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Stroke care at home
At The Good Care Group we have been helping people across the country to recover from, the sometimes devastating effects a stroke can have on someone’s ability to live well for over 10 years. With high quality after stroke care, our clients have been able to live a fulfilled and meaningful life, with independence in the comfort of their own home.
Stay at home with high quality stroke care
Whilst surviving a stroke can be life changing, it is widely recognised by many in the medical profession, that receiving the right care at home can have a positive impact on a person’s rehabilitation and quality of life. Receiving compassionate stroke recovery care in the safety and familiarity of your own home has far reaching benefits in improving wellbeing for a person who has had a stroke. The one-to-one, highly personalised support we provide from a trained and well-matched carer is proven to improve not only quality of life but health outcomes for an individual following a stroke. Our flexible approach to providing high quality stroke care, with a fully managed and regulated service that families can trust is setting the standards in live in care for those who have experienced a stroke.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is an attack on the brain that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. The resulting lack of oxygen to the brain causes damage that affects how the body functions, and in some cases sadly leads to death. The effects of a stroke depend on where it takes place in the brain and how damaged the area is. As we age arteries become harder and narrower and are more likely to become blocked. Certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors increase a person’s risk of having a stroke.
There are three different types of strokes:
This is caused by a blockage cutting off the blood supply to the brain and is the most common type of stroke.
A Haemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding in or around the brain and can have catastrophic consequences.
Transient ischaemic attack or TIA
A TIA is also referred to as a mini stroke. It is the same as other strokes, except the symptoms only last for a short amount of time. This is because it is only a temporary blockage to the blood
getting to the brain.
The impact of a stroke for some people may be relatively minor and may not last long. Other people may be left with more serious problems that make them dependent on others. Recovery from a stroke can be significantly enhanced with the right
level of care and support.
Symptoms of a stroke
Strokes occur every five minutes in the UK. They can happen to anyone at any age, at any time. It is critical to know how to spot the warning signs of a stroke in yourself or someone else. The sooner you seek medical treatment the quicker and more successful your recovery will be.
The signs that someone is having a stroke include:
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, including legs, hands and feet
- Difficulty finding words or speaking in clear sentences
- Sudden blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes
- Sudden memory loss, confusion, dizziness or a sudden fall
- A sudden and severe headache
Live-in stroke care and support
At The Good Care Group, we believe that people who are recovering from a stroke will do so more successfully and enjoy an improved quality of life, with as much independence as possible in their own home with high quality live-in care and support. We know how important it is for people to retain choice and control in life, and for many the desire to remain in their own home and community is essential to their recovery and overall health and wellbeing. Your own home environment is the best place to recuperate, relearn new skills and adapt to any physical limitations resulting from a stroke.
We adopt a flexible and holistic approach to after stroke care recognising the limitations that a person may be needing to adjust to and live with. Your professional care team will also be aware of, and sympathetic to the impact the stroke may have made on your emotional, social and psychological wellbeing and will be by your side to provide sensitive and compassionate care, as and when you need it.
Our carers are trained to understand the problems you may experience with mobility, due to muscle weakness and will support all your needs – everything from assistance with walking and moving around, helping with personal care through to supporting you to remain active with social activities in and out of the home. We know that muscle weakness following a stroke can cause on-going pain and our carers are trained to proactively and effectively manage medications to ensure you are able to live life as pain free as possible.
What does our stroke care include?
Ensuring safe mobility in and around the home
Uniquely, we have an in-house Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper who will provide expert guidance and advice as to what equipment can help improve safe movement and mobility around your home, whilst minimising falls that are common with those
recovering from a stroke.
Specialist nurse-led care
Importantly for those recovering from a stroke, we provide nurse-led care which means our professional carers are trained to monitor and identify any changes in your health, responding appropriately and avoiding any unnecessary hospital admissions. As part of our commitment to delivering a high-quality home care after stroke, we monitor and measure health outcomes to ensure we continually improve the care we provide.
