Dementia Matters – It’s important to talk

Ashwell Home Care Services will be presenting a talk on dementia care and why it is important to talk about the condition at Christ Church Hall Coffee Shop on Friday 7th February at 10:30am.

The talk is free for all to attend.

"Dementia Matters - it's important to talk" - Talk by Deb Ashwell of Ashwell Care, Friday 7th February 2020 10:30am at Christ Church Hall Coffee Shop.

5 fundamentals to caring for someone with Dementia

Dementia can be a very upsetting condition and if it affects a loved one, in the early stages, it can be difficult to comprehend how you will be able to help your loved ones through this time. Here are five fundamentals to consider when you are caring for someone with dementia.

1) Dementia has more symptoms than just memory loss

A very common misconception is that the only symptom of dementia is memory loss and though this is extremely common, there are actually many variations of the condition we call dementia and each have very different symptoms at the beginning. For example, frontotemporal dementia and Pick’s disease is more likely to affect the parts of the brain that control behaviour, personality and emotions so people may become more impulsive, act with more apathy or indifferent, or their behaviour may change completely.

However, towards the later stages of the condition many forms of dementia start to affect patients in the same way, with many people struggling to do many daily tasks independently such as dressing and going to the toilet, and may also struggle to communicate or recognise loved ones.

2) Plan for the future

The only constant that can be guaranteed when caring for someone with dementia is that their needs will change. Remember most types of dementia are irreversible and progressive, meaning over time patients will have worse symptoms and will require more care for their dementia. It is therefore important to consider the future and prepare for a time when professional care may be required, either at home with a home care agency or in a residential care setting. It is also important that a dementia care plan is drawn up and continually reassessed so any changes in your loved ones’ needs can be considered.

3) Actively empathize

One of the main things to do is remain compassionate and empathetic to your loved ones as people with dementia are prone to becoming confused over their whereabouts, their identity and even when they are living. Try to imagine how you would feel and want to be treated if you suddenly found yourself disorientated in an unfamiliar place which is sadly what many dementia patients have to experience every day.

4) Think positively

When you are caring for someone with dementia it can be very easy to become bogged down with feelings of negativity and like your best isn’t good enough, especially with dementia being a degenerative condition but always remember that you are helping them enormously even if you believe what you are doing is relatively minor. Also many experienced dementia carers will say that the person they care for can have good and bad days and it is a great idea to try to remember the good days or moments when you are caring for someone – perhaps a journal or diary may also help you and the person with dementia to remember these times.

5) Accept Support

Sometimes it can be very hard to accept help as we can often feel like we are failing our loved ones in their time of need by admitting we are unable to cope. However, there is no need to feel scared or like you are being judged when asking for help. Many people turn to their own family in the first instance and this can be a great way to help share the burden and the practicalities of caring for your loved one. Many people also find support groups to be very helpful as they can talk to people who are in a similar situation to themselves as well as learning about local dementia resources that can be used.

Many people also would like to keep their loved ones in their home for as long as possible so may look to home care agencies who can help provide dementia care at home. Ashwell Home Care Services is one of these agencies and we can help you to face the challenges that dementia can present in the future and help you and your loved ones to live positively with the condition in the present.

We’re helping to host Perry Manor Care Home’s Senior Showcase

Ashwell Home Care Services are proud to have been asked to help host this event at Perry Manor Care Home in Worcester. The event is open to all and will be a great way to ask all the questions you have about Care, both in your own home and in a residential setting. The police and fire brigade will also be there to assist with any home safety questions you may have. We hope to see you there.

Click here to find out more or to book your place please call 01905 886504 or email james.wright@careuk.com.

Perry Manor Care Home Worcester Senior Showcase Poster

New business aims to transform home care in Worcestershire

A brand new home care provider in Worcestershire is aiming to transform the way that care is delivered locally and to set a benchmark for the future of home care in the county.

Ashwell Home Care Services was founded by husband and wife team Philip and Deborah Ashwell, to provide state of the art, individually tailored care to people in their own homes within Worcestershire.

The agency, based in Malvern and registered with the Care Quality Commission in September, provide bespoke care to individuals in their own homes, based on their needs and wishes. Using high-tech software the agency can ensure personal care and support is delivered in the best way, coupled with a personal and inclusive approach by their Ashwell Home Care Companions.

Managing Director Philip Ashwell said it was ‘personal experience’ that led them to start up their own business: “As a family, we have had loved ones receiving care which, at best could be described as mediocre. Their providers did not recognise the importance that how they received their care could affect their outlook & quality of life. It spurred us on to create a care company that really focuses on that crucial word: care. My wife and I have over 60 years’ experience between us in this and the customer services sector and we want to make a real difference. All care should be delivered in a non-judgmental way regardless of people’s background, race, colour, ethnicity or sexuality.”

The Malvern based care agency also uses state of the art technology to ensure that visits to those they care for are monitored and that they can pinpoint at any time where their Care Companions are. The technology also allows Ashwell Home Care Companions to see at a glance what their clients’ needs are every time they visit so that tasks are completed without the possibility of anything being missed.

Deborah Ashwell, Ashwell Home Care Services Manager added: “Everyone that we have the privilege to look after will be given their own Care Companion. This is more than just someone who calls into your home to prepare meals or remind you to take medication – we want them to be someone they can trust, someone who they know has their wellbeing at heart. Our staff are all handpicked because they have demonstrated to us that their values and beliefs are the same as those of our company and that we are proud for them to deliver our company vision. We want to change people’s views about the standard of care they receive and set a benchmark for other care providers!”

Ashwell Home Care Service provide care to those who wish to remain independent in their own home and respite support to those who care for a loved one. They offer a wide variety of services, which include personal care services, overnight sitting, dementia care, housekeeping services, companionship, medication services, meal services, end of life care.

How do you solve a problem like social care funding?

A really interesting podcast from the The Kings Fund about big ideas in health and care. It is a talk with experts from The King’s Fund and beyond about the NHS, social care, and all things health policy and leadership

LGBTQ and Dementia UK

Phil is a doctoral student and lecturer with an interest/focus in LGBTQ, Dementia care and micro-aggressions in care. He has created a very engaging blog to help share resources, articles and research in this area. it explores topics such as interesting research being conducted in the US exploring the possible increased likelihood of LGBTQ communities experiencing cognitive decline, the need for safe spaces for older LGBTQ individuals for Pride Month, links to a fantastic guide exploring the needs of older LGBTQ individuals and much more.

Malvern Pride

We were delighted to be a sponsor and to be at  the very first Malvern Pride Event on Saturday 27th July meeting people and handing out our leaflets and pens to spread the word about Ashwell Home Care Services.

We were thrilled that Phil Harper who we are consulting with gave us a mention during his speech on dementia care for the older LGBT population and that he wore one of our polo shirts  – with great style!

Despite the weather everyone had a really great time and we were really proud to be a part of this momentous occasion and to promote our company name.

Top picture left to right :
Anne-Marie Fletcher, Phil Ashwell, Debbie Ashwell

Bottom Picture back left to right :
Phil Ashwell, Phil Harper

Bottom picture front left to right :
Debbie Ashwell, Anne-Marie Fletcher

Dementia is our Collective Responsibility

We can’t ignore it any longer.

Dementia should be and must be our collective responsibility. A good place to start is in collectively facing up to the fact that it is in our midst and that each year hundreds of thousands of men and women are living with it and dying with it. Dementia does not just happen to old people – around 5% of people with Alzheimer’s are under 65

Nicci Gerrard is the author of What Dementia Teaches Us About Love