All posts by Home Health Companions

A senior woman does the dishes in her kitchen, a small way to maintain independence in dementia patients.

Creating a Supportive Environment to Boost Independence in Dementia Patients

Routine small victories for somebody with dementia—like fixing what they want for dinner or tying their own shoes—can feel monumental. These experiences boost their confidence while strengthening their sense of identity amid the challenges they are facing. One essential facet of looking after an older loved one with dementia is to nurture these opportunities, preserving the dignity and joy of independent living. Below are a few tried-and-true strategies to help.

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A woman uses tips for supporting senior independence while having a loving interaction with her senior mother.

Tips for Supporting Senior Independence With Thoughtful Care

What if your mom, who’s always had a green thumb, decides she wants to redesign the family garden? Though she might move a little slower than she used to, her enthusiasm for gardening hasn’t waned. This can be a great opportunity for you to step in—not to take charge, but to support her vision, perhaps by providing tools that make gardening easier for her to manage. Supporting senior independence and helping your parents pursue their interests is so important. Here’s how you can work together with your parents to help them continue to live life on their terms:

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A woman holds a folder and cup of coffee as she heads to work, successfully balancing her career with care for aging parents.

Elevate Your Career Without Compromising Care for Aging Parents

Though we might dread the alarm going off on Monday mornings, having a job outside the home is extremely important for millions of people. It’s an important part of who we are, signifying the time and effort we’ve invested over the years and accomplishments we’ve achieved. So what happens when your parents are starting to show signs of needing assistance to continue living safely in the home? Will you have to decide between keeping the job you love and providing care for aging parents whom you love even more?

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A doctor delivering a new diagnosis of dementia gestures at a clipboard as she explains her findings.

Transforming How We Address a New Diagnosis of Dementia

Receiving a new diagnosis of dementia is not easy. It kicks off a difficult rollercoaster of emotions that are heightened if the diagnosis is given starkly, without empathy or compassion. There are steps physicians can (and should) take when delivering a dementia diagnosis to ease the initial impact, empowering and equipping the individual and family with knowledge and support.

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A man reasons with his aging father, knowing what to do when parents refuse help at home.

How to Find Common Ground When Parents Refuse Help at Home

It’s a complicated situation many family caregivers run into: your aging parents, who once looked after you, now resist the aid they so urgently need. There is a delicate balance between respecting their freedom and ensuring their well-being and safety. If you find yourself in this position, you are not alone! We know the range of feelings that go along with acknowledging the need for help, and have a few tips to help when parents refuse help at home.

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A family smiles as they surround an older man blowing out candles on a cake, one of the senior birthday party ideas they implemented to make him feel special.

Celebrate Someone You Love With These Creative Senior Birthday Party Ideas!

If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate the life of somebody you love, nothing beats a birthday party! The key to planning a successful birthday celebration for an older family member is crafting ideas that are unique to the individual. The best senior birthday party ideas begin with thinking through:

  • What size of an event should it be, according to their personal preferences?
  • What interests and hobbies are important to the person?
  • What brings meaning and purpose to their life?

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A woman implements techniques for better time management for family caregivers, smiling as she writes in her planner.

10 Ways to Improve Time Management for Family Caregivers

How much extra time do you have on your hands? If you are like many family caregivers, carving out enough time to meet each day’s basic requirements may be hard enough. The thought of having regular intervals of downtime might seem unattainable.

Caregiving is certainly a time-intensive commitment. But what if there were steps you could take to manage your time more effectively, allowing each day to run more smoothly and even providing you with time for yourself? It’s not quite as far-fetched as it might seem! These suggestions to improve time management for family caregivers are an excellent place to begin.

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An older man with insomnia lies in bed, staring off into the distance as he tries to establish healthy sleep patterns.

How to Establish Healthy Sleep Patterns for Older Adults

We have all been there: counting sheep, slowing down our breathing, listening to white noise, all in an attempt to force our brains to shut down to allow us the sleep we desperately need. As we grow older, it can be even more challenging to get enough sleep. Older adults can experience alterations in their sleep architecture, including more frequent awakenings, lighter sleep, and a shift towards earlier bedtimes. However, maintaining healthy sleep patterns is very important for cognitive function, physical vitality, and emotional health.

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A young woman engages in an activity for someone with dementia, rolling out biscuit dough.

The Activity for Someone With Dementia You’ll Want to Try Today

There is something so special about the kitchen. It’s the first stop kids make when they arrive home from school, in search of a snack and the opportunity to share about their day. It is the spot family members gather to prepare holiday meals together. It’s also a place to warm up a cup of milk and find some quiet, reflective solace when sleep is elusive. And, it provides the perfect setting for a wonderful activity for someone with dementia.

