Advice & Support

Blossom Home Care is here to help and can offer advice and support in a number of areas. We’ve listed a few of these here but if you’re concerned about the care of a loved one, unsure about where to go for support or who to ask for advice ask us and if we don’t have an answer we can always point you in the right direction.

If you go into hospital, you may be worried about whether you’ll cope when you leave.

You shouldn’t be discharged from hospital until:

  • You are medically fit (this can only be decided by the consultant or someone the consultant has said can make the decision on their behalf).
  • You have had an assessment to look at the support you need to be discharged safely.
  • You have been given a written care plan that sets out the support you’ll get to meet your assessed needs. 
  • The support described in your care plan has been put in place and it’s safe for you to be discharged.

Each hospital has its own discharge policy. A hospital’s discharge policy should state how patients and carers are involving in discharge planning. You can decide whether you want a family carer involved in decisions about your future care.

If you have limited capacity to make your own decision, the Mental Capacity Act will apply. It is worth thinking about appointing a deputy or enacting a welfare power of attorney before you go into hospital.

It is hard to imagine but there may come a time when you lack capacity to make all of your own decisions. Medical conditions, for example stroke, sudden brain injury or a progressive disease of the brain like dementia, can all affect our mental capacity.  

Unfortunately this could happen to any of us so it’s important that plans are made about how things are to progress should this happen.  At the end of the day we all want to feel confident that our wishes will be carried our and our interests are protected.

Fortunately, we are legally able to plan for such a time and can make sure our wishes are followed.  We do this by granting a power of attorney and/or making an advance decision to refuse medical treatment.

Powers of attorney

You can choose to plan ahead by giving another trusted person authority to make decisions on your behalf in the future. A power of attorney is a legal document that grants this power. You can appoint one or more attorneys providing you are over 18 years of age and have the mental capacity to understand what you are doing.

There are 2 types of Power of Attorney:

  • Health and welfare
  • Property and financial affairs

You can choose to grant a power of attorney for either health and welfare or property and financial affairs, or both.

What you need to do

  • The first step is to choose the right person(s) to act as your attorney or attorneys. They must be over 18 years of age and willing and able to act on your behalf. If you are appointing more than one attorney decide whether you want them to make decisions separately or together.
  • The second step is to fill in the standard forms. You do not have to ask a lawyer to do this for you. You can find the forms on the government website
  • The third step is to register the power of attorney. For your attorney to be able to act on your behalf they must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. You can do this now or when it is needed. The form must be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian with the fee (£110).

You can contact the office of the Public Guardian for more information at

customerservices@publicguardian.gsi.gov.uk

The consequences of falling are much greater as we get older as there is an increased risk of fractures occurring, particularly to the wrist or hip. Hip fractures can be seriously debilitating and while recovery is taking place at home, help and support will almost certainly be needed.

Equally important are the psychological effects. After a fall, people can lose balance confidence. This means they have a fear of falling and may feel anxious or tense, which increases the risk of further falls. Home help can provide the care and support people need during this time.

The elderly are much more likely to fall or trip in the home for many reasons. Some medical conditions increase the risk and medications can cause side effects like dizzy spells or lack of co-ordination. Decline in muscle strength and joint flexibility can also affect mobility. These elements, sometimes combined with failing vision, can be a dangerous. Falls can result in injuries and hospitalisation in the elderly but with the over 75 years the impact of a fall is even greater as they are the most common cause of death in this age group. It’s important therefore to try and prevent them as much as possible.

Common hazards in the home that increase the risk of falls:

  • General clutter/incorrect furniture placement
  • Tripping hazards like rugs, uneven floors, trailing wires
  • Ill fitting clothing and footwear
  • Poor lighting
  • Wet or slippery floors
  • Items stored out of easy reach
  • Not using/having incorrect equipment or aids

At Blossom Home Care we are aware of the risks and can help identity the risks in the homes we visit to help prevent falls.

Poor physical health, depression and loneliness can lead to poor eating habits. Around 1 in 4 people over the age of 65 years are at risk of malnutrition as a result of either under nutrition or obesity. Good nutrition is vital to healthy living.

Following a healthy diet is key to staying healthy for longer. Eating and drinking well can help to prevent long-term health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

The signs of malnutrition can include:

The signs of dehydration can include:

It is important to eat a balanced diet regularly and to drink plenty of water. Equally as important is daily exercise of some sort. Walking is great and keeps you and your limbs moving. For more information visit
http://www.ageuk.org.uk/health-wellbeing/keeping-fit/

At Blossom Home Care we understand the important of a regular balance diet and it’s in our ethos to maintain the activities that can make a real difference to someone’s life. The Social Activities that mean so much should be continued, where possible, as they can make life feel so much more worthwhile.

Dementia is a broad umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders. There are many different types of dementia and some people may present with a combination of types. Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own unique way.

Symptoms of dementia can include

Memory problems – Short-term memory is often affected and new information is difficult to retain for a person with dementia. People with dementia can get lost in seemingly familiar places and may experience confusion with names. Families may notice that their loved one is increasingly forgetful and loses items regularly. However, we all forget a name or face once in a while and this is nothing to worry about. When noticed on a more frequent basis it is advisable to seek medical advice.

Cognitive ability – people with dementia may experience confusion in environments, which are unfamiliar to them. They may have difficulty orientating in time and place, for example, getting up in the middle of the night to go to work, despite being retired. Their ability to focus on specific tasks may be affected, concentration may be difficult to sustain. These symptoms may be noticed in activities such as shopping, where there maybe confusion over goods and payment. Their ability to reason may also be affected. For many people with dementia they get a sense of restlessness and prefer to keep moving than sitting still.

Communication – problems with communicating may be noticed. People with dementia may repeat themselves often or have difficulty finding the right words. Reading and writing may become challenging for a person with dementia. They may experience changes in personality and behaviour, mood swings, anxiety and depression. As a result, people with dementia may lose interest in engaging with others socially. Often following and engaging in conversation can be difficult and tiring and so a formerly outgoing person may become quieter and more introverted. Self-confidence will be affected.

Dementia can be a combination of one or all of the above symptoms, which have been occurring for a period of time and are progressively getting worse. In familiar places it is easier to hide some of the difficulties experienced by people with dementia; plus the symptoms can be seen gradually over time and are initially easily explained away.
https://www.dementiauk.org/understanding-dementia/about-dementia/

Care and support services in England have never been free. Most people have to pay something towards their own care and some will have to pay for all of the costs.

Your local authority (council) may cover some or all of the cost of care in some circumstances, but its help is “means-tested”. This means that who pays depends on what your needs are, how much money you have, and what level and type of care and support you require.

For most people needing social care services, the first place to start is by asking your local authority for an assessment of your social care (care and support) needs.

If the local authority considers that you need support that it can provide, it may also carry out an assessment of your finances. This assessment will determine whether the local authority will meet all the cost of your care, or whether you will need to contribute towards your care cost or whether you will have to meet the full costs yourself. Find out about support paid for by your local authority.

Currently, local authorities won’t provide care services if you have more than £23,250 in savings and property (your “capital”). However, from April 2020, this threshold will rise alongside the introduction of the cap on care costs, so more people will be eligible for help sooner.
For more information visit http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/Pages/funding-care.aspx

Contact Blossom Home Care now

hello@blossomhomecare.co.uk

Call us on Northallerton:
01609 751 644
Tadcaster:
01937 222 166
Mobile:
07500 44 11 38
hello@blossomhomecare.co.uk Northallerton: 01609 751 644, Tadcaster: 01937 222 166 or 07500 44 11 38
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