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Radfield Home Care is following Government guidance relating to the current situation with COVID-19 and it’s continued spread across the UK.

Radfield Home Care is ensuring that it keeps up to date with any Government guidance that has been released in relation to the COVID-19 virus. We are regularly reviewing our processes to ensure that they align with guidance. Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of all our clients and colleagues.

Each Radfield Home Care office location continues to review their operational continuity plans, setting out how they would continue to provide care in the event of an escalation of the outbreak.


Advice for Prevention

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of how you can help to reduce the spread of infection by ensuring you:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  • Put used tissues in the bin straightaway
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water not available
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • If you are unwell, remain at home and contact 111 coronavirus helpline
  • Follow Government Guidance on self-isolation


Watch Video: Coronavirus - seven steps to prevent the spread of the virus (Source: World Health Organization)

Useful links

Next steps

halloween and elderly

Thirty or forty years ago, Halloween and ‘trick or treat’ was always a popular night in the UK for childish mischief. A minority of kids would partake in silly pranks such as knocking on doors and running away but there was never a culture of visiting neighbours en masse expecting candy or money.

How things have changed.

In America, Halloween has always been a huge event and the second biggest celebration behind Christmas. This may have once been perplexing to Brits but ‘pumpkin fever’ has now traversed the Atlantic and spread through the UK.


Halloween in the UK, a growing trend


In the US, Halloween retail spend stands at £4.5 billion. In the UK, a little behind, spend is growing from £230 million in 2013 to £320 million (estimated) in 2017. Source.

In 2016, almost half of the population (46%) spent money on Halloween – a rise of 18% from 2015 – and this is only set to keep rising. Source.

In 2017, the UK spend on pumpkins alone was £25.15 million.


It’s official that Halloween is now a major celebration in the UK with children enjoying ‘trick or treat’ and visiting their neighbours for sweets and treats on the 31st of October.

Children excitedly dress up in costumes with many choosing to be mini zombies, witches, ghosts and ghouls and it’s a fun family evening. The anticipation of obtaining a large bag of sweets is enough for any child to be ecstatic about. It’s a light-hearted occasion centered around children and few would realise that for some it can be an evening of significant stress.


Halloween can be stressful for the elderly

Not everyone can imagine how a knock at the door can be intimidating or stressful for an elderly person who may be cautious of strangers or unexpected visitors.

A seemingly childish prank, such as knocking on a door and running away, shouting through a letterbox or even throwing eggs at a window can be psychologically damaging for a vulnerable person who sees their house as a ‘safe’ place. They may develop a negative association of being alone at home and become withdrawn and depressed.

Costumes, shrieks, screams and an unusual level of activity in the street can be disorienting to a person living with dementia who can have difficulty understanding what is happening.

Halloween could mean a sleepless night of stress and anxiety for the elderly or those with dementia.

To address the issue that Halloween is not a fun time of year for everyone, at the end of this page there are details for how anyone can leave a sign in their window to ask that they are respectfully left alone and that those escorting children ‘trick or treating’ can avoid visiting a house that displays the sign.

Go to download poster...


halloween can be stressful for the eldery

Living alone can make the elderly fearful

For many people, it’s difficult to understand how confidence declines as they age and that everyday incidents can become intimidating. Even walking down a street with someone a little too close behind can be alarming and the fear of answering the door to strangers amplifies as you feel more frail and vulnerable.

It’s a sad reality that older people are targets for crime and when incidents are sensationalised in the press and this feeds the cycle of fear. Living alone with reduced social contact has a negative effect on thinking and the mind can quickly spiral worry out of control.

Read about loneliness and the elderly…


Margaret’s fear made her believe pranksters wanted to attack her


Margaret* has lived alone since her husband died two years ago and has found the grief difficult to deal with. Her only son lives several hours drive away and she doesn’t see him very often, maybe two or three times a year.

Firstly, due to the grief, and then compounded over time she found herself becoming more isolated and lost confidence in leaving the house alone. As a result of being withdrawn, she became more fearful and her worrying began to overwhelm her thoughts and often her mind would blow incidents out of proportion.

Last year, on Halloween, Margaret heard a knock at the door. As it was dark outside, her initial reaction was of concern to answer the door to an unknown visitor. As she struggled to get there, she heard someone rattling the door and then shouting through the letterbox. Margaret felt terrified and froze behind the door.

She could hear laughter and shrieks outside the house and Margaret’s imagination ran wild. She imagined someone who may want to get her to the door so they could force their way in to attack her and steal her pension. She had read about the same thing in the paper.

Margaret spent the evening sat in the dark alone with genuine fear that someone would use Halloween as a pretense to get her to answer the door and then attack her. She didn’t sleep at all that night and in the following weeks her anxiety was so bad she couldn’t leave the house.

Thankfully, Margaret now has a Radfield carer who has helped her to deal with the isolation and anxiety. This year on Halloween, Margaret’s carer is going to stay with her to ensure that she is not alone or scared.


Alzheimer’s causes a blurred sense of reality

Alzheimer’s and dementia can cause a change of temperament in the person living with the disease. Outbursts of anger are attributed to parts of the brain that regulate inhibitions and these are affected by the disease. A person with dementia is not confrontationally aggressive, but rather because of a loss of inhibition, anger is their reaction to any distress or confusion they may feel.

People living with advanced Alzheimer’s can also have a different sense of reality as their memory becomes affected by the disease. A costume or mask can trigger confusion and distress as they lack the ability to differentiate between fantasy and reality.

A calm environment and routine are important when caring for a person with dementia. Unexpected knocks on the door at night, people in costumes and loud noises can all be disruptive and cause agitation and anxiety.

