care homes

  • How a few mealtime interventions and lots of tlc has helped Jo's Mum to live longer

    This is a very touching and personal story of how in December 2016, Jo, MD of Hcsuk was told that her Mum had given up on life and had stopped eating, but Jo persevered and has been able to improve her Mum's dining experience to the point that she recently celebrated her 98th birthday. What a fantastic outcome!


     

  • UPDATED! - Eating and drinking independently after a stroke tastes the best!

    May is Stroke Awareness Month and we wanted to share with you an article  we have written specifically to help you to develop greater empathy to support ladies and gents who have survived a stroke to continue to eat  and drink, as best they can independently and with  dignity.

    I would like you to imagine, for a moment, how you would feel if you were suddenly struck down with a stroke - seemingly coming from nowhere in the space of a moment, and with potentially life changing consequences – not just for you who is immediately affected, but also for your loved ones.

    After all, shaky hands, limited movement in your neck and/or potential paralysis down one side of your body, would make it nearly impossible for you to eat and drink independently. And having to have someone assist you with your meals, or face spilling food on a table or yourself, can be embarrassing and have a negative effect on your self-esteem and even lead to you refusing to eat.

    Continue reading

  • A Dementia Friendly Pantomime Experience? Oh Yes You can!

    Ever since I was a little girl, I remember that my Mum loved everything about the pantomime.

    And frankly, why not?  According to the Oxford dictionary ‘a panto is funny and has something for the girls – a love story, and something for the boys – a duel fight with swords.’  Add in a measure of slapstick comedy, some music and dancing and you have the perfect recipe for some good old fashioned entertainment which can be enjoyed by all generations.

    Mum always fancied herself in the traditional role of the principle boy, where a lady would don a short jacket,  long over the thigh length boots and engage in plenty of  thigh slapping – and she definitely had the legs for it!

    So there was always an annual seasonal trip to the panto clearly marked in our family social calendar, and was eagerly anticipated by us all. From an early age, like my Mum, I absolutely adored the brightly coloured sparkly costumes, the singing and dance routines, joining in with all of the audience participation, (oh yes I did!), not forgetting, of course, the good old pantomime dame, “cos there ain’t nothing like a dame"!

    I can even remember one year being one of the ‘boys and girls’ invited to go up on stage and singing Rupert the Bear along with the cast!

    Fast forward to my teenage years and Dad was in the local rotary club and once a year, my Mum and I would help him and his fellow Rotarians to take  a coach party of elderly pensioners to the pantomime.

    When Ashleigh and Joseph came along, (my children) Mum couldn’t wait to introduce her grandchildren to her beloved panto and would treat us all to tickets to see the latest show at the Nottingham Playhouse. We chose there over the bigger and grander Theatre Royal in Nottingham which attracted the celebrity cast, preferring the lower key locally written performance by Kenneth Alan Taylor, who generally also starred in the production as Widow Twankey or another such pantomime dame.

    These trips created a special bond between the three generations of our family and the kids would insist on taking Granny to Macdonald’s afterwards for a happy meal of chicken nuggets and fries, a whole new experience for her!

    Sadly the day came when, due to Mum’s failing mobility, coupled with her fear of heights and steps, she resigned herself to the fact that she would no longer be able to join us on our annual outing. However not wanting to deprive us of our annual treat, Mum insisted on continuing to pay for me to take the children without her. So we hit on a happy compromise and would call at Macdonald’s after the performance and take a happy meal for us all back to her house with a programme of the play. Mum would love to hear from the children all about the performance.

    One of the saddest things about growing old, I believe, is facing the realization that you are no longer able to manage to do the things you used to love to do, and the prospect that you have done something for the last time. I can only imagine how that would have affected Mum, to know that she would probably never get to see another live pantomime during her lifetime.

    Mum is now 97 and three quarters, (and will be 98 on March 8th) and is currently being supported at home with Vascular Dementia.

