ABOUT US

Prestige Nursing & Care is a long-established, forward-thinking provider of community homecare that supports independent living across England and Scotland. Prestige was originally a family-run business with a commitment to providing care dating back to 1945. 

We are a long-established, forward-thinking provider of community homecare that supports independent living across England and Scotland. Prestige was originally a family-run business with a commitment to providing care dating back to 1945. We deliver high-quality, personalised private homecare services through over 30 branches in England and Scotland, supported by a Head Office team based in Epsom, Surrey. We provide over 30,000 hours of care and support a week to over 2,000 clients and their families through our local teams of highly qualified and vetted registered nurses, healthcare workers, and Care Co-Ordinator’s. Our home care services range from companionship visits to 24-hour live-in home nursing care across every age group, ability, and health condition. In our last client survey in March 2022, over 90% of respondents agreed that not only, would they recommend us to a friend, but that our service has also made a positive difference to their life. We are a CQC and Care Inspectorate regulated company and hold ISO2001:2009 certification for quality.

Prestige Nursing & Care 2019 carer of the year

Prestige Nursing & Care 2019 carer of the year

Meet our Carer of the Year 2019, Connor Swainston-Hunt from our Leicester branch. Connor won Carer of the Year 2019, for his outstanding service…

The variety of a day in care

The variety of a day in care

People often ask, ‘what’s a typical day in the life of a carer?’ To be honest there is no such thing, and that is why the job role is so exciting, so varied and so interesting. There is a huge opportunity to positively impact the lives of the people that we’re caring for.

At Prestige Nursing + Care, our carers help people with a variety of needs, whether it be complex care needs, brain or spinal injury rehabilitation, dementia support (including ensuring that that their family and friends are also supported) all the way through to companionship.

Many of our carers choose the career as they want to make a positive impact on other people’s lives, and giving care gives that opportunity. One of our care assistants from Leicester cares for and supports clients with a range of needs in the local area. Her care includes looking after a one year old boy with complex care needs, through to an adult male with a brain injury. As part of her day-to-day, wherever possible Sadie also spends time with the families of those she’s caring for, helping with domestic tasks and putting the world to rights to offer some respite.

Another or our carers, from the Prestige Nursing + Care Derby branch has made a real drive to get her clients more engaged with the local community. For one of the people she’s caring for that means a trip to the local pub for a meal. Like many of our carers, she is responsible for medication procedures and complex interventions – which means that people can get assessed and cared for in a relatively short timeframe, in their own home which can make all the difference.

We’re really proud of all of our carers. They are making real, positive differences to people’s lives and we want to acknowledge and thank them. If you think that a career in care is for you, check out our recruitment page.

Guide to arranging care services at home

Guide to arranging care services at home

Arranging care and support for you, or a loved one, at home is becoming more usual, as more people realise…

The key to maintaining brain health late in life

The key to maintaining brain health late in life

A Complex Organ

When it comes to exploring the brain, it would seem that with each breakthrough the scientific community makes, new unprecedented questions arise. While this is certainly positive in that it allows research to become more focused, it also illuminates the fact that the brain is vastly and endlessly complex.

In spite of all of its mysteries, one thing we do know is that the brain – like all of our organs – does indeed age. As we get older, the brain’s overall volume gradually decreases (at approximately 5% per decade after the age of 40), causing nerve cells to lose certain connections. Reduction in blood flow and certain cardiovascular conditions can add to this as well.

For seniors, these factors may lead to occasional forgetfulness or lapses in memory. Significant memory loss, however, is not a normal part of ageing and may be indicative of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. If your ageing loved ones are experiencing memory loss or have had problems with language skills, perception, or other mental functions, it’s imperative that you address these concerns with a physician.

Ways to Keep the Brain Healthy

Research has indicated that there are several ways that older adults (and those of all ages) can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline – many of which are beneficial for other aspects of the body. Encourage your ageing loved ones to incorporate the following best practices into their lifestyle. Be sure that, prior to beginning any new exercise regimen or diet, your loved ones consult with a physician and dietitian.

