Liferaft Blog

Learning Disability Week

Learning Disability Week

Supported by the charity Mencap, Learning Disability Week is running from 18 to 24 June with this year’s campaign focusing on health and their campaign, Treat Me Well.

 

MyLiferaft - Learning Disability Week

 

This week is a brilliant opportunity to raise awareness about the problems and issues people with a learning disability can face when having to spend time in hospital and what we can all do to help change this.  If we can work together with NHS staff, we can:

  • Raise awareness of disabilities
  • Share good practice
  • Make improvements where needed

Who are Mencap?

Mencap are one of the leading charities supporting and raising awareness for those that experience learning disabilities.  Everything they do is about valuing and supporting people with a learning disability, and their families and carers.

Their vision is for all people with a learning disability to be valued equally, listened to and included.  Right now, people with a learning disability face inequalities in every area of life.  Mencap feel that by tackling the issues head on through ongoing campaigning and the delivery of high quality support and services to the people who need us, they will be able to make a difference

To find out more about Mencap, click here.

Treat Me Well

Did you know that 1,200 people with a learning disability die avoidably in the NHS every year? This shocking fact is from Mencap and highlights the poor healthcare that many people face.  They are hoping to make a real change so people with a learning disability always get the treatment they need in hospital.  Sometimes, it can even be as simple as medical staff making reasonable adjustments in their care of patients:

  • Better communication between medical staff and patients
  • Clearer information given between patients, medical staff and vica versa
  • More time being spent on understanding patient needs

 

MyLiferaft - TreatMeWell

 

You can support Mencap’s Treat Me Well campaign by signing up on their website

How are Liferaft supporting Treat Me Well?

The Hospital Passport is an NHS initiative to help those with learning difficulties and is designed to give hospital staff helpful information that isn’t only about illness and health. It can sometimes be given a different name, like “personal record” or “my biography”, and may look different from hospital to hospital, but it is the information in it that is key to supporting the individual.

It’s about giving individuals who find it difficult to let others know how they like to be supported, what their likes and dislikes are, what help they need/don’t need, and generally have their voice heard, making their time in hospital more comfortable for the individual and their family.

MyLiferaft - Hospital Passport

 

When using a Liferaft Premium Account, you only need to add all your critical information once and update it when something changes.  This same information can then be used to create different reports, of which the Hospital Passport is one.  You can then either download the Hospital Passport and take it with you as a printed copy or email the Hospital Passport to the person who is helping you.

Liferaft is proud to be supporting Learning Disability Week by offering the first 50 people to sign up to receive the Liferaft newsletter and type “Learning Disability” into the comment box a Premium Liferaft License free for 6 months.

To find out more about Liferaft’s Hospital Passport, click here.

If you want to try a Liferaft account you can sign up for a no obligation trial.

MyLiferaft - Caring Support Tool - Logo

Carers Week 2018

Carers Week

Did you know that 6.5 million people in the UK are carers?  That is 1 in every 8 adults.  Did you also know that every day, another 6,000 people take on a caring role?

MyLiferaft - Carers Week

What is Carers Week?

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

The campaign is brought to life by thousands of individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is.

The focus for this Carers Week is to help and support carers to stay Healthy and Connected as the impact on caring for someone should never be under estimated.  Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience, but sometimes carers find it challenging to take care of their own well-being whilst caring.  So this Carers Week is looking to share examples of good practice from supporters who have helped carers to stay Healthy and Connected.

To find out more, click here

MyLiferaft - Carers Week

How can you help?

The team at Carers Week would like you to pledge your support for carers around the UK by recognising and celebrating the huge amount of work that carers do every day.  Whether you are an individual, an organisation, a carer, someone from the within the health care profession or even a politician, click here to shout about your pledge.

Carers Week and Liferaft

Liferaft are thrilled to be supporting Carers Week this year and are offering the first 100 carers that sign up for our Newsletter, a FREE Premium Account for a year.  Visit our website and type the keyword CarersWeek into the comments box.

MyLiferaft - Caring Support Tool

About Liferaft

Nicola, the founder of Liferaft, was a carer for her daughter Faith as well as being a wife and a working mother to two additional children.  She understands the world of being a carer and set about designing a tool to support you, your child or the person that you care for.

