Your professional provider of Domiciliary Care Services throughout the region.

December 19th, 2016

 

What a year 2016 has been for change! We’ve had some very significant political changes both national and internationally, with the Brexit vote, a new Prime Minister, and Donald Trump the unexpected winner of the US presidential election.

On a rather smaller scale, at DoCare we have experienced our own changes. We’ve had to say goodbye to some colleagues and friends, who have moved on to pastures new. But we have also made some fantastic new appointments among our team, promoting people internally and also bringing new people into the DoCare family.

Among the changes has been the appointment of three new team leaders and eight new seniors. And we promoted Kate Townsend to the role of Field Manager. All good news for DoCare as a whole, and for our staff and clients.

Our Service Management Team has grown in number, as we have extended our opening hours. This has meant we are able to provide a more comprehensive, fast-reacting service to our clients and better central support for our field staff.

We’ve held events, including our open day to mark National Dementia Awareness Week. And we have won awards, with DoCare being named the Care Employer of the Year at the Great British Care Awards.

We’re keen as ever to support our clients in their endeavours, so were delighted to sponsor Rollo with his fundraising photography exhibition back in March.

And we’re proud that our staff also take part in fundraising, with several of our team joining the Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walks.

Now the end of the year is approaching, it just remains for me, on behalf of the team here, to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – and to look forward to whatever 2017 has in store.

 

This blog was written by DoCare Director Steve Mills.  If you have a relative who you think would benefit from DoCare’s services, or would like assistance yourself, please get in touch.  If you are interested in a rewarding career as a support worker, we would love to hear from you – please give us a call or you can apply online.

 

 

December 12th, 2016

 

Today, our blog is written by Judy, and is about her experience of supporting parents with dementia. Judy’s father was a DoCare client.

I first started noticing my parents were having difficulties about eight years ago, when they were living two-and-a-half-hours away. It was clear they were struggling to cope, so we moved them closer to us. Mum was very against the move, but Dad was quite excited about it.

They managed well for some time but I started to notice I was having to explain things a lot more to them. I am a retired teacher, so luckily I have the patience of Job, but it was a little frustrating at times.

I also began to realise they were hiding things from me. For instance, Dad became confused with medication and on one occasion we found out he had taken not only his but Mum’s too. Another time, Mum boiled a dishcloth but left it on the hob, so it turned to ash and the kitchen was full of smoke. Dad began to forget simple things, like how to put his jumper on.

At this point, I turn to the doctor for help. I remember bursting into tears when I was at the surgery because it had really dawned on me now that both of them were changing.

Some tests were carried out on Dad, which showed he had Alzheimer’s disease. Mum wasn’t diagnosed at that point, but she was turning into a completely different person.

I found it very difficult because when I was with them I had to go into jolly daughter mode, and always be upbeat but the effort of keeping that up was a challenge.

It was at this point that we had DoCare coming in so support Dad, and that worked well for a while.

As time went on, though, Mum was becoming increasingly difficult. She stayed in bed and refused to get up. She regularly called for an ambulance and claimed she was dying. The GP was informed of this, luckily, so we were then able to arrange a carer for her who she loved like an angel.

Sadly, she then fell ill and went into hospital where she died three weeks later.

Dad understood she had passed away but somehow the Alzheimer’s cushioned him from grief. He was, though, quite needy, easily confused, and began to have falls. At this point we realised he needed to go into a care home.

Dad was an intellectual, so I worked out ways to jog his memory. I wrote messages on cards, which I handed to him as I spoke to him. I’d write sentences for him, to keep, which he could then reread as reminders of what we had spoken about.

He loved the care home – when he arrived he said he had a “splendid room”. He went there in August 2014, but by the Christmas he didn’t know it was Christmas. He died the following year.

What do I think when I look back? Initially, I was in denial but then there was a slow acceptance. Then I realised the best way to approach my parents was to go along with what they said – even if it sounded nonsense, to them it wasn’t nonsense. I learnt that while emotionally it was really tough, self-pity wouldn’t help.

Coping with parents with dementia is a long and painful journey which requires patience, tolerance and acceptance of the hand of cards that they have been dealt. None of this comes easily, but a lot of hugs and smiles, and just being there for them in what is a role reversal of care, is what is important.

If you are looking after a relative with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Society offers lots of information and support.

If you have a relative who you think would benefit from DoCare’s services, or would like assistance yourself, please get in touch.  And if you are interested in a rewarding career as a support worker, we would love to hear from you – please give us a call or you can apply online.

 

 

 

 

December 2nd, 2016

 

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition that affects one in every 500 people in the United Kingdom – that is 127,000 of us. It generally affects those over the age of fifty.

With statistics like these, it is likely that most of us know at least one person affected by Parkinson’s. And, of course, among our clients are a number of people we support who are living with the disease.

For every individual who has the condition, the combination of symptoms is different.  They can also change with alarming speed, so that a task that could be completed independently in the morning may be impossible, without help, just hours later.

 

Challenges of Parkinson’s disease

 

To help understand the complexity of challenges faced by our clients with Parkinson’s, and in line with our person-centred approach to care, many of our DoCare team are now volunteering for additional training.

The first group have graduated from the course, which was devised by Parkinson’s UK, with flying colours. I am delivering the course, having first undergone the training myself. Our first group did brilliantly, and we have plans to run further courses.

The training was a real eye-opener about Parkinson’s and how it affects people. It has really helped our support workers who took part to understand the disease, and appreciate the challenges some of our clients are dealing with on a daily – and sometimes hourly – basis.

Our ethos at DoCare is to make every day a better day for all our clients, by providing a tailored support service with a personal approach. This latest training initiative is one example of our commitment to delivering a consistently high level of care.

Further information about Parkinson’s disease is available at https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/ .

 

This blog was written by Kate Townsend, DoCare’s Field Manager.  If you have a relative who you think would benefit from DoCare’s services, or would like assistance yourself, please get in touch.  If you are interested in a rewarding career as a support worker, we would love to hear from you – please give us a call or you can apply online.