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How to Care for Someone with Dementia: Managing Challenging Symptoms 

How to Care for Someone with Dementia: Managing Challenging Symptoms 

Caring for someone with dementia changes every day. As a cognitive condition, dementia affects individuals uniquely. Someone with vascular dementia will respond differently to a person with frontotemporal dementia. The best advice is - trust your judgment. Your knowledge of the person will help you respond confidently and give the best care.   This article explores how caring for someone with dementia may require learning new skills in communication. All behaviour is communication - but it can be challenging when it is negative, or uncharacteristically aggressive. Knowing which strategies help, will enable you to cope well and create a positive environment.   We took advice from Curam carers who are experienced in managing the more difficult symptoms associated with dementia. By exploring different methods, we can feel empowered to adapt our approach. Above all, it’s about knowing how to deliver great care for someone we love with dementia.     How to Manage Challenging Symptoms of Dementia  Thankfully, most people with dementia won’t exhibit aggressive behaviours. But, on occasion, when a person feels frustrated, confused or overwhelmed they can act out. Caring for someone with dementia in these moments can be distressing. There are several strategies we can use to cope well and restore a peaceful and calm atmosphere.   • Reassure them, acknowledge their feelings, empathise and remind them they’re in the company of someone who cares for them  • Be kind to yourself. Accept some days will be harder than others. Celebrate good days and don’t dwell on negative moments. Guilt, anger and sadness are a natural reaction, so accept them and let them pass. You’re doing a great job  • Take a deep breath and create physical space, allowing the person with dementia time to settle and feel calmer  • Mirroring a person’s body language can reduce feelings of conflict, as does maintaining eye contact when listening  • If you feel scared or in danger, leave and call for help    How To Read The Signs Of Distress       Like anyone, someone with dementia can have bad days. Only around a third of people with dementia display aggressive behaviour. This is because they might find it hard to recognise and understand their needs. This can include dealing with pain, agitation, social anxiety, emotional upset or hunger. You may be able to prevent aggressive behaviour by spotting body language which indicates when someone with dementia needs help:   • Repeatedly rub an area of their body   • Look scared or clench their teeth  • Are huddled, restless or have similar body language   • Show a change in appetite   • Have a high temperature, swellings or inflammations   Certain times of the day can be difficult for a person living with dementia. If you notice behaviours change as a task is being completed, consider if the job can be moved to another time or place.      How To Manage Sundowning - A Common Symptom Of Dementia   Sundowning describes the changes in mood and behaviour that people with dementia may experience in the evening. Around dusk, some people can feel anxious, unsettled and scared about where they are. Sticking to a daily, familiar routine can successfully prevent sundowning, especially if it’s a routine the person particularly enjoys. Other ideas to consider are:  • Maintain a familiar, daily routine  • Use lamps, curtains and blinds to transition light gradually from day to night  • Discourage naps during the day, to promote deeper sleep at night  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol by switching to de-caff or 0% alternatives  • Breakfast like a king and supper like a pauper - switch heavier meals to earlier in the day to improve sleep  • Remove mirrors from living areas, as reflections can cause confusion  • Turn off blue light such as tablets, phones and TV in the evenings and use audiobooks, radio or music to create a calm environment    If you notice behaviours which express anxiety of confusion you can try the following tips:  • Distract the person by going into a different room, making a drink, having a bite to eat, turning on some music or going for a walk   • Ask them what is wrong, listen to how they feel and see if there's anything you can do to stop their discomfort   • Talk slowly and softly   • Hold the person’s hand, or sit close to them, stroking their arm     Support For People With Dementia And Their Families   Caring for others can take a toll on your own health. Be aware of this and if you need further help managing the symptoms of dementia, you should see a GP or healthcare professional. They will be able to discuss you or your loved-one's individual situation and suggest further ways to cope.   Speaking freely to others who can empathise with your situation, can bring a deep feeling of comfort. There are many wonderful organisations across the UK who can support you as you care for a loved one with dementia.   National Charities have resources, tips and advice which can help you understand dementia symptoms, what funding help is available and where you can access support groups locally.  • Dementia UK Helpline - 0800 888 6678  • National Dementia Helpline - 0300 222 11 22  • Alzheimers Society UK     How To Use Dementia Carers  Above all, great care is ensuring someone we love, who has dementia, is able to live in a caring and safe home. That can come from a spouse, family member or through the services of an experienced carer. Through Curam you can find carers who have undertaken specialist training, equipping them to manage different conditions such as Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal, vascular or lewy body dementia.   How can a dementia carer help?  • Can provide hourly, live in, overnight or respite care  • Allow your loved one to stay supported and safe at home in a familiar environment  • An affordable alternative to nursing or care homes  • One-to-one attention create opportunities for socialising and talk  • Overnight care allows spouses or family members to rest well  • Can offer insight and objective advice on managing difficult symptoms of dementia    If you are looking for a specialist dementia carer get in touch. You can also search on the Curam app to find a carer with the relevant skills and experience. We’re here to help.     

03 February 2021

How to Communicate Effectively with Someone who has Dementia 

How to Communicate Effectively with Someone who has Dementia 

Dementia is a progressive neurological condition that can affect a person’s cognition, memory and language. When the brain is injured, through a stroke or disease, it’s called dementia. The most common form is Alzheimer’s. As it affects language, dementia can cause problems with communication.  How does dementia affect communication?  Dementia can affect communication in several ways – compromising memory, thinking, concentration and perception. This creates barriers in the ways a person with dementia can express themselves and understand others. When carers don’t compensate for this, it can lead to frustration and anxiety.  Communication is made up of verbal and non-verbal expression. When we talk, we combine words with gesture, tone and facial expression. Dementia impairs the brain, making it difficult for a person to decode what they hear, as well as what they see. Sometimes the signal is crossed, or misinterpreted as it takes the brain longer to process the information.   How dementia affects communication:  Forgetting names of objects or people  Struggling to find the right vocabulary  Omitting or substituting words  Misinterpreting body language or tone of voice  This decline in communication can affect a person’s quality of life. Some people with dementia may be unable to initiate conversation - so the responsibility to encourage this, is with carers. Fortunately, knowing how to communicate effectively with a person with dementia, can vastly improve their quality of life.  How to communicate with someone with dementia.   It is important to be empathetic, patient and respectful when talking to someone who has dementia. Holding a conversation can be difficult, as dementia affects a person’s ability to recall and process what is being said. These tips will help you communicate in a more meaningful way:   • Slow down  Being patient will help you communicate better with anyone who has dementia. Those with cognitive impairments need time to process their thoughts. By slowing down, you’ll create an environment where you both feel less stressed, more relaxed and able to express yourselves.   • Identify  Introduce yourself, keep your tone of voice calm and light. Be mindful of your physical presence. Standing over someone can feel intimidating, so drop down to their level. If it’s appropriate, offer a gesture of comfort and reassurance - like holding a hand - while you speak.   • Empathise  Try to understand the frustrations of communicating, which can be symptomatic of dementia. Adjust the way you speak to foster better relationships. Smile, nod, offer encouragement and remain calm and neutral when the conversation falters. Simplify your space by removing distractions from the room - this will make it easier for your companion to focus and express themselves.   • Simplify  For a person with dementia, our usual communication style may be tricky to follow. Bouncy conversation, littered with idioms and metaphor can cause confusion. Keep the warmth, but simplify your words and ask simple questions. Stop frequently to allow them time to process and think. This will help limit feelings of frustration and reduce any associated poor behaviours.   • Listen closely  One way we can all learn how to communicate better is to actively listen. People with dementia sometimes struggle to express themselves. On occasion, it may not make sense. Pause for a moment, reflect on the meaning behind the words and paraphrase it back without judgement. Show you’re following what is being said by maintaining eye contact and nod encouragingly.   • Reframe  There are days your loved one will exhibit behaviours which are uncharacteristically aggressive. One way to keep calm is to ‘reframe’ negative situations. Acknowledge your own feelings first and take a moment to let them pass. Then consider what message is being that behaviour. Are they tired? Have you asked too many questions? Take the emotion out of the situation by viewing conversation objectively, rather than critically.   • Use prompts  If you’re looking for ways to start a conversation with someone with dementia, then consider objects and photos from happy events in their life. Sensory stimulation through touching objects, seeing photos or hearing familiar songs can be a great way to encourage talk.   • Avoid arguments  Memory deterioration and cognitive lapses mean communication can be difficult for people with dementia. Testing memory, asking complex questions, or offering too much choice can trigger feelings of frustration. The consequence is your loved one may say something nonsensical or hurtful if they feel overwhelmed. Try to let negative comments pass without acknowledgment and take a moment for the heat of emotions to fade.   Many dementia charities in the UK offer advice and support. Knowledge can help you understand how the disease affects an individual, helping you to communicate in a better way. Find out more:  • The Dementia UK helpline – 0800 888 6678  • The National Dementia helpline – 0300 222 11 22  • Alzheimer’s Society UK  • The Carers Trust for support for carers  Curam carers understand the joy and challenge of communicating well with people who have dementia. Specialist dementia carers can improve the quality of life for you and your loved one, by providing hourly, respite or even live-in care. Read more about hiring a dementia carer or download the Curam App today. 

