Hannah MacKechnie

Hannah MacKechnie

Friday, 01 September 2017 19:26

How To Prevent Falls At Home

It is an alarming statistic that for the over 75s, falls are the most common cause of injury-related death (NHS) but it is a reality that as we get older, and our faculties decline, we are more at risk of falling and the consequences are much more severe if we do fall.

Osteoporosis means that bones break more easily, which can have a devastating effect on an elderly person who may struggle to regain full mobility. Aside from the physical injury, a fall can impact on confidence, independence, isolation and psychological well-being.

“Every minute, six people over 65 suffer a fall” Age UK.

What can cause a fall?


Medical reasons for falling include:

  • Medication and its common side effects of dizziness and drowsiness.  Be aware of what you are taking and of the combinations of tablets.
  • Poor vision, through a decline in sight and poorly-lit areas.
  • Decline in muscle strength and mobility.
  • Balance and co-ordination decline, through lack of mobility and illness.
  • Chronic health issues, for example, heart disease, low blood pressure and dementia causing lack of coordination and dizziness.


Hazards around the home that can cause falls:

  • Trying to climb a ladder or on to a chair.
  • Loose rugs or worn carpets.
  • Clutter on the floor, especially magazines and newspapers.
  • Loose cords and wires, such as extension and phone cables.
  • Wet floors, particularly in the bathroom or kitchen.
  • Tights and socks on a slippery surface such as lino.
  • Rushing to answer the phone or to go to the toilet.


What to do if you fall

If you have an elderly relative, talk them through this procedure so that they know both what to do if they should fall and to avoid panic.

  • Firstly, remain calm and take a few deep breaths.
  • Do a body scan and consider if you can stand up.
  • If you can get up, roll onto your hands and knees.
  • Very slowly use a piece of sturdy or solid furniture to help you get up.
  • Sit down and rest until you feel well enough to stand.
  • Call your carer or a relative to let them know you have fallen.
  • If you can’t get up, either use your call aid button or try to reach a phone by crawling.  Failing that, shout for help.
  • Cover yourself to keep warm (mainly your legs and feet), using anything such as a blanket, coat, dressing gown or towel.
  • Remain comfortable but keep changing position every half an hour.

For anyone vulnerable, panic buttons worn around the neck are essential in the event of a fall.

How to prevent falls

The risk of falling may increase as we age but it is not inevitable and there is much we can do to stay fit and healthy and avoid needless accidents.

Use our home safety checklist to review the home and to make it safe against accidents.

Have regular health checks including ECGs and blood pressure monitoring. Also, have regular sight checks - even if you wear glasses.

It is recommended that older people should stay physically active with regular exercise. Aside from the positive mental benefits, physical exercise improves muscle strength and when combined with balance training, is one of the most proactive ways both to prevent falls and to maintain a quality of life.

Heavy gardening, walking, and dancing is all considered good exercise. Or, Thai Chi, fitness classes and exercise groups can also be considered. Group classes are social events and can also alleviate isolation for anyone living at home alone.

Look for local exercise classes through Age UK

“Every year, more than one in three (3.4 million) people over 65 suffer a fall that can cause serious injury and even death.” Age UK.

Having a home care service offers peace of mind that you have someone to call if you do fall. After a fall, your home carer can provide support to regain both your confidence and to help you return to full mobility.

Next steps:

Friday, 01 September 2017 18:43

Home Safety Checklist

As your parents and relatives age, it is inevitable that both their physical ability and their senses will decline. To help your parents to remain in their home, a full safety assessment is essential for their well-being, to avoid any needless accidents and to help prevent falls. Even seemingly insignificant measures such as creating clear pathways between furniture, can significantly reduce any risk.

If you consider that as a person ages:

  • Senses become impaired – sight, hearing and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
  • Physical ability declines – balance and mobility is reduced.
  • Cognitive function declines – forgetful of appliances or running taps.

Evaluate the environment and asses the home by imagining that you have reduced mobility or vision:

  • What might you have difficulty with (reaching high cupboards).
  • What might you not see (extension cables).
  • What might you not hear (a smoke alarm).
  • What might you forget about (a boiling pan).

Home safety checklist:

Hallway, front door and flooring through the house

  • Ensure the doorway, hallway and all walkways are well-lit.
  • Remove any obstructions around the front doorway (for example, plant pots).
  • Paint door sills a different colour or use bright coloured tape.
  • Secure or remove a loose doormat or rugs.
  • Install a secure handle in doorways to assist with steps.
  • Use non-skid floor wax.

