July 10, 2014 -- Able Newsflash No.432

Care News

Research carried out by Com.Res for The Independent found the following:

Carers UK's creative writing competition is now open for entries. Short stories must be no longer than 1,000 words, or if writing poetry not longer than 40 lines. For more information about the competition, which ends on 1st August 2014, visit www.carersuk.org/43-how-you-can-help/4400-carers-uk-creative-writing-competition.

"Workers on zero hours contracts have no guaranteed hours and, as a result, may have little job security. Supporters of zero hours contracts claim that the contracts provide flexibility for employers and workers but all too often the choice rests with the employer, leaving the individual waiting for a call which, if it comes, can be at very short notice with hours that are not ideal."

(Source: www.parliament.uk)

It is estimated that 300,000 care workers work on zero hours contracts. The majority of whom are working via their care agency on council contracts.

Day after day we read that councils are having to restrict their criteria with reference to whom will receive care services with the majority now only funding for people with substantial or critical care needs.

Funding cuts and a rising demand is leading to a care situation which is unsustainable and more people are going without the appropriate care that could keep them in their own home, their first choice.

Zero hours may not be a preferred option for some but many care workers like the flexibility it delivers and the opportunity to say no to work they do not wish to do.

To mount a media campaign to get rid of zero hours contracts is negative. If this happened in the care sector, many more older and disabled people would not receive care, councils would not be able to afford it, many care organisations would leave the sector because they would no longer be financially viable, and fewer jobs would be available for care workers to be employed on. No one would win at the present time.

Question of the Week

"Which supermarket has the best disabled facilities?"

Answer : All large supermarkets will usually have disabled access, disabled toilets, adapted trolleys, a wide till for wheelchairs, hearing loops, designated parking areas, allow guide dogs, staff have disability training and wheelchairs for customer use.

In addition the following supermarkets advise the following specifics on their websites:

Tesco advise that they hold themed Customer Question Times every quarter in partnership with disability organisations, to listen and to respond to what customers with visual, hearing and physical disabilities tell them.

Tesco has been recognised by the charity AbilityNet as the only supermarket to have a website meeting the basic accessibility needs of disabled people. Rating 4 out of 5 stars.

Morrisons, in their restaurants offer cutlery and crockery designed specifically for customers who have difficulty gripping, adjustable tables and menus in Braille* and large print*.

Sainsburys advise on their website that personal shoppers are available to accompany customers round the store and to do their shopping with them. In many stores electric scooters may be available. They will also carry shopping to the car for their customers if requested. Their petrol stations have a service call facility enabling disabled drivers to request assistance without leaving their vehicle.

*Waitrose has this facility plus an audio CD service.

Summer Tip of the Week

You may not live near a bookshop but would like a book on a health problems, a cookery book for someone who needs a special diet, ideas on how to make life more interesting for an older person, big print books for someone with poor sight, books relating to peoples rights, or just a novel to read or a book about a new hobby etc., then visit the Amazon website. Not only do they sell new books but many can be purchased for as little as 0.1p plus postage: Visit www.amazon.co.uk

In-House News

A potential client was visited in Nottinghamshire and monitoring visits have taken place in Hertfordshire and Norfolk.

Care reviews were held in Bedfordshire and Wales with an additional ‘pop in’ visit being made.

A delegate from Able Community Care attended a care conference in Wiltshire.

Interesting Information/Statistics

The word ‘quack’ for a bogus medic is thought to come from a Dutch word ‘kwakzalver’ literally meaning a ‘hawker of salve’ (ointment). In the Middle Ages the word ‘quack’ meant ‘shouting’ and ‘quacks’ sold their remedies shouting in a loud voice.

People who smoke require 30% more Vitamin C than non-smokers.

Client Profile of the Week

Shirley was born in the 1940’s and suffered a stroke which has left her unable to care for herself. Shirley needs help to organise her day from a domestic, social and personal care level. Social activity is most important to her and in addition to attending a day centre trips out are an important part of her life.

Care commenced in 2013 and Shirley has three, returning, live-in carers only.

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