01 February 2021

What is Dementia: Symptoms and Diagnosis

What is Dementia: Symptoms and Diagnosis

The word dementia can be used to describe a variety of progressive neurological disorders. If someone has dementia it means that their memory, thinking and behaviour deteriorates, often causing them to need help with daily activities. Dementia is complex condition that is wide ranging in how it can impact someone's life. Let us guide you through understanding the common symptoms, types and diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Dementia is a common cause of disability and dependency among older people. However, it isn’t a normal part of ageing and someone with dementia should receive the help and support they need to maintain as much independence as possible. Younger people can also experience dementia. If someone under the age of 65 has the condition, it is called young-onset dementia.    Statistics on dementia  ·     At least 850,000 people in the UK have dementia   ·     By 2025, there will be more than 1 million people with dementia in the UK   ·     1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia  ·     1 in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia   ·     Around 42,000 people in the UK have young onset dementia    What are the symptoms of dementia?  Each person with dementia will experience symptoms in a different way, even if they are diagnosed with the same type of dementia as someone else. Given that dementia is a progressive condition, symptoms tend to worsen over time.  The early signs of dementia may include mild dementia symptoms, such as small changes in thinking and memory. Meanwhile, in the later stages of dementia, people experience more severe dementia symptoms and may lose communication skills or forget to take care of themselves. Dementia symptoms can include the following:  ·     Memory loss  ·     A slower thinking-speed  ·     Problems with speaking, such as using words incorrectly  ·     Difficulties when understanding, judging, planning or organising  ·     Not feeling mentally sharp or quick   ·     Changes in mood  ·     Difficulties with managing behaviour or emotions  ·     Lost interest in hobbies and usual activities  ·     Difficulties with movement   ·     Lost interest in relationships  ·     Feeling less empathy - due to changes in mood  ·     Hallucinations   ·     Sundowning  What is sundowning?  Sundowning describes the changes in behaviour that a person with dementia may experience in the evening. Around dusk, some people with dementia can feel anxious, unsettled and confused about where they are. Symptoms of sundowning include:  ·     Feeling like you are in the wrong place  ·     Asking to go home, even if someone is already at home  ·     Shouting and arguing  ·     Pacing and restlessness  ·     Not recognising who people are   ·     Confusion about what is happening  ·     Challenging behaviour  Challenging behaviour, is usually a sign of an underlying issue that the person cannot communicate to you, for example:  ·     Tiredness  ·     Hunger   ·     Thirst   ·     Physical pain   ·     A disorienting change in darkness or light in a room  There are ways in which sundowning can be prevented or managed with the help of a friend, relative or carer.    What causes dementia?  Dementia can be caused by several different diseases that damage nerve cells. Typically, a disease that causes dementia will cause an increase of proteins in the brain, causing nerve cells to function poorly and die. This causes different areas of the brain to shrink and stops messages from being sent properly to and from the brain. The body therefore doesn’t work as it usually does.   People with Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease can develop dementia and people with Down’s syndrome have a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s when they get older.  Less frequent causes of dementia  There are a few rarer causes of dementia, accounting for around 5% of people with the condition. Usually, the people that experience these rarer causes have young onset dementia:  ·     Corticobasal degeneration  ·     Progressive supranuclear palsy  ·     HIV infection  ·     Niemann-Pick disease type C  ·     Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)    What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s?  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Alzheimer's damages a part of the brain that stores recent memories, called the hippocampus. Therefore, memory loss is the main trait of Alzheimer’s.    How many types of dementia are there?  There are more than 200 subtypes of dementia. However, the 5 main diseases that cause dementia are:  ·     Alzheimer’s disease  ·     Vascular dementia  ·     Dementia with Lewy bodies   ·     Frontotemporal dementia    ·     Mixed dementia  What is Alzheimer’s disease?  As mentioned above, Alzheimer's is the most common types of dementia. Symptoms progress slowly, so often it can just seem like someone getting older. The symptoms of Alzheimer's can include:  ·     Forgetting recent events, names and faces  ·     Confusion in unfamiliar places  ·     Difficulties with communication and finding the correct words  ·     Difficulties with numbers or money  ·     Feeling anxious and withdrawn  ·     Repeating questions   What is vascular dementia?  Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia. Approximately 20% of people who have had a stroke develop vascular dementia, and ‘mini strokes’ can also be a cause. Keeping the heart and blood system (vascular system) healthy can protect against vascular dementia.  What is Lewy body dementia?  Approximately 10% of people with dementia have DLB (dementia with Lewy bodies). Lewy bodies are protein deposits that affect the brain’s functioning. Lewy Body Dementia shares symptoms with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, it sometimes hard to tell it apart and diagnose someone with DLB. People with Lewy body dementia can experience:  ·     Drowsiness  ·     Difficulty sleeping  ·     Hallucinations  ·     Problems with movement and balance   What is frontotemporal dementia?  Frontotemporal dementia, also called Pick’s disease or frontal lobe dementia, is less common than other types of dementia. It is a more common cause of dementia in people between the ages of 45-65. Memory is less affected by this type of dementia, but other frontotemporal dementia symptoms can include:  ·     Changes in personality  ·     Changes in behaviour   ·     Changes in language   ·     Developing obsessions, such as with certain food or drinks.  What is mixed dementia?  Around 10% of people with dementia are diagnosed with mixed dementia, meaning they have more than one condition that affects the brain. People will typically experience a combination of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Less frequently, people with mixed dementia have Alzheimer's and dementia with Lewy bodies.  What is Mild Cognitive Impairment?   Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition that causes people to have memory loss and problems with thinking, but is not a type of dementia. However, if someone has MCI it can mean that they have more of a chance of developing dementia.    What are the stages of dementia?  Dementia is a condition that progresses as a person gets older. Therefore, there are different stages of the condition. People can develop dementia at different speeds and will have different experiences of the stages of dementia. For example, someone may not experience the early stages of dementia for as long as someone else, but may stay in the middle stages of dementia for a long time. The stages of dementia include:  ·     Early-stage dementia  ·     Middle-stage dementia  ·     Late-stage dementia  ·     Final stages of dementia  Early stages of dementia  During the early stages of dementia, symptoms can include forgetfulness, losing track of time and becoming lost in places that are usually familiar.  There are many treatments available to people with early-stage dementia that help with cognitive skills and retaining memory.  Middle stages of dementia  During the middle stages of dementia, symptoms become more evident and daily life can become more challenging. Middle-stage dementia symptoms can include:  ·     Forgetting recent events and names  ·     Getting lost at home  ·     Finding it hard to communicate  ·     Needing assistance with personal care  ·     Behavioural changes such as wandering around   ·     Repeating questions  Some people with middle-stage dementia can still benefit from certain treatments and therapies. However, they may need increasing help and may require full-time care.  Late-stage dementia  Late-stage dementia means that a person’s mobility and cognition have been seriously affected by dementia, making them dependent on others. During the later stages of dementia people experience serious memory problems and physical symptoms become clearer. People with late-stage dementia can still have a good quality of life if they receive the right support and care. Late-stage dementia symptoms can include:  ·     Becoming unaware of time or place  ·     Not recognising relatives or friends  ·     Difficulties with personal care  ·     Troubles with walking and balance  ·     Behavioural changes - often including aggression   ·     Bladder incontinence and bowel incontinence  ·     Difficulties with eating and drinking  ·     Vulnerability to infections, such as pneumonia  Final stages of dementia  Final-stage dementia symptoms are similar to late-stage dementia symptoms. However, someone with final-stage dementia may experience more pain, other physical conditions and may be approaching the end of life. Final-stage dementia symptoms can include:  ·     Loss of consciousness  ·     Restlessness and feeling agitated  ·     Difficulties when swallowing  ·     Cold hands and feet  ·     Breathing difficulties  An end of life carer or palliative carer can support people with late-stage dementia and their families before, during and after the final stages of the condition.     How is dementia diagnosed?  Whilst a diagnosis of dementia can feel daunting, getting a diagnosis allows people to explain their behaviour to those around them, such as their family. Moreover, a diagnosis allows someone to get the care, treatment and support they need to sort finances, legal issues and decisions about the future.   You or your loved one should see a GP if you are worried about memory problems or think you/they could have dementia. With the right care and support, people with dementia can lead fulfilling, happy lives.  GP Dementia Assessment  When seeing a GP, a person with dementia should take someone they trust to the appointment with them. This way, that person can make notes and remind you of what was said if you forget later. In an appointment about dementia, a GP will usually:  ·     Ask about symptoms   ·     Ask about a person’s health  ·     Ask if someone finds daily activities difficult, such as washing, cooking, shopping or paying bills  ·     Do a physical examination  ·     Carry out some tests, maybe a blood or urine test to see if dementia is the cause of a person’s symptoms  ·     Ask someone to do a memory/cognitive test  A GP will be able to rule out other causes of memory problems during the appointment. Memory problems are not just a sign of dementia, they could also point to:  ·     Depression   ·     Anxiety  ·     Delirium - confusion  ·     An under-active thyroid  ·     Side effects of medicines  A GP might refer someone to a memory clinic to see dementia specialists if they cannot determine whether someone has dementia. The specialist will carry out more cognitive tests and will usually request an MRI or CT scan to look at a person’s brain. A dementia specialist could be a:  ·     Psychiatrist specialised in dementia   ·     Doctor specialising in elderly care  ·     Neurologist – specialising in the brain and nervous system  What if someone doesn’t want to get a dementia diagnosis?  Understandably, someone might feel anxious about seeing a GP or a specialist about their symptoms and may refuse at first. However, it is important to get a dementia diagnosis so you can plan for the future. If the person in question does not want to get a diagnosis, you should:  ·     Be patient and kind  ·     Reassure the person that their symptoms may be caused by something other than dementia   ·     Contact the GP, they might be able to make a home visit or give you advice about someone’s health    Support for people with dementia, their families and carers  You may know a relative or friend who has dementia. We want to support you as best as we can by allowing you to choose the right carer and care type for you or your loved one.  There are many dementia charities in the UK that offer additional support and help you to get in touch with people who are going through a similar situation:   ·     Call the Dementia UK helpline – 0800 888 6678  ·     Call the National Dementia helpline – 0300 222 11 22  ·     Go to the Alzheimer’s Society UK website for more information and advice.  ·     Visit the Carers Trust for support for carers.  ·     Discover the Reading Well Books on Prescription service in your local libraries.    Whilst getting a dementia diagnosis can be daunting, we hope that the organisations listed can help you get the information and advice you are looking for.   If you are looking for a specialist dementia carer, our platform and app give you choice and control over who you or your loved-one's carer will be so you can choose the person that best suits your needs, lifestyle and values. 

