Complex Care

The Comprehensive Guide

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Don’t face complex care alone.

Watching someone we love deal with long-term illness or disability is one of the hardest things any of us will ever do. At Elder, we do everything we can to make providing your loved ones with the best care possible easy and straightforward, because no family should have to face this alone.

For elderly people with ongoing and progressive medical conditions and disabilities, even just the basic tasks of everyday life can present serious and dangerous daily challenges. This is why our live-in complex care professionals provide a vital relief service to patients receiving ongoing care outside of hospital treatment.

As the name suggests, complex care requires a high degree of training and expertise and covers a broad church of treatments. These can be related to many of the UK’s most common progressive and chronic conditions, covering medical, emotional and physical care.

With so many types of care falling under the complex care banner, it can be difficult to identify the right care professional or treatment programme, particularly for full-time live-in care and support.

This guide will take you through the individual elements of complex care and help you understand and decide which treatment plan is right for your family.

01: What is complex care?

Complex care refers to ongoing care for patients living with significant, long-term health issues which make it incredibly hard for them to look after themselves. This is often due to longstanding physical or mental health ailments such as disability or chronic illness.

It can be one of the toughest and most daunting experiences an older person and their family can go through. That’s why our mission has always been to offer specialist, empathetic support from caring professionals to help make any patient’s life happier and healthier wherever we can.

Any ongoing treatment programme which takes place outside of hospital care but requires a high degree of expert support can be termed ‘complex care’.

It can take place in a number of locations, but primarily in:

– The patient’s own home

– In a nursing home or other residential care facility

– A third party partner facility such as a hospice or support centre

With the level of access and expertise required to become a proficient live-in carer, it can be difficult for families to find experienced, accredited professionals to fit their loved-ones unique needs.

This makes access to a curated database of qualified local carers, such as Elder’s, an extremely important service. It helps older patients and sufferers live a full and happy life in the comfort of their own homes.

We believe that access to qualified home carers at all stages of the treatment journey is pivotal in creating a safe, comfortable environment that allows elderly patients and their relatives to live their lives to the fullest.

Duties of a live-in carer

For thousands of people across the country, a live-in carer acts as a bridge between their condition and their normal, everyday lives. They allow people with serious and deteriorating health issues to retain their independence and build a sense of normality for as long as possible.

If you source a carer from a top live-in carer agency, the carers are responsible for covering the medical, emotional and logistical problems that patients and their families face when dealing with complex care conditions.

The medical responsibilities of a complex care professional over a patient’s ongoing care can include:

– Planning and administering medication programmes

– Regular heart rate, blood pressure and insulin checks

– Changing bandages and cleaning wounds/injuries

– Documenting treatment plan progress

– Adapting treatment plan in line with progression of the patient’s condition

By the same token, live-in carers can also help your loved-ones with day-to-day tasks such as:

– Shopping for essentials like clothing and groceries

– Preparing and cooking meals

– Cleaning the house

– Using the toilet

– Regular bathing

– Emotional support, company and companionship

– Maintaining relationships with family and local community

With such a wide range of responsibilities, finding the right person to guide a family member through the right care plan can be both daunting and time consuming. This is where the Elder carer database comes in.

02: What conditions come under complex care?

There are a number of common and serious health complaints which make up complex care which include, but are not limited to the following.

Arthritis Care

The onset and progression of serious arthritis can make a huge number of the day to day tasks we take for granted incredibly difficult. As osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile arthritis take hold, joint pain and lack of mobility can render shopping, housework and cooking almost impossible.

With more than 10 million Brits suffering from arthritis or related joint problems, this represents a massive nationwide problem.

While there is no known cure for any form of the disease, our complex care staff offer an important support structure to arthritis sufferers across the UK.

Specialist arthritis carers provide support with all of the household tasks mentioned above, while also providing help with bathing, dressing and toilet use, should the patient have more serious mobility issues.

Hypertension Care

Persistent hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) can put a sufferer at much greater risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure.

It can continue even after the patient has suffered one of these serious health issues, particularly in older people and those with additional existing conditions.

Hypertension care professionals provide a range of services which actively encourage lowering of blood pressure. These include medical disciplines such as blood pressure and heart rate monitoring at home and more social factors such as managing diet and limiting exposure to stressful situations.

Elder carers offer an individual service tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of the patient.

Vision Loss Care

Many patients and older people find loss of vision one of the toughest ongoing conditions to fully come to terms with. But more than that, it can also be an indicative sign of a serious learning disability and can greatly increase the likelihood of falls and avoidable injury.

From not being able to read properly anymore to missing out on seeing their loved ones grow up, vision loss care requires a high degree of both medical and personal care expertise.

Elder professionals with experience in vision loss care offer both physical and emotional support to older people suffering from sight deterioration, helping them retain as much independence as possible.

COPD Care

The term chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) covers a range of progressive lung diseases which includes emphysema, refractory asthma and chronic bronchitis.

As there is currently no outright cure for any of these conditions, management of the condition and its symptoms is paramount to slowing progression and providing a longer, happier life.

There are a number of medication and inhaler treatments that can slow or stop the deterioration of these conditions, while a small number of patients may benefit from surgery.

In both cases, COPD-trained care professionals play a vital role in helping manage the condition through 24 hour care and support for patients living with the condition or recovering from surgery.

Coronary Care

Coronary heart disease and all related conditions which fall under its umbrella are some of the most common complex care conditions in the UK.

These health issues can affect anyone from elderly patients with a history of poor dietary habits or tobacco consumption, all the way down to children born with congenital heart problems.

