Home Care

8 Fantastic Holiday Self Care Tips for Caregivers

Caring for an older adult can be stressful and sometimes overwhelming. Add holiday preparations and irritating relatives to the menu, and the whole thing becomes a nightmare.

Consider the following 8 stress relief tips to care for yourself during the holiday and spruce up your health and overall well-being. After all, your happiness and joy can rub off on those around you, including your senior loved one.

#1. Set Aside a Little Time for Yourself

The holiday season comes with its own fair share of fanfare and hubbub, and it’s easy to get caught up in all the motions. On top of that you’ve to care for your senior loved one. That’s why you need to make a small time for yourself to kick back, unwind, and relax. This way, you’ll be in a better position to resume holiday shindigs and your caregiving duties.

#2. Embrace an Attitude of Gratitude

The holiday period is a time to reflect on what you are thankful for. Instead of wallowing and feeling sorry for yourself, practice gratitude. Even better, pick a pen and paper and jot down the good things that have come your way during the year.

There’s something of beauty about being grateful. It can suddenly uplift your mood, get rid of stress, and help you cultivate a positive attitude towards life.

#3. Cut Yourself Some Slack

Caring for a senior adult during the holidays is no small feat. So, cut yourself some slack. Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself because it can bear down on your self-esteem, leaving you feeling negative emotions.

#4. Practice Meditation, Yoga, Breathing Exercises, etc.

Self care is all about taking care of yourself from inside out. Oftentimes that means finding ways to keep your mind, body, and spirit in optimal health. Listening to your favorite soothing music, meditating, taking yoga or practicing deep breathing exercises can do the trick.

#5. Don’t be Afraid to Seek Support

Caregiving, especially during the holidays, can take a huge toll on nearly every aspect of your being. When you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed, it helps to lean on someone you trust, perhaps a fellow caregiver. When you are feeling down, be sure to talk, text, or meet face-to-face with your self-care buddy.

#6. Laugh, Laugh, Laugh

Laughter doesn’t cost you a thing. So, find every possible reason to laugh. Play a funny game, watch a comedy TV show or movie. A little laughter can go a long way to relieve your stress.

#7. Stay On Top of Unpleasant Family Interactions

You cannot be everything to everyone. Some relatives will have harsh comments about your caregiving style. Find ways to stay calm when you are confronted with unkind interactions. If anything, keep your distance and interaction with such members as minimal as possible.

#8. Prioritize Accordingly

Of course, caring for your older adult comes first. Remember you can’t squeeze in time to perform every task. So, know your priorities and, if possible, delegate some tasks.

Don’t make caregiving more stressful than it already is. Use above 8 handy tips to care for yourself and come out of the holidays healthy, recharged, and joyful.

No comments
admin8 Fantastic Holiday Self Care Tips for Caregivers
read more

4 Tips for Finding and Choosing the Right Caregiver Support Group for You

While caring for a senior has its moments, the life of a caregiver can be stressful, if not downright daunting. Between making sure that your senior loved one is safe, comfortable, and cared for, your own well-being can suffer on the back-burner. And if those around you, especially family and friends don’t get what you are going through, this can leave you feeling even more disconnected and isolated.

Luckily, that’s where joining a caregiver support group can come in especially handy. This is a haven where you can share your frustrations freely, meet people who truly understand your situation, and get handy tips on how to cope.

Today, we are going to walk you through 4 tips on how to find a good match in a caregiver support group because not all of them are created equal.

First Things First: What are the Benefits of Joining a Caregiver Support Group?

Just like any support network out there, caregiver support groups do offer a myriad of benefits that include:

  • Learning about local caregiver resources
  • Ability to air your frustrations and feelings freely
  • Being able to talk to people who are “sailing on the same boat”
  • Can help you cope, and keep the feeling of isolation at bay

How to Choose a Caregiver Support Group

Tip #1: Try Several Different Groups

There are a ton of support groups out there, with some focusing on a certain type of caregivers. So, get a list of all caregiver support groups in your area from senior care facilities, local hospitals, and whatnot. And the trick is to check out as many as possible on that list. This way, you’ll boost your odds of finding a group that best matches your needs and personality.

