Dallas Home Health Care Blog

Three Ways to Help an In-Home Caregiver

Friday, April 24, 2015

Being an in-home caregiver for the elderly is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. This is because aiding the elderly or people who are chronically ill puts so many demands on a person, both physically and mentally. Caring for the elderly can compromise the immune system. It can aggravate existing medical issues, like back pain or carpal tunnel. It can also tax our mental health.

There are ways that you can help an in-home caregiver, whether the person is a licensed aide or another family member. Giving a caregiver a helping hand, giving them time for themselves, or just asking what you can do to help can go a long way toward lowering their stress level and increasing their peace of mind.

1. Prevent Stress – In-home caregivers are so good at caring for other people that they often forget to care for themselves. A majority of them fail to keep their own medical appointments because they put their patients’ needs before their own. Making sure the caregiver follows a proper diet, gets enough sleep, and gets some free time can help prevent stress.

2. Meditation – If you are an in-home caregiver, then take a few moments to meditate. This could mean waking up fifteen minutes early and enjoying a cup of coffee on your back porch while the rest of your family sleeps. It will give you time to reflect on the previous days, and help you be more compassionate in the days ahead.

3. Exercise – Physical activity is not only good for the elderly, but also for in-home caregivers. After all, they need to stay in shape to keep up with the physical demands of their responsibilities. A short walk to check the mailbox with their patient can provide a much-needed dose of Vitamin D, and activities like chair yoga can be done even by wheelchair-bound patients.

If you are a family member who provides in-home care to an elderly parent or grandparent, for example, then you know all too well the stress that goes along with these responsibilities. Caregivers go through cycles of stress and guilt. They feel stressed, which leads to feelings of guilt over feeling stressed. The feelings of guilt pile on more stress.

Fortunately there is an end in sight. If this sounds like your situation, consider getting help from a professional in-home caregiver. This person has the training and knowledge to give you a much-needed break to the emotional drain that stress and guilt create.

Even though caregivers are heroes, at the end of the day they are still human and have the same needs as everyone else. Taking steps to reduce stress is not selfish, but will provide benefits to both the caregiver as well as the person in their care.

A Nursing Home Doesn’t Have to Be In Your Future

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Nursing homes have been so associated with aging that many people don’t know the breadth of options available to them. As the Baby Boomers mature, the choice to ‘age in place’ has increased in popularity.
Most of us know about retirement communicates and nursing homes but things get a little fuzzy when it comes to what’s considered ‘Home Healthcare’.

Home Healthcare is a broadly used term that defines services and companies that range from a single, non-skilled provider that checks in on mom, all the way to nationwide corporations that have thousands of employees and can provide medical care until your last breath.
There are two main categories of agencies recognized by the State of Texas. Licensed Home Health Agencies, which have RN’s that supervise and direct care can provide hourly or daily care for skilled and non-skilled needs.
These ‘skilled’ agencies can also manage and administer medications, an important distinction, as many families don’t have the time or in-depth knowledge to manage medications, which can get quite extensive.

The second type of agency is a PAS (Personal Assistance Service); these agencies are often referred to as sitter services and may provide companionship and help with chores around the house. PAS’s aren’t allowed to set up or administer medications and can’t provide skilled medical care. These is usually not a significant difference between what the two charge and they’re usually both able to provide hourly and live-in caregivers.

We all assume that the Federal or State Government oversees these businesses and there are strict government regulations they abide by.
This is not always the case, and it’s ultimately left up to the consumer to be vigilant about who they’re hiring and entrusting with their, or their loved one’s safety.

Asking a lot of questions, and trusting your instincts, can be tow of the best tools available to help ensure you’re working with the right company to take care of your individual needs safely and correctly.

Medicare versus Private Pay? Who Pays for What?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Many of our patients want to know how Medicare fits into the skilled nursing services offered by September Services. 

Home health care, much like assisted living, is not covered by Medicare. There are some very specific exemptions to this rule, but generally speaking, the expense of home health care will need to be paid out-of-pocket, or by a long-term insurance policy.

Most licensed home health agencies will help you work with your insurance company. This could include everything from processing and sending nursing notes to invoices and careplans.

Every policy is a little different in regard to benefits and how they process payments.

Mom Needs Help? What Can I Do?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Have you noticed these changes in your Mom (or your Dad?)
  • Mental alertness
  • Eating habits
  • Changes in appearance
  • Walking/moving differently than before
  • Emotions
You may be concerned, but does it mean you have to take action right now?

Don't try to be pushy - just talk to her/him. Ask how they are doing, if they feel tired, stressed, lonely or sick. Maybe it's a specific reason why they are not doing well (we all have our bad days!) If you think it's something more serious, schedule an appointment with her doctor to rule out any problems.

In the meantime, don’t act too quickly on big decisions (like hiring in-home help or relocating to a senior living facility). Remember, she’s still your Mom.

“I am well pleased with the care and companionship that September Services provides for my mother. She alone cared for my brother and me as we grew into responsible adults. It is a blessing for us to be able to trust September Services to help us give Mother the fantastic assistance that she so richly deserves at this time.”