‘Trick or treating’ on the elderly…

No trick or treating

Halloween is much fun for many children and families, but it can be a scary time of year for the elderly and vulnerable, especially with the potential of strangers knocking on their doors while ‘trick or treating.’

Not opening the door could result in a nasty ‘trick’ being played, which can be very distressing, which is why we’re urging youngsters and parents to think about elderly relatives or neighbours and instead of trick or treating on them, perhaps they can check they are warm and doing ok instead.

If anyone is having a Halloween party, it would be great if they could pre-warn any elderly neighbours, so they don’t feel scared by excessive noise and people in costumes.

Feelings of anxiety around Halloween is also known as Samhainophobia. People with the phobia can feel panic and high amounts of stress throughout the Halloween period.

The thought of what the people at the door might do if they don’t answer it can be particularly worrying, as people have been known to throw eggs, flour, throw fireworks and start fires.

We have created a poster that our service users can display in their window to help deter potential trick or treaters from knocking on their doors.

You can download the poster here.

Elderly benefit from keeping pets at home

Thanks to our homecare services, more and more elderly people are able to stay in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by all their personal belongings and in familiar surroundings. For any who are pet owners, this is hugely beneficial as animals can become a real member of the family and play a big role in their owner’s health and quality of life.

Having to move into a care home and leave your beloved pet behind or give them up can be very distressing, which is why we believe homecare is the best option.

Pets can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure and are great for increasing social and physical activity. They’re also great for reducing depression and can help prevent loneliness.

Caring for an animal on a day-to-day basis can help stimulate an elderly person’s mind and keep them focused on something that isn’t their own physical/health worries. It’s even possible for pets to help with memory loss and access memories from years before.

Cats in particular are an ideal pet for an elderly person as they’re very low maintenance. It is well known that stroking a cat can have a calming effect and helps decrease stress and anxiety levels.

Any elderly people we care for are actively encouraged to look after their pets as they normally would do to the best of their abilities, this includes walking them on a regular basis, if they are able to do so as it’s a great way for them to get up and out of the house. They can even stop and chat with other dog walkers along the way.

However, if one of our service users struggles to walk a pet or needs any assistance with caring for their pet and if stipulated in their care plan, then our homecarers are happy to help with basic needs such as feeding and walking.

Does your loved-one need extra help?

How to tell if your loved-one needs extra help

As your loved-one gets older, it’s important to start looking out for any signs that might mean they’re in need of a little extra help. We’ve put together some top tips on what you should look out for below:

Accidents

With age comes a greater risk of trips or falls and it can take longer for an older person to heal should they be injured from them. You can help by making sure there are no hazards around the home, but if you are noticing they have tripped or fallen on more than one occasion recently, it might be time to get some extra help.

We can provide carers who take on domestic duties around the home and can even help your loved-one when they’re out and about by accompanying them to appointments and events.

Weight loss and personal hygiene

Noticeable weight loss can be a sign that your loved-one may be struggling. It could be down to them forgetting to eat meals regularly or not having the energy or ambition to cook for themselves anymore. A change in personal hygiene is also a sign that they may be struggling with self-care.

Our carers are able to help with bathing, grooming, dressing and assist with eating.

Memory loss or confusion

Memory loss in old age is common but it’s important to keep an eye on this in case it develops into something more serious such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. If memory loss and confusion is upsetting your loved-one’s day-to-day living, it’s worth seeking medical advice.

We’re able to provide carers who can assist with medication reminders and care for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Socialising

A strong social life is vital for anyone, so making sure your loved-one is keeping up with friends, family, neighbours and social events is important. If they are spending long periods of time not leaving the house and are becoming isolated, then extra care to help get them out and about might be needed.

If you feel your loved-one needs extra care in some capacity, we can send one of our Homecare Managers, Senior Carers or Care Coordinators out to you to carry out an assessment. You can find out more about this here.

The battle to beat loneliness

In the care industry it is often a regular occurrence for our carers to meet individuals who are suffering from loneliness. This could be because they’re not as mobile as they used to be and so can’t get out of the house on a regular basis or simply because they don’t have friends or family living close by.

According to the Campaign to End Loneliness; 17% of older people are in contact with family, friends and neighbours less than once a week and 11% are in contact less than once a month.

More than half of all people aged 75 and over live alone and roughly 3.9million say the television is their main company.

63% of adults aged 52 or over who have been widowed, and 51% of the same group who are separated or divorced report they feel lonely some of the time or often.

Our carers are on a continuous mission to help end loneliness with the care they provide.

They are always a bright and smiling face for our service users to see and often can be the only person they’ll see that day or even that week. So it’s important for them to have a chat and act like more of a friend as well as a carer.

This small amount of effort on our carer’s behalf can really brighten someone’s day and we also encourage other people to do the same. Simply pop in on an elderly relative, friend or neighbour for a cuppa and a chat. You could even take them out or invite them over for lunch or dinner.

Knowing the signs of Dementia

There are currently 850,000 people in the UK suffering from Dementia and numbers are predicted to rise to one million by the year 2025.

We have been providing care for people with Dementia for many years and our staff have all received extensive training in Dementia awareness. They’re able to recognise the signs and symptoms of Dementia very quickly.

If you’re not too sure what the early signs of the disease are, then we have put together some things to look out for should you be worried about yourself or a friend or family member.

  • Some of the major signs of Dementia are memory loss, confusion and disorientation on a regular basis. In particular if it upsets the day-to-day living of a person
  • Difficulty with tasks that require organisation and planning
  • Behaviour and mood changes – people with Dementia may start acting out of character and may suffer from noticeable mood swings, sometimes becoming aggressive
  • Trouble with communication – Dementia can make it hard for people to communicate. They may have trouble finding the right words and may repeat things.

If you recognise any of these symptoms in yourself or a friend or loved-one, then seek advice from a doctor.

 

If you want to find out more about our Dementia care services, you can do so here.