This is the time of year when Minnesotans flock to warmer weather to enjoy a week in the sun known as spring break. This annual migration of the winter weary is observed by millions but for personal care assistants and family caregivers, getting away for a week can be difficult. Home caregivers often find it difficult to take a vacation because they cannot find a substitute PCA to cover for them while they are away or they are nervous about leaving their loved one. As a result, they miss out on the opportunity to recharge on a much needed vacation with family and friends.
Taking time away from providing PCA services is vitally important for every caregiver as it allows them to recharge and re-focus on providing great home health care. It’s a little known fact that there are caregiving resources and tools to help personal care assistants find substitutes when they’re away. Take a moment to learn more about these options below and how they can help you take time for yourself this spring:
On-Demand PCA Services: The new Homecare Timesheets app includes a unique feature that helps connect home care recipients with qualifies personal care assistants. This tool can be used to find short-term home care solutions when a primary PCA or family caregiver is away.
Home Care Agency: Working with a top home care agency connects an individual with a network of qualified PCAs and caregivers. In the event a primary caregiver is away for a short period of time, contacting a home care agency should be the first step. They will work with you to find a qualified short-time substitute caregiver for the time that the primary caregiver will be away.
The home care professionals at Best Home Care are happy to work with PCAs this spring break to take the vacation they deserve. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help and ensure you have a truly relaxing vacation.
It’s not uncommon for seniors to lose their appetite and begin eating less as they age. In fact, under-nutrition due to a lack of eating is one of the most common health concerns faced by seniors today. Not getting enough nutrients can lead to serious health issues and can make existing health problems even more severe.
To make it easier for seniors to get the appropriate nutritional intake, many nutritional drinks have popped up on the market. These nutritional supplements are meant to provide seniors with the nutrients they need in a convenient and tasty drink however, are these products right for everyone and what should home caregivers look for in a nutritional supplemental?
Below are several points that should be kept in mind when incorporating nutritional drinks into a senior’s home care plan:
Different People Have Different Nutritional Needs
Always consult with a doctor before incorporating regular nutritional drinks into a senior’s home care diet. It’s important to address what is causing the lack of appetite and understand what specific nutrients are needed most before selecting a drink.
Not to be Used as a Meal Replacement
While many nutritional drinks will market themselves as “meal replacements”, the nutrients found in regular food are vitally important for a senior’s diet. Instead of being the sole source of nutrients, a senior’s home care plan should treat nutritional drinks as a snack or dietary aid used in addition to regular meals.
Know Your Medications
Nutritional drinks have been shown to interact negatively with different medications. For example, vitamin supplements may have adverse effects when combined with blood thinners. Be sure to speak with a doctor before regularly consuming nutritional drinks to know if any medications you’re taking will interact negatively with the drink.
Nutritional drinks should be seen as a convenient way for seniors to get additional calories and nutrients, not as a meal replacement plan. Caregivers should take care to ensure that their at-home care clients are getting the majority of their nutrients through regular food.
The home care professionals at Best Home Care can help organize a meal plan for senior home care clients. Contact us to see how nutritional drinks can benefit your senior home care plan.
Maintaining our independence becomes more and more important as we grow older. Seniors often have a hard time adjusting to life in a nursing home which is why many choose to stay living in their home as long as possible. Home care professionals and personal care assistants can play a vital role in helping seniors stay in their home as long as possible.
According to the Administration on Aging, 28% of seniors age 65+ that do not live in nursing homes, live alone. In addition, nearly half (46%) of all women age 75+ live alone. While living alone can be a positive factor in maintaining independence as we age, it can also present some serious obstacles and increase the likelihood of suffering a serious or fatal injury. While many older adults have no problem living alone, precautions should be taken to ensure that safety remains a priority.
Here at Best Home Care, our personal care assistants help many seniors continue to live in their home and maintain their independence. Regular visits to provide in-home supportive services can help a senior stay safe and healthy while allowing them to maintain living where they are most comfortable.
Below are some safety and health tips for seniors living alone:
Eating, Health, & Exercise: The best way to stay safe at home is to stay healthy! A healthy diet and regular exercise will help keep the mind sharp and resist sickness. Personal care assistants can help organize a home care plan that focuses on preparing healthy meals and getting daily exercise.
