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Sunday, 20 May 2018 12:21

Mary’s Story, Comprehensive Care

Written by

radfield case study mary 

Mary is aged sixty-five and quite a character! Her daughter, Susan, contacted us as Mary had become unhappy with her previous care provider and was looking for a new team.

Mary was married at age twenty-five and was a full-time housewife until her husband was tragically killed in a car crash, only ten years later. Left with three young children to raise and support, Mary found employment for the first time at a local estate agent office, answering phone calls. Over time, her hard work and entertaining personality saw her progress to sales and eventually she became the top sales performer in her branch – she puts this down to her experience of dealing with children’s tantrums and of her unflappable sense of humour.

Mary says that although the tragedy of losing her husband, Colin, at such a young age was difficult, she believes it made her the person she is and made her able to cope with anything.

Her resilient spirit was again tested, when at the age of forty-eight she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. She said that she had been suffering with hand tremors for over a year but attributed this to drinking too much coffee. However, when it began to get gradually worse, her doctor ran tests and confirmed that she had the degenerative disease.

At first, Mary said, she found it difficult to accept the news and tried to deny it. Her children were all away at university and she was looking forward to taking over the estate agency as her own. After a period of adjustment, Mary decided to face the disease and ‘do the best’ that she could with it.

As the Parkinson’s progressed, she introduced care with her previous agency and had visits twice a day to help with housework, meals and dressing. After having issues with a few missed appointments, Mary was not keen to either tolerate or build a relationship with an unreliable service.

Her daughter, Sarah, contacted our care manager Hayley at Radfield, after being recommended from a friend whose mother had been cared for by us. We arranged a visit to meet and discuss requirements.

Mary was very direct with her needs and insisted that whoever should attend to her be positive with a strong sense of humour, and that ‘they better be able to cook’. After discussion, we agreed a care plan based on full daytime coverage.

We use three different carers to cover Mary’s care needs, so that she can have consistent care with the same people - allowing for sickness and holidays. We always ensure that our carers are suitably matched and took great care to select three people who all had the right personality (and who could cook!). Kyle, Jenny and Linda have all formed a great connection with Mary and love to talk to her, and hear about her life.

Jenny begins care at 6am by arriving to help Mary wake up and get out of bed with a cup of tea. Jenny attends to her washing and personal care and helps her to dress, and apply make-up - all before breakfast. They always sit down to breakfast together and Mary likes to read out the news from the paper over porridge and eggs.

Most mornings involve physio work and Jenny also arranges shopping deliveries and plans the meals for the day. After lunch, quite often Jenny will take Mary out either for a drive to visit friends or to the park in her wheelchair. Any medical appointments that Mary has, Jenny attends with her and will take Mary anywhere else she wants to go.

Mid-afternoon, Jenny will go home and Linda takes over. She cooks the evening meal and then helps with any housework needed. They sit and watch television together or chat and play cards. Linda will help Mary with any personal care before bed and then get her settled into bed for the night before leaving.

Mary has an emergency call button for during the night but usually sleeps through and is confident on her own.

Mary has formed a real bond with Jenny, Linda and Kyle and uses her sense of humour to get through the intimate personal care moments with her team. Kyle says that she has him in stitches and that he loves to work with her.

So far, there have been no complaints about their cooking!

If you, or a family member is suffering with a condition or disease such as Parkinson’s, Motor Neurone or Multiple Sclerosis we can help you to care for them at home with a home care solution. Contact our experienced care managers to discuss your needs and see how we can help.


First steps

  1. What sort of care do I need? - an overview of our services…
  2. Creating a care plan so you know what to expect during a home visit…
  3. Why should you choose Radfield Home Care? and why we stand out…
  4. Contact your local office by phone, or arrange a callback, here

Sunday, 20 May 2018 12:14

Charles And June, Living With Dementia

Written by

radfield case study charles 

Charles’s daughter, Sarah, contacted us after becoming concerned that her mother June was finding it increasingly difficult to manage her father’s behaviour. She was unsure what to do and in the first instance was looking for advice and options.

Charles is 78 and had been a lawyer with a sharp and active mind. He started noticing memory lapses in his early 70s and three years ago, when they contacted us, these had progressed to forgetting faces, names, telephone numbers, appointments and word recall. The increasing frustration that Charles was experiencing was causing him to show distress at times.

