Caring for carers: practical ways to make a difference

Russell Pillar of Spearhead Healthcare on caring for carers

Russell Pillar, director of care interiors at Spearhead Healthcare, advises how the right equipment and training makes a huge difference – to staff, residents and families…

All of us are aware that the care sector is burgeoning as our elderly population continues to rise. In fact, the Office for National Statistics has predicted a 36% growth in people aged 85+ between 2015 and 2025, up to 2million, and this is expected to lead to even higher demand for care home services.

Free conversation cards for carers of people living with dementia

Free conversation cards for carers of people living with dementia

Since 2009, award-winning charity, Alive, has been providing meaningful activity sessions for older people in care settings, 80% of whom are living with dementia. Based on this experience, Alive has now developed a set of free conversation cards to support relatives, friends and carers, to build social connections and engage in meaningful conversations with people who are living with dementia.

What a difference a chair makes

What a difference a chair makes

You often see pictures of people sitting in the care home environment very happily – in the day room or out in the garden.  As long as people are able to manage their own posture and can sit out in comfort, all is well.  However, many elderly people, particularly those with kyphosis sit in inappropriate chairs which do not support them.  Their head slumps forward or to the side – chin to chest.  Gravity can trap people in these destructive postures and can have some very damaging, sometime life-threatening results.

ProMove Sling

ProMove Sling


Established in 2007, ProMove UK Ltd manufactures and supply’s the ProMove sling. The unique design of the ProMove sling means it can be used to move an individual in a confined or outdoor location where a hoist cannot be used.

The ProMove sling allows an individual to be moved without being manhandled and with the least risk to the operator. It has been independently tested to carry a range of different sized individuals, from children aged 3 years to large adults weighing up to 45 stone.

Project into end of life care

Project team

Hospice and university recruit bereaved carers for research project into end of life care

Carers who have looked after people in the final hours of their lives are being invited to take part in research.

The study, carried out by Bucks New University and South Bucks Hospice, is investigating ways to improve support for those looking after terminally ill people at home. The aim is to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions which would go against the wishes of many dying people and to provide carers with the necessary skills and knowledge to care for a person at the end of their life at home. 

Carebuddy from Appbox Media

Care buddy app


If you’re caring for a loved one or an elderly or sickly patient, you’ll know how hard it is to provide round-the-clock care without some kind of help.  
AppBox Media, the company that gave us the popular apps Can I Cook It and Paw Prints, as well as the addictive games Panic Drop, Frenzy Fox and Run Raptor Run, has created an app that does just that.

Leading Greater Manchester Care Organisation Adopts Dutch Model To Reform Community Care


Carers Trust in Greater Manchester is to adopt a new and innovative approach to delivering community care in response to less funding going into the social care system. Based on a Dutch home care model developed in Buurtzorg in Holland, the charity believes it will positively impact on the well documented issues of quality and recruitment that the sector is experiencing.

Paul Parlby the charity’s CEO says:

“Local care delivery models will have to change as more demand is placed on the social care sector and less money is put into the system – something different needs to be done.”

Last November Carers Trust in Greater Manchester thought it timely to review their own care delivery model and looked outside of the UK for innovation.  Paul Parlby continues:

A new ‘game changing’ approach to assessing staff in care homes

A new ‘game changing’ approach to assessing staff in care homes

Standards in care homes have been scrutinised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) since 2015 when the regulator revealed that 18,000 care homes in England ‘required improvement,’ whilst 7% were considered inadequate

Whilst the CQC reported in May that three quarters of care homes originally ratedinadequate have improved following re-inspection - providing consistent person-centred care is an on-going challenge. 

One care home provider addressing this is Belong. Belong rolled out a new approach to assessing its carers last year. Working in partnership with Cognisco, it developed a ‘Dementia*Care assessment’, a unique assessment that measures and evidences the competence and competence of carers in all aspects of their work. 

Active Minds Launches Innovative Multi-Sensory Reminiscence Product

Dementia activity company, Active Minds, are launching a first-of-its-kind reminiscence activity incorporating sound and smell for people with mid- to late-stage dementia

As dementia progresses it can become increasingly hard for carers to provide appropriate games or activities for people living with the later stages of the condition. Spotting a gap in their product list, dementia activity specialists, Active Minds, decided to create Scentscape, a unique multi-sensory reminiscence activity designed especially for people with mid- to late-stage dementia that launches this  on 20th July.

Last call for care homes to celebrate the event of the summer in a royal fashion

The Patron’s Lunch – a party on the mall to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday – is this week. And Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) is calling on care homes to get involved in the event of the summer by entering its novelty 90th birthday cake challenge. The fun challenge is a great way for care homes to mark the historic occasion and bring their culinaryteam, carers and residents together. Not to mention the chance to win some great prizes, including five tickets to a National Trust venue of their choice.

Sutton expands dementia care service after improved quality of care and support for families and carers

Sutton’s specialist dementia nursing service has been expanded after it was found to improve care for people with dementia and provide increased support for carers. The Admiral Nurse Service, which is co-funded by Sutton Council and NHS Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), has increased the number of its specialist nurses who support local families living with dementia from one to four thanks to significant additional funding by NHS Sutton CCG.

BBC launch new online tools to help people living with dementia as part of special season

The BBC is launching a range of new online tools to mark Dementia Awareness weeks around the UK.

The tools - ‘RemArc’ and ‘Your Memories’ – have been developed by the BBC to help trigger conversations and memories amongst those living with dementia.  They will continue to be accessible to audiences, including those living with dementia and brain injury and their carers, in the future. Alongside this the BBC has produced two special online iWonder guides and a large range of associated programming on the subject of dementia.

NRS Healthcare give back to carers by launching their online Carer Awards 2016 campaign

Ahead of Carers Week 2016, which runs from 6th-12th June, Leicester-based company NRS Healthcare are giving others the chance to celebrate carers they know by nominating them to win a prize during the NRS Healthcare Carer Awards 2016. As a market-leader within the healthcare sector, NRS Healthcare have been established for almost 70 years and, as such, have made it their focus to continually evolve with the opportunities presented by digital media.

With an expanding digital team at their Head Office in Bardon, this year they have launched their first Carer Awards online. The contest itself will be hosted via a tab on the NRS Healthcare official Facebook page with supporting messaging from other online channels, including their blog and Twitter account. 

Active Minds Roll Out their Complete Kit with Greensleeves Care Homes

Since 2010, Active Minds have been designing evidence-based activity products for professional and family carers of people living with dementia. Over this time, the company has become familiar with the challenges faced by professional care settings when delivering planned and unplanned activity sessions to those with dementia or people experiencing symptoms of cognitive decline.

The Alzheimer’s Show gives help and hope to families and carers


A chance for consumers to seek expert help and advice on coping with dementia The Alzheimer’s Show – June 10 & 11, 2016 at London’s Olympia – brings help and hope to families and carers who have responsibility for loved ones with dementia. Over 100 experts and exhibitors are available under one roof, offering extensive free advice, support and comfort to those affected by Alzheimer’s.