Websites to take a peek at

http://www.dementiauk.org/donate/donate-your-scrap-car/ – You can sell your scrap car, and the money goes to your chosen charity!

http://www.ostrichcare.co.uk/care/gps-trackers.aspx – GPS trackers being rolled out by Ostrich

http://ourturn.org.uk/ – sign up to become a finder of people with dementia who get lost!

https://www.anthonynolan.org/node/774 – Spit to save! Join the bone marrow register, and potentially save someones life!

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Recipes

I think I may have mentioned before how important it is to keep being as independent as possible when you have dementia. Nan seems so much more confident when she has things to do, things she is “trusted” with. Like her tasks. It is so important to feel you have a role. For nan, this really shows during cooking. She loves being invited to help to make things, and so here are our 3 top recipes that we enjoy cooking and eating together. Each recipe makes enough for at least 4 portions (and we have frozen and then microwaved when in desperate need – but I won’t say you definitely can as I do not wish to be sued if you get food poisoning). Please let me know any recipes you and your loved ones have enjoyed making. And remember to encourage your loved one to do as much as they feel they can do.

Fish Pie:

2/3 cod fillets – cooked to preference1 tin salmon
carrots/peas/green beans – boiled until soft
mushrooms – fried
1 sachet parsley sauce
milk (according to sachet)
grated cheese (for topping)
potatoes – boiled and mashed
optional: 2 x hard-boiled eggs

Flake cod and mix with vegetables in a casserole dish
Add mushrooms (and slices of boiled eggs)
Cover with parsley sauce and bake for 20 minutes
Cover with mash, cover with cheese and grill until golden

Chicken Supreme:

1 sachet chicken supreme sauce
milk
fried mushrooms and onions
cabbage/sprouts/peas – cooked
quorn chicken – from frozen /diced chicken – cooked

Mix onions, mushrooms and chicken with sauce in a casserole dish
Blend the cabbage, sprouts etc and add to the chicken mix. Add more water if needed

(Lovely with carrot and swede mash)

Vegetarian Cottage Pie:

Mushrooms
Onions
Garlic
Quorn/Real minced beef
Bolognaise sauce (to make from scratch canned chopped tomatoes, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper)
carrots – boiled until soft
peas/sweetcorn – frozen/tinned
potatoes – mashed (or carrot and swede mash)

Fry mushrooms onions and garlic until soft
Add meat until brown and then add sauce
Mix in the vegetables
Top with mash

Enjoy 🙂

Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse

So after many, many documentaries, news stories and general abundance of elder abuse in the media I thought it was time to write about it.
Obviously elder abuse, along with all other forms of abuse is disgusting. Something I cannot condone. I cannot even try and justify it (I try to give balanced arguments for any topic on my blog but this is one of things I will not).
So if you see it or suspect it please call one of the following numbers:

Call:
elder Abuse response 08088088141,
social services,
CQC 03000616161 (England),
CQC 08456030890 (Scotland),
CQC 01443848450 (Wales),
DHSSPS 02890520500 (Northern Ireland)

Abuse can come in many forms, so there are many things to look out for:

physical (striking, slapping, shoving, punching, restraining).
Sexual (intimacy with a threat of force or without consent).
Psychological (yelling, insulting, threats, violence, isolation).
Financial (misuse of property, money or possessions).
Neglect (Lack of food, clothing, shelter or medical care).

Look out for repeated injuries, incompatible explanations, lack of personal or medical care, malnutrition, dehydration, discrepancy in financial resource, unpleasant odours, inappropriate dress.

Here are some facts about elder abuse:

Abuse can be defined as “a single or repeated act, omission or lack of appropriate action occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress” – to an older person. (action on elder abuse 04/05)

Family abuse accounts for about 46% and paid workers 34%

More male than female abusers, abuses are usually women (67%) who are over 80 (40%)

Causes can include, poor quality relationships, carers inability to perform, carer has mental/physical health problems, inadequately trained, poorly supervised, little support, isolation.

Both men and women are at risk of abuse

Abuse can occur in their own home, a carers home, day care, residential care, nursing home, hospital

The abuser is usually well known to the abused, they could be a relative, a friend or neighbour, a paid or volunteer care worker, a health or social worker or other professional, anybody who cares for them

helpful info

I recently picked up a leaflet from the local dementia services. It goes through what dementia is, the symptoms, how you may feel about these symptoms. Then it has a helpful section on how to cope with memory problems:

