June 17, 2010 -- Able Newsflash No.224

Care News

The RNIB Scotland advises that the rise in the number of elderly people in Scotland over the next twenty years, will result in around 400,000 people with a sight loss.

In their report Eye Health Week the charity has estimated that the current cost to the public sector in 2010 is �194m annually.

The annual cost of sight loss per person is around �17,600 and the director of the RNIB Scotland, John Legg, is calling on the Scottish Government to put in place a national prevention strategy.

The World Health Assembly estimates that 50% of sight loss could be avoided through measures such as public awareness, sight screening and anti-smoking campaigns. (For every 1000 smokers who quit there would be 12 fewer cases of blindness).

It would be advantageous for people with diabetes to be diagnosed earlier and treated thereby reducing the risk of severe sight loss, to maintain free eye tests and to recognise that people with learning disabilities are additionally vulnerable.

Unison holds its conference in Bournemouth this week and is calling for better working conditions and training for home care workers.

Unison in a pre conference message is unhappy that some home care companies are getting paid more than �15.00 per hour from local authorities yet exploit their care staff by paying low wages, refusing to pay for travel time which can then lead to the actual wages being below the minimum wage.

Unison is unhappy about zero hours contracts, in some cases lack of basic training, some staff having to pay for their uniforms and mobile phones, and overall their concerns are that elderly people are being left without the care and support they need and their dignity is being compromised as a result.

More than three-quarters (76%) of people looking after an ill, frail or disabled loved one do not have a life outside of their caring role, according to new research issued to launch Carers Week.

The results show that huge numbers of carers are left isolated and lonely, missing out on opportunities that the rest of the population takes for granted. 80% have been forced to give up leisure activities or from going out socially since becoming a carer.

The majority of those surveyed can no longer rely on relatives for support either, as these relationships have suffered as a result of caring � 75% say they have lost touch with family and friends.

Carers say they simply exist, are marginalised and invisible. Unable to socialise, to have romantic relationships, or even to consider having children, the impact on carers is emotional, mental, physical, and fiscal. 4 out of every 5 carers say they're worse off financially, while more than half (54%) say they've had to give up work.

3,282 carers took part in the survey, both online and by post, which was carried out by Carers Week between 18 February � 7 April 2010. 65% of those surveyed were heavy-end carers, responsible for 50+ hours of care each week.
(Source: Carers UK)

In-House News

Prospective clients have been visited in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

A client review has taken place in Nottinghamshire.

MH training has taken place in house.

The Lord Mayor of Norwich has agreed to launch our charity cookery book 'Able to Cook' (details on our website: /abletocook.html)

Interesting Information / Statistics

Each year approximately 10 million people are admitted to hospital wards.(Source: the Telegraph)

Did you know that from April 2009 the government introduced free admission for over 60s to public swimming pools across England?

Question of the Week
"I am wheelchair dependent and would like to go on a joint holiday with my son who is also disabled. Are there any voluntary organisations which organise holidays where we could both go?"

Answer : The http://www.directgov.co.uk website gives details of an organisation called the Disaway Trust which organise holidays for people with a disability. The organisation has been in existence since 1981, is run entirely by volunteers and arranges holidays for mixed groups between the ages of 16 and 80 years of age.

The holiday venues that are chosen have been visited by the organisation, both at home and abroad and on each holiday there will be a Registered Nurse.

To contact the organisation visit their website at: http://www.disaway.co.uk

We hope you have enjoyed reading this and "see you next week".

Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Proprietor
Able Community Care.