All posts by Rebecca Garabedian

Best At Home Care Staffing Agencies

Who Are The Best At Home Care Staffing Agencies?

Best At Home Care Staffing Agencies

It’s no mystery that the Best At Home Care Staffing Agencies do a bunch of things right that sets them apart from the rest of the agencies offering homecare services. We’ve pulled together of list of best practices and qualities that we believe the Best At Home Care Staffing Agencies exemplify on a daily basis that set them apart from the rest.

Staff Screening

Thorough screening of staff is essential to protecting your loved ones. The best agencies will screen for background checks as well as a thorough check of all work and personal references. This insures that each employee has impeccable references and a history of reliability and treating people with dignity and respect. They also undergo a thorough interview process to make sure that each employee has the requisite skills, education, and attitude necessary to provide the most competent, compassionate, and caring services available.

Staff Experience

The best agencies seek staff with the most experience providing homecare services. They look for people with this experience because they want to make sure they can do what they say they can, and do it well. Many agencies will provide initial supervision to new employee to make sure they provide the care in the best manner possible rather than assume they learned correctly the first time. Training The best agencies have staff that have been trained well. They make sure staff had the proper credentials and the programs they graduated from are accredited programs. They also take the time to work with the staff in the home, for a period of time, to make sure that they deliver the services in a competent, and caring way, and to make sure that the patient feels comfortable with the provider.

Flexibility

The best home care agency chooses staff that can be flexible with their hours. This way, if a client needs more care than they are currently receiving, the staff can accommodate the increased need. The agency also has sufficient backup staff that can meet any increased needs, which include nights and weekend hours.

They Care

The best home care agencies seek staff that they would want  to care for their own parents. They look for staff with the right attitude, because they ultimately represent the agency. Therefore, having a positive, cooperative attitude is key for all staff. This attitude must come from the top down; from the owner of the company, to the staff it chooses to deliver the care, everyone has to not only convey, but also live the same values of wanting to improve the lives of the people who need their care. They understand that caring for someone means treating them as a human being first, and is of the utmost importance. They believe that respecting people shows that you care.

We Are Here to Help

Here at Unique Homecare Services,  we strive, everyday, to be one of the Best At Home Care Staffing Agencies. To that end, all of our caregivers are screened and trained, and share our desire to provide the best home care possible. If you like what you just read about quality of care- then give us a call at 800-296-9962 or Schedule A free In Home Assessment. We look forward to getting back to you as quickly as possible.

24 Hour Care: When Is It Recommended?

Options When 24 Hour Care Is Needed

24 HOUR CARE

When care is needed around-the-clock, you have the option of choosing 24 hour care or live-in care.  Both options ensure that a caregiver will be present during the day as well as in the evening and early morning hours.

Advantages to these types of care over an assisted living facility or nursing home is mainly in the cost, and the ability of the senior, disabled individual, or post hospital recovery to be able to stay in their home.

24 hour care is also different from live in care, in several respects, as outlined below.

24 Hour Care

Typically, 24 hour care, involves two caregivers who are scheduled daily, and they each work a 12 hour shift. In cases where it makes more sense from a medical or other perspective, there are 3 caregivers who will each work an 8-hour shift. These shifts do not involve a caregiver sleeping in the home to provide care, and caregivers, if they work a 12 hour shift, usually work no more than 4 times per week. As far as billing goes, 24 hour care is billed at an hourly rate.

Advantages of 24 Hour Care:

The advantages of using 24 hour care is that a caregiver will be with the person at all times, day or night.  They will also be awake, during the night, and early morning hours, to ensure that your loved one has someone who can care for their needs, 24 hours a day. Many people prefer this option, especially if your loved one has a condition in which they wander, or need care at all hours of the day or night.  24 hour care allows caregivers to be more awake and alert because this type of care provides at least one caregiver to be replaced by another every 8 or 12 hours.