“I realised that gaps in knowledge between parents, carers, education and medical professionals became huge issues, and wished there was something I could use to hold everything we as a family knew in one place. Nothing can ever really prepare you for caring for a loved one with additional needs.  However, there are ways to make life easier for everyone whatever their circumstances, and that’s what we have created with Liferaft – a tool which helps to manage all aspects of modern day living.”

 

Liferaft allows you to:

  • Be more in control
  • Avoid repeating yourself to different people in your care network
  • Find information quickly and easily to fill in forms to be prepared for meetings and assessments
  • Keep your care network up to date on what your loved one’s needs and progress
  • Worry less about what would happen if you weren’t there
  • Have more time for your own activities, and feel supported
  • Support your loved one to lead a fuller life and stay well
  • Manage the changes that happen throughout your loved one’s life

 

Additional Resources

Liferaft Resources for Carers

Carers Week – https://www.carersweek.org/

Carers UK – https://www.carersuk.org/

Carers Trust – https://carers.org/

Hospital Passport

The Hospital Passport

 

Going into hospital is a worrying time for any of us. It can be even harder for someone who has a learning disability.

The Hospital Passport is an NHS initiative to help those with learning difficulties and is designed to give hospital staff helpful information that isn’t only about illness and health. It can sometimes be given a different name, like “personal record” or “my biography”, and may look different from hospital to hospital, but it is the information in it that is key to supporting the individual.

It’s about giving individuals who find it difficult to let others know how they like to be supported, what their likes and dislikes are, what help they need/don’t need, and generally have their voice heard, making their time in hospital more comfortable for the individual and their family.

 

MyLiferaft - Hospital Passport

 

What information is included in my Hospital Passport?

You will often find that you repeat the information a Hospital Passport contains over and over when talking to a member of your care circle or support team, with information including:

  • Emergency contact details
  • Your likes and dislikes
  • The amount of physical contact you’re ok with
  • What you liked to be called
  • How you communicate and like to be communicated with
  • What distresses you and how to avoid being distressed
  • How I move around
  • How I let you know when I’m in pain

The passport helps people know how to make you feel comfortable.  It doesn’t do away with conversations, but it does go a long way to making sure those conversations are more meaningful and focused.

 

What other names can a Hospital Passport be called?

 You may also hear the Hospital Passport referred to as:

  • A Personal Record
  • All About Me
  • My Biography
  • Get Me Better

What does it look like?

Below are two examples of what a Hospital Passport could look like.  It is always best to ask the hospital you are attending if they have their own version.  In some cases, specific charities also have their own dedicated Hospital Passports, like the National Autistic Society here.

Don’t forget – it is not about what the Hospital Passport looks like, but the information that is in it.

 

MyLiferaft - Hospital Passport                       MyLiferaft - Hospital Passport

 

How does using Liferaft help me complete my Hospital Passport?

When using a Liferaft Premium Account, you only need to add all your critical information once and update it when something changes.  This same information can then be used to create different reports, of which the Hospital Passport is one.

Below is for an example of the Hospital Passport that has been created using Liferaft:  Hospital Passport

You can:

  • Downloaded the Hospital Passport and take it with you as a printed copy
  • Email the Hospital Passport to the person who is helping you

If you want to try a Liferaft account you can sign up for a no obligation trial.  If you are a parent carer, first set up an account for yourself and you will be guided on how to set up and manage an account for your child.

 

Other Useful Links:

NHS Choice – Going into hospital with a learning difficulty – https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Childrenwithalearningdisability/Pages/Going-into-hospital-with-learning-disability.aspx

Royal Free London – Patients with a learning disability –  https://www.royalfree.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/disabled-facilities/patients-with-a-learning-disability/hospital-passport/

 

MyLiferaft - Caring Support Tool

Epilepsy Awareness Week

Epilepsy Awareness Week

Today marks the start of Epilepsy Awareness Week with activities going on around the country raising awareness and funds for research.  Approximately 600,000 people in the UK have epilepsy and 87 people every day will be diagnosed with it (Epilepsy Action).  Did you know that St Valentine is the patron saint of epilepsy and that Roman Emperor Julius Caesar and the artist Vincent Van Gogh had epilepsy?!

