HCS - Latest News

  • Are your staff and residents washing their hands with contaminated soap?

    We wash our hands with soap to kill germs and bacteria. However, if you are currently using bulk fill or refillable soap dispensers, did you know that they are a breeding ground for bacteria and they can leave hands with 25 times more bacteria after washing?

    The Centre for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) warns – Do not add soap to a partially empty soap dispenser, this practice of topping off dispensers can lead to bacterial contamination of soap.

    Here at Hcsuk, our aim is always to promote and advise on best practice for care homes and fit for purpose product solutions to enable, our care home customers, to meet the regulatory requirements and to help them to improve their standards.

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  • If you have ladies and gents in your care who are on pureed diets, how do their pureed meals shape up?

    June  is Dysphagia Awareness month, so I want to ask you this question:

    If you have ladies and gents in your care who are on pureed diets, how do their pureed meals shape up?

    About three years ago some customers came to me and asked me:

     "How can you help us to improve the presentation of our pureed meals?"

    They were very conscious that they were pureeing down different components of  meals, such as potatoes, fish and vegetables, and serving them all up in one bowl to their residents, which actually looked pretty disgusting, not very appetising not very visually appealing, didn't smell very nice and actually didn't taste very nice either.

    And they really wanted to find ways to improve the presentation of these meals for their ladies and gents, and we really wanted to help them!

    So we set about finding a solution to this challenge and I'm really proud to say that we were the first healthcare company in the UK to market a range of food moulds designed to enable care caterers to effectively recreate the shape of pureed food.

    With 12 moulds available in the range of different meats and vegetables, including sausage, sliced meat and stewed steak, as well as pumpkin, broccoli and carrots, there is much scope to use your imagination to create a better variety of delicious looking and tasting pureed meals.

    And your ladies and gents who are on pureed diets, can be given meals which don’t look any different to anybody else's so they do not feel isolated or singled out.

    We all know that we eat with our eyes first, and that if we see food that looks appetizing we're more likely to eat it, and we eat better.

    So, I repeat my question to you:

    How are YOUR pureed meals shaping up for your ladies and gents?

    Over the past 3 years we've been helping literally hundreds of members of the public, care homes and hospitals all over the country as well as in Ireland and Portugal, to improve the presentation of their pureed meals, by providing them with our range of silicone food moulds.

    And, what was really lovely was when we received this particular testimonial back from a lady whose daughter has a diagnosis of Down syndrome, oral dysphagia, autism, sensory processing disorder and also food intolerances.

    This lady bought some of our food moulds to help with her daughter‘s nutrition, and this is what she said about the difference they had made to her daughter’s mealtimes:

    ‘ I've only been able to give my daughter pureed or mash foods which she was not particularly interested in previously. She is assisted while eating and the first time she saw her food moulded dinner she shouted ‘carrots!’

    The second time she wanted to know what every bit of food was on her plate, this time I had used parsnips in the carrot mould, what's that what's that? she said as SHE used a fork to scoop up individual pieces of dinner into her mouth with glee. But what's most important to me is that my daughter is beginning to enjoy mealtimes and showing greater independence all because her food is now moulded to look like it should.’

    We have had so many positive comments about the effect that being able to provide meals for residents who are on pureed diets and make them look like they should, it's much more dignified for the residents, and actually does lead to increased nutritional intake:

    Another customer told us:

    ‘The food moulds have been a revelation in our home for residents on a pureed diet. Nobody ever wants to be on a pureed diet but with these food moulds we can restore the dignity in eating by giving a well-balanced meal for puree diets in an appetizing and visually stimulating way. Many visitors to our home have no idea that meals are pureed for some residents.’

    So this is really really important, and as in everything we do, we aim to help care homes to improve their standards, to also improve the health and well-being of the ladies and gents they support. I would highly recommend that if you don't currently mould your pureed meals, please have a look and see what can be achieved, because, I guarantee that it will make a massive difference in the lives of the ladies and gents that you support.

    Our website has more details on products that can help with meal presentation for pureed meals.

  • How much do you consider your ladies and gents drinking experience when encouraging hydration?

    Hi! Today's Thirsty Thursday and I have a very topical question for all you guys out there working in social care who are supporting ladies and gents and trying to improve their fluid intake as mush as possible.

    We all know what the potential effects of dehydration are for our elderly and vulnerable loved ones. We know that it can lead to:

    • UTI's (urinary tract infections)
    • AKI's (acute kidney injury)
    • Pressure ulcers
    • Unnecessary hospital admissions.

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  • Providing ultimate seating comfort for your ladies and gents Part 2

    Today we're brining you part two of our coverage of the NEW Boston tilt-in-space porter chair. You can read part 1 here. 

    When you break it down there are just a few things we really want to help our loved ones and those ladies and gents we support to achieve. Two of those are that they we are able to help them to be as comfortable and safe as is possible, whether that be in bed at night or sitting out in a chair during the day.

