Benefits of In-Home Health Care

Benefits of In-Home Health Care

 

In-home healthcare provides many benefits for aging adults. And at Professional Caretakers, we get to witness these benefits every day.

With over 25 years’ experience in providing in-home health to seniors, we understand how keeping your loved one in his or her own home can provide them with a lot of positives, but also provide you with many advantages too.

Benefits of In-Home Health Care for Seniors

If you are wondering how in-home healthcare can benefit you and your aging senior, check out this list.

Comfort

Home is where the heart is. That is why allowing your loved one to stay in the comfort of their own home is vital. In-home care gives all aging adults the ability to grow old in the place they have grown accustomed to and love.

Independence

One of the best parts about getting older is the independence you get. In fact, as teenagers, that is something we all look forward too. That excitability about being more independent doesn’t go away as we grow older. With in-home healthcare, your loved one will keep that sense of independence by still being able to perform certain tasks with the help of their caregiver when needed.

Personalized Care

At an assisted living facility or a nursing home, there are several residents. A great benefit of opting for in-home care is that your loved one will have one-on-one care that is personalized. The caretaker will know your loved one’s personal needs and medical needs like their personality, medication, and medication schedule.

Benefits of In-Home Health Care for the Family

Less Expensive

Family members of aging seniors understand that caring for them can be expensive. If you decide to move them into a residence home, it can cost a pretty penny. This is especially true if you have no help as far as funding or insurance. At a senior facility, you are practically renting a room for your loved one to live as well as any daily medical assistance they may need. By keeping them in their own home and hiring an in-home caretaker, you eliminate those expenses.

Peace of Mind

Nothing is better than knowing that your family member is comfortable, safe, and healthy. That is what you get with in-home care. You won’t have to worry about whether or not they are taking their medication or remembering to eat because the caregiver will handle it all. And, with a caregiver handling these tasks, you can have a peace of mind.

Less Stress

With peace of mind comes less stress. With a trusted caregiver in place, you can focus more on your day-to-day life without focusing so much on your elderly family member. This curves any guilt you may feel and makes life a lot less stressful for you.

Expert In-Home Health Care from Professional Caretakers

At Professional Caretakers, our goal is to support our client’s in maintaining their independence and dignity while also providing exceptional full-time care. Located across the great state of Texas, our trained staff has experience in helping aging seniors and their families with any sized task.

To learn more about our expert staff and services, contact Professional Caretakers today.

Simple Home Modifications In-Home Care Patients Need

Simple Home Modifications In-Home Care Patients Need

In a lot of circumstances, aging adults would much rather live in their homes until they no longer have the ability to do so. In fact, according to the AARP, 90% of seniors would prefer to stay in their homes than live in a nursing home or assisted living facility. That is why hiring an in-home care professional is such a great idea. Not only can these professionals help with the medical needs, but also with companionship, transportation, and housework. However, even with the help, there are some items in the home that can still be dangerous for your senior.

As your ageing loved one continues to age, there are certain safety precautions that should be made to the home that they reside in to help keep them safe.  

Top Home Modifications for the Elderly

More Lighting

Whether it is day or night, good, lighting can make the world of difference when it comes to reducing falls. During the day time, ensure your loved one has the ability to let in as much natural light as possible with the use of blinds and curtains. During the night, it is a good idea to use nightlights to light up the areas that may be heavily used like the bathrooms, the hallways, and the kitchen. If your loved one’s bedroom is upstairs lighting strips along the stairs should do the trick.

Bathroom Safety

The bathroom is full of dangers that could go unnoticed. One major way to help prevent your loved one from any accidents in the bathroom is by using rails. Rails are a must-have for any aging in-home care patient. From the shower or tub to the toilet, handrails help balances themselves when these items are in use.

Another bathroom safety modification is an adjustable showerhead to help him reach those hard to reach spots and minimize movement while in the shower.

