CARERS working for a homecare provider in south Devon are helping prevent the county’s elderly from starving (December 2019).
Guardian Homecare says there is a common misconception that people naturally lose weight as they get older.
Catherine Porter, Manager for the care provider, which operates in the Exeter area, says: “Malnutrition is more likely to occur as a result of an illness, loneliness and loss of mobility. It can be exacerbated due to local shop closures, cuts to meals on wheels services or lunch clubs, as well as poor health, immobility and even bereavement.
“Addressing malnutrition needs to be a key priority for everyone involved in an elderly person’s life. Our carers are vital in helping prevent our elderly service users from becoming malnourished.
“When visiting a service user, our carers can make them breakfast, lunch or an evening meal and, as part of their care plan, they can manage their nutritional care. They can also help them with their food shopping if needed.”
Home Care Assistant, Linda Tranter is dedicated to providing a high standard of care to service users in their own homes.
She says: “We provide a lifeline to those we care for and my role includes supporting them with any personal care issues, such as preparing food and taking them shopping or going out for them.”
According to Age UK, more than one million people over the age of 65 are malnourished or at risk of malnourishment. The condition is often poorly understood or not dealt with properly.
Catherine adds: “While national newspapers and magazines are obsessed with rising obesity in the young, malnutrition in the elderly is not mentioned. However, it is a real issue that’s rife in our society and needs to be addressed.
“Many people over the age of 65 may live alone and will often see no point in cooking for themselves, instead opting for snacks or microwave meals, which means they aren’t getting the nutrients they need.”
Guardian Homecare delivers personalised home care, supporting people wishing to stay living safely and comfortably in their own homes in south Devon.
“It’s super important to raise awareness of elderly malnutrition and we would urge anyone out there who has an elderly family member, friend or neighbour, to ensure they are eating properly if they are not receiving social care visits. Anyone interested in having one of our expert carers visit them, or a loved-one, should get in touch with us via www.guardianhomecare.org.uk.”
Guardian Homecare is keen to dispel the myth that a career in care is poorly paid and that staff lack training, support and benefits. It offers new recruits a five-day training induction and a 12-week onboarding programme working towards a care certificate.
“We’re committed to up-skilling our workforce and we’re working hard to ensure carers are highly valued by society for the invaluable work they do. Being a carer is a highly skilled, professional vocational occupation that is essential to the fabric of our society. We’re searching for people who are looking for a long-term career as care is a rapidly expanding sector and there is work in the area for many years to come.
“We offer career advancement opportunities that mean we have a highly trained, motivated and appreciated team. We provide the opportunity for our staff to obtain professional qualifications up to Level 5 in health and social care. We have jobs available in the area now with immediate start, no experience necessary just a willingness to care and to learn.
“It is a great opportunity for people to achieve a recognised qualification and they’ll also be able to have access to exclusive discounts online and in-store from retailers including Tesco, Primark and Argos, and also covers holidays and electrical goods.
“We also offer flexible working hours, both full and part-time, as well as competitive wages, generous holiday allocation and a refer a friend scheme.
“Our support is not solely elderly care, we offer home care for adults of various abilities and our team puts people first by helping individuals live independently and providing peace of mind for families. Our service is also completely personalised and ranges from daily visits to respite and overnight care.”
Anyone wishing to find out more about Guardian Homecare should visit www.guardianhomecare.org.uk.