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.

Maintaining kidney health

Maintaining kidney health

Physical well-being is contingent upon the health of all of our organs, and while the areas of focus for seniors may often be the heart and brain, the kidneys are just as important and should demand the same level of care and attention.

Located to the left and right of the spine, below the rib cage, these bean-shaped organs may not always be top of mind, but the importance of their roles in supporting the body’s equilibrium cannot be overstated. In addition to filtering the blood and removing waste and excess water from the body, the kidneys also control blood pressure, produce essential hormones, and balance pH levels.

Chronic Kidney Disease

As we age, it can be difficult for the kidneys to function at their optimum level. Additionally, certain conditions and factors – such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity – can negatively affect the functionality of the kidneys, potentially resulting in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Generally, CKD is defined as the loss of kidney function over an extended period of time. Symptoms do not usually manifest until the disease is in an advanced stage, but they include:

  • Increased fatigue
  • Constant thirst
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Skin rashes
  • Difficulty managing diabetes or high blood pressure

As these symptoms are subtle and can apply to any number of other conditions, the only way to know if you have kidney disease is through blood and urine tests. If CKD goes unchecked, not only do wastes continually collect in the body, but it may even lead to kidney failure – meaning that the kidneys’ functionality has been reduced to less than 15%.

Should kidney failure come into play, there are treatment options available, including dialysis or a kidney transplant. However, seniors do not have to wait for things to get worse before they can get better. Risk reduction, through adjustments in diet and lifestyle and diligent monitoring, can make a big impact on kidney health (and overall well-being). Here are some recommendations for seniors aged 65 or older.

Ways to Support Healthy Kidneys

Diet

  • Drink plenty of water. As a general rule of thumb, stick to eight 8-ounce glasses (or about 2 litres) throughout the course of the day.
  • Consume foods low in salt, sugar, and fat – and look for labels that contain the words “whole grains”
  • Purchase fresh produce, instead of their canned or processed counterparts.
  • Discuss kidney-friendly diets, and any diet change in general, with a physician or dietician.

Lifestyle

  • Do not smoke, or take steps to quit smoking.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Incorporate at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity into your daily schedule. Be sure to consult a doctor or physician before beginning any exercise regimen.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, and lose weight if you are currently overweight.

Health Monitoring

  • Rigorously manage blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes. Be sure to abide by your doctor’s instructions regarding insulin and blood sugar monitoring.
  • Keep blood pressure in check. Talk to your doctor about options for using anti-hypertensive drugs, designed to lower blood pressure, such as ACE inhibitors or angiotensin blockers.
  • Get an annual screening, especially if you have any of the risk factors associated with kidney disease.

Kidney Disease Is Not Inevitable

Seniors may feel they do not have a choice when it comes to the health of their kidneys. While it is true that kidney functionality does naturally diminish over time due to the decrease in kidney tissue and filtering units, advanced age does not solely trigger kidney disease. Encourage your senior loved ones to incorporate the tips listed above to help reduce the risk of kidney disease and other health conditions.

Prestige Nursing & Care Can Help

Our care services can help establish a daily routine and encourage your loved one to make healthy choices – to support not only the health of his or her kidneys but also his or her overall well-being. Call your local office today to find out about how our in-home care services can help your ageing loved one today.

Senior nutrition

Senior nutrition

As we age, the risk of heart disease can increase due to a condition known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when the arteries begin to narrow from plaque buildup in the arterial walls, disrupting blood flow throughout the body. If blood flow stops altogether, from a blood clot, the outcome could include a heart attack or stroke.

While unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as lack of physical activity and/or smoking, can trigger atherosclerosis, poor diet can also be a cause. Foods high in salt and fat can result in high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels – all of which are factors that can increase the risk of atherosclerosis (and heart disease) significantly.

Seniors who configure their diets to include healthy foods can make a profound impact on the health of their hearts. It’s been reported that 70% of heart disease can be prevented with correct nutrition. Here are some of the foods that seniors – under proper supervision from a physician and/or dietician – can incorporate into their diet to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Foods that Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

  • Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries are all beneficial when it comes to your heart, due primarily to their plentiful supply of antioxidants – which reduce damage caused by free radicals in the body.
  • Oranges: The potassium found in oranges helps to maintain blood pressure, while pectin (a high source of water-soluble fibre found in the pith and pulp) collects the cholesterol from ingested food, reducing absorption. Additionally, recent research indicates that citrus pectin aids in neutralising galectin-3, a protein that damages heart tissue.
  • Apples: Comparing apples to oranges may not be such a bad idea after all, as the former also contains pectin. Its fibre content also aids in removing cholesterol. With all of its benefits together, daily apple consumption can reduce LDL cholesterol by 40%.
  • Nuts: Although nuts have a high level of fat, it is primarily monounsaturated and helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases HDL (good) cholesterol. Nuts also contain essential vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid, niacin, vitamin B, and vitamin E – all of which aid in helping the heart.
  • Avocados: Similar to nuts, avocados are full of monounsaturated fats that help to reduce LDL cholesterol. The one downside is that avocados contain a high number of calories, so it’s best to consume them in moderation.
  • Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids – often found in salmon, trout, and other cold-water fish – work to simultaneously reduce triglycerides and raise HDL. Sardines, in particular, are said to provide the greatest number of Omega-3 fatty acids, compared to other cold-water fish. Note that the American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish at least twice a week.
  • Asparagus: Similar to berries and other fruits and vegetables, asparagus is full of free radical-neutralising antioxidants. It’s also a great source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, fibre, and beta-carotene. Just be sure not to overcook or boil it for too long, as this can compromise the nutritional content.
  • Oatmeal: Unprocessed oatmeal – free of added sugar – can reduce cholesterol due to its beta-glucan content. Try adding fresh berries to your oatmeal for flavour and added benefits.
  • Red Wine: Resveratrol, an antioxidant-rich compound found in certain berries and grapes, is what makes red wine heart-healthy, but most health professionals advise drinking no more than one glass a day. Anything past that and one’s risk of heart and liver damage can increase.
  • Dark Chocolate: The flavonols found in cocoa – chocolate’s plant source – can reduce blood pressure, maintain blood flow, and relax the arteries. To get the most out of dark chocolate, choose a bar that is at least 70% cocoa. Be sure that cocoa is the first listed ingredient, as opposed to sugar.

Nutrition Along with a Healthy Lifestyle

One of the added benefits of choosing heart-healthy foods is that they supply other organs in the body with essential nutrients, adding to physical well-being. However, one should not rely solely on a heart-healthy diet to prevent heart disease.

In addition to taking steps to establish a daily exercise routine (including at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity – with permission from a doctor or physician), seniors should also monitor their cardiovascular health regularly by visiting a doctor or physician. Regular consultation with a health professional can provide further insights into how to prevent heart disease, but it may also help in detecting other issues early on.

Prestige Nursing & Care Can Help

Our compassionate, professional in-home caregivers can help promote a heart-healthy lifestyle for your loved one. From healthy meal preparation to transportation to a gym or local senior centre, we are ready to help provide what he or she needs to live a happy, healthy, and independent life. Ask your local Prestige Nursing & Care office today about how their home care services can make a difference in your loved one’s life.

Alcohol abuse in seniors

Alcohol abuse in seniors

Alcoholism in the Elderly; Signs & Effects of Alcohol Abuse in the Elderly

It can be common for friends and family members to overlook – or completely miss – an ageing loved one’s abuse of alcohol. For instance, if he or she has always included alcohol in his or her daily routine, recognising increased (but gradual) frequency of drinking may be difficult. Similarly, seniors may turn to alcohol as a way to deal with physical or emotional pain, loneliness, or other forms of stress – secretly and without anybody ever knowing.

The Effects of Alcohol as We Age

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), alcohol abuse among older adults is quickly becoming one of the most dire health challenges in the U.S. A leading factor in this is that some seniors may not understand that their bodies respond differently to alcohol than when they were younger. While it’s common knowledge that our bodies change with time, it may not be so obvious that our tolerance for alcohol can change, as well.

As we age, the amount of water within the body decreases (allowing for a higher blood alcohol concentration), but also, alcohol stays in the liver longer and is not metabolised nearly as quickly or efficiently. Thus, drinking what could be considered a small amount of alcohol – for those that are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s – may quickly impair a senior’s judgement and/or coordination, leading to falls or other serious injuries.

The immediate effects of alcohol are certainly a cause for concern, but the long-term consequences can be just as life-threatening. Excessive drinking, over time, can cause result in the following:

* Liver damage

* Various types of cancer

* Immune system disorders

* Exacerbation of existing health conditions (including high blood pressure and diabetes)

* Brain damage

Additionally, mixing alcohol with medication, either taken for illness or chronic conditions, can also result in serious health issues and even death. This is especially alarming when you consider that nearly every adult over the age of 65 takes at least two forms of medication each day.

