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Archive for the ‘Older People’ Category

Who Or What Is OAPSchat?

Janice

Hi, my name is Janice and I am the founder of http://www.oapschat.co.uk. OAPSchat stands for Optimistic and Proactive Seniors Chat. Loneliness is a big scourge on our society worldwide and the website helps combat this awful isolation by coming together and sharing our thoughts and ideas.

OAPSchat was born in April 2013 as a Facebook page. One lunchtime, my family and I were talking about the lack of websites for over fifty fives. So I decided to look into this more thoroughly. There are a few, but they are celebrity based or specific to grandparents etc.

So I decided to launch OAPSchat FB page and post and comment about the silver and golden years. A blog was set up and I started to write weekly columns on health, money, lifestyle issues, relationships, memories and much more. The FB page grew slowly at first, but gradually I was having more and more likes. Bel Mooney from The Daily Mail mentioned me twice in 2013 and more likes followed. To date there are over 1125. It was in November 2013 that I decided I had enough material and confidence to launch the website.

Since that day, I have been writing articles on all kinds of topics. I now have over sixty five wonderful contributors to date and articles on all different subjects are posted on an almost daily basis. Members can comment via Disqus, FB and Twitter. There is also a members Forum where many topics are discussed. To date there are 576 articles and this figure is growing steadily.

Raffles are held monthly, sometimes more often. Firms, shops, businesses, authors and many others donate prizes. A newsletter goes out once a month with my plans for the coming weeks.

I am an Independent Happy List Winner 2014 for founding the website.

You will note that after Optimistic and ProActive Seniors is the word CHAT. Whilst it is great to be able to ‘chat’ via Facebook and The Forum, I really would like to be able to install a Video Chat Link so that members can ‘see’ each other and chat either one to one or in a group. I am going to invite various authors, TV personalities, business people etc to share question and answers sessions.

This is a very exciting prospect, but in order to do this, I need to raise funds. So, I have set up a GoFundMe account and am inviting people to make a contribution. The website is my full time job and I also need funds also to cover my running costs. Any amount you can afford will be spent entirely on the website.

Oapschat is well and truly born now and I hope it will continue to thrive. With your support, I’m confident it will!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/columnist-465/Bel-Mooney-Daily-Mail.html

http://www.oapschat.co.uk/49-news/149-independent-on-sunday-s-happy-list-2014

http://www.gofundme.com/OAPSchat

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Findings from Francis inquiry into NHS whistleblowing due next week http://www.nursingtimes.net/5081751.article?WT.tsrc=email&WT.mc_id=Newsletter1 …

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75-year-old Maureen Lansdale has had her memory fully restored after becoming the first person in the UK to undergo a new treatment for the brain.

Two years ago the grandmother-of-nine began losing her memory including the names of her children and her own address. The doctors diagnosed her as having a vascular malformation, when a vein and artery have incorrectly joined together in the brain.

But thanks to the pioneering treatment, where the vascular malformation is removed through the nose, Mrs Lansdale’s health and memory have been restored.

‘It sounded scary being the first but I couldn’t live the way I was living, so I agreed. I’ve had the most wonderful thing done for me and I’m so grateful.

‘I hope many others can benefit too.’

A second patient has already undergone the same treatment successfully and doctors are hoping to roll it out across the UK this year

https://www.facebook.com/ageuk

 

 

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Why we’re thrilled our campaign to end ‘flying visits’ has succeeded

Thursday’s publication of the Care Act guidance was a huge victory in our year-long campaign to end the scandal of 15-minute care visits. We were delighted to see the government make it clear that these “flying visits” are completely unacceptable for personal care.

We launched our campaign to end 15-minute care in summer 2013, after having heard repeatedly from our staff and disabled people about the unacceptable choices people receiving care were being forced to make – often between having a drink and going to the loo. Something had to be done.

Without a clear picture of how often these inadequate visits were happening, and where, we knew it would be difficult to convince the right people that they needed to stop.

To find out what the scale of the problem was, we sent freedom of information requests to every council in England – and were shocked by the response.

The proportion of 15-minute care visits was far too high, at one in nine. These visits were also too widespread, with 60% of local authorities using them. And they were happening more and more frequently; the proportion of flying visits had increased by 15% over the previous five years.

