1. Managing and maintaining nutrition
  2. Maintaining personal hygiene
  3. Managing toilet needs
  4. Being appropriately clothed
  5. Being able to make use of their house safely
  6. Maintaining a habitable home environment
  7. Developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships
  8. Accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
  9. Making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport, and recreational facilities or services
  10. Carry out any caring responsibilities the adult has for a child.

 

This is expected to affect 340,000 elderly people who be will be denied care in new cuts: Vital help to be restricted to those who need assistance with two or more tasks, the Government said a few days ago.

 

  • Charities attacked new criteria announced by the Government
  • Age UK said 340,000 would be denied care in ‘bleak’ future for elderly
  • Department of Health insisted new rules are meant to mirror old ones.

 

Councils have been told to provide home help and other assistance only if people are unable to complete two or more essential daily tasks. If they are unable to do only one of the 10 appointed tasks then they should receive no help from their council – meaning they would either have to pay for the care themselves or do without it.

Under the present system, most councils restrict care to those with ‘substantial’ or ‘critical’ needs – meaning they are at risk of ending up in hospital without care.

The Coalition Governments new ‘national eligibility criteria’ – a minimum threshold of care that councils have to provide – says the elderly should get care if their needs arise from a physical or mental impairment, if they are unable to achieve two or more activities, and if this failure is likely to have a significant impact on wellbeing.

Richard Hawkes, chairman of the Care and Support Alliance said: The Care Act will only live up to its promise of a genuinely preventative systems that promotes wellbeing, if the Government re-thinks its plans to exclude so many older and disabled people from the system.

Neil Duncan – Jordan, from the National Pensioners Convention, said: People were expecting a better deal from the Coalition after all the promises. Many older people and their families will be very angry and disappointed about this. This isn’t about improving services and looking after people who desperately need support. ‘The whole thing is a con. The Coalition said they were going to fix Social care, but they ‘re making things worse. They ‘re cutting money from Social Care, so they ‘re restricting eligibility it’s cynical.

There are many health risks associated with hot weather that employees must look out for during their home visits. Those most at risk are older people, mainly those over the age of 75, those with chronic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory problems or diabetes, or those with mobility problems as they are unable to help themselves to keep cool. Staff can help people at home to keep cool by following the 5 tips below.
 
Tip 1: Keep the Person’s Home Cool

  • Keep the windows closed during the day to keep the heat out. If it is safe to do so, open the windows at night when it is cooler outside.
  • Shut the curtains, particularly if the sun is shining on the windows.
  • Suggest the service user buys a fan, although they need to think about how to switch it on and off, and prevent it from being a trip hazard when they are not visiting. A timer switch might help.
  • Turn off electric items when not in use, such as lights, which will increase the heat in the room.
  • Put a bowl of cold water in the room – this will help to cool the room as it evaporates.

Tip 2: Wearing Cooling Clothes and Footwear

  • Help the person to choose and dress in light or loose fitting clothes (cotton clothes are ideal).
  • Sandals are more cooling than shoes, so advise service users to wear these instead if it is safe to do so.
  • Wear socks with shoes as these will absorb any sweat and women should avoid wearing tights or stockings.
  • Advise the service users to avoid wearing make-up as this can impede sweating, which will make them feel hotter.

Tip 3: Consume Cool Food and Drink

  • Advise the person to drink lots of fluid even if they don’t feel thirsty. Leave plenty of cool drinks for them within easy reach.
  • Cool drinks, such as water and fruit juices are better than hot drinks. Add ice to these if you are leaving these out to keep them cooler for longer.
  • Avoid alcohol and the caffeine in tea and coffee as these can increase dehydration.
  • Meat and protein-heavy food such as cheese can raise the body temperature as it metabolises, so eating fewer of these types of foods in hot weather can help keep the person cool.
  • Avoid cooking if possible, as this will increase the heat in the home. Offer cold foods instead, such as cold soups, raw fruit and vegetables, salads, cold ice or noodle dishes, quiches and sandwiches.

Tip 4: Keep the Person Cool

  • Keep any activities to a minimum during hot weather.
  • If service user has long hair, tie this back to keep it off their face and neck.
  • If they feel hot, place a damp towel around their neck to cool them down.
  • Put cold water into a spray bottle so that the service user can spray it over them to help them to keep cool when carer is not there.
  • Help the person to have a cool shower or bath if they are suffering from the heat.

Tip 5: Take Precautions from the Heat when Outside

  • The service user should stay indoors from 11am – 3pm, if possible, as this is the hottest part of the day.
  • They should wear a brimmed hat if they are going out during hot weather, to keep their neck cool and the sun out of their eyes.
  • Take regular breaks out of the sun, such as in public buildings or under parasols or gazebos that provide shade.
  • Going out during hot weather, make sure service user takes water and their medications with them.
  • The person should wear sunglasses and sun cream if they are going out in sunny weather to protect their eyesight and skin from the adverse effects of the sun.

October 2014 will see the introduction of the long awaited Care Act, a major piece of legislation expected to reform social care. At the heart of this, is a requirement on local authorities to offer services that promote health and wellbeing, putting people at the centre of their own care. This is supported by minimum eligibility criteria that councils cannot change. In addition, it caps the amount of money that an individual has to pay towards their care to prevent them from having to sell their home to pay for this.
 
The Act focuses on prevention, aiming to improve physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and reduce or delay a person’s need for care and support. Although several issues are still to be decided, Senior Care Solutions @ Home Ltd is preparing for possible changes to the way we work, such as:

  • Training staff to understand individualised or person-centred assessment and care planning, to deliver personalised care and know how to recognise whether this is being achieved.
  • Looking about whether we can diversify our business to include preventative services and advocacy.
  • What further help and support we could offer to our carers.