Category Archives: Good Ideas

No wait in A and E

A & E IS IN CRISIS

 How I avoided long wait nhs

Waking up, my leg was on fire.  Today of all days, it was Sunday and I was looking forward to a family party to celebrate a 100th Birthday.

About to steel myself for a long wait in A & E – which would mean missing the lift down to the gorgeous country hotel for lunch, I suddenly thought “How much do I want to go to the party?”  Answer – a lot. Continue reading

Taking a daily bath – unlike Vivienne Westwood

National+Bubble+Bath+Day

Vivienne Westwood says she often

skips daily bath

Uggghh!!  When we learn that “cleanliness…” etc. from an early age, are taught to wash our hands, and hospitals are vigilant about personal hygiene, you would think having a daily bath or shower would be part of our daily routine for everyone.

When millions around the world have to walk miles to get water, we sometimes forget how lucky we are  to turn on a tap to have this gush out.  But importance of hygiene is bought home to us when visiting friends in hospital, to find they are in a single room because they have picked up a ‘hospital infection’

Neom

Was thinking of this when in hospital last week.  As I needed cheering up I used Neom’s Morrocan Rose to do the trick.  First of all, a dishy young doctor sniffed – and said “I can smell roses”;  I thought this was flowers belonging to another patient.  But then a nurse came by and asked what I was wearing, “as it smells of roses”.

Neom provided a real boost to my ego!

 

verite@greenbee.net

Caring for elderly patients – hints, tips and stairlift

How to help when they think you are

still a ‘child’

 

queen 02

Did Princess Anne start her Royal Trust for Carers out of frustration? !!   Imagine trying to make this pair of pensioners listen to you.

Most Carers, looking after someone older than them, will find they have difficulty in getting them to follow their requests.  And however much you know, they won’t take advice from a ‘child’ (however old you might be).

When my brother was 35 ,  he and father started an argument over dinner.  Daddy eventually became furious as my brother was winning, so thumped the table and shouted “GO UPSTAIRS TO BED”.  And couldn’t see why we all burst out laughing.

So you have my sympathy – and a few tips gleaned from other Carers, and learnt whilst looking after two parents with cancer, who wouldn’t have dreamt of listening to me!

FACE CREAM

Our parents’ generation are often horrified at us spending so much on our faces.  Mother’s friends bought their skincare at Woolworths, until it closed down.  So they see no need to spend more than a fiver on a jar of face-cream.

When it became obvious that mother needed better skincare, otherwise her face would have become deeeply lined and painful, I took to sneaking Clinique and Elemis into her shopping basket when I had to go to Boots or John Lewis.  Provided I ditched the packaging going home, I could say that ‘”this was on special offer”.  And her face lost its dry, parched skin.

BODY CREAM

As we get older, our body skin gets parched.  Add cancer drug side effects to the equation, and you have a recipe for itchy skin.   Mother did complain about this, and it must have been painful as she actually asked advice.  As is usual, she had been prescribed E45;  her skin must have become tolerant, so I got her to change to Cetraben (on prescription) and her itching disappeared.  Again, most of her generation wouldn’t dream of using a body cream, but if you explain the problem to the Doctor they will prescribe Cetraben or something similar, then all you have to do is suggest that as the doctor has prescribed this expensive product, why not use it as it would be a shame to waste it.

MEALS

Again, our ‘fads’ with eating fruit and veg – especially if we insist on Organic – are alien to many older people.  And all the newspaper comment about hospital food has made me question what’s in the ready-meals we buy for the elderly, out of supermarket freezer cabinets.  Yes, they are convenient. Yes, they can be popped into the microwave.  But – what do they contain?

OAPs are usually very patriotic, and can see the sense in supporting British Farmers.  Our local Farmer’s Market has stalls selling ready-prepared meals;  all dishes that the older generation love, such as Cottage Pie, Steak and Kidney, etc.  So I have done a deal with one of the stalls;  I order about three or four of their ready-prepared meals (each meal makes up two portions for an elderly appetite).  I provided the right-sized small containers (which they said they would provide next time), and each week I know the old people will get nutritious meals.

Jane, the farmer’s wife who makes the meals, says she is thinking up new dishes – so there will be plenty of variety.  And I am happy because we have talked over what goes into the pies, and Jane says she wouldn’t know an E-number if it came up and hit her.  She has a regular customer, and I know that every day a nutritious meal will be served by an overworked carer who doesn’t have time to make up a meal from scratch.  Jane has now started to provide ‘comfort puddings’, such as jam roly poly and ginger pudding – and these have been greeted with cries of delight.