Knob Grippers

As our body’s start to age, usually one of the first things to go is our ability to grip items well. Because of that, opening doors or turning on faucets can be a bit trying. Luckily, there are rubbers grippers that you can place on the door and knobs to help make it easier.

Detectors

Fire detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are important for any home but especially true for in-home care patients. In the case of a fire or carbon monoxide leak, you want them to be alerted immediately and these detectors will help make that happen.

As long as you make sure these small modifications are made, you can give your loved one the option to continue living at home while still making it safe.

In-Home Care from professional Caretakers

At Professional Caretakers, we believe that seniors should be able to live comfortably in the place they call home. That is why our in-home caregiving staff are available to help and provide assistance in Texas with daily necessities like housekeeping, cooking, errands, transportation, companionship and medical care.

To learn more about how we can help your loved one, contact Professional Caretakers today.

Refrigerators and Seniors

300x200 Fridge Blog

When checking the refrigerator of your aging loved one, most of us will scan for whole food vs. junk food.  What other clues can we look for in the refrigerator to tell us more about the health, wellness, and mental state of seniors?

Here are some tips:

  1. Are their favorite foods that you stock not disappearing as fast? This could indicate a drop in appetite, a common symptom of aging. Also, a lack of variety decreases the joy of eating, and apathy can occur.
  2. Is there a disproportionate amount of sweets to savory food? As we age, the sense of taste is one of the first to deteriorate, and we need foods that pack more flavor (such as sugar) to stimulate our taste buds.
  3. Similar to the above, aging people tend to compensate with spices to boost the flavor of their food and the likelihood they will taste it. Think of your grandfather adding a mountain of pepper to his mashed potatoes.
  4. Are there spills in the back of the fridge that they are unable to see, or to reach to clean?
  5. Do you see spoiled frozen dinners? These may have been taken out of the freezer to thaw, but never warmed up and forgotten in the fridge.   Your loved one may not have realized that the dinner has spoiled, and food poisoning is a risk.
  6. Do you see mostly consumer packaged goods instead of “real” foods? These do not provide the necessary nutrition for proper aging, and can contribute to a loss of joy in eating.   From there, more problems spiral: weight loss, muscle loss, agility loss, increased risk of falling, and so forth.   An entire gamut of health problems result from improper nutrition.
  7. Check expiration dates on packaged foods, especially dairy. For the children of the Great Depression, milk and eggs were often fresh from the farm, and they were not accustomed to keeping them for a length of time.   Also, necessity required that nothing go to waste, and the habit of hanging onto food longer than acceptable may still persist.

An in-home caregiver at Professional Caretakers can address the above concerns through the services we offer.   To manage proper nutrition for your loved one, a caregiver can handle everything from preparing a weekly meal plan, shopping for groceries, cooking the meal, companionship during the meal, and cleaning up the dishes.  The meals themselves will be free of preservatives and unnecessary sodium common in many frozen dinners.  Think of the peace of mind you will have knowing that one of the most crucial aspects to health is handled by Professional Caretakers.

home health care vs in-home care

If you are just beginning to research options for your aging loved one, you may encounter many new terms and abbreviations unfamiliar to those outside of the health care industry.   You will see the term “homecare”, which covers both medical and non-medical forms of care.   “Home Health Care” and “In-Home Care” sound like they are the same thing, but encompass different services.   Understanding the distinct difference between these terms will better help you research and select the appropriate type of care for your loved one.

Home Health Care
Home Health care covers a wide range of skilled nursing that includes pain management, wound management, physical therapy, and prescription management.  Home Health Care services are usually covered by government resources such as Medicare, and can be only for a few hours a week.  The services are typically provided by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, or a licensed vocational nurse.