Disadvantages of 24 Hour Care:

The disadvantage of this type of care is the higher cost of care versus live-in care, because it is billed at an hourly rate versus a flat, live-in rate, which is lower. Live-in care costs typically are half the cost of 24 hour care. Also, 24 Hour Care has less continuity of caregivers making this less desirable where the client wants or needs a familiar face providing care.

How Do You Decide Which Type Of Care Is Better?

To help you decide which type of care is better, we suggest you request an In Home Assessment. The assessment allows us to meet with you and your family so that we can determine your unique needs. Together we will determine the best type of care for you or your loved one.  Part of our assessment involves getting the input of your medical care team.  This will help us make an informed decision which will take into account all of the medical, emotional, and financial considerations. To learn more, or request an in home assessment- call us at (800) 296-9962.

To learn more about Live-In Care-see our article entitled: Live In Care: When Is It Recommended?

Live In Care: When Is It Recommended?

Live In Care

LIVE IN CARE

Live In care, involves just one caregiver providing care the client in a 24 hour time frame. Typically, the caregiver is scheduled for a maximum of four or five days per week. For the remainder of the days of the week, a different caregiver is obtained. In the 24 hour period, it is customary for a 4 hour break to be given to the caregiver. One must decide if they would like to provide additional home healthcare coverage for these 4 hours. The caregiver for the live-in shift is provided with an 8 hour sleeping break, and a bed must be provided for the caregiver. Billing for live-in caregivers is done at a flat rate per day.  Coverage for the 4 hour break, if needed, is paid for, using an hourly rate.

Advantages of Live-In Care:

The first advantage, as mentioned previously, is that Live-in caregiver rates are half the cost of 24 hour care.  Another big advantage of having live-in care- is that the number of caregivers is reduced. Ideally, two caregivers are scheduled for the whole week. This provides the client with consistency of care and gives the senior, disabled, or post hospitalized person an opportunity to get to know, and build a relationship with their caregivers.

Disadvantages of Live-In Care

One disadvantage of using live-in care is that there is a 4 hour break given to the daytime caregiver. You have to decide if care during this period is needed. And if so, who  provides this care; the family, or another caregiver? This 4 hour time frame, if care is provided, will be an additional hourly cost, on top of the 24 hour flat live-in rate, also being billed. Also, because the caregiver is given a mandatory sleeping break- the client will not have any direct care or supervision during this 8 hour time frame.

How Do You Decide Which Type Of Care Is Better?

In order to decide which type of care is needed we suggest you have an In Home Assessment so that together we can determine the best type of care for you or your loved one.  We also recommend getting the input of your medical care team so that you can make an informed decision that takes into account your medical, emotional, and financial considerations. We’d love to help if you need our assistance. Feel free to call us at (800) 296-9962.

To learn more about 24 Hour Care-see our article entitled: 24 Hour Care: When Is It Recommended?

 

Alzheimer’s Disease And Home Care Needs

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

home care for alzheimers disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, irreversible, disorder of the brain that slowly destroys thinking and memory skills, and eventually the ability to carry out simple tasks. Among older adults, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The disease was named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who, in 1906, noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included language problems, memory loss, and unpredictable behavior. Dr Alzheimer examined her brain after she died and found many abnormal clumps (now called amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (now called neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles).

These plaques and tangles in the brain are still considered some of the main elements of Alzheimer’s disease. Another element is the loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. Neurons transmit messages between different parts of the brain, and from the brain to muscles and organs in the body.

Although treatment can help manage symptoms in certain people, there is no cure for this debilitating disease.

How Does Alzheimer’s Affect the Brain?

We know that Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that changes people’s brain. It causes people to lose the ability to think, remember, and use good judgment. Those with Alzheimer’s disease may have trouble taking care of themselves. As the disease progresses over time, we know more help will likely be needed.

Caregivers and Alzheimers

For caregivers, we know that taking care of a person with Alzheimer’s disease can make you feel good because you are providing love and comfort, however, other times, it can feel stressful and overwhelming. Oftentimes, caregivers do not even realize how much they have taken on because many of the changes can happen slowly over a long period of time.

