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.

  • 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.

    Continue reading

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Walking (or running) the Talk - How hcsuk colleagues raised funds for charity

    You may have spotted in the past that here at Hcsuk, we're a smidge dedicated and passionate about helping people live with dignity. Led by Jo's fire and drive, the rest of the team are just as active in promoting that level of care, even to the point of dedicating personal time to it.
     
    Recently, Rachel and Lisa from the office helped their friend Karen on her running journey and to raise funds, Jo, then made a donation too on behalf of Hcsuk allowing Karen to raise a total of £1360 for The Alzheimer's Society.
     
    Rachel tells us a bit more about why this was so important to her and Lisa -
     
    "Karen and I started running together, Karen had never run before but had set herself a series of challenges to raise funds for the Alzheimers Society. Karen's parents were both very ill and this was her driving force, she set herself the challenge of running a 5k race, a 10k race and jumping out of an airplane!
    On the day of the 10k race, Karen received news that her father had passed away and so was unable to make the race. The rest of us ran it as a group for her and a few weeks later, ran the whole route again with her for her to collect her sponsorship money.
    In the end, Karen was able to beat her fundraising target, smashing it and raising triple the original goal.
    We're happy we were able to support Karen on this journey and we know that the money raised will go to a great cause. Well done Karen!"
     
    Well done to all the team! What a superb effort and demonstration of walking your talk. Below you can see the thank you note from Karen with details of the amount raised and her journey and the group image with Karen in the middle and Lisa, then Rachel to the right of her on the picture.
    Karen's Thank You Note
    Karen in the centre with Lisa 2nd from right and Rachel 1st on the right.
  • How ready are you to meet the new CQC Quality Standard – Oral Care in Care Homes?

    On 7th June 2017, NICE Quality Standard 'Oral Care in Care Homes' was published.  It recommends that residents in care homes have their oral health needs assessed on admission and recorded in their personal care plans, and are supported to clean their teeth twice a day and/or their dentures daily.

    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) expects care managers to take account of the nationally recognised guidance, including CQC Guidance from NICE, in essence, CQC want to see care homes prioritizing oral care.  Also, being able to evidence how you support residents to maintain good oral health will help you to demonstrate that your service is both effective and responsive.

    Included in the guide below are the tools to help you make those improvements:

    Improving Oral Health for Adults in Care Homes - A Quick Guide for Care Home Managers in association with NICE and SCIE -  which highlights areas for Care Managers to focus on

    We know that many of you social care managers and your staff out there know what is expected of you when it comes to supporting your residents with oral care, but due to a lack of available training, fit for purpose oral care product solutions, tools and resources, are unaware of the best practices and how to implement these.

    Here at Hcsuk, we really want to help and support you to achieve compliancy, and are therefore really proud and excited to announce that we have teamed up with Jane Peterson, RDH, BSc, Dental and Healthcare Professional and founder of oral health training company Oral Health Matters, to host:

    Our First CPD Accredited Seminar

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

    Wednesday 20th September 2017

    8.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.

    at

    Jury’s Inn, East Midlands Airport

    £99 per person

    Including refreshments, networking opportunities, car parking and buffet lunch

    To book this course now, please go to https://hcsuk-oral-health.eventbrite.co.uk

    As well as teaching you best practice in assisting and supporting your residents on oral health matters, these best practices will demonstrate to your stakeholders that you prioritise oral care.

    Who should attend this course?

    This oral care seminar is designed for all staff who are involved in the personal care of residents, senior care staff including care managers, oral champions, learning and development leads and trainers.

    What are the course objectives?

    To raise awareness of the importance of daily mouth care for older people in residential care and to provide practical advice on oral care techniques. Carers will be provided with the knowledge and ability to plan and deliver daily mouth care within residential and nursing care homes.  This course combines the practical and theoretical aspects of our basic and advanced level courses to deliver a complete guide to oral care provision for the elderly in care homes.

    Which topics does the course cover?

    • The mouth and teeth
    • Oral health and the body
    • Daily oral care
    • Denture care
    • Oral care and dementia
    • For highly dependent and medically compromised residents
    • Oral health assessments
    • Mouth Care Policy in accordance with NICE Guidelines and CQC recommendations

    What are the expected learning outcomes for you and your staff?

    On successful completion of this course delegates will be able to:

    • Identify basic dental anatomy and recognise abnormalities
    • Carry out mouth care assessments for residents in care homes
    • Create oral care plans for all residents
    • Outline the potential effects of poor oral health on individual's general health and well-being
    • Provide daily mouth care for all residents
    • Use newly learned oral hygiene techniques
    • Deliver denture care
    • Acknowledge coping strategies for residents with challenging behaviour towards mouth care
    • Provide daily mouth care for highly dependent and medically compromised residents including:
      • Dementia
      • Nil by mouth
      • Palliative care

    Meet Jane, our trainer for the day

     

     

     

     

    Jane Peterson RDH, BSc

    Jane has completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Oral Health Promotion, which highlighted to her the need for Oral Health Promotion in Care Homes and enabled Jane to reflect on oral health status and develop preventive strategies for care staff and the elderly in care homes. Jane carries out oral healthcare visits in a number of care homes and because of her experience she understands the challenges some residents pose with daily oral care. Jane currently works in General Practice 1 day a week, the rest of her time is dedicated to teaching and speaking at group meetings and seminars nationally to Dental and Healthcare Professionals.

    We have limited spaces available and we are expecting a high level of demand for this event so we recommend that you book your places today to avoid disappointment!

    So here’s that link again: https://hcsuk-oral-health.eventbrite.co.uk

    We look forward to sharing our knowledge with you on the day.

  • Keep Active Top 5

    We've noticed in recent weeks the growing coverage of how keeping active can help people with a dementia to reconnect to lost parts of themselves. Here's our Top 5 selection of how you can help, in no particular order.

    Continue reading

  • What could you achieve in just one hour?

    Do you think it's possible to change a life in on hour? We certainly do and a recent study adds credence to that belief.

    Continue reading

  • Superior Senses - How Engaging the Senses Can Help with Dementia Symptoms

    As humans we are led through the world by our senses, our taste, smell, sight, hearing and sense of touch help us connect to the world around us. Often with the onset of dementia these senses can be dulled or conversely, over-stimulated but when they are used to reconnect to memories and past joys, then they help bypass the barriers created by dementia.

    Continue reading

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