Do I Need A Home Health Aides (HHA), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) ?

October 4, 2021

Finding the right level of care for your or a loved one is important as you age. There are a variety of options available, but which kind of home health aid is right for you?

Some people choose to get the help of a licensed practical nurse. Others choose to go down the home health aide route. Some may even prefer a mix of both! The key to choosing is to understand the different kinds of help these professionals provide and your needs.

Whether you’re looking for someone to supplement your family-given care or manage things completely, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to break down the different kinds of home health aide options you have so you can figure out the best one for your unique needs.

Home Health Aides

Home health aides (HHAs) can be viewed as people that can assist with a variety of daily tasks. They focus on personal care and typically come to the patient’s home to assist them.

HHAs can help with hygienic tasks like grooming, bathing, dressing, and assistance with using the bathroom. They can also focus on other important household tasks like preparing meals, light housekeeping, running errands, and even transportation.

While it’s important to note that HHAs do receive training before they work, they do have limited medical training. The HHA you choose will be unable to provide medical assistance or nursing care, and should not be giving medical advice. However, they can monitor their client’s condition and do wellness-related work like reminding patients to take their medication or taking them to doctor’s appointments.

Certified Nursing Assistants

You can view certified nurse assistants (CNAs) as a tier above HHAs. They’re able to do many of the same tasks, but have a level of medical training and help that HHAs lack.

You can find CNAs in a variety of work settings outside of the home. They work in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and other places that need skilled medical assistance.

The CNA you work with can handle many direct care tasks like grooming and hygiene, bathroom usage, and medication monitoring. What truly sets CNAs apart from HHAs is their training and supervision.

CNAs don’t just receive additional medical training, they also work under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. This can be a registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), or a licensed vocational nurse (LVA).

That level of supervision allows CNAs to monitor the health of their patients in a way that HHAs are unable to. They’re able to track symptoms, take vitals, and can relay any health concerns their client may have to their supervising nurse.

Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) can provide basic medical care. Although they are capable of managing care-taking tasks like dressing and bathing, they’re much more focused on the medical side of caretaking. They’ll follow a treatment plan from an RN or doctor to ensure they’re giving their patients the best level of care

If you hire an LPN, they’ll be able to do important tasks like checking blood pressure, inserting catheters, and discussing care with patients. If more serious matters arise, they’ll report problems to doctors or registered nurses if more help/care is required.

You can find plenty of LPNs at hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities along with being able to use them at home. LPNs go through rigorous training and need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in order to practice.

Learn more here.

Registered Nurse

A registered nurse (known as a RN) is the highest level of nursing care one can receive. RNs have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and are able to give a higher level of medical care than LPNs.

RNs are the nurses that can truly do it all. They’re able to coordinate plans for patient care, administer medications and treatments, and can even perform important diagnostic tests and analyze results.

Learn more here.

Which Professional Is Best For Me?

As you can see, there is a difference between home health aides, certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses. Now that you know the differences between the titles, let’s dive into how you can find the right one for your needs.

Most of these decisions will heavily depend on the level of care you think will be needed. People that only need a little help taking care of themselves and around the house may want an HHA or CNA, others that require more rigorous medical care can benefit from LPN or RN assistance.

Take a moment to think about current medical needs. If you or your loved one have conditions that are easily managed with medication, an LPN or RN may not be what you need. Since they deal with more of the medical aspects of care, you could be better off with an HHA or CNA to help with daily tasks.

It’s also important to think about the level of help you already have from family and friends. If you’re currently lacking care of any kind it’s possible to have the help of two professionals. You may consider having daily help from an HHA and may check in with an LPN or RN once a week or so.

If you’re concerned about the financial aspect of care, be sure to talk to your insurance provider about coverage options.

Find Home Health Aides And More

Figuring out care options can be difficult even when you’re informed. If you need help finding the right level of care for yourself or a loved one, we’re here to help you get what you need.

Whether you need home health aides or more advanced medical care, we’re experts at helping people find the professionals they need to live their best life.

Do you have questions or want to learn more about our referral services? Reach out to us today so we can get you or your loved one the home help they need.

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Should Seniors Consider Getting a Pet? Everything to Know

September 3, 2021

Are you looking for ways to keep your elderly loved ones busy as they transition into their next stage of life? Do you want to make sure they have a companion to hang out with and take care of? If so, then you need to learn about the benefits of getting a pet for your senior. 

There are many benefits of having a pet as a senior. These benefits include improving their social life, improving their mood, creating a routine, health benefits, helping them cope with stress, and more.

Read below for an in-depth guide on getting a pet for a senior and why it’s the best decision you’ll ever make.

1. Improves Their Activity Levels

One of the biggest struggles that you will have is ensuring that your elderly loved ones stay active. As they age and start to suffer from aches and pains, they have less motivation to get out and walk around. 

However, the benefits of high activity levels in older adults are too good to pass up. It can help reduce the probability that they’ll fall, reduces their blood pressure, helps reduce chronic pain, and can ensure that your loved one is able to live independently. 

Now the problem becomes helping them find the motivation to do so. As it turns out, furry friends might be the best solution for this issue. Pets (specifically dogs) can encourage more activity with their elderly compadres. Your loved one will find more purpose in going for walks outside, and working out in moderation to be able to keep up with their pup. 

Pets will also keep your loved ones busy inside their living space as well. Between getting up to let them outside, feeding them, giving them water, and petting them, they’ll have no choice but to remain active!

