How To Find The Right In Home Caregiver For Mom

  • By Danielle Burgess
  • 18 Aug, 2017
It can be difficult admitting to yourself that a parent needs help. However, many older Americans suffer from a series of issues that require a caregiver or assistance. According to the Home Instead Senior Care survey, of those patients cared for by home care professionals 22% dealt with the after-effects of a stroke, 43% suffered from dementia, and 61% had some type of mobility issue.

Often times, a spouse or adult child is unable to care for their aging loved one alone. Fortunately, you don't have to. Home health care professionals make it so you can stay independent and your loved one can stay out of the hospital. But how do you find the right health care professional in a sea of in home caregivers?

Determine the type of care you need
The qualities of your home care assistance depend on the kind of care that professional needs to provide. For instance, some in home caregivers spend hours with their patients. Others may only be present for a couple of minutes to provide their medical services.

In the latter situation, the personality of the professional may be less important and more of a secondary consideration. In the former situation, their quality of character may be more important. After all, they'll be spending much of their time with your parent and you want to be sure that your loved one is comfortable around them in every aspect of their care.

Is the caregiver certified or licensed?
Certified caregivers are necessary if your parent requires medical care and not just physical assistance. Certain senior living places automatically require their caregivers to be licensed, but these licenses can differ depending on the state. Ask the specific licenses of the job applicants to be sure that they meet the qualifications of the necessary medical care your loved one requires.

Does your parent or loved one approve?
It's important that your parent or loved one gets a voice in the decision of the person you're hiring. After all, the caregiver will be spending the most time with them and you won't be there for many of their interactions. In addition, depending on the type of caregiver you're looking for, many in home caregivers will be giving your loved one baths, helping them dress, and preparing their meals. Once the job applicants leave, ask your loved one their opinion on the prospects and let them have the final say. Not only will this make your loved one more comfortable, but it will also let them feel more independent.

Finding an in home caregiver for your aging loved one can be a difficult process. But by asking the right questions you can be sure to make the process easier for everyone involved. You'll feel comforted knowing that you've made the right choice when you find someone you and your loved one like together.

Home Plus Caregivers Blog

By Danielle Burgess 16 Nov, 2017
Although Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the nation, it's a diagnosis that no one is fully prepared to receive. Because there are so many types of dementia and so much that we don't know about these conditions, it can be tough to decide on the best course of action for care. For many, in home care can be an excellent option (particularly in the disease's early stages) that allows the patient to be more comfortable while reducing the risk of familial caregiver burnout. Let's take a closer look at why you might want to consider enlisting home helpers if you are caring for a loved one with dementia.

They can stay in a familiar environment
Change can be difficult at any age or in any circumstances, but dementia patients will find it especially challenging to be taken outside their familiar environments. Anxiety and agitation can be quite problematic for dementia patients, and it's very easy for them to become overwhelmed. Many organizations feel that the best thing you can do is to keep dementia patients in surroundings that are familiar to them if at all possible. By working with certified caregivers, this can become a realistic course of action. Being able to provide comfort care in their own homes can go a long way for many patients.

They can stick to their routine
Much in the same way that the familiar location can be helpful, a familiar routine can provide comfort. Keeping the same schedule can allow for reduced anxiety and a sense of normalcy, which can be hard to come by when patients are moved into facilities for care. Even if a patient doesn't get as much out of their routines as they once did, it can still be extremely valuable. In home caregivers will come up with plans that combine familiar routines and daily activities (such as bathing, dressing, eating) and that will allow patients to have more understanding and control over their lives.

They'll receive more individualized care
Dementia care is never a one-size-fits-all endeavor. But in a facility, it can be harder to ensure your loved one is getting the personalized care they deserve. In home care can be more tailor-made to your wishes and schedule. Plus, securing quality care for your loved ones at home means that they'll have a system that can evolve as their needs change.

They'll have their safety monitored
While dementia facilities do offer high levels of protection in terms of wandering, not every patient will get that individualized attention that can keep them safe at all times. Having a caregiver whose sole purpose is to monitor your loved one will ensure their safety to a much more specialized degree. And because these caregivers are trained to recognize pain and discomfort in dementia patients, the level of care will be higher overall. In addition, many care providers will conduct a safety assessment of a patient's home and will advise you on changes that need to be made.

