June 24, 2022
The final stage of life is challenging, even for caregivers with lots of experience. If your loved one is in their final days of life, the only gift you can give them is the best care to improve their comfort and quality of life.
End-of-life care involves acts of daily care and lots of physical, mental and emotional support to your loved one during their last days on earth. The primary goal is to make them more comfortable, at least for the remaining days, months or years. Here’s all you need to know about end-of-life care.
When does someone need late-stage and end-of-life care?
No one knows exactly when they’ll need end-of-life care. It all depends on the individual and the progressions of the disease. However, anyone with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness is eligible for end-of-life care.
Also, older adults in their golden days can benefit from late-stage care. Terminal care may last a few days, months, or even years, depending on the individual.
Facing your loved one’s final moments in life can be scary – especially if it’s your first time. However, knowing what to expect can help you feel less anxious and better prepared. This allows you to make your loved one’s final days less painful and more comfortable.
While everyone has a unique end-of-life experience, some changes and signs cut across.
Here are some common end-of-life signs;
- Loss of appetite
Energy needs decline as the body shuts down. Hence, your loved one won’t be taking certain foods, especially those that are hard to chew and digest. Unfortunately, this can be upsetting for you as a caregiver because a considerable part of caregiving involves feeding your loved one.
- Shortness of breath/labored breathing
Breathing difficulties or shortness of breath are common symptoms of end of life. Some people might experience air hunger – a petrified inclination to breathe better. Additionally, people may experience Cheyne-strokes breathing – loud breathing with a peculiar rattle. This usually stems from an unstable ventilatory control as the brain or heart fails.
- Physical weakness
Since your loved one takes less food, they’ll lack the energy to do every day, physical activities like putting clothes on, walking long distances, or even lifting things. Sometimes, even speaking becomes a challenge. As a result, you may need to help your loved one find an every day routine that works for them.
End-of-life pain is common in most people, although some become accustomed to it. However, the type and amount of pain will vary depending on the individual and their health condition. For instance, if they have cancer, they are more likely to experience pain during their final days.
End-of-life care considerations
Working closely with your hospice agency and your loved one’s physician, caregivers can provide the care and support the family needs during this difficult transition. When a loved one is in their last days of life, it’s imperative to treat them with respect, follow their late-stage wishes, and ensure they are comfortable.
The type and amount of care vary depending on the individual health and progression of the disease. Ideally, these people need care in four areas:
Physical comfort in end-of-life care
Comfort care is an essential part of medical care at the end of life. It is care that helps or soothes a person who is experiencing physical discomfort stemming from various sources.
Make sure they are seated or laying down in a comfortable space. If they experience breathing problems, open a window or use a fan or humidifier to circulate air in the room. Additionally, it would help if you raise the head of the bed to ease breathing.
Furthermore, offer favorite foods in small amounts to prevent digestive or loss of appetite problems.
Managing mental and emotional needs during end-of-life
Most people in their late stages of life experience mental and emotional distress. Some have specific concerns and fears that could lead to depression or anxiousness.
Therefore, as a caregiver, you should provide support to help manage emotional and mental distress.
Some tips for managing emotional and mental distress include;
- Set a relaxing mood – find out the things that raise your loved one’s mood. For instance, if they don’t want visitors, ensure no one enters their room.
- Physical contact – sometimes you’ll feel scared holding your loved one during their late stages. However, you should establish a physical connection with them, perhaps holding hands or massaging.
- Be present – the greatest gift to a dying person is your presence. So make sure you’re always available to talk or listen to what they say.
- Play some music – music at low tones can lessen pain while allowing the patient to relax. Therefore, suggest playing music and find out which music they prefer.
- Involve them – In most cases, you’ll make most of the decisions and choices on behalf of your loved one. However, if they can still communicate, try to involve them in most matters. For instance, you might ask which food they want, which clothes to wear, how to make them more comfortable.
Alternatively, you might consider a counselor familiar with end-of-life issues.
