National Carers Week 2018

National Carers Week 2018 

National Carers Week 2018

Monday 11th June – Sunday 17th June 

National Carers Week 2018 was established to highlight and recognise all the selfless carers.  In Ireland, we have a whopping 360,000 family carers. This years National Carers Week is in partnership with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, The Irish Cancer Society, The Irish Hospice Foundation, MS Ireland, Care Allianz Ireland, Central Remedial Clinic, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Disability Federation of Ireland, Family Carers Ireland, St Michael’s House, Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland and Special Needs Parents Association.

Who is a carer?

A carer is an angel without wings. The term ‘carer’ can be used to describe both a paid care worker or a family member providing unpaid personal help and support to an older, disabled person or someone with a long-term illness or health problem. Personal help includes help with basic tasks such as feeding, washing and dressing. A carer could be a man or woman looking after an elderly parent as they feel that it is the right thing to do. It could be a sibling looking after a younger, disabled sibling. It could be someone caring for a terminally-ill friend. Carers come in all different shapes and sizes. There are four types of people – those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.

What can you do?

The most important thing that you can do is to help a carer you know. If there is a carer in your family let them know that they are doing a wonderful job and that they are appreciated. Caring can have an impact on the carers social life, cause financial strain and can be mentally and physically exhausting. Take the workload off them by sharing the responsibilities between other family members, friends and neighbours. Help them and expect nothing back in return. A happy life is about giving more than you can take. Share blog posts, carer events or information that you see on social media to raise awareness about National Carers Week 2018.

Recognising our carers

Myhomecare would like to say a very special thanks to our dedicated and hard-working carers. We have such an exceptional team of the highest standards that work with us both internally and externally that are always willing to go above and beyond to ensure that only the best quality of care is provided. We would also like to acknowledge all carers across Ireland for their continuous hard-work. This week should encourage others to support carers who they know and give them the well-deserved break that they deserve.

Looking after the carer

The demand for care is increasing as people are living longer and family carers are looking for more support services like help from paid carers. Due to their dedication and nature, carers tend to neglect their own needs as they focus on the patient. This often leads to burnout or stress. The exhaustion from this stress can result in the reduction in the quality of care being delivered by the carer. To be able to care for someone else you need to look after yourself too.

Get help

It is important that if you feel you are experiencing signs of stress that you identify it and use techniques that help you unwind. If you are experiencing long-term stress that is affecting your health you should visit your doctor. Talk to someone and ask for help. People don’t like to burden others with their problems but speaking to someone can relieve tension and they might even be able to offer a solution to help.

Nationwide Events

Thu 14 Jun Louth Carers Support Group Exhibition
Details Louth Family Carers Support Group will mark Carers Week 2018 on June 14th from 1.45pm to 4pm.

Located in the Westcourt Hotel, Drogheda, the Louth Family Carers Support Group will present an afternoon dedicated to Carers issues.

This is a free event, and all are welcome to attend and join in recognising the valuable role carers play.

The local Redcross Community organisation will be one of the key exhibitors, and they will be showcasing their specially designed Carers App.

 

Location Westcourt Hotel, Drogheda
County Louth
Organiser Louth Family Carers Support Group
Contact Details 087 316 1323

louthfamilycarers@gmail.com

For a full list of nationwide events you can visit: http://www.carersweek.ie/events

To keep up to date with content about National Carers Week check our social pages

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myhomecare/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/myhomecare/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/myhomecare_ie

 

 

Cycle for Brother Kevin 15th & 16th June 2018

Cycle for Brother Kevin 2018

Friday 15th & Saturday 16th June

in aid of the Capuchin Centre for homelessness

Left-right: Deirdre Doyle (Myhomecare), Brother Kevin Crowley (Capuchin Centre), Gary Moran (Cycle committee) and Shannan Carroll (Myhomecare) in the weeks before Cycle for Brother Kevin 2018 

Myhomecare sponsoring Cycle for Brother Kevin for the 3rd consecutive year

About the Cycle

Initially called ‘The Great Escape’, ‘Cycle for Brother Kevin’ was established in 2010 by cyclists Fergal Flynn and Paul Kelly. It is a 300km, 2-day charity cycle event to raise funds for The Capuchin Centre for homelessness. The cycle takes place on Friday 15th June departing from the Capuchin Centre on Bow Street, Dublin and finishes on Saturday 16th June arriving in Belmullet Co. Mayo, stopping overnight in Leitrim.

Myhomecare offices nationwide have been collecting for the fundraiser. Our Dundalk office are holding a ‘Spinathon’ in The Marshes Shopping Centre on Thursday 14th June from 10 am – 5 pm. Staff will take turns on an exercise bike to raise funds for the cycle. All funds raised will go directly towards the Capuchin Centre.

