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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Live-In Care | 3 Tips for Hiring Care

 Live-In Care | 3 Tips for Hiring Care

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Live-In Care | When the time comes to find an in-home care provider, it may be hard figuring out where to begin the search. There are many qualified caregivers out there, but what providers will best meet your loved ones needs? To help ease the process of finding an in-home care provider, use the following tips:

  1. Assess Your Loved One’s Care Needs. To find the right care provider, you must first understand your family member’s care needs. Does Dad need a licensed nurse practitioner (LPN) to help him with personal needs like bathing and dressing each morning? Or would he benefit from around-the-clock care from a registered nurse (RN) who can administer his medications and address other health issues? LPNs, RNs, therapists and dietitians provide different levels of at-home care.
  2. Ask Questions. After you’ve narrowed down they type of care your loved one needs, you’ll want to find a list of providers and interview the top candidates in person. Before the meeting, prepare a list of questions that will help you determine a provider’s qualifications, quality of care, services provided and fees and pricing. Remember, you can always ask your family member’s doctor for recommendations on where to begin your search.

    You know your loved one best, so don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. This is one of the best ways to ensure that your family member is getting the care that’s best for him or her.

  3. Observe and Adjust. Continue to monitor the your loved one and the care they are receiving after you’ve selected an in-home care provider. Raise any concerns about quality of care to the person helping your loved one, or his or her supervisor. Most importantly, keep an eye out for early signs that in-home care might not be enough anymore. A loved one’s care needs are always changing.

    As a family caregiver, it might be difficult to entrust your family member’s care to strangers. To feel comfortable with your decision, make sure to do your homework, ask questions and find a care provider that meets all of your loved one’s needs.

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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Companion Care | Walking to Prevent Falls

 Companion Care | Walking to Prevent Falls

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Companion Care | Elders interested in a regular walking program often ask, “Which is better: walking on the ground or walking on a machine?” Each is different.

  • Walking on an elliptical machine results in greater use of muscles in the buttocks and thighs than walking on the ground, but less activation of calf muscles.
  • Ellipticals put less stress on joints than walking on the ground; they are best for individuals with achy hips, knees and back.
  • Walking on the ground provides a better workout for hamstrings, calves and ankle muscles, which are important for balance.

There are differences between walking on a treadmill and walking on the ground. Walking outside (up hills, different terrains) works the leg muscles more. Treadmills, however, can be adjusted to mimic the terrain of an outdoor walk, while eliminating heat and other obstacles that can present a fall risk.

Starting an exercise routine

What works best is really determined by an individual’s health status and his or her exercise needs. For any individual, it is important to understand there is some risk of injury, especially when walking on a treadmill or elliptical. However, both have armrests and handles that offer stability.

Walking is key to reducing the risk of falls. For safety, individuals should check with a doctor about their planned walking program, including the use of machines.

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 | Unfamiliar Cause of Falling

Private Home Care | Unfamiliar Cause of Falling
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Private Home Care | A common health problem, which many elders never heard of, is something called sarcopenia. This condition is the loss of muscle mass and causes muscles to become weak.

Sarcopenia begins around age 45 and increases thereafter. By age 65, people, especially those who are sedentary, have lost almost half of their muscle mass and strength. The muscles become so weak that everyday mobility – getting up from chairs and toilet seats, climbing stairs – becomes difficult. This often leads to falls resulting in serious injury. Weak muscles can also lead to osteoporosis or weak bones, which increases the risk of dangerous falls, as well.

Sarcopenia Risk Factors

  • Being female. Women are at greater risk of sarcopenia because they start life with much less muscle mass than men.
  • Decline in activity. People who lead a sedentary lifestyle are most likely to experience significant sarcopenia as they age. Sitting around on the couch is a good way to ensure serious loss of muscle late in life.
  • Decline in nutritional intake. People who eat unhealthy diets experience great drops in muscle strength.

Management of Sarcopenia

First, elders and their family caregivers need to become aware that muscle weakness is a major reason for loss of mobility and independence and increased risk of falling. If an elder’s mobility is affected and his or her ability to live independently threatened, visit the doctor for a proper evaluation.

Second, engage in exercise. Strength training (using weights) and cardio (aerobic) are needed to maintain muscle health. Experts recommend about 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week. Aerobic exercises include brisk walking, biking or swimming.

Finally, to maintain muscle, eat a healthy amount of protein such as eggs, salmon, sirloin steak, chicken and almonds.

The specific amount of exercise and protein in a diet is based on an individual’s health and exercise status. Any change in activity levels and diet should always be done under a doctor’s care and recommendations.

