HCS - Latest News

  • Are your residents sitting comfortably?

    Correct posture is critical to wellbeing and selecting the right seating option for your residents is a major decision. Good seating can help to prevent and correct the development of poor posture and some of the back and neck health problems associated with it.

    Whilst we can instinctively make changes to our position it becomes more difficult for your residents when their abilities to reposition themselves are reduced by illness or disability. It is essential that your choice of seating for them helps to maintain their comfort and stability, particularly as many of them may be sitting in chairs for long periods of time during the day.

    Utilising the latest frame mechanisms, innovation in pressure management and new fabric technology we are able to offer you quality British crafted chairs that are tailored to be person centred.

    Why is good seating so important for your residents?

    • To improve or accommodate specific postural or healthcare problems
    • To provide improved support and comfort
    • To ease getting in and out of chairs
    • To elevate lower legs when sitting

    You should place emphasis on chairs fitting your residents correctly when deciding upon chair sizing and accessories. Issues around pressure care, moving and handling and infection control issues should also be considered and addressed. The chair should provide long term comfort and adequate lumbar support, ensuring good pressure distribution of body weight and enabling your resident to rise from the chair easily.

    What is good seating?

    • It is designed to ENABLE not DISABLE function
    • It is comfortable, well ventilated and allows your residents to have maximum stability
    • It provides effective pressure relief
    • It is easy to maintain and is durable
    • It is well fitted to encourage good posture, pressure management, care and comfort.

    The achievement of a good sitting position is the result of a number of interrelated factors requiring the chair to be tailored to your residents’ needs in terms of:-

    Correct Seat Height

    Too High - and the seat is difficult to get into and provides no support for the feet. This can lead to deformities (foot) and encourages your residents to slouch to enable them to rest their feet.

    Too Low - and your resident’s body weight is supported on a smaller area which leads to more pressure on the coccyx and buttocks. Your resident’s knees and thighs will lift off the seat surface increasing pressure on a smaller area of the buttocks and bony prominences.

    Correct Seat Width

    Too Wide - and the seat offers no support or stability as the body will lean to one side causing imbalance in pressure. The arm rests will be out of reach and since these are crucial to stability your residents will lean and shift position to fill the space causing unbalanced pressure distribution.

    Too Narrow - and there is an increased risk of pressure to the trochanter area on the outer thigh as well as difficulty getting in and out of the chair.

    Correct Seat Depth

    Too Short - and only a small area of the buttocks is supported giving a smaller area of higher pressure on the buttocks and thighs rather than an evenly distributed area at lower pressure levels, this can lead to pressure damage.

    Too Long - and your residents will need to slouch down to get foot support for stability. This position puts pressure on the heels and sacral area and can inhibit circulation to the lower limbs.

    A pictograph showing how badly fitting chairs can cause residents issues. Diagram showing the problems with badly fitting chairs.

    What measurement are required to achieve a well fitting chair design?:

    In order to ensure a good fitting chair, a full seating assessment is needed including the following measurements:

    Seat Height – floor to top of seat cushion measurement with a thigh to lower leg angle of 90 degrees where possible. Your residents’ feet should ideally be positioned flat on the floor in the type of footwear normally worn when relaxing with a right angle bend at the knees to allow the upper leg to rest fully and flat on the seat cushion. To achieve the ideal chair height, measure your resident’s lower leg length from the floor to approx 1" below the back of the knee joint.

    Seat Depth – the measurement is from the front of the seat cushion to the backrest of the chair. The seat cushion should be deep enough to support the entire length of the upper leg to the back of the knee without the seat cushion putting pressure on the back of the calf. To achieve the ideal chair depth measure your resident’s back from the back of the bottom to back of knee and then deduct 1" from this measurement.

    Seat Width – the internal width of the seat between the armrests. To achieve the ideal chair width measure the widest point of your resident’s hips plus 0.5" to allow for thicker clothing.

    Back Height – the measurement is from the top edge of the seat cushion, located at the back of the seat cushion, to the top of the backrest cushions. Make sure that your resident’s head sits comfortably on the back cushion.