Sarah lives an hour’s drive from her parents and like her father is a lawyer with a demanding and time-consuming job. Trying to find time to support her mother with Charles’s cognitive decline was difficult for her and she could see that her mother was becoming more exhausted trying to care for her husband.

June had been managing Charles’s forgetfulness with post-it note reminders around the house and prompting his memory lapses. Things became more difficult when June had a fall and was left housebound for a few weeks as her sprained ankle recovered. During this time, as Charles was required to take more responsibility, she noticed a decline in his ability to complete simple tasks, such as making a cup of tea. Sarah had been making the drive to her parents after work several times a week to help her mother but this was not something she could continue on a long-term basis with the responsibility she had at work.

There were two incidents that prompted Sarah and her mother June to agree that additional help was needed:

June had been to her reading group in the afternoon and when she returned home she found that Charles was watching TV at full volume in the living room. In the kitchen, a pan of soup on the stove was burnt dry and blackened. A kitchen towel was left close to the gas ring and she was relieved that it hadn’t caught on fire.

A few weeks later, she answered the door to find Charles stood there with a neighbour. The neighbour explained that he had found Charles sitting on a bench in the park and upon approaching him, Charles had said he didn’t know where he lived and was lost. Fortunately, the neighbour was able to bring him home.

June realised that Charles now could not be left alone and that she needed help with his care. Although they had no idea of options available, June and Sarah agreed they wanted Charles to remain at home. Our care manager Hayley visited them at home to assess their needs and to discuss a care plan.

At first, we started with a daily visit as a respite for June and also extra hours during the week to help with housework and shopping. This gave her the ability to leave the house to see friends and to have some time to herself so that she could cope with the emotional demands of caring for her husband.

This arrangement worked well for the first year but then we needed to reassess, as one evening Charles tried to leave the house in the middle of the night. Fortunately, June managed to talk him back to bed. As he was getting up several times a night, this disturbed June’s sleep and she was exhausted, emotional and finding it more difficult to manage the days. She also had a fear of him wandering off and becoming lost.

At this point, we arranged for a nightly sleepover so that June could get a full night of undisturbed sleep and if she needed help in the middle of the night with Charles then she had support.

After this arrangement, June found it much easier to deal with caring for her husband and this resulted in Charles’s behaviour being both calmer and less erratic, as he must have been picking up on June’s emotions.

Charles still lives at home with his wife June and Sarah visits at weekends. They are all very grateful that they can continue living as a family after 40 years of marriage.

We have a plan to increase Charles’s care as it is needed and to offer June more assistance. She has two holidays booked this year so that she can have time to herself to recharge and we will provide 24-hour respite care whilst she is away.

As Charles knows his carers and is comfortable with them, there is no disruption when June needs to go away and June is also reassured knowing that if anything happened to her, that Charles has continuous care with people he trusts and also, is well looked after.

If you would like to talk to us about care for someone with dementia or Alzheimer's Disease then contact us and our experienced care managers will arrange to discuss your needs.


First steps

  1. What sort of care do I need? - an overview of our services…
  2. Creating a care plan so you know what to expect during a home visit…
  3. Why should you choose Radfield Home Care? and why we stand out…
  4. Contact your local office by phone, or arrange a callback, here

radfield case study graham 

We already knew Graham, as we had helped him to take care of his wife Julia. She had suffered from cancer and with our support he nursed her at home, where she died with her family at her bedside - as was her wishes. Graham has two sons, James lives in Australia and Scott lives in London and he usually only sees them once or twice a year as they are both busy with their careers and lives.

Graham and Julia had been married for over forty years and had a happy life together. After the intense emotion of facing cancer, to suddenly find himself living alone for the first time in his life was a difficult change that he had to accept and this was amplified by dealing with his grief.

Graham and his wife had always been very sociable together but after a year spent caring for his wife, he had become isolated from the community. His life had been centred around Julia and as the silence surrounded him, he realised that his confidence to pick up the phone had vanished.

The wake-up call for Graham was when he had a bout of flu and was unable to get out of bed for five days. A full recovery took him over two months and during that time he was beholden to home deliveries from the supermarket, with social contact limited to a few phone calls from James and Scott.