 

MyLiferaft - Epilepsy

 

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain. When someone has epilepsy, it means they have a tendency to have epileptic seizures.  Anyone can have a one-off seizure, but this doesn’t always mean they have epilepsy. Epilepsy is usually only diagnosed if someone has had more than one seizure, and doctors think it is likely they could have more.  Epilepsy can start at any age and there are many different types. Some types of epilepsy last for a limited time and the person eventually stops having seizures. But for many people epilepsy is a life-long condition.

What are epileptic seizures?

Electrical activity is happening in our brain all the time, as the cells in the brain send messages to each other. A seizure happens when there is a sudden burst of intense electrical activity in the brain. This causes a temporary disruption to the way the brain normally works. The result is an epileptic seizure.

There are many different types of seizure. What happens to someone during a seizure depends on which part of their brain is affected. During some types of seizure the person may remain alert and aware of what’s going on around them, and with other types they may lose awareness. They may have unusual sensations, feelings or movements. Or they may go stiff, fall to the floor and jerk.  For more on the different types of seizures, see the Epilepsy Action website

What causes epilepsy?

Sometimes, doctors can find a clear cause for a person’s epilepsy. Possible causes of epilepsy include:

  • Stroke
  • A brain infection, such as meningitis
  • Severe head injury
  • Problems during birth which caused the baby to get less oxygen

However, in over half of all people with epilepsy, doctors don’t know what caused it. Some may have a family history of epilepsy, suggesting that they may have inherited it. Scientists are trying to find out more about how epilepsy might be inherited.

The main way doctors diagnose epilepsy is by taking a detailed description of the seizures. They may also arrange for some tests to help give them more information about the possible type and cause of the epilepsy. This can also help rule out any other conditions that could be causing seizures. These tests can include blood tests, an EEG (recording of the brainwaves) and brain scans. But there isn’t a single test that can prove if someone does or does not have epilepsy.

Can epilepsy be treated?

The main treatment for epilepsy is epilepsy medicines. These are sometimes called anti-epileptic drugs or AEDs. The medicine doesn’t cure epilepsy but helps to stop or reduce the number of seizures.  If epilepsy medicine doesn’t work well for someone, their doctor might suggest other types of treatment – these can include brain surgery, another type of surgery called vagus nerve stimulation, and a special diet called the ketogenic diet which is sometimes used for children.

Resources

There are some great websites focusing on epilepsy giving advice, support, training and information.  They also include information for children and schools explaining the different types of seizures through the eyes of children (https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/children) as well as the not so common question of ‘can I go sky diving if I have epilepsy’!

Epilepsy Society – https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/

Young Epilepsy – https://www.youngepilepsy.org.uk/

Epilepsy Action – https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/

Epilepsy Research UK – https://www.epilepsyresearch.org.uk/

Epilepsy Scotland – http://www.epilepsyscotland.org.uk/

How can Liferaft help?

Within Liferaft there are many features to support collection of information that can help those with epilepsy and those looking after them.

MyLiferaft - Seizures

  • Add a diagnosis of epilepsy
  • Describe each different type of seizure experienced
  • Use the seizure tracker to record each seizure, using notes to give more detailed information.
  • Keep a record of all tests and the results
  • Keep a record of all consultations and what was discussed.
  • Add medications including emergency meds
  • Create a goal related to reducing seizure frequency
  • Share information with your doctor, family friends

Sharing the information with health, care professionals will help ensure individualized treatment and care options can be developed.

For more information on Liferaft and to try a Premium Account for FREE, click here.

 

Lola & Frankie’s Story

Lola & Frankie’s Story

Over the course of a month, Liferaft supports several campaigns through social media and our blog.  As a result, we often come across stories that make us laugh, make us cry and sometimes, just make us stop and think.  However, it is very rare to come across a story that does all three, so we wanted to share with you this inspiring story.

Lola has been fundraising for the National Autistic Society for the last 4 years as her uncle Frankie was diagnosed with Autism.  With the help of ‘Team Lola’ led by her mum Holly, she has organised various events from baking, dressing up & wacky hair days.  Lola has raised over £500 during this time which is amazing, but what is even more amazing is that Lola is 10 years old, which means she started fund raising when she was just 6!