We also heard from many people who receive these flying visits, like Mrs Taylor*:

“What can you do in 15 minutes? By the time they’ve helped me to the commode and helped me to change the time’s up. I end up choosing – have I got time to check if they can fill the hot water bottle? Do I get a drink or do I go to the toilet? If I ask them to boil the hot water and fill my flask for tea they might not have time to do the rest.”

With the scale of the problem clearly so large – and with tens of thousands of disabled and older people being stripped of their dignity by these visits every year – we knew we had to act.

Our year-long campaign saw our report into the scale of 15-minute visits make national news. We visited 10 Downing Street to hand in postcards from thousands of campaign supporters. We also took a giant mug and toilet to Westminster to send a clear message that no one should have to choose between going to the loo and having a cup of tea, and made a film with Esther Rantzen about the issue.

To their credit, politicians from all parties heard our call for action and responded. The government introduced an amendment to the care bill to put wellbeing at the heart of care commissioning, health secretary Jeremy Hunt described 15-minute care as “completely unacceptable” in parliament, and Labour leader Ed Miliband promised to call time on “clock-watch care”.

And now the government’s guidance has made it crystal clear that councils should not be buying these flying visits for personal care. We know that since our campaign began some authorities, like Calderdale, Islington and Essex, have already taken action to end 15-minute visits in their area.

Now is the time for other local authorities to follow their lead. We’ll be watching closely to make sure they do.

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/oct/24/care-act-15-minute-home-care-visit-disability?CMP=twt_gu

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GREAT NEWS! My book, ‘Beyond My Control: Why the Health & Social Care System Need Not Have Failed My Mother’ is shortlisted for THE PEOPLE’S BOOK prize.

If you think my book is a worthy winner please vote before November at http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/section.php?id=2 Thank you.

BMC jpeg

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Dementia

‘UK’s dementia care betrayal: Nine in ten care homes and hospitals fail patients, says damning report

  • CQC review finds widespread neglect, lack of care and poor training
  • They found that 90% had some aspect of poor or inconsistent care.’                                                                                                                                    Daily Mail 13th Oct 2014

Reading this is worrying but not a surprise. We’re hearing more now about poor care. It can be very stressful if you need to find a care/nursing home for your loved one with dementia, a care/nursing home that provides care and support with a dedicated staff team.

But as we read above, there is ‘a staggering 90 per cent of the care homes and hospitals inspected found to have aspects of variable or poor care’. So where does this leave us for who are trying to find a good care home for our loved one. And why is this happening?

I have seen great staff across the country who genuinely care for those they support. They are dedicated and provide person centred support, and many a time work long hours due to staff shortages/sickness. I have also seen staff that have delivered poor care. Sometimes, it’s not their fault. The staff/client ratios in these large homes are minimal and it would be helpful for the Care Quality Commission to bring in a minimum number of clients to staff ratio. The former Commission of Social Care Inspection [CSCI] had this.

Dementia is a specilised area and need staff who are trained to support people with dementia. It is not good enough to receive training on how to support older people, training is needed on how to support individuals with dementia. People can live well with dementia, but only if staff have the knowledge on how to support the individual to do this.

Is a care/nursing home needed for the individual with dementia or can they be supported at home, with a Personal Budget? [Personal budgets give you flexibility in how your care needs are met.]

What is needed in a care/nursing home to enable a person with dementia to be cared for, and be safe? As a minimum this is needed:

The care assessment completed prior to going into the care/nursing home needs to give an accurate full description of the individual’s needs.

We need to get the right quality of care. Staff to be recruited who genuinely want to care and support others [not those who see it as ‘just a job’].

High turnover rates lead to lack of continuity. Do the managers carry out an Exit Interview with staff to see why they’re leaving? If they did, this may help them see the reasons and if the reasons are to do with the Home then the manager can look to rectify this.

Money available to train staff in this specialised area and this money to be used for training and nothing else.

Time for staff to complete training.

Staff to discuss with their supervisor/manager afterwards to see if the training met their need.

Good client staff ratio on shifts.

Time for staff to carry out best practice [and not cut corners due to short staffing].

Senior on shift to lead the shift, monitor, observe and discuss poor practice if apparent.

Staff to receive regular 1-1 confidential supervision sessions where training needs are identified, performance discussed, feedback given and concerns shared.

Staff to be able to express their concerns without fear of reprisal or losing their job.

