Avoiding Slips in the Winter Weather

Extreme Caregiving: Keeping the Elderly Safe When the Weather Goes Wild - independent home careIt 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.

Respecting Privacy When Providing PCA Services

Caregiving Resources, Home Care ServicesIn 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Travel Dos and Don’ts for a Safe and Successful Holiday Season

Senior Home Care, Personal Care AssistantsThe 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.

5 Ways Seniors Should Prepare for Upcoming Winter Weather

parental-love-private-in-home-careThe 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Celebrate National Caregivers Month with Best Home Care

Transitional Home Care for SeniorsThey are dependable, compassionate, patient, and strong. They are caregivers. It’s important to recognize the impact home caregivers employed by Best Home Care and other in home care agencies make every day, but especially during November since it marks National Caregivers Month.


Beginning in 1994 with President Clinton, each successive president has signed a proclamation to set aside a month to honor individuals in the PCA healthcare industry and their home care contributions to the community. In 2015, President Obama wrote “I encourage all Americans to pay tribute to those who provide for the health and well-being of their family members, friends, and neighbors.”


Many people who provide home care assistance for a family member don’t recognize themselves as caregivers. Don’t forget to think of these folks too when you join Best Home Care in celebrating quality care attendants so that they receive the same support that they show for those they look after. Here are Best Home Care’s three favorite ways to support a deserving caregiver:

  1. Buy a Gift: A bouquet of bright flowers or gift card to their favorite restaurant complete with a thank you note can remind a caregiver that you appreciate all that they do and boost their mood.
  2. Do a Favor: Sometimes a caregiver does not want to seem like a nuisance and won’t seek help when they need it. Offer to run to the store to pick up something they need or sit with their client while they run a quick errand.
  3. Be a Friend: Make a phone call or pay a visit and ask how their week has been. Shifting the conversation towards the caregiver can provide them with a break from only thinking about the person they care for all of the time.


Contact Best Home Care today for more tips to recognize, celebrate, and thank your Minnesota home care specialists in during National Caregivers Month and beyond.

Trick or Treating Dos and Don’ts for a Safe and Spooky Halloween

home care tips, personal care assistant adviceIt wouldn’t be Halloween without trick or treating, a popular pastime for almost anyone with taste buds. The opportunity to wear a creative costume and collect heaps of candy make it many people’s favorite time of year. However, the responsibility of caring for autism home therapy or elderly home care clients and their family members on this holiday can cause enough stress to make personal care attendants go a bit batty. Best Home Care has composed a list of Dos and Don’ts for our PCA program clients and staff to follow for a safe and spooky Halloween!


This Halloween, Do:

  • Plan a route in advance: Trick or treat in an area that you and your client are familiar with to avoid getting lost.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: Blisters result in frustration for the recipient and whoever has to help them walk home.
  • Stay well-lit: Try to avoid all black costumes and arm your entire group with flashlights or glow sticks.

This Halloween, Don’t:

  • Wear a mask: Masks can obstruct vision and often grow annoying so they are tossed aside quick.
  • Cross the street alone: Assign everyone a buddy or make it a game not to break the hand holding chain.
  • Dismiss the weather: Pack a zip-up sweatshirt that will add warmth without distracting from a costume.


Best Home Care believes that personal care aids can skip the stress this trick or treat season if they study these simple dos and don’ts. They hope to provide their employees and accompanied crew of clients and family members outfitted as princesses, superheroes, and ghost busters with the best Halloween experience yet. Contact Best Home Care to learn more about adapting holiday traditions to fit extended home care patient needs.

Call a TV Time-Out: Five Television Alternatives for Seniors

bigstock-home-caregiver-7540770With hundreds of cable channels available, it is understandable for seniors receiving PCA services to get sucked into a fifth episode of The Golden Girls on TV Land, a second feature film starring Clint Eastwood, or third hour of up-to-the-minute sports news coverage on ESPN. In fact, retirees spend more than half of their leisure time watching TV according to a study from U.S. News & World Report. That adds up to about four hours per day on average.


While television time at a quality home care center can be relaxing, Best Home Care is confident that seniors are searching for more meaningful ways to spend the rest of their retirement. Call a TV time-out and share these five fun screen time alternatives from Best Home Care with your favorite retiree or personal care assistant.

  1. Volunteer Work
    • It can be difficult for professionals to immediately stop working after spending years committed to a career. Volunteering at a local hospital, library, food pantry, or art center is a positive way to contribute to the community and share your skill set.
  2. Adventurous Cooking
    • So many aspects of our daily lives, including meals, seem rushed (like daily life at a personal care agency). Additional leisure time allows seniors the opportunity to slow down, relax, and enjoy the process of preparing and eating food. Try substituting some of your favorite frozen dinners or take-out dishes with healthier, home-made versions. Get started by skimming our Eating Right for Seniors blog series.
  3. Home Improvements
    • Stop watching a carpenter craft a solid oak side table or an interior decorator sew pillow covers for some outdated accessories on HGTV and tackle these projects in real life!
  4. Physical Activity
    • Balance every hour of TV time with a bike ride around the block, journey up and down the stairs, or stroll through the garden with a friend or your home attendant. Incorporate some stretching before and after exercising to help prevent sore muscles. Best Home Care recently revealed their top five stretches for seniors in elderly care homes here.
  5. Reading Literature
    • Cracking open a book is more mentally stimulating than staring at a screen. If you lack motivation to start a book or have trouble selecting titles, join a book club. These meetings also provide an excellent opportunity to socialize and meet people who share common interests, perhaps even another suggestion on this list!

Contact Best Home Care to learn more about incorporating TV alternatives into your premier home care plan!