P.S.  Sally has just phoned up to ask at which supermarket I bought ‘that lovely pie?  She doesn’t believe in  small shops – but always insists that I buy all her food at the supermarket “because they don’t make a profit out of customers”.  Bless!  Had to do some quick thinking to gloss over the fact the pie had come from the Farmer’s Market.

REMEDIES FOR PAINFUL JOINTS

Mentholatum is a well-known name to most chemists, as they make all kinds of useful over-the-counter remedies, such as Deep Heat, Deep Freeze, Regenovate, etc.  If someone complains of painful joints, and the doctors don’t seem able to help, have a talk with your pharmacist, and more than likely they will suggest one of the remedies made by this company.

They are serious about research, and if you look carefully next time one of those precious mega-millionaire footballers pretends to fall on the pitch in agony, more than likely the coach/physio will come dashing onto the pitch and fish out a canister of Deep Freeze to spray on ‘where it’s hurting’.  So if it works for footballers, Grandad is bound to believe it will work for him.

And I use it myself on my drug-side effect joint pain – and it works for me.  And I am no over-paid footballer (more’s the pity).

Warning:  do discuss whatever medicines Grandad or Grandmother are taking, as there are a few conditions where these type of remedies might react.

LETTING WORKMEN INTO THE HOME

If you are worried that a workman might be impersonating an employee of one of the utility companies, my invaluable gas engineer, Colin Blaize, says

1.  Get the workmen to phone before they arrive (they all have mobiles)

2.   Either go on the company’s website to see if they have their employee listed, and their photo posted.  For British Gas look under ‘operatives’ or similar headings for other companies (personnel, our staff, etc).  There should be a photo of the person who is visiting.

3.  Or phone the company to confirm that the person arriving is the right one.

4.  If police come to the door at night, get them to post their warrant card through the door – dial 999 and ask them to verify that the card hasn’t been stolen and it is right police officer.  And don’t forget to hand back the card!

SLEEPING PILLS

Mother became very unsteady on her feet, and eventually we were horrified to find a new doctor had prescribed some very strong sleeping pills.  We tried to wean her off them – inducing tantrums.  So I took a sample pill down to the herbal remedy shop, and asked the manageress if she could provide something totally similar, but that wouldn’t harm an old lady.   Up she came with an idential object – which she said was a Vitamin supplement and wouldn’t cause any harm.

These were popped into the dosset box, and the sleeping pills fished out.  Next day, after the first night on the vitamin pills,  I innocently enquired “did you sleep well?” and was told “the best night ever”.

 

 

 

And, if you are at your wit’s end, and badly need advice and/or a helping hand, Princess Anne set up her Carer’s Trust to offer help.

To the public, she seems a very contained, self-sufficient and efficient figure.  But, when  The Queen found an intruder in her bedroom at Buckingham Palace, it was  the Princess who realised, under her mother’s dignified exterior, she was very upset and worried.  So she wouldn’t allow her mother to sleep without another member of the family in whichever residence she was staying, and often would fly to be with her for a night, when Prince Philip was away on official  visits.

Their website has a section about useful information for those Carers looking after someone with cancer, to a discussion on where to find lists of reliable tradesmen and workmen.  www.carers.org

WASHING WITHOUT WATER

Washing an elderly person’s hair is often fraught with problems, but a company called Oasis has come up with a clever idea:  a Shampoo Cap.

Everything needed is contained in one hygienic pack.  Instructions are written on the outside, but basically you can put the pack inside the microwave to warm it up first, then place the cap over the hair, so it covers all of it.

Massage gently, making sure all the contents are spread through the hair, then take this off and discard.  And your patient has clean, hygienic hair.

Made by Synergyhealth who make simple kitsyns for giving patients ‘waterless’ bed baths, and other clever ideas.  01772-2999000  www.synergyhealthcareplc.com Enhanced by Zemanta

STAIR LIFT

This is one of main aids that you have to fight to have installed – then once in, the elderly love using it to zip up and down.

Hertfordshire based company EMS Stairlifts has set up STAIRLIFT ANGELS INITIATIVE. Conceived by directors Jonathan Muir, Mick Armstrong and Thomas Sergeant, this philanthropically motivated initiative has been designed to give back something meaningful to the communities they have served for around the last twenty five years.