2. Lifts Their Mood

Unfortunately, recent research has shown that elderly people are starting to experience more and more symptoms of anxiety and depression. In fact, it’s believed that 7 million Americans over the age of 65 suffer from anxiety or depression, especially while living in constant fear of current events.

This has become somewhat of a vicious cycle. As elderly people lose the motivation to exercise, their body starts to produce less feel-good hormones, which will welcome in higher levels of stress and anxiety.

Fortunately, pets have been shown to elevate a human’s mood substantially. Dogs have been credited with easing the loneliness of others thanks to the constant feeling of companionship that they give you. This is especially helpful for those that have lost a loved one.

In fact, petting a dog has proven to release oxytocin in your brain, which is one of the feel-good hormones that we mentioned earlier. It helps you to feel calm and relaxed. Pair that with the higher levels of dopamine that their brain will produce from the uptick in exercise, and you can thank your new companion for putting in all the hard work!

3. Constant Companionship

There’s nothing better than walking into your home and seeing your dog explode with excitement. it makes you feel appreciated and as if you’re the only thing in the world that matters.

Elderly people need companionship. However, as they age, they start to lose interest in keeping up with their social lives. They might even start to feel lonely if they’re trapped in their house by themselves.

You want to be there for them as much as possible, but you have your own life to keep up with as well. You want to make sure your loved one has someone to love on them whenever you’re not around.

Just Life Family will refer you to the caregiver for your loved one’s needs. These companion services can even help out with your loved one’s pet. Caregivers are happy to engage with clients through mentally stimulating board games, cards, or puzzles, taking the dog for a walk, or assist with household chores.

4. Creates a Routine

The secret isn’t just to get your loved one to engage in physical activity or social events every once in a while, they need to commit to a routine of it to see the best results.

This is perhaps the biggest benefit of seniors adopting a pet. To care for them, your loved one will form a consistent routine and stick to it.

Should seniors adopt a pet? Going on walks and having a stable routine is worth the investment.

5. Staying Social

Walking with a dog results in a significantly higher number of chance conversations with complete strangers than walking alone. A caregiver referred by Just Like Family can also drive your loved ones to the dog park, the pet store, or grab lunch at a dog-friendly restaurant. A dog is a great conversation starter!

We all have a tendency to get concerned when your elderly loved one seemingly has nothing to talk about on the phone. The conversation can grow stale. With a pet to keep them on their toes, you’ll start to notice that your loved one will come back to life.

Talk to Your Loved Ones

Consider talking to your loved ones about getting a dog or a cat. They might be hesitant at first, but these key points might help. Be sure to read this article for more restorative strategies you can try if your elderly loved one has senior anxiety. Be sure to call us toll-free at 877-434-5530 for more information regarding our caregiver referrals and services.

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Why Are Seniors More Prone to Heat Illnesses?

August 3, 2021

Did you know that 2020 was Florida’s hottest year on record? While warm weather and constant sunshine are why many seniors choose to spend their retirement in Florida, adults aged 65 years and older are at an increased risk for heat strokes, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related illnesses.

Seniors must take extra precautions when they are out in the Florida heat to prevent hot weather health problems.

Keep reading on to learn more about heat-related illnesses, senior’s risk for heat stroke, and ways to keep you and your loved ones safe during the heat. 

What is Heat Stroke?

Heat stroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its temperature properly. 

When it occurs, the body’s temperature rapidly increases. The body’s temperature can reach 106 degrees or more within just 10 to 15 minutes when this occurs. 

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • High body temperature
  • Red, hot, dry skin
  • Inability to sweat 
  • Intense headaches 
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

If you or a loved one is experiencing any symptoms of heat stroke, call 9-11 immediately. Find a cool air-conditioned area and offer fluids until help arrives. 

What is Heat Exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion occurs when someone has prolonged exposure to high temperatures and inadequate fluid intake.

This is less serious than a heatstroke, but many times if left untreated, heat exhaustion will lead to heatstroke. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Hot flashes
  • Pale skin
  • Muscle cramps 
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue 
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Clammy skin
  • Fast and weak pulses
  • Fast and shallow breathing

Heat exhaustion is still a dangerous condition for seniors, and to avoid complications of heat exhaustion, action needs to be taken immediately.  

Elderly Risk Factors 

Aging causes many changes in the body. Unfortunately, some of these changes make it harder for adults over 65 to regulate their body temperatures when exposed to the heat.  

For example, sweat is one of the most crucial ways the body regulates its temperature. Adults over 65 years old sweat less than younger adults. Normal changes in aging skin can cause sweat glands not to work as effectively and limit the body’s ability to sweat. 

In addition to a decrease in the ability to sweat, fat storage also changes as we age. Body fat storage plays a vital role in how the body regulates its heat. Since seniors store body fat differently than younger adults, this further complicates heat regulation as we age.  

Chronic health conditions that many seniors face can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate heat in hot temperatures. For example, chronic conditions such as kidney disease, certain blood circulation conditions, and lung disease all interfere with the body’s ability to regulate body heat. 

Not only do these conditions impact the body, but many times the prescription medications needed to treat these conditions can affect the body’s ability to sweat. There are several prescription medications that interfere with sweating and temperature regulations. Some of which include diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, and some cardiac and high blood pressure medications. 