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  • Providing ultimate seating comfort for your ladies and gents Part 1

    When you break it down there are just a few things we really want to help our loved ones and those ladies and gents we support to achieve. Two of those are that they we are able to help them to be as comfortable and safe as is possible, whether that be in bed at night or sitting out in a chair during the day.

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  • What Memories Are Made Of

    Engaging in reminiscence can powerfully impact the wellbeing of a person living with dementia, as it stimulates communication and helps to trigger their existing memories. Reminiscing can also assist in the creation of new memories, as discussing life history inspires new conversations that can be shared with caregivers and loved ones.

    People living with dementia cope with high levels of stress every day. This, understandably, often makes them defensive, guarded and difficult for others to approach. Reminiscent activities help a person coping with memory loss to build confidence as they recognise their belongings. This allows them to feel less stress, making them less aggressive and able to live happier lives.

    The information gathered though reminiscence also provides caregivers, family members and loved ones with valuable insight into an individuals history. This information can be used to start conversations or to help a person with dementia feel more at ease when they feel distressed.

    This is incredibly useful as people living with dementia struggle to create or retain new memories and might still remember themselves to be of a younger age. Startling themselves when they look into a mirror and see an elderly face staring back at them.

    Memories and stories of the past can help loved ones deal with a dementia.

    It is for these reasons that it is extremely beneficial for a person living with dementia, in addition to those around them, to engage in reminiscence. It prevents the discomfort that accompanies confusion, making life more enjoyable for everyone.

    Not sure where to start? One way to partake in reminiscent activities is through the use of a Memory Box. A Memory Box is a secure, personal display cabinet for the safe-keeping of personal memorabilia.

    From family photos, to holiday souvenirs to favourite recipes, a Memory Box holds recognisable keepsakes that help trigger the existing memories of those coping with memory loss. They also assist in the creation of new memories as the boxes contents inspires conversations with caregivers, family members and loved ones.

    Memory Boxes are used extensively in care homes, typically placed outside a resident’s room. These extraordinary products are a practical and attractive tool that provide numerous benefits including:

    1. Excellent aids to orientation.

    2. Stimulating conversational interaction.

    3. Providing care givers with valuable insight into an individual’s life history.

    4. Reinforcing the confidence of the user, as they are able to recognise their items.

    5. Creating an attractive point of interest.

    A nurse from Sandridge House speaks about her experience with Memory Boxes stating, “We have had great response from the Service User's themselves as well as their relatives. I am in the Activities Department and often use the boxes as a reminiscing aid as well as the Service User's often looking at them of their own accord when they enter or leave their bedrooms. They are a great way to display pictures from the past or present and have enough room in them to place any special nik-naks or treasured possessions.”

    Another nurse speaks about her patient’s experience with Memory Boxes stating, “Joan’s Memory Box empowered her to become independent again. Now she can find her own room she smiles again and is no longer angry, frightened or anxious. It’s been a huge boost to her confidence, dignity and well-being.” How amazing is that?

    Memory Care also offer an internally illuminated Memory Box option which ensures the boxes contents can always be seen, even at night time!

    More information on the Memory Boxes can be found on our website.

    A seaside memory box
  • Hello, my name is Jo, I’m the Yellow Plate Lady!

    I have been called many things in my time, a few of them choice, but my favourite, by far, is the ‘Yellow Plate Lady’.

    Let me explain ......... I met a care home manager, Katie, at an exhibition several years ago where I was talking about the significance of using colourful crockery for ladies and gents living with Dementia, to provide contrast between their food and their plates to aid improved recognition and enable more independent and dignified dining experiences.

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  • Eewwwww, have you seen what could be lurking on your hands today?

    SHOCKING: You won’t BELIEVE how many GERMS are on your hands!!! – so we thought we’d share some useful stuff about good hand hygiene practice on Clean Your Hands Day


    Hand hygiene is more important than most people realise EWWWW!! What could be on your hands right now!?

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  • Helping to keep your residents safe during an evacuation

    The sheer gravity of the unthinkable situation where a fire breaks out in a care home and planning, organising and executing the safe evacuation of your residents and staff, and what the consequences could be, must feel like a huge responsibility for all care home managers, proprietors and fire marshalls.

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  • Come and see our new Dementia at Home solutions at our Hcsuk Mobility showroom

    Today we want to give you a bit of an insight into a different side of our business - our mobility showroom. Here at Hcsuk Mobility we are stockists of quality product solutions to assist with independent living, and our aim is to help and support the elderly and vulnerable, (and their families and carers) who want to remain living independently in the comfort of their own homes in the community. Our lovely girls, Lisa, Beckie and Rachel are all here to offer help, support and advice on product solutions which will help achieve these aims.

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