Read about how the brain is affected by Alzheimer’s…


Tom was distressed thinking ghoulish costumes were real


Tom* is living with Alzheimer’s disease and his wife Carol has cared for him at home but last year, as his cognitive function declined, she began to struggle. This was exaggerated at Halloween when trick or treaters came to the house.

Tom had been restless that day and become angry when Carol had tried to stop him from leaving the house. She hoped that a quiet evening and watching TV would settle him down. At about 7pm, a knock at the door startled Tom and he insisted on answering the door. Carol tried to stop him but he became more agitated and was clearly disrupted by an unexpected visitor at night as this was out of the ordinary.

They both answered the door to find three young teenagers wearing ghost masks and black cloaks from the horror film ‘Scream’. At first, Tom recoiled and then began to shout at the teenagers – clearly distressed by their appearance. Carol found his behavior alarming as he shouted and aggressively waved his arms at the children who ran away from the house. Tom then began to cower at the foot of the stairs crying and shaking.

Carol called her daughter and son in law David who quickly came to the house and helped her to get Tom into the living room and calm him down. Another knock at the door caused Tom to become agitated again and fortunately, David was able to persuade Tom to sit down whilst Carol went to the door to ask the visitors to leave.

That evening, David stood outside the front gate of the house asking trick or treaters to please avoid the house. Carol and her daughter sat with Tom and tried to distract him by looking at old family photographs. Tom seemed to go into decline after that evening and it was a few days before he settled down again.


Halloween safety tips for the elderly

Trick or treating may last a few days over the Halloween period but the evening of October the 31st will most likely have a steady stream of visitors knocking on the door.

  • On the evening, arrange to be with your relative or an elderly neighbor who lives alone, so that they are not intimidated and afraid about knocks at the door.
  • You could answer the door yourself to hand out sweets or, you can print a poster (below) for the front door to politely ask people not to visit.
  • If you are not able to stay for the evening then arrange for a carer to be in the house all night.


If your relative wants to take part in Halloween:

  • Consider a torch lit pumpkin over a candle to avoid fire hazards.
  • Don’t leave a candlelit pumpkin unattended and ensure it’s extinguished before going to bed.
  • Avoid eating too many sugary sweets and treats as it can cause issues with sleeping and medical conditions.


If your relative or loved one has dementia it might be best to avoid Halloween celebrations:

  • Instead, distract them with an engaging activity such as a jigsaw that you can do together.
  • Use headphones with their favourite (calm) music to block out any unusual noise.
  • Watch a favourite film to hold their attention and divert from any activity in the street.

trick or treat

The pumpkin rule

As Halloween has spread in popularity across the UK some areas carry an unwritten ‘no pumpkin’ rule. Children and families who are trick or treating will only visit houses that have a lit pumpkin at their door or in the window.

Unfortunately, not everywhere adheres to this rule so we recommend that on Halloween an elderly person or loved one is not left alone and they display the ‘No Trick or Treat’ poster (below).


How to ‘Opt-out’ of Trick or Treat at Halloween

For Halloween, Radfield Home Care is aiming to raise awareness of how the elderly and those living with dementia can be negatively affected by ‘trick or treating’.

Not everyone will realise that an elderly person may feel afraid and be intimidated by visitors and strangers at their door in the evening when it’s dark.

Not many people will be aware that for a person with dementia, scary masks and costumes are a blur of reality that can trigger confusion and distress. Or, that disruption to their routine and environment can be difficult for them to deal with.

Radfield stresses that they don’t want to stop anyone else having fun by celebrating Halloween but do ask that people show compassion and understanding for the elderly and vulnerable.

The objective is to raise awareness within local communities to respectfully avoid visiting the homes of any elderly people or those with dementia who want to ‘opt-out’ of Halloween.

Radfield have created a friendly and fun poster that anyone can put on their door to politely show that they would prefer to not have ‘trick or treat’ visitors on the evening.

From feedback on social media about other Halloween posters we have ensured the poster is:

  • Easy to print
  • Visible at night
  • Fun for children
  • Respectful for others

Download and print the A4 sized poster below. There’s a colour or a black and white version that doesn’t use too much printing ink.

halloween and elderly no trick treat posters



Click to open colour A4 poster...

Click to open black and white A4 poster...

Please display this clearly on your front door. If it’s raining we suggest covering it with cling film.

Radfield Dr Hannah MacKechnie opt-out of halloween poster

Dr. Hannah MacKechnie with the Radfield 'opt-out of Halloween' poster

“Halloween can prove to be a scary time for people living with dementia or physical limitations. Having strangers at the door and the fear of tricks being carried out can be very stressful.

The home should be a place of security and safety and the potential fear caused by trick or treating could create negative associations of being alone at home. This may then result in negative behaviour, withdrawing more from society, losing confidence and then being at a greater risk of falls and other age-related issues.

For older clients with dementia, Halloween costumes and the different noises of young people roaming the streets may cause an increase in disorientation and fear as they struggle to understand the altered world around them, and won’t necessarily have the cognitive ability to understand that it is time-limited.

It is so important as communities that we support and protect our older residents and being thoughtful and considerate at this time can make a significant difference to an individual’s sense of well-being and safety.”

Dr. Hannah MacKechnie GP and founder of Radfield Home Care.


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

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

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

 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

WhatsApp & Facebook Group Rules

These are the rules for membership of The Radfield Home Care Facebook and WhatsApp Groups.

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 resources, training and consultancy services.

Through the Groups, 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


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


**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.




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.


  • 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:

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 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 our Carers™ Pledge.

Next steps:


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