Category: Benefits of Home Care

Caring for a Senior Loved One: When to Move Closer

Modern technology has enabled people to work and communicate from any part of the world, resulting in many families scattered around several cities and states. However, there are instances when your physical presence and attention are needed. Taking care of a senior loved one presents specific practical challenges that can’t be managed from a distance. Relocating to a new city can be traumatic for your loved one, and there are times when moving closer is the best option. But what are the telltale signs that the time has come?

Today, NursePartners shares some tips to help you recognize and respond to the signs.  

best home care, best dementia care

Signs Your Senior Loved One Needs You

Parents and close relatives who’ve been leading independent lives may not want children, family, or other loved ones to know they require increased care. You may notice their eyesight is deteriorating, and they’re less mobile and active than before. For example, they may have difficulty with day-to-day tasks, such as driving and cooking. A loss of interest in activities and hobbies they previously enjoyed may indicate they suffer from depression and feel isolated.

Before contemplating any action, take a trip to visit them, and talk to friends and any caregivers. By getting a realistic picture of their current situation, you can make informed decisions on the best plan moving forward.

Taking Steps to Move

One of the primary challenges of moving is finding a new home. The best way to overcome these challenges and avoid an emotion-driven purchase is to rent a property in an area close to where your senior loved one lives to assess the situation.

If you plan to purchase a home, for example, top mortgage lenders can help you. The house you can buy depends on your monthly income and total monthly expenses. It means that you have to add up your monthly expenses and divide the total by your gross monthly income. Some online calculators can assist if you aren’t sure how to calculate your debt-to-income ratio. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the market and the prices you can expect.

Lastly, develop a plan to help you prepare for the move itself. Don’t think you need to do everything yourself. You can do yourself a big favor by searching online for “movers near me,” then browsing ratings and reviews to get the best deal.

Getting a jump start on this can make all the difference in the world; the sooner you start making a plan, the smoother the process can be. Sure, there will still be a few bumps in the road, but planning ahead is essential when you’re moving — especially if you’re moving yourself and your business.

Arranging Care for Your Senior Loved One 

Your loved one may experience loss of memory, act impulsively, or lose their balance when walking, which may be indicative of the early stages of dementia. Depending on the level of care your loved one needs and the amount of time you can spend taking care of them, consider using professional caregivers’ services. In many cases, seniors require specialized treatment as their condition advances.

Take Preventative Action

Whether or not to move closer to a senior loved one isn’t an easy decision, as it involves several changes for you and the person you’re caring for. By carefully assessing the situation and determining the actual level and need of care, it can help make a move successful in the long run.

NursePartners provides services to assist someone living with this ever-changing condition to help them live fully in their moment. Call 610-323-9800.

This article was submitted by Donna Erickson.

All Home Care Clients are Entitled to a Bill of Rights

 

Our traditional home care clients are entitled to a basic list of rights, which we call the “Bill of Rights”.  We keep these in mind throughout the entire process, from meeting the client, forming the care team, and through supporting them throughout the length of service.

  1. Know his/her rights.
  2. Choose the home car agency that will provider their care.
  3. Receive competent care without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.
  4. A personal and written care plan and participation in decisions affecting their care.
  5. Receive services with reasonable accommodations of individual needs and preferences.
  6. Be treated with respect, consideration, and kindness.
  7. Be served by dependable and responsible caregivers.
  8. Enjoy confidentiality regarding all medical, financial, and personal information.
  9. Be free of physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse from anyone, including caregivers.
  10. Request caregiver replacements when necessary.
  11. Contact the agency twenty-four hours a day, seven days per week.
  12. Receive services as contracted and given an explanation of all changes.
  13. Voice complaints, have them reviewed, and resolved without an interruption in service.
  14. Receive referrals to other health care providers if the service is denied based upon the ability to pay.
  15. Refuse any treatment or service.
  16. Entitled to privacy, modesty, and security.
  17. Have their property respected.

If the client is living with dementia, they are entitled to the rights above, in additional to a few more which are worth enumerating.

