October 24, 2013 -- Able Newsflash No.396

Care News

A thought to ponder:

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last week told British families they should "follow the example of people in Asia, by taking in elderly relatives once they can no longer live alone".

Taking it at face value, this would mean that a large number of people caring for their elderly relatives would be in the ‘mature’ age group themselves. In other words, sons and daughters would provide loving care at several levels of activity, would be kind and would know when common sense told them they needed to access some professional help and guidance.

I am assuming that the Health Secretary would offer the relatives training in Manual Handling for example to protect them from personal injury, but would it be deemed necessary for these relatives to attend other social care training courses? A recent article in The Independent mentioned that you could have a choice of 810 training courses if you wished to become a social care worker.

For people with moderate through to high dependency care needs, it is vital that social care workers have appropriate training which is regularly updated. However, it is my view that for older people who need low level care the current qualifications laid down are excessive and looking back, the training given in the old Home Help system of care, should be re-introduced for people who need this preventative care level of service.

The ‘mature’ people who used to come forward who could offer the levels of care that the Health Minister is advocating that families provide, have been pushed out of the current care workforce because of the high level of training required. There is an untapped source of people who would like to provide professional care at a level of involvement which is companionship and simple personal care, but currently there is no room for them in the care industry.

Loneliness has been proved to have a detrimental effect on an older person’s health. Low level social care workers could eliminate the effects of loneliness by providing companionship, even the time spent having a 15 minute cup of tea and a chat three times a week would be utopia for some isolated elderly people.

Low level family care perfect but in the absence of this, bring in low level social care workers.

A recent analysis by Age UK showed that hospital patients were waiting for more than 30 days on average for a care home place - 13% longer than three years ago. A similar rise in waits has been seen for those needing care packages at home.

This is costly as a hospital bed costs £250 a day on average, while a week in a care home costs just over £500 and home help even less.

(Source: BBC)

Norman Lamb MP, 15th October 2013: From October 2014 a new “right to have” a Personal Health Budget will come into effect. This will mean that all those in receipt of NHS Continuing Care will be entitled to a Personal Health Budget unless there are clear clinical or financial reasons why this would not be appropriate (which will have to be explained to the individual).

Question of the Week

"I will be on my own this year for Christmas and would like to consider becoming a volunteer over this period. How can I find out who I can contact and what sort of volunteering is available?"

Answer : You could telephone local charities in your area or you could log on to the web site of TimeBank who can alert you to organisations in your area that would welcome help over the forthcoming festive period.

Their website is: www.timebank.org.uk/christmas-volunteering

Winter Tip - Sent in by a reader of the Newsflash

Is it Hypothermia? Look for the ‘Four Umbles’ – Stumbles, Mumbles, Fumbles and Grumbles.

If you suspect someone may have hypothermia look for the ‘umbles’ as these show that the cold is affecting how well a person’s muscles and nerves work. Take their temperature with a thermometer that has been shaken to its lowest point. If their temperature does not rise above 96F or 35.5C call for emergency help. Whilst you are waiting keep the person warm and dry by wrapping the person in blankets, towels, coats, etc.

In-House News

Two prospective client meetings took place in Norfolk.

Monitoring visits took place in Hertfordshire.

New posts have commenced in:

An Able Community Care team took part in a Quiz Night. We only managed 7th but £1,000 was raised for charity.

Able Community Care took part in an Information Day held by a firm of solicitors in Hunstanton, Norfolk.

Interesting Information

Three out of five young doctors on hospital wards and in GP surgeries are women.

They made up 61 per cent of doctors under 30 last year and 46 per cent of those aged 30 to 50.

Figures show men remain dominant in the oldest age group, with women comprising less than a third of doctors over 50.

But the numbers suggest the medical takeover by women is slowing.In 2012, 55 per cent of medical students were female, compared with 61 per cent in 2003 and 57 per cent in 2007.

Overall almost half of GPs are women, or some 46 per cent, according to the General Medical Council.

We have recently come across two clothing companies who have introduced new clothing items for both older people and disabled children:

ADAPTAWear have ‘Designed to Care’ skirts for older people plus a fleecy bed-jacket for men to name but two of their current range. Visit the web site at: www.adaptawear.com for further details.


Assisted Living has introduced a new fun line of products designed to bring comfort and warmth to children in wheelchairs.

The company's Huggerug has no blanket ends to tuck in or to drag behind, has a pocket for carrying necessities and comes in 3 colour options: Cow, Urban Camo and Ladybird. There are thermal mittens to match.

Take a look at their website at: www.assistedlivingclothing.co.uk

Client Profile

Queenie is in her eighties and is becoming confused at times.

Living at home with her beautiful garden, watching the wildlife who visit, birds and foxes, and having the companionship of her dog, Queenie nor her family wished her to move into a care home.

A few months ago the first live-in carer was introduced to her and her home and has become one of two, regular, live-in care workers who enable Queenie to continue to enjoy the home and environment she has lived in for many years.

If you enjoy reading this please forward it to anyone else who may also find it of interest. They can also subscribe for their own weekly copy from our website:

Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Director
Able Community Care Ltd.
Telephone 01603 764567