Living spaces

  • Remove throw rugs, and secure large rugs and carpet edges.
  • Remove low plants, foot stools and low coffee tables.
  • Remove anything else from the floor, such as books, magazines or ornaments.
  • Arrange furniture with clear walkways.
  • Put coloured stickers on large glass doors and patio doors.
  • Secure or remove from walkways any extension cables, lamp cords or TV cables.
  • Coil cables and secure them with cable ties, to keep them tight and tidy.
  • Do not overload sockets with plugs and ensure that all wiring is safe.
  • Consider sound activated light switches or add glow-in-the-dark switches.
  • Check all furniture for sturdiness.
  • Have an armchair with armrests, that will help when standing.
  • Have a cordless phone to be carried around.
  • Consider a panic button worn on the person, in case of accident or fall.


  • Keep floors clean and clear of any oil or food spilled on the floor.
  • Consider installing appliances with an auto shut-off feature.
  • Limit the temperature of hot water on the boiler.
  • Move items from high and low shelves to waist height.
  • Invest in a sturdy step stool with handles.


  • Have a lamp and torch next to the bed and within easy reach.
  • Install a phone next to the bed.
  • Remove everything from the floors, including throw rugs.
  • Use a night light to see pathways to the bathroom or the stairs.


  • Install grab bars next to toilets and also for baths and showers.
  • Use either a non-slip mat or textured stickers in the bath.
  • Consider a walk-in bath or shower.
  • Have an elevated toilet seat with handrails, to assist when standing up.
  • Place toiletries within reach but not in a place where they may be knocked on to the floor.
  • Use a soap dispenser in the shower.
  • Consider a specific bath chair.


  • Use brightly coloured tape on the edge of stairs.
  • Check for any broken/uneven steps or loose carpet.
  • Attach non-slip rubber to wood or non-carpeted steps.
  • Ensure that stairs are both well lit and have a light switch at the top and bottom.
  • Install a sturdy handrail.
  • Remove anything on the stairs, at the top and bottom (for example, mail or plants).

Emergency phone lists

  • Have a list of emergency phone numbers such as doctors, hospitals, NHS Direct, local Police, pharmacy and the contact number for your carer. Print this in clear and large type and leave on the fridge or next to the phone. 
  • If your relative or spouse has dementia or Alzheimer’s, then we recommend additional precautions to ensure their safety.

Your Radfield home carer can help conduct a safety assessment of your home.

Next steps:

Friday, 01 September 2017 16:02

How to Deal with Nuisance Calls

Preventing Nuisance Calls

The phone rings and Martin reaches to answer. He has been alone at home for most of the day and it’s a welcome distraction. The caller (Andrea) is warm and friendly and Martin feels happy to simply have a conversation with another person. Andrea says that she is from Martin’s bank and tells him that there has been a security breach on his account. To verify his identity, and before she can proceed, Andrea asks Martin to confirm his bank card number.

At first, Martin is hesitant but when Andrea points out that the phone number on his caller ID is the same number as his bank customer services he feels reassured. So, he hands over his account and bank card details.

Andrea calls back the next day and again Martin enjoys chatting to Andrea - he feels a rapport and trust with her. Once again, to verify his identity, Andrea asks for Martin to confirm numbers 1 and 3 of his PIN. When the phone rings on the third day, Martin recognises Andrea’s voice and welcomes her call as she is the only person he has spoken to all day. Andrea asks for Martin to confirm numbers 2 and 4 of his PIN.

Andrea informs Martin that the bank will send a special courier to collect his old card to ensure that it is safely returned. Martin duly hands over his bank card to a ‘fake’ courier and Andrea has already secured his full PIN, ready to empty his account.

This is how easy it is to be groomed by a phone-scam caller who cultivates your trust and then extracts your banking details before you realise what is going on.

This might sound naive but it is so common, that Age UK has found that over half (53 per cent) of people aged 65+ believe they have been targeted by fraudsters.

The elderly are especially vulnerable and are prime targets for fraudsters, for a variety of reasons:

  • Their mental cognition and judgment decline.
  • It is considered they have more money from life savings.
  • They may be under financial pressure and likely to fall for investment scams.
  • They may be socially isolated and be more susceptible to be groomed by a ‘friendly’ caller.

It is a heart-breaking reality that our UK elderly are victims for unscrupulous fraudsters, who perceive them as an easy target to drain of their hard-earned life savings. As our parents and relatives age, we must be vigilant to ensure we protect any vulnerability they have by educating them and watching for signs that they may have been targeted.