It is important to discuss with your doctor and be informed of all side effects, including the inability to sweat, to know if you or your loved one is at risk of a heat-related illness if exposed to high temperatures.  

Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses In Seniors

It is recommended that seniors have someone check on them a few times a day. Especially in the hot and humid Florida summer heat.

Ensuring your loved one follows these guidelines can help prevent them from developing heat exhaustion or heatstroke during Florida’s summer heat. 

Hydrating Throughout the Day

Ensuring seniors are drinking enough water and limiting alcoholic and caffeinated drinks is always important, especially during the summer heat. 

Dehydration reduces the body’s ability to regulate body heat. This greatly increases senior’s risk of developing a heat-related illness. 

Access to Air Conditioning 

Seniors need access to air conditioning when in Florida heat. Fans are also handy to have around to help seniors cool off or as a backup if something were to go wrong with the air conditioner.

Check the Weather and Plan Accordingly 

Monitor the heat and humidity indexes and plan outdoor activities around times when coolest and low humidity levels occur. Plan to go shopping indoors or stay home when the temperatures are high and go visit the beach or enjoy the outdoors earlier in the day or later in the evening. 

Dress Appropriately 

Ensure your loved one is wearing clothes that will keep them cool. Overdressing can lead to heat-related illnesses. Hats are also a great accessory to keep seniors cooled off and shaded from the heat. 

Avoid Strenuous Activities 

In addition to making sure someone is checking on your loved one, make sure strenuous household chores are being cared for by someone other than the senior.

Strenuous household chores can cause body temperatures to elevate and deplete energy. This puts seniors at an increased risk of heat-related illnesses. 

Just Like Family Home Care can help find a wide range of services to help you or your elderly loved ones. Whether they need care from a medically trained caregiver or a friend to check in on them and provide company. 

Keeping Your Loved Ones Safe

Flordia has a lot to offer for senior living and can help keep seniors involved in the community and active. However, the Florida heat can become dangerous to seniors during the summer. It’s crucial that you and your loved ones know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and acts fast if they start to experience symptoms. 

To give you peace of mind knowing your loved one is being checked up on or finding medically trained caregivers to help you or your loved one, contact us at Just Like Family Home Care today to find help. 

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Benefits of Companionship for Seniors

May 10, 2021

Now that 75 percent of the U.S. senior population have been vaccinated against COVID-19, let’s talk about the damaging effects the pandemic has had on the mental health and wellbeing of our senior loved ones.

It shouldn’t surprise us that isolation and loneliness can have significant negative effects on the health of seniors. Lonely seniors suffer a 59 percent higher risk of mental and physical health decline and a 45 percent greater risk of dying early, one study showed.

The positive impact of companionship and staying social on seniors is significant. Research suggests that staying active and forming close relationships with caregivers can have meaningful health benefits for seniors, including lower rates of chronic illness and increased longevity.

Just Like Family Home Care offers companion care to provide your senior loved one companionship, personal safety, and physical and mental wellbeing.

Read on to learn more about how companion care can offer you and your loved one a better quality of life.

What Is Companion Care?

Companion care provides seniors with a variety of services from emotional support, companionship, to making life’s daily tasks more manageable.

A home companion can help with things like grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy, taking packages to the post office, driving, and light housework. Tasks like laundry, stocking the refrigerator with nutritious foods, and making sure seniors take their medications on schedule are all things a companion can do.

Most importantly, though, they offer a meaningful and trusting friendship for your loved one.

Nothing has greater benefits for seniors than being part of a community. Deep, meaningful relationships with other people are key to good health. When you look at your own life, what brings you the most joy and sense of wellbeing? For most of us, it’s having a sense of belonging and a good friend to talk to about our experiences.

Aging in Place vs. Residential Care

Seniors often move to nursing homes and residential care facilities because they think they will be safer and healthier. Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case. Studies show residents of nursing homes and senior living centers suffer worse health outcomes than seniors who are able to age in place.

In fact, depression in residential care facilities can be as high as 44 percent.

One study found that 90 percent of seniors over the age of 65 would prefer to age in place at home rather than move to a residential care facility. Aging in place means seniors can maintain their independence in an environment that is familiar and comfortable for them.

In addition to providing better social opportunities, aging in place is more affordable than nursing homes.

Keep reading to learn more about the many benefits of home companion care. 

What Are the Benefits of Home Care?

Generally, seniors are shown to live a longer, healthier life when allowed to age at home with a companion. Next, we’ll dig into the variety of ways home care benefits seniors.

Better Overall Health and Longevity

Statistics show that seniors require 25% fewer doctor visits when they have home care. 

Seniors enjoy spending time with a quality caregiver they know and trust. They have better nutrition, lower stress levels, a sense of belonging, and better social engagement.

Loneliness affects physical health in many ways. Seniors who experience isolation are often more likely to contract serious illnesses. Some of these include lung disease, arthritis, and loss of mobility.

Lonely seniors are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors. Some of these behaviors may include alcohol consumption, excessive eating, under-eating, and smoking. 

Loneliness makes seniors spend more time indoors. A companion is a great way to encourage seniors to get outside and do light exercise on a regular basis. Lack of exercise can lead to increased blood pressure, heart disease, and other cardiac issues.

Companion care also prevents dementia. Seniors who suffer from loneliness have a 64 percent higher risk of dementia and memory loss. 

