5 Tips for Serving as a Caregiver for a Loved One

Caring for a loved one can be an emotionally challenging task. Not only is it often a 24/7 job, but it can be especially difficult to find a balance between providing and caring for your loved one and maintaining your own physical and emotional well-being.

21829794_sHere are five practical tips that will help you in your role as a caretaker.

  1. Keep records.

Keeping track of your loved one’s doctor visits, medications, symptoms, and eating habits will help you better manage their care. These records make consultations with healthcare providers more focused on getting the specific care your loved one needs and also give you a more holistic view of their medical history. Strong record keeping is especially essential if you share care responsibilities with another family member or professional caregiver.

  1. Educate yourself.

The best way to support your loved one is to understand their specific medical needs, including any chronic conditions or diseases, and the nature of their treatment. This will help you anticipate potential problems or side effects and prepare for unforeseen challenges in your role as a caregiver.

  1. Understand the insurance.

Know the limitations and allowances of your loved one’s health insurance. This will help you navigate difficult topics such as reimbursement, specialist co-pays, and respite care. By knowing what they are entitled to from their insurance provider, you can advocate for their best possible care.

  1. Plan ahead.

Talk with your loved one about his or her final wishes. Do they have a will or special instructions regarding their estate? Do they have specific wishes for their burial services? These are difficult conversations to have, but both you and your loved one will appreciate the peace of mind, knowing that plans for their future are in place.

  1. Take care of yourself.

Providing care for someone can have a substantial effect on your own personal well-being. If you’re finding that your quality of life is diminished as a result of your duties, consider enlisting the help of a certified home health aide or professional caregiver. This will allow you time to recharge, both physically and emotionally. You want to be there for your loved one, but in order to do that, you need to care for yourself as well.

We understand that taking care of a loved one is difficult. If you need additional support, please call David York Home Healthcare Agency today at (718) 376-7755. David York Agency has provided the highest quality care for the elderly and infirm for over 30 years. We would be happy to give you more information and discuss your case with you. To hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn. If you would like to learn more about how our certified home health aides can help provide you the additional support your loved one needs, contact us.

How Much Do You Know About Aging?

Did you know that the median annual cost of a nursing home in the US is $87,600?   Did you also know that the median annual cost of a home health aide in the US is $45,000? Based on a recent study by Genworth, this interactive map can help you figure out the costs of varying forms of eldercare in every U.S. state.

QuizAs part of a yearlong project about aging and planning for the changes, the Next Avenue Website has a quiz full of statistics regarding long-term care concepts and costs. These facts and many more can be found on this short but informative online quiz which you can take by clicking here.

Unfortunately, as one ages, it is often more and more difficult to manage and care for your own personal needs. To ease the burden so that seniors can age in place, there are in-home health care providers like David York Agency that can provide home health aides for personal care and household services for individuals who need assistance with the activities of daily living. Their qualified home health aides’ goal is to care for your parent or loved one so they are comfortable, safe and secure.

David York Agency can help you to develop a plan to accommodate changes in your parents’ health. They thoroughly respect the wishes of your aging parent and involve the total family in deciding and implementing the care plan. This minimizes the anxiety and stress that occurs when quick decisions have to be made. Contact us today by visiting www.davidyorkagency.com and visit our Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages. You can also call us at 718.376.7755 where a nurse is standing by to take your call.

Elder Self-Neglect: Most Common Form of Elder Abuse

The Geriatric Care Manager shows up to check on her 78 year old client. She notices the elderly man is gaunter and noticeably thinner than when she started the case. From week to week, the piles of mail seem to grow and the dishes seem to wait all week for the once per week cleaning woman to come. The apartment has an unpleasant odor signaling the need for more help than agreed to by the client. Sadly, all these are signs of elder self neglect, a growing problem among the elderly.

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According to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM), elderly self-neglect far exceeds any physical or sexual abuse or neglect by others such as their assigned caregiver. Geriatric Care Managers report as follows: 92% say they encounter this in their community; 52% of them say it is a growing problem, and 76% of them say it is the most common form of elder abuse/neglect that they encounter in their practices.

