6 Important Qualities of CQC Registered Social Care Providers

Like every other sector, the healthcare system is also evolving and becoming complex. In this respect, care planning and management are necessary for leading a smooth present and a better future. Healthcare planning is important not only because it assures a safe future but because these kinds of services are getting expensive. Also, a good health sector is a part of nation’s development that resembles the government’s approach to keep its citizens happy and healthy. The Care Quality Commission (The CQC) is an initiative with a vision to provide the best health services to the users of the healthcare system. The CQC regulated healthcare and management units assure that their services meet the essential standards in terms of safety and quality.

Availing domiciliary or residential health care services is not a difficult thing to get if there are planning and finance. However, with this sector growing with pace, choosing a reliable service provider can be a daunting task. Be it adult care, child care or care for the people with disabilities, there are certain fundamental standards that the care providers must fulfill, in order to successfully complete registration with CQC registration form.

The following are some basic factors the social care providers must consider to become a CQC approved body:

Personalized Care:

The care provider must ensure that people using their service must receive quality treatment. Other than superior quality services, the care provider must provide care or treatment that is person-centered or personalized for specific individuals. According to CQC regulation, the service body must assure that each person availing the service must receive proper attention based on their needs and preferences.

Respect the Concerned People:

One of the key considerations of any social care service provider is that it must treat the concerned people with dignity and respect. People who have approached the service provider are in need of special care. Therefore, it is the duty and responsibility o the caregivers that they must treat the persons with dignity without hearting their sentiments and gives them the privacy they desire.

Should Not Function without Consent:

Another very important attribute of a good care provider depends on their work ethics. Consent is important in every phase of care providing. The provider who does not communicate well with the people receiving the care or any person on their behalf is not their sign of professionalism.

Safety and Security:

Safety is one of the most critical concerns of a social care provider. Only promising high-quality service cannot make a service provider reliable. Keeping the people safe and secured from every aspect is important. Safety doesn’t only mean life risk but safety in different phases. It may be in terms of using safe equipment for care or providing healthy nutrition. Any decision taken by the providers must assure the welfare of the people.

Protection from Abuse:

Care services are for people who need special treatment. Provides must have a robust set of rules to prevent people using the service. They must take necessary step incase abused by staff, visitor and even any expert offering the service. Be it a threat, physical abuse or anything that restrains the liberty provides must take such things on a serious note.

The Room for Complaints:

The sign of a trustable care provider is one who considers the complaints in an optimistic way and takes all the necessary steps to rectify their flaws. There must be a special set of ruler where people availing the service get a chance to complain about the differences, problems they are facing in the care home or by the care provider. All complaints must undergo thorough investigation and productively come with solutions.

The above factors are some of the basic activities that a reputable care provider with CQC registration will perform. They ensure that the person availing the service will receive the best treatment.

A Few Ways To Relieve Spring Allergy Symptoms In Children

Before starting any treatment for spring allergy you need to visit a pediatrician to check if it is the allergy which is causing your child’s ailment or whether there is some other reason for the symptoms. Though there are no effective cure for spring allergies in children, there are a few ways in which you can make the little ones feel better.

These few tips have proven to be effective at helping curb spring allergy symptoms.

Keep Your Child Indoors

Staying inside the house is one of the best ways to avoid contact with the allergens. When the pollen count is high in the air, try to keep your child indoor. Pollen count is highest in the mid-morning or early evening or when there is wind.

Salt Water Treatment

Nasal congestion is one of the most painful symptoms of seasonal allergy. For relieving the congestion you can try out nasal irrigation with salt water. You can either buy the saline water from the medicine shop or create your own by mixing 8 ounces of water with 1 teaspoon of salt.

Make Your Child Drink Plenty Of Water

Continuous sneezing and blowing the nose can leave your kid feeling parched. So always keep a sipper jar handy to keep your baby properly hydrated.

Steam Therapy

It is okay to give the little ones some tub time provided the water is steaming hot. The steam from the water helps to alleviate the allergy symptoms. Only ensure that the water isn’t scalding hot.

Keep Your Room Cool

Turn on the air conditioner in your home and car to keep the pollens from making its way into your room.

Use A Humidifier

Your child would breathe a lot more easily if there is a little moisture in the air. If you are living in an area with dry climate then you might consider getting a humidifier.