What Are the Behaviors Of People With Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can cause people to act in different and unpredictable ways. Some individuals become anxious or aggressive. Others repeat certain questions or gestures. Many misinterpret what they hear. These types of reactions can lead to misunderstanding, frustration and tension, particularly between the person with dementia and the caregiver. It is important to understand that the person with Alzheimer’s Disease is not trying to be difficult and that all behavior is an attempt at communication.

Tips For Caregivers In Dealing With Loved Ones Who Have Alzheimers

The Alzheimer’s Association® offers some helpful suggestions for responding to dementia related behaviors.

The following three-step approach can help you identify common dementia-related behaviors and their causes.

  1. Examine the behavior

What was the behavior? Was it harmful? › Did something trigger it? › What happened immediately after? › Could something be causing the person pain? › Could this be related to medications or illness? Consult a physician to be sure.

 

  1. Explore potential solutions

Are the person’s needs being met? › Can adapting the surroundings comfort the person? How can you change your reaction or approach?

 

  1. Try different responses

Did your new response help?  Do you need to explore other potential causes and solutions? If so, what can you do differently?

 

Why Does My Loved One Do These Negative Behaviors And How Can I Help?

Although it can be frustrating to deal with a loved one with these behaviors- it can be helpful if you try and understand that the purpose of this new behavior is related to their Alzheimers. You shouldn’t take it personally, or think the person is doing the behavior intentionally.

Negative behavior may be related to: Physical pain or discomfort, illness, medication, hunger or thirst. Overstimulation from loud noises or a busy environment.  Unfamiliar surroundings such as new places, or the inability to recognize home. Complicated tasks, such as difficulty with activities or chores.  Frustrating interactions, such as an inability to communicate effectively which may cause fear, anxiety or sadness.

Once you understand what the person is trying to communicate- you can try and provide them with what they need, and this typically helps stop or lessen the behavior.

We’d Like To Help

We at Unique Home Care services understand that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s alone is difficult without help because we have helped may people in similar situations. We offer live in and per diem private care staff to help you in whatever way works for you and your family.  Call us for a free in home consultation at (800) 296-9962.

For more details on How to respond when dementia causes unpredictable behaviors, download the full Alzheimers Association guide here: https://www.alz.org/national/documents/brochure_behaviors.pdf

More information about Alzheimer’s disease can be found here:

https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/caring-person-alzheimers-disease/understanding-ad

Home Health Care for Seniors and People with Disabilities

Why Home Health Care for Seniors and People With Disabilities?

Home Health Care for Seniors and People with Disabilities

There are many types of home health care for seniors and people with disabilities. When people get to a point where they are not able to do things for themselves either due to aging, accident,  illness or disability, home health care is a great option to living in expensive and isolating institutional care.  It is important when considering a home health care agency to get an in-home assessment. During this assessment, it is important to convey what services you feel you need as well as what services are being provided by other agencies. This article will review some of the types of home health care services that are available.

Types of Home Health Care

 

Personal Care

One type of care is called personal care, non-medical care or private duty work.  The purpose of this type of care, is to help seniors, and people with disabilities, to live independently, in a safe, active, and familiar setting. This type of care is often the preferred type of care given the alternative, which is people moving out of their homes into a more expensive, typically smaller and less desirable setting.

Home health care services include assistance with activities of daily living (ADL’s), every day activities that people do independently.  Home health care personal care ADL’s include assistance with dressing, toileting, continence, meal preparation, feeding, bathing, laundry, and transferring (walking). An individual’s ability to perform these ADLs is an important part of understanding the type of services that are needed.

 

Companionship

Another home care service home health agencies provide is companionship. Seniors and people with disabilities often need to be transported and accompanied to medical appointments, recreational activities, and shopping.

 

A Wide Variety of Customized Care

Home Care provided to seniors and people with Disabilities can vary from those who need a little extra help such as a few hours a week of care, to those who may need 24 hours a day and 7 days a week care. Live-in home health care is also available for those who need that service.

