Over the last thirty years, the number of people in the United States living ninety years or more has tripled; reaching nearly two-million individuals in 2010. This number is expected to continue to grow in the coming years as the Baby Boomer generation ages well past retirement. This growing population of elderly individuals means an increased demand for senior home care services. Many families are choosing to face this demand head on by caring for their loved ones themselves in lieu of formal at-home care services from a personal care assistant or home care agency.
“Family caregiver” is the most common job title in the home care industry. According to Caregiver.org, 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last twelve months. Whether a child caring for an aging parent or a parent caring for a disabled child, the number of family caregivers is expected to grow in step with the demand for home care services.
While the majority of home care duties will naturally fall on the adult children, many grandchildren are beginning to care for their aging grandparents in different ways. The relationship between a grandparent and grandchild is very different than that of their adult children and it’s important for grandchildren to fulfill their role when a grandparent is receiving senior home care services.
Below are some ways that grandchildren can care for their grandparents without actually providing PCA services:
Give them Something to Look Forward to: Grandparents love getting visits from their grandchildren and look forward to spending time with them. For those that have difficulty visiting their grandparents, schedule a future date when you will visit.
A Simple Call: A simple conversation with a grandchild can make a grandparent’s day. If you can’t visit in person, make it a priority to call them at least once a week. Try asking them questions about their past to spur stories.
Best Home Care is ready to help grandchildren find ways to get paid for caring for a family member. Contact us today to learn more!
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.
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.
Adjusting to life after an amputation not only requires a good amount of medical and physical care, but also emotional support as the individual learns to live without their limb or limbs. Whether the amputation was the result of a combat injury or a debilitating disease, transitioning to this new life can be a difficult process. The first few weeks after returning home from the hospital are typically the most trying as the individual is forced to relearn how to perform basic tasks around their home.
Home caregivers play a vitally important role in this process. The majority of the time, family members and friends serve as home caregivers for amputees and help guide in the transition to their new home life. Family caregivers greatly help amputees adjust to living at home by creating a safe and accessible living environment.
Below are some smart tactics to help create a more livable space for recent amputees returning from the hospital:
Entryway: If steps lead to the home’s doorway, temporary ramps should be installed to make getting in and out of the house easy.
Lighting: Motion-sensing lights can be installed inside and outside the home.
Doors: Traditional round doorknobs can be replaced with levers to make it easier for upper limb amputees to operate. In some cases, it may make sense to remove doors completely to make it easier to enter with a wheelchair.
Shower: Purchase a shower bench and grab bars to make getting in and out of the shower safer for lower limb amputees.
Kitchen: Lowering the sink and counters will make the kitchen more accessible for those in wheelchairs but can be costly. Other options include using the kitchen table for food prep and moving important items to lower shelves in cupboards.
For more information and guidance on providing home care for amputees, contact Best Home Care. Our team of home care professionals has helped many amputees receive the at-home care they need to adjust to their new home life.
December means three things: a barrage of holiday shopping sales, cinnamon flavored desserts, and NO SCHOOL! For students, winter break is the time to hang out with friends all day, anticipate their gift list, and not worry about schoolwork for weeks. While most children enjoy these days away from school, winter break can be a stressor for those kids receiving home care or other in home supportive services.
Children living with ADHD, Down syndrome, and other physical and mental challenges often rely on the day-to-day guidance of schoolteachers and special education assistants to complete many tasks. School’s consistent daily schedule gives students a structured environment and schedule that is comfortable. But when winter break comes around, it can be difficult for them to adapt to life away from the regular school day.
For parents of these children, winter break can be an especially busy time. Home attendants and personal care assistants can provide some relief by providing at home care while kids are off of school. Even still, parents will likely find themselves looking for ways to keep their child safe and entertained during winter break. Below are some great activities that parents and children can do together during winter break:
- Use arts and craft skills to make Christmas tree ornaments
- Have a holiday movie marathon together
- Enjoy outdoor activities in the snow such as building a snowman or (if safe) sledding
- Volunteer at a non-profit or soup kitchen together
- Go toy shopping together and donate the gifts to charity or a toy drive
Winter break is a great opportunity for parents and children to spend time together however, busy schedules can make it hard to provide home care at all times. Personal care assistants can provide home care services for your child throughout winter break and give you time to run errands or go to work. Contact Best Home Care to learn how our home care professionals can benefit you and your kids this winter break!