The good thing is that there are many options to consider, including groups for adult children caring for their parents, stress management groups, and those geared towards specific medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, etc.

Tip #2: Try a Group at Least Twice

What if you don’t like a particular on your first try? It doesn’t hurt to try it a second time. If you’re patient enough, the third time’s a charm.

Tip #3: Give Online Caregiver Support Groups a Try

There is a raft of wonderful support groups online geared towards caregivers, especially on Facebook. Despite not being able to meet face-to-face, support groups on different social media platforms can be of immense help.

Tip #4: Seek One-On-One Support from Someone You Can Trust

If you are not fond of group settings, finding a confidante you can feel comfortable sharing with can do wonders for your well-being. It’s crucial, however, that you choose a person who can truly understand what you’re going through, actively listen to what you have to say, and offer sound advice. A trusted family member, therapist or a church leader can suffice.

Being a caregiver comes with its own share of ups and downs. Be sure to join the right group to get the right help, connection and support you need.

No comments
admin4 Tips for Finding and Choosing the Right Caregiver Support Group for You
read more

Respite Care Services Can Do Wonders for Caregiver’s Health and Well-Being

While caring for your senior loved one is rewarding enough, you don’t want to neglect your own health and well-being. If you do, caregiver stress and overwork will literally kill you.

Did you know that caregivers are twice more likely to develop chronic health issues like heart disease, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, arthritis and cancer than non-caregivers? As if that isn’t bad enough, severe stress from nonstop caregiving can shave 10 years off your life!

That’s a big no-no.

Lucky for you, that’s where respite care services can come in especially handy. It’s a no-brainer way to take some pressure off of you, and protect yourself from caregiver burnout and overwhelm.

In this brief guide, we’ll walk you into the fabulous world of respite care – what it is, its key benefits to caregivers, where to find them, and associated costs.

What’s Respite Care?

When you’re caring for an older adult, it’s often an around-the-clock job. But, you naturally need to take a break from time to time to take care of your own health and well-being. That’s where respite care come into the picture.

It’s simply a service where caregivers get a break from caring for a senior. Respite care professionals can care for an older adult on your behalf for a limited time (usually less than 30 days). It can take place in your home or at an assisted living facility.

Either way, respite care offers a myriad of benefits for both the caregiver and the older adult.

Benefits: Why Respite Care?

(1) Take a much-needed break: respite care can come to your rescue when you’re out-and-out overwhelmed by caregiver burnout and stress.

(2) Gives you space to deal with your own health problems: if you’re having a health crisis, respite care can provide you with an opportunity to resurge before resuming caregiving.

(3) It’s a great way to try out a particular assisted living community before you permanently move your senior loved one.

(4) Allows your older adult to receive a high level of care after a surgery or hospital stay

(5) It provides you with time to attend to personal matters or family events

Where to Find Respite Care?

Time-limited respite care services are typically provided by nursing care homes and assisted living facilities across the country. Of course, not all respite care facilities are created equal.

What to look for in a respite care service?

  • Your senior loved should get the personalized care he or she needs 24/7
  • A completely furnished room, complete housekeeping, and laundry service
  • 3 meals a day
  • Help with medication and personal care (dressing, bathing, grooming, toileting, etc.)
  • Plenty of fun social activities, games, and outings

What’s the Cost of Respite Care?

While Medicare usually doesn’t cover respite care, it can take care of 95% of the costs for up to 5 days stay if the facility is part of the hospice program. Even still, the cost of respite care does vary based on the level of care required, type of facility, and location.

According to recent stats, however, you can expect to shell out an average of $235 per day for respite care in a nursing care facility or $123 daily in the case of an assisted living community.


No comments
adminRespite Care Services Can Do Wonders for Caregiver’s Health and Well-Being
read more

Top 5 Mobility Aids That Enhance Safety and Freedom for Older Adults

Helping senior adults stay safe and independent can be daunting, especially when they are reluctant to accept proper help. This is even truer when it comes to convincing them to use mobility aids like wheelchairs, walkers, and canes that can help them move around without any hassle and enjoy greater freedom for long. That’s why you need to approach the subject with compassion and a little creativity.

