Accepting Care

Accepting the healthcare you need can sometimes seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you’re someone who struggles asking for help. It may be you have lived alone for many years, and find having new people in your home, difficult to adjust to. However, welcoming care can be positively lifechanging. Care services, like those provided at Four Oaks Healthcare are there to make things easier for you within your day-to-day life. This could include tasks within your daily routine you now find difficult to complete. It also provides the opportunity to take some stress away from family members who may be struggling with balancing the amount of care they are having to provide alongside their own work commitments. Your welfare is at the forefront of our interest, and your continued independence is just as important to us.

Here at Four Oaks Healthcare, we take pride in encouraging you to maintain an active social life in a familiar and safe environment. Our care services are here to help you lead the easiest, safest and least stressful life as possible. We encourage and help support any problems that could be holding you back, whilst carefully and respectfully monitoring your progress and general wellbeing.

Services such as live-in care provide you with the structured assistance you may be requiring, while still allowing you to stay independent within your own home. Staying in an environment you love and feel comfortable in, and at the same time gaining friendly companionship with our exceptional carers. You have the ability to control everyday choices such as what you eat and when you eat it. As well as being able to continue to live the lifestyle you have chosen, remaining active within your own familiar community.

Ultimately, healthcare services our there to empower and support you through whatever struggle you may be experiencing. They are not a service which should be seen as intimidating or daunting. They are a service in who we count on to provide us with that extra bit of help to ensure the lives we lead are as unproblematic and fulfilled as they possibly can be.

Dealing with Brain Injury

After experiencing a brain injury, life can change completely. Adaptations are made in accordance to the type of injury, which can lead to a significant emotional strain felt not only by the individual, but their surrounding family and supporters too. It is therefore vital to ensure everyone is receiving the right support they need in order to best deal and cope with the new challenge they face. Nursing care or a live-in carer, which are services provided by Four Oaks Healthcare, can help with this enormously, easing those overwhelming feelings.

It is easy for someone with a brain injury, as well as their supporters to feel isolated at such a distressing time, and that’s why relaxed and professional carers can be fundamental in making the right difference. The Personal Assistants we offer here at Four Oaks Healthcare provide invaluable support for you, through live-in care, day nursing and helping with challenging behaviour.

Regardless of how severe a brain injury may be, anxiety and depression can hit hard when it comes to close family members. It is important to remember you are not alone and there is always help and support out there, whether that be a close friend or professional councillor. The longevity of its effects can add to the strain on coping, particularly in injury cases where emotional and behavioural issues have been difficult to deal with. It can be beneficial for us to remind ourselves of key patterns when we begin to feel agitated by a loved one with a brain injury:

– Although they may seem fine, concentration problems, fatigue, depression and anxiety are all invisible, and could very well be the cause of negative and unmotivated attitudes.
– One of the most common signs of a brain injury is irritability. Recognise this can be sporadic and definitely don’t blame yourself or take it personally.
– Memory problems are almost inevitable, and repeating yourself can become frustrating. Instead of having a negative outlook by pointing out the problem, think of a way in which it could be helped. A consistent daily routine can aid with this.
– Allow them to build their own confidence and self-esteem through having control of things. Their independence is likely to have become even more important to them, as some will have been lost due to the injury. Within reason, encourage them and instead of being frustrated, feel as though you are helping their brain to stay active and recover faster.

By reminding ourselves of these things in particular, can help us to process the behaviour they are displaying and re-evaluate our immediate feelings towards a situation.

The right education and support is vital in aiding families to adjust and rebuild their new lives. Again, this is where our wonderful PA’s come in. By offering guidance and being a source of reassurance, families are more likely to feel at ease. All of the PA’ s at Four Oaks Healthcare are continuously supervised by our qualified and high experienced clinical nurse specialists, providing even more reassurance and stability for everyone involved.

WHY LIVE-IN CARE CAN BE BETTER THAN RESIDENTIAL CARE

Live-in care can offer users so many advantages over residential or nursing care homes, from companionship to comfort and everything in between.

Remain in the comfort of your home.
Able to remain in your own home with familiar surroundings, care recipients are able to feel relaxed and comfortable while avoiding the emotional impact that can come with the stress of moving into a shared home. One of the most stressful parts of a move to a care home is not just the new living situation and shared communal spaces, but the trauma that can come from having to part with possessions they have held for so many years. By remaining at home, care recipients can continue to be surrounded by their treasured belongings.

