What is NHS Continuing Healthcare?

What is NHS Continuing Healthcare?

In a nutshell, NHS Continuing Healthcare is NHS fully funded care that is provided for individuals who are not in hospital and have been assessed as having a primary health need.

A couple of the many misconceptions are: –

  1. I have to be in a nursing home/care home to receive it.  No, the care may be provided in your own home
  1. It is depended on my income and size of my bank account.  No, NHS Continuing Healthcare is not means tested.

Nevertheless, it is still difficult to meet the criteria for obtaining NHS Continuing Healthcare because its looks at a whole range of needs together with their severity and complexity.  When reviewing and assessing your needs, you may be reviewed using a screening tool called the Checklist to identify if you may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare. However, it is not an indication as to whether or not you are actually eligible. This can be done by a nurse if you are in hospital and on a pathway to being discharged; a doctor or nurse in your own home or a social worker.  There are other practitioners that may also be able to complete the Checklist.

This Checklist looks at your healthcare needs by looking at various healthcare needs called domains.   (These domains are the same as what is looked at in the Decision Support Tool and are outlined below).  If after going through the Checklist it suggests you may be eligible, the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) will then write to you to confirm whether or not you will be referred for a full assessment of your needs.  This assessment is carried out by a multidisciplinary team, using a tool called the Decision Support Tool. (For individuals who need an urgent package of care because their condition is deteriorating rapidly, the Fast Track Tool may be used instead.   This enables the CCG to arrange for care to be provided as quickly as possible).  This tool is used to assess whether your main or primary care needs relate to your health, by looking at the following types of care need:

  • behaviour
  • cognition (understanding)
  • communication
  • psychological / emotional needs
  • mobility (ability to move around)
  • nutrition (food and drink)
  • continence
  • skin (including wounds and ulcers)
  • breathing
  • symptom control through drug therapies and medication
  • altered states of consciousness
  • other significant needs

These needs are then given a weighting marked “priority”, “severe”, “high”, “moderate”, “low” or “no needs”.  The multi-disciplinary team will consider:

  • what help is needed
  • how complex these needs are
  • how intense or severe these needs can be
  • how unpredictable they are, including any risks to the person’s health if the right care isn’t provided at the right time.

Upon a full assessment and taking into account information that has been provided, the multidisciplinary team will then make a recommendation to the CCG about your eligibility.  The CCG will then write to you to confirm whether or not you are eligible.  If you are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, the next stage is to arrange a suitable care package.  Please be aware that your eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare will be reviewed regularly.  If your care needs change, the funding arrangements may change.  This review normally takes place after three months and thereafter at least annually.

The NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist and the Decision Support Tool can both be downloaded at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-framework-for-nhs-continuinghealthcare-and-nhs-funded-nursing-care    It is also worth taking a look at http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2392.aspx?CategoryID=68   This also has links to the Checklist and Decision Support Tool.

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Healthy Eating Tips

Great Healthy Eating Tips

Healthy eating is an important lifestyle choice throughout life, and we know that we are always being told to eat a balanced diet, and not overdo it with fats and sugars, but this becomes even more important as we get older and our immune system and digestive system slows down and becomes less efficient.

Because of this, it is crucial that older people eat well in order to get the most of the food they eat. This includes eating more lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and other foods rich in vitamins and minerals your body needs, while avoiding processed foods, fatty foods, or foods with high sugar. Eating in this way ensures that your body runs as efficiently as possible, keeps you healthy, and effectively fights diseases.

There are also a number of other benefits you will see from a healthy diet, such as:

healthy-eating-300x200Improvement in mood – eating right will help to balance your body, and you find yourself feeling healthier and happier from the inside out.
Boosting energy – Eating healthier, and focussing on foods with a slow energy release such as wholegrains, means your body is fuelled in the right way and will provide you with consistent energy levels, rather than the energy highs and lows that come from fats and sugars.
Improves longevity – Eating a healthier diet means that your body will be healthier all round, and this boosts your chances for a longer life.
Controls Weight – A healthy diet and activity will mean that you lower your amount of body fat, which is great for your heart and cholesterol levels, as well as the stress on your muscles and joints.

