What You Need To Know Before Choosing a Home Healthcare Agency

Choosing a Home Healthcare Agency

Handling the increasingly complicated needs of an aging loved one can be a daunting task. Knowing when or how to address concerns isn’t easy, especially if you are busy with work and family obligations of your own, unable to devote the time they require. Perhaps you live in another city or lack regular access to a loved one in need. There comes a point where further coverage is required.

If you’re considering additional in-home care for someone you love, this guide will help you establish what you need to know before choosing a home healthcare agency.

Consider the Mental & Physical Health of Your Loved One

The first thing to consider is how much and what type of help your loved one may need. There are certain signs that indicate the mental or physical ailments that might require in-home support. This quick checklist will help determine the overall health of your loved one.

Is your loved one:

  • becoming more forgetful?
  • unable to run errands on their own?
  • leaving scorch or burn marks on dish towels?
  • more reclusive, engaging less in social activities?

 

Has Your Loved One:

  • become physically/verbally abusive?
  • been left with extra/not enough medication left each month?
  • become negligent in terms of personal hygiene habits?
  • had vision/hearing impairment that interferes with daily activities?

 

The truth is, if you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, it’s probably time for additional care. Once you’ve made that decision, the next step is to figure out the extent and kind of care to provide.

Needing assistance doesn’t necessarily mean going to a nursing home or having round-the-clock help. In fact, research suggests that the longer seniors are able to stay active and engaged in activities, the higher their energy levels remain. This can help seniors maintain better overall health and a better quality of life.

What Types of Assistance are Available?

There are various types of home care services a home healthcare agency can provide. From accompanying loved ones on errands to reminding about medications to more hands-on help, like bathing or medical nurse assistance, a wide range of services is possible.

It’s important to find an agency that provides consistent, high-quality, reliable care. Establishing steady, long-lasting relationships with home healthcare providers helps relieve any stress felt when leaving a family member in someone else’s hands. Additionally, the strong personal connections your loved one establishes with a caregiver can have a powerful impact on their well-being. With compassionate in-home care, seniors can remain healthy and continue to age with dignity and grace.

Establishing the care needed and finding the right agency to supply quality assistance are two important steps for ensuring there is a high level of care administered in your absence. At David York Agency, we offer a number of home healthcare services. From home health aides to RN’s and LPNs, DYA will provide the level of home healthcare your loved one needs.

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 you need.

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

Funding Home Healthcare with Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance

People often think of long-term care insurance like most other ‘optional’ insurances:

“I’m perfectly healthy. I don’t need it!” or “I’ll buy it when I get older and really need it.”

Of all the misconceptions about long-term care insurance, the “I’ll get it when I really need it,” mindset is probably the most damaging. Thinking like this is a lot like trying to get insurance on your home after it’s burned down. It’s not going to happen.

Insurance policies, long-term care insurance included, are designed to be most affordable when the person insured is younger and healthier. The ‘sweet spot’ for purchasing long-term care insurance is between 52 and 64 years old. Long-term care insurance policies allow you to define benefits when you buy the policy. You can add or subtract various components to suit your situation.

Working with a predetermined pot of benefit money is just like working with a household budget. You need to find ways to make it last and cover all the things that you need in order to get through the month. Home healthcare, in the 5 boroughs of NYC, will average half of what a nursing home will cost. With home healthcare, not only will you get more personalized care at nearly half the cost of a nursing home, you get to live in the comfort and familiarity of your own home.

Unlike the policies seen in the 1980’s, today’s long-term care insurance covers home healthcare. This is why using long-term care insurance to fund home healthcare is a wise option. Of course, if you need a skilled nursing facility, a nursing home might be the better choice and policies allow for that as well.

At the David York Agency, we send only the best and most qualified home health aides to your home, people that we would want taking care of our own loved ones. If you’d like more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers or to learn more about how you can use your long-term care insurance with our services, 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 support you need.

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

Reversals in Parenting

A recent article in the Deseret News,  recounted the writer’s final months with her father, noting how the roles had suddenly reversed as she found herself taking care of an aging parent. Through it all, it’s important to remember that we are still dealing with the person who raised us and took care of us when we needed them. It can be gratifying to repay them by being there for them as much as possible.

