One 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!
One 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!
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.
In addition to fraud, another major issue in the home care industry is staffing shortages among direct support professionals and personal care assistants. This is often caused when a PCA or home care professional is absent or unable to provide in-home supportive services for a short time. To help address this issue, the app is being updated to include On-Demand PCA Services, and we are proud to offer this technology to our recipients. Similar to ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft, the updated functionality will allow for users to self-staff when their regularly scheduled PCA is absent. To help find personal care assistants best qualified to help them, home care recipients are able to set criteria for the personal care assistants or get help from any available worker at their home care agency.
The idea of On-Demand PCA Services is relatively new and typically only limited to the private pay model. We are excited to offer this technology those receiving home care services through Medicaid.
The updates to the Homecare Timesheets app will be available in late February 2017. For more information on this update or the Homecare Timesheets app, visit www.homecaretimesheetsapp.com!
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.
Seasonal affective disorder can impact anyone and the home care professionals at Best Home Care have felt symptoms from time to time. It’s important to ensure that these common feelings don’t evolve into a more serious condition requiring medical treatment like depression or bipolar disorder. Tracking emotional health is especially important for those receiving personal health care and at-home care services.
Below are some ways that home care aids and PCAs can help their patients beat the winter blues this year:
- More Sun! Exposure to natural sunlight has been shown to increase energy levels and improve moods during the winter months. Make it a point to get outside at least once a day and/or open up the shades to let the sun shine in.
- Get Moving Exercise during these winter months is essential to stay healthy both physically and mentally. Personal care assistants should encourage their patients to participate in at least one physical activity per day.
- Don’t Get Sick Colder months mean sickness which will only worsen SAD. Make a habit of frequently washing your hands with soap and using a sanitizer to wipe down commonly touched areas like doorknobs, faucet handles, and phones.
For more home care tips and resources, contact the professionals at Best Home Care. We enjoy sharing ideas on how to provide the best home care and will work with you to ensure your personal care services are the best they can be. Learn more about seasonal affective disorder and how it can affect any age of individual receiving in-home supportive services.
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.