Coronary care can help prevent heart attacks and other serious problems before they happen through concerted ongoing health management programmes.

Elder carers help patients set and follow diet plans to manage cholesterol intake, provide support on quitting smoking and encouraging exercise and tailor care and treatment programmes to fit the individual patient needs.

Diabetes Care

Diabetes is an increasingly common condition, which can either denote a total inability of the pancreas to produce insulin (Type 1) or simply an inability to produce enough insulin to turn glucose into energy (Type 2).

Most diabetics use regular insulin shots to control their condition, usually using insulin pens. But administering injections can be more difficult for patients with mobility issues such as older people and those with disabilities. A lack of insulin can lead to tiredness, weight loss and even seizures if not treated properly.

The risks of mismanaging diabetes long-term can also be much more serious and can cause any of the following side effects:

– Heart disease

– Strokes

– Nerve damage

– Foot problems

– Kidney disease

– Hearing loss

– Sight loss (including blindness)

As a result, complex care management is an essential part of daily life for thousands of diabetics across the UK. Elder diabetes care professionals can provide regular daily insulin administration support alongside clear dietary plans and advice, plus regular blood pressure and cholesterol checks.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Care

Motor neurone disease, alsok known as ALS, is a progressive disease, meaning the physical symptoms intensify over time, while also increasing the emotional and financial pressures on the patient and their families.

The earliest and most noticeable signs of Motor Neurone Disease (MND), such as extreme fatigue, can impact a patient’s ability to complete basic household tasks in the very early stages of their condition.

An Elder care plan for motor neurone disease empowers the patient to enjoy their life and retain as much independence as possible while also receiving valuable support on tasks such as cooking, cleaning and shopping.

In the period prior to any explicit hospital treatment being required, providing a tailored and consistent complex care plan is essential for ensuring that the patient remains as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. That is why each of our care plans are designed to fit the individual patient and give them the best support as their condition progresses.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Care

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is another progressive condition which can affect the brain and spinal cord and intensifies over time, often leading to vision and mobility issues and, at worst permanent physical disability.

This makes professional, empathetic condition management during the period between diagnosis and hospital care vital in ensuring a patient enjoys as full and happy a life as possible.

MS can also take a serious toll on a patient’s family and closest loved-ones, as their increasing care demands put greater physical and emotional strain on those around them.

MS-trained Elder care staff understand this and provide detailed care plans which help ease the pressure on families and patients alike, helping with physical therapy and medication as well as household chores.

Osteoporosis Care

The progression of osteoporosis, a degenerative condition which weakens the bones, can be life-changing for sufferers. More than 3 million people suffer with osteoporosis nationwide, while around 500,000 receive hospital treatment for related injuries every year.

It can have major consequences for older people as it comes with a greater risk of falls, which in turn leads to a greater likelihood of broken bones and serious injury.

Live-in home care provides a huge relief for older people suffering from osteoporosis and their families. Elder care staff offer support with mobility and injury recovery, along with help with shopping, cooking and other household tasks.

Our specialist carers help sufferers keep out of harm’s way, while also helping them retain their independence.

Stroke Care

Someone in the UK suffers a stroke roughly once every five minutes.

A stroke can have serious long-term or permanent impact on both a sufferer’s physical and mental capabilities. Patients can suffer from a range of physical and neurological afflictions. This can include anything from loss of feeling or movement in the face and limbs to verbal communication problems or vision loss.

Stroke recovery care can take a various forms depending on the severity of the condition, and, as such, requires a high degree of personalisation to be truly effective.

Elder’s database of complex care specialists features UK-wide healthcare professionals with stroke care experience, who can help your loved-ones deal with any of the limitations caused by this condition.

Angina Care

Characterised by chest pain and caused by a lack of blood flow to the muscles in the heart, angina attacks can occur suddenly and without warning. While they can pass without any long term effects, they can cause a huge amount of discomfort and distress, or be indicative of larger health issues.

Angina brings with it an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, making regular ongoing status monitoring extremely important for controlling symptoms and avoiding serious problems.

If you have a loved-one who has been diagnosed with angina and could benefit from specialist care in their own home, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

03: How Elder can help with complex care

Creating a care plan

Producing a detailed, accessible care plan is an essential part of complex care. Individual patients require different care plans depending on their health issue, its symptoms/side effects and the stage of their illness.

In addition, as those closest to them, you deserve to understand and follow the process and rationale behind their care programme. We produce full tailored care plans to fit individual patient circumstances.

Elder treatment and care pricing begins at £895, with bespoke programmes to fit the unique needs of patients, their families and loved ones.

Request a consultation with one of our specialist care team today and learn more about our custom plans.

Identifying a carer

Live-in 24-hour care of any kind is an incredibly specialised job, which becomes even more so when the patient in question requires physical, medical and emotional support related to a serious illness.

That’s why we at Elder provide only the very best live-in carers in the UK. We log all accredited specialised skills and build full personal and professional profiles for each of them.

You can therefore rest assured that the ideal carer for your family’s individual circumstances is waiting for you, you just need to get in touch to find them.

Answering your questions

The idea of taking on a full-time care professional can be a daunting one, particularly for a loved one with a serious illness or disability.

At Elder, we understand this as well as anyone, which is why we will take you through a full consultation process prior to any commitment, building out a care plan before identifying a carer to fit your precise needs.

If your loved-ones are suffering from any of the conditions mentioned in this guide and you believe that our complex care services could help your family or loved-ones please get in touch with a member of our care team.

If you have any more questions at all about complex care generally or want to learn about becoming one of our registered carers, then you can chat online with a member of our team by clicking here.

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