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In this month's newsletter:
  • Dementia Awareness Course
  • Attendance and Punctuality
  • Covid-19
  • Confidentiality
  • How to Care for Someone with Motor Neurone Disease 
  • One Touch Health
  • Refer a Friend
Dementia Awareness Course

Currently in Ireland there are over 65,000 people with Dementia, and it is forecasted to increase to 150,000by 2045. With these statistics it is so important to have an understanding of Dementia and now to care for someone with the diagnosis:

We are pleased to announce we now have a Dementia Awareness Course available online for all staff. A registration link has been emailed to you in order to register for the course. The course is not mandatory however we are encouraging as many of you to complete it for your personal and professional development.

If you have any issues in relation to registering for the course or have any other questions, please just let us know and we will be happy to help.
Attendance and Punctuality

This is vital within homecare. Clients you attend to can be quite vulnerable and some may live alone or have no family to support. You’re our home care visits can be the most important visit they have each day so please aim to honour your roster and arrive on time. Any difficulties in attending shifts must be communicated to your local homecare team. This is preferably via a phone call to one of our team members who can assist with you further. 
Coronavirus ~ COVID-19 🦠

All the information you need regarding COVID-19.
In relation to Covid-19 ensure you are kept up to date on the most recent guidance from the HSE & HSPC websites. Remember:

•    All staff must wear gloves, apron and surgical mask for all visits in a clients home.  Correct donning and doffing of PPE must be completed on entering and leaving the home. Change of PPE if needed between tasks such as personal case is permitted once clean PPE is put on.

•    Handwashing must be completed on entering the home and leaving. In between tasks carried out

•    All carers are to wear enhanced PPE (surgical face mask, goggles/visors, full gowns, gloves) when working with a client who is Covid positive. Please contact your local client care manager/nurse manager so this can be provided to you. If you are made aware a client is awaiting a test result or is symptomatic we can provide full PPE in the interim. If negative result basic PPE then will resume.

•    All your clothes should be washed daily using a minimum 60 degree cycle. If possible, leave your work shoes outside or in the car.

Please remember to self-monitor for COVID symptoms minimum twice daily as per guidelines. If you have a sore throat, blocked/runny nose, cough, aches/pain, tiredness/fatigue, loss of taste/smell, severe headache or any other unusual symptom please contact your GP and Myhomecare immediately for advice before continuing your client calls.

You must inform the office if you are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19, are a close contact or have received a positive antigen test. If you are awaiting a PCR test you cannot return to work until result has come back and it is negative. 

Some helpful links are outlined below with guidance and video resources available

There is an expectation of trust between a Service User & Staff but also between staff members. This is even more so evident when you are caring for someone within their own home.

Confidentiality is about privacy and respecting another person’s wishes. It is a key value that must be maintained as a Myhomecare employee.

We would like to remind you that confidentiality in healthcare/homecare covers all the following areas
· Clients
· Client’s Family and Friends
· Colleagues
· Myhomecare Agency
· Other agencies
· GP, PHN, OT or any other healthcare worker involved in client’s care
Confidentiality includes both verbal and written information. Please be mindful of and adhere to the following elements of care when working for Myhomecare:
· A client should never be discussed in the presence of another person (client, family member or staff member) that is not directly involved with that client’s care
· If you need to talk to a colleague about a client (and your colleague is directly involved in client’s care), please use initials and not client’s name eg Mary Kelly would be referred to as MK. Ensure your tone and words are professional and respectful.
· If you are no longer working with a client, you have no access to that client’s information or current care status. Your colleagues cannot tell you how the client is doing.
· All documentation in the client’s home have their name, date of birth and client ID attached to the document. These can never leave the house or be brought to another client’s house. This would be breach of confidentiality and can cause mix up between clients’ information and result in serious harm and or disciplinary action.
· WhatsApp groups set up by staff can be useful tools when helping each other out with days off or other issues related to rosters and shifts, however clients can never be mentioned in these chats as their information is highly confidential.
· Remember to put your client in focus at all times. Always involve your client in all conversations and in all care that is being provided
Should you have any concerns or need to ask any questions around your role in confidentiality please contact your local nurse manager.
How to Care for Someone with Motor Neurone Disease 

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is the name given to the group of diseases in which the nerve cells (or neurones) that control the muscles slowly degenerate.
MND impairs and slowly stops the ability of the neurons to pass messages from the brain to muscles. This means it becomes increasingly difficult, and eventually impossible to move, speak, swallow and breathe. With no viable nerves, the muscles slowly but surely waste away.