Once a victim has been defrauded, they often feel shame and may feel partially responsible for being so gullible. As a result, they may try to hide the crime from their family. Many victims do not even report fraud crimes for these reasons and it is estimated that less than five percent of people report scams (Age UK).

‘Very often a victim cannot admit to themselves that they have been the victim of a scam and they do not tell anyone, even family or friends’. OFT 

It doesn’t always stop there for once a person responds to a scam, they can be added to a ‘suckers list’ to be labeled as an ‘easy touch’ and can be targeted relentlessly. In March 2014, trading standards officers received a list of over 100,000 people on such a list, with the majority being elderly and vulnerable people. Age UK 

Government to help dementia sufferers against nuisance calls

In April this year (2017), the Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the government would be taking measures against scam callers by installing call blocking devices, such as TrueCall, into the homes of the most vulnerable at risk from nuisance callers. Predominantly those with dementia and those identified by their GP. 

The Prime Minister said, “This new, targeted scheme is the latest step in the UK government’s fight against nuisance calls, protecting those who are most at risk, including those with dementia.”

Hilda Hayo, The chief executive of Dementia UK responded by saying “These calls can, not only have a negative financial impact but can also lead to psychological effects such as anxiety, depression and a loss of self-esteem. We frequently receive calls to our national helpline from family members, who are concerned that their relative with dementia has fallen prey to rogue traders.”

A call blocking device, such as TrueCall, allows phone calls from trusted numbers to be put straight through but blocks calls by asking unrecognised phone number callers to identify themselves. They have been likened to having your own receptionist service at home, acting as a gatekeeper on your phone line.

Last year, the National Trading Standards Scam Team ran a similar campaign with call blockers, which resulted in 93% of participants stating that they felt safer in their home. 

Age UK estimates that half a million older people have been a victim to losing savings through scams and fraudsters. With a third surveyed having lost over £1,000 or more. 


Common phone scams to be aware of…

  • Investment scams

A caller will try to convince you of an ‘unmissable’ investment opportunity with ‘unbelievable’ returns. Usually, the call will involve the pressure of a time deadline urging you to act with urgency.

  • Pensions scams

Over 55s now have more control over their pension pots and have the ability to release a substantial amount of money. This has been a natural target for fraudsters offering pension advice and help.

  • Computer help scams

 A caller will pretend to be from Microsoft or another reputable IT company and claim that there has been a security breach. The caller will prompt you to hand over password or credit card details or ask you to download software on your machine.

  • Bank account security breach scams

Directly targeted at stealing online banking login details, a caller will try to obtain passwords or PINs. This may be conducted over several phone calls.

Another scam involves sending a courier to pick up your credit card after a reported problem. Or, suggesting money is moved to a new ‘safe’ account whilst they resolve a security breach on your bank account.

  • Compensation calls

Mis-sold PPI, car accidents and compensation for accidents are common subjects from cold callers. However, these can be scammers. There is no way to discern between a genuine company and a scammer, other than hanging up the call and contacting a reputable firm directly.

In all these instances, hang up the phone immediately and do not engage in any conversation.


Number spoofing…

Telephone fraudsters are now using a technique that involves cloning the phone number of a credible company, so that when they call it shows up on the victim’s caller ID as a trusted number. This is known as ‘number spoofing’.

The caller will draw attention to the caller ID as validation that they are a genuine caller. Never assume that the person you are speaking to is who they say they are or trust your caller ID.


Open phone line…

 A scammer can also target a victim by keeping the phone line open after the potential victim has hung up. For example, the victim may be suspicious about the validity of the call, so the scammer asks the victim to hang up and call the bank customer services line.

The victim puts the phone down but the telephone fraudster does not hang up and instead, keeps the phone line open.

When the target returns with the phone number for their bank, they are connected back to the scammer and they assume that they are talking to a genuine employee of the bank.

If you have received a scam call, wait five to ten minutes before trying to make a phone call. Or, use another phone to make the call.


What to do if you do get a nuisance call…

  • Answer with a ‘hello’ and don’t answer with your name or your telephone number.
  • Ask who is calling.
  • Ask for the caller’s details, including organisation name, address, and telephone.
  • Do not give out any personal details.
  • Never give out any financial details over the phone.
  • If in doubt about the validity of a call from your bank or other organisation, end the call (wait ten minutes to ensure the scam call is disconnected) and then contact the company or bank on a number that you have on record.
  • If you feel under pressure to give out personal details or to complete a time limited offer, then end the phone call. A genuine and reputable company would never use pressured sales techniques on a phone call.
  • Remember that at any time you can simply put the phone down to end the call without saying anything. You have control to end the conversation this way and should never feel pressured, intimidated or harassed.


