How to Know if Your Long-Distance Relatives Need Homecare Services

family home caregiver, home care professionalAt Best Home Care, we know that the best part of the holiday season is getting together to see family, especially family that you don’t get to see very often. However, when you get together with your elderly long-distance relatives, there are certain things you should keep an eye out for. As your loved ones get older it can be harder for them to live independently and it’s important to be there for them when help is needed.

 

Below are some things to look out for that may indicate that your parents or grandparents need a home caregiver, home nurse, or personal care assistant to help them out:

 

Check for changes in mental function:

  • Are they more forgetful?
  • Have they been losing or misplacing things often?
  • Do they spend most of the day sleeping?
  • Is their diet unhealthy or have they lost a lot of weight?
  • Have they lost interest in their favorite hobbies?
  • Do they experience sudden or extreme mood swings?
  • Do they show signs of confusion or uncertainty when performing familiar tasks?
  • Have they missed any important appointments?

 

Check for changes in physical function:

  • Do they have trouble standing up from a sitting position?
  • Do they struggle with walking or any other mobility?
  • Have they struggled with balance?
  • Have you noticed any bruising or injuries?
  • Have they stopped caring for their physical appearance or normal grooming habits?
  • Is their home dirty or more cluttered from neglecting household responsibilities?

 

If you notice one or many of these issues when you visit your aging relatives this year, it could be time to think about finding them home healthcare assistance.

 

Best Home Care can help you find the ideal elderly homecare for your loved ones; whether that is just some routine visits from a caregiver or 24-hour homecare. With expert administrative services, we’ll help you find the perfect caregivers that will give you peace of mind knowing that your family members are in good hands when you can’t be there to look after them.

 

Visit our website for more information on the services we offer, or feel free to call us at (651) 330-2550!

 

Pamper a Deserving Caregiver with the Perfect Gift

Minneapolis caregivers, Twin Cities home care agencyWe’ve all learned, likely from a motivational poster or two, that actions speak louder than words. It’s no secret that gift giving is the best way to show someone that you appreciate them this time of year. It doesn’t matter how expensive a gift may be, a token of appreciation is heartfelt if it’s genuine. Remember to include home caregivers on your list when you check it twice this holiday season. Caregivers come from all walks of life and can be friends, relatives, nurses, doctors, therapists, and any other professionals who provide care every day. This holiday season, return the favor and pamper a special home care professional with one of these gift ideas from Best Home Care.

 

  1. Book a Spa Appointment: PCA assistants often get little time to themselves or days off and that reality can have a negative impact on their own well-being. Stress can’t be avoided completely in our day-to-day lives, but it should be relieved occasionally in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A massage or manicure appointment may be just what a PCA or home care employee needs to relax.
  1. Share Some Sweet Treats: A basket of snacks offers variety; your personal care provider is bound to like something in the bunch. If you notice a coffee cup in their hand most mornings or a certain brand of chocolate chip cookies peeking out of their bag, customize this gift accordingly! The possibilities are endless with a gift basket and they can be made in an assortment of sizes and price ranges.
  1. Help Indulge their Pastimes: Gift cards are a great way to help caregivers keep up with activities outside of their routine so they have something to look forward to each week as a break from other responsibilities. Did your caretaker recently take up knitting? Get a gift card for a home goods store! Did you talk to your home care aid about a new book series they can’t put down? Get them a gift card to a bookstore!

 

Pamper a senior or special needs caregiver with one of these brilliant gift ideas. The brainstorming process was handled by Best Home Care. Now you’re on to the fun part, holiday shopping! For more information about our Minneapolis in-home care agency, contact Best Home Care or visit our FAQ page.

Home Care’s Benefits for Children with Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic_Fibrosis_Thumbnail - complete home health care

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetically transmitted disease that affects the glands in the body that create mucous, making this normally water-like substance thin and sticky. Unable to flow freely, mucous becomes lodged in airways and ducts throughout the body. These blockages affect different organs in different ways causing symptoms to vary from patient to patient. The lungs, pancreas, and sweat glands are three of the major organs most commonly affected by CF. Currently there is no cure for the disease, however treatments have greatly extended the life expectancy of people living with CF.

 

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation states that about 30,000 people in United States live with CF. Each year; there are approximately 1,000 new diagnoses of CF; many new patients are under the age of ten. Caring for children affected by CF can be a challenging and difficult task, even for the most experienced home caregiver. In most cases, a parent or loved one will act as a family caregiver for their loved one. This can, and often does, lead to financial and time management problems as the family caregiver struggles to maintain other commitments in addition to their new home care duties. As a leading Minneapolis home care agency, Best Home Care helps caregivers in these situations get paid for taking care of a family member.

 

In home supportive services can greatly help children through the challenges of growing up with up CF. The disease affects each child slightly different so it’s important for personal care assistants to be flexible and clearly understand their symptoms before building a home care plan. In general, a CF home health aid should:
• Ensure the child eats nutritionally, especially during flare-ups
• Assist with therapy practices including: airway clearance techniques and vibration vests
• Help with necessary medical treatments such as antibiotic prescriptions and IV treatments

 

Cystic fibrosis home care services can greatly improve the quality of life for children living with this debilitating disease. Best Home Care is ready to help family caregivers across Minnesota with support and guidance to provide quality home care for their child living with CF. Contact our team of home care professionals to learn more!

