HelloCare Aged Care News, Health & Dementia

  • “Virtually impossible to make a medication errorâ€�: Electronic Charts
    by Sam Hijazi on February 18, 2019 at 6:06 am

    The safe and accurate administration of medication is one of the cornerstones of the aged care system. Appropriate systems and strategies for ensuring that the correct medications are given in the prescribed amounts, at the correct times, and to the right people, are a key factor in the trust that residents and their families place in nursing homes. In this day and age, when our lives are becoming increasingly automated in so many ways, it may come as a surprise to some to learn that many nursing homes still use paper-based medication systems - creating the potential for numerous problems for GPs working in the field. Dr Dilhan Mendis, General Practitioner, said the phone order process is one of the biggest hurdles doctors face when working in aged care. “The main problem, compared to online systems, is the phone order process,â€� he said. Dr Mendis explained that when patients need a medication prescribed, nurses either call or fax through a […]

  • Mandatory Air-Conditioning in Aged Care No Longer A Priority
    by Jakob Neeland on February 18, 2019 at 5:27 am

    There's nothing quite like the Australian summer. Searing temperatures, high winds, and prolonged heat waves can have devastating consequences on our plant life, our animals and even our people. Elderly Australians are particularly vulnerable during the summer months, with issues like heat stroke, dehydration, exhaustion, and heat syncope all being very real possibilities for those who are unable to get cool and stay hydrated. And one of the recommendations that come up over and over again in order to avoid these types of heat-related ailments, is for elderly people to spend as much time in air-conditioned environments as possible. It is so important in fact, that elderly people without air conditioning are often told to utilise public spaces like shopping centres and libraries during the hottest periods of the day and take advantage of their air conditioning in order to stay cool. Seeing as air conditioning is such a vital component of ensuring that an elderly person is […]

  • The pub where men living with dementia can meet for a pint
    by Caroline Egan on February 18, 2019 at 3:15 am

    Men who used to enjoy a drink with friends after work every evening, are still able to enjoy a drink at night, even though they are living in a hospital dementia ward. Derwen Ward, part of Cefn Coed Hospital in Wales, opened the Derwen Arms last year, a pub that in many ways is just like any other pub. It serves beer, and has a pool table, and a dart board. The Derwen Arms has been set up to look much like any other pub, with tables and chairs and touches such as beer mats adding to the authenticity. Even through the beer is non-alcoholic and the darts are plastic, the pub has been hugely successful. The concept has been embraced by staff, residents and families. Patrons of the pub are often joined by their wives, providing the opportunity for social engagement, and  is an opportunity for couples to connect. [caption id="attachment_11842" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Health care support workers Leon Williams and Michelle Nicholls play darts. […]

  • Two-hourly repositioning disrupts sleep, doesn’t prevent pressure ulcers
    by Caroline Egan on February 15, 2019 at 7:22 am

    There has been a challenge to the conventional belief, held for decades, that those assessed as being at risk of developing pressure sores must be repositioned every two hours. A paper released last week said two-hourly repositioning is a form of “abuseâ€�, because it interrupts the person’s sleep, causing them to be constantly tired, and possibly contributing to them acting out their feelings of frustration. Two-hourly repositioning also doesn’t prevent pressure sores from developing, the paper said. HelloCare published an article about the research last week, and it was read by more than 400,000 people. HelloCare has spoken to one of paper’s authors, who reiterated the paper’s claim that repositioning those assessed as being at risk of developing pressure sores isn’t necessary. Catherine A. Sharp, Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Wound Care […]

  • Underpaid staff, malnutrition, neglect: This week at the Aged Care Royal Commission
    by Caroline Egan on February 15, 2019 at 5:04 am

    Warning: Graphic content. Key points to emerge this week at the Aged Care Royal Commission: Aged care staff unpaid by 15 per cent. Australia’s population is ageing, and the number of people living with dementia is rising. Reported cases of abuse in aged care facility are “tip of the icebergâ€�. People dying while waiting for home care packages to be released. High rates of malnutrition in aged care. Psychotropic medications often used as “first resortâ€�. The Royal Commission heard how severe neglect caused a shocking catheter injury. When he announced the Royal Commission into Aged Care, the Prime Minister warned Australians to brace themselves for “bruisingâ€� revelations. This week, that prediction was realised, and over the following weeks more such revelations are likely to be aired. We take a look at the key revelations from the Royal Commission […]

