Category Archives: Care and Carers

CARERS: Time off in an emergency

If you’re working as well as caring for someone, it can be a lot to handle at once. It may help to know about your rights at work. Age UK have a new guide on their website, to help you with this delicate balance.


And here’s just one section from that article, dealing with the right to time off work in case of an emergency:

You have the right to time off in an emergency when it involves a person who is dependent on you. That might include, for example, your partner, your parent, or your child. If someone else relies on you for help, they may also count as a dependent.

Examples of when you might need to use this right to emergency time off include:

  • where your normal care arrangements have been cancelled or changed
  • if the person you care for dies, is ill, or has an accident
  • when you need time off to organise long-term arrangements for the person you care for
  • when they are ill or injured

SUMMER: Holiday Destinations For Older People

From time to time we like to introduce you to some of the excellent websites out there aimed at older people and their friends, relatives and carers.

One of the ones that has recently caught our eye is My Ageing Parent, a site set up by two women who were both caring for recently widowed mothers. It’s a warm and welcoming website and full of good advice and insight.

With the summer now upon us, we’re thinking about day trips and perhaps longer holidays and the guide to where to take an older relative seemed a good starting point for a browse around the website.


GUIDE: Choosing A Care Home

Choosing a care home, either for yourself or for a relative or friend can seem like a daunting challenge. However, there are professionals who can advise you and a number of web-based tools that can make the process a lot easier and allow you to make a decision based on a broad spread of information.

What Do Care homes Provide? Support provided in a care home can involve: help with eating, washing, bathing, dressing and toilet needs, and caring for you if you become ill. Some homes provide services for people with more complex needs, including nursing care.

Choosing a Care Home: Choosing a care home is an important decision. You need to choose one that is right for you, both now and in the future. You can get advice from a social worker, district nurse or your family doctor. Alternatively, you can use a range of online tools to help you make the decision:

  • Calderdale Council: For a list of all the care homes in Calderdale, their contact details, information about the service they provide and links to their Care Quality Commission reports, visit the Calderdale Council’s website, where the information is stored in their Social Care and Wellbeing Hub. Calderdale Council also provide other key info on Care Homes on their website:
    Financial Guide to moving into a care home
    Gateway to Care – all Calderdale’s main care services are now under Gateway to Care.
  • Quality Care Commission (CQC) Map of Care Homes. The Quality Care Commission (CQC) has produced a map of inspection ratings for care  homes. The map is very easy to use and each care home marked on the map has an accompanying rating and report. You can search by postcode to find services near you.
  • Age UK: There is a lot of useful information about choosing a Care Home on the AgeUK website including a guide and a checklist which can be downloaded.

FACEBOOK: Group For Unpaid Carers

The aim of the group is to create a community of carers made up of those that have a responsibility of providing care for their partner, other family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or an addiction.

The group will provide a space through which members can connect with each other in order to:

  • Overcome the isolation and loneliness that carers often feel
  • Share thoughts and ideas
  • Listen and be heard on the challenges you may be facing
  • Provide and receive support
  • Learn what help and support is available for carers

Link to the group:

VIDEO: Talking About Death & Dying

We all seem to find it difficult to have conversations with people we love about death and dying. It brings up uncomfortable emotions so we tend to shy away from it. Talking about death often feels like a taboo subject in our society. Yet all of us will experience the death of a loved one at some point in our lives and talking more openly can often make it seem less scary.

Age UK recently put out a really helpful blog on the subject, plus this short video – we think it’s well worth a watch!


DEMENTIA: Important new guide

Promising approaches to living well with dementia is a new and very comprehensive guide from Age UK.

Download Guide (pdf file)

In his introduction to the guide, Keith Oliver, an Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, neatly sums up what it has to offer:

“By starting from the perspectives of people with dementia, this guide adds to the ever growing knowledge base of what ‘living well’ really means. And, further, it offers thoughts on how this can be achieved particularly through support and engagement in meaningful activities.

This report is full of examples of interesting approaches which are already in place in some parts of this country, but as it makes clear the next step will be to open dialogues with local authorities up and down the country to reduce the current postcode lottery.

The framework the guide offers for supporting people will hopefully prove useful to those seeking to improve things, and there is comprehensive sign-posting to effective interventions for those seeking inspiration.

To place great emphasis on the rights of people affected by dementia is central to this work and is consistent with my own work with the Dementia Engagement & Empowerment Project (DEEP) Think Tank.

Rights-based approaches will be vital in taking forward our discussions with providers in the community. The new Dementia Statements set out a clear set of expectations and reminding people of these can help to ensure that people with dementia are not disregarded or overlooked. I have a copy of the new statements framed and mounted for easy reference on my office wall. Maybe all interested parties should copy this example or carry them in their diary for inspiration!

No matter who you are there is certainly something in this report for everyone touched by dementia, be they a person with a diagnosis, someone living with a person who has dementia or a professional seeking to better understand and care for those of us who seek to live as well as possible for as long as possible.

Download Guide (pdf file)

HOME: Is your home dementia friendly?

10 ways to make your home dementia friendly

If you have dementia, living at home can help you to stay independent and enjoy the environment you’re used to. But you may need to make a few adjustments. There are lots of things you can do to help yourself keep safe, active and doing the things you want to do.

The Alzheimer’s Society has just published their 10 top tips for  dementia friendly home:

1. Make sure you’ve got good lighting.
Check that natural light can get into your house ­– good lighting helps you see clearly and make sense of where you are. Make sure there’s nothing blocking light from coming in through the window. Also make sure your bedroom is dark enough at night, as this will help you sleep better.

2. Make sure your flooring is safe.
Remove anything that could make you trip up. Get rid of any rugs or mats, and watch out for other trip hazards like cables. Make sure you can see the flooring clearly too – plain matt flooring is best. Avoid having flooring that’s shiny or that’s a similar colour to the walls, as it may confuse you.

3. Make eating and drinking easier.
Eating and drinking well is important for your health. Use plates, cups and tablecloths with colours that contrast with food. Try using clear plastic containers to store your food, so you can see what’s inside.

4. Get furniture you can see clearly.
Dementia may affect how well you can tell the difference between colours. Use bright and contrasting colours to help you see furniture better. Avoid stripes and strong patterns as they can be confusing.

5. Remind yourself where things are.
If you have memory problems you may forget where things are kept. Put pictures or signs on cupboards and drawers so you know what’s inside them. Try to keep things like your keys, wallet and mobile phone in the same place.

Read the remaining five tips on the Alzheimer’s Society’s website