  • Stimulation: In the last few years, there have been numerous research studies in the area of neurological plasticity, which refers to the brain’s ability to structurally modify in response to new experiences. This “re-wiring” of nerve cells is actually what is at the centre of most cognitive and physical rehabilitation practices. However, it essentially serves the same function for those looking to keep their brains healthy, and it can be done simply by learning new skills or keeping the brain regularly “exercised” through puzzles or games. Many suggest that seniors enrol in a class or other form of organised learning – which will help not only in developing new skills but also with cultivating socialisation.
  • Exercise Regularly: While it’s not exactly news that exercise is good for the body, it may come as a surprise to some that regular exercise also has quite an impact on mental health. Physical activity improves cardiovascular health, which in turn helps supply the brain with blood. It also helps in developing new/increasing existing neural connections (see neurological plasticity above), allowing the brain to be more adaptive. Research suggests that regular exercise can also significantly reduce mental stress. Some seniors may choose to join a class with close friends for exercise, but it can just as easily be done at home. The key is to ensure that the heart rate is elevated through moderate activity, for at least 20-30 minutes every day.
  • Watch Your Diet: The food we consume has a direct effect on our mental well-being and health. In order to operate at its optimum level, the brain requires fuel in the form of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. If your current diet consists primarily of salt, sugar, fat, and refined/processed foods, consider switching things around. Studies show that diets consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, sources of B vitamins, and lean meats can significantly reduce anxiety levels and even the risk of depression.
  • Stay Social: Although it’s not entirely understood how socialisation bolsters brain health, studies show that a correlation between having strong social connections and longer life expectancy does exist. Interaction, whether it be with friends, family members, or next-door neighbours, appears to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and improve overall mental well-being. This is especially evident in those who volunteer their time to help others. Try reaching out through organisations, community centres, or schools to see how you can help make a positive impact on others – and the health of your brain.

What unifies all of these best practices for maintaining brain health? The key, as countless scientific studies would suggest, is engagement. In this case, it means getting out and meeting new people versus staying inside and watching TV, choosing to find healthy alternatives to cheap fast food, and finding ways to help not only yourself but those in your community as well.

Prestige Nursing + Care Can Help

If your loved ones are working to improve their mental well-being and want to incorporate the aforementioned best practices into their lifestyle, we can help. In addition to companionship services, our caregivers can provide safe, reliable transportation to your loved ones’ destinations. Whether they need to get to the community centre to visit friends or to the grocery store for the week’s supply of nutritious food, we can help them get there safely.

Strokes: signs, rehabilitation and risk reduction

Strokes: signs, rehabilitation and risk reduction

What is a Stroke?

When talking about strokes, many refer to what’s known as an ischemic stroke. Accounting for nearly 80% of all strokes, an ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel (leading to the brain) becomes blocked, cutting off blood flow to certain parts of the brain. An interruption of blood flow means that the brain no longer receives its required supply of oxygen, and after just a minute without oxygen and other essential nutrients, brain cells can begin to die.

The other common type of stroke, known as a hemorrhagic stroke (which accounts for 20% of all strokes), occurs when blood spills into the brain, damaging neural cells. More often than not, this type of stroke happens when an aneurysm – a weak, stretched area in the arterial wall – bursts open due to uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Signs of Stroke

As you can surmise, every second matters when it comes to stroke occurrence. Even if brain cells don’t die right away, they may be permanently damaged if treatment is not administered quickly enough. The challenge is that not all strokes affect the brain in the same way, which can make recognising signs somewhat difficult. Depending on the type of stroke, the signs may be quite subtle – especially for seniors, who suffer from strokes more than any other age group.

Below are signs you or your senior loved one will want to look for. Everyone in close contact with him or her should also understand the signs so that they know when to seek emergency medical assistance.

  • Confusion or sudden changes in behaviour
  • Partial loss of vision
  • Sudden trouble walking and/or dizziness
  • Sudden loss of coordination
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding others
  • Onset of weakness or paralysis of any part of the body
  • Double vision

If you notice any of these signs in your ageing loved one, do not second guess or wait for symptoms to worsen. As noted above, it’s imperative that contact with emergency personnel is made quickly, before damage to the brain becomes irreversible. For most treatments to be effective, the affected individual must be diagnosed within three hours of onset, and get to the hospital within an hour’s time.