Use A Cold Compress

If your child is bothered by the itchy eyes symptom then apply cold compress on the eyes and face. Cold compress is an effective way of dealing with soreness and itchiness.

Gargle For Sore Throat

If the child is suffering from sore throat then gargling with saline water could immensely help to ease the pain.

Hot Drinks Help Too

Lot of fluid intake helps to check the allergy symptoms. A ginger, lemon honey tea is a refreshing drink which also helps to relieve congestion and cold throat.

Use Petroleum Jelly For A Sore Nose

If your child’s nose is raw and sore from the sneezing then just dab some petroleum jelly to get rid of the soreness.

Varicosities: What They Are And What You Need To Know About Them

“I’m sorry, sir, but you’ve got varicosities. They’re not dangerous, but they will impact your life in different ways.” Now, if you didn’t know that a varicosity was another term for varicose veins, would that just absolutely scare the living daylights out of you?

Herein lies one of the more difficult issues plaguing the healthcare system in this country – it’s the lack of straightforwardness. Then again, how many times have you looked at your doctor make a note and not been able to read one word? Maybe being a bit in the dark is just a thing to work through.

But when it comes to varicosities, you don’t really have a lot to worry about, which is kind of nice. They may not be the worst thing in the world, but it really does become a drag when you think about how they look. Most of us remember older female relatives walking around with striations on their legs that just looked painful. Now, you’re older, and the notion of dealing with varicose veins makes you want to crawl under a rock. However, you should fight that urge and talk to your doctor about them and what options you have to get rid of them.

Here’s some good information to have:

Varicosities & Varicose Veins Are The Same Thing – Between varicosity, vascular, and varicose, it’s hard to keep it all straight.

Your Entire Body is Fair Game – You’ll usually notice them most in the legs, but varicose veins can be all over the body. If you thought some lines on your legs could be a little embarrassed about, keep in mind that some women develop vulvar varicosities.

Weaker Elasticity in Veins Comes with Age – Once a blood vessel starts feeling the effects of age, varicosities are likely to follow.

Pregnancy & Varicose Veins Are A Package Deal – Changes in blood flow occur during pregnancy, which means that a woman’s body will go through more than just having a baby. Varicose veins can start developing in the legs and vulvar area. Talk with your doctor about these possibilities.

Sitting, Standing, and Carrying Extra Weight Exacerbate the Issue – Because of the sedentary lifestyle we have in the U.S., more cases of varicose veins have kicked up in recent years. The rub comes when you find out that standing for long periods of time can exert extra pressure on blood vessels in your legs, leading to varicose veins. Finally, it’s important to note that while you can’t always avoid how much you sit or stand, you can almost always be mindful of your weight.

Varicosities are nothing to be actually frightened about mainly because they don’t pose much of a threat to your health. However, every case is different, so be sure to talk with your doctor about possible treatment options if they’re applicable. And just so you can be one the same page, have him or her use terms that you’ll understand. It’ll benefit both of you.

Corporate Behemoths in Healthcare: Will the Patient Win?

The past several weeks have been abuzz with the mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare arena. CVS has purchased Aetna for a cool 69 billion dollars and went through the regulatory process with flying colors. Amazon (on their quest for world domination) has teamed up with Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and financial powerhouse J.P. Morgan to use their resources, influence and power to, according to Buffett, “tackle healthcare costs in our nation.” Buffet also said that because the U.S., at 18% of our gross domestic product, the U.S. is at a competitive disadvantage, at 3.3 trillion dollars annually. He believes the private sector can handle healthcare better than the government.

Albertson’s, a grocery company, is ready to acquire retail pharmacy giant Rite Aid. And now, Cigna, the insurance behemoth, is buying Express Scripts in a deal for upwards of 50 billion. Software giant Apple is dipping their toe into employee health, while things are starting to rumble at Wal-Mart, the retail monster.

After all of that information, you need a breather. But will a disruption by these companies be the thing that makes healthcare better in the U.S.?

Yet, as a patient advocate and caregiver supporter, my main concern is this: Will all of this be a win for patients, caregivers and families? You know – the healthcare customers?

While the shake-up in healthcare is oh-so-long overdue, is the combination of behemoths the right way?

