5 Qualities to Look for in a Home Health Aide

home health aideAre you looking for someone who can provide senior care for your elderly or disabled loved one? If so, you might be shopping around for a caregiver to ensure that you choose the right person. Here are five qualities that may indicate you’ve found a good match.

1. Patient

Caring for an elderly person can be a bit trying. They are used to being fully independent and often resent their diminished abilities to the point where they are irritable mush of the time. They may even take it out on those around them. This means that it’s important to look for a caregiver who is patient.

2. Reliable

If your loved one needs care on a regular basis, you’ll need someone who will be able to provide it, without a lot of excuses or the need for a lot of days off. The elderly person and their family are depending on the aide for essential help daily. Make sure they are the type that takes their job seriously and is reliable.

3. Pays Attention to Detail

Day-to-day care of someone else requires individualized consideration. They need to be mindful of the particular eating habits of their patients, be on top of their grooming needs as well as keep an eye out for even slight warning signs of any worsening of a condition they may have. You will want to find a caregiver who pays attention to detail.

4. Easy to Get Along With

You don’t want to bring someone into your loved one’s home who is not friendly or pleasant. After all, a caregiver is supposed to make things easier for your loved one and less stressful for the family. Someone who lets things slide will add positively to the atmosphere. It is best to look for someone who is easy to talk to and get along with.

5. Multi-Tasker

Someone who provides care for an older or disabled person has to know how to do a lot of things, such as light cooking, light cleaning, helping with bathing, and more. Look for someone who can juggle and “keep all the balls in the air”. You will want to make sure that person you hire does not get thrown by multiple responsibilities and is a good multi-tasker.

At David York Agency, we set the bar high and ensure that all of our home health aides offer these important qualities—and so much more. We look for people with common sense and a heart. We continually monitor them to ensure consistent, high-quality service. We do not send anyone to your home that we would not want in ours.

For more information about our qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Overcoming the Challenges of Adjusting to a Home Health Aide

Adjusting to a Home Health Aide

It has been said that if you have your health, you have everything. When that is no longer the case, and one is unable to care for oneself, we may need to seek outside assistance. Many elderly adults find themselves in a position that requires choosing to leave their home to become a resident in a long-term care facility, or choosing to stay at home and have in-home care.

Choosing to remain in their home comes with many advantages. In their own home, things are familiar and comfortable. They feel like they are still independent, a part of the family, not torn away from the things and people they love.

But, bringing in a home health aide means that they must open their home to a total stranger. This is someone who will become involved in the most private and intimate aspects of personal care. Seniors have to give up freedoms that we take for granted; things like bathing and toileting are no longer completely private.

However, when the right person walks through the door, someone with a warm smile and compassionate manner, it seems that everything will be alright. An experienced home health aide can take a new and sometimes awkward situation and make everyone comfortable and at ease, making the family feel confident that their loved one is receiving the type of care they would provide if they were able.

These professionals make adjusting to a home health aide no different from inviting a new friend into your home. The use of the home health aide is an invaluable tool during this time of recuperation or in end-of-life care. The right home health aide will provide either type of care with wisdom and compassion, all the while protecting the dignity of the client, even in the most intimate aspects of a client’s care.

At David York Agency, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional and highly personal home health care to the elderly and infirmed. We know how difficult the transition from an independent to dependent life can be, and we work hard to help our patients adjust as quickly and painlessly as possible.

For more information on David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Genetics + Environment ≠ Inevitable Health Profile

A new study gives insight into the role of exercise on overall health measures while controlling for genetics and childhood influences. A study out of Finland examined ten sets of identical twins for the effects of exercise on health and brain development while controlling for genetics and childhood influences. One twin was active physically and the other was sedentary.

AA052490Ten sets of identical twins from Finland, who grew up together, obviously sharing the same DNA, were examined. While their pasts were similar, their future exercise habits differed. While past studies of twins with respect to divergent exercise habits focused on their effects on aging, this study focused on factors that measured overall health: endurance capacity, body composition and insulin sensitivity. The sedentary twins exhibited lower endurance capacity, higher body fat percentages and signs of metabolic problems with respect to insulin resistance. The active twin had more grey matter than his sedentary counterpart especially in the areas having to do with motor control and coordination. Interestingly, the twins had similar diets. This led the research team to conclude “that the results strongly imply that the differences in the twins’ exercise habits caused the differences in their bodies.”

On the bright side, genetics and environment don’t equal inevitability. We can make significant changes with respect to exercise regimens that can dramatically impact our overall health and that of our brains.