Rehabilitation

The amount of rehabilitation needed depends largely on the extent of damage from a stroke, but in most cases medical professionals will recommend at least one type of therapy or a combination. Physical therapy will help patients relearn simple motor activates – from walking to lying down – through training exercises. Another beneficial rehabilitation practice is occupational therapy, which is a way of helping patients relearn activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, and reading/writing. Speech therapy may also be recommended to help patients rebuild communication skills.

As many strokes are caused by hypertension, doctors may also prescribe medications to help maintain normal blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of blood clot formation.

Risk Reduction

In the last few decades, the survival rate for strokes has increased. In fact, the American Heart Association reports that stroke, which once ranked fourth in leading causes of deaths in the United State, now ranks fifth. While increased knowledge of warning signs and effective treatment surely account for this, education on recommended lifestyle changes has also helped.

Here are a few guidelines your loved one can follow to help reduce his or her risk of a stroke:

  • Manage blood pressure
  • Minimize stress (through healthy outlets)
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit consumption of alcohol
  • Exercise regularly (upon physician approval)
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Modify diet to include foods that are low in saturated fat and sodium
  • Manage cholesterol levels (consult your physician for options)

Risk reduction begins with leading a healthy lifestyle. Even if there’s a family history of stroke occurrence, encourage your ageing loved one to follow these guidelines. Be sure that he or she also schedules regular medical check-ups with a medical professional to identify other risk factors and prevention strategies.

Prestige Nursing + Care Can Help

Our goal is to see that your loved one has the means to live a happy, healthy, independent life. And as part of that goal, we work to promote healthy lifestyle choices. Our caregivers can prepare nutritious meals, encourage prescribed physical activity, and even take your loved to any scheduled appointments. Call your local office today to discuss our available services.

Prostate cancer: causes, symptoms and treatment

Prostate cancer: causes, symptoms and treatment

A Growing Concern

Based on year-over-year trends, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017, there will be 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer and approximately 26,730 deaths. One reason for its frequency in recent years is that life expectancy has increased – and paired with the fact that 80% of prostate cancer cases are found in men 65 years of age (or older), the correlation is relatively clear. While the root cause of prostate cancer may not be easily identifiable, the scientific community has come a long way in recent years in terms of understanding the role played by genetics.

 

Potential Causes and Risk Factors

Researchers note that, in many instances, prostate cancer can be caused by alterations in the normal prostate cell’s DNA. Some changes are inherited genetically, passed on from one generation to the next. As with many cancers, the genetic factor is not to be underestimated. A man is twice as likely to have prostate cancer if his brother has/had it. Those that have Lynch syndrome, a hereditary disorder caused by genetic changes, also are at higher risk.

Some of these changes, known as acquired mutations, may occur during the course of one’s life. One potential source for these acquired mutations is diet, as some studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency may be a predictor of aggressive prostate cancer. Exposure to certain chemicals may be another source of acquired mutations. A recent study found that U.S. veterans exposed to Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant used during the Vietnam War, had a significantly increased (48% higher) risk of development versus veterans who had not been exposed.

 

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

The risk of developing prostate cancer increases once men reach the age of 50. However, one of the more challenging aspects of prostate cancer is that symptoms often do not manifest until later stages of development, since it tends to grow slowly. Below are some of the common symptoms of prostate cancer:

  • Frequent urination (especially urges at night)
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Bladder control difficulty
  • Blood in the urine and/or semen
  • Swelling in the legs or pelvis
  • Chronic bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction

As some men may have an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude toward medical issues, they must discuss testing with a physician as close to the age of 50 as possible – especially if they’ve experienced any of the symptoms listed above. Screening is often done either by testing for prostate-specific antigen levels (PSA) levels in the blood, or by a digital rectal exam (DRE). If the results come back positive, the doctor may wish to test further.

Although screening can help detect prostate cancer, it does not always help gauge the severity or threat level. Additionally, test results may be false-positive (signifying that a man does have cancer when he does not), or false-negatives (signifying that he doesn’t have cancer when he does).

 

Treatment Options

As mentioned, doctors may not have a full understanding of how threatening a man’s prostate cancer may be – which can make it difficult to recommend treatment. Oftentimes, these treatments – done through surgery and/or radiation – can negatively affect various aspects of normal living, especially for older men. Many health communities tend to agree that screening (and potentially treatment) for older men may not be greatly beneficial since they are more likely to die from other conditions, should they exist.