First, this healthcare shake-up won’t be the last of the behemoths to combine. I would be willing to bet on that. We have yet to hear from the likes of Microsoft, Walgreens, Google or any of the Generals (Electric, Motors, Mills). What about other insurers? Where is Humana or United Healthcare in this game?

Many companies will follow suit. It’s just a matter of time. I liken it to the most popular girl in high school getting into a relationship with the most popular boy and becoming a force to be reckoned with. Everyone will see the trend, its benefits and potential, and jump into it. Sorry for the high school analogy.

The point is everyone sees that it is time for change in healthcare.

So what’s in it for patients/customers?

Something we must question is this: Are these corporations in it for the billions of dollars that healthcare is worth or do they really want better conditions, cost and efficiency for patients? Will the combination of all these behemoths reach past their employees and meet the needs of all patients in our nation? What are their motives?

My mission is to empower patients and caregivers to navigate healthcare confidently and correctly, to save them and all parties involved time, money and frustration. I show them that they have rights and responsibilities in their Healthcare journey and must take a strong and active role in their care. Patients are the lifeblood of the healthcare system.

None of these behemoth combinations will be successful without patient/customer buy-in. They’d better put all of their goals into a nice and helpful package for patients so they feel supported and empowered. If these corporations can show how the patient will be helped and how their alliances can save money for all parties involved, they should have no trouble in the regulatory processes they face.

But I implore all of you behemoths… DO SOMETHING.

Do something for the 64% of Americans who avoid getting care because they are afraid of the costs.

Do something for the working poor who make too much for Medicaid and not enough to afford skyrocketing healthcare premiums.

Do something that shows how healthcare can actually be affordable and where service prices do not have to be excessive.

Do something to empower patients and establish real healthcare cost transparency.

Do something about actual care and system processes to show that it doesn’t have to be as difficult or time-consuming as it is currently.

You behemoths have the power to change healthcare for the better for the foreseeable future and possibly, forever. Please don’t look down from your Ivory Towers upon us mere mortals and pity us or hope for the best. Do something.

Make it a win for patients, and we all will win.

What’s in Your Mouthwash?

You may use mouthwash as a part of your at-home oral hygiene routine. It may be because your dentist recommend you use it or maybe you have an extra sense of oral cleanliness that mouthwash offers. Regardless of the reason behind you use mouthwash, the use of mouthwash adds an additional level of cleanliness and protection from tooth decay and gum disease.

While there are many types of mouthwash, there are two main categories of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic. The vast majority of mouthwashes are therapeutic, providing treatment from tooth sensitivity, bad breath and dry mouth, while also strengthening and cleaning teeth and gums to protect them from disease and decay. Cosmetic mouthwashes often have the sole purpose of whitening teeth. These cosmetic mouthwashes have additional ingredients in them that help remove stains from the surface of teeth.

What about the therapeutic mouthwash you use each night before you go to bed? What ingredients are in it?

Traditional mouthwashes have a variety of active ingredients that are to do everything from killing bacteria to giving the mouthwash a pleasant, sweet flavor. Most mouthwashes have at least 11 active ingredients plus ingredients for the flavoring. Below are the common mouthwash ingredients:

Active Ingredients:

  • Benzalkonium Chloride-Used for its antibacterial properties
  • Benzoic Acid-A common mouthwash ingredient that has good buffering and antiseptic properties
  • Calcium Hydroxide-An inorganic compound that acts as a depository of an additional layer of dentin.
  • Camphor-Used for its aromatic properties as well as a pain reliever
  • Cetylphyridinium Chloride-Acts as an antimicrobial mouthwash agent
  • Chlorhexidine Gluconate-An antiseptic disinfectant used to treat periodontal disease
  • Domiphen Bromide– Used for its antiseptic properties
  • Alcohol-An antiseptic that gives mouthwash its characteristic burning sensation
  • Methparaben-Used for its antimicrobial properties
  • Methyl Salicylate-Used for it aromatic and antiseptic properties
  • Sodium Benzoate– Used as a preservative

Active Ingredients for Flavor

Different mouthwashes will have a different mixture or concentration of different flavoring ingredients depending on what the overall mouthwash flavor is.

