Superfoods for Senior Home Care Patients

Last week, we wrote a bit on certain spices that can help the elderly better manage inflammation. We here at Best Home Care thought we would expand on that with some super-foods for seniors that can not only improve their overall health but prevent common health problems and even help to slow the aging process.

 

Here are some easy and everyday superfoods that have great benefits and should be easy to find at the supermarket:

 

  • Tomatoes: Whether you think they are a fruit or vegetable, there is no denying the health benefits of tomatoes. They contain something called lycopene, which helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers as well as promotes bone health.
  • Green Tea: Tea has been known to improve brain function, reduce risks of diabetes and depression as well as certain cancers. Many studies also show that green tea provides many anti-aging benefits!
  • Red Wine: Wine increases the good kind of cholesterol while also lowering the risk of osteoporosis, gingivitis, and tooth decay.
  • Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate in its most natural state (without being overly processed or lots of extra sweeteners) is actually very good for you! Its antioxidants help to reduce risk of heart disease and improve brain function.

 

Best Home Care is always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for seniors and others receiving home care. Whether it be a large or small change, we know that sometimes just that extra little bit of thought can make a big difference in the comfort and care of seniors.

 

Best Home Care specializes in providing quality home care in the form of PCA services, daily caregivers, and 24-hour nursing. We provide elderly home care, pediatric home care, as well as disability home care and in-home counseling services.

 

For more information on how we can support your homecare services, feel free to give us a call at (651) 330-2550 or send us an email at info@besthomecaremn.com.

Managing Home Care Services While Away on Spring Break

Ways to Become a More Effective Caregiver - services for independent livingThis 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 Never too Early to Start Planning for Medical Assistance

twin-cities-homecare-training-bA study from the University of Minnesota found that 60% of middle-aged Americans believe it is unlikely that they will require home care service. In reality, 70% of adults will need in-home supportive services at some point in their life. This disparity in expectations can be blamed for the tens-of-thousands of Americans who delay saving for their future at-home care needs.

 

“Our study found that middle-aged Americans have unrealistically low expectations about their need for future health care, putting added pressure and strain on family members and friends,” said Carrie Henning-Smith, M.P.H., M.S.W., and lead author of the article. “The public needs to be aware that most will need care and there’s a need to plan ahead.”

 

This pressure and strain on the family is often the result of the rising costs associated with medical and PCA services. Insurance will likely cover some of these bills however; it’s wise to have a plan in the event that your coverage runs out. In these instances, the financial burden often falls on family members and it can quickly become too much to overcome. It doesn’t take long for home care costs to deplete assets that took decades to accrue.

 

At Best Home Care, our home care professionals answer questions about paying for home care services every day. With so many things to save for, preparing for future medical assistance needs often falls to the bottom of the list. Here are some easy guidelines for ensuring that you will have enough to cover your costs when the time comes:

 

  • Start saving now! Open a separate savings account specifically for your home care costs and contribute regularly
  • Consult your doctor and the home care professionals at Best Home Care to better understand how much you will need for future costs
  • Visit a financial adviser to organize your account and make sure you are on track towards your savings goals

 

Your health is your most valuable asset, shouldn’t you invest in it? Contact Best Home Care to learn about medical assistance planning and how you can start preparing for your future today!

Providing Home Care for Those Living with HIV/AIDS

Providing Home Care From A DistanceAccording to the CDC at the end of 2012, 1.2 million individuals over the age of 13 were living with HIV or AIDS in the United States. Even more interesting is that 1 in 8 of those individuals don’t know they have the disease. While most prevalent during the 1980s, HIV/AIDS is still a very real issue in America today. Great progress has been made to improve the standard of living for those affected by the disease. In addition, at-home care and PCA services can have great benefits for those living with HIV/AIDS.

 

Here at Best Home Care, we have helped a number of personal care assistants and family caregivers provide home care services for a loved one living with HIV/AIDS. While there is currently no cure for HIV/AIDS, the symptoms can be treated to allow individuals to comfortably continue their day-to-day life. In home supportive services compliment these treatments by fostering a health focused and supportive environment for the individual.

When it comes to providing HIV/AIDS home care, there are three areas that caregivers should focus on:

Proper Nutrition

Consuming healthy foods is essential to help maintain a strong immunes system and can even help treatments be more effective. As a caregiver, you should develop a meal plan that emphasizes healthy foods and always take care to prepare food properly and safely.

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

HIV/AIDS patients are statistically more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol; which can interfere with treatment and lead to even more dangerous health problems. As a home caregiver, you should actively monitor your client for signs of excessive alcohol or drug use and guide them towards help if necessary.

Treatment

Treatments often include many different medications that can be confusing for a patient to keep track of and understand. As a personal care assistant, you should build a treatment plan that clearly shows what and when medications should be taken as well as tracking when they will need to be refilled.

 

HIV/AIDS home caregivers provide an invaluable service for their clients. Best Home Care is proud to support the work of these personal care assistants as they provide a better quality of life for the individuals they care for. Contact us today to learn more about home care giving services for HIV/AIDS or how our home care professionals can support you!

