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Working As A Self Employed Carer

At Curam we are passionate about building a care community which is fair for all. One that respects the value of care. Ever thought who is Curam? What working as a self-employed carer is really like? Then read on. There’s a reason so many carers have signed up in the past twelve months – we do things differently. Discover who Curam is, how we can help you sign up, earn more and find work as a self-employed carer. Self-employed carer Set your rates, choose your clients and work the hours which suit your lifestyle.  Curam is a platform for carers to find work, we are not an employer. You must be self-employed or work through a limited company or LLP. This might sound daunting, but working as a self-employed carer through the Curam platform is simple and has many benefits.  The main benefit of being self-employed is flexibility. Through Curam you might find several clients to work for on a regular basis or live-in full time with just one. You can work the hours which suit your lifestyle. You are free to work part-time or combine caring with another role.  Curam’s role is to help you find clients. We have thousands registered, all across the UK. Our free carer insurance and secure payments make self-employment simple. There’s no joining fee and it’s free to sign up.  Earn What You Like  Our sector-leading fees are the lowest, enabling you to earn more and clients to pay less. Curam was launched in 2018 with a mission to create a platform where motivated, quality carers receive a decent income. That’s the reason carers tell us they’ve signed up with Curam – because they earn more.  Working as a self-employed carer through Curam means you can set the hourly, day or overnight rate you think reflects your skills and experience.  On average our carers earn £15 an hour.  Low fees We are proud that our fee of 12.5% is the lowest in the sector. That means if you set a rate of £15 an hour, you will take home £13.12 an hour. Why do we need to charge a fee? It primarily pays for advertising your profile, providing service agreements, a secure payment system and free carer insurance.  Joining Curam Curam is open to anyone who wants to work as a self-employed carer. The Curam ethos is to create a fairer care community. That means we welcome carers who are new to the sector and those who have years of experience. Experience does pay, and you are able to charge clients a rate which reflects your expertise and skill.  It’s simple to sign up with your contact details and the application process takes about 20 minutes to complete. Types of work As a self-employed carer you can work locally and are free to combine your work with another role. We have clients looking for carer all across the UK. No matter where you live, we will help you find work local to you. Many of Curam’s clients are looking for:     •    Hourly, daily, over-night carers     •    Dementia carers     •    Palliative carers     •    Carers with experience of helping adults and young people with learning difficulties     •    Domestic carers to help around the home     •    Carers for companionship      Finding work We advertise your profile for free and email you when new jobs become available. There are two ways Curam can help you find work.     •    Through your online profile on the Curam platform. This is like an online CV, where you outline your skills and experience, attach a great photo and tell clients a little bit about yourself. It doesn’t need to be long, just a snapshot of your carer experience and how much you’d like to charge.     •    Through the Curam jobs board. Clients can post adverts for carers which you are free to respond to. We will also email you if new posts appear in your area.  We will also advertise your profile to our clients. That way, they can contact you directly, giving you the opportunity to discuss the hours and rates you’re both happy with. Any Questions?  So, now you know what working as a self-employed carer through Curam is like. If you’ve got more questions, then please contact us, we’re always happy to help.   

