World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s Month runs through September every year and started back in 2012. Its pinnacle is World Alzheimer’s Day, which is held annually on September 21st.


Alzheimer’s Disease is a condition that many people require care for and one that most home carers will have experience in. No two sufferers of Alzheimer’s present symptoms in the same way, which makes it one of the most difficult and complicated health conditions for care workers to treat and provide support with.


What is World Alzheimer’s Month About?


World Alzheimer’s Month is an extension of World Alzheimer’s Day, which was launched originally at a conference of the ADI (Alzheimer’s Disease International) as a way of bringing together industry experts, care providers, sufferers and their families to share best practice, explore research options and to raise awareness of the condition at all levels; from the government to the general public.


For home carers, World Alzheimer’s Month is often an opportunity for professional development training and extra learning. It also raises the opportunity to help increase awareness with those not ‘in the industry’ to better understand and educate themselves on Alzheimer’s Disease and what caring for someone with it can entail.


What is Alzheimer’s Disease?


Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder that, over time, degrades the brain of its cognitive functions. It is named after Dr Alois Alzheimer, who noticed the degeneration of brain tissue in a patient of his who died of a mental illness he had never before seen in his professional career. The post-mortem examination found ‘tangles’ of brain matter and fibres.


Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of dementia and is irreversible. Similarly to other forms of dementia, it is most common in those aged over 65. Whilst life-limiting, most of those who suffer from more advanced Alzheimer’s live for many years with sufficient specialist care, and won’t die as a direct result of the disease.


Whilst often considered an ‘old person’s’ disease, this isn’t necessarily always the case. Early onset Alzheimer’s can happen from age 30+ and The Alzheimer’s Society estimate that over 40,000 people are currently living in the UK with the disease but are younger than 65.


It may be more difficult to get a diagnosis for Alzheimer’s if not aged 65+, but medical professionals will be able to work with individuals on a long-term basis to ascertain the correct level of the disease and any support required.


What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?


Alzheimer’s Disease has several symptoms that worsen over time. It may be difficult to differentiate those suffering from Alzheimer’s to those with other forms of dementia, but initial symptoms include:


  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Problems with speech and language (including word recall)
  • Hallucinations
  • Sudden but temporary personality changes
  • Difficulties with completing simple tasks, including self-care.

All of these symptoms may be temporary or sporadic.


Carers are able to monitor symptoms over time and report back on the progressive and degenerative nature of the disease. Indeed care workers are often asked to work with medical professionals to help track the level of Alzheimer’s onset over time.


How You Can Best Care for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease


Carers are able to work with sufferers to keep them caring for themselves in the way they should, as well as to mediate their mood and keep them emotionally stable. Whilst there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are pharmaceutical interventions that can help stabilise the symptoms.


With good care, there is no reason why someone with Alzheimer’s Disease wouldn’t be able to live an independent life. In cases of an individual with advanced Alzheimer’s, safety is key – a good carer will take on safeguarding duties as well as compassionate service.


Support for Carers of those with Alzheimer’s Disease


Many carers of those with Alzheimer’s Disease aren’t qualified carers – they’re often family members, friends or guardians.


If you are looking for support to ease the burden of Alzheimer’s care, contact us at AM2PM Quality Care.


Our visiting home care services enable your loved one to live comfortably in their own home whilst essentially maintaining their independence. Our personal care program allows you or your loved one to manage a personal schedule, enabling us to be available at any moment to meet your needs. We create custom plans for our clients around the 24-hour day, adjusted according to our free assessment.


Our solutions are not only cost-effective, but provide the highest value to our clients because they provide assistance when it is needed.


Keep Cool On Your Home Care Shift

Keep Cool On Your Home Care Shift

The great British summer has finally arrived; and true to form there’s as many startlingly hot blue-skied sunny days as there are grey thunderstorms! The weather is as unpredictable as ever and with 2020 already shaping up to be a pretty wild year, who knows what it’ll bring next? For home carers in particular, erratic weather conditions can be difficult. Keeping cool on your home care shift is all about being prepared.

