Opening of new ‘Changing Places’ a Boost to Disability Travel in NI

Our new State-of-the-Art ‘Changing Places’ facility for people with severe mobility disabilities opens in Ebrington Square, Derry/Londonderry at 11.30am this morning – Monday 7th August.

The bathroom facility was developed and funded fully by social care agency, Glen Caring, and is the first one in the Western Region. It is expected to be a major advantage for local people with disabilities and a boost to accessible tourism for the region.

“From our own experience of taking clients on respite care daytrips, standard disabled toilets are simply not enough for those with severe mobility issues,” says Glen Caring general manager Linda Beckett. “This new facility enables them and their carers to enjoy trips to and days out in Derry and the surrounding areas, with the security of knowing that their needs can be met with dignity.”

Local man, Jonathan Hagon – who cut the ribbon for the official opening –  says the new changing facility is “exactly what this city needs. It is so handy for both people in town and people in the Waterside, going to the arena or St Columb’s park. It means someone who normally couldn’t go on an outing with their friends and family can now do so. Having the use of the hoist and changing bed is brilliant – this makes life easier for so many people.”

“We have been in the situation in the past where, my mum and her friend have had to lay my friend on cold tiles on the floor of a toilet to be changed, which was awful for my friend. I can’t wait to tell them about the new Glen Caring facility on the square.”

Linda Beckett, General Manager of Glen Caring, Jonathan Hagon, service user, Orla McCann, Disability Action NI and the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh celebrate the opening of the new Glen Caring State-of-the-Art ‘Changing Places’ facility in Ebrington Square, Derry/Londonderry.

Linda Beckett, General Manager of Glen Caring, Jonathan Hagon, service user, Orla McCann, Disability Action NI and the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh celebrate the opening of the new Glen Caring State-of-the-Art ‘Changing Places’ facility in Ebrington Square, Derry/Londonderry. Picture Martin McKeown. 07.08.17

The event was also addressed by the Mayor of Derry & Strabane Maolíosa McHugh, who said he was “delighted that such a superb facility is now available to the people of Derry and Strabane and to visitors to our city and region.  This opening is an important step in making our city more inclusive and accessible, and should be recognised and welcomed as such”.

Martin Graham, Tourism NI Regional Manager for the Derry & Strabane council area welcomed the new state of the art facilities “I commend the work of Glen Caring and their focus on accessible tourism, the implementation of this facility will help ensure that all visitors can travel to the area with ease and comfort.”

Orla McCann, an assistant director at Disability Action NI, says better access is not just the right thing to do for individuals with disability, it’s also the right direction for tourism. Speaking at the official opening event, she said there are “an estimated 11 million people in the UK with some form of disability – a demographic that’s been overlooked for far too long.  In economic terms, this demographic is worth a potential £2 billion-a-year to the UK tourism market. By taking an inclusive approach to future tourism development, Northern Ireland could take its share of this market.”

The equipment available at the Ebrington Changing Places facility includes:

  • A height adjustable adult sized changing bench
  • A tracking Hoist system
  • Adequate space in changing area for up to two people
  • A centrally placed Aqua 800 washing, drier toilet with adequate room either side
  • A curtain to allow privacy
  • Non-slip flooring
  • Shower with floor drainage.

Check out the Changing Places facility in Ebrington Square here and find out more about the Changing Places organisation and campaign here. If you need further information about the new Ebrington Square facility, please email Glen Caring on info@glencaring.com

 

Can Home Care cope with the Living Wage?

Here at Glen Caring, we have been pioneering the concept of paying our carers in Omagh, Derry~Londonderry, Strabane and Limavady a wage that better reflects the job they do. In fact, we’ve been doing so for years, following the increasing load of responsibility expected of carers as a result of Government  initiatives such as “Transforming  Your Care  2011.”  We welcome the fact that a Living Wage has finally been taken on board by the Chancellor but he has to do his sums properly!

In order to pay carers more money, home care agencies need to be paid more money by the health and social care trusts.  If not, how can caring agencies hope to maintain a high quality service, if we are expected to absorb the extra cost involved?

The UK Homecare Association (UKHCA) has already published an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, supporting the National Living Wage, but calling for action to ensure that the costs are fully funded by government – an estimated £753 million for the whole UK in the first year alone.