What’s even worse is that the odds are deeply stacked against them. Here are some startling stats from the CDC that’ll send chills down your spine:

  • Fall & slips are the biggest causes of fatal injuries among American seniors
  • Every 19 minutes, a senior aged 65+ succumbs to death because of a fall
  • Every 11 seconds, an ER treats an older adult aged 65+ for a fall injury
  • Fall injuries among older adult Americans cost over $50 billion annually, and the financial toll is expected to hit almost $68 billion by 2020.

No matter how you look at it, this is a grave issue, and mobility devices can come in especially handy. The bigger question is: which mobility aid or equipment is right for your beloved older adult? Consider the following tips to choose the perfect mobility device for you or your loved one:

  • How long will the mobility device be in use every day?
  • Does the senior have enough strength (both mental and physical) to use a manual device?
  • Will the senior need help with the transfer in & out of the mobility aid?
  • When and where your loved one needs help with mobility most – Will the senior need the device mostly at home? Need mobility help outdoors, indoors or both? Does he or she need help when getting up from bed to bathroom nightly? If that’s the case, you probably need a cane, not an expensive power wheelchair.

5 Most Common Mobility Devices for Utmost Freedom and Safety of Older Adults

(1) Walkers

Walkers are used by nearly 5% of American adults aged 65+. They offer greater mobility and can do wonders for seniors with balance issues, lower-body weakness & pain. They come in three versions: rollators (equipped with wheels on each leg), knee walkers (similar to rollators but feature a knee-resting pad), and walker-cane hybrids.

(2) Canes

Canes are the most common type of mobility devices. They help older adults maintain good posture while walking more comfortably and more safely. One in every 10 seniors uses a cane. They also come in a variety, including quad canes (four legs at the base for better stability), forearm canes (design for better distribution of weight), and white canes (for those who’re visually impaired).

(3) Stairlifts

Installing a motorized stair lift can make it easy for seniors to go up and down the stairs. It’s a lifesaver when it comes to preventing falls.

(4) Wheelchairs

There are both manual and electrically-powered wheelchairs. In either case, wheelchairs are designed to help seniors with lower body weakness to move around. Manual wheelchairs are for those with sufficient upper-body strength, while power wheelchairs are designed for seniors who need full-time mobility help both indoors and outdoors.

(5) Mobility Scooters

The beauty of mobility scooters is that they are usually accepted by seniors without a fuss. They are a great choice for older adults who don’t have enough balance and strength to use walkers or canes but need occasional mobility assistance outside.

There you have it – 5 most common kinds of mobility devices designed to help seniors achieve more independence, deal with pain, and stay safe.

No comments
adminTop 5 Mobility Aids That Enhance Safety and Freedom for Older Adults
read more

5 Reasons to Hire a Geriatric Care Manager

Being the sole caregiver for your aging loved one can be challenging. Sometimes elderly relatives have so many health and emotional concerns that it’s difficult to keep tabs on all of them. Finding yourself in this position is a cry for help. A geriatric care manager can answer this desperate plea and offer some relief.

A geriatric care manager has a medical background in geriatric care. This background may include experience as a nurse, social worker, gerontologist or psychologist.  The specialist training a geriatric care manager receives enables him or her to provide a special set of services that are truly beneficial to a primary caregiver.

These services provide adequate reason for hiring a geriatric care manager. Some of these reasons, and other benefits for hiring a geriatric care manager, are highlighted below.

Provides a Comprehensive Needs Assessment

Your limited knowledge of geriatric care means that you can miss some of your loved one’s needs. You aren’t trained to have that eye for detail. However, a geriatric care manager has spent several years honing that skill.

Geriatric care managers can provide in-home assessments. They use that information to determine the family’s needs, the level of care your loved one needs, and the living situation that best suits your loved one’s condition. This assessment helps them put the right plan in place.

Experience with the Medical System

Elderly care requires interacting with a variety of medical professionals. It can become difficult to keep track of everything. It can also be difficult to determine which services are covered by your loved one’s health insurance (Medicare or Medicaid). A geriatric care manager can help you navigate the system. You’ll save money and keep track of your loved one’s medical needs.