In-Home Care
In-Home Care can be either skilled or non-skilled caregiving that includes many services such as companionship, light housekeeping, cooking, transportation, and personal hygiene. The ultimate goal of In-Home Care is to maintain & sustain quality of life in the home through fostering independence, dignity, and confidence. Many seniors need assistance with activities of daily living which include mobility, eating, using the bathroom, bathing, and grooming.  Beyond activities of daily living, many seniors look to caregivers to provide companionship that is necessary for emotional well being.   These services are provided by non-medical caretakers (such as certified nursing assistant, home health aid, or personal assistants), but are supervised by registered nurse at Professional Caretakers.

Professional Caretakers’ In-Home Care is private pay only, and is not associated with Medicare.  If your Medicare Home Health Care is covering your skilled nursing needs, but not your unskilled nursing needs, we can help fill in the gaps to give you peace of mind.  Don’t feel guilty, you can’t do it all.

Healthy Oatmeal Cluster Recipe

No matter how old you get, sweet treats never lose their allure. Unfortunately, sugary snacks often have a high calorie count, which may not be attractive for your weight goals. With these delicious, no-bake oatmeal clusters, you can keep your sweet tooth happy, as well as your waistline.

OATMEALCLUSTER

 

Ingredients:

2 cups quick oats

1/2 cup chocolate chips

2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

1. Mix together oats, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes.

2. Add peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and salt. Mix well until evenly combined.

3. Chill mixture in the refrigerator for an hour, then roll out balls about an inch in diameter.

4. Store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

And Our Valentine’s Day Contest Winner is…

Hershey Kisses in a vase

It’s time to announce our Valentine’s Day contest winner!

For those who don’t know, we hosted a contest called “Kissing Booth” on our Facebook page last week. Our fans were able to guess how many Hershey’s Kisses were in our vase for a chance to win four free hours of in-home care.

Turns out, we were able to fit 199 Kisses in the vase!

There were some great guesses, but our fan, Jackie Messer, got the closest with her guess of 162.

We would like to sincerely thank all those who participated and shared the contest with their friends and families. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more fun contests and giveaways in the future!

If you didn’t win this time, still feel free to give us a call at 877-921-9500 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help care for your senior loved one.

Every Minute Counts: 7 Heart Attack Warning Signs

heart attack preventionThe latest heart attack stats from the CDC are in, and they’re alarming: nearly 720,000 Americans have a heart attack each year, and 1 in every 4 deaths nationwide is a result of heart disease.

The American Heart Association stresses the importance of learning the warning signs of a heart attack, and acting quickly if a heart attack is suspected. Calling 911 within the first five minutes of symptoms can be life saving. Not all heart attacks present immediate, intense signs, but rather can start slowly with simply mild discomfort. Here are 7 signs that you, or a loved one, may be experiencing a heart attack:

1. Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks begin with discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. This can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.

2. Shortness of breath: This can occur during a heart attack with or without chest discomfort. Heart attacks can also cause lightheadedness that seems  to come out of nowhere.

3. Rapid or irregular pulse: While there’s usually nothing worrisome about an occasional skipped heartbeat, when coupled with other symptoms on this list, a rapid or irregular pulse can be evidence of a heart attack.

4. Swelling: Heart failure can cause fluid to accumulate in the body. This can cause swelling in the legs, abdomen or around the eyes, as well as sudden weight gain.

5. Body discomfort: Besides chest discomfort, you may feel discomfort in the upper body, specifically one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

6. Sweating: Breaking out into a cold sweat while sitting in a chair or resting is a common symptom of heart attack. 

7. Anxiety: Many of the feelings associated with an anxiety attack are symptoms of a heart attack, too. Some people describe this experience as feeling as if they’re losing control.

Professional Caretakers is an active supporter of Go Red for Women and we are committed to staying on top of the latest developments in heart disease.

Professional Caretakers staff wearing red

Professional Caretakers staff wearing red on Feb. 6, 2015 in support of the American Heart Association.

Our specially trained caretakers improve the quality of life for those with heart disease by:

  • Ensuring that medications are taken regularly and monitored closely.
  • Preparing meals that comply with critical dietary restrictions of sodium, saturated fat and/or cholesterol.
  • Encouraging physical activity as recommended by a physician.
  • Monitoring and helping record symptoms.
  • Helping with bathing, grooming and personal care.
  • Providing light housekeeping.
  • Scheduling appointments and providing transportation.