20 April 2020

Tips on caring for dementia clients

850,000 people in the UK currently live with dementia. By 2040 the Government predicts that will be 1.6 million - that’s the equivalent population of Birmingham struggling with cognitive abilities. Early diagnosis helps but so does learning the skills required to assist those living with dementia. With the evidence indicating that 2 in 10 of our ageing population will at some point be diagnosed with dementia, perhaps it’s time we learnt better ways to support, care and communicate? Here’s our 10 point guide to caring for dementia clients. What is Alzheimer’s and Dementia? It can be hard to know the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s. In simple terms, when the brain in injured, either through stroke or disease, it’s called dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is a progressive condition which affects people in different ways.  Those with Alzheimer’s may struggle with memory and daily tasks, and others with more advanced dementia conditions will be unable to express themselves clearly or rationally. Dementia Communication Skills 1.     Slow down Take it slow. Be patient. The tortoise, and not the hare, will win the day if you want constructive conversation with anyone living with dementia conditions. Those with cognitive impairments need time to process their thoughts. People with dementia can easily pick up on negative feelings. By slowing down, you’ll create an environment where you both feel less stress and more relaxed. 2.     Empathy Maintain a sense of empathy. Really try to understand the frustrations which can be symptomatic of dementia. In turn, adjust the way you speak to foster better relationships. By removing any distractions in the room, you’ll simplify the environment and make it easier for your companion to express themselves. 3.     Identify Introduce yourself clearly, keep your tone of voice calm and happy. 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. 4.     Listen Active listening is a skill for any situation, not just when we are in the company of those with dementia. It is a process of listening attentively, letting your partner speak freely while you paraphrase and reflect back what is said, without any judgment or advice. Show you’re following what is being said by maintaining eye contact, smile and nod encouragingly. 5.     Simple Language “Bonjour again! Sally here. Look, yesterday, when I spoke with you, do you remember, it was raining outside and the bin man had just been - my what a racket they make - well, I forgot to ask if you wanted any bits and bobs from the local corner shop?” Bouncy, nice little conversation there isn’t it? Takes a while to get to the point though. For someone with dementia it’s full of idioms and phrases which will cause confusion. “Hello, it’s Sally. Do you need to buy any food or snacks today?” You can see the difference? A lot of ‘warmth’ in a conversation needs to come from body language not from complex words and lengthy questions. Stop frequently throughout the conversation to allow them time to think. This will help limit feelings of frustration and reduce any associated poor behaviours. 6.     Re-framing Being a caregiver is hard. On some days, nothing will try your patience like caring for someone with dementia. One way to keep your calm is to ‘re-frame’ negative situations. Remember that all behaviour is communication - even it’s aggressive. Acknowledge your own feelings first and take a moment to let them pass. Then consider what message is behind the negative behaviour. Are they tired? Have you been asking too many questions? Are there too many distractions? Once you reframe your thinking to be more objective and critical, you can better assess a situation and take the emotion out of it. This is especially important, if you are caring for a loved one.  7.     Reassurance You’re doing a great job. Accept that some days will be better than others. Be realistic and manage your own expectations so you’re not hard on yourself. Celebrate good days and don’t dwell on negativity. Guilt, anger or sadness are natural reactions on some days. Accept them, let them pass, then get on with life. People living with dementia often exhibit poor behaviours when they are unhappy or frustrated. In these moments, reassure them, acknowledge their feelings, empathise and remind them they are in the company of someone who cares for them. 8.     Avoiding Arguments Did she just say that?! We have all experienced that moment, when a comment hits a nerve. We feel hurt, overwhelmed. Unfortunately, dementia causes the brain to function in a non-logical way. The consequence is a person may say something nonsensical or that they don’t mean. While you may feel hurt, there is little benefit in arguing. Try and let negative comments pass without judgment or acknowledgment and remain calm. Remove yourself from the conversation and give yourself time to let the heat of emotion pass. 9.     Learn About Dementia Knowledge is a powerful tool. It can help manage your expectations of those living with dementia. If we understand how the disease affects an individual, we can care in a more effective way. We can view behaviours objectively. We can change our communication style to encourage conversation. We can empathise when times are a struggle. Talk with doctors, research and learn about dementia and you will feel more empowered in the situation. Alzheimer’s UK NHS Dementia Dementia UK 10.  Join a Support Group You’ve had one of those days. You feel worn out, emotionally charged and exhausted all at once. You could ring an old friend, chat it out. You could go for a walk and get it out of your system. Both good options. But on some days, we all need the company of others who can truly empathise. Someone who can nod along, offer insights and laugh with us at the moments we can’t control. Sharing experiences of dementia with a support group can improve your outlook on the condition, help reduce stress levels and ultimately, keep you feeling happy.    How Curam can help Becoming a caregiver can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be frustrating at times. Curam carers can offer respite care, or specialist dementia care. You can choose if you want care support for a few hours, a few days or full-time. Having a break from care is important. Join today, and through Curam you can find a carer who will help. Help you stay positive. Help you find time for hobbies and self care. Help to remain the best caregiver for your loved one.  

29 April 2020

Curam: the future of care provision

Is Curam the future of care provision? Yes! Curam was created with a radical objective – lead the way in socially conscious care provision by building a fairer care community online. We’re the answer to an outdated and expensive agency system. A system where clients pay too much for carers who are paid too little, leading to unreliable and inconsistent care.  Our solution? Cut to the heart of great value care. Build an online community which connects self-employed carers with clients all across the UK. A digital introduction, which nurtures real life relationships.  By embracing technology, we can provide great care which costs less, is more reliable and offers security. Curam believe great value care comes from valuing great carers.  Many of our clients appreciate we have a model for care provision that looks after them and their carer. Our clients appreciate saving money, but feel good knowing their chosen carer is paid more.  Agency rates can be as high as £20 an hour, with as little as £8 going to the carer. Understandably, carers don’t feel valued for the essential work they deliver. It’s no surprise thousands leave the sector each week.  Curam’s unique fee structure allows us to charge clients less for a carer who is paid up to 50% more. The way it works is simple. Each of our self-employed carers advertise their services, setting their own hourly, day and overnight rates based on their experience. On average this is £15 an hour. With Curam, they take home on average £13 an hour.  We believe a carer who feels valued is more motivated to deliver reliable care for our clients.  Curam believe community creates consistent, reliable care. It can be daunting knowing where to look for a carer, especially one you know is trusted, experienced and happy in their work. Curam at its core is a digital community that creates real life, nurturing relationships. In a community we look out for each other, we are interested in those around us, we support, enjoy and value the relationships we have.  That is the heart of our fairer care community.  Our carers, all across the UK, meet high standards to be part of the Curam community. We only want to introduce you to the best carers in your area. Carers who are compassionate, reliable and able to support you, whatever your level of need.  For our valued carers, we offer a support network, linking them with local colleagues through ‘micro teams.’ This makes it easier for them to provide extra services or support when it’s needed.  Curam believe choice builds trust  Inviting a carer into your home can be an unsettling experience. For some, accepting a carer can lead to resistance and upset.  Curam allows clients to choose their carer. Our online community profiles allow you to ‘meet’ our carers – see a photo, read about their hobbies and interests and check their skills, education and training. You can view as many as you like. Shortlist, then contact carers you feel are the best fit for your needs. Giving clients the autonomy to decide who is right for their care, builds trust. That trust leads to a better care partnership, where everyone is happy.  Curam believe experience offers security Curam is a new way of delivering care, but we are not new to this industry. Our founders designed Curam to provide great care, without sacrificing the security which comes from traditional care services. We take a personal touch to our recruitment, to ensure our fairer care community is filled with committed and reliable carers.      •    Our carers have on average 9 years’ experience     •    We personally interview each carer who is accepted onto the platform     •    We provide the details of 2 references, ensure they have the right to work in the UK and have the appropriate paperwork including DBS checks     •    We provide carer insurance and a secure online payment system, meaning you don’t have deal directly with finances or admin.  We are confident in the ability of carers in the Curam community. Our strict standards mean, you can feel the same.   Curam believes technology makes care provision easier We all rely on technology to make our busy lives easier. To take out the boring, mundane aspects of admin. To provide reassurance and reviews before we purchase.  It can be daunting to embrace new technology. We like things easy and familiar. Curam is pioneering a new way of care provision, with technology that is intuitive, easy to navigate and simple to use.  The Curam APP allows us to:      •    Increase the speed in which care provision can be organised     •    Provide security with alerts for arrival and leave times     •    Notify users with visit summaries, taking account of tasks completed and next steps for care     •    Give opportunities to leave reviews, building up trust in our carers     •    Pay carers securely without needing to handle cash or cheques     •    Instantly see the qualifications, experience and interests of our carers     •    Have opportunities to chat with carers through our messaging service     •    Share information with family and friends about care provision needs Even though Curam is a new technology and the future of sustainable, realisable care provision, we are at heart a community of real people, passionate about delivering great care. Curam is free to join, there are no contracts – be part of it and sign up today.