EMS Stairlifts is one the UK’s oldest stairlift specialists and has a wealth of experience in the sale, installation, service, maintenance of hoists, stair, floor, step and bath lifts. Based in Baldock Hertfordshire EMS Stairlifts serves the Home Counties region and owns Europe’s largest showroom of full size and fully operative stairlifts.

As Mick Armstrong says,  “While local authorities, housing associations and charities fund the cost of stairlifts for hundreds of people, unfortunately there are many others who, for a whole variety of reasons, are refused such financial assistance and it is precisely for this reason we have set up this scheme.We plan to donate one stairlift, inclusive of all fitting, service cover and warranties, worth thousands of pounds, completely free of charge every month to those applicants we consider most deserving.”

Head of sales Thomas Sergeant made it clear that the STAIRLIFT ANGELS INITIATIVE is not a publicity seeking stunt and said: “EMS is a very successful company that has grown substantially every year and this initiative has been embraced by all the staff, everyone is involved. We intend to honour this sizeable commitment for the foreseeable future, supplying free stairlifts around the region we operate in for many years to come.”

When asked about selection criteria and how the lucky recipients will be chosen, Jonathan Muir replied: “We hope to hear about people who have given much to their communities throughout their lives, perhaps having been involved with charitable endeavours or served their country and who now find themselves needing help but unable to afford a stairlift or obtain a funding grant. It is those people we feel are deserving of our help now.”

Visiting EMS Stairlifts for the first time, Oliver Heald, MP, remarked, “I was impressed that Baldock has the country’s major showroom for fully operational stairlifts. This is a huge advantage for customers and I spoke to one of my constituents who was very pleased to see and try the stairlifts in action.”

This constituent was Veronica Lee from Hertford, who, along with her son Chris, certainly got more than they bargained for during their visit to the showroom last week.

After visiting the EMS Stairlifts website Chris had brought his mother over to the Baldock showroom and was delighted to discover it was the best, if not the only, place to try a large number of fully working stairlifts.

However, neither of them was expecting a personal welcome from their local MP and an opportunity to discuss one or two constituency matters in addition to choosing a stairlift.

Picture shows Mick Armstrong, Thomas Sergeant and Jonathan Muir of EMS Stairlifts.                                                                Front: Veronica Lee and Oliver Heald MP

www.emslifts.co.uk

A new idea for Hospices

Field End, Cumbria

Cumbria Flickr

The real face of caring

 

Most people say they want to end their days at home;  if they can’t do that, then they would choose to end life being cared for in a hospice, with wonderful nurses to look after them – see picture!

Yet the NHS care is often centred around keeping people in hospital – the last place they want to be.

I well remember a politician, with all his clout, telling me in despair that when his wife was dying everyone wanted to let her go home.  But the hospital said they were unable to find nursing care – so she stayed in the ward.

Staying with my cousin Poppy in Cumbria, she introduced me to a friend, Tina Walker.  Tina was fundraising at the World Sheepdog Trials, and as we sheltered from the driving rain, told a fascinating story of the work of Hospice at Home.

The job of this charity mixes the best of ending your days at home, combined with professional nursing care that you would be given in a Hospice.  Locally, Hospice at Home provides their service all over North Lakeland and Carlisle, from Kirkbride to Kirkby Stephen.

The service provides palliative care, with specially trained nurses, for patients at the end of stages of life, regardless of cause, who prefer to remain in their own home with all that is familiar about them.

They provide Nursing and emotional support, personal care, respite provision and specific nursing care.  Then comes bereavement support if needed.

One very popular part of their service is providing complimentary therapies, not only for the patient, but also for their carer.  And now they also provide specialist services for Lymphoedema and Occupational Therapy.

Cost?

This is all free of charge, but the service costs £800,000 a year to run, so if you are visiting the area do pop in to their charity shop, or order Christmas Cards, or have fun and meet the locals at one of the many events they run all over the county during winter.  And don’t forget to see them at the Marmalade Festival in February!

www.hospiceathome.co.uk

 

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Ginger – recipes for using this root, particularly for nausea

Ginger field

Ginger Field Wikipedia

Ginger Roots are used for anything from salt scrubs to a supplement to reduced Colon Inflammation Markers


 

Do you remember as a kid, drinking fizzy ginger pop?

