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Radis Community Care’s National Activity Lead takes home award at Dementia Care Awards

By | NEWS

In the lavish awards ceremony hosted at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on June 13, Kris Oughton took home the award for his tremendous efforts within the dementia community, across both England and Wales.

The evening was attended by a plethora of employers, care providers, care workers and informal carers, and Kris was joined by Paula Hoggarth, Group Operations Director at Radis Community Care.

Of his extraordinary win, Kris said: “What an amazing and emotional evening. I was delighted to be announced as a finalist, but to my absolute surprise, I won!

“I can’t express the pride I feel, and how much this award means to me. I’m incredibly honoured to do the job that I do, and being able to create forever memories and smiles with so many amazing residents and service users across the country is simply amazing.

“To win this award is just priceless, and I’d like to thank the wider team at Radis Community Care who continue to support my innovative activities and events throughout the business.”

Having worked at Radis as an activities coordinator for more than three years, Kris was recently promoted to National Activities Lead where he continues to provide fun, interactive and engaging activities for all of the business’s residents and recipients of care.

Kris works closely with all of Radis’ services across England and Wales, incorporating monthly schedules and activity plans for thousands of residents.

Enhancing the lives of those living with dementia, Kris ensures they remain active both physically and mentally with activities such as bingo and quiz nights, knit and natter club, and breakfast club to music-themed activities and wiggle and giggle.

Danielle Jones, Head of Care Services at Radis Community Care expressed her pride at Kris’ recognition and much-deserved award win.

She said, “It’s fantastic to see such a caring and dedicated member of the team be recognised for their work.

“At Radis, we see the work that Kris does every day and we’re delighted that this can be seen across the wider industry, too.”

Diabetes Awareness Week – Client Stories

By | BLOG

It’s Diabetes Awareness Week, and as a leading community care provider, many of the people we support are living with diabetes.

As well as support those living with the condition, we aim to raise awareness of it too.

But first, what is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that causes blood sugar levels to become too high, and there are two main types of diabetes; type 1 and type 2.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common variety, with more than 90% of adults living with diabetes, having type 2.

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition where the body’s immune system simply destroys the cells that produce insulin.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition whereby the body does not produce enough insulin, or where the body’s cells do not react to insulin properly.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

There are a variety of symptoms that people may experience across both types of diabetes. Symptoms can include:

  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Recurring infections
  • A numb and tingling sensation in hands and feet
  • Areas of darkened skin, usually under the arms or on the neck

It’s important to seek the help, support and advice of a professional such as GP if you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms.

How to reduce the risk of diabetes?

If you’re experiencing the symptoms of diabetes, or believe you are at risk of living with the condition, then you can request a HbA1c blood test.

You may be in the ‘prediabetes’ stage, or may simply be at risk due to other factors, however there are a number of things you can do to reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes.

The following will help reduce the risk of diabetes:

  • Get active – aim for 10,000 steps per day and at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise
  • Reduce your intake of foods high in fat sugar
  • Eat more fruit, vegetables and protein, as well as nuts and seeds
  • Avoid and reduce sugary drinks and alcohol

 

At Radis, we support many people living with diabetes in many ways, including Stan and Stephen.

Stan’s story:

Stan has been supported by Radis for three years and is insulin dependent due to living with type 1 diabetes.

In the early days of Stan’s diabetes diagnosis, it was difficult to keep under control and his ketone levels were up and down, and was having regular episodes of hypoglycemia – more commonly referred to as a ‘hypo’.

Through focus and determination from Stan, combined with the care provided by a Radis live-in carer and the complex care team, we managed to get his diabetes under control, allowing Stan to continue living in the comfort of his own home.

Cared for by our live-in services team, along with additional support from our complex team, we manage Stan’s ketone levels on a daily basis, working alongside the district nurses to ensure he receives the very best care to suit his needs.

As well as providing medical support and care, we manage Stan’s food and fluid intake to ensure that he has a balanced and nutritious diet.

