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.
In addition to being at an increased risk for chronic conditions, sitting too much has been shown to increase the likelihood of developing a disability as well. This is especially true for those of the age of 60 receiving at-home care.
Daily physical activities should be a part of every home care plan. While the amount and intensity of these activities will depend on the home care patient, personal care assistants should make it a point to get those they care for up off the couch several times a day. Here are some ideas to help break the mold of sitting all day:
- Stand While Eating: If able, stand at a counter or high table when eating meals. While this may feel awkward at first, this can be an easy way to burn calories as you consume them
- Go for a Walk: Even in the winter, getting outside for a quick walk can do wonders. Be sure to pace yourself and don’t try to go too long. For senior home care patients, start by walking to the end of the block and back.
- Join a Social Group: Being around people will naturally encourage movement. For seniors, this could be a book club, quilting group, or bingo.
When changing any aspect of a home care plan, it’s best to start small. Aim for replacing 30 minutes of sitting time each day and then slowly increase as able.
The professionals at Best Home Care are ready to help support personal care assistants with home care resources and encouragement. Reach out to our home care professionals to learn more ways to avoid sitting too much this winter.
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:
- Heart Problems
- Various Cancers
- Other Diseases
Fruits, vegetables, and dark chocolate are the best sources of antioxidants. Make sure to be realistic with food choice goals. Try incorporating fruits and veggies into your diet slowly. Start by eating one serving a day, then two, and eventually the recommended five. Antioxidant-rich foods include:
- Colorful Blue/Black/Rasp/Straw Berries
- Apples or Pears (Especially the Peel)
- 100% Pomegranate or Cranberry Juice
- Sweet or Red Potatoes (Especially the Skin)
- Broccoli or its Albino Counterpart, Cauliflower
Flip through an old cookbook or browse your favorite celebrity chef’s website with your home care aide to find fun recipes that call for antioxidant-rich foods. Please contact your doctor or a home healthcare professional before making any drastic diet changes. For even more motivation to eat healthy in 2017, read Best Home Care’s recent blog post about probiotics.
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.
The Mayo Clinic has found encouraging evidence that probiotics may help with a variety of digestive problems common for seniors using home care providers, this includes:
- Treating diarrhea
- Preventing urinary tract inflections
- Managing irritable bowel syndrome
Yogurt is the most familiar source of probiotics. If you don’t care for yogurt straight from a cup, here are five creative ways for your personal care aide to incorporate it into your diet.
- Use yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in chip dips
- Spread yogurt in a crepe for a thick and creamy filling
- Stick yogurt in the freezer to create an ice cream consistency
- Add yogurt as an ingredient in a seasonal fruit smoothie
- Mix yogurt into your favorite muffin or cupcake recipe
Probiotic beverages and supplements are also available. Please check with your doctor or a home healthcare professional before making any drastic diet changes. Take a look at Best Home Care’s recent blog series, Eating Right for Seniors, for more tips to help caregivers ensure their patients stay healthy in 2017!
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.
2016 was a great year for the home health care industry experts at Best Home Care. Here are some of this year’s highlights from our Minnesota home care agency:
January: Release New White Paper on Certifying Disabilities
We published a white paper on the different paths to becoming certified disabled due to the overwhelming demand from personal care assistants and home care clients seeking credible guidance on the process.
Learn More Here!
March: Andre Best, Best Home Care Founder, Featured in Star Tribune
The Minneapolis Star Tribune highlighted our efforts to fight fraud within Minnesota’s home care industry, primarily through a revolutionary app and accompanied software that Best designed.
Learn More Here!
April: Best Home Care Launched an Updated Website Experience
Our home care agency staff determined that besthomecaremn.com needed a digital facelift. We collaborated with the web design team at Brandography to assemble a new layout that helps individuals quickly find home health care information.
Learn More Here!
September: Best Home Care Promoted Valuable Senior Nutrition Tips
We published a blog series that provides guidance on a common health concern for seniors: poor eating habits. Each blog covers a different nutrition problem and offers caregivers advice.
Learn More Here!
None of this would have been possible without your continued support, thank you! From all of us at Best Home Care, have a happy and healthy New Years!
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.
- Book a Spa Appointment: PCA assistants often get little time to themselves or days off and that reality can have a negative impact on their own well-being. Stress can’t be avoided completely in our day-to-day lives, but it should be relieved occasionally in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A massage or manicure appointment may be just what a PCA or home care employee needs to relax.
- Share Some Sweet Treats: A basket of snacks offers variety; your personal care provider is bound to like something in the bunch. If you notice a coffee cup in their hand most mornings or a certain brand of chocolate chip cookies peeking out of their bag, customize this gift accordingly! The possibilities are endless with a gift basket and they can be made in an assortment of sizes and price ranges.
- Help Indulge their Pastimes: Gift cards are a great way to help caregivers keep up with activities outside of their routine so they have something to look forward to each week as a break from other responsibilities. Did your caretaker recently take up knitting? Get a gift card for a home goods store! Did you talk to your home care aid about a new book series they can’t put down? Get them a gift card to a bookstore!
Pamper a senior or special needs caregiver with one of these brilliant gift ideas. The brainstorming process was handled by Best Home Care. Now you’re on to the fun part, holiday shopping! For more information about our Minneapolis in-home care agency, contact Best Home Care or visit our FAQ page.
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.
- Alleviates Physical Aches and Pains: Rubbing skin the right way can reduce tension from chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis that affect many at home care clients.