Today, I bet a glass of this takes you back to your childhood!

Well, recently this root has been finding favour in all sorts of medical ways – from helping reduce Colon Inflammartion Markers, to being recommended by CNS to reduce nausea from side effects of drugs, etc. etc.

In the States, Mothers who give Ginger Ale to their kids when they are ‘sick’, might be on to a good thing.

And it’s the latest ‘miracle ingredient’ being touted by the beauty industry.

Ginger supplements reduce markers of colon inflammation

According to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, Ginger supplements reduced markers of colon inflammation in a select group of patients, suggesting that this supplement may have potential as a colon cancer prevention agent.

Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H., a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, and colleagues enrolled 30 patients and randomly assigned them to two grams of ginger root supplements per day,  or a placebo for 28 days.

After 28 days, the researchers measured standard levels of colon inflammation and found statistically significant reductions in most of these markers, and trends toward significant reductions in others.

Inflammation has been implicated in prior studies as a precursor to colon cancer, but another trial would be needed to see how ginger root affects that risk, Zick said.

“We need to apply the same rigor to the sorts of questions about the effect of ginger root that we apply to other clinical trial research,” she said. “Interest in this is only going to increase as people look for ways to prevent cancer that are nontoxic, and improve their quality of life in a cost-effective way.”

I don’t know yet how effective using ginger is in cooking, or in Ginger Beer – but it can’t hurt to keep on grating it into dishes!

Dana-Farber has helpful information:

 A dietician at Dana-Farber says
” Try eating or drinking ginger in the form of ginger tea, ginger ale, crystallized ginger, ginger chews, or fresh ginger root tea”.
.They also have several recipes using ginger that they recommend:
.This American hospital really does provide practical, easy to follow advice for us patients – and doesn’t talk down to us!
.Elemis are using it too

Recently, I began to see nasty little lesions making their appearance again on my skin;  I was on a new drug – and it seemed my body didn’t like it.  The lesions hadn’t opened up, so before they did, I wanted to advice on zapping them, and Elemis suggested their Lime and Ginger Salt Glow.

So I bought a jar, and slapped this on before I had a bath.  Immediately the nasty rough bits sloughed away, and – looking at my arm now, after two applications,  all I can see are very faint deeper colour ‘bits’ where the lesions were resting.

I finished them off with the new Elemis Pro-collagen body cream, and have been basking in compliments on my skin from a new nurse on the team!

Then, using a very calming, gentle body wash from Living Nature,  Nourishing Body Wash, I look at the ingredients – and guess what?  They include  Ginger Extract in the list of ingredients. Also Manuka Honey – and kelp.  I am following seaweed also, as that seems another ingredient we are getting from Mother Nature.

As with all the Living Nature products, they only contain natural ingredients – so I must keep an eye out for more containing Ginger!

Ginger Tea for nausea

This is an ‘old wives” remedy that seems to find favour with many nurses.

I know that a hospital in New York was conducting clinical trials on using ginger to help control nausea, but can’t find any evidence.

So is it just one of those placebos that makes you feel it will do you good?  Or is there evidence out there to prove it really is up to it?

Would very much like to know, so please send any to me as a Comment below, or to verite@greenbee.net

In the meantime, those nice people at Pukka Herbs make a Three  Ginger tea, so you can try this out and hopefully gain the benefit of ginger.

www.pukkaherbs.com

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Using SMS as a tool to help patients

Smstextmessage

Image via Wikipedia

Patients’

Week 2011

~shows

importance

of  SMS

by Claire Hallas

 

As a contribution to Patient Week, Claire Hallas posted this article about using SMS for Patients’ benefit:

 

Text message or SMS (short message service)  interventions can improve adherence and disease management across a number of illnesses

A study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology  shows that text message (SMS) interventions targeting people’s beliefs significantly improve adherence to asthma medication and have the potential to improve adherence and disease management across a number of illnesses.

The study further confirms the value of SMS as a communications channel and suggests that other digital channels have a growing part to play in delivering successful interventions.

SMS is relatively inexpensive and increasingly available to a broad cross-section of the community.

This study shows the potential benefits of using SMS not just as a passive device to deliver a generic reminder, but as a way to actively engage with individual patients and drive behavioral change.

As other forms of communication, such as smartphones, move into the mainstream, it is fair to assume we will be able to take greater advantage of their potential to deliver targeted interventions and ultimately better patient health outcomes.