Managing and administering medications
Our professional carers are trained in medications management and use an electronic medications system to ensure all medications are managed proactively and effectively. They will also collect prescriptions from the pharmacy.
Companionship as and when you need it
Our carers will provide companionship whilst ensuring your privacy is respected. We ensure that a perfectly matched carer shares similar values and interests to make life interesting, stimulating and enjoyable, whilst being there for you to support your emotional and psychological needs.
Providing discreet and sensitive personal care
This can include the task-orientated aspects of caring for someone, like bathing and getting dressed, but also those that promote self-esteem, like having your nails maintained, or your hair styled.
Planning and cooking meals
We understand the importance of nutrition and how appetite can change following a stroke. We work with our clients to create specialist menu plans that meet their needs and preferences. If you need help to feed yourself our carer is on hand to support,
you with this.
Facilitating social arrangements in the home
Your carer will ensure you can invite friends over for socialisation and celebrations, providing the support you need to enjoy yourself and not worry about organising anything.
Trips and visits out of the home in your local community
Our carers know how important it is to ensure you can continue to do as much you wish and that you remain connected to your local community – whether that is a stroll round the local park or attending clubs or groups in the local area or visiting friends or those shops you always have.
This includes cleaning of all rooms and vacuuming throughout to keep your house to the standards of cleanliness and tidiness you
Caring for your much-loved pet
Carers will happily support looking after your pet, including taking dogs for regular walks.
Short term care or respite care
With a full time, live-in care arrangement a professional carer will live with you in your home providing around the clock care and support, focused on improving your overall health and wellbeing and enhancing the quality of your life. There are many benefits of 24 hour care, not least that the carer will truly get to know you as a person, not just your care needs but they will be on hand to support you to live life the way you wish, with as much independence as possible.
Respite care or a short term arrangement provide an opportunity for a family carer to take a much needed break from caring for someone who is recovering from a stroke or for you to try live-in care for the first time to see how live-in care works and whether it is the right choice for you in the future.
Case study: Jennifer’s story of recovery following a stroke
My mum Jennifer is 74 and had been living alone at home for nearly five years. Until recently, she was a spritely and independent lady, regularly attending her local bowls club and being heavily
involved in the WI.
One day, we were out for tea together when she suffered a major stroke in front of me. She was rushed to hospital and given emergency treatment and specialist care.
After six weeks, mum was stable in her recovery and desperate to come home. Her life had changed dramatically. She was unable to stand without assistance, and certainly could not walk. Her speech had been affected and she struggled to make herself understood, even to me.
One thing that was clear was her determination to get back into her routine. That was when we approached The Good Care Group about home care after stroke. After an initial consultation, the local Care Manager did a comprehensive assessment, working with their Occupational Therapist to check that mum’s home had the adaptations and equipment she needed.
The manager handpicked two carers with previous experience of stroke recovery. Together with the support of The Good Care Group’s Occupational Therapist and liaising with the speech and language therapist, they put together a menu plan for mum – food she would like, that was also nutritious and easy to digest.
They also continue to work with the physiotherapist, and each day support mum with an exercise programme that is rebuilding her strength, one step at a time. Because they live with her, they have got to know her very well. They can understand her speech and help her find the right words and get her message across.
Six weeks after coming home from hospital, mum can now walk, slowly, but independently. She is speaking more clearly and feeling more confident in herself. With her consent, the carers invited a few friends from the WI round for a simple supper and are now planning a trip to the bowls club!
It is amazing to see the progress she has made in her recovery. There is no doubt in my mind that so much of it is down to the commitment, hard work and expertise of the team from The Good Care Group.
Why choose The Good Care Group for stroke care at home?
There are many compelling reasons to use The Good Care Group for high quality stroke care.
At The Good Care Group we work collaboratively with The Stroke Association, the leading charity in the UK supporting those affected by strokes, whose expertise and support enables us to deliver high standards of care to those recovering from a stroke in
their own home environment.
Our professional carers are trained to support the wide ranging and varying symptoms of the condition working with our clients’ daily routines, needs, wishes and preferences.