These healthy eating tips are applicable to everyone, but it is very important as we get older.

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How to make your pension go further

We are all living longer than we have before. This is great news, but the age of retirement has not really changed, so people are having to make their pensions and savings go further in later life.
Here are some tips on how to help to make your money go further:

  • Save money on energy bills – Check with your current supplier and see if you could go on a cheaper tariff, or if they’re able to fix their prices. Many energy suppliers offer a discount if you pay mycare-pensions-2
    by direct debit each month, you could also make a saving by switching to paperless billing and managing your account online.
  • Claim the right benefits -There are a number of benefits that you may be eligible for in your retirement, including Pension Credit, Winter Fuel Payment, and Cold Weather Payment.
  • Pension Credit – Is an income-related benefit made up of 2 parts – 1. Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it’s below £151.20 (for single people) or £230.85 (for couples). 2. Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, eg a pension.
  • Winter Fuel Payment – You could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 January 1953. Most payments are made automatically between November and December. You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you get the State Pension or another social security. If you qualify but don’t get paid automatically, you’ll need to make a claim.
  • Cold Weather Payment – If you’re getting certain benefits you’ll get a payment if the temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for 7 consecutive days. You’ll get a payment of £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
  • Save money on travel costs -In England you can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the female State Pension age, whether you’re a man or a woman.
  • Apply for a concessionary TV licence -Once you or someone you live with are over 74 you are eligible to apply for the over 75 free licence for your household.
  • Shop wisely – Plan the meals for the week this will help to reduce waste and ensure you buy what you need and are not impulse buying. Also make use of the freezer, cook food in batches that can be frozen and used later. Freeze everyday foods like milk and bread so that can be used when needed and will reduce waste.

At My Care at Home we can work with you to help you make savings and help with meal planning. Please call 01449 763086 to discuss how we can help.

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Tips to prevent falls

 

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Some simple tips to prevent falls

Around one in three people over 65 and half of over 80’s will have a fall every year. Even if you fall and are not hurt, a bad fall can shake your confidence.

Most falls are the result of a combination of factors including physical health, mental health, poor eyesight, hearing problems, prescribed medications – which can have side effects, heart problems or sudden changes in your blood pressure, which can make you feel faint.

The good news is that falls are NOT an inevitable part of getting old, and there is plenty you can do to avoid them.

Exercise – Regular exercise such as walking, swimming, housework and gardening all strengthen your muscles, so you are less likely to fall and better able to recover if you do.

Get regular eye and hearing tests – You may qualify for free sight tests so make sure to ask your local optician. Your GP can also help to arrange a full sight or hearing test.

Visit the Chiropodist – Keeping your feet and toenails healthy and in good condition will help in your maintenance of overall good health. Conditions like diabetes or circulatory problems can all be picked up by looking at the feet.

Keep your doctors informed – Always tell the doctors treating you everything you’re taking, including tablets your doctor hasn’t prescribed but which you’ve bought yourself.

Make your home safer – install non slip rug pads under area rugs, place a rubber mat in the bath or shower, wear sturdy shoes or slippers inside, install brighter lights on your stairs and landing, mop up spills immediately, and keep things you use every day at an easy to reach level.

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Keeping an elderly relative out of hospital

 

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Keeping an elderly relative out of hospital is a really important goal. Neither you, nor your loved one wants to make that dreaded trip to the hospital. A set back that causes a relative to go into hospital can have more complications meaning their condition could decline rapidly, both mentally and physically.

We are not saying avoid the hospital at all costs, because a trip to hospital is often necessary to receive medical care. However, no one wants to have a stay in hospital if they can help it so My Care at Home have provided some tips on how you can avoid that trip to the hospital:

• Follow the doctor’s orders – listen to the GP’s advice, they are professionals and know what is best for your relative
• Don’t ignore symptoms – If something seems to be causing your relative some pain or they don’t feel quite right, encourage them to visit their GP and get it sorted early to avoid the condition getting worse. It might be nothing, but it’s better to get it checked out.
• Reduce the risk of falls and accidents – keep your elderly relatives home tidy and clutter free to avoid any potential trip hazards and ensure hallways and stairs are well lit.
• Physical and mental activity – try to keep your relative as active as possible in order to keep the simple tasks much easier, the heart and brain are like muscles and need to be used to prevent deterioration.
• Healthy Diet – This will keep blood pressure and cholesterol low reducing the risk of any circulatory problems.