Not only are we living longer, but we are leading healthier and more independent lives. Yet inevitably, there comes a time when we start to slow down. Mobility becomes restricted and sometimes it is even dangerous for an aging parent to be left alone. As eyesight decreases and bones become fragile, moving around safely becomes more of a concern. Aside from physical ailments, mental capacity can also diminish, whether as a consequence of Alzheimer’s, other health issues or medications. As a result, we can often feel that we are parenting our parent.

When the proverbial handwriting begins to “appear on the wall”, sit down with your parent and have a discussion with open and honest questions about choices, so that you can do your best to ensure that your parent’s autonomy is respected. Autonomy is one of the most important factors in an aging person’s life. They worked hard, ran businesses, raised children and took care of homes. They earned the right to make as many decisions for themselves as possible and within reason. This role reversal should not compromise anyone’s dignity.

Parenting our parentsWhen we are caring for a parent, we often find that the time we spend with them is filled with doing laundry and housekeeping, checking to make sure the pantry is properly stocked and ensuring that all their medications are in order and being taken. This can be a difficult time, both for you and for your parent. It’s okay to acknowledge that, but remember that this is also a time to share as many moments together as you can.

That quality time is so important and should be made a priority when possible. “Parenting” activities such as discussing a favorite book, watching a movie or reminiscing over the past can bring a lot of joy to a parent who endures a lot of alone time and can even help them keep alert. Research points to an active mind staving off ill effects of encroaching dementia. Sometimes it’s possible to coordinate with other available family members to ensure that your loved one is not just taken care of, but feeling valued.  Professional caregivers can also free up all involved from mundane tasks in order for you to enjoy quality time with your parent.

Sudden illness in an elderly parent often requires us to rearrange our lives in order to help out. Unexpectedly, our schedules are disrupted. We worry whether or not Mom or Dad is being taken care of or safe when we are not able to be there. Additionally, our parent may live outside our normal radius of travel, meaning that we may need to take some time off work to help out. If we can’t take time off, we need to help make alternative arrangements for doctor’s appointments, trips to the pharmacy and grocery store, and assistance with personal grooming. With so much to think about, frustrations and tensions can often run high, not only for us, but also for the parent who suddenly feels that he or she is a burden.

Try to remember that there is help out there. There are support groups available for those who find themselves caring or helping to care for an aging parent. These groups can offer advice and support when dealing with scheduling, finances, medical care and respite care. And, a home healthcare agency can help find caregivers for all or some of the time. Hiring a professional does not completely remove the burden of the responsibility, but it can be a lifesaver. Professional caregivers are also trained to spot signs of concern about their health. It’s always best to research home healthcare agencies until you feel comfortable with your decision.

When home healthcare becomes necessary, David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services. David York Home Healthcare Agency is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors and can satisfy all your questions. We 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. For any of your questions concerning elder care, contact us.

 

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.

 

 

Steps to Healthier Eating Habits

Between concerns over diseases endemic to the elderly like diabetes or heart disease, catering to individual food sensitivities, and managing interactions with medication, a proper diet is essential to good health for the elderly. According to the National Institutes of Health, eating a well-planned, balanced mix of foods everyday may very well reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, some kinds of cancer, and anemia. Also, for those who may already have one or more of these chronic diseases, eating well and being physically active may help better manage these conditions.

Beyond considerations of preventing or managing illness, eating well plays other important roles in the daily lives of the elderly, from maintaining a healthy level of energy to properly regulating weight.

HealthyEatingEnergy level

With obesity rates in the U.S. skyrocketing, we hear a lot about eating too much; but eating too little, or not eating appropriate foods can also be a problem. Consuming enough calories gives the body the fuel it needs to not only perform physical tasks like walking, but mental tasks as well which means one needs to be properly fueled throughout the day for optimal cognitive function and memory. There are several factors that account for the number of calories needed: age, gender, height, weight, and level of activity.

