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Be Scam Aware - Protecting Our Elderly in the local community

In response to the recent reports of elderly people in the community being targeted by phone scammers, local at-home care provider, Home Instead Senior Care for Conwy and Denbighshire, is offering tips and advice to educate older people on how to protect themselves from falling victim to this abuse.

July marks national Scam Awareness Month which aims to highlight the scams circulating in the older community. As many people falling victim to scams are aged over 55, there is a greater need to focus on vulnerable people most at risk.

Home Instead, who provide care services across the local area have partnered with national scam awareness charity, Think Jessica, to launch a public education programme. The aim of the programme is to raise awareness of mass market scams and to provide as many people as possible with information on common scams targeting the elderly, as well as what to do if they have fallen victim to scammers.

Home Instead has put together a free ‘Senior Fraud Protection Kit’ which contains information on the most common scams, tools to help assess the risk of an elderly loved one, plus really useful checklists to help seniors take practical action to lower the risk of becoming a victim of a scam.

                               

Preventing heart disease is a very important consideration. The best way to do this is to take a little time to keep your heart healthy! We would like to share a few tips, with help from the British Heart Foundation, for keeping a healthy heart. 

Watch your diet. A healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, and should you suffer a heart attack you will increase the chances of surviving it. Try to eat a balanced diet, containing fruit and vegetables, starchy foods (such as wholegrain pasta, bread and rice), dairy products, healthy fats, and protein (such as meat, fish, eggs and beans). It is important to incorporate foods from are all food groups to ensure a healthy diet. Try to minimise consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar, as well as reducing your alcohol consumption. 

Get active. Like any other muscle, the heart needs regular exercise to keep working efficiently, and pump all that blood around your body with every beat. Keeping fit obviously benefits your physical health, but it also improves your mental health and wellbeing too. It can be quite a sociable activity and help towards relieving stress. As little as 10 minutes a day could really help to maintain a healthy heart and a happier you. 

Manage your weight. Carrying a lot of extra weight can greatly affect your health and increase your risk of suffering life-threatening conditions such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. The best way to maintain a healthy weight is to eat right and keep physically active. 

Quit smoking. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack than those who have never smoked.Even if you have smoked for a long time, it’s never too late to quit and feel the benefit. These include improvements in your health and reduce your risk coronary heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers. 

Get regular health screenings.  Managing risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood glucose, is key to a healthy heart. But do you know which factors affect you? It is best to find out this through regular screening tests during doctor visits. 

Check your family history. If a close relative is at risk of developing coronary heart disease from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes, then you could be at risk too. It is best to have this checked so it can be properly managed, should the case require attention. 

Make sure you can recognise the early signs of coronary heart disease. Symptoms such as tightness or discomfort in the chest, neck, arm or stomach which comes on when you exert yourself but goes away with rest, may be the first sign of angina. Untreated, this could lead to a heart attack, so spotting signs sooner will reduce further complications.

 

We hope these heart healthy tips have inspired you to live healthily, without drastically changing your life. Even just a few small adjustments in your diet and physical activity could make a big difference in your overall health. 

 

 

Falls at home can happen at any time and at any age, but for the elderly it can be seriously harmful. Around 3 million people, aged over 65, fall each year. This accounts for up to 40% of ambulance call-outs made to the over 65’s (http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Factsheets/Later_Life_UK_factsheet.pdf?dtrk=true ).

Some are more at risk of falling than others, for example if you are over 80, low in weight or suffering muscle weakness or depression. This is especially worse when someone has suffered from a stroke, since their limb strength is poor.

To ensure nothing happens to your loved ones in their own home, take some time to correct any potential hazards 

With the help of independentliving.co.uk we have come up with some helpful tips to minimise falls:

 Avoid:

-          Clutter- clear the area, including frayed carpet

-          Spillages- try to mop up immediately

-          Area rugs near stairs- secure them down to the floor

-          Wearing ill-fitting shoes/slipper, socks or tights on slippery floors

 Use:

-          Non-slip mats

-          Plenty of lighting with high-wattage lightbulbs, so you can see clearly

-          A personal alarm system or keep a mobile phone within reach, in case of an emergency

But remember:

-          Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t try and do things that you’re simply unable to

-          Practice regular strength and balance training

-          Take care of your feet, and see a chiropodist or GP about any problems

-          Attend regular eye tests, and have your medication reviewed

 

Even a little fall will be enough to leave you shaken; give yourself time to recover, and remember to remain calm. If you do fall, try to a carpeted area, out of hallways and doorways, to help to keep warm.

Keeping still can cause more problems, so try rocking gently to shift your position. This will keep you warmer and more alert, and prevent stiffness and pressure damage. But, if you’re injured keep that area still. After any fall it is a good idea to see your doctor who can check for any injuries, but also any possible causes.   

 

From our Abergele office, Home Instead Senior Care are really proud to be able to provide care and help for Seniors and rewarding careers for their CAREGivers all across North Wales; including Abergele, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Conwy, Denbigh, Holywell, Llandudno, Ruthin, Prestatyn, Llanrwst and everywhere in between!

To find out more please contact your local Home Instead Senior Care – Conwy and Denbighshire office on: 01745 772150, or http://www.homeinstead.co.uk/conwyanddenbighshire/.

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The philosophy behind Home Instead fits (mums) needs extremely well, sparking her interest in the lives of the care givers and thus making her feel truly connected to the world rather than isolated in two rooms. Management has been accessible and helpful, the care givers they have selected honest, helpful and caring. They light her day.

Mr D., Client's Family