Self-Care on your Home Care Shift


Look at keeping cool and hydrated as necessary self-care – because it’s only at your healthiest that you are able to able to offer the best possible service and care to your clients. A happy, healthy home carer makes for a great one, and it’s important to put yourself first; plus, it’ll make your job easier – win-win!


The following tips will help home carers prepare for all eventualities and ensure that you’re comfortable, no matter the weather!


Dress Accordingly


Many home carers have a uniform of sorts to wear, or at least a dress code. No doubt you’ll already be well versed in carrying a change of clothing between clients (everyone’s forgotten once and never made that mistake again!), but the key to dealing with unpredictable weather – layering! Carry some basic t-shirts or base layers which can be added in as necessary if things get cooler, as well as a hair tie or band to keep longer hair up and off your neck and shoulders in the heat.


If you’re wearing PPE, it’s not unreasonable to adapt your outfit to it, providing you still meet the necessary safety requirements. Non-steam visors and ear protectors for masks are available, so ask your care agency to supply them if you need them to.


Ensure your Vehicle is Well Serviced


Home carers frequently drive between jobs, but cars tend to get temperamental in changeable weather. Ensure that your car is always well topped up with oil and water. It is also advised to carry a spare tyre. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road in extreme summer heat!


Carry Water


Always carry a couple of bottles of water with you – at least your two litres for the day! If you’re not the best at remembering to consume enough to stay hydrated, set an alarm on your phone or remind yourself to have a quick drink every time you finish a job. You don’t need to down gallons of water, but sipping throughout the day should keep you well enough topped up.


Eat Well


No matter how busy the day, it’s imperative that carers eat well and have enough energy to deal properly with whatever care situations they encounter on shift. Make sure you have healthy (and delicious!) snack options in your car so that even if you’re not able to make it through a big meal for whatever reason, you can keep your energy and sugar levels where they should be.


It can be all too easy for carers to reach for crisps or chocolate bars when busy; simply out of convenience. This quickly becomes a habit though, so try and diversify away from these treats if you can.


Take A Break


No matter how manic a home care shift gets or how much happens, you really must stop to take a break. Everyone in care has worked a day (or, OK, lots of days) when there’s only time for a few breaths on your own in the car between jobs, but even this is important. An exhausted, frazzled carer is not effective, so make sure that you’re able to present to every job as fresh-faced and motivated as you possibly can.


If taking a break becomes a ‘treat’, your shift needs to be better managed. Speak to your employer and work out how better your schedule can be managed – you need to put yourself first and ensure that you can deliver the brilliant level of care your clients deserve.


Are you interested in a job in home care? Find out more about working in home care and the opportunities that we have available in and around Epsom at AM2PM Quality Care.

Home Carers Intro to Dementia Care

Home Carers Intro to Dementia Care

The Alzheimer’s Society estimate that by 2040, 1.6million people in the UK could be living with dementia. It is a growing concern with devastating consequences for families and loved ones.


If you are caring for individuals who suffer with dementia, it’s natural that you want to provide the best possible care and support for them. Here is a basic intro to dementia care for home carers.


What is Dementia?


Dementia isn’t a single disease or condition, but instead is a blanket term that refers to a group of specific medical conditions that affect brain function. The changes in brain function are severe enough to affect cognitive ability and the day-to-day life of the sufferer. Dementia is most common in people aged over 65, but early onset of these conditions can happen to those as young as in their 30s.


How does Dementia affect individuals?


How dementia affects an individual is down to the type of condition they are experiencing and the advancement of it within their brain. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of the condition and is responsible for about 70% of all cases. Other types of dementia include Vascular Dementia, caused by bleeding or blood vessel blockage in the brain and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia, which occurs in those already living with Parkinson’s.


Dementia attacks and damages brain cells, and often different types of dementia are responsible for the destruction of cells in different areas of the brain.


The most common side effects of dementia are cognitive. These include memory loss (short term and long term), lack of social awareness, severe mood swings, depression and confusion.


