Tuesday, 24 June 2014

New Vacancies Available: Start Your Career at Social Care Alba

Be part of company who makes a real difference to people lives!

Social Care Alba is the highest quality Care at Home Provider in Scotland. We are an Investor in People and Healthy Working Lives award winner.

We believe Care is a Career and not just a job.  Our staff team is fun, friendly & supportive. Due to our rapid expansion we are currently recruiting for the positions of Personal Assistant, Professional Advisor and Team Leader. Join us and we will make a commitment to support your growth throughout every stage of your career. 

Personal Assistant

Job Description

We are looking to recruit "Personal Assistants" to complement our existing staff team in Edinburgh who support vulnerable adults living in their own homes.  You would work and learn from our experienced team of nurses, social workers, OT, physio and pharmacists. 

 Your job would include:
  • Providing individual care and support to people in their own homes. This may include cleaning, washing and dressing, providing meals and maintaining community links.
  • You may also assist people with continence promotion, catheter care, stoma care, peg feeding, administering medication, oral health and moving and assisting.
  • You will be expected to maintain personal files and act as a key worker to service users.

Job Requirements

You should ideally:
  • Hold an SVQ in Health and Social Care or equivalent.
  • Have experience in supporting others.
  • Have skills or experience working in a similar role.
  • Be able to work a minimum of 20 hours per week including evenings and weekends.

Professional Advisor

Job Description

We are looking to recruit "Professional Advisors" to complement our existing staff team in Edinburgh who support vulnerable adults living in their own homes.  You would support the manager in the development and expansion of the service to ensure the highest quality of support is delivered at all times.

Your job would include:
  • Assisting the registered manager in the recruitment, induction, training and development of the staff team.
  • Making recommendations for changes and improvements in our service delivery.
  • Developing your own professional projects.
  • Providing advice and support to staff, managers, and service users based on your area of specialty.
  • Delivering hands on support to service users’ and their families.

Job Requirements

You are required to:
  • Hold a professional qualification in Health and Social Care, e.g. Nursing, Social Work or Allied Health.
  • Have experience in supporting others.
  • Be able to work a minimum of 20 hours per week including evenings and weekends.

Team Leader

Job Description

We are looking to recruit "Team Leaders" to complement our existing staff team in Edinburgh who provide support to both our staff team and service users.

Your job would include:
  • Administering the Support Program, maintaining personal files, preparing reports as required. To liaise with other community services and resources to ensure effective levels of care.
  • Providing advice to staff and service users based upon your specialism.  To complete service user assessments and agreed plans of care.  To review support plans on a regular basis.
  • You will be expected to provide hands on support to service users to maintain quality and consistency.

Job Requirements

You are required to:
  • Have a qualification in Health and Social Care.
  • Have experience in caring and supporting others.
  • Have skills or experience in management;  Where a management qualification is not held applicants will be supported to achieve this.
  • Be able to work a minimum of 20 hours per week including evenings, weekends and on call.
Due to the intimate nature of the above posts we require all staff to hold a valid PVG certificate.


Edinburgh South & South East

How to Apply

Please apply before 31st October 2014.CV and covering letter by email to: jobs@social-care.org and quote job title you are applying for in subject.

Contact Us

Facebook:  Social Care Alba
Twitter: @SocialCareAlba
Website: social-care.org
Telephone: 0845 0945 279       
Email: jobs@social-care.org


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Take A Break


Rest is a key component in ensuring the performance of the musculoskeletal system. Frequent breaks can decrease the duration of a task and help lower the exposure to ergonomic injury risk.

The human body is always active while performing tasks at work. Even while seated, postural muscles are exerting tension to hold the mass of our upper body and head upright. Prolonged exertion can fatigue the muscles, which may lead to injury.

Improper workstation setup, along with certain processes, force people to maintain awkward postures and/or be exposed to compressive forces for long periods of time. Awkward postures and compression can impede the flow of blood, impinge nerves, and injure soft tissue.      
Since 1950, the workplace has been recognized as a suitable space for the promotion of health and then in 1995 it was ratified by the World Health Organization, WHO and the International Labour Organization ILO. 

Active breaks have been one of the main tools of occupational health to promote physical activity focused on improving joint mobility, stretches and exercises that promote changes in position and decreased musculoskeletal loads longer maintenance positions and / or repetitive movements during workday.


As its name implies, is an active pause a moment of activation allows dynamic change in work where you can combine a series of movements that activate the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and cognitive system.

These stretching exercises are not provided to cure any existing problems but may help in preventing any future ones. Individuals with previous injury should consult with personal physician before performing these exercises on a routine basis. Always obtain medical consent prior to starting an exercise program.