The Capuchin Centre 

Inspired by St Francis of Assisi, The Capuchin Centre is a food and day care centre for the homeless of Dublin run by the Irish Capuchin Franciscan Order. Founded by Brother Kevin Crowley 1969, the centre served soup and sandwiches to around 50 people in need. It has since become the biggest food centre providing clothes, medical, hygiene and social services to those in need. Around 300 breakfasts, 600 dinners and 1,700 food parcels are provided to men, women and children each day. The centre costs €3 million to run annually and would be impossible to run without fundraising.

Myhomecare Fundraisers

Left-right: Shannan Carroll (Myhomecare recruiter) and Grainne Ryan (Myhomecare Assessor) fundraising on Grafton St, Co. Dublin 

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Left-right: Debbie O’Flaherty (Myhomecare recruiter) and Sheena Higgins (Myhomecare Assessor) fundraising on Shop Street, Co. Galway 

Our Cork fundraiser will take place on Patrick’s Street Wednesday 13th June and our Dundalk fundraiser will take place in The Marshes Shopping Centre on Thursday 14th June. Any little donation or cheering and encouragement helps.

Meet the Cyclists 

Myhomecare staff have been training hard for the past number of months. Taking part in the cycle are – Myhomecare CEO Declan Murphy, Declan’s sons Ross and Ultan, brother-in-law James Hynes and Myhomecare recruiter from the west Debbie O’Flaherty. Originally from Belmullet in Co. Mayo this is Declan’s third year sponsoring and taking part in Cycle for Brother Kevin. Last year we raised about €100,000.

Declan Murphy (CEO) 

Fundraising page: https://www.ifundraise.ie/4223_declan-4-brother-kevin.html

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Ross Murphy 

Left-right Brother Kevin Crowley and Ross Murphy at the Cycle for Brother Kevin 2017 at The Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin, getting ready to head off on the cycle. 

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Ultan Murphy 

Left-right: Ultan after completing a 22km trail run along the North Downs Way in the Surry Hills, preparing for the upcoming cycle. 

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Debbie O’Flaherty 

Pictured: Debbie on the far right with the Galway cycling club 

Debbie is our Myhomecare recruiter from the West. Debbie has a cycling Ireland Licence and is also a part of the Galway Bay Club. The only lady on our team; Debbie is setting the pace for the men.

Cycling Ireland – Guide to cycling on the road:

http://www.cyclingireland.ie/downloads/ci%20ride%20leader%20-%20guide%20to%20cycling%20on%20the%20road.pdf

 

Pope Francis to visit The Capuchin Centre in August 

Pope Francis is planning a visit to the centre while on his trip to Ireland in August. Speaking to Newstalk Brother Kevin said: “I’m so delighted, and I think it’s absolutely fantastic, that none other than Pope Francis himself is arriving to Capuchin Day Centre. I think that’s a huge, huge honour for the people in need, and for the homeless people.”

For more information on Myhomecare, you can visit our website: www.myhomecareie.wpengine.com or Facebook Page: myhomecareie.wpengine.com  To donate, please visit our fundraising page ‘Declan 4 Brother Kevin’ on www.ifundraise.ie

 

The Cycle:

http://www.cycleforbrokevin.ie/

The Capuchin Centre:

http://www.capuchindaycentre.ie/Capuchin_Day_Centre_2013/Capuchin_Day_Centre_for_Homeless_People.html

 

Myhomecare at the National Dementia Care Conference 2018

dementia conference

National Dementia Care Conference 2018 – Assisted Decision Making Act Impact – Advanced Care Planning – Dealing With Dementia in the Home

The Myhomecare team were delighted to attend the National Dementia Care Conference on Thursday February 8th 2018 in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. In it’s 4th year, the conference this year focused on the future of Dementia Care in Ireland to enable delegates to critically review their approach to the care of patients with dementia and delirium.

Representing the Myhomecare team on the day was Jodi Scorr – Client Relationship Manager. This was Jodi’s first time to attend the conference and Jodi wanted to build business relationships with key note speakers. In preparation for the event, Jodi researched key people to network with and target on Linkedin and looked up the history of company websites. Speaking about the conference Jodi said: “I arrived at 11 o’clock having committed my early morning with an existing client visit. I heard key speakers Louise Campbell, Sally O’Grady, Carol de Wilde, Norma Sheehan, Suzanne Cahill, Amanda Bohan, William Molloy, Breffni Guinness and John Starr. Overall, it was extremely insightful. I really enjoyed learning more about and trying to understand Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It was a great event for networking and building new business opportunities”.

