Andre Best Testifies Before Minnesota Senate Committee

home care services, pca on demand app, personal care servicesOn November 1, 2017, Andre Best of Best Home Care testified before a Senate committee about the shortage of at-home caregivers in the state. In his testimony, Best covered several topics regarding the recent staffing shortages of homecare workers in Minnesota.

 

Below is an outline of topics covered in Best’s testimony:

 

Dangers of the State’s Caregiver Shortage

He first covered the dangers this shortage of caregivers causes for those in need of services. When a home caregiver is absent, it is often very difficult to find a replacement. The traditional PCA model requires recipients to call their agency in order to find a replacement, which is not usually found quickly, and results in gaps in care that can be extremely dangerous for those who depend on it.

 

Pay Increases for Caregivers Offer an Incomplete Solution

Best explained that pay increases are not adequate enough incentives to solve these staffing shortages. Many home caregivers are part-time and work around 10-20 hours per week. Raises of a couple dollars per hour will not provide sufficient incentive to retain workers in the industry, so the incentive has to come from elsewhere.

 

The Promises of Technology

Best positioned technology developments as a possible solution for the shortages in staffing. The PCA On Demand mobile app allows recipients to connect with with caregivers instantly, as well as record their time and attendance. It also gives those in need the opportunity to “self-staff” up to two months in advance. Recipients are also able to establish criteria for their personal caregivers or browse through a list of caregiver profiles.

 

Individual Affiliations Divide the Labor Pool and Enrollment Delays Hurt Recipients

Best explained that we are underutilizing the existing workforce, because more than 75% of workers are employed part-time. Best suggested a possible solution to the caregiver shortage is to get these individuals working full time. This could be accomplished by removing the barriers preventing workers from working for any agency in the State. Best suggested that after initial enrollment a PCA should be able to work with any recipient in the State. When coupled with the PCA On Demand app, this would give recipients access to all the workers in the State.

 

Best Home Care specializes in finding quality homecare for seniors, the disabled, and children. By addressing this shortage of personal care assistants before the senate committee, Andre Best hopes to make a difference in providing even better care for those in need of homecare services.

 

At Best Home Care, we know that having peace of mind that your loved ones are in good hands makes a world of difference and we want to make it easier than ever to find the ideal home caregivers for each individual. For more information on our services or to learn more about the PCA On Demand app, be sure to visit our website, or for any questions feel free to call us at (651) 330-2550, or email us at info@besthomecaremn.com.

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.

 

A Big Thank You to the Incredible Women Providing Caregiving Services

Five Things Every New Family Caregiver Needs to Know  - personal care providersWith Mother’s Day this past weekend, all of us at Best Home Care wanted to take a moment to acknowledge every female caregiver out there. According to the Family Caregiving Alliance, women account for 66% of all caregivers in the United States. This number has grown steadily as baby-boomers reach retirement age and require in-home supportive services, typically given by their daughters.

In the US, the average caregiver is a 49-year-old woman who is married, employed, and cares for her 70-year-old mother. While there are many men that work as personal care assistants or provide home care for a family member, women spend much more time providing personal care services. On average, a female caregiver spends nearly 50% more time providing at-home care than her male counterpart.

This increase in time spent caregiving will often test her formal employment responsibilities. In fact, caring for a family member will reduce a middle-aged woman’s paid work hours by nearly 41%. This decrease in paid hours results in an average loss of $324,044 in wages and Social Security benefits.

Lost money isn’t the only negative affect of caring for a family member. A study was done to shed light on how providing home care for a family member affected a caregiver’s ability to advance in his or her career. Of the 1,509 women surveyed:

  • 29% passed up a job promotion due to caregiving responsibilities
  • 20% switched from full-time to part-time employment
  • 16% quit their jobs
  • 13% retired early

At Best Home Care, we understand these extra struggles that female personal care assistants face. Your work is very vitally important and life changing for those you care for and we seek to help you in any way we can.

Best Home Care provides free caregiver resources for PCAs, including specific support for those suffering from caregiver burnout and stress. Our new white paper is another great resource for caregivers looking for ways to get paid for taking care of a family member. Contact Best Home Care to learn more about how we can help manage your home care services.

Springtime Activities Can Benefit Your Home Health

Springtime Home Care Activities 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.

 

 

Discover the Benefits of Starting a New Hobby for Home Care Patients

Senior Home HealthIf 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.