Weight & Activity Level

Proper weight is a concern for most people throughout their lives, but it becomes especially important as the body ages and becomes more at risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, while excess pounds can wreak havoc on aging joints. Consuming not only the right amount of calories, but also the right kind of calories — a healthy blend of foods: fruits, grains, meat, veggies — help to control weight.

Eating more calories than your body needs for your activity level will lead to extra pounds. Many people become less active as they age, which equates to needing fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. The NIH recommends choosing mostly nutrient-dense foods—those which have a lot of nutrients but relatively few calories—which can supply needed nutrients while keeping down calorie intake.

Taking small steps to improve eating habits is often the most effective way to make lasting changes. By starting with incremental changes—adding a new vegetable to the menu, or simply taking the salt shaker off the table—healthy habits become second nature, and easy to adhere to. Eating well is not about following a diet or losing those extra pounds; rather, it’s a way of living that can improve life exponentially.

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.  They offer the services of 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. 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. Please visit the website, like them on Facebook, or follow the agency on TwitterGoogle+ or LinkedIn.

 

 

We’ll Be There When You Can’t Be

Nearly one in every four Americans is caring for an older adult, usually a parent. While many try to do this on their own, the task can be daunting and the stress can be immense. What if your aging parent doesn’t live in your town? What if you have a full time job? Who will care for your parent then?

A Healthy Solution

companionshipFinding an agency that provides in-home healthcare and home healthcare services can be a lifesaving alternative to caring for an aging parent relieving stress and worry for family caregivers. Our home health aides will monitor their diet by preparing healthy meals or go grocery shopping with or for your parent. A home health aide can also maintain your parent’s calendar and make sure they make it to important appointments and escort them too. An in-home health aide can provide the healthy interaction and activity that are vital for seniors by participating in your parent’s daily life by reading to them, playing games or cards and discussing the news of the day.

At David York Agency, we can be there when you can’t be 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. We are licensed by the New York State Department. We are located in Brooklyn, NY and our home health aides service the Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan, Queens, Nassau and Brooklyn. We would be happy to discuss your case with you. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website to learn more about how our home health aides can help your family. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Avoiding Depression After the Holidays

The holidays are over. Everyone has returned home after many fun-filled days of presents and fabulous meals. With the family holiday visits a thing of the past, many elderly may come down with the post holiday blues. It is easy to fall into depression, but there are many things to do to avoid it. Here are some tips.

  1. Do something different.depressionThis year, change it up a bit. Whether it is a new hobby, listening to an audio book or going out to a new restaurant, trying something new each week or each month can help keep depression at bay and life interesting.
  1. Stay on schedule.The holidays disrupt schedules. However, once they are over, getting back to a normal routine is key to avoiding how the disruption, which is often accompanied by loss of sleep, can affect moods negatively.
  1. Exercise is important at every age. If the cold of winter keeps your senior loved one indoors, try a video exercise program or one on cable television. While exercise may not feel good at the time, the benefits are well worth it.
  1. Eat sensibly.After all those heavy holiday meals, a more normal diet is in order. Eating healthfully keeps you feeling fit — physically and emotionally.
  1. Don’t miss medication doses. Make sure that you’re up-to-date on your refills, too.
  1. Ask for Help. A network of close friends and family to turn to when things get tough is critical especially during a depression. Asking them for help is important.

David York Home Healthcare Agency can help you or your family member with all of the activities of daily life and provide companionship during a trying time. David York Agency is a home healthcare agency that provides high quality skilled home health aide services for the elderly with the highest degree of personal service. We regularly check credentials and maintain valid references for our aides. You can be sure that the highest caliber home health aides are caring for your loved ones. David York Agency 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.