Frankie’s Story

Frankie is 19 and was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 years old.  He attends Greenfields School in Merthyr Tydfil whose motto is ‘Opening Doors to the Future’ and will be transitioning at the end of the Summer term – a difficult time for all families where a child has additional needs.  When Frankie was diagnosed, it was recognised that his autism was very severe, so from an early age it defined who he was and what he was able to do.  As a result, his family had to adapt very early on and they continue to adapt as Frankie’s needs as an adult change.

 

MyLiferaft - Frankie

 

Despite all of this, Frankie loves being outside in the fresh air, so his family have put together different activities that ensure Frankie gets out as much as possible.  His favourite is his weekend respite trips to a local farm where he gets fully immersed in all the farming activities, including the mucking out!  The wider family are involved in Frankie’s care to ensure that he is active and safe and that everyone gets a ‘time out’ – something that is incredibly important for everyone in Frankie’s circle of care and we’re sure will strike a chord for others who are in a similar position.

Lola’s Story

The first time that Lola decided to raise money for charity was at the hairdressers aged just 6 – when most little girls are longing for Rapunzel type hair, Lola decided to cut off 7 inches and donate it to the Little Princess Trust!  The Trust make wigs for children with cancer out of donated real hair.  She raised £122 and is considering doing it again later this year now that her hair has grown back!

Lola was aware that Frankie had autism from around 5 years of age and that he was different, however she has always been totally at ease with him and appreciates that he is ‘different not less’.  She started baking to raise awareness and money, which then led on to Wacky Hair days that have been supported by Lola’s school!  And in answer to the obvious question – YES – Lola’s hair remained held up by the balloons all day at school!

MyLiferaft - Holly MyLiferaft - Holly MyLiferaft - Holly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Can We Do

When we asked Holly and Lola what more could be done to support individuals like Frankie and their families, they were very clear:

  • More awareness and support need to be given to families where a young adult is going through transition
  • More opportunities need to be given to adults with autism as they have so much to offer
  • Learn how to communicate with people who have autism and treat them as individuals as they go about their daily lives; please don’t stare at people who are different to you
  • We should be teaching children at primary and secondary schools about people with additional needs and that they are ‘different not less’ as this will raise awareness at an early age and reduce the amount of bullying that takes place

Resources

The National Autistic Society – http://www.autism.org.uk/

My family Your Needs – https://www.myfamilyourneeds.co.uk/

Little Princess Trust – http://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/

Liferaft Autism Resources – https://www.myliferaft.com/more/resources/#autistic-spectrum-including-autism-and-aspergers-syndrome

About Liferaft

Liferaft was created by technology entrepreneur Nicola Murgatroyd. Her oldest daughter had complex special needs, and Nicola faced real problems managing her care effectively.  “My personal experiences gave me a first-hand insight into the problems and challenges faced by parents in caring roles. I realised that gaps in knowledge between parents, carers, education and medical professionals became huge issues, and wished there was something I could use to hold everything we as a family knew in one place. Nothing can ever really prepare you for parenthood and caring for a child with additional needs carries extra challenges. However, there are ways to make life easier for everyone whatever their circumstances, and that’s what we have created with Liferaft – a tool which helps to manage all aspects of modern day living.”

To find out more about Liferaft and how you can try our Premium account for FREE, click here.

MyLiferaft - Inclusion

Red Cross Week

Red Cross Week

 

Celebrating the Power of your kindness

If you think the Red Cross only helps people in crisis overseas, then think again!  Everyday around the UK, people are facing their own crisis – be it someone giving first aid to a stranger in the street, or an individual recently released from hospital and trying to live independently.

Red Cross Week ties in with World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.  It is an annual celebration of their work across the world, including in the UK and is celebrated on 8 May each year.

 

 MyLiferaft - International Red Cross

 

The International Red Cross

seven fundamental principles that bind together the different elements of the International Red Cross were created in Vienna in 1965. The National Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies are all part of this global family.

This set of s principles mean that the people the Red Cross help can trust that they are neutral, independent and impartial. Their supporters know that they help those most in need both in the UK and internationally.