The study was initiated to address the common issue of non-adherence to preventative asthma medication.

The research concluded that if targeted SMS messages are used to communicate with asthma patients, adherent behavior will increase for the long term.

Even nine months after the SMS messages ceased, the majority of people who took part in this were found to have continued adherence.

This study targeted five illness perceptions: short timeline (no symptoms = no asthma), low personal control, low symptoms, high symptoms, and poor understanding; and two medication beliefs: low necessity and high concerns.

What happened

A bank of 166 messages designed to counter these seven beliefs, all of which had previously been found to be associated with non-adherence to preventer medication, was prepared ahead of the study.

Participants received tailored SMS messages based on their responses to a questionnaire assessing their individual illness perceptions.

The report found that those study participants receiving the text messages had an increased perception of their asthma as a chronic condition, the degree of personal control they had over their asthma, and their need for preventer medication.

As these findings would imply, the intervention group also recorded adherence rates around 10 percent higher than the control group and a significantly higher achievement of 80 percent-plus adherence levels.

What’s in it for cancer patients?

First thing that springs to mind is that those on weekly rather than daily doses of a drug could be sent a reminder every week – saving having to write rewminders into the diary.

Then reminders re annual mammograms – check-ups, etc. could be sent.

Am sure readers can think of many other uses.

 

Claire Hallas is a health psychology specialist with Atlantis Healthcare.

 

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Passport for Health

Your own medical passport

 

Medics have been talking for ages about everyone having their own medical passport.

And up until now, that’s all it was – talk.

Until a company called Freespirit Enterprise Ltd. has come up with a neat little document, just slightly thicker than a basic UK passport, but with an incredible amount of information that holders can in-put into the medical passport’s  65 pages.

Inside

There is a good section for CANCER, which even includes summary of your surgery;  what chemo you had, when, result;  room for other cancer treatment and drugs, and good space for contact details of your Oncologist, etc.

  • There is also room to insert important information of other conditions you may have, from Asthma to Vaccinations;
  • lots of space for you to insert names of all the numerous doctors we seem to collect along the way
  • what they were treating us for
  • immunisations and a list of countries you have visited:  this is so important with all the diseases we are picking up when we go abroad, for which we have not developed immunity.

You don’t have to travel to use this

Every time I go to see a new consultant, nurse, therapist or whatever, I have to think what they are going to ask, and search round for the correct pieces of paper.  Now, I have realised that this passport has got it all inside, in a small booklet, which easily fits in a pocket or handbag.  Simples, as the meerkats say!

Airport Problems

If anyone has gone through a UK or US airport recently, you may have come across the incredibly unfriendly anti-terrorist staff that have suddenly found jobs – I am totally in agreement with searches to counter terrorism. What I can’t condone is the rude way that some officials seem to conduct these.

Hopefully, if enough travellers show these passports, there could be a way of ensuring that airport staff check them, and then give us the appropriate body searches.

After treatment present

This is the ideal present to give a friend if they are off for a holiday after treatment.  Especially if they are going to Dubai and similar countries with draconian regulations over medication.  Don’t forget, these countries demand a prescription for every tablet etc. that you are taking, even over-the-counter medicines.

So write them all in – and make sure your doctor signs the page.  Then if you are stopped at Immigration, you are in the clear.

For the cost of £11.99 it is incredible value for money.

P.S.  I have already started taking it with me to all my hospital appointments.  When the Consultant says, “when did this happen?”  or “what medication are you on” – it’s all there, and saves me having to look up my diary, or fish out a print-out of all the pills I am on.  So it’s not just for abroad.

http://www.freespirit-medical-passports.co.uk

NHS can save money – if it listens to staff

dialysis - session 4

Dialysis machine Flickr

It’s not only patients who aren’t listened to

 

It may surprise you to learn that frontline NHS staff and other healthcare professionals who come up with innovative ideas to give better patient care, often are totally ignored by the hierachy.

But finally, these have been shamed into doing something about the staff’s ideas, with inventors such as Trevor Bayliss (remember the wind-up radio?) ensuring schemes are funded under the Department of Health’s Innovation Challenge Prizes – the first winners of which have just been announced.

All the winners have proven that their innovation can improve patient care and deliver savings for the NHS. They were all developed to tackle the problems staff saw their patients facing in day-to-day treatment.