20 April 2020

Home Care Vs Care Homes

The decision between joining a care home or hiring a self-employed home carer can be a difficult one. You first need to know what options are available and then decide what level of support is most appropriate.   Nothing is more certain than death and taxes. What Benjamin Franklin missed from his famous quote is a third certainty: ageing. A word we culturally resist. Why? Ageing isn’t a bad thing. The twilight years can bring a sense of calm from the relentless rush of modern living. In reality, we don’t resist ageing - we resist the idea of not living on our own terms.  Living independently is not always an option the older and more frail we get. By knowing what care options are available, you can decide how to transition to assisted living as you age.  Assisted living sounds like a fast track to a care home. And for some, residential care will be the obvious and only answer. Care homes provide accommodation, medical and personal care for anyone who needs support during the day and overnight. Services, facilities and prices will vary across location and providers. It’s an expensive option but one which provides a full package of medical, social and personal care provision.  Before you sign that care home contract, have you considered home care? Home care’s main benefit is obvious: you remain in your own home. If needed, physical alterations can be made to improve the safety of your home. Rails, mobility aids, gadgets and technology all exist to enhance our environment. It’s also beneficial to our mental health to live in the familiarity and safety of our own home.  Jeanette was 84 when her forgetfulness started to become a problem. She was physically fit, but a diagnosis of dementia meant it was becoming unsafe to remain home alone. Her children worried. A care home was discussed but the idea was frightening to Jeanette. She had friends nearby, she worried about loneliness. What was her solution? Home care.  Home carers are personal assistants, or nurses, who help you at home to meet your care needs. Services vary depending on need, but range from cleaning the house and running errands, to medical assistance and personal hygiene. For many, the company of a familiar carer is reassuring and makes them feel secure living independently at home.  The decision between a nursing home, care home, residential home, assisted-living facility or a home carer may be decided for you by a medical or monetary need. For Jeanette, she felt she still had a choice. A care home might be suitable in the future, but for now hiring a self-employed hourly carer through Curam gave her many benefits:  Home carers are flexible – giving you control Relying on others can leave you feeling you have little control or choice. A home carer can reinstate that feeling. With Curam, you decide the time and type of care you need. Medical care, housekeeping or simply a companion can be provided flexibly, and on your own terms, through home care.  Home care is less expensive Full-time residential care is expensive because it needs to be. Tally up accommodation, food, medical and care support and the bill can be extensive. If you don’t have complex medical care needs, home care can provide all you need at a fraction of the cost. With Curam you only pay for the care you receive from your chosen carer. There are no extra costs, contracts or fees.  Home care improves mental health Familiar surroundings boost our wellbeing. We take comfort from ornaments, photos and possessions which speak to us of our happiest moments. We can physically cope better in a known environment. Got a pet? Sadly, care homes often deny the companionship of animals. By contrast, a home carer can help you navigate hazards at home, assist with daily living tasks and even walk the dog.  Home care is tailored to your needs  Home care is like a package holiday - you can add on the extras as you need them. That makes it a cost-effective option. Your needs may be met by hiring a carer to perform domestic chores. As time progresses, you can add on help with medication, or washing, bathing, dressing. It’s your choice to increase or reduce care services as and when you need them.  Home care can be 24-hours Overnight carers support you when others can’t. Their presence gives you the security to sleep better, knowing there’s help available from dawn til dusk. Managing complex medical needs, toileting, rehabilitation or simply safety are some of the reasons people choose overnight home carers. Rehabilitation at home can speed recovery times and eliminate the need for short-term nursing home care.  Home carers allow you to socialise We are all social creatures in some way and isolation is detrimental to our wellbeing. Our happiness is often based on the connection we have with friends, family and social events. Driving to appointments, visiting friends and family, attending social clubs or keeping up with technology like Skype and Zoom can all be achieved with the help of a home carer. Home carers are themselves an answer to loneliness. Curam carers have personal profiles to give clients an insight into them as individuals. You chose the carer who is right for you - a natural companion, someone to rely on and trust.  Home carers can provide domestic help There are countless benign daily stresses that come with living independently. Meals to prepare, dishes to wash, shopping to buy, clothes to launder, admin to sort – the list is long. A home carer can alleviate the burden of these essential tasks, so you can pursue your own interests while still living a healthy life at home.  Home carers can provide respite care The line between family and carer is blurred. Loved ones often assume the role of carer, supporting and assisting at the times it’s needed most. It can be tiring, strain relationships and be physically demanding. Family needs a break from the routine of care. In these moments, a respite home carer can step in and assume their role for a time. With an opportunity to recover, our loves ones can return to their care responsibilities rested and refreshed.  Find out more about Curam home carers. We are a fairer care community, and we believe great value care comes from valuing great carers. Sign up today and find your perfect home carer. 