For a person with dementia, the kitchen can bring to mind precious memories. Cooking engages all of our senses, making it an ideal activity to unlock the doors of reminiscence. The rhythmic chopping of vegetables, the sizzle of ingredients in a pan, and the tantalizing fragrance of a well-seasoned dish can stir great memories, sparking joy and connection.

If you want to add culinary techniques to your dementia care toolbox, these tips can help.

  • Keep it simple. Use uncomplicated recipes with familiar ingredients to promote a sense of accomplishment. If the person has a box of recipes or favorite cookbook, this is a fantastic place to begin. Take out several recipe options that would be easy to prepare, and then talk through which ones may spark interest. Or, you can search online for simple recipes based on the person’s particular tastes.
  • Make it personal. Consider the capabilities and preferences of the individual. Activities like kneading dough, rolling out cookies, or tossing a salad can be confidence-boosting, empowering, and reinforce a feeling of purpose while triggering memories.
  • Stay social. The objective should be to make the activity a time of togetherness, transforming the kitchen into a warm space where stories are exchanged, laughter is shared, and bonds are strengthened.
  • Organize in advance. An organized approach, with ingredients lined up and ready and step-by-step instructions provided, will help ensure a more seamless and enjoyable experience.

The end goal should never be to create a Pinterest-worthy culinary production. Rather, focus on all the senses being used and tap into any memories that may come to the surface.

Perhaps, for instance, you are making an apple pie. You can discuss how smooth the crust feels while you roll it out and the powdery flour that puffs into the air as you sprinkle it over the dough. Point out the sound of the apples being chopped, the delicious cinnamon butter aroma while the pie bakes. And naturally, enjoy a bit of the finished product together, encouraging any stories along the way that the individual wishes to share.

At Home Health Companions, our knowledgeable dementia caregivers are readily available to incorporate culinary experiences into an older adult’s care plan. Contact us at (214) 295-8213 to learn more about our dementia care services in Dallas, Denton, Ellis, and the surrounding areas.

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Hope As Big As Texas event

Hope As Big As Texas

This in-person event is part of our “Share the Care” campaign in an effort to raise awareness for our Quality of Life Respite Care Grant. It will allow local community members to connect and learn about respite care for patients and their families. The respite care grant helps families needing in-home care for their loved ones. We will be joined by experts who will share research updates on PSP, CBD, and MSA and the importance of in-home care for patients. We will also be joined by a family who received a Quality of Life Respite Care Grant; they will share the grant’s impact on their lives. We are excited to host our Hope as Big as Texas event in person this year, and it will also be recorded and available on our YouTube channel.

The fund grants 60 hours of in-home care services by a home care agency chosen by the awardee. Studies show that even a brief break or relief from caregiving responsibilities can improve the daily life of caregivers and their loved ones diagnosed with the disease. The importance of these services and the critical role of respite care are evident now more than ever. The critical nature of these services is clear, and CurePSP, with your support, is here to help! Our fight to find treatment and a cure is equally steadfast!

🗓️ Saturday, November 11, 2023 • 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

📍Belmont Village Senior Living Turtle Creek • 3535 N Hall St • Dallas, TX 75219

For more information and to register or donare, click here.

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Graphic design making a reference to the National Immunization Awareness Month.

National Immunization Awareness: Safeguarding Seniors’ Health Through Vaccination

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) takes place every August, serving as an annual reminder about vaccinations’ crucial role for people of all ages. While vaccinations are essential at every stage of life, NIAM particularly shines a spotlight on the health and well-being of older adults, a population often more vulnerable to severe infections due to weakened immune systems.

Throughout NIAM, various organizations and healthcare professionals collaborate to spread awareness about vaccinations’ critical role in maintaining public health. By combining their efforts, they aim to provide accurate and accessible information about vaccines, address common misconceptions, and encourage individuals to stay up to date with their immunizations.

NIAM’s impact extends beyond the immediate observance in August. By increasing awareness and understanding of vaccinations, NIAM contributes to higher vaccination rates and better overall health outcomes. It encourages individuals to speak with healthcare providers, ask questions, and proactively seek vaccinations appropriate for their age and health status. Ultimately, NIAM fosters a culture of health consciousness and proactive disease prevention, ensuring everyone can enjoy a healthier and more resilient life.

What is the Purpose of National Immunization?

The primary objective of National Immunization Awareness Month is to promote awareness and education regarding the importance of immunizations in maintaining public health. Vaccines are one of the most effective tools modern medicine has to prevent serious illnesses and their associated complications. NIAM aims to dispel misconceptions and provide accurate information about vaccinations, encouraging individuals to stay up to date with their immunization schedules.