The good thing about these inventions is that not only do they help patients, but they SAVE money.

The winning ideas are:

  • Dialysis at home – developed by Manchester Royal Infirmary to allow patients to have dialysis in their own homes – this is more convenient for patients and saves the local NHS £16,430 per patient every year on average.

David Coyle, a patient on the Manchester home haemodialysis programme said:

“For me, the best solution is carrying out my home dialysis overnight . This completely frees up my working days giving my life back to me. I can also do longer sessions which give me a better quality of dialysis.

“The result is a very noticeable increase in energy levels and general well-being. The quality of life I enjoy now is as close to having a real kidney as it is possible to get and I strongly recommend it to all haemodialysis patients.”

and Dr Sandip Mitra, who leads the renal team at Manchester Royal Infirmary, said:

“Manchester is proud to have a highly skilled team which enables and empowers patients to regain control of their lives leading to a higher life expectancy, greater independence, fewer medications and a less restrictive lifestyle on dialysis. This award will inspire the team to continue its efforts to improve patient experiences on dialysis and support other units to establish home haemodialysis programmes.”

  • Cytosponge – a new pill that runs into a sponge – a simple new way to test for oesophagal cancer that costs just £25 per test compared to the £400 cost of a traditional endoscopy. This was developed by the Cambridge Medical Research Council Cancer Unit and Addenbrookes University Hospitals.
  • Scriptswitch – a computer programme used by staff at NHS Bristol to share information on nutritional supplements prescribed to patients between hospitals and GP surgeries so that they can identify patterns and prescribe more efficiently leading to projected savings of £156,000 per year.

Health Minister Lord Howe said:

“We need to support innovation in the NHS, not suffocate it. In every hospital, GP practice and clinic we need to ensure innovation can flourish by supporting clinicians to develop new ways of thinking and delivering care to benefit patients and the NHS.

The NHS Challenge Prizes are now looking for the next big ideas from NHS staff, organisations and partners. More challenges can be found at www.challengeprizes.institute.nhs.uk. The closing date for new applications is 14th August 2011.

Trevor Bayliss three years ago, he had been bought in to oversee a competition for inventions for NHS – this was at same meeting where Lord Darzi made his memorable comments asthat why did France have better patient care for the same amount of money per patient – and then left next day.  Trevor was very emphatic that any NHS staff inventing something should have their patent protected (hope these followed his advice), but am sure he will be interested in what has been invented.

Now, will these inventions be left on the shelf?  Or will the NHS get off its xxxxxxxxx and put them in place, perhaps in time to save money so we don’t lose frontline staff because funding has been cut?NDS

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Are you daft as a brush? Join a charity helping cancer patients

Launched with a memorable name,                                                                this charity provides sensible help

 

Cancer patients often have problems getting to hospital for treatment.

If they qualify for patient transport, the buses can pick up early in the

morning, leaving the patient waiting hours once at the hospital.  Then there is the problem of return transport …..

So most patients struggle in by themselves, or if they can’t drive, manage to persuade neighbours to run them in – but there is a limit to the amount of good-will one can ask of friends.

Now, Daft as a Brush charity has been launched, to take patients in comfort, off to hospital in the vehicles you see here.

 

Does this work?

In the States, there is often a neighbourhood group that will arrange for you to be taken to hospital – and now we have Daft as a Brush for lucky patients in and around Newcaste-upon-Tyne.   Needless to say the vehicles were bought from Nissan, whose factory is just up the road.

Eventually founder Brian Burnie wants to be able to carry 50,000 cancer patients a year – but he is going to need a lot of volunteers, because every vehicle will have a Chauffeur (Brian says they look after people, like the old-fashioned chauffeur, rather than just driving) and a Companion.  This Companion will be able to go with the patient into the hospital, deliver them to right place, and stay with them during treatment if needed.

And no worries about paying daylight-robbery car parking charges!

How it started

Brian used to own Doxford Hall Hotel – and one day he sold it for £9 million, and used the money to found his charity.

Now the charity says, “we are delighted to announce that Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care is GO ! Our first two vehicles are on the road…..

As from 4th March 2011 they were in business;  their first 2 vehicles, “Starlight” and “Sparkle” are now on the road.

Their first passenger, Eddie Carson,  wasn’t able to drive due to his treatment, so used the service during his radiotherapy treatment at the Freeman Hospital.