Call us any time at 877-921-9500 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help care for your senior loved one.

Six Ways to Show Your Aging Family Member Love this Valentine’s Day

Young woman holding hands with elderly woman.

We know everyday is a labor of love for family caretakers, but we also know that due to stress, some days are better than others when it comes to showing that love.

Valentine’s Day is a great time to express to your aging parent or family member that they are indeed cherished and adored. Spending a few extra minutes with your favorite senior can make a huge difference in their day. Here are six ways to show your affection this Valentine’s:

1. Ask them to tell a story about an especially great Valentine’s Day.
Many seniors are widowed or living alone. This is an opportunity to allow them to reminiscence on great Valentine’s Day memories of the past.

2. Make them a homemade gift.
Sometimes a creative, homemade Valentine’s gift can say more than a store bought one. You can even get the grandkids in on this one by making something easy, like a tissue-paper heart.

3. Tell them you love them.
Actions may speak louder than words, but it’s still important to say the words.

4. Frame a family picture.
If words are becoming unclear for your loved one, a family photograph is a terrific way to bring memories back into focus. Put it in a nice frame for an extra special touch.

5. Give them a blanket.
Since Punxsutawney Phil recently brought news that there’ll be six more weeks of winter, a warm blanket could be a nice gift for your loved one.

6. Print and share one of these Professional Caretakers Valentine’s Day cards!

These cards are specially made to show your loved one how much they are appreciated. Print them off, choose one that fits your personality best and present it as a gift to your loved one. Tell us on our Facebook page which one you liked the best!

Always remember, the most important thing you can give your loved one this Valentine’s Day is the gift of time.

Burn Awareness Week: Nine Burn Prevention Tips for Aging Loved Ones

Living an independent life is very important to many older adults and subsequently, becomes a top priority for their family caretakers. Often, no expense is spared to ensure aging family members have everything they need to stay safe and comfortable in their own home.

But, there is a hidden danger that, if not confronted, can seriously threaten a loved one’s ability to continue an independent lifestyle: fire and burn hazards. According to the American Burn Association, more than one-fourth of all fire deaths and one-third of all residential fire deaths occur in people age 65 and older.

Burn Awareness Week, Feb. 1- Feb. 7 is especially important to us here at Professional Caretakers because many of our clients are prone to fire and burn injuries caused by the physical and cognitive changes associated with aging.

Precautions must be taken to help prevent these injuries in our elderly or disabled family members’ homes. Below we share nine tips that will help you burn proof a home and keep your loved one independent for as long as possible.

  1. Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout your loved ones home and ensure that they work.
  2. Create an emergency escape plan.
  3. Keep a fire extinguisher near the kitchen.
  4. Keep the home properly lit, including kitchens and bedrooms.
  5. Keep potential fire sources, like candles, hot plates, and ashtrays away from curtains, furniture, and beds.
  6. Set the hot water heater to no more than 120 degrees to prevent scald burns.
  7. Have fuel-burning appliances, furnaces and chimneys inspected by a professional once a year to make sure they are working properly.
  8. Make sure all walking surfaces are as flat as possible and slip resistant to prevent falls.
  9. Consider hiring an in-home care specialist to help your loved one with everyday tasks and avoid a burn or fire accident.

Stay tuned to the Professional Caretakers Facebook page, where we will be sharing burn prevention tips all week.

Information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

 

 

Weight and Aging: Tips to Maintain a Healthy Weight

To many people’s dismay, our metabolism slows down as we age. This unfortunate process poses an even greater risk for seniors, as studies have shown that after the age of 40, we lose one-third to one-half of a pound of muscle each year and gain that much in body fat.

This is significant because the less muscle we have, the fewer calories we burn. Pair that with a sedentary lifestyle and the pounds can really begin to add up over the years.