01 February 2021

How to Get Help with Self-Funding Care 

How to Get Help with Self-Funding Care 

If you have more than £23,250 in total assets or would rather not have a financial assessment or needs assessment to check your eligibility for funding, you may choose to pay for care yourself. However, it is still possible to get some funding for care even if you do have more savings.  Below, we clarify how much it costs to receive care in your own home. We will also lay out the options that are available to help you make your care budget go further when paying for your care independently.     The cost of at-home care  According to the NHS, at-home hourly care through an agency can typically cost £20 per hour, this varies based on your geographical location. Depending on the level of care needed, a live-in agency carer can cost between £650 - £1,600 a week, on average.  With Curam, you only pay for the care delivered, there are no joining fees or subscription fees. This can help keep your care costs down, and make your precious savings stretch further. Curam carers’ fees vary depending on their experience and your care requirements, you can expect to pay the following:  ·    Hourly Care ranges from £12-£16 per hour.  ·    Overnight Care: Overnight care typically costs a fixed rate of £90 per shift, or £14-£18 hourly for waking night care.  ·    Costs of live-in care begin at £120 per day or an average of £800 per week.  Prices can be negotiated with the carer and carer’s rates include Curam’s fees.    How to make your care budget go further   As well as taking advantage of Curam's lower fees (on average 10% less and the lowest in the sector), there are other options for making your savings go further when paying for care. In addition, if you start to run out of savings, it is worth considering the following options to help you fund care costs.   Here are 4 things you can do to get financial support, even when you have savings and are paying for your own care:  1. Non-means-tested benefits  2. NHS Continuing Healthcare funding  3. Equipment and devices on the NHS  4. Equity release    1. Non-means tested benefits  If you have savings, you may not be eligible for some government benefits as a lot of benefits are means-tested. However, there are some benefits that are not means-tested. This means that you may still be eligible for them as eligibility is not based on a person’s financial situation or assets.   The money you get from benefits can be put towards your care costs and help you stretch your care budget further. Here are 8 government benefits which are not based on someone’s financial situation:  ·    Attendance Allowance    ·    Bereavement Benefits   ·    Disability Living Allowance for Children (DLA)   ·    Carer’s Allowance   ·    Personal Independence Payment (PIP)   ·    Statutory Sick Pay   ·    Furlough Scheme   ·    War Widow(er)’s Pension    2. NHS Continuing Healthcare funding  NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) is not means-tested. You may be entitled to NHS CHC funding if you have been to hospital and you need a carer to support you while recovering from an illness, operation or accident. If someone’s post-hospital care mean they are eligible, then they can receive fully funded care.    3. Home adaptations and devices on the NHS  If a small piece of equipment or home adaptation costs less than £1000, the NHS may pay for it . Assistive devices and home adaptations can help someone with daily tasks and improve independence. Whilst assistive devices and home adaptations do not replace the work of a carer, they can make living at home easier. It is therefore worth saving money on them so that you can make your savings last longer.     4. Equity Release  If you are running out of savings and need to access funds to pay for care, it is a good idea to check your eligibility for benefits as you may now be eligible for means-tested benefits. If you still need further finances, you can consider equity release. Only people above the age of 55 are eligible to take out equity release, and it should not be done too early as you must make sure you have the funds needed for care in later life.   Equity release describes the financial process that lets people access the money that is tied up in their house. You can take out a sum of money and/or several payments as equity release. There are 2 possible ways of taking out equity release:  ·    Lifetime mortgage   ·    Home reversion   What is a lifetime mortgage for equity release?  A lifetime mortgage is where a person borrows money that is secured on their home. Most people take out a lifetime mortgage when they take out equity release. Lifetime mortgages vary, and different lenders offer different deals. You have to be 55 or over to take out a lifetime mortgage.  What is home reversion for equity release?  Home reversion is when you sell a part of your house to a home reversion provider. You will get money in exchange and you have the right to live in the home for the rest of your life, as long as you keep it maintained and insured. When the house is sold, the money from the sale is divided up between the remaining owners of the house, according to the percentage of the home that still belongs to the person who lives there or the people that have inherited it. Some home reversion providers only allow people that are at least 60 or 65 years old to take out equity release.  Things to be careful about with equity release  Equity release can help you fund care if you are running out of savings. However, you should be careful when deciding whether to take equity release, this is because:  ·    The interest rate is higher on a lifetime mortgage than on an ordinary mortgage  ·    Debts can grow faster  ·    Home reversions only give you 20-60% of the market value of your property    Support for people who are self-funding care  Do you know someone who is preparing to fund their own care and is looking to hire a carer? We want to make sure that you find the best carer for you, a friend or a loved one. You can hire a Curam carer by creating a job ad on our website or by downloading the Curam app.   If you need help with self-funding care, or you need financial advice, you can find a specialist care fees adviser in your area with:  ·    PayingForCare, a free information service for older people  ·    The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) on 0333 2020 454  If you would like to know more about funding your own care, you can find out more information and get advice from:  ·    Age UK on freephone 0800 169 6565  ·    Independent Age on freephone 0800 319 6789  ·    The Money Advice Service on freephone 0800 138 7777   

29 January 2021

Autism Care Options and Treatments: Everything you need to know 

Autism Care Options and Treatments: Everything you need to know 

Find out about the different care options available to autistic people and the possible treatments available to people that have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.   Autism affects people differently, therefore, the care that each autistic person requires can differ greatly. Autism care must also be personalised to suit an individual’s needs, interests and lifestyle.    Different care options for autistic people Care for autistic children or young adults is often provided by family members or a professional carer. It is important that those with an autism diagnosis get the support they need to maximise their independence and quality of life.   Some people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder do not need a lot of support. However, others need daily support from a carer. It is important that a care plan is focused on providing support to autistic people using a person-centred approach, meaning that the individual’s unique symptoms and needs are taken into consideration. Here are a few specialist autism care options available:  ·     Live-in care  ·     Hourly care  ·     Overnight care   ·     Respite care  Live-in care for autism  Live-in home care is often the preferred method of care for autistic people as they feel more comfortable in their own space. Moreover, a live-in carer is able to come to know and adapt to a person’s situation which is important when you consider that no two autistic people have the same symptoms. Here are some of the ways in which a personal assistant or carer can support an autistic child, young person or adult:  ·     Assisting at medical appointments  ·     Encouraging the development of independent life skills such as budgeting  ·     Helping individuals get to school, college, university or work   ·     Supporting individuals with personal care, such as washing and bathroom assistance  ·     Helping with cooking and maintaining good nutrition   ·     Accompanying individuals outside of the home, such as shopping, leisure activities, public transport or social events  ·     Helping to maintain relationships with friends and family and supporting social skills  Hourly care for autism  Carers can also be hired on an hourly basis to provide help when you most need it. Short-term care can be useful at times of the day when a carer needs an extra pair of hands, or wants to offer an autistic person the chance to gain independence.  ·     For an autistic child, hourly care could provide the help and support needed when they are getting ready for school in the morning, or going to bed in the evening  ·     For an autistic teenager or adult, hourly care could offer support at social events, at the shops or at medical appointments  ·     For an autistic elderly person, hourly care could offer support with good nutrition and cooking at meal times   Overnight care for autism  The night can be an anxiety-provoking time for many people. Therefore, some autistic people may require an overnight carer to provide support if they’re feeling anxious or if their symptoms are less manageable at this time of day. Here are just some of the things a carer can help an autistic person with at night:  ·     Security and peace of mind  ·     Prompting someone to take their medication  ·     Assistance with mobility within the home, such as climbing stairs or getting into bed  ·     Bathroom assistance  ·     On-hand help throughout the night  Respite care for autism   It is important to take a break from caring. Whether it’s because of family commitments, work or a carer’s need to address their own health and mental wellbeing, respite care can provide necessary time off.   Moreover, respite care can be a good way of trying out an alternative method of care. Professional support could seem like a good option for someone looking to become more independent in the future, perhaps after leaving school or home.   Care homes for autism  Residential homes can be a good option for some autistic people. If someone does not want to stay in their own home, residential services are an alternative option to home care.  Community support services for autism  Centres, social groups and family support groups also exist within the community for people who are looking for additional support and advice.     How much does autism care cost?  In 2018/19 the cost of care for working age adults rose by 1.6%. Almost £6 billion was spent on care for people with learning disabilities and over £6 Bn was spent on care for people who need physical support.   According to the NHS, at-home care can typically cost £20 per hour (this can vary depending on where a person lives). On average, in the UK, a live-in agency carer can cost between £650 - £1,600 a week (depending on the level of care needed).   With Curam, you only pay for the care delivered. Carers’ fees vary depending on their experience and your care requirements:   ·     Hourly Care: You can expect to pay from £13 to £16 per hour.   ·     Overnight Care: Overnight care typically covers the hours between 10pm and 8am, and can cost a fixed rate of around £90 per shift, or £14- £18 hourly for waking care.   ·     Live-in Care: Live-in care costs begin at £120 per day or an average of £800 per week.   Prices can be negotiated with the carer and include Curam’s fees.    Treatments for autism  Autism is a spectrum disorder. Therefore, some treatments are more successful than others depending on the individual and how they respond. It’s important that interventions are adapted to the specific needs of each autistic person.   Carers often work alongside therapists to implement effective treatment plans. Some of the therapies and treatments that help autistic people include:  ·     Occupational therapy  ·     Physical therapy  ·     Speech and language therapy  ·     Play therapy   ·     Behavioural approaches such as Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)  Occupational therapy for autistic children  Occupational therapy is used to plan programmes that consider the physical, social, emotional, sensory and cognitive needs and skills of autistic children. These programmes aim to improve an autistic person’s quality of life, encouraging them to learn and gain independence.  Another purpose of occupational therapy for autism is targeting a child’s sensory processing. This helps autistic people to keep their senses balanced, have a longer attention span, deal with transitions with less stress and learn in a calm, focused way.  Physical therapy for autism  Physical activities, such as puzzles or exercise, allow an autistic child to develop an awareness of their body and coordination. It can also help some children with autism to develop motor skills, posture and the ability to imitate other people’s behaviour.  Speech and language therapy for autistic people  Some people diagnosed with autism can have difficulties with speech and communication. Speech and language therapy helps autistic people to develop and improve their speech, which helps to improve their quality of life and gain more independence.  Play therapy for autism  Play therapy lets autistic children access their thoughts and feelings, express emotional or behavioural difficulties, and develop social interaction skills and communication skills. Playing is natural for children, therefore difficulties can be explored safely through this type of therapy.  Behavioural therapy for autism  Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) can help autistic children with many activities. It means that a behaviour analyst will figure out the causes and consequences of a person’s behaviour to create strategies to help them overcome difficulties. This is a person-oriented approach, meaning that each child will receive unique help tailored to their specific needs.  Common behavioural approaches to autism include:  ·     EIBI (Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention)  ·     Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)  ·     Structure, Positive, Empathy, Low arousal, Links (SPELL)  ·     Treatment of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH)  ·     Social stories    NOTE: Biomedical interventions, like medication, shouldn’t be used without the supervision of a medical professional who understands autism and the effects of this must be assessed carefully and regularly.     Support for autistic people and their families  You many know an autistic family member or friend that needs care or support. At Curam, we want to support you as best as we can by allowing you to choose the right carer and care-type for you or your loved one. There are other places you can go to find additional support for autistic people and their families:   ·     Find a local support group.  ·     Find regional support services.  ·     Subscribe to Autism Parenting magazine for the latest news, information and professional advice on autism.  ·     Call or find more information from the National Autistic Society – 0800 800 4104 (Mon-Thurs 10:00 – 16:00, Fri 9:00 – 15:00)  ·     Call or find more information from Ambitious about Autism – 020 8815 544.  If you’re unsure where to start with arranging a carer, download the Curam app today. Our technology gives you choice and control over who your carer will be and many Curam carers specialise in caring for autistic people.  