Most types of dementia are progressive, so will worsen over time. Although incurable, dementia is not entirely untreatable, and those who are able to identify and acknowledge the issues early on are often able to continue with their lives just fine throughout the early and moderate stages.


What sort of support could Dementia sufferers require?


There are plenty of dementia care options available for those suffering with the condition/s.


Healthcare options for those with dementia can include medication to help ease the cognitive symptoms of the conditions. Each pharmaceutical is different, but generally speaking, these work to help improve memory retention, stabilise mood and better regulate the part of the brain that processes information. A doctor or neurologist will be able to advise and prescribe appropriate medication.


Homecare options can include a dedicated carer visiting the patient’s home to help them with day-to-day tasks that they find difficult to complete by themselves. Dementia care options at home allow dignity for the client and cover a broad definition of the word ‘care’. Carer responsibilities can include the administering of medication, cooking, shopping, reading, household duties and personal care and hygiene duties.


Caring for someone with Dementia can be challenging


If you’re providing dementia care for someone, it can be a challenging and frustrating responsibility. Patients can become very angry, upset or confused very quickly, and are unable to retain information well – so basic instructions can fall by the wayside and make for frustrating and even dangerous situations. There are workarounds for this, but it is undoubtedly a challenge.


In more severe stages of dementia, patients may even forget or not recognise members of their own family, their friends, and the carers who look after them day-in, day-out. This can be difficult if they become frightened of their carer needlessly, but some patience and persistence is key to help win them around and continue to nurture and look after them.


What are the best ways of dealing with a Dementia sufferer?


It is imperative when caring for someone with dementia that you stay mindful of the person under the disease – they have a history, a family, a personality, hobbies and a whole long life story to tell. Dementia sadly masks this, and it can dehumanise them to a point that they are unrecognisable. Finding beauty and uncovering the person underneath is key to staying calm, patient and compassionate.


Dementia sufferers often struggle with changes in routine, so if you’re able to, dementia care should follow a schedule and rarely deviate from the ‘norm’, keeping the client feeling safe and secure at all times.


It is rewarding to support somebody with Dementia

It is hugely rewarding to know that you are giving dignity and integrity to someone living with a condition that will strip them of so much. The journey will not be linear and there will be no miracle cure, but sparks of beauty and compassion will shock you and make you smile as you go.


Are you interested in a job in home care? Find out more about working in home care and the opportunities that we have available in and around Epsom at AM2PM Quality Care.

Self Care for Home Carers

Self Care for Home Carers

Working as a home carer is a fantastically rewarding and important role, yet it can be an exceptionally stressful one and in the current climate with coronavirus, take a serious emotional toll on home carers. The most effective carer is a happy and healthy carer, and it’s imperative that care agencies empower and nurture their staff to look after themselves.


Why is the work of home carers especially stressful?


There’s probably not a single role in the care industry that doesn’t have its stresses, but those working in home care can really find their job takes an emotional toll on their wellbeing. The work of home carers differentiates from other carers in several ways:


  • The requirement to enter people’s homes is an intimate, and sometimes daunting, one. Patients who require home care are in their own domain. Whilst this has numerous advantages for the wellbeing of the patient, it can often mean that a home carer has to work in an environment that isn’t optimised to patient care.
  • Patients are often very ill, with long-term deteriorating and debilitating conditions. Home carers see people at their worst, and often in a very delicate and unhappy state. Following a patient’s journey with little to no positive progress can be at the best disheartening, and often very upsetting. Without the ability to ‘link up’ and work in collaboration with medical staff in the way they would in a hospital or hospice environment, this can cause strain.
  • PPE requirements can be uncomfortable. Home carers now have to wear PPE for both their own and their clients protection, and the hours spent wearing PPE can be uncomfortable. During the COVID-19 pandemic, PPE requirements have increased for most home care agencies, and with a lack of centralised resources for many, equipment may not fit properly or just be generally uncomfortable.
  • Scheduling can be difficult! Home carers can’t just leave a client and move to their next if the client is unwell or in need of additional help or care – because nine times out of ten, there’s just no one else to do it. Home carers often find they’re unable to scheduled effectively because of varying client needs and as a result, frequently work later and for longer.


