Three care workers at Lancashire home care have been found guilty of abusing elderly residents.


The female staff members at Hillcroft nursing home in Slyne-with-Hest near Lancaster mocked, bullied and assaulted residents, Preston Crown Court heard.


A fourth male staff member earlier pleaded guilty to ill-treating the elderly residents.


The defendants told other staff they were bored and were doing it for entertainment, prosecutors said.


Carol Moore, 54, was the team leader of Ripon Avenue, Beaumont, Lancaster, she abused six residents including slapping one.


Tipped out of wheelchair, the abuse went this far, Gemma Pearson, 28, of Hill Street, Carnforth, tipped a resident out of a wheelchair.


Four residents were abused by Katie Cairns, 27, of Riverview Court, Westgate, Morecambe.  She stamps on the foot of one, mocks others by throwing bean bags at them and touching them.


Darren Smith, 34, of Howgill Avenue, Lancaster, had previously pleaded guilty to ill-treating eight residents and the court heard he was seen in bed with a distressed resident.


Det Insp Andy Hulme said the staff members “showed a total disregard for their wellbeing, displaying contemptible behaviour that should never be tolerated”.


Their actions “caused considerable distress to the victims, and it has been very distressing for their families to hear about it”, the Crown Prosecution Service said.


Every one was charged under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 with ill-treatment and willful neglect of a person with lack of capacity.


The court heard that they had previously been suspended from the home following abuse allegations made by a receptionist and a cleaner in September 2011.


Whistleblowers praised


However they went back to work subsequent to being handed warnings as an effect of an internal investigation and the matter was not referred to the police or social services.


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) was sent anonymous emails about the standard of care inside the home, the court heard that in December 2011.

In May 2012, the CQC forwarded the matter to the local authority’s protection team who informed police.


In a statement, relatives of the victims criticized “failings” of managers at Hillcroft, Lancashire County Council, NHS North Lancashire and the CQC.


They also praised the courage of whistleblowers.


They said: “To work in a challenging behaviour unit must be incredibly difficult, requiring patience and understanding, not to mention training and professionalism, but the difficulty of the job does not excuse mistreatment on any level.”


The home’s owner said all those involved have now left and it is under new management.


The former staffs are due to be sentenced in January.


Springhill Home Care Group Honoring Special Diets during the Holidays

We are used to a tradition of flooding of food during holidays, eggnog on Christmas, stuffing on Thanksgiving, or latkes on Hanukkah.  A get together without food, that won’t do.  The holidays are traditionally a time for big meals with predictable main courses and side dishes, but for those with dietary restrictions, each meal brings a challenge. 

Sofie McConnaughay owner of a skin care studio that caters to people with allergies and sensitivities ( in Boise, Idaho said, “There is an old family dinner roll recipe that is completely out of the question for me.”  And she added, “It’s sad, because they’re my favorite part of the holiday meal experience!”


Many people are on strict diet and among these is Ms. McConnaughay who must stick with a gltuen-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and more—even during this festive time of year.  “Special diets can really effect people over the holidays,” said Christie Korth, a holistic nutritionist and Founder and CEO of Happy and Healthy Wellness, Inc. She is also the author of “The IBD (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Healing Plan and Recipe Book” (IBD is an acronym for).

Mashed potatoes, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, or steamed vegetables with butter, these food may sound safe but Ms. Korth pointed out that these can be no-no’s for many special diets.  “The way around it is to make sure you bring yummy dishes to your family celebration and enjoy your own food,” she said. “What I have found is in many families while there may be some resistance to a special diet in the beginning, over time there are family members that are very accommodating to dietary restrictions.”

Ms. McConnaughay’s solution so that the family wouldn’t miss out on something they love to eat yearly, she has been to keep making the dinner rolls she loves for everyone to eat and enjoy.  “I also bring fresh, homemade butter and other delicious toppings so I can slather my gluten-free bread just like they’re doing,” she said. “It helps me feel included, and gives us something to talk about besides the rolls.”

For Ms. Korth’s family holiday meals, she uses new gluten and dairy free recipes and it has been a life saver for them.  “For stuffing I use gluten-free bread and a buttery spread that does not contain dairy,” she said. “I love taking a favorite recipe and making it healthier and safe for my sensitive tummy. I have even made my grandmother’s beloved Linzer tarts both dairy and gluten free!”

Regarding communication and mutual respect between family and friends, they share a meal and time together.  “My family, friends, and I are quite open about what I can and cannot eat,” said Ms. Connaughay. “They don’t always understand, but they’re supportive. If I’m attending a meal, they know there is no expectation that the entire meal be gluten-free.”


Compromise is the key for a harmonious holiday feast: Ms. McConnaughay’s family and friends will include rice crackers to an appetizer tray, as alternative gluten-free pasta, and providing more vegetable dishes, have been creative ways to make sure everyone gets enough to eat.  “These are all ways hosts can feel like they’re making a meal everyone can enjoy, without putting the attendees who do not have restrictions in the uncomfortable position of not liking the offerings,” she said.