As much as we would like to think those extra pounds don’t matter, countless studies have found that unhealthy weight or obesity can increase the risk of many deadly diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. This is why it’s so important to maintain a stable, healthy weight as we age.

But it’s important to remember that it’s not all about the number on the scale. It’s about being healthy for your size. In honor of Healthy Weight Week, we wanted to share some tips for safely keeping your weight in a healthy place.

  1. Be Active
  • Play actively with grandchildren or pets. It’s exercise, but it’s also fun!
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. It may not be possible for some, but if you can, try to opt for the stairs.
  • Spend time in the garden. Gardening not only allows you to get out of the house and move around, but also means there will be fresh fruits and vegetables for the dinner table.
  1. Eat Smart
  • Get the most out of your meals. Try substituting whole grains for white rice and bread. These will keep you full longer.
  • Have fruit for dessert instead of a high calorie pie or cake. Fruit is loaded with natural sugar but doesn’t have all of the extra.
  • Drink a glass of water before deciding to eat. Because thirst can sometime be mistaken as hunger, drinking a glass of water before you grab a snack will let you know if you’re really hungry or not.
  1. Feel Good
  • Get adequate sleep. A sufficient night’s sleep improves our alertness, mood and daily performance.
  • Manage stress. If you begin to feel stressed, try to take a few deep breaths and relax.
  • Try to laugh. No matter what issues you seem to be running into, it’s okay to loosen up and laugh every now and then. Cullen Hightower once said, “Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.”

For caregivers, sometimes the stress and busyness of daily life makes it so that you don’t have time to accompany your loved one on a walk, or see to it that they make their way to the garden. This is where an in-home care nurse could help. By accompanying and encouraging on walks or encouraging a healthy diet, you can ensure that your loved one will be taken care of and maintain a good healthy weight, even when you don’t have the time.

Diabetes Symptoms to Take Seriously

professional caretakers diabetes careLet’s get serious and take a closer look at the numbers: About 29 million Americans have diabetes—that’s over 9 percent of the population.

Diabetes is more prevalent in the U.S. than ever before, and caring for someone affected by the disease is an everyday event. Naturally, some days will be better than others, and certain symptoms may crop up that require a physician’s attention and should not be ignored.

Here are a few important examples from the American Diabetes Association:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet

Contact your physician if you or a family member with diabetes is experiencing any of these symptoms.

Diabetes is a common disease that can be managed with help. Professional Caretakers serves Dallas, Austin, Ft. Worth, Grapevine, Richardson, Houston, and San Antonio, and can assist diabetes patients with medication reminders, healthy meal planning and preparation, and even light housekeeping or errand running. Contact us today to learn more about our home care services for diabetics.

The Truth About Diabetes

DiabetesGeorge Bernard Shaw once said, “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” Many times complexities are misunderstood, and diabetes is a complex disease that is often times miscomprehended. Even though diabetes is on the rise in America, there are still many myths surrounding the disease.

Here are some of the common misconceptions people have about diabetes and the real facts:

  1. Myth: Diabetes isn’t that serious.
    Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
  2. Myth: Anyone who is overweight will probably get diabetes.
    Fact: Being overweight is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, but most overweight people never develop it. In fact, many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight.
  3. Myth: Eating too much sugar is what causes diabetes.
    Fact: A healthy diet is extremely important, but simply eating too much sugar is not likely to cause diabetes. The disease actually begins when something disrupts the body’s ability to turn food into energy.
  4. Myth: Once you have diabetes, you can never eat sweets again.
    Fact: Diabetics can still eat sweets in moderation as part of a healthy meal plan or combined with exercise. However, they must take their insulin prescription regularly as recommended to ensure that the sugar is properly absorbed.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to talk to your doctor about what your diagnosis means and any lifestyle adjustments that you need to make.

Diabetes is a complicated and often misunderstood disease. Home care agencies, like Professional Caretakers of Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio, can provide helpful senior services and information to help you and your loved ones cope with diabetes. Contact us today in for more information about our diabetes care.

