Home Support Workers newsletter

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Home Support Workers newsletter

  1. 1. Health promotion for positive ageing The Netwell Centre The Netwell Centre is a core research centre within the School of Health Sci- ences in Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), County Louth. The Netwell Centre special- ise in research and commu- nity development work, promoting and supporting positive ageing. Our pro- jects range from software and hardware solutions to support older people to ‘age-in-place’, to community development initiatives such as the RESPECT pro- ject which promotes an inclusive, tolerant society. The findings from our re- search projects help inform policy and practice at re- gional, national and interna- tional level. We are a cross-border leader with key strategic partnership in Ireland and internationally. The Respect Project Reach out to support ethnic diversity (RESPECT) is supported by the EU Peace III Programme, awarded Louth Peace and Reconciliation Partnership. RESPECT aims to ensure that care workers are treated with fairness and dignity at work and in soci- ety and to foster peace and reconciliation through en- hanced cross-community understanding. In a previous workshop we brought care workers from diverse cultural background together to explore their support needs. Two main areas identified for support involved food preparation, and lifestyle factors. This newsletter reports on a follow-up initiative with care workers on 10th November 2010, which focused on health promotion. Home Support WorkersHome Support WorkersIssue4November2010 Inside this issue: Cookery demonstration 2 Dies and nutrition 3 Hand massage 4 The predicted demographic shift towards an ageing of the population, resulting from low birth rates, and increasing life expectancy, is now well recognised internationally. Many countries have introduced policies to reform their health systems to support greater levels of care in the home and in the community. One of the key principles underpinning the delivery of good health and social care to older people in their home is the promotion of good health. The Bangkok Charter for Health Pro- motion developed by the World Health Organisation in 2005 highlights health promotion as a core function of public health. The increased focus on care in the community places home care workers in a key position to contribute to efforts to limit health problems in later life and to increase active, healthy life expectancy. Home care workers provide care to some of the most vulnerable individu- als in our community, supporting them to continue to live in their own home in line with their wishes and preferences. The Netwell Centre promotes best practice in the care of older people, working closely with home care workers where possible. This newsletter reports on a recent health promotion initiative hosted by the Netwell Centre to enhance care work- ers’ understanding of the role of diet and nutrition in the health of the frail older people. Supported by the Health Service Executive Supported by the The European Union’s PEACE III Programme as awarded by Louth Peace & Reconciliation Partnership “Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over their health and its determinants, and thereby improve their quality of life” (World Health Organisation, 2005).
  2. 2. On 10th November, 2010, the Net- well Centre hosted a health promo- tion seminar for care workers provid- ing care to older people in the home. This event, which included a cookery demonstration, a comprehensive presentation on diet and nutrition in later life and applied hand massage therapy for older people, was pro- vided by qualified professional. There is good research evidence to suggest that healthy lifestyle mes- sages are more likely to be acted upon if coming from health profes- sional (Age Concern, 2006). Cookery demonstration The cookery demonstration was given by local chef Gary Coyle, as- sisted by Amy Lavelle. Gary pre- pared and cooked a number of meals including:  Porridge;  Sausage, bacon and fried eggs  Scrambled eggs  Salmon, creamed leek  Sheppard’s Pie  Vegetable Soup  Apple Crumble for people with diabetes Eating a balanced diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables and low in fat gives some protection against chronic geriatric diseases including heart disease and some cancers obesity and arthritis (National Food Authority, NFA 2000). The NFA (2000) recommends that those providing the Home Help ser- vice for older people should be en- couraged to become familiar with the dietary guidelines for older people. Views on cookery demonstration The health promotion seminar was attended by care workers from across county Louth. Satisfaction rates were high with 89% reporting that the cookery demonstration was very good or excellent and the re- maining 11% rating it as good. Some 95% of care workers strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: this event enhanced my knowledge o f healthy food and nutrition for older people. Similarly, 89% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: this event enhanced my awareness of safe handling of food. A further 95% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement : I will be more confident when preparing meals for my clients in future. Diet and nutrition in later life Aoife Maher , a Nutrition Product Specialist with Nutricia, Ireland, complimented the cookery demon- stration with a comprehensive pres- entation on diet and nutrition in later life. Aoife provided practical guidance on how to recognise and limit common health problems