New Year Nutritional Goals: Eat More Probiotics

Choosing the Right Home Health Care for Your Family Member

At the risk of sounding like Jamie Lee Curtis in a yogurt commercial, eat more probiotics in 2017! Anytime is a great time for seniors receiving PCA services to make a long-term commitment to eating healthy. However, as the New Year rolls around, people are extra motivated to do better. Best Home Care is here to support your resolutions, nutritional and otherwise, by offering quality home care resources throughout the whole year.

 

Probiotics are living microorganisms that are good for your health, per data from the Mayo Clinic. The idea that bacteria can be beneficial is often difficult to understand. We take prescribed antibiotics when we are sick and compulsively carry antibacterial hand sanitizer around on key chains. But the right bacteria, like probiotics, can do wonders for home health care patients.

 

The Mayo Clinic has found encouraging evidence that probiotics may help with a variety of digestive problems common for seniors using home care providers, this includes:

  • Treating diarrhea
  • Preventing urinary tract inflections
  • Managing irritable bowel syndrome

 

Yogurt is the most familiar source of probiotics. If you don’t care for yogurt straight from a cup, here are five creative ways for your personal care aide to incorporate it into your diet.

  • Use yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in chip dips
  • Spread yogurt in a crepe for a thick and creamy filling
  • Stick yogurt in the freezer to create an ice cream consistency
  • Add yogurt as an ingredient in a seasonal fruit smoothie
  • Mix yogurt into your favorite muffin or cupcake recipe

 

Probiotic beverages and supplements are also available. Please check with your doctor or a home healthcare professional before making any drastic diet changes. Take a look at Best Home Care’s recent blog series, Eating Right for Seniors, for more tips to help caregivers ensure their patients stay healthy in 2017!

Keep These Safety Travel Tips in Mind this Season

Safety and home care for travelingLeaving town for the holidays? For seniors or those living with disabilities, the thought of traveling can be overwhelming. Waiting in long lines at the airport or sitting in a cramped car can be enough to make you say, “forget it.”

We here at Best Home Care feel that traveling should be an exciting adventure for everyone. As a personal care assistant or individual receiving home care, getting to enjoy a vacation with family and friends makes the hassle of traveling all worth it. Whether you’re going by car, plane, or boat this season, it’s important to plan ahead in order to avoid any potential issues. Before you take off (or set sail) be sure to:

  1. Remember Your Medication: Bring enough for your entire stay plus extra. Leave all medication in original containers and have a doctor’s verification note for any narcotic drugs you may be taking.
  1. Keep Your Money Safe: Bring only the amount of cash you think you will need and as few credit cards as possible. Always carry money and cards in a front pocket or money belt.
  1. Stay Awake and Hydrated: Remember to get plenty of sleep before you leave and drink water instead of alcohol or caffeinated beverages.
  1. Keep Moving: Change sitting position frequently or go for a short walk (down the aisle of an airplane) every 30-60 minutes to avoid stiff joints and blood clots.

If you’re traveling internationally, make sure your immunizations are up to date and review your health insurance policy to make sure you will be covered should you require care while abroad.

Whether you plan on going around the world or just down the street, stay safe and travel smart this holiday season. After the holidays, keep these simple tips in mind before setting off on a new adventure.

Best Home Care provides a wide range of home care resources to support personal care attendants and their recipients. If you have questions about PCA services or need administrative assistance as a home health care provider, connect with our team today.

Give Back and Get Involved with Your Community This Holiday

Donate or Volunteer to Combat Caregiver StressDecember is an exciting time of year. The air is filled with childish wonder as stores stock their shelves with the latest toys and stunning holiday decorations. Friends and family come from all over to celebrate together and plan for the new year ahead. It’s certainly a wonderfully hectic time of year.

The holidays are a time for parties and celebration, but they can also be stressful. This season can be especially difficult for those providing home care as they struggle to manage their demanding caregiving duties. Avoid caregiver stress this year and enjoy the season by taking a break to give the gift of your time.

Giving back to the community is something we here at Best Home Care believe in whole-heartedly. Volunteering is a great way for caregivers and those they provide home care for to shake up their daily routine and do something fun any time of the year. Caregivers and their recipients can make a difference this holiday season and get involved in their communities by volunteering at:

  • Food Shelves: Donate non-perishable goods or volunteer your time and spend a couple hours helping out.
  • Toy Drives: Donate gifts or volunteer to wrap them.
  • Meals on Wheels: Deliver hot food right to the doors of people in need.
  • The Salvation Army: Be a bell ringer, sing carols, serve food and much more.

Every town has their own specific holiday activities and volunteer opportunities, so be sure to do research to make sure you aren’t missing out on anything! City and community organization websites are great places to search for this information. The website Volunteer Match is another great resource to find volunteer opportunities near you anytime of year.