Home Care Is Actually More Affordable

Did you know $25 billion a year in hospital costs is saved thanks to home care? In an assisted living center, a bed in a shared room will typically cost between $10,000 to $20,000 a year. A private room can cost more than $75,000.

We have good news. Many insurance providers now cover the cost of home care services as part of Medicare plans. Seniors can take advantage of Medicare coverage to help pay for in-home help on a part-time basis.

Medicare now covers part-time, in-home nursing care and home health aide care. This applies only when a doctor orders it.

Read more about the potential savings of aging in place.

The Positive Impact of Companionship and Staying Social on Seniors

Engaging in social activities can help keep us sharp and mentally stimulated. Mental stimulation can help to prevent the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Socialization and companionship allow us to maintain better emotional health. Connecting with others helps keep us in a positive mood, which decreases the risk of depression.

A care companion can even help to expand seniors’ circle of friends by exposing them to new experiences and social situations. Meeting new people is a much less anxious experience when you have a trusted friend by your side.

Who Else Benefits From Home Care? 

We can’t stress enough the positive impact of companionship and staying social on seniors. Now that we understand the benefits of home care on seniors, it’s important that we talk about the benefits home care can have on the people who love and care about them most.

The benefit of companion care on the mental and emotional health of family members can’t be understated. You deserve to rest easy, knowing your loved one is safe, healthy, happy, and thriving. At Just Like Family Home Care, this is exactly the kind of service we can help you find.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can connect you to the best possible companion care services in your area.

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Using an In-Home Care Agency Benefits

Home care professional checking elderly woman's vitals

November 13, 2020

Home care professional checking elderly woman's vitals

As more members of the population reach their Golden Years, a growing number of families are finding the need for long-term, in-home care.

When it comes to long-term care, you have several options. You can hire an individual that you find in a registry, online, or through a friend. Alternatively, you can hire a licensed caregiving agency.

You could hire an independent caregiver by looking on Craigslist or asking your friends or family members for referrals. However, how would you know if a care provider is well-qualified to care for your family member? Instead, it’s faster and safer to find an independent caregiver through a top-notch registry.

To learn more about the benefits of a care provider registry versus an in-home care agency, keep reading.

Why Should I Use an in-Home Care Agency Registry Service?

When it comes to caring for your loved one, it’s important to know the difference between the various alternatives for finding skilled medical staff. Hiring an independent caregiver will save you a great deal of money. However, how do you know if an independent caregiver is trustworthy and qualified for the job?

If you need to provide ongoing in-home care for a loved one, you may wonder, “Should I hire an in-home care agency?” Agencies train, vet, and insure their staff members—however, an independent caregiver is much more affordable.

The solution is to find a trustworthy registry for in-home care. Of course, you need to find a registry with a stellar reputation.

A registry can help you locate and hire qualified, compassionate caregivers as needed. They can provide you with access to trustworthy, experienced healthcare professionals available for four- or five-day shifts. A reliable registry can even help you to find around-the-clock in-home care if needed.

Are In-Home Care Agencies Worth It?

When your loved one doesn’t receive proper care, many things can go wrong. A premier registry provides you with a series of checks and balances.

For example, the personal issues of an independent caregiver can result in a major problem. A registry will make sure that a professional caregiver is always available to provide care.

Imagine that you hire an independent caregiver from an online ad to watch over your aging loved one. Early one morning, you receive a call. It’s your caregiver.

Unfortunately, their car will not start. Now, you have no one to watch over your family and provide needed care.

At the same time, you’re in charge of running an important meeting at work. You can’t stay at home, but you can’t go to work. What will you do?

If you hired an independent caregiver, you’d have to do your best to find a replacement—and fast. If you can’t accomplish this task, you’ll miss out on assuming your important work responsibilities. You may face the same situation if an independent caregiver becomes sick.

With a registry, however, you have options. A professional caregiving registry can provide you with a backup caregiver.

A full-service in-home care agency can do the same. However, the cost of maintaining staff through a full-service agency can quickly spiral out of control. Alternatively, hiring an independent caregiver through a registry is a much more cost-effective option.

In-Home Care Agency Versus Home Care Registry

Already, you can see the problems that might arise from working with a single independent caregiver. Life happens. People get sick and have problems.

Also, everyone needs a break now and again. A registry will ensure that you can meet these needs.

However, a top-notch registry will also make sure that their caregivers update their skills continually. Conversely, there’s no guarantee that an independent caregiver you find online or through a friend will pursue continuing education.

Choosing a caregiver with a great personality is a good idea. However, it’s also important that a caregiver has the requisite skills to care for your loved one. A caregiver with more personality than skill may end up doing more harm than good.

At the same time, you don’t want to have a revolving door of caregivers. Patients like stability. However, it’s reassuring to know that you can easily access a backup care provider if there’s an emergency.

Still, vetting is the most important benefit of working with a registry. In-home care registries conduct detailed background checks.

Some malicious actors enter caregiving to take advantage of elderly patients. Fortunately, professional registries screen their staff members to ensure that the caregivers who come to your home are safe. A registry, however, enables you to access full-service care—without full-service costs.

Trust a Registry to Keep Your Loved Ones Safe and Healthy

Like most people, you most likely have a life full of responsibilities. At the same time, you must care for and protect your loved one. You must also provide them with companionship.

Today, most people want to age in place. In other words, they want to live their senior years in a home that they love, surrounded by family. An exceptional home healthcare registry can enable your loved one to do just that.

