Breaking the Stigma of Alzheimer’s Disease

PCA Choice, PCA Provider agency, home care servicesEveryone that has had a friend or family member suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease understands what a tragic and heartbreaking disease it can be. For family caregivers providing Alzheimer’s home care for a loved one, the disease can present challenges that most personal care assistants don’t have to deal with.

 

In addition to the day-to-day struggles of providing Alzheimer’s home care for a senior, the stigma around the disease can make it difficult to educate your loved one about what they are experiencing. These stigmas often prevent patient from seeking help and can prevent them from living the best quality of life possible.

 

Those suffering from Alzheimer’s often struggle with stigmas and as a result, do not:

  • Seek medical treatment for symptoms
  • Make appropriate plans for the future
  • Receive a proper diagnosis
  • Develop a network of for support and guidance

 

While it can be hard to admit that someone is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, it is imperative to acknowledge this in order for the patient to live the best life possible. PCAs and family caregivers can help those living with Alzheimer’s accept their diagnosis and help them continue to lead great lives by breaking down stigmas around Alzheimer’s. Family caregivers should:

  • Be Honest: Speak openly with the Alzheimer’s home care patient about the disease and discuss options.
  • Seek Support: Find groups that offer caregiver support and education for those living with Alzheimer’s and attend regularly with your loved one.
  • Offer Education: Teach those around you and your loved one about the effects of Alzheimer’s and promote awareness.

 

Providing Alzheimer’s home care services can be a very difficult task for any home care professional or family caregiver. This task only becomes increasingly difficult as the disease progresses. The team at Best Home Care has helped many personal care assistants find support and guidance while providing in-home supportive services for Alzheimer’s patients. Contact us today to learn more about the opportunities for Alzheimer’s support and education in your community.

The Magic of Reading for Home Care Patients

Smartphones, TVs, computers, and tablets consumer our daily lives. In fact, Americans spend an average of 10 hours a day staring at a screen. Whether used for work or entertainment, technological devices have quickly become an integral part of our daily lives. Part of the allure of these devices is their ease of use and accessibility to nearly any content the user desires. However, studies have also shown that staring at a backlit screen for long periods of time can have negative effects on brain patterns and strain our eyes.

 

With all this content at the touch of a finger, it may never occur to a personal care assistant to try reading books with their home care patients. However, studies have consistently shown that daily reading can have great health and mind benefits for all ages. Below are just some of the ways that reading can help those receiving in-home supportive services to live healthier lives:

  • Reading is Great for the Brain: Adults that spent time reading each day experience a 32% slower rate of cognitive decline. For senior home care patients, reading can help slow the onset or lessen the effects of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • Reading Improves Vocabulary: It is estimated that we learn 5-15% of the words we know by reading. For adolescent and children home care patients, reading (or being read to) each day can help them learn in new and engaging ways.
  • Reading Encourages Imagination: By reading stories, our brain Is forced to imagine the plot lines, locations, and characters. This practice of imagining can greatly benefit adolescent home care patients in social situations as well as in school.

 

In addition to traditional books, audiobooks are a great option for PCAs and family caregivers providing at-home care for children or those that are seeing impaired.

For more information on incorporating reading into a home care plan, contact Best Home Care. As a leading Twin Cities home care agency, we are eager to help you find new ways to provide the best PCA services possible.

What are the Best Clothes for Senior Home Care Patients?

With the snow melting and the weather warming up, most Minnesotans are putting away their winter clothes and bringing out the short sleeves. For PCAs providing in-home supportive services for seniors, now is the perfect time of year to evaluate your patient’s wardrobe and help them make the best decisions on what to wear this summer. Instead of basing their wardrobe on fashion, personal care assistants and family caregivers should focus on comfort, cleanliness, and accessibility.