What you can do to protect your phone line…


If you have been a victim what do you do?


Useful guides for more reading and viewing…

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 13:45

Jemma - Care Administrator

Bromsgrove and Redditch Care Administrator

Jemma initially joined our Radfield Home Care Worcester branch as a carer and then progressed into an office team role where she worked for Dawn as her manager. When Dawn started her own franchised branch of Radfield Home Care in Bromsgrove and Redditch, Jemma decided that she would like to support Dawn in her new venture and has been working as a Care Administrator to help ensure that the care service runs as smoothly as possible.

Jemma loves working in the care sector and when she is not busy supporting her carers or clients she is at home looking after her young family.

Wednesday, 05 July 2017 15:21

The carer’s role

Values are everything to us at Radfield and we only select the most responsible carers who can both uphold our values and demonstrate their personality fit to our family culture. We can support and train people to be great Radfield carers but we can’t train someone to be a great person with the right attitude.

When a new carer begins to work at Radfield, they are carefully monitored and trained by our experienced care team. As well as learning the practical skills, we also monitor how well they interact with clients and if they form positive relationships with them.

We support our carers with ongoing feedback and training, and encourage them to progress into structured learning such as, undertaking diplomas in social care or progression to management level.

We are proud to have a high staff retention rate at 89%, whereas the industry standard is 30%. We consider this a reflection of how much we value our care staff and how we respect the work they do. Many staff members have remained with us from when we started in 2008.

Care Certificate Training

All staff working in Health and Social Care should complete the national entry level qualification but it is not obligatory. At Radfield, we ensure with our training that all of our carers exceed the standards outlined in the certificate.

All Radfield carers undergo training to meet our standards in the following areas:

Theoretical learning: 

Practical training covers:

  • Dementia care
  • Fire safety
  • First aid
  • Food hygiene
  • Health and safety
  • Infection control
  • Medication theory
  • Mental capacity and dolls
  • Moving and handling theory
  • Risk management
  • Safe guarding
  • Basic life support
  • Moving and handling people
  • Catheter and Conveen care
  • Stoma care
  • Pressure area care
  • Medication
  • Stocking care
  • Infection control
  • Gas and fire safety
  • Dementia training


What a carer can and can’t do:

Personal care

  • Washing, bathing and showering.
  • Dressing and undressing.
  • Cleaning teeth and dentures.
  • Shaving facial hair with an electric shaver.
  • Assisting with personal grooming; for example, brushing hair and applying makeup.
  • Toilet management and continence care, emptying and changing catheter bags but not resiting indwelling catheters.
  • Assisting with physical exercises to enable rehabilitation under the direction of a physiotherapist.

Day and night care

  • Companionship, social time with a client in or out of the house, walking or by car (planned).
  • Day sitting, being at a client’s home to provide personal and social care.
  • Night sitting, being awake to provide care during the night.
  • Night sleeping, sleeping at the client’s home and providing care if needed but not woken more than twice in a night (considered to be a waking night).


  • Moving and handling and use of lifting equipment, but not physically lifting a client without the correct equipment.


  • Medication collection and administering from prescribed and labelled containers.
  • Application of creams but not to broken skin, nor prescription creams without medical approval.
  • Monitoring blood sugar for diabetic clients but not injecting insulin.
  • Monitoring of weight and nutritional and fluid intake.


  • Preparing meals, feeding and washing up.
  • Changing bed linen, laundry and ironing at the client’s home or at a laundrette.
  • Assisted shopping and help both to carry and put away items at a client’s home.
  • Shopping from a list and using client’s money to purchase items.

What a carer can’t do

  • Any of the roles above for anyone other than the client.
  • Household repairs or climbing ladders.
  • Duties that require a trained nurse. For example: changing dressings, giving injections.

At Radfield we have a mission: To be the best care company from whom to receive care and support, and to be the very best company for whom to work. We extend this mission with our Caring for Carers Pledge here…

Next steps:


Wednesday, 05 July 2017 09:30

Questions to ask a home care service

At Radfield, we understand that looking for a home care service can be a difficult and confusing process. Unless you have knowledge and experience of how home care works, then your understanding of what questions you need to ask may be vague.

To make it easier for you, we have listed a set of vital questions to ask a potential home care service. You can also see an extensive list, with a checklist to download, on the Which? Site here

Do you visit me at home before care starts?

A home care service should have a care assessment process so that they can create a bespoke care plan for your needs and gather all the vital information they need to offer you a safe service, as we do at Radfield.

Their Care Manager should visit you in your home so that they can understand your living situation and conduct a health and safety risk assessment.

