National Walking Month – #WalkThisMay

It’s National Walking Month, where we are all encouraged to be more active through walking, whether it’s something we already do frequently or would be taking up a new hobby. It’s also a great time of year to start walking more with the evenings becoming lighter and longer. Not only will it encourage you to be more active but swapping a short drive for a short walk would help reduce air pollution, congestion, and road danger – and would save money on fuel, too. The benefits of walking are a great reason to take part in National Walking Month. It’s good for your mental and physical health and can prevent the risk of health conditions like certain cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression. Walking can benefit you in numerous ways: It’s good for your heart: It strengthens your heart and reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. In fact, a 30 minute walk a day is said to reduce your risk of a stroke by 27%. It can lower the risk of dementia: Someone older who walks a least six miles a week is less likely to have problems such as dementia – walking can help prevent your brain from shrinking. It gives you energy: It may seem strange, but if you’re feeling lethargic, lazy, and slow, going on a walk could improve your energy levels. This is because it boosts your circulation and increases the oxygen supply around your body, which helps you to feel alert and awake. Vitamin D: Going on a walk means you’re being active as well as getting some Vitamin D, which is good for your bone health and your immune system. It makes you happy: Just like it makes you feel energised, walking can really help improve your mood and make you feel happy. If you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, or generally feel stressed, a walk could really help.   There are different fundraising events during National Walking Month, for all different ages. This year is the #try20 challenge, where you walk 20 minutes a day for the month. Some people also challenge their friends and family to see who can walk the furthest during the month. There is also a Walk to School Week (21-25 May), where you can donate what you would have spent on travel. You can donate to Living Streets to help fight pollution and congestion, to help make the streets safer for walking, and to support the more isolated members of our communities through walking projects.For the elderly, getting involved doesn’t have to mean large amounts of walking if they are less physically able. There is a project called Walking Connects which provides resources to help them start or maintain walking habits. For those who can get outside and walk, planning routes that have resting places along the way would be advisable. However, if you’re unable to get outside or walk too far, you could walk around your garden as much as possible if you have the facilities to do so.Try to avoid sitting down for long stretches of time. Setting an alarm for every hour or two to get up and stretch your legs and walk around the house might be a good way to participate. Clearing a path for this, such as moving furniture so you have little chance of tripping over anything, could help if you aren’t confident on your feet. For more information on National Walking Month and for how to get involved, visit this website.