Professional Care Companies such as My Care at Home provide care of the highest quality in order to support our clients to remain independent in their own homes. Call 01449 763086 or come and see us at our office at 117 Ipswich Street, Stowmarket to find out more about the services we provide.

Help keeping an elderly relative out of hospital

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Loneliness and Companionship

 

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Loneliness is a massive issue for elderly people in the UK. As people grow older they will inevitably lose more of their friends, neighbours and even their spouse or partner. This reduces the social interaction that they might have. Also the elderly can have limited contact with family members due to them living away or having busy lives. All of these issues can lead to feelings of loneliness.
Loneliness can then lead to a cycle of behaviour. As the elderly person feels more isolated they may become more withdrawn and spend even more time on their own which can lead to anxiety. This anxiety can then lead to more prolonged spells of time on their own and the vicious cycle has begun.
Loneliness may not seem like a serious problem but the effects of the loneliness are. It can lead to serious depression and anxiety and can also lead to physical health problems. Prolonged loneliness can seriously affect a persons well being. This is why companionship is so important and can help to keep loneliness and its effects at bay.
There are lots of ways we can help the elderly in our community helping them with shopping or taking meals round for them. However it’s also important to spend the time with our elderly to help combat the loneliness and isolation they may be feeling. Stopping for a cup of tea and a chat, playing a game of cards, doing a jigsaw, going out for a walk, watching a movie together – all these activities allow an elderly person to enjoy themselves.
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Companionship can also be offered as a service by care companies. This isn’t as a luxury but as vital aspect of someone’s care to help keep those feelings of loneliness and isolation at bay.
We all need to do everything we can to help the elderly in our community to feel more content and confident, and perhaps inspire them to do more things, and reduce any anxiety about the world outside their front door.

My Care at Home can help by providing companionship visits that can help to combat loneliness. 

Please call 01449 763086 or visit our office at 117 Ipswich Street, Stowmarket to find out what we can do to help.

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Keeping Your Heart Healthy All Year Round

February is National Heart Month here are a few tips from the British Heart Foundation for keeping a healthy heart. Not only for Feb but the whole year round!

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1. Cut down on your salt intake! Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Avoid foods like crisps, salted nuts, canned and packet soups and sauces, baked beans, and ready meals.

2. Watch your diet. A healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and can also help increase the chances of survival after a heart attack.

3. Get Active! The heart is a muscle and it needs exercise to keep fit so that it can pump blood efficiently around your body with each heartbeat.  Any form of activity in the long run is better for you than inactivity.  Even things like walking if done often enough will really help.  As the modern world has changed and as we age we do less.  More steps make sense.

4. Manage your weight. The number of people who are overweight in Britain is rising fast. Carrying a lot of extra weight as fat can greatly affect your health and increases the risk of life-threatening conditions such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. If you are overweight or obese start by making small, but healthy changes to what you eat and try to become more active.

5. Get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked by your GP. People with high blood pressure run a higher risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. High levels of cholesterol in the blood – produced by the liver from saturated fats – can lead to fatty deposits in your coronary arteries that increase your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and diseases that affect the circulation. You can help lower your cholesterol level by exercising and eating high-fibre foods such as porridge, beans, pulses, lentils, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

6. Check your family history. If a close relative is at risk of developing coronary heart disease from smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of physical activity, obesity and diabetes, then you could be at risk too.

7. Make sure you can recognise the early signs of coronary heart disease. Tightness or discomfort in the chest, neck, arm or stomach which comes on when you exert yourself but goes away with rest may be the first sign of angina, which can lead to a heart attack if left untreated.