A skilled home care registry will provide you and your family with peace of mind. They’ll give you easy access to independent healthcare professionals who deliver service with compassion and respect.

Most importantly, they’ll make sure that all caregivers are qualified to provide the very best care. An agency will also ensure that you can trust select caregivers to provide safe care for your family.

Don’t Wait! Find the Perfect Caregiver Today

Now that you know the benefits of hiring an independent caregiver through a registry over choosing an in-home care agency, you need a known and trusted registry.

Just Like Family Home Care is your solution for accessing skilled and vetted independent caregivers as needed. We can help you find high-quality healthcare professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact a friendly Just Like Family Home Care rep today at 239-431-6661 or connect with us online. We’re waiting and ready to help you locate the best in-home care available for your loved one.

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Time for Home Care? Classic Signs That Someone Needs Help

October 13, 2020

Are you wondering if it’s time to get your elderly loved one the help they need? Do you often find yourself thinking about whether or not to hire a live-in care provider to watch them? If so, then you should consider the signs it’s time to find home care.

It’s never too late to get them the help that they deserve. By looking into senior care, you will experience full peace of mind, knowing that they’re safe.

See below for several signs that it’s time to look into live-in care providers in Naples. It can help you better understand when is it time to get home care for seniors.

1. Not Eating Well

Perhaps you’ve noticed that your elderly loved one hasn’t been eating the same as they once did. Maybe you’ve even noticed that they’re losing a significant amount of weight.

If that’s the case, then they might be skipping out on meals or can no longer operate the kitchen the way that they once did. They might also find it increasingly difficult to run to the store for food items that they need to cook.

A live-in caregiver can give the assistance that they desperately need. They can go out to shop for groceries, come back to the house, and make your loved one the meals that they’ll chow down on. 

Once the meal is done, they can also help clean up the dining table and kitchen, wash dishes, and put away all the items for future meals.

Be sure to reach out to a live-in care referral company that can help you find the right caregiver for your loved one’s situation.

2. Slow Recovery Time

Perhaps you’ve grown concerned for your loved one because of an illness or injury that they’ve recently suffered. You have noticed that they’re taking longer and longer to recover from health complications.

These injuries and illnesses might also be more frequent, with no signs of that slowing down any time soon.

If so, then you’ll want someone to be around them 24/7. As much as you’d love to be around them all the time, you still have a career and your spouse/children to care for as well.

Hiring a live-in care provider can help give you peace of mind. Even when you’re not around, there’s a specially-trained and well-educated live-in caregiver that’s watching over them, giving them the best medical attention possible.

Be sure to give your loved one time to adjust to the idea. If you rush them into it too quickly, they might resist the care they’re given.

3. Their Memory Is Fading

Sometimes the biggest sign that your loved one needs help is when you notice that their memory is starting to fade. Sometimes it’s a sign of Alzheimer’s or Dementia, while other times it comes naturally as they age.

No matter what the reason is for the memory loss, it will only continue to worsen. If their memory fails them while no one else is around, it could lead to a very serious situation.

A live-in care provider will work tirelessly to keep an eye on them. They’ve been trained on how to work with patients that suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia, and how to get them to cooperate in moments of confusion.

4. They Recently Had an Accident

Did your loved one recently fall and injure themselves? Was there a close call that you were (fortunately) there to help them with? If so, then you might be struggling with the eye-opening sign that they need constant supervision.

Not only that, but your elderly loved one might not be comfortable with being left by themselves for any period of time. This is a clear sign that it’s time to get them live-in care from a specialist.

If they were to have an accident while no one was around, then it might lead to a life-threatening situation. They might not be able to reach for the phone to call for help.

5. They Seem Lonely

No one should ever have to feel alone in their own house. As much as you, your kids, and your siblings might try to keep them company, there will always be moments where your elderly loved one is alone.

Not only are those moments a danger to their physical health, but their mental health as well.

Live-in caregivers don’t just focus on giving medical treatment to their patients. They have a passion for taking care of elderly people in need. They will build a friendship with your loved one and find different ways to hang out with them.

That way, even when you’re at work or running the kids around, you’ll know that your loved one is hanging out with a close friend around the clock!

6. They Can’t Drive Anymore

There comes a time where all elderly people can no longer drive. Their worsening health makes it impossible for them to safely operate a vehicle.

With a live-in caregiver, they’ll have access to drive wherever they need to without having to wait for a loved one to pick them up.

That way, you don’t have to adjust your schedule every time they have a doctor’s appointment. The live-in care provider can take them wherever they need to go.

Find the Right Home Care for Your Loved One Today

Now that you have seen several signs that it’s time to get home care for your loved one, be sure to use the right referral service for your needs.

Be sure to read this article for more information on senior loneliness and how you can help them cope with their emotional distress.

For more inquiries, please be sure to reach out via our contact us page and we will be happy to assist you further.

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Coping With Senior Isolation and Loneliness

August 18, 2020

It’s easy for those with hectic lifestyles to forget that isolation is a powerful thing. As you go about your day to day life, you probably long for a quiet moment here and there. 

For those forced to deal with long term isolation, the pattern flips. When it comes to senior isolation, activity, care, and a bit of noise are welcome distractions.

In the recent past, studies have demonstrated numerous health impacts from isolation. With the ongoing ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, you hardly need a study to tell you that restrictions on access to the external world causes problems. 