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 | Winter Blues

Home Health Care | Winter Blues

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Home Health Care | With the colder months just around the corner, many seniors will find it is more difficult to spend time outdoors doing the things they enjoy because of the cold weather. Feeling cooped up can cause seasonal sadness, often referred to as the winter blues. While this can affect anyone of any age, as a person gets older, the feelings are typically more intense than what younger, more able bodied people experience.

In addition to having to spend more time inside, the days will be shorter, which results in more melatonin being produced by the body. This causes sleepiness during the day, which can further the feelings of sadness, according to Deborah Serani, who wrote the book “Living with Depression”.

The eating habits that a senior has also can play a role in a sinking mood and faltering energy levels. In most cases, when the temperatures drop outside, people consume heartier, warmer meals out of habit. Eating more sugar-rich foods is also common and can cause glucose level spikes, resulting in exhaustion.

The good news is, there are a number of things seniors, along with their elder care providers, can do to help beat the winter blues.

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 | Ask These Questions

Home Care | Ask These Questions

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Home Care | Ask these questions about your home care services to be ensure you are getting honest, quality care.

If you’re considering a home care services agency:

  • How does the agency handle expenses and billing? Ask for literature explaining all services and fees, as well as detailed explanations of all costs associated with home care.
  • Will agency fees be covered by health insurance or Medicare? Check to see what kind of coverage your health insurance offers.
  • What resources does the agency provide for financial assistance, if needed? For instance, is a payment plan available?

If you’re considering a home health aide:

  • How much does the aide charge for home health services? Make sure you’re comfortable with the fees and the included services.
  • Does the aide require payment for sick days, vacation days or holidays? If so, clarify how many sick and vacation days are allowed, as well as which days are considered holidays.

Whether you’re considering a home care services agency or a home health aide, you might ask these questions about services:

  • Will you receive a written care plan before service begins? The care plan should include details about medical equipment and specific care needs, contain input from the doctor, and be updated frequently.
  • Will you receive a list of the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved? This is sometimes known as a patient’s bill of rights.
  • Will you or your loved one be referred to dietitians, counselors, therapists or other specialists, if needed?
  • Will the agency work directly with you or your loved one, family members and health care providers?
  • Must you identify a primary family caregiver? If so, what’s required of that person?
  • When will service be provided? Is care available round-the-clock, if necessary?
  • What procedures are in place for emergencies? Ask how the agency or home health aide will deliver services in the event of a power failure or natural disaster.
  • How are problems addressed and resolved? Whom can you or another family member contact with requests, questions or complaints?
  • When can services begin?

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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Live-In Care | Vitamins Can Help Prevent Falls

 Live-In Care | Vitamins Can Help Prevent Falls

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Live-In Care | In addition to exercising in accordance to your ability, it would also be prudent to address nutritional components that can quite literally make or break your bones. Vitamin D, K2, and magnesium are particularly important for the formation of strong, healthy bones, and many elderly are deficient in all of these nutrients.

One recent study found that homebound seniors who received vitamin D supplements with their Meals on Wheels food deliveries had half the number of reported falls compared to those who received a placebo.

Magnesium can also help protect against weakening bones and hip fractures. In one study, postmenopausal women with osteoporosis decreased their bone loss simply by taking 290 mg/day of magnesium for 30 days. It’s important to recognize that magnesium, calcium, and vitamins D and K2 all work in tandem, so it would be ill advised to focus on one above all the others. There needs to be a balance.

In terms of magnesium and calcium, the ideal ratio you’re looking for is 1:1. As for vitamin D, you’ll want to reach and maintain a blood level of 50 to 70 ng/ml. Vitamin K2 is a bit trickier, as it’s unclear exactly how much vitamin K2 is needed to counterbalance these other nutrients. But we do know that if you take a vitamin D supplement, you also increase your need for vitamin K2.

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 | Important Information

Home Health Care | Important Information

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Home Health Care | As senior parents age and need assistance beyond what family members can give, many children look to home health care. But the demands of being a member of the “sandwich generation”
simultaneously caring for aging parents and adult children at the same time – can put some in quite a bind. Not only financially, either; many individuals responsible for both parents and children find themselves emotionally, mentally, physically and socially pressed as well.

Find Important Information

When trying to help an agent parent, it is important to be fully informed. Does the parent have an advanced directive? What does it say? Is there a will? How do parents prefer to be cared for in case of dementia or Alzheimer’s? Are all diagnoses up to date? Before making a choice about home health care, it can be very helpful to find the answers to these questions, which may involve talking to the parent.

Deciding whether or not to go with home health care can be stressful for adult children, but often seniors are happier with some form of professional elder care that helps them maintain their lifestyle and preserve their dignity. Members of the sandwich generation have a lot on their plates, and shouldn’t shy away from home care as a viable and beneficial option.

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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