    Arm Height – the measurement is from the top of the seat cushion to the top of the armrest. Your resident’s arms should ideally rest comfortably on the arm rests, with the arms bent at 90 degrees and with the shoulders in a relaxed, level position.

     

    Wine coloured recliner chair The Repose Rimini Recliner in Wine

    Here at Hcsuk we can help you by providing a seating assessment service to help you indentify the right seating solutions for your residents.

     

    What are the essential elements of good seating?

    Dynamic seating has a range of adjustments to tailor the chair to your residents’ physical requirements which enables posture and pressure distribution to be adjusted throughout the day to prevent pressure build up and encourage circulation.

    These include:

    • Tilt-in-space
    • Back angle recline
    • Elevating foot or leg rest
    • Riser facility
    • Vertical riser function

    A correctly fitted seat will assist your residents to achieve:

    • Best achievable posture
    • Pressure relief
    • Functional ability e.g. ease of transfer out of the chair
    • Maximum comfort

    Here at Hcsuk, we are proud to be working in partnership with trusted British manufacturer, Repose Seating Solutions, to bring you a comprehensive range of healthcare chairs designed to provide adaptable and affordable care solutions that give you the options you need to meet the very specific requirements of the people you care for.

    We will work with you to help build your own seating solutions with choices in chair backs, pressure cushions and health grade fabrics; and with the Multi Range, the ability to continue to adapt and change the chair to meet changing care needs or to fit the chair for someone new, providing a sustainable option.

    We have invested in researching specialist healthcare chairs which focus on pressure management and a wide range of individually constructed seat cushions that address a host of specific pressure area care issues. In addition, expertise in recline technology ensures that people who are sat for long periods can easily and comfortably change their position, relieving pressure on bony prominences and the weight on hip and knee joints. Whether you are nursing at home, in a residential home or in a healthcare environment our chairs carefully balance all this functionality with a range of designs to fit any setting.

    How Hcsuk can help you to ensure that your residents are sitting comfortably

    We can:

    • Offer you an extensive new range of beautiful healthcare chairs in stunning fabrics
    • Provide you with a fully bespoke, cost effective chair design service
    • Conduct free individual on site seating assessments

    Helping you to achieve:

    • Improved patient comfort
    • Increased utilisation of seating
    • Reduced lifetime costs on seating

    Give us a call today on 01773 713713 or email sales@hcsuk.co.uk to book in your on site seating assessment.

  • How to create visually appealing, appetising and delicious tasting meals for the people you support with swallowing difficulties.

    We all eat with our eyes first. A plate full of food needs to visually stimulate us first to whet our appetite, to get those taste buds tingling and the saliva flowing. Colours, shapes, delicious aromas and the arrangement of food on a plate all play an important part in our mealtime experience.

    But what if, due to complex health needs, for your own safety, your meals had to be pureed for you, like baby food? How would you feel? How do you think that might affect your appetite?

    Continue reading

  • How to ensure that every mouthful of food stays hot, delicious and enjoyable for the people you support who eat slowly.

    Do you know anyone who enjoys eating food that’s gone cold?

    What would you do if your food was served cold? You would send it back if you were in a restaurant or reheat it if you were at home. If it was really cold you might lose your appetite and give up on the idea of eating it at all.

    What if, due to a physical or cognitive condition, it takes you longer to eat your meals?

    Continue reading

  • Living with Dementia, where does love end and duty begin? Or does it?

    There was not a dry eye in the house when I saw a recent staging of Brian Daniels play Don’t Leave Me Now, which explores the impact of early onset Dementia and family life.

    Brian’s inspiration for writing this came from two families he met, both of whom were caring for and supporting loved ones living with a Dementia in their own homes, and he tells the stories of their journeys with both insight and humour.

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  • Jo is reunited with an old friend ...

    Delighted to be reunited once more with Chas the bear, team mascot for the Care Home Advisory Service in Derbyshire (CHAS) at their recent Create to Innovate Ideathon.

