Managing Long-Distance Caregiving

Taking care of ill or elderly relatives is a complicated and stressful situation. That stress is compounded in the case of long-distance caregiving. As more and more adult children care for their elderly parents, this issue is becoming more common.

Health visitor with smartphone and a senior man during home visit. A female nurse or a doctor making a phone call. long-distance caregiving concept

According to a survey conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving, long-distance caregivers experience negative impacts on their time, finances, and work schedules. Despite this, over half of these caregivers see their loved ones at least a few times a month, and over 75% help with basic services such as shopping, cooking, and transportation, spending 22 hours on these aspects of caregiving alone.

If you are managing long-distance care, here are a few things to keep in mind.

 

Recognize the Added Strain

Caregiving can cause major stress. Compounding this stress with the addition of travel, finances, and schedule increases the load for the long-distance caregiver. It is important to ensure that caregivers, as well as the patient, have the support they need.

In order to receive this support, the long-distance caregiver must acknowledge their added stress. Once the problem is recognized, steps can be taken to help relieve the pressure. Consider support groups, in person or online. These meetings can be an important source of comfort. Regular, healthy meals and exercise can also help reduce stress levels.

Remember: you can only care for others if you care for yourself first.

 

Gather Information

When medical emergencies arise, it’s important to have all the information you’ll need. Make copies of insurance documents and medical information, including medications and doctors’ orders and phone numbers. Keep these documents handy, so you don’t have to find them during stressful moments.

One important document to have is a durable medical power of attorney. This is particularly important if there are multiple siblings or you are taking care of an in-law. It is extremely important to clarify your right to make medical decisions if the patient is unable to do so.

DYA has handy publications for organizing you essential documents on our website.

 

Keep Communication Open

When possible, it’s a good idea to attend doctor’s appointments with the patient. They may not remember everything the doctor says or feel comfortable talking about the visit. If you can be there to hear the doctor’s orders and keep notes, it can help you see that the patient is getting what they need.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s important to keep lines of communication open. Some of the things they recommend are:

  • Speak with your loved one’s healthcare providers. A release signed by your loved one will allow their doctors to talk to you about their treatment. See if you can set up conference calls or log into their online medical records to stay fully informed.
  • Get support from friends. People who live nearby can check in on your loved one. Having a few people look in periodically can give you insight on how they are doing.
  • Consider hiring help. Someone to help with tasks such as meals and bathing can ease the burden on both of you.
  • Prepare for emergencies. Save time and money in case there is a crisis. Look into the Family and Medical Leave Act, which can provide you with unpaid time off with no threat to your job.

 

Maintain Your Relationship

Finally, remember to spend time visiting. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the tasks of caregiving and forget the relationship. Try to set time aside for sitting and talking, or doing an activity you enjoy together, such as taking a walk. The reason you are doing this monumental task is that you care so much about this person. Remembering that can ease the strain on both of you.

 

There are many difficult choices to make when taking care of a loved one. Living far away complicates those decisions. If David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers can help you in this process, please contact us online or by phone at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide how to provide your loved ones 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.

Could You Benefit From Home Healthcare Services?

Home healthcare services are the right choice in a number of situations, but not everyone understands when they might be a perfect candidate for home healthcare services. Take a look at when it might be right for you.

why home health aideFor Seniors: In the event a senior lives alone or spends quite a bit of time alone, has a history of falls, displays an unwillingness to eat, has problems moving around the home, can’t drive, has difficulty with personal grooming habits, has difficulty remembering to take medication, or displays confusion or other cognitive problems, home healthcare might be right for you.

For Families: If a primary caregiver for a senior, an individual with disabilities, or someone who is returning from the hospital after surgery or a chronic illness needs help, home healthcare is a viable option. Whether for a much needed break or ongoing care management, home health aides can ensure everything is taken care of effectively.

For New Moms: Pregnancy is a wonderful time, but it often means the need for assistance, both before and after delivery. In the event Mom has been placed on bed rest before the baby comes, basic assistance may be required. After a C-section, additional help may be needed in the home.

For Hospice: End of life plans are never easy to make, but a patient who wants to spend their last days at home needs comfort and help. Home health aide services are designed to provide just that, no matter what the circumstances.

Home healthcare is ideal for many non-traditional situations. If you think it might be right for you, contact us today to talk to our care providers and learn more about how we can make living in your home a better experience.

David York Home Healthcare Agency offers varying levels of care to help meet client needs. Whether it’s personal care activities like grooming and bathing or simple household tasks, David York Agency has caring and compassionate individuals on staff who can work with the patient or the involved physicians to make certain excellent care is provided in every situation. To learn more about whether we can help you meet your needs or those of a family member, please contact us for a free consultation today at 718-376-7755 or visit us at our website at David York Agency. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google + or LinkedIn.

What’s the Difference Between Licensed and Certified Home Health Care?

Patients and their families seeking in home healthcare services have many decisions to make. Among the most important is whether to move forward with licensed in home services or certified services. If you’re not sure which might be right in your particular case, it may be best to look at the difference between the two.

Licensed Professionals

ICertified home health aidef there’s a specific plan of care in place from a physician, therapist, or nurse, you probably need skilled care. Often these kinds of services encompass nursing care, therapies of any type including physical and respiratory as well as hospice type care. These services are performed by a licensed professional and are often covered by both private medical insurance and Medicare, depending on exactly what is required and what has been ordered by a doctor. In some cases, skilled care may only be required a few hours per week.

Certified Home Health Aide

When a patient needs non-medical care it is usually performed by a certified home health aide who has training and certification and works for a licensed agency. Patients may need help grooming, dressing, and bathing. They may also need help with meal preparation, moving from place to place, or getting to and from doctor’s appointments as well as help remembering to take their medication. This type of care is not typically covered by medical insurance or Medicare, though there are exceptions to that rule of thumb. Need for this type of care varies from a few hours per day to 24 hour care depending on the patient’s degree of independence.