 

 

 

Using Color and Contrast to Increase Safety in the Home

As your loved ones age, their changing physical needs also require a change in their physical environment – their home. Elder proofing a home is a way to make sure a senior’s home is safe and in many cases it requires only slight accommodations and a small investment. A simple, yet effective method is incorporating color and contrast to increase the safety and functionality of their home.

color and contrastThe use of color and contrast accommodates the aging eye which may lose sensitivity and have difficulty differentiating similar patterns and colors. Therefore, using bolder color contrast becomes crucial. “When we talk of color contrast, it’s the separation of lights and darks,” said Michael Pause, a professor who teaches color and light theory at North Carolina State. “It’s the notion of being able to distinguish between two surfaces.” For example, using different colors on kitchen countertops and cabinets can help people with declining vision discern where one surface ends and the next begins. Other areas of the home that can benefit from color contrast and make for easier navigating include baseboards, stair edges, ramp edges, door moldings and, in the bathroom showers and bathtubs.

According to the Healthy House Institute,

“If the color of a floor and wall are similar, low light conditions will make it hard or impossible to clearly see where the floor meets the wall. The result for eyes not adjusted to low light conditions can be accidental collisions into the wall perhaps by turning a corner before actually reaching it. High contrast or opposite colors on the floor and walls makes the floor visually ‘pop.’ These are visual cues, additional guideposts for the brain to navigate by.”

There are a myriad of ways to use color and contrast to increase functionality in the home. The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State offers several ideas in its “Universal Design in Housing” guide.

• Use a contrasting color border treatment on between floor surfaces and trim.
• Add color contrast to differentiate between stair treads and risers.
• Emphasize lighting at stairs, entrances and task lighting which affords easy recognition of the junction of floor surfaces and walls.
• Create contrast between countertops and front edges or cabinet faces.
• Avoid glossy surfaces, which may reflect light and glare, potentially confusing the eye.
• To increase safety, install color contrasting faucet handles.
• Use contrasting colors on wall and casements when installing light switches and window hardware.
• Color can also be used for facilitating recognition of everyday-use items in the kitchen and bathroom as well.

David York Agency has done a lot of research about elder proofing homes and has compiled a concise, handy chart for caregivers to use which is available on the caregiver resources page of their website.

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. Licensed by the New York State Department of Health, we believe your loved one deserves the best care. Call for a free consultation today, at 718-376-7755.

Mitigating Pre-Diabetes

Diabetes affects a disproportionate number of older adults—approximately 25% of Americans aged 60 and over. In the United States, our growing aging demographic is clearly one of the drivers of the diabetes epidemic. Another less known condition, prediabetes, is even more common and affects an estimated 50 percent of Americans over 65. Prediabetes is where one’s blood glucose level is above normal, but not high enough to warrant a diagnosis of diabetes. It is important for seniors to be aware of prediabetes because it is very common and greatly increases one’s risk to develop type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

Lady SwimmingMedication
When someone is at risk of developing diabetes, a health care provider may prescribe certain medications to manage symptoms. Taking even simpler steps, however, may be even more effective in preventing the disease.

Physical activity
There are numerous studies that show the benefits of being active as we age. This is absolutely vital in diabetes management. The activity doesn’t need to be strenuous—begin slowly to build up stamina and strength. Limited mobility isn’t a barrier, many websites and books today offer suggestions for chair and limited mobility exercises.

Weight loss In addition to increasing physical activity, cutting back on calories from sugar and bad fats can go a long way in managing weight. The American Diabetes Association suggests losing 7 percent of your total body weight as a goal.

Continued monitoring
If you’re at risk for diabetes, having blood glucose checked once a year is standard; some health care professionals may suggest more often. Blood pressure and cholesterol should also be checked regularly, as fluctuations can point to heart disease and blood vessel problems.

If you’ve been told you are prediabetic, or that you’re at risk of developing diabetes, see this as a warning sign—not a life sentence. By taking simple steps and getting help from your health care provider and loved ones, diabetes can be prevented.

David York Agency is skilled at recognizing the symptoms of various diseases endemic to the elderly. David York Agency and their team of home heath aide professionals will be there to help you every step of the way. Our client intake coordinator is available to answer your questions about in-home healthcare. When you sign on as a client, a free nursing assessment helps tailor a specific care plan performed by a caring home health aide.

For more information about our services, please visit www.davidyorkagency.com. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on our LinkedIn or Twitter pages. You can also call us at 718.376.7755 and we will be happy to talk over your specific home healthcare needs.

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.