21 January 2021

What is Autism? A Complete Guide

What is Autism? A Complete Guide

Autism is a spectrum of developmental conditions that influence the way people communicate and how they experience their surroundings. It’s a lifelong disability that affects each autistic person differently. Let us walk you through the symptoms, causes, statistics and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.  We have known about autism in some shape or form for at least 50 years. It was first identified in 1943. Since then, theories about this condition have evolved considerably and are radically different in comparison to when it was first identified.    Useful statistics on autism in the UK  ·     1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum  ·     There are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK  ·     More men are diagnosed with autism than women, the current ratio is 3:1    What are the symptoms of autism?    Autism is something that people are born with or show signs of at a young age. It is a spectrum condition meaning that no two people are affected by it in the same way, and some people experience symptoms more severely than others. However, some of the most common symptoms of autism include:   ·     Repetitive behaviours  ·     Difficulties with social interaction and communication  ·     Over-sensitivity to light, sound, taste or touch  ·     Under-sensitivity to light, sound, taste or touch  ·     Anxiety  ·     Meltdowns - a verbal or physical loss of control  ·     Very strong interests, including hobbies/activities    Characteristics of autism in children  Every autistic child will have their own unique symptoms and experience of the condition. However, young children diagnosed with autism often show signs of:  ·     Avoiding eye contact  ·     Getting upset if they don’t like a particular taste, smell or sound  ·     Demonstrating repetitive movements, for example, flapping their hands or rocking their body  ·     Repeating phrases  ·     Not smiling when smiled at  ·     Not reacting to their name  ·     Not talking as much as others  Older children diagnosed with autism often:  ·     Appreciate having a routine every day and get upset if this changes  ·     Do not appear to comprehend what someone is thinking/feeling  ·     Find it hard to articulate their feelings  ·     Find it difficult to make friends or prefer being alone  ·     Take things literally and they may not understand certain sayings, such as “it costs an arm and a leg”  ·     Have a very strong interest in some subjects/activities  ·     Get upset if they are asked to do something  It can be harder to identify autism in girls as they can be quieter and hide their feelings more, seeming to cope better with social situations.     Traits of autism in adults  Adults diagnosed with autism will also have different symptoms and the severity of their symptoms will differ. However, autistic adults often:  ·     Follow the same routine every day and get anxious if this changes  ·     Do not appear to comprehend what someone is thinking/feeling  ·     Find it hard to articulate their feelings  ·     Find it difficult to make friends or prefer being alone  ·     Take things literally and they may not understand certain sayings, such as “it’s raining cats and dogs”  ·     Become anxious about social situations  ·     Can come across as blunt, rude or uninterested without meaning to  People diagnosed with autism also might:  ·     Not understand a social ‘rule’, for example, not interrupting people when they’re speaking  ·     Avoid eye contact  ·     Get too close to other people/get upset if other people touch or get close to them  ·     Notice details like patterns, smells or sounds when other people don’t  ·     Have a strong interest in particular subjects/activities  ·     Prefer to plan carefully before doing something  Some of the symptoms that autistic people experience are not typically caused by autism, but instead are due to conditions associated with autism spectrum disorder. These can include learning difficulties, such as ADHD, or mental health problems, such as depression.     What causes autism?   Nobody knows the exact cause of autism, or even if there is one. However, some evidence suggests that it may be genetic, meaning that it is sometimes passed onto a child by a parent. Autism is also said to be caused by a variety of factors including environmental or physical factors that affect brain development.  Things that do not cause autism  There are numerous past ‘theories’ about autism that have been disproven. Autism is not caused by:  ·     The MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella)  ·     The upbringing of a child or ‘bad’ parenting  ·     A person’s diet  ·     An infection (it is not infectious)  Is there a cure for autism?  There is no “cure” for autism. It is important to ignore damaging suggestions when it comes to this question. Moreover, people should think about autism as making someone different, not disadvantaged. With the right support, autistic people live very fulfilling and happy lives.     What are the different types of autism?  Autism is a spectrum disorder meaning people are affected differently by it. It can be referred to by different names:  ·     Autism spectrum disorder – the medical name for autism  ·     Autism spectrum condition   ·     Asperger syndrome    What is the difference between autism and Asperger syndrome?  People diagnosed with Asperger syndrome tend to experience less severe symptoms and do not typically have a learning disability. Asperger syndrome was used in the past to diagnose people with autism who had average or high intelligence. However, in the UK, doctors do not diagnose people with Asperger syndrome anymore.    Getting diagnosed with autism in the UK  An autism diagnosis can help parents understand their child’s needs, point them to the right support or allow them to access financial benefits.  A diagnosis can help autistic adults understand why they find some things harder than other people, allow them to explain the way in which they see the world differently, point them to the best support for them (at university or at work) or allow them to access financial benefits.  See a GP  ·     Tell your GP about the characteristics you (or people you know well) have noticed that could indicate autism  ·     Ask if they believe an autism assessment is a good idea  Have an autism assessment  A team of autism specialists can check if you or your child are autistic through an autism assessment. In an autism assessment, you will be asked about any problems you have experienced. The specialists will also observe how you interact with others and speak to people you know.  Finding it difficult to get diagnosed?  ·     Ask to get a second opinion from another GP  ·     Phone the National Autistic Society’s helpline – 0808 800 4104  ·     Speak to people who have gone through a similar situation    Support for autistic people and their families  You many know a family member or friend that needs care or support. Here at Curam we want to support you as best as we can by allowing you to choose the right carer and care type for you or your loved one.  There are other places you can go to find additional support and get in touch with people who are going through a similar situation:   ·     Find a local support group  ·     Find regional support services.  ·     Subscribe to Autism Parenting magazine for the latest news, information and professional advice on autism  ·     Call or find more information from the National Autistic Society – 0800 800 4104   ·     Call or find more information from Ambitious about Autism – 020 8815 544 