Who attended?

Professionals who assess/care for dementia patients, nurses, directors of nursing, social care workers, home care providers, carers, nursing homes, consultants, GP’s, regulators, associations, researchers and universities and more.

Some topics covered

  • Dementia in Ireland today – what has changed since 2014 and the national strategy.
  • Existing gaps in the journey of care.
  • Focus on home care needs.
  • Focus on post-diagnostic supports needs.
  • Focus on geographic inconsistency of services.
  • Dementia in Ireland – next steps required.

There was an important and interesting array of keynote speakers such including:

  • Pat McLoughlin, CEO, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland. 
  • Patricia Rickard Clarke, Solicitor & Former Commissioner, The Law Reform Commission. 
  • Deirdre Shanagher, Development Officer, The Irish Hospice Foundation. 
  • Dr. Louise Campbell, lecturer in medical ethics, NUI Galway.
  • Professor Suzanne Cahill, Trinity College Dublin. 
  • Carol de Wilde, Principal Social Worker St Columcille’s Hospital and Founding Member of the Alzheimer’s Café Bray.
  • Norma Sheehan, Director of Nursing, Saint Joseph’s Shankill. 
  • Amanda Bohan, Owner and Managing Director, Home Instead Senior Care. 
  • Breffni McGuinness, Training Manager, Irish Hospice Foundation. 
  • John Starr, Director, Alzheimer’s Scotland Dementia Research Centre, University of Edinburgh. 
  • Prof D W Molloy. 

What is dementia?

dementia quote

Dementia is not one specific disease. It is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms. Dementia is a term which describes a number of conditions that cause damage to brain cells. It is a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning. It is estimated that there are 55,000 people with dementia in Ireland. Not every person with dementia will experience the same symptoms.

Different types of dementia

  • Alzheimer’s Disease – the most common form of dementia in which abnormal proteins cause brain cells to die. The most common early symptom is memory loss.
  • Vascular dementia – this is the second most common form of dementia. This occurs when blood supply to the brain is interrupted such as stroke and causes problems with thinking and planning.
  • Dementia with Lewy Bodies – is a type of dementia that shares symptoms with both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It gets its name from the small spherical structures that develop inside nerve cells. Symptoms include hallucinations and problems with movement.
  • Fronto-Temperal Dementia – Causes damage to the front and sides of the brain first. This causes changes to personality, language and behaviour before memory.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – is caused by an abnormal protein called prion which infects the brain. Early symptoms include mood changes, loss of interest and minor lapses of memory.
  • Young-onset dementia – People who develop dementia before the age of 65. Younger people with dementia are more likely to have problems with movement, coordination, balance and and walking.
  • Alcohol related (including Korsakoffs syndrome) – Alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD) is a brain disorder caused by regularly drinking too much alcohol over several years. The term ARBD covers several different conditions including Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and alcoholic dementia. None of these is actually a dementia, but they may share similar symptoms.

Symptoms

dementia signs

  • Memory loss.
  • Difficulty communicating or finding words.
  • Difficulty reasoning/problem-solving.
  • Difficulty handling complex tasks.
  • Difficulty with planning/organising.
  • Difficulty with coordination.
  • Confusion and disorientation.

Causes of Dementia

  • Stroke, brain tumor or head injury.
  • Age – dementia affects 1 in 70 people in Ireland aged 65-70 and affects 1 in 5 people over the age of 80.
  • Genetics.
  • Lifestyle Diet/Nutrition – high fat contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure and bad cholesterol which are all associated with dementia.

Prevention

dementia prevention

  • Healthy mind – keep the brain active by doing exercises such as puzzles and reading.
  • Quit smoking – People who are heavy smokers in their mid-life, double their risk of developing dementia.
  • Exercise – older adults who do not exercise are more likely to have memory problems.

 

dementia poem

 

Dementia Care Conference 2018: http://ichn.ie/national-dementia-care-conference-2018-assisted-decision-making-act-impact-advanced-care-planning-dealing-with-dementia-in-the-home/

For more information on Dementia visit: http://www.alzheimer.ie

Helping the Elderly this Christmas

Our Guidelines for Helping an Elderly Friend, Neighbour or Relative this Christmas 

Elderly person Christmas decorating

Tackling Loneliness among the Elderly at Christmas 

Christmas is about love and joy and spending time with family and friends but it can be extremely difficult for elderly people as it can remind them about the loss of loved ones or their decline in health. Elderly people have an increased risk of suffering from depression and around the festive season depression and suicide heighten. Depression affects around 15-20% of people aged 65 and over.