  • Keep a diary, check the diary every morning and several times a day
  • Carry a notebook and write things down that come to mind
  • Write to do lists on a wipe clean board
  • Follow a structured routine for every day tasks
  • Invest in a clock with shows day and date
  • Find a place to put important things
  • Place a list of useful numbers by the telephone
  • Keep a notepad and pen by the phone to take messages
  • Ask for a nomad tray
  • Try to use the same route whenever you go somewhere
  • Always carry the number of a next of kin
  • Avoid tv or radio when you are trying take in information
  • Use an alarm clock to remind you when to do things
  • Keep your brain active by doing crosswords, jigsaw, Sudoku, cards and reading
  • Put things in the same place and concentrate for a few seconds on where you have placed it
  • Stick labels on doors telling you what items are in there
  • Wear glasses and keys round your neck or on a belt loop
  • Write down direction in a notebook to get to important places, look out for landmarks
  • Repeat someones name several times in a conversation, or ask them to spell it for you
  • Tell people you have memory problems and ask them to recap what they’ve said
  • Describe what you mean if you forget a word
  • Write down conversations using bullet points
  • Relax
  • Break down tasks into manageable chunks
  • Establish a daily routine
  • Accept you need more time or help
  • If feeling cross stop, take time out, do something relaxing, concentrate on successes.

I have to admit though, I’m not sure how much any of these could help, if at all. I mean, nan wears her glasses round her neck, but unless I remind her they are there she will go round the whole house looking for them. And it’s enough to tell someone to relax, but when you have dementia and all these things are going on in your head how easy is it to do?

Sleeping Problems

As a carer I have to admit I have gone days, weeks, months without a decent nights sleep. Sometimes I sleep well, other times I cannot switch my brain off. Most times though I feel more energised at bedtime than I do all day. I picked up a brochure at the GP’s and thought I’d share some of with you in case you are having the same problems (Do not start drinking excessively or taking painkillers to help you sleep, that is a slippery slope that none of us should start on).

It is normal to have trouble sleeping at some point in your life, especially during what can be testing times for you emotionally as well as physically. The problem is the less sleep you get the more stressed you get about it, making your body raise its endorphins and making it harder for you to sleep.

There could be many reasons for problems sleeping, if you are concerned you should go see your GP, they are there to help. But of course you could try these 3 more natural remedies first:
– Cammomile tea
– Lavender drops/candle
– Orgasm

Causes: ageing, medical reasons, stress/anxiety/worry, depression/low mood, surroundings, disrupted routine.

Ask yourself:
Are you having trouble getting to sleep? Staying asleep? Waking too early? Poor quality sleep?

Are you worrying about not getting enough sleep? Try and remind yourself it will not hurt you, you know it will happen eventually, listen to something calming with your eyes shut, this can be just as effective as sleep for your body to rest. Don’t watch the clock. Tell yourself it really doesn’t matter. Daydream about pleasant things instead. Force your eyes to stay open, you may find double bluffing your body works.

If you suspect it is medically related go to the GP

If it is emotional worries, talk to someone about your concerns, keep a diary, write down your worries and burn them. Or write a solution and the steps you need to take it. Write any obstacles and how you could overcome them, then spend half an hour winding down, and remind yourself that worrying doesn’t solve anything.

If you have trouble falling asleep, after about half an hour get up and do something restful but productive, e.g lists, knitting…

Is it too noisy, dark, quiet, loud, hard, soft, partner or lack of partner?

Don’t eat or drink caffeine withing 4 hours of bedtime, don’t smoke for 4h before bed

Make sure your bed is only associated with sleep and or sex. Don’t watch tv, eat etc.

Things to bear in mind

1) Don’t try and stop them just because something not done properly
2) don’t exclude them from conversations/decisions
3) Caring is not controlling. no bossiness
4) who is it a problem for? us/them? don’t scold/argue. go with the flow
5) give choice and celebrate what can do
6) spot and change cause of agitation
7) enter and affirm their world
8) reach out, cherish and respect the person behind the dementia (Barbara Pointon)

Treat caree as you would want to be treated, compliment, ask for opinion, don’t argue, do with not for, don’t embarrass, show empathy.

Anger or agitation can be caused by: tired, have pain, side effects. too much noise, activity, clutter, unfamiliar people and places, sudden movements, feeling of loss or insecurity. Being asked several questions at once, responding to arguments amongst others, responding to impatience, stress, irritability, being scolded/confronted/contradicted, being surprised, discovering inability to complete tasks, receiving unclear instructions, changing schedules, short attention span, task not broken down.

Alternate quiet/active periods. Plan outings when caree is rested, make them comfortable, simplify environment, keep consistency, orientate them to time, exercise regularly, gentle touches, distraction.

Trying to rationalise/reason with an individual who has dementia might only lead to frustration or anger because they no longer have the full ability to think logically.

First Aid

First Aid:

–          Over 65’s are twice as likely to die from a fall as having smoked over a lifetime.

–          Keep an eye for sores, cuts, bruises, blisters joints/bones in unusual angles as may get infected or a sign they need help

–          Don’t give first aid unless trained and confident.

–          Assess the situation, safe to approach? Elec/gas/glass. Removable?
Assess casualty, do not move them if they may have fallen as risk of damage to neck/spine. Are they conscious? Gently shake shoulders.

–          If unresponsive they are unconscious and a priority

–          Spend 10 secs with casualty on back, head tilt chin lift (ball of hand on forehead two fingers under chin), look for chest rising and falling, listen at mouth, feel for breath on cheek.