 

Stephen’s story:

Stephen lives with type 2 diabetes and has been cared for by Radis for many years now, and is currently supported by our live-in care services.

The live-in carer has successfully worked with Stephen to manage his diabetes through diet and medication.

Enabling Stephen to access the community safely alongside preparing quality, balanced home cooked meals, his live-in carer ensures that Stephen can live a fulfilled and independent lifestyle.

Our care and support workers help those living with diabetes every day, providing services including live-in care, visiting care, supported living and complex care.

Aiding people with daily tasks, our care workers can help with the following:

  • Medication
  • Providing nutritious meals
  • Household tasks
  • Socialisation and company

 

If you or a loved one are living with diabetes and require support or care, contact our team today by emailing enquiries@radis.co.uk, or visit: https://www.radis.co.uk/our-services/.

How to support a loved one with diabetes

By | BLOG

There are approximately 4.4 million people living with diabetes in the UK, with an additional estimated 1.2 million people living with undiagnosed diabetes.

This Diabetes Awareness Week, leading community care provider Radis Community Care is sharing exactly how to support a loved one living with the condition.

Providing visiting, live-in and complex care services to people living with diabetes across England and Wales, Radis is keen to raise awareness of the condition, aiming to help reduce the number of people living with diabetes undiagnosed.

  1. Be in the know

First things first. To get the correct and appropriate support, you must know and understand diabetes – which means understanding the symptoms and getting that all important diagnosis.

Symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can include:

  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Recurring infections
  • A numb and tingling sensation in hands and feet
  • Areas of darkened skin, usually under the arms or on the neck

If you or a loved are experiencing any of these symptoms, or are at greater risk of developing diabetes, then visit your GP to have the diagnosis confirmed.

  1. Management

It’s important that diabetes is managed correctly, and the way in which this is managed will differ depending on whether a person has type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

From oral medication and insulin that is administered via injections to regular, gentle exercise and having a balanced and nutritious diet, these are the main ways diabetes is managed.

For most people, they are able to live an independent life with little to no changes to their day-to-day once the condition is under control. However, for many people, diabetes could be one of multiple health problems, meaning that it may get forgotten about or they may not be able to manage the condition themselves.

If a person requires long-term care, then the care workers will work closely with each person to ensure that they are managing each and every health condition they live with. From providing round-the-clock care to fly-in visits to check and administer medication, a care team will ensure you are well looked after with a service tailored entirely to each individual.

  1. Ask for support

In some cases, diabetes can be complex, particularly when it is paired with other health issues and it can be quite overwhelming for friends and family to manage.

There are many care providers, support lines and charities that are available to offer support, advice or even offer short-term care so that friends, family and loved ones are able to take time away to care for themselves, too.

You can also ask health care professionals for help if you would like support administering insulin injections.

  1. Food

Food is the key to keeping diabetes under control, but some people may not be in a position to cook healthy, balanced meals themselves. So, if your friend or loved one lives with diabetes, then consider plating up an extra portion of food for them to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need.

Another way to support somebody, is to offer to help with their shopping and ensure they are buying foods that aren’t overly processed and items that are lower in sugar, salt, fat and saturated fat.

  1. Look out

There are a few other symptoms to look out for, that are signs that the condition is worsening or a person is about to go into a ‘hypo’ (hypoglycemia).

People with diabetes should check their feet on a regular basis – ask their healthcare provider how to do a thorough foot check and what you should be looking out for.

It’s also vital to be aware of how to spot and then treat a hypo (a bout of low blood sugar). The GP or the community care team can help provide you with all of the information you need in the event a friend or loved one suffers a hypo.

Diabetes is a long-term health condition, therefore it is important it is treated properly and that people understand the signs, symptoms and risks.

For more information or if you’d like to discuss the services available at Radis, please visit: www.radis.co.uk or email enquiries@radis.co.uk.

We’re #GladToCare

By | BLOG

This week, we’re celebrating #GladtoCare week and more importantly, celebrating the incredible work that carers do every single day.