20 April 2020

Meet our Curam carers 

Did you know the Beatles wrote a song about care? Okay, not directly about care. As a 1960s band, they had no experience working as a personal carer - but they did understand what makes us happy. Something Carole, who’s been a carer for 22 years, knows too. “Honestly, it’s wonderful, I learn and laugh so much every day.” Modern life is busy, full of pressure, expectation and numerous challenges. Most of us want to feel that we are in control of our working lives, that we have the choice and flexibility to enjoy life on our own terms. So how can we make our day ‘wonderful’? More to the point - what exactly is Carole doing that makes her life so different? It turns out, the secret to happiness is... helping others. We spoke to several Curam carers who believe a career as a self-employed carer is a happy one. The act of caring for another, of putting someone else’s needs first, is what gives them satisfaction and meaning. Not convinced? Here’s an ancient proverb from China: “If you want happiness for a lifetime - help someone else.” Apparently, it works both ways. Hundreds of clients tell us how their carer has transformed their lives. Often, it’s the gift of time which is most appreciated. They cherish having someone to speak with, laugh with, share their worries with. Finding that real connection with another person. “I choose to work in care because I have a lot to give, a lot of experience.” Carole has been a carer for two decades and her beaming smile shows she’s not ready to quit. “I love older people; I like to be around them and I feel I have a real connection with them. They will tell you stuff from yester-year that you had no idea about. They're always funny. Yes, I help them, but I learn a lot too.”   Carole has been a carer for 22 years. For Ivan, who works as a self-employed carer, it’s the little things which motivate him. “It’s not about the money. It’s about sharing my compassion, kindness and love for people in the right way. I’m a happy person, I want to share that. I like making a difference to people’s lives.” Many carers enjoy helping clients navigate everyday problems. In ten years as a carer, Ivan has seen the value that adds. “When you are working together to help a client reach a goal it’s brilliant.” Ivan loves being able to fit his work around spending time with his family.  He recalls how he helped a client embrace new technology. “He was struggling with an old phone and worried he would lose contacts and photos if he changed. For me, it was simple. Together we went to the shop, I helped him explain to the sales assistant exactly what he needed. In an hour we left with a new handset which was easier to use. He gained some confidence and it’s little moments like that which are a delight.” Thinking about the needs of others is at the heart of great care, something Clare was able to consider from both sides. “The thing that steered me towards live-in care was that I had a partner diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Within ten months, he died. We lived the craziest life; we had the best and worst of times. Afterwards, I thought, I can do this. I can create a difference in someone’s life. I can shape the quality of it. That’s what I like about care work.” The relationship between carer and service user is what makes Curam unique. Carole explains how choice has made her work more enjoyable. “Choice is very important to clients. The personal care services we give means the client must be happy with the service they receive and happy with the carer. Being able to choose your carer helps create a relationship which works well.” “I was able to write my own profile to attract people to me on the platform. That’s important. My current clients saw my skills and experience and chose me based on that.” Like all Curam carers, Carole was able to create a profile which service users can read before they decide to message her. As a palliative carer, speaking with clients before accepting a job gives Clare more confidence in her role. “I want them to know I can make a difference to the whole family. They can see I am giving everything, so they can enjoy the company of their loved one as fully as possible for their last few weeks of life.” Clare strongly believes that care must be client-centred.Choice gives flexibility, something Ivan thinks makes caring fun. “You can be more creative, energetic, and closer to the wishes of the clients when you are self-employed. I have more freedom. Hours which suit both me and my client. This gives me more time to spend with my family.” Care work is flexible. It fits around other commitments which bring us closer to home. It’s something Carole knows is vital for her clients too, “Home is where we feel most happy. I love that care workers help people stay in their own home to continue to live independently. For me, that’s so important.” Living at home with clients, Clare saw how happiness came from shifting expectations. “Care needs to be client centred. A gentle, natural rhythm and progression of care, so they have a nice day. Life changes all the time. Every day is a different day. Every day has an opportunity.” So, what do the Beatles have to do with working as a carer? It’s back to Carole to explain. With her experience, she knows working as a carer can be a challenge, but also hugely rewarding. “Consider what it really all means. All you need is love. All the clients I look after just need love and attention. It’s a special song to me, because it’s so true.” There’s a reason why we are the largest online source of carers in the UK - we do things differently. We offer choice and value our great carers. Join our fairer care community today. Looking for a carer? Join here – there are no upfront fees. Carer? Sign up and join thousands who’ve made the easy switch to self-employed care.