Around 60% of elderly people in Ireland aged 80 and over live alone. Help the elderly people in your life this Christmas and avoid them becoming lonely and depressed. Loneliness can have an impact on the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people.

If you know of an elderly person invite them for a meal or ask them if they would like help with food shopping, make them feel connected at this time of year. See here previous blog about Loneliness and the elderly: https://myhomecareie.wpengine.com/age-friendly-advice/tackling-loneliness-among-elderly/

How to Help the Elderly around the Festive Season

Reach Out

If you have an elderly relative, neighbour or friend that lives alone make sure to check in on them and see if they are OK. Take them to visit family members, call in to help them light the fire. Reaching out to a senior with small gestures, you would be surprised at just how much it could mean to them.

Plan Ahead

If you are a carer by occupation, invite your friends and family or the friends and family of the person that you are caring for around. Make sure to plan this in advance as people can have a busy schedule around Christmas. This will keep their morale high and also give you a sense of satisfaction for spreading the festive cheer. Organise a Christmas game, Christmas caroling, tea and mince pies or ask the senior what they would like to do.

Involve Them 

Get them involved. It is important that seniors feel a part of the holidays. Elderly people love to feel that they are useful and don’t want to feel like a burden. Ask them to help with things such as meal preparations like the Christmas Pudding, picking Christmas cards or helping to decorate the house. Be aware of what they can do and encourage them to do what they are capable of.

Make Memories

Memories and old traditions can be painful for older people. Create new memories and traditions and make them feel present this Christmas to take their mind off the past. Make a dish that they would have normally made, use different ingredients if desired. Bring them to mass on Christmas Eve and invite family, take them for a drive to look at all the Christmas lights.

Respect their routines 

If an elderly person is used to eating meals and going to bed at certain hours try and respect this and do your best to accommodate them. Staying up later than what they are used to or eating at later times results in tiredness and hunger which is unsettling to anyone not just older people.

Reminisce

Take the time to listen to an older person that feels like they need to reminisce about days gone by, deceased loved ones, childhood memories and Christmas memories or traditions that have passed. At social gatherings, encourage them to talk about their stories, elderly people love to share of days gone by and young people love hearing about what it was like ‘in my day’.

Ask for help

If you don’t ask you won’t receive. It is foolish to think that you can do everything yourself. To care for someone else you must care for yourself too. Ask friends or family to help out with what you know they are good at or enjoy. If someone enjoys shopping ask them to bring out the elderly person and help them with seasonal gifts, suggest they do some online shopping together if mobility is low. Get young grandchildren to call and keep them busy with games etc.

Healthy choices

Senior citizens especially, need to drink plenty of water to avoid the risk of dehydration. At Christmas, everyone tends to indulge when it comes to food. If you are serving a big dinner, consider making a light breakfast/lunch as you don’t want the elderly person to be sick. Drinking alcohol with certain types of medication can have side effects, make sure to be wary of this.

Finance

Buying Christmas presents can be a struggle for elderly people as they have a fixed income. Suggest a Family Kris Kringle so that they are not stressed about money and having to buy presents for everyone.

Christmas Cards

Sending Christmas cards can be a difficult task for elderly people as they might not remember addresses, they might have arthritis and can’t hold a pen or their sight might be poorly. Offer to write and send Christmas cards for an older person this Christmas.

Decor 

Be careful with outside lights and interior decorations. Keep in mind any obstacles which may cause an injury to an elderly person in your home.

Falls

Icy conditions can result in elderly people having falls which can have serious physical impact and health implications. Make sure to salt their drive or pour hot water on their footpath or steps.

Plan Activities

As a person ages, energy and mobility decreases. A full day out walking around streets and shopping centres is not realistic. Try some online shopping, watch Christmas cookery shows and attempt to make the meals, watch old Christmas movies or organise a Christmas tea party for them. If they wish to go around the shops, make sure a wheelchair is accessible.

Keep Active

Exercise is important all year round and Christmas shouldn’t be any different. Bring an elderly person to an outdoor market, walk around a shopping centre to do some window shopping, go for a walk in the park. This is not only good for their physical health but also for their mental and social well-being.

Avoid Cold and Flu

See here previous blog about avoiding colds and flu this winter: https://myhomecareie.wpengine.com/health-nutrition-advice/avoid-colds-and-flu/ 

If you would like to get involved in a charitable organisation for elderly people and offer your time and friendship, why not try Friends of the Elderly Ireland. Our previous trip with members of Friends of the Elderly: https://myhomecareie.wpengine.com/advice-for-older-people/myhomecare-proudly-sponsoring-friends-of-the-elderly/