Your home care service should be asking you the following questions whilst creating your care plan:

  • Details of illness or conditions and any medication you require.
  • Do you have any challenges with hearing, sight or communication?
  • Do you have any mobility issues that need specialist help?
  • Any dietary needs or preferences.
  • Religious and cultural beliefs, lifestyle choices and preferences.
  • Who else is involved in support and care, for example, family members and health care professionals.
  • Does anyone hold Power of Attorney for you?

How often can I change (or can I cancel) my care package?

You want full control of the care service that is given to you at all times. Therefore, you should be able to change the care offered to you at any time, without a reason.

It is also vital to ask what terms or process there is to cancel the service and if you can have a trial period to asses if you are happy with the care before you commit to ongoing care.

Will I have the same carer each time and how many carers will I have?

Introducing a new person into your life and home can take time to get used to, and having a constant stream of different people caring for you is unsettling and far from ideal.

To cover the reality that a carer will go on holiday or might be off work due to illness, it is best to have more than one carer on a regular basis. This offers you the chance to get to know your carers and avoid having to unexpectedly deal with a carer you don’t know.

Also ask what the home care service policy is to cover emergency situations, such as if a carer is stuck in traffic or bad weather and can’t get to you. Will the home care service send another carer for your scheduled time?

For other emergency situations, such as if you have an accident, will the carer accompany you to hospital?

Just as important as having consistency, is to ask what happens if you simply can’t get along with your carer or feel uncomfortable with them. It does take several visits to get used to someone new in your home but in rare instances you may want someone else to attend to you and that should be your right.

What are your standards for hiring a carer?

Welcoming someone into your home extends a level of trust, so you need to be reassured that the care service is properly screening their candidates and not just hiring anyone.

Ask your service what process of selection they go through and the minimum requirements they have for hiring. At Radfield, we only hire if we would trust a carer to take care of our own family.

It is also essential to get confirmation that all hired carers have their employer references checked (more than one) and that a DBS police check  is conducted.

Do you supervise and train your carers?

After a new carer has been hired, they should have an induction and trial period under supervision and then undergo comprehensive training.

Ask what ongoing training the carers have access to and how the care service monitors the standards of an individual carer. A good agency will provide ongoing training to their carers, together with the opportunity for development.

Radfield carers are trained rigorously at all levels of practical care but also with an approach of warmth, dignity and respect that encompasses the Radfield family culture.

To ensure that corners are not cut, ask how the service monitors if a carer is completing all the tasks they are supposed to. Do they use time sheets and daily records of care, and do you have access to these?

What are your charges and what extras do I have to pay for?

An area of controversy surrounding home care, that has received much publicity, is the inclusion of a carer’s travel time within your scheduled time. Ensure you ask and clarify that the carer will stay with you for the full time that you are paying for. At Radfield, our carers’ travel time is not taken out of your care visit time.

Apart from standard hourly charges or charge per visit, ask if there are additional charges for weekend visits and bank holidays.

Ask for clarity and a full list of any additional charges you may incur, such as:

  • Mileage for trips
  • Expenses for trips
  • VAT (is this included)
  • National Insurance for the care worker.

Ensure that your home carer is employed, insured and bonded by the service provider. If a carer is self employed or contracted, then you may have personal liability or tax obligations and the agency will not be able to manage the quality of the carers work and enforce improvements if needed.

What regulations and insurance do you have?

Home care agencies have regulations and insurance to offer you more protection and a greater level of service than hiring a self-employed independent carer or an online matching service.

A CQC registered home care agency provides you with a managed service - this means that you have a qualified Care Manager who is approved and registered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) overseeing the care that you receive. This is especially important for specialist levels of care such as medication management, handling/moving, catheter care and dementia care.

A managed service will also be responsible for ensuring all of its carers have thorough, up to date training, that their work is regularly monitored and that all staff have regular reviews and supervisions.

It also ensures that client care is reviewed regularly, that there is a person who takes responsibility for any issues that arise and will endeavour to resolve them promptly.

Ensure to ask your home care service if:

  • They are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (England).
  • They employ all of their care workers.

What level of support is provided and insurance cover available if a carer:

  • Has an accident.
  • Makes a mistake.

A reputable home care agency will always be happy to offer references from other clients that can confirm the level and quality of their care service.

At Radfield, we offer a fully transparent and accountable service and as the first UK health care business to receive B Corp certification, we are officially recognised as an ethical supplier that offers value to both its clients and its employees.

Contact us here and we will be happy to answer any of your questions for reassurance. Also, you can find an extensive list of answers on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

You can read what makes Radfield Home Care different here and why our clients highly recommend our service.