Plus, familial caregivers can breathe a sigh of relief
Caregiver burnout can be a huge problem for many family members. Although you'll of course want to care for your loved one on your own, the stress can be overwhelming for many people. You need to take care of yourself, too. By supplementing your own care with home care from certified caregivers, you can allow yourself to have the break you need without handing over the care of your loved one to a facility. It's really the best of both worlds, especially because your caregiver can offer advice on best practices to use during your time with your loved one.

Caring for a family member with dementia can be extremely difficult, but you don't have to do it alone. To find out more about our services and how they may be able to help you and your loved one, contact us today.
By Danielle Burgess 16 Oct, 2017
As we age, we may be aware that we have additional mental and physical limitations. However, we might not always realize how pronounced those limitations have become. At a certain point, you may need to consider care options for someone you love. Most of us would like to remain in our homes if at all possible, which is why enlisting help from certified caregivers can be a great solution. At present, nearly 43.5 million caregivers (both familial and professional) provide care for seniors aged 50 and above. That said, it may not be easy to tell whether your loved one needs this type of assistance. Here are some signs that they might benefit from home care.

They have recently fallen or may easily become injured
Falls are all too common among seniors, but they should still be taken seriously. Usually, a fall is an indication that an individual is struggling to get around. Whether that's because they have physical limitations or are taking medications that result in balance issues, supervision and movement help can make a huge difference. However, you likely can't observe your loved one 24 hours a day. In home caregivers can ensure your loved one is safe when you aren't there and that their home is modified in a way that reduces potential hazards.

They cannot maintain medical or personal care
Seniors with reduced mobility, memory issues, or problems with their vision will often find it difficult to keep up with their personal care routine. If your loved one's personal appearance (i.e., the way they wear their hair, how they dress, or how they apply their makeup) has changed drastically, that could be a sign they could benefit from home care. This might also be the case if your loved one cannot keep up with their medications or appointments. When you hire a company to care for patients at their home, you'll have peace of mind that they'll be tended to in terms of both health and hygiene.

They can no longer drive (or do so safely)
Memory conditions, vision loss, hearing problems, and reduced reaction times can, unfortunately, make it unsafe for many seniors to drive. But the loss of a driver's license often comes with a loss of independence and even social interaction. Certified caregivers will often provide transportation for their patients to the supermarket, to the drug store, to doctors' appointments, and more. But they'll also provide valuable companionship along the way. That way, if you cannot personally drive your loved one around all the time, they can still get what they need and won't be stuck alone in their home or subject to a specific schedule.

Growing older is never easy, and admitting that a loved one might need extra help can be an emotional realization. But certified caregivers can provide valuable peace of mind for you while helping your loved one in a multitude of ways. For more information on our services, please contact us today.
By Joel Snyder 25 Sep, 2017

September is Healthy Aging® Month, an annual observance aimed at focusing national attention on the positive aspects of growing older… a chance to encourage us to take personal responsibility for our health… physically, socially, mentally. So, what are the keys to healthy aging?

Keep moving.Regular exercise is key. Living an active lifestyle will keep you fit and help you maintain a healthy weight. You might even find that you sleep better. Regular exercise may also prevent or provide relief from common chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, depression and arthritis. When you choose to move, make sure it’s something you enjoy so it doesn’t end up feeling like a chore.

Eat nutritious foods.Eating a healthy, balanced diet can not only make you feel great, it can help fight certain diseases. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables and clean proteins. Ditch the junk food and avoid sweet, salty, highly-processed foods. 

Get enough Zzzzzzz.Did you know that humans can go longer without food than without sleep? That’s a frightening fact. Make sure you get the sleep your body needs – that’s usually seven to nine hours per night for older adults. Lack of sleep can also cause irritability, increased fall risk and memory issues.

Prevent and protect.Keep up with regular well visits with your doctor, dentist and optometrist. Make sure to take all medications as directed by your physician. And make sure you know which immunizations you need to stay protected. In addition to a seasonal flu vaccine, which all adults need every year, there are many other important vaccines for seniors.

Challenge your brain.Some cognitive decline, such as in memory and thinking skills, is a normal part of aging. Studies have shown that a lifestyle that includes cognitive stimulation through active learning slows this cognitive decline. Do something good and stimulating for your brain like assembling a puzzle, learning a foreign language or learning to play a musical instrument.

Stay social.Stay connected to friends and family by being social. Schedule a regular time to have lunch, go for a walk or meet for coffee. Join a book club, paint pottery or volunteer with your favorite organization. Stay social and keep it fun!

