Home Care | Noticing Care Patterns

Home Care | Noticing Care Patterns

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Home Care | My parents were early risers. They went to bed early and got up early in the morning. I’m a night owl. I usually go to bed around 1 PM and sleep-in when I can. Sleep patterns vary among individuals and often change when we age. Even the way we start the day is unique to an individual. Some people are up and at it as soon as they rise, while others (myself included) like to ease into the day without a lot of conversation, enjoying a quiet slow start to the day. When I first began as a caregiver for my mother-in-law she was a morning person. She got up early, showered, dressed, made her breakfast, made her bed and was still ready and waiting for me to pick her up for a 9:30 appointment. As the years passed she required more and more time to get ready.  Now it is about 11:00 before she is ready to start her day. We adjusted to this by making afternoon appointments and I modified my arrival time so that I came later giving her time to get ready at a pace that was comfortable for her.  Now that she is in hospice care part of the planning is coordinating her health care workers. In the beginning everyone wanted to come early in the morning way before my mother-in-law was ready to begin her day. She was willing to try this for a few days but it soon became evident that this was too taxing. We then scheduled her health care workers to begin at 11:00. She was much more relaxed, rested and ready to share in her care. The other scheduling issue we had to resolve was to use all the days of the week for her support services. In the beginning the health care worker, nurse, Chaplin, social worker and hospice volunteers would overlap and come on the same day. Although she wanted to avail herself of their services she got very tired and was extremely fatigued after their visits. We were able to create a schedule that allowed us to minimize the overlap and she now gladly awaits their arrival. I guess the lesson to be learned in this for the caregiver is that people have different internal schedules. When providing care for an individual you must take this into account if you want your assistance to be effective and less invasive.

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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Home Health Care | Make Home Interesting

Home Health Care | Make Home Interesting

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Home Health Care | When my mother-in-law gave up driving we recognized that her world would get smaller. To offset this we decided to bring as much of the world that we could to her. We needed to enrich her home environment and foster opportunities for her to interact with it. We started with seasonal plantings around her patio that she could water and nurture. She could observe them from her kitchen table and often commented on their beauty. Next we installed a birdbath. A birdbath involves less work than a bird feeder, attracts fewer pests, is cleaner and requires that you only add water. It wasn’t long before the birds started coming. A consequence of this was that my mother-in-law wanted to be able to identify them. We gave her a bird book and now she spends time classifying her feathered visitors. Of course the next logical step was a birdhouse and every spring and summer she sits on her patio in the early evening and the wrens serenade her. She especially enjoys watching the fledglings take their first flight.  Growing things is always an interesting endeavor. Each spring, we put patio plants like tomatoes, eggplant and herbs on her patio. My mother-in-law enjoys caring for them, watching them grow and ripen. However, the icing on the cake is when she can use them in a meal that she has prepared. In the winter months we would put paper whites and amaryllis bulbs throughout the house. She enjoys the touch of spring in the winter, and often gives us periodic reports on their growth and progress. We have a pet dog that we inherited from our son and from time to time we take him to my mother-in-laws for a visit. She loves his antics and enjoys the contact comfort of petting him. When she thinks we are not looking, she will spoil him with a treat. As a caregiver you can do many things to enrich and stimulate the individual in your care. Just listen and be creative.

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every home health care service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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Home Health Care | Give Your Loved Ones Choices

Home Health Care | Give Your Loved Ones Choices

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Home Health Care | One of the key objectives of a caregiver is preserving the dignity of the individual in your care. When this journey with my mother-in-law began she was mentally acute, all her senses functioned normally, she was ambulatory and semi-independent. But as the years passed her hearing grew worse, her vision weakened, her cardiac condition worsened, she fell and broke a leg and is now confined to a wheel chair. In addition her ability to process information has slowed and her short term memory fails from time to time. Having her understand and make decisions about her care is becoming more difficult. In the past she understood the options given to her by her doctors, medical support staff and caregivers. Making these decisions reinforced her sense of independence and self-worth.

As her ability to understand and process information declined we had to come up with another way for her to continue being an active partner in her care. One strategy we’ve used when a decision has to be made concerning her care is to make a list with her of all her options. The repetitive organized nature of the process increases her ability to understand and clarify the information. Ranking or prioritizing the options helps her see which choice she feels is most important to her relative to the others.

