10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Caregiver or Home Care Agency!

In a recent study, it was shown that:

  • Only 55 percent of the Home Care Agencies did a federal background check. 
  • Only one-third of the agencies test for caregiver skill competency.
  • Supervision ranged from non to weekly, and included home visits, telephone calls, and caregivers visiting the office.

By being an educated consumer, you can find a qualified, reputable agency that employees caregivers who will care for your parent with compassion and skill. 

 Here are ten questions to ask before you hire a caregiver.

  1. Go through a well known agency.  This doesn't necessarily mean a large franchise, but get references before choosing.
  2. What recruiting methods do they use? How are they finding job candidates? Newspaper ads? Staff agencies? Craigslist?
  3. What are their hiring requirements for prospective employees?
  4. What screenings are preformed on caregivers before they are hired? Criminal background checks-federal or state?
  5. How does the agency assess what the caregiver is capable of doing?
  6. Does the agency train caregivers? What does the training entail? Are they knowledgeable about elderly health conditions?
  7. Are the caregivers insured and bonded through the agency?
  8. IS the agency diligent about sending the same caregiver to their home, rather than a revolving door of strangers who parents don’t know or trust?
  9. If you are not satisfied with a particular caregiver, will the agency provide a different person?
  10. Does the agency provide a supervisor to evaluate the quality of home care on a regular basis?  How frequently?

These ten questions will provide you with a great start to getting into the type of care and response that you will receive with the agency that you are questioning. 

Ways to Prevent Falls-Be Proactive!

Falls are a common occurrence with Seniors.  A study done among Seniors found that preventing falls, and the resulting injuries from these falls, can reduce or delay the need to move to a long-term care facility.  In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury death among older adults.  Here are a few tips to help you gain confidence to maintain your independence.  

Health and age related changes often attribute to falls.  Some of these include problems with balance, slow reflexes, poor eyesight, and use of certain medication.  If you are aware of these changes occurring, make sure that you take precautions while being mobile.  

Dangerous situation in the homes also attribute to falls.  To prevent this from happening, assess your living situation and take proactive measures to ensure your safety.  Some things to be aware of in your home are slippery floors, poor lighting, electrical cords in pathways, loose rugs, raised thresholds, and clutter.  Try these tips to help make the inside of your home safe:

Remove all extraneous clutter in your home.  Keep telephone and electrical cords out of pathways.  Tack rugs and glue vinyl flooring so they lie flat.  Remove or replace rugs or runners that tend to slip or attach non-slip backing.  Do not stand on chairs to reach for things.  Store frequently used items where you can conveniently reach them.  Keep a well-lit home, inside and out!  Use nightlights and keep flashlights handy. Install handrails on both sides of the stairs to keep you steady.   

In your bathroom, add grab bars in the shower, tub, and toilet area.  Use non-slip adhesive strips inside the shower or tub.  Consider getting a stool or bench to use in the shower.  

For outside of your home, paint the outdoor steps with a mixture of sand and paint for better traction.  Keep outdoor walkways clear, and well-lit.  Make sure snow and ice are kept clear from entrances and sidewalks.  

We hope that these tips have been useful in making your home as safe as possible for you.  Our ultimate goal is to keep people safely in their homes, and help them maintain their independence as long as possible!

A good example of the way to maintain                                                  A bad example of how to maintain                a room                                                                                                           a room.                                                                                                                       


Tips for Seniors on How to keep your Mind and Body Healthy

With the warm weather so close you can almost feel it, we thought we would take the time to post about the importance of exercise.  Physical activity plays a significant role in seniors' health and quality of life.  Daily physical exercise not only helps maintain an active life style but effectively prevents multiple diseases.  Exercise is also good for seniors' mind, mood, and memory.   Without enough exercise, seniors may gradually lose their strength and their ability to stay independent.  Regular exercise can build strength and stamina, which reduces the risk of falling.  Some seniors are skeptical about exercising because they are unsure of how much physical activity is the appropriate amount, or what exercise would fit them best.  Here are some tips to get you started!

1.  Pick something that you ENJOY doing.  This will keep you motivated to keep at it!

2.  Try different things.  You might find new passions, and new friends in the process!  Just start out slow with new activities, so you are sure that you are not overextending your abilities.  

3. Try to spend at least 2.5 hours weekly of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, such as swimming or biking.  

4. Add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscles groups at least twice a week, such as lifting weights or yoga. 

5. Start slowly, and listen to your body.  Do not push or stretch yourself too hard. 

6.  Spread out the activities into sessions of 10 minutes or more.  

7. Grab a friend, and make them your exercise partner! This can turn this into a social event, and you can motivate each other!

8. Walk as much as possible.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can!

My tip for today is to go out and smell the flowers! Take a long stroll, and begin to enjoy the weather outside, while also improving your body and your mind!  

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