Mother’s Day Fun for Senior Home Care Patients

Mother’s Day is coming up and here at Best Home Care, we know how important it is to spend quality time with our family, especially as they enter their senior years. Whether your mother is more of a homebody or if she is more adventurous than you, here are some fun ideas of ways to spend time with mom this Mother’s Day.

 

  • Take her out for lunch or dinner at her favorite spot! Or pick up take out and have a nice dinner at home.
  • Enjoy the springtime scenery and visit a botanical garden for a relaxing outdoor activity.
  • If relaxing isn’t her speed, try taking her out to a ball game! Even heading out to watch a local minor league team play can be a fun way to spend an afternoon.
  • If she is more likely to enjoy staying in, you can throw a small potluck party. Invite family and friends and enjoy some homemade food along with each other’s company.

 

At Best Home Care MN, it is our job to care for your family like our own and provide the best in-home care possible. We know the importance of having someone you trust to care for your loved ones. We specialize in senior in home care services, homecare services for adults with disabilities, and care for children with disabilities. View a complete list of home services we offer click here!

 

We know that there is truly no place like home and, especially for those entering the golden years, the idea of moving to a whole new place doesn’t always seem very appealing. That’s why we provide all the services one could need, right at home! Whether that be assisted home healthcare, a home health nurse to check in once in a while, or 24-hour home care, we provide the quality home care that will give you peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in good hands.

 

Visit us at besthomecaremn.com or call us at (651) 330-2550, and we can answer all of your questions regarding homecare services for the elderly, special needs homecare, and disability homecare.

Feeling Valued as a Family Caregiver

companion-home-careAs our recent blog series on The Sandwich Generation pointed out, family caregiving is becoming increasingly common. Middle-aged adults are finding themselves providing home care for their baby boomer parents while also raising children of their own. Add to this a full-time work schedule and endless other commitments and it’s easy for a family caregiver to find themselves overworked and overwhelmed. Home caregivers in these situations will often fall victim to caregiver stress – a physical and emotional pressure that comes from undertaking too many home health care tasks.

While caregiver stress affects thousands of family caregivers each year, there is another (potentially more harmful) grievance that affects caregivers in the Sandwich Generation. Here at Best Home Care, one of the most frequent complaints we hear from family caregivers is not feeling valued.

When caring for a family member, feeling undervalued and not recognizing your worth is a tough reality. You may feel that your loved one doesn’t realize or appreciate all the sacrifices you’ve made to care for them. You may become angry with other siblings for not pulling their weight in caring for a parent. This unrest will often spill over and affect other areas of the family caregiver’s professional and personal life and amplify the effects of caregiver stress.

 

How Can Family Caregivers Combat Feeling Undervalued?

Journaling: Give yourself credit by taking notes on all the caregiving tasks you accomplish each day. Documenting these home care services might help you to appreciate how much you do and all you give.

Support Groups: Joining a group of likeminded caregivers is a great way to voice your concerns and stresses to people that can relate. These caregiver support groups can be found right in your community or online.

Friends and Family: Voice your stress to those closest to you and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you feel overwhelmed, asking for assistance should be your first step.

 

Best Home Care is committed to providing family caregivers with the resources and caregiver support needed to navigate home care services. Contact us today to learn more about our home care resources and how to get paid to take care of a family member!

Learn About this Special Tax Exemption for Personal Care Assistants and Family Caregivers!

Minneapolis home care agency, Twin Cities Home Care Americans are currently in the heart of tax season. Some individuals look forward to this time of year and have their taxes done before the ball drops on New Years Eve. Then there are the rest of us that drag out the process of filing our taxes for weeks or months. No matter which type of “tax filer” you are, Best Home Care is here to provide helpful guidance for personal care assistants, home care professionals, and family caregivers in the Twin Cities.

We here at Best Home Care recently came across a special tax exemption for home caregivers that meet certain criteria. After doing some research on this topic and speaking directly with the IRS, we discovered that seven of our home care employees qualified for this exemption. Thanks to this exemption, these home caregivers will be able to keep hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars this tax season.

This discovery is big news around our Minneapolis home care agency and we wanted to share it so other home care professionals could take advantage of it. In simple terms, a caregiver’s income is exempt from federal and state taxes if:

  • The patient receiving PCA services is on a Medicaid waiver; and
  • The family caregiver or PCA live with the patient receiving home care service

NOTE: People who care for recipients of PCA services who are not on a Medicaid waiver may still qualify for this exemption. According to the IRS, ” Whether the Service will treat payments under a state program other than a state Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services waiver program as difficulty of care payments excludable from gross income will depend on the nature of the payments and the purpose and design of the program.” Visit the IRS Website to learn more.

It’s important to note that this exemption is restricted to the income that the home caregiver receives for caring for the patient they live with.

This tax exemption was enacted as a way to assist individuals that would otherwise require care in a hospital, nursing facility, or intermediate care facility to receive care in the individual care provider’s home. In January of 2014, Notice 2014-7 was issued that stated the IRS would treat Medicaid waiver payments in these situations as difficulty of care payments excludable from gross income. For more information on this tax exemption for home caregivers, visit the IRS website.

There is a good chance that you may qualify for this exemption if you provide senior home care or adolescent home care services for a family member. To learn more, contact the home care professionals at Best Home Care! We recently helped seven of our employees save on their taxes this season and we look forward to helping you next!

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.

Talking to Children About an Ill Grandparent or Relative

Respite Care for ChildrenFamily caregivers face many different challenges when caring for a parent that is suffering from a disease or illness. Aside from providing for their parent’s daily home care needs, many family caregivers also take care of their own family as well. The blending of these two roles is inevitable and the caregiver will eventually have to answer the question: “How is grandma doing?”

