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.

How to Know When it’s Time to Quit Your Job to Care for Your Parent

Five Things Every New Family Caregiver Needs to Know  - personal care providersIt’s human nature to feel called to provide care for a loved one in need. Whether a sick child staying home from school or an aging parent, home care services are a part of all of our lives. When it comes to aging parents, at-home care usually begins with a weekly visit to see if they need to run an errand or to just spend time together. However, this weekly check-in can quickly turn into a much larger commitment when a parent suffers from a chronic condition or a debilitating disease such as Alzheimer’s. It’s during this time that a family caregiver will be faced with the decision of whether or not to leave their job in order to provide home care full time for their parent.

Deciding to leave a job to care for a parent is a decision that should not be taken lightly, so it’s important to consider the pros and cons. Here are some things to think about before quitting your job to become a full time family caregiver:

  • The Money You Save: Paying for in-home care services, adult day care, or facility care can be very expensive. By caring for your family member, you will likely save them several thousands of dollars a month by avoiding the cost of home care services.
  • The Peace of Mind You Gain: You know the needs of your parents and understand them better than anyone else. By caring for a parent, you can rest assured that the care they are receiving is always in their best interest.
  • The Money You Lose: Leaving a job means there will be less money coming in. Having a sound financial plan that outlines how you will get by without this income is essential before quitting.
  • The Opportunities You Miss: Getting out of the workforce means you will miss out on much more than a salary. These lost opportunities include: loss of benefits, not acquiring new job skills, and a lack of a professional network.

It’s important to understand that not everyone is ready to be a full-time family caregiver and it’s okay to seek help from a PCA agency. To learn more about starting senior home care services for a parent or how to get paid for taking care of a family member, contact Best Home Care today!

 

 

Best Home Care Winter Safety Tips: Building a Home Care Network

Extreme Caregiving: Keeping the Elderly Safe When the Weather Goes Wild - independent home careWinter presents a variety of dangers. Frigid air temperatures, slippery roads, and hazardous snowstorms make going outdoors during these months not only dangerous, but life threatening. Every Minnesotan has their way of keeping warm and safe when winter begins to rear its frigid head; but for elderly home care patients, extra steps should be taken to ensure safety this season.

No matter the age of a home care patient, there is always more than one person providing care. For children, these individuals may be a combination of a teacher and a parent. For seniors, home care may be provided a personal care assistant, a family caregiver, and a neighbor. The support these connections provide allows the individual to maintain their lifestyle and carryout everyday activities when they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. At Best Home Care, we like to call these connections a Home Care Network.

Whether they know it or not, every home care patient has a home care network. In times when the weather turns dangerous (severe heat and cold), this network plays a vital role in ensuring the patient’s health and well-being.

Here are some tips to find out who is your home care network and how seniors should use them this winter:

How to Build a Home Care Network:

  1. Begin by listing all the names and contact information of those you are in contact with on a regular basis. These can be family members, friends, doctors, neighbors, etc.
  2. Next, separate this list into individuals within driving distance who could get to you quickly in case of an emergency.

How to Use a Home Care Network:

  • Schedule a time once a week where a person from your network can visit you
  • During and after a snowstorm or other inclement weather, contact members of your network and ask for help with any shoveling, ice clearing, etc.
  • In frigid temperatures, ask your network to run errands for you to avoid going out in the cold.

Members of a home care network have an equally important job this winter. Check-in regularly with your senior home care patient to ensure their furnace is working, home is safe, and they have all the food and supplies they need.

For more advice on building a network and staying safe this winter, contact the home care professionals at Best Home Care.

 

Family Caregiving and the Holidays

Caregiver HealthThis is the time of year when people travel around town and across the country to spend time with family and friends. For many, the holidays are a time to reconnect with those important individuals who they may not get to see as often as they’d like. Here at Best Home Care, we treasure the moments we spend with our families throughout this season but for many senior home care patients, family takes on a very distinct and important role.