In depth guidelines for handling stress – blog 4

For our fourth blog in the Stress Awareness Month series, we want to take a more in depth look into what stress is and provide you with more detailed guidelines for how to help. We want you to feel equipped to be able to look after your mental health in such trying times. To read about stress as a care worker or stress in the elderly, read our other blogs in the series here.   A reminder: What is stress? Stress is a natural reaction to different situations in life. This could be anything to do with family, relationships, and money difficulties. A large contributor to stress is also work, which is something we can all probably relate to. In fact, working culture in the UK is one of the biggest causes of stress, and 70 million days are lost a year at work due to mental health conditions.People deal with stress differently, and what may be stressful for one person may be motivational for another. However, it’s important to focus on how you’re feeling and to understand your own triggers and responses. When we feel stressed, our body releases hormones to help us deal with these pressures or threats – also known as the ‘fight or flight’ response. Adrenaline and noradrenaline raise your blood pressure which increases your heart rate. This prepares your body for an emergency response. Cortisol is another stress hormone that’s released, which discharges fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy. You might then experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion, and dizziness. After the stress has passed, the hormone levels should return to normal. However, if you’re feeling constantly stressed, these hormones stay in your body and can lead to health conditions. These can include: Lower immunity levels Digestive and intestinal difficulties like irritable bowel syndrome Mental health problems like depression   How to tell if you’re experiencing stress It’s important to recognise when you’re feeling stressed so that you can target your feelings more specifically. These are clues you’re feeling stressed, and you can read our blog Stress Awareness Month: Spotting The Signs Of Stress for further insights. Anxiety – constant worry, racing thoughts, repeatedly going over the same things in your head Changes in your behaviour – Irritability, becoming more verbally or physically aggressive Low self-esteem – which can lead to becoming withdrawn, indecisive, and tearful Sleeping problems Change in appetite – eating more or less than usual Sweating Guidelines for coping with stress Recognising your stress triggers You may find that being able to understand what it is exactly that’s causing you stress will help you to better target it. A method to find your triggers could be a stress diary, keeping a note every time you feel stressed over 2-4 weeks. What to write down could include: The time, date, and place What were you doing? Who was there? How did you feel physically? A stress rating (on a scale of 0-10) Read more about this method through this link.   Re-evaluate your daily routine Perhaps after the COVID-19 pandemic you lost touch with your routine, or for other reasons you’ve fallen out of or into a routine you don’t enjoy. You may need most to focus on meaningful activities to make the space around you clean, tidy and organised. Alternatively, you may want to re-prioritise how you’re spending your time, such as allowing yourself more time to relax, read, or see friends and family. A tip for this could be writing a to-do list for the day or planning out your week more effectively and thoroughly.    Make the link between physical and mental health If you’ve read our other blogs, you’ll have noticed that looking after your body is a large part of contributing to your mental health. Start with making sure you’re trying to eat healthily where you can. Well-balanced meals and drinking water are essential for looking after your body. Here are some easy healthy recipes you could try. Then, try and fit in exercise where you can. This is a mood booster, and a good way to help your sleeping habits and reduce anxiety. If you’re less physically able, small walks or gardening would help, or gentle at-home exercises such as yoga or a gentle morning workout. If you’re short of time, you could try doing 10-15 minute bursts of exercise for a quick energy boost. Talk and connect with others Friends and family are invaluable. Ensuring you stay connected with them could help your mental well-being greatly. If you’re unable to leave the house to meet them or shift patterns prevent you from seeing them, don’t under-estimate the power of a call or video call. It’s also beneficial to talk about your worries rather than keeping them to yourself. Although it may seem scary or overwhelming, approaching friends and family may be the best solution. If you’d prefer to speak to someone else, you can use the ‘check in and chat’ service with NHS Volunteer Responders, or you can find information here about NHS mental health helplines. Do things you enjoy It sounds obvious but spending time doing things that make you happy is a good way to target your mental health. You may find that feeling stressed has stopped you from wanting to do these things, so making an active effort to get back into doing them should benefit you. Engaging in activities or hobbies that can help you relax or take your mind off things are a great place to start. If you’ve totally fallen out of touch with old hobbies, try learning something new!   Go outside Finally, something easy that can help boost your mood is the outdoors. Being around nature and breathing in fresh air is a great way to clear your mind, take a break and get some sunlight – if the weather permits! If you can’t go outside, opening your windows or sitting somewhere where you can look outside might be a small help.