Home Plus Pre-Care Evaluations:  Contact us before you need in-home care. If you have aging loved-ones who want to stay in their homes, learn about planning for the need and considerations about hiring in-home caregivers now. Many problems and expectations can be sorted out beforehand and insurance questions can be answered. Visit our FAQ page for more details and call us today to start a plan.

By Danielle Burgess 15 Sep, 2017
Even though we all have to face our age-related limitations at some point, most of us don't like thinking about the future. Still, most people would like to age in place if at all possible. In fact, 80% of elderly people who receive assistance live in private homes, rather than institutions. While in home care may not be possible or appropriate in every case, it's an option that is probably more feasible than you think. When helping seniors remain independent is important to your family, you may want to explore the idea of in home care.

Here are just three ways in home caregivers can help your loved one maintain their independence for a longer period of time.

  1. They'll be in a safe environment
    If your loved one lives at home alone or you've moved them in to your own house, you can't be assured of their safety all the time. Falls are a serious threat to seniors, especially when they live in a home that hasn't been modified for their needs. Stairs and uneven floors can be trouble on their own, but so can icy walkways, stoves, or the bathtub. Experienced home caregivers will often offer home assessments to allow to to make any changes you might need. In addition, when these individuals care for patients at their home, they're able to monitor them and prevent many accidents from occurring.

  2. They'll live a healthy lifestyle
    When seniors live alone at home, their care can easily fall by the wayside. They may not practice proper hygiene, get the nutrients they need, or remember to take their medication. Fortunately, home caregivers can make certain that all of their health needs are met. Meal planning and preparation, medication reminders, exercise, and help with daily tasks are all part of helping seniors remain independent -- and are services that caregivers typically provide. Seniors who receive this kind of care will usually remain active and sharp for much longer periods.

  3. They'll have companionship
    Another important part of helping seniors remain independent is staving off loneliness. Depression and isolation are extremely common among older people, particularly for those who live at home alone. While staying at home can provide comfort and familiarity, it also can lead to sadness. But in home caregivers don't provide only health-related care; they also provide a valuable social and emotional outlet for patients. It may seem like an afterthought to some, but a lack of social engagement can cause many seniors to become totally disengaged from their regular routine and the joys of life. Keeping your loved one emotionally and mentally vibrant is key for their independence.
In home care may not be the best solution for every family, but in many cases, it can be exactly what the doctor ordered. To find out more about home care options in your area or whether your loved one might benefit from these services, contact us today.
By Danielle Burgess 18 Aug, 2017
It can be difficult admitting to yourself that a parent needs help. However, many older Americans suffer from a series of issues that require a caregiver or assistance. According to the Home Instead Senior Care survey, of those patients cared for by home care professionals 22% dealt with the after-effects of a stroke, 43% suffered from dementia, and 61% had some type of mobility issue.

Often times, a spouse or adult child is unable to care for their aging loved one alone. Fortunately, you don't have to. Home health care professionals make it so you can stay independent and your loved one can stay out of the hospital. But how do you find the right health care professional in a sea of in home caregivers?

Determine the type of care you need
The qualities of your home care assistance depend on the kind of care that professional needs to provide. For instance, some in home caregivers spend hours with their patients. Others may only be present for a couple of minutes to provide their medical services.

In the latter situation, the personality of the professional may be less important and more of a secondary consideration. In the former situation, their quality of character may be more important. After all, they'll be spending much of their time with your parent and you want to be sure that your loved one is comfortable around them in every aspect of their care.

Is the caregiver certified or licensed?
Certified caregivers are necessary if your parent requires medical care and not just physical assistance. Certain senior living places automatically require their caregivers to be licensed, but these licenses can differ depending on the state. Ask the specific licenses of the job applicants to be sure that they meet the qualifications of the necessary medical care your loved one requires.

Does your parent or loved one approve?
It's important that your parent or loved one gets a voice in the decision of the person you're hiring. After all, the caregiver will be spending the most time with them and you won't be there for many of their interactions. In addition, depending on the type of caregiver you're looking for, many in home caregivers will be giving your loved one baths, helping them dress, and preparing their meals. Once the job applicants leave, ask your loved one their opinion on the prospects and let them have the final say. Not only will this make your loved one more comfortable, but it will also let them feel more independent.