Next steps:

The Radfield Home Care Hastings and Rother Team have been extremely busy preparing for our launch event which took place on the 16th June at Sussex Day 2017. We are pleased to announce the branch is now officially open for business and would like to say a huge thank you to the organisers for putting on such a great event.

Sussex Day Launch Event - Radfield Home Care Hastings & Rother

With offices now in Battle, East Sussex Director, Samuel Holmes felt Sussex Day 2017 presented the ideal opportunity to introduce himself and the unique Radfield Home Care services to the local community, businesses, groups and associations, and to raise awareness in the local area.

Samuel is a qualified social worker and has devoted a significant part of his career to supporting older people. He was inspired to launch the new Radfield branch by his experience that most older people want to continue living at home for as long and as independently as possible, but struggle to find good quality care services to make this happen.

Radfield Home Care has a unique set of values and believe it is vitally important to listen and prioritise people’s individual hopes and wishes when planning care. This approach is central to the way in which the company operates and is made possible by valuing the care staff who are offered a variety of opportunities for personal and professional development.

Director, Samuel Holmes commented “Sussex Day 2017 was a fantastic opportunity to be part of an event which celebrated the achievements and talents of the whole community. It was also really encouraging to meet so many people who wanted to talk about care related issues and the services we provide. We look forward to being part of many more Sussex community events in the future”.

Welcome to the Radfield family.  #ProudtoCare


Thursday, 22 June 2017 12:06

How to discuss care needs

You may have realised that your father or mother are at a stage where they need support from a care service. Perhaps their appearance is starting to look unkempt, they are becoming confused trying to do simple tasks or they have lost weight and judging by the contents (or lack of) in the fridge, are not eating regular meals. The need for care could be due to a new diagnosis, such as diabetes that requires careful monitoring or it could be that your mother is taking care of your father in the early stages of dementia and she is looking tired and losing weight.

If you have already read the page signs that a parent needs help, you may fear resistance or anger for even trying to broach the subject.

Your parents have dignity and when their children suggest that they need help, it’s a harsh reminder both of their ageing and of their decline. They’re most likely to be afraid.

Most elderly people want to remain living in their own home as they get older. When care is mentioned, an older person may become fearful that this means a residential care home with many of their belongings and their house being sold, and a loss of control over their life.

Explaining that introducing home care at an early stage helps to maintain independence and living at home for longer, should help to ease their fears.

  • Firstly, and most importantly, is to put yourself in their shoes. Understand that they could be facing deep fears about getting older. Try to get to the bottom of what their concerns are so that you can reassure them and address the issues.
  • Treat them like adults. A role reversal is not going to be easy for a parent when their children take charge. Show respect for their position as your parent and acknowledge that ultimately what they decide for themselves is their choice.
  • Highlight all the positives. Focus on the benefits of having home care, such as someone who can drive them to see friends or take them shopping. Someone to take care of difficult and heavy jobs in the house and someone to chat to for company. By stressing that introducing home care now will help them to stay at home for much longer, should ease their worries.
  • Be factual and remove emotion. Write a list of the reasons why you think they need home care help. Be rational and include any accidents or illnesses they have had – refer to our list of signs that a relative needs help. By tactfully presenting the facts in a clear manner, it could help your parent to face up to the truth.
  • Voice your concerns. Talk about what your fears are and ask them if they might agree to accepting help for your sake or for their grand-children’s sake, but avoid an overload of guilt.
  • Stress that they remain in control at all times. A home care plan is put together for their needs, on their terms and it can be changed at any time.
  • Propose a trial period. If your parents can see that they control the process they are more likely to agree. Start by suggesting a visit from one of our care managers who can answer all their questions and talk them through the process. Once they start care, most of our clients say they wish that they had done it years before.

Bill and Sandra*

One of our clients Bill had been widowed two years previously and had initially coped well, but his personal appearance had started to decline. He was not showering or shaving as often as he used to and his appearance was not his usual smart self.

Bill’s daughter Sandra had a family while also working full time so although she lived locally, she wasn’t able to visit or care for her father as much as she wanted to. As she became increasingly worried about her father, she tried to broach the subject of care but Bill was especially resistant.

After seeking our advice, Sandra gave her father a Radfield information brochure and told him about others in a similar position and their positive experiences from using our service. She suggested a meeting with one of our care managers so he could ask any questions but without any pressure to commit.

At the meeting, our care manager asked about Bill’s previous hobbies and explained how a care service could help him to get out for walks to the river where he used to love to fish regularly. As they talked Bill began to understand how flexible home care is and that it could help to improve his quality of life and independence.

