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Diabetes - Radis Home Care

Going on holiday as a family carer

By | BLOG

Caring for a family member is a full-time job for many, and as rewarding as it is, it isn’t one that provides you with many breaks or time off.

According to the 2021 census, it’s estimated that there are more than five million people aged five and over providing unpaid care for relatives and loved ones across England and Wales.

Whilst millions of people are committed to providing care for their family members or loved ones, we understand family carers need a break from time to time.

With us being in the midst of summer and holiday season, some family carers may be considering a last minute holiday – UK or abroad – but are concerned about the loved one they regularly care for.

You might be wondering, “can you go on holiday as a family carer?”, or “who will care for my family member while I’m on holiday?” – we’re here to answer those very questions for you.

What is a family carer?

First things first, a family carer is simply a member of family that has taken on the responsibility of caring for a loved one due to illness, disability or frailty because of age.

Anyone can be a family carer, from children to adults. Although being a family carer can be a full-time job in terms of time, it is does come with a number of things to consider – including whether this will impact your current job, home life and finances, to name a few.

Family carers support their loved ones with tasks such as:

  • Washing, bathing and dressing
  • Food prep, meal times and nutrition
  • Medication
  • Household maintenance
  • Supporting continence needs
  • Supporting whilst out and about

Can I go on holiday as a family carer?

The simple answer to this is, yes!

However, we understand that getting to that holiday is by no means simple and there is a lot to consider, arrange and prioritise beforehand.

As a family carer, it’s important to take the time that you need for yourself. In order to provide the very best care, you need to also feel well rested, energised and confident in your abilities to care.

This means taking a break when you need to – whether it’s a night, a weekend or a week’s holiday.

It can feel stressful and overwhelming deciding whether to bring the family member along with you, or whether to arrange respite care whilst you’re away.

How can I go on holiday as a family carer?

If you’re a family carer and are looking to go on holiday, then you have a number of options available to you. These options include:

  • Taking your family member with you, with additional support from a professional care provider
  • Utilising short-term live-in respite care
  • Utilising short-term visiting care
  • Asking friends and other family members to support
  • Using the services of a residential care provider

At Radis, we offer a variety of short-term and respite care services. If the person who requires support would like to stay at home, you could arrange the support of a Radis live-in care worker, who will go and stay with the person requiring care until the family member returns home from their holiday.

Our priority is providing peace of mind to families, ensuring that their loved ones are safe and well-looked after in exactly the same way as before. We aim to relieve any potential feelings of upset and anxiety of the family carer going on holiday, making sure that they are able to relax and enjoy their much-needed break.

It is a huge decision, and we understand just how hard it can be to leave a loved one that you care for, even if it is for a short amount of time.

If your family member doesn’t require a carer to live with them 24/7 then our visiting care services are also available. This would provide people with regular check-ins and visits to their home, helping them with mealtimes, personal hygiene, medication or household tasks.

Another option to consider if your loved one is happy to be away from home, is to enlist the support of one of our extra care housing services for the duration of your holiday. This enables people to live independently with the option of flexible care and support should they need it.

Whether you’re a family carer or not, we also understand that leaving a family member may not be an option when it comes to going on holiday, and you may want to take them along with you (if they are able) – with a little additional help and support from a professional carer.

If this is the case, then we can take away all elements of stress and worry by supporting with the coordination and planning of any additional services or equipment required, keeping your loved one feeling safe and secure.

By taking your family member or loved one along with you, you are able to enjoy your time away feeling confident that they are being well-looked after whilst also being able to enjoy their company.

There are various options available if you’re a family carer looking to go on holiday, so get in touch with our team to find out more by emailing enquiries@radis.co.uk.

How the weather can impact people living with dementia

By | BLOG

The UK is currently in the middle of its hottest week of the year so far, and while many people are overjoyed at the sun finally making an appearance, not everybody will be feeling the same.

The government has issued a heat health warning, with the elderly, young and the vulnerable being most at risk of sunstroke and dehydration.

Whilst the sun can help people living with various issues and health conditions, it can also be a hinderance for those living with dementia.

The most common risk to people living with dementia during the summer months is dehydration – which can cause a plethora of further complications, as well as make the symptoms of dementia even worse.

Here’s what to look out for and how you can help.

Living with dementia in the heat

In general, as people get older, we lose the ability to control and regulate our body temperatures, and it becomes more difficult to adjust to sudden changes in temperature.

We know that dementia can affect people in various ways, from memory loss to confusion and communication. Because of this, it can be difficult for somebody living with dementia to vocalise how they’re feeling and that they are struggling with the heat and warm weather.

For those living with dementia, becoming dehydrated is much easier, so it’s important to keep your loved ones out of the sun and to remind them of the importance of keeping hydrated.

How to spot dehydration and sunstroke:

Here are the most common signs of dehydration that you should look out for:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Sickness
  • Seizures
  • Passing urine less frequently than normal
  • A weak or rapid pules
  • Excessive sweating or shivering

Tips for staying cool

There are a number of ways in which you can help somebody living with dementia stay cool.

  1. Hydration

If you think your friend or loved one is becoming dehydrated, then encourage them to drink plenty of water, squash or fruit juice. Leave a cold, refreshing drink nearby at all times, that is within easy reach for them.

If symptoms aren’t easing, speak to their care worker or health professional to seek further advice.

2. Clothing and keeping cool

It is also important to make sure that your friend or loved one is dressed appropriately, allowing them to stay cool, whilst also ensuring they have a fan if needed to reduce the risk of overheating.

Keeping cool inside the house is important, and closing curtains or blinds in the daytime is a good way to shut the sun out.

If somebody wants to be outside and enjoy the weather, ensure they are seated in a shaded area, away from direct sunlight

3. Technology

If your friend or loved one has a phone, make sure they keep it nearby so that you can regularly check in with them. This also ensures that they are able to contact you or call for help if need be.

The heat can cause further confusion for those living with dementia, so a smart device may be a good idea to set reminders to drink water, for mealtimes or to take medication.

4. Enlist professional support

Dementia is a complex condition, and additional support may be required when caring for friends, family members or loved ones.

Whether short-term or long-term, care workers can provide various methods of support to suit individual needs and in a capacity that suits current lifestyles.

The warm weather is set to continue on and off for the coming months, so it is important to be equipped and to into any future heatwaves armed with the right knowledge and information.

For more information or to speak to our team of experts, please email enquiries@radis.co.uk.

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.

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