Family Caregiving as an Only Child

Transitional Home Care for SeniorsGrowing up, being an only child can definitely have its advantages. No hand-me-downs, the best birthday gifts, and all your parent’s attention. However, as your parents age they may require more of your attention in the form of home caregiving services.

 

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, 29% of Americans provide care for a chronically ill or disabled family member. This number is expected to rise as baby boomers continue to enter retirement and require in-home supportive services. Family caregiving is becoming increasingly popular as a more affordable option compared with traditional PCA services. Children caring for aging parents is one of the most common family caregiving situations today but for only-children, this task can be especially stressful.

 

Without anybody to share the burden of home caregiving, only-children caregivers must commit a great amount of time to care for their parents. This can not only affect their other commitments like work and family, but also their health.

 

Below are some tips for only-children providing home care for an aging parent:

 

Don’t Go It Alone: It can be easy to want to do everything; but for many family caregivers, this can become overwhelming very quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask other people in the community for help. Reach out to spouses, neighbors, and friends to cover smaller tasks throughout the day or just to check in on your parent.

Take Advantage of Delivery Services: Meal delivery and housekeeping services are great options to help lessen the work load of a family caregiver. Prescriptions, groceries, and other household supplies can also be delivered to cut down on errands.

Find Support: There are many caregiving resources for family caregivers both online and in the communities. These resources help caregivers learn more about home caregiving and connect with other family caregivers in similar situation. Visit the Best Home Care caregiver support page to learn more!

 

For more family caregiver support and resources, contact Best Home Care. Our home care professionals can show you how to get paid for taking care of a family member and continue providing the best home care for your loved one.

Home Care Winter Safety: Preparing for a Winter Storm

Home Health Care, Minneapolis home careA week after the snow stopped falling, the majority of the east coast is still digging out from one of the largest blizzards in U.S. history. The record-breaking storm dropped as much as three feet of snow in areas throughout the Mid-Atlantic States and left hundreds of thousands of people without power for days. Blizzards like this can leave a winter wonderland in their wake but can also pose a very real danger for home care patients and PCAs that traveling through the deadly conditions.

We’ve been fortunate this winter to not have any major storms hit the Twin Cities area. However, we all know the headaches a major winter storm can cause and the importance of planning ahead. Having a plan for winter storms is especially for individuals that depend on daily in home supportive services. Here are some ways personal care assistants and family caregivers can help their patients prepare for a winter storm:

Create a List of Nearby Contacts: Collect and list out the phone numbers and email addresses of the patient’s neighbors and place it on the refrigerator or another easy to see location. Ask neighbors if they would be willing to shovel the patient’s driveway and walkway after a storm.

Stock up on Essentials: Travel may be limited or impossible after a major storm. Make sure the home care patient’s cupboards are stocked with non-perishable, easy to prepare foods and bottled water as well.

Check in Often: Call the patient before, during, and after the storm has passed to ensure they are doing okay. Check to ensure their furnace is working properly, if they have enough food, and remind them not to go outside.

One of the most important responsibilities of a home care professional is ensuring the safety and health of their patients. While it isn’t likely we’ll see a major blizzard this season, it’s important to be prepared and have a home care plan ready in the event that one does hit.

As a Minneapolis home health care agency, Best Home Care has experienced the best and worst of Minnesota weather. Get in touch with us to learn more about keeping senior home care patients safe this winter and find valuable caregiver resources on our website.

The Dos and Don’ts of Being a PCA: Do Embrace Challenges

Find a Personal Care Assistant - reliable home careChallenges and obstacles are an unavoidable part of being a personal care assistant. These challenges not only present a real danger for the home care patient but also the personal care assistant as they work to provide quality home care. Instead of shying away from these challenges, a home care professional should embrace them by learning as much as they can about and preparing for the problem at hand. A past Best Home Care blog provided links to some great resources that home caregivers can use to prepare for the many challenges that come with providing home care services.

A 2013 survey looked into the top challenges facing home care workers in England. Of the 1,440 respondents, 74% cited time constraints as their largest challenge, followed by low pay at 67% and lack of PCA training at 56%. These three topics are also very common among home care workers in the United States. Here are some ways to embrace and prepare for these challenges:

Lack of Time: Planning is an essential part of being a personal care assistant. Schedule every task you must complete each day and plan out your week ahead of time, then stick to it! Be sure to take time to do something you enjoy each day.