08 June 2020

Maintaining Good Mental Health Whilst Self Isolating

While the UK works to control the coronavirus outbreak, many of us are self isolating to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the vulnerable members of our communities. We understand the reasons why self isolation is important in the battle against COVID-19, but that doesn’t stop it from being an emotionally testing time. Human beings are sociable by nature and spending long periods of time alone can affect our mental health and wellbeing. There are ways we can help to protect our mental health and stay well during the coronavirus crisis until normal daily life resumes. Maintain Contact We may be physically cut off from our loved ones but we’re lucky to live in a time when technology means that they are only a touch, click or tap away. Video conferencing allows us to ‘see’ friends and family and is accessible through almost any phone or device. These apps, such as FaceTime, Zoom or Skype are surprisingly straight forward to use and are the next best thing to seeing your loved ones in person. If you don’t have access to a suitable device or are not quite ready for the world of virtual meetings, a straight-forward phone call can keep you feeling connected to the outside world. It might be worth asking whoever you’re chatting with whether they can give you some guidance on how to set up video calls too. You’re bound to have a bit more time on your hands during self isolation, so it’s the perfect time to dig out that old writing set and get back to basics. Sending and receiving letters can help lift the spirits and a letter sent with love can be re-read time and time again. Remember that you won’t be able to get out to the post box if you’re self isolating so, if you have someone delivering food supplies to your door, check whether they’d be happy to do it for you before you get writing. Stick to a Routine The days can feel really long when you can’t leave the house, and it can be easy to lose track of your daily routine. You might find that you’re less productive right now – and that’s ok. But remembering to keep up with the basics will make a huge difference in retaining a sense of normality and staying well. Try to keep to your usual sleep patterns and avoid too many lie-ins. Get up and out of bed and get washed and dressed. Stick to regular mealtimes and eat a balanced diet as you normally would. It can be easy for alcohol intake to creep up, so be aware of your drinking habits. If your daily or weekly routine usually involves exercise, try to keep it going. If you don’t exercise much generally – now’s a good time to start! Even gentle exercise around your home, like cleaning and gardening, can get the heart pumping and maintain a basic level of fitness. If you can get out into the fresh air, even better, as spending time outside has been shown to help improve mental health. Keep Boredom at Bay Whilst we’re all spending time apart, with nowhere to go and no one to see, things can get a little boring. Boredom might just seem like an unwanted inconvenience, but it has been shown to contribute to anxiety, depression, changes in eating habits and increased alcohol consumption. Finding ways to stay occupied and stimulated while you’re isolating will help protect your mental health. Creative hobbies like painting, crafting or colouring have been shown to support mental wellbeing, so that might be a good place to start if you’re looking for inspiration. Jigsaw puzzles, sudoku or crosswords can be good for challenging yourself. Maybe now is the perfect time to work on that big sewing project you’ve been meaning to get to or to start writing that book you’ve been planning. While you want to avoid getting bored, it’s also worth pointing out that you shouldn’t put any pressure on yourself to be productive or to learn a new skill during this time. If that feels a bit much and you need downtime to process what’s going on around us, that’s fine too. Reach Out Despite taking measures to stay well, some of us will inevitably experience feelings of loneliness, anxiety and worry during this difficult time. It’s important to remember that many of us are in the same boat and we can help and support each other. Local and national charities around the UK have increased mental health support services and can offer telephone support and advice for those who are self isolating. The NHS offers some fantastic advice on maintaining good mental health during this crisis, and support is available from Age UK and MIND as well as other charities across the UK.

29 April 2020

Free Covid Testing for Carers

The UK Government is offering all essential workers free testing for Covid 19. As a Curam approved carer this includes you. You can take the test, even if you have no symptoms.    Anti Body Testing The Government is starting antibody testing for NHS and social care workers. Antibodies are what our immune system creates in response to fighting the virus. They stay in the blood and offer protection against the virus. For those who have had Covid-19, it is unknown for how long, or at what level, antibodies offer protection against the virus.  You may have seen home antibody tests available online or from Superdrug. These kits cost £69 and need a pin prick or lanced sample of blood. It is unclear if these kits are as accurate as a blood sample taken from a vein by a healthcare professional.    PPE Please continue to work safely. We advise all our carers to protect themselves and others by using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and practising social distancing where possible. If your Local Authority cannot provide PPE, The National Association of Care and Support Workers (NACAS) are encouraging carers to use Frontline Live. Frontline Live is a website which can help source and distribute PPE.  Keeping Up To Date We will update our Curam fairer care community with the latest information as it becomes available. For all our clients and approved carers, please check your emails regularly.  Stay alert, keep safe and follow social distancing where you can. Read more about how we are supporting our community through the coronavirus pandemic. If you have any questions, please contact us: 01387 730766      

