Sussex Grange – A delight for your senses

Luxury residential care from Sussex Grange in Selsey – so close to the sea you can hear it from our garden!

Sussex Grange offers residential care for 20 residents in a very unique setting. We are situated in a tranquil and attractive Tudor-style house in Selsey and are especially fortunate to be so close to the seafront that you can smell and hear it. The waves crashing on the beach provide our residents with an extra sense of peacefulness which they so deserve.

Life at Sussex Grange

Our residents are able to enjoy our spacious and secluded landscape gardens, excellent home cooked meals, private and comfortable living spaces with all bedrooms having an en-suite bathroom. We offer a wide variety of activities within the home such as Bingo, exercise classes, quiz’s, movie afternoons and much more. We also love to get out and about with organised trips where residents get to decide on the location.

We pride ourselves in the care that we offer. Our residents are treated with respect, dignity, courtesy and kindness, a mantra that is at the forefront of the reliable care that we provide. For more information about the residential, respite or day care services that we offer, please contact Karen.

How does Dementia affect sleep?

Problems with sleeping are a common occurrence for people with dementia. Some people sleep during the day and are awake and restless at night. Some are no longer able to tell the difference between night and day, while others are simply not as active as they used to be and consequently need less sleep.

The brain damage caused by the dementia has affected the ‘biological clock’ in the brain, which directs our sleep patterns. A person suffering with dementia can become increasingly restless, confused, agitated or distressed particularly as the sun is setting and it becomes dark outside. This is known as ‘sundowning’.

At Sussex Grange we know the importance of recognising what may be causing sleep problems. Is it the environment, the dementia or the medications used? This will help us to decide on which strategies may be helpful. Some families and carers find that keeping a log or diary may help to show the pattern of behaviour that may be developing, enabling the cause of the problem to be pinpointed.

We have a number of strategies in place which are recommend by Dementia UK:

  • Establish the cause of the sleep disturbance;
  • Check the room temperature and adjust as necessary;
  • Use night/day clocks which help clearly indicate the time of the day or night;
  • Low level light or night lights can help the person find the bathroom and promote orientation;
  • Put familiar things in sight such as photos or prized possessions;
  • Think about food and drink, for example perhaps avoid caffeine based drinks and large meals before bed;
  • Find out about toilet habits, ensure the toilet has been used prior to retiring to bed;
  • Ensure any continence aids used are appropriate for night time and are fitted comfortably;
  • Consider if soft music or relaxing sounds would relax the individual and help them get to sleep.

For more information on the effect that dementia has on sleep please visit www.dementiauk.org. To talk about respite care for dementia patients at Sussex Grange, please contact us.

Combating elderly loneliness with domiciliary care packages

Loneliness is a bigger problem than simply an emotional experience. We all know how it feels to be lonely but did you know that around 1 million older people regularly go an entire month without speaking to anyone?

Half of all people aged 75 and over live alone, and 1 in 10 people aged 65 or over say that they are always or often feel lonely – that is just over a million people. (Source: www.ageuk.org.uk)

To tackle this growing problem there are a lot of services available. Older people need a broad range of opportunities and activities to help tackle loneliness. These can include care and befriending support as well as opportunities that can connect them to their local communities, for example faith, learning, fitness, leisure and cultural activities. Having regular visits from the same person at a regular time can really alleviate those feeling of loneliness. This in turn can give a boost to an individual’s confidence and therefore have an overall improvement for mental and physical health.

Age UK offer a befriending service. A person is assigned who then provides friendly conversation and companionship on a regular basis over a long period of time. There is also a telephone befriending service called ‘Call in time’. The relationship is structured so that the call is made at a pre-arranged and regular time.

Contact the Elderly is a national charity and organises monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for people over 75 who live alone with little or no support from family and friends. These parties are a lifeline of friendship bringing older people and volunteers together for an afternoon of stories, laughter and conversation.

Here at Sussex Grange a personal home care service can be arranged with our expert carers around the Chichester and Selsey areas. This is a flexible service that delivers the help that our clients need, when they need it. We offer a variety of services and will work with the individual to create a plan to suit their personal requirements. If needs change our service will change. We are here to support our clients who are our central point of focus. For more information, please contact Karen or Tom at Sussex Grange to discuss the requirements.

Overcoming communication challenges with dementia patients

For those supporting people with Dementia be that family, friends or nursing staff, there is often a lot of anxiety about how to communicate to those who are living with the condition. People feel apprehensive about talking to someone with dementia. They don’t know what to say, or how to respond to what is often perceived as unusual behaviour. At Sussex Grange, we have experience of dealing with many different variations of dementia and find each resident is unique in their response to your behaviour.

