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.

How Grandchildren Can Help with Home Care Services

Over the last thirty years, the number of people in the United States living ninety years or more has tripled; reaching nearly two-million individuals in 2010. This number is expected to continue to grow in the coming years as the Baby Boomer generation ages well past retirement. This growing population of elderly individuals means an increased demand for senior home care services. Many families are choosing to face this demand head on by caring for their loved ones themselves in lieu of formal at-home care services from a personal care assistant or home care agency.


“Family caregiver” is the most common job title in the home care industry. According to, 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last twelve months. Whether a child caring for an aging parent or a parent caring for a disabled child, the number of family caregivers is expected to grow in step with the demand for home care services.


While the majority of home care duties will naturally fall on the adult children, many grandchildren are beginning to care for their aging grandparents in different ways. The relationship between a grandparent and grandchild is very different than that of their adult children and it’s important for grandchildren to fulfill their role when a grandparent is receiving senior home care services.


Below are some ways that grandchildren can care for their grandparents without actually providing PCA services:


Give them Something to Look Forward to: Grandparents love getting visits from their grandchildren and look forward to spending time with them. For those that have difficulty visiting their grandparents, schedule a future date when you will visit.

A Simple Call: A simple conversation with a grandchild can make a grandparent’s day. If you can’t visit in person, make it a priority to call them at least once a week. Try asking them questions about their past to spur stories.


Best Home Care is ready to help grandchildren find ways to get paid for caring for a family member. Contact us today to learn more!


Best Home Care is Working to Combat Minnesota’s Shortage in Caregivers

Minnesota home care agencyOver the last couple years, the home care industry throughout the United States has been facing a shortage of personal care assistants and home caregivers. This issue has been especially difficult for families with loved ones that require 24-hour or daily in-home supportive services as they are forced to provide the care themselves or turn to family members and friends for help. Families have even gone so far as to bring their loved ones to the hospital to be cared for while they search for at-home care services.


Unfortunately, Minnesota home care agencies have been affected by this shortage as well. According to state workforce data, the vacancy rate of PCAs in rural areas hit 14% last year. This is the highest rate we’ve experienced in at least 15 years. By 2020, the Minnesota Department of Human Services estimates that Minnesota will need to fill 60,000 direct-care and support positions.


How can a Smartphone App Solve this Issue?

The Homecare Timesheets app is working to help families struggling to find personal care assistants and caregivers. The app allows the user to self-staff with other local PCAs when their PCA is absent. This “on-demand PCA services” technology is very similar to that used in popular ridesharing apps. Within the app, home care recipients are able to set criteria for the personal care assistants or set criteria for the personal care assistants or get help from any available worker at their home care agency.


The Homecare Timesheets app adheres to all relevant Minnesota laws and applies to those receiving home care services through Medicaid.


Best Home Care is Proud to Offer the Homecare Timesheets App

In order to best serve our customers and help them access the PCA services they need, we are proud to be one of the first home care agencies in the Twin Cities using the Homecare Timesheets App. To learn more about how you can use this technology, contact us today!

Family Caregiving: Living Away From Loved Ones That Need Home Care

Caring From A DistanceAccording 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!


Tips and Tricks to Stay Organized While Working as a Personal Care Assistant

Tips to keep organized as personal care assistant

As a personal care assistant providing home health services, it’s a safe bet that your life is pretty chaotic. Balancing multiple patients’ medications, daily plans, and personal requirements while trying to keep up with your own life can be exhausting. Without an effective way to stay organized, it’s easy for home health professionals to become overwhelmed by the many demands of their job.

Everybody has their own unique way to organize their life and what works for one personal care attendant may not work for another. The home health specialists at Best Home Care recently put their heads together to come up with some tips and tricks to help those providing in-home supportive services stay organized. Here are the results:

  • Keep a Caregiving Calendar: This is a smart way to keep track of medications, appointments, and many other items. Download a calendar or scheduling app for your smartphone to make it more convenient.
  • Start a Caregiving Journal: Start keeping track of each home care service you provided and take general notes about each patient’s needs each day. This can be very valuable in the event of an emergency or transition to a new caregiver.
  • Be Prepared for an Emergency: Falling? Seizures? Whatever the most likely emergency may be, create a plan of what you will do until medical assistance arrives.
  • Make a List of Necessities: Post a list of everything you need each day on your refrigerator and be sure to double-check it before heading out the door.
  • Create a Patient Folder: Make copies of all medical, insurance, and other important documents for each of your patients. Keep these papers in separate labeled folders where you can easily access them.

Keeping your work and personal life organized is a crucial part of providing quality home care services. Best Home Care is happy to assist by handling the many administration tasks that come with caregiver jobs. Contact us today to see how we can organize your PCA services.

