Since the Homecare Timesheets app was introduced to the public over a year ago, we have received great feedback from the Minnesota home care agencies and our employees using it. Many of our personal care assistants and home care recipients use it every day to track, bill, and verify the amount of home care services provided. Last year, the Star Tribune even featured an article on how the app is helping to combat billing fraud within the home care industry. We are pleased with the positive response this app has received over the last year and there are even more enhancements planned for 2017.
This is the time of year when the fun and excitement of the holidays have passed and we begin to look forward to warmer sunnier weather. The only problem? We here in Minnesota still have months of cold darkness before we see a hint of spring weather. While some of us may love the short days and cold nights, this season can actually have a negative impact on the health of others.
According to the Mayo Clinic, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in the season. Those affected by SAD typically experience less energy and increased moodiness throughout the fall and winter months. The disorder more commonly impacts those living far away from the equator as these areas experience the most dramatic decreases in sunlight during the winter months. It’s no surprise why Minnesota home care patients deal with this disorder every year.
During these cold winter months, it can be so easy to succumb to cabin fever. Sitting on the couch and watching TV seems so much easier than braving the frigid weather outside. It’s no surprise that many Americans pack on an extra 5-7 pounds during this season. However, studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle can be a major risk factor for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancers, even premature death.
For senior home health care patients, staying active in the winter months can be especially challenging. However, home care patients of all ages are guilty of spending too much time sitting around most days of the week. In addition to being at an increased risk of many chronic conditions, seniors spending time sitting has been linked to an increase.
The calendar year changed but this fact won’t: antioxidants are good for your health! When the holiday feasting subsides, all sorts of healthy eating resolutions emerge. But most people don’t have the support to maintain motivation to keep eating healthy throughout the year. The experienced home care specialists at Best Home Care suggest that senior home care patients ask a trusted caregiver to help hold them accountable all year long.
Why should you care about antioxidants? The Mayo Clinic explains that these powerful substances may protect your cells against the harmful effects of free radicals, molecular bad guys that your body accumulates. Consuming antioxidants can provide protection for individuals receiving at-home care against:
At the risk of sounding like Jamie Lee Curtis in a yogurt commercial, eat more probiotics in 2017! Anytime is a great time for seniors receiving PCA services to make a long-term commitment to eating healthy. However, as the New Year rolls around, people are extra motivated to do better. Best Home Care is here to support your resolutions, nutritional and otherwise, by offering quality home care resources throughout the whole year.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that are good for your health, per data from the Mayo Clinic. The idea that bacteria can be beneficial is often difficult to understand. We take prescribed antibiotics when we are sick and compulsively carry antibacterial hand sanitizer around on key chains. But the right bacteria, like probiotics, can do wonders for home health care patients.
We are fast approaching the end of 2016 and it’s the perfect time for reflection. Maybe your last 12 months were as bright and shiny as the ball that drops in Times Square. Or perhaps this period was filled with changes and challenges that your devoted home care professionals helped you overcome. It is healthy to celebrate the highs, mourn the lows, and embrace the new. Whether you’re heading to a glitzy get-together or the living room couch to ring in the New Year, join Best Home Care in using the next weekend to reflect on the past 365 days.
We’ve all learned, likely from a motivational poster or two, that actions speak louder than words. It’s no secret that gift giving is the best way to show someone that you appreciate them this time of year. It doesn’t matter how expensive a gift may be, a token of appreciation is heartfelt if it’s genuine. Remember to include home caregivers on your list when you check it twice this holiday season. Caregivers come from all walks of life and can be friends, relatives, nurses, doctors, therapists, and any other professionals who provide care every day. This holiday season, return the favor and pamper a special home care professional with one of these gift ideas from Best Home Care.
Sure, it will help you relax. But massage therapy can do much more than that, especially for extended home care clients experiencing common complications associated with growing older. With the rise in the number of Baby Boomers, massage therapists are developing techniques for a new group: the PCA program clients of premier home care agencies like Best Home Care. Massage therapy no longer carries a connotation of indulgence. Research from the American Massage Therapy Association proves that this natural practice offers both physical and emotional benefits for seniors. Below are Best Home Care’s five favorite massage therapy benefits.
It may be too early in the season to bust out a spirited rendition of jingle bells, but it’s not too early for seniors utilizing home care resources to think about winter safety. One of the most threatening hazards this time of year is the potential for extended home care patients to slip on a patch of ice. When snow begins to fall, don’t follow its lead. Abide by these tips from Best Home Care to prevent falls that cause bumps, bruises, or broken bones.
To Avoid Slips, Do:
- Look Before You Step: Proceed slowly wherever you roam and watch the ground in front of your feet. Shuffle when you see a spot of ice and hold onto the arm of a home care provider or when possible, avoid slippery routes altogether.
- Switch Out Your Shoes: Wear boots with textured soles to trek through the snow even if they are more bulky than stylish. If necessary, bring shoes to change into when you arrive at church, your physical therapist’s office, or a relative’s house.
- Keep Entry Ways Clear: Be your own advocate, ask a personal care attendant to find someone to help remove snow if the front steps are not safe. This tip applies inside too, watch out for melting snow from other people’s shoes on the tile floor.
To Avoid Slips, Don’t:
- Carry a Bunch of Items: Accept that offer from the teenager bagging groceries to also take your bags to your car. Or, ask your home care agency to recommend a delivery service that will bring goods right to your door so you can stay indoors.
- Keep Hands in Pockets: Use gloves instead of shoving your freezing fingers into two jacket pockets. If your arms aren’t glued to your sides it will help with balance and leave your hands free to brace your body in case of a fall.
- Let Your Body Tense Up: Sounds rather strange, but it is a good idea to relax your muscles instead of fighting a fall that you couldn’t prevent Even though it’s a natural reaction, tensing up to a surprise slip can cause you to hurt yourself more.
Take precautionary steps now to avoid a slip and ensure the wellbeing of your elder home care client through the holiday season and beyond. Take time to review even more winter home care safety tips for seniors here.
In the extended home care industry, we see and hear confidential information every day. Eventually, we become quite comfortable with handling patient’s sensitive data privately and appropriately. Quality home care service providers cannot forget how important it is to keep this information private. That is why home healthcare agencies such as Best Home Care review the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regularly and identify opportunities to better maintain privacy. Here are three reminders for personal care aids to review.