As residential care costs rise why not consider home care from Stay Independent

Care costs ‘twice pensioner income and rising’

The average cost of a room in a care home is more than double the average pensioner income, representing a yearly shortfall of £14,568; new research has found.

The analysis from Prestige Nursing+Care found the cost of residential care has risen by 3.5% in the past year and 9.3% in the past two years.

Since 2012 the average annual cost of a single room in a residential care home has risen by £963 from £27,404 to £28,367. This is £2,414 higher than in 2011.

While pensioners’ annual income has grown by 4.5% (£591) in the last year to £13,799, the gap between income and care costs has continued to increase.

The research said the average older person’s saving pot of £14,217 would now only able to pay for six months of care. Combining a pensioner’s average annual income with their savings pot still falls short of covering a full year of care in residential home by over £350 on average.

The research also highlighted regional differences between the cost of elderly care homes, with a room in the South East £7,405 more per year on average than in the North East.

Home care is another alternative for older people to consider – with 10 hours a week constituting an average of £7,200 annually. This is a quarter of the cost of a single room in a care home.

Jonathan Bruce, managing director of Prestige Nursing+Care said: “As the cost of care continues to outpace pensioner income, pensioners’ shrinking savings pots are contributing to the worrying financial conundrum of how later life care can be funded.

“In trying economic times, relying on family members to foot the bill isn’t always a viable option, while the governments’ purse strings are tighter than ever with £11.5billion of spending cuts planned. While the government’s proposed care cap will help some older people, they will still have to incur a significant financial outlay to reach the cap.”

Simon Bottery, director of policy and communications at Independent Age said: “Care choice should be based on need not costs so it’s essential that people get good advice about their rights to state-funded care and their financial options if they are self-funding.

“This becomes even more important as care bills rise and will further increase as the proposed ‘cap’ on care bills is introduced in 2016 because the proposed system is complicated and far from comprehensive.

“It’s also vital that people understand the benefits of different types of care – care at home, supported housing and residential care – so they can choose the one that best fits their needs and aspirations.”

Information Source: written by Fiona Murphy @ Cover Magazine

Keep the brain healthy

By drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day

Research shows it improved the memories of volunteers with narrowed arteries

– Drinking just two cups of cocoa a day boosts an elderly person’s memory
– It causes an eight per cent improvement in the blood flow to their brain
– This is because compounds in cocoa boost the body’s circulation

Scientists have come up with an indulgent way to stave off dementia. Drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may boost memory in pensioners by almost a third. It is thought chocolate’s ability to boost blood circulation is the reason.

‘We’re learning more about blood flow in the brain and its effect on thinking skills,’ said lead author Dr Farzaneh Sorond, from Harvard Medical School.

‘As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.’

The study, published in the journal Neurology, involved 60 people with an average age of 73 who did not have dementia. Each volunteer drank two cups of hot cocoa a day for a month and did not consume any other chocolate during the study. Both their memory and thinking skills were examined, while they also had ultrasounds to measure the blood flow to the brain during the tests.

Almost a third of participants had impaired blood flow at the start of the study, but saw an 8.3-per cent improvement in flow to the working areas of the brain by the end of the study. This group with impaired blood flow also experienced improved times after taking a test of working memory, with scores falling from 167 to 116 seconds by the end of the month. In both instances, there was no improvement for those who started out with regular blood flow.

Half of the study participants received hot cocoa that was rich in the antioxidant flavanol, while the other half received flavanol-poor hot cocoa. There were no differences between the two groups in the results.
More work is needed to prove a link between cocoa, blood flow problems and cognitive decline,’ said Dr Paul Rosenberg, from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. ‘But this is an important first step that could guide future studies.’

Previous research has found that lovers of dark chocolate – with at least 60-70 per cent cocoa – benefit from a protective effect against high blood pressure and the risk of diabetes. And scientists say it can even benefit those who are already at high risk of heart attacks and strokes. The beneficial effects have been shown only for dark chocolate which is at least 60-70 per cent cocoa. Milk or white chocolate does not provide the same benefits. It is rich in flavonoids which are known to have heart protecting effects. Sceptics say the high calorie content of chocolate tends to offset the benefits.

Another study found that eating chocolate reduces blood pressure and improves insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of diabetes.

Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ‘This small study adds to a wealth of existing evidence linking vascular problems and poorer cognition. A cocoa-based treatment would likely be very popular, but it’s too soon to draw any conclusions about its effects.

‘Dementia is one of the greatest medical challenges we face today, and it’s vital that we invest in research to find ways to prevent the condition.

‘Poor vascular health is a known risk factor for dementia, and understanding more about the links between vascular problems and declining brain health could help the search for new treatments and preventions.’

Stay Independent, will now be making sure they offer a cup as part of their elderly home care service in Nottingham.

Article sourced on Thursday 8th August 2013 from: Mail Online

Independence, Dignity, Trust and Respect

We care about all the things you care about …

Here at Stay Independent we offer friendly and professional high quality care in the Nottinghamshire area.
We understand the importance of being in control of your own life and care, so we design our services to support your personal choices at every stage.

Some people reach a stage in their life where a little extra help would be useful. This does not necessarily mean that they are in the latter years of life. It might be through an accident, have a disability or mobility problem that prevents, what once was a simple task, now becoming more difficult.

We are here to help with those now difficult tasks. We can remove the stress and worry and help you maintain your own independence and retain your dignity and self respect. We will ensure all users have the highest care possible.

Our teams of dedicated, compassionate and friendly careworkers are committed to providing support with dignity and respect. We’re passionate about understanding your needs and requirements, and ensuring that we support you in just the way you need.

To find out more about how Stay Independent can support you with home care assistance in your home, please contact us.

We need extra support for vital care services. Can Labour help?

Is help not there at home?

The Government’s devastating cuts to budgets for elderly care are a major cause of the A&E crisis. Fewer older people are getting the care they need at home, meaning more are having to be admitted to hospital, and more get stuck in hospital beds at the end of their treatment because the help isn’t there at home.

Hospitals are struggling to cope. Experts say A&Es don’t have safe staffing levels, we’ve seen more than 4,000 nurses cut from the NHS.

So we are spending thousands on expensive hospital care when a few pounds at home can keep people well. And with hospital beds not being freed up, the pressure backs up through A&E, which can’t then admit new patients to the ward.

It is bad for older people, bad for all patients using A&E and bad for taxpayers.

Labour have suggested that they would support our struggling health and care services. They would invest £1.2bn over the next two years to ease the crisis in social care – tackling a root cause of the pressure on A&E. For older people, this could make a huge difference by enabling them to stay in their own homes for longer and providing the support they need to return home after hospital. For example, it could allow for an extra 70 million hours of home care across England over the next two years, or provide home care for an extra 65,000 older people each year.

Over the longer term, they will bring health and care together into a single service to meet all of a person’s care needs – physical, mental and social. Your care would be organised by a single professional who you know (stay independent).

To protect the NHS from the immediate crisis it faces, they would use the ‘underspends’ in the NHS budget to put an extra billion pounds into social care over the next two years (2013/14 and 2014/15). This extra investment would not only relieve the pressure on A&E; it would help tackle the scandal of care services being withdrawn from older people who need them – enabling more people stay healthy and independent in their own homes – and help families being squeezed by rising charges for care.
Extracts sourced from: http://labourlist.org