Dedicated personal care
One of the most significant benefits of live-in care is that you receive care on you own terms. With a dedicated carer whose sole responsibility is to care for just you, you have the power to dictate when and with what you have assistance with, your daily routine and how you enjoy your free time.

Superior level of companionship
A major way in which live-in care differs from residential care is the unparalleled level of companionship that can develop. At Four Oaks Healthcare, we spend considerable time getting to know each client and each carer that registers with us, enabling us to carefully match carer with recipient based on personality, lifestyle and interests. This means that our carers are able to form excellent friendships with their care recipient while spending 24 hours a day together. This companionship, and sense of familiarity, is particularly important for those receiving Alzheimer’s care, Dementia care, brain injury or stroke care, where a continuously changing carer can be disorientating and stressful.

Choice of what and when you eat
In a residential care home, meals are often planned in a set menu for all residents for the week, with few alternatives and very little variety from week to week. This can be particularly difficult for those who struggle to eat certain foods or those that are fussy eaters. Receiving live in care means that your 24-hour home carer can plan and prepare meals at your request.

Pets can remain at home
Rules in residential homes regarding pets vary but, generally speaking, residents are forced to re-home their beloved dog, cat or other animal, which can be very distressing for someone living with Dementia. Remaining at home with the help of a 24-hour home carer means that care recipients can keep their beloved pets, which has been scientifically proven to reduce the symptoms of Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Significant cost save for couples
Although live-in care can sometimes be the costlier option for individual care, the flexibility that is provided by remaining in one’s own home means that couples or close friends are able to stay living together. Rather than having to pay for two beds or two bedrooms in a shared care home, individuals can split the cost of a single carer to remain with them in their home.

HOW TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY WITH A PERSON LIVING WITH DEMENTIA

Learning how to communicate with someone living with Dementia can be so helpful when trying to provide Dementia care for a loved one. Being able to communicate effectively not only helps to improve your own relationship with the individual, but can also relieve a significant amount of stress for both parties, particularly for those receiving Dementia care from a 24-hour home carer.
At Four Oaks Healthcare, we are experts in providing Dementia care for your loved ones, friends and relatives. Our carers undertake continuous training and development courses to keep up with the latest progressions in care.

Ensure all interaction is undertaken positively
For Dementia sufferers, it is so important to remember that your body language, attitude and actions speak louder than words. Concentrate on warm and friendly facial expressions as you speak so as to put them at ease, with a positive tone of voice. If you can see they are feeling more relaxed, try adding light physical touch to show affection and comfort.

Structure your message clearly
Try to make sure you use a clear and simple sentence structure, speaking slowly and distinctly. If they do not initially understand, try rephrasing your sentence slightly, using more simple language. When speaking, ensure you use proper names of places and people rather than abbreviations. Also try to remember that those receiving Dementia care may have little memory of people or places that have been part of their life most recently.

Ask simple and easy to answer questions
When seeking an answer, ensure that the person you are addressing understands your question clearly by usual visual prompts to guide their answer. Try to avoid open-ended questions that provide too much scope for an answer.

Ensure you have their full attention while addressing them
Those living with Dementia can become easily distracted by persons or objects around them, or even their own memories. Try to limit distractions so that they can concentrate on only your question. This may be achieved by closing the door or turning off the TV/radio. Before beginning your sentence, address them clearly using their name and ensure you also identify yourself. To make them feel more comfortable, try sitting down so that you are at their level.

Have patience
Waiting for an answer from someone living with Dementia can be a little stressful and frustrating, but remember that showing your frustration with them will only amplify the situation and cause them distress. If you see they are struggling to find the words, calmly suggest some options – what do you think it is they are trying to say? Listen with your eyes as well as your ears to understand what they mean.

Break activities down into bite-size steps
People receiving Dementia care usually struggle to undertake day to day activities independently. Watch what your loved one is doing so that you are ready with visual prompts, clues and hints to remind them of what they should be doing next. Reminding them before any accidents happen, can save a situation from becoming stressful or upsetting for them.