–          If breathing: recovery position then 999.

–          If not call 999 then start CPR: 30 (5cm) chest compressions (100xa minute), open airways, 2 rescue breaths (close nostrils, tight seal around mouth, steadily blow into mouth til chest moves (1 second). Take mouth away and wait for chest to fall. Then repeat chest

–          Check airways for obstructions but don’t use fingers or push anything into their mouth

–          Stay with the casualty and perform CPR until a) you become exhausted, b) they start to breathe, c)ambulance arrives

–          Recover position: kneel beside casualty, empty pockets and glasses, straighten limbs, nearest arm at right angle, furthest arm across body (with back of palm on cheek) Bend furthest knee and roll over onto side. Make sure at right angles.

Heart Attack:

–          Symptoms include vice like chest pain that may travel from chest to arms and neck, anxiety, breathlessness, pale skin with blue lips, sudden weakness, collapse.

–          Relieve strain by loosening clothing

–          Sit down and support head. Don’t give fluids

–          Don’t give meds, if they have meds for angina allow them to take it

–          If unconscious perfrom 1 set of CPR and then call 999

Cuts:

–          Gain access to the wound

–          Apply pressure with a sterile dressing or palm of hand (wear gloves) for 5-10 mins

–          Don’t remove objects from the wound, apply pressure round them

–          Keep the wound elevated above the heart of possible

–          Wrap a tight (not to block circulation tight) dressing around the wound, padding around the object

–          Assess the extent of bleeding and call 999

–          Treat shock if necessary and wash hands

Shock:

–          Symptoms include; rapid or weak pulse, pale skin, sweating, cold clammy, weak, nausea, thirst, rapid breathing, restlessness, gasping, unconsciousness and possible cardiac arrest.

–          First treat the cause e.g. cut

–          Lie down, loosen clothing, blanket underneath, raise legs above head to encourage blood flow, keep them warm

–          Do not allow eating drinking moving or smoking

Choking:

–          Symptoms include difficulty speaking, grasping throat, contorted face, pale blue skin, unconciousnes

–          Encourage to cough

–          Shout for help. Don’t leave them

–          5 back slaps (bent over) using ball of hand in centre of shoulder blades in an upwards motion

–          Then ab thrusts, hands (one fisted one covering) between belly button and breast plate

–          Repeat

Strokes/TIA’s:

–          Symptoms include loss of muscular control, loss of sensation and unconsciousness, paralysis, slurred speech.

–          A TIA is 10x more likely to have a stroke

–          Call 999

–          Don’t offer food or drink

–          If vomit, drooling or cant swallow place on one side to drain

Back Injury:

–          Symptoms include difficulty breathing, loss of control of limbs

–          Reassure, don’t move them, keep back aligned and hold head with hands over their ears to prevent movement

–          Call 999

–          Only tilt head if unconscious

Burns:

–          After 60 the risk is greater of getting burnt and the size area of burns will be larger.

–          Over 75’s are most likely to get burned in the kitchen

–          Assess situation, serousnesss? Cause? Shock?

–          Remove from danger

–          Treat swelling, run under cold water tap for at least 10 minutes

–          Gently remove clothing and jewellery

–          Do not apply lotion, material, touch or interfere with the wound

–          Gently apply sterile dressing and call 999

Crushing:

–          The area can become cold and numb

–          Dangers of fractures (swelling/bruising) and internal bleeding

–          If been under object for less than 15mins release, and if can treat the fracture and shock and then call 999

–          If been under object for more than 15m call 999 asap then reassure

Diabtetes:

–          Types: hyper glycemia=high blood sugar
hypo glycemia= low blood sugar

–          Symptoms of hyper=acetone on breath, thirst, dry skin, rapid pulse, unconsciousness, coma

–          Symptoms of hypo=faint, dizzy, confused, sweating, shallow breath

–          Call 999

–          If a hypo give sweet food (fruit or biscuits) and sit them down

Allergic reactions:

–          Can lead to anaphylactic shock

–          Food, meds, stings etc can cause

–          Look out for rashes, red skin, blotchy skin, breathing and swelling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stiffness, shaking, headaches, drowsiness, constipation and weight gain.

–          Sit them down check breathing and allow own use of adrenaline. Call 999

–          Can happen slowly over time or could be immediate

Eyes:

–          Symptoms include: intense pain, redness, swelling, watering, unable to open

–          Irrigate the eye for ten minutes wearing gloves

–          Lie them on back with head on knees and affected eye facing down ward

–          Hold a pad over the eye, identify if a chemical has caused it and call 999

Poisons:

–          Never induce vomiting

–          Reassure

–          Find out what swallowed

–          Drink frequent milk or water if corrosive

First Aid Kit:

–          Should include 20 sterile dressings, 4 triangle bandages, 2 eye patches, 6 safety pins, 6 medium dressings, 2 large dressings, gloves and no tablets