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Providing home care services in Clare, Limerick, Tipperary and surrdounding counties. For more information on our home care services browse our site or call us on 061 479003.

 

Caregiver Stress

Caregivers often feel a great sense of satisfaction in doing an incredibly important job such as caring for a loved one by helping them maintain dignity and independence. However caregivers often feel as though they are unrecognised and unappreciated by the state and their families. Research has found that 41% of caregivers are under stress which identifies it is the most specific problem they have. The other main issues are back problems which represent 26%, depression 18% and anxiety 23%.  In some cases caregivers become so concerned about their loved ones they forget about their own wellbeing and health needs.

Caregiving can also become stressful if the caregiver has a number of other responsibilities such as having a job and having children to care for. For a spouse, caregiving can be particularly stressful especially when the individual requires round the clock supervision.

A caregiver that takes care of him or herself will as a result be a better caregiver to a loved one.

Signs of caregivers stress

  • Insomnia, disturbed sleep
  • Digestive/stomach problems
  • Headaches
  • Changes in weight
  • Hair loss
  • High blood pressure
  • Shoulder, back or neck pain

 If you feel as though you are suffering from one of the signs above you should consider talking to a health care professional in order to help your situation.

Taking care of yourself:

It is essential that you have someone to talk to about your emotions and your situation. You need someone that will not judge you when you express your feelings.  As a caregiver and seeing a loved one decline is really difficult. There is a wide range of emotions caregivers experience during their caring.

Some of these emotions may be:

  • Confusing, conflicting and ambivalent. You may feel sadness, love, frustration, guilt, despair, grief, despair or fear.
  • You may feel angry at the high level of dependency of your loved one and the many levels of demands on your time, money and energy. You could also be grieving for the loss of your loved one as the illness progresses.

All these feelings are common and none are “good” or “bad” nor do they replicate the level of your caregiving.

What is very important is learning to express your feelings and learning to deal with your emotions.  Coping with these feelings in a positive way is essential to your emotional and physical wellness. Stress is reduced when people can admit their feelings and learn how to accept them. By denying or repressing feelings can lead to physical problems, depression or irritability. Therefore Care About You would encourage people to talk about  their feelings as it is a very important part of being a carer. Talk to a close friend, family member or even a sympathetic GP.

Changes to the Housing Grant Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability

The changes affect three grants: These include the housing adaptation grant for people with a disability, mobility aids grant and the housing aid for older people.

Local authorities were notified by the department on Monday and have been told to implement them at once.

Under the changes, the eligibility age for the older person grants has now been increased from 60 to 66.

All members of the household over the age of 18, who are not in full-time education, will now be part of the means assessments for grants.

In addition there are changes to the income bands for the housing adaptation and housing aid schemes.

Households in the lowest band that have an income of €30,000 or less, who were before granted 100% of costs will now only receive 95%. The upper income limit to be eligible for both schemes has now been reduced from €65,000 to €60,000.

All applicants for grants will have to prove they have paid the Local Property Tax before they can qualify for the schemes. On average 10,000 people a year avail of the three means-tested grants. A spokesperson for the department said the changes have come as a result of a review of the ways in which the grants operate.

Eamon Timmins from Age Action said the cuts are targeting the most vulnerable in society and will make it even more difficult for those affected to remain in their homes. Mr Timmins stated older people “struggling to stay at home” would end up in acute hospitals and nursing homes as a result of these changes. “We’re very concerned that what they seem to be doing is trying to stretch scarce resources further to make it look like they’re getting to more people, but in effect some of the poorest people may lose out,” he said.

Still, speaking on the same programme, Ms O’Sullivan said the reduction in the maximum grant was only for elderly and not the disabled. In fact he stated there was a €3m increase in the overall amount of money being allocated to the schemes.