19 January 2021

Emergency Home Care  

Emergency Home Care  

If someone’s circumstances change suddenly and they need support at home, emergency care can help. An emergency carer can help an elderly person, child, young person or adult who has had an accident, illness or needs to find a carer at the last minute. They can also provide personalised, specialist care to someone with a disability or a specific condition.     How can a carer help in an emergency?  Emergencies, sudden events and unforeseen circumstances can be disruptive and stressful. A carer can help ease the strain by providing companionship, reassurance and support to someone after an incident, as well as assisting with physical and medical needs. If you need to find a carer as soon as possible, emergency care can provide the help you need in your own home. Here are some of the ways in which an emergency home carer can support someone:  ·     Offering respite care  ·     Getting someone home from hospital quickly and safely  ·     Post-hospital care and convalescence - helping with recovery   ·     Collecting prescriptions and groceries  ·     Reducing loneliness and anxiety when someone is recuperating  ·     Medical needs, such as helping with dressings     How can I arrange care in an emergency?  Arranging home care can usually take quite some time, however, at Curam, you can hire a carer quickly, which is helpful in an emergency. In fact, many people hire a carer on the day that they sign up to our platform and clients regularly find a carer within an hour. Our app is easy to download to your mobile phone or tablet and makes finding a carer simple.   Here are some additional benefits to hiring an emergency carer with Curam:  ·     Curam carers have successfully passed our thorough vetting process. This includes interviewing the carer, verifying their DBS check and qualifications and checking they have the right to work in the UK  ·     On average, Curam carers have around 10 years’ experience and are fully insured. You’re also welcome to contact their referees if you’d like to  ·     Once you’ve interviewed the carers you feel are the best fit for your requirements, you can then decide if you’d like to hire them    Is emergency care expensive with Curam?  Remember with Curam, you only pay for the care delivered and it’s completely flexible. Carers’ fees vary depending on their experience and your care requirements and prices can be negotiated with the carer and include Curam’s fees. You can hire an emergency carer on an hourly, overnight or live-in basis.   Here’s a breakdown of the prices you can expect to pay for emergency home care with Curam:     ·     Hourly Care   You can expect to pay from £13 to £16 per hour, depending on the carer’s rates.  ·     Live-in Care  Live-in care costs begin at £120 per day or an average of £800 per week     ·     Overnight Care  Overnight care typically covers the hours between 10pm and 8am and can cost a fixed rate of £90 per shift, or £14 to £18 hourly for waking care.     Whilst we hope you never find yourself in any kind of emergency, we anticipate that knowing a bit more about emergency home care, and how simple it is to arrange, will give you the necessary reassurance to tackle whatever life throws at you.  

18 January 2021

How Much Does Home Care Cost in the UK?  

How Much Does Home Care Cost in the UK?  

The adult social care sector currently contributes £46.2 billion to the UK economy. Just to put that into perspective, that’s more than Britain’s oil industry. When examining Local Government spending, adult social care takes first place, accounting for £16.8 billion of council budgets last year, putting it ahead of policing and transport and highways.   This raises some important questions, where is the money going and is there a better solution to finding effective, well-matched care that doesn’t consume all the budget?  The rising cost of care  Before we crunch the numbers, it’s worth examining the recent rise in the cost of care. Usually a mild increase in prices is down to inflation, however in the last year alone the average cost of care has increased by nearly 5%. This is down to a number of reasons including a rise in workforce costs as well as an increase in the cost of care packages for people with more complex needs.   Previously where councils will have had their own care provision, this is now almost entirely dominated by external suppliers.   So, what are the options available, how much do they cost and how much admin is involved?  Weighing up the cost of care homes  Understandably residential care homes and nursing homes come with a significant price tag. In a report by Langbuisson the average costs are as follows:  Residential care is around £622 a week   Nursing homes are around £893 a week  *figures vary greatly depending on your geographical location  For patients requiring round-the-clock nursing care this was a good solution before Covid-19, despite the considerable admin involved and the dependency on the availability of beds. But now, with the doors of care homes firmly closed to prospective new residents wanting to look round before they commit to moving in, the process of admitting new clients for both the care home and case managers and discharge staff is nigh-on impossible.   How do agencies stack up?   Assuming you only need to contact one agency, they can be an efficient route to finding care, but this comes at a price. Not only are agencies the most expensive care option, and so consequently tend to be the last port of call for a discharge nurse arranging a care package, but they choose the carer on your behalf. This could result in an entirely unsuitable carer being supplied at a greater cost. An agency may also change the carer, diluting that all-important continuity of care. Agencies charge an average of over £20 an hour, with the carer being paid less than 50% of the fee.   What is the alternative to a care home or an agency?   With so little choice and the care industry tied up in knots, it’s easy to wonder where we go from here. Curam has the solution. We’re committed to creating a better care community.   Our innovative platform is the largest source of self-employed carers in the UK. The clients, case managers and discharge nurses who use our platform, are able to post their care requirements and reach out to any carers whose profile matches their brief, and then interview whoever they feel is best suited to the person they’re arranging care for, before deciding to hire them.   You can arrange a carer in under an hour, either using our app or by picking up the phone to our Client team.   The cost of care with Curam   So what’s the cost attached to all this stream-lined technology?   Curam carers are self-employed and their average hourly rate is £15 an hour  This includes our fees which at 12.5% plus VAT are the lowest in the sector  Based on this average rate the carer receives £12.75 an hour  Does a saving mean a compromise in quality?   For a self-employed carer to be approved to use our platform, they are vetted, DBS checked, have their right to work in the UK confirmed by our team and have 2 checkable references.  There are no contracts, hidden fees and you only pay for the care provided. Also our fee includes the carers’ insurance and our secure payment system ensures the carer is only paid after the end of a shift.      If you’re in need of a rapid turnaround, cost effective care that you control, then give our Client Team a call today on 01387 730766 or drop us an email to client@curamcare.com  We are Curam: creating a better care community.  