 

Respite Care

Some family caregivers even use home health care services as respite services. Using home care services as respite services is a great idea because it allows the family member a chance to take a break from providing care to their loved one, and can be a big stress reliever, especially for those family members, who have children or others to care for as well, or who need to travel or go on vacation.

 

Medication Reminders

Medication Reminders can be essential to helping people live independently because it has been estimated that four out of five adults are currently taking at least one medication while nearly one-third of adults are taking more than four prescription medications. Especially for seniors, getting medication reminder and assistance with labels can be a big help to remain independent.

 

Light Housekeeping

This type of Home Health, light housekeeping services, includes vacuuming, mopping of floors, dusting, cleaning kitchens and bathrooms. Picking up after the individual also helps in preventing accidents from slips and falls.

 

Getting Help: Start With A Service Plan

In order to provide customized care for each client, home health care agencies need to perform an assessment. The assessment looks at the strengths of the individual, and areas of From the assessment, we create a service plan which can include care provided for a few hours a week, to full time care. This all depends on the unique health care needs of the individual.

To get your free in-home assessment-give us a call at 800-296-9962 or send us a message.

Safest Home Care Agencies

The Safest Home Care Agencies

Safest Home Care Agencies

According to the latest census data in 2014, the older population, persons 65 years or older, numbered 46.2 million. Those 65 and older represented 14.5% of the U.S. population, which is about one out of every seven Americans. It is estimated that by 2060, there will be about 98 million older Americans, which is more than twice the number in 2014.

 

Safer At Home

As a result of this population growth trend, the need for home care services is also increasing.  In addition to changes in population demographics, there is a growing preference for seniors to receive care in their home as opposed to a facility such as a nursing home, hospital or assisted living facility.  In fact, nine out of ten senior citizens prefer care in the home over nursing home care.

There is increasing concern about Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), an infection caused by bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics, as well as exposure to other infectious diseases. Seniors are most vulnerable to developing infectious conditions due to their lower immune systems and increased contact with others in medical facilities. Home care avoids this exposure by providing care in the home and therefore reducing exposure.

 

Safe Home Caregivers: How Do You Choose?

To have a stranger come into your home takes a great deal of trust. You need to feel comfortable that the care provider is competent and has been screened properly. Unique Homecare Services prides itself on being a model for thorough screening. Our procedure for screening safe homecare providers is as follows:

To screen good caregivers, we request certificates, TB tests, doctors’ notes, verification of employment, and we request and check references. Caregivers who are certified nursing assistants, or CNAs and have at least 2 years of experience have the priority. We also provide our caregivers with worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Most importantly, we do thorough background checks.

By going through this type of hiring screening process we make sure that we are sending the right caregivers to represent our company, and the best in home-care givers for our clients. This is what the safest home care agencies do.

 

Homecare: A Familiar and Comfortable Environment

Excellent home care helps keep seniors in their most comfortable environment, which decreases anxiety and confusion. Home care is proven to be a reliable way to manage chronic conditions and reduce expensive hospital visits. Also some research shows that those in home health care, heal more quickly in their homes.

 

Home Care Services

Home health care includes both medical services as well as personal care services. Home health care agencies like ours, Unique Homecare services, provide custom tailored, personalized care planning through a thorough screening. We arrange and monitor in-home assistance.  We also help with completing forms and health and service related paperwork. We act as a liaison with family members when family members are not in the local area or when they are not available due to other commitments.

 

Home Personal Care Services

Personal care services include: bathing and dressing assistance, shopping, meal preparation, assistance with physical activities, laundry and light housekeeping. Unique Homecare services is a comprehensive homecare service for not only seniors but for individuals of all ages. We help those facing all types of medical challenges, those with special needs, those with a disability, and aging adults with care needs,

 

Need Help?  Contact Us Now

If you or your loved one needs home care services- please contact us for a free in home consultation today at (800) 296-9962.  We will work with you to tailor an affordable care plan that meets your needs.

Best Homecare Agencies Dedham MA

Who Are The Best Home Care Agencies Dedham MA?