Some very good advice for us all from the British Heart Foundation for National Heart Month.

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Dignity Champion

Jane is our Dignity Champion

I’d like to introduce you to Jane Yeo. She is our first dignity champion and she has pledged to keep the ‘10 dignity dos’ as laid out by the National Dignity Council.Jane-Yeo-114x150

What is a Dignity Champion?

A Dignity Champion is someone who believes that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity at all times and that this is a basic human right. They believe that all care services must provide care that is person centred and compassionate and they are willing to try to do something to achieve this. They pledge to challenge poor care, to act as good role models and to help to educate and inform all those working around them.

The ’10 dignity dos’ that Jane has signed up to are:

• Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse
• Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family
• Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service
• Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control
• Listen and support people to express their needs and wants
• Respect people’s right to privacy
• Ensure people feel abel to complain without fear of retribution
• Engage with family members and carers as care partners
• Assist people to maintain confidence and positive self-esteem
• Act to alleviate people’s loneliness and isolation

Dignity Champions are all committed to taking action, however small, to create a care system that has compassion and respect for those using its services.Dignity-Champion

Jane will be working with care workers, our training coordinator and care manager to help promote dignity and help ensure all our clients are treated with dignity and respect. We hope
Jane will be the first of many of our care workers that sign up to this commitment.

If you would like to find out more about Dignity Champions please visit the website http://www.dignityincare.org.uk

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Welcoming our new Care Manager

We are delighted to appoint our new Care ManagerAlex-Powell-2-277x300

Finding the right person for important roles isn’t always easy but in appointing Alex Powell as our new Care Manager we’re confident we’ve done exactly that.

Alex has extensive experience in care. Her very first experience of care was looking after her grandmother as a teenager. It was then she decided that care was the career for her. Alex started her career in care as a night carer, fitting her work around her young family, and has worked her way up as a senior, care coordinator, deputy manager and then a manager. She has worked in both Care Homes and Home Care. She brings with her a wide range of skills and experiences.

“I’m really excited about starting the Care Manager role at My Care at Home. Their commitment to providing high quality care matches my own commitment and I am looking forward to making a real difference out there in the community.”

While not at work Alex is kept busy looking after her four grandchildren. She also enjoys long walks with her newly adopted dog.

We’re delighted that Alex has joined us. She ‘loves to care’ that’s the one essential qualification to work for My Care at Home and we know she’s going to do a brilliant job.

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Respect Your Street While You Trick Or Treat

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‘Respect your street while you trick or treat’

Halloween is a fun time for many children and their parents with the tradition of trick and treating becoming more and more popular. However for many of our more vulnerable neighbours this
can be a time they are dreading.trick-or-treat-150x150
Many elderly people don’t want to be seen as unsocial and will open the door to the local children, but what about the people that they don’t know? It’s a sad fact that many thieves will prey on the vulnerability and trusting nature of some of our elderly neighbours at Halloween.

Please remember not everyone is happy to have trick or treaters calling at their home. If there are no signs of decorations or pumpkins on the doorsteps, then avoid those houses. Encourage children to ‘Respect your street while you trick or treat’
Here are some tips that can be passed on to relatives and neighbours to help them feel safer:
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• You don’t have to answer the door to unknown callers. You can display this poster in your window to let people know you do not want visitors.
• Use your spyhole, look out of a window, and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door.
• Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour to hand by your telephone, just in case you need to call them.
• If you are going to be on your own and feel vulnerable, let a family member, relative or friend know, so they can make contact to check you are okay.
• If trick-or-treaters do call on you and things get out of hand, or you feel intimidated, contact Suffolk Police.

 

To report anti-social behaviour, call 101. If you feel threatened, it’s an emergency, or a crime is in progress, dial 999.

 

Posters are available from Suffolk Police, alternatively pop in to our office 117 Ipswich Street Stowmarket and we will happily print one out for you.

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My Care At Home Promise

two-hearts-greenWe promise to provide a reliable and friendly service and put a smile on your face. We promote and support independence and will work hard to provide the highest standard of care for you or your loved one.