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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Caregivers Guide to Medications and Ageing

Whether your caregiver is a family member or a close friend of if you’ve hired the help of an independent care giver such as Kentish Home Care to help you at home, they will all need to know how to correctly deal with your prescribed medication.

Different types of medication and understanding the prescription

Not all medications are the same therefore first your care giver will need to know the difference between each type. Prescription medications are ordered by a doctor and will be either “brand name” or “generic”. Over the counter medications are sold without a prescription and can include things such as painkillers and laxatives. The last type is Herbal medications which can also be bought in stores and can include things such as vitamins and dietary supplements. All of these can come in different forms whether a pill, liquid, inhalers and ointments. You should always check with a nurse or a doctor to make sure that the prescription is correct and how often the medication needs to be taken. Another thing you should be wary of is the potential side effects of each different type of medication. This is often listed on an information sheet that will come in every packet but if in doubt you can ask a professional.

Medication reconciliation

This refers to the way in which you check that all of the over the counter medication or prescriptions that are being used are correct. If there are a lot of prescriptions, this can sometimes be difficult but through a certain level of organisation you should be able to keep on track. Make an up to date list to make sure that none of the required medication is missing. This can happen a lot when people move from one place to another or have another diagnosis. It’s best to put this list where you know you can quickly find it in case of an emergency and bring this medication list with you every time your patient needs to visit a doctor, hospital or nursing home.

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Meal Preparation Assistance

It’s always important to maintain a good diet but elderly people living at home can often struggle to prepare meals for themselves. Many of the health problems that can occur in later life can be caused due to bad nutrition and this is why Kentish Home Care offers a meal preparation service as part of its personal care packages.

Our staff will work with clients to offer services such as creating shopping lists, buying ingredients and preparing meals. It can often be confusing to know which foods are and aren’t allowed depending on your health or medication but we know how to work to the requirements of a doctor or a dietician so that you can get the right nutrition from the right foods.

Whether you require full meal preparation or the preparation of snacks and beverages, all of the staff that we work with will be trained to the correct standards of proper food handling and hygiene. Sometimes something as simple as helping you to chop vegetables can greatly help you when it comes to preparing meals and it also gives you an opportunity to have someone to chat to while you cook. There are a number of different approaches that we can take, depending on how independent you want to be in the kitchen and we can even prepare your favourite recipes for you on request. If you have a diet that you need to follow, we will advise you on ways that you can stay committed to it and provide you with snacks that you can have throughout the day to make sure you’re never hungry.

Home care will allow you to remain comfortable and independent in your own home whilst having the correct amount of care depending on your needs. We can work alongside you to create a personalised meal preparation plan that you know you will enjoy and have one less thing to worry about day to day.

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Moving Seniors: Settling Into A New Home

It can be hard for some people to move on, especially if they have been living in the same home for decades. The process can be emotional, but sometimes moving is necessary for those who are in need of extra care.
Our care services allow you to make the process quick and easy, with our empathetic staff on hand ready to make the customer feel better about leaving their old home behind.

Here are a few key tips to making the transition from one home to another as smooth as possible.

Get affairs in order before leaving
Moving is stressful, so to help those who are moving to a new home, it’s best that you take care of all the little things they need to address for them before they leave. This includes cleaning the old home, informing the correct utility companies about the change of address, telling the local council about the change.

If someone is reluctant to leave then, matters are going to be made worse when they’re made to pack away items and make tedious phone calls.

Prepare everything in the new home
It would be salt in the wound to make someone who is reluctant to leave their home unpack and rearrange things in a new one. The best way to get someone settled in a new home quickly is by sprucing it up yourself beforehand so they can walk through the front door, sit down, relax and not have to worry about anything.

Try and position items from the old house, such as family photos, keepsakes, and other things that hold sentimental value, and position them in similar areas as the old home, so it feels a bit more like the old house.

Spend some time with them
Staying over for the night helps a lot. Going to sleep alone in a new place can be stressful and upsetting no matter how old you are, so it would be a great comfort to them to know that they had someone they trusted nearby while they settled.

Kentish Home Care offers 24-hour care for customers that need around-the-clock care or just requires some assistance during the night going to the toilet or taking medication.

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Dental Problems in Seniors

Even if we take extra good care of our teeth, it’s an unfortunate truth that they are going to deteriorate eventually over time. But tooth decay and other dental problems are far from irreversible. Identifying problems early on and taking the steps necessary.

Kentish Home Care helps elderly clients to stay on top of their dental hygiene and prevent gum disease or other painful dental ailments. Here are just some of the most common dental problems among senior citizens.

Darkened teeth
There is a multitude of ways that teeth can be darkened over time. Those who smoke regularly or frequently eat and drink stain-causing food and drink. Proper cleaning and teeth whitening solutions can help delay the effect, but the easiest way is to stick to a good diet.

Our care services include home meal preparation for the elderly, as well as teaching key skills to help them cook healthier meals too, which will keep their teeth from losing their whiteness.

Gum disease
Gum disease destroys the tissue surrounding teeth and is caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Again, the diet can be to blame for this one, but gum disease can also happen to those who smoke or those who suffer from diabetes, cancer or anaemia. Gum disease can also be brought about by wearing ill-fitting dentures.

Dry mouth
Dry mouth is often a side effect of certain medications, which restricts the flow of saliva in a person’s mouth. Commonly this occurs during cancer treatment trials that rely on radiation to fight cancer.

Regular visit the dentists
Regularly visiting the dentists is a good idea even if you don’t think you have anything wrong with your teeth. There doesn’t need to be pain for there to be a problem, and leaving it too late could let any one of these issues crop up and cost more in expensive dental treatments.

The issue may sometimes be leaving the house to get to the dentists. We offer a comprehensive care service that includes helping the elderly make it to important doctor’s appointments, chiropodists and dental clinics to keep them healthy and happy.

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