Exercises and stretches can help decrease exposure to the risk of developing an ergonomic injury. Physical fitness is an important aspect in overall health, so exercise should be integrated into your workday and daily life. Some basic workstation exercises and stretches are showing below.

In the workplace or at home, every two hours stop what you are doing and for the space of about 5 to 10 minutes practice the following exercises 5 second each to both sides.

Johana Berbesi

Profesional advisor-Occupational Therapy

Friday, 20 June 2014


“I can’t do as many things as I used to do, but I’m now learning to enjoy what I can do.” — 78 year-old grandmother

Losses occur at every stage in life, particularly in the later years. As we age, we must cope with a variety of setbacks – physical, social, or emotional – that may, over time, affect our ability to function independently, jeopardizing our freedom from relying on others for our needs. The extent to which we accept and adapt to these losses directly affects the quality of life we achieve and maintain.

What kind of loss of independence might we experience?

Physical and Mental Losses
Some changes in the abilities physical and mental, such as not remembering appointments or having difficulty climbing stairs, getting in/out of the shower, opening jars, or walking long distances. Other changes may include:  Vision and hearing problems, less physical energy, less ability to move easily, less stamina, less flexibility, less control over emotions and memory problems.

Social Loss
Physical losses can gradually limit the ability to participate in social activities – sports, cultural outings, parties, and even dining out. As a result over time, less contact with others may lead to fading friendships.

Emotional Loss  
Loss of independence can create tremendous frustration, feelings of uselessness, and sadness, due to a sense of loss of control in one’s life. For example:

  • Necessary activities like personal care, grocery shopping and medical appointments might seem impossible to accomplish. Being unable to do what used to be ordinary activities can be extremely frustrating.  People often feel a loss of control when they are unable to get where they want to go when they want to get there.

Some typical reactions to Loss of Independence

When thinking about or beginning to experience loss of independence due to ageing, it is common for people to experience complicated feelings such as:
  • Fear: Some people become frightened by their new vulnerability, wondering how they will manage on their own. Overwhelmed, they may begin to expect close friends and family to be always available for them.
  • Anger:  Others, feeling angry that they can no longer manage on their own, may take their anger out on their loved ones.
  • Guilt. Still others may feel guilty and refuse needed help from family and friends because they think they will be considered a burden.  
  • Confusion. It is not uncommon for people to feel confused about needing help and long for “what was.”

Adjusting to Loss of Independence

As losses occur, the need for assistance from others increases. Recognizing your attitude toward relying on others may provide a hint as to how you may adjust to your loss of independence in later years. People vary in their reactions to receiving help. Some are quite comfortable receiving assistance from others, while others are not, for example:

Comfortable with Assistance: Some people have always enjoyed having others do things for them such as cooking or cleaning the house. Not being able to do these things for themselves because of a health problem does not bother them.
Some individuals have had to rely on family, friends, or paid caregivers throughout life because of a longstanding health problem or disability. For them, accepting help does not threaten independence. Rather, help may be viewed as a necessary ingredient to achieving a rich and full life.

Uncomfortable with Assistance: Some older adults have gotten great pleasure from caring for others but are not comfortable receiving help themselves.
There are still others who have always strongly preferred to manage without help whenever possible. For these people, accepting assistance, particularly from someone outside their family, is difficult.

Even the most independent among us have relied on others at some point during our adult lives. Sometimes help comes in the form of a job reference, a financial loan, or moral support. As you grow older your attitudes toward accepting help may change, especially when you experience changes in your health or social life. Those who adapt to accepting help can devote more time to building new and positive experiences.

How can we cope with the Loss of Independence?

Carer Be Patient
Be patient with the people you are caring for. It takes time for them to acknowledge their losses and to understand how these are affecting their life now.
Help them understand that losing independence is a common experience as people age, and not a sign of personal failure.

Help them to recognise their feelings and that it’s OK to feel sad and frustrated at times without putting themselves down for not being able to do what they used to do.

Try to get them to listen to your suggestions about how to make things easier. This is not always easy to do, but there are many ways to keep your service user engaged and interested.

Try to help them to maintain relationships with loving and caring with you, friends and family, work out what help they need and try to encourage them to accept it. Seek help from your manager and family if you are worried to contact the GP if is necessary.

Service user be Patient
Losses are inevitable especially as you age. Recognise and accept that losing independence is a common experience as people age, it is normal and natural.
Remain open, trusted family, friends and your carers might offer suggestions about things you could try to make your life easier. Think about and discuss these options rather than closing your mind to the possibilities. 

Pursue new experiences; develop new friendships, interests, hobbies, and other activities that you physically can do.

Stay connected; continue to maintain relationships with friends, family and your carers.

Volunteer; spend time helping and teaching people, volunteering keeps you intellectually and socially stimulated. It makes you feel useful and provides you with new social networks.

