Is a Pet Right for Your Homecare Patient?

Pets In Homecare Services

Best Home Care specializes in helping seniors and persons with disabilities or special needs find their ideal homecare services. With our expertise, network, and resources, we can assist in helping you find the best home healthcare services in Minnesota.

 

Among other benefits, personal care assistants can provide friendship and company to their patients. However, there is nothing quite like having a furry friend to spend time with! Having a pet around can provide extensive mental and even physical benefits, such as:

 

 

 

 

  • Reducing Risk of Heart Disease. Studies have shown that pet ownership may be linked with lower blood pressure, as well as low cholesterol levels. Pet owners are also reportedly more active, which of course provides huge physical benefits.
  • Reducing Loneliness and Isolation. Feelings of loneliness and isolation are very common, especially in senior citizens. Having a furry friend around can make a significant difference in better mental health.
  • Encouraging Daily Routine. For adults that are retired, it can be hard to maintain a daily schedule, which is incredibly important for good mental and physical health. Needing to care for a pet encourages a regular structure.
  • Giving Responsibility. It can be hard for retired or elderly adults to feel the same sense of responsibility or the feeling of being needed as before retiring. Having a pet that relies on them can help with motivation and purpose.

 

If you have any questions regarding how to best provide home healthcare services to a friend or loved one, feel free to contact us at Best Home Care! You can call us at (651) 330-2550 or email us at info@besthomecaremn.com. For more information on us or our services, be sure to visit our website!

Filling Gaps in Home Care: Connecting Recipients with Passionate Caregivers

Home care is essential for many disabled, elderly, and chronically ill people who need assistance with daily living. In-home care also helps people with special needs maintain some independence and continue living in their communities. However, despite the crucial nature of this service, there are currently not enough home care workers to fulfill the demand for care in Minnesota.[1]

 

Recipients of home health care often experience dangerous gaps in service due to absent or unavailable caregivers. The majority of home health agencies undergo significant turnover and employ mostly part-time personal care assistants (PCAs). Many PCAs work part-time for as few as 10 or 20 hours per week.

 

It needs to be easier for PCAs who want to work more hours to do so. But it is also essential to give workers the option of providing in-home supportive services on a part-time basis, and open the door for more qualified, passionate people to join the industry.

 

Often, wage increases for home care jobs are suggested as the solution to the problem. While important and deserved in a tough industry with risks of stress and injury, the impact of increased wages would be limited by the following factors:

  • Reimbursement rates for services set by the state limit how much home care agencies can pay workers and still remain in business.
  • The expected raises of approximately $2/hour would not be a sufficient incentive to retain PCAs in caregiver jobs.
  • Most caregivers are not in it for the money, but for the personal fulfillment brought by helping someone in need.

 

So how will we meet Minnesota’s demand for home care? Through a more creative and innovative answer that builds on the last bulleted factor.

 

We should stop treating caregiving like it is just another career, and recognize it for what it really is: a vocation for supportive, compassionate people who desire rewarding work.

 

The home care industry would be hard-pressed to attract new workers to the field with promises of riches and career advancement, but we can offer the happiness that comes from giving one’s time to people who need help.

 

Companies like Uber and Lyft revolutionized the transportation industry by leveraging the convenience and ease of a smartphone application to make drivers out of people who would never be traditional taxi drivers. An app that connects people who are not currently working as PCAs – but who have a desire to provide care – with recipients in need can help to alleviate the home care worker shortage.

 

The PCA On Demand mobile application connects home care recipients with caregivers directly and remotely, allowing them to “self staff” immediately when they need a caregiver.

 

This works to fully utilize the existing PCA workforce by eliminating enrollment barriers and providing an easy, convenient way for recipients and caregivers to connect instantly. Recipients can use the app to search for a caregiver using set criteria or browse through a list of PCAs. Caregivers can create a profile, accept shifts, and receive driving directions using PCA On Demand. Like Uber, this app helps with billing and scheduling to make it as simple as possible to provide part-time, tailored services for those who want to help but may have a full-time job elsewhere.

 

The team at Best Home Care is passionate about supporting personal care assistants and those who benefit from their services. The PCA On Demand mobile application is one of many ways we work to elevate the industry. For more information about home care services, please contact us.