 

There are several factors to consider when purchasing new clothes for seniors this spring:

 

Comfort: This is especially important for home care patients with sensory issues. Choose soft and loose fabrics that won’t irritate the skin. Rip off the tags to help avoid the annoyance of rubbing. Ensure that clothing is not too tight around the wrists and ankles as this can reduce circulation to extremities

Cleanliness: Many times an Alzheimer’s home care patient will only wear a few select clothing options leading them to get dirty very quickly. Consider buying duplicate options of those clothes so that they will always have clean options to wear.

Accessibility: Seniors suffering from arthritis and other joint problems or disabilities can have a difficult time putting on clothes each day. Easily accessible clothes can help make it easier for them to dress themselves. Button-up or zip-up shirts and pants with elastic waist bands are great options for seniors with these issues.

 

If a senior has trouble dressing themselves, personal care assistants and family caregivers should provide assistance to ensure the senior’s safety and comfort.

 

For more information on best practices for senior summer clothing, contact the home care professionals at BestHomeCare. As a leading Minnesota home care agency, we are proud to help PCAs and family caregivers prepare for summer and provide the best home care possible.

Managing Home Care Services While Away on Spring Break

Ways to Become a More Effective Caregiver - services for independent livingThis is the time of year when Minnesotans flock to warmer weather to enjoy a week in the sun known as spring break. This annual migration of the winter weary is observed by millions but for personal care assistants and family caregivers, getting away for a week can be difficult. Home caregivers often find it difficult to take a vacation because they cannot find a substitute PCA to cover for them while they are away or they are nervous about leaving their loved one. As a result, they miss out on the opportunity to recharge on a much needed vacation with family and friends.

 

Taking time away from providing PCA services is vitally important for every caregiver as it allows them to recharge and re-focus on providing great home health care. It’s a little known fact that there are caregiving resources and tools to help personal care assistants find substitutes when they’re away. Take a moment to learn more about these options below and how they can help you take time for yourself this spring:

 

On-Demand PCA Services: The new Homecare Timesheets app includes a unique feature that helps connect home care recipients with qualifies personal care assistants. This tool can be used to find short-term home care solutions when a primary PCA or family caregiver is away.

Home Care Agency: Working with a top home care agency connects an individual with a network of qualified PCAs and caregivers. In the event a primary caregiver is away for a short period of time, contacting a home care agency should be the first step. They will work with you to find a qualified short-time substitute caregiver for the time that the primary caregiver will be away.

 

The home care professionals at Best Home Care are happy to work with PCAs this spring break to take the vacation they deserve. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help and ensure you have a truly relaxing vacation.

How Grandchildren Can Help with Home Care Services

Over the last thirty years, the number of people in the United States living ninety years or more has tripled; reaching nearly two-million individuals in 2010. This number is expected to continue to grow in the coming years as the Baby Boomer generation ages well past retirement. This growing population of elderly individuals means an increased demand for senior home care services. Many families are choosing to face this demand head on by caring for their loved ones themselves in lieu of formal at-home care services from a personal care assistant or home care agency.

 

“Family caregiver” is the most common job title in the home care industry. According to Caregiver.org, 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last twelve months. Whether a child caring for an aging parent or a parent caring for a disabled child, the number of family caregivers is expected to grow in step with the demand for home care services.

 

While the majority of home care duties will naturally fall on the adult children, many grandchildren are beginning to care for their aging grandparents in different ways. The relationship between a grandparent and grandchild is very different than that of their adult children and it’s important for grandchildren to fulfill their role when a grandparent is receiving senior home care services.

 

Below are some ways that grandchildren can care for their grandparents without actually providing PCA services:

 

Give them Something to Look Forward to: Grandparents love getting visits from their grandchildren and look forward to spending time with them. For those that have difficulty visiting their grandparents, schedule a future date when you will visit.

A Simple Call: A simple conversation with a grandchild can make a grandparent’s day. If you can’t visit in person, make it a priority to call them at least once a week. Try asking them questions about their past to spur stories.

 

Best Home Care is ready to help grandchildren find ways to get paid for caring for a family member. Contact us today to learn more!