David York Home Healthcare Agency is always on the lookout for tips on improving our overall health and alleviating the debilitating aspects of aging. However, when home healthcare becomes necessary, we provide certified home health aide services for the elderly. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit us on our website www.davidyorkagency.com to become acquainted with all we offer. We would be happy to discuss your case with you. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

 

Is It A Heart Attack or Something Else?

As we age, our risk for having a heart attack grows. We all should be acquainted with the signs of a heart attack.

  • Chest pain or discomfort like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw or upper part of the stomach.
  • Shortness of breath either while resting or doing any physical activity.
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat.
  • Feeling unusually tired.
  • Light-headedness or sudden dizziness.

Heart attackThese symptoms vary from one person to another and they can come on slowly or all at once. Diabetics often have mild symptoms or none at all. A second heart attack in the same person doesn’t necessarily occur in the same way. Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, extreme tiredness and nausea as pre-cursors of their heart attacks.

While we should never take the traditional signs of a heart attack lightly, there could be other explanations for those often frightening signs. The following are 7 alternative underlying causes for a racing heart, chest pains and sweating.

  • Panic Attacks: Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) can often accompany a panic attack making one believe they are having a heart attack.
  • Caffeine: It can stimulate the central autonomic nervous system which controls the heart rate. This stimulant can cause palpitations, lightheadedness or chest pain.
  • Decongestants: Those sensitive to these drugs can experience arrhythmia.
  • Dehydration: Serious dehydrations can lead to heart palpitations and muscle cramping. The resulting lowering of electrolytes also lowers blood pressure and an abnormal heartbeat.
  • Prescription Medications: Many, including those for asthma and thyroid regulation, can disrupt electrical conduction to the heart. It is important to read side effects for each.
  • Anemia: An iron deficiency means that there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your cells. A fast beating heart aids the delivery of oxygen, but may feel like a heart attack.
  • Heavy Metals: Long term exposure to mercury or other heavy metals can cause inflammation leading to thrombosis (blood clots), electrolyte imbalance and other heart related problems that cause heart palpitations.

In the event of a heart attack, acting fast makes all the difference. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to call 911 to get an ambulance, the best way to get to the hospital during a heart attack. It is always better to be safe than sorry. The emergency operator might be able to give you advice such as taking an aspirin while you are waiting for emergency service.

David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home and is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors.  At David York Home Healthcare Agency, we could provide direction as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one. A nurse is waiting to take your call. Contact us at 718.376.7755 and visit our website. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

 

 

Overuse of Benzodiazepine in the Elderly

The New York Times recently reported that even after 30 years of warnings regarding the dangers it poses to the elderly, use of benzodiazepine, sedative-hypnotic drugs like Valium, Xanax, Ativan and Klonopin, rises sharply with age. A study in the February 2015 edition of JAMA Psychiatry reports that 9% of those between 65 and 80 years of age take them and the proportion is even higher among women at 11%. These are astounding figures for any class of drug.

The known adverse effects of these drugs include increased risks of falls and fractures, diminished cognition in terms of memory and other neuropsychological measures, as well as an increased risk for car accidents.

497526103Yet, doctors persist in prescribing them. Why?

Doctors like to prescribe them because they work fast for such things as insomnia and nervousness. Doctors encounter resistance to employing alternatives like meditation and talk therapy by their senior patients.

Seniors don’t want to give them up. They are addicted to either the drug or the notion that a magic pill will cure any symptom that ails them. Moreover, the withdrawal process from the drug brings on some of the same symptoms such as insomnia, sweats and nervousness that prompted their use initially and patients don’t want to go through it.

Doctors are afraid to fight with their elderly patients about discontinuing the prescription. They are also under the mistaken notion that the process is too daunting. A Canadian study has shown that even a brochure with a schedule for weaning can have a dramatic effect on those wishing to make the change.

There is plenty of support out there if you want to find it. Doctors and healthcare professionals need to be more motivated identifying potential abusers and heed the long standing warnings of over prescribing these drugs. The elderly need to be fully counseled on the associated dangers and assisted in weaning themselves off these drugs.

David York Home Healthcare Agency is fully acquainted with all factors related to eldercare services and is always available to set up a senior care plan taking the whole patient into account. David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home and is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors.  Contact us at 718.376.7755 and visit our website. A nurse is waiting to take your call. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

 

New Blood Test for the Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

There is exciting news in the field of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research with the advent of a new blood test which can determine the presence of a key marker, brain amyloidosis, the buildup of amyloid proteins in the brain, as well as other blood proteins known to be associated with AD. Early detection of the disease can have implications in terms of benefitting from any current and new treatments, joining research trials underway and taking advantage earlier of any support services available.