The seven fundamental principles are:

  1. Humanity
  2. Impartiality
  3. Neutrality
  4. Independence
  5. Voluntary Service
  6. Unity
  7. Universality

The British Red Cross

 

MyLiferaft - Red Cross

 

When war broke out between France and Prussia in July 1870, Colonel Loyd-Lindsay (later Lord Wantage of Lockinge) wrote a letter to The Times. He called for a National Society to be formed in Britain just like in other European nations.

On 4 August 1870, a public meeting was held in London following the breakout of way between France and Prussia in July and a resolution passed that ‘a National Society be formed in this country for aiding sick and wounded soldiers in time of war and that the said Society be formed upon the rules laid down by the Geneva Convention of 1864.’

The British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War was formed. It gave aid and relief to both warring armies during the Franco-Prussian War and in other wars and campaigns during the 19th century. This was done under the protection of the red cross emblem and was renamed as the British Red Cross in 1905.

For more information on the British Red Cross and the other organisations within the Red Cross group, see below

British Red Cross – https://www.redcross.org.uk/

American Red Cross – https://www.redcross.org/ns/site/index.html

The International Committee of the Red Cross – https://www.icrc.org/en

The Red Cross Helping You

Did you know that closer to home, in fact possibly in your local town or city, the British Red Cross is working right now on projects in your community?

Did you know you could borrow or hire a wheelchair on a short-term basis?  You just type in your postcode to see where your nearest provider is.  https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/borrow-a-wheelchair

You can get support and care to help you live independently at home or when you return after a stay in hospital.  If you’re returning from hospital, they make sure you have everything you need for your first 24 to 72 hours back at home. They may then provide up to 12 weeks of support depending on the level of help you need.  https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/get-support-at-home

If you are living with loneliness or social isolation (or you know someone that is), they can help you connect with your local community via their Connecting Communities team and start:

  • meeting new friends
  • connecting with local activities and services
  • rediscovering your interests or finding new ones
  • building your confidence

The Red Cross also run courses in First Aid which are open to everybody so if you want to learn the basic skills need to help in a first aid emergency They also have a great learning resource for teachers : https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-involved/teaching-resources

How can you get involved?

If you want to help and support the British Red Cross, there are lots of different things you can get involved in from coming up with new fund-raising ideas, volunteering in one of their shops – and yes, there is even a Red Cross e-bay shop!  You can shake a collection bucket or for those that are ‘green fingered’, you could open your garden to raise money.  To get involved, click here.

Liferaft

Founder & CEO of Liferaft, Nicola Murgatroyd explains why created Liferaft – “My personal experiences gave me a first-hand insight into the problems and challenges faced by parents in caring roles. I realised that gaps in knowledge between parents, carers, education and medical professionals became huge issues, and wished there was something I could use to hold everything we as a family knew in one place. Nothing can ever really prepare you for parenthood and caring for a child with additional needs carries extra challenges. However, there are ways to make life easier for everyone whatever their circumstances, and that’s what we have created with Liferaft – a tool which helps to manage all aspects of modern day living.”

For more information on Liferaft, click here.

 

MyLiferaft - Caring Support Tool

Parent Carers; You’re not alone

Parent Carers: You’re not alone

MyLiferaft - Parent Carer

Undoubtedly, being a parent carer is a challenging role. From the day-to-day care at home to juggling numerous medical appointments, usually with the added pressure of looking after other children, it’s tough. It’s not surprising that many parent carers feel they’re alone.

However, here at Liferaft, we know first-hand that being a parent carer is also an extremely rewarding role. Seeing the care you give to a loved one having a positive impact on their quality of life, no matter how big or small it may seem, is priceless. We also know it can be difficult to feel this way at times, when it feels like nothing is going your way.

Using our experiences we’ve put together a selection of tips and resources. We hope that, from our list, you feel that there is support available to you and your family.

Family wellbeing

Contact a Family is a charity that supports families with disabled children. They have a fantastic series of tips and recommendations on how to cope with something that can often be overlooked in parent carer situations: the rest of family life. How can other family members help your child? How can you maintain your other relationships within the family? You can read their tips on family life here.

Financial help

It can be difficult to understand what financial help you’re entitled to as a parent carer. Many parent carers have to cut down their working hours or leave their jobs altogether to care for their loved ones, which can lead to money worries. However, it’s worth contacting your local authority for an assessment of your circumstances, as there are benefits available to those who are eligible, including the Disability Living Allowance for Children and the Carer’s Allowance. To learn more, please visit the NHS Choices information pages here.

