Preventing Falls in Older Adults

Here at Kentish Homecare, we’re proud to offer a range of services that we like to think cover every aspect of elderly care – everything from cooking meals, to looking after pets, to shopping.

One thing that is slightly more difficult to prevent, however, is falling. Of course, people of any age can fall at any given time for a number of reasons, but the elderly tend to be at a higher risk.

Precautions can be taken to reduce the risk of a fall, mind. Here are a few tips you can follow to reduce your own or a loved one’s risk of falling in the home.

•  Immediately mop up any spillages that occur, and remove any clutter, rubbish, trailing wires, or frayed carpet.
•  Use non-slip mats and rugs if possible, or remove them if the risk is too much.
•  Refrain from walking on more slippery floors in socks or tights.
•  Try not to wear loose-fitting or trailing clothes which are more likely to trip you up. If you have a favourite item of clothing which fits this description, try having it tailored to be shorter.
•  Wear well-fitting shoes that are in good condition and support your ankle.
•  Walk slowly.
•  If you’re particularly worried, have the likes of grab rails installed in areas such as stairs, around the shower and bath, and where else you see fit.

If you are highly worried about the risk of falling, or have a health problem that may place you at a higher risk (mobility problems, dizziness, aches and pains) it is advised that you contact a healthcare professional and a reputable care provider – such as Kentish Homecare. They will often work together to find a solution that works for you – be it a mobility frame, an alert button, or some form of care.

Feel free to contact us for more information.

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Home Remedies for Aches and Pains of Aging

People of all ages are prone to aches and pains now and again. Unfortunately, aging brings with it the tendency to suffer from them a lot more, even as bad as being chronic aches and pains.

There are things that can be done to ease what feels like a daunting, debilitating ailment, though. – a lot of them will be much easier to find than you think!

•  Heat and ice – both are a common inflammation reliever, with heat tending to help muscle stiffness and joint pain, whilst ice is good for the likes of headache pain. In a similar vein, a warm bath, shower, or hot water bottle can help in the same way. Remember to be careful with the likes of heating pads and microwaveable heating pads – which can burn if left on for too long.

•  Turmeric- it may sound odd, but the common household spice contains a natural antioxidant called Curcumin, which helps to fight against cell and tissue damage in the body.

•  Deep breathing – slow, quiet breathing is known for relaxing and easing both body and mind. Breathe long and deep – as if you’re filling a balloon in your belly with air – and you’ll feel relief in no time at all.

•  Medication – as good as natural remedies are, it sometimes takes something a tad stronger to make that ache or pain go away. A chat with your healthcare provider will ensure that you’re taking the right medication for your specific ailment, and one that isn’t going to have any detrimental effects on your health in another way.

If you’re particularly struggling, please don’t hesitate to contact a care provider such as Kentish Homecare. If you’re finding that pain is getting in the way of activities such as bathing, cooking, or shopping, our team will be more than happy to devise a care plan that meets your needs.

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Finding the right care facility for your elders

Although we must stress that every individual case is going to be different, and that it is likely that it will be a fairly difficult task, there are several pieces of advice regarding finding the right car facility for your elders which will most likely make the process flow a lot more smoothly.

First of all, it’s important to ask the person going into care about their needs and wants. It’s no good looking for a care facility that meets your needs or someone else’s needs, as opposed to one that meets the needs of the person actually going into care. For example, they may wish to go to one in a certain location, already have a friend in one, or may simply have a good feeling about a certain place.

Next, you need to think about the likes of medical requirements, or what exactly it is that the person going into care needs help with. For example, it could prove to be rather demeaning to place someone who is practically perfectly capable of caring for themselves in a home that specialises in dementia care, the same as placing someone who needs assistance with eating and bathing in an independent living housing complex.

Lastly, don’t settle for second best.  If you have a bad feeling about somewhere, go with your gut. There’s a fine line between rushing to find a good care home and leaving it too late, but attempt to walk it means that you find a home that you or your loved one feels safe, happy, and comfortable in, as opposed to having to find something else a week or so later.