Why is self care important for home carers?


The best and most effective home carers are those who are happy and healthy. In reality, the job can be exhausting. It’s therefore important that home carers take time for themselves to ensure they’re feeling good and remain healthy in order to complete their role to the best of their abilities.


How can carers best practice self care?


Despite what the internet may tell you, self care isn’t all long bubble baths and complicated yoga poses (although… feel free to give them a try if you fancy!). Some minor lifestyle changes can be made to help promote better emotional wellbeing and enhanced health.


These include, but are by no means limited to:


  • Getting enough sleep – too many early starts or late nights will take its toll, so try to mix up shifts and schedules where appropriate. Sleep should be in as dark and neutral a room as possible, on a comfortable and supportive mattress and preferably without interruption.
  • Exercising regularly – The nature of home carer’s roles is that they’re on their feet for most of the day, but this doesn’t necessarily equate with physical fitness. Just 30 mins of exercise a day, even if just a brisk walk, can have massive health benefits, and help to clear the mind.
  • Taking holidays –  Paid holiday time exists for a reason! Home carers must take care to use their holiday allowance to truly ‘take a break’ when needed: in physical and mental terms.
  • Talking about anything bothering you – Any issues should be raised directly with employers immediately, and care agencies should aim to foster an environment of transparency with all of their staff.
  • Taking time to do things that you enjoy – Make time for yourself to enjoy the things that de-stress you and bring you joy.



Are you interested in a job in home care? Find out more about working in home care and the opportunities that we have available in and around Epsom at AM2PM Quality Care.

Home Carer Protection Essentials

Home Carer Protection Essentials

The whole world is focused on the brave front line key workers fighting the coronavirus at the moment – and rightly so! One such role critical to the battle against the pandemic is that of home carers.


Protection is vital not just for home carers themselves, but those they work for too – make sure you have your home carer protection essentials!


The Risks Currently Involved in Working in Home Care


The nature of home care is that carers are unable to follow the government guidelines on social distancing, as their duties simply can’t be carried out from a 2m distance. The risks, therefore, are two-fold to carers: firstly that they contract the virus from a person for whom they are caring that is infected with it, and secondly that they ‘carry’ the virus and pass it on to someone for whom they are providing care at home. As those requiring a home carer often fall into vulnerable health categories, both have the potential to be dangerous.


In order to best avoid either contracting the virus from others or infecting others with it, sufficient home carer protection measures should be followed at all times.


Protection Measures a Home Carer Can Take


The government has set out guidelines for social and care workers regarding the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) while working. The government measures include, but are by no means limited to:


  • Gloves and Protective Aprons – Home carers often wear gloves for specific duties anyway, but use may currently extend beyond that considered basic. Disposable gloves should be changed after every human contact and with the latest research showing that the virus is able to live on hard surfaces, they should also be used when touching anything in the home. Aprons need to be changed less often but are also always to be considered single use as per SICPs (Standard Infection Control Procedures).
  • Hand Sanitiser – There are many circumstances within which a home carer may wish to wash their hands but are unable to. In these situations, hand sanitiser gel is recommended as an easy way to detox the skin of bacteria and allow for an efficient resumption of duties. It is acknowledged that hand sanitiser is currently difficult to purchase – but lots of high street retailers will help as they can when presented with professional identification.
  • Fluid Protection Surgical Mask – Should a FPS mask be required, it may be used for a single session of patient work rather than disposed of after every duty. However, these should always be changed between individuals.
  • Personal Lunchbox and Water Bottle – Travelling to a shop to purchase a single meal is now considered inessential and so goes against government advice – not to mention, of course, that it immediately exposes you to more germs. Home carers should, therefore, travel with their lunch, drinks and any snacks, and only consume them in the privacy and safe space of their own vehicle.


Are you interested in a job in home care? Find out more about working in home care and the opportunities that we have available in and around Epsom at AM2PM Quality Care.

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