Quality Home Health Care

Aging, Disability And Long Term Care

Aging Disabled Lady

Aging Disabled Lady

Long term care commonly includes two different groups of people: those who are elderly and too frail to take care for themselves and those who are physically or mentally disabled and unable to care for themselves. Many people fall into both categories.

Disability long term care services include:

  • Home health aide or home care services
  • Assisted living
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Self-directed personal care services
  • Case management
  • Community transition services
  • Environmental home modifications
  • Driving services

People with disabilities often have a team of health professionals who administer their care. They may have psychiatrists, multiple doctors, aides and nurses who assist them and create care plans specifically for their personal needs.

In-home care consists of assisting people with disabilities with range of motion exercises, washing and dressing, going to the bathroom, small household tasks, eating, preparing meals, and other daily living activities such as applying braces and assisting with ambulation. CNA’s or state tested nurse aides in long term care facilities do all of the above as well as assist with group exercise and entertainment activities.

Meals-on-Wheels is a program that provides daily meals to people who are homebound. A lot of people with disabilities benefit from this program.

People with physical disabilities and a high level of awareness are able to direct their personal care services on their own. Most people prefer to do this from the comfort of their own home. They still fall under the umbrella of long-term care.

Case management services help to coordinate medicines, treatment plans, meal services, doctors’ visits, driving services, and long term care equipment like wheelchairs, braces and Hoyer lifts. These case managers are usually nurses with a Master’s degree. They coordinate with long term care facility employees or directly with the patient who is being cared for at home or who is directing their own personal care from home.

There are services that ease the transition from hospital to home for those who have newly developed disabilities, such as veterans of war or victims of automobile accidents. Community transition services are likely to provide education and counseling for those trying to adjust to a different lifestyle including disability.

Environmental home modifications are often necessary for people with disabilities. Small adjustments include railings on the bathtub, a seat in the shower, or a bedside commode, while larger home modifications can range from rearranging furniture to moving walls, enlarging doorways, or adding ramps for wheelchair access.

Driving services are available to transport those who do not have access to driving their own car or anyone to take them to their appointments. These services need only a phone call a day or so ahead of time and a vehicle capable of handling persons with many types of disabilities will arrive at the patient’s home ahead of schedule to transport the patient to their appointment.

All of these services are wonderful additions to long-term care for the elderly and people with disabilities.

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Make Your Home Care Experience a Success

 

We at Boca Home Care Services understand what a big step it is to have a caregiver come into the home. They are only “strangers” at first. Once rapport is established a warm interaction and helpful routine can follow. Find some tips to help make your Home Care experience a successful one.

 

Cooking with your Caregiver

Either due to an accident, fall, hospitalization or a chronic, progressive disease, you need an aide to assist you. The idea of a “stranger” coming into your home, into your kitchen and helping with your personal care is hard to imagine. But, you have made the decision to start and now you have a caregiver coming over.

We have found that the best way to set up this new relationship to be a successful and even pleasant one is to have a routine. Use the caregiver’s time with you wisely. It is important to have things each visit for the aide to do. Otherwise, you’ll both be wondering how to pass the time. The aide will go on the phone and you may start having feelings of resentment, and want to call the whole thing off.

Truth is, if you need help, then you need help! We try to increase the chances of success by giving you some tips on how to properly make use of having a caregiver. Firstly, know what the duties of a hired caregiver are – and what they are NOT. A good aide will assist you, as needed with showering, dressing, walking and other “Activities of Daily Living”. They will also keep the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom neat – BUT they are not domestics. It is unrealistic to expect them to do household cleaning beyond ther rooms mentioned. They will also do the shopping, laundry, cooking, and driving. Other tasks include, medication prompts, serve as a companion and can help you with walking and exercises – all while keeping you safe from any falls.

Other tips for Home Care success are:

* Make a list of your important contacts – Family, Physician and a nearby Friend.

* Another list of you prescribed medications – name, dosage, time to take it and whether before or after eating.

* Let the caregive know what your routine is. Do you prefer to shower, then breakfast or the other way around?