associated with ageing. For example she stressed the importance of a regular and ade- quate intake of fluid for older people, pointing out that many older people have an impaired sense of thirst and do not drink enough throughout the day. She highlighted the conse- quences of insufficient fluid intake; dehydration and constipation. Aoife also stressed that constipation can also be linked to a diet low in fibre which she explained can be found in vegetables, fruits and whole grains and a diet high in fats found in cheese, eggs and meats. She explained how small portions can be more attractive than a plate filled with food to older people as appetite often declines with age. Similarly, attractive, meals are more appetising-looking, so ingredients or garnishes like parsley, tomatoes, or mint can help. Views on health promotion talk- The health information provided by Nutricia was well received by care workers, with 94% reporting it was very good or excellent and the re- maining 6% reporting it was good. Health promotion to support inclusion Page 2HomeSupportWorkersIssue4 Diet is adequate when it provides sufficient energy, protein, fat, carbohydrate, needs in a balanced and diversified manner (NSA, 2000)
  3. 3. Some 94% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement I will be more careful to look at food labels when choosing what to buy in future Hand Massage Sinead Crilly a trained therapist demonstrated hand massage and its benefits to older people. Sinead pointed out that many older people lack physical contact and that mas- sage provides a point of social and physical contact which can be a vital comfort for older people who live alone, are lonely or socially iso- lated. As we age our metabolism changes (Harris, and Richards 2010). Mas- sage can enhance circulation and muscle tone. Sinead’s demonstra- tion reinforced the point that this need not be time-consuming and how a 5-minute slot to offer hand massage can form part of a regular care regime. Studies have shown statistically sig- nificant improvements on physiologi- cal or psychological indicators of relaxation in older people receiving gentle hand massage across (see Harris, and Richards 2010). Views on hand massage Participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the hand massage demonstration, with 83% reporting that they found it very good or excel- lent and 17% reproting it was good. Some 89% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: this event provided practical hands-on experi- ence in care of the elderly.” Health promotion to support inclusion Page 3 Reach out to support ethnic diversity (Respect) is a project supported by the European Union's PEACE III Pro- gramme as awarded by Louth Peace and Reconciliation “I have learnt so much about older people that I was not aware of before, it was really excellent ”. Summary Providing good quality health and social care to greater numbers of older people in the home is an im- portant aspiration for Irish social policies. Home Care workers need a broad range of skills if they are to contribute to increases in active, healthy life expectancy. As this event demonstrates, care workers welcome the opportunity to acquire new skills in the care of older people. The vast majority of participants attending the health promotion seminar said it enhanced their knowledge of healthy food and nutrition for older people. Care workers tend to be lone work- ers, with limited contacts with other care workers. However, as this event demonstrated, these workers welcome the opportunity to meet and share experiences with other care workers, with the majority ex- pressing an interest in attending similar events in the future. The Netwell Centre will continue to support initiatives which enhance the quality of life of older people and which promote the healthy lifestyle agenda amongst their carers. “I have learnt so much about older people that I was not aware of before. This was really excellent ”. “...successful ageing...the ability to maintain 3 key behaviours: low risk of disease / disability, high mental and physical health, and active engagement life” Krondl et al, 2008).
  4. 4. Food Safety Authority (2000). Recommendations for a National Food and Nutrition Policy for Older People. Dublin: Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Harris, M.and Richards, K. (2010). The physiological and psychological effects of slow-stroke back massage and hand massage on relaxation in older people, Journal of Clinical Nursing Volume 19, Numbers 7-8, April 2010 , pp. 917 926(10) Krondl M., Coleman, P., and Lau, D (2008) “Helping Older Adults meet Nutritional Challenges” Journal of Nutrition for the Elderly,volume 27, number 3, pages 205-220 If you have any queries regarding this newsletters, contact: Lucia Carragher T: 042 937 0400 ext: 2677 E: lucia.carragher@netwellcentre.org Regional Development Centre Dundalk Institute of Technology Dublin Road, Dundalk, Co Louth. Tel: +353 (0)42 937 0497 Fax: +353 (0)42 933 1163 E-mail: info@netwellcentre.org Netwell Centre References We are on the web: www.netwellcentre.org ...TransformingCommunities,Environments&TechnologiesforAgeing-in-Place ...Transforming Communities, Environments and Technologies for ageing-in-place. The Netwell Centre Cúltaca liaise between the older people and service providers, including care work- ers, to support and empower older people. If you would like to speak to our Cúltaca for older people, contact: Ann Marron, T: 042 939 1078 E: ann.marron@netwelllcentre.org or Pat Kerins, T: 042 937 0531 E: patrick.kerins@netwelllcentre.org

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