    I first met Chas over a year ago at one of the CHAS’s Going for Gold in Dementia Care events and I’m pleased to say he is still sporting his purple Hcsuk nurse bug!

    Gave me a warm and fluffy feeling :)

    Happy Friday! - Jo

    Jo and Chas getting cuddly. Jo and Chas getting cuddly.
  • Hcsuk MD, Jo Bonser, joins an experts panel ... and wears fluffy pink too

    I was both delighted and honoured to have been invited to dress up in pink fluffy things and to join the ‘Expert’ panel at the Derbyshire Community Health Service’s first Ideathon, organised by the Care Home Advisory Service and designed to get groups of care professionals together to focus on identifying great new ideas to support improved delivery of care in care homes.

    The teams then get to pitch their innovations to a team of ‘dragons’, (ahh that’s why they asked me!) who have to choose the overall winner with the best idea.
    Keep checking in for more details on the winning team!
    #cre82innov8
    #DCHSideathon

    Jo showing that care work can be fun as well as life changing.
  • Helping Care Homes to Deliver Excellent Oral Care to the People They Support

    On September 20th we held our first CPD accredited seminar which focussed on providing great oral care for elderly and vulnerable residents in care homes and also to enable care homes to become compliant with the new CQC quality standards in oral care.

    All of our delegates learnt how to take a person centred approach to better assess and manage oral care for the people they support, gained knowledge about the latest innovative and fit for purpose product solutions to use (and more importantly which products to avoid) and they also got the chance to practice on each other, even our MD Jo didn’t escape without being a guinea pig!

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  • Hcsuk Team Members become Disability Confident

    On Wednesday 13th September, Hcsuk team members Jo, Beckie and Phil attended a Disability Confident Course hosted by the Warrington Disability Partnership in conjunction with the British Healthcare Trades Association.

    The course has been designed, by people who themselves have disabilities, to help people working within the care industry, to consider the barriers faced by disabled people, gain a better understanding of the term ‘disability’ and most importantly to increase ‘disability confidence’ and to see a person first, not just their disability.

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  • Meet Your New Field Service Engineer - Phil!

    We would like to officially welcome, Phil Cotton, our new field service engineer, to our team, and also to introduce him to you. Phil joins us with 3 years experience in the mobility industry and has already helped to make changes in the business with his thorough and helpful approach. Phil has also been one of the first members of the team to complete the Disability Confidence Course, run in conjunction with the Warrington Disability Partnership, (more on that in another post!)

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  • Our top coping strategies to help improve oral care for your residents with a Dementia

    Our top 10 coping strategies to help you to improve oral care for your residents with a Dementia

    One of the biggest challenges we know you face, because it is one of the most frequently asked questions we get asked regarding oral care is:

    How can I deliver more effective oral care for my residents with a Dementia?

    It is fact that your residents with a Dementia are most likely to present your care staff with the greatest challenges regarding delivering effective oral care, as they are more likely to resist tooth brushing. This is often a response to fear or a previous bad experience.

    And with the number of people with a Dementia who have their own teeth expected to rise significantly, if oral care is not carried out, a vicious circle of pain and discomfort, leading to increased resistance becomes likely.

    Those people who have advanced Dementia may not be able to verbally communicate pain and discomfort in their mouths, and this may manifest itself in other ways such as crying, pulling or hitting their faces, hitting out at care staff or being very passive.

    To compound this, many carers have little or no experience of training in delivering good oral care and there is a lack of good quality, safe and fit for propose oral care product solutions available on the market.

    If you would like to learn more to enhance the oral care in your care home, get CQC ready for the new oral care quality standards, and demonstrate that your home is effective and responsive to CQC, join us at our latest event:

    Our first CPD accredited training seminar:

    ‘How to achieve CQC compliancy in oral care for adults in care homes’

    Please click on the link to learn more and book your place at this popular event

    The important thing to remember is that as with all other aspects of care, there is no standard one size fits all solution.

    A good oral health plan, in 3 stages, should be created for each resident which is specific to their own individual needs.

