Professional Homecare Bill 2020

Professional Homecare Bill 2020

Myhomecare.ie have welcomed the recently announced Professional Home Care Bill 2020, amendments to the Health Act 2007. This new legislation is designed to provide regulation in the area of professional home care.

Amendments were introduced in the areas of assessment of needs & care planning, complaints procedures, standards of care, protection from abuse and training of personnel. Myhomecare are proud to have already demonstrated an understanding and focus in these areas.

These amendments regard the following general principles as they apply to adults:

· The principal of independent living

· The principal of privacy & dignity

· The principal of quality of care

· The principal of protection of the adult

Myhomecare.ie’s assessment of care needs have included companionship and advanced care planning as standard practice across all of our services for many years. We have also developed and introduced an extensive patient safety programme in 2019. Through this programme we continue to monitor and collect data in the areas of medication management, fall risks and infection control.

ISO9001 accreditation – Quality Management System

Myhomecare successfully maintained ISO9001 accreditation again for 2020 and continue year on year to strive for this very respected achievement. Our care standards are of the highest quality and our mission is to always put our clients and carers needs and feedback first. All of the business operations are audited externally every year to ensure that we are compliant with our quality management system. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtually zero paperwork was used which was another huge achievement for Myhomecare as the audit usually takes place onsite, with all policies, processes and documentation printed out in advance.

JCI Gold Seal accreditation

We have also secured the JCI Gold Seal accreditation for 2020. This reaffirms we are operating a quality service with a core focus on client safety and our dedication to clients and their families. With the JCI award, we are now one of an exclusive group of 24 homecare companies globally who have attained the required standard and the only one in Ireland in our sector.

We now work alongside the JCI team to sustain their standards while continuing to strive for improvement in delivery for all clients receiving care in line with the accreditation’s credo. Paula Wilson, President and CEO of JCI, commended Myhomecare for the dedication to improving services and praised the resilience of everyone involved for persevering during a global pandemic: “JCI commends Myhomecare for its efforts to become a quality improvement organisation and achieving international accreditation which highlights their commitment to patient safety“.

A safer, better homecare

Circumstances this year with the onset of Covid-19 has helped change our business model to a more online presence. Implementing the best technology solutions available and ensuring quality of service are fundamental to us as we try to emerge from the covid crisis even stronger than before.

Our Client Portal is accessible via our website myhomecare.ie and provides access to several different resources, which includes our feedback form. We also provide our clients with an Education Pack which has information on a range of different topics from Nutrition, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Fire Safety etc.

Our dedicated recruiters and compliance officer ensure that all our care personnel are up to date with necessary training requirements and we ensure this is possible with continuous support from our own Servisource Training division.

The Myhomecare team continue to lead the way in Ireland in delivering a superior quality service by ensuring our standards are in line with the new government regulations. Myhomecare utilise lean methodologies ensuring we are continuously improving our services. Our quality management system allows us to regularly review and maintain our policies and procedures, enabling us to work in unison to a high standard.

Homecare is not just confined to older people. It includes those who develop a chronic illness, those who have a physical or mental disability or those who are recovering at home after surgery or an illness. Myhomecare.ie deliver the highest quality of safe person centred care, meeting each service user’s individual needs using a holistic approach in accordance with the National Standards of Safer, Better Healthcare and Homecare.

The Importance of Flexible Working for Carers

With a new generation of employees now hitting the workforce, the traditional way of running businesses has changed.

One example is with working hours. Flexible working was introduced as a way to encourage a healthy work-life balance.

Over the last few years, the number of people working in part-time employment has increased. As well as those returning from starting a family and the effects of the gig economy, it’s also due to those struggling to maintain a healthy balance between their work and personal lives.

For those working in care, a flexible working arrangement may mean staff taking less time off for carers leave.

In this piece, we’ll define flexible working and the rules surrounding it. We’ll also explore the importance of this type of work for carers.

What is flexible working?

It’s a work pattern adapted to suit both you and your employees. There are different types of flexible working arrangements, examples include:

  • Changing to part-time hours.
  • Changing working days.
  • Changing full-time working hours.
  • Working your normal weekly hours in fewer days (compressed hours).
  • Working from home part or fulltime (homeworking).
  • Retain two people for the same position on a part-time basis (job sharing).
  • Work usually rotating but specified hours (shift working).
  • Using technological advances to work from remote locations (teleworking).
  • Calculating working hours based on annually instead of weekly (annualised hours).

Unlike the United Kingdom, there’s no legal right to flexible working. However, since the introduction of the Code of Practice on Access to Part-time Work in 2006, it’s now become a best practice for employers have policies on improving access to part-time work.

Employees can make requests for flexible working. As an employer, you should have a procedure in place that allows for a discussion between yourself and the employee before making a decision. Remember to consider:

  • The employee’s personal needs.
  • The staffing needs for the company.
  • The implications to the business and their co-workers.

To avoid claims of discrimination, you must consider all request for flexible working fairly and in accordance with the employment equality legislation.

The importance of flexible working for carers

Accommodating flexible working requests can be a challenge especially for those in the care sector.

The work itself is one that can do with allowances for flexible working. It involves rotating working hours, usually long travel times and unsociable hours.

However, from the point of view of the employer, it may be tricky, as you’ll need to ensure there’s sufficient staff to cover at all times.

And there are benefits for employers and employees.

For employers

  • Boost employee morale.
  • Reduce absenteeism.
  • Reduce employee turnover.
  • Improve wellbeing.
  • Enhance company image as a family-friendly employer.
  • Increase productivity.