- Speeds up Healing After an Injury: Hospitals often employ on-site massage therapists and encourage home attendants to continue this type of care after a patient is released.
- Lowers Anxiety and Stress Levels: The safe and soothing touch of a massage therapist provides reassurance and the body responds with a feeling of relaxation.
- Provides an Emotional Connection: Many seniors feel left out or even isolated simply because they are old. Receiving an hour of undivided attention helps them feel valued.
- Helps Improve Overall Self-Esteem: If seniors are sad about diminished hearing or vision, using the remaining sense of touch may stimulate happy sensory memories.
These are just a few of the physical and emotional benefits that seniors can experience from regular massage therapy. Book an appointment with a massage therapist who specializes in techniques for seniors receiving at home care to start improving an elderly adult’s quality of life today. For even more ways to care for your body and soul, try these easy tips from the PCA services experts at Best Home Care.
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.
Contact Best Home Care today for more advice on helping at home care patients deal with the winter weather.
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.
- Discard Important Papers Correctly: Do you cut up expired credit cards and use old account statements for kindling? Don’t slack when it comes to taking similar precautions at work. Confidential documents should always be torn or shredded when they are no longer needed.
- Drop the Inappropriate Discussions: Think twice before venting about a patient to another employee while roaming the halls or taking an elevator ride. Even if you don’t mention names, the discussion can still cast you or your home healthcare employer in a negative light.
- Develop Secure Practices Online: Technology is (usually) quick and efficient but not always secure. Double check emails for the dreaded “reply all” mistake and only include patient names when necessary. If you are not the intended recipient of a message, notify the sender and delete it asap.
Best Home Care hopes that all caregivers will incorporate these reminders into their daily home care plans. Confidentiality is one of the core duties of home care specialists. It is essential in retaining the bond of trust between in home care providers and individuals.
Contact Best Home Care today to learn about our superior PCA services and how we continually work to maintain the trust between our home care aides and those they serve.
The holidays are here again and for many people that means traveling by plane, train, or automobile to head ho-ho-home to visit family. With a senior travel companion now receiving elderly home care services, dodging hundreds of probing but only slightly differentiating questions from every relative might not be your largest obstacle this year. Traveling with someone who is accustomed to around-the-clock home care requires a good deal of research and planning. Get started by skimming Best Home Care’s list of dos and don’ts for a safe and successful holiday season!
This Holiday Season, Do:
- Remember to be realistic: Your travel capabilities will likely differ from those of seniors. Small tasks, like carrying a suitcase, may seem impossible to them. Act generously and volunteer to lift or move heavier objects for your senior home care patient.
- Call airlines ahead of time: Thankfully, airlines provide plenty of amenities to assist PCA healthcare, but PCAs should contact airlines about wheelchair accessibility before traveling. If special needs are mentioned last minute, the staff has no obligation to accommodate them.
- Keep a consistent schedule: Most home care providers, especially specialists from the Best Home Care, agree that creating and maintaining a consistent schedule is important. This includes medication, therapy, and meal times.
This Holiday Season, Don’t:
- Forget about medical records: Bring extra medication and a first-aid kit. Keep phone numbers for and prescriptions from doctors handy in case of emergency. If your senior home care patient has a pacemaker or other internal devices, ask an security official and medical professional if they can go through a metal detector.
- Take a flight with connections: Do your best to avoid booking tightly scheduled connecting flights since seniors will have trouble rushing through a busy airport. Similarly, try to break up a long car trip into smaller chunks.
- Underestimate travel time: Seniors often opt for the elevator or escalator when you might be used to the stairs. You should also expect the number of bathroom breaks to increase.
Traveling with seniors is a wonderful way to create lasting memories. Complete your research and planning sooner rather than later for an incredible trip. Contact a helpful home care specialist from Best Home Care for additional advice concerning spending the holidays with seniors.
The birds are heading south and outdoor thermometer readings are plummeting in that direction too. Albeit beautiful, winter weather creates challenges for everyone. At times, it can be particularly problematic for seniors who need extended home care through a PCA services program. Snow storms and the accompanied slippery sidewalk aftermath can contribute to a wide range of injuries and illnesses. Here are some ways that seniors should prepare for the season from the home healthcare experts at Best Home Care.
- Wear Plenty of Layers: Seniors are susceptible to hypothermia. They should dress warmly to stop heat from escaping the body. Invest in a thick hat, fluffy mittens, and wool socks since most heat is lost through the body’s extremities.
- Choose the Right Shoes: To avoid falls, wear non-skip boots with lots of traction. Don’t be too proud to use hand rails or a sturdy arm of your Best Home Care home attendant, sometimes shoes are not enough.
- Stay Active this Season: If you receive in home supportive services and still complete your own household chores, do some stretching before shoveling the driveway to warm up first. Cold weather work can put extra strain on the body.
- Fight the Flu with Food: Hot food and drinks are great to warm up after working outside. But it is even more important that we remember good nutrition habits during the winter time. Find specific dietary suggestions to keep healthy here.
- Stock Up on Necessities: Avoid having to leave the house right after a storm by purchasing items you can’t survive a few days without, like toilet paper or coffee, in bigger amounts during the colder months.
If you have any questions about where to turn to for some assistance while preparing for winter weather, additional tips to help reduce injuries and illnesses during this frigid season, or anything else related to life as an adult seeking quality home care, contact the team of home care providers at Best Home Care.