Choose A Home Care Agency

How to choose the best home care agency

It is a big decision to decide whether you or your loved one may need home care but if you believe this to be the case, here is how to choose the best home care agency to suit your needs and budget.

Understand what type of care you need

The first step to choosing a home care agency is to decide the type of care that is needed. Home care can come in many different forms and can include home help, care attendants, personal assistants, and carers. Many people need help in the home with personal care and hygiene, meal preparation or cleaning and tidying whereas others may need more specific nursing and healthcare. Often, people can choose home care simply for companionship. Not only will it allow people to keep their independence but home care is flexible and can be provided for short periods of time right through to care 24-hours a day. It can also be emergency care or respite care, allowing a primary caregiver to take a break from their role.

Request a care assessment
If you believe that you or a loved one may need some care at home, you can contact a local authority who will undertake a care assessment. This will give you an idea of exactly what type of care will be the most suitable and the local authority will give you an idea of how much this will cost and how they can help. Often, agency care can still be partially funded by a local authority.

Work out the costs for home care

The costs of care are usually paid at an hourly rate, particularly when used in the short term. UK Care Guide has a calculator that allows you to estimate how much it will cost you to receive care in your home and this can help you to think about budgeting.

Search for a home care provider in Beckenham

Finding a home care provider in your local area shouldn’t be difficult, but you should always make sure that the independent provider that you choose is regulated by the Care Qualities Commission. This means that they must reach a certain standard in areas such as training and record-keeping and will give you peace of mind that you or your loved one is being cared for by a qualified professional. A DBS check is also something that is recommended for home carers. Once you have found a few suitable home care providers, contact the agency and arrange for them to meet you before you make your final decision.

Ask certain questions about home care

Questions that you should ask during the meeting can be split into three areas: questions about the home care agency, questions about the care worker and questions about your needs. Some of the most important questions are:

  • Will you have to pay more for care during the night, on weekends or bank holidays.
  • Is the agency covered by insurance in case of damage to property by the carerCan you engage in a trial period to see if the agency is suitable for you.
  • What qualifications and/or training does the carer have
  • Will there be a continuity of care.
  • How often will the agency speak to you about how they are meeting your needs.
  • How will the agency determine who the right carer is for you/your loved one.

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Home Help

What is home help

Home help services support and assist vulnerable people in the community who, through old age, illness or disability, are unable to fulfill their everyday tasks. Home help allows people to remain in their own home while receiving the level of care that they need and this can either be given by the NHS or by an independent home care agency. With home help, you can get everything from personal care to home security.

What are the benefits of home help

Probably the greatest benefit of home help is that it allows those in need to remain in their own home. The fact that they continue to live in familiar surroundings will take away any of the stress that may come with moving to a residential home and is particularly beneficial with those who suffer from conditions such as dementia. Home help will not disrupt the daily routine of a person and allow them to keep hold of their independence.
Care and support for a vulnerable person must be personalised to their own needs and wants. Home help services allow for a tailored program of care that can be as flexible as needed to fit around their lifestyle. For many people, the care that they already receive will be from a loved one such as a parent, a spouse or a child but with tailored home help, carers and support workers can share the responsibility or take over care altogether, easing something that may become a burden.

It is understandable that some people may not wish to ask for the help that they require for aspects in their everyday life but with home help, they are able to choose as little or as much help as they need and continue to receive the correct support even if their needs change. Extra support can easily be added and can include things such as personal care, housekeeping tasks, meal preparation, someone to stay overnight or more specialist home help services for those suffering from dementia, a physical disability or other long-term health conditions.

To find out more about home help services, visit the Kentish Home Care services page or browse NHS directories to find the right service for you or your loved one.

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Elderly Care

Home care for the elderly in their own home

If you want to remain in your home or are looking for help with an elderly relative, the homecare services at Kentish Home Care will give you the assistance you need.
By establishing a good home care service, you or your relative can decide exactly what you need whether that be 24-hour round the clock care or assistance with a few household chores throughout the week so that you can keep your independence. Often, home care at home is the perfect solution for the elderly as it means that they can remain in an environment that they are comfortable with while receiving the care that they need.

Finding help at home shouldn’t be difficult. Kentish Home Care offers a number of options for home care services and can work closely alongside you to choose what’s best. Our professional carers will always give you the respect and privacy you need whether you choose to opt for a part-time personal care package, 24-hour care or simply help with meal preparation or the general upkeep of your home. Plus, our continuity of care means that not only your specific requirements are understood but that a personal relationship between patient and carer can be developed over time.

