Your professional provider of Domiciliary Care Services throughout the region.

March 28th, 2017

Most people love to get out and about, our clients included. But for some elderly people, or those with mobility difficulties, rambling through the countryside may be too much to manage.

Arthur and Daxi

Arthur and Daxi

One of our clients who hasn’t been put off by his lack of mobility is Arthur, who has multiple sclerosis and who is supported by our Cirencester team.

Arthur has an off-road buggy – a Tramper – which enables him to enjoy the countryside even though he is no longer able to walk. Our support workers hoist Arthur from his wheelchair to his Tramper, then off we go, along with Daxi (Arthur’s assistance dog from Canine Partners).

The Tramper can negotiate all sorts of terrain, including mud, snow and sand. Arthur’s was given to him by his late father. But the good news is, they can be hired.

We’ve come across two organisations – The Disabled Ramblers and Countryside Mobility – whose aim is to get people with poor mobility out into the countryside.

Countryside Mobility South West is a not for profit mobility equipment hire scheme working to improve access to the countryside for people with limited mobility living in and visiting the South West region.

The Disabled Ramblers exists to help mobility-challenged people get back out into the countryside.  They ramble in all weathers and over a variety of terrain, and rambles are graded according to difficulty. About 30 rambles are run each year across England and Wales – mostly from March to October.

Getting out and about is great for health and wellbeing and combating feelings of isolation experienced by many people who are elderly or with poor mobility, so any organisations that help in this area have to be applauded.

This blog was written by Bianca Thomas, one of our support workers. 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.

 

March 15th, 2017

Do you remember Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men? Or the theme tune to the Old Grey Whistle Test? Depending on your age, you probably do.

And if you live with dementia, or have a friend or family member who has the condition, it is likely you (or they) remember them too. Because these old memories often stay with a person when other memories have gone.

So we were delighted to hear that the BBC has launched a permanent archive of pictures, audio and video clips as part of a project to help people with dementia, their family and carers, using their extensive archive to spark conversation.

Since a pilot scheme was launched last year, three-quarters of the 17,000 people who have used the archive reported that it triggered long-term memories they did not realise still existed.

The BBC has now confirmed it will make the resources permanent and easier to navigate, giving viewers a “natural way” to stimulate conversation and reminiscences. It is called the BBC Reminiscence Archive (BBC RemArc) and you can access it here.

The footage includes many ordinary scenes from each decade from the 1950s onwards, including children playing, football matches and familiar journeys by train and tube.

Other clips include popular television and radio programme throughout the ages, from Sir David Attenborough’s famous 1950s encounters in ZooQuest right up to the Generation Game, Blue Peter and Playschool.

BBC RemArc was created by the BBC’s Archive Development team in conjunction with Dundee University, the University of St Andrews and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Containing around 1,500 items from the BBC Archives, it showcases around 250 video clips, 250 audio clips and more than 1,000 images from the 1930s to the 2000s.

Scenes show a young Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir Patrick Moore, and Delia Smith in their element, while Alistair Cooke broadcasts his Postcards from America and Jacob Bronowski describes The Ascent Of Man in 1973.

News footage includes Royal visits by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, speeches by Margaret Thatcher when Prime Minister and a film of the moon landings.

Dr Norman Alm, an honorary research fellow at Dundee University, said: “I have again and again seen the difference between interacting with and without this kind of carefully-designed technological help – and the difference is unbelievable.

“RemArc is a boon to people with dementia and just as importantly to their carers, who can sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation, with RemArc doing all the heavy-lifting of supporting the interaction and keeping it lively, engaging, and importantly, unpredictable.”

Kathryn Smith, director of operations at Alzheimer’s Society says: “Dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK today and this is set to rise to one million by 2021. It’s more important than ever that people with dementia are supported to live well with their condition.”

We have to say that, at DoCare – where we support many clients and their families, who are living with dementia – we think this is a marvellous resource and will be using it as part of our mission to make every day a better day.

 

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.

 

 

 

March 10th, 2017

This week, Chancellor Philip Hammond unveiled his first, and last, spring Budget and among the many announcements was one that was music to our ears at DoCare – an increase in funding for social care.