How can you make sure your seniors are coping and being cared for in this dire time? Read on for a rundown of options and services. 

Isolation Permeates

It sounds contradictory but the issue of isolation spreads. If you feel cooped up and unable to get out, the people you normally spend time with have one more reason to feel likewise.

For reach link in the chain, the next link is missing a similar connection. For those with only a scant few links to begin with, the loss of a connection hits much harder. 

In the US more than 27% of adults over 60 live alone. This number increases every year (of age) and women are 20% more likely to live alone than men towards the end of life.

These figures are a problem in and of themselves, currently, they carry a more dire weight. Isolation directly affects the immune system and especially reduces defense against viruses. Reaching out to those at higher risk of feeling isolated and those who suffer from the many risks of isolation is crucial. 

Senior Isolation Risks

Isolation comes with a set of direct risks and indirect risks.

Direct Risks

In addition to the risk of lower viral resistance cited above, other direct mental and physical health effects impact isolated seniors more.

Those left alone often find it difficult to stay motivated or stick to a schedule. These lapses being to mount and produce greater weaknesses. Once a person feels incapable of performing simple tasks due to physical or mental infirmity, they avoid the tasks and, worse, often retreat from situations that might involve those tasks.

This spiral of self-imposed isolation on top of the situational isolation makes it hard to speak out about problems or for those on the periphery to identify issues. Symptoms of progressive but low-grade problems, such as depression, may go unnoticed well beyond the stage where aide can be offered. 

Indirect Risks

One of the reasons that seniors are often relegated to homes and assisted living facilities is because they require extra care.

Seniors that go for too long on their own are more prone to accidents and injuries. These injuries may be minor but without proper care, they can become infected or increase in scope. 

Typical forms of self-care in adults are problematic enough, in seniors the entrenched reasoning associated with minor poor decisions is worse. Where an adult might overindulge in ice cream after a bad day, a senior is likely to overindulge and then forget about the frequency.

Without anyone watching out for their diet they are more prone to diabetes and high blood pressure from dietary choices on top of the increased risks that present with age.

Senior Isolation Solutions

Preventing issues with senior isolation come in two varieties as well: intervention and coping mechanisms. 

Intervention Care

For those with even a single elderly parent to look in on, the time can seem to evaporate, leaving to dos spilling over from one list to another. With the extra time sinks of children at home and remote work, this time feels more crunched.

Looking into senior home care services is a solid first step in creating more time. 

Senior home care provides a bevy of options to meet a need and the training necessary to ensure safety for your senior. 

Senior home assistance puts an extra player on your team to help cover all the things that you need to get done. They also work to provide the following benefits.

Community Involvement

Being involved with a community (and family) requires more of a remote approach now but is still important. Phone conversations have become impersonal and distant forms of communication. Many families are using facetime and remote viewing technology to keep a firmer presence in each other’s lives.

For seniors, this technology can e difficult to access and maintain. Home care providers or a dedicated setup day both help to make this connection possible.

Keeping seniors working and occupied in some sense also helps. Volunteer activities in your area always need hands and time. Pick up and drop off of bulk materials in need of processing can be rewarding and lowkey for seniors. 

Transportation

The biggest factor in feeling isolated is often feeling trapped. Even if you have nowhere to go, the ability to go provides comfort. 

Taking a drive to see the country or to a quiet place for a light walk can feel like a relief after days at home. Even being in a vehicle for the purpose of running errands gives a senior a chance to experience a change of scenery and feel the wider world at work.

Medical Visits

Preventative health and frequent checkups are both needed to give a senior in peak shape for longer. However, both of these types of visits are extra frustrating right now.

They often take extra time from backlogs in offices or are being conducted remotely through apps. In either case, in-home assistance for the elderly makes a difference in keeping these appointments flowing. Whether this is setting up a computer for the purposes of a remote visit or sitting with them in a safe environment while waiting for a test, having someone there has a big impact.

Meals

cooking for one is already difficult. Having the energy to cook is an added issue. Finding the wherewithal to cook for one when bored and annoyed tends to lead to poor meal decisions and high levels of snacking.

Meal preparation is a rewarding way to spend time with a senior and to provide them with assistance that isn’t overbearing.

Get them in on the planning of meals and prep the difficult pars so that they can complete meals on their own.

Incontinence

Issues with incontinence are some of the most embarrassing and frequently cited reasons that seniors self-isolate. 

Nobody likes to need help in general, but it’s especially tough for the more intimate issues. Having a frank discussion with a senior and planning for ways to deal with incontinence helps provide autonomy. 

Just Like Family services offers experience in broaching this topic, enabling a senior to engage in social situations with confidence. 

Interests

Engaging in a pastime that feels reward is difficult when there is nobody to share it with. Many pastimes are social in nature and those that don’t have social components.

Art projects and crafts need a reveal and an audience to not feel like busywork.  

Engaging with a senior periodically gives them a reason to work in the time between visits. It’s important to both generate an interest and to support that interest by being interested yourself. 

Coping Mechanisms

Senior home care services and direct intervention in senior lives are important. It’s much more difficult to feel isolated and to fall into the damages therein when they’re not isolated. 

But nobody has infinite time and there are instances when seniors will be left alone. To stave off the problems it’s important to develop coping mechanisms and systems with your senior.

Remember that you also need to learn to deal with isolation for coping with current events and your own future. 

