plan and are here to support you with anything from taking a walk to attending classes or events.

 

What Next?

Got more questions? The NHS Get Active Your Way page has great advice for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Or, contact your nearest Angel Care office and speak with one of our friendly care team about creating a support package to suit you.

Find your local branch HERE.

Taking Medication Safely

If you’re prescribed medication it’s important to find out as much about it as you can – this could help prevent avoidable side effects.

 

What to Ask Your GP:

The NHS recommends asking the following questions and taking a note of the answers before leaving your GP’s office, if possible.

  • What’s the name of the condition this medicine will treat?
  • What’s the name of the medicine?
  • How does it treat my condition?
  • What’s the name of its active ingredient?
  • Did you check that it doesn’t contain anything I’m allergic to?
  • How long will it take to work? How should I store the medication? Does it need to be refrigerated?
  • Can the pharmacist substitute a less expensive, generic form of the medicine?

 

Find Out How to Take It

Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take any medication. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, or instructions aren’t clear, always ask.

 

Ask What to Expect

Knowing what to expect when you take a medication is an important part of care planning and can help prevent accidents.

 

Tips for Taking Medicines

Taking medication is not always easy to do correctly, especially if you are taking more than one.

Always:

  • Check the label on your medicine before taking it
  • Read and save any written information that comes with it
  • Take the medicine according to the label
  • Don’t take more or less than the prescribed amount
  • If swallowing tablets is difficult, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice. However, do NOT break, crush, or chew tablets without asking a health professional first
  • Checking expiration dates and throw away medicine that has expired
  • Try to set and follow a routine for taking your medicines

 

Contact your nearest Angel Care office and speak with one of our friendly care team about creating a support package to suit you.

Find your local branch HERE.

Maintaining a Healthy Mind

The brain needs mental exercise to maintain cognitive function, but often older people or those undergoing medical treatment or rehabilitation don’t get the mental stimulation they need.

That’s why Angel Care services are designed to promote engagement, fun and stimulation, wherever possible.

 

Choose Angel Care for:

  • Support to maintain mental stimulation – through brain teasers, puzzles and games, etc
  • Encouragement to try new activities or to revisit old ones – it’s never too late!
  • Supervisors who help you make a care plan which includes your personal interests

 

Why Mental Exercise

  • Mental exercise stimulates the brain, positively affecting thinking and reasoning, memory and processing speed
  • Cognitive activities help to keep minds sharp and alert while reducing the risk or delaying the onset of age-related dementia
  • Learning a new hobby or skill stimulates brain cells and can help maintain eye and hand coordination and fine motor skills
  • Hobbies and skills can also promote interaction, enjoyment and a sense of positive self-esteem
  • Even slightly changing an everyday activity can enhance cognitive skills!

 

How We Help

Angel Care believes it’s important to include mental stimulation and fun as part of your personal care plan. That’s why we provide care workers who support you to be the best you can be mentally and physically.

 

What Next?

Have more questions about our care services?

Contact your local Angel Care office and speak with one of our friendly care team about creating a support package to suit you.

Find your local branch HERE.

Role of Care Professionals

If you require social care and support, for whatever reason, you will more than likely receive care from a range of professional services, not just a care worker.

Angel Care believes understanding the various roles people might play in your care will give you more peace of mind – knowledge is power, as they say!

 

District Nurses

District nurses visit people in their own homes to provide complex care. Visits might be once a day, or more, and as well as providing direct patient care, a district nurse might teach and support their patients ways to care for themselves.

 

Occupational Therapists

If you are unable to do everyday tasks for yourself, due to ill health, you may be referred to an occupational therapist. An occupational therapist can identify difficulties you may have such as dressing or shopping, and will help you work out practical solutions.

 

Physiotherapists

Physiotherapy helps to restore movement and function if you are affected by injury, illness or disability. It can also help reduce your risk of injury or illness in the future.

Professionally trained and regulated, physiotherapists can offer advice on things which can affect your daily life, such as posture and lifting. They can tailor exercise and physical activity beneficial to you or help relieve pain and stiffness using manual therapy.

 

Care at Home

Domiciliary care staff come to your home to meet a range of care needs. These care workers will be qualified, cleared and experienced professionals. For more information on what we can do for you take a look at Care Services for Private Clients.

 

What Next?

To speak with one of our friendly care team about creating a care and support package tailored to your needs call your local branch today.

To find your nearest office click HERE.

Power of Attorney

Angel Care believes everyone has the right to make their own choices about the care they receive – but sometimes that just isn’t possible.

There may come a time when you lack the capacity to make your own decisions. Sometimes people are diagnosed with degenerative conditions, other times a stroke or sudden accident might change lives forever. That’s why making a power of attorney is so crucial.

 

Powers of Attorney

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people, or attorneys, to help you make care and other important decisions or to make them on your behalf.

Ultimately this gives you more control over what happens to you if you can’t make decisions at the time they need to be made.

 

There are 2 types of powers of attorney:

  • Health & Welfare
  • Property & Financial Affairs

You can choose to make one type or both.

 

The Health & Welfare LPA

The Health & Welfare LPA will give an attorney the power to make decisions about things like:

  • Your daily routine – including: washing, dressing and eating
  • Medical care
  • Moving into a care home
  • Life-sustaining treatment

Remember, an LPA can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions.

For more on making an LPA visit the government’s power of attorney advice page which guides you on how to choose an attorney, which forms you need to complete, and what to do if you change your mind.

Funding Your Care

Most people have to pay something towards their own care costs and some will have to pay for all of the costs. This may sound confusing, so we’ve provided a brief overview of where funding can be found.

 

Local Authority Funding

Your local authority (council) may cover some, or all of the cost, in some circumstances. However, this will be “means-tested” to decide who bears that cost.

 

Means-testing considers:

  • How much money you have
  • What level and type of care and support you require

Usually, the first place to start is to ask your local authority for an assessment of your social care (care and support) needs.

 

NHS Care

The NHS can be responsible for funding some healthcare equipment or care support.

Care the NHS provides includes:

  • NHS Continuing Healthcare – a fully funded NHS care package for those with severe or complex needs
  • Mental Health Aftercare – free aftercare for people previously detained in hospital under certain sections of the Mental Health Act

 

Charities & Funds

Other sources of funding you might be able to access include charities and funds like the Family Fund – a government-backed charity that can help with grants if you care for a severely disabled child aged 17 or under.

 

Personal Funding

The cost of care and support is likely to be a long-term commitment and may be substantial. If you, or a loved one, needs to pay for care at home, it’s vital to understand the ways care can be funded.

 

You can get advice tailored to your needs from:

  • Your local authority
  • A qualified independent financial adviser who specialises in care funding advice – regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

 

What Now?

For more information try the NHS website.