Coordinating and Supervising Care

Hiring a permanent caregiver for your loved one may become necessary. Geriatric care managers are responsible for coordinating and supervising geriatric caregivers. Their work ensures that someone is always with your loved one and your loved one gets high quality care. You will be sure that your loved one is in good hands.


Hiring a geriatric care manager is cost-effective in the long-term. They help you plan ahead, avoid unnecessary medical expenses, and avoid costly mistakes. Geriatric care managers can cost between $50 and $200 per hour. However, the long-term benefits of what they provide far outweigh the short-term costs.

Advocating for Your Loved One

It may become necessary for your loved one to live in an assisted living facility. The demands of life may prevent you from visiting regularly. A geriatric care manager can regularly monitor the care your loved one receives in these facilities. IF the care is substandard, the geriatric care manager can advocate for better care.

Each county has an Office for the Aging. You can visit the county office in your loved one’s area to get recommendations for local geriatric care managers.  The geriatric care manager should be certified through the Commission for Case Manager, the National Association of Social Workers, or the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Feel free to contact the team at Own a Home Care Agency if you need further assistance.

No comments
admin5 Reasons to Hire a Geriatric Care Manager
read more

5 Differences Between Home Health Care and Non-Medical Home Care

One of life’s harshest realities is gaining an increasing sense of appreciation for the fact that your parents are no longer who they used to be. They aren’t the energetic people who chased you around the house when you were little. Instead, there may be some days when they can’t even manage to get up out of bed because of the aches and pains of the aging process. You had hoped that this day would only come when you were ready…when you had all your ducks in a row and could take care of your parents yourself. Sadly, time waits on no one and the needs of your aging parents are staring directly into your face.

You’re now at a crossroads. The demands of your career and young family make it difficult for you to provide full-time care for your parents. You have 2 options. You could quit your full-time job and make space for your parents to move in. The other option is hiring a home health care professional. This article focuses on the latter and will help you decide whether you need a medical or non-medical home care professional for your elderly parents.
Difference #1: Licensing Requirements and Roles

Home health care professionals must have medical licenses. These professionals include nurses and physical therapists. They follow a health-care plan provided by a doctor. Contrastingly, non-medical in-home care professionals do not need a medical license. They help clients carry out the functions needed for daily living such as bathing, dressing, housekeeping, and preparing meals.

Difference #2: Costs

Medical home health care is more expensive than non-medical home healthcare. According to payingforseniorcare.com, you can expect to pay between $15 to $27 per hour for non-medical home care and between $13 to $30 per hour for medical homecare. Costs increase depending on the state in which you live, and the types of services required.

Difference #3: Medicare Coverage

Medicare is the government’s health insurance program for people 65 years and older. It is also provided to people with end stage renal disease and some people with disabilities. Medicare covers up to 35 hours per week of medical home health care. However, it doesn’t cover non-medical in-home care.

Difference #4: Who Needs It

Medical homecare is typically given to people who need long-term outpatient care. This type of care includes: catheter care, injections, IV infusions, tracheotomy care, ventilator management, physical rehabilitation, occupational therapy, speech therapy, pain management, and administering medication.
Non-medical homecare is typically requested for people who want to remain at home, but can’t carry out necessary daily functions on their own. These functions include: meal preparation, bathing and dressing, cleaning, and transportation.

Some people need a combination of both services. There are some home care providers who provide both services.

Difference #5: Duration

Medical homecare generally lasts for a shorter time than non-medical homecare. This is because medical homecare usually proceeds a person leaving the hospital. The medical professional provides the necessary care until the person has sufficiently recovered. Non-medical homecare professionals can work with a client until he or she dies.

It is important to know the difference between medical and non-medical homecare. The differences outlined in this article will help you determine the best type of care to seek for your aging parents. Don’t try to o it al on your own. Hire a professional who will ensure that your parents get the care they need.

No comments
admin5 Differences Between Home Health Care and Non-Medical Home Care
read more