Pets

A pet is a constant companion that fills the void with noise. Pets provide a lot to humans, it’s why they’re so prolific.

However, a pet also takes time and effort to care for. Don’t select a pet that will be a big burden. Avoid breeds and animals that are fragile or high-strung.

Exercise

Exercise sharpens the mind and the body. Exercise also feels like an enormous chore that nobody ‘wants’ to do.

Building an exercise routine for the whole family is a great way to keep yourself and seniors interested. Start a competition (friendly, of course) to encourage everyone.

When people move they feel better. Just Like Family knows how to keep it positive and about the doing, not the results. 

Purpose

Finally, remind seniors that they have a purpose. It’s far easier to put in the effort today if it is part of a whole. People need to know that they matter and that the things they do matter.

Even the hardships you face must count for something (especially the hardships). Talk about your hopes and dreams and suss out what is next on the list of accomplishments for your loved ones. 

Don’t focus too mucho n the now of survival but the tomorrow of doing and being more. 

Be More

Senior loneliness is a problem that has needed to be addressed for years. Too often senior isolation is a product of a world too busy to care. Right now, with so much happening, taking the extra time to let a senior know that you care and are working with them makes all the difference.

For more information about senior home care and referrals, contact us

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Professional Care for Your Aging Loved Ones in the Comfort of Their Own Homes

Professional Care for Your Aging Loved Ones in the Comfort of Their Own Homes

November 22, 2019

Professional Care for Your Aging Loved Ones in the Comfort of Their Own Homes

Watching your mother or father age and slowly lose their independence can be challenging, if not heartbreaking.  You grapple with issues like when is it time to step in and offer assistance, and how much assistance do they need?  Are they able to drive themselves to their doctor’s appointments?  Can you honor their wishes and keep them in their home?  These are not easy issues to consider, and Just Like Family Home Care is here to help. 

 

Maintaining Familiar Surroundings

It can be a very difficult transition for your loved ones to have to leave their homes in order to receive the care they need.  Mom may already be upset because she is losing her mobility, mental capacity, or ability to remain 100% independent.  Dad knows it’s important for Mom and him to enter their golden years in familiar surroundings, like the home they created for themselves. The neighborhood, their place of worship, their social groups and friends are central to their happiness.  So why not try to keep them where they will prosper the most.

Of course, they will need assistance with day-to-day activities of life – meal preparation, grocery shopping, housekeeping, exercise assistance, bathing, dressing, driving, caring for pets – the numerous things that compose our daily lives.

Fortunately, this is where Just Like Family Home Care comes in.  We can offer the help and support your loved ones need by referring qualified caregivers to come to their home and help them live the most independent life they are able to.  Caregivers can also provide immediate help in case of an emergency, such as a fall or a sudden illness.  We can provide short or long shifts, or even around the clock care.

 

Conversation and Companionship

An important role of an in-home caregiver that is often overlooked is companionship and friendship.  Oh, just to have someone to play cards with, to walk and talk with, or to watch their favorite shows together!  A private caregiver is, perhaps more than anything, a friend to people who truly need one.

 

Peace of Mind

By having our referred caregiver assist your loved ones, you should find relief in knowing your parent is being cared for in a one-on-one environment in the comfort of their own home.

Now that’s peace of mind!

For more information visit us at https://justlikefamilyhomecare.com or call us at 239-431-6661.

 

 

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Aging at Home

August 13, 2019

Aging at Home

Recent surveys show that nearly 90% of seniors hope to and  plan to live in their current home for as long as they live, now termed “aging in place.” Some have lived in the same house for years or moved into their current home after retirement, to be closer to family, moved to a smaller home that is easier to maintain, or to have access to activities that suit their current lives. In talking to our clients, and our family members, we found that their experience and motivation mirrors what current research says relating to the benefits of staying home, even in cases where some outside assistance is needed for short or long term.  

Benefits of Living at Home

Comfort, independence/control:

When a Senior stays in their residence, they are in a place that is comfortable and familiar to them, with neighbors and friends accessible. They make their own rules, eat what and when they want and watch the TV shows they want. They relish the independence they have, and many dread the thought of someone else setting their schedules. They also feel safer in their own home, both in terms of the physical comfort of getting around a place they know very well, and in having neighbors who can help.  A sense of pride is often mentioned by seniors who retain their independence. Finally, research tells us that those with medical issues recover more quickly and retain their health after recovery when home-based.

Personalized care

If a senior needs assistance, that care is provided one-on-one. That undivided attention for only what is needed versus every resident getting the same treatment is often mentioned as a preference of seniors. Also, the attention is scheduled for when the senior wants the help, not when it is convenient to a caregiver juggling many others.

Affordability

The cost of senior care in nursing homes or assisted living centers can be very high. A recent study showed the average costs of assisted living and nursing homes can range from $50,000 to $100,000 a year. Staying home and having assistance when needed is relatively inexpensive, especially since you only pay for the hours you need. 24-hour care is still possible in the home if needed, but significantly less expensive than paying for a room in a facility.

Human Companionship

Having friends and family accessible is one of the most popular responses as to why seniors prefer staying in their home. Whether they chose to stay in the family home near family and friends, or if they move into a neighborhood heavily populated with seniors, having interaction with others is critical. Personalized caregivers can play a role in the socialization of the senior, but that interaction can be scheduled to fit the senior’s wishes, rather than a center’s schedule.  

