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.

 

Downsizing Benefits for Seniors

Senior MovingAt Best Home Care, it is always our number one goal to match the right individual with the right home caregiver for quality homecare. But we know that so much more goes into effective care than just finding a good match. One challenge that many seniors face as they get older is the need to downsize.

 

While moving is always a bit stressful, a smaller space can be a fresh start for many seniors. Here are some of the best benefits that a smaller living space provides:

  1. Lower costs: This is an obvious benefit for anyone interested in downsizing. Retirees who still have a mortgage or are paying rent could cut their costs drastically by moving to a smaller space.
  2. Less housework: A smaller space means less to vacuum and dust. It also often means less yardwork and home maintenance, which can be a great relief.
  3. Easier to get around: For many seniors or persons with disabilities, even the trek between the bedroom and the living room can be tiring. Condensing the living space (and eliminating stairs if possible) can make day-to-day activities easier.
  4. More flexibility: More options become open, especially when downsizing from a home to an apartment. Moving between locations (or trying different communities) is easier, and apartment buildings often have added amenities just down the hall.

 

Of course, even with a smaller home, there is nothing that provides the peace of mind of knowing your loved one is being cared for like having a homecare assistant you trust. That is where Best Home Care can help. Stop by our website for information on our services or feel free to contact us at 651-330-2550 or info@besthomecaremn.com.

Help for Hoarders

At Best Home Care, we understand that providing quality home care consists of so much more than just basic home healthcare. We know that the best personal care assistants, home nurses, and home caregivers understand the importance of good mental health as well as physical health.

 

One mental health disorder that affects many seniors is hoarding. This condition has gotten much attention lately in the media with TV shows dedicated to helping hoarders. In order to help loved ones better understand this problem, here are important recommendations for families to consider when assisting someone with a hoarding problem.

 

 

  • Hoarding is a disorder: It has symptoms and behaviors like any other disorder. It is important to consider the underlying cause behind the behavior. Hoarding is characterized by extreme difficulty parting with possessions, despite their value (or lack thereof).
  • Hoarding may be part of something bigger: In particular, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, OCD, and dementia can lead to developing a hoarding disorder.
  • Start help right away: Acknowledge the problem right away rather than putting it off or waiting, as it may just get worse. Seek professional help from the beginning. There are experts trained to deal with not only the physical conditions of certain environments but also the mental health aspects.
  • Don’t get frustrated: When conditions get bad or unhealthy, most people want to find a quick solution and get to work throwing stuff out. However, throwing everything out can lead to worse mental health conditions for the person hoarding as the experience can be very traumatic.
  • Find quality help: Knowing that this is a mental health disorder, it stands to reason that the person struggling needs to find suitable therapy and treatment. Finding the right doctors and professionals and being consistent with treatment is essential to getting better.

 

For any questions and concerns regarding hoarding or anything related to finding homecare services for seniors, people with disabilities, or children, be sure to visit our website. You may also call us at (651) 330-2550 or send us an email at info@besthomecaremn.com.

Music Streaming and its Benefits for Seniors

Music and Homecare ServicesAt Best Home Care, we pride ourselves on being up to date on all the new and innovative therapies that can assist in elderly care, senior homecare, pediatric homecare and home health care for the disabled. One major form of art therapy that has been growing quite a bit in the last ten years is music therapy.

 

Home healthcare aides and personal care assistants have been able to incorporate music therapy in their homecare services. While it has proven to aid in reducing anxiety and stress, it can actually provide all those benefits and more for seniors. Music can be extremely beneficial to those suffering from dementia. It helps to reminisce on past experiences and memories and serves as a mood booster.

 

Here are some of the most popular artists for the elderly based on their age:

  • Age 90 and up: Try some classics from the 30’s by the Andrews Sisters, Benny Goodman, Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Fred Astaire, and Judy Garland.
  • Age 80-90: Some popular singers of this generation include Dinah Shore, Nat King Cole, Patti Page, Tony Bennett, Billie Holiday, and Glenn Miller.
  • Age 70-80: Bring back some classic songs from the 50’s. Include The Rat Pack, Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Conway Twitty, and Connie Francis.
  • Age 60-70: The 60’s had some great artists and you will definitely want to include Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Simon & Garfunkel, The Supremes, and Roy Orbison.

 

While Best Home Care specializes in helping families find quality homecare services, we also want you to have every advantage when it comes to caring for your own loved ones. That is why we are always available to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Feel free to call us at (651) 330-2550, email us at info@besthomecaremn.com, or visit our website today for more information on our services and everything we can do to help you feel peace of mind knowing your loved ones are in good hands.

How to Talk About Senior Home Care for the First Time

Best Home Care makes it our mission to make finding quality homecare for seniors easier. In addition to finding the ideal home caregivers, personal care assistants, and home nurses for each person’s individual needs; we want to make the process of finding homecare for seniors better by addressing the important issues you should talk about.

 

Here are a few of the main topics you should be sure to address when talking about senior home care to caregivers and loved ones. Be sure you are in a comfortable and familiar setting where everyone can easily express his or her concerns:

 

  1. Address Safety Concerns: Is it more difficult for your loved one to get around the house? Speak openly about concerns regarding a safe environment. This includes getting to and from the car in hazardous weather conditions for example. Be sure to listen to their concerns as well.
  2. Talk Openly About Medications: Taking medications can be tough to remember especially if they have to be taken multiple times a day. Being in communication with caregivers about medication needs is very important.
  3. Educate Yourself, Your Loved Ones, and Caregivers: Learning more about the home care options for seniors will provide everyone with a better idea of what type of care will be the best fit.
  4. Show Empathy for the Senior in Your Life: Imagine it was you in this situation, how would you want to be spoken to? Be kind and calm to show you care and remember there is no rush to make a decision. It can be very overwhelming to feel pressured to make a big decision right away so be sure to have multiple conversations on the subject.