The warning signs of elder self-neglect are:

  1. Poor personal hygiene with respect to bathing and grooming.
  2. Poor medical management as defined by forgetting doses or refusing to take medications and refusing medical treatment.
  3. Signs of dehydrations and malnutrition.
  4. Unsanitary living conditions.
  5. Signs of unpaid bills, bounced checks and/or utility turn-offs.
  6. Weight loss and a shortage of food in the house.

While it is important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of elder self-neglect, it is even more important to take a look at possible underlying causes. These include:

  1. Depression which is so common in the elderly.
  2. Increased physical and/or mental deficits or dementia.
  3. Undiagnosed illness that might be causing extreme fatigue.
  4. Medications with side effects that cause lethargy.
  5. Continuation of a lifelong pattern of slovenliness.

If you think someone you know or love is suffering from elder abuse or elder self-neglect, you can contact The National Center on Elder Abuse for a state by state listing of resources that can help.

When you can’t be there, David York Agency is with skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home. We are fully acquainted with all factors related to eldercare services and always available to set up a senior homecare plan taking the whole patient into account. David York Agency is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors and we would be happy to discuss your case with you. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website. 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.

Signs my Relative May Need a Home Health Aide

How do you know when a parent or relative needs some extra help? It’s not always easy to come to terms with a loved one having difficulty caring for themselves. But there are some sure signs that it is time to enlist the services of a certified home health aide.

When someone is having difficulty performing two of the following Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), it is time to contact a home healthcare agency for a certified home health aide best suited to the situation.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL):Untitled2

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Grooming
  • Mobility
  • Transferring
  • Positioning
  • Feeding
  • Oral Hygiene

Bathing/Grooming/Self Care: If you notice that your relative is not grooming or caring for themselves, it may mean that they need additional help at home.
Unpleasant body odor, greasy hair, and dirty or well-worn clothes, may mean they have stopped doing laundry or are not bathing regularly and are also signs that a the relative may need a home health aide.

Mobility/Positioning/Transferring: If your loved one is not able to get around to do their errands or go the their appointments alone, you may want to seriously look into getting them a certified aide. If they can’t position themselves additional help at home will surely be required.

Food Preparation: If you notice that your parent is losing weight or not preparing healthy meals, it may be time to seek home healthcare. If they seem to have lost their appetite or are eating inconsistently, they may need some help with feeding to keep up their nutrition.

Taking this step can be difficult. This burden often falls on the family to recognize the signs that an aging parent might need help with the activities of daily living. However, there are home healthcare providers like David York Agency which is licensed by the State of New York Department of Health that can provide caring and attentive aides for your loved one. Their high quality home health aides care for your parent or relative making them as comfortable and as healthy as possible.

David York Agency can help you develop a plan to accommodate changes in your parents’ health. Their caring agency helps respect the wishes of your aging parent and fully involves them and the family in how they want to be cared for. This can minimize the anxiety and stress that occurs when quick decisions have to be made. Contact us today by visiting www.davidyorkagency.com, follow our Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages or call us at 718.376.7755.

When is Home Healthcare Right for you?

Home Health AideHome health care is a service for individuals who need professional skilled home health aide services recommended by a professional or physician.  It's appropriate for you if you have had an illness, surgical procedure, injury, or any life event that makes carrying out the daily activities of living difficult.  It can provide continued care with 24 hour, seven days a week from on call nurses.  Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as the care you get in a nursing facility. 

 

Home Health Care Aides can assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) including:

Personal Care Bathing Dressing
Toileting Grooming Mobility
Transferring Positioning Feeding
Oral Hygiene

Grocery Shopping

Companionship & Conversation
Reminding about Medications Household Tasks/Various Personal Errands

Light Housekeeping & Laundry

Escorting to Doctor Visits or Other Appointments Meal Preparation (taking into account any special dietary requirements) Accompanying on walks, outings, & other pleasant events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for home healthcare.  We would be happy to discuss your case with you.  Visit our website at http://davidyorkhomehealthcare.com/.he goal of home health care is to help you get better, regain your independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible.  And, a Certified Home Health Aide can help you achieve those goals in the comfort of your own home.