Identifying Alcohol Abuse in Seniors

Some of the typical warning signs of alcohol abuse, such as irritability, fatigue, and insomnia can be mistaken for other problems commonly found in seniors. This can make identification of alcohol abuse difficult not only for friends and family members but also for medical professionals, especially if they are not given enough context or history. However, there are other key signs to look out for. They include the following:

* A decreased interest in hobbies or leisure activities

* Memory loss

* Increased frequency of health complaints

* Slurred speech, smell of alcohol, or general change of appearance

* Diminished hygiene

* Sudden change in eating habits

Addressing the Issue and Next Steps

If you or a family member suspect that a senior loved one is abusing alcohol, it’s important to discuss the matter with him or her in a calm, respectful way. Many seniors may not even be aware that they’re using alcohol in excess. As noted previously, they also may not understand the increased risk of drinking at an advanced age (especially with medication in the equation) – so it’s important to reinforce your concern with education about the effects of alcohol on older adults.

Communication and education are both key to helping a loved one, but if he or she needs help in overcoming alcohol dependency, there are other ways to get assistance. Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can be a great way for seniors to talk with others also struggling with alcohol abuse, while also receiving helpful strategies.

Prestige Nursing & Care Can Help

If you no longer live near your ageing loved one, it may be time to consider having Prestige Nursing & Care lend a helping hand. Our professional caregivers – who we call Prestige Nursing & Care – can provide companionship and interaction, helping relieve symptoms of depression. A caregiver can also notify family members of changes in your loved one’s behaviour or physical characteristics. If you want to learn more about Prestige Nursing & Care in-home care services, contact your local office today.

Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer – also referred to as colon cancer or rectal cancer – is considered the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths, for both men and women. The percentage of deaths from colorectal cancer tends to be highest for those within the 75-84 age range.

Colorectal cancer typically begins with the formation of polyps, which are clumps of cells in the inner lining of the colon and/or rectum. The cancer formed from these polyps can spread through the mucosa (innermost layer of the colon), to the lymph nodes, allowing it to spread to the liver, lungs, and other organs in the body. Types of colorectal cancer include:

  • Adenocarcinomas – Nearly 95% of colorectal cancers fall under this classification. As described above, adenocarcinomas form as a polyp or series of polyps found in the mucus-secreting glands in the colon or rectum.
  • Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumours – These slow-growing tumours form within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from a specific type of neuroendocrine cell. Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumours are considered to be rare, making up approximately 1% of colorectal cancers.
  • Lymphomas – Even rarer than gastrointestinal carcinoid tumours, lymphomas generally develop in the lymph nodes.

Certain factors, both controllable and uncontrollable, can increase one’s overall risk of developing colorectal cancer. Those who are both overweight and physically inactive are generally at a higher risk, as are those whose diets include a high volume of red and processed meats. Family history (particularly of either colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps), having an inherited syndrome (such as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Lynch Syndrome), and having type 2 diabetes all represent uncontrollable factors.

Another factor beyond one’s control is advanced age. The older one is past the age of 50, the higher his or her risk. Studies show that nearly 60% of colorectal cancer patients are 70 years of age or older. Fortunately, colorectal cancer is one of two cancers that can be detected with screening.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

While the American Cancer Society recommends that screening starts at age 50 to help detect colorectal cancer early on, screening can aid in detecting cancer (or risk factors for development) in seniors as well. Although there are several screening options available, seniors should choose tests that are germane to personal preference and medical history – with consultation from a doctor or physician. Recommended screening methods include:

  • Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)/Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT): These tests check for trace amounts of blood from polyps. Studies indicate that FOBT, in particular, can help reduce colorectal cancer-related deaths by up to 33%, when performed by those in the 50-80 age range, every 1 to 2 years.
  • Stool DNA Test (FIT-DNA): Similar to the tests above, the FIT-DNA test looks for trace amounts of blood as well as DNA biomarkers in genes associated with colorectal cancer and adenomas. While there are numerous advantages to the FOBT, FIT, and FIT-DNA, all three can produce false-positive test results, indicating that an abnormality exists when in fact it does not.
  • Colonoscopy: A flexible, fibre-optic instrument, known as a colonoscope, is used in this test to examine the entire length of the colon. Any growths that are detected during the process can be removed immediately. Note that certain medical societies and expert groups recommend that adults at average risk stop screening colonoscopies at age 75.
  • Sigmoidoscopy: Although it is similar to colonoscopy in terms of method, sigmoidoscopy only examines the lower portion of the colon known as the sigmoid. Medical professionals recommend that the sigmoidoscopy be performed along with the FOBT or FIT, every 5 years.
  • Virtual Colonoscopy (VC): This test utilises X-ray scanning and 3D imaging to produce a detailed overview of the colon that shows polyps and other growths. If abnormalities are detected during a VC, a colonoscopy may be performed as a follow-up procedure to help remove polyps or growths.