29 May 2020

Carers - How To Use The Curam Platform

Welcome to Curam – you are on your way to becoming part of our fairer care community.  Soon, you will join the many carers all across the UK who value the freedom and flexibility of working as a self-employed carer through Curam. With Curam, you’ll be able to set your own fees, working with clients you have chosen. You’ll also benefit from paying the lowest rates in the sector (only 12.5%).  As one of our newly signed carers said “at last a company working for carers”. This carer guide will tell you how to use Curam to access hundreds of care placements all across the UK. Discover how simple it is to join – just 20 minutes and you’re done. If you prefer, we’ve even made a How to Sign Up video to explain. STEP 1 – Sign Up If you haven’t already, this is how to sign up - create a Curam account with your contact details.  STEP 2 – Complete Profile Create an online profile. This is like an online CV - a way for clients to see what a great carer you are.  Here, you’ll write a short profile statement called a ‘Bio’. Don’t worry, we can help you write a Curam Carer profile so you’ll know how to impress clients.  Attach a good photo. It’s a great way to make a positive first impression on clients.   Next, highlight your care condition expertise, hobbies, languages and qualifications.  Finally, tell people what you charge. This can be an hourly rate or an overnight/ day fee. Just don’t forget the fee you advertise will include our 12.5% rate (the lowest in the sector). For example, if you advertise at £15, you will receive £13.13 an hour.  STEP 3 – Essential Admin Upload your documents: National Insurance Number, DBS, PVG or NI Access number and references.  STEP 4 – Book An Interview You’re almost there. We’d love to have an informal chat before we can approve your application. This will take about 15 minutes. Simply, book a telephone interview with one of our friendly Curam team at a time which suits you.   Welcome to Curam! Now your profile can go live. You will have access to hundreds of advertised care placements and you can apply for any which suit you. On the Curam platform we will advertise your profile for free to all the Curam clients looking for a carer. We will also pay for your carer insurance and automatically update you about new jobs in your area.  So, now you know how to sign up, take 20 minutes to join the Curam fairer care community today.

20 April 2020

Strategies To Manage Isolation During COVID-19 Pandemic by Curamcare

In this COVID19 pandemic situation, Curamcare has suggested various strategies to manage the people’s Isolation process. We all need to cope with certain things in this time of Isolation.  Here are some suggested strategies to follow to support isolation during Pandemic: Maintain a Schedule It’s best to have a regular schedule. Get up early, have a shower, wash your hair, get dressed properly, do all the stuff that we would do during normal times to maintain some consistency. After that, make sure you get out for your daily exercise we can all still do this in this Lockdown situation. It is important to do this and not stay locked up in your house, doing nothing and not moving. Maintain Your Social Connections We should think of “Physical distancing” not “Social distancing”. It is good to stay at home if you can or keep 2 feet distance from each other in order to prevent the spread of COVID19. But while maintaining physical distance, we should also use technology such as FaceTime, Skype, or a simple phone call, to maintain important social connections with both friends and family. Be sure to check in regularly with older family members or friends, especially those who live alone.  Take Care Of Yourself Self-care is vital in this isolation process. Taking care of yourself helps you and your family in coming out of this critical situation.  Parents have got to keep themselves healthy if they want to take care of their children. Children can feel under pressure as far as all the stuff we see on the news, and by staying at home they can see the disruption to their daily schedules. Taking a shower without being interrupted, going for a quick walk by yourself, listening to music, yoga or other exercises, or talking on the phone with a friend. Just some things you can do that can make you feel better.  Good Diet  In normal circumstances, eating a safe, nutritious diet is necessary, but perhaps even more so during isolation when our bodies are coping with the added stress. Increased emotional responses are normal and to be expected as we manoeuvre our way through this crisis. In times of stress, some people lose their appetite, while others may have a tendency to over-eat or 'comfort eat.' Be mindful of your stress responses and monitor your food intake to help you keep track of your portion sizes and food choices. Try to eat healthily and limit foods high in saturated fats. The occasional treat is, of course, to be enjoyed and now is not the time to beat yourself up over the choices you make. The NHS has some excellent general advice for healthy eating. Anxiety and boredom can also cause the intake of alcohol to increase. Current advice is to try to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week if you are a woman or 21 units for men. Alcohol Change UK acknowledges that these unusual circumstances can lead people to use alcohol as a mechanism for coping. They offer support and advice on how alcohol consumption can be regulated during self-isolation. Improving the Immune System The immune system is a complex system yet to be fully understood by scientists. Certain lifestyle factors are thought to influence how effectively your body fights off infection. You are generally advised to try to: Maintain good sleep habits Eat a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables Avoid smoking Exercise regularly Manage stress levels It's unrealistic to expect us to make sensible and healthy choices all the time because of the restrictions and stress that we are experiencing at the moment. But concentrating on your health and making minor changes to your daily routine can help you stay healthy and well through self-isolation. Curamcare is the largest online source of trusted and reliable self-employed carers in Bristol . For more information and queries, feel free to contact us.