    Stage 1

    On admission a risk assessment should be completed to ascertain the oral health needs of your resident.

    Stage 2

    A care plan should be created from the findings of the risk assessment.

    Stage 3

    The care plan should be followed and documented at regular intervals dependant on the findings of the risk assessment and both should be reviewed at least every 12 months.

    Always encourage independent brushing where possible

    Always try to encourage your residents to brush their teeth for themselves for as long as they are able to do so, to promote their independence and dignity for as long as possible.

    Sometimes, residents will forget that they need to brush their teeth, and a reminder to brush is all that is needed.

    Some residents may be able to brush their teeth, when prompted, with some assistance. Try using the Chaining or the Bridging methods to help support your resident to brush their teeth themselves.

    The Chaining Method – Place your hand over your resident’s hand and guide them as they brush.

    The Bridging Method – Standing in front of the resident, brush your own teeth so that they can copy and follow your actions.

    For residents who are non compliant with tooth brushing.

    If you have residents who refuse to brush or have their teeth brushed, try to understand this behaviour as a sign of distress rather than thinking that the resident is choosing to be aggressive and uncooperative. Remember, this is often a response to fear or a previous bad experience.

    We do need to respect peoples’ decision should they decline from wanting their teeth brushed, however,  it is important to remember that oral hygiene is part of personal care and that brushing is not just dismissed because your resident has declined to have their teeth brushed at that time and in that place.

    Think about how you would feel if you weren’t able brush your teeth for 2 weeks.

    Remember do unto others ................ if you clean your teeth twice a day with a brush and paste, then that’s the minimum attention you should give your resident.

    Then think about how you would feel if you were reliant upon someone else to brush your teeth for you.

    • Be flexible - try prompting oral care at different times of the day and in a place where your resident feels comfortable, it doesn’t have to be in the bathroom!
    • Review the tools and products being used, are they appropriate for your resident? Look at the size of toothbrush head and strength of bristles, too big? Too hard?  Small, soft headed toothbrushes are recommended, such as our Tepe Special Compact Toothbrush.
    • Use an SLS free (non-foaming) toothpaste,  this has a tremendous benefit to your residents who have to have mouth care delivered by a carer as it will greatly reduce the risk and fear of aspiration and also take away any potential choking and gagging risk. It also allows carers to see if there are any problems in the mouth.
    • It is important NOT to wet the tooth brush as this will avoid unnecessary liquid in the mouth, and only use a pea size amount of paste, as, again, this will greatly reduce the risk and fear of aspiration and also take away any potential choking and gagging risk.
    • Always approach your resident to assist them with their oral care either from the side or at the front of them and always at their level. Try using the Chaining or the Bridging methods to help support your resident to brush their teeth them selves
    • Talk to your resident calmly and kindly, and tell them what you are doing throughout the care to help build their trust and confidence.
    • Consider also, carer preference, if there is a particular carer that your resident enjoys a good rapport with, there will most likely be able to achieve a more positive outcome.
    • Think about introducing a system of brushing, eg always start brushing from left to right so that you can monitor which teeth have been brushed if you have to split mouth care into short bursts.
    • Record oral care in care plans including refusal, so that it is documented that you have attempted to deliver that care, but it is your residents’ choice not to have it.
    • Remember that any changes in oral care that are currently being delivered need to be managed in small steps to allow your resident to get used to new ways. Small introductions of change will enable you to gauge how well things are working and how well your resident is responding to and is compliant with new introductions, workings and tools.

    And finally and above all, always remember that you are dealing with one of the most intimate areas of your resident’s body which is used for lots of lovely things, eating, talking and kissing.

    When delivering oral care - ‘Look beyond the illness and reach out to the person who needs to feel secure, respected and cherished’.

    To learn more about oral care and Dementia as well as other highly dependent and medically compromised residents, and to get QCQ ready for the new oral care quality standards for adults in care homes,  book your places today and join us at our CPD accredited seminar:

    ‘How to achieve CQC compliancy in oral care for adults in care homes’

    Please click on the link for full details of the event, which is certificated.

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