Maintaining Independence Through Live In Care

One of the greatest benefits of live-in care is that it provides care receivers with extra support while enabling them to retain the freedom of living in their own home. Providing the best of both worlds, a 24 hour home carer can help with things care receivers are not able to do for themselves, while recognising the importance of not taking over tasks that can be done independently.

Asking For Help
For many people, just accepting that they need help can be a challenge in itself. This is particularly difficult for those that have not required help for life long conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis care, Huntington’s Disease care, or brain injury care, but those whose need for help has increased with age or deterioration of their condition, such as Dementia care or elderly care.

Respecting Boundaries
Employing a live in carer that understands the importance of respecting personal space and boundaries is key to finding a carer/client relationship that works for everyone. Whether this be retaining personal space in the home, choosing the clothes you wear or washing as independently as possible, our unique care plans are completely tailored to the needs and wishes of each client we work with.

Keeping Your Old Routine
Unlike living in a residential care home, where your routine is forced to fit in with that of the home and the other residents, a live-in carer fits around your own needs and wishes. Get up at the time you want, enjoy a tea or coffee in bed, and continue the rest of the day on your terms, including spontaneous outings to the shops or to see friends if you wish. Being able to maintain your own routine and live your life on your terms is hugely beneficial on mental wellbeing for those receiving care, who can sometimes feel as though they are not in control of their own lives anymore.

Retain Your Support Network and Friends
One of the most significant benefits of live-in care is that care receivers are able to keep their same circle of friends and family. Not only able to go on frequent visits with the help of their carer, by remaining in their own home friends and family can continue to visit regularly at a time of day that suits everyone. Our live-in carers are specially trained to ensure they give clients space to see friends and family while being nearby in case help is needed. For those receiving more complex care, such as cerebral palsy care, motor neurone disease care, or palliative care, this is particularly important as clients can receive specialist care while spending time with those they love.

When To Ask For Help
Realising that you or a loved one is in need of some extra support at home is not always easy and approaching the subject can often be difficult and frightening for those involved. It is important to remember that making the choice to receive live-in care does not mean a loss of independence or a drastic life-change. Whether you are living with a lifelong complex condition, such as Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or Cerebral Palsy, or if you are recovering from an illness or injury, a 24 hour home carer can enable you to continue living the life you are familiar with in the comfort of your own home.

24 Hour Support In Your Own Home
A live in carer can provide care receivers with the support they need to enable them to continue living in their own home, whether this be help with everyday tasks such as laundry and cleaning, reminders to take medication, or help with colostomy bags, catheters or bathing for those with more complex conditions.

By having a fully trained live-in carer in your home with you 24 hours a day, both you and your family can rest easy knowing that their loved one is safe and taken care of, with support by their side should anything go wrong. With a focus on maintaining independence, our live-in care can be as hands-on as required, providing anything from companionship and help around the house to 24 hour complex care for those living with complex conditions.

Returning From Hospital
After an operation, suffering a serious injury, or while receiving ongoing and debilitating treatment for an illness, individuals can find it hard to take care of themselves adequately on their own. Employing the help of a live-in carer to provide temporary home care or respite care means that the care receiver is well looked after on their road to recovery, and their family and friends can feel rest assured their loved one is safe and in good hands. Respite care can include anything from assisting with mobility after an operation, help with personal hygiene or food preparation to ventilator care or colostomy care for more complex conditions.

Temporary Care For Your Peace of Mind
Many of us choose to care for our loved ones ourselves, whether this be elderly relatives, relatives with Dementia, or family members that are living with complex conditions such as brain injury, motor neurone disease or Huntington’s disease. When providing care for relatives while maintaining a family, house and career of our own, it is possible to get burnt out and exhausted while spreading yourself too thinly. Our temporary care enables full-time care givers to take a break from their commitments, visit friends and family, go away with work or go on holiday knowing that their loved one is well looked after and receiving the appropriate care they need. Short term live in care is also a great opportunity for the care receiver and family to see what ongoing live-in care would be like should they need it in future.

Dementia Care

When thinking about dementia care it is important to fully understand what people with dementia are experiencing in relation to their understanding of memory, who they are, what they are doing and how they see others.

Once this is better understood, the importance of live in care, like that provided by Four Oaks Health, becomes a lot easier to appreciate and comprehend.