That is not to say that prostate cancer does not pose a threat. While treatment may potentially be more harmful than the cancer itself, it’s not to be taken lightly. If your ageing loved one is concerned about his prostate and unsure about screening, it’s important to begin the discussion with his doctor and to see what the best course of action is, given factors such as age and health. Screening/treatment should always be mutually agreed upon by both your loved one and his doctor.

 

Prestige Nursing & Care Can Help

At Prestige Nursing & Care, our caregivers can help provide a daily routine for your loved one that promotes good health and independent living. We can also make sure that he or she has transportation to and from any scheduled appointments. To learn more about services, call your local Prestige Nursing & Care office today.

Food allergies: detection and management for seniors

Food allergies: detection and management for seniors

What Are Food Allergies?

In theory, it can be easy to confuse food intolerance for a food allergy. The former primarily involves the digestive system and its inability to properly break down certain foods. Food intolerance can cause everything from nausea to bloating and cramps. With food intolerance, you can generally consume small amounts of the food without causing much of a reaction. On the other hand, reactions from a food allergy can be much more serious, and contact with even trace amounts of offensive foods can be life-threatening.

Food allergies (commonly linked to foods such as peanuts, shellfish, soy, and wheat) are directly involved with the immune system. For those with a food allergy, the body produces an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (or IgE). When an offensive food allergen binds to these antibodies, they trigger immune cells to release histamine and other chemicals, leading to several potential symptoms.

Mild Symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Redness of the skin or eyes
  • Nasal congestion or sneezing

Severe Symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • A sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Swelling of lips, tongue, or throat

A Growing Problem

A common misconception regarding food allergies is that they only develop during childhood. In reality, food allergies can manifest at any point in life, and while the first appearance is not readily seen in older adults, many are still faced with symptoms due to an allergy’s persistence late in life. In fact, food allergies are becoming more prevalent within the rapidly growing senior population. The scientific community has yet to conclude the exact reason behind this increase. The ageing of the immune system – or immunosenescence – is a factor, according to some. Others theorise that we, as a society, are not developing the proper immunities quickly enough, due to the overly hygienic standards put in place.

Detecting a Food Allergy

If a senior is concerned about the possibility of having a food allergy, it’s important to receive a diagnostic food allergy test from an allergist. Below are the four most common diagnostic tests. Note that all of these tests should be conducted under the supervision of allergists and other medical professionals (as necessary).

Skin prick test: This involves an allergist allowing a small amount of food allergen to enter the surface of the skin on the forearm or back. If a wheel – small raised bump surrounded by red, itchy skin – is produced, it generally indicates an allergy exists.

Blood test: This tends to be more costly than the skin prick test, and is used to detect the quantity of IgE antibodies to help determine potential triggers. Though this test can yield helpful information regarding the chance of a food allergy’s existence, it does not necessarily provide information on the severity of the allergy.

Oral food challenge (OFC): Known to be one of the more accurate methods of food allergy detection, an OFC involves an allergist providing small samples of potentially offensive foods to the subject, followed by periods of observation/identification of reaction. If a reaction occurs, no more food is given.

Food elimination diet: Typically used in unison with skin or blood tests, the food elimination diet is exactly as it sounds. The test involves the elimination of potentially offensive foods from one’s diet to determine the cause of allergy symptoms, over a finite duration with close monitoring.

Management Is Key

If your loved ones are faced with a food allergy, they must treat it seriously and take the proper precautions. Understanding which foods are offensive is naturally the first step, but it must be followed by strict, active avoidance. They should read food labels carefully and avoid any potential cross-contamination when preparing meals. However, even with the most stringent measures in place, there’s always a chance that a reaction may occur. That’s why, in addition to having a plan in place for such an occurrence, your loved ones must have their emergency medication with them at all times – even if they do not anticipate being around food of any kind.

Prestige Nursing & Care Can Help

We can work with your loved ones’ medical provider to understand their food allergies. And with that knowledge, we can help prepare meals and remind your loved ones of which foods to avoid. Our caregivers will provide meaningful day-to-day interactions, while promoting physical and emotional well-being – which, in turn, will help eliminate worry for you and other family members. Reach out to your local Prestige Nursing & Care for more information.