Diabetics Can Benefit from Non-Medical Home Care

diabetes non-medical home careProviding proper nutrition with tasty meals, implementing a new, safe exercise program and inspecting feet daily—these are just some of the daily care activities in-home caretakers can assist with when caring for an individual with diabetes.

We understand that home care options can be confusing, especially when it comes to trying to decipher non-medical home care from home health care services. In many cases, the bulk of home care services needed for a senior are considered non-medical, and could be taken care of through a non-medical home care agency. With Professional Caretakers, staff can come to your home, assisted living apartment, nursing home or hospital room and provide the service and support you need.

Here are a few examples of how a non-medical home care agency can assist a diabetic:

  • A person with decreased vision may not see a small foot sore that could quickly become a major problem. A home caretaker can inspect a diabetic’s feet daily, can provide proper wound care and can coordinate care with a physician.
  • A home caretaker can provide proper nutrition, through meal planning and preparation.
  • A physician-approved exercise program can be properly implemented with the help of a home caretaker.
  • A home caretaker can provide reminders for glucose testing and can schedule regular physician checkups. These services are especially important for a diabetic senior with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

At Professional Caretakers, we’re committed to providing the kind of service that you and your loved ones can rely on and trust—after all, we’ve been serving families throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio for more than 25 years. We provide a dedicated caretaker who gives attention and care exclusively to your loved one and a registered nurse to supervise each case. Contact us today for more information about how we can assist the diabetic loved one in your family.

Do you have unstable glucose levels? Recognize the symptoms.

diabetes careOne of four people over the age of 60 who are reading this blog are living with diabetes. It’s a demanding disease, one that should not be left untreated and must be treated properly. If neglected, diabetes can result in heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputation.

Diabetes care is an everyday event, and some days you will naturally feel better than others. However, there are some diabetes symptoms that should never be ignored, and which require a physician’s attention.

Here are a few important examples:

  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme thirst or hunger
  • Acting drunk
  • Strange behavior, which can also signal low blood sugar
  • Infections, swollen or bloody gums, foot sores
  • Sudden changes in vision, eye pain, or seeing spots or lights floating in one’s field of vision
  • Heart disease symptoms – even if it’s just a suspicion

For more information on glucose level warning signs, click here.

For further assistance in determining appropriate home care needs, or for a comprehensive home care assessment by a professional in the Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio area, reach out to Professional Caretakers.

Seniors and their family members will likely find that, as they age, the need for assistance in many areas of daily living will increase, especially if they are diagnosed with diabetes. At Professional Caretakers, we provide personal care like reminders for glucose testing, scheduling regular physician checkups, preparing meals, and housework and errands for every client who requests them. Contact us today for more information about our home care services.

7 Creative Gift Ideas for Seniors

gift giving and senior careTired of wandering the stores searching for the perfect gift for Grandma and coming up with the same old ideas: socks, perfume, fruitcake? What can you give to a senior loved one who has given so much of her time and love to you and your family over the years, and who seems to have everything she needs, or not enough room to display yet another knick-knack?

Once again, the senior care experts at Professional Caretakers have come to the rescue with some innovative and very thoughtful gift ideas that are sure to delight even the most difficult gift recipient on your list this year. Some of our clients’ favorite gifts received over the years include:

  • A book of coupons redeemable for things like running errands, housekeeping, or fixing meals.
  • Tickets for to the local theatre or museum. Offer to provide transportation to and from shows or events.
  • Large print magazines and books.
  • A membership for an emergency response system.
  • Deliver a gift basket of fresh fruits each month.
  • A monthly lunch or dinner date.
  • A basket of crafts that they can do on their own or with grandchildren.

Looking for some additional ideas? Give us a call at 877-921-9500 and learn more about the ways we’ve been bringing joy to seniors and their families through home care services for over 25 years.

1 2 3 4