Accept that assistance is needed. It is okay to deal with your loss of independence on your own, but also to have help and support from others make easier to deal this process and help to improve your quality of life.

Allow yourself to find the balance between accepting help and living as independently as possible. Keep in mind that others may feel good about helping you.

Johanna Berbesi
Professional Advisor-Occupational Therapy

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Think FAST

Understanding Stroke

A stroke happens when the blood supply to your brain is cut off.  If your brain doesn't get enough blood to provide the oxygen and nutrients it needs, your brain cells will become damaged or die. Most people who have a stroke are over 65, but many are younger than this. Anyone can have a stroke, including babies and children.


  • Ischaemic stroke happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is blocked by a blood clot or a piece of fatty material. This is the most common type of stroke.
  • Haemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding inside your brain. This can happen when a blood vessel bursts inside your brain or, more rarely, on the surface of your brain.
  • Transient ischaemic attack (TIA or ‘mini-stroke’) is an episode when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted for a short time. The symptoms are only temporary – they won’t last for more than 24 hours.
  • Stroke from cervical artery dissection is caused when the lining of one of the arteries in your neck is torn, restricting the blood supply to your brain.


Some strokes may be quite mild and the effects only temporary, whereas others may be more severe and cause lasting damage. Complications of stroke include:
  • weakness or paralysis, often on one side of your body
  • lack of awareness of one side of your body (usually the left-hand side)
  • seizures (fits)
  • loss of sensation on one side of your body
  • difficulty swallowing
  • extreme tiredness and sleep problems
  • problems with your speech, reading and writing
  • problems with your vision – for example, double vision or partial blindness
  • memory and concentration difficulties
  • difficulty controlling your bladder and bowel movements (incontinence or constipation)
  • changes in personality and behaviour
  • psychological problems such as anxiety or depression

If you can’t move because of stroke, you could be at risk of:
  • bed sores (pressure ulcers)
  • deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – this is a blood clot in a vein in your leg
  • pneumonia (infections in your lungs)
  • contractures (altered position of your hands, feet, arms or legs because of muscle tightness)

Stroke affects everyone differently. Some people may find several of these complications improve gradually over time, whereas for others they may not.


During rehabilitation the physiotherapist will help the person who has had a stroke with any balance problems, paralysis and muscle weakness. But it is also important that other health professionals also show you how to move and handle the person they are supporting.

For example, helping them in or out of bed so as not to cause injury to them or to yourself.  When a person requires extensive moving and handling, equipment such as hoists should be provided. Someone who has balance problems, muscle weakness or is learning to walk again is likely to fall more easily.  Be prepared for this but do not prevent the person you support from being active as this will slow down recovery. Advice on using aids such as walking frames or sticks should be provided.

After a stroke many people have problems swallowing fluids or food (called dysphagia).  This may reduce a person’s ability to take nutritionally adequate food and drink which can lead to dehydration or weight loss. There is also a risk that food or drink will go into the lungs (aspiration) rather than the stomach, which can cause choking and/or a chest infection.

A speech and language therapist will have assessed whether there are any problems
with swallowing and be able to give advice on how to deal with them. For example,
sitting in an upright position whilst eating and tilting the head down with the chin
slightly tucked in can make swallowing easier. Also making sure food is well chewing small mouthfuls are best.  

Food and drink shouldn’t be mixed in the same mouthful.  For some people food may need to be pureed or drinks thickened.  A dietician may also provide advice on what foods and consistencies are appropriate.  If there are long term problems with swallowing, a PEG tube (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy) may be needed.

A stroke can lead to loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence), bowel control (faecal incontinence) or both. Most people regain continence in a few weeks as their body recovers from the effects of their stroke.  For a small proportion of people, bladder or bowel problems can be more long term but with help and treatment can become more manageable.  Medication can improve continence and exercises can help improve bladder control.

Exercises which help mobility will also help to get to the bathroom on time.  Equipment and adaptations to bathrooms may also be appropriate to help make it easier to use the toilet.  Personal items, such as pads, are also available to help the person remain dry and comfortable. The continence nurse will be able to give specific advice.

Stroke can affect the ability to speak write and understand what is being said, this is known as aphasia. The effects of the stroke on speech, reading and writing will be fully assessed by a speech and language therapist and they will give advice on how best to communicate together.  Using simple words and short sentences can help
the person get meaning from what you are saying.  You can find out whether someone can use yes or no, or a signal such as thumbs up or thumbs down accurately. If they can do this most of the time, then you can ask questions to which the answer is yes or no.  You can be shown how to reinforce your verbal message, using facial expressions, gestures, writing or showing pictures if they are finding it difficult to follow instructions or understand what is being said.

More information can be found on the THINK FAST website.

Agnieszka Korpalska

Professional Advisor - Physiotherapy