When you have the responsibility for the care of a loved one, you don’t want to trust just anyone to help.

Best Homecare Agencies Dedham MA

If you or a loved one need personal care, otherwise known as home care, you need an agency that has experience and a track record of helping families put together a plan that is affordable and responsive to the needs of the person needing the care.

If you know of other people who have been through the same situation -the best thing to do is to ask them who they know and trust to help with homecare services. Having personal experience with an agency is the best way of assessing their capabilities.

 

Agencies vs. Individuals

If you do not have any friends or family who know of a good agency, and you are not aware of any resources-it pays to take the time to do some research on the best homecare agencies in your local area. The reason we mention agencies vs. individual homecare providers is that the individual provider may have to juggle the individual needs and schedules of many patients. This makes their availability very limited. They may get sick, take vacation, or  need to spend more time with another client whose health may be declining. They also may not have the level of skill needed to care for you or your loved one should their health needs become more complex.

Advantages of Working with an Agency

Given these difficulties mentioned above, in dealing with an individual- we recommend you choose a homecare agency who can assign a homecare worker, but who also has additional staff members, and even more specialized care, if it is needed.

Another advantage of an agency is that they typically have a wider range of services available because they can draw from many different team members or established partners.

Still another advantage of an agency is that they fully screen their staff because their reputation is essential for their success as a business. They do background checks, and check references to ensure that the people they hire are responsible and have a clean background.

Screening Agencies

We do recommend you take the time to screen the agency to determine if it is a good fit. You want to make sure the agency provides all the services you need so you only have to deal with one agency, if possible.

Potential Questions to Ask Homecare Agencies Include:

  • How long have you been providing this service to the community?
  • Do you have references that are familiar with you work?
  • Do you provide in-home evaluations of the patient’s home care needs? If so, what does the evaluation entail?
  • Do you offer the patient and their family a care plan?
  • Do you have 24 hour availability for your care givers?
  • What are your fees, and services?

Download the Guide to the Choosing the Best Homecare Agencies for more details.

Contact Us.  We’d love to hear from you!

If you found this information helpful and you’d like to learn more about whether you or your loved one qualifies for in home care services request a personalized in home price quote by clicking here, or just call us at (800) 296-9962 to set up your free, no obligation, in home assessment.

 

What Is The Price Of Home Care?

price of home care dedham

The Price of Home Care Services vs Other Options

In Home Care Services Are More Affordable Than You Might Think

When you, or a loved one needs health care, deciding on the right type of care can make all the difference in the world. Because there are a number of option available- it is an important that you consider all the options.

What Type of Care Do You Need?

If your loved one is in poor or declining health, either mentally or physically, and health care needs are many, an assisted living facility or home care may not be the best option due to the cost involved. In this case, a skilled nursing facility, or nursing home made be a better option.

Nursing homes are similar to hospitals,because they are more able to provide skilled care to seniors with more intensive or urgent needs. For example if your loved one needs care around the clock then a skilled nursing facility is the best option.

What About Assisted Living Facilities?

Assisted living residences may, or may not have licensed nurses on their staff. Because they are considered non-medical facilities- some assisted living facilities do not have a nurse or doctor connected with them at all. This is because they are not required by law to have a licensed nurse at their agency.

Accordingly, even if the assisted living facility does have a nurse, they cannot give hands-on care such as administering oxygen, dressing a wound, administering insulin 24 hours a day, or other care that is defined by the state and federal governments as “skilled nursing care.”

When is In Home Care a Good Option?

We recommend that families always do an in home evaluation to determine the level of care needed before making a decision on the best option. We believe that the individual and family are the best judges of what will work best for them and their unique situation.

We understand that the price of home care Dedham and other communities can be a primary concern for many families looking for in-home medical or non-medical services.

Some people assume that it in-home health care or personal care will be too expensive but if you compare all your options in most cases where the health or other care needs are not that intensive in home care is your most cost effective option.

