Most of us enjoy a hot summer’s day, but for some people who have health problems, if it becomes too hot it can cause health risks. It is important that you spot the signs if someone is struggling in the hot weather and what you should do to protect them from the heat.

There are many different symptoms people can experience in the heat. The most common ones are:

  • Difficulty sleeping, drowsiness, faintness and changes in behaviour
  • Increase body temperature
  • Difficulty breathing and increased heart rate
  • Dehydration, nausea or vomiting
  • Worsening health problems, especially of the heart or respiratory system

 

Tips on how to keep body temperature down 

If you see people experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to keep their body temperature down. The following tips show how you can keep their body temperature down to avoid situations that could endanger life:


Take regular cool showers or baths
You should advise the individual you’re caring for to take a lukewarm bath or shower if they’re able to or assist them if not. If they aren’t able to have a bath or shower, you can simply place a washcloth and a bowl of cold water next to their seat so they can dab themselves to cool down. You can also place a wet cloth around the back of the neck to help regulate their body temperature.


Wear light, loose cotton clothing
Wearing loose, light cotton clothing will help individuals feel cooler. If the person you are caring for wants to go outside make sure they walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep them protected from the sun.

Drink regularly
It is important to stay hydrated during the hot weather. You should drink water or juice regularly but avoid alcohol and caffeine. If you are looking after an individual, you should monitor their daily fluid intake and always leave a drink so the service user can keep having fluids.


Eat cold food
Eating foods with high water content will also help to keep you hydrated. Many healthy foods can contribute a large amount of water to your diet such as salads and fruit.

 

Who is at risk? 

Certain factors increase an individual’s risk during a heatwave, these are:

  • Older age: especially those over 75 years old and those living on their own
  • Chronic and severe illness
  • Inability to adapt behaviour to keep cool: having dementia, a disability and/or being bad bound
  • Environmental factors and overexposure

If you need more advice on how to look after someone, you can get in touch with us now.

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Dementia affects so many different people. According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, 850,000 people are estimated to be living with dementia in the UK – more than ever before – 52% of the UK public know someone who has been diagnosed with a form of dementia.

Dementia is when the brain connections become damaged and messages can’t be passed to different parts of the brain, this is why people with dementia can’t retain information and lose their memory.

The number of people with dementia in the UK is expected to grow rapidly, so at Allied Healthcare, we believe it is important to raise awareness of the signs of dementia and share tips on how we can help those who have been diagnosed.

Allied Healthcare’s Lead Nurse, Suzette, has worked with people with dementia for 30 years from hospital settings, care homes and in the community. Suzette was also part of a group that created and implemented the East Midlands Dementia Strategy which involved developing existing and establishing new care services, in the area, to support the growing number of people diagnosed with dementia.

Suzette also has personal experience of caring for a loved one who was diagnosed with dementia and is passionate about educating people so people living with dementia feel safe.

She explains: “Supporting people with dementia is my passion because I have seen first-hand how it can affect people. As part of my role at Allied Healthcare, I provide advice and support to our care workers who are supporting people with dementia to ensure they are providing safe and effective person-centred care.

“The care and support given to people with dementia have dramatically changed in the last 30 years. When I was completing my nursing training there was no specific support for people with dementia, but a lot of research has been carried out since then and now the support is much more person-centred and focuses more on the individual.”

Suzette offers some advice and guidance on how you can play your part in helping people with dementia stay safe.

Tone of Voice

When communicating with someone with dementia it is important to know that they won’t remember the things you say but they will notice how you treat them and how you speak to them. Make sure you speak to them in a calm and friendly tone.

Reassure them

It is important to understand where the person is with dementia. Many people with dementia live in the past so it is common for someone to ask where relatives, such as their parents, are even though they have passed away. To reassure them and make them feel safe, say they will be back home soon, this way they do not become distressed or upset.

Make your Home Dementia-Friendly

There are many benefits for a dementia sufferer to stay in their own home, which is safe and familiar. However, at the later stages of dementia, they may forget where they are, where things are stored and how things work so you must make their home dementia friendly.

Items such as reminder devices that give an audio prompt to help people remember to take medicines and large clocks that display the day, date and time will help people feel less confused.

Take a different approach

You have to act in a person’s best interest. Instead of asking them would you like a drink, put a drink next to them and remind them it is there. They may not understand the question, so by making them a drink this way the person is staying hydrated.

