CARE HOME VISITING GUIDANCE CAUSING CONFUSION FOR FAMILIES

A LONELY SUMMER FOR CARE HOME RESIDENTS

Many will remember the heart-wrenching images of families visiting residents in care homes at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic – gazing through the window of the home just to get a glimpse of their loved ones.  However, this has now been replaced with confusion and turmoil for the 400,000 plus care home residents and their families across the country as the new guidance over visitors to care homes is interpreted differently by different care providers.

GUIDANCE GIVES RELIEF TO SOME

Since July when lockdown eased in England many care home providers have been facilitating one-to-one visits for families in their gardens as we have been able to enjoy the warmer climate.  Whilst clearly this is better than the forced separation endured by many families, it has not enabled families to maintain meaningful contact that is so important to those living in care homes, where loneliness and isolation has been prevalent during the last six months when visits were restricted and outbreaks in homes managed.  For those living with conditions like dementia, it will have been extremely difficult to comprehend.
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GETTING READY FOR WINTER

PREPARING FOR AN UNPRECEDENTED WINTER

At Oxford Aunts we recognise the importance of preventative planning to keep people safe and well in their own homes, particularly in the winter months.  This year with the prevalence of Covid-19 in our communities and a potential second wave of transmission and infection we are working hard as a team to be ready to meet all these challenges.

A HEALTH SERVICE THAT COULD STRUGGLE TO COPE

As we know the NHS and social care systems typically operate at maximum capacity in the winter months, with bed occupancy exceeding 95% in recent years.  We are now facing a large resurgence in Covid-19 nationally, with potential local or regional pandemics, on-going disruption and the knock-on effect on the NHS and care systems from the first wave, a backlog of routine clinical care and the threat of an influenza epidemic is looming.  These are all going to affect the NHS’ and social care’s ability to cope and meet the needs of older people who will be affected not only by this, but the usual winter pressures.
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LIVING WITH LONG-TERM HEALTH CONDITIONS

GET THE SUPPORT YOU NEED

For those living with a long-term condition that is impacts your health and well-being, we understand how difficult life can be at times.  Complex conditions now so common for older people, like dementia and Parkinson’s that impact your physical and mental health can vary in severity and affect people differently.

At  Oxford Aunts we have been providing specialist care and support to those living with complex conditions for over 50 years and know how important it is for families to have the support they need, not just in terms of their care needs, but for the emotional and psychological effects many experience.  Family and loved ones of course play a significant role, but there are lots of leading charities and support networks that can offer specific information, guidance and support for those living with long-term conditions that affect older people.

Here we explain what support is available.
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BENEFITS OF EXERCISE

KEEPING ACTIVE IS VITAL AS WE AGE

The importance of exercise is well researched – we all know that keeping active, fit and healthy has a positive impact on our overall health and well-being.  It is even more important as we get older – gone are the days when we thought we should take it easy with each year that passes.  In 2016 Nuffield Health, who run 75 gyms across the UK published a report stating those aged 70-79 are the decade most frequently using gyms as older people embrace the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Guidance from the NHS states that those over 65 should:

  • Aim to be physically active every day – any activity is better than none.
  • Activities should focus on improving strength, balance and flexibility and be undertaken at least two days a week.
  • Complete at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity if you are already active, or a combination of both
  • Reduce time spent lying down and break up long periods of inactivity with some activity

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POWER OF ATTORNEY (POA)

THE IMPORTANCE OF POWER OF ATTORNEY

When planning the long-term care it is important that you put the right plans in place to protect your family.  Power of Attorney is a very important legal documentation that gives someone you trust the authority to make decisions or take actions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.   However, there are different types of power of attorney relevant to different circumstances.  At Oxford Aunts we have been helping hundreds of families better understand how to plan long-term care.  Here we make sense of the different types of Power of Attorney and how they can be used.

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