 

The Price of Home Care

Typically, the price of home care is determined by the number of hours needed. In some cases there is a 4 hour minimum for homecare services, but you can choose as many or as little services as you feel are necessary.

Hourly rates in Massachusetts, average $25 per hour for a Health Aide. For example, if you need a home health aide 4 hours per day for 5 days per week, then the yearly cost would be approximately $26,000 per year.

Contrast this cost with the yearly cost of a nursing home which is $131,400. Or, compare this with the yearly cost of a one-bedroom apartment in an assisted living facility which is approximately $55,920, and one can see how in home care is so much more cost effective than the other options.

 

How To Pay For In Home Care

In Home care services can be paid for directly by the client or through a variety of public and private funding sources.

These funding sources may include workers’ compensation, Long Term Care Insurance, as well as Medicaid, if the company is able to accept it.

Contact Us.  We’d love to hear from you!

If you found this information helpful and you’d like to learn more about whether your loved one qualifies for in home care services request a personalized in home price quote by clicking here, or just call us at (800) 296-9962 to set up your free, no obligation, in home assessment.

 

Summary: We discuss the Price Of Home Care Dedham and other cities and towns in MA compared to other options.

Geriatric Care Managers What They Do To Help Seniors

Geriatric Care Managers: Helping Seniors and Their Families

geriatric care managers dedham

What is a Geriatric Care Manager?

Geriatric Care Managers are invaluable in helping seniors and their families figure out how to get the care they need and not go broke in the process.

Seniors health care policies are extremely complicated and to try and understand the benefits and exclusions of these policies can be challenging for seniors and their families.

That’s one of the many services that a Geriatric Care Manager can provide.A care manager for seniors is known as a Geriatric care manager.

These are trained human service professionals who can help you or your loved one with all aspects of the care management and caregiving process.

Because there are a growing number of seniors who need assistance, geriatric care managers are filling gaps in their care that family members are not able, or do not want to do.

The Geriatric Care Manager Role

A geriatric care manager works with the family and senior to create and implement a comprehensive short and long-term care plan which enables the senior to maintain their health and independence.

This is accomplished by putting in place staff and services with the highest quality care at the best price. Geriatric care managers have a specialization in caring for seniors, and some can also provide care to people with disabilities, no matter the care needs or age of the client.

Qualifications of a Geriatric Care Manager

Care managers typically have graduate level degrees in nursing, psychology, social work, or gerontology, and most are certified or licensed.

The Process of Getting Help

When the Geriatric Care managers begin their work, they typically start with an assessment of the person’s needs, which includes exploring the available family and community resources, financial resources, as well as the physical and mental health of the client.

Once the initial evaluation is made and the care plan created, the Geriatric Care Manager continuously monitors and re-evaluates the plan by either advising the family about existing resources or by becoming a member of the long-term care team.

What Do Geriatric Care Managers Do

Generally, geriatric care managers will help with the following:

  • Screen and Assess care needs.
  • Determine client’s eligibility for financial assistance, problems, and services required.
  • Arrange for and monitor in-home medical care and related services.
  • Provide counseling and support for families, client, and other involved in the caregiving process.
  • Provide advocacy for the client and/or family.
  • Assist a client in changing their living environment, if needed.
  • Assist with coordination and communication between family members and caregivers.
  • Offer crisis intervention, as needed.
  • Make referrals to specialists for medical, legal, dietary, or financial matters.

Custom Care

Geriatric Care Managers tailor each care plan to  each individual’s custom needs. Therefore, it is important to make all of your needs known to the Geriatric Care Manager initially when you meet with them.

Benefits of Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager:

Convenience: Not all, but some are available around the clock
Continuity: It is easier for the care giver to ensure continuity of care
Control of Costs: They coordinate better to help keep costs down
Custom Care: Care manager tailors care to your loved ones needs
Flexibility: Having a person who is available at times when you need them, enables you to resume many of your normal activities
Higher Quality Care: Geriatric care managers are governed by standards of quality care set forth by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers

If interested in learning more-schedule an in home assessment.

Or call us directly at  1-800-296-9962.