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Signs you or a loved one may need Personal Care Assistance

Posted on April 5, 2016 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (5)

By: In Loving Hands Home Care

Signs you or a loved one may need assistance

The following checklist will help you identify your care needs. With this information, your health care provider can help you customize a care solution. You can print this checklist and check the box next to any items that you have recently observed.

 Do you or your loved one…

•Feel forgetful, confused or lost

•Mix up or forget to take medications

•Miss doctors' appointments

•Overlook things that pose a safety concern

•Struggle to pay bills or buy food

•Receive a lot of junk mail

•Write checks or withdraw money to make payments to unfamiliar people or companies

•Act secretive while on the phone

•Feel lonely or depressed

•Feel frustrated or stressed

•Take less interest in things previously enjoyed

•Avoid people and social interaction

 •Sleep more often or have less energy

•Notice a change in eating habits

•Have difficulty walking, dressing, eating or bathing

•Have trouble cleaning or maintaining a household

•Fall more often or bruise more easily

•Need medical attention or additional personal care

•Take medication that you think needs to be adjusted

•Need daily/weekly treatments, such as dialysis or IV therapy

•Use medical equipment, such as an oxygen tank


Importance of Respite Care Services in Providing Efficient Caregiving

Posted on April 5, 2016 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (1)

By: Pooja Chandawalla

Caregiving provides inexplicable satisfaction of being there for your loved ones when they need it the most. Taking care of a loved one is physically and emotionally demanding, but family caregivers often hesitate in sharing the workload with others. However, the importance of taking a break from caregiving cannot be stressed enough. Respite care services provide an excellent option for family caregivers to reenergize themselves and take care of other important tasks.

It has been observed that family caregivers often ignore to take care of their own health and think that it isn't necessary to take some time off for themselves. This may lead to physical and psychological problems which will, eventually, disturb the caregiving process. An active social life is as important for the family caregiver as it's for the care recipient and taking short breaks periodically will only make the caregiving job more enjoyable and satisfying.

Respite care services can be used for as little as few hours in a week and if you have to go out of the city for some unavoidable work, then live-in care could also be arranged for few days. These services generally include help with activities of daily living like bathing, grooming, maintaining hygiene, mobility assistance, transferring & positioning, toilet assistance, incontinence care, etc.; but, companionship could also be provided that includes help with meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, running errands, transportation assistance, engaging recipients in mental activities, giving reminders to take medication, assisting with reading, etc.

There are different ways to hire a caregiver who could help you with the caregiving job: employment-based agencies, registries, and independent caregivers. There are many differences when you compared these sources to hire a caregiver. Registries and independent caregivers tend to be less expensive than employment-based agencies, but there are some points that you must be wary of. Unlike employment-based agencies, in other two cases, you'll become the employer of the hired caregiver; thus, you will become responsible for statutory compliance like employment taxes and Workers' Compensation. Also, if the caregiver calls in sick, it'll be hard for you to find a replacement. All these problems are solved when you hire through In Loving Hands Home Care Agency.


Finding Senior Care With a Heart

Posted on April 5, 2016 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Finding Senior Care With A Heart

By: Ebony Clayborne

Finding the right caregiver for your loved one is a critical process that can protect you ad your family.

Here are the checkpoints for both facilities and in-home caregivers:

◦Get personal insight.As with many things, getting a trusted recommendation is helpful. Start asking neighbors and friends, posting on message boards and reading online reviews (try for nursing homes and for reviews on homecare and senior facilities). Personal feedback can help you make the right choice.

◦Listen for money talk. Too much emphasis on money may indicate that someone's heart is in the wrong place. However, Stehle cautions, "be sure you understand all the costs involved in your parent's care." You'll want to know your budget and how care will be paid for. "This is a crucial first step," says Stehle who explains that many people are shocked to learn that Medicare doesn't cover non-medical home care and long term care."

◦Feel the love. When interacting with caregivers,notice how they touch the senior. Are they gentle when helping a resident stand up or slip on a sweater? Do they pat them gently when speaking to them? Touch conveys affection.


Ultimately, many of the traits to look for are about respecting who your parent is and was. It's also helpful to note if caregivers are treating each other -- and you -- with consideration.

•Look for your involvement. Remember you are a crucial part of the care team. Your involvement will always be vital. The person or facility you hired to help your loved one will be a crucial part of your life. How can you partner with them? Do they use Skype, emails, phone calls? Are drop-bys welcome?


