What support is available?
Care at home
If you are finding it difficult to manage at home, family and friends may be able to help. Alternatively you may want to consider using the services of a home care provider who employ care assistants to provide help and support in your own home. They can assist with personal care such as bathing, washing and dressing as well as other aspects of daily living. They will be trained in personal care and safety procedures, moving and handling and hygiene, and some providers employ registered nurses.
All home care providers are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who inspect them against the national essential standards of quality and safety. For further information on the Care Quality Commission, please see their website www.cqc.org.uk.
Community Response Service
The Community Response Service (CRS) provides peace of mind for people who feel at risk in their own homes. It gives you freedom to live your life independently knowing that you can obtain assistance when you need it within your own home.
There are many reasons why people need support, from ill health to fear of crime. The Community Alarm Service operates all year round, 24 hours a day. Your call is answered in seconds by an experienced operator who will be able to get the appropriate help and support to you whether that be a relative or neighbour, the emergency services or a member of the community response team.
We are adding new pieces of technology equipment to our alarm system all the time and these include falls detectors, monitored smoke alarms, flood and gas detectors as well as more specialist equipment that can assist with medication dispensing, detecting epileptic seizures, as well as other conditions.
We also have a system called ’Just Checking‘ which is usually used for a short time to find out how safe someone is in their own home and work out how much support they need. The system is a set of movement detectors that monitor a person’s movements and routines. It is particularly useful for people with dementia or other learning or memory impairment to ascertain the levels of risk that people are able to take.
Everyday life at home
Most people want to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. You might get help from your family and friends with certain tasks such as shopping or cleaning but with the right equipment you may be able to do more for yourself than you thought.
There are lots of different pieces of equipment that can make big differences to your life. Simply raising your armchair onto special riser blocks means that you will be able to get up out of your chair easier. A helping hand grabber will enable you to pick things up without bending down. If you have difficulties plugging things in or out or opening jars there are pieces of equipment that can help you.
If you have hearing difficulties then flashing lights can be added to your doorbell or smoke alarm and amplifiers can be added to your telephone and television. In the kitchen again there are pieces of equipment designed to make your life easier such as electric can openers, kettle tippers, easy grip peelers and graters. Help and advice is available to ensure you are directed to the best pieces of equipment to meet your needs and where you can get them from.
Getting out and about
You may be finding it difficult to walk and often walking sticks or walking frames can provide the extra support that’s needed to get around the house and also get out and about within your neighbourhood and community.
If you need more support a wheelchair or mobility scooter may be the answer. You need to consider where you would store them and how you would be able to charge a scooter but advice about the best equipment for your needs and where to get it from is available. Contact the Wheelchair Centre, 229 Droylsden Road, Audenshaw, Tameside M34 5ZT call 0161 370 2661 or 5949 or visit www.thewheelchaircentre.co.uk.
There may be adaptations to your home that you may wish to consider such as grab rails to help steady yourself or a ramp to your front and back door to avoid large steps
If you are worried that your memory – or that of someone you know – is getting noticeably worse, or if memory loss is beginning to have a knock-on effect on everyday life, it is worth sharing your worries and seeking advice. That’s because memory problems can sometimes be an early sign of a medical condition such as dementia.
You should first have a chat with your GP, who will address your concerns or arrange for further investigation. You may be referred to a local memory monitoring service where a formal diagnosis can be made. Bear in mind that there are many reasons for memory loss apart from dementia. However, the earlier you seek help the better as there may be support or treatment available that can help you.
When you go into hospital, it may be for a planned treatment or as an emergency.
If you know in advance when you will be going into hospital, it is a good idea to plan ahead, perhaps with the help of a relative, friend or carer. You may need to think about things such as the care of a pet or pension collection, as well as getting all the things together that you will take with you into hospital.
If you or someone you care for receives social care support at home or you are in a care home, you need to let the care provider know as soon as possible when you are going into hospital and how long you think your stay will be, because:
• we may be able to help make alternative arrangements for people who may rely on you for their care;
• it can prevent staff from worrying about you if they cannot get an answer when they call at your home;
• we can make arrangements to keep your care home place available for a period of time. Your benefits and any contributions you make towards care may be affected.
If your hospital stay is an emergency, let one of the nurses know as soon as you can if any of the situations mentioned above affect you. You may also need help to arrange for the care of pets, to collect your pension or secure your home.
Tameside Hospital has staff on site from Tameside Adult Services who work closely with NHS staff and will help you sort out emergency, short term or long term social care needs.
Tameside Adult Services can support you, your family or carers to facilitate safe discharge from hospital. Many people leaving hospital require little help, and it may be that you only need information, but our staff will gladly direct you to the most appropriate source.
Other people leaving hospital may need services such as health and wellbeing, reablement, a community alarm and other specialist services when they get home. While many people leaving hospital get help from their family and friends, if you can’t make these arrangements yourself then we will look at ways of arranging services for you