    Now my kids are grown up too and so it was a particular treat to be invited to visit the panto this Christmas with Ashleigh, along with my step daughter Anna and her two children Harlow and Austin, to see Robin Hood and The Babes in the Wood. To see their little faces light up and how much they enjoyed it really brought home to me how much pleasure my Mum must have got from watching us all. Another 3 generations enjoying the panto together, the family tradition lives on, happily.

    The stage is set!

    During the interval, Ashleigh pointed out to me a leaflet which was in her programme, advertising a dementia friendly performance of the pantomime.

    This idea really sparked my interest and it got me thinking about the possibilities. What if this adapted performance enabled me to take Mum to enjoy just one more pantomime show?

    The following morning I rang the theatre to find out more about what was special about a dementia friendly performance. The young girl on the phone was extremely helpful and explained:

    • they reduce the music volume when dialogue is taking place,
    • they have a relaxed attitude to people changing seats during the performance
    • and even to people leaving and reentering whilst the performance is on
    • as it isn’t a schools performance, the audience is quieter
    • there is additional signage with pictures in the foyer
    • there is a quiet room for those who need it, before, during and after the performance
    • there are additional support staff to help

    Overall they describe it as a much more relaxed attitude towards noise and movement during the performance.

    I was quite nervous about the prospect of this big  trip out, so I decided to ask Mum if she would like  to go, and when I did, her face told me everything I needed to know. She broke out in the biggest, beaming smile I’d seen from her in a long time.  So, from then on it just has to be done, there was no turning back and the tickets were booked that same day. Although Mum can’t remember what time of day it is or which meal she’s recently eaten, she remembered and KNEW that we were going to the pantomime on Thursday January 17th 2019 for a matinee performance. She kept referring back to it, and telling everyone, ‘I'm going to the pantomime you know’ so I knew how much it meant it to her to be going.

    The day dawned, and Mum was dressed up and ready to go in her Sunday, complete with new hair do, lipstick and her pearls. On arrival, we were welcomed by a smiling male member of the Playhouse team who took complete care of us from that moment, organising programmes, (including a specially adapted programme), and the obligatory bag of Maltesers and who then personally escorted us to our seats. The auditorium was roughly three quarters full with many ladies and gents, some of whom had come with their spouses and others in parties from care homes and local societies. It was such a pleasure to see a great turn out and to know that so many were going to be able to enjoy this experience.

    Mamma Whitty and some of the cast of the pantomime

    There was a good ratio of staff around to be of assistance throughout the performance, all dressed in yellow T shirts for instant visibility,  and Mum soon got into the spirit of the performance - joining in, singing along to ‘Underneath the Spreading Chestnut Tree’  together with the actions, and booing the baddie, ‘Oh no! Not the Sheriff of Nottingham!' when prompted. I could see how it took her right back and was a great experience for her.

    At the end of the show, the performers all came out into the audience, chatting and posing for photos. They were fantastic and couldn’t have been kinder and more patient. Robin Hood himself came over to talk to Mum. She was fascinated by his costume asking if she could feel the sequins on his jacket. I asked if Mum would like her photo taken with Robin and before I knew it, he had gathered several other cast members around him and we were able to snap an amazing pictorial memento of the occasion, with Mum surrounded by a mass of colorful and sparkling and beaming smiles. A fantastic experience overall. Mum did take Robin into her confidence and told him that she had actually starred in the previous year’s performance, (wishful thinking I believe!) and that she was there on that day in her official capacity escorting 70 elderly people to watch the performance!  Being there had obviously evoked some powerful memories for her!

    I have given Nottingham Playhouse a 5 star rating for doing a fantastic job to enable so many ladies and gents to enjoy the panto that day. Since then, I have learnt that they offer relaxed and dementia friendly performances of all the plays they stage. We have already talked about the fact that we may well return. As Mum’s carer, I get to go for free, what’s not to love about that?! I will happily continue to be Mum’s theatre buddy.

