HELPING THE ELDERLY TAKE MEDICINE SAFELY

Many older people don’t know how to take medicines safely and can get confused. Here are a few tips.

Keep a List

Keep of list of medicines your older relative is given and what they are for. We all have medicines in our cupboards which we cannot remember the uses for, and this can be dangerous. It also helps to keep a list in case your parent is taken into hospital or has to see an emergency doctor. Include any supplements taken in this list as well, as they can affect medication. Use this list to record any allergies, your relative’s blood type and any contraindications to certain drugs, such as penicillin.

Take Medicine as Prescribed

It’s important to follow the dosage prescribed by the doctor. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget if you’ve taken a tablet. Pill dispensers can be handy for this purpose, to remind your relative when and how many tablets to take. You can pre-load these for them. It can also help to write larger labels and to colour code medicines as helpful reminders of how and when to take them. If they miss a dose, they should take it as soon as they remember.

Try to use the same pharmacy, so that they know your elderly relatives requirements and prescriptions. It takes away the hassle and it’s good for an older person to feel they can go somewhere where they will be recognised and someone understands their problems.

Clear the Medicine Cabinet or Drawer

It is very important to throw away expired medicine, so do a quarterly check.

Store Medicine Correctly

Make sure medicines are stored at the specified temperature and refrigerated if necessary.

Renewing Prescriptions


Many older people need repeat prescriptions of drugs, so keep an eye on how many they have left, so they do not need to get more as an emergency, which may mean they go without key drugs, if they cannot see the doctor that day. If you are ever concerned about your elderly relative’s medication, call their GP or pharmacist

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HOME CARE AFTER HOSPITAL

Reablement - A process aiming to restore personal autonomy in those aspects of daily living considered most relevant by patients and their family and caregivers.


Three essential elements to successful reablement services are rehabilitation, motivation and social inclusion.


Home care reablement is a key priority for elderly well care. Reablement services should ensure they promote emotional wellbeing and social involvement.


This prevents an escalating sense of social isolation, which leads to a state of dependency.


Reablement is a short term intervention that seeks to support people to develop or regain the skills and confidence necessary to live independently.


It is a service that can be of benefit to people who have recently experienced a period of hospital care, as well as those who may require extra support to continue living at home.


There is no single approach to reablement service, but central to the delivery is the intention to maximize the individual’s ability to carry out the activities of daily living.

ELDERLY AT HOME CARE

AT HOME CARE PROVIDES SUPPORT TO ELDERLY PEOPLE WHERE THEY FEEL MOST COMFORTABLE.


The difference is the emphasis on retaining the individual’s freedom and independence.


It all depends on what sort of life you want to lead, and what level of care you require.

  • Assisted home care includes personalized domestic and personal care plans and 24/7 support.

  • ​Help with dressing and undressing.

  • Washing, bathing and grooming.

  • Help with mobility problems.

  • Medication monitoring and help with skin care.

  • Meal preparation, dietary consideration and meal time supervision.

  • Assistance with rehabilitation and exercise programmes.

  • Help with getting up and going to bed.


  • Care includes Complex illnesses such as those with Learning Difficulties, Physical Disabilities, sensory impairment (blind/ deaf), Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons and end of life care. 

Assisted care at home allows older people to live in the familiar and safe environment of their own home.


Care packages address their needs without making them feel dependent on others.

 

Additional care support is also provided as needed including light cleaning, general tidying, washing and ironing, household chores such as changing bed linen and shopping, and looking after pets.


Care providers can even take care of running errands, if it’s something they’d struggle to do or feel unable to do at a particular time.

ACCEPTING ELDER AT HOME CARE

Accepting elder at home care for the first time is difficult for many older people and should involve the whole family. It is important that the senior receiving care is involved in the decision making process at the earliest opportunity to ensure they feel in control of the situation and are making their own decisions.

 

Being able to stay in the comfort and familiarity of your own home is easier and less traumatic then enduring the upheaval and disruption that comes from moving into a residential care home. 

 

Any home care provider should be experienced in dealing with these sensitivities and should work with you and your family to resolve issues and provide reassurance and support throughout the whole decision making process. 

 

The home care provider can offer events that can bring families together to share experiences and understand how to overcome challenges and concerns. They will be matched to your needs, both in terms of elder care delivery, personality and lifestyle interests.

 

The ability to care for your elder relative on a one-to one basis in the comfort and familiarity of their own home makes home care particularly suitable for people living with dementia.

 

Home carers should encourage seniors to be as independent as possible, whilst being well supported. 
They should
develop a comprehensive care plan which outlines everything the caregiver will deliver, from companionship, personal care and help with mobility, through to domestic tasks, cooking and social activities.

 

Professional elder carers should be skilled in nutrition and diet. They should consider the dietary requirements of the senior loved one, and in particular those with certain conditions, such as dementia. They should provide whatever food the cared for loved one prefers. 

 

The family or loved ones should determine all requirements, including the need to have an elder carer who is an animal lover and can care for your pet.

 

Home care is highly personalized and tailored to an individual’s needs, so costs can vary considerably.  Costs are typically less than good quality residential care and for couples are particularly attractive.