 

[1] Minnesota Department of Human Services’ 2014-2015 Gap Analysis

Identifying and Mitigating Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver BurnoutBest Home Care specializes in all aspects of homecare services. We understand both sides of homecare: knowing the importance of a loved one getting the quality homecare that they need, and the caregiver being able to do their best to provide home healthcare while caring for themselves as well. While being a home caregiver is certainly rewarding, we understand that it is no easy job. When a caregiver is stressed, worried, or tired for too long, they may be heading toward a burnout.

 

 

Here are some signs to look out for if you or a caregiver you know is becoming burnt out:

 

  1. Irritation or anger
  2. Withdrawing from family or friends
  3. Changes in eating habits
  4. Lack of motivation
  5. Exhausted emotionally and physically

 

Given how demanding it can be to provide homecare, especially when dealing with a close friend or family member, many caregivers sacrifice their own wellbeing for others. To provide the best homecare, however, balance is needed!

 

If you are a caregiver that is feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or burnt out, here are some steps to take that can make a real difference:

 

  1. Start with Physical Health. Focus on making sure you are eating right and getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. Even just taking 20 minutes to throw in the earbuds and go for a walk can do wonders.
  2. Find Support Groups. There are plenty of support groups that are meant especially for caregivers, and provide a space to talk openly about daily struggles. Having someone to vent and talk to is always helpful with stress.
  3. Seek Professional Help. When things get to be too much, it can be well worth it to see a therapist or psychologist. Not only does it give you someone to talk to, but they can also help you take steps to manage your stress and workload.

 

For more information on homecare services for the elderly, children, or persons with disabilities, or for more on how to avoid getting burnt out as a caregiver, contact us at (651) 330-2550, info@besthomecare.com or visit our website for more on our services.

 

Amazing Apps that Benefit Children with Autism

Tech Trends in Home CareOver the past couple weeks at Best Home Care, we have explored some innovative apps that can help make life easier for not just the elderly but their home caregivers and at home nurses. In addition to these helpful apps for seniors in homecare and personal care assistants, we wanted to provide some helpful apps for children in pediatric homecare, specifically children with autism.

 

Approximately one in 68 children in the United States has some form of autism and it seems that there is new information coming out every day on way to help those with this disorder. These smartphone apps are specifically designed to help autistic children with emotional and social development:

 

  • Learn with Rufus uses a character that teaches words regarding emotions, facial expressions, and seeing and recognizing these in others.
  • Model Me Going Places 2 helps children understand appropriate behavior while out in places in the community such as the doctor’s office, grocery store, mall, restaurants and parks.
  • The Social Express is an interactive app that works to address certain situations a child with autism may struggle to comprehend, such as school, being social, and enjoying successes in life. It also encourages social interaction and helps in practicing it!
  • Autism Express helps children to identify emotional and facial expressions in others as well as indentifying and expressing their own!
  • Grace teaches special needs children how to better communicate by building sentences. This mobile app is customizable with specific words and images.

 

Best Home Care is proud to help individuals in the Twin Cities find their ideal home healthcare solution, as well as helping home healthcare aids find patients they can help on their unique schedule. Each day we help people of all ages and care situations find the homecare services they need. Our homecare professionals love to take it one step further and offer all the tips we can for whatever challenges you or your loved one are facing.

 

Visit our website for more information on our home care services, and for any questions, comments or concerns feel free to email us at info@besthomecaremn.com or call us at 651-330-2550.

The Dos and Don’ts of Being a PCA: Do Be Professional

Choosing the Right Home Health Care for Your Family Member

Personal care assistants and family caregivers are lucky to have such a great job! Home care is a very rewarding career that allows an individual to make a valuable difference in the lives of others. Home caregivers play a very important role in those they provide in home supportive services for. While it may be easy to fall into a day-to-day routine, it’s important to always be at the top of your game and remain professional, especially when someone’s health is in the balance.

There is no required level of education needed to provide home health care in the state of Minnesota. In fact, the majority of family caregivers start providing care as an act of love or out of necessity with little to no knowledge or experience in the field. No matter what your level of experience, acting professionally is a critical part of providing the best home care. At times this can be difficult, especially when the patient and home care worker are very close (as in the case of family caregivers).