 

If talking about senior healthcare is completely new for you and you feel confused about the process, remember that is why we are here! Best Home Care can help with all your questions and concerns. For more information on our services, feel free to call us at 651-330-2550, email us at info@besthomecaremn.com, or visit our website today!

Halloween Fun for Senior Home Care Patients!

home care tips, personal care assistant adviceHalloween is always a fun time of year with pumpkin carving, trick or treating and dressing up in crazy costumes, but the fun doesn’t have to for those receiving home care. At Best Home Care, we want our personal care assistants, home caregivers, and healthcare aides to be aware of fun ways that everyone can enjoy Halloween regardless of age! There are plenty of ways to have fun safely while receiving home healthcare.

 

Below are a few fun ideas to keep in mind when celebrating the season with home care patients and loved ones:

 

  1. Halloween Movie Marathon: This is a must for any scary movie lover during the fall. Break out the old classics from their time and a few newer movies, then pop some popcorn and have a binge-fest!
  2. Pumpkin Decorating: Maybe the senior in your life isn’t one who enjoys a good scare. Try something creative, relaxing, yet fall themed like decorating pumpkins. Carving isn’t necessary if it is too physically difficult, break out some colorful paints and create some wacky and festive decorations.
  3. Halloween Board Games: Everyone enjoys a fun board game, and with classics like Clue or Mystery Mansion it is easy to have a game night with a fun Halloween twist! Senior caregivers can even look up Halloween themed Pictionary or Charades topics for even more game night options.
  4. Have a Fall Food Picnic: Invite family, friends and neighbors out to a park and bring some fall food classics like caramel apples, pumpkin pie, and apple cider to enjoy in the crisp fall weather.
  5. Scary Stories: Nothing says Halloween like telling ghost stories. Light a fire and share some spooky stories together. If you don’t have any of your own, look up some from the Internet and print them off, then trade off reading with friends, family, and home health aides.

 

For more ideas on how to make the most of your home healthcare experience feel free to call Best Home Care at (651) 330-2550 or email us at info@besthomecaremn.com. If you are interested in seeing all the homecare services we provide be sure to visit our website today!

Benefits of Yoga for Senior Citizens

At Best Home Care, we believe in helping others to find their best quality homecare through personal care assistants, home nursing, and home caregivers. But we know that there is so much more that goes into improving the quality of life of those in home healthcare. That is why we make it our mission to stay up to date on all new treatments and activities that can improve life for seniors, children, and the disabled.

 

This week, we have found some amazing benefits of yoga for seniors. Yoga classes for seniors are available at many yoga studios and community centers and there are even some simple videos online that can be done at home with a homecare assistant.

 

Here are some of the amazing benefits to consider:

 

  • Yoga can reduce tension and swelling in joints as well as decrease pain and discomfort caused by Arthritis.
  • It can help improve sleep quality.
  • Regular yoga can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure by reducing oxidative stress.
  • A huge benefit for seniors, yoga can improve balance, stability, joint mobility and builds strength- which decreases the risk of falling
  • Yoga is a mood booster and can help in relieving anxiety. It is calming and restorative and relaxes the body and mind and encourages mindfulness.
  • Improves flexibility and increases ease of motion through low impact movement that can help reduce aches and pains.
  • Improves respiratory health, as breathing is an essential part to practicing yoga.
  • Helps with managing Type 2 Diabetes by reducing stress levels and stimulating organs that regulate metabolism.

 

If you or a loved one is interested in adding some yoga into their daily routine, it may be something worth bringing up to a home health care aide. At Best Home Care our goal is helping those in need find their ideal home health care assistance. Visit our website for more information on our services, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions on homecare services! Call us at (651) 330-2550 or email us at info@besthomecaremn.com.

Fall Activities for Seniors Receiving Home Care Services

home care tips, personal care assistant adviceFall is a beautiful time of year and we here at Best Home Care want seniors and their families and home caregivers to make the most of it. After all, we don’t solely focus on helping people find quality homecare for seniors, pediatric homecare, and homecare for the disabled; but ensuring good quality of life for those receiving and providing homecare services.

 

Getting out and enjoying the crisp fall air is a great way to enjoy some time together! Here are some fun ideas on how to enjoy the fall with older loved ones and senior caregivers:

 

  • Plan a visit to the pumpkin patch! Head out with family or even just one on one with your patient or Pick out some pumpkins to make some pie. Some pumpkin patches even offer hayrides or corn mazes for the kids!
  • Check out a local fall festival! Fall means it’s time for Oktoberfests, which are perfect for sampling different foods, dancing, and enjoying time with those closest to you.
  • Visit an apple orchard! Speaking of food, there is nothing like getting some hot apple cider fresh from the orchard. You can pick apples to bring home and bake into a pie or crisp, or grab a delicious candy apple.
  • Head out to a local football game! Even if you aren’t a die-hard football fan, it can still be fun to sit with all the fans and enjoy the game.
  • Make some homemade fall decorations! There are plenty of opportunities for DIY projects to create some beautiful fall décor. You could even pick up some individual flowers and build your own fall bouquet.

 

At Best Home Care, we want the golden years to stay golden! That means enjoying and making the most of the time we spend together and we want your elderly homecare experience to help you do just that! For more information on our home health care services in the Twin Cities, visit our website, email us at info@besthomecaremn.com, or give us a call at (651) 330-2550.