His is a call that Age UK supports. The numbers speak for themselves: the NHS is experiencing a degree of sustained belt-tightening that is unprecedented in modern times – this while an ageing population is inevitably increasing the demand for services.
There’s no doubt that a familiar face, like that of a loved one and carer, can really put a person with dementia at ease during a hospital stay. The benefit to patient, family and staff is immeasurable; vital not only to settle the person, but to aid communication and prepare them for diagnostics or treatment, thereby helping professionals carry out their jobs. The carer may also be able to provide vital information and background, or support and stimulate a restless patient as opposed to leaving them confused and bed bound.
John’s Campaign, founded in 2014 by Nicci Gerrard and Julia Jones, calls for an end to restrictive visiting hours in hospitals to enable more people with dementia to benefit from the support of a carer when they need it.
On Tuesday 6December, Age UK launched a film and kickstarted a lively discussion at the Britain Against Cancer Conference. This is a unique event which brings together NHS professionals, patients, third sector organisations, policy experts, carers, and commercial organisations to ensure that cancer stays high on the agenda for the top decision-makers in the country.
This was Age UK’s first time at the conference. Why were we there?
My Nan lived with Parkinson’s and developed dementia later in her life. Luckily, we found a wonderful residential home which gave her the high quality, compassionate care that she needed. – also known as NHS continuing care or NHS CHC – was never mentioned to us, despite Nan having incredibly high needs. Looking back, I think it probably should have been. But part of me is grateful that, as a family, we didn’t have to struggle through this complex and confusing process.
The ‘I Love My Pharmacist Award’ recognises the vital role pharmacists play across the NHS. Often the unsung heroes of the health service, they work alongside GPs, nurses and hospital staff, as well as in the community.
Sheelagh Donovan works in the Information and Advice Department at Age UK, writing health information for our publications and website. Sheelagh talks about a new guide on caring that she recently worked on.
Caring can be a central part of many older people’s lives. For many who have partners and spouses, it can be an expected and valued part of ageing together, so much so that they may fail to see themselves as carers.
For others, it is a no less valuable part of a friendship. As many of us live longer, it is not unusual for people in their 50s and 60s to be caring for older parents while also supporting grandchildren or a disabled adult child. Continue reading “A practical guide to health caring”