How to be a Great Family Caregiver: Getting Started in Family Caregiving

minnesota-homecare-providerA recent study from the Pew Research Center found that two out of every five adults in the U.S. currently provide home care for a sick or elderly relative. The researchers also found that the number of caregivers in the country increased by 10% from 2010 to 2013. Experts believe that this rise in family caregivers is due to more Baby Boomers requiring care and their inability to afford professional home care because of a down economy. As a result, family members have increasingly begun stepping in to act as the first line of defense for their loved one’s health.

It’s a safe bet that at some point in your life you will provide some type of home health care for a family member or friend. It’s also a good bet that you will have no experience as a home caregiver when that time comes. Here are some quick tips and things to keep in mind when getting started as a family caregiver for the first time:

Educate Yourself: Researching what your loved one is suffering from, various treatments, and best home care practices is the easiest way to become a better personal care attendant. There are many caregiving resources available online including the Best Home Care blog!

Pace Yourself: Caregiver burnout is the most common struggle informal caregivers face. Balancing a job and family with home care services can often leave a family caregiver searching for a moment off. Take time to plan out your schedule every week and be sure to leave time for yourself.

Express Yourself: Sharing your experiences and struggles with other caregivers in similar situations is a great way to learn more about and work through the highs and lows of home caregiving. Local caregiver support groups and home care agencies exist to connect caregivers and foster these conversations.

Best Home Care is here to help you take your first steps as a family caregiver. We provide useful home care tips and will find ways for you to get paid for taking care of a family member. Contact us today!

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.

 

Caring for the Caregiver: The Powerful Benefits of a Helping Hand

Find Support for CaregiversWhen you provide a friend, family member, or other loved one with care services, you are helping that person to live a more comfortable, independent live. While that individual’s life becomes easier, the home caregiver’s life often becomes busier. Providing home care is a demanding, if fulfilling, responsibility, and one that may lead to burnout for the caregiver.

Caregiver burnout is one of the most common struggles those providing at-home care will face. According to Web MD, this is “a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude – from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned.”

For those suffering from caregiver burnout, the best solution is to simply take a break. This is where other family members and friends come in. To give the caregiver a reprieve from their daily duties, another individual or personal care assistant will temporarily provide care in their place. Some time off, whether for a few hours or a few weeks, can provide exceptional support.

Here are some ways that a backup and a break can benefit you as a caregiver:

  • Provide time to run errands, meet with friends, or take care of other commitments
  • Allow you to continue to work, generate income, and keep health benefits
  • Give you the opportunity to take time for yourself to see a movie, take a class, go on vacation, etc.

In most situations, a caregiver will ask a family member or friend to share the caregiving responsibilities. If you have someone who has agreed to help you by providing home care for a while, get in touch with Best Home Care. Our helpful staff will guide you through the process of training and/or paying an additional caregiver and the administrative work that comes with it.  Best Home Care also provides resources and support for caregivers to help you stay healthy, avoid caregiver burnout, and continue to provide quality home care.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help facilitate a temporary transition between caregivers, and discover other helpful caregiver resources.

Caring for the Caregiver: Difficult Emotions and Finding Support

Caregiver HealthFor an individual suffering from a disability, illness, or other condition that makes living independently a challenge, having a loved one provide home care is an incredible blessing. While it is a vital and valuable role, being a home caregiver is still much like other jobs in that there are ups and downs. Taking care of a family member or dear friend can be very fulfilling, both personally and professionally. Some times, however, providing at-home care can elicit many difficult emotions and create stress that affects a caregiver’s health.

At Best Home Care, we know that the wellbeing of a caregiver is a crucial part of home care. In order to prevent these emotions from developing into a serious health issue, a caregiver must first recognize and accept these feelings.

Common emotions for caregivers:

  • Guilt: You may feel guilty that you aren’t doing enough as a home caregiver to provide for your patient.
  • Grief: Providing care often comes with a number of losses, including time otherwise spent, a plan you had envisioned, or the loss that comes with caring for a terminally ill patient.
  • Burnout: The exhaustion that comes from being pulled in many different directions is common among caregivers who also work and provide for their family.
  • Resentment: You may be angry with other family members or friends for not doing more to support you or your patient.

These emotions often present themselves in the form of lack of sleep or appetite or an unwillingness to interact with others. Seek medical help immediately if you feel these emotions are negatively affecting your health or ability to provide quality home care.

It’s important for a home caregiver to understand that having these feelings is normal and help is available. Start combating tough emotions by sharing your feelings, both positive and negative, with others.

A caregiver may find emotional support from:

  • Family members or friends
  • Church or religious groups
  • A therapist or counselor
  • Community caregiver support groups

Know that you are not alone and that there are many resources to encourage and support you. At Best Home Care, we understand the stress home caregivers deal with every day and we work to help in any we can. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns about finding caregiver support.

 

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.