  • Clove Leaf Oil
  • Cubeb Oil
  • Cedarwood Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil-Used for its antibacterial properties
  • Lemon Oil
  • Myrrh Oil
  • Redistilled Mentha Arvensis Oil
  • Sweet Orange Oil
  • Peppermint Oil-Used for its aromatic and antibacterial properties
  • Sucralose-An artificial sweetener to enhance flavor
  • Saccharin Sodium-An artificial sweetener to enhance flavor
  • Spearmint Oil

Emulsifier and Surfactant Ingredients

Emulsifiers and surfactants are what make the mouthwash foam after being swished around in the mouth.

Poloxamer-Acts as a surfactant

Polysorbate-Acts as a surfactant and emulsifier

The majority of mouthwashes one finds in the store or dental office will contain these active ingredients. Some patients, however, may not like using traditional mouthwash because of the numerous chemicals included in them.

Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the use of all-natural mouthwashes and mouthwashes that are alcohol-free. Many of the natural mouthwashes can be made at home using common, inexpensive home products such as coconut oil, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Keeping Our Minds Young – Memory Loss, Alzheimer’s and Caregiving Considered

One of the most heartbreaking things for families is when an elderly member of the family loses their memory. It can be devastating, and it can make a family member who has been doing part-time caregiving almost want to give up. The family member feels guilty, and also realizes that 1/2 the time their elderly parent or loved one doesn’t even know who they are. It’s so sad.

What can be done to stave off memory loss?

Well, science still isn’t sure, but one thing is certain – the old adage; “if you don’t use it, you lose it” seems to be some pretty solid common sense. What tasks help the brain stay healthy? Well, crossword puzzles, companionship, making new friends, expanding the environment (mapping out where things are in our minds), and learning new things. This is something that an in-home caregiver can help with; someone to talk to, someone that can ask questions keeping them engaged, and someone to listen allowing them to articulate and in the process keep the mind thinking.

What else can be done? Well, there are many vitamins that the brain needs, and if you ask your physician about it, they can make some recommendations, and also make sure that none of the vitamins being taken interfere with the medication that’s been prescribed. An in-home caregiver can then remind them when to take vitamins along with when to take medications.

Will this stop Alzheimer’s? No, there is no cure yet, but research health scientists are working very intensely on the problem and Big Pharma is spending big on clinical trials, no winners yet, but you can bet that Pharmaceutical Companies and BioTech startups won’t give up on this quest, as there are huge dividends for the first drug proven to cure or stop the progression of the disease.

One article on this topic I recently read, which was very interesting appeared in Forbes. The article was titled: “How Close Are We To A Cure For Alzheimer’s?” published on February 13, 2018. You might wish to look it up, as it has links to six other pertinent articles on this topic.

For now, our best bet is to keep the mind active and alert by making sure it is used early and often – and nutrient rich, meaning the right diet and vitamins. Please consider all this and think on it – it’s time we all put the caring back into in-home care for our families.

Knee Replacement Cost Guide

Knee replacement surgery has become quite common and more affordable in the last few years. It is now considered as a safe option for people with severe osteoarthritis of the knee joint. This is especially a boon for patients who have end-stage arthritis of the knee.

The constant increase in the number of patients undergoing knee surgery surgery can be attributed to a number of reasons, including the following:

Increased affordability: Now a greater number of patients prefer to opt for knee replacement surgery because the cost of implants has decreased significantly in the recent past.

Range of implants available: Thanks to advancements in medical technology, there are a number of knee implants available today to fulfill the individual needs of the patients. From implants with 180 and 360 degrees motion to 3D-printed knee implants, there is nothing that isn’t available to benefit patients with different severity of osteoarthritis.

Improved surgical outcomes: Open knee replacement is a thing of the past. Now, several new technologies are available that offer greater benefits and ensures positive outcomes. Thanks to minimally invasive technology, surgery is not that painful anymore. Nor does it take weeks of hospitalization for the patient to recover.

But still, the cost of knee surgery in the Western countries continues to remain on the higher side. For patients in such countries who wish to undergo affordable knee surgery, flying to the top medical tourism destination is an option. Some of these medical tourism hotspots for knee replacement include India, Thailand, and Turkey.

The Average Cost of Knee Replacement: Top Countries

The average cost of knee surgery in the Western countries may start from $30000. Further, it is seen that the cost of knee replacement surgery varies not only from country to country but within a country or a city as well. This is especially true about the US.