Avoiding Falls: Each year, falling sends 1.6 million older Americans to the emergency room. Install non-slip mats and handrails in all areas of the home that might be slippery (bathroom, entryways, etc.). Also, ensure that all rooms are properly lit and important items in cupboards are on the lower shelves and easy to reach.
Socializing: Seniors living alone are at an elevated risk for depression. Scheduling times to meet with friends or taking part in social activities are great ways for seniors to stay engaged with those in their community.
As a leading Twin Cities home care agency, Best Home Care is proud to help seniors maintain their independence with expert at-home care and PCA services. Our employees strive to provide the best senior home care services in Minneapolis. Contact us to see how we can help you or your loved one continue living in the home where they are most comfortable.
As mentioned in the previous post in this blog series, paying for home care services is no easy task. Understanding the details of the many regulations and programs available can be overwhelming for those just getting started with at-home care. Add to this the large amount of paperwork and administrative tasks that must be completed on a regular basis and it’s easy to become lost in the process. The State of Minnesota’s Traditional PCA option is a great choice for individuals who don’t want to deal with the extra work that comes with managing their home care services.
One of the most important roles of a PCA agency is to oversee many administrative tasks for their clients. This can involve everything from accounting tasks to evaluating the performance of a personal care assistant. The Traditional PCA option gives a home care agency the power to perform these tasks and more for their clients.
Under the Traditional PCA option, the provider home care agency is responsible for:
- Finding, hiring, training, scheduling, and firing personal care assistants for their clients
- Finding back-up PCA staff
- Overseeing the home care services that are provided
- Evaluating the work of the home care professionals
In addition to these tasks, Traditional PCA provider agencies complete background checks on their home care professionals, ensure their staff has completed the required PCA training, manage taxes for PCAs, bill the State for home care services performed, and more.
The Traditional PCA option requires those receiving in-home supportive services to work with the PCA to:
- Ensure health and safety needs are met
- Develop a home care plan
- Evaluate the home care services that are provided
Those receiving home care are also required to certify the services performed by the home care worker by signing the time sheet at the end of each pay period.
Best Home Care is proud to be a leading Traditional PCA provider agency in the Twin Cities! Our employees specialize in home care administration and take pride in helping clients receive the care they need without the confusing hassle. Contact us today to learn more about the Traditional PCA option and see if it’s a good match for you!
The recovery time for a major surgery, such as a hip replacement or open heart surgery, can last anywhere from weeks to months. As we age, our body requires more and more time to repair itself from these procedures and it’s not uncommon for seniors to remain in the hospital for longer periods of time following a surgery to allow for proper healing. However once released, the risk of injury is still high as seniors adjust to the various restrictions on their home life. A non-medical home caregiver, such as a personal care assistant, can guide a senior through the recovery process, preventing any setbacks or injuries along the way.
Post-surgery complications often occur because a patient attempts to perform an activity that their physical state simply won’t allow. Stiches tearing and internal bleeding are just two issues that can result from trying to do too much too soon after a surgery. Senior home care professionals may not be medically certified, but they can assist with the daily challenges that follow a surgery. These Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) include:
- Cooking and Cleaning
- Toileting and Bathing
- Medication Preparation
- Wound Cleaning/Redressing
- Appointment Scheduling
Non-medical home caregiving promotes a speedy recovery following an operation in the place where a patient is most comfortable: their home. This is only one of the many benefits of hiring a PCA to provide home care services after a surgery, others include:
- Caregivers offer companionship for those living alone. This companionship has proven to slow the aging process and dementia.
- Convenient scheduling means caregivers can be hired for as long as they are needed to aid in post-op recovery.
- A reputable home care agency will help a senior hire their own at-home caregiver and assist with the burdensome administrative tasks that come with the process.
- Compared with other solutions for care after surgery, senior home caregiving is the most cost effective and comfortable for the patient.
If you or a loved one is having surgery in the near future, consider hiring an in-home caregiver to aid in the recovery. Best Home Care will work with you to find a qualified personal care assistant or to hire a family member to provide your home care services. Learn more by contacting our Twin Cities home care agency today!