Dementia care is essential to those with dementia, as well as the families of those related to a person with dementia. When someone develops dementia the ability to retain memories by moving them from the short-term memory back to the long-term memory breaks down. Eventually, people with dementia are unable to move memories in their long-term memory at all. This presents a host of different problems a person with dementia, and indeed their loved ones, are bound to face.

Luckily with Four Oaks 24-hour live-in care, there is a solution to these problems.

Let first think about some of the problems people with dementia face.

1. Fear and anxiety induced by common, everyday details e.g. a microwave

Imagine a time before the microwave. Now imagine waking up one day and you had only ever used a stove to cook food. You would be very confused by the speed, sound and look of a microwave. You would also not know what to do with it and it could cause you some unease if there was no stove available to cook food on and it was all you had to cook meals with.

For those with dementia, this is a common problem. Without access to the last 30 years of memories, they know only a world pre-microwave in the mainstream.

With live in care, people with dementia no longer need to worry about cooking for themselves as help is always at hand.

This means when faced with an object that they do not recognise they will feel anxious and stressed. It is important to try to avoid stress for people with dementia.

2. Fear and anxiety induced by their own reflection e.g. a mirror

Another everyday object which can cause fear and anxiety in people with dementia is a mirror, as it enables them to see their own reflection. Due to the fact that the recent memory is lost, the person with dementia no longer recognises the older version of themselves which they see in the mirror. They see themselves as a younger self, and do not relate with the old person in the mirror.

For this reason, many people with dementia wave at their own reflection as if waving at a complete stranger.

Of course, this too would induce fear and anxiety. However, with 24 live in care, there is always someone on hand to calm and care for people going through these scary scenarios.

Spinal Care

Do you wake up in the morning with a variety of aches and pains you cannot shake? If you do, you are not alone. In fact, many people wake up each morning with aches and pains which can take all day to loosen up.

The reason for these aches and pains can be a lot of different reasons, one such reason, however, could be the way you sleep at night.

Do you lay on your back?
Do you curl up into the foetal position?
Do you sleep with your arms above your head?
Do you fall face first in tot the sheets?

Most people tend to sleep in one of the below three categories of positions:

1. Back
2. Side
3. Stomach

Today Four Oaks Health are exploring these ways of sleeping and analysing what they are doing for your spine care. Hopefully after reading this sage advice those morning aches and pains will slowly become a thing of the past. If not, it may be time to consult a Doctor.

1. Back
Benefit:
Sleeping on your back allows for even distribution of weight across the skeletal system. This is great for allowing for a full night of uninterrupted sleep. If you struggle with low back pain, sleeping on your back can take pressure of it but only if you prop up your legs slightly with a pillow. When your legs are slight bent in this way, it allows for the lower back to no over extend and will feel more natural.

Detriment:
If you have sleep apnoea or snoring issues, sleeping on your back is not recommended. Laying on the back results in more pressure on the airway and respiratory system, which in turn makes it harder to breathe.

2. Side
Benefit:
By far the most popular sleeping choice, sleeping on your side also provides a neutral position for your entire spine. It is recommended, however, that if you choose to sleep on your side you put a pillow or rolled towel between your knees. This will reduce twisting which could lead to stress on the hip or lower back. Furthermore, sleeping on your left side can reduce the amount of effort the heart uses to pump blood around the body whilst you sleep. Sleeping on your side if pregnant is also recommended as it relieves the pressure from the mum’s abdomen.

Detriment:
If you have sleep apnoea or snoring issues, sleeping on your side is not recommended. Laying on the side, like the back, results in more pressure on the airway and respiratory system, which in turn makes it harder to breathe. Sleeping on your side could also result in you waking up with a numb arm. This is because the capillaries compress on the side you are sleeping on which can reduce blood flow. Finally, if you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, sleeping on your side may affect you in an adverse way.

3. Stomach
Benefit:
For those suffering from sleep apnoea or snoring issues sleeping on your stomach may be more comfortable, equally is you suffer from heartburn and indigestion.

Detriment:
As far as spinal care goes, sleeping on your stomach is not recommended. In fact, it does no good at all for your musculoskeletal system. This is because sleeping on your stomach forces you to extend your head to one side for a long period during the night. Throughout the night you may also raise the leg of the side your head is turned to, which puts strain on the spine and hip. This can lead to neck, mid, and low back issues.