For example, the knee surgery cost in Dallas, US, may vary between $16,772 and $61,585, depending on the hospital. Paying a higher price for a procedure does not necessarily mean that the quality that the hospital offers to the patient is any better than the hospital that is less expensive.

There are several factors that can be attributed to the disparity between the pricing of the same procedure within the same city. Competition, state taxes, location, and the level of free care provided by the hospital are some of them.

The cost of knee replacement in India, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, and Taiwan, on the other hand, is much more reasonable than in the Western countries. The cost drops by as much as 50 to 80 percent in these countries. This explains the patient mindset when they decide to travel to the overseas to get knee implants.

Type, Material, and Manufacturer of Implant

There are different types and material of knee implants available today to choose from. Each implant has a specific purpose and is most suitable for a specific patient group. For example, older adults can manage everyday activities with an implant that allows flexion of 110 degrees. However, younger adults may need a high-flex knee implant because of an excessive activity level.

Cobalt chromium alloy, titanium alloy, oxidized zirconium, and polyethylene implants are commonly available nowadays. Each implant material has specific pros and cons associated with them. They vary in terms of pricing, use, availability, and longevity.

Type of Surgery

An individual is either recommended to undergo (TKR) or partial knee replacement. The difference lies in the portion of the knee joint replaced during the procedure. The duration of hospitalization and the recovery period in the case of TKR is greater than that of partial replacement. Therefore, there is a direct impact on the total cost that the patient has to shell out of his pocket for the procedure.

Type of Hospital

Hospitals with the most advanced infrastructure and state-of-the-art technologies tend to charge higher than other hospitals. This is despite the fact that the experience and the qualifications of the surgeon handling the case could be the same. The cost also depends on the location of the hospital. Centrally-located and easily accessible hospitals are expensive than remotely located ones.

Experience of the Surgeon

The cost of knee surgery also depends on how experienced the surgeon is. Surgeons with vast experience are the most sought after. In fact, it has been scientifically proved that surgeons who perform more than 50 TKR a year have less than one-third complications rate as compared to those who perform less than 50 TKR per year.

Most patients prefer to be treated by a surgeon who is experienced. But there is an extra price that they must pay for it.

Rehabilitation Cost

Rehabilitation after surgery includes physiotherapy, which is conducted at an extra cost. The doctors usually advise the candidate to undergo physiotherapy for at least 6 to 12 weeks for better outcomes and pain relief. Each session of physical therapy may cost anywhere between $20 and $350, depending on the country where you are getting treated. Rehabilitation is an important aspect of recovery after knee replacement. Therefore, patients must take into consideration these expenses while planning for the surgery.

Incidental Costs

The patient may have to incur incidental costs in case of any complication. Additionally, the costs may increase when the duration of stay inside the ICU post surgery is extended. Like any other surgery, there are certain complications associated as well. Post-surgical infection delayed wound healing, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism are some of the examples. The management of such conditions has an impact on the overall cost.

Other Costs

  • Unanticipated care and management of a pre-existing condition may add to the total bill amount.
  • The greater the number of days you spend at the hospital, the bigger is the billing amount.
  • Cost of private or single accommodation is greater than shared or multi-bedded accommodation.
  • Follow-up visits after discharge from the hospital cost extra.
  • Loss of earning resulting out of hospital stay and impact of surgery may add to the financial burden.

Tips To Choose A Hospital Overseas For Knee Surgery

Choose the country wisely. Countries that offer cheaper treatment do not necessarily compromise with the quality of medical services.

Choose the surgeon wisely. Do not choose someone who is experienced but charges a whopping amount.

  • Choose a surgeon whose clinic is less crowded. Surgeons who are hugely popular tend to remain busy and spend less time per patient. This may hinder personalized care that you may desire to have.
  • Seek help from a hospital or a medical tourism facilitator to arrange for additional needs. This may include accommodation, local travel, translator services, and hospital transfer.
  • Check the credibility of the hospital online before selecting one. Look for patient testimonials and Google reviews.
  • Check the accreditation of the hospital. Prefer to choose a hospital that is certified by Joint Commission International (JCI).
  • Ask for all the information beforehand about the type of implants that will be used. Also, ask for a detailed profile of the surgeon who will conduct the surgery.
  • Seek an estimate for potential costs associated with airline tickets, hotel, food, and other expenses.