Navigating Home Care’s Red Tape: Traditional PCA Option

studying-703002_1280As 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!

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!

Hiring a Non-Medical Home Caregiver Following Surgery

Ways to Become a More Effective Caregiver - services for independent livingThe 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!

In-Home Care vs. Assisted Living Centers: Which is Right for Your Needs?

Can I get paid to care for my disabled friend or family member? - home care elderlyDeciding on the right form of ongoing health care for a loved one can be a tough decision but one that should not be taken lightly. Today, there are countless options for those of all ages in need of all types of care. In-home care and assisted living have become the two most popular forms of out-of-hospital care options and for good reason, they both provide patients the health care they require while maintaining some form of independence.

While the two have many similarities, they also are very different. It’s important to have a discussion with a physician in order to understand which option is best for you or your loved one. As a leading Minnesota home care agency, Best Home Care takes pride in helping individuals understand their options to make important decisions regarding their health. Below is a brief overview of in-home care and assisted living centers as well as some advantages of each.

In-Home Care: Under this type of care, the patient continues living in their current home and receives regular visits from a home caregiver or personal care assistant. The individual receives professional assistance with various activities of daily living depending on their specific home care plan. The individual can hire a family member or friend to provide these home care services.

            Advantages

Assisted Living Centers: Under this type of care, the patient moves into and lives in a residence with others in need of care where they receive services from the staff. Care services are typically available 24-hours a day however individuals live their day-to-day life independently.

            Advantages

  • Offers round the clock care for an individual’s disability or condition
  • Allows individuals to maintain independence in a controlled and safe environment

It’s important to learn as much as you can when deciding on a proper path for the care of your loved one. Take advantage of Best Home Care’s free home care resources and contact our home care professionals to learn more about in-home care and to discover if hiring a personal care assistant is the right option for your loved one.

What to do for Winter Break… Home Care Tips to Help Kids Enjoy the Holidays

Home Health Care Agency, Minneapolis Home CareDecember means three things: a barrage of holiday shopping sales, cinnamon flavored desserts, and NO SCHOOL! For students, winter break is the time to hang out with friends all day, anticipate their gift list, and not worry about schoolwork for weeks. While most children enjoy these days away from school, winter break can be a stressor for those kids receiving home care or other in home supportive services.

Children living with ADHD, Down syndrome, and other physical and mental challenges often rely on the day-to-day guidance of schoolteachers and special education assistants to complete many tasks. School’s consistent daily schedule gives students a structured environment and schedule that is comfortable. But when winter break comes around, it can be difficult for them to adapt to life away from the regular school day.

For parents of these children, winter break can be an especially busy time. Home attendants and personal care assistants can provide some relief by providing at home care while kids are off of school. Even still, parents will likely find themselves looking for ways to keep their child safe and entertained during winter break. Below are some great activities that parents and children can do together during winter break:

  • Use arts and craft skills to make Christmas tree ornaments
  • Have a holiday movie marathon together
  • Enjoy outdoor activities in the snow such as building a snowman or (if safe) sledding
  • Volunteer at a non-profit or soup kitchen together
  • Go toy shopping together and donate the gifts to charity or a toy drive

Winter break is a great opportunity for parents and children to spend time together however, busy schedules can make it hard to provide home care at all times. Personal care assistants can provide home care services for your child throughout winter break and give you time to run errands or go to work. Contact Best Home Care to learn how our home care professionals can benefit you and your kids this winter break!

Interacting With Children Can Greatly Benefit Senior’s Home Care

Senior male smiling  being hugged by his grandaughterGoing to visit grandma and grandpa is a family tradition that has been taking place for many generations. Whether it’s every week or only at Thanksgiving, seeing their grandparents is something that children should do. Spending time with their older relatives has been known to improve a child’s self esteem and help them understand who they are while also providing a sense of history and a new perspective. In fact, one study found that children who are mentored by an older adult are: 46% less likely to use drugs, 27% less likely to start using alcohol, and 52% less likely to skip school.

Inter-generational relationships have significant home health benefits for senior citizens as well. Serving as a mentor for a younger child allows an elderly person to become the “teacher” and gives them a sense of purpose, which can have an incredible impact on their overall health. Some of these benefits of building a close connection with a younger individual include:

  • Much less depression
  • Better physical health
  • Higher degrees of life satisfaction
  • Increased hopefulness and better outlook on life

The Benefits of the Young on Senior Home Care

Personal care assistants that provide home care for senior citizens can enhance their services by incorporating children into their home care plans. Helping a senior home care patient schedule a time to visit with their grandchildren can be very beneficial. However for those without grandchildren, there are other opportunities to connect with the younger generations.

Some schools and communities offer special programs that allow seniors and children to connect. The Intergenerational Learning Center in Eagan, MN is a preschool where senior citizens are invited to work alongside the kids. This unique school gives older adults the opportunity to teach and learn alongside kids in a fun and creative environment.

For more information about incorporating younger children into senior home care services, contact Best Home Care. We want to help you provide the best home care possible!