Mr Hammond announced that councils will receive an extra £2bn to fund adult social care over the next three years: £1bn of the cash will be released in 2017-18 to allow councils to “act now” and commission more social care packages to “relieve pressures on the NHS”. The remaining funding will be provided in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

We can’t be sure at this stage how much this funding will help – will it make a big difference or will it just be a sticking plaster, patching up a severely underfunded social care system?

There is also a concern that the money may not reach the frontline services, where it is sorely needed.

Colin Angel, policy director of the UK Homecare Association (UKHCA), of which DoCare is a member, said: “At first sight, the Chancellor’s budget appears to be good news for the social care sector in the short term. While councils are expected to spend public money wisely, there are few apparent measures to ensure that this additional funding reaches frontline social care services where it is most needed, rather than plugging gaps in existing budgets.

“It has been encouraging to hear government acknowledge the pressures on the social care system, and that it will publish a green paper later this year to look at longer term solutions to support care services for older and disabled people. We should be aware, however, that green papers do not themselves create a change in government policy, so optimism about the long-term future must be tempered by an awareness that a sustainable solution is still some way off. For any long-term solution to be effective, government must fully involve provider organisations in shaping a new direction for adult social care.”

We’d absolutely endorse this at DoCare: the extra funding is welcome, but it’s just one step on the road.

In the meantime, we’ll carry on providing a quality service to our clients, striving to make every day a better day for them.

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.

March 8th, 2017

Recently the media reported on a new Commission on Loneliness set up in Parliament, in memory of the murdered MP Jo Cox.

For the first time a cross-party group of MPs, policy-makers and more than a dozen leading organisations have come together to expose the growing crisis of loneliness and find ways to overcome it.

The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness will be working throughout 2017 with the following partners – Action for Children, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, The British Red Cross, The Campaign to End Loneliness, Carers UK, The Co-op, Eden Project Communities, Independent Age, Refugee Action, Royal Voluntary Service, Sense and The Silver Line – to shine a light on different aspects of loneliness and the positive steps we can all take to combat it.

Research carried out by the organisations involved with the commission show more than nine million people admit they are “always or often lonely” – with two thirds of those saying they would never admit it in public. It also describes how the British instinct to “put a brave face on it” is masking a social crisis.

As Jo herself put it, “young or old, loneliness doesn’t discriminate…it is something many of us could easily help with. Looking in on a neighbour, visiting an elderly relative or making that call or visit we’ve been promising to a friend we haven’t seen in a long time.”

At DoCare, most of our clients are elderly and many of them live alone. They have supportive and loving families, but we know some feel lonely. We do all we can to make their day a better day, but we’re aware that in some cases our support workers are the only visitors they have.

Loneliness is a problem, and we think this Commission is a fantastic way to highlight it and to see what can be done. Working together has to be the answer.

You can find out more information about the Commission here. There is lots of information about services you can access, or if you want to help and volunteer, at the website for the Campaign to End Loneliness.

 

This blog was written by Una Mills, DoCare Director. 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.

March 1st, 2017

We’re now in our 13th year at DoCare, and our company has changed in many ways. Whereas we started with just myself, Una and one client, we now employ dozens of fantastic support workers, have a brilliant head office team and – of course – many, many clients. They all make up the DoCare family.

We’re alawys sad when one of our team leaves, and recently Will – our client services co-ordinator – left to go to Korea to teach English. Will had joined us when he graduated from university, and was a brilliant and versatile member of the team, so we will miss him.

But this has given us an opportunity to review the client services co-ordinator role. We are always looking for ways to innovate and improve, and we saw an opportunity here.

So our new client services role will be broader than the last, to reflect the size of the business but at the same time ensuring we remain true to our ethos, of delivering a better day for our clients.

Our new co-ordinator will be tasked with:

  • Spotting where we have spare capacity
  • Making that capacity available to potential new clients
  • Helping speed up and ease the process of getting clients home from hospital
  • Making the best of our resources to give the best value to our clients
  • Shaping and improving our client services team

An important goal for us it to move towards a full seven day service, so we can take on new clients at any time. We believe this links well with the planned extended services of GP practices and hospital doctors, and will be better for our clients.

We’re excited about the new role and are looking forward to putting somebody in post.

And because Will is moving to Korea, I’m reminded of a Korean saying, “Shi-jaki bani-da”, which means “Starting is half the task”. And that’s how it seems to me – we’re still just starting in our pursuit of making every day a better day for those we support.

 

This blog was written by Steve Mills, DoCare Director. 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.