Your professional provider of Domiciliary Care Services throughout the region.

March 16th, 2018

Moving and handling is part and parcel of the day to day working life of our support team and something we take very seriously at DoCare.Moving and handling

Not only is it important that we follow moving and handling procedures to keep our clients safe, but it is also important for the health of our support workers.

I’ve recently undergone six days training so I can join my colleague, Rachel, as a moving and handling trainer at DoCare. Six days sounds a lot – and there was a lot of homework too! – but there is so much to learn and when it comes to training others in this important area there are no shortcuts; procedures have to be followed to the letter.

All our new recruits have moving and handling training as part of their induction. They then have an annual refresher course, and if anything changes in the meantime – such as new regulations that come in, or if new equipment is introduced – they have further training.

We always carry out risk assessments for our clients and the staff who will be working with them, and we review all our moving and handling procedures; as client’s needs change, then so will the way we support them.

We use a wide range of equipment to assist our clients’ movement, and it is important that we know how to use it correctly and effectively.

Here are some of the tips that we pass on to our staff:

  • Let the equipment do the work – use its strength and not yours
  • The right way is the right way! Don’t use a different method which may be quicker or you risk injury
  • When making beds either move them (if they are on wheels) or walk around but do not stretch over them
  • Bring the profiling beds up to a good working height
  • For double up calls, where more moving and handling is needed, work together as a team.
  • Back pain may not be immediate but will be cumulative
  • If you experience any back problems, let us know and see a GP.

Also, we ask them to avoid:

  • Flexed or twisted postures
  • Remaining in one position for too long
  • Repetitive movements with one arm
  • Working with the arms outstretched – loads should be kept close to the body
  • Lifting heavy objects.

Moving and handling is just one of the many areas we cover during our staff training, and there is also scope for training for staff with specific areas of interest, such as palliative care and helping clients who have Parkinson’s. Informative, rewarding, sometimes challenging, and all part of what goes to making a great career in care.

This blog was written by Kate Townsend, DoCare 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 7th, 2018

Safeguarding has been hitting the headlines in recent weeks, with the scandals at Oxfam and then Save the Children.

Safeguarding

In the case of Oxfam, it appears vulnerable people in Haiti were exploited by some of the charity’s workers, just when they were supposed to be helping them. With Save the Children, there were allegations of inappropriate conduct by a former chief executive.

Safeguarding is an issue that we take extremely seriously here at DoCare. We are charged with caring for and supporting some of our community’s most vulnerable people; elderly people who want to remain living in their own homes but are unable to do so without our support.

So we have strict procedures in place to ensure we do our utmost to protect our clients.

All applicants have to undergo a DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service – check before they can start working.

They have two weeks’ induction training at our head office, where we also make full use of our Doris DoCare room – our room that is kitted out to look like a client’s home, so the trainees get a much more hands-on experience.

Our trainees then have two weeks of work shadowing. During this time, and over the following few weeks, they are observed to ensure they can work to the required standards in all the areas, and so complete their Care Certificate.

Then there is ongoing training, spot checks, and annual appraisals and update training.

And, of course, if any incidents are reported to us we take them very seriously, investigating and taking action immediately.

We hope that the likes of Oxfam and Save the Children are able to weather this storm and put their houses in order. They, like us, are committed to caring and do some fantastic work around the world.

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.

March 6th, 2018

We’ve just had some of the worse winter weather we have seen for a long time, with the Beast from the East bringing sub-zero temperatures and Storm Emma whipping up snowdrifts.

Keep hydrated by drinking water

So this may seem a strange time to be talking about hydration. That’s just something for the hot weather isn’t it?

Well, the answer is “no”. Because keeping hydrated is important at all times, and dehydration is possible at any time, whatever the weather.

Older people in particular are more at risk of dehydration. As people age, the amount of body water decreases, so even a small loss of water can lead to dehydration. Older people often experience a diminished thirst sensation, so they feel less inclined to drink. On top of this, the kidneys have a reduced ability to concentrate urine and retain water during water deprivation.

At DoCare, we look for warning signs that our clients might be dehydrated and try to take steps to prevent it happening. These include:

  • Raising awareness among our clients of the importance of drinking regularly
  • Offering drinks
  • Making sure a drink is within easy reach
  • Encouraging clients to take fluids with medication

Here are a few interesting facts, curtesy of the Natural Hydration Council, a not for profit organisation dedicated to researching the science and communicating the facts about healthy hydration:

  • Water accounts for about 60% of an adult’s body weight
  • It performs crucial roles in our body such as carrying nutrients to cells, helping to remove waste products from our major organs and helping to regulate our body’s temperature
  • It is constantly being lost from our body, not just when we go to the toilet, but also through our skin and breath
  • Our brain is 73% water, so poor hydration can also affect how it functions
  • Studies show that dehydration can reduce our ability to concentrate, our cognitive and physical performance, and increase feelings of aggression or irritation
  • We don’t have a real water storage in our body, so it must be replaced regularly by water from our diet.

So there you have it. Water is important – so do remember to drink up, even when it’s cold outside.

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.