 

Professional carers should come to your home to discuss your needs with you and evaluate the options available. Members of the family should be involved at this stage, as well as the elder requiring care. 

 

If you decide that home care is the right solution for you, a comprehensive assessment of need should be conducted to ensure full service to meet your needs.

 

Professional carers provide a range of tailored home care services, everything from companionship, personal elderly care, lifestyle support, domestic duties and social activities, through to specialist dementia care and care of other complex conditions. Additionally, if a loved one who is currently providing care needs a rest or holiday, a respite service will allow you to do just that.


Home care services are very suitable for older individuals or couples, enabling them to stay together for longer without the challenge of caring for each other.


Professional home care should also support medical professionals to ensure an optimum plan of care, and aim to manage the challenges faced by keeping seniors healthy and at home for as long as possible.

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HELP WITH YOUR ELDERLY CARE

People with elderly caring responsibilities have unique experiences to cope with. Much depends on the way caring happens. For many, taking responsibility of care for an elderly person is something that happens slowly and gradually, but for others the need for care comes suddenly, for example as the result of an accident or stroke.


Shock

When care first starts, there may be a period of initial shock, and demands are high. There can be a realisation that life will never be the same as it was. Most people function very well. Some people cope well in a crisis and throw themselves into whatever needs to be done. People also find that in the early days, support and help from relatives and friends is forthcoming.

 

Stress levels are high. Fear, sorrow, shock, anger, loss and anxiety are some of the normal emotions experienced by those caring for an older person. With support and guidance, the caregiver can avoid feeling like they are left in the wilderness, or isolated.


Loved ones make huge life-changing decisions - giving up their job or moving house. It is important that carers are supported and any decisions are properly informed by facts.


Reality

There may eventually be feelings of anger, guilt, resentment and loneliness. Help from family and friends may reduce as caregiving begins to affect their social and personal lives, and a sense of normality returns. The carer must make adjustments and incorporate the caring role into their life, and gradually learn to live with it. A routine is established and life goes on.


Those providing care may even refuse offers of help as time goes on. Carers are seen by others as being "marvellous" and "coping well". The truth is often very different.

 

Caregivers are vulnerable to anxiety, stress and depression, especially as they can gradually experience a loss of their sense of self. Career, hobbies and social life that previously defined them, can all be a thing of the past.


Disability or illness may lead to significant changes in the relationship between the carer and the person they are caring for. Other relationships may come under strain.


Caring can dominate life to the extent that some people don't feel like their old self anymore. The needs of the person providing care can be suppressed, as all of their attention and effort is placed onto the person they care for. There is a danger that unhealthy, unsustainable routines and behaviour becomes fixed as carers take on too much.


Acceptance
Eventually the caregiver realises that their position will not change unless they take charge. The carer may reach out to loved ones and seek external help in a bid to realize their own needs. They may be so wrapped up in the role of providing care, that it's hard to know where to start in identifying their own needs.

The carer can take control rather than accept what is going on. There can be a change in mindset as well as changes in attitude towards the person they are providing care for. They can develop knowledge and skills to be able to handle and view their situation differently and reflectively. They have developed a level of skill and expertise and familiar coping routines.

Some caring relationships may still have a certain co-dependence that might not be healthy. The realization of their skills and expertise can lead some to feel they are irreplaceable, and that no one else can do the care adequately. This 'over-caring' can make it hard for them to accept help. It's also possible that carers may come to resent the way caring has taken over their life.

Life After Caring
At the end of the active care role, although it does not represent the end of the impact of caring. Many carers feel guilt, loss, grief, anger, sadness and love, but the impact will depend on why the caring role is over.

Moving on
The person they care for may move out and achieve independence. It can be a happy time and cause for celebration but also with some mixed feelings.

Residential Care or Nursing Care
The person they provide care for may move into a residential care home or specialist nursing care home. This is common with caring for elderly parents or loved ones with dementia or a terminal illness. This can be confusing for carers who feel relief that the caring is over, and guilt that they couldn't do more.

Bereavement
The person they provide care for may have died. Bereavement is one of the most difficult things we can face. If your entire life has been focused on providing care for a loved one, then bereavement can be very difficult to cope with.

Those who provide care for the elderly face many challenges,  such as getting back into work or finding a new purpose in life. Putting your life back together after caring for the elderly is not easy, and everyone needs some emotional support and assistance in coming to terms with it.

ASSISTED HOME NURSING CARE

At Home Care is one to one elderly care service for those who wish to remain in their own home.


This provides a wide range of service from routine support through to complex nursing led support, and it is a direct alternative to residential care homes. 


Home Care allows your loved one to stay at home in familiar and relaxed surroundings with one to one support.


Embracing personal care, housekeeping and companionship, it is an additional option to a residential care home that empowers you to retain control and independence.


A Home Carer works with you to meet your personal needs and wishes, and follows an individual care plan supporting your existing routines and needs.

​Your care is arranged on your terms and is designed to meet existing preferences for meals and eating times, naps and hobbies as well as established medication and care routines.


And as your needs change, one to one care has the flexibility to change with you.