July 03, 2014 -- Able Newsflash No.431

Care News

Care Minister Norman Lamb has told The Financial Times that neither the State nor modern families are able to meet the demand for help for the rising number of elderly people in our society.

He said that there was an "overwhelming case for volunteers to fill the gap".

Volunteering is either formal or informal i.e. you volunteer with official groups or you give unpaid help to older people, usually friends or neighbours.

Www.timebank.org.uk advises that common activities undertaken by formal volunteering is organising or helping to run an activity or event, raising money or taking part in sponsored events.

The most common activity undertaken by informal volunteers was ‘giving advice’.


Public funding for older people’s social care has decreased in real terms by 10% (from 2010/11 – 2013/14 figures).

The number of older people using day centres fell by 49% as closures took place.

The eligibility criteria for state funded care has risen so that the majority of councils now only fund substantial or critical care and as a result the number of older people using state funded home care fell by 21% whilst the number of people using residential care homes rose by 21%.

Does this demonstrate, that as we have an increasing number of older people it may be worth considering, that if low level, preventative care was available, such as the old Home Help system, (which was task orientated), many older people may not need to move onto the 'substantial' or 'critical' stages and could remain in their own home, which survey, after survey tells us is the preferred choice?

Volunteers are unlikely to be able to cope with the huge task ahead is it not time therefore, to bring back a lower level of state funded, practical care for more older people?

A Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report (2007) listed the following as tasks older people wanted to receive help with:

Some of these are easily classified as preventative care, others would come under the volunteering hat, either way they would give isolated and lonely people a ‘visitor’ on a regular basis, care problems could be flagged up earlier and the combination of employed workers and volunteers could enable thousands more people to have happier lives, at their home of choice.

Does it just need the will to get it organised?

Question of the Week

"What is an Induction Loop System and are they widely available in public places?"

Answer : An Induction Loop System reduces the effect of background noise so enabling a person with hearing loss to hear more clearly. The system works on the magnetic field which is then picked up by the Telecoil (or T-coil) inside the hearing aid of hearing impaired people.

Many public places have the system installed and you should see a notice advising of this facility. Cinema’s, banks, post offices, (18,000 have an ILS installed), council offices, ticket offices, all London Taxis and many businesses now have a loop system installed.

Summer Tip of the Week

Ready, chilled foods are tempting to purchase in the Summer but as bacteria thrive at room temperature shop for them last of all and get them home and into the fridge as soon as is possible. Use a cool bag to transport them is you have one.

In warm temperatures some food poisoning bugs can multiply every ten minutes. In 2 hours 1,000 germs can become 1 million and cause food poisoning.

In-House News

Care Manager Julie attended a training course; "Knowledge of Mental Capacity Refreshed".

Monitoring visits took place in Norfolk.

A new post has commenced in Lancashire for a couple, one of whom has poor sight and one of whom has early dementia. Care Manager is Julie.

Our new Information Sheet entitled 'Summer Feet' is now available to download from our website here: www./support-files/summer_feet.pdf.

We publish these on a regular basis (between 6-8 per annun). If you wish to be notified when we publish future Information Sheets, please send your email address to ablemg@aol.com and ask to be added onto our Information Sheet list.

Interesting Information/Statistics

StepForward is the magazine from the Limbless Association. For further details visit: www.limbless-association.org

The Government Alcohol Strategy claims alcohol-related harm is now estimated to cost society (England) £21 billion annually. This is broken down as:

This does not include any estimate for the economic costs of alcohol misuse to families and social networks.

(Source: Institute of Alcohol Studies)

Client Profile of the Week

Queenie is in her 80’s and in 2012 was widowed. A few months later she entered hospital as a result of a fall and on her return home, recognising that failing sight was also a problem, decided to have a Live-in Care package. Queenie’s day had always been on a structured level and it was her wish that this continued.

Queenie’s care began in 2013 and has been continuous. Her two main live-in care workers were introduced to her in the first eight weeks of the start of her care package.

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