T181985743he blood test can be administered after a clinical examination uncovers symptoms of Alzheimerhttp://www.alz.org/’s disease including cognitive impairment such as dementia. This new blood test is safe, affordable and easy to administer in a variety of settings. Currently, the only definitive tests for the presence of AD either have major drawbacks associated with them or can only be done post mortem. The first method of extracting cerebrospinal fluid requires an invasive spinal tap and carries the risk of nerve damage. The second is a PET scan testing for amyloids in the brain exposes the patient to radiation, is not usually covered by insurance and few centers have the technology. Autopsies can reveal brain beta amyloid proteins in the brain, a hallmark sign of AD, but, obviously, has no benefit to the sufferer at that time.

This new test also has the benefit of reducing the stress of not knowing for the patient and their loved ones. An important byproduct of the test is enhancing the integrity of research by ensuring that only true AD patients are included in any treatment trials which currently have an error rate of about 25% of non-AD patient inclusion.

Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is naturally extremely stressful to all concerned. Anticipating and planning for the eventual outcome of the disease is not easy, but David York Home Healthcare Agency can help. When home healthcare becomes necessary, David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly and infirm in their home. We would be happy to discuss your case with you. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

 

Helpful Tips to Find the Right In-Home Care

There are distinct advantages to using a home healthcare agency, but how do you choose the right one for your situation? Deciding who will provide home care is an important decision and your loved one’s health and well-being is dependent upon choosing a professional who is qualified, capable and compassionate. Home healthcare agencies are there for you to make that process go smoothly. Here are some tips to help find the right home healthcare agency:

  • Create a lrighinhomeist of in-home care needsWhat does your loved one need on a daily basis? The more care providers know about the person they are caring for, the better care they can give. Creating a list of these needs will help you discuss your case more efficiently and intelligently with any agency you contact.
  • Check references of home health aide & home healthcare agency. The agency must check the references and certification of each and every aide. Some agencies will conduct criminal background checks. Ask if these have been conducted. It is also a good idea to talk to other clients of the agency to gauge their satisfaction with the service they received.
  • Consider medical needs. Although most agencies have an abundance of experience with the various diseases endemic to the elderly, not all aides do. Are they experienced in handling your loved ones’ specific conditions such as for Alzheimer’s or a stroke? Make sure the agency you are speaking to is mindful of your specific needs and that they take the time and care to match you up with a home health aide with the experience you require.
  • Personalize your loved one. Familiarize the care provider with past accomplishments, fond memories and other guideposts that are relevant to where the person with dementia’s current memory is strong. It will allow for a much greater bond to form between them. A really good agency will be eager to hear what you have to say and pass it along to the aide that they send.

 

David York Agency provides qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals and the details of your case are always managed by a nurse. The home healthcare agency provides caring and compassionate Certified Home Health Aides (HHA), Certified Personal Health Care Aides (PCA), Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), full- or part-time, live-in or -out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is licensed by the New York State Department of Health. They believe your loved one deserves the best care. Call for a free consultation today at 718-376-7755 or visit us at our website www.davidyorkagency.com. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google + or LinkedIn.

 

 

Prescribed Drugs: Possible Risk to the Elderly

A study out of Brown University finds that doctors in the U.S. are prescribing drugs to the elderly that can have harmful side effects and the problem is even more acute in the south.

122422920Many drugs such as valium are harder for the elderly to metabolize so they stay in their systems a lot longer and this lingering effect can cause lightheadedness in an older person. This compromised physical state can very well lead to falls which we all know can have deadly consequences for the elderly.

Furthermore, a problem now termed as polypharmacy seems to be taking hold as a public health issue. This relates to the fact that the average senior citizen’s treatment plan includes four prescription drugs at the same time opening endless possibilities for harmful interactions which are suspected to be responsible for almost 33% of all hospital admissions.

The elderly and their caretakers need to review their medications regularly to make sure they know all associated risks, possible side effects and negative interactions. This link from Merck can be a handy reference.

David York Home Healthcare Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home and is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors.  We would be happy to discuss your case with you.  Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website.  You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Home Health Aides – Providing Quality Care

Need a little assistance caring for an elderly loved one at home? A home health aide can provide much needed care when it comes to caring for an aging parent or spouse. Home health aides provide in-home care with many activities of daily living (ADL) which include personal care, bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming, and mobility.

A home health aide can also help with grocery shopping and meal preparation.Carer and elderly woman They can take into account any special dietary requirements and make sure that your loved one is getting healthy meals regularly.

If your loved one can no longer navigate outside the home by themselves, a home health aide can escort them to important doctor visits or other appointments. The home health aide will ensure that their elderly client gets back and forth safely.

