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Tips on caring for people who have dementia

Tips on caring for people who have dementia

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 race 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! 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?” Can you note 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 those situations. 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. Find out more about support groups near you.    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 you remain the best caregiver for your loved one.  

29 April 2020

Carers: How to Use the Curam Platform

Carers: How to Use the Curam Platform

Welcome to Curam – you are on your way to becoming part of our better care community. Soon, you will hopefully join the many carers, all across the UK, who value the freedom and flexibility of working as a self-employed carer with Curam.  At Curam, you will be able to set your own rates and work with clients that you have chosen. You’ll also benefit from paying the lowest fees in the sector (only 12.5%+VAT) so you will take home 85% of what the client pays versus on average the 50% that you get when you work with a traditional agency. As one of our newly signed-up carers said, “at last a company working for carers”.  This carer guide will show you how to use Curam to access hundreds of care placements all across the UK. Discover how simple it is to join – it only takes 20 minutes to sign up and there are no joining fees. The steps to becoming a Curam carer include:      •   Signing-up      •   Completing a profile including a photograph and a short video      •   Uploading documents      •   Booking an interview  For further information we’ve even made a How to Sign Up video to explain.    STEP 1 – Sign-up and download the app  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 if you are struggling, there are tips on the site on how to write a Curam Carer profile so you’ll make the most of showcasing your skills and abilities. When creating a profile make sure you:      •   Attach a good photo. It’s a great and important way to make a positive first impression on clients.        •   Highlight your care condition expertise, hobbies, languages and qualifications.       •   Tell people what you want to charge. This can be an hourly day/night rate, a 24-hour rate or weekly live-in rate.    NOTE: Don’t forget the rate you advertise will include our 12.5% commission plus VAT (the lowest in the sector). For example, if you advertise at £15, you will receive £12.75 an hour.     STEP 3 – Essential admin  Upload your documents: National Insurance Number, DBS, PVG or NI Access number and references. These are all held securely on the platform and are not disclosed to anyone without your permission.    STEP 4 – Book an on-line call  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 whatsapp or Skype 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 via the app.   So, now you know how to sign up, take 20 minutes to join Curam’s better care community today. 

28 April 2020

Working as a Self-Employed Carer

Working as a Self-Employed Carer

At Curam we are passionate about creating a better care community. One that respects the true value of care.  Have you ever thought, what is working as a self-employed carer really like? If you have, then read on and discover who Curam are. We will also tell you how to sign up, earn £15 per hour (on average) and find work as a self-employed carer.  There’s a reason why thousands of carers have signed up to the Curam platform in the past twelve months – we do things differently.    What is Curam?  Curam is a platform for self-employed carers to find work. To be approved on the platform 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 numerous benefits.    Curam’s role is to help you find clients. We have hundreds of clients signing up every week all across the UK. Our carer insurance and secure payments via the Curam app make self-employment simple. There’s no joining fee and it’s free to sign up.    The benefits of being a self-employed carer  Set your rates, choose your clients and work the hours that suit your lifestyle.   One of the main benefits 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 client for a number of weeks at a time before taking a break. You can work the hours which suit you as you are free to work part-time or to combine caring with another role. Here are some of the other benefits of being a self-employed carer with Curam:      •    Earn a higher hourly/ daily rate      •    Offset certain expenses against your income to reduce your tax bill  Earn What You Like   Curam was launched in 2018 with a mission to create a platform where motivated, quality carers receive a fair income. Working as a self-employed carer with Curam means you can set the hourly, day or overnight rate that you think reflects your skills and experience. That’s the reason carers tell us they’ve signed up with Curam – because they earn more (earning on average £15 per hour).    Low commission fees  Our fees are the lowest in the care sector, enabling you to earn more and clients to pay less.  Our commission fee of 12.5% (+VAT) is the lowest in the sector. That means if you set a rate of £15 an hour, you will take home £12.75 an hour.  Why do we need to charge a fee? It primarily pays for advertising your profile, providing service agreements, a secure payment system, carer insurance and our Curam app.     Joining Curam  Curam is open to anyone who wants to work as a self-employed carer.  The Curam ethos is to create a better care community. This means that 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 only takes about 20 minutes to complete.    Types of care 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 carers all across the UK. No matter where you live, we can help you find work local to you. Many of Curam’s clients are looking for:      •    Hourly, daily and overnight carers      •    Dementia carers      •    Autism carers      •    Palliative carers      •    Carers with experience of helping adults and young people with learning disabilities      •    Domestic carers to help around the home      •    Carers for companionship       •     Specialist carers, such as Parkinson’s carers or spinal cord injury carers     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 care jobs.      •    Through your online profile on the Curam platform:       •    Using the Curam jobs board  Online Curam profile   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.  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 and the role they wish you to undertake.    Any Questions?   If you want to know more about Curam or have any questions about being a self-employed carer, please visit our FAQs. 

20 April 2020

Curam: the future of care provision

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 that we have a model for care provision that looks after them and their carer. Our clients appreciate saving money, but feel good knowing that 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 £12.75 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

Maintaining Good Mental Health Whilst Self Isolating

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

Healthy Eating

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 fibre 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

Everything You Need To Know About Curam

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 dementia, autism, nursing care and much more.  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, often 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%+VAT. 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 £12.75. 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 include 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 £12.75 of that, once Curam have taken a 12.5%+VAT commission fee. A typical Agency fee is between £18-20, with a carer taking on average £8.75. 

20 April 2020

Home Care Vs Care Homes

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

How to Beat the Winter Blues

 

How to Beat the Winter Blues  

Winter can be a really challenging season with long nights, short days and cold weather causing many people to feel down and low in mood.  Why does it happen and what can we do to feel better? The lack of sunlight through the winter months means that our bodies don’t absorb much Vitamin D. This important vitamin helps us sleep better, supports our immune system and even combats depression. Most people absorb enough sunlight during the summer months to see them through the year, but some people, especially those who are housebound, may benefit from a top-up through taking supplements in the winter.  Reduced sunlight can have more significant effects for some people including hormonal changes that can affect mood, sleep and appetite. These symptoms can be a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Sometimes referred to as ‘winter depression’, it most often occurs in the winter and is thought to affect around 1 in 15 people. See your GP if you feel that you may be suffering from symptoms of SAD and need support. Spending time around other people is a great way to help lift your mood. Ward off loneliness by maintaining your usual routine and keeping social commitments wherever possible.  A walk with friends or family can provide the mood-boosting benefits of both company and exercise in one go. Research by the charity MIND found that people who took part in outdoor activities, like walking and gardening, experienced increased self-esteem and improved mood. Getting out and about in the winter will also give your body a valuable boost of sunlight. Another great way to minimise the negative effects of SAD is to ensure that you are as healthy as you possibly can be. Disabled Living's great blog on how to stay healthy this winter can give some useful tips on healthy eating, keeping your home warm, and the process of getting an NHS check. Winter can certainly bring its challenges but being aware of your mood and making some small changes can help keep the blues away until the warmer weather and brighter days of spring return. 

20 April 2020