According to the CDC, over 34 million family caregivers provide 83% of all home care services. Above and beyond family members, this number includes friends, neighbors, and partners who provide in home supportive service for a loved one. It is estimated that 1 in 5 households in the United States are impacted by caregiving duties. These numbers are expected to grow in the coming decades as seniors live longer and elderly home care fees continue to rise.

It is very likely that you or someone you know have cared for an elderly parent or a sick relative in the last year. Even though you might not consider yourself a home care professional, family caregivers are just as vital for those they care for. In fact, family caregivers will often provide the same (if not more) home care services than personal care assistants. These tasks may include:

  • Giving and managing medications
  • Assisting with and preparing meals
  • Providing transportation to appointments and errands
  • Cleaning and maintaining a home
  • Performing basic medical and nursing procedures
  • Assisting with toileting and personal cleaning

On average, family caregivers spend 20 hours a week performing these home care services, yet the majority are unpaid. Helping out with a loved one’s home care is an admirable gesture however, the time commitment can often conflict with other priorities and result in struggles with money.

It is a little known fact that there is a variety of state and federal programs that help family caregivers get paid for taking care of a family member. Best Home Care has helped many family caregivers find solutions to their money struggles by showing them how to get paid to care for a family member. See how we can help you next!

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!

How to be a Great Family Caregiver: Getting Started in Family Caregiving

minnesota-homecare-providerA recent study from the Pew Research Center found that two out of every five adults in the U.S. currently provide home care for a sick or elderly relative. The researchers also found that the number of caregivers in the country increased by 10% from 2010 to 2013. Experts believe that this rise in family caregivers is due to more Baby Boomers requiring care and their inability to afford professional home care because of a down economy. As a result, family members have increasingly begun stepping in to act as the first line of defense for their loved one’s health.

It’s a safe bet that at some point in your life you will provide some type of home health care for a family member or friend. It’s also a good bet that you will have no experience as a home caregiver when that time comes. Here are some quick tips and things to keep in mind when getting started as a family caregiver for the first time:

Educate Yourself: Researching what your loved one is suffering from, various treatments, and best home care practices is the easiest way to become a better personal care attendant. There are many caregiving resources available online including the Best Home Care blog!

Pace Yourself: Caregiver burnout is the most common struggle informal caregivers face. Balancing a job and family with home care services can often leave a family caregiver searching for a moment off. Take time to plan out your schedule every week and be sure to leave time for yourself.

Express Yourself: Sharing your experiences and struggles with other caregivers in similar situations is a great way to learn more about and work through the highs and lows of home caregiving. Local caregiver support groups and home care agencies exist to connect caregivers and foster these conversations.

Best Home Care is here to help you take your first steps as a family caregiver. We provide useful home care tips and will find ways for you to get paid for taking care of a family member. Contact us today!

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.

Discover the Benefits of Caring for a Loved One in Minnesota

Minnesota home care agencyIt’s no secret that those caring for family members often struggle to make ends meet at the end of each month. Even though many family caregiver compensation programs exist, they can be complicated and confusing as the details often differ state-to-state.

As a Minnesota home care agency, Best Home Care MN is proud to say that our state has some of the best legislation and programs in the nation to help individuals get paid to take care of a family member. Explore a few of the most notable of these programs below:

Minnesota Personal Care Assistance Program

The Minnesota PCA program, provided by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, is designed to assist those in need of home care find personal care assistants and pay for PCA services. Note: The individual must meet certain age and income requirements to be eligible for this program.

PCA Choice

PCA Choice is an option of the Minnesota Personal Care Assistance program that gives individuals the freedom to choose and hire their own PCA. The personal care assistant must work with a home care agency (like Best Home Care) that will handle administration tasks such as billing, taxes, and background checks.

Use Sick Days to Care for Family Members

A 2013 Minnesota law sponsored by Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, requires employers with more than 20 employees to allow workers to use their sick leave to tend to the needs of their ill or disabled parents. This is a great option for caregivers of seniors in need of temporary respite care.

If you are new to family caregiving or have been providing home care for a family member for years, let Best Home Care take it from here. Our experienced staff will provide you with exceptional PCA training, help you discover your best compensation option, and take the headache out of all the busy work. Contact us today to learn more about getting paid for taking care of a family member.