“Some people, whose identity is closely tied to the meal’s success, may associate an inability to eat something with dislike of certain dishes,” said Ms. Connaughay. “Such associations are particularly difficult for a person who’s trying to adjust to a new diet. They don’t want to offend anyone, so may eat something they know will make them sick just to keep the peace.”

“As time goes on and one gets used to a special diet, it becomes easier,” said Ms. McConnaughay. “You learn what you can and cannot have, and your palette changes to accommodate the difference in tastes. Those first couple holidays are rough though. Not just because you can’t eat as many of the items you have in the past, but because family members and friends ask a lot of questions as to why you can’t eat them. Dinner turns into an education instead of a celebration.”



Springhill Home Care Group: Mid-life stress ‘precedes dementia’

Current evidence suggest the best ways to reduce the risk of dementia are to eat a balanced diet, take regular exercise, not smoke, and keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check” - Dr Simon Ridley Alzheimer’s Research UK


According to the latest research, women who suffer from a lot of stress in middle age may increase their risk of developing dementia in later life.  Furthermore the study says that mid-life stress may increase a woman’s risk of developing dementia.


Eight hundred women were subjected to study and they have found out that those who had to cope with events such as divorce or bereavement were more likely to get Alzheimer’s decades later.


BMJ Open reports says, the more stressful events there were, the higher the dementia risk became.


According to the study authors, stress hormones may be to blame, triggering harmful alterations in the brain.


Many changes in the body is caused by stressed hormones, it can also affect many things like blood pressure and blood sugar control.


And they can remain at high levels many years after experiencing a traumatic event, Dr Lena Johansson and colleagues explain.


However they also claim that they need more work to verify their findings and determine whether the same stress and dementia link might also occur in men.


The study went like this, the women underwent a battery of tests and examinations when they were in either their late 30s, mid-40s or 50s, and then again at regular intervals over the next four decades.


One in four women said at some part in the start of the study that they had experienced at least one stressful event, such as widowhood or unemployment.


A comparable proportion had suffered at least two stressful events, whereas one in five had experienced at least three.  The remaining women had either experienced more than this or none.


Four hundred twenty five of the women died and 153 developed dementia during follow-up.


When the researchers looked back at the women’s history of mid-life stress, they found the link between stress and dementia risk.

Dr Johansson says future studies should look at whether stress management and behavioural therapy might help offset dementia.


Dr Simon Ridley, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said that from this study, it was hard to know whether stress contributed directly to the development of dementia, whether it was purely an indicator of another underlying risk factor in this population of women, or whether the link was due to an entirely different factor.


"We know that the risk factors for dementia are complex and our age, genetics and environment may all play a role. Current evidence suggests the best ways to reduce the risk of dementia are to eat a balanced diet, take regular exercise, not smoke, and keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check.


"If you are feeling stressed or concerned about your health in general, we would recommend you talk this through with your GP."


Springhill Care Group | South Korean hospital won’t transfer American home until $40K bill is paid

Sean Jones family ask for donations for the young English teacher who has the rare brain disease anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, can continue treatment in the United States.


According to the reports, the American teacher Sean Jones was treated for a rare brain disease in South Korea is unable to return home until his nearly-$40,000 hospital bill is paid


The family of an American man stuck in a South Korean hospital is requesting for donations to bring him home.


Since May, the young teacher Sean Jones from Oklahoma City, has been hospitalized with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a rare autoimmune disease that causes swelling in the brain.


Reports says that Yonsei University Severance Hospital in Seoul refuses to release him after his bill of nearly $40,000 is paid while Jones’ family wants him transferred to an American hospital for continued treatment


Friends and family have set up a Facebook page and a account to raise money for medical costs. So far they have raised about three-quarters of the goal, Sean’s mother, LaTanya Dodd, told The Korea Herald.


“I really don’t know if they can legally hold him here. If they can’t legally do so, he will be going,” said Dodd, who came to South Korea in July to care for her son, to the paper. “They won’t care for him anymore, and that’s what I’m worried about. Is that going to affect the whole outcome — just sitting here waiting?”


Family members said Jones was moved to a group room and suffers from bedsores due to a lack of care.


The fresh college grad, portrayed as outgoing and passionate about education, had been teaching English in Hwajung for almost a year when he started experiencing headaches and hallucinations.


He was prescribed by the doctor, antidepressants and was advised to rest but his conditioned worsened.  He was admitted to the hospital two days later with a fever of 108 degrees.


Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis was identified in 2007, and only a few hundred cases have been documented worldwide.  It can cause personality changes and psychotic symptoms.


“I was told before I got here the reason was that they were scared because he was violent,” Dodd said. “He was having violent outbursts (because of the disease). He was very difficult for me, too, when I got here, but they expect me to do it alone.”


A GiveForward page is collecting donations to bring Sean home.


Sean appears to be recovering without brain damage although the disease is often fatal.  But he has suffered a dramatic weight loss.