For further assistance with finding the right care facility, please don’t hesitate to contact Kentish Homecare

– the leading care provider for Kent and the surrounding areas.

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Dementia and Alzheimer’s care

Dementia and Alzheimer’s are both some of the most debilitating things that can happen to a person, and they’ll most likely develop at an elderly age. Dementia isn’t a disease as such, but instead a collection of symptoms that are associated with a decline of thinking, reasoning, and remembering. Alzheimer’s is a common form of dementia, and is terminal. It causes memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, changes in personality, disorientation, and the inability to communicate.

Sadly, these ailments get progressively more severe as time goes on. Sooner or lately, it’s likely that the sufferer will need around the clock care. However, if you feel as though you cannot provide 24-hour care to somebody with dementia – which is highly likely – there are several other options available.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s care can either be provided in a specialist care home, or in the sufferers own home.

Specialist care homes which cater with dementia are more commonly found than you may think. They act just as a normal care home would, but will be run by staff who are specially trained to look after those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s important to take your time to thoroughly assess the care home – be it for the staff’s competency, the arrangements regarding outings or social activities, or what the care home to do ensure that all residents feel as comfortable, safe, and as happy as they possibly can.

If preferred, you can arrange for 24-hour care within the person suffering from dementia/Alzheimer’s home. Sometimes, it may be best or more suitable to keep the person suffering in their own home; remembering that both dementia and Alzheimer’s can cause large amounts of confusion and disorientation, placing them into an unfamiliar building with unfamiliar people may help to further worsen their condition.

Whatever your choice may be, be sure to communicate with your loved one about what option they would prefer – after all, the decision is going to impact them the most.

For high quality around the clock care in the Beckenham and Bromley area, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Moving to Senior Care: Settling in

It’s difficult to admit that you need help with something at any stage in life, but when it comes to accepting that your independence is starting to come with a lot more risks and dangers, it can be a monumental task – regardless of if it’s yourself or a loved one who may soon need some form of care or assistance.

Of course, each individual case will vary massively, but there are some rather general pieces of advice, tips, and tricks which can help you to adjust to the change.

  • Keep an open mind – the next few months will be extremely unpredictable, so it’s best to understand and prepare for a myriad of scenarios.  You may not like the first few homes you visit, or you may find the perfectly one immediately, you/a loved one may settle in well, or may not – you just never know.
  • Ask questions – don’t feel guilty for asking caregivers, other staff, or loved ones dozens of questions – no matter how minor you feel as though they may  be. The transition from independent living to receiving care is often very unsettling, so doing your utmost to feel reassured is important.
  • Bring personal items – regardless of if it’s yourself or a loved one moving into senior care, it’s always a nice idea to bring personal or sentimental items with you. It could be pictures, souvenirs – anything you feel as though will make your new residence feel like home.
  • Socialize – socialisation with staff members and other residents is key to feeling better whilst adjusting to senior care. There’s nothing worse for a new resident than for them to be holed up in their room constantly.  However, this can be a tad daunting. A good idea is for family members or loved ones to help the person in care start to socialize and make friends – perhaps socialize with them the first few times, or accompany them to meals, etc.
  • Don’t feel guilty –  this only really applies if you’re placing a loved one into senior care, but you have to remember that this move was with your best intentions in mind. It’s the best thing to do regarding health and well being for both parties – so please don’t forget that.
  • Keep in touch –  again, this applies to those of you who must place a loved one into care. It’s important to pay plenty of visit in the first few weeks of care,  to give as much support as you possibly can. At the same time, it’s important to try and refrain from visiting too much as it can often inhibit the person in care’s independence, of which they will be trying to maintain.
Settling into care can be a difficult process for many, but it’s ultimately worth it, and there’ll always be support along the way. If you need any further help with yourself or a loved one settling into senior care, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Holiday health for seniors

Everybody loves a good holiday, be it a quick weekend getaway or a fortnight of fun in the sun. However, as you age, you’ll most likely find it difficult to maintain your independence as much as you did before – be it a physical disability, a decrease in cognitive skills, or the sudden appearance of a multitude of health problems.