Access to our experts
Our expert Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper provides our clients with the support they need to live safely and well at home, with all the equipment and any home adaptations they need to help them to live a fulling life, as independently as possible.
We work closely with and liaise with all other healthcare professionals involved in delivering care to someone living with a stroke, including GP’s, district nurses and physiotherapists to ensure all health needs through a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to care planning.
We have a dedicated in-house Specialist Consultant Nurse, Dr Jane Pritchard who develops, leads and supports our approach to delivering high quality care at home for those living with a stroke. Dr Pritchard will ensure our care teams are supported to not only effectively manage medications but are able to provide support with several complex medical inventions.
A perfectly matched care team
Our professional care teams are chosen carefully to meet both an individual’s medical and holistic needs. Similar personalities and interests help the carer and the client form closer relationships, provide more enjoyment and significantly contribute to a better way of life. We also ensure the chosen live-in care team is introduced to you and your loved one before the care service starts. In the rare situation, the match does not work out, we will happily work with you to find a care team that does.
Expertly trained care teams
Our industry leading training programme completed by our care teams has been created with leading charities and clinical experts and goes well beyond industry standards. This enables our professional carers to support a range of conditions affecting older people, including complex conditions that require more monitoring, care and support. From training, through probation, into placement and beyond our carers never stop learning new skills that ensure they can deliver the quality care our clients should expect, whilst finding new ways to further enhance the level of care they provide.
Innovating care delivery through technology
Unlike any other live-in home care provider in the UK, we have invested in creating our own market-leading technology to further enhance our service. Through the development of an online community for our clients, their families and our professional carers, we are proactive and responsive to emerging issues, whilst enabling the softer social benefits that technology brings. The secure platform is focused on ensuring our carers are equipped to effectively deliver the high-quality care our clients should expect, whilst delivering improvements in health outcomes. Our families can access important information about the care of their loved one, providing a reassuring window into the care they are receiving.
Our professional carers use a dedicated community through a Chromebook to complete daily care records, update care plans, monitor nutrition and hydration and manage medications proactively with safety features ensuring accurate administration. This allows us to effectively monitor the health outcomes of our client’s care, so we can prevent and respond to incidents and ensure the very highest quality of care is always provided. The online community also allows our professional carers to network, support each other and share best practice, whilst facilitating a connection which is so important for a remote workforce.
For families who may live some distance away from their loved one, they can access care plans, care records and a calendar of events as and when they wish, offering much-needed peace of mind. We are proud that this community offers families a transparent and immediate insight into our service. The technology also provides families with reassurance that any cash handled by our carers is being managed safely and accurately, whilst enabling them to manage practical arrangements, such as food shopping remotely. They can also connect with our other clients’ families who may well be in a similar situation as themselves, so they can share their care experiences and support one another.
Our professional carers will utilise the technology for their clients’ socialisation and enjoyment – everything from video calls with family members so they feel connected, online shopping to
general web browsing.
Improving health outcomes
At The Good Care Group every decision is driven by delivering improved health outcomes for our clients. Through our dedicated and committed approach to providing high quality care to our clients and the use of our market-leading digital technology, we see significant improvements in our clients’ overall health and
wellbeing every year.
Unique to the live-in home care market, the technology enables us to digitally monitor health outcomes allowing us to effectively predict risk and shape the care we provide. We know, for example that urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are one of the leading causes of hospital admissions for our clients, so we equip our carers with handheld testing kits to proactively monitor our clients for infections. We then benchmark our data to demonstrate how effective our care is in improving the quality of our client’s lives in the context of other types of care provision, for example care homes.
Our health measures are focused on achieving the following:
- Promoting wellbeing, independence and enjoyment
- Reducing behaviours that challenge through implementation of psychosocial techniques
- Reducing and eliminating antipsychotic drug use
- Promoting excellence in nutrition and hydration
- Reducing and preventing falls in the home
- Reducing hospital admissions and re-admission
- Reducing UTI’s and chest infections
- Reducing carer stress
We are proud to be transforming health outcomes for those who require care at home. In 2019 our care teams achieved the following outcomes for those they cared for:
Unrivalled falls prevention programmes
In England alone, 30% of people over the age of 65 fall at least once a year and for those 80 and over it is 50%. By comparison, only 7% of our clients aged 65 and over fell at least once, and that was only 6% for those aged 80 or over.