What makes a good care/nursing home?

Many care/nursing homes can look grand from the outside, and sometimes on the inside too. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they pay the same amount of time cleaning the place to supporting the people who live there.

Some of the things I feel should be in place:

Care/support plans are individual to the person [and not the same as everyone elses]. The plans should take in the uniqueness of the individual, their interests, abilities, needs and preferences.

Staff must treat individuals with dignity and respect.

Systems should be in place to help the individual with choices. This can be objects to refer to or pictures/photographs.

Dedicated and trained staff team.

Keyworker system in place.

Good leadership and support for staff.

Clients and family are listened to.

House meetings where the people living there are able to express opinions and make suggestions for their home.

Happy, relaxed atmosphere.

Activities for the individual to choose if s/he wishes to participate.

Useful websites:

Alzheimer’s Society http://alzheimers.org.uk/

Age UK http://www.ageuk.org.uk/

Health Watch http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/

The Silver Line http://www.thesilverline.org.uk/

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‘By 2015 there will be 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, and today’s social care systems are not equipped to cope

We are all living longer and that is something to celebrate. A third of babies born today are expected to reach their 100th birthday. But are older people living well? Already that is debatable, and the future is clouded with uncertainty.

Our health and social care systems are antiquated and no longer fit for purpose, with vulnerable older people drawing the short straw. When the NHS was set up it was there to treat outbreaks of tuberculosis and measles, to see women through childbirth and children with whooping cough. Today, the majority of service users are older people with multiple long-term conditions. Seven out of ten people with dementia have another long term condition and require care and support from a range of different professionals.

Today the NHS is too often seen as just the hospital – the visible sign of health care in the town. But the community support that should be there to help people live well at home is hidden. We take an overly reactive approach, rewarding crisis admissions to hospital rather than delivering on the outcomes that matter most to people.

Alzheimer’s Society recently published new research which brought the disparity between the services we have and those we need into sharp focus. It found that by 2015 there will be 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, more than ever before. The cost of this unfolding epidemic has hit £26bn a year, a price tag which is set to rise alongside the rising numbers. Most striking of all this is that people with dementia, their carers and families are shouldering two-thirds of this cost themselves.

The post second world war settlement of cradle to grave health care which is free at the point of delivery must remain. But today’s needs are as much about social care. We need new and flexible models of delivery where the emphasis is on building services around individuals, not institutions. For decades the closer integration of health and social care has been a goal of public policy, but we have yet to see its effective translation.

Fundamental to living well in older age is maintaining health and independence. This winter the crisis in NHS funding will once again be centre stage. But for many years, there has been a crisis in social care. Make no mistake: the services that support older people, often the most vulnerable, are on the verge of meltdown.

This is why the Ready for Ageing Alliance has created a manifesto calling on policymakers in government and beyond to start engaging seriously with the trend towards longer lives. The alliance formed in 2013 following publication of the Filkin report and its conclusion that we as a country were nowhere near ready for an ageing population. The aim of members Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Anchor, Carers UK, Centre for Policy on Ageing, the International Longevity Centre – UK , Independent Age and Joseph Rowntree Foundation is to make the case for action to ensure that our society makes the most of our ageing population.

The manifesto sets out detailed recommendations for public policy covering housing; health & social care; the economy and communities and calls for government to take the lead.

It calls for us to stop seeing ageing as being just about older people – if we wait until we are 60 or 70 to prepare we’ll have left it too late. We believe everyone aged 50 should be sent a pack giving information and advice.

At the core of the failings of our health and social care system is ageism. Older people are too often treated like second class citizens. Legislation has gone some way to preventing discrimination on grounds of age, but bizarrely financial services are exempt and hidden discrimination remains in many walks of life.

It’s vital we stop operating hospitals on a model designed for the past. Staff and patient ratios on hospital wards for older patients are often lower than on general wards. This makes little sense given that older people often need more help and care. Two thirds of hospital beds are currently occupied by a person with dementia. People living with the condition have even further complex needs which must be taken into consideration.

2015 is the year of a general election. While the question of who will be in government remains to be decided, one of the greatest challenges that they face is already set. By 2051 we can expect to have two million people with dementia in the country. Now is the time for government to wake up and realise prevention can be the best cure.’

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/sep/16/services-supporting-older-people-verge-meltdown

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