Overall, National Immunization Awareness Month aims to foster a culture of proactive healthcare and disease prevention, addressing various aspects of vaccinations, including their safety, effectiveness, and the diseases they can prevent. Through education, engagement, and outreach, NIAM contributes to higher vaccination rates, reduced disease incidence, and improved public health outcomes. Ultimately leading to healthier and more resilient communities. By raising awareness about the significance of vaccines, NIAM empowers people to make informed decisions regarding their health and the health of their loved ones.

Importance of Immunization for Older Adults

As individuals age, their immune systems weaken, making them more susceptible to severe infections. This vulnerability can lead to prolonged illness, hospitalization, and even fatalities. Vaccinations, however, are crucial in reducing the risk of such outcomes among older people. By receiving recommended vaccines, seniors can strengthen their immune systems against preventable diseases, contributing to a longer, healthier, and more independent life.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) stresses the importance of vaccines in reducing older adults’ health risks due to infectious diseases. Take, for instance, vaccines targeting influenza, pneumonia, shingles, and other conditions that commonly affect seniors. By getting these vaccines, seniors can substantially lower the likelihood of falling ill with these ailments.

This not only spares them from the suffering caused by illness but also reduces the chances of severe outcomes like hospitalization. Embracing vaccinations empowers seniors to take charge of their well- being, promoting active, independent lives for years.

Do Elderly People Need Vaccines?

There’s a common misconception that vaccines are primarily meant for children, leading some to believe that older adults might not benefit as much. However, this could not be further from the truth. Seniors, especially those with chronic health conditions, should keep their vaccinations current. This becomes even more important when chronic illnesses compromise the immune system, making vaccines a vital defense against potential health complications.

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) tackles this misconception head-on. They emphasize that vaccinations remain just as essential for individuals aged 50 and older. Chronic health conditions can make seniors more vulnerable, making the protective power of vaccines even more valuable. By getting the proper vaccines, older adults can empower their immune systems, ensuring that age doesn’t become a barrier to good health.

It’s important to note that the ODPHP advocates for a comprehensive vaccination approach for seniors. This involves a range of vaccines tailored to shield against prevalent diseases. By staying informed and engaging with healthcare providers, seniors can proactively manage their health, dispel misconceptions, and take concrete steps toward securing a healthier future.

Are Vaccines Safe for Seniors?

Safety is a top concern regarding vaccinations, especially for older adults. Fortunately, extensive research and testing go into developing vaccines, ensuring their safety and effectiveness. The vaccines recommended for seniors have undergone rigorous scrutiny and have proven safe for this age group. The benefits of vaccination far outweigh any potential risks, providing a shield against debilitating diseases.

Vaccines Recommended for the Elderly

According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), several vaccines play a crucial role in enhancing the health and longevity of seniors. By staying informed and ensuring that recommended vaccinations are up to date, older adults can fortify their immune defenses and enjoy a higher quality of life.

  • Pneumonia Vaccine:

The NIA underscores that seniors face elevated risks of severe lung infections. The pneumonia vaccine is a pivotal defense, mitigating these threats by countering pneumococcal bacteria. Its potency lies in reducing the odds of pneumonia-related complications, hospitalizations, and even fatalities.

  • Influenza Vaccine:

Annual flu vaccines are a cornerstone of senior health. Influenza, or the flu, can lead to severe complications in older adults, including hospitalization and worsening chronic conditions. As detailed by the CDC, the flu vaccine helps protect against the strains of the flu virus that are most likely to circulate each year, reducing the likelihood of falling ill and lessening the severity of symptoms if infection does occur.

  • Shingles Vaccine:

Shingles, characterized by a painful rash and nerve-related pain, are caused by the chickenpox virus’s reactivation. The shingles vaccine is a vital defense against this condition, significantly reducing the risk of shingles development and associated complications. One is postherpetic neuralgia—a persistent, debilitating pain that can follow a shingles outbreak.

  • Hepatitis A and B Vaccines:

Hepatitis A and B vaccines offer protection against liver infections, which can affect older adults. These vaccines shield seniors from the potentially severe consequences of these infections, including liver damage and other health complications.

  • Rotavirus Vaccine:

While commonly associated with children, the rotavirus vaccine also holds importance for seniors. Rotavirus can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting, leading to dehydration and other health issues. By receiving this vaccine, older adults can protect themselves against these distressing symptoms and the potential complications they entail.