Dealing with stress as a care worker – blog 2

Continuing with our blog series for Stress Awareness Month, we want to look closer at stress in the workplace and to acknowledge and appreciate the stress that our care workers endure for their job. It can be both physically and mentally exhausting, which can sometimes lead to Caregiver Burnout. Being a care worker involves having a lot of responsibility, since you are assisting people with their physical and mental health and can sometimes be the only human interaction that they have a day. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the psychological impact of the role means a large portion of carers have felt like resigning or that they have had to take medication for mental health problems. Many people will also be providing care for loved ones and may have had to quit jobs and make changes to their lifestyles to be able to do so. There can often be further stress levels added in these circumstances, with having to adjust to the reality of your loved one’s declining health whilst supporting them. As a care worker or someone caring for a loved one, some feelings to look out for may indicate that you’re suffering from heightened stress levels. Exhaustion – due to the hours you’re putting in, or equally due to the nature of the work Pressure – putting too much pressure on yourself to be the ‘perfect carer’ Lack of motivation – providing care for someone who is unable to reciprocate their feelings or show gratitude Finding it difficult to sleep or relax – you may find you can’t switch off from work or your carer duties Changes in appetite – you may find you’re eating more or less than normal Unclear thinking – you may be feeling more emotional than usual or be excessively worrying It’s so important to regain and maintain balance in your life. Constantly putting energy into caring for others may mean you’re neglecting your own needs and forgetting to look after your own physical and mental health. Here are some things that you can do or simply remind yourself when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Talk: Reach out to your friends and family rather than bottling up your worries. Whether you need advice or just a listening ear, it’s not a crime or a sign of weakness to open up to loved ones. Ask for help: It’s very natural to need a hand every now and then, and if you feel as though you have a thousand things to do with too little time, or you just have no energy to do something, ask for help. With this comes accepting help when it’s offered to you, too. Look after your health: Your own health is just as important as the people’s you’re caring for. Eating healthily, ensuring you’re sleeping enough and trying to fit in regular exercise are all vital things to pay attention to. Taking time to yourself is important so that you can have a break. Even just 10-15 minutes could be enough time to try something like yoga or breathing exercises to help you relax and wind down. Get professional support: If you’re caring for a loved one, getting the help from professional carers would ease the workload and strain from yourself. If you’re a care worker, you may feel like you need to speak to a doctor or counsellor about how to deal with heightened stress levels. Give yourself the credit you deserve: Reminding yourself of the good you’re doing with your job enforces the positives of the job. Perhaps when times get tough, remembering why you became a carer and all the help you’ve given to service users will boost your morale. For further help and guidance on how to handle stress as a care worker, follow this link.

Stress Awareness Month: Spotting the Signs of Stress – blog 1 of series

Everyone has experienced some form of stress in their lifetime, whether it’s been mild or severe. April is Stress Awareness Month, which has been held every year since 1992. It aims to raise further awareness around the causes and cures of stress, making it an open and honest topic for everyone. To help raise awareness and provide support, we have decided to create a short series of blogs to help you identify the causes and signs of stress, and how to combat them. With 74% of adults feeling high levels of stress, it’s clear that it’s a common issue. Many mental health problems derive from stress, and it can link to physical problems, too. So, it’s important we understand what stress is, the different ways we experience it and how to combat it. Stress is… A normal human reaction to change, and how we react when we feel under pressure, threatened or overwhelmed. It can be positive, making sure we are alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. However, if stress continues or comes in high volumes, the effects can be bad for your mental and physical health. Some things you should look out for when trying to recognise the signs of stress: Feeling overwhelmed and drained Feeling impatient and irritable, maybe aggressive Feeling anxious and nervous Feeling depressed and negative There are some physical sensations and behaviours that you can look out for too: Tension in your muscles Finding it difficult to sleep or stay asleep Headaches High blood pressure Struggling to eat or overeating Difficulty breathing Panic attacks Changes to your menstrual cycle It’s also important to look for signs in your employees regarding their stress levels: Loss of motivation and commitment Lower confidence levels Emotional reactions Arguments If you’re feeling stressed, you don’t have to suffer – there are things you can do to try and help. They won’t act as an instant cure but reducing your stress levels will make it more manageable and bearable: Exercise to help boost your mood when you’re feeling overwhelmed. As little as a short walk can be enough to make a difference. Relaxation activities like yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Eating healthily and ensuring you’re sleeping enough. Don’t take on further responsibilities if you’re feeling overwhelmed – learn to say no. Learn to accept that you can’t control everything – try not to worry about things you cannot change. Talking to family, friends, and colleagues when you want someone to listen or need some advice. Seeking professional help – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help you understand the way your thoughts and feelings are connected and control your thoughts around situations that cause your stress. For more information about Stress Awareness Month, follow this link:

React Homecare’s Valentine’s Day Message

  Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is a day where people celebrate their love for one another. However, here at React Homecare, we want to use this day to share our admiration for our very own workforce.   So, our Valentine’s Day message goes out to all our staff, Carers and Service Users:   Every day, our dedicated and caring staff give 110% to care for those who need a little extra help. It is thanks to their passion and love for helping others that we are able to keep this business running. It’s not a one-way street though, our Service Users are all lovely in return and our Carers can see how much they brighten up someone’s day. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]So, this evening, we raise a glass to all our amazing staff and Carers for all their passion, love and dedication – thank you for everything that you do![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”2722″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

New Year, New You… New Career?