After the meeting and after more discussion and reassurance he could cancel at any time, Bill agreed with Sandra to a four-week trial. He felt that one hour, three times a week, would help relieve some pressure both with the housework and the laundry being done for him. He also agreed to a weekly three-hour visit, so that he could get out for a walk to the river that he loved together with a visit to the riverside pub, to enjoy a beer which he hadn’t been able to do for some time.

After the four-week trial, Bill happily continued with his care service and said that he hadn’t realised that it could be so positive – he thought care was only to help with washing and dressing.

Sandra was relieved to know that her father was accepting help and that he was building a good relationship with the care staff, so that when the time came to increase his level of care there wouldn’t be any more resistance.


Next steps:

  1. What sort of care do I need? – an overview of the different levels of support.
  2. Why should you choose Radfield Home Care? read about why we stand out…
  3. Contact your local office by phone, or using our contact form, here…

*We have changed the names to respect the identity of our client.

Thursday, 22 June 2017 11:25

Signs that a parent needs care

For a person who is growing older and trying to deal with physical and health limitations, asking for help can feel like too much of a burden to place on their family. Instead, telling family that everything is ‘fine’ and ‘okay’, when in fact they are struggling to manage.

Therefore, it’s essential we watch out for our parents as they age to monitor the subtle changes and signs that indicate they need help, so that they don’t have to ask. Also, to understand that not everyone is able or willing to accept that they can’t manage alone, especially in the early stages of mental decline.

By starting with gentle levels of home care, such as shopping or housework twice a week and gradually increasing it over time, it is usually easier to accept than a higher level of care that may have to be put in in short notice in response to a crisis such as a fall or illness.

Any of the following are signs that your parent or elderly relative needs some level of care support:

Emotional changes

  • Loss of interest in things they previously enjoyed.
  • Withdrawn and avoiding friends and family.
  • Mood swings, such as being hyper-excited to tearful.
  • Agitated or aggressive, and angry behaviour.
  • Depressed, no interest in anything or talking slowly/quietly.

Physical changes

  • Sleeping during the day with little energy.
  • Difficulty walking or getting out of a chair.
  • Unexplained bruises and injuries.
  • Weight loss or lack of appetite.

Mental status

  • No awareness of time.
  • Confusion over simple tasks.
  • Missing appointments.
  • Becoming secretive.

Personal care changes

  • Unwashed hair, uncleaned teeth or dirty nails.
  • Unkempt appearance.
  • Dirty and stained clothes.
  • Noticeable body odour or smell of urine.

Changes around the house

  • An untidy kitchen with dirty dishes pilling up.
  • Dirty or cluttered surfaces.
  • No fresh food or rotting food in the fridge.
  • Dirty plates and mouldy dishes left around the house.
  • Unopened mail or newspapers stacking up.
  • Missed payments for bills and utilities turned off.
  • Bedlinen not being washed regularly.

It’s not an easy conversation to have with a parent when they appear to be in decline and in need of care support, and you may experience resistance. Radfield can support you to broach the subject of introducing home care.

Firstly, we recommend reading How to discuss care needs for advice on how you can talk to someone close to you.

Secondly, one of our experienced care managers can help you to talk to a parent or relative about how introducing a low level of home care can have a positive impact on quality of life and offer more independence.

However, if someone close to you is showing any signs of mental decline and confusion in the first instance you should talk to their doctor.


Read next:

  1. How to discuss care needs – a guide to help you broach the subject.
  2. What sort of care do I need? – an overview of the different levels of support.
  3. Contact your local office for our advice and support in arranging home care support.


Working for Radfield Home Care - Bromsgrove & Redditch as a Care Assistant is an extremely rewarding job. In order to do the job well, you need to have a caring nature, be flexible and organised in your work, enjoy taking on responsibility and making a real difference to other people's lives.

This is a franchise branch owned and run by Dawn Phillips. Dawn has 25 years of experience and worked for Radfield Home care as a branch manager going on to become a regional compliance manager before taking the opportunity to own her very own branch, she still works closely with Hannah and Alex and all of the teams and shares the core values and ethos that underpins the Radfield Home Care brand.

How Does Radfield Care for Carers?

Radfield Home Care is an award-winning company built on an outstanding reputation that provides care services to clients who wish to remain living in their own home, maintaining their independence, and quality of life.

As the first healthcare company in the UK to become an accredited B Corp, we are extremely proud of the work and services we deliver to our local communities. We do this by caring for our Carers.