It’s important to take a different approach when speaking with kids about a grandparent or relative’s illness. This conversation becomes even more difficult when the individual is terminally ill. Silence is typically the worst option, but time should be taken to prepare for this conversation before jumping in. Clark Goldstein, an Associate Psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, provided the following points to consider when speaking with children about a grandparent’s illness:

  1. Remain Calm: It’s good to let them know you are concerned but getting highly emotional in front of children can leave them confused or scared.
  2. Educate Them: Teach them about the disease then let them know what is being done treat it and how it might impact their grandparent’s daily life.
  3. Sensor Yourself: Answer any questions but be sure to not bring up things that may be disturbing or hard to understand and be honest if you don’t know the answer to the questions.
  4. Avoid False Reassurance: Be honest. Instead of saying: “Grandma will be alright”, consider: “I’m not sure how grandma will be, but this uncertainty is a part of life that we all need to learn to live with.”
  5. Involve Them: Give them opportunities to support the ill grandparent. Making cards, placing phone calls, and visiting them when appropriate are good ways to get kids involved.

Click here to see the rest of Dr. Goldstein’s points.

The home care professionals are here to help family caregivers through the many different aspects of providing in home supportive services. Contact us to learn more about being a great family caregiver and ways to get paid for taking care of a family member.

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

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

Caregiving Resources, Home Care ServicesProviding home care for a family member or friend is one of the most important tasks you will ever have. However, it is a safe bet that when the time comes you will have little experience at home care and won’t know where to start when it comes to being a great personal care assistant. This lack of preparedness can often lead to trivial mistakes in your home care services that waste time and might harm your family member.

Here at Best Home Care, we get it. We understand that you are busy and don’t have the time to scour the Internet looking for quality caregiver resources. So we’ve assembled the “best of the best” to help educate you on the latest home care practices and prepare you to provide the best home care possible:

National Alliance For Caregiving

The NAC provides valuable caregiving resources for experienced home care professionals and new family caregivers.

Medicare.gov

Medicare’s website offers beneficial resources, stories, and newsletters to help caregivers connect and find support.

Best Home Care Blog

Every week, we post relevant and informative blogs on home care and family caregiving. Sign up on our homepage to receive our newsletter in order to stay up to date on our home healthcare agency and receive links to even more home care resources.

No matter your experience in providing home care services, there is always more to learn. Make it a weekly habit to review the above websites and contact Best Home Care with any questions you may have. Out team of home care professionals will work individually with you to ensure that you are prepared to provide the best home care.

 

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!

 

 

Family Caregiving: Living Away From Loved Ones That Need Home Care

Caring From A DistanceAccording to a study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 72% of family caregivers live within a twenty-minute drive of their loved one they provide home care for and 13% live within an hour. This means that 15% of all informal family caregivers live an hour or more away from those they provide home care services for.

Long-distance caregiving is generally a much more difficult task and takes a greater amount of planning and strategy to be successful. This added travel time can also put a strain on a caregiver’s wallet. A survey done by the AARP found that long-distance family caregivers had the highest average annual related expenses ($8,728) when compared to those that lived with their care recipient ($5,885) and who lived nearby ($4,570).

For those caregivers that live a significant distance away from a loved one in need of in home supportive services, visiting regularly can be difficult. If the family member lives a great enough distance away, the caregiver may only be able to visit a few times a year. This does not mean that they can’t contribute to their at home care. Here are some ways long-distance family caregivers can benefit their loved one’s home health from afar:

  • Stay in touch by sending cards or movies of yourself and designate a time each day or week for a phone call
  • Research your loved one’s illness and treatment to better understand what they are experiencing
  • Get to know your loved one’s friends and neighbors and ask them to check-in every now and then
  • Seek professional home health services for your loved one from a home care agency or personal care attendant

If your loved one lives in the Twin City area and is in need of personal care services, contact Best Home Care. We will work with your family member to start PCA services with a personal care attendant of your choosing. You can get started by completing the Best Home Care online contact form!

 

Be a Great Family Caregiver: Avoid Falling Into These Bad Habits

Caregiver HealthFor most family caregivers, home care is not something that lasts for a week or two. A family caregiver will likely provide daily in-home care for a family member or friend for months or years at a time. After a while it’s easy to think you have it all figured out and know what’s best for your patient; however, it can be even easier to fall into habits that lead to larger issues down the road.

We here at Best Home Care understand the stress that family caregivers are subjected to and how it can negatively affect their home care services. Even the most experienced personal care assistants can unknowingly fall into tendencies that may hurt themselves and those for whom they provide care. No matter how long you’ve been providing home health services, it’s a smart practice to review your work and note any room for improvement.

Take a moment to review these negative home care habits and how to avoid them:

  • Improper or No Planning: Write down exactly what home care tasks are required each day.
  • Procrastination: Take the initiative to finish little jobs like scheduling appointments or picking up medications.
  • Poor Communication: Make a point to always talk with your patient to understand their feelings and needs.
  • Bad Health: Take care of yourself first by eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep every night.

We here at Best Home Care believe that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked as a home caregiver, you should never quit learning and striving to be better. Here are some great caregiving resources to help you stay on top of your game:

For over ten years, Best Home Care has provided PCA services and resources to families throughout the Twin Cities. If you are hunting for PCA jobs, contact us to learn how to transfer to our home care agency and join a team of home care professionals dedicated to providing the highest quality home care.

 

What Can Home Care Do For You? Find Support for Persons With Chronic Medical Conditions.

Find Home Care for Chronic Medical ConditionsMillions 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

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!