 

Working Towards Eliminating Minnesota’s Shortage of PCAs and Home Caregivers

In 2015, legislation was passed that entitled home care workers to a minimum wage, overtime pay, pay for travel time between clients, and several other labor benefits. At Best Home Care, our team of home care professionals had access to many of these benefits long before this legislation was passed however, many other Minnesota home care agencies were forced to adjust their practices.

 

The Minneapolis Star Tribune explains that to adhere to these new regulations, home care agencies began capping their employees’ hours in an effort to avoid paying overtime and other benefits. Personal care assistants had no other choice than to either limit the number of hours they provided home care or provide care for free. This led to a situation where the need for in-home supportive services was growing but access to it was decreasing leading to a shortage of home caregivers in many states.

 

Best Home Care has worked hard to ensure that our employees are able to provide the necessary amount of care for their patients by not capping their hours and offering overtime pay. We are also working to combat the shortage of caregivers in Minnesota and home care fraud with the Homecare Timesheets App. The app is currently available to all our home care employees and is currently being tested in several home care agencies in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota.

 

Recently, we announced that the app would have a new feature: On-Demand PCA Services. Through the app, users are able to request home care services when their normal PCA or caregiver is unavailable. Likewise, PCAs are able to make themselves available to help fill in these gaps in home care services.

 

Even though it is still relatively new to the market, we feel that On-Demand PCA Services is a great step towards ending the shortage of caregivers in Minnesota and throughout the country. For more information on the Homecare Timesheets app and to learn how to download the app, please click here.

Family Caregiving as an Only Child

Transitional Home Care for SeniorsGrowing up, being an only child can definitely have its advantages. No hand-me-downs, the best birthday gifts, and all your parent’s attention. However, as your parents age they may require more of your attention in the form of home caregiving services.

 

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, 29% of Americans provide care for a chronically ill or disabled family member. This number is expected to rise as baby boomers continue to enter retirement and require in-home supportive services. Family caregiving is becoming increasingly popular as a more affordable option compared with traditional PCA services. Children caring for aging parents is one of the most common family caregiving situations today but for only-children, this task can be especially stressful.

 

Without anybody to share the burden of home caregiving, only-children caregivers must commit a great amount of time to care for their parents. This can not only affect their other commitments like work and family, but also their health.

 

Below are some tips for only-children providing home care for an aging parent:

 

Don’t Go It Alone: It can be easy to want to do everything; but for many family caregivers, this can become overwhelming very quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask other people in the community for help. Reach out to spouses, neighbors, and friends to cover smaller tasks throughout the day or just to check in on your parent.

Take Advantage of Delivery Services: Meal delivery and housekeeping services are great options to help lessen the work load of a family caregiver. Prescriptions, groceries, and other household supplies can also be delivered to cut down on errands.

Find Support: There are many caregiving resources for family caregivers both online and in the communities. These resources help caregivers learn more about home caregiving and connect with other family caregivers in similar situation. Visit the Best Home Care caregiver support page to learn more!

 

For more family caregiver support and resources, contact Best Home Care. Our home care professionals can show you how to get paid for taking care of a family member and continue providing the best home care for your loved one.

Best Home Care is Working to Combat Minnesota’s Shortage in Caregivers

Minnesota home care agencyOver the last couple years, the home care industry throughout the United States has been facing a shortage of personal care assistants and home caregivers. This issue has been especially difficult for families with loved ones that require 24-hour or daily in-home supportive services as they are forced to provide the care themselves or turn to family members and friends for help. Families have even gone so far as to bring their loved ones to the hospital to be cared for while they search for at-home care services.

 

Unfortunately, Minnesota home care agencies have been affected by this shortage as well. According to state workforce data, the vacancy rate of PCAs in rural areas hit 14% last year. This is the highest rate we’ve experienced in at least 15 years. By 2020, the Minnesota Department of Human Services estimates that Minnesota will need to fill 60,000 direct-care and support positions.

