What is Better Life?
Better life is our continuation of our dealings with a self-funded organisation called Mira Life which promoted and taught us a series of observations used to flag up the early signs of a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). The observations are simple and easy to learn but have the ability to prevent infections and hospital admissions. Mira life are a volunteer health team who are trying to educate the social care industry so they can incorporate these observations into everyday care. Decreasing hospital admissions will support the NHS, increasingly important due to recent events and help vulnerable adults to stay out of hospital and decrease the risk of people losing their capabilities due to long hospital visits. Not to mention that Better Life can be used to monitor any individuals health no matter what age.
The statistics so far, have proven that Better Life prevents 80% of hospital admissions and is a statistic that has been reflected with Harlestone Home Care's findings since incorporating the scheme into their weekly care. So far at HHC we have picked up not only UTI's but chest infections, leg infections, water on the lung and Atrial fibrillation just through these simple observations.
What is a UTI?
A Urinary Tract Infection is a common infection based in the bladder, kidneys and tubes connected to them. Any one can get them but their effect on the elderly can surpass just the usual discomfort of a UTI. (See NHS choices for further information). Symptoms of UTI's can be pains, sickness, constantly needing to urinate, fever and confusion. One of the largest risks of a UTI is that it can lead to falls. Falling could increase the potential risk of head injurys, breaking or fracturing bones or cuts and brusises. Catching UTI's early means reducing the probability of more severe symptoms or being able to treat the infection before symptoms show.
What Observations are carried out?
HHC carries out Better life twice a week on those clients who consent to take part. We check our clients Pulse, Heart Rate, Temperature, urine and general observations such as dehydration, sickness, coughing and general health such as a significant change in response or capacity.
The findings are calculated on an online system to determine a NEWS score. 0 means that their appears to be no sign of an infection. However if the score ranges between 1-4 this may suggest an infection and staff will take the appropriate action.
Does this cost extra with my package?
This is provided with no extra cost to your care package. It is easy to incorporate into care calls as it only takes a few minutes. HHC provides a themometer, urine sticks and information on how to carry out the observations. All we need is a consent form to show clients are happy to have these tests carried out with them by care workers.
What if the result shows an infection?
If the result suggests an infection HHC will contact families immediately to see what further action they would like to take. Sometimes all that is required is extra monitoring over the following days to re-check. In other circumstances a health professional will be required. HHC are always happy to call on behalf of clients if they or their family are happy for us to do so. HHC will call GP's with the results to assist GP's to be able to visit or prescribe the necessary medication.
Please contact the office if you have any questions or queries on 01604 419600.