This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a holiday, though – you just have to find ways in which you can do so in a healthy manner. To help you do so, here are some of our top tips and tricks regarding holiday health for seniors.

  • Shop around –  if you or your holiday partner has restricted mobility, there are plenty of holiday companies which are dedicated to offering holidays and breaks for you.  Some come in the form of retreats – like a village of holiday cottages with care available on site should you require it, whilst others will offer specially made packages that feature accessible hotels and activities.
  • Keep an eye out – even if you’re browsing on a generic holiday site, it’s always wise to keep an eye out for options which may enable you to go on a holiday that you may have originally thought was inaccessible – things such as seat assignment in the rows designated for disabled travellers on a plane, or cost-free wheelchair service at airports.
  • Stay healthy –  ensure that you’re applying sun protection when needed, and to drink plenty of water. If you’re staying somewhere catered by staff or carers, make them aware of any dietary or medication requirements.

If you still need a little help when you return home, why not contact Kentish Homecare? Our team have over 25 years of expertise within the homecare industry, and are dedicated to doing their utmost to provide you with all manner of care that meets your exact needs. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more.

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Advice for hiring caregivers

When a loved one begins to age, it can be difficult to empathise with them as they begin to lose their independence slightly.

  • Take your time- unless you’re incredibly lucky, the perfect caregiver isn’t going to be the first one you meet. Although you may be feeling rather desperate and keen to hire someone, so your loved one can begin receiving a high quality of care as soon as possible, it’s important to be thorough when researching different carer options, and to take your time to get to properly know each carer. Perhaps do a trial week with each so you and your loved one get a good idea of how the care will pan out in the future?
  • Stay involved – although you may not be able to constantly drop in to see how your loved one is doing, it’s important to still be a factor in their care. You could still provide care and companionship one day of the week, perhaps, or at least frequently ask your loved one how things are going with the caregiver.
  • Get insight – ask family and friends if they have any recommendations for caregivers, look for message boards on the internet, or ask for your loved one’s opinion on what they want in a carer – it’s no good you organising a comprehensive 24-hour care solution when all your loved one needs is some help with going to the shops.

If you live in the Bromley and Beckenham area, why not contact Kentish Homecare for all of your care needs? With a range of comprehensive services, and a team of staff who are dedicated to providing care that meets your needs, we can’t see why you’d want to look elsewhere.

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How to find the right elderly nursing home

Be it that you’re doing it for yourself or for a loved one, choosing an elderly nursing home is never an easy task. During what is already likely to be a stressful and emotional time, it can be difficult to know where to look or what to look for when selecting a home.

Although we can’t assist with the process itself – especially seeing as everyone’s individual circumstances are going to be different – we see no harm in offering some pointers that may be of help to you when searching for an elderly nursing home.

  • Make a list – like most things in life; it helps if you make a list. Making a checklist of sorts will help you to establish what you want/ what you need from a home, and helps you to round down the homes you view to a select few. Things such as sufficient staff (friendly and caring, of course), bright and clean rooms, and having plenty accessibility are all necessities (if you’re struggling to think of many more, just think how you would want to be treated if you were staying in a home) but you also need to consider any ailments or requirements that your loved one may have (‘Does the home cater to residents with dementia?’, ‘Does the home cater to x dietary requirement?’). Take some time making this list; with advice from the web, and of course asking the person actually going into care what they would want from a nursing home, you’ll be one big step closer to finding the perfect one for you.
  • Take your time – unless urgent circumstances arise, we suggest that you take your time when selecting a care home. Don’t ever be pressured into choosing somewhere that you/ your elderly loved one aren’t comfortable with – you/ a loved one may spend a fair amount of time in the home, so choosing one that you/ they are as happy as possible with is key. It’s also important to remember that your/ your loved one’s needs may change during their time in care. They may suddenly develop a health condition that needs catering to, for example; it’s important that you choose a home that can cater to these needs should they arise.
  • Go with your gut – if you’re paying a visit to a home and something doesn’t look or feel right, either question it, or look elsewhere; things such as dirty rooms, residents sat aimlessly around a television, and a general air of discomfort can all be red flags  - it’s just up to you how you deal with them.