Radfield Home Care has created its own core values that are at the heart of what we do each and every day. Our Caring for our Carers pledge also ensures we improve the conditions for hard working care staff, enabling carers to do a good job.

B Corp allows Radfield Home Care to demonstrate our commitment to our people and to our planet in a transparent and clear way by creating value for society, not just shareholders.

Job Title:

Care Assistant.



Reporting to:

Care Manager.


Competitive, based on experience.


Part-time, Monday - Friday 9am-5pm.


Driving Licence, Enhanced DBS disclosure / DBS adult first clearance.

Job Purpose:

To provide domiciliary care to clients.

Application Deadline:  

15th July 2017.

Submit My Application

Redditch Home Care Assistant Jobs

The job description for a Care Assistant - Bromsgrove & Redditch at Radfield Home Care is outlined below.

Our Home Care Assistants work with elderly people who live in their own homes and may need just a small amount of support e.g. help with shopping or companionship through to care visits with one or two carers several times per day.

Your care duties for each individual client will be clearly stated in their Care Plan and may vary depending on the client needs, time of day of the visit etc. Occasionally other care duties may arise that aren’t included below and you will need to be able to adapt easily to take on these different duties if asked.

There are certain qualities that we expect all our carers to have and bring to their day-to-day work and we have outlined these below.

Skills, Knowledge & Qualifications


The main skills and qualities that we look for in our Home Care Assistants are:

  • Physically able to cope with the demands of domiciliary care work which involves bending, lifting, stretching, kneeling, crouching, using small stepladders, walking, getting up and down stairs & manual dexterity
  • Mentally able to cope with the demands of domiciliary care work which can be stressful and involve dealing with bereavement and challenging behaviour
  • Able to work regular weekends either 4 sessions on alternate weekends or 2 sessions every weekend
  • To participate in the standby carer rota
  • Self-motivated, organised and flexible
  • Caring, patient and sensitive to the needs of others and to the sick or infirm
  • An active team player but also able to work on own initiative
  • A good communicator


The main skills and qualities that we look for in our Home Care Assistants are:

  • Previous experience in the care profession and qualifications are desirable attributes but we can provide training and opportunities to undertake qualifications to staff with no previous care experience.
  • Some experienced carers will participate in the on-call rota and undertake shadowing training with new carers. These additional responsibilities are optional and are remunerated at an enhanced rate of pay.

Care Assistant








Main Responsibilities:

  • To share with other staff in meeting the personal care needs of our clients in a way that respects their dignity and promotes independence. The nature of care we expect you to provide is similar to that which would reasonably be given by members of the client’s own family and will not involve tasks that a trained nurse would normally provide.
  • To assist our clients who need help with getting in and out of bed, dressing, undressing, washing, bathing and using the toilet.
  • To help clients with mobility problems and other physical disabilities including incontinence to use and look after aids and personal equipment.
  • To care for clients who are temporarily sick and may need assistance with minor dressings, bed nursing, help with feeding, toileting etc.
  • To help care for clients who are dying.
  • To help promote mental and physical well-being of our clients through talking to them, taking them out, sharing with them in activities such as reading, writing, hobbies and recreations.
  • To undertake light household tasks, for example making and changing beds, tidying rooms, light cleaning such as dusting and vacuuming and emptying commodes.
  • To assist with washing clothes and ironing if requested.
  • To prepare and serve meals; assist clients with eating and drinking; wash up, tidy and clean the kitchen and dining area.
  • To greet visitors and answer the telephone as needed whilst at the clients home.
  • To read and write reports, and take part in staff and clients meetings and training activities as directed.
  • To maintain the highest standards of hygiene at all times and use personal protective equipment provided.
  • Report any illness to the office so that correct infection prevention and control procedures can be followed.
  • To comply with the agency's guidelines and policies at all times.
  • To report to the office any significant changes in the health or circumstances of a client.
  • To encourage clients to remain as independent as possible.
  • To report to the office immediately any events or situations that may pose a risk to our clients, their relatives or staff members. For example a faulty piece of equipment or broken step in a client's home.
  • To help promote the agency with marketing which may include leafleting and to help protect the reputation of the agency.
  • To come into the office at least once a week to collect and bring in client paperwork and to collect your rota and client information.
  • To perform such other duties as may reasonably be required.


All staff are required to adhere to the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers and respect the confidentiality of all matters that they might learn in the course of their employment. All staff are expected to comply with requirements under the Data Protection Act 1998.

All staff must be familiar with Radfield Home Care Ltd’s health and safety policies and procedures and ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 of which we can provide copies if needed.

Submit My Application

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