  1. To be informed of their diagnosis.
  2. To have appropriate, ongoing medical care.
  3. To be productive in work and play.
  4. To have expressed feelings taken seriously.
  5. To be free from psychotropic medications if at all possible.
  6. To live in a safe, structured, and predictable environment.
  7. To enjoy meaningful activities to fill each day.
  8. To be out-of-doors on a regular basis.
  9. To have physical contact including hugging, caressing, and handholding.
  10. To be with persons who know one’s life story, including cultural and religious traditions.
  11. To be cared for by individuals well-trained in dementia care

 

Home Care Services for Your Loved One - Nurse Partners

Are Pets Allowed in Retirement Homes?

Will you have to abandon your pet once you move to the retirement home? Pets make for great companions. No one wishes to part with them, especially people moving into retirement facilities.

The process of doing so is isolating enough. If people don’t find retirement homes that allow them to keep pets, their precious animals are sent to the pound without anyone to care for them. We understand that you and your loved one will be anxious in these circumstances.

Fortunately, you don’t have to abandon your beloved pet. The article and this website are good resources for pet-friendly assisted living communities.

Communities That Allow To Keep Pets

Yes, there are 55+ local communities that allow residents to keep pets. These places include retirement homes, assisted living facilities, and continuing care retirement homes.

Rules For Keeping Pets

If you want to keep your pet with you in the retirement home, you need to follow a specific set of rules. These rules apply to the staff as well as the residents.

  1. Your pets should be hygienic. They should have regular baths and their nails groomed.
  2. Cleaning products for the animals should be restricted to reduce the spread of disease.
  3. All residents and personnel are to follow regular hand hygiene before and after contact with the pet.
  4. In case of visitation, animals should be kept on a leash.
  5. Pets are not allowed in the kitchen, dining room, storage areas.
  6. Cleaning of the animal dwellings is to be carried out by designated employees and not residents.
  7. Pets are not allowed to drink toilet water. Instead, clean drinking water should be available to all animals.
  8. Animal food containers are not to be stored along with human food.
  9. Animals should be bathed in a separate utility sink, not in sinks used for human purposes.
  10. If an animal shows signs of sickness, it will be immediately removed from the premises and returned after symptoms have disappeared.
  11. Animals should only be served with commercially prepared food. They are not to be served raw meat and live insects or animals.
  12. Noise complaints must not be filed against your pet.

Failure to follow any of these rules can lead to the eviction of your pet.

Types Of Pets Allowed

Although pet-friendly assisted living communities do have rules and policies as to what kind are allowed on the retirement home grounds. Any high-risk animals such as spiders, reptiles, and amphibians are not allowed in retirement homes. Exotic pets are also not allowed. Certain dog breeds like pitbulls, are also prohibited

They can be specific breeds or a general “no attack type” ban on pet breeds. These animals carry more disease-causing agents compared to others.

Additionally, all your pets must be at least one year old. You should also be able to produce adequate vaccination proof for your pet. They need to have up-to-date rabies vaccination before moving in. Annual health help-ups have also been made compulsory.

Some facilities also limit the size of pets. All facilities require your pet to be home-trained. They should have known behaviors and should not display any aggressive behaviors. For this reason, pets should have at least spent a period of six months in the owner’s home.

Some communities also limit the number of pets allowed per person to usually one or two. You may also be required to pay an additional refundable deposit for bringing your pet to the retirement facility. Make sure to ask for the specific rules and policies for the facility you are moving into.

Factors To Look For When Choosing A Pet-Friendly Facility

Although 75 percent of senior facilities allow residents to keep pets, you still need to look at certain things before you move in. Doing so will ensure comfort for both you and your pet.

Consider you have enough space for you and your pet. You don’t want to be cramped up in a tight space. Check if the place offers a place for your pets to get their dose of exercise. This is especially important if your pet happens to be a pet.

You should also check if the facility offers any pet care services like pet sitters, dog walkers, and cleaners. Also, make sure that there’s a veterinary clinic near your facility. You don’t want to take a long drive when your pet feels sick.

Benefits Of Pets in Retirement Homes

Keeping pets for seniors in retirement homes and continuing care retirement centers poses a lot of benefits for the elderly. Below, you will find a brief description of the said benefits.