  • Meningococcal Disease Vaccine:

The meningococcal disease vaccine protects against bacterial infections that can lead to meningitis and bloodstream infections. While less common, these infections can be hazardous for older adults. The vaccine’s protective effects help prevent these severe and potentially life-threatening conditions.

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine:

Often associated with younger individuals, the HPV vaccine also benefits older adults. It protects against certain virus strains that can lead to HPV-related cancers, such as cervical, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers. By receiving this vaccine, older adults can take a proactive step toward cancer prevention.

NIAM Events and Initiatives

National Immunization Awareness Month is more than a simple annual observance. It’s a rallying call, a month-long effort packed with events and initiatives designed to educate, engage, and empower people of all ages.

In 2023, NIAM’s impact resonates through a diverse range of activities, as highlighted by Awareness Days. From enlightening workshops to community gatherings, these events foster meaningful conversations about the significance of vaccinations. Parents, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and the wider community are all invited to participate, amplifying the understanding that vaccines are crucial for individual well-being and collective health.

Ultimately, NIAM’s events and initiatives weave a tapestry of public health awareness. They cultivate a society that recognizes the pivotal role of vaccines in combating infectious diseases. Through collective efforts, NIAM nurtures a community that values and actively champions immunizations as guardians of health, safety, and resilience. The drive for vaccine awareness and the pursuit of vaccination coverage underpins each activity, bolstering the concept of herd immunity for the greater good.

At Home Health Companions, we believe that through collective efforts, NIAM nurtures a community that values and actively champions immunizations as guardians of health, safety, and resilience. As we emphasize the importance of immunization campaigns and initiatives, it’s worth highlighting that these efforts play a crucial role in enhancing vaccine access. They break down barriers and ensure that adult vaccination remains a priority on the public health agenda.

As we rally for improved vaccination rates, the significance of recommended vaccines for the elderly comes into sharp focus. Immunizations for older adults are paramount in preserving their health, and booster shots for older adults further bolster their immune defenses. Among the many vaccines available, identifying the most critical for seniors becomes a mission transcending age and status.

Through NIAM, we illuminate the path toward a healthier society where the value of vaccines and their role in safeguarding our collective well-being shines brightly.

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Graphic design with the phrase Learn How to Nurture Seniors' Wellness

A Comprehensive Guide to Enhance Elderly Well-Being

As our loved ones grow older, it becomes increasingly more important to prioritize their health and well-being. Aging presents new challenges, and it is essential to learn how to create an environment that fosters physical, emotional, mental health, and well-being for this new chapter of life.

How can we provide the support and care our loved ones need to continue to live a fulfilling, enriched life? Let’s explore some key factors that contribute to elderly well-being and quality of life.

Physical Well-Being

Having a strong foundation is a key factor in health and well-being. This means having a healthy, active lifestyle, positive nutritional habits, proper hydration, suitable exercise routines, and a good night’s sleep.

Maintaining optimal physical health contributes to increased energy levels, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and improves both physical health and well-being. That is why it’s vital to consider the following factors.

Nutrition and Hydration

Having a healthy nutrition plan and staying adequately hydrated is beneficial to all, however as we age it becomes evidently more critical.

Here are some tips to support healthy nutrition and hydration:

  • Include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables for essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Choose whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal for fiber and sustained energy.
  • Prioritize lean protein, such as poultry, fish, beans, and tofu for muscle maintenance and repair.
  • Incorporate healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil for heart health and satiety.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day.
  • Include hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumbers, oranges, and soups with high water content.
  • Limit processed foods high in added sugars and unhealthy fats.
  • Reduce consumption of sugary drinks like soda and fruit juices.

Exercise and Mobility

Supporting your loved ones to have an appropriate exercise routine is very important to improve cardiovascular health, muscle tone and joint mobility. Having a healthy routine also will help with strength, flexibility, and balance, all of which are important to maintain as we age. Exercises can always be modified to accommodate physical limitations.

Here are some pointers:

  • Start with low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or cycling.
  • Incorporate strength training using light weights or resistance bands.
  • Focus on flexibility through stretching exercises or specialized classes like yoga or tai chi.
  • Practice balance exercises to prevent falls and improve stability.
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  • Consider group classes or programs designed for seniors.
  • Stay consistent with exercise routines.

Sleep and Rest

According to the National Institute of Aging (NIA), older adults need to sleep 7-9 hours each night. The NIA explains that if seniors do not get enough sleep, they may be irritable, have memory problems, feel depressed, and can have an increased risk of having falls or accidents. The following tips can help create healthy sleeping habits:

  • Create a relaxing sleep environment: Make the bedroom quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Stick to a consistent sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene: Develop a relaxing bedtime routine and avoid stimulating activities before sleep.
  • Ensure comfort with a supportive mattress and pillows.
  • Limit daytime napping and keep it short.
  • Use relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation before sleep.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, especially close to bedtime.
  • Engage in daytime physical activity for better sleep at night.