Stretching for Seniors: Top 5 Benefits and Moves

family home caregiver, home care professionalIt is natural for your muscles and joints to weaken as you age. However, the extent to which your strength, flexibility, and circulation deteriorates is dependent on the care you give your bodies. Stretching is vitally important for seniors and their home care aides to keep in mind.

Below are Best Home Care’s top 5 benefits that stretching has for seniors:

  1. Increased Strength
    • Stretching boosts strength and can help raise energy levels.
  2. Maintained Flexibility
    • Stretching can help prevent simple tasks like bending down to tie your shoe from becoming tiring chores that require help from a home care attendant.
  3. Improved Circulation
    • Stretching promotes stronger blood flow circulation and stops discomfort from muscle cramps after sitting for a long time in an elderly care home.
  4. Improved Posture
    • Stretching strengthens your core and can help seniors sit up straight.
  5. Reduced Risk for Injury
    • Seniors can recover faster from the inevitable stumble with regular stretching. This also helps them avoid increases in the cost of home care.

It is easy to forget to plan a little extra time to stretch, but it is an essential part of keeping seniors receiving elderly home care services healthy. Try incorporating these 5 moves from Best Home Care into your routine by setting aside a designated time each day. Start with 5 to 10 reps for each stretch and increase that number once you feel ready and your home care specialists agree.

  1. Shoulder Roll
    • Sit with your feet flat on the floor. Roll your shoulders up, back, down, and forward in a circular motion.
  2. Ankle Circle
    • Sit with your feet flat on the ground. Lift one leg off the floor and roll your ankle in a circular motion. Try a clockwise and a counterclockwise motion. Repeat with the other ankle.
  3. Straight Arm Raise
    • Lie on your back with knees bent and arms at your sides. Lift one arm off the floor to an upright position. Repeat with the other arm.
  4. Knee to Chest
    • Lie on your back with knees bent and arms at your sides. Lift one knee toward your chest and return to the floor. Repeat with the other knee.
  5. Hip Flex
    • Begin on your hands and knees with your back straight like a table top. Slowly move your hips back before returning to the starting position.

Remember to keep breathing while stretching and to stop if any stretch causes pain. To learn more about stretching for seniors contact Best Home Care!

Pets Can Greatly Benefit Home Care Patients

home care services, PCA services, at home care

Many of us have cherished memories of playing with a childhood pet, but did you know that animals have great benefits for home care patients? Studies have consistently shown that having pets in the home has a positive impact on an individual’s emotional health. This boost in spirits is especially noticeable for those receiving in-home care and can have a real influence on their overall health.

Pets help fight back against one of the most common struggles that those receiving home care services face: depression. According to Ian Cook, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Depression research Clinic Program at UCLA, “Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression.” In addition, this unconditional love can help reduce stress and improve a person’s mood.

The home care professionals here at Best Home Care are all animal lovers and many have pets of their own. We understand the joy that a pet can bring and encourage our personal care assistants to incorporate animals into their home care plans when able. Here are some ways that pets can enhance a home care plan:


Alzheimer’s Home Care and Pets

Studies have shown that pets can reduce the number of anxious outbursts of Alzheimer’s patients if there is an animal in the home. The companionship of having a pet can also trigger pleasant memories and improve the mood of the home care patient.

Increased Exercise

Taking a dog on a walk is a fantastic activity for home care patients that are able. Along with exercise, simply getting outside can improve a senior home care patient’s demeanor and can encourage them to take part in social activities.

Heart Disease Protection

Several studies have shown a link between pet ownership and a reduced risk of heart disease. In addition, having a dog or a cat has been shown to increase the likelihood of surviving a heart attack.

While pets can have health benefits, they may not be a smart choice for your home care patient. To learn more about the benefits of pet ownership and if an animal is a good fit for a specific home care plan contact Best Home Care!

If you or a loved one is interested in getting a pet we encourage you to contact your local humane society.

Eating Right for Seniors: Curbing the Sweet Tooth

elderly senior being brought meal by carer or nurseIt’s no secret that seniors like to eat sweets. Spend any time with a senior citizen and you’re likely to be offered candy, desert, or a cookie. While tasty forms of hospitality, this growing love of sugar among the elderly is the result of a natural human progression that we will all experience.


The sense of taste is directly correlated to the number and sensitivity of taste buds. Humans have between 10,000 and 15,000 taste buds at our best. However, as we age we lose taste buds and the ones we have left become increasingly less sensitive. As a result, sweets and salts take over our cravings as we try to get the same enjoyment out of eating. Unfortunately, these foods often come with increased calorie counts and greater amounts of fat. The lack of nutritional value in these foods can be particularly dangerous for a senior’s diet, putting them at risk for severe health concerns.


Our senior home care professionals experience this everyday while working to keep their patients eating healthy. It can be hard to curve the senior sweet tooth, but there are good tactics to keep them eating healthy while still enjoying the foods they eat. Below are some healthy snacks that make for great substitutes to sugary treats:

  • Cut fruit mixed with flavored yogurt
  • Applesauce with cinnamon
  • Seedless grapes with honey
  • Vegetables with nut butter dip


If a senior has trouble swallowing or digesting solids, a great solution is blended drinks. Preparing fruit smoothies can be a healthy treat that also has great nutritional benefits.


When it comes to preparing foods for seniors, it’s important to not deny them their cravings. It’s important to maintain a good balance of sugary treats with nutritional food options in a senior meal plan. With home care resources and professional caregiver support, Best Home Care helps personal care assistants and the family caregiver build healthy senior home care plans. Contact our Twin Cities home care professionals to learn more!