According to The Korea Herald, the U.S. embassy arranged for a doctor to fly with Jones to a hospital in Indianapolis on Sept. 4, but the Korean hospital refuses to transfer him.


A State Department official issued the following statement to The News on Wednesday:

“We are aware that a U.S. citizen, Sean Terrell Jones, was hospitalized in Seoul with a rare form of encephalitis. Consular personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Seoul are providing assistance in this case, and are in touch with the family.  Generally, when a U.S. citizen is injured or becomes seriously ill while abroad, the embassy or consulate will do all it can to assist the individual to obtain appropriate medical care.  In this case, the embassy has assisted Sean and his family by providing temporary financial assistance to cover the cost of return home.” 


Hospital representatives have not returned a request for comment.


Sean’s older brother Brandon Jones spoke with Oklahoma City’s News9 over the weekend.


A “The goal is really just to help with his medical bills, and hopefully with no speed bumps, we can actually get him back in the United States,” Brandon Jones told the station.

Springhill Home Care Group Korea Reviews Consumers Confused Whether Health Care Providers, Employment Agencies and Utilities are entitled to a SSN

Connecticut Better Business Bureau says Just Because You are asked for Your Social Security Number Doesn’t Mean you Must Provide It

Connecticut Better Business Bureau is offering guidelines to clear up confusion about when consumers are legally required to provide a Social Security number – and when they are not.

Utilities, financial institutions and private businesses use Social Security numbers for identity verification and filing systems, purposes for which the numbers were never intended.

Social Security numbers can be obtained through data breaches, and theft, and online and telephone scams, stolen mail, wallets and purses, unsecured internet sites, business records or papers at home or in the trash.  They also can be bought from someone who has access to personal information at a business.  A stolen SSn enables a criminal to create a new identity, apply for credit or a mortgage and even use the victim’s identity if arrested.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), consumers are obliged to provide their number for tax returns and federal loans, credit applications, government programs, financial institutions, employers and the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Social Security numbers are also required to obtain reports through the credit reporting companies.

However, consumers are often asked for their SSn by physicians, dentists, utilities, potential employers, employment recruiters, temp agencies and schools.  Some retailers, pawn shops and other businesses also ask for these numbers, and while there is no legal requirement to provide your Social Security number, no law prevents them from refusing to do business with you if you refuse.

Connecticut Better Business Bureau offers the following guidelines for consumers when asked to provide a Social Security number for other than legally-required purposes:

Ask under what law the number is required.

Find out if alternative methods of identification are acceptable, such as a driver’s permit or only the last four digits of your number.

In the case of employment recruiters or temp agencies, find out whether you may give your Social Security number directly to a potential employer.

Determine who will have access to this data.

Ask what steps are taken to protect your personal information.

Some goods and service businesses such as wireless providers may require a Social Security number to run a credit check, as well as car dealerships if you are applying for financing.  Public utilities are not legally entitled to demand your number and can obtain identity verification through other methods.

Better Business Bureau, however, cautions consumers to never enter a Social Security number online or give it over the telephone or in email.  Ensure tax and other documents which contain your SSn are locked in a safe place or shredded and disposed of when not needed.

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Springhill Home Care Group Korea Reviews Seoul Employs Elderly to Tackle Phone Waste


South Koreans are among the world’s most frequent phone upgraders, buying about 15 million new mobile phones each year, according to a recent report by market research firm DigiEco.


One of the problems that creates is the handling of all the discarded older phones.


To tackle the issue of electronics waste, or e-waste, the Seoul city government started a program called Eco City in 2009 to collect used electronics. It runs a waste handling facility called Seoul Resource Center in the northeast of the capital and employs elderly or low-income people to break them down and process the parts.


Eco City is unique in that it is an entirely government-funded and directed operation. In Tokyo, the municipal government invited private companies to set up recycling facilities, while China has struggled to deal with large amounts of e-waste both produced domestically and imported.

Seoul’s Eco City says each discarded mobile phone has between 2,500 won and 4,000 won (about US$2.23-$3.50) worth of metals in it, including rare earth metals such as neodymium.


At intervals of six months or a year, companies can bid to purchase the waste that has been gathered and sorted by Eco City. Whatever can’t be sold or reused is incinerated.


Eco City Chief Executive Lee Dong-hyun explains that the program was conceived after identifying a way that e-waste could be useful.


“Our country lacks natural resources. We started this center after we realized that a lot of the kinds of things we need, like metals, were already in the country but were being thrown out,” he said.


Private recyclers also handle e-waste but generally just extract the most valuable parts from items and discard, or in some cases export, the rest.


Some say that in addition to handling e-waste with more care, it would also be helpful to change South Korea’s culture of frequently replacing electronics, so as to limit the amount of waste that is created in the first place.


“We buy new devices not because what we have actually needs to be replaced, but just because we want something newer, with a nicer design or some new features,” said Lee Won-young of the Korea Association of Electronics Environment, an industry group.

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