Sense of Purpose

Many people with dementia need stimulation to help them keep active. It’s important to get into their mindset. If they have always had a passion for gardening, why not assist them with watering the plants or ask them to help you tidy the garden. This will give them a sense of purpose.

Ask for help

There is a lot of support available for people with dementia and their families. The Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK provide a lot of resources including information on daily living, help with finding care and legal & financial advice.

Allied Healthcare Care Workers are trained so they understand the complexity of Dementia and how it can affect people in many different ways. If you would like further information about Allied Healthcare’s services, please click here. 

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As part of Allied Healthcare’s commitment to our employees’ mental health, we have appointed nine Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) across our organisation to provide support to individuals who are experiencing poor mental health and or emotional distress.

Our MHFAs have completed a recognised, accredited training course by MHFA England to equip them to:

  • Have an understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing;
  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues;
  • Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress;
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgmental listening; and
  • Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support, whether through self-help resources, the employer, or the NHS.

Our MHFAs are not qualified therapists or psychiatrists but are there to provide non-judgemental listening and guidance to the workforce.

Carly Barnard, Head of HR who is leading on the initiative, said: “We are committed to ensuring our employees, who may be struggling with their mental health, have the right level of support and guidance in place.

“Our Senior Leadership Team recognises the need for wellbeing support, especially during the past 12 months when our employees have been working on the frontline providing care and support to our service users.”

“Our dedicated team of MHFA’s will promote a workplace culture where staff are free to discuss mental health issues openly and feel supported by their colleagues and Employer when they do so”

A dedicated helpline has been set up for Allied Healthcare employees to contact if they would like to speak to an MHFA.

If you are an Allied Healthcare employee and you would like to speak to one of our MHFA please dial 01707286896 alternatively email: confidential@hcrghomecare.uk.com.

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Allied Healthcare’s Fraserburgh branch is taking part in a challenge to walk 100 miles in April to raise money for Cash for Kids.

Amy Garyluk, Care Worker at Allied Healthcare’s Fraserburgh branch, heard about the Cash for Kids initiative on the local radio and was inspired to take part. The team of four Care Workers have challenged themselves to walk 100 miles each during the month.

Amy explained: “I heard about the initiative on the local radio and thought not only is it a great charity to support but it’s a good way to socialise with colleagues and get to know other care workers out of work.

“The past year has been challenging for many of us and so by getting involved it will not only give everyone a boost, but it will help build a strong support network.”

The team has set a target of raising £1,000 and all monies raised will be donated to Cash for Kids, a charity that aims to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young people who are affected by poverty, illness, neglect or have additional needs.

Joanne Nevins, Registered Branch Manager of the Fraserburgh Branch, added: “I am very proud of everyone from the branch who is taking part in the initiative, especially Amy who has encouraged others in our team to take part.

“We have a fantastic team of Care Workers, who are always going above and beyond for our clients. This is just another fantastic example of how they put others first and help those who need support the most. Well done team!”

Good luck to Lauren, Fern, Lynn and Amy! Keep an eye on our social media channels, as we will be posting weekly updates from the team as they take on the challenge.

If you would like to show your support, please email cfcallied@outlook.com.

For more information about Cash for Kids visit: https://cashforkids.org.uk/

 

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Allied Healthcare welcomes Kerry Smith as the newly-appointed Head of Quality & Governance for the organisation.

Kerry has vast experience working with private and public sector businesses including project management of Government and primary and urgent out-of-hours care services, health & social care domiciliary and complex care services.

As part of her portfolio of work, Kerry has supported organisations by significantly improving their quality assurance and risk management frameworks and has fully embedded a culture of ‘continuous quality improvement’ as part of their organisational strategies. Kerry also has valuable experience in supporting businesses with achieving ISO 9001 Quality Management System Accreditation and leading ISO 9001 Quality audits.

Kerry is extremely passionate about the implementation of innovative assistive technologies, which will enable the people we support to live independently in their own homes for longer and significantly improve their health and welfare outcomes.

Kerry explained: “In line with Allied Healthcare’s quality and governance strategy, I’m keen to support branches across all of our regions with embedding a continuous quality improvement culture; lead on the development of fit-for-purpose quality and risk assurance tools and ensure that we deliver optimal care standards to our service users.

“I look forward to meeting in person with all managers and their operational teams across our branch network.  I’ve so far already met branch managers and their teams at our Coventry and Shrewsbury branches and will continue to plan regional visits over the coming weeks.”

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome Kerry to our organisation.

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