1.    Better Mood

Keeping a pet improves the overall mood of the owner. Studies have shown that having a pet significantly lowers anxiety and stress in people. Pets signal the production of serotonin in the body which largely accounts for the reduced stress levels.

Additionally, pets ward off depression. You’ll also find your loved one in a better and happier mood. A pet also gives them more confidence to move about in public and hence better self-esteem.

2.    Improved Physical Health

Pet ownership also affects your physical health. Most of the time, owners are required to walk their pets or engage in some sort of physical activity with them to keep their pets active. Doing so gives seniors a reason to get out of bed and allows them to get some light exercise.

Additionally, keeping a pet has been known to reduce cholesterol levels as well lower blood pressure levels in people. Thus, lowering the overall risk of heart disease. It’s also been known to reduce the risk of arthritis.

3.    Better Social Life

Pets improve your social life. People generally tend to approach pet owners and spark conversations regarding their pets. After all, pets make for great icebreakers. Seniors can also bond with other pet owners when out walking their pets

This is greatly important for the retired and the elderly, who could otherwise be lonely in these facilities. Keeping a pet not only gives them a 24/7 companion but allows them to build new bonds with the people around them.

Conclusion

Pets are incredibly precious to a lot of people. Many of us cannot imagine living without them. Fortunately, we do not have to part with them because many retirement homes allow residents to keep pets, as long as rules and policies are rejected.

Pets provide many benefits physical and  psychological benefits for the elderly.

 

-Article written by Johny Kershaws

Tips and Resources to Help Seniors Overcome Life’s Challenges

If you’ve been wondering how you can get more involved in the senior caregiving community, you’ve come to the right place. While many seniors encounter a wide variety of challenges on a daily basis, the four listed here are some of the most common. NursePartners shares some resources to keep handy as you help seniors in your community.

 

 

Daily Tasks and Errands

Seniors aging in place often need help around the house so they can live comfortably and safely.

 

5 Tasks Seniors Need Help with the Most

Senior Care: 10 Important Things Personal Caregivers Should Observe in Eldercare

10 Ways to Transport a Senior to the Doctor or Other Appointments

5 Tips To Help Seniors Declutter

Turn Your Service Into a Business

 

Loneliness

Seniors are at serious risk of isolation, so engage with them and get them out of their homes.

 

Importance of Companionship

15 Apps to Help Senior Residents Stay Socially Engaged as They Age

Six Ways to Engage Older Adults in Worship

Why Community-Based Exercise Is Best for Older Adults

 

Unsafe Living Conditions

Help a senior modify their home for aging in place or move to a more senior-friendly space.

 

Stay at Home Longer with Home Modifications

Best Home Security Systems for Seniors

Take Steps to Help Prevent Falls Around the Home

6 Tips for Seniors Wanting to Sell Their Home

Use a Proceeds Calculator to Help Them Determine The Sale Price of Their Home

 

There are many things you can do to help older adults thrive in their golden years. This is especially helpful during the pandemic. Learning more about their challenges and helping them with the issues listed here is a great place to start. However, if you want to invest in the senior caregiving village long-term, be sure to do research and figure out other ways you can help.

 

Article contributed by Donna Erickson.

How to Choose an Assisted Living Home?

How to Choose an Assisted Living Home

There are many factors to consider when choosing a nursing home or assisted living facility, and the three most important ones are whether you need memory care or incontinence care, whether you can prepare your own meals, and how you plan to pay for it. NursePartners discusses these three in detail.

Important Considerations Regarding You or Your Loved One’s Situation

Paying for long-term care

Medicaid long-term care benefits are limited, and the only way to receive a large amount of money from Medicare is if you have spent down your assets. In addition, most people do not want to be completely dependent on their children or others for their care. Paying for their own long-term care, either out of savings or by purchasing a long-term care insurance policy, is a more desirable option.

There are other ways to pay for nursing home costs:

Option 1: Selling a home to fund the stay: One option is to sell the house of a loved one so that they can receive care at an assisted living facility or nursing home. This could affect Medicaid coverage, so be sure to consult an attorney or Medicaid professional before making any decisions. It’s also important to start researching home prices in your area to get an idea of how much you can earn from a sale. In Philadelphia, expect around $275K for the sale of a family home.