It was at this point, that he accepted that he needed help.

Graham contacted our office and spoke to Becky, the same care manager that had helped plan his wife’s care. He said that making that first call was the hardest thing he had ever done and only because he already knew Becky, did he go through with it.

Becky visited Graham at home and together they discussed his options, and agreed that he only needed a ‘light touch’ of care both to support his transition to a new time of his life and to plan for his future needs.

We made arrangements to visit twice a week, to cover housework and laundry, and to help teach Graham some cooking skills.

After six months, he was managing his grief and starting to rebuild his confidence, and he then decided to join a local baking group to be sociable. Although his cooking skills were limited, the new hobby grew and Graham began to make cakes and buns to sell for his local hospice, that had supported Julia in her illness.

The new-found purpose had an incredible uplift on Graham’s well-being and he gradually became accustomed to both the new chapter of his life and to managing his grief.

Graham and Becky have discussed options for the future and he says that just knowing he has the option of more help if it is needed, helps him to cope with growing older alone.

Graham admitted that his deepest fear after his wife was diagnosed with cancer was how he would cope on his own after she had gone and he felt unable to tell anyone how scared he was. He has told us that both Becky’s help and the visits he has every week from Karen, have been immeasurable in what they have done to help him deal with his grief and boost his confidence. He now sleeps better at night knowing that if he had an accident or if he was ill again, that he would have help on hand to deal with it and that he wouldn’t be a burden to his family.

Home care can start from only an hour a week visit to suit your needs. If you need a little extra help then call our care managers to discuss your needs and we can arrange a plan for you.


First steps

  1. What sort of care do I need? - an overview of our services…
  2. Creating a care plan so you know what to expect during a home visit…
  3. Why should you choose Radfield Home Care? and why we stand out…
  4. Contact your local office by phone, or arrange a call back, here

Sunday, 20 May 2018 11:36

Jane’s Story, Living With Arthritis

Written by

 radfield case study jane

Jane had worked as a university lecturer for thirty-five years and loved her job teaching French and Spanish languages. She had always been an active and independent person and travelled extensively during her summer breaks. Her favourite location was South America, particularly Argentina.

Jane was married for a few years in her thirties but never had a family and then, after her marriage ended, she devoted her time to teaching and volunteer work in Peru, Ecuador and Argentina during her summer breaks.

When she was in her forties she began to notice pain in her hands and in her thumb joints. Subsequently, Jane was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. At first, the pain and discomfort were minimal but it gradually increased over five years until she was on daily pain medication. As the condition spread to her knees, hips and back, at age fifty-five Jane had no alternative but to take early retirement due to the pain that made attending a lecture too difficult.

The change of leaving a career she loved was difficult, so Jane began to tutor languages at home part-time to keep herself mentally stimulated. She found that in the late afternoon her pain was manageable enough to enjoy one or two hours of teaching and this helped to supplement her pension.

Due to arthritis in her hands, Jane was finding it difficult to manage housework and especially changing duvet covers – as she couldn’t grip the sheets.

Although she had home deliveries of shopping, it was becoming a problem for her to bend down, lift and then unpack. She had several accidents in the kitchen, with dropped jars smashing on the floor and she found that she couldn’t pick up the shards of glass. Jane realised her dexterity was becoming severely limited and that it was degenerating.

Jane’s doctor recommended that it might be time to consider additional help and suggested Radfield, as a few doctors had used our home care service for hospital discharges.

Our care manager, Judith, helped Jane to put together a care plan and started with two visits a day.

Claire arrives in the morning to help Jane to dress. She can bathe herself at the moment but we are making arrangements for future care if her condition should deteriorate further. Any housework that needs doing, such as washing-up or putting dishes away, is done and once a week we do housework and laundry.

Claire then spends time helping Jane with her mobility exercises from her physiotherapist and these make a big difference, enabling her to have some freedom of movement in the afternoon. They also get out for a short walk in the local park around the corner. Claire attends the physiotherapy sessions with Jane so that she can discuss her care and get advice on what exercises she should do – this helps with the best treatment Jane can get.

Jane still has her tutoring for four days a week in the later afternoon and then eats late after her teaching has finished. She has said how continuing to work from home has helped to keep her sane and helps her to retain her passion for teaching languages.