It has been found that pets help to promote wellbeing and contentment in older adults, but many nursing homes will not allow them. This is another reason why staying in your home may be the most attractive option. We can help ease the burden of pet care whether that may be feeding your fish or taking your dog for a walk. Why leave those you’re closest to behind?

If it’s respite care or rehabilitation that you’re looking for, our services can suit. The role of a primary caregiver can be stressful and tiring so why not give them a break with suitable cover. Or, it may be that you’ve recently returned from a long stay in the hospital and need the confidence to get back on your feet in your own home. We will always listen to your wants and needs so that you won’t struggle with this transition.

We have the experience and qualified staff on hand to tailor our packages to suit you and will always fully cooperate with you to make sure you or your relative gets the exact care they require. This is why we have an outstanding reputation as a private home care service in the areas that we cover.

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Tips for caregivers

Being a caregiver can be an extremely rewarding job, but it can also provide a lot of stress, particularly if you have been given a lot of responsibility when it comes to things like meal preparation, medication and helping out in the home. If you’ve only just become a caregiver and need some advice on how to get the support you need, here are some tips.

Communicate effectively
The key to all good relationships is knowing how to communicate effectively. This does not only mean communicating with the person who you’re caring for, but communicating well with those who work alongside you as well as doctor and other people involved in the care.

Know your limits
Be realistic about the amount of time and effort you can put into care giving. Regardless of whether you’re looking after a family member or are employed within a home care company, you could be under a huge amount of responsibility which could in turn weigh you down.

Encourage independence
More often than not, care giving does not mean doing everything for your loved one or patient and sometimes an important part of the role is to encourage them to be independent. Be open to strategies and technologies that will allow the person you’re caring for to do things for themselves.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Care giving can trigger a whole range of different emotions including anger, fear, guilt, resentment and helplessness. If you feel overwhelmed by your emotions, it can be comforting to seek advice from others in the same position who will know exactly how you feel.

Attend to your own needs, too
It is essential that you receive the correct amount of support so that you can give the right level of care. Good care should support both the physical and emotional wellbeing of you and the person you’re caring for.

Kentish Home Care can provide services including personal care, medication, meal preparation, housekeeping and caring for pets from the short or long term whether you require 24 hour help or are just seeking company for a few hours a day.

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Springtime allergies in pets

Spring can be an exciting time of year. Alongside the possibility of spotting lambs and chicks, the season also brings with it Easter and the promise of warmer weather. One downside to the spring, however, is the allergies that the springtime can bring to your pets.

Pets can get allergies, too

You may think that only humans are prone to airborne allergens such as pollen, trees, mould and insects, but your pets can also suffer from the same symptoms. Whether that’s a runny nose, watery eyes, itchiness, poor sleep or coughing, it’s possible that your pets can suffer from the same symptoms as you; alongside scratching, licking, chewing and rubbing. If your pet looks uncomfortable or can’t sit still, then they may be suffering from a spring allergy.

How to prevent allergies in pets

If you want to avoid the likelihood of your pet suffering from an allergy, then there are some simple steps that you can take to reduce their chances. Make sure that you wipe down your cat or dog after they’ve been outside, and limit the amount of fresh air that your pet is exposed to when they’re indoors. Be sure to bathe your pets regularly, and consider using antihistamines if they have been recommended by your veterinary nurse.

Give your pets some TLC this spring

Although your pets could suffer from allergies just like you, don’t let that stop you from having a good time this spring. Take your dogs on regular walks, or spend time with your cat in the garden. With warmer weather and lighter nights, having a pet is a great way to get outdoors and stay active. Indeed, research even suggests that pets can be used as an aid to distressing, so it makes sense to spend time with your furry friend if you can.

If you’re feeling the burden of caring for your pet this spring, get in touch with Kentish Homecare today. We offer a full pet care service, whether walking your dog or feeding your cat. Click here to find out more about our caring for pets service.

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Eldercare tips for this spring

With spring fast approaching, it’s time to take stock and prepare for the season ahead. Below, we’ve put together some elder care tips for this spring to ensure you’re delivering the best possible care, whether that’s to your relative or one of your patients.

Spend time outdoors

With spring comes warmer weather and the possibility of spotting some lambs and chicks. Whether you head to a nature reserve or just spend time in your local park, spring is the best time of the year to spend time outdoors and take in some fresh air. Remember to dress sensibly and be prepared for all weather conditions – we recommend dressing in layers, so that, if the weather does suddenly change, you’ll be able to keep cool.