Heart disease is consistently the leading cause of death for adults over the age of 35 in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 610,000 people die of heart disease and 735,000 suffer a heart attack each year in the U.S. These numbers have steadily risen over the last decade.
With nearly a quarter of all American deaths attributed to heart disease, the World Heart Federation (WHF) has created World Heart Day to encourage healthy heart choices and promote heart health around the planet. This year, World Heart Day falls on September 29th and will be the world’s biggest intervention against cardiovascular disease. Organizations all over the world will be hosting special World Heart Day events to promote healthy hearts including walks, seminars, and free heart screenings. Click here to find an event near you!
Even if you can’t make it out to these events, you can still take part in World Heart Day through social media! On the 29th, post a picture of yourself making the heart symbol to Facebook and Twitter to join the worldwide community promoting heart health. Watch the video below for more information!
Best Home Care is encouraging all its employees and clients to take part in World Heart Day in any way they can. At home care is a valuable service for those suffering from heart disease and we remain committed to helping them.
Following a heart attack, caregiving services can help speed up the recovery time for patients while allowing them to live at home. A personal care assistant will help patients follow a home care plan and assist them with daily tasks. Home care benefits the family as well as it provides them the comfort of knowing that their loved one is in caring hands.
The home attendants at Best Home Care are ready to help individuals affected by heart disease or recovering from a heart attack. Contact our home care professionals today to learn more about our in home supportive services today!
Temperatures are rising, snow is melting, and people all over the Twin Cities are slowly coming back outside. After this winter, it’s hard to believe that springtime is finally upon us. This is our favorite time of year at Best Home Care – not only is it a sure sign that summer is just around the corner, but it also means everybody in our home health agency office can get back outside and back to the activities we’ve missed for months.
Warm weather is limited here in Minnesota, so it’s important to take advantage of it while we can! Capture all the benefits of being outdoors by adding time outside to your home health care regimen. Here are some fun outdoor activities that anyone can enjoy:
- Install and maintain a birdfeeder
- Start a small garden of vegetables or flowers
- Take a walk or bike ride
- Go fishing
- Watch an outdoor sporting event
Being outdoors has many benefits for our health. Spending time in the sun generates Vitamin D in our bodies, which is essential for brain, bone, and muscle function and can also help improve cognitive function. Staying active outside also allows those taking advantage of at-home care to interact with others and stay involved with their friends, family, and community.
While these activities are enjoyable, they can present certain challenges and precautions should be taken to ensure safety. Before heading outside with a home care recipient, personal care assistants should:
- Make hydration and comfort a priority
- Know where the nearest restrooms are located
- Understand different mobility restrictions and wheel chair accessibility
Now is the time of year for those providing and receiving home health care to get outside and enjoy the weather. Contact Best Home Care for more ideas on outdoor activities or information about in-home supportive services.
Ask anyone you know what their favorite song is and you are sure to be in for a long-winded answer as they struggle to narrow it down to just one. From the songs you sang as a kid to that annoying radio hit you can’t get of your head, music has, and will continue to be, a constant part of all our lives. For thousands of years, music has played an integral role in human existence; however, it hasn’t been until recently that we’ve begun to understand its healing characteristics.
According to the American Music Therapy Association, “Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” In simpler terms, it’s the process of using music to improve an individual socially, cognitively, physically, emotionally, or developmentally. Some of the benefits of music therapy for those receiving in-home supportive services include:
- Increasing relaxation
- Reducing loneliness
- Providing emotional release
- Enhancing spiritual connections
Listening to music can also provide a boost for an individual’s heart health. According to one study, 12 minutes of Mozart three times a week can help reduce high blood pressure!
For personal care attendants, listening to music with a senior home care client is an excellent way to spend time together while improving in-home health. If you’ve never tried it before, consider making music a part of your home health care routine by:
- Having your client request songs to be played during other activities
- Playing music they would have listened to as a young adult
- Encouraging them to learn a new instrument or playing your own instrument for them
- Taking them to a musical performance
We here at Best Home Care are huge music lovers! Along with its home health benefits, music can add life to any workplace (or home healthcare agency). Contact Best Home Care to learn more about music therapy and how to make it a part of your at-home care routine.