In the early evening, after Jane has finished her teaching and eaten, Trisha arrives to clean up any dishes and to help her change into her night clothes – buttons and zips are a problem with the lack of dexterity in her hands.

Jane likes to read and can manage to take herself to bed after we leave.

In the absence of family, Jane has said how Radfield has become like a family to her and that she relies heavily on us to be there for her. She feels much more relieved to know that she always has that support available and is not alone to face the deterioration of her arthritis. Whatever happens, she knows that she will always have our support.

If you or a family member is suffering from arthritis we can help to support you with a home care solution. Contact us to discuss your needs and we can arrange for drop-in visits to full-time care as needed.


First steps

  1. What sort of care do I need? - an overview of our services…
  2. Creating a care plan so you know what to expect during a home visit…
  3. Why should you choose Radfield Home Care? and why we stand out…
  4. Contact your local office by phone, or arrange a call back, here

Monday, 26 March 2018 12:51

Group Rules

Written by

Facebook Group Rules

These are the rules for membership of The Radfield Home Care Facebook Group.

Membership is open to Franchise owners and Radfield Home Care National office staff. Membership is restricted so that we can ensure a great quality of content, comment, and discussion, as well as providing a really hands-on service in answering questions and supporting our members.

The Group is hosted by Radfield Home Care National office team, a collective of experts whose mission is to make the benefits of the 'Radfield way' accessible to all businesses, regardless of size or territory. We are committed to sharing our knowledge through class-leading, actionable digital resources, training and consultancy services.

Through the Group we are building a supportive environment full of useful information for you.

To ensure the Group runs smoothly we have created some important rules for behaviour in the Group.

 

Be helpful

Provide genuine and helpful feedback and suggestions to others.

Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to start a new thread. No question is too stupid.

Give answers. You may not know the whole answer but between us, we can build up plenty of responses. Often there is no one single right answer.

 

Be supportive

It’s fine to be a lurker but we love it when lots of people get involved and comment in the threads.

Inappropriate posts will be removed.

 

Do not block Group Admins

Members who block Admins will be removed from the Group (Sorry :-) ).

Use the group to ask questions rather than emailing or private messaging Radfield Home Care National Office (or other Franchise Partners - which will fully encourage).

We don’t have all the answers and even if we do know about your question our community here will have plenty of firsthand experience themselves. So rather than emailing or private messaging us asking “What software do you recommend for social media scheduling?” or "Does anyone have a great phone provider that they would recommend for the office?", ask the community here. We’ll jump in when we have something to recommend ourselves, and we’ll say so kindly if we think anyone is giving advice counter to what we’d consider best practice.

If you’ve got a specific customer service issue or something more private that you’d like to discuss, then, by all means, email us franchise@radfieldhomecare.co.uk.

 

Response times 

We will reply to your email in a timely manner generally within a working day but if your email requires us to do some investigation it may take a little longer.

You can email us at franchise@radfieldhomecare.co.uk.

 

**Note: These rules are subject to change without notice. We might change them or people in the community are also welcome to make suggestions. The rules are here to make this a comfortable and supportive place for everyone.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO HERE

 

Introduce yourself

It’s great when members post an introduction to themselves and what they do. A selfie or pic of your office (or even some emojis that illustrate where you come from and what you do) is also nice to see.

 

Post questions, helpful links, stories, observations, dilemmas.

This is a community. It’s facilitated by Radfield Home Care National Office team but it’s a place where we hope the community will create and respond to content that reflects their challenges as social care professionals, celebrates their achievements, confesses their errors, asks for advice, shares a moan about how everything is simply moving too fast nowadays.

Share your thoughts and experiences because they are interesting and helpful to others.

Well done on reading this far.

Now let’s connect, learn, share and collaborate.

The Radfield team 

 

Friday, 01 September 2017 19:26

How To Prevent Falls At Home

Written by

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 older 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

Written by

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.

Kitchens

  • 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.

Bedroom

  • 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.

Bathroom

  • 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.

Stairs

  • 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:


Wednesday, 05 July 2017 15:21

The carer’s role

Written by

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 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

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

Medication

  • 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.

Household

  • 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

Written by

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:


Thursday, 22 June 2017 12:06

How to discuss care needs

Written by

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 older 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.

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