Whilst stress is commonly interchanged with the word ‘pressure’, it is, in fact, a totally different thing. Stress is the feeling one suffers when they feel out of control of their life or circumstances. Stress can cause a multitude of physiological or emotional problems, all of which impact productivity and well being. Stress may be associated with a mental state but managing stress is a skillset that individuals should work on in order to achieve a good healthy work-life balance. Continue reading “Managing Stress – Finding a work-life balance that is healthy for all”
If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, know this: Although it is a diagnosis that is not going away, it can be very manageable if you know how to take care of yourself. Gaining knowledge is the first key step. Below you will find information to help you understand the disorder and discuss it with others. You will also find information to help tackle the symptoms of the disorder. Lastly, you will gain the basic knowledge that you need in order to live well with bipolar disorder. Continue reading “Bipolar Disorder: how to live with the diagnosis”
1 in 5 adults are living with some variety of mental health issue which negatively affects their lives. Needing to locate facilities that offer different mental health treatments can be a complicated process. Like physical health issues, mental issues can get worse without appropriate treatment.
There are a variety of mental health treatments available. Often, an individual may receive more than one type of treatment while they are getting help with a mental health issue. For instance, a person may learn about their condition (education), talk to a counsellor or therapist, and make some lifestyle changes to support the positive things that they are making in their life. Continue reading “Mental Health Treatments”
As a carer working in the health care sector, it is crucial that every patient is afforded the correct support and care. Specialist care training courses can provide the skills and knowledge necessary to complete a range of specialist tasks, including the management of instances relating to conflict or challenging behaviour. Continue reading “Specialist care training – what is it?”
Everyone has a right to live an abuse free life, regardless of age, gender, race, or mental capacity. Normally, every adult will demand and fight for this right. But for vulnerable adults, due to their advanced age and intellectual impairments, cannot make such demands and hence, stand the risk of being abused.
What makes it worse is the inability of these adults to even identify abuse or to report it. Individuals with cognitive impairment may not be aware that they are being abused, while those with communication difficulties will find it difficult to express themselves. In some cases, the abusers prevent access to these people, making it even more difficult for help to reach them.
When most people think of an “anxiety disorder,” they think of someone curled up in a ball, wracked by a panic attack. But not all people with anxiety feel full-blown panic. In fact, many people with anxiety never have intense feelings of nervousness or dread; nor will all people with anxiety experience other common symptoms like nausea, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. These people may not realise they are suffering from an unexpected sign of anxiety. As a result, many people with anxiety go undiagnosed and continue to suffer from anxieties surprising physical and mental effects.
So how do you know if you have anxiety? Check out the three unexpected signs below.
For the person experiencing an anxiety attack, it feels like the world has momentarily shifted on its axis. You only need to look at their sweaty palms, their fast breath, and their shaking hands to see the obvious impact these attacks have.
One aspect that often gets overlooked in regards to anxiety disorders is what these issues are like for the people witnessing the condition. If you are forced to watch a friend or family member suffering through a panic attack, you can feel completely alone, impotent, and incredibly confused as to how you can assist. Continue reading “Anxiety – How to help someone through an anxiety attack”
Distractions are a slippery slope and before you know it, hours or precious minutes have slipped by. Stay away from websites unless you have set aside time for browsing or while enjoying free time.
To help you stay focused, we’ve put together a list of five tips for your own personal time management. Tips that can be used in your private life as well as your professional one.
Time management is like a diet, only a tad less painful. It can be just as beneficial and you will see the results sooner as you prepare yourself to be more determined. Along with staying focused, you have to be resolute to stick with your plan. There are exceptions to most every rule of course, and no one wants to stick to a plan that is not working, but being determined to stay on the path you have set will be a valuable asset.
Learn To Delegate
If you are running or managing a small business, there are a variety of things that can leach into your time. Micromanaging is a quick way to burn out, so find ways to delegate things. Perhaps it is trusting the postal service to take care of shipping, or setting up auto-withdrawal for your monthly expenses, you need to be able to stay on track and save time. Trust when there is the opportunity to do so.
Use email, Skype or phone calls instead of meetings. Sometimes meetings can just turn into meet and greets or friends catching up. You count in gas, lunch, and the time preparing, and meetings can pull valuable resources away from areas that need them. Meetings are necessary at times, so when planning an itinerary or schedule, make sure that 12:30 meeting with Betty Boop at the Bread Bakery is absolutely needed. Skype, instant messenger, and email are all valuable tools and sometimes can help you accomplish what you are looking to do in a much shorter period. This is very important when it comes to sales people as well.
Prepare in advance of meetings
If you know your work environment and are prepared, you will not need an hour-long presentation. Many times companies that cater to small businesses depend on the fact that small business owners are very busy and not as knowledgeable as they should be. If you are prepared with what you want and need, you can serve yourself better and save a great deal of time.
