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Abacare offers free advice on making Christmas more dementia-friendly

Published: 27th November 2020 11:26


CARERS at an award-winning Welsh care provider are offering expert advice to on how to have a dementia-friendly Christmas next month (December, 2020) with loved-ones in their support bubble.

Abacare carers say that Christmas can be a challenging time for people with dementia and their friends and family too but it’s important to ensure they feel included.

Neil Griffiths, Regional Manager at Abacare, which provides care across Wales, said: “It’s not been an easy year for anyone, so we want to make the best of the festive celebrations this year.

“Christmas can affect a person with dementia in lots of ways. Many people with the condition like to have a set routine and the busyness of the festive season often means that routines change, and this can upset someone with dementia.

“It’s not just the person with the condition that can be affected either, it can also put enormous pressure on family members and carers as they want to ensure their loved-one has a wonderful time on the big day. However, they shouldn’t feel guilty for keeping the day as normal as possible.

“To ensure everyone has the best possible time, our expert carers have put together some top tips for anyone whose loved-one will be celebrating with them as part of their support bubble this year: 

  • Stick to routine as much as possible on the big day – have the person with dementia get up and do their morning routine as usual and try to keep lunch and dinner timings the same. Always ensure there is somewhere quiet they can go if it all gets too much. 
  • Make sure the person with dementia has all the medication they need over the festive period as often chemists and doctor’s surgeries can have alternative opening hours at this time of year. 
  • Use Christmas songs, decorations or candles to evoke memories. Something they hear or see might spark a memory and could lead to a family conversation and trip down memory lane. Remember never leave a lit flame unattended. 
  • You should try to involve them as much as possible. Perhaps they could help with setting the dinner table or help out in the kitchen, even if it is something as simple as stirring. It’s important a person with dementia feels included. 
  • Avoid having lots of different patterns and decorations at their dinner table place setting as this can cause confusion. Use a plain tablecloth if possible and use different coloured plates so they can differentiate between them. Also, try not to overfill the plate as a person with dementia can sometimes have difficulty with eating. 
  • It’s important to have a ‘plan B’. As much as you can plan the day for your loved-one, it might become too much and they might prefer to go home or to a quiet place for a bit of a rest. Don’t feel defeated if you have to action your back-up plan. 

“We always ensure our service users with dementia always see the same friendly faces they’re used to during the Christmas period and that their routine stays the same as much as possible. If anyone needs any more advice, they can get in touch with us by calling their local branch. Phone numbers for our branches can be found at https://abacare.org.uk/contact-us/.”

Abacare operates a professional Care Management Team that is committed to providing high quality care to individuals in their own homes.

The large team of trained, specialist, care workers provide positive based outcomes and person-centred care to people throughout the UK. 

Due to the current pandemic, Abacare needs to boost its team numbers immediately, so it can continue to protect its service users and the NHS.

It is calling on anyone who is currently fit and healthy but unable to work, following business closures and restrictions, to sign up for a care role and to help in their own communities.

Abacare can offer full training and paid work immediately to anyone willing to become a professional home carer in Wales.

Neil continued: “We’re urging anyone who needs work and feels they can help us to get in touch immediately. If you’ve previously had a customer-facing role, then you’ll have transferrable skills and we can give you full, professional training too. You will be doing invaluable work supporting those most in need, while, also, protecting the NHS. We have had hairdressers, dry liners and even chefs who are no longer able to work, transfer their skills to us.”

Anyone interested should contact their local branch and details of these can be found at https://abacare.org.uk/contact-us/. People can also find out more information about job vacancies at www.indeed.com/cmp/Abacare.

“We will be able to provide our free, full training on a fast-track basis to make sure everyone we take on is ready. This includes a company induction, first aid, information on dementia, health and safety, food safety, infection control, handling medication and moving and handling service users, with the opportunity to achieve Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) after the initial three months probationary period. The Government has also taken steps to ensure a quicker turnaround on DBS checks, so we can get people into work even quicker.

“New recruits are given free uniforms, access to national staff discount scheme for all major brands as well as 28 days paid holiday, paid travel between calls and paid mileage.”

Abacare’s core values, instilled into every staff member, include ‘make us proud’, ‘focus on our service users’ wellbeing’, ‘communicate, listen well and speak with respect’, ‘be passionate, honest, caring and considerate’, ‘recruit and develop the very best’ and ‘lead by example’.

It believes it offers inspiring work for inspirational people as well as a flexible and supported working environment.

Abacare is a member of the United Kingdom Homecare Association, Ceretas (formerly British Association of Domiciliary Care), The National Homecare Council and The Information Commissioners Office (Data Protection). It is also registered with the Care Inspectorate Wales.

For more information or to enquire about a position at Abacare, please visit www.abacare.org.uk or www.indeed.com/cmp/AbacareAlternatively, please follow the company on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/Yn4zmS or on Twitter by visiting www.twitter.com/visitabacare

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