To illustrate this recently my mother-in-law lost a cap on one of her teeth. There were some structural issues so a simple replacement was not possible. We sat down and discussed with her all the options the dentist gave us with their ramifications from do nothing at all to a root extraction with a flipper tooth replacement. We made a list of all her options discussing the steps each would entail. We then had her order her choices giving the reason for her selection. At the completion of this task my mother-in-law understood her options and felt confident in her decision. This manipulation of information discussing, listing, and prioritizing helped her to organize and understand her choices.

One of the difficult decisions as a caregiver is recognizing the tipping point when the individual is no longer capable of making their own decisions about their care. Until that time as caregivers we must utilize a variety of strategies to help guide them in making decisions for themselves.

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every home health care service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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Companion Care | Communication Tips

 Companion Care | Communication Tips

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Companion Care | How can you better communicate with your care recipient? Check out these 6 tips below and tell us what you think!

1. Speak Clearly and Distinctly: Almost 30% of persons older than 65 have some sort of hearing loss so be sure to speak a little louder, a little slower, but not too much of either because then you may come off as condescending. Use a gentle and calm voice and keep sentences short and simple.
2. Be Mindful of your Environment: Watch for background noise from a tv or radio.  When in conversation, try to be face to face and at a similar level. This is because peripheral vision is more limited so they may have trouble understanding if that can’t see you. Being at their same level, such as sitting if they are in a wheelchair, will also be less threatening and gives the nonverbal cue that you are engaged and interested in what they have to say.
3. Use Humor: Laughter is great medicine and helps to build rapport and diffuses a lot of uncomfortable situations. So go ahead, use your best knock knock joke.
4. Be a Good Listener: Try not to interrupt or fill in silence because they may be thinking about what was just said or may be thinking of a response. Also, if you are working with someone who has some cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may notice they tell you the same story on multiple occasions. While this may be “boring”, this is an indication that this memory has some significance for them. So let them tell you again and just listen as if it’s the first time.
5. Reminiscence Therapy: Reminiscing helps the elderly recall memories from the past and promotes a sense of belonging and feeling valued. It also helps maintain communication skills and imparts wisdom, skills and information to their partner in conversation.  So while they may not remember who the current president is, they will most likely remember things from their distant past. Some easy ways to trigger this might be to look at their old photos together or just simply ask them where they grew up, or what kind of jobs they held.
 6. The simplest conversation starter? A warm smile and sincere Hello!

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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Private Home Care | Questions To Ask An Agency

Private Home Care | Questions To Ask An Agency
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Private Home Care | Selecting a private home care agency can be a difficult task. It’s not your typical business transaction. We tend to think only about the actual caregiver that will be sent to your home.  But like the caregiver, you must have some “chemistry” with the agency and the way they operate. They will work with you to make sure your parent, spouse, or loved gets the best caregiver for them-and it’s often the office staff that you’ll turn to with any questions or concerns you may have.

Here’s a list of questions that I think you should know the answers to before engaging a company.

  • What is the qualification of the aide? (you want to make sure the aide is qualified to perform the services your loved one needs)
  • Is the Agency full insured?  (Don’t be afraid to ask for a copy of their insurance certificate)
  • Is the Aide insured. Is she/he covered by Workman’s Compensation Insurance should they be injured on the job?
  • What kind of background checks do they perform on their caregivers?
  • If they drive your parent, have they checked their driving record and the condition of their car, should they be using their own car?
  • Does the caregiver have a supervisor?
    • If so, does she/he visit the home? How often?
  • What does the caregiver do if she/he has a question or doesn’t know what to do?
  • What does the agency do if the caregiver is late, or sick. Do they have a policy in place that is followed?
  • What does the agency do if you want to contact after hours with a serious question or emergency?
    • Is there a supervisor available 24/7?
    • Do their telephone go to any individual or to a service?
  • What if you want to contact the agency during work hours?
    • Is there someone available that will know who you are?
  • If you live far from your parent, can the agency set up a weekly communication with you?
  • Do they require a contract?
  • How do they bill?
    • Do they pay the caregiver directly, or do you?
  • Do they have a tipping or gift accepting policy?
  • Can your parent (or other loved one) and/or you interview the potential caregivers  and provide input?
  • Can they provide you with references from other clients?
  • Do they accept Long-Term Care Insurance?
  • Are they Medicare approved, or do they work with Medicare Approved Agencies.
    • (This is important if there has been a recent medical event or hospitalization that requires specific in-home care prescribed by your physician. Typically this would provide a limited amount medical services that would be covered by Medicare).  Non medical care is an out of pocket expense (or covered by a Long-term care insurance policy) and not paid for by medicare. Often an agency providing non-medical prescribed home care will work with you to coordinate any services that could be covered by Medicare.