Do What You Need To Do
Procrastination may seem like a minor thing for people that have the skill and funds to start a small business in the first place, but it can get in everyone’s way. Knowing when to put something off and prioritizing is very important. When you are planning, put the things that need to be done at the top of the list and let those items command your attention. Sometimes things need to be put off because you do not have the time or assets to put towards them as well.
With these tips, you should be able to prepare and utilize your time better. Remember to prioritize, delegate when you can, stay focused and determined, and take advantage of the time you have.
As people get older they often forget things. Day to day occurrences like forgetting names, appointments or how to use the microwave are common place as we age. Adults in the developed world are today, living much longer than they were 40 years ago. As a result, an increase in brain cell death has been found in those over 50. Like all types of dementia, Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory or reasoning skills. It can be difficult to differentiate from daily forgetfulness but it can be treated to temporarily improve symptoms if identified early enough.
What are the causes of Dementia?
No one knows specifically what causes any form of dementia but it has been linked to head injuries, strokes, brain tumours or cerebrovascular disease. Dementia is a syndrome, not specifically a disease but a group of symptoms that affects cognitive tasks in an individual. It is an umbrella term that Alzheimer’s disease can fall under. It can occur due to a variety of conditions, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease.
You are more likely to develop Dementia as you age. It occurs when brain cells are damaged. Alzheimer’s disease is believed to be responsible for about 50 to 70 percent of all cases of dementia.
Causes of dementia can include;
- Progressive brain cell death
- Neurodegenerative disease
- Injury – post traumatic dementia
- Vascular diseases
- Chronic Drug Use (prescribed and non-prescribed)
- Thyroid abnormalities, vitamin deficiencies
It is important to note though that these are not the only causes and by no means definitive. A perfectly healthy adult in later life (even as young as 30’s / 40’s / 50’s) can suddenly develop one of the many forms of Dementia and it is important to understand the symptoms so that you can help make their life as comfortable as possible. For the purposes of this article however the focus in on Alzheimer’s disease which is the most common form in the United Kingdom.
How can I spot the onset of Alzheimer’s in a family member or friend?
It is important to remember that as people age, we will typically forget things. As a guide, we’ve listed 10 “warning signs” that you may look for, where 6 or 7 of them are common place. To make it easier we’ve also listed “common age-related changes” below so that you can decide whether it is actually a symptom or just forgetfulness linked to older age.
1) Confusion with Time or Place
A sign of Alzheimer’s is where a person loses track of the passage of time – dates, times of the year. They may have trouble understanding something if it’s not happening immediately. Quite often they will forget how they got there or where they are.
What is common for an age-related change: Confusion about the day of the week but remembering it later.
2) Mood Changes and a dramatic change in Personality
The personality of people with dementia and specifically Alzheimer’s can alter over a short space of time. They may become easily upset at work, with friends or family and specifically in places outside of their immediate comfort zone. They can show signs of confusion, depression, act suspicious, fearful or constantly anxious. Routines can change as a result.
What is common for an age-related change: Becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted or developing very specific ways of doing things. Routines are not necessarily an indicator of Alzheimer’s, people change routines to suit environment as they grow older but can they be important when comparing with other warning sings.
3) Withdrawal from social activities or daily commitments such as work
An individual’s tastes changes with age but someone with Alzheimer’s disease may start to remove themselves from work projects, sports, social activities or hobbies. They may suddenly avoid attending social activities because they’ve noticed changes themselves. More importantly they may suddenly forget how to do a long-time favourite hobby or have trouble keeping up to date with their favourite sports team.
What is common for an age-related change: General weariness towards social obligations, family occasions or work. People become more tired as they get older and it is important to realise that they are less likely to feel as engaged as they used to when it comes to regular events or more importantly work.
4) Memory loss that disrupts daily life
One of the most common signs, especially in the early stage is forgetting recently learned information. Asking for the same information over and over (increasingly relying on aides – reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to easily remember on their own. Dates and events are common to this pattern but are more realistic as a symptom if the information is asked for a number of times.
What is common for an age-related change: Forgetting names or appointments is common place at all ages. It becomes more regular as people get older but typically those not suffering from a dementia related syndrome will remember these at a later date. This is why it is difficult to spot unless combined with a number of the other “warning signs” listed here.
5) Familiar tasks at home, work or leisure become more difficult to complete
A sudden change in the ability and frequency to complete common / familiar tasks can be a sign that the person is having difficulty with Alzheimer’s. They may begin to struggle to manage a routine task at work, have difficulty driving to the home of a family member or suddenly fail to understand the rules of games they’ve played regularly for a number of decades. Daily and regular tasks are often the first things the individual struggles with and can be an extremely frustrating experience for them and those close to them.