    Bookings are already being taken for Sleeping Beauty for Christmas 2019, and God willing, we will definitely be going back!

    For more information on dementia friendly performances and familiarisation visits plus any questions - you can email [email protected]  or you can call the box office  on 01159 419419 at the Nottingham Playhouse.
     

  • Meet Mukesh and All the Latest from Health Care Services HQ!

    We do hope that you and all those in your care are well and looking forward to spring now the days are a little lighter and brighter. Today we wanted to share a few pieces of news from Hcsuk HQ.

    Meet Mukesh!

    Mukesh Dhunna is our new Sales Manager, he is busy out and about coming to meet a lot of you over the next few weeks and months. Mukesh comes with a wealth of experience helping clients find the products that are right for them. He has a particular interest in skin care, so please feel free to ask him your questions and we will all work together to help you find the perfect solutions for those in your care.

    Here's Mukesh with your delivery driver Pete, more about Pete later!

    Pete and Mukesh out and about recently!

    Technology in Healthcare

    If you've been keeping an eye on the latest healthcare news then you will probably have heard about the Topol Review, Preparing the Healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future. Technology is already part of how we care for our residents, with wearable devices which are used to alert help when someone falls, to pressure sensors in beds and even the digital thermometer! There will be more technology to come and we are excited to see how it can enable carers, care managers, and the care homes in which residents live to provide better levels of care and quality of life. We will be watching!

     

    And finally today ...

    If you haven't met Pete (he's in the picture above) yet but you plan on visiting us at HQ in the near future, we recommend you come on a Friday. Pete is very conscientious and cleans his van every Friday, so that he knows on Monday morning, he is all ready to go and his van is a sparkling representation of the company.

    As one lucky visitor found out recently, if you happen to park in just the right spot on a Friday, Pete will even give your car a little wash and pamper too. What a superstar!

     

    That's it for now but we will be in touch soon with more news from Hcs HQ! Remember we are here to answer any questions and queries you may have on 01773 713713 and the website with a huge range of products solutions is at www.hcsuk.co.uk 

  • Our servicing superheros have certainly impressed Jeff!

    Jeff Dennis, the maintenance manager at Woodleigh Care Group in Mansfield explains why he uses Health Care Services for his equipment servicing.

    To book your complimentary equipment audit, head over here

     

  • UPDATE!! The Health Care Extreme Makeover - Home Edition!

    We know you've all been keenly waiting to hear the news from Red Rose about their brilliant refurbishment project and here's the latest update. As you can see, there is a lot of work going into this project and we know it will help to make a huge difference in end of life care for many people and their loved ones.

    Continue reading

  • Are you sure your mattresses are really clean?

    How can you be sure your mattresses are safe for new residents? With our mattress decontamination service we can take care of it for you, ensuring the mattress is cleaned to MHRA standards - we will even arrange your collection and redelivery.
    • Meets PUWER regs  - from the HSE
    • Meets DoH95 (18)  - regulations
    • Immersion process formulated to kill HCAIs (Healthcare Associated Infections)

    Book your mattress decontamination now!

    The decontamination facility we use has been built with infection control in mind throughout, including separate “contaminated” and “decontaminated” entries and exits within the facilities.
    The facilities have been viewed and approved by NHS/PCT trusts and our service offers a swift turn-around, usually 7-10 days. We are priced competitively at £60 per decontamination.
    In addition to cleaning your mattress, we can provide quotes and recommendations for repairs to ensure you get the most life out of your mattresses too. No work is carried out until you have agreed to the quote.
    Want more? What about a loan mattress? For £40 we will loan you a mattress to use whilst your’s is being cleaned!
  • Could Healthcare Services be your Servicing Superheroes?

    When equipment fails it's deeply frustrating, costly in both time and money and affects your staff and residents.  We can cover a range of equipment in our servicing division, from hoists to wheelchairs, beds and scooters and more.