Housing Assessments

Here are some specifics to consider when touring facilities:

•Be an investigative reporter. Drop into the facility (sometimes unexpectedly) at various times to determine if the quality of care is the same around the clock. Does the staff seem attentive and engaged with residents? Do the residents appear comfortable or do they look unkempt? Also, use this time to talk to other families about their experiences.

•Don't be fooled by good looks. While you want your parents to be in pleasant surroundings, they -- and you -- will likely be happiest with kind, attentive, quality care. Don't ignore appearances, but focus on the people caring for your loved one.

•Look for signs of respect. Honoring people as individuals shows caring. Do employees call residents by name? Know residents' likes, dislikes and habits? Are they flexible about residents' preferred time to eat, sleep, get dressed? Do they show interest in residents' personal history -- enjoying them as people, not just as patients? Talk about who Mom once was - and note their reaction. "Perhaps she is agitated and cranky now; let them know that she has another side, buried under the disease," Morris says.

•Tune in to details. Small things often convey how much heart a facility has for clients. For instance, are birthdays or anniversaries celebrated? Are there thoughtful extras offered free of charge?

•Value freedom. A nursing home isn't a prison. Residents should have as much independence as appropriate, while being properly protected. Is transportation available? Can people snack when they want, visit each other freely, wake up early, make everyday decisions about their care?


In-Home Caregiver Assessments

Here are some things to look for in-home help:

•Look for eye-contact. Caregivers should make eye contact when speaking to you or your parent. Be wary if a person repeatedly directs personal questions to you while ignoring your loved one if they are able to communicate.

•Listen for a calling. Look for someone who seems to genuinely enjoy the elderly or who even speaks authentically of having a calling for working with seniors.

•Be alert to professionalism. While an in-home caregiver may soon seem like family, their attitude should be strictly professional. For instance, asking about watching TV, bringing children to work, or other special treatment may be a red flag.

•Check references. Sounds obvious, but many people overlook this critical step. Ask for more references than the candidate offers, including any previous employer, teacher or college professor, neighbor. See if they have a Linked In or Facebook profile to find mutual connections you can explore.


In the end, your own heart will tell you if this caregiver or facility really does care. Trust your gut. Nobody can replace you, but with a little time and thought, you can find senior care with a heart.



Posted on April 5, 2016 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Most adults want to remain in their own homes in their later years. However, accidents are a major cause of injury and death in the senior population. Successful aging in place is dependent upon certain safety measures taken within the senior’s home. It is important to remember that as an individual’s abilities decline the number of hazards in the home increase. Most accidents can be prevented with proper assessment and planning. The following list is a good place to begin:

1. Clear all pathways of obstruction and ensure they are wide enough for easy access.

2. Remove throw rugs and either replace or repair damaged carpeting.

3. Phone cords and extension cords should never cross a pathway.

4. Cords are in good repair and circuits are not overloaded.

5. The thermostat of the water heater should be set at or below 110 degrees.

6. All areas of the home are well lit.

7. Handrails are secure and placed in correct locations.

8. Stairs are sturdy and in good repair. Stairs have non slip strips or secured carpeting that is free of fraying or holes.

9. Smoke detectors are located in hallways and near bedrooms.

10. Bath tub or shower has a nonskid surface.

11. A handheld shower head makes it easier to shower from while sitting.

12. A raised toilet seat makes sitting and standing easier.

13. Grab bars are installed by the tub and toilet. Grab bars are sturdy and secure.

14. Chairs are sturdy and in good repair. Chairs with arms are a safer option than those without arms.

15. Outside steps and walkways are in good repair. Hand rails are located in appropriate locations.

16. Outside lighting is adequate around walkways and doorways.

17. Inside stairways have switches at both top and bottom of the stairs.

18. Emergency numbers are located by each phone.

19. Medical history that includes contacts, medications, physicians and allergies is plainly identified and placed on the refrigerator door.

20. Medications are kept in the bottles they came in. The senior can identify the name, purpose and frequency the drug is prescribed.

21. A personal emergency response system is in place for instant access to assistance.

22. Wheel chairs should be fitting with seat belts.

23. If there are different levels within the home portable ramps may be installed by a professional.

24. When stairs are a problem stair lifts may be installed by a professional.

25. Check refrigerators and cupboards have a supply of food.

26. The senior has a way to obtain groceries and medications, pay bills, banking and get to medical appointments.

27. Outside walkways and driveway is cleared of snow and ice as soon as possible.

28. Regular visits by family members or welfare checks conducted by an agency.

These 28 points are a good start to ensuring that a person ages in place safely. There are other special considerations depending on functional abilities. These will be looked at in future articles.

Dan Fisher RN, BSN, CEO