 

How can a Smartphone App Solve this Issue?

The Homecare Timesheets app is working to help families struggling to find personal care assistants and caregivers. The app allows the user to self-staff with other local PCAs when their PCA is absent. This “on-demand PCA services” technology is very similar to that used in popular ridesharing apps. Within the app, home care recipients are able to set criteria for the personal care assistants or set criteria for the personal care assistants or get help from any available worker at their home care agency.

 

The Homecare Timesheets app adheres to all relevant Minnesota laws and applies to those receiving home care services through Medicaid.

 

Best Home Care is Proud to Offer the Homecare Timesheets App

In order to best serve our customers and help them access the PCA services they need, we are proud to be one of the first home care agencies in the Twin Cities using the Homecare Timesheets App. To learn more about how you can use this technology, contact us today!

Social Media Tips and Safety Advice for Senior Home Care Patients

Senior Home Care, Medical Alert SystemsOne of the largest and fastest growing communities on social media are those over 55 years old. As senior citizens become more accustomed to technology, they are increasingly flocking to social media to get news and stay connected with family and friends. Of these social media platforms, Facebook has seen the most significant rise in senior citizen users over the last two years. According to a Penn State study in 2016, 35% of seniors age 65 and older were on Facebook and that number is expected to continue rising.

 

For younger personal care assistants and home care professionals, social media presents a unique opportunity to connect with your senior home care patient. Helping them set up and explaining how to use a Facebook account is an easy way to help home care clients stay connected with their family and friends around the world. But before jumping into the world of social media, take time to review these tips and best practices for senior users:

 

Know Who to Connect with: Be sure that seniors only add those they know personally. Facebook is a great place to find old friends but be sure they are who you think they are before adding them.

Ask Before Sharing: Always ask for permission before sharing friends or family member’s photos or posts.

Don’t Click on Everything: Many posts will use intriguing headlines to get users to click on them, however not every link is what it seems. Make sure you know and trust the source before clicking on any link.

Set Privacy Settings: When setting up a Facebook page, review the privacy settings to ensure only those you want seeing your information can access it.

 

Social media is an incredible tool for building and maintaining relationships however, it can be confusing and potentially dangerous if not used properly. Here at Best Home Care, we stress the importance of adhering to best practices on all our social media accounts. While you’re setting up a new Facebook account, don’t forget to like Best Home Care’s page. We post great home care resources and tips for starting PCA services every day!

Lift the Spirits of Senior Home Care Patients this Valentine’s Day

family home caregiver, home care professionalOne of the greatest threats to a senior’s emotional health is loneliness. Whether due to the loss of a spouse or being separated from other family members and friends, many seniors spend their days alone. This loneliness can lead to depression and negatively impact a senior’s overall health. In fact, seniors are one of the most susceptible age groups to depression and emotional health problems.

 

There are many steps that a personal care assistants can take to help combat depression in senior home care patients. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this is a great time to take a moment to show a senior that they are cared for.

 

Join Best Home Care as we work to share a little love with everybody receiving in-home supportive services this Valentine’s Day. Here are some great activities and ideas for home care professionals and personal care assistants to work into their home care plans this Valentine’s Day:

  • Decorate Their Living Space: Spend time creating love themed decorations for the senior’s home or apartment. This makes a great activity for an afternoon craft hour or decorations can be purchased from a local store.
  • Celebrate with Family: For many seniors, seeing their family members in person on Valentine’s Day can be tough. Coordinate a time when family members can share their love via Skype or phone with their loved one.
  • Bake Some Treats: There is nothing better than sweet treats on Valentine’s Day. Help your senior home care patient bake cookies or a cake then top with holiday themed icing!

 

The simplest gesture can make a huge impact for a senior home care patient. If you don’t have time for any of the above activities, a sincere card or flowers are another great option for sharing your love this Valentine’s Day.

To learn more ways to combat depression and loneliness in seniors, contact Best Home Care today!