Experiencing the direct confusion and uncertainty of a patient or loved one can be a frightening experience. As the condition becomes more acute they begin to lose their grip on the present. They lose the ability to convey thoughts and feelings, they may not recognise friends or family and may think they are in another place or time.

Communication can be frustrating for all. There are a few key things to remember. Think about body language, facial expression and tone of voice. Keep your body language open, your facial expression warm and cheerful and your tone of voice light, positive and confident. This will bring a sense of hope and reassurance to the conversation.

Below are some techniques that can help when communication is particularly challenging:

  • Keep it simple – speak slowly and distinctly.
  • Do not contradict – this could cause increased anxiety. What they are saying is what they “know”.
  • Be patient.
  • Make a meaningful connection – talk about things they enjoy discussing and use happy memories.

A lot of communication challenges tend to have common themes. For example, they keep asking for their mum or dad, they can’t explain why they are feeling sad, they keep asking to go home when they are at home, they are having difficulty finding the right words, they are withdrawn and unresponsive. For more of these common themes and some of the answers to why these things happen there are some great resources on www.dementiauk.org.

Wine and blueberries can halve Alzheimer’s risk

Could this eating plan ward off dementia symptoms in later life? There have been a lot of weight-loss fads and trends over the years and the New Year brings these to the forefront. The MIND diet has been specifically devised by epidemiologists from a leading medical school. It combines superfoods such as wholegrains, nuts and berries, while encouraging meals packed with large doses of antioxidants. (Source: Independent).

Those following the diet should create meals including at least three servings of whole grains, a salad and one other vegetable every day and then for maximum enjoyment this should be washed down with a glass of red wine. Snacking on nuts every day, beans every other day and consuming poultry and berries twice a week have shown that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s is reduced.

A balanced diet is key for good health

Dieters should also avoid certain foods, limiting the intake of butter, sugar, red meat and fried or fast food. It is also important to remember that in addition to eating well people should remain active, both physically and mentally.

Dr Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said at the time that the study was published that while age is a factor in developing the disease, a person’s lifestyle may also play a role. It is difficult to be certain about which particular aspect of a diet is most beneficial, if there is one.

Before this diet can be recommended it will need to be tested in clinical trials across a diverse population. However, this healthy eating diet has all sorts of benefits including combating diabetes and heart disease.

At Sussex Grange, a varied diet is offered to our residents to ensure they have a good variety of nutrients across the week. ‘Tea and Toast’ quiz days are definitely among the favourites in our home!

For more information about residential care or respite care stays at Sussex Grange, please contact us.

Visits from relatives and loved-ones has benefits for dementia sufferers

visits-for-dememtia-patientsThe Alzheimer’s Society has confirmed that people with dementia feel happy long after a visit or experience they may have forgotten. Visits from family and friends stimulate feeling of familiarity, happiness, comfort and security. Even as the condition progresses, people can still hold an ‘emotional memory’.

A recent survey found that 42% of the public think there is no point in keeping up contact once they are unable to recognise the faces of family and friends. Alzheimer’s advocates and researchers are calling on people to visit friends and relatives with dementia regularly and help them take part in activities they enjoy. The findings showed a need for people to spend more time with relatives with the condition in order to prevent loneliness. 64% of people with dementia felt isolated from friends and family following their diagnosis.

Jeremey Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society said: “Spending time with loved ones and taking part in meaningful activities can have a powerful and positive impact, even if they don’t remember the event itself. We are urging people to get in touch with us and find out how we can help you stay connected.”

Here are 5 reasons to continue visiting your loved one with dementia, even after it may seem that they will not benefit from time together (Source: Alzheimers.net):

  1. They may recognise you even if they cannot express it.
  2. Even if they are unable to remember your relationship, they may remember how often you visit.
  3. They may enjoy visits even if they cannot remember your name or your relationship to them.
  4. Opportunities to socialise and visits can put your loved one in a better mood and help them relax.
  5. People with Alzheimer’s still have emotional memory, remembering how an event has made them feel after forgetting the details of the event.

For more information about residential care in Selsey, contact Tom at Sussex Grange.

Hot meals and cosy toes – keeping warm through Spring

As we get older, our bodies react differently to the cold and wet conditions we experience in the UK. Looking after elderly relatives or parents is imperative during the winter and, sometimes cold spring, months to ensure they stay warm and healthy. Keeping warm both inside and outside your home can help reduce your risk of the serious health problems that are more common in the colder months, such as chest infections, heart attacks and strokes.