22 December 2020

Government Benefits for Care Funding: The Essential Guide

Government Benefits for Care Funding: The Essential Guide

TopEach year billions of pounds of benefits go unclaimed in the UK, but navigating your way through the maze of what's available is easier said than done. Let us walk you through where to start with understanding government benefits including: ·     How much you can potentially receive   ·     Eligibility requirements  ·     How to claim  ·     Other key information  We also provide links to relevant pages on the Government website, so you can find out more and start claiming.   Benefits Menu:  Non-Means-Tested Benefits:   ·     Attendance Allowance ·     Bereavement Benefits ·     Disability Living Allowance for Children (DLA) ·     Carer’s Allowance ·     Personal Independence Payment (PIP) ·     Statutory Sick Pay ·     Furlough Scheme ·     War Widow(er)’s Pension Low IncomeBenefits: ·     Council Tax Reduction ·     Universal Credit ·     Warm Home Discount Scheme ·     Cold Weather Payments Benefits for the elderly: ·     Attendance Allowance ·     Bereavement Benefits ·     Pension Credit ·     Winter Fuel Payments ·     War Widow(er)’s Pension Heating Benefits: ·     Winter Fuel Payments ·     Warm Home Discount Scheme ·     Cold Weather Payments Disability and Ill Health Benefits: ·     Attendance Allowance ·     Personal Independence Payment (PIP) ·     Disability Living Allowance for Children (DLA) ·     Disability Premium ·     Employment and support Allowance ·     Statutory Sick Pay Coronavirus (COVID19) Benefits: ·     Bereavement Benefits ·     Statutory Sick Pay ·     Employment and support Allowance; ·     Furlough Scheme Benefits FAQs: ·     Challenging a Benefits Decision ·     What is a Non-Means-Tested Benefit?    What is the Attendance Allowance?  The Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people over the State Pension age who need help with personal care or supervision because of a physical/mental disability or terminal illness.  How much you can potentially receive:  ·     You could be eligible to receive £59.70 or £89.15 per week, depending on the level of help you need  Eligibility:  ·     You must be over state pension age and need help with personal care or supervision because of a physical/mental disability or terminal illness.  ·     This benefit is tax-free, not means tested, and it will not affect most other benefits you may receive.  How to claim:  ·     Apply for this benefit using the Attendance Allowance helpline: 0800 731 0122 (textphone 0800 731 0317) or download the claim form.  Other key information:  ·     The money doesn’t have to be spent on a carer – it could be put towards something that can make your life more independent for longer (e.g. a stair lift).  ·     If you’re eligible for Attendance Allowance, you may gain access to other benefits, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, or an increase in those benefits if you’re already receiving them.  Return to Benefits Menu What are Bereavement Benefits?  Someone can claim bereavement benefits if their spouse or partner has died, and they need help to cope with financial worries. The bereavement support payment (BSP) is a benefit that is available to anyone whose partner has died in the last 21 months. This benefit used to be called the Widow’s Pension.  How much you can potentially receive:  If you claim for bereavement support payment within 3 months of a spouse’s death, you can receive the full amount. If you claim for BSP within 21 months of a partner’s death you will get fewer payments, but you will still get some monthly payments.  ·     If you are entitled to the higher rate of BSP you could receive a single payment of £3500 then up to 18 monthly payments of £350.  Eligibility:  ·     This benefit is not means tested (not based on a person’s financial situation).   ·     The deceased must have been under the State Pension age and have been living in the UK or a country where this BSP is available.   A widow or widower can claim for bereavement support payment if:  ·     Their late partner paid National Insurance for 25 weeks of a single tax year.  ·     Their partner or spouse died due to a disease caused by work, or an accident that happened at work.   Someone is eligible for the higher rate of bereavement support payment if:  ·     They are entitled to Child Benefit or they were pregnant when their partner died.  How to claim:  ·     Apply by phone by contacting the Bereavement Service helpline – 0800 731 0469.  ·     Download and fill in a Bereavement Support Payment form and send it to the address listed on the government website.  Other key information:  ·     If a partner died over 21 months ago you may still be able to claim for bereavement benefits if the cause of death was confirmed longer than 21 months after the death.  ·     The Widowed Parent’s allowance may be available to someone if their partner died before 6 April 2017.  Return to Benefits Menu What is the Disability Living Allowance for Children (DLA)? The Disability Living Allowance is a tax-free benefit to help with the additional cost of looking after children under 16 years old who have difficulties walking or who need higher levels of care than a child of the same age who does not have a disability.   *The Disability Living Allowance for Adults has now changed to the Personal Independence Payment.*  How much you can potentially receive:  ·     You could receive between £23.60 and £151.40 per week depending on the level of looking after that the child needs  Eligibility:  ·     To claim for a child you must be their parent or guardian (this includes grandparents, foster-parents, step-parents, guardians, or older siblings)  ·     For more information on eligibility click here  How to claim:  ·     To claim: either print off and fill in the DLA Claim Form, or phone the DLA helpline: 0800 121 4600 and ask to be sent a printed form.  Other key information:  ·     You will be able to be paid starting from your claim’s start date.   ·     Back-paying is not possible.   ·     You will receive a decision letter usually about 8 weeks after your claim form has been received, from then onwards the DLA is usually paid every 4 weeks on a Tuesday.  Return to Benefits Menu What is the Carer’s Allowance? The Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for informal carers who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone. This care can include physical, practical and domestic support, and emotional and virtual (over the phone or online) support during the Covid-19 crisis.   How much you can potentially receive:  ·     You could receive up to £67.25 per week – depending on the benefits your care recipient receives.  Eligibility:  ·     You must spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.  ·     You must be an adult who earns £128 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses.  ·     As well as certain other requirements.  How to claim:  ·     Apply for this benefit over the phone on 0800 731 0297, on the Government website or by post.  Other key information:  ·     The money received is to spend as you see fit.  ·     Each week you claim the Carer’s Allowance, you will also automatically receive National Insurance Credits.  Return to Benefits Menu Cold Weather Payment: The Cold Weather Payment is a benefit that you can receive (depending on certain other benefits) if the weather in your area of the UK is very cold and you are on a low income.  How much you can potentially receive:  ·     You get £25 for each 7-day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.  Eligibility:  ·     Very cold weather: if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0°celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.  ·     You are able to check if your area is due a payment in November each year.  ·     This is a means-tested low-income benefit, check your eligibility here  How to claim:  ·     You do not need to claim, if you are eligible you will receive this payment automatically.  Other key information:  ·     If you do not receive this payment when you think that you should have, get in touch with your pension centre or Jobcentreplus office to make a claim.  Return to Benefits Menu How do I get a Council Tax Reduction? Council Tax Reduction, also known as Council Tax Support is a benefit that helps people on lower incomes, or those who claim certain benefits, to minimise their outgoings and pay their Council Tax bill.   How much you can potentially receive:  ·     The amount you could receive depends on many factors (benefits, age, income, savings, shared home, cost of Council Tax).   ·     The amount also differs depending on your Local Authority.   ·     It may be a percentage discount off your total bill, a set amount discounted or even a discount of the whole amount.  Eligibility:  ·     You must be on a low income and have less than £16000 in savings, as the assessment is means-tested.  ·     You can claim a reduction regardless of whether you are working or unemployed, or a homeowner or not.  ·     People who are severely mentally impaired do not have to pay Council Tax and full-time students can also claim a discounted rate.   How to claim:  ·     Apply here to find out how much you can save within your Local Authority.  Other key information:  ·     The property for which you are claiming the reduction must be your main or only residence.  Return to Benefits Menu How to challenge a Benefits Decision  If you would like to challenge a decision on any of these benefits, you can apply for a reconsideration or an explanation of why your previous application was rejected, this is called a Mandatory Reconsideration.   Eligibility: ·     You believe that the office dealing with your claim has made an administrative mistake and/or left out significant evidence  ·     You disagree with the given reasons for the office’s first decision  ·     You simply want the decision to be looked at again  How to claim:  ·     Explain in writing why you believe the decision to be wrong  ·     Send this, along with any evidence, to the address that is on your original decision letter.  Return to Benefits Menu  What is the Disability Premium? Disability Premiums are extra cash added to certain benefit payments in the case where you already receive other disability related benefits. You do not have to claim them, they are automatically added to your other benefits  How much you can potentially receive:  ·     You can either receive the base level Disability Premium:  ·     £34.95 per week if you are single, or £49.80 per week for a couple  ·     Or the Severe Disability Premium:  ·     £66.95 per week if you are single, or £133.90 per week for a couple who are both eligible.  Eligibility:  You are eligible if you already claim one of:   ·     Disability Allowance (DLA)  ·     Personal Independence Payment (PIP)  ·     Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)  ·     Working Tax Credit with a disability element  ·     Attendance Allowance  ·     Constant Attendance Allowance  ·     War Pensioners Mobility Supplement  ·     Severe Disablement Allowance  ·     Incapacity Benefit  How to claim:  The payment is automatically added to your:  ·     Income Support  ·     Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)  ·     Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)  ·     Housing benefit  Other key information:  ·     If you are eligible and your premium has not been paid automatically, contact your local Jobcentre Plus Office.  Return to Benefits Menu What is the Employment and Support Allowance? The Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)is a benefit that helps people who are unable to work because of a disability or health condition. It provides financial support as well as guidance on how to get back to work if that is a possibility.   *You are also able to apply for this benefit if you are unable to work due to COVID19, in certain situations where you are ‘shielding’ or ‘self-isolating’.*   How much you can potentially receive:  ·     While you are being assessed (13-week period) you can claim:  ·     Up to £58.90 per week (under 25s)  ·     Up to £74.35 per week (over 25s, below 65s)  ·     After the assessment you will be placed in 2 different groups:  ·     Work-related activity group (if you are potentially able to work in the future) - earning up to £74.35 per week  ·     Support group (no possibility of working again) - earning up to £113.55 per week  Eligibility:  ·     You must be under state pension age to apply  ·     You must have a health condition or disability that prevents you from working full time  ·     You can work up to 16 hours a week/earn up to £140 a week while you claim this allowance, under these conditions.  How to claim:  ·     For more information on eligibility and how to claim, visit the ESA .gov website page  Other key information:  ·     This benefit is incompatible with Jobseekers Allowance and Statutory Sick Pay  Return to Benefits Menu What is the Furlough Scheme?  Being ‘on furlough’ means that someone is kept on the payroll even if they cannot work, have less work or no work due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme helps an employer to pay someone that is on furlough.   How much you can potentially receive:  ·     You could be paid up to 80% of your normal wages, up to £2500 a month.  Eligibility:  ·     If you are not able to work as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and your employer has agreed to keep you on the payroll, you are entitled to furlough.  ·     If someone is sick or self-isolating, they are eligible for furlough.  ·     If someone is extremely vulnerable to coronavirus due to an illness they are eligible for furlough.  ·     If someone is unable to work due to care responsibilities at home that have been caused by the coronavirus, they are eligible for furlough.  How to claim:   ·     Your employer must claim furlough through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  Other key information:  ·     On furlough, you will be paid by your employer and you will still pay taxes.  ·     An employer can choose to put someone on full furlough or flexible furlough   ·     You cannot work for your employer during the time you are on full furlough.  ·     If you have lost some of your income due to the coronavirus and you are on furlough, you may also be eligible for universal credit.  Return to Benefits Menu What is a Non-Means-Tested Benefit ?  If a benefit is non-means tested, it means that someone can be eligible for it no matter what their financial situation looks like. If a benefit is means-tested it means that the amount of money a person is entitled to depends on how much their income, property and other assets amount to. If someone has a stronger financial situation and their income is high, they are unlikely to receive benefits that are means-tested. However, a person with a better financial situation can still be eligible for some benefits that are non-means-tested.   Return to Benefits Menu What is a Pension Credit? Pension Credit is a benefit for people who are State Pension age or older. It tops up your income if you are struggling financially  How much you can potentially receive:  ·     Pension Credit comes in 2 parts:  ·     Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income, so it reaches a guaranteed minimum level: £173.75 if you're single or £265.20 if you're a couple.  ·     Savings Credit is additional funding if you have some savings or if you earn more than the basic State Pension.  As a single person, you could get up to £13.97 extra per week, or if you're a couple, up to £15.62 per week.  ·     Use the Government’s Pension Credit Calculator to find out how much you can claim.  Eligibility:  ·     You are only able to claim Savings Credit if you reached State Pension age before the 6th April 2016.  ·     You are also eligible if you are above state pension age and are a carer, have a severe disability or continue to pay housing costs (e.g. mortgage), even if your income is above the upper limit.  ·     There is no savings limit, yet savings over £10,000 may affect your application.  How to claim:  ·     Apply for this benefit over the phone on 0800 731 0297 or on the Government website by clicking here, or by post by printing out this form.  Other key information:  ·     You might also gain access to other benefits if you receive Pension Credit (such as Reduced Council Tax, Cold Weather Payments and more).  ·     It is possible to claim even if you are still working.  ·     It is available to both single pensioners and pensioners in couples.  Return to Benefits Menu What is the Personal Independence Payment (PIP)? The Personal Independence Payment is a benefit for adults aged from 16 to state pension age who have a long-term illness or disability. It is designed to help with the extra costs associated with having such conditions. It is the replacement for the previous Disability Living Allowance for Adults benefit.  How much you can potentially receive:  ·     You could receive between £23.60 and £151.40 a week   ·     The different rates are:  ·     £57.30/week (Standard Payment)  ·     £85.60/week if you have a more serious illness (Enhanced Payment)  ·     If you have mobility issues, you could also receive:  ·     £22.65/week extra (Standard Mobility Payment)  ·     £59.75/week extra (Enhanced Mobility Payment)  Eligibility:  ·     You must be between 16 years old and state pension age.  ·     You must also have a disability or health condition that causes you to:  ·     Struggle with day-to-day tasks and/or mobility for 3 months  ·     Anticipate a further 9 months of these difficulties  ·     The amount you receive changes depending on how your condition affects your daily life, not because of which condition you have.  How to claim:  ·     Make a claim by telephone: 0800 917 2222, by textphone: 0800 917 7777. If you need help with the call, you will find more information here  ·     Once you have filed a claim, you will need to fill out a ‘how your disability affects you’ form  Other key information:  ·     The process can be fast-tracked if you are terminally ill  ·     Visit Citizen’s Advice Website if you need help with your claim or with filling out this form  ·     Your condition will then be regularly reviewed to ensure that you are receiving the right level of support  Return to Benefits Menu How do I claim Statutory Sick Pay? Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is a benefit that is paid if you have to take time off work due to ill health. You cannot claim SSP if you are self-employed, please look below for alternatives.  How much you can potentially receive:  ·     You can claim a minimum of £95.85 per week, often more if your employer has a Sick Pay Scheme ·     The amount is paid into your account by your employer for up to a maximum of 28 weeks ·     Tax and National Insurance are deducted Eligibility:  ·     You can get this benefit starting from the 4th day that you are off work sick  ·     If you are self-employed you cannot claim SSP, however you may qualify for the Employment and Support Allowance ·     Check your eligibility here  How to claim:  ·     To claim, tell your employer that you are unable to work before the deadline that they have set (if they haven’t set one, tell them within 7 days) Other key information:  ·     Coronavirus: you could get SSP if you are self-isolating or shielding due to COVID19, paid for every day taken off work (if you have been off for more than 4 days total) Return to Benefits Menu What is Universal Credit? Universal Credit is a benefit that helps people with their living costs. It is a monthly payment for people who cannot get work, are out of work or are on a low income.   How much can you potentially receive:  ·     The Universal Credit standard allowance for people over 25 is £409.89 ·     If you are in a couple, or under 25 this amount will be different.  Some of the extra payments related to care include:  ·     If you have a disability or health condition you could receive up to £341.92 on top of the standard Universal Credit allowance ·     If you have a severely disabled child you could receive up to £400.29 on top of the standard allowance ·     If you care for a severely disabled person you could receive up to £162.92 on top of the standard Universal Credit allowance ·     You could earn up to £1108.04 if you need help with childcare costs Eligibility:  ·     You must be 18 or over (some 16 and 17-year-olds can still claim Universal Credit) ·     You or your partner must be under the State Pension age and you must live in the UK ·     You and your partner must have less than £16,000 in savings How to claim:  ·     You can apply for Universal Credit online.   Other key information:  ·     If you receive tax credits, they will stop when you apply for Universal Credit Return to Benefits Menu What is the War Widow(er) Pension? If someone’s wife, husband or civil partner dies as a result of working in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces or during a war, their spouse or partner can claim the War Widow(er) Pension.   How much you can potentially receive:  ·     The amount of money someone is entitled to as War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension depends on someone’s age and circumstances.   Eligibility:  ·     Someone must have served in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005, but they could have died of an injury or illness after this date.  ·     There are other circumstances whereby someone is entitled to the War Widow(er) Pension due to a death within the Armed Forces or during times of war.  How to claim:  ·     You can apply for the War Widow(er) Pension by downloading a claim form and sending it to the Veterans UK address listed on the government website.  Other key information:  ·     You may also be eligible for a grant of up to £2200 for a veteran’s funeral.  ·     You can appeal the decision made about your claim for the War Widow(er)’s Pension.  Return to Benefits Menu What is the Warm Home Discount Scheme? The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a benefit that gives you a one-off discount on your electricity bill for the winter period between September and March.  How much you can potentially receive:  ·     You could get around £140 off your bill each winter (the amount changes annually  ·     The money is directly discounted from your electricity bill  Eligibility:  ·     There are 2 ways to qualify for the discount:  ·     If you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (AKA ‘core group’)  ·     If you are on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria  for the scheme (AKA ‘broader group’)  ·     You are eligible if you use pre-pay, pay-as-you-go, as well as pay monthly.  How to claim:  ·     To apply, check whether you are eligible with your energy supplier and apply through their website.  ·     Check your eligibility as early as possible, as the number of discounts that can be given out are limited.  Other key information:  ·     This discount does not affect the Cold Weather Payment or the Winter Fuel Payment benefits  Return to Benefits Menu What is the Winter Fuel Payment? This benefit is an annual tax-free payment for the elderly to help with heating costs in the winter.   How much you can potentially receive:  ·     The amount paid changes yearly, for the financial year 2020-2021:  ·     £300 for those over 80 years old  ·     £200 for those between the cut off age and 80  ·     However, you will receive less if you live with others who qualify for the payment, find out more here.  Eligibility:  ·     You must be born on or before a certain date (that changes yearly) to be eligible for this benefit.  ·     The payment is not means-tested.  ·     You are eligible if you lived in the UK for at least one day of the qualifying week(which changes yearly).  How to claim:  ·     If you have never claimed the payment before, call the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0800 731 0160 to make a claim.  ·     If you have claimed previously, the payment is made automatically every year (if your circumstances do not change).  Other key information:  ·     If you do not receive your payment or if your circumstances change, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre by telephone: 0800 731 0160, or through their online enquiry form.  Return to Benefits Menu //Get the button var mybutton = document.getElementById("myBtnTopScroll"); // When the user scrolls down 20px from the top of the document, show the button window.onscroll = function() {scrollFunction()}; function scrollFunction() { if (document.body.scrollTop > 20 || document.documentElement.scrollTop > 20) { mybutton.style.display = "block"; } else { mybutton.style.display = "none"; } } // When the user clicks on the button, scroll to the top of the document function topFunction() { document.body.scrollTop = 0; document.documentElement.scrollTop = 0; }