Our clients are seven times less likely to suffer a serious injury as a result of a fall than residents living in a residential care home. This is a result of our quality one-to-one care, which just cannot be achieved in even the very best care home, and our effective personalised falls management programmes.
Working with our in-house Occupational Therapist, we identify clients who are ‘frequent fallers’ and through an intensive and personalised approach to falls management these clients experienced 47% fewer falls from being in our care.
Reducing urinary tract infections (UTI’s)
Through enhanced training and the use of our market-leading digital technology, our professional carers can perform urinalysis tests. This means they can provide accurate and timely information to GP’s, enabling a quick diagnosis and treatment. 82% of our clients were diagnosed in 2019 using urinalysis kits, and through the introduction of testing we were able to reduce emergency interventions involving a 999 call or ambulance call out by a staggering 63%. We have also achieved a 22% reduction in overall UTI related hospital admissions.
A specialist pathway for palliative care at home
For those with a life-limiting illness or a terminal condition, most of us given the choice would wish to end our days in the comfort of our own home. However, the percentage of people in the general population who can do that is as low as 16%. By comparison, our approach to one-to-one palliative care at home has enabled 77% of our clients to pass away in the place they love most – their own home.
Effective pressure sore management
Our high-quality home care provided by dedicated and professional carers has seen a staggering reduction in pressure sores in those we care for when compared to both hospital and care home settings. Our clients are nine times less likely to acquire a pressure sore than they are in a care home and three times less likely than in hospital.
Proactive monitoring of chest infections
Our partnership with an award-winning technology provider, Feebris has seen us reduce hospital admissions for those with respiratory problems by 28%. Our carers use handheld medical devices to detect early signs of illness, such as chest infections enabling timely intervention to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.
Efficient management of medications
Our digital technology is used proactively to effectively support safe administration of medications, which has seen error rates of 3% compared to a 22% error rate in care home settings.
Reducing the use of antipsychotic mediation for those living with dementia
The use of antipsychotic medication to treat dementia symptoms has been increasingly challenged over the last ten years, as they have been shown to be harmful for people living with dementia and are at times prescribed unnecessarily. Through our approach to professional and specialist one-to-one care for those living with dementia, our clients are four times less likely to be prescribed antipsychotic medication than residents of care homes.
Peace of mind and reassurance
Rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The Good Care Group is the only live-in care provider in the UK to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating by CQC across all five categories – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. We know this provides families with peace of mind that their loved one is receiving the best possible care.
A fully managed and regulated stroke care service
We provide a fully managed and regulated stroke care service which offers families reassurance at a time they need it most. Unlike introduction agencies who are not regulated by CQC, all our professional carers are directly employed and managed by us. We ensure they are supervised by an experienced manager and supported by clinical experts – 24 hour a day, 7 days a week.
Local teams with national coverage
We operate nationwide with a local approach to management of our teams near you. Each dedicated care manager has as small portfolio of clients to support, enabling the care team to provide a tailored one-to-one approach with unrivalled levels of monitoring and support.
What is included in our service?
Our highly personalised stroke care and rehabilitation service includes:
- Full assessment before care starts
- Bespoke and flexible care plan developed with input from the family and other healthcare professionals
- Matching of the most suitable care team to meet the holistic needs of our clients
- Dedicated care team led by an expert regional care manager
- Meal planning and household tasks
- Social activities and lifestyle enhancement
- Specialist support and expertise - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Access to clinical expertise and medical support
We are committed to supporting families through their stroke journey with information that helps inform their decisions when planning long term care. In the UK the leading charity, The Stroke Association provides information, guidance and support to those who have had a stroke and their families. They offer publications on their website for you to download, which are useful on a range of topics relating to
strokes and effective recovery.