29 April 2020

Everything You Need To Know About Curam

Discover how to find an experienced, self-employed carer through Curam. We are an online community which connects self-employed carers with clients all across the UK. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about who Curam is and how simple it is to find a home carer.  Who is Curam? “Curam gives us so much more autonomy and agency – thank you” – Jess K, London. Curam is not an agency, we do things differently. We are leading the way in socially conscious care provision by building a fairer care community online. We are a digital service which helps nurture real-life relationships.  Curam respects the value of care. Uniquely, our structure allows us to charge clients less for a chosen carer who can earn up to 50% more*. We believe great value care, comes from valuing great carers.  Choice – you choose the carer who’s right for you from the many qualified, vetted and experienced carers we have on the site.  Cost – it’s free to join, there are no contracts to sign and more than 80% of your agreed fees will go direct to your chosen carer. The bonus? You could save up to 25%* Confidence – our insured and approved carers have on average 9 years’ experience. We will manage the admin and payments, so you can focus on being cared for.  How Curam works “I was so impressed with the number and quality of people on your site”, Audrey O, Southampton. Once you’ve joined Curam, you will have access to hundreds of approved, experienced and insured self-employed carers located all across the UK. It’s free and simple to sign up.  It’s easy to filter your search to suit your care needs. We have carers who can help with home care, domestic care, companionship, overnight care, live-in care, as well as specialists in Alzheimers, dementia, and nursing care.  Whatever your needs, or budget, we will help you find a home carer right for you.  Choice  “The carer profiles you’ve sent are some of the best I’ve seen”, Penny M, Plymouth. We believe it’s important you decide who is delivering your care. So all approved Curam carers have an online profile. Here, you can see them, read about their experience and decide if they are a good fit for you. You can view as many as you like, shortlist your preferred carers and contact them directly to discuss rates and hours which suit you both.  Too busy? If you prefer, we’ll search for you. Tell us your care needs and we will advertise for you (at no cost) through our jobs board. Carers on the Curam platform who match your requirements will then contact you.  Costs “It’s great value. I have referred several people to your site as I like your ethics”, Joanne B, Liverpool. Curam was founded on the principle of making finance fair for clients and carers. We believe carers who are paid a fairer wage, feel valued and deliver exceptional care. We also know client budgets have to be maximised.  Care finances are often stretched, especially with agency rates around £20 an hour – unfortunately, as little as £8.75 of that goes to the carer.  Uniquely, Curam has the lowest commission fee in the sector at only 12.5%. This is included in the carer’s advertised rate. There is no additional cost to you. This means, that on average our carers charge £15 an hour, and are paid £13.10. You pay less, your chosen carer is paid more. It’s a formula we believe helps improve the value of care.  Confidence “I was worried about managing contracts and money, thankfully you’ve made the process easy” – Steve H, Worcester.  Curam frees you from the stress and responsibility of money management. A common misconception with using self-employed carers is to assume you’ll be burdened with contracts, DBS checks, tax and insurance. Once you’ve selected a carer on the Curam platform, we will: Provide a secure online payment system Verify all carers are eligible to work in the UK, have references and an enhanced DBS  Create service agreement contracts which includes carer insurance. It’s simple to be part of the Curam fairer care community. Sign up today and we will help you find a carer who is right for your needs.  *Average Curam carers charge £15 and hour and receive £13.10 of that, once Curam have taken a 12.5% commission fee. A typical Agency fee is between £18-20, with a carer taking on average £8.75. 