The minister said: “I believe that these changes will actually mean that more people will be able to stay in their own homes because they will be able to qualify for this grant, and because there will be an increase in the money. It will be spread around amongst a large number of houses. “But I do want to stress that if you have a disability, if you need something like a chairlift, you can still apply under the age of 66 for either a mobility or a disability grant from your local authority.”

Ms O’Sullivan said the rationale behind the review was to make sure the funding is used properly.She said the reduction in the older person grant from €10,500 to €8,000 came after an analysis of the grants from local authorities around the country. “Very few were getting €8,000 and the average was €5,000,” she said. “The intention is to ensure that the money goes to those who most need it.”

Micheál Martin the Fianna Fáil leader has said the Government should stop targeting older people. Mr Martin said they had been unfairly targeted by the Coalition.

In the meantime, Taoiseach Enda Kenny defended the changes to housing grants for disabled and elderly people.

He said the system for processing applications would be more efficient and the changes are “designed to give more immediate effect in the interests of elderly people who need it.”

 

Advice on Hearing Loss

Our ears are a very delicate part of our body and is something we tend to take for granted. Just like any part of our body they require care. If something disturbs the delicate balance inside the ear can upset the way we interpret and receive sounds.

Dangers

Hearing loss often happens slowly and on average those that have a hearing problem often takes them 10 years to do something about it. Hearing loss that is not treated will not only have an effect on a person’s quality of life but it also affects the brains ability to remember familiar sounds. When the hearing begins to fade the brain stores sound for about three years. Then after seven years the memory gradually becomes weaker and weaker.

Therefore if fitting a hearing aid is delayed there is a risk that the brain will have to re-learn every day sounds. Care About You as a result would encourage those that have difficult in hearing to have a hearing test to discover whether or not they require a hearing aid.

Staying Warm this Winter

Like the song says winter can be the most wonderful time of year but being cold can take the fun out of it.  Care About You are here to offer some useful information on keeping you and your family  warm this winter.

  1. If you have a fuel and electricity allowance please use it to stay warm this winter. For more information on the allowance visit www.welfare.ie
  2. We lose most of our heat through our head and feet so wear warm socks a hat and layer your clothing when going outsideKeep Warm this Winter
  3. Snuggle up under a blanket. Have extra blankets around, place extra blankets on your bed at night. Place some blankets on your couch for when you are reading or watching TV
  4. Use a hot water bottle to warm your bed at night before you get in.
  5. Eat at least one hot meal and drink plenty of hot fluids such as hot chocolates, Tea and Coffee. Eat meals like stews.
  6. Get up and move around, exercise even gentle exercise can warm up your body.
  7. Make sure that there is a lagging jacket on your hot water cylinder
  8. Seal up all drafts
  9. Light a fire, a fire can keep you warm and also provides a very pleasant atmosphere
  10. Use smaller rooms and close doors. It is much easier to heat and retain the heat in a smaller room.

If anyone would like some more advice and information relating to keep you or a loved one warm this winter please do not hesitate to contact Care About You on 061479003.

HCCI Accreditation News

HCCI AccreditationCare About You is now a member of the HCCI after successfully passing an external audit by the HCCI on the 24th October this year. The audit analysed our company from corporate and clinical governance perspective.

Care About You are delighting becoming a member of the HCCI as it reinforces our standards and philosophy of care:

  • Dignity and respect

    Each client has the right to dignity and respect.

  • Information

    The client has the right to be informed of the services offered by the home care provider and consequently, be given explanation, in advance, about the service/s that is to be provided, the types of caregivers who will provide care, and the frequency of the visits that are proposed.

  • Client Assessment

    Clients have the right to initial and on-going participation in the development of their plan of care and be allowed to avail of the full range of care opportunities available to them. Where the client is unable to participate fully in forming the plan of care their wishes insofar as they are expressed and are practical should be addressed.

  • Privacy and Confidentiality

Clients have the right to privacy and confidentiality. Clients have a right to request information held on their case and the clients consent must be sought before any information is communicated to a third party. Client records must be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988.