New Year, New You… New Career? We’re halfway through January now and we’re curious – are you enjoying your current role? Do you feel fulfilled? Do you feel like you are contributing and making a difference? If not, we have a solution! Here at React Homecare, we are open to those who have experience in Care, but also those who don’t. We offer fantastic training when you start your career with us so that you understand the protocols as well as feel competent and confident in delivering the high quality services we provide for our Service Users. There are also other opportunities available such as career development and progress, and additional qualifications such as a gaining a Health and Social Care Diploma up to Level 5. How do I apply? We have Home Care Assistant roles available at most of our branches, so all you need to do is:1) Make sure your CV is updated2) Find your nearest React Homecare branch3) Email with your CV, closest React Homecare branch and the job title, Home Care Assistant4) Sit back and look forward to hearing from us! If you are a caring and reliable individual, React Homecare is the place for you. Here’s to getting you started with us and making a difference to another person’s life today!

React Homecare Raise Money for Alzheimer’s Society

On Friday 3rd December, staff in the Head Office at React Homecare participated in Elf Day in support of Alzheimer’s Society. All staff dressed up, whether it was the full outfit, a festive elf onesie or just an Elf hat – the efforts were very impressive and kept spirits high! We work hard here at React Homecare in order to provide the high quality services to those who need our help, and it’s great that we have the environment where we can join in in raising money for charities and have some fun with it! We are pleased to announce that we have raised £110.00 for the Alzheimer’s Society and we hope to continue raising awareness about the fight against Dementia. It is a topic close to our hearts as it is one of the services we offer at React Homecare. Thank you for all the support and to the staff we have here who helped make it happen! All donations were made digitally to continue and further ensure safety amongst our staff. If you feel that we can help a loved one of yours who is battling dementia, give your local branch a call and let’s have a conversation about what we would be able to do to help. If you would like more information about the Alzheimer’s Society, please follow the link:

Movember 2021 at React Homecare

This year, React Homecare took part in Movember. Movember is the leading charity who are “changing the face of men’s health”. They raise awareness about mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer and in doing so, are also creating a supportive environment for men all over the world to feel that they can speak up in. Since starting the movement in 2003, Movember has funded over 1,250 men’s health projects globally and they’re not stopping there. By 2030, their aim is to reduce 25% of men dying prematurely. So, to support this movement and all the men we have in the offices, as Service Users, as family and as friends, we at React Homecare decided to take part! We had individuals who: Grew a moustache Walked/ran/cycled 60km over the month – this is for the 60 men that are lost to suicide every hour around the world Had a Mo-ment Mo-ed their own way – some individuals set their own challenges such as 100 squats a day/a week to push themselves.   If we can help contribute to raising awareness and funding more men’s health projects that result in saving people’s lives, we’re all for it.   For more information about any topics mentioned above, please see the following links: Movember: Mental Health/Suicide Prevention: Prostate Cancer: Testicular Cancer:

How to protect against coronavirus covid 19

What You Need To Do To Stay Safe Coronavirus Advice Guidelines: Always wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly for at least 20 seconds Stay at least 2 metres apart Avoid group congregations Those over 70 or with underlying conditions should take extra care Face-to-face interaction should be significantly limited during this outbreak Doing these simple things could help save the life of someone you care about. All our Community Care Assistants are working tirelessly to keep your loved ones safe. If you wish to find out further information on how best to keep you and your relatives safe, either click the buttons below or visit the GOV.UK website:

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