David York Agency provides high quality skilled home health aide services for the elderly and infirm with the highest degree of personal service. We can provide full-time or part-time professionals depending on your needs. We have Certified Home Health Aides (HHA), Certified Personal Care Aides (PCA), Registered Nurses (RN), and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). All of our aides are certified and specially trained. All of our aides are thoroughly screened, fingerprinted and checked for criminal background. We regularly check credentials and maintain valid references for our aides. You can be sure that the highest caliber health aides are caring for your loved ones.

When home healthcare becomes necessary, David York Agency would be happy to answer all your questions. Visit our website at David York Agency. Please like us on  Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Getting Important Documents Assembled for the Elderly

So often, when crisis hits, a family can be caught unawares by this emergency situation. Adult children are blindsided by not knowing where to find critical documents necessary for deciding on the care for their elderly parents and they feel handcuffed by not having access to important assets or documents that are needed. However, it is never too early to start that ‘just in case’ file.

While the holidays are a wonderful time for family sharing and bonding, it is also an opportunity for adult children to help organize essential information for their elderly parents. I think that in addition to feasting and spreading joy this holiday season, all of us, whether we be seniors, caregivers or potential caregivers, should take the opportunity to get some ‘ducks in a row’ and organize those all important documents and bits of information. David York Agency has compiled a handy checklist and a small packet of worksheets to assist in this task. Both are accessible through these links or on the Caregiver Resources page of the David York Agency website.

Essential Documents & Emergency Information Worksheets (pdf version)

Essential Documents & Emergency Information Checklist (pdf versionDec newsletter

  • Professionals List – All Contact Information for:
    • Doctors: Primary Care and Specialists
    • Accountant
    • Attorney
    • Financial Advisor
    • Insurance Brokers
  • Important Documents Packet (Originals and/or Copies):
    • Social Security Card
    • Birth Certificate
    • Driver’s License
    • Marriage Certificate
    • Divorce Certificate
    • Passport
    • Medical Information
      • Allergies
      • Medications
      • Treatments
      • Major Operations
      • Immunization Records
    • Medicare/Medicaid/Insurance Card
    • Life Insurance Policies
    • Military Discharge Papers
    • Deeds
    • Titles
    • Tax Returns for last 6 years
    • Instructions on Location of all files
  • Financial Accounts List – All Contact Information and Account Numbers for:
    • Bank Accounts
    • Investment/Brokerage Accounts
      • Stocks
      • Bonds
      • CDs
    • Credit/Debit Cards
  • Financial Assets List:
    • Car Ownership
    • Mortgage Documents
    • Real Estate Holdings
    • Loans Owed or Owed to them
    • Tax Returns
    • Insurance Policies
      • Home
      • Auto
      • Health
      • Long Term Care
      • Life
    • Original Invoices for Important Possessions
    • Partnership Documents
    • Jewelry and Valuables
    • Safe Combination and Directions
    • Location of Safety Deposit Key
  • Sources of Income:
    • Annuities
    • Social Security
    • Pensions
    • Annual Distributions from Retirement Accounts
    • VA Benefits
    • Disability Payments
  • Recurring Bills:
    • Mortgage
    • Loans
    • Utilities
      • Telephone
      • Electric
      • Gas
    • Insurance Premiums (monthly & quarterly)
    • Car Lease
    • Annual Expenses (i.e. home alarm)
    • Deliveries (i.e. newspaper, milk)
  • Computerized Information:
    • Email Accounts and Passwords
    • Password for Computer
    • Recurring Online Billing
  • Estate Planning Documents:
    • Will
    • Special Instructions regarding personal property
    • Durable Power of Attorney
    • Advanced Healthcare Directive/Living Will
    • Healthcare Proxy
    • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order
    • Retirement Plans
    • Disability Plans
    • Governmental Benefits for which they are eligible
  • End of Life Arrangements:
    • Cemetery Plot Ownership
    • Pre-Planned Burial Papers
    • Personal Statement regarding burial services

Most important is that all this information be easily accessible clearly labeled and a trusted person know its location. Also, if you choose to keep this all stored on a computer, make sure a back up is made and a print out is kept in a location known to a close friend or relative. Healthcare decisions are often quite pressing, so knowing where to find medical records and decision makers in time can be crucial. With respect to assets, at times the government takes possession of unclaimed assets and while you might be able to get a hold of something belonging to you that was overlooked, it is not always an easy process. It is best not to get into that situation and have everything organized ahead of time.
When home healthcare becomes necessary, David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services. David York Home Healthcare Agency can satisfy all your questions and would be happy to give you more information and discuss your case with you. Visit our website at David York Agency – providing healthcare professionals to the elderly and infirm, with the highest degree of personal service. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.