Make new foods

Winter time usually means eating warm food and sitting by the fire, but as spring arrives, there’s a new opportunity to try out new foods. That’s why, at Kentish Homecare, we offer a meal preparation service so that our patients always have delicious, freshly prepared food that can help them through the day. If you’re taking care of a senior patient, then mix up the food you usually prepare – consider adding spices or extra fruits and vegetables.

Let them connect with their pets

If your patient has a pet, like a cat or a dog, then they’re bound to be ready for the spring – it means that they can spend more time playing with them in their garden without the fret of getting a chill. Whether you take their pets for a walk or just spend time with them in the comfort of their home, spring is a great time to take a step back and let your patients give their furry friend some extra care. After all, they’re always there when we need them!

There you have it – just some of the ways in which you can improve the care of the elderly as we head into the spring. Whether it’s spending time connecting with nature, eating new foods or chilling out with pets, spring always brings with it the chance of a fresh start. Enjoy!

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Benefits of Telemedicine for seniors and caregivers

As new advancements in technology make it easier than ever for patients to connect with their caregivers, we take a closer look at the benefits of telemedicine.

It’s cheaper

At a time when the NHS is struggling to raise finances, and the cost of private health care continues to rise, telemedicine can be used to bridge the gap and help patients get the care that they need. Remote monitoring and data storage means that caregivers don’t always need to be at your home to check your health, cutting costs and ensuring that more patients can be dealt with on a smaller budget.

Engagement levels rise

Telemedicine care usually involves transparency between patient and caregiver, meaning that the patient will have access to their own medical information and participate in setting goals for their recovery. Virtual visits from a telemedicine provider can reassure patients that they can access doctors whenever they need to, and also allows them to report concerns and warnings to reduce the likelihood of any further ailments.

Care is more accessible

Sometimes, finding accessible home care in your area can be a challenge. With telecare, you’ll be sure that you’re receiving the best possible care wherever you are in the country. Forget missed appointments and late deliveries – telecare was designed to run like clockwork and ensure that you’re always being checked and monitored to aid in your health, comfort and recovery.

You can stay at home

If you require monitoring 24 hours a day, then your only feasible options are a hospital admission or a move into a care home. Telemedicine makes it easier for you to receive care from the comfort of your own home, meaning that you will still be able to enjoy the benefits of remaining in your property. This is particularly beneficial if you struggle to settle outside of your home, or you want to stay close to your friends and family.

It’s the future

The future of healthcare is in telemedicine. While telemedicine is safe and well insured, a role in the shaping and ironing out of telemedicine can be exciting for patients. Not only will you be able to give feedback to companies using telemedicine, but you’re likely to be able to try out new products and services that aid in your monitoring and care needs.

There you have it – just some of the many benefits of telemedicine. Whether you’re considering telemedicine in your home or you’re a caregiver trying to explain the benefits to your patients, we hope that this article provided value. If you do have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Kentish Homecare team.

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The Benefits of Elderly Owning Pets

Studies have shown that owning a pet may help you live a longer, healthier and happier life thanks to the complex ways that animals can affect human emotions. A study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society suggested that elderly people who live with pets tended to be healthier both physically and mentally than those who didn’t. Plus, the experimental residential home Eden Alternative has filled their facility with over 100 birds, cats, dogs, rabbits and chickens and has proven to have a 15% lower mortality rate than other traditional nursing homes.

Pets can provide companionship

Pets can give older people a sense of purpose and provide companionship to those who would otherwise live alone. They protect older people against a sense of social isolation and the negative emotions this can cause. For young people who live alone, it’s easier to get out and maintain a social life but older people, particularly those with health and mobility problems, sometimes the only company they will have on a daily basis is their pet. A pet will give unconditional love and affection no matter what.

Allows owners to be more active

All pets need feeding, watering and grooming and sometimes even walking so they encourage their owners to be more active on a daily basis. Any activity can promote cardiovascular health for the elderly and helps to keep their joints flexible and limber. Even if it seems like a minor exercise, doing it frequently will benefit the way that they’re able to carry out the tasks they have to do in the home.

They can reduce stress and depression

The emotional benefits of owning a pet will probably be more noticeable than the physical benefits. By reducing loneliness, pets can in turn reduce the effects of depression that can often occur in the elderly if they are not close to any family or friends. Touching an animal that is your pet has been proven to reduce levels of stress and anxiety because you experience feelings of calmness and affection.