    • For servicing and repairs - compliant with Loler BS5827 Bn ES ISO10535
    • Full Service History - You'll have all the information you need, when you need it.
    • Hassle free diary management - To keep your business compliant and ensure that nothing is missed
    • Written recommendations of new parts before supply for cost control
    • Peace of mind we operate under a health care industry code of practice, so you can be assured you’re dealing with a reputable company
    • DBS checked engineers- we are trustworthy
    • A seamless service when old equipment needs replacing
    • On loan/short term hire of essential equipment to help keep your residents safe and well.

    We offer a FREE equipment audit service so you can have full peace of mind about all the tools you rely on. Book your FREE Equipment Audit Now! 

    I use Hcsuk for our hoist servicing, they offer a brilliant service and are one the best teams I've got. They are always happy, helpful, there when I want them and there's no messing about.   Jeff Dennis, Woodleigh Care Group

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for an excellent service we received when we had our hoist, hoist slings and weight chair scales serviced. The gentleman who came was very polite and friendly with a professional manner.
    The reason we choose HCSuk is that we have always received excellent service from you and always received a friendly response when we contact any member of your team.
    Colleen Joyce, Manager at Stanton Manor Residential Home, Burton on Trent.

    Our superhero servicing team, Phil and Rachel

    Our team of caring and skilled technicians work with customers to take the hassle out of keeping their equipment compliant and in the best possible condition.
    Phil and Rachel work closely together to give you the very best service and customer care they can and they really are a true superhero team! Phil is something of a speed freak with a love of motor bikes and Rachel has recently completed two YES TWO half marathons! Watch out for more on that later.

    Book your FREE equipment audit now!

  • Why you need to know about Dignified Dining for All

    We have been banging on about dignified dining for over 18 months now, since the launch of our Dignified Dining Solutions Guide in fact, back in June 2017. In case you missed that launch, you can catch Jo talking about here - go ahead and watch it now, we'll wait.

    We know that the tools, tips and guidance included in the Dignified Dining Solutions Guide can make a marked difference to those in your care, from individuals in the home to those in care homes. We’re offering you the chance to get this 34 page guide, worth over £5.99 for FREE!

    Order my guide!

    Here’s what a few other people think about it -

    "My daughter is 12 years old she has a diagnosis of down's syndrome, oral dysphagia, autism, sensory processing disorder and food intolerances. I have only been able to give her pureed or mashed food which she was not particularly interested in.  She is assisted at meal times. The first time she say saw her food moulded dinner, she shouted, "Carrots!". The next time, she wants 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 pieces of dinner onto her fork and into her mouth with glee. But what's most important to me is that my daughter is beginning to enjoy meal times and showing greater independent all because her food is now moulded."

    Mrs Dewey, Private Customer

    "We have been auditing noise levels at mealtimes and have noticed that by making simple changes to the way we manage the mealtime experience. Our residents are much less distracted, and are clearing their plates rather than picking at their meals. So we are delighted to be seeing improved levels of nutrition and less wastage" 

    Donna Butcher, Woodleigh Care group

    Airedale NHS Foundation Trust has been working to improve the acute care environment for people with dementia in hospital. "We have introduced the coloured crockery range and had some excellent feedback on how this has made a difference"

    Fiona Throp - Senior Nurse for Older People - Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

    Order my guide!

    Learn how one simple change, can help someone to smile like this -

    See the difference one simple thing can make to someone's life. A smile can speak volumes. This is Jackie, with her yellow plate.

    Order my guide!

     

  • The Healthcare Extreme Makeover - Home Edition!

    We are delighted to bring you a project we're very proud to be helping on, the refurbishment of 18 rooms at Red Rose Care Home in Newark.

    Red Rose Care have a history of achieving excellence and the newly refurbished rooms are adding to these high standards by offering end of life care facilities.

    Continue reading

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