* If you don’t know how to get to a doctor’s office or other locale, have someone get clear directions for the caregiver.

* If you are the primary caregiver, after the second day, disappear and go take care or yourself – you are Off Dutty for a few hours.

* Let the aide know what you like to do – favorite TV programs, a senior center, cards, puzzles, computer…

* Go with the aide the first time to the market, or have someone who knows your preferences go so that he or she can learn what products and brands you prefer.

* Let the caregiver know what types of foods you like, how you want them prepared and at what time do you wish to eat.

* Tell the aide of your allergies to  foods or medication. Your pet peeves and what you enjoy.

Remember, when you hire a caregiver from a licensed company, they will be screened, trained and experienced, just not with you in your home. It takes a couple of visits to “click” and once you do – it is magic. If you don’t, let the company know immediately so that a change can be made. Everyone is dofferent so sometimes it takes more than one try.

 

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Tell Your Parents – No More Mailed Social Security Checks

 

Old Habits are hard to break. This one, of going to your mailbox at the beginning of the month to find your Social Security check – will be a forced break. The Government will Cease mailing checks as of March 1st, 2013.  Your parents and grandparents (or you) must make other arrangements.

Change to Electronic Payment by March 2013

Change to Electronic Payment by March 2013

The U.S. Government has found one way to save money for Social Security – it will stop mailing out checks as of March 2013.  Of course this will adversley effect the U.S. Postal Service we presume.

Since last May, the government has been encouraging benefit recipients to either go to direct deposit into individual bank accounts or use “Direct Express” Debit card.  Now all folks who receive Social Security, SSI, Disability, Government pensions and some Vereran’s Affairs payments must use an electronic means of payment to the recipients.

Actually, many Americans, over ninety percent do receive payments electronically. As of March, the remaing five million or so folks will have to set things up to do the same.

Fortunately for the remaining Americans, the government has been working with most banks, small and large t get the word out and make the transition smooth and easy.

Save yourself or your elderly loved one the hassle of more direct communication by the government should you or they not make the changeover. Don’t panic, if you are unable to meet the March deadline, checks will still be mailed but you’ll likely receive more targeted mailings or calls — to make the switch.

Actually, Electronic Payments are safer, though not fool proof. The mail has seen a lot of lost checks or stolen checks – not likely to happen electronically. Just hope the government offices don’t get hacked. By and large though electronic payments are more secure.

Take care of making the switch to electronic payments, or help you parents to do so. Take a check to the bank and have a bank representative set up the account. NEVER give your banking information or Social Security Number to a caller on the phone. 

THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CALL ASKING FOR THIS TYPE OF INFORMATION!

If you suspect Social Security fraud or theft, contact their hotline – 800-269-0271.

If you can’t get to the bank, you can register at www.GoDirect.org or call their helpline at: 800-333-1795.

Make sure to have your Social Security Number – the 12 digit check number, amount of check  and the routing transit number for your bank.

Take care of it today and save yourself the monthly trip to the bank to cash your Benefit check.

 

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Who are the Caregivers in America? They are YOU!

Who is tasked with caring for our aging seniors? These are our spouses, mothers and fathers. It is usually a family member who is the primary caregiver. It is usually someone like you.

Assistance with Dressing

Assistance with Dressing

The National Family Caregivers Association and Care Improvement Plus did a survey this year, 2012 and found that 66% of folks surveyed have provided some care to a family member or loved one for five or more years.  70% are the primary caregiver. We are our brother’s keeper. Usually the spousal or family caregiver learns on the job. They aren’t’ particularly trained in caregiving – personal care such as bathing, dressing and toileting an adult.  In the case of elderly couples, the caregiver spouse is usually in their seventies, eighties or nineties – with health concerns of their own.

As the population ages, becomes frailer or succombs to physical and/or cognitive diseases, the role of the family caregiver also expands. What may have started as companion care or as a sitter and gradually became more hands on – the Activities of Daily Living and then cooking, shopping, laundry, driving, finances and the general running of the person’s care, caring for own needs and running of the household.

An untrained person, usually the spouse, daughter or son over time becomes the coordinator of all care, medication management, nutrition with special dietary needs and whatever else needs to be done – all without a salary.