Technology support

In recent years, we’ve seen a huge increase in technology available to support those working within the healthcare sector. With these, we’ve also seen a rise in tech to help carers in the home.

In fact, as we discussed in our previous Parent Carers post, it was being a parent carer herself that led our founder, Nicola, to create Liferaft – our powerful personal database that collates, shares, stores and tracks information relating to your health and care.

With Liferaft, you can:

• Share information with medical professionals without repeating yourself.
• Record vital information about your loved one to maintain continuity of information.
• Keep all your contacts in one place, such as doctors, hospitals and education professionals.
• Add goals, track their progress and share with others if required.

Here’s your opportunity to try Liferaft for FREE:

If you’re looking for a way to better track and manage your information, try Liferaft FREE today. Join Liferaft here.

If there is one thing you can take away from our post, it is that you are not alone. With Liferaft and your help, we continue to improve our understanding of the challenges that you face and will continue to adapt Liferaft to meet your needs. Contact us at info@myliferaft.com.

MyLiferaft - info overload

World Allergy Week

World Allergy Week

Do you often find yourself scratching when wearing wool, sneezing at the height of the Summer or breaking out into a rash when eating a specific food?  Well you are one of almost 50% of the adult population in the UK that lives with an allergy.

 

 

Today marks the start of World Allergy Week which aims to raise awareness of the different types of allergies that are common in today’s society.  An allergy is the response of the body’s immune system to normally harmless substances, such as pollen’s, foods and house dust mite. Whilst in most people these substances (allergens) pose no problem, in allergic individuals their immune system identifies them as a ’threat’ and produces an inappropriate response (www.allergyUK.org)

What Types of Allergies are there?

There are 4 main categories of allergies:

  1. Eczema
  2. Asthma
  3. Anaphylaxis
  4. Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)

What Causes an Allergic Reaction?

We all respond differently when we come into contact with some of the most common causes of allergic reactions.  They can even change as we grow older – in some cases, asthma and eczema have been known to completely disappear.  Changes in our hormones can also affect our reactions – whilst pregnant, some women will find they are allergic to something they have never been before and this allergy will often (though not always) disappear when the baby is born.

Below are the most common types of ‘triggers’ that can cause an allergic reaction:

  • pollen from trees and grasses
  • proteins secreted from house dust mites
  • moulds
  • foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, milk and eggs
  • pets such as cats and dogs, and other furry or hairy animals such as horses, rabbits and guinea pigs
  • insects such as wasps and bees
  • medicines (these may cause reactions by binding to proteins in the blood, which then trigger the reaction)

Every individual is different, so allergies and their subsequent reactions can vary, even within a family unit where siblings may have the same allergy, but their reaction is completely different.

Allergic reactions can include:

  • sneezing
  • wheezing / coughing / shortness of breath
  • sinus pain / runny nose
  • nettle rash / hives
  • swelling
  • itchy eyes, ears, lips throat and mouth
  • sickness, vomiting & diarrhoea

Find Out More About Allergies

If you or a loved one think you may have an allergy, then your pharmacist & local Doctor will be able to offer advice and support.  There are also a number of helpful websites.

Allergy UK – https://www.allergyuk.org/allergy-awareness-week

Anaphylaxis Campaign – https://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/

National Eczema Society – http://www.eczema.org/

Asthma UK – https://www.asthma.org.uk/

Liferaft also has a Resources section on it’s website that includes links to the above websites plus others.  To visit the Allergy section, click here.

Liferaft and Allergies

 

MyLiferaft - Caring Support Tool

 

You can use Liferaft to document your allergies, how they impact your daily life and what you do to minimise the risk.  Include what treatment you use to relieve or treat symptoms and what others should do if you are suffering from an allergic reaction.  You also have the option of sharing this information – it can help others know how to recognise if you are suffering from an allergic reaction, and what they can do to help reduce your exposure to allergens or what to do should you need help.

When you complete several sections within Liferaft, it will automatically displays allergies within the appropriate sections i.e. a food allergy will be displayed in the food section and a medication allergy in the medication section.  This makes sure allergies are clearly visible for all to see.