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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Companion Care | Agency Selection Criteria

 Companion Care | Agency Selection Criteria

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Companion Care | When talking with the agencies by phone, keep the following selection criteria in mind:

  • Do they provide the services that your mother needs?  Home Care companies are licensed to provide specific services, so not all agencies are the same. For example Companion/Homemaker companies provide non-medical services. Home Health Agencies are licensed to perform more “hands on” tasks.
  • Are they  licensed, properly insured, and in good standing? Don’t hesitate to ask for a copy of their insurance certificate. If they refuse, then move to the next company on your list. You can review their state inspection reports using State records, which are available to the public in many states.
  • Do they have a plan of action in case of an emergency or if the caregiver doesn’t know what to do?  Knowing how they’ll handle an unforeseen medical event or other emergency will give you confidence that your mother is in good hands.
  • Do you feel comfortable with either the owner or the administrator of the Agency? While everyone wants to hire an aide that is personable and skilled, remember that this is a business transaction and you must feel comfortable with the person who is ultimately responsible for your mother’s wellbeing.

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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Home Health Care | You’re In Control

Home Health Care | You’re In Control

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Home Health CareThe very best possible care…

Whatever your medical needs, we will work alongside your district nurses, GP, physiotherapists and hospital team to make sure you receive the very best possible care.

As well as providing essential companionship and compassion, our carers are also trained to provide medical support, whether it’s administering medication helping with mobility or other more complex needs. For example, all of our carers complete dementia training to ensure we tailor our care to support those living with memory loss and help enhance the quality of their lives. We also offer online consultation services for families.

You’re in control

Care is always arranged on your terms. If your needs and routines change, so too can the carer support we provide. We will give you plenty of time to discuss everything and ask as many questions as you need (we understand arranging care can be an emotional decision) and will develop a personalised care plan that you’re happy with.

Setting up

Finding the right carer to support you is our first priority. We will then work with you to make their living arrangements. Whatever your situation, we will work closely with you and your family to develop your care plan and talk you through the varied support we can offer (for example, if required we can supply specialist equipment on a short-term loan or long term hire basis).

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every home health care service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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Home Care | Should You Hire Someone?

Home Care | Should You Hire Someone?

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Home Care | Hiring someone to help your parents can be expensive and awkward.  It’s often hard to get your parents to accept a paid caregiver into their home and even harder to find a person you can trust.  But, at the same time, it feels like doing so is the only way you can keep your parents where they are.

And, keeping them at home very often feels like the least heartbreaking way to proceed.

So, as is often the case with daughters, we try to perform miracles.  We try to make our parents safe and happy in an environment that’s not really set up for their frailty or inability to get around.

And, then we feel guilty that we are failing…

But remember, you’re not failing! I promise. You’re up against a problem that’s too hard for any one daughter to solve by herself.  Our typical homes and communities are not set up to support frail older adults.

So, when you are beating yourself up just remember that you’re trying to do BY YOURSELF something that whole senior housing communities and nursing homes are set up to do.

There are some real advantages to hiring someone to help if you can find the right person.  It can reduce your parent’s social isolation, give you a break and at the same time provide a more neutral perspective on your parent’s situation – a paid helper without family baggage can be good for everyone.

Paid help at home is often referred to as “home care,” or “personal care.” Home care can help your parent with a wide variety of tasks ranging from the really personal activities such as bathing, dressing or eating, to the really practical like driving, shopping, food prep, and light housekeeping.

One point of clarification around something I find incredibly confusing: there is a difference between the terms, home care and home health. Medicare-covered home health refers to physician-ordered medical services at home delivered by medically skilled professionals like nurses and therapists. In contrast, home care is not medical and it isn’t a covered benefit under Medicare or other health insurance.