At Best Home Care, we hold our personal care assistants to the highest standards and expect nothing but complete professionalism everyday. Here is what it means to be a home care professional at our Minneapolis home care agency:

A Home Care Professional Will Always:

  • Treat patients with the utmost respect and dignity
  • Be a trustworthy confidant for their patients
  • Remain honest and ethical while providing home care services or interacting with patients
  • Strive to receive the highest level PCA training and education

Being a professional goes far beyond any specific license or education one can receive. Throughout all their duties, home care professionals must act in the best interest of their client’s health and well-being.

Best Home Care takes pride in our personal care assistants and the reputation we have garnered as a professional home care agency in the Twin Cities. Contact us to talk with a home care professional today!

Tips and Tricks to Stay Organized While Working as a Personal Care Assistant

Tips to keep organized as personal care assistant

As a personal care assistant providing home health services, it’s a safe bet that your life is pretty chaotic. Balancing multiple patients’ medications, daily plans, and personal requirements while trying to keep up with your own life can be exhausting. Without an effective way to stay organized, it’s easy for home health professionals to become overwhelmed by the many demands of their job.

Everybody has their own unique way to organize their life and what works for one personal care attendant may not work for another. The home health specialists at Best Home Care recently put their heads together to come up with some tips and tricks to help those providing in-home supportive services stay organized. Here are the results:

  • Keep a Caregiving Calendar: This is a smart way to keep track of medications, appointments, and many other items. Download a calendar or scheduling app for your smartphone to make it more convenient.
  • Start a Caregiving Journal: Start keeping track of each home care service you provided and take general notes about each patient’s needs each day. This can be very valuable in the event of an emergency or transition to a new caregiver.
  • Be Prepared for an Emergency: Falling? Seizures? Whatever the most likely emergency may be, create a plan of what you will do until medical assistance arrives.
  • Make a List of Necessities: Post a list of everything you need each day on your refrigerator and be sure to double-check it before heading out the door.
  • Create a Patient Folder: Make copies of all medical, insurance, and other important documents for each of your patients. Keep these papers in separate labeled folders where you can easily access them.

Keeping your work and personal life organized is a crucial part of providing quality home care services. Best Home Care is happy to assist by handling the many administration tasks that come with caregiver jobs. Contact us today to see how we can organize your PCA services.

What Can Home Care Do For You? Find Support for Persons with Learning Disorders.

Autism Home Support ServicesAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 children was identified with an autism spectrum disorder in 2010. The CDC also reported that 11% of children between the ages of 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. The number of cases of children with learning disabilities like these has risen sharply over the last decade. This growth is expected to continue as more is learned about these disorders and how to diagnose them.

Parents with children that live with a learning disorder know first-hand the challenges that come with these conditions. Difficulties keeping up in school and making new friends are common. Many parents take on these struggles and share in their child’s emotional stress and frustration caused by a learning disorder.

If this sounds familiar, it’s important to remember that there is home health assistance available for you and your child. Hiring a personal care attendant is a smart way to give your child the extra help they need and you the time to take a break. Personal care attendants are trained to provide ADHD and autism home support services for children with learning disabilities.

PCA services benefit those living with learning disorders by:

  • Ensuring that the child remains safe
  • Scheduling a predictable daily routine
  • Assisting with schoolwork through tutoring and homework help
  • Providing help with diet and exercise needs
  • Offering companionship and support

Best Home Care serves personal care assistants that provide ADHD and autism home support services by facilitating administrative tasks and providing valuable resources. We also help family caregivers find out how to get paid for taking care of a family member. If you or someone you know is caring for a child with a learning disability, contact us today! Our professional staff will answer any home care questions you may have and explain the benefits of in-home supportive services for individuals living with learning disorders.

Caring for the Caregiver: The Powerful Benefits of a Helping Hand

Find Support for CaregiversWhen you provide a friend, family member, or other loved one with care services, you are helping that person to live a more comfortable, independent live. While that individual’s life becomes easier, the home caregiver’s life often becomes busier. Providing home care is a demanding, if fulfilling, responsibility, and one that may lead to burnout for the caregiver.

Caregiver burnout is one of the most common struggles those providing at-home care will face. According to Web MD, this is “a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude – from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned.”