Low Pay: The majority of family caregivers who provide home care to their loved one do not expect anything in return. However, there are many ways to get paid for taking care of a family member that caregivers should take advantage of and benefit from.

Insufficient Training: Best Home Care offers comprehensive PCA training for all their personal care assistants. The home care agency also provides caregiver resources that will help you provide the best home care possible.

As with any challenge life throws, it’s best to have a confidant and ally you can depend on to embrace it with you. For over a decade, Best Home Care has been guiding personal care assistants through the often-murky waters of at-home care. Contact us to learn how we can help you today!

Try the Updated Best Home Care Timesheet App

In an effort to make providing and receiving home care services from Best Home Care easy and convenient, we have updated our Timesheet App. Changes to the app include a new saved profile feature and an easier-to-use time entry page. Click here to download our app now!

Try the Updated Best Home Care Timesheet App

In an effort to make providing and receiving home care services from Best Home Care easy and convenient, we have updated our Timesheet App. Changes to the app include a new saved profile feature and an easier-to-use time entry page. Click here to download our app now!

– See more at: http://www.besthomecaremn.com/blog/the-dos-and-donts-of-being-a-pca-be-smart#sthash.zezBnxvp.dpuf

Try the Updated Best Home Care Timesheet App

In an effort to make providing and receiving home care services from Best Home Care easy and convenient, we have updated our Timesheet App. Changes to the app include a new saved profile feature and an easier-to-use time entry page. Click here to download our app now!

– See more at: http://www.besthomecaremn.com/blog/the-dos-and-donts-of-being-a-pca-be-smart#sthash.zezBnxvp.dpuf

How to Be a Great Family Caregiver: Providing Care With a Job and Family

Minnesota home care agencyFor most family caregivers, the decision to provide home care is an easy one. But while done for all the right reasons, this added responsibility can lead to issues for the caregiver if not properly prepared. Adding at home care to a “To Do” list that contains a full time job, a family, and other personal commitments can leave a family caregiver wondering how they can do it all.

The health and wellness of a family member is a priority we all can understand. However in order to be effective, a family caregiver must have a realistic home health care plan in place that factors in their current responsibilities with their new home care duties. One of the most common problems we see here at Best Home Care is family caregivers being stretched too far; leading to serious issues with time and money management.

Manage Your Time

Every family caregiver should become an expert in time management. At the beginning of each week, write down your schedule for each day and then stick to it! Figure out when you will provide home health services, when you will work, even when you will go to the grocery store. Don’t forget to include some time for yourself! This is an easy and effective tactic to stay on task and avoid caregiver burnout.

Watch Your Money

As a family caregiver’s time gets stretched, often the first thing to be affected is their formal job. Many caregivers will choose to cut hours or quit entirely in order to care for their family member. Without their usual income coming in, it’s easy for a caregiver to slip into financial difficulties. A home caregiver should always take extra care to budget their spending each month.

It is a little known fact that informal caregivers can get paid for taking care of a family member. Best Home Care has helped many family caregivers receive compensation for their informal home care services. Contact us to learn more about our Minneapolis home care agency and how we can help you provide the best home care possible.

Check out Best Home Care’s New White Paper!

slider-img02-02At Best Home Care, we not only strive to be a quality Minnesota home care agency, but also to provide helpful caregiver resources and assistance. One of the most common questions we receive is “Can I get paid to care for a family member?” Our website has a page that provides some basic information on getting paid to take care of a family member, but we felt that we could do more.

So we decided to publish a white paper on this subject! The seven page report goes beyond the information provided on our website to give readers a comprehensive understanding of how to get paid for taking care of a family member.

Click Here to Read Best Home Care’s New White Paper

The goal of this white paper is to simplify the process of getting paid for taking care of a family member. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Interesting Family Caregiver Facts and Figures
  • The Medicaid Cash and Counseling Program
  • The Minnesota PCA Program
  • Medical Assistance Waiver Program
  • Community First Services and Support Program

While the specific requirements may differ, every one of these programs provides compensation for family caregivers. It’s important to understand all your options to find which one makes the most sense for your situation. Take some time to research these home care programs, starting with our white paper.

We hope that this will make a difference for family caregivers in Minnesota and across the country. Caring for a friend or family member can be difficult. Best Home Care wants to ease that burden with caregiver resources, like this white paper, and professional home care assistance. Contact Best Home Care for more information about this white paper and how to get paid for taking care of a family member.

 

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.