All Of Us v Arthritis

Arthritis is very often associated with the elderly, however not many people know, that there are over 100 different diseases and conditions that can be described as arthritis and they can affect people of any age. One of the most common forms of it is Rheumatoid Arthritis. As a part of our support of the RA Awareness Week, we have decided to prepare this note in which we hope to shred some light onto this condition and provide few helpful tips and advices for living with it.

Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the membranes lining the joints become inflamed, which results in pain, stiffness and swelling. It causes daily suffering, as it can highly affect one’s ability to complete some activities, that to a healthy person wouldn’t be a problem. It can become painful to do things like lifting, writing or sometimes even walking. Luckily, there are some things you can do to manage your symptoms!

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The beauty of Suffolk

I don’t think there are many people left in this world that haven’t heard Ed Sheeran’s “Castle On The Hill” hit. The greatest fans probably already know, but to those who don’t, this song is actually about Suffolk. Specifically, a small place called Framlingham, where the singer grew up! However, apart from featuring in lyrics written by one of the most popular artists of our days, Suffolk has also got a lot to offer, both to the tourists and people that live here.

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Impact of COVID-19 on mental health and what can be done about it!

As the world focuses this week on raising awareness about mental health, it’s almost impossible to not link this campaign to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nations of many countries have been facing and continue to face weeks of lockdown, social distancing, closed public places, and having to hide their faces behind masks and visors… Frequent handwashing and checks of our temperature have become an inseparable part of our daily routines and queuing outside of supermarkets or pharmacies doesn’t surprise anyone anymore. Our lives have been impacted on all possible levels – financial, social, emotional, physical, and, of course, mental. There’s no argument about how challenging are the times we live in, but we definitely can and should have a discussion about what we can do about it!

Mental Health Awareness

First of all, if you haven’t done it yet, try and create a new routine for your life that prioritises your health and wellbeing. Staying mainly at home means you should be able to devote a lot of your time to physical exercises, cooking healthy meals, relaxation techniques, learning new things, or simply enjoying your hobbies (like watching movies or reading books). You should also make sure that you stay connected to your family and friends. Loneliness can make everything seem worse than it actually is. The best way to keep in touch is over the phone or through social media. Also, to keep your stress levels as low as possible, try to keep away from speculations and conspiracy theories and only check most recent updates and information about the pandemic on official, government websites.

If you have to carry on working, try and maintain your usual habits and ways. When working from home, still make the effort to put smart clothes on, set up a comfortable and professional environment for yourself, and keep to your regular office hours. If you’re a key worker and still have to leave your house daily, remember to take your lunch with you, stay hydrated, and be as positive as you can. This will help you stay connected to your sense of normality and keep calm.

Another thing about having to stay at home for most of the time is that your relationships with other people will change. Spending too much or not enough time with people that are important to us can be upsetting and difficult. With some people, you might sometimes need a little break from their company, while with others you might miss them and need their presence. It’s important for your mental and emotional wellbeing that you pay extra attention to what you can do, to ensure that your relationships stay strong and healthy. Remember to really listen and be present when interacting with other people, but also respect your own, personal space and don’t feel bad or guilty about needing some alone time.

Finally, as much as COVID-19 has been proven to have a relatively low fatality rate, it still claims the lives of thousands of people on a daily basis. Loss of a loved one and grieving are very hard even when everything else in our lives seems to be good. It’s understandable that during such a stressful time it will be much harder to come to terms with such a painful experience. Remember that there are plenty of charities and organisations out there through which you can connect with people in similar situations and you don’t have to deal with it alone. Give yourself time and don’t pressurize yourself into “staying strong”. Your feelings are valid and it’s absolutely normal and fine to ask for help (Samaritans, your GP practice, online counselor, etc).

There are, of course, many other important issues that deserve to be addressed and that you might need guidance and assistance with and that’s okay. Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to reach out and seek information on how to receive financial support, home school your children, deal with the pandemic related stress while already suffering from some mental health issues, or how to support the elderly in our society. To find out more, I encourage you to visit Mental Health Foundation’s website ( https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus ) or reach out to us, Ocala Healthcare, and we will do our best to support you in those uncertain times.