Option 2: Receiving money through a reverse mortgage: Many seniors use their homes as collateral to get a reverse mortgage, which they can use for their long-term care. One of the advantages of getting a reverse mortgage is that there are no monthly payments and your heirs will inherit whatever is left after you die.

Will you or your loved one need memory care?

Memory care is a type of specialized assisted living that is considered to be the most intensive level of care. It’s often reserved for people with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other forms of dementia. Memory care facilities typically have a tight ratio between the number of residents and staff members so that caregivers are able to give individual attention to each resident.

If you or a loved one needs memory care, it’s important to research your options and visit the facilities that are available, which will allow you to get a feel for how each home operates. If a facility doesn’t have any openings in their memory care unit because they’re full, don’t automatically discount them as an option. You can still inquire about moving your loved one into a regular assisted living room while a memory care unit opens up.

Can you prepare your own meals?

Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are often home to people who can no longer prepare their own meals. If you or your loved one is capable of preparing your meals, this should be an important consideration for choosing the right facility. This will allow you to maintain your independence.

There are many assisted living facilities that will cook your meals for you, which can be a good option if you or your loved one doesn’t feel up to cooking. If this is something that’s important to you, be sure to ask questions about whether the facility offers this.

In Conclusion

Choosing the right assisted living home can be a difficult process, but you should feel confident that you’re making the best decision for your situation with these considerations in mind. Be sure to take into account whether or not your loved one will need memory care or incontinence care and if they can prepare their own meals before choosing a facility. While it’s important to visit facilities so that you can get an idea of how each operates, don’t rule out any possibilities just because they are full at first glance – inquire about other options instead.

Of course, there’s still no place like home. If you or your loved one prefer to age in place, explore your home care options from NursePartners today!

This article was contributed by Donna Erickson.

Advice from Centenarians

Centenarians have a lot of lessons to share with us!  As our life expectancies increase, it is worth learning from these three individuals, who are still living relatively good lives being 100 years old (or more)!

Some of their advice includes:

  1. Eat fresh food, including preparing it yourself.
  2. Communicate and be open to new ideas.
  3. Reminisce fondly on those who have passed already.
  4. Keep up with the times and adopt technology.
  5. Invest in fulfilling marriages.
  6. Stay independent, but know when to ask for help when you need it.
  7. Be happy and keep in equilibrium.

To learn more, watch the video below.

NursePartners home care team can keep mom and dad functioning at their best.  We help older adults with the activities of daily living, in order for them to focus on enjoying life.  Services range from basic companionship to 24/7 support for all needs.  Call us today to learn more 610-323-9800.

 

Establish a Daily Routine for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia

Daily Routine

For most of us, routines are a key part of our day-to-day lives. Routines are powerful tools that keep us energized, productive, and most importantly –  grounded during a stressful time.

Overall, routines are a key component of staying healthy. For people with dementia who have trouble receiving and storing new sensory information, routine and repetition are critical to function.

A model routine includes set times for waking up and going to sleep, regular hygiene practices, consistent eating patterns and other key activities. The effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on daily life has unfortunately disrupted much of our normal routine living. Disrupting the routines of those with dementia creates a lot of stress for someone who cannot track information. The pandemic is already stressful enough to most of us, yet for those suffering with dementia this abundance of stress can lead to an increase in confusion and memory issues. The good news is that this is most often temporary and can stabilize once people get back to a routine.

Ways to help

Here are some recommendations for the best ways to help a loved one with dementia during this time:

  • Stick to a routine as much as possible.

    In all the chaos and confusion of the pandemic, creating structure and routine in your loved one’s life can create an environment that is comforting with clear expectations. One way to implement a clear routine is to have a white board, or a calendar on the wall that includes a plan for the day. You can alter these to reflect new activities to be done throughout the day and week.

  • Connect Online.

    Online communication is a valuable tool in times when we may not be able to visit our loved ones face-to-face. From Skype, to Facetime, to Facebook Video calls, there is a great deal of technology that can help you keep in touch with your loved one and fight social isolation.

  • Beware of negative media.