Mental and Emotional Well-Being

Nurturing mental and emotional health is equally as important to support our loved ones. Having cognitive stimulation, social connections, and emotional support is essential to the aging process.

Cognitive Stimulation

Engaging in brain-boosting activities and mental exercises is beneficial for maintaining cognitive abilities and memory. Here are some tips to promote cognitive stimulation:

  • Read regularly: Encourage seniors to read books, newspapers, or magazines to stimulate their minds and expand their knowledge.
  • Solve puzzles and brainteasers: Engage in activities like crosswords, Sudoku, or jigsaw puzzles to sharpen cognitive skills.
  • Learn new skills or hobbies: Pursue interests that challenge the mind, like playing an instrument, painting, or gardening.
  • Play memory-enhancing games: Exercise memory with games like matching, word association, or trivia quizzes.
  • Embrace technology: Explore brain-training apps or online programs for cognitive stimulation.
  • Seek educational opportunities: Enroll in courses or workshops for intellectual stimulation.
  • Stay curious: Visit museums, attend lectures, or engage in cultural events to keep the mind active.

Social Connections

Building and maintaining meaningful relationships is vital. According to Nature Aging, regular social interactions have been linked to a reduced risk of cognitive decline and improve overall well-being.

Here are some strategies to boost social connections:

  • Stay socially engaged: Interact regularly with family, friends, and community members.
  • Join clubs: Engage in activities aligned with their interests to meet new people.
  • Volunteer or serve the community: Contribute while connecting with others.
  • Stay connected online: Use social media and video chats to maintain connections.
  • Explore senior centers: Join activities designed for seniors.
  • Participate in classes or workshops: Engage with like-minded individuals.

Emotional Support

Having a positive support group and safe places to talk about the changes our loved ones may be going through is very important for their emotional well-being. Some may find therapy or counselling beneficial, while others may find other means to foster emotional health. These spaces allow them to express emotions, handle life changes, and learn helpful coping methods.

Here are some steps to encourage emotional support:

  • Seek counseling or therapy: Consider professional support for guidance and coping strategies.
  • Join support groups: Connect with others facing similar experiences for mutual support.
  • Engage in self-care activities: Prioritize activities that promote emotional well-being.
  • Maintain a positive support network: Surround yourself with uplifting and supportive individuals.
  • Express emotions through creativity: Use writing, painting, or music to process emotions.
  • Practice stress management: Learn techniques like deep breathing or journaling to reduce stress.
  • Find joy in activities: Engage in hobbies or experiences that bring happiness.
  • Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and practice self-care without judgment

Health Monitoring and Safety

Creating a safe and secure environment with adequate health monitoring, medication management is of paramount importance. These measures can help identify and address any potential health risks, prevent accidents, and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Regular Check-Ups and Preventive Care

Routine medical examinations and preventive measures, such as vaccinations and screenings, are crucial for maintaining good health in late adulthood. Regular check-ups allow healthcare professionals to monitor seniors’ health, identify any emerging concerns or conditions, and
provide appropriate interventions.

Medication Management

Proper management of medications is essential to avoid adverse effects. Organizing medications, adhering to prescribed dosages, and understanding potential side effects are critical aspects of medication management.

Always consult a healthcare provider or pharmacist to ensure there is a clear understanding of prescribed medications and any necessary precautions that must be taken.

Fall Prevention and Home Safety

Falls are a significant concern for older adults and can result in severe injuries. Creating a safe home environment can reduce the risk of falling.

Here are some preventative measures you can take:

  • Remove any tripping hazards.
  • Consider adding bars or handrails to provide stability.
  • Ensure that there is adequate lighting in all areas of the home.
  • Ensure floors are secure and dry.

By implementing these measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of an accident. Regular exercise and balance training can also help minimizing the chances of accidents.

Access to Supportive Services

Access to supportive services is an excellent option to help our loved ones have happy, healthy lives. In-Home Care services, such as those provided by Home Health Companions, offer personalized care tailored to seniors’ unique needs.

Professional caregivers understand the challenges of aging and aid with daily activities, medication reminders, companionship, and more. Finding a reliable caregiver company, like Home Health Companions, helps seniors stay independent and healthy as they age.

Promoting the well-being of older adults requires a holistic approach that addresses their physical, mental, and emotional needs. Prioritizing nutrition, exercise, cognitