Resources For Carers

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Whether you are a professional carer or an unpaid carer looking after a loved one, there is no doubt that it could sometimes be overwhelming trying to find the right information to help you deliver the best possible care.

There is a plethora of external resources out there that can assist care workers in their role – if you know where to look!

Bright Care’s Own Resources

At Bright Care, we provide continuous learning and development opportunities to our staff, and we are happy to open up our considerable resources to our clients and their families to help and support them on a practical basis.

  • In-House Training. We have a dedicated Bright Care Trainer and our in-house facilities are fully equipped with all the latest presentations and moving and handling equipment to deliver both theoretical and practical training.
  • In-House Library. Each of our offices has an information library with a range of resources on various subjects and medical conditions that often affect older people. These resources are open to both our staff and our clients and their families. We even have our own ‘Bright Care Cook Book’ which contains many simple recipes and menu ideas for care workers and staff.
  • Specialised Specific Issue Training. We often run smaller face-to-face training sessions and tutorials on specific issues of care that may not have been addressed in-depth at our induction training sessions. Such courses include the ‘Dementia: Promoting Excellence’ workshop.
  • E-Learning. Our staff have access to a full range of online E-learning courses from First Aid Awareness to Adult Support and Protection.

External resources for Carers

There are a huge amount of organisations who have developed excellent websites, full of resources, advice and events that have proved invaluable to our staff in enriching the quality of our clients’ lives. Here are a few of the best:

  • The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is the regulator for the social service workforce in Scotland. They protect the public by registering social service workers, setting standards for their practice, conduct, training and education and by supporting their professional development. Where people fall below the standards of practice and conduct, they can investigate and take action.
  • The Care Inspectorate website hosts an online resource library with articles on many topics.
  • Alzheimer Scotland provides a wide range of specialist services for people with dementia and their carers. They offer personalised support services, community activities, information and advice, at every stage of the dementia journey.
  • Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland have an enormous amount of excellent resources on all aspects on Chest, Heart and Stroke issues, including the management of these health issues, the road to recovery, and also lots of excellent resources for the children of people living with these health issues.
  • Playlist for Life harnesses the power of music and focuses on connecting people living with Dementia to musical memories.
  • Carers Link work with carers throughout the East Dunbartonshire area providing tailored support, advocacy services, and links to events such as Dementia Friendly Opera Performances, Chair Yoga, Mindfulness, Autism Awareness and a Legal Matters clinic.
  • Stirling Universities Dementia Centre is an international centre of knowledge and expertise dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia. Their website has lots of suggestions on how we can more effectively work with our clients with Dementia, from developing skills to motivating people, encouraging independence, stimulating mental function, talking, reading, games etc.
  • Care for Carers is a voluntary organisation based in Edinburgh which provides support services to all carers, and offers short breaks through their “Stepping Out” service to carers from across Scotland.
  • Carers UK is a very good resource for carers to get advice, useful information and support.

Weighing up the advantages of ‘fully managed’ care at home services over privately hiring someone

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Using a fully managed service, like Bright Care to care for you in your own home will always work out more expensive than hiring someone privately to work for you in the care of a loved one.  However, there are many advantages to fully managed services.  You can find out more about employing someone directly by reading this article on the topic. Below is some good reasons why a fully managed service should be thoroughly considered.

1. There is always plenty of back up care workers available to cover unforeseen situations.

Whether its sickness, holidays, unplanned emergencies, sick children etc, if your regular care worker calls off, a professional care provider will always have back up staff it can put in their place.

 

2. You can benefit from the recruiting experience and intuition a care provider will have in choosing good quality staff.

Recruiting good quality staff is a skill and an art which takes years to perfect. Intuition is key in recruiting staff. The top characteristics you should be looking for is warm-heartedness, humility and high levels of emotional intelligence. Experience and qualifications have some benefit but we believe care is not something that can be taught, you either have it or you don’t. A care provider will also do thorough due diligence

 

3. Care staff are well trained.

Care providers incorporate ongoing training for their staff into their employment of staff. Training is not just provided to staff when they first join an organization, but refresher training, additional qualifications and ongoing professional development is continual.

 

4. Easy to swap out staff if you not getting on

Sometimes a client and a care worker just don’t quite hit it off. If you have gone through a lengthy recruiting process and then find that this happens, you are back to square one. With a care provider in the back ground its easy and immediate to arrange a swap for a new care worker until you find the one that is the right fit for you.

 

5. None of the day to day headaches of being an employer.

When you hire privately, you need to be thinking of setting up payroll, employers tax contributions, National insurance contributions, give consideration to contractual obligation like sick pay, maternity pay, bereavement pay, annual holiday entitlement. You will also need to have in place employers liability. On the whole when you employ the right people they will not need very much ‘managing’ whoever they still need generally looked after, supported, supervised, encouraged, made to feel valued etc or they will leave you.

Whilst it should not happen very often, should anything go wrong with the employment arrangements and you find yourself on the wrong side of the law the legal costs, can add up considerably not to mention the hassle, heartache and general time wasted.

Where do I start looking for Care?

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When you are looking for care, you first need to ask yourself:

Where do I want to be cared for?

  • In-home care (where the care worker comes to your own home)
  • Residential Care Home

A common misunderstanding with care is that when daily tasks become difficult or you or your family believe you are at risk on your own, that you will have no option but to move out of your home. Happily, however, this is not necessarily the case. Many care at home providers offer bespoke care packages that allow you to stay in your own home, ranging from shorter companionship visits to assist with daily tasks, to 24 hour, live-in care.

When you decide on the type of care you need, it is important to do some research on the providers.

  • Ask locally for recommendations.
  • Search online for care providers in your local area and create a shortlist of the companies that provide the services you require.
  • Check their latest report on the Care Inspectorate website.
  • Look online at any reviews and testimonials they have.
  • Call some providers to ask any questions you may have.

Below are some great questions that you may want to ask.

  • What training do you give your staff?
  • What capacity do you have and how soon could you start?
  • Will I be tied into a contract?
  • What are your costs?
  • Will I have the same care worker each visit?
  • Do you have an information pack you could send me?
  • Do you have a local office that I could visit to speak to someone?
  • Could someone come to see me in my own home to discuss our needs?

You should now be in a better position to make a more informed decision as to what type of care you are looking for, and the companies that may fit your needs. Never be afraid to ask questions, and trust your instincts.

You will find more quality questions you can ask of a prospective provider here.

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