  • Mind Your Manners – A Refresher Course For Millennials In Respecting The Elderly
    by Jakob Neeland on February 14, 2019 at 5:18 am

    A photo showing an elderly woman standing hunched over on a Sydney train while three young commuters sit down in front of her has been causing quite a stir on the internet lately. The picture, shows an obviously frail and physically limited older woman standing and clutching on to a pole to maintain her balance on a crowded Sydney train, while four young individuals sit comfortably, either ignoring her or too engrossed with their mobile phones to care. The photo itself has been a source of much conjecture, with many people labeling the train sitters as ‘heartless,’ sparking the debate about respecting the elderly and the overall lack of empathy in today’s society. But since the photo has surfeced online, stories are beginning to reveal that the woman in the photo had just gotten up from her seat and was preparing to disembark from the train. And even though this may have been a 'false alarm' in terms of something to be outraged […]

  • Physical restraint doesn’t protect patients – there are better alternatives
    by Professor Joseph Ibrahim on February 14, 2019 at 1:18 am

    It’s an uncomfortable image to consider: an elderly person – perhaps somebody you know – physically restrained. Maybe an aged care resident deemed likely to fall has been bound to his chair using wrist restraints; or someone with dementia acting aggressively has been confined to her bed by straps and rails. These scenarios remain a reality in Australia. Despite joining the global trend to promote a “restraint freeâ€� model, Australia is one of several high income countries continuing to employ physical restraint. The Australian government has recently moved to regulate the use of physical and chemical restraints in aged care facilities. This comes ahead of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Certainly this is a step in the right direction – but banning physical restraint is unlikely to remove it from practice. If we want to achieve a restraint free […]

  • Pet support, manicures and massages: Surprising home care services you may not know about
    by Caroline Egan on February 14, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Many older Australian wish to remain living at home for as long as they can. For many, it’s important they remain in their local communities, where they have friends and family nearby, they know their neighbours, and are familiar with the nearby facilities. The familiarity of home can also be reassuring to older people. The feeling of being immersed in a home they’ve created, a reflection of their life journey and rich with memories, can also be hugely comforting. With the Federal Government now offering more home-care packages than ever, more and more Australians will be able to grow old in the comfort of their own homes. As of 30 September 2018, there were 91,847 people receiving home-care packages, an 8.1 per cent increase in only six months and an increase of 28.6 per cent since 30 June 2017. So, what is a home-care package? Home-care packages are care and support services that are subsidised by the Federal Government, with the aim of keeping […]

  • “From the depths of despair there is hopeâ€�: A family’s journey through aged care
    by Caroline Egan on February 13, 2019 at 4:45 am

      One of our readers reached out to us recently when we published an article about the Montessori method. She wanted to let us know that learning about the Montessori philosophy helped give her the skills and confidence to let her mother return home after suffering distressing experiences in a residential aged care facility. She wanted to let readers know that “even from the depths of despair, there is hopeâ€�, and the importance of being an advocate for your loved one A downward spiral Alarm bells rang for Rebecca* only days after she put her mother, Sue*, into a nursing home. Rebecca noticed changes in Sue's personality from the first week in the nursing home. On questioning staff, they were told all residents ‘go downhill’ when entering care. Little did Rebecca know at the time, but staff had started administering Sue with antipsychotic medication from […]

  • Volume recruitment delivers ongoing pipeline of work-ready aged care staff
    by Sarina Russo on February 12, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Global training organisation, Sarina Russo Group, is reshaping the way the aged care industry recruits and trains its staff. Many aged care organisations face ongoing difficulties finding and retaining the best staff. It’s no secret that aged care can be a difficult field of work. Those who enter the industry sometimes do so for the wrong reasons, or they don’t have the right personality or skill sets for the work and therefore don’t last long in the field. For aged care operators, it can be difficult to identify those who are genuinely committed to aged care. Sarina Russo Group’s new ‘Train to Employ’ employment program addresses these matters head on, and delivers aged care organisations an ongoing pipeline of new recruits who have each been carefully screened, and are ready to embark on a tried and tested employment training program. The 'Train to Employ' Program The […]

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