We here at Best Home Care understand that this time of year can be stressful for home caregivers and their loved ones. Combat caregiver burnout, get involved in your community, and share an activity together by making a difference in another person’s life this holiday season.

Best Home Care provides a wide range of home care resources to support personal care attendants and their recipients. If you have questions about PCA services or need administrative assistance as a home health care provider, connect with our team today.

Find the Perfect Gift for a Caregiver in Your Life

Gifts for CaregiversWith Thanksgiving behind us, we here at Best Home Care are deep in the holiday spirit. It’s fun to plan gift lists and reflect on great presents from past holiday seasons. When you are working on surprises for loved ones, pay special attention to those providing home health care. Five of the best gifts for caregivers this holiday season include:

Caregiver Gift #1: Your Time

Home caregivers are the busiest people we know. Volunteering to help with their caregiving duties or run errands is an easy way to share your time and make their life easier.

Caregiver Gift #2: A Break

Give them the chance to get away for a little bit. Consider a gift card to a spa or salon for a good pampering, or dinner out at a great restaurant.

Caregiver Gift #3: Food!

Baskets of food are perfect for the personal care assistant who struggles to find time to get to the grocery store. Better yet, offer to prepare a hot meal for them.

Caregiver Gift #4: A Clean House

A messy house is inevitable when you are providing home care. Arrange for a cleaning company to freshen up their entire house or save money by offering to do the cleaning yourself.

Caregiver Gift #5: Home Care Resources & Education

There are thousands of books and articles written on personal care services. Send them a couple that match their specific situation and help them learn more about caregiving.

Above all else, let the caregiver in your life know that you are there for them and you care about them. Simply asking, “How can I help?” or checking in with a weekly phone call can boost a caregiver’s morale in ways no other gift can.

For more information about home care providers and how to support those with caregiver jobs, connect with Best Home Care. There are a number of online resources available at www.besthomecaremn.com, and our team is always ready to answer your questions.

Programs & Resources for Family Caregivers of Minnesota Veterans

Minnesota Home Care for DisabledVeteransAccording to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Minnesota is home to over 360,000 veterans. Due to disabilities or old age, many of these service men and women receive daily care from personal care assistants or family home caregivers. Life can quickly become challenging for these caregivers. Relationships may be strained and wallets stretched as their soldier struggles to adjust back into civilian life.

Physical disabilities and aging aren’t the only foes that plague our vets. The Pew Research Center found that 37% of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Other psychological illnesses such as depression and anxiety are common tormentors as well. Family members and friends are typically the first to notice these illnesses and are often indirectly affected by them as well.

As a Minnesota home care agency that proudly serves veterans, Best Home Care understands the difficulties that family caregivers of soldiers face every day. The VA has various programs and home health care resources that provide family caregivers compensation and help decrease their stress. Here are a few of the most notable:

  • The Caregiver Toolbox: Provides useful home care resources and tips to help manage the stress of caring for your veteran.

It’s important for caregivers of veterans to understand the opportunities available for getting paid to take care of a family member. Best Home Care is honored to help ease the burdens of disabled veterans and their home caregivers by providing top in-home health services. Connect with us to learn about our professional PCA services and how to get paid for taking care of a family member or veteran.

Taking the Plunge: How to Introduce the Idea of Home Care

home health care for dementia patients

Recognizing when to take the plunge into personal care services can be difficult for many older individuals and their loved ones. In-home care may be viewed as unnecessary, an overreaction to a recent health issue, or even as a threat. If you believe a parent or loved one could benefit from home health services, it is important to have a meaningful conversation to educate them on the ways a personal care assistant could improve their quality of life.

However, this is often easier said than done. Some seniors will recognize the additional risks that come with age and appreciate the benefits of home health care. Others may initially reject the idea as an unwanted addition to their life and a danger to their dignity. When introducing the idea of home care, remember to:

  • Be honest: Do not try to make a decision for them or deceive them into agreeing – truthfully explain why this is best option for their situation.
  • Be patient: Give them time to get used to the idea of at-home care. They likely have many questions and need some time to make a decision.
  • Be persistent: Though patience is vital, it is important to actively pursue a decision – especially when health and safety concerns are a factor.
  • Be knowledgeable: Research personal care services and use that information in your conversation. Excellent home care resources include:

o   Best Home Care

o   MN Department of Health

The decision to start personal care services for a parent can be challenging, but the advantages and peace of mind you and your family member gain are significant. Best Home Care is ready to help answer any questions you may have about in-home supportive services or to provide suggestions on how to talk with seniors. Contact us and begin the process of receiving quality home care for you or your loved one today!