Let’s all be kind to one another!

#KindnessMatters
#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2020

Being a care worker in a pandemic

With the COVID-19 continuing to take it’s toll, schools and public places closed down, shelves in some shops still being mainly empty and some household name companies are going into administration, plenty of people actually enjoy the idea of self-isolation and social distancing. In times like this, seems like staying in and waiting for the pandemic to “blow over” is the best way to deal with it all. However, there are people out there that aren’t being given a choice in that matter. People that must get up every morning and leave their homes and families to stand at the front line in the fight against the coronavirus. They’re known as key workers. The backbone of all nations. Amongst them – health and social care workers.

Not today Covid

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Coronavirus: What do we know?

It’s been almost 3 months since we’ve learned about the breakout of a new, unidentified coronavirus disease (later named COVID-19) in Wuhan, China. Up to this day, over 128,000 people have been confirmed to be infected with it in over 120 countries all over the world. More than 68,000 have already recovered, but unfortunately over 4,600 people passed away. As of yesterday (11th March 2020), the WHO (World Health Organisation) has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

As a care company providing services to the most vulnerable people in our communities, we’ve prepared this blog to pass on key information and advice from WHO and the UK Government to ensure that both our team, but also anyone else interested, stay safe during this dynamically changing situation. We’d also like to highlight that it’s important to remain calm and focus on prevention.

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Guest Blog: Kinga’s Story

What I love most about my job is hearing peoples stories. Why they got into care, what has been their best experience, what has been their worst experience, what has been their toughest experience and what have they learnt about themselve working in care.

Sometimes people tell me they were born to care and others say they fell into it. The great thing is that everyone’s story is so different.

Which is why we have invited one of our team members to be a guest blogger today and to share her story of how and why she got into care.

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Top Tips For Working Over The Festive Period!

Those who have worked in care industry for a while now, know that this is not a job that you should do just for money. It’s an extremely rewarding profession, but it requires patience, dedication, a lot of compassion and a lot of sacrifice. Sometimes it means that when majority of people get to have dinners with their families or enjoy a lazy Sunday in front of television, we march to work to make sure that those who are most vulnerable are well looked after and can feel loved and safe. It’s a very important task, especially at Christmas time, as it’s often during this period that people we care for need us the most.

Every year thousands of dedicated care and social care workers give up their personal plans to come to work. If this Christmas you’re one of those remarkable people, I’d like to offer you few tips and reminders on how to make sure that those in need, your co-workers, but also you have a very special time, while doing the best job possible!

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Christmas, a time for giving

For many people, Christmas is the most exciting and the happiest time of the year. It’s a great opportunity to get together with the family, shower each other with gifts, celebrate, spread love and joy! The majority of us get to take time off work, have some rest, maybe even go away for a while. We get so caught up in putting up our Christmas trees and decorations, shopping and sending out cards, that quite often we forget, that unfortunately there are also plenty of people that find this festive period very difficult.

Mental health issues, illnesses, losses of loved ones, poverty and many other personal tragedies can be exceptionally hard to deal with during times like this. I believe that it’s our duty as humans to not forget people in need and do whatever we can to make sure that their Christmas is as magical as it can be. There’s a number of charities out there that year after year dedicate themselves to help others, whether it’s through financial, material, physical or emotional support. You can join them in so many ways!

I prepared a list of just a few charities and information on how you can contribute to their Christmas appeals.

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Care Staff: Undervalued, Underpaid and Underappreciated

Empathy, integrity and reliability is the foundation stones of delivering great agency care. We have the opportunity to set a new precedent for agency carers everyday to be part of a successful and caring community and to ensure that their hard work is valued and appreciated.

If you believe, like we do, that agency stigma still exists in many care homes then you will likely have also experienced what it is like to be an agency care worker and to have people be rude and snarky because “you’re paid more” or “you don’t know the residents”.

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The Agency Stigma

When I first started in care in 2009, there was certainly an agency stigma.

There was a divide between full time and agency care staff. Often the view was that agency care workers were incompetent and lazy. This stigma was there well before I came into the industry and is still there now.

This stigma has affected the quality of care of thousands of people over decades, not only in Suffolk but across the UK.

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