For those suffering from caregiver burnout, the best solution is to simply take a break. This is where other family members and friends come in. To give the caregiver a reprieve from their daily duties, another individual or personal care assistant will temporarily provide care in their place. Some time off, whether for a few hours or a few weeks, can provide exceptional support.

Here are some ways that a backup and a break can benefit you as a caregiver:

  • Provide time to run errands, meet with friends, or take care of other commitments
  • Allow you to continue to work, generate income, and keep health benefits
  • Give you the opportunity to take time for yourself to see a movie, take a class, go on vacation, etc.

In most situations, a caregiver will ask a family member or friend to share the caregiving responsibilities. If you have someone who has agreed to help you by providing home care for a while, get in touch with Best Home Care. Our helpful staff will guide you through the process of training and/or paying an additional caregiver and the administrative work that comes with it.  Best Home Care also provides resources and support for caregivers to help you stay healthy, avoid caregiver burnout, and continue to provide quality home care.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help facilitate a temporary transition between caregivers, and discover other helpful caregiver resources.

Caring for the Caregiver: Know Your Resources

Find Caregiver Support GroupsProviding at-home care is a selfless and noble act. However, caregivers often become consumed by this responsibility and forget to take care of themselves. Whether you’re a seasoned home care professional or just getting started, it’s always helpful to have someone to lean on. Below are a few resources that offer support for caregivers and tips to stay healthy in order to provide the best home care possible.

Caregiver Support Groups

Support groups are a great way to connect with the other caregivers in your community. These meetings are usually held online or in-person at a local community center or hospital. Here is what you can expect when attending a caregiver support group:

  • A safe place for sharing experiences and feelings
  • Advice on providing home care and coping with difficult emotions
  • Information about other caregiver resources
  • New friends

Find caregiver support groups near you: www.caregiver.com/regionalresources/

Care for Yourself

While providing care for another, it can be easy to forget to care for yourself. Caregiver burnout, depression, and anxiety may affect home care professionals. Below are some things you can do to take care of yourself:

  • Seek social support: Work to maintain relationships with family and friends
  • Accept help from relatives: Do not try to do it all by yourself
  • Stay Healthy: Regular exercise and healthy eating are essential
  • Learn as much as you can: Many organizations such as the Red Cross and the Alzheimer’s Association offer classes on various illnesses and disabilities

Other Caregiver Resources

The Internet is a great place to learn more about your role as a caregiver and to find support. Below are some websites that provide great resources for caregivers:

AARP Caregiving Page 
Mayo Clinic- Tips for Taking Care of Yourself
Mayo Clinic- Preventing Caregiver Depression
Minnesota Family Caregiver Alliance
National Institute of Health Senior Health Guide
Medicare Caregiving Resource Center

For more information and resources on caregiving, please contact Best Home Care. Our team is ready to encourage and assist you with finding support and education on providing quality home care.

Respite Care for Children with Disabilities Provides Support for Parents

Respite Care for ChildrenAccording to the U.S. Department of Education, there are approximately 6.5 million children with special needs in the country – a number nearly double that of the 1970s. This growing population segment has not only put a demand on the special education programs within our schools, but the parents of these children as well.

In order to care for their child, many parents will choose to work fewer hours or quit their job entirely. This decision, while done with the right intentions, often results in a less than ideal situation. Money problems, loss of health benefits, and inadequate home care training are just a few issues parents may encounter when giving up their job. It’s important to understand the different options available and how they can benefit you before making a decision.

Respite care for children with special needs is a type of temporary at-home care in which a certified personal care assistant provides in-home, supportive services on a custom schedule. The purpose of respite care for special needs children is to give parents a break, allowing them to tend to the needs of their other children, spouses, and themselves. Here are some ways that respite care services for your child can benefit you as a parent:

  • Allow you to continue to work, generate income, and keep health benefits.
  • Provide time to run errands, meet with friends, or take care of other activities outside the home.
  • Care schedules can be tailored to fit your specific needs.
  • Gives you the opportunity to take time for yourself to go to a movie, take a class, etc.

As a parent of a child with physical, developmental, learning, or mental disabilities or delays, it’s important to consider all options before making decisions regarding the home care of your son or daughter. At Best Home Care, we help parents make respite care decisions every day. Our team of experienced home care professionals is ready to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to learn how our respite care services can help you and your family today.