18 December 2020

How Carers Can Enhance Their Skills With Curam

How Carers Can Enhance Their Skills With Curam

Here at Curam, we talk a lot about our commitment to creating a better care community and how our platform gives self-employed carers access to charge the wages they deserve. But our vision goes even further than better rates of pay.   We want every self-employed carer who uses our platform to have all the tools at their disposal to be able to do their jobs effectively, so not only can they offer excellent care to their clients, but they can access great care work opportunities.   This is why we’re now offering all our approved carers, who have completed the registration process, completely free access to our Curam Qintil online carer training CPD courses.     Why is training important?   Whilst you don’t need a formal qualification to work as a carer, it’s essential you know the basic practical skills, like emergency first aid and basic health and safety.   Having this vital knowledge ensures carers can:  • Update their portfolio of existing skills  • Gain new expertise they can use at work  • Are more likely to be approached by potential clients  • Receive a knowledge-based confidence boost  We recognise that paying to keep your skills up-to-date can be especially hard when you’re self-employed, which is why we’ve carefully curated ten comprehensive training courses that are available to all our approved carers, free of charge. This is a saving of £136.      What free online care courses are available?  Emergency First Aid   Learn how to recognise, assess and appropriately manage emergency first aid situations.    Moving and Handling  Gain a better understanding of the manual legislation, the risks of manual handling as well as the relevant anatomy and physiology of the human body.   Food and Hygiene   Learn all about workplace basic food hygiene measures.   Equality and Diversity  Your introduction to equality and diversity, examining legal and professional issues relating to equality and diversity and how to apply this information to everyday settings  Health and Safety  Understand the basics around Health and Safety legislation and requirements, you’ll also learn about COSHH Regulations within the workplace.  Infection Control Awareness   Learn how to promote best practice measures of standard infection control precautions such as appropriate hand washing technique to prevent and control Health Care Associated Infections.   COVID19 Awareness  A guide packed with useful information about COVID19 including how it is transmitted, and how you can prevent catching it or spreading it to others.  Person Centred Care  Gain a full understanding of person-centred care and how it can improve the care experience for the client as well as family members and healthcare professionals.  Dementia awareness  Learn about the symptoms of dementia, the different types of dementia and how to support those experiencing dementia.  Care planning   Understand what care planning is and gain good working knowledge around the aspects of planning person-centred care.     How does it work?  Once you’ve registered with Curam via and have been approved by a Curam team member, you’ll then have completely free access to the above ten training courses.   You’ll receive your invite to the training courses via email from Qintil. Just open the email and click the link to then set up your free Curam Qintil training account.     How long does the training take and do I need any special equipment?  Each course is designed with the modern learner in-mind and takes between 20 minutes to 1 hour to complete, but this is completely down to your learning pace.   To ensure it’s as convenient as possible for you to complete your training, no equipment is required, you can complete each course on any device, at any time, whether you’re on-the-move or at home. And, you can pause your training and go back to it, or even restart a course, if you need a recap.    Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll receive a digital badge on your Qintil record of achievement and be able to download and print your certificate. You’ll also be awarded a CPD point for each course completed.   Also, for all the life-long learners out there who want to complete even more training, we’re also giving our approved carers a 25% discount off Qintil’s extensive learning library of courses.   We want every carer who completes our training to enjoy learning new skills and have access to even more care opportunities.   If you haven’t yet finished registering as a Carer with Curam, then don’t miss out, log in today, and complete your application and unlock your free carer training courses.    