You can also use the trackers to keep a record of symptoms as these could help identify the cause of your allergy when shown to a pharmacist or medical staff.

For more information about Liferaft and to create an account, click here.

 

Parkinson’s Awareness Week

Parkinson’s Awareness Week

 

It’s thought around 1 in 500 people are affected by Parkinson’s disease, which means there are an estimated 127,000 people in the UK with the condition.  Most people with Parkinson’s start to develop symptoms when they’re over 50, although around 1 in 20 people with the condition first experience symptoms when they’re under 40.

Parkinson’s Awareness Week starts today with lots of different activities taking place around the country raising awareness and much needed funds to carry out research on finding a cure.

 

MyLiferaft - Parkinson's 2018

 

World Parkinson’s Day is on Wednesday 11th April and organisations around the world will be united in a collective push to get more people understanding about Parkinson’s.  To find out how you can support this brilliant day and download their online Guide to Parkinson’s Disease, click here

What is Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition which means that it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time.  The brain becomes damaged and affects the ‘messages’ that are sent from your brain to the other parts of your body.

The three main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:

  1. involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body which can manifest itself as ‘tremor’
  2. slow movement
  3. stiff and inflexible muscles

A person with Parkinson’s disease can also experience a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms, including:

  • depression and anxiety
  • balance problems – this may increase the chance of a fall
  • loss of sense of smell (anosmis)
  • problems sleeping (insomnia)
  • memory problems

Help and Support

If you have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it can be a frightening time for you and your family, however there is help, support and advice available through the following charities:

Parkinson’s UK 

The Cure Parkinson’s Trust

You can find additional support and advice on Parkinson’s Disease in the Resources section of the Liferaft website.

Did You Know…..

The American actor, Michael J Fox is a trailblazer when it comes to raising awareness of Parkinson’s Disease?  As someone who has Parkinson’s, he has set up his own Foundation to fund research into a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.  To find out more, click here.

Parkinsons UK have their own blog forum giving you the opportunity to communicate with people who have Parkinson’s Disease.  Find out more about the forum here.

The theme for this year’s World Parkinson Day is Unite and you can share your story of Parkinson’s Disease by using the #UniteforParkinsons and join the global community in raising awareness.

How Can Liferaft Help Me?

 

MyLiferaft - Info Overload

 

Liferaft is way to stay on top of all the information that comes with caring for someone and to share that information with the people who need it.  It’s a secure place online where you can keep and update all the details about your health (or the health of a loved one), their care and well-being. Through a tablet, laptop or phone, you can keep your care network up to date, on screen or on paper.

To find out more about Liferaft and how it can help someone with Parkinson’s Disease, click here.

 

Luke Reade & Mini Challenge

Luke Reade & Mini Challenge

 

Following on from our update back in January, The Liferaft team are excited to let all you racing fanatics know that Liferaft continues to support Luke Reade and his ‘need for speed’!

 

MyLiferaft - Luke Reade

 

When we spoke to Luke’s team about the new racing season, they told us the following:

“2018 has seen a switch for us back to our beloved Mini, this time with the Excelr8 race team. With our new team we are hoping for big things this year. Our first race meeting of the season at Oulton Park is spread over the Easter weekend, qualifying on Saturday, then both races on the Easter Monday. This year a massive 30 beautifully prepared Mini JCW race cars make this years championship the most competitive its ever been.”

 

MyLiferaft - Luke Read

 

After an exceptionally rainy Easter weekend with both the qualifier and the actual race being wet, Luke finished in a brilliant 3rd place – there were various points added and place changes made to other drivers – it was all very exciting!  However, the rain unfortunately won on the day as the 2nd race was cancelled.

Look out for further updates on Luke as the season progresses!

 

MyLiferaft - Caring Support Tool - Logo

 

Liferaft is way to stay on top of all the information that comes with caring for your child or a loved one with additional needs.  It allows you to share the information with the people who need it.  It’s a secure place online where you can keep and update all the details about your child’s health, care and well-being. Through a tablet, laptop or phone, you can keep your care network up to date, on screen or on paper. You decide who gets what information, and when.

To find out more, click here.