    While online communication can be a good and useful tool for connecting, you must also ensure that your loved ones are not being bombarded by fear and hysteria in the free time they spend online. Exposing your loved one with dementia to too much negative information can have serious effects on their emotional state. While they might not remember the details of newscasts, they hold on to the emotional information. As a result, they may feel increased fear, anxiety and stress, but not understand why.

  • Manage stress

Engage your loved one with activities, hobbies or listening to music.

  • Focus on the Past

Since taking in new information is difficult, focus on reminiscing – talk about past events, trips, other activities that they have done.

Signs to watch

In times of stress, someone with dementia may experience increased confusion or agitation, or may exhibit behavioral changes and act out of character. This is most often only temporary.

However, if you notice some of the following behaviors developing, you should contact your care provider:

  • If your loved one is acting out of character or begins putting themself in danger by wandering off or becoming physically aggressive.
  • If there are new areas of confusion or new types of behaviors that persist over the course of several days.

We understand these are difficult times, and for our loved ones experiencing memory disorders, it can be even more trying. Remember, we are all in this together. .

NursePartners creates permanent care teams to introduce stability and routine into the lives of older adults.  All teams are managed by a registered nurse and certified dementia practitioner.  Care is provided right at home, or wherever home may be.  Want to learn more about how we can help you?  Call us, and ask for Angie, Carole, or Jessica:

610-323-9800

 

Are you Connecting?

Connecting

Never underestimate how important it is to empathize and communicate effectively with your loved one living with dementia.  All too often they become “different” or “unreachable” as their dementia develops. You might despair that the person you once knew is completely gone.

You may grow tired, frustrated, or even angry with your loved one; and from this position any hope of healthy and effective conversation is lost. The good news is that we are in control of these emotions.  With a little bit of compassion, we can find new ways to say hello and build engagement with our loved ones where it is still possible.

 

How can we learn to understand?

In the early stages, talk to them! Ask simple, genuine questions.  See if they want to talk to you about what they are going through and changes they are noticing.  This is going to require patience, your most important skill going forward.  You might as well begin developing it now!  Remember your body language will need to match what you say.  Want to learn more, read our previous post.

In addition to simple conversation, you may want to consider joining a support group or looking for other resources online.  Some of these resources are authored by those who are experiencing dementia themselves. These will help us understand what a loved one is going through.

One blog that we recommend is My Voyage With Dementia. The blog is a collection of thoughts from a 79-year-old man living with dementia in Canada. The author, Bob Murray, uses his blog to keep his mind active and to fight against decline.  He has created an expansive collection of writings that give us an unfiltered look into what the world is like through his eyes.

Another great read is Dancing with Dementia; a book written by Christine Bryden who was diagnosed with dementia at 46. Dancing with Dementia records Cristine’s experience living with dementia, exploring the effects of memory problems, loss of independence, difficulties in communication, and the exhaustion of coping with simple tasks. Like Bob, Christine’s writing is used as a tool of empowerment and shines a valuable light onto the perspective of a person with dementia.

At the end of the day, the more you are informed about dementia the more you can understand the experiences of your loved one and the better you can care for them. It is important to know the facts, the objective data, the things the doctors will tell you about dementia, but it is also essential to know how to connect emotionally.  How do they really feel?  What does the world look like to them?

 

Work with an expert

NursePartners has been working with older adults since 2002.  We love it so much that it is all we do.  All carepartners are dementia trained by certified dementia practitioners.  Want to know more about how we can help you?  Give us a call today at 610-323-9800.

 

Philadelphia dementia care, Philadelphia home care, best home care Philadelphia
Denise uses the Positive Physical Approach to Care to guide non-verbal client

Home Care or Nursing Home?

There comes a point in every person’s life when they are not physically able to care for themselves anymore. The decision of what to do next can be a difficult one. If you have a loved one who is approaching old age and seems to need care, the responsibility of choosing a care plan may fall on you. How do you know what’s right for the senior in your life? By knowing your options and weighing them carefully. Home Care and Nursing Homes are two viable options for providing care. Understanding the benefits of both can help you make a better decision.