Most of the time families pay for home care out of their pockets

If you’re going to hire help for your parent, it pays to take the extra time to learn how the system works.  Here are the four steps to follow that will increase your odds of success.

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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Home Care | Proper Medicine Use & Storage

Home Care | Proper Medicine Use & Storage

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Home Care | As we age, we are often faced with health conditions that need regular and ongoing treatment through medication. It is important to be aware that increased use of medications and normal body changes caused by aging can increase the chance of unwanted or even harmful drug interactions. Unfortunately, adverse drug reactions frequently go unnoticed or are misdiagnosed in the elderly because they can sometimes mimic the signs or symptoms of a disease, are thought to be caused by an existing medical condition, or are thought to be the result of the onset of a new health problem.

Physical reactions to medications, such as fatigue, falling, or weight loss, may be mistakenly labeled as “normal” aging. The more you know about the medications that you or your loved ones are taking, and the more you speak with the appropriate healthcare professionals, the easier it will be to avoid the potential problems that can occur. We understand the importance of providing care and support for your loved ones. As a senior, or someone who helps care for them, it is important to educate yourself on the proper use and storage of medications. Use the checklist below, including suggestions for items to consider as a resource to help guide you in asking the proper questions to ensure safe medication usage for you and your loved ones.

Are medication labels clear and easy to read?

  • Double check prescriptions when they are picked up from the pharmacy to ensure that they are the proper type and dosage of medication (as prescribed).
  • Count the number of tablets or capsules to ensure the prescription was filled properly.
  • Make sure labels clearly list the type of medicine, quantity and frequency in which it should be taken, and the duration of the prescription.

Are medication side effects known by the user?

  • Be aware of any potential side effects of medications that are being taken. If any unusual symptoms are experienced, it is essential to report this to a Physician as soon as possible.

Are medications known or referred to by any other names?

  • Generic versions of prescribed medications typically go by alternate names.
  • Medications can have more than one name.

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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Home Health Care | Evaluating Their Needs

Home Health Care | Evaluating Their Needs

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Home Health Care |

Signs to Look for:

…a noticeable change in the way a loved one is maintaining his/her yard or home?

  • Cleanliness, tidiness, and overall organization of the home have declined
  • Laundry, grocery shopping, or bill payments have not been tended to

…that a loved one is beginning to show signs of memory loss?

  • Missed appointments or commitments that were made recently
  • Getting lost or turned around in familiar places
  • Frequently misplacing or losing important items
  • Forgetting conversations
  • Easily distracted or confused

…a loved one showing signs or symptoms of depression?

  • Acts withdrawn in social situations or during routine activities a Appears sad, lonely, restless, or irritable
  • Displays a more negative attitude than usual
  • Isolates him/her self from contact with loved ones

…a noticeable change in appetite?

  • Non-dieting weight loss
  • Non-diet related weight gain
  • Overall fluctuations in weight
  • Decreased interest in cooking and/or eating

…a decline in driving capabilities?

  • Driving frequency has decreased
  • Driving at inappropriate speeds (too fast or too slow)
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing problems

…medications are not being taken as prescribed?

  • Wrong medication is being used
  • Medication is not taken at all
  • Improper medication dosage
  • Foods, supplements, other medications, or activities that can cause side effect

…a decline in grooming or personal hygiene habits?

  • Clothes are not being laundered or do not appear to be clean
  • Bathing frequency has declined
  • Lapsed attention to oral hygiene
  • Decline in daily activities/exercise

…an increased need for assistance?

  • Walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of bed, dressing, bathing, etc. have become difficult to perform independently

…a change in sleep patterns?

  • Insomnia
  • Excessive amounts of sleep
  • Frequently waking throughout the night
  • Nightmares
  • Abnormal signs of fatigue such as exhaustion or weakness

…signs of incontinence?

  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Begin to experience occasional leaks or dribbles of urine
  • Needing to rush to the bathroom

Are you a caregiver looking for just the right help for your loved one? Are you unsure exactly how much care they need? Complete Home Care can help you. We know how important it is to mange every aspect of patient care, from a patient’s needs to the physician’s orders. That’s why every home health care service we provide is supervised by our professionals and administrated from the initial consultation to recovery or treatment completion. Call Complete Home Care at 561-408-7760.

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