For employees

  • Better work/life balance to meet personal and family needs.
  • Less stress.
  • Increased job satisfaction.
  • Reduced expenses and time spent commuting.
  • More control over working hours and environment.

Final note Remember, while it may be a challenge to create a flexible working policy, the rewards are well worth it. As well as easing your staff’s work/life balance, you can also reduce business costs, improve output and ensure the loyalty of your staff.

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/

National Carers Week 2017 – Looking after the carer

National Carers Week 2017 Monday 12th June – Sunday 18th June 

National Carers Week 2017 – What is it? 

Celebrating its 11th year, National Carers Week takes place this week from Monday 12th – Sunday 18th June. National Carers Week aims to highlight and recognise all the hard-working carers in Ireland. This is a great time to raise awareness of the valuable contribution that carers make to all of our lives. The week is being coordinated by Care Alliance Ireland, in partnership with The Alzheimer Society, The Irish Cancer Society, Family Carers Ireland, The Disability Federation of Ireland, MS Ireland, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Inclusion Ireland, St. Michael’s House, The Irish Hospice Foundation and The Special Needs Parents Association.

Myhomecare

To celebrate National Carers Week, we would like to thank and praise our dedicated carers in Myhomecare. At Myhomecare, we have an exceptional team that works with us both internally and externally. They are dedicated, hard working, reliable and willing to go above and beyond to ensure that our care recipients and families receive the best quality of care. Special events are taking place nationwide to celebrate carers. For the full list of events across Ireland, please visit: http://www.carersweek.ie/events#.WT_p12jyuM8. 

Being a Carer

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. National Carers Week is important as many people throughout Ireland can relate to it. From the carers that have chosen it as a career, to the people that provide care for family members and loved-ones. You could say that caring applies to almost everyone as there are those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers. There are around 360,000 family carers in Ireland at present.

As people are living longer, the call for care is increasing, resulting in the expansion of the care industry. Carers are seeking more respite services and support. What is a carer? Some might say that a carer is an angel without wings. A carer is many things. It is someone who can show empathy, respect, patience and kindness. A carer treats a person the way that they deserve to be treated. Due to their dedication, some carers might experience guilt if they do things for themselves so they end up focusing solely on the patient and neglecting their own needs, resulting in burnout or stress. The exhaustion from this stress can result in the reduction in the quality of care being delivered by the carer. As you cannot pour from an empty vessel, a good carer knows that to be able to care for others, they must also care for themselves.

Stress and the carer 

Being a carer can be demanding and being under pressure can lead to stress, especially if you feel you have little control over the situation. People handle pressure and react to stress in different ways so what might be stressful to one carer might not be to another. There are many symptoms of stress and stress can affect the way you think, act and feel. It can also have physical impacts. Here are some signs that you may be stressed.

Symptoms of stress:

  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Constantly worrying
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Low-mood
  • Racing thoughts
  • Repeatedly going over things
  • Constantly on the go
  • Change in eating habits
  • Temper
  • Unsociable
  • Drinking/smoking more
  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension

Coping with your stress 

Above are only some signs and symptoms of stress, it is important that if you feel you are experiencing signs of stress that you identify it right away and use techniques that help you DE-stress. If you are experiencing long-term stress that is affecting your health you should visit your local GP immediately. A lot of people are unwilling to ask for help when feeling stressed, but asking for help or talking to someone can help. If your stress is affecting your daily life it is important to talk to someone, whether it be a friend, a family member or a counsellor. Talking to someone else can help to relieve stress and if you ask for advice you could find yourself resolving  your problems.

Tips for reducing stress

  • Deep-breathing – practice relaxation.
  • Listening to music -music can release endorphin’s and happy hormones, reducing stress.
  • Reading – distracts the brain form stress.
  • Walking –  releases endorphin’s and reduces depression.
  • Reduce caffeine intake as it can worsen stress.
  • Reduce alcohol intake – alcohol is a depressant and can reduce stress in the short-term but in the long-run can cause anxiety, depression and stress.
  • Exercising – boosts mood.
  • Getting enough sleep – sleep deprivation can have many emotional side affects such as irritability, loss in concentration. It can also have serious health complications such as heart disease and stroke.
  • Remain positive – don’t focus on the negative, life is too short.
  • Laugh! Life isn’t about waiting for the bad moments to pass, it is about learning how to love and live in them.

Reward yourself 

  1. Care-giving is a job and remember that in a job you are entitled to breaks. Take a rest when rest is due. Tiring yourself out will only make you irritable, affect your health and the quality of your care.
  2. When people offer you their help – accept it. Help might not come by that often and instead of feeling that you must do everything in your power for your patient, accept that you deserve a break and that people genuinely might want to help.
  3. Grieve but allow yourself to move on. Losing a patient or a loved-one is never easy. Try not to hold on to the past or to have regrets. Focus on the present and do the best that you can as a caregiver.
  4. Stand up for your rights as a caregiver. Learn your patients condition inside out and explain this to doctors. Don’t underestimate yourself, know that your efforts to love and make your patient feel comfortable and safe is the most important thing. Go with your gut instinct and fight for what you believe you and your patient are entitled to.
  5. Embrace your care-giving choice: Sometimes carers can feel resentment from stress or burnout but remember why you have made the choice to provide care and focus on this. It was either that you felt you would be the best provider for your loved-one, that you love looking after people, you want to nurture and care for people and have an impact on the welfare of their life.
  6. Don’t let care-giving take over your whole life. Get some hobbies, take up something you have always had an interest in. It is important not to lose who you are as a person.

Caregiver Tips

To keep up to date with our content for National Carers Week 2017, visit our Facebook Healthcare Page here: https://www.facebook.com/myhomecare/