Support for practical tasks
Someone nearing end-of-life can’t perform everyday tasks like bathing, walking, eating, and changing clothes. And since some of the activities are essential, you want to ensure they get enough support for practical tasks.
Benefits of hiring an end-of-life caregiver
End-of-life care focuses on improving the quality of life of your loved one during their final stage in life. But sometimes, you might need some help to provide the best care for your loved one. This is where a caregiver comes in. There are various benefits of hiring an end-of-life caregiver.
First, end-of-life caregivers have lots of experience caring for people in their final days. They have been trained to provide adequate care regardless of individual conditions. They know what to do, when to do it and how to do it perfectly.
Additionally, end-of-life caregivers provide support to family members and carers during late-stage and even after death. They will be there with you to provide physical and emotional support to you and your loved ones.
We understand the end-of-life stage is an emotional time for you, friends and other family members. That’s why you should work with your loved one’s physician and caregivers to get the best care and support during this challenging transition.
Some of our end-of-life care services include;
- Bed baths
- Personal hygiene assistance
- Compassionate support
- Feeding assistance
- Nurse-deligated meds administration
- Assist with comfort measures
It’s hard and painful to watch a loved one during their final days on earth. However, knowing what to expect and how to provide late-stage care can make a difference. End of life focuses on minimizing pain and improving comfort and quality of life during the final moments of your loved one.
If you cannot take care of your loved one during end-of-life, we can refer a qualified home health caregiver. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with a representative.
December 13, 2021
Did you know it’s estimated that 20.4% of adults in the United States live with chronic pain? Managing chronic pain on your own can be difficult enough, but it’s even trickier for people trying to assist in pain management for their elderly loved ones.
Chronic pain in older adults is a serious issue, but it’s one that doesn’t get a lot of attention. Chronic pain assistance at home is possible for your beloved seniors, you just have to know the right ways to handle it.
If you’re interested in the best pain control for seniors, we have some tips that can help ensure that your loved one is getting the help that they need.
Keep a Journal
You and your loved one won’t have trouble remembering tomorrow just how bad today’s pain was. Unfortunately, your memory when you visit the doctor in 3 weeks may not be as sharp.
For doctors to treat chronic pain, they need as much information about what’s happening as possible. Get in the habit of keeping a health journal that helps answer all of the doctor’s most pressing questions.
When you’re writing a health journal there’s no such thing as being too detailed. You can include nearly anything you want in yours, but be sure that you cover a few important areas:
- Time of day pain occurs
- Diet and exercise routine
- Current and past prescribed medications
- Time of day medication is taken
- Severity of pain
Stay in the Know
Get out of the habit of just organizing and giving out medication if you want to be an effective caretaker for your loved one. Take the time to educate yourself on what each medication is for and how it could affect them.
When you have a complete understanding of everything your loved one takes and how they’re meant to work, you’re able to make better-informed health care choices.
People tend to mistakenly believe that doctors are in constant communication with each other about their patients. Most of the time, doctors won’t know if any major change has occurred unless they hear it from the patients themselves.
See Signs of Pain
Pain doesn’t look or feel the same way for everyone. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your loved one is going to experience pain the same way each time.
Sometimes pain can be quick and come on in an intense sharp feeling. Other times it can feel like a dull ache that comes and goes. It’s even possible that your loved one may not be experiencing “pain”, but may have other signs that show their pain is getting worse like tingling or numbness.
Your loved one may try to hide how much pain they’re in. They may not want to concern you and be worried about putting on a brave face for their friends and family.
Look for signs of discomfort in your loved one. Heavy or shallow breathing, frequent movement or readjusting in a sitting position, or small sounds like whimpers and grunts can be a sign that they’re in pain.
Don’t be afraid to ask your loved one how they’re feeling if you see signs of pain. Once they see that you notice how they’re acting they may feel comfortable being honest about how they’re feeling.