Changing the lives of the people they care for, care workers dedicate their lives to doing exactly that and the #GladtoCare campaign is the perfect time to really showcase our appreciation and thanks to carers everywhere.

We’re keen to shine a light on those within the social care industry, as without them, thousands of people wouldn’t be able to live fulfilled, independent lives.

Here at Radis, we want to express our thanks and gratitude to all of our care workers and support workers across England and Wales.

Because of you, thousands of people get to stay in the comfort of their own homes, remain independent, become a part of a warm and loving community and are truly taken care of.

So, from everybody here at Radis Community Care – thank you!

Why are you #GladtoCare?

Outstanding dementia worker announced as finalist in Dementia Care Awards

By | NEWS

The Dementia Care Awards are just weeks away and celebrating excellence within dementia care, the event is one that has the whole industry talking.

With the winners set to be announced at the lavish London event on 13th June, the evening will be filled with the best in the business – employers, care providers, care workers and informal carers alike.

With its Midlands-based head office, leading community care provider Radis Community Care has one of its employees up for the prestigious activity coordinator award.

Having worked for Radis as an activities coordinator for more than three years, Kris Oughton was recently promoted to National Activities Lead, providing fun, interactive and engaging activities for all of the service’s residents.

Previously based at Redditch’s Dorothy Terry House Extra Care Service, Kris now works closely with all of Radis’ services across England and Wales.

Incorporating monthly schedules and activity plans for thousands of residents, Kris continues to enhance the lives of those living with dementia, ensuring they remain active both physically and mentally.

Kris’ activities plans include various sessions that get everybody involved. From bingo and quiz nights, knit and natter club, and breakfast club to music-themed activities and wiggle and giggle, which consists of chair yoga and ball disco, there’s something on offer for all abilities.

Delighted to be flying the Radis flag and continuing his work for those living with dementia, Kris said:

“It’s an absolute honor to have made it through to the finals of the activity coordinator category. I feel very proud and privileged to be representing Radis at the Dementia Care Awards. I feel like a winner just getting through.”

As well as providing the Radis services with fun-filled activities, Kris has worked on the opening of the business’ new community space, the John Chapman Day Centre – a dedicated space that welcomes local residents living with dementia in the local community of Swaffham, Norwich.

But his hard work doesn’t stop there as Kris is also an ambassador for dementia charity Singing for the Brain and is a Purple Angel as part of the Purple Angel Dementia Awareness Campaign.

Danielle Jones, Head of Care Services at Radis Community Care, expressed her pride at Kris’ hard work and the recognition of being nominated for such a prestigious award.

She said, “It’s fantastic to see such a caring and dedicated member of the team be recognised for their work.

“At Radis, we see the work that Kris does every day and we’re delighted that this can be seen across the wider industry, too.”

The Dementia Care Awards will be held at The Lancaster Hotel in London on 13th June.

Week-long social activities programme provided for residents

By | BLOG

With ‘Movement: Moving for our mental health’ as this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme, it is a great reminder of how moving our bodies can have such a positive impact on our mental wellbeing.

Mental health is much more than meets the eye, but the way we eat and the way we move can make a lot of difference.

As a leading community care provider, at Radis Community Care we encourage both staff and the people we care for to do all they can to look after their mental health just as much as their physical health.

Our Redditch-based extra care service, Dorothy Terry House is hosting a week-long social activities programme, providing its residents with plenty of fun-filled sessions to keep both their minds and bodies active.

The social activities programme is a great way for residents of our extra care service to socialise, connect and engage with the community, all with a focus on movement.

Focusing on movement, activities will include wiggle and giggle dance sessions, chair yoga, and gardening club.

Kris Oughton, our National Activities Lead is keen to continuing breaking the taboo surrounding mental health, as well as working hard to support the residents of Dorothy Terry House.

Having put the social activities programme together, Kris has combined both Mental Health Awareness Week and Dementia Action Week to create the ultimate itinerary of activities.

He said, “Two incredibly important awareness days just so happened to fall at the same time, so as a team, we wanted to do all we can to support both of them.