Other Ways to Reduce the Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Innovation in medical technology will certainly help pave the way for new and expanded methods of colorectal cancer screening, to provide faster and more accurate detection. However, one should not rely solely on screening to support prevention. Seniors can reduce their overall risk by adjusting certain aspects of their lifestyle and by making healthy choices. Here’s how:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Increase daily vegetable/fruit intake
  • Limit or eliminate intake of red/processed meats
  • Decrease alcohol consumption
  • Test for vitamin D deficiency, and increase intake accordingly
  • Consider taking multivitamins containing folate
  • Stay physically active
  • Quit smoking

Most importantly, take steps to routinely visit your doctor or physician, to discuss not only the methods listed above but also the most appropriate options for testing and screening.

Prestige Nursing & Care Can Help

From transportation to and from medical appointments to assistance in promoting good health and independent living, our care team can help make sure your loved one has what he or she needs day in and day out with our special live-in care services. For more information about how our unique style of caregiving can make a difference for your loved one, contact us today.

Common ailments in the elderly

Common ailments in the elderly

5 Common Ailments that Affect the Elderly & How to Spot the Signs

As we get older, the risk of us being affected by certain health conditions increases. If you have an elderly relative or friend who you help to look after, it’s a good idea to be alert to the signs of the most common ailments so that you can react quickly and get them the medical attention they need….

5 new year resolutions to keep with your elderly relative

5 new year resolutions to keep with your elderly relative

5 Good Things to do for your Elderly Relative

The new year is here, and it’s time to start making those resolutions again. But rather than setting yourself unrealistic resolutions that you will have forgotten about in a few months, here are five simple resolutions you can set yourself as you continue to look after your elderly relative.

Spend More Time Together

This is the simplest – but most important – resolution of all. Simply spending time with an elderly friend or relative is one of the best things you can do for them. People can become lonely when they are older, and problems are not spotted soon enough, which is when depression can set in.

Simply going around regularly to share a cup of tea and conversation can be all it takes. If you already visit once a week, perhaps make it twice a week this year.

Share meals. Cook them something nice and then enjoy the meal together. Or do something with them that they enjoy, like gardening. Go to the shops together and grab a cup of coffee while you’re there.

It’s hard to overstate just how much this can mean for an elderly person. It will make them feel valued and loved rather than a burden, and you will be providing companionship.

If you do nothing else this year, make this your one resolution to keep.

Help Them to Keep in Good Health

Make sure your friend or relative is eating well, and ensure they get a healthy diet. Do they get enough exercise? If not, consider helping them to set up an exercise regime.

They don’t need to do set exercises. Instead, they might enjoy walking or gardening, so make sure they can get out and about, and accompany them.

Make sure they take their medications, and keep an eye on when their prescriptions are running low so you can pick up a new one.

And look out for hazards in the home like loose carpet, spills and loose cables. Trips and falls can be serious for elderly people.

Keep in Touch

The best way to stay in touch is to visit your friend or relative in person, but sometimes that’s not possible. Even when you can’t see them, give them a phone call, send a card, write emails or send regular letters.

You could even buy them a smartphone and send messages via WhatsApp, or download Skype and teach them how to make video calls.

There are many ways to stay in touch, so try to do so as much as you can.

Look Out for Problem Signs

Be on the lookout for signs that could indicate something is wrong. This could include signs like forgetfulness, bruises from falling over, or failing to look after their hygiene, all of which could indicate health problems.

Pay attention to their comments and their general state of mind. Check if they are receiving lots of junk mail containing offers of prizes, which could indicate they are being scammed.

Elderly people are often victims of scams, especially online, so ensure they know about good internet safety, and take a check over their accounts once in a while.

Help Them to Learn Something New

Elderly people often love learning new things well into their 80’s and 90’s. Find out what they would like to do, then help them out.

This could be how to send emails or how to start using a computer. It may be to start a new hobby, learn a new skill or meet new friends.

They may not be able to do it on their own, so help them out and accompany them in whatever it is they want to do.

Finally … Look After Yourself

You can only care for someone properly when you look after yourself too, and there are many ways you can do this:

  • Create a support group of family and friends
  • Look into respite care to ensure you give yourself a regular break
  • Make time for yourself to rest or do a hobby
  • Eat well
  • Exercise

Whatever you do, make sure you find some time for yourself, speak to other people, ask for help if you need it, and stay in good health.