If you are becoming anxious just reading this list of responsibilities – which we can add, fall prevention, entertianment, juggling doctor appointments and mastering care plans, then you can immediately understand how overwhelming the role of the primary family caregiver is. Few if anyone can sustain this regimen for very long without starting to neglect their own medical or dietary needs. The stress and exhaustion continues to build until something gives – that something is actually someone – the primary caregiver.

Families can work in shifts, they can have the family member with either Alzheimer’s or Dementia attend day care, exhaust the kindness of friends and neighbors, place their loved one in congregate living or hire some in-home care – giving respite time to your healthy loved one.

Just 12 hours a week – usually 3 mornings can make a huge difference for the primary caregiver.

Hiring of a screened, certified and experienced Home Care Aide allows the primary caregiver – yourself or your parent to recharge, rest, take care of their own appointments  – all without worrying that their loved one is alone or uncared for. The addition of a trained assistant can be a lifesaver to the family.

It is key to protect the primary caregiver. After all, they make everything go. If they collapse, then there are two parents needing care. Here in South Florida there are literally hundreds of home care companies. Get a referral from your doctor, a friend or go onto the Internet and find a few licensed companies to call.

Ask how long they have been in business, whether the company is bonded, the workers have insurance and so forth. By law, in Florida all home aides (HHA or CNA) will have fingerprinting and background checks. If your spouse or parent has Long Term Care Insurance, now may be the time to use some of it.

Home Care is an amazing way to care for your loved one and spare the primary caregiver from becoming exhausted, overwhelmed and self neglected. A home care aide will provide companionship, manage personal care -bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting and feeding. They can provide transportation to appointments, do the shopping, cooking and laundry and more. It may be the kind of investment which keeps the primary caregiver going and sustain the ill family member.

It can be used sporadically or consistently – that is up to you. The most important thing is for you and your family to take a close look at what the needs are, and be honest about it. Many conditions can be maintained or managed, but there are some which are progressive and the person’s care needs will only grow. Plan ahead. The important thing is to try having outside help. When rapport between caregiver and client is established, it is magic. So take a good look at  what you or your loved one who is the primary caregiver can realistically handle and build in some supports for the betterment of all concerned.

Learn more about private duty home care. View Video.

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Holiday Fall Prevention – Keep the Season Joyous

It has become well known that Seniors aged 65 and older are at particular risk for falls. These falls can be life changing events. Around the holidays, if visiting the family, special attention needs to be paid to how to make your home safe for your parents. 

If your mother, father or other elderly loved one will be visiting your home over the holidays, there are a few things you can do to make your home safer for them:

* Let there be lights!- Add some nightlights to hallways, stairs and bathrooms.

*- Stairways – Your folks may not be used to stairs anymore. They are a particularly dangerous part of the house, especially with a walker – accompany them on stairs. Try to give them a room on the first floor.

* Put in some non-slip strips or a pad in shower or bathroom. If possible, put in a grab bar in shower.

* Give them a pair of non-slip socks.

* Clear up clutter – papers, wires, whatever and make pathways clear, to make walking easier – especially if they use a walker.

* If they shouldn’t be driving, then have someone drive them around since they may not be familiar with your area. — anymore.

* Pick up those little throw rugs while your folks are visiting.

* If your loved one needs extra help – consider hiring an aide. At the very least, get “baby” monitors to put in their room and yours, or the kitchen to hear if they need help.

* Keep things simple as much as possible. The excitement and lots of people coming and going, may be overwhelming for them, perhaps space out some visits over their stay.

* Keep in mind their medications and their special diets. Are they Diabetic, have heart disease? Prepare some foods which they can eat without paying a price.

* Be sensitive to their routine or schedule – they have a different energy level than you do.

Should your loved one have any Dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease, extra care must be made as being out of their environment and routine may be very upsetting.

Enjoy their visit, take some minor precautions to make your home a safe place for your visiting senior guests.

Happy Holidays and all the best in 2013!

For More Information, Visit:www.bocahomecareservices.com

 

 

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