Home Care

Of the two, home care is a more private option and allows your loved one to remain in their own home. Home care is often the first choice for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia as it is less disruptive to their current lifestyle. Home care allows for a more personal, one-on-one relationship with the caregiver and ensures that your loved one’s needs are being met all while keeping them in a setting that is comfortable and familiar to them. With home care seniors can remain as independent as possible, rather than needing to turn over basic tasks to the daily staff at a facility. This is especially important for individuals with dementia, as they often find a sense of stability and purpose in the small tasks, they are still able to perform for themselves.

Who you hire for in-home care matters! Your in-home care team needs to be friendly, professional, and patient. NursePartners provides quality certified nursing assistants that specialize in geriatric care. They have at least one-year experience and are managed by registered nurses and certified dementia practitioners. We want to make sure the proper support is in place.

Nursing Home

In some cases care is needed at all times of the day; and for these individuals nursing homes may be a good option. Nursing homes are typically staffed with a variety of medical professionals. These professionals can care for your loved one around the clock and can perform medical and non-medical functions when needed. Though they are all inclusive, nursing homes may remove an individual’s independence and leading to depression. Nursing homes can be noisy and feel unfamiliar for a time before feeling like “home,” which can be a difficult adjustment for some seniors.

 

False choice?

The choice between a nursing home and home care is up to each individual and their family. Sometimes it is a very personal decision, and sometimes it is a logistical one. It also does not need to be one or the other. Many families use home care services to transition a loved one to a facility or supplement care.

As a dementia progresses, many assisted living communities will require that the resident move to a nursing home. This comes at a steep premium. By using home care services at the facility, you can devise a creative solution. You also have two groups of advocates monitoring your loved one and another.

 

Learn more: 610-323-9800.

Call us to learn more about what makes NursePartners different. We are an independent coming, caring exclusively for older adults since 2002. We are locally owned and run by a registered nurse and certified dementia practitioner, Angela Geiger. We would love the opportunity to learn more about how we can support you.

 

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Dementia and Loneliness

Social Isolation for those living with dementia

Living with dementia can often be isolating. Over time, the ability of a person with dementia to communicate may become worse and interactions that once seemed to come so easily may become more difficult. This can be frustrating for everyone involved, though it is important to try and understand the loneliness your loved may be experiencing so you can best engage them.

Take note that there are different types of loneliness – for example, someone can feel lonely, even if they have regular contact with friends and family, while others may have limited contact with people and not feel lonely. NursePartners alters our care approach depending on a client’s personality and life history. We engage with introverts differently than extroverts. We also need to consider the person’s skills when creating opportunities for engagement.

These days it can be tough to have regular face-to-face contact, especially if your loved one lives in a facility or if you live far away. FaceTime will only go so far for someone living with dementia. If they are a Pearl, Ruby, or Amber stage of dementia, it might be nearly impossible to connect with them via video chat. This is because the best way to connect with these people if through sight, touch, taste, and smell. However, you may be able to have a virtual breakthrough if you can engage them through song.

Another factor to consider is that those living with dementia are also usually living with diminishing social circles. They may move away from friends and older loved ones die. It also becomes harder for them to initiate new conversations and build new relationships. This is just another reason why it is important to build you care team early!

Social Isolation in the Age of COVID-19

How would you experience social isolation if you were not processing the rationale behind it? As we head into future months of quarantine and social isolation, consider how this is affecting a loved one living with dementia. Consider how your loved one is remaining socially connected in safe way. Do they have close friends or family that visit? Do they see someone at least once a week? How often do you check in and are these calls effective?

If you are answering no to any of these questions, it is understandable. Life gets busy and sometimes we forget how those living with dementia come to depend on us more over time. Nonetheless, you may want to consider seeking help for your loved one if you feel you are unable to provide this care yourself. (Over time it will become impossible for one person to provide all the necessary care for one other person living with dementia.)

The NursePartners Difference

NursePartners has been caring for older adults since 2002. We specialize in Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, focusing on what the client can still do, not what they cannot. We build stable care teams for our clients, supporting them from three assignments per week to 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Let us show you how NursePartners can make the difference in the life of you and your loved one. Call us today, 610-323-9800.

610-323-9800