“The activities in the programme are designed to keep people active, both physically and mentally. And of course, socialisation is a huge factor too, and is important for those who struggle with their mental health or dementia.”

At Radis Community Care, we support and care for people with a plethora of illnesses and conditions through a variety of services, including live-in care, visiting care and extra care.

For more information on the services available, please contact the team by emailing enquiries@radis.co.uk.

National Dementia Awareness Week: How to support a loved one living with Dementia

By | BLOG

One in 11 people over the age of 65 within the UK have dementia, and with people continuing to live longer, this statistic is only set to increase.

This National Dementia Awareness Week, leading community care provider Radis Community Care is showcasing its support for people living with the illness.

With a dedicated social activities programme designed specifically for those with dementia, the team at Redditch-based Dorothy Terry House Extra Care Service is prioritising socialisation between attendees, as well as hosting activities that will keep minds and bodies active.

The extra care service’s programme caters for all needs and abilities and will include activities such as; arts and crafts, knit and natter, a wiggle and giggle disco, yoga, gardening, and breakfast club as well as a number of music-themed sessions, bingo and quizzes.

Aiming to do all they can to raise awareness of dementia, here, the community care provider shares its top tips for supporting a loved one with dementia.

  1. Research

Knowledge really is power. The symptoms of dementia can vary quite a lot, and so it’s important to understand current and future symptoms and how to prepare for it.

Understand how dementia can affect a person, and educate yourself on the different ways a person may be affected by the condition.

  1. Start a conversation

It can be difficult for everybody, but especially the person diagnosed and living with dementia. If a friend, family member or loved one is living with the condition, then check in with them, see how they are and make regular visits. And, talk to them about something other than condition – see what else is going on in their lives and have a proper catch up.

It’s important not to be too pushy, asking them if and what they can remember. Instead, encourage two way conversations, and engage in activities that will keep their brains active, without putting pressure on them to remember certain things.

  1. Consider utilising community care services

This depends on how much a person is affected by dementia. For some, they may be able to live an entirely normal and independent life for many years, however others may need more regular support and care earlier on.

Consider the likes of visiting care, live-in care and extra care services to help a loved one continue living a life of independence.

The support of a care worker can offer short-term and long-term care as well as respite for family carers. From daily visits and check ins to having the support of a live-in carer, the choice is yours and can be entirely tailored to meet individual needs.

  1. Stay connected

Living with an illness such as dementia can be a very isolating time, so it is important for people to remain active and connected with their friends, family members and local communities.

Staying physically and mentally fit is crucial, and getting involved in local coffee mornings, community bingo events and wiggle and giggle such as those held at the likes of the John Chapman Day Centre in Norfolk, and Dorothy Terry House in Redditch, is a great way to remain active.

  1. Just be you

A lot will have changed for the person now living with dementia, and as their family and friends, this will undoubtedly change things for you, too. However, your loved one will need consistency and will not want you to change how you act or behave around them, as well as how you treat them.

Be there when they want to talk, listen to them, and go about your usual routines as this will help them feel much more comfortable and at ease with their new-found situation.

National Dementia Awareness Week: Ann’s Story

By | BLOG

It’s National Dementia Awareness Week, and as a community care provider offering support and care to people living with this illness across England and Wales, we aim to do all we can to raise awareness.

But first, what is dementia?

Dementia isn’t actually a specific disease, but rather, a general term for impaired ability to remember and think, and refers to the loss of cognitive functioning. It can also impact a person’s ability to carry out day to day activities as well as affecting their mood.

Typically, dementia symptoms can first appear in a person’s mid-60s, however it can happen as early as age 30.

What are the main symptoms of dementia?

If a person has dementia, or you think a person may have dementia, the symptoms to look out for include the following:

  • Memory loss
  • Speed of thinking
  • Mental quickness
  • Using words incorrectly or trouble communicating verbally
  • Difficulty understanding and making judgement
  • Issues with movement, mood and daily activities

Many people who are living with dementia may need little to no help, but others may benefit from frequent care or even live-in or extra care services.