David York Home Healthcare Agency offers varying levels of care to help meet client needs. Whether it’s personal care activities like grooming and bathing or simple household tasks, David York Agency has caring and compassionate individuals on staff who can work with the patient or the involved physicians to make certain excellent care is provided in every situation. To learn more about whether we can help you meet your needs or those of a family member, please contact us for a free consultation today at 718-376-7755 or visit us at our website at David York Agency. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google + or LinkedIn.

How to Choose a Home Healthcare Agency with the Best Aides

In September 2014, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Staten Island man whose family, based on video footage taken in the man’s home, showed he was abused and neglected by his home health aide. The elderly man, who died in June at the age of 99, had poor eyesight and trouble walking and required 24-hour assistanceChoosing a Home Health Aide. The family’s attorney, John Dalli of Dalli & Marino, stated that, “[the] driving force behind the lawsuit is to make others aware that if you’re going to trust these agencies don’t be under the false sense of security that these agencies have properly trained or screened these people.”

Of course, some home healthcare agencies are better than others. The key is to find the one that is most meticulous about the home health aides it sends out to their clients’ homes. David York Agency takes every step imaginable before hiring a home health aide to make sure they are skilled, trustworthy and reliable. While a patient is on their roster, s/he is checked on regularly to ensure the highest degree of quality home healthcare and personal service.

Taking the initial steps in choosing an agency should include these steps:

  • Start with referrals. Does your family physician or specialist have any recommendations? Or do you know any friends who have used one? Knowing someone with first-hand experience with an agency can help narrow your choices.
  • Educate yourself. Do the legwork when trying to choose. Online resources and reviews as well as meeting with or having a phone interview with an agency will help you get a better sense of how different organizations operate.
  • Consider your medical needs. Different agencies may have more expertise in certain areas. Are they experienced in handling your loved ones’ specific conditions such as for Alzheimer’s or a stroke?

Experts recommend that, when possible, families start thinking about home healthcare well in advance. Doing the legwork before a decision is a looming necessity can help make the process easier and less stressful, ultimately leading to an overall better fit for your loved one.

David York Agency provides qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals when you need them: 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 or LinkedIn.

The Elderly and Hospital Re-Admissions

Readmission Problem

Hospital readmission is a persistent problem amongst the elderly and reforms by hospitals and other health-related agencies enacted to date have done little to make a real impact.

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The truth is healthcare policymakers are not even sure where the problem lies.  Are the hospitals discharging patients too early or is the post-hospital home care inadequate thereby forcing the cycle of re-admission?  Is the follow-up care by professionals to blame or is the patient and relatives unable to handle the care at home?

Root Cause Unclear

A recent New York Times article raises the issue but admits that no address has been identified for placing blame.  Medicaid and Medicare have tried to shame and create incentives for hospitals to reduce their readmissions rates. They publicize readmissions rates by hospital and impose fines, but all to no avail.  While patients may receive the best of care and attention during their hospital stay, post-hospital home care may fall short for several reasons.

The elderly may forget or ignore discharge instructions. Or, they may live in homes that do not accommodate their compromised health (i.e. stairs, distance from the bathroom). Moreover, they just may be too plain weak to organize meals or eat.  Also, relatives may be unable to lift or move them properly.

Home Health Aide Can Help

This is where the help of a home health aide would be most beneficial.  These are professional caregivers who are specially trained and certified to care for the elderly in the home setting.  These caregivers can meet the patient at the hospital and escort them home. They help them with meal preparation and feeding and assist them in toileting, bathing and grooming. Furthermore, they help relatives monitor that the discharge instructions are followed.

Finding a home health aide can be burdensome, but luckily there are many licensed home healthcare agencies like David York Home Healthcare Agency out there to help relieve you of that task.  They screen the home health aides and make sure they are properly credentialed and able to deal with your particular situation.

David York Agency is always available to help you sort out your situation. We help you develop a care plan to suit your senior loved one.  David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for in-home healthcare for elderly patients.  We would be happy to discuss your case with you.  Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website at http://davidyorkhomehealthcare.com/ or visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages.

 

 

Diabetes Meal Plan: Two vs. Six Meals Per Day

Managing Diabetes

There has long been a controversy in managing diabetes as to whether it is better to eat two large meals or six small meals over the course of a day.  There are experts that come down on either side of the issue. Also, some believe it doesn’t make much of a difference.

The New York Times recently reported on a small study out of Czechoslavakia that tips the scales in favor of fewer meals.  Albeit not dramatic, some differences were found in those that ate fewer meals. This was true even while all participants consumed exactly the same amount of calories.  Improvements were seen in terms of waist size, fasting glucose levels, lower liver fat content and better insulin sensitivity.  In any case, two larger meals is also a good way to ensure that patients with diabetes eat whole, nutritious meals. Smaller snacks that may not be as nutritious individually may spoil your appetite for the more nutritious food.

Managing Elderly Diabetic

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Meal management can be challenging for the diabetic elderly especially when new information such as this surfaces that might encourage a change in a current routine.  A home health aide can help assist the elderly person with meal preparation and shopping to ensure that senior loved ones are provided with nutritious and regular meals.  Aides can also help with feeding the elderly patient and other meal-related as well as other household tasks.  Home health aides work on an hourly or full-time basis. Licensed home healthcare agencies such as David York Agency can help you hire one totally suited to your needs.

David York Agency Can Help

The staff and aides at David York Agency are home healthcare experts. The provide direction as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one.  Please call us at (718) 376-7755 to set up a senior care plan or visit us on our website www.davidyorkagency.com to become acquainted with all we offer.  You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.