20 April 2020

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating in older age can be a challenge, learn how to add appeal to your meal with this Curam carers guide. Taste buds age. It’s true. Our taste receptors are not immune from the effects of ageing. A lifetime of use means they lack the sharpness of youth, dulling the flavour of food. That’s why it is tempting to grab the salt shaker to add a bit of vigour to your dinner.  Healthy eating is so important as we grow older. Adults of all ages will benefit from high fiber foods, wholegrains, lean proteins, fruit and vegetables and being hydrated. As we grow older, we can mitigate many health problems by following a healthy diet. Here are our top tips for eating well in old age. Fibre Fibre, also known by its nickname ‘roughage’, is the Olympic gold medallist in the dietary race for health. Not only is it vital for your heart and cardio system, it’s also key for digestive health. That’s not all. It can help lower cholesterol by acting as a mini vacuum cleaner, sweeping through your blood vessels to keep your blood pumping. Like we said, it’s a champion.  As we age, our digestive system may start to slow, making us prone to constipation, bloating, gas or upset stomachs. For older people, eating a healthy fruit smoothie is a delicious way to combat these effects.   Fibre can be found in many delicious foods. Advice from NHS England, for older adults, is you should aim to get about 30g a day. An achievable target if you make simple swaps and add a small amount to every meal. Where can you find fibre? Look out for anything wholegrain. Oats, whole wheat, brown rice, brown bread, quinoa – these types of grains have not been processed as much as their unnaturally white alternatives. Brown usually means more fibre and more flavour. Top Tip:  BREAKFAST FIBRE plain whole wheat biscuits, plain shredded whole grain, porridge oats. SNACK FIBRE: wholemeal or granary toast, fresh fruit (pears, melons, berries), dried fruit, vegetable sticks, crackers, oatcakes, unsalted nuts and seeds. LUNCH FIBRE: vegetable soups, beans, jacket potatoes (skin on), new potatoes. DINNER FIBRE: whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa served with sauces, curry or chilli mixed with plenty of veg, lentils (red, green, puy) and beans.  Fruit & Veg Get down your greengrocer and discover the key to healthy eating in old age: fruits and vegetables. This delicious source of fibre can mitigate many health problems associated with our digestive systems.  Low in saturated fats, high in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals fruit and veg is an easy way to enhance your health. At each meal, fill half your plate with these garden-grown goodies. Aim to ‘eat the rainbow’ and experiment with everything from red peppers through to purple spouting broccoli. This will help lower your risk of developing heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.   Top Tip: Buy local and seasonal to get the benefits of nutrition and flavour.  Salt and Spice Salt will boost the flavour of food, but too much can spike your blood pressure and lead to fluid retention. Thankfully, adding healthy flavour to your food is easy – it's about exploring the culinary impact of new ingredients. Spice up your life! If you’ve never reached past traditional seasoning, you’re missing out on a healthy way to add plenty of flavour to food as you age.  By experimenting with other spices you can incorporate nutritious ingredients and cut down on salt. Try adding fresh herbs to punch the palate. Fresh coriander to a chilli, basil to bolognaise or chives to a salad will leave your taste buds tickled without the need for salt.  Top tip: No fresh herbs? No problem, dried or frozen alternatives are just as good. Lean Protein Meat free Monday isn’t just a hipster fad, it’s a healthy eating trend which has seen many people benefit from adding fiber rich, tasty, meat alternatives to their diet. For older people, lentils and tofu might stir up images of hippies. But the times - they are a changin’. Beans, pulses and microproteins such as ‘quorn’ are a low fat, high protein variation from meat, some even closely mimic the texture of their carne rivals.  Meat is a vital source of iron, protein, and micronutrients. It can be added to most meals and can give you the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy in old age. Most beneficial is the protein. Your body breaks down protein into small compounds known as amino acids, using them to rebuild your cells and tissues. Choose lean meats such as chicken or turkey, as white meat has a lower fat content than red meat and won’t raise your cholesterol. Fish is another great option, full of healthy fats which contribute to lowering cholesterol and keeping your skin, hair and nails in top condition.  Top Tip: Meat free Monday and oily fish like salmon, sardines or mackerel Water Every cell in our body is yearns for water. It desires it like a traveler lost in the hot desert. Keeping hydrated is important, especially as we age. If we don’t drink enough, we begin to feel run down, fatigued, sluggish and it has consequences for our health.  The current government advice is to drink between 6-8 glasses a day (approximately 1.5 litres). Essentially, this replaces normal water loss as our bodies go about their normal functions.  Luckily, that doesn’t have to be pure water. Mix in citrus slices and fruit juices to add low sugar flavour. Alternatively, switch to decaff tea and coffee and benefit from a more hydrating choice of cuppa.  Top tip: Keep a glass close to hand, and if you head out, take a bottle with you.  Just a small change in diet can have a big impact on health. Start small. Add a smoothie to your day, drink one extra glass of water, cut out the salt gradually and you’ll see noticeable differences in your overall well-being. Can we help you? If you’re struggling to prepare varied and nutritious meals as an older adult, then consider a Curam home carer. An hourly carer can help you shop for ingredients, prepare snacks, cook meals to your liking and even tackle the washing up afterwards.  Sign up today, and with Curam you can choose a carer who is right for you. 

20 April 2020

How To Use The Curam Platform

Welcome to Curam – you are on your way to becoming part of our fairer care community. Soon, you will join the many carers all across the UK who value the freedom and flexibility of working as a self-employed carer through Curam. With Curam, you’ll be able to set your own fees, working with clients you have chosen. You’ll also benefit from paying the lowest commission in the sector (only 12.5%) so you will take home 87.5% of what the client pays versus on average 50% when you work with traditional agencies.  As one of our newly signed carers said “at last a company working for carers”. This carer guide will tell you how to use Curam to access hundreds of care placements all across the UK. Discover how simple it is to join – just 20 minutes and you’re done. If you prefer, we’ve even made a How to Sign Up video to explain. STEP 1 – Sign Up If you haven’t already, this is how to sign up - create a Curam account with your contact details. STEP 2 – Complete Profile Create an online profile. This is like an online CV - a way for clients to see what a great carer you are.  Here, you’ll write a short profile statement called a ‘Bio’. Don’t worry, we can help you write a Curam Carer profile so you’ll know how to showcase your skills and abilities. Attach a good photo. It’s a great way to make a positive first impression on clients.  Next, highlight your care condition expertise, hobbies, languages and qualifications. Finally, tell people what you charge. This can be an hourly day/night rate, a 24 hour rate or weekly live-in rate. Just don’t forget the rate you advertise will include our 12.5% commission (the lowest in the sector). For example, if you advertise at £15, you will receive £13.13 an hour. STEP 3 – Essential Admin Upload your documents: National Insurance Number, DBS, PVG or NI Access number and references. STEP 4 – Book An Interview You’re almost there. We need to have an informal chat before we can approve your application. This will take about 15 minutes. Simply book a telephone interview with one of our friendly Curam team at a time which suits you.  Welcome to Curam! Now your profile can go live. You will have access to hundreds of advertised care placements on our jobs board and you can apply for any which suit you. On the Curam platform we will advertise your profile for free to all the Curam clients looking for a carer throughout the UK. We will also pay for your carer insurance and automatically update you about new jobs in your area. So, now you know how to sign up, take 20 minutes to join the Curam fairer care community today.  

28 April 2020