Finding an in home caregiver for your aging loved one can be a difficult process. But by asking the right questions you can be sure to make the process easier for everyone involved. You'll feel comforted knowing that you've made the right choice when you find someone you and your loved one like together.
By Danielle Burgess 25 Jul, 2017
This often makes long-term decisions difficult. Fortunately, there are plenty of custom care solutions available to cater to your family's needs. One such solution is at-home care. For many families, hiring home helpers can support the health of their elderly loved ones without sacrificing the comfort of home. The following are just some of the benefits of hiring certified caregivers in your loved one's home.

  • Provides A Sense Of Independence: By staying at home rather than moving to an assisted living community, your loved one can retain a sense or autonomy while receiving care from their home helpers. They can also keep up pieces of their routine like walking their favorite route in the morning or shopping at their preferred grocery store.

  • Emphasizes Comfort: Home is simply more comfortable than an assisted living community. They have decorated the space the way they want and are familiar with the smells and sounds. Even the smallest details can make all the difference to their peace of mind.

  • Ensures Customized Safety: While staying at home, a home care assistance company can work with your loved one to install the safety measures they need. This can address any special needs or preferences they may have, such as a wheelchair accessible kitchen.

  • Individualizes Care: A Genworth Financial survey found that 55% of respondents were concerned about burdening their families with long-term care. When keeping your loved one at home with in-home helpers, your whole family can rest assured that they are being taken care of. Their wellness plan can be completely curated for their needs.

  • Prioritizes Affordability: Choosing at-home care is generally more cost-effective than paying for an assisted living community. This is especially true if your loved one has long-term care insurance or has set aside money for this part of life.
By choosing at-home care for your loved one, you can keep them comfortable and independent while ensuring that their health is prioritized. Be sure to involve a medical professional in this process as well, as your family member may have specific medical needs that will have to be accounted for. By taking this initiative, you are giving your loved one the best possible life.
By Danielle Burgess 13 Jun, 2017
It is so very difficult to watch your parents age when they have always been the pillar of strength and support for you. There comes a time when you may need to take care of them. Don't let the burden rest entirely on your shoulders when there is quality care available in the comfort of their own home. In home caregivers can give you the extra help you need so you are not overwhelmed with your loved ones medical needs. You may not be qualified to provide them care at home, and this could put a strain on the relationship leading to resentment or even embarrassment for your mom or dad. One study found that those who received in-home care visited the doctor 25% fewer times than those that didn't receive in-home care. Clients with Alzheimer's or other dementia diseases, made almost 50% less trips to the doctor. So, why wouldn't people take advantage of such a convenient service? Unfortunately, there have been many myths attached to in home caregivers that need to be addressed and dispelled so that you make a knowledgeable decision that benefits you and your aging parent(s) in the long run. 

  • In Home Caregivers Don't Care
    People who go into the care-giving industry are people who care about others! Just as a teacher or nurse is trained in hopes of helping others so do in home caregivers. You can take an active part in finding a certified caregiver that shows compassion, empathy, and any other qualities you might be looking for. Hold interviews and if your aging loved one can assist let he/she sit in on the interviews too. This is someone who is going to be playing an important role in both of your lives so don't just accept the first person that shows up. If you find that you are unsatisfied with the caregiver, contact the agency and request another home care worker. You must keep in mind that in home caregivers are trained to connect and engage with their elderly care recipients. 
  • In Home Care Is Only For Those Who Are Very Sick
    In home care can be necessary for those are terminally ill, recovering from a serious operation, or have chronic conditions. However, in home care is available to those who just need some extra help too! For example, if your loved one has arthritis and has difficulty with daily household chores or tasks a caregiver can give the necessary assistance with cooking, cleaning, transportation, and other activities. The purpose of in home care-giving is helping seniors remain independent and comfortable. 
  • I Can't Afford In Home Care
    Depending upon the level of care and how many hours a week you would like to receive in home care services, it can be more affordable than a nursing home or assisted living facility. Insurance may cover a large portion of the in home care or many seniors can qualify for government financial assistance. Make sure you do your research before dismissing such a convenient service due to finances.
As your loved ones age you want to care for them as they have cared for you throughout your life. However, depending on what medical requirements and how much time is needed you may not be able to provide them with the quality of life they deserve. In home caregivers are a valuable resource that can help your loved one with light house keeping duties, post-surgery care, meal preparation, transportation and nursing duties. You can take an active role in their care by interviewing and staying connected with the in home caregiver . Don't let these common in home care myths dissuade you! If you find a home care assistance company with extensive experience and a stellar reputation you will rest easy knowing your loved one is in good hands. 
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