Financial Scams in Home Health Care

Avoid Financial Scams in Home CareA sad trend that has developed over the last decade is the prevalence of financial fraud by home health care providers. Each year, hundreds of millions of Medicaid dollars are paid out for home care services that were unnecessary or weren’t provided at all. In 2014, it is estimated that fraudulent home care charges totaled $60 million of taxpayer dollars in Minnesota alone.

How does this happen? In most situations the personal care assistant or home care agency responsible for providing care will exaggerate the amount of service provided or make it up entirely. With no effective way to monitor the validity of these billings, Medicaid or the insurance company pays out the money in good faith. All the while, the patient is unaware that he or she is being taken advantage of.

Why does this happen? In short, the reward often outweighs the risks for caregivers looking to make an extra buck. Last year, The Star Tribune reported that, “Of the 425 home caregivers and agencies notified of wrongful billing practices since 2008 in Minnesota, just one in four were ultimately convicted.” Over the last decade, Minnesota’s Medicaid program has exploded while fraud referrals have stayed stagnant or dropped. Without proper monitoring, legislation, investigation, and enforcement, these crimes will likely continue.

What is being done? Six states now require electronic verification whenever a caregiver visits a patient. This process helps deter fraud by eliminating easily falsified paper timesheets. Federal data mining tools are also helping state governments monitor Medicaid claims for fraud. Minnesota is not participating in any of these practices yet.

Andre Best, founder of Best Home Care, has been fighting against home care fraud for years. Best has spoken with legislators about the need for better monitoring of home care services and has even developed software to help address this problem. His smartphone application creates a digital record of all services billed to the state and documents the care that the patients receive. Best Home Care currently uses this app and Best hopes other home care agencies will join as well.

Learn more about our founder’s fight against fraud as well as options for proven care services by contacting our trusted home care agency today.

In-Home Care Provides Benefits Not Found at Assisted Living Centers

Options for Senior CareAs 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.

Will You Need Home Care? The Answer May Surprise You…

Will You Need Home Care?A recent study from The University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health shows that middle-aged Americans greatly underestimate their future home health care needs. The study found that 60% of adults (ages 40-65) believe that they are unlikely to require elderly home care, while in reality only 30% will not need some type of long-term home care service.

“The public needs to be aware that most will require care and there’s a need to plan ahead,” said Carrie Henning-Smith, lead author of the study and Ph.D. candidate in the School of Public Health. Henning-Smith added that unpreparedness typically leads to “added pressure and strain on family members and friends.”

Planning for future home health care is something that nobody likes to do – but it can save a lot of money and stress in the long run. For those wishing to start preparing now, Henning-Smith recommends:

  • Talking with family members about your wishes for your long-term care
  • Saving as much money as you can right now
  • Researching different home care options and the associated costs

At Best Home Care, we understand the importance of planning for future home care services. It’s never too early to begin thinking about your future home care needs, and we’re happy to help you! Our website and blog are great resources for learning more about the different home care options available to you. Here are some great pages to learn more about:

            PCA Services

            How to Start Home Care Services

            Different Ways to Pay for PCA Services

We all hope that we never have to use in-home supportive services; however, as this study shows, a majority of us will. Accepting this reality is the first step to establishing a home care plan. To learn more about various home care options and how you can start planning for your future home care needs, contact Best 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!

What Can Home Care Do For You? Find Support for Persons with Mental Illnesses.

Home Care for Those Living with Mental DisordersAccording to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 18% of American adults suffer from a mental disability. Even more surprising is that 1 in 5 children (age 13-18) have had a seriously debilitating mental disorder at some point in their life. Over the last two decades, cases of mental disorders have consistently risen in the United States. This growth is expected to continue, especially among children and young adults.

If you or someone you know lives with a mental disability, you understand the challenges associated with these conditions. Thankfully, there is help available!

Home care from a personal care assistant can greatly benefit those living with mental disorders. A home care professional can provide assistance with dressing and grooming, shopping and planning, behavior redirection, and many other tasks. The goal of every personal care attendant is to make the life of the person they’re caring for as easy as possible. They will work with you to come up with a customized home health care plan that best suits your needs.

At Best Home Care, we support personal care attendants who currently serve individuals living with various mental disabilities including:

  • Severe Anxiety or Phobias
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Depression
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • And more

In-home supportive services and home care services are often only associated  with the elderly. The truth is that home care can benefit individuals of all ages and a diverse range of needs.

Best Home Care is a top Minneapolis home care agency offering administrative assistance and resource support to personal care assistants in the Twin Cities area. If you have any questions about home care for persons with mental disabilities, contact us today! Our home care professionals are here to help and will walk you through the process of starting home health care services.