Don’t Ignore Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can play an important role in healing from injuries and managing chronic pain. Despite its importance, it can often be one of the first things patients tend to ignore.
Since patients are in pain they’re reluctant to do any physical work, even though it plays an important role in healing. Others may not want to travel to physical therapy centers or could worry about the cost of treatments.
Talk to your loved one’s doctor about physical therapy exercises that can be done at home. Making sure your loved one is doing the right exercises at home can help keep them happy and healthy.
Remember, it’s okay to try new forms of physical therapy if your loved one doesn’t like the routine they already have. Yoga, swimming, and even walking can be helpful physical therapy.
Think About Pain Management Alternatives
People tend to look at medication and alternative pain management as an either/or situation. The truth is that both methods should be used together. Using both together can lead to much better outcomes than using one or the other.
Talk to your loved one and their doctor about alternative pain management techniques. Chiropractors, acupuncture, meditation, and other stress-reduction techniques can do wonders for pain management.
Also, be sure to talk to a doctor about the best way to weave alternative pain management into their medication regiment. They may recommend that you change the time your loved one takes medication or could adjust the dosage.
Chronic Pain Assistance at Home the Right Way
When you’re looking for ways to manage chronic pain assistance at home, staying organized and in the know is important. Tracking symptoms, staying active, and identifying signs of trouble all play a critical role in managing pain.
Managing chronic pain can be a lot for patients and their loved ones to handle. Don’t hesitate to bring in outside help if you think you could benefit from it. Home health aides can help your loved one with taking medication, doing physical therapy, and more.
Do you want to find home health help for your loved one? Are you wondering if home help is right for you? Do you have other questions about pain management in seniors? Contact our reps so we can answer all of your important senior health questions.
November 1, 2021
As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, making us prone to more infections and life-threatening diseases. Respiratory infections, including, influenza, COVID-19 and pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65. It is extremely important, now more than ever, to protect and boost our immune system by choosing a healthy lifestyle. Schedule a yearly checkup and speak to your doctor about different supplements and habits to keep a strong immune system. Every part of our body, including our immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and strengthen by healthy-living habits.
We’ve put together a few habitual tips to help us naturally keep our immune system working properly:
1. Be active every day
Physical activity is an immune system booster. The more you move, the more your body is able to fight inflammation and infections. Fresh air and sunshine can go a long way, put on your shoes and head out for a walk. At-home workouts are effective too. Read our blog post about effective at-home workouts to learn more.
2. Eat a well-balanced diet
There appears to be a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly. Seniors tend to eat less and often have less variety in their diets. Eating essential vitamins and trace minerals boosts our immune system. Brightly colored foods are full of antioxidants that improve health and keep our system strong. Consuming foods that contain probiotic bacteria such as yogurt, certain milks and cheeses, are reported to enhance the immune system as well.
3. Get adequate sleep
Not only can sleep reduce our stress levels, but sleep is how our body repairs itself. When we are running on a little or no sleep our systems tend to weaken, impacting our overall health. Sleep is also important as we get older because it can improve memory and concentration. Aim for at least seven and a half to nine hours of sleep per night.
4. Reduce Stress
Chronic stress increases our body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol can disrupt different functions in your body, weakening our system with time. To reduce stress, increase physical and social activities, get plenty of sleep, explore relaxing and meditating. Learn more about senior anxiety and stress here.
5. Take steps to avoid infection
Wash your hands frequently and cook meats thoroughly. The most effective steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses is to keep a physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, open windows to improve ventilation, avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces, cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, and consider getting vaccinated.
If you are ready to incorporate these habits and will love some support, Just Like Family Home Care’s recommended services in Lee County and Collier County will help you stay engaged and healthy. Allow caregivers to accompany and drive you or your loved one to the grocery store, a doctor’s appointment, go for a walk, or a social event. Caregivers can also engage with clients through mentally stimulating board games, cards, or puzzles. Learn more about our services here.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
- 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.
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.
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.
November 13, 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.