If you could do anything for the rest of your life, what would it be? This is a common question to determine what we feel is most important and what activities we enjoy the most. These interests typically have nothing to do with our daily work, but instead are things we do out of a personal passion.
As we age, maintaining the hobbies we love becomes increasingly important. These interests are a great way to keep our minds sharp and our bodies active. No matter your age, there is a hobby out there for you! For seniors receiving home health services and looking for a hobby, consider trying out a new activity like:
- Assembling jigsaw puzzles and playing card games: These are both great ways to keep your mind sharp and share the fun with others.
- Completing crossword or Sudoku puzzles: Get a great mental workout with these problem-solving games.
- Gardening: Stay active in an outdoor vegetable garden or keep it simple in a smaller indoor flower or herb garden.
- Cooking: Try out different recipes and spend time in the kitchen with loved ones.
Along with regular exercise, these activities are enjoyable ways to stay healthy physically and active mentally. If you are a personal care assistant and provide at-home care for a senior, consider suggesting some of these activities. They are great opportunities for you to spend time with your client by partaking in things you both enjoy.
If there’s one tip we at Best Home Care can give to seniors to benefit their home health, it is to stay active! The easiest way to do this is to find hobbies that you enjoy. Contact Best Home Care for more fun hobby ideas to benefit senior home health and for assistance with any questions you may have about home health care.
As we age, the majority of us will need some type of prolonged assisted health care. A recent study from the University of Minnesota estimates that 70% of middle-aged Americans will require some form of long-term health care after the age of 65. The study also suggests that over 50% will spend some time in a nursing home or assisted living center.
The question then becomes not if you will need this care, but how and where you will receive this care. It’s never too early to start thinking about and planning for your future needs. The two major types of senior care – assisted living and home care – are very different. What’s appropriate for one person may not be right for another. Understanding the benefits of each now will save you time and money in the long run.
As a disclaimer: we here at Best Home Care are slightly biased towards home health care. However, there are many good reasons for this. Some of the benefits of at-home health care include:
- The ability to stay in a known place and keep the things you love near
- One-on-one care tailored specifically to your needs
- Potential cost savings compared to assisted living centers
- Promotes recovery by keeping families together
It’s important to note that in-home care may not be right for everyone. Depending on a senior’s care requirements or disabilities, an assisted living center might be the appropriate route to take. That said, at-home care can improve a senior’s quality of life in many unique ways.
If you or someone you know is unsure about which type of health care is ideal for a certain situation, contact Best Home Care. Our home care professionals can walk you through the various benefits of at-home care and help you decide on the right option.
Millions of Americans currently live with a chronic medical disease. While their condition may not prevent them from maintaining a normal lifestyle, they do face challenges every day. No matter your age, simply keeping medications organized and getting to doctors appointments can be a struggle.
This is where a home care professional comes in. A personal care assistant can help you manage a medical condition and allow you to live a better life. At Best Home Care, we work with personal care assistants that care for individuals living with:
Along with medication and appointment assistance, a personal care attendant will help with many other daily tasks such as dressing, toileting, and food preparation. But perhaps the most important benefit is the morale boosting friendship and camaraderie that comes with daily visits.
Support for Family Caregivers
In many cases, a family member or friend will offer to provide home care for the individual affected by a chronic medical condition. This type of at-home care is often done out of love and with no compensation; however, this does not need to be the case. Many states offer PCA programs that help caregivers get paid for taking care of a family member with a medical condition.
Transitional care is a type of home care that is provided to individuals while moving between different health care facilities. This care can be provided during the wait time before moving into a senior living facility or upon moving home after a major surgery. Transitional care is extremely beneficial for those living with chronic medical conditions and helps them to adjust back to home life or to new care environments.
This year, Best Home Care is celebrating 10 years of helping Minnesotans with their home care needs. If you have any questions about in-home supportive services or how to get paid for taking care of a family member, contact Best Home Care today!