Social media for the elderly

Social media for the elderly

Social media has exploded in popularity in recent years, changing how we communicate, explore our hobbies and stay in touch with family and friends. It is often associated with young people, but elderly people can get just as much enjoyment and benefit out of using it.

If you have an elderly friend or relative who you think could benefit from social media, here’s a look at the fantastic benefits along with some guidelines to follow.

BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR OLDER PEOPLE

Elderly people can get a lot out of social media. For many, it is something completely new, but you may be surprised at how quickly they get the hang of it – and how much they enjoy it. Some of the main benefits include:

  • Cognitive Boost: Social media isn’t just for fun; it’s a cognitive exercise that enhances independence and mental well-being.
  • Global Connections: Bridging distances, platforms like Skype bring families closer, reducing the sense of isolation and loneliness many elderly people face.
  • Rediscovering Friendships: Social media facilitates reconnecting with old friends, sharing stories, and even planning in-person reunions.
  • Staying Informed: A window to the world, social media keeps elderly adults updated on current affairs, news, and trends.
  • Learning and Growing: Beyond technology, social media is a vibrant classroom where the elderly can explore hobbies, acquire skills, and connect with like-minded individuals.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA DO OLDER PEOPLE USE?

Embracing social media can be a fantastic way for older individuals to stay connected. Here are some of the platforms most commonly used:

  • Facebook: Embraced for its user-friendly interface, Facebook remains a staple for older adults seeking connection. It is a virtual space to engage with family and friends, share life updates, and stay in the loop of community events.
  • WhatsApp: Recognising the importance of privacy, many older adults turn to WhatsApp for its simplicity and direct communication features. Whether engaging in one-on-one chats or group conversations, it offers a convenient and secure platform.
  • Instagram: Elderly people are increasingly drawn to Instagram’s visual storytelling capabilities. Sharing photos and short videos becomes an engaging way to stay connected.
  • Skype: Skype provides a reliable video calling option for staying in touch with family and friends. Ideal for virtual family gatherings, it brings a sense of closeness despite physical distances.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest captures the interest of elderly people by allowing them to explore hobbies and interests. The platform’s visual boards facilitate easy organisation and sharing of creative pursuits.

SENSIBLE SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW

Navigating the world of social media can be exciting at any age, but it’s essential to follow smart guidelines to protect your privacy and ensure an enjoyable experience.

PRIVACY FIRST

  • Coach your loved ones on carefully managing personal information.
  • Help them configure privacy settings to shield sensitive details like birth dates and addresses.
  • Stress the importance of sharing information only with known individuals.
  • Remind them that when banking institutions contact you, they will never ask for your private pins or passwords.

SMART POSTING PRACTICES

  • Emphasise the public nature of social media; what they say may be visible to many.
  • Discuss platform options—private channels like WhatsApp versus more public platforms like Twitter.
  • Warn against disclosing information that could compromise safety, such as announcing when they’re sick or away from home.

GUARDING AGAINST SCAMS

  • Educate on the potential risks of unknown individuals seeking contact.
  • You may want to discuss or research some common scams with them, like online dating scams, so they know the signs to look for.
  • Reinforce the importance of never sharing financial or personal information online.
  • Show your loved ones how to use the “Is this a scam” feature on the Citizen’s Advice website.
  • It is best to have a different password for each account. There are apps and programs that can help your loved ones store their passwords and keep them safe.

ONLINE SHOPPING TIPS

  • Remind your loved one that if an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  • When shopping online, use credit cards and let them know that they should never send money or cashier’s cheques.
  • Be careful before you click – let them know that certain actions online, like booking vacations cannot be undone.

FORTIFY CYBER DEFENCES

  • Help them to install and update antivirus software.
  • Provide guidance on configuring firewalls for added protection.
  • Educate on internet security basics and assist in creating robust passwords. Remind them to never use dates of birth or

ONGOING SUPPORT

  • Establish an open line of communication; reassure them that you’re there to help.
  • Encourage questions and provide guidance whenever needed.

Remember that people can be victims of cyberbullying at any age. Let your loved one know that they should ignore any mean, abusive or threatening messages and report them to the relevant authorities. All major social media companies and mobile service providers have a reporting system.

Finally, if you think your loved one has been hacked or scammed, report it straight away to the relevant organisation and Action Fraud. Change any passwords associated with the accounts immediately.

ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Elderly people can benefit enormously from social media and the internet in general. Just ensure they follow a few guidelines, and help them set up their accounts and make the most of them. You may be surprised by how quickly they get the hang of it.

If you have an elderly loved one who could benefit from extra support at home or companionship, explore our hourly home care services.