Quite rightly, the public demands quality care for elderly and disabled people, and those with dementia, as evidenced by the high level of concern when the media spotlight focuses on the decline in care, or where poor care or neglect is exposed.  Such poor examples of care are partly due to lack of funding. Where social services cut back on care instead of accommodating person centred needs then agencies become unable to comply with everything that is expected of them. It’s a bit like going to McDonalds and expecting a gourmet dinner- you get what you pay for!

 

At a time when the older population is growing, when demands on family carers are increasing, and when society expects a better deal for those with disabilities, taxpayers deserve an NHS  COMMUNITY care system (which is sustainable and realistic). Now is the time to ask how standards can be raised, rather than threatened, if funding is squeezed tighter than the current levels.

Our concerns focus on the following issues:

  • Attracting motivated staff
  • Supporting ongoing training – essential to maintain quality of care
  • Retaining staff
  • Funding the development of caring agencies to respond to growing and changing needs

At present, home care agencies in this Trust area are paid an average of £11/hour to provide care for elderly people in their homes (see map) the lowest rate in the UK. In order for the same level of care to be maintained, this would need increase substantially. It’s time to talk about how this can be achieved. Let the debate begin……

Maureen Christodoulou, Operations Manager, Glen Caring

Glen Caring – 20 years of care in the home

At Glen Caring, we’ve been providing care in the home since 1995. Today our 340-strong team of trained carers and management staff enable people of all ages and abilities to remain at home and maintain their independence by providing holistic care that is person-centred.

What this means for each client is that we carry out an assessment process so we can develop an individual care plan; then we find the right carer for you – someone who is a good match for your  individual needs and who will fit in to your family/household.  Our carers are available 24/7 and we can offer all day and night care packages when required.

“A good day for us is when you’ve had a great day”

Our service covers counties Tyrone, Fermanagh, Derry~Londonderry and Antrim and our clients have a range of different needs: age-related ability and mobility issues, dementia, learning difficulties, disabilities, long-term or short-term illness, mental health,  brain trauma, spinal injuries, and life-threatening or terminal illness.  We also provide respite care for relatives caring for a family member in their home.

Quality of care

The quality of our care is our primary concern, and drives the holistic approach on which we base our service.  As an organisation and as individuals, we put the needs and preferences of service users foremost, working to maintain their privacy, self-esteem and dignity at all times.

It’s an approach that continues to drive our growth. Because, even in these times of cutbacks, we’re developing and innovating:

  • Developing our people, supporting their growth, helping them to achieve qualifications and empowering them to deliver the best care possible
  • Innovating news ways of caring, providing support that maximises quality of life, planning resources carefully and effectively and seeking to always improve continuity of care.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust commission us to deliver high quality services to their clients. We are registered with RQIA and inspected by them annually (our inspection reports can be accessed via the RQIA website).

Our Vision:

“Our aim is to provide Holistic Care meeting the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of all those we care for at home, irrespective of health status, ability, race, religion or culture.  We put the needs and preference of our clients foremost, maintaining their privacy and self-esteem and dignity at all times.”

Our Services

Whether you are looking for care for yourself or for a loved one we will discuss and devise a holistic care plan which meets the individual needs of our client. Some of the care we offer includes:

  • A ‘good morning’ call for clients as a start to their day.
  • All aspects of personal care which includes – bathing, showering, full body washes, toileting and oral hygiene.
  • Our carers are trained to assist with stoma care, catheter care, PEG feeding and spinal injury care. (See carer training).
  • We will ensure client’s skin care is of a high standard to avoid skin breakdown and infection.
  • We help to remind, prompt and administer medication for clients while complying with our medication policy.
  • Prepare and serve meals and drinks throughout the day.
  • We carry out light household duties which can include – hovering, dusting, laundry and many other services.
  • Assisting clients with their daily or weekly shopping tasks by doing the shopping alongside the client or we can take a list do the shopping and pack it away.
  • We offer respite services/schemes to enable care providers (e.g. family members) to have a short term period of rest and recuperation.
  • Our carers provide social support and will endeavour to enable all clients to remain as independent as possible.
  • Our carers are available 24/7 and we can offer all day and night care packages when required.

This is not an exhaustive list of services we provide, so if you require any other care, need more information or wish to book an appointment, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.