The vehicles will also be available for anyone undergoing Chemotherapy treatment

Now, Daft as a Brush need your help !

Lots of volunteer positions are available, and anyone interested should call 0191 23 28 999 for more details.

The regions to be covered by Daft as a Brush are: Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne.

There would be no charge to the patients for our Service. The service would entail collecting and transporting the patients in a safe and comfortable environment, from where they are living, taking them to where they will be having their treatment. If required staying with the patient whilst they have their treatment and then bringing them back home in readiness for their next course of treatment.

So, if you would like to be involved with Daft as a Brush,

please call into the  office at 3-5 Hood Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

or call 0191 23 28 999.

Email: info@daftasabrush.org.uk

Registered Charity Number: 328 432 Company Number: 233 3474

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Helping cancer patients in a practical way

Silhouette of Car with Driver

Image via Wikipedia

Can I help?

Every cancer patient will have well-meaning friends who ask you to tell them what they can do to help.

But this comes at a time when you hesitate to burden your friends – and can’t even think of what needs doing  – or if you could possibly ‘ask a friend’ to do it when they are busy working or looking after kids.

But in the United States there are two very practical ways that people help, which makes a big difference to cancer patients.

1.  Drive patients to hospital appointments

One of most tiring aspects of being treated is having to get to and from the hospital.  In the good old days, my mother had a mastectomy, and stayed in hospital for weeks.  Whilst she was having whatever treatment they gave her, she would be told to rest in bed, given meals three times a day, never had to change a sheet or clean a bath.

Today I hear that if you have a lumpectomy many hospitals are now chucking you out on the same day.  Then the ‘multi disciplinary team’ blithely expect you to handle kids, clean the house, prepare meals and drive yourself to and from daily radiotherapy treatment, or to chemo appointments.  You can be 60 – 80 miles away from the hospital, facing long traffic jams on your way to and from treatment;  added to which there are horrendous car parking charges to be paid.  It’s not fun.

In the States, many local charities form themselves into a group and organise car pools to drive patients to and from hospital treatment.  Your car, often driven by a friendly neighbour, arrives at your door.  You get in, relax – even go to sleep if you want – are dropped at the hospital – then your car driver is there to drive you home afterwards.

There are obviously considerations to face:  insurance;  are car drivers competent;  what happens if a car breaks down, etc.  But different charities in the States have adapted to local conditions, offering slightly different services – but all dedicated to giving cancer patients a better treatment path.

Practical – and something Rotary Clubs, Junior Chambers of Commerce, Womens’ Institute etc. might well consider setting up.

If you are a friend, wanting to help a cancer patient, perhaps you could form a pool amongst neighbours to drive someone to hospital.  And if people can’t give their time, see if they will donate a round trip with a local reputable taxi firm.

2.  Pay for a home spring clean

There comes a time during treatment when you are too tired to flick a duster around, let alone change bedding or hoover the carpets.

Making A Difference One Home At A Time and Cleaning for a Reason

are two of the American charities set up to offer a free house cleaning service to cancer patients.

Basically, the charities work to bring in donations, and also get local approved cleaning contractors to donate X amount of professional cleaning time.

Doing it this way, patients don’t feel neightbours are snooping around their home, and the professionals are used to tackling every hard job that might come their way, so leave a house sparkling.

Hoover® says they are “a proud partner of Cleaning For A Reason Foundation, the national organization devoted to providing clean homes to women undergoing cancer treatment. Hoover® will contribute $1 to the organization (up to $25,000) for every new Hoover or Cleaning For A Reason Facebook connection”.

Fighting cancer is difficult enough, but living with it is even tougher – and that’s where the Cleaning for A Reason Foundation steps in.  This  nonprofit organisation offers free professional housecleaning, and maid services to improve the lives of women undergoing treatment for cancer – any type of cancer.

On their website, Cleaning for a Reason show HOW OUR PROGRAM WORKS

Are you a Maid Service? Interested in becoming a partner in our foundation? Fill out the online form and we will contact you. You must be insured and/or bonded and do background checks on employees.

We’d like to TELL YOU MORE! Sign up for our news and updates below to stay informed with the Cleaning for A Reason Foundation! You can help now.  If you currently use a professional house cleaning service to clean your home, please call and ask them if they’ve heard of the Cleaning For A Reason foundation.    Every day, we recruit a new maid service to join our program and become Partners with a heart and soul for house cleaning.

www.cleaningforareason.org