The Future is Here: The Homecare Timesheets App to Include On-Demand PCA Services

Tech Trends in Home CareSince the Homecare Timesheets app was introduced to the public over a year ago, we have received great feedback from the Minnesota home care agencies and our employees using it. Many of our personal care assistants and home care recipients use it every day to track, bill, and verify the amount of home care services provided. Last year, the Star Tribune even featured an article on how the app is helping to combat billing fraud within the home care industry. We are pleased with the positive response this app has received over the last year and there are even more enhancements planned for 2017.

 

In addition to fraud, another major issue in the home care industry is staffing shortages among direct support professionals and personal care assistants. This is often caused when a PCA or home care professional is absent or unable to provide in-home supportive services for a short time. To help address this issue, the app is being updated to include On-Demand PCA Services, and we are proud to offer this technology to our recipients. Similar to ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft, the updated functionality will allow for users to self-staff when their regularly scheduled PCA is absent. To help find personal care assistants best qualified to help them, home care recipients are able to set criteria for the personal care assistants or get help from any available worker at their home care agency.

 

The idea of On-Demand PCA Services is relatively new and typically only limited to the private pay model. We are excited to offer this technology those receiving home care services through Medicaid.

 

The updates to the Homecare Timesheets app will be available in late February 2017.  For more information on this update or the Homecare Timesheets app, visit www.homecaretimesheetsapp.com!

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!

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.

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.

Transitional Home Care Can Benefit Recovery After a Surgery

After Surgery CareProper home care after a surgery is a critical part of the recovery process. While in the hospital, the patient will receive sufficient care from medical professionals – but what happens after he or she is discharged? Just because someone is out of the hospital does not necessarily mean that person is ready to jump back into a busy life. The patient will usually require a certain amount of transitional health care. Depending on the situation, this process can take anywhere from days to months.

In most cases, a relative will step in to provide home care for a patient recovering from surgery. First-time family caregivers should be sure to understand exactly what will be required of them before beginning. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when providing after-surgery care for a family member or friend:

  • Clearly understand the doctor’s orders for care, diet, and prescriptions
  • Act as an advocate and offer emotional support
  • Create a comfortable living environment for the patient
  • Attend appointments with the patient and take notes
  • Know what actions to take if complications arise

Caring for a relative or friend can be a time consuming commitment, and it is not unusual for family caregivers to feel overwhelmed by this task. In these instances, working with a home care professional may be the answer.

At Best Home Care, we feel that it’s important for caregivers to understand their resources as well as how to get paid for taking care of a family member. Many state and national programs exist that will compensate you for your work as a family caregiver in these situations. Becoming certified as a personal care assistant can help alleviate the stress that comes with providing home care services for a loved one recovering from surgery.

Contact Best Home Care today to learn more about post-surgery transitional care, training and certification options, and how you can get paid for taking care of a family member.

Find Your Match: Questions You Should Ask Your PCA

Choosing the Right Home Health Care for Your Family Member

Once you’ve been approved for PCA services, it’s time to start thinking about the individual who will be providing at-home care for you. Since you will be spending quite a bit of time with this person, it is important to find someone that you are comfortable around.

Your first and best option when searching for a personal care assistant is to hire someone you already know. People are most comfortable with someone they are familiar with, and in Minnesota, you can have your friends or relatives as your paid caregiver. According to the National Center on Caregiving, friends and relatives provide the majority of personal care service in the U.S. If you have someone in mind, we will hire and train him or her to become a home care professional for you.

Your second option is to let a home health care company (like Best Home Care) do the work for you. Our employees complete extensive PCA training to ensure the most professional in-home care available; however, this doesn’t mean every individual is the same. Best Home Care’s employees come from all backgrounds and personal philosophies, so you will have the opportunity to interview multiple candidates to find a match. The goal of this process is to find a home care professional that you feel comfortable with and can trust.

To help get a feel for your compatibility with the PCA candidate, ask:

  • What experience do you have in this field?
  • What qualities do you feel make you a great PCA?
  • What is your favorite and least favorite part of this job?
  • Situation specific questions – such as food prep abilities, managing money, and availability during the week.

It’s important to view this meeting as a job interview, but also as a conversation. Be sure to tell the candidate about yourself and your expectations during this time so they can better understand your home care needs.

Whichever option you choose, Best Home Care is ready to work with you at every step of the process. Whether your care assistant is a friend, relative or one of our trained professionals, rest assured that you will receive the best home care available. Contact us today!