Animal Companionship

One issue that many seniors bring up when discussing their living preferences, is their desire to have a loving pet in their home. A dog or cat is the most common pet. For those with dogs, they need to get out and walk the dog which is especially good for the senior, providing not only exercise but the ability to connect with neighbors.  

New Technologies

In today’s technology and delivery based world, there are many new options to help seniors “age in place.” In a recent blog post, we discussed the use of technology to have face-to-face conversations with family and friends. Other technologies that can provide the senior with access to needs:

  • Technology-based ‘emergency alert’ systems, also discussed in a prior blog.
  • Access to voice-activated technologies such as televisions and telephones that run via voice commands.

Fortunately, more and more seniors and their families are finding that home care is possible, especially with the help of companies like ours. Just Like Family Home Care is proud to offer Lee and Collier Counties referrals for sensitive, discreet personal care for our clients to help them better enjoy life at home. Care providers are carefully selected for their compassion, professionalism, and dedication to providing the best care possible.

 

Disclaimer: The blog entry above has been created utilizing different online sources. The blog entry has not been verified by a doctor. Please note that conducting the above-mentioned activities is at the individual’s own risk and responsibility. Please always consult a doctor before exercising or doing any physical activity, especially to avoid injuries or harm due to unknown preconditions. Just Like Family is not responsible for any injuries while conducting the above activities.

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Communication Skills with Seniors

February 28, 2019

Improving communication skills is good for all of us who are involved with seniors, and for the seniors themselves.   While much as been written about communications skills in general, this particular topic isn’t addressed as often.  Some of the most common statements made by senior citizens about communication issues are:

  • Please don’t yell at me, just talk a little louder and don’t mumble.
  • Please don’t call me Sweetie, Sweetie Pie, Young Lady, Young Man, or any other child-like name.
  • Please don’t say things that make it sound like I am about to die.

Let’s look at the three components above:

  1. The physical act of communication can be a barrier to a good conversation, especially for those with a hearing loss.

Per the Gerontological Society of America’s(GSA) CEO, James Appleby, “two-thirds of adults 70 and over have a hearing loss that affects their daily conversation…. Leading to isolation, depression.”  Hearing loss, however, doesn’t mean yelling is the solution.

In addition to hearing aids, there are strategies to enhance communication with someone with even a slight hearing loss. A Cleveland Clinic guide to improving communications suggests the following:

  • Gain attention: saying the person’s name, or giving a light touch to let the person know you are there.
  • Maintain eye contact: facial expressions and body language are critical pieces of conversations.
  • Avoid covering mouth: Most listeners make use of lip-reading.  Covering your mouth and chewing make that difficult.
  • Speak naturally: shouting is not helpful, nor is mumbling.  Speak distinctly and at a normal rate.  Pausing may help the person process the speech.
  • Avoid background noise: turn off the TV or the radio.

One final note on the physical act of conversation, remember to talk TO the person directly.  A pet peeve of seniors is hearing a visitor ask someone else “how is he or she doing”… as if the person cannot hear.   Another pet phrase that is annoying, “how are WE doing.”  These phrases make the person feel non-existent, versus “how are YOU doing” which makes them feel valued.

  1. The tone of communication can be another barrier to conversation.

Would you like to be addressed in a way that sounds patronizing, or as if you were a small, cute child?  Probably not.  You want to be addressed as an intelligent partner in a conversation.  Seniors want to be treated the same way.  Calling a senior ‘sweetie’ implies you think that person is ‘cute’ which indicates a lack of respect for the person.

Taking this a step further, the GSA has a guide to communicating with older adults, which encourages us to use the same vocabulary we use with other adults.  The report says “as a general rule, older adults maintain their existing vocabulary or continue to improve it.  They have no greater problem understanding complicated words than do members of other age groups, so there is no need to simplify the words you use.”

  1. Finally, let’s discuss the conversation itself. Sometimes we are uncomfortable with talking to seniors, as we don’t think we have much in common.  

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Seniors do not feel their age the way you may think they would. Let’s say you are 40, it is probably safe to say you still feel like you are 25 in your head.  Seniors feel the same.  A 75-year-old probably feels like a 40-year-old inside.  Your conversation can and should be just like when you talk to any adult.  Talk about current events, recent sports stories, etc.   You ask questions, but you also let them know about you.
  • Seniors do not approach each day as one more day before they die, it’s just today. Don’t ask questions or talk so it sounds like you are writing their obituary or ‘taking stock’ of their life.  As an example, “what do you wish you had done by now and haven’t” might be a good employment interview question, but to a senior, it can sound like you are trying to assess their lifetime value.

So, what are good conversation starters?  Here are some ideas.

  • What is your favorite food, and has that always been your favorite?
  • Do you have a favorite holiday? Why that one?
  • Do you like to read? What type of reading (books, magazines)?  Prefer printed materials, online, or audio?
  • How did you meet your wife/husband?
  • Have you traveled much? Where?
  • Have you always lived in this location? Where else?
  • When you were a child, what did you do for fun? Any sports?
  • Do you have a favorite movie? TV show?  From now, or earlier.
  • Did you work, and if so, what was your favorite job?
  • What technology do you like? Or what do you wish was never invented?
  • Do you have a favorite College/University? Did you attend there?
  • I am struggling to decide XXX, have you experienced that?
  • Do you have any hobbies, or some you used to have, or some you would like to start?

 

 

 

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