At Radis, we support many people living with dementia, in many forms, including Ann.

Ann’s Story:

Ann has been living at West End Village Extra Care Service since it opened 13 years ago, and lives with both type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Having been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s five years ago at the age of 65, Ann describes this diagnosis as a relief.

She said, “I felt relieved – you’re not going mad. You think you’re going mad, and then you have a reason for it.

“My mother would never admit she had Alzheimer’s, and it made me think if I ever got it, I would be open – which I have been. I think it’s the best way to treat it, head on.”

Our care workers work closely with Ann to help her manage both of her conditions. And, each floor of West End Village has different coloured paint on the walls as well as different coloured carpets to help people with dementia identify their floor more easily, as well as being clearly sign posted.

Helping Ann on a daily basis, our care workers help Ann with the following:

  • Medication
  • Support with getting dressed
  • Letters and paperwork
  • Day to day tasks

Ann explains that she manages her blood sugar herself and will continue to do so as long as possible.

She also said, “I have thin skin and they [the care workers] put cream on every day and night, it is never too much for them and they’re always smiling.

“When it’s their birthdays, I buy them a card and a present as a token of my appreciation, because I couldn’t live my life as independently as I do without the carers.”

Rachael Marfleet, West End Village Service Manager at Radis said: “At Radis, our primary aim is of course, to take great care of everybody, but we ensure that they remain as independent as possible for as long as possible.

“It’s important to us that we enhance the lives of the people we care for and provide them with the independence they need.”

Supporting clients with various illnesses and disabilities, at Radis we work with a multitude of clients to ensure they live a life filled with enjoyment, independence and confidence.

The Importance of Gardening Within a Care Setting

By | BLOG

At Radis Community Care, many of its services are known for their picturesque gardens and outdoor surroundings. And, for the people they care for, the great outdoors can help aid recovery and provide them with a sense of accomplishment.

Gardening has many benefits and as with spending time in the great outdoors, it is a fantastic mood booster and is ideal for improving health and wellbeing.

From increasing serotonin, providing a sense of growth and new life, as well as bringing people together and being a great way to naturally destress, gardening is something that all of our services and care workers encourage the people we care for to get involved in.

For National Gardening Week 2024, we thought we’d share some heartwarming stories of people we care for that are passionate about gardening.

One Radis service in particular is renowned for encouraging its residents to continue working on their passions, and has even helped a stroke survivor to continue with his love of gardening.

Baron’s Place, a supported living service in Burntwood, Staffordshire is the home of Barry Morgan. Having had a stroke at birth, Barry was told he’d never walk and has defied all odds by not only walking, but by finding a passion in gardening.

Barry also works at a gardening service company and they have specially adapted a lawnmower for his use, enabling him to get involved with the gardening works around the service despite having a paralysed right hand.

Barry said, “Gardening is my happy place and I’m enjoying myself”, and encourages people to “never give up, keep trying and keep learning.”

From mowing the lawn and weeding, to chopping up firewood and making a bug house, there is nothing that Barry hasn’t gotten involved in.

Similarly, one of our supported living services in Lincolnshire is keen to encourage the people it supports to immerse themselves in various community activities, including gardening.

The supported living service works closely with Green Synergy, a community gardening programme that works with those with additional needs and long-term health problems as well as those struggling with their mental health to enable them to develop new outdoor skills.

One person who receives care from our staff is Schneider, who also happens to be a keen gardener. Communicating only through British Sign Language and Makaton, Schneider’s care workers provide him with support to enhance his day to day life.

Schneider’s journey at the supported living service exemplifies his remarkable progress in social and physical well-being, and he continues to fulfil his dreams whilst positively impacting his local community and environment through his volunteer work.

With the support of his care worker, Schneider tells us all about how gardening has changed his life since getting started in 2022.

Q. How does gardening make you feel?

A. Excited! Full of beans and full of energy. I like running in the garden and feel depressed when I’m not out there

Q. What have you learned in the garden?

A. I’ve learned how to shred cardboard for compost, how to prepare the pots for plants, planting and painting.

Q. What is your proudest achievement in the garden?

A. Planting and bringing home produce, such as potatoes. My level of concentration has also really improved and it helps with my mood.