Will You Need Home Care? The Answer May Surprise You…

Will You Need Home Care?A recent study from The University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health shows that middle-aged Americans greatly underestimate their future home health care needs. The study found that 60% of adults (ages 40-65) believe that they are unlikely to require elderly home care, while in reality only 30% will not need some type of long-term home care service.

“The public needs to be aware that most will require care and there’s a need to plan ahead,” said Carrie Henning-Smith, lead author of the study and Ph.D. candidate in the School of Public Health. Henning-Smith added that unpreparedness typically leads to “added pressure and strain on family members and friends.”

Planning for future home health care is something that nobody likes to do – but it can save a lot of money and stress in the long run. For those wishing to start preparing now, Henning-Smith recommends:

  • Talking with family members about your wishes for your long-term care
  • Saving as much money as you can right now
  • Researching different home care options and the associated costs

At Best Home Care, we understand the importance of planning for future home care services. It’s never too early to begin thinking about your future home care needs, and we’re happy to help you! Our website and blog are great resources for learning more about the different home care options available to you. Here are some great pages to learn more about:

            PCA Services

            How to Start Home Care Services

            Different Ways to Pay for PCA Services

We all hope that we never have to use in-home supportive services; however, as this study shows, a majority of us will. Accepting this reality is the first step to establishing a home care plan. To learn more about various home care options and how you can start planning for your future home care needs, contact Best Home Care.

What Can Home Care Do For You? Find Support for Persons with Learning Disorders.

Autism Home Support ServicesAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 children was identified with an autism spectrum disorder in 2010. The CDC also reported that 11% of children between the ages of 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. The number of cases of children with learning disabilities like these has risen sharply over the last decade. This growth is expected to continue as more is learned about these disorders and how to diagnose them.

Parents with children that live with a learning disorder know first-hand the challenges that come with these conditions. Difficulties keeping up in school and making new friends are common. Many parents take on these struggles and share in their child’s emotional stress and frustration caused by a learning disorder.

If this sounds familiar, it’s important to remember that there is home health assistance available for you and your child. Hiring a personal care attendant is a smart way to give your child the extra help they need and you the time to take a break. Personal care attendants are trained to provide ADHD and autism home support services for children with learning disabilities.

PCA services benefit those living with learning disorders by:

  • Ensuring that the child remains safe
  • Scheduling a predictable daily routine
  • Assisting with schoolwork through tutoring and homework help
  • Providing help with diet and exercise needs
  • Offering companionship and support

Best Home Care serves personal care assistants that provide ADHD and autism home support services by facilitating administrative tasks and providing valuable resources. We also help family caregivers find out how to get paid for taking care of a family member. If you or someone you know is caring for a child with a learning disability, contact us today! Our professional staff will answer any home care questions you may have and explain the benefits of in-home supportive services for individuals living with learning disorders.

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.

Improve Your In-Home Health and Avoid Heart Attacks this Holiday Season

Home Care for Heart HealthIf you’re anything like us at Best Home Care, the holidays are the time of year when we empty our wallets on gifts and decorations, eat more than we should, and make resolutions we likely won’t keep. It is truly the most wonderful time of the year.

However, all this wonder can pose a threat to our cardiovascular health, especially for the elderly. A recent study showed that historically, the year’s highest number of cardiac-related deaths occurs on December 26th with Christmas and New Year’s Day close behind. Improve your home health and keep your heart happy this season by following these tips:

  1. Sleep In: Heart-related incidents, such as heart attacks, are most likely to occur within three hours of waking up.

Home Health Care Tip: “Ease into the day and save strenuous activities till later in the afternoon.”

  1. Dress Warm: When it’s cold out, our arteries constrict, raising our blood pressure and forcing our hearts to work overtime. It is especially important for those over the age of 70 to keep warm.

Home Health Care Tip: “Avoid prolonged stays in the cold and always wear a coat, hat, and scarf when going outdoors.”

  1. Don’t Overindulge: The holidays are a time to eat, drink, and be merry. It’s also a common time to gain weight, which can lead to an irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and other cardiovascular risks.

Home Health Care Tip: “Enjoy the holidays but do so in moderation and stay active.”

  1. Take it Easy: This time of year can take a toll on anyone’s physical and emotional health. Shoveling and holiday anxiety are just some of the season’s stressors that can negatively affect your heart health.

Home Health Care Tip: “Have someone help you shovel snow. Find time to relax everyday to avoid emotional exhaustion.”

Many people choose to postpone seeking medical treatment during the holidays because they don’t want to disrupt their family’s plans. Don’t be one of these people. Dial 9-1-1 immediately if you are experiencing chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack.

As a top home care agency in Minnesota, Best Home Care encourages personal care assistants and those receiving home care to take action to prevent heart attacks this season. Contact us today to learn more about how you can benefit from home health care and PCA services. Let’s make a point to stay heart healthy this year and have a wonderful holiday.

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.