What is common for an age-related change: Occasionally needing prompting to record something on TV or forgetting what the settings are on a washing machine for a particular type of rinse.
6) Difficulty in planning tasks or solving what were once deemed simple problems
Concentration is affected through age but signs that things aren’t too good include taking much longer to complete tasks that were simple to the individual in the past. Following a plan or working with numbers can become a headache with the person having trouble to remember steps in a familiar recipe for a meal or keeping track of monthly finances. Each individual is different as they get older but someone who has been an accountant or a chef all their professional life doesn’t typically forget the basics of either vocation over a short period of time.
What is common for an age-related change: Making occasional mathematical errors or forgetting an ingredient in a well-known recipe. Again, it is best to take in to account all signs rather than individual oddities.
7) Visual images and spatial relationships causing concern to the individual
Deteriorating Vision can be a symptom of Alzheimer’s. Judging distances, determining colours or difficulty reading are all common place as the brain shrinks through the disease. The person may become frustrated at no longer being able to recognise simple sentences or judge depths as easily as they could in the past and this can manifest in dangerous ways such as problems with driving.
What is common for an age-related change: Vision changes with age normally and can be exaggerated by other ailments such as cataracts. Checking with an optician can help ease concern.
8 ) Decreased sense of judgement
Alzheimer’s may cause changes to judgement or decision making in the individual. For example, they may pay less attention to their own personal hygiene, grooming or may use poor judgement when dealing with money. This can be more noticeable in those that were either extremely conscious of their grooming habits or particularly thrifty with their finances.
What is common for an age-related change: Everyone makes bad decisions from time to time. People tend to make more as they get older. Bear that in mind when considering whether this is something that is common place for the individual in question.
9) Speech problems or difficulty in writing
Alzheimer’s causes people to have difficulty following or joining in to conversations. They may suddenly stop mid-sentence without knowing how to continue, or they may begin to repeat themselves. They may remember vividly instances from their youth but struggle explaining an event that happened two days ago. Likewise, their vocabulary may start to deteriorate making them use the wrong words or calling things by the wrong name (e.g. calling a “watch” a “wrist clock”).
What is common for an age-related change: Everyone forgets words from time to time and this increases as people get older. The frequency of which this happens, especially if the person were for example an English literature lecturer could dictate whether this is really a symptom of Alzheimer’s or just a sign of old age.
10) Losing the ability to retrace steps or misplacing items
A person with Alzheimer’s may put things in unusual places. They may lose items and be unable to retrace their steps to find them. Sometimes they may accuse others of taking items without consent. This may occur more frequently as the disease advances.
What is common for an age-related change: With busy lives many people often lose items and struggle to retrace steps to find them. It is common to misplace something and then only remember where later. The frequency of this happening is one of the key factors in establishing a link to Alzheimer’s especially if the individual becomes adamant that someone else is regularly “hiding” or “stealing” items.
If you or someone you care about is experiencing 6 or 7 of the listed items above on a regular basis, please seek the advice of a doctor to find the cause. Early diagnosis allows yourself and the individual to seek treatment and plan effectively for their future.
TutorCare offer a range of training courses regarding awareness for the different kinds of dementia. These courses are CQC recommended and help professionals and family members recognise the early symptoms and assist in their longer-term care.
For a full range of our Mental Health Care courses please visit – http://www.tutorcare.co.uk/care-training-courses/mental-health-care
Sources: Medicalnewstoday.com, healthline.com, alzheimersresearchuk.org, alzheimers.org.uk
You can make a donation to the UK’s Alzheimer’s Society by visiting here – https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/donate
It is a sad fact that abuse does occur within the care sector, often to individuals who are already in a vulnerable position. Abuse needs to be properly identified, dealt with and prevented, which is where SOVA awareness training courses prove to be useful for care workers.
SOVA stands for Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults (formerly Protecting Vulnerable People / Adults, or POVA). It is a concept and a training course, designed to help care staff properly protect the people in their care.
If you work within the care sector, undertaking this kind of course is extremely important as it raises awareness of the main SOVA issues and explains how they can be dealt with using official policies and procedures.
On a typical SOVA awareness training course, you are likely to learn about:
- The many different types of abuse
- The signs and symptoms of abuse to look out for
- Who can be classified as a vulnerable adult, and what sort of behaviour makes someone an abuser
- How to deal with abuse once it is discovered
- Current legislation relating to abuse
- The correct abuse reporting and disclosure procedures to follow
For more information on SOVA and how it can make a difference to you visit our SAFEGUARDING OF VULNERABLE ADULTS (SOVA) AWARENESS TRAINING COURSE