Q. How have your Radis support workers helped you?

A. They provide me with emotional support and encouragement, help me to find activities in the community and at home, as well taking me on days out. They also help with meal preparation and encourage healthy eating habits alongside learning BSL to improve communication and ensure all needs are met.

Q. How has Green Synergy helped you?

A. The programme has helped with emotions and development, built confidence and helped improve concentration.

Schneider’s care worker, Babatunde Oshilaja said of his progress, “Schneider has been an active volunteer at the Green Synergy garden programme for over a year and during this time he has developed a diverse set of skills, including painting, soil knowledge and gardening.”

At Radis, we’re proud to work with third party firms, local communities and authorities to do all we can to encourage independence, and utilise our services gardens and surroundings.

It’s incredibly important to us that we are able to make the most out of our amenities and ensure that the people we care for are as involved as they wish to be.

For more information on Radis and the services we offer, please email enquiries@radis.co.uk.

Five ways gardening can improve mental wellbeing

By | BLOG

National Gardening Week is just around the corner and there has never been a better time to discuss the benefits of gardening and the ways in which it can improve mental health and wellbeing.

Gardening and spending time outdoors is far from a cure when it comes to mental health and improving a person’s wellbeing, but it sure can help.

This is the case for everybody, but can be especially helpful for those who may no longer live at home or are in receipt of care.

Enjoying the great outdoors is just one way to help people de-stress, whilst allowing them to be alone with their own thoughts – or provides them with an opportunity to bond with those in the same situation.

Radis Community Care, a leading community care provider offering various services for people across the UK and Wales, shares five ways gardening can improve mental wellbeing.

  1. Destress and relax

Some people might not have any friends or family close by and may often be looking for ways to boost their mood and perhaps feel more at home.

Spending time outside is a great, natural way for people to destress and relax. Breathing in the fresh air is a fantastic way to regulate breathing, decrease heart rate and reduces stress-related hormones, making us feel calmer and happier.

Being outside doesn’t have to mean exercising outdoors (although, this is even better!), but simply sitting out in the fresh air, or taking a light stroll outdoors can be a huge mood booster.

  1. Increases serotonin

Something as simple as getting involved, whether that be planting bulbs and watering plants and flowers can increase serotonin.

As a natural antidepressant, an increase in serotonin can boost immune systems. The colour green is traditionally associated with tranquility, hopefulness, comfort and energy, whilst yellow helps to release serotonin further – two colours that you will typically find outdoors and in a garden.

Making contact with soil, such as planting bulbs and getting really involved has been found to increase serotonin levels (the happy hormone, a natural antidepressant and can strengthen the immune system). As does the fresh air.

  1. Growth and new life

Watching the seasons change can give people something to look forward to, as can planting something new.

Waiting for things to grow is a great reminder of growth and new life – something that is sure to bring positivity to those who really need it.

Whether it’s planting flowers in the gardens, planting vegetables and seeds in the windowsill, or even building a bug house – no matter a person’s ability, gardening is something everybody get involved in and it can make a huge difference to their day.

  1. Provides a sense of achievement

Whether people have planted the bulbs and seeds themselves, or have simply helped to water them, watching plants and flowers come to life can bring a great sense of achievement knowing that you have contributed to that.

And if people aren’t quite up to getting involved or getting their hands dirty, then asking somebody to help is also more than enough!

  1. Brings people together

You can’t beat the great outdoors, and nothing brings people together quite like nature. Whether it’s a love of gardening, alfresco dining, or simply enjoying a cup of tea in the sunshine with friends and family,

Especially for people who may live independently in a supported living or extra care service where there are communal areas for people to come together and socialise.

Many of Radis’ extra care services have gorgeous gardens for residents, clients and their families to enjoy. From flower beds to allotments and greenhouses, there’s much more than fresh air for everybody to enjoy.

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