Here are some simple tips from Age UK to ensure elderly relatives stay safe during colder months:

  • Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house. Your pharmacist can make suggestions and also advise you on how to manage minor illnesses.
  • Follow up your GP’s invitation to have a flu jab.
  • Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast. Ask your local pharmacy if they offer a prescription pick-up and delivery service.
  • Keep basic food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it’s too cold to go shopping. You could also do your food shopping online and get it delivered to your door.
  • Keep a radio and torch handy in case of a power cut.

It is the smaller things that can make all the difference so for more information read through this handy guide: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Informationguides/AgeUKIG27_Winter_wrapped_up_inf.pdf?dtrk=true

Latest News: Trials announced to investigate new dementia technology

Older patients and people with long term conditions such as dementia, will be among the first to benefit from a series of projects aimed at improving health with a major new drive to modernise how the NHS delivers care.

NHS England invited companies from the UK and globally to express interest in setting out and testing their innovations in this flagship initiative. This programme provides the opportunity to combine different technologies with innovations in how services are delivered in the NHS.

Five ‘test bed’ sites across England will evaluate the use of novel combinations of interconnected devices. For people with dementia this might be a new model that combines the use of wearable devices linked into mobile or other digital technology. This could be implemented alongside technology-enabled housing and a lower cost nurse or health professional workforce model. This data analysis and way of working will help patients stay well, monitor their conditions themselves and therefore live in their own homes for longer.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity said:

“Trials of this sort are vital to know whether new technologies can have a real impact on people’s lives, and it’s good to see that tools aimed at helping people with dementia are being evaluated as part of this scheme. The NHS test bed programme could be vital for understanding which innovations should be taken forward.

Many of the projects being assessed aim to support people with dementia to live independently for longer, but there is also a desperate need for new treatments, preventions and better diagnostic tools. Investment in research must continue if we are to defeat dementia, and we must ensure that new treatments can reach the people who need them as quickly as possible.”

At Sussex Grange, we are encouraged by the level of dementia research that is taking place. The more research, the better the quality of life for our elderly relatives.

Source: http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/nhs-england-to-trial-new-dementia-technologies-in-test-bed-scheme/

Christmas at Sussex Grange Residential Care Home

At Sussex Grange, Christmas is a very special time with our staff and residents, we make extra efforts at Christmas to ensure the residents feel at home and enjoy the celebrations. A special visit from Father Christmas is arranged and spends time with our residents before a Christmas lunch is served. Photos will be posted over the next few weeks in our gallery, so have a look at our Christmas Day and life at Sussex Grange.

We would like to wish all of our residents, families and our contacts a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Checklist for selecting a care home for your loved ones

When selecting a care home for your elderly relative, it is imperative that more than one person from the family (if available) views the care home – as it can reduce the level of emotion involved in the selection process. It is a challenging and difficult time to consider moving a loved one into a residential care setting, but as a relative, you are predominantly concerned with their safety and ongoing health. Here are some simple checks to consider when viewing a care home:

Location and building:

  • Where is the care home?
  • How easy is it to access the care home? Are there easy transport links?
  • Does the home seem clean and inviting?
  • What is the accessibility of the care home?
  • Is there a relaxed and friendly atmosphere?
  • How busy are the staff? Is there a feeling that residents are kept busy?
  • How much room is there for personal belongings?

Day to day life:

  • Are there books / magazines / televisions available for residents?
  • Are residents encouraged to stay active and healthy during the day?
  • How are events publicised?
  • Are residents allowed outside for some fresh air?
  • Are there any restrictions on visiting times?
  • Are young children welcome to visit?
  • Are there strict rising times and bedtimes?
  • Can dietary requirements be considered?

Care needs:

  • What are the bathing facilities?
  • Is the home registered to provide the level of care required?
  • What are the procedures in place if a resident is taken ill?
  • What are the procedures for check-ups at the doctors / dentist?
  • Is there a manager on duty at all times?
  • What are the accessibility facilities for the toilets and bathrooms?

Contracts and fees:

  • Are the care home’s regulation reports available?
  • How are the fees structured?
  • Is a top-up payment required for local-authority assisted residents?
  • How are your valuables kept secure?

For more information about some other considerations when selecting a care home, please visit http://www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/care-homes/care-home-checklist/location-and-building/