Category: Holidays with Seniors

Dispelling a few myths about home care

Over the next few weeks we will spending time with those we might not get to see often.  It is important to recognize that they will be putting their best face forward during these reunions.  We should have an acute awareness of changes that have occurred since we last saw them.

The AARP, published a report “Chronic Conditions Among Older Americans” where they state: “More than 70 million Americans ages 50 and older suffer from at least one chronic condition.”  This translates to 4 out of every 5 older adults.

Home care can be the perfect solution, but families worry about entrusting someone with the care of their loved one. When it comes to the health of your loved one, there is no room for uncertainty.  In the interest of setting the record straight, we’ve identified four major myths surrounding home health care:

Myth No. 1: Caregivers aren’t trustworthy

Many families believe that an in-home care provider cannot provide the quality of care their loved one needs and deserves. But trained care providers are knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated to providing peace of mind for you and your family. All NursePartners’ care providers are bonded, screened, insured, and have clean backgrounds.  You can rest assured that your loved one will be safe in our care. Each carepartner participates in a behavioral interview, competency testing, skill matching, and orientation to meet the needs of your loved one.

As a licensed home care agency, we specialize in providing highly individualized, quality care in one’s home or residence. We are a network of caring professionals who work with each family to enable safety, comfort, and happiness through home care services.

Myth 2: I will have no say in choosing a care provider.

Reputable agencies will work diligently to match care providers that fit the needs of your loved one. When you choose NursePartners as your home care provider, we begin by reviewing your loved one’s current level of health and wellness. After a care consultation and assessment, we’ll work to match an experienced carepartner to fit your preferences, including personality, communication, behavior styles, and skill set.

Myth 3: Home care will take away independence from my loved one.

Care at home can actually provide a new level of independence for your loved one. A professional care provider can help maintain a person’s safety and independence at home, from planning and preparing meals, to providing transport, and support around the house.

NursePartners strives for exceptional care, forming interactive, trusting relationships with our clients. By appreciating and understanding what is changing and what is still possible, we generate a plan of care that is positive and productive.

Myth 4: Home care is unaffordable.

Many people assume in-home care is more expensive than assisted living.  However, assisted living communities in our area cost at least $5,500 a month.  Once these communities determine that your loved one needs additional care, the daily rate will increase or they will be moved to another facility such as skilled nursing.

Home care is flexible because you choose the hours of care.  Although we may suggest a certain level of services based on our experiences, it is ultimately up to you to decide what coverage is needed.

Many individuals, if given the choice, would choose to remain in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible. In-home care is an option for providing support, without moving them from their current residence. While there is a lot to navigate, it’s important for you and your family to know that many options exist.  Our team is available to guide you through this process.

If you or a loved one is thinking about home care assistance, our team would love to help.Contact us today.


Sources

“Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey.” Genworth (n.d.): n. pag. https://www.genworth.com. Genworth, 20 Mar. 2015. Web.

The prices of assisted living communities was compiled through a screening of over 20 assisted living communities in Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania and Camden and Burlington counties in New Jersey.

Home care services can alleviate loneliness

Loneliness and Isolation are Preventable

As family members and caretakers, we all have a role to play in supporting our loved ones. Loneliness and isolation is a problem for many seniors, but it’s particularly difficult for those struggling with dementia.

Reading together to alleviate loneliness

Loved ones suffering from dementia are more likely to experience loneliness for a number of reasons, including:

  • Loss of confidence after diagnosis
  • Mobility difficulties and other physical impairments
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction
  • Chronic illnesses that affect daily activities
  • Not remembering visits from friends (not perceiving social contact)

The Danger Loneliness Poses

Feelings of loneliness negatively affect both mental and physical health. Studies have found those without adequate social interaction are twice as likely to die prematurely. Isolation impairs immune function, leading to diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and other serious health conditions.  Perceived loneliness also directly contributes to cognitive decline and puts seniors at risk for dementia. A care professional can reduce the feeling of isolation by offering companionship and access to services not regularly available.

Health Risk

Many times, individuals who lack daily social contact may be at increased risk of death because of health-related injuries. A care professional can provide the necessary support to help your loved one live healthy and happily.

Each NursePartners clinician possesses the knowledge and experience to provide care for your loved one. NursePartners works diligently to ensure carepartners promote health, safety, and comfort. The goal is to provide better support, helping them live fully in their moment.

Transportation Challenges

Adequate transportation can reduce the risk of isolation and loneliness. Having access to transportation allows seniors to feel a sense of community. It can provide the opportunity for your loved one to feel connected to a variety of programs, activities and events that will keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

NursePartners staff are insured privately, and will transport and accompany your loved one to care services, including grocery shopping, medical appointments and shopping trips.