If you require further information or assistance regarding how to find the right elderly nursing home, we recommend contacting your trusted healthcare professional.

For those of you who reside in Kent and the surrounding area, Kentish Homecare are at hand to provide all manner of care services, whilst your loved one can stay in the familiar surroundings of their own home.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more.

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How to deal with ageing parents

Ageing is unavoidable – it’s just a fact of life. Unfortunately, ageing can often bring with it a range of health conditions, decreased mobility and cognitive skills, and an inability to remember things. It’s often the case that you truly never realise this, though, until it happens to yourself or a member of your family.

When it’s your parents that start to age, it can bring about a series of challenges and conflicts that can be extremely difficult to navigate. We recommend the assistance of a care company when things start to look difficult, but for now, here’s a general guide to help you deal with ageing parents.

  • Acceptance is key – it’s often the hardest part, but it’s important that you accept ageing as just another life process, and one that most of us will have to go through at some point. It can be odd for a parent to have to suddenly depend on their child, as opposed to the other way around, but it’s something that we as a species don’t have much control over.
  • Be in the know – as frustrated and upset that you may get with your parents, it’s important to remember that your parent is also aware that their abilities are diminishing. They are already going to be saddened and scared about what’s happening, any put downs are only going to hurt them more.
  • Expect anger from both sides – your parent will be angry and frustrated due to losing capabilities and their authority over you, whilst you will feel the same due to providing care and being concerned for your parents as a whole. Whilst it isn’t healthy for either party to repress these emotions, it’s important to learn how to express them healthily, and without hurting each other. Reassure your parents when they lash out (which is to be expected, and is totally justifiable) and find a way to express your own frustrations and anxieties, such as talking to a spouse, a friend, or a professional.
  • Hire a helping hand- should you not have enlisted their help already, health care providers are the ideal way to get a bit of extra support when you and your parents need it the most. A cleaner, physical therapist, nurse, or social worker can offer professional care, and you should treat them well to ensure that your parents receive the best care possible.

If there comes a time where you feel as though your parents require more care than you can offer, then it may be time to consider searching for care services. Kentish Homecare is dedicated to providing a wide array of care services with the utmost respect for your parent’s privacy, dignity, and independence. Please feel free to contact us to find out more.

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Types of assisted living services

It’s a common misconception that the likes of assisted living, care homes, and care services are just for the elderly. Anyone who struggles with everyday activities and tasks may benefit from some form of care; be it that they have a learning difficulty, a debilitating medical condition, or a physical disability that prevents them from dressing, washing, or getting around. It could even be that a perfectly healthy person is recovering from a lengthy stay in hospital due to an injury or illness, and simply needs a bit of health whilst they get back on their feet again.

Regardless of the reason for wanting or needing care, there are quite a few different types of assisted living services at hand;

Most assisted living services will take place in a senior living community of sorts. These communities consist of living spaces for residents, and communal rooms and spaces.  Living spaces could be anything from a single room to a full apartment, and may either be private or shared. Communal spaces could include the likes of dining rooms, cafes, fitness rooms, a library, a games room, parlours, and other spaces for leisure.

Whatever the layout of the community, there will always be staff on hand to assist with daily activities – things such as cooking meals, washing and bathing, housekeeping services, and providing transportation if need be.
Sometimes, a person may require care, but may not be able to or may not wish to move out of their current home. It could be that they find the familiar surroundings comforting, or that they have a pet or family member that they would like to stay close to. In this case, many assisted living services will take place in the person’s own home.
These services can range from things such as pet care, to assistance with cooking meals, to more full-time care, or night care services.

If you think that you or a loved one would benefit from assisted living services in the home, please don’t hesitate to contact Kentish Homecare services – Kent’s leading providers of a wide array of care services.

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