Something to focus on

Owning a pet gives an elderly person a sense of responsibility that they may feel they are lacking, particularly if their children have grown up and moved away. All pets will need feeding, grooming and generally caring for and this can be a huge but rewarding thing for elderly people to focus on and relieve boredom. Plus, animals are non-judgemental in their interactions with people and the positive attention that pets will give to their owners can help to keep them happy and restore feelings of self-worth that they may have lost over the years. Everyone wants to feel needed, and seniors are no exception.

Give a sense of security

If an elderly person lives alone they can often feel afraid and owning a pet can give them a sense of security that they need. Dogs, in particular, can warn off intruders and alert seniors to the presence of people that may be at their door.

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Menu ideas for elderly people

There are a number of different reasons why seniors struggle to eat well, whether it’s due to the side effects of medication, specific dietary requirements or simply a lack of interest in cooking. Older people have different nutritional requirements and although they may need less calories, they tend to need more nutrients such as Vitamin B, calcium and protein. These nutrient-dense recipes can all be easily made by you or a home carer with only a few simple ingredients.

Crustless Spinach Pie

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 large eggs
• ½ cup flour
• ½ cup milk
• 2 garlic cloves (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 4 ounces mozzarella
• 2 cups of chopped fresh spinach

To prepare:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Melt butter in an 8 inch baking pan
3. Beat the eggs well and add flour, milk, garlic and baking powder
4. Pour into baking pan, stir in mozzarella and spinach
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until firm and the mozzarella looks golden

Lentil Vegetable Stew

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• ¾ diced celery
• 1 diced red onion
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 4 carrots peeled and sliced
• 2 cups dried green lentils
• 8 cups of water
• 2 cans of low-salt chicken broth
• 2 cups tomato sauce

To prepare:

1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat and sautee the celery, onion, garlic and carrots for 5 minutes
2. Add the lentils and water and cook for 20 minutes
3. Add broth and cook for 15 minutes
4. Add tomato sauce and cook for 10 minutes

Easy Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
• 1-2 ounces Farfalle pasta
• Low-fat Italian dressing
• 2 chopped cucumbers
• 6 chopped tomatoes
• 1 bunch chopped spring onions
• 4 ounces grated parmesan cheese
• 1 tablespoon of Italian herbs/seasoning

To prepare:

1. Cook pasta to your own taste then drain and rinse in cold water
2. In large bowl, mix pasta with the salad dressing and vegetables
3. In a separate bowl mix parmesan cheese and Italian herbs and gently fold into pasta

Kentish Home Care can assist you with all of your meal preparation needs, no matter your taste or dietary requirements. Contact us today for more information.

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Home Care Costs

If you or a family member needs help in the home, the best solution may be to hire fully qualified home care workers that will offer their assistance whenever you need them to. Before you set out to commit to home care, here are a few things you should consider.

Different types of home care

Home care can be very flexible according to your lifestyle and your needs. It also comes in many forms and many names are used to describe it including home help, care attendants and carers. Homecare can suit you if you need day to day personal care (such as washing or dressing), housekeeping or general domestic work, preparing meals, nursing and health care and even simply companionship. Consider what you think is best for you and the amount of time you may need a home care provider. The same person or agency may be able to help you for long-term 24-hour care, emergency care, day care or even just pop-in for a few minutes a day to check how you’re doing. If you think that you may benefit from a certain type of home care, you should contact your local social services department who will adequately asses you on your needs and give you qualified advice on the options that are available to you.

Benefits of home care

Recent studies have found that an average stay in a residential home could see you lose almost half of the value of the property that you own. Opting for home care, instead, would allow you to lower the costs by giving you the flexibility of only hiring an individual or an agency when it is needed. Not only that, home care allows people to maintain their independence by staying in their own home, patients will have a continuity of care and have less-risk to any illness they may be exposed to when living in a shared facility. Home care means that individual needs are always met and flexibility allows your loved ones to visit more than they may be able to do in a residential home with restricted visiting hours.

If you require home care, your local council will perform an assessment of your needs and provide a financial quote. This is usually based on your income and savings but not the value of your home. In many cases, local councils, GPs or Clinical Commissioning Groups will pay for some or all of the costs of your required care.

An independent home care agency is often the most affordable way to make sure you or your loved one gets all of the assistance that they need. All home care agencies will have a trained team of care workers who are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and all hold a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

To find out more about home care services, you can always search NHS Choices directories for local homecare services and agencies, national homecare organisations, supported living services or even a place to live with a family that will care for you.

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