17 March 2021

How to Create Your Carer Video Profile 

How to Create Your Carer Video Profile 

Your guide to making your Curam carer profile even more visible to potential clients As a carer looking for work on the Curam platform, just imagine if you could introduce yourself to every potential client who lands on your profile and tell them briefly about your skills and experience?   Well, we’re delighted to confirm that now, thanks to our latest feature that allows you to add an introductory video to you profile, you can do just that.   Why video is important  If a picture can paint a thousand words, just imagine what a video can do  Since the appearance of video-based streaming platforms like YouTube, video is now the go-to for finding useful information.  In the past you might have had to hunt for instructions on how to do something and now, thanks to Google, instead you can quickly find an instructional video to guide you through a task in moments.   Your Curam profile holds so much valuable information about you so by including a video, you can personally guide every potential client reviewing your profile, through your expertise, in less than a minute.   Also, it will help to start building the three important elements of the client-carer relationship:  Know  It allows the client to get to know you a little better. Instead of reading about your skills and hobbies, they can hear and see you telling them directly.   Like  They can hear your voice, how you use tone and volume, see your body language and your expressions and even micro expressions.   Trust  A video gives the viewer a far more accurate perception of you, compared to them just reading about you. By sharing a video, you’re able to verbally and non-verbally communicate which are essential when understanding and connecting with someone.   ‘Wait, I’m not a film director’   We know that not everyone is a fan of getting on camera, which is why we’ve created these easy-to-follow steps, to help you easily create a short video.  Remember, this is a simple video that, with a small amount of planning, is straight forward to create, requires nothing more than the camera on your phone and will help to propel you into your ideal work opportunity.  What to say on screen   Whilst you don’t want to sound scripted, it’s a good idea to think about what you’d like to say and write this down before you dive in and start filming and then you can practice before you start.     Say hello and introduce yourself with just your first name, and then answer the following questions:     1) How long have you been a carer?  2) Do you specialise in a particular type of care?  3) Why do you love working as a carer?  4) What are your hobbies?     Please avoid including any information that could change - like specifics about your availability, for example. Also, your video must not be longer than 45 second long.   Now think about where you’re going to film   There are three things to consider when finding the right spot to create your video.  Lighting  An easy route to instantly good lighting for a video, is to stand facing the window or even go outdoors if the weather allows and it’s quiet. If this isn’t possible then try to find a bright, well-lit area.  Background  Think about what’s behind you, ideally you want a plain background but if there are things in the background just make sure it looks neat and tidy.   Positioning  If you’re filming using a phone, rather than hold it in your hand to film yourself, prop it up against something so you have a steady shot throughout your video.   Top tip – put your script behind your phone, so you can read it easily whilst looking at the camera.  Make sure your phone is portrait, not landscape.   Once you’ve got your camera in position, have a look at how your face appears on screen.   Can you see your whole face with some space around you? If not then you might need to reposition yourself.   Length of video  Remember, this is a brief introduction video so be sure to keep it to less than 45 seconds long.   Get inspired Watch our quick walk-through video which includes a superb example video created by Curam carer Eve.   And that’s a wrap  Once you’ve finished creating your video, you can upload it to the Curam carer app from your camera roll.   Remember this is your video, so if you’re not happy with it then just retake it as many times as you need to.   Once your video is uploaded and your Curam profile is complete, clients can start viewing a whole new side to you.   And finally  We also do recommend that you treat your profile as a work-in-progress, so check-in on it from time-to-time as you may have learned new skills you’d like to add, or update your video, if you feel there’s more you can add to it. Remember, your profile is your online shop window, so we want to help you make sure it looks as good as possible, so clients can easily see how brilliant you are.        

17 March 2021

Living With Dementia: Home And Workplace Adaptations 

Living With Dementia: Home And Workplace Adaptations 

Many people with a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s continue to live at home with the right support.   Dementia is a condition which covers a variety of neurological disorders which affect each person differently. As the condition progresses, a person’s memory, thinking and behaviour can change. You may wonder if you need to adapt your home so it remains a safe and familiar environment. And, what equipment will improve your home to help you with everyday tasks.   When considering how to care for a person with dementia, it’s important to include them in decisions about their home. Make any changes early on and with their permission so they have time to adapt. Preferences about style, colour and furniture can empower individuals - helping them adjust to any changes.   Initially, you may only need to make simple modifications. Let’s explore what alterations, aids and equipment can help make life easier at home for people with dementia.   Making Changes To A House for Dementia  You may have visions of clunky adapted cutlery, or ugly mobility aids. Dementia adaptations are thankfully, not like that. Many companies make modern equipment which can help you manage dementia symptoms effectively and stylishly. Equipment for dementia needn't be expensive. Often small changes, through things like memory aids, or changing the layout of a room, can make a positive impact.   • Gradually adapt your home to better live with dementia  •  Maintain a familiar, welcoming and safe environment   •  Consult an Occupational Therapist or GP for advice on which aids and equipment will best assist you  •  Investigate which equipment is funded through Social Services, Adult Services or the NHS   Trip Hazards  Clutter. Harmless items that can become trip hazards in the home. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s affects visual-spatial abilities, causing problems with coordination and balance. By removing obstacles and considering flooring and furniture choices, you can avoid common falls. Support a loved one with dementia at home by following these tips:  • Check there are no loose corners to carpets and rugs  • Replace uneven or damaged flooring  • Illuminate darker parts of the house with lamps, LED lights, or plug in night-lights  • Consider a security light for the garden and entrance  • Store ornaments and decorations out of reach  • Avoid waxing or polishing floors  Living Room  A familiar, homely environment helps people with dementia who experience symptoms of confusion and lapses in memory. Modify the living room so that it is safe, functional but filled with tokens of their life. Research shows that physical objects, such as photos, can improve cognition in those with later-stage dementia. Objects spark memories and offer opportunities to talk.   • Remove trip hazards such as lose rugs, side tables in walkways  • Keep a simple furniture arrangement  • Highlight photos of friends, family, spouses and loved ones  • Hang curtains and blinds to help transitioning from day to night, and for noise reduction  • Add a radio/ smart-speaker as an alternative to television  • Install a clock with the day, date and time visible  • Declutter papers and keep reading glasses and TV remotes in a consistent place   • Use contrasting colours for window sills, door handles and light switches  • Replace patterned rugs and carpets with contrasting plain colours  Kitchen  Early stage dementia can be easily managed with a few kitchen adaptations. Colour coded labels on foods, drawers and utensils can act as a simple visual prompt. As the symptoms progress, it may not be safe for a person with late-stage dementia to use the kitchen. Here, a carer can take on the duty of washing up, providing hot drinks, snacks and home cooked meals.   • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms regularly  • Label draws, cupboards, utensils, food packaging clearly  • Install a gas detector to notify if the hob and oven is left on  • Consider installing an induction hob which will automatically turn off, and doesn’t generate heat to the touch   • Minimise clutter through effective storage  • Keep cleaning products separate, or in a locked cupboard  • Use adapted kettles and toasters which reduce the risk of burns  • Include safe, comfortable seating to involve people with dementia in the social experience of meal preparation  Hallways and Staircases  Navigating stairs can be difficult if dementia has affected a person’s mobility. Patterns can cause confusion with distance and depth perception - so be mindful of carpet choices. Some people relocate their bedroom to the ground floor for security and ease.   • Check railings are secure and extend the length of the stairs  • Increase lighting by using plug in night lights on landings and halls  • Replace patterned carpets with plain  • Install a fall alert device at the base of the stairs  • Consider moving the bedroom to the ground floor  • Mark each step’s edge to show the depth - this will help a person with dementia judge distance more easily.  Bedroom adaptations for dementia  A person’s bedroom should be safe, functional and a calming environment. People with dementia can get anxious or confused during the evening and night. It may be necessary to have overnight care in addition to the following changes:  • Install a motion-censored night light near the bed and on the landing  • Lay clothes out in the order a person puts them on  • Remove wardrobe clutter and consider extra lighting  • Make the bed stand out with different/bright coloured sheets  • Install sensors that tell you when someone has gotten out of bed/ returned to bed, to alert a carer during the night  Bathroom  People with dementia may need assistance from a carer with toileting, bathing, dressing and brushing teeth. The following changes can help people with dementia when using a bathroom:  • Install a flood prevention plug, some of these also change colour if the water gets too hot • Use colour contrast on surfaces, like a towel on the bath edge, or different coloured toilet seat  • Store medicines safely and dispose of old ones regularly  • Use non-slip mats next to the sink and in the bath/ shower  • Lower the water temperature on the boiler  • Include ‘grab’ bars by the bath and toilet  Some bathroom alterations for dementia can be more costly - but useful for everyone in the home.   • Walk-in showers/ wet room with a bath seat  • Replace mixer taps with separate hot and cold ones to avoid scolds  • Install an accessible, emergency pull cord system like Lifeline   Get Help With Dementia Care  In the UK there are many dementia specialist charities. You can find more information about Alzheimers and dementia, speak with people who can empathise and support, and discover local services available to you:  • The Dementia UK helpline – 0800 888 6678  • The Alzheimer’s Society UK  • The Carers Trust for support for carers  Curam - a better dementia care community   Many people with dementia and Alzheimer’s can live comfortably in their own home, if they have the right support. As the condition progresses, a dementia specialist home carer can help with domestic, medical and daily-living tasks. Or to support spouses and family members, a home carer can provide respite care or even live-in care. To find out more contact us or download the Curam App.   How to support people with dementia at work  Whilst dementia is typically thought about as an illness that mostly affects older, retired people, it is still a relevant issue in the context of the workplace. More and more people are retiring at a later age; therefore, they can start to experience symptoms of dementia whilst at work.   It is possible to support people with dementia in the workplace by adapting a physical office and the culture and attitudes of the people who work there. Here are some of the adaptations that can help people with dementia:  • New lighting  • Installing carpets that help with noise reduction  • Signs and décor that make the space easier to navigate  • Creating a supportive and open working culture so that people feel ready to talk about dementia  • Promoting healthy lifestyles at work so that people can aim to prevent dementia with activities such as exercise, drinking less alcohol and eating a balanced diet.   • Being a ‘carer friendly’ workplace by being more flexible and supportive  • Providing information about carers at work  • Use clear internal communications  • Offering good HR practice to every member of staff to discover any difficulties people are experiencing  Support for people with Dementia, their families, colleagues and carers  You may know a colleague, friend or relative who has dementia. Here at Curam we want to support you as best as we can by allowing you to choose the right carer and care type for you or your loved one. Feel free to get in touch to find out more.     

12 March 2021