The progression and onset of symptoms look different on a case by case basis, but many individuals may initially notice difficulty in performing simple tasks such as tying a shoelace, holding a pen, or turning a key in a lock.

Common Symptoms:
Pain and discomfort: are not caused directly by MND, but may have several indirect causes. Your GP should be able to prescribe a suitable painkiller.

Muscle cramps and spasms: may be relieved by changing position when relaxing in a chair or bed. If this is not helpful your doctor may be able to provide a muscle relaxant.

Stiff joints: can be helped with gentle exercise. A physiotherapist will be able to determine an exercise programme appropriate for your needs.

Bowel problems: are not usually caused directly by MND, but constipation may occur due to restricted mobility and/or changes to diet. Increasing fluid and fibre may help, or ask your doctor to prescribe a laxative. Diarrhoea can sometimes happen with a severely constipated bowel. Ask your Public Health Nurse or GP for advice.

Speech and communication issues: occur for some people living with MND. A speech and language therapist (SLT) can help with techniques and suggestions for communication aids.

Eating and drinking difficulties: may become an issue if swallowing is affected. A speech and language therapist (SLT) can help with techniques and a dietician can advise on changes to diet or equipment to help maintain calorie intake.

Saliva and mucous: may cause issues if problems occur with swallowing. Saliva may pool in the mouth or it may become thick and sticky. In both cases your GP will be able to prescribe medication to help.
Coughing and a feeling of choking: may occur as a result of food or saliva becoming lodged in the airway. A speech and language therapist (SLT) can teach you techniques to help manage these episodes.

Breathing: Respiratory muscle weakness affects most people with MND. When this happens you will need a breathing assessment from a respiratory consultant.

Cognitive changes: may occur for some people living with MND, where difficulties with memory, learning, language and poor concentration may be experienced. This is commonly known as cognitive change. Some of these effects may be quite subtle, while for others the change can be more pronounced and noticeable.

MND Quick Facts
  • Over half of people with MND are under the age of 65*
  • MND is more common in men
  • About 10% of MND is familial – meaning that the disease is passed down from generation to generation within the same family.
  • The mean age of onset is 58-63 years for sporadic MND and 40-60 years for familial MND
Supporting Persons with MND
It can be a shock for the whole family when someone is diagnosed with MND, and can quickly lead to feelings of isolation, helplessness and hopelessness. That’s why it’s important for the individual and their family to enlist help and feel supported. With the right palliative and medical care, people with MND can improve their quality of life. Here’s how you can support a person with MND
Managing Fatigue
Fatigue is a common symptom of MND, which is why it’s necessary to conserve energy. It’s helpful to plan your favourite activities in advance, establish a regular sleeping schedule, and make your home environment as comfortable and easy to move around as possible. 

Promoting Better Sleep
People with MND often struggle with sleep due to symptoms of joint pain, excess saliva, and difficulty breathing, on top of the general stress of their diagnosis. Nurses and/or carers can aid in a better night’s sleep by providing light massages to aching muscles, assistance in moving into more comfortable positions, and reassuring conversations to promote relaxation.

Specialised Meal Preparation
Because difficulty swallowing is a common symptom of MND, it’s crucial to modify food intake and swallowing technique in order to prevent choking hazards. Caregivers can support specialised meal preparation with puréed (vitamised or blended) foods that are smooth, moist and free from lumps, and thus easier to swallow. It’s also beneficial that you are still served the foods you love, in a variety of flavours and colours, which not only promotes better flow of saliva but also mood regulation too. Carers will also be able to assist with reducing the size of each mouthful and modifying swallowing technique to prevent any choking.
Specialised Equipment
Mobility, communication and respiratory support devices are just some of the types of equipment that can help MND sufferers. It can enable them to be more easily cared for and to stay more connected with their families and communities.

Speech and Communication
Seeking a speech and language therapist who has experience working with MND can help to communicate with a person with MND. As Speech starts to deteriorate it will become increasingly difficult for both parties to communicate with each other.
For further information on Motor Neuron Disease please check out this website:
One Touch Health

It is important that you record your tasks and care provided in the notes section daily for each client. If you have any issues using the system, please contact your local team who will be happy to help!
Refer A Friend 💶


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My Home Care · Second Floor, Quayside Business Park · Mill St · Dundalk, Co Louth LH · Ireland

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