Activities to Enjoy Together

A caregiver can be a viable solution to alleviate your loved one’s loneliness, by offering companionship and home care assistance. Even if you’re loved one isn’t housebound, a caregiver can provide companionship, from as little as a few hours a day to around the clock care.

Keeping loved ones stimulated and providing ability-based care and support cannot be overstated. Care partners can participate in many activities with your loved one, including:

  • Playing and listening to music
  • Preparing and cooking meals
  • Arts and crafts projects
  • Scrapbooking, and looking through photo albums
  • Crosswords, puzzles, cards, board games
  • Gardening, dancing, swimming

Our carepartners are dedicated to improving quality of life. NursePartners works diligently to ensure carepartners fill their time together with meaningful activities and positive interactions. By keeping a record of everything from mood behaviors to daily activities, we can begin to understand which factors contribute to positive moods and overall happiness.  Our carepartners are trained in the Positive Approach to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care (GEMS™) and work with families to enable safety, comfort, and happiness through home-care services.

If your loved one need home care assistance or relief, our team would love to help.
Contact us today.

caregiving, carepartner, companionship, NursePartners
Nana and Angie in the snow

How to connect with your dad on Father’s Day

Do you need to connect with your father this weekend? You still can when they have dementia.
Alzheimer’s, or another form of dementia, does not need to signal the end of your relationship. You can still find ways to connect with your father.

 

As you celebrate Father’s Day, here are some tips:

Talk less, do more: A prolonged conversation may just confuse your father. He may feel frustrated because he cannot hold his end of the dialogue. Try to engage him in activities instead. Ensure that your father in genuinely interested. If he is having difficulty understanding the activity, demonstrate how to do it or simplify the activity.

Enter his world. Choose the time when he feels best: Someone living with dementia lives in a small world. They find comfort in routine. They usually perform best during certain parts of the day. Plan to spend time with your father during his best moments.

Choose a comfortable environment: After you find the right activity and meet at the appropriate time, ensure that you are also in a comfortable environment. Do not let loud noises, bright lights, or other distractions divert attention away from your time together.

Put your agenda away, just enjoy the moments together: After carefully planning your day, do not be upset if it does not work out as planned! Sometimes your father might act in an unexpected way. Enter his world and try to make the best of that situation. Do not underestimate the importance of a hug, sharing a meal, or a walk around the park.

 

We use Teepa Snow’s positive physical approach™ to connect before providing care to our clients. As dementia progresses, it is important to focus on what an individual can still do, instead of focusing on what they cannot. Enjoy Father’s Day!

connecting, care, dementia, Alzheimer's, carepartner
Do not over think your activities. Your father wants to feel needed. If he does not seem interested in the activities you plan, try asking him to help you around the house.

The Healing Power of Music

music therapy, singing, NursePartners, dementia

Music is one of the ways we communicate

Research is confirming an idea long held by those who work and care for dementia patients: music has the power to shift mood, manage stress, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function and coordinate motor movements.  It can provide a way to connect, even after verbal communication has become difficult.

This happens because rhythmic and other responses require little cognitive and mental processing.  They are influenced by the motor center of the brain that responds directly to auditory rhythmic cues.  A person’s ability to engage in music, particularly playing and singing, remains intact late into the disease process because these activities do not mandate cognitive functioning for success.

Many individuals with Alzheimer’s can learn to move better, remember more, and even regain speech through listening and playing music.  By pairing it with everyday activities, your loved one can develop a routine that helps them recall memory, as well as working to improve cognitive ability over time.

Incorporating music into a treatment plan:

  • Use familiar songs to help soothe and take the edge off difficult moments.  Make sure that the songs you select do not bring up bad memories and are not connected to sad events of the past.
  • Identify music that is familiar and enjoyable to your loved one.  If possible, let them choose the music.
  • Compile a playlist of favorite recordings, which can be used for memory recall.  Singing a familiar song together can offer a welcome distraction and help a person “snap out” of a repetitive action or behavior.
  • Encourage your loved one to move along to the music to develop a routine (clapping, dancing, playing).
  • Choose a source of music that isn’t interrupted by commercials, which can cause confusion (iTunes, YouTube channels, playlist building apps).
  • Song sheets or a karaoke player can allow your loved one to follow along and sing to old-time favorites.
  • You can use music to influence your loved one’s mood.  A softer piece of music can help create a calm environment while a more upbeat song can uplift spirits.
  • Playing animated, happy songs in the morning can help with getting your loved one started.

music therapy, dementia, NursePartners