The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) is the largest and most respected professional association representing home care patients and caregivers in the United States. At its basis, the Association seeks to establish and retain the highest possible level of public confidence in the at home care industry.
The NAHC Code of Ethics serves to inform its members and the public as to what is acceptable conduct for home care agencies and their personal care assistants. The code covers several areas within a home care agency’s operation and how it conducts business with its patients. Below is a quick overview of the sections covered:
Patient Rights and Responsibilities:
A patient has the right…
- Of choice of home care providers
- To privacy
- To receive a timely response from the agency to his request for service
- To voice grievances and suggest changes in service or staff without fear of discrimination
Relationship to Other Provider Agencies:
- The principle objective of home care agencies is to provide the best service possible to patients
- Agencies shall honestly and conscientiously cooperate in assuring comprehensive home care services to patients and their families
- The amount of service billed is consistent with amount and type of service provided
- The cost per visit includes only legitimate expenses
- The home care provider shall not engage in “kick-backs” and “pay-offs”
The agency shall…
- Be an equal opportunity employer
- Have an ongoing evaluation process for all employees
- Hire qualified employees and use them at the level of their competency
- Employ adequate staffing to meet the needs of the patients to whom they render care
Click here to view the entire NAHC Code of Ethics.
Best Home Care abides by the NAHC Code of Ethics and holds all of our employees and caregivers to the highest standards. Contact us to learn more about how our home care services can benefit you and your loved ones!
According 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!
It takes a full crew of people to guide a ship safely back to port. The same is true when planning which home care agency is right for you and your family. While it may be easy to go with the first local home health care company that appears on a Google search, time should be taken to get to know the home care professionals that work there and determine if they truly have your best interest in mind. Just like a ship’s crew, a home care agency and its clients must be able to work together to ensure that quality services are provided.
For over a decade, the home care professionals at Best Home Care have put our clients’ satisfaction above all else. Whether you’ve been providing at-home care for years or are just starting out as a family caregiver, we strive to make the process of starting home health services fast and simple. Learn more about our employee benefits and why we are a great place to work.
If you are in need of care and would like to start home health services with Best Home Care, follow these five simple steps:
- First, connect with us by completing our contact form
- We will respond quickly and provide you with a phone number to request a PCA assessment (you may also take our unofficial PCA Self Assessment to acquaint yourself with the process and learn more)
- Then, we will train and hire the home caregiver of your choosing
- Next, a nurse will determine how many hours of home care you’re eligible to receive
- Finally, home care services will begin with the personal care attendant of your choice
While this process may slightly differ from client to client, Best Home Care will accommodate you to make sure that you receive the best experience possible with us.
If you or a loved one is in need of professional home care services, we encourage you to get to know the crew at Best Home Care. Start navigating your way to quality home care by filling out our online contact form today!
There are hundreds of Minnesota home care agencies that all claim to provide the same services. As a personal care assistant, it can be difficult to know which agency is the right match for you. A simple search will return the names of many companies; however, the majority of the time, using this process to select a home care agency simply does not work.
Selecting a home care company to work with is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You should do thorough research and trust the company to support you in providing the best home care possible. Do not be afraid to call or visit an agency’s office and meet the people who work there in-person. Remember, you should want to work with them as much as they want to work with you.
At Best Home Care, it’s no secret that we believe we provide the BEST home care administration services in Minnesota. With a decade of experience in the home health care industry, we have learned what personal care assistants desire from a home care agency and that’s exactly what we do! Our current clients say that we are the easiest and most convenient agency they’ve ever worked with because we:
- Accept all documents by fax, email, or electronically
- Offer a home care timesheet app that’s easy for employees
- Make the process of transferring to our agency quick and simple
- Provide multiple PCA training resources
- Send email and telephone reminders to submit timesheets each pay period
- And much more!
Personal care assistant and caregiver jobs should be enjoyable, professionally rewarding, and personally fulfilling. Best Home Care strives to be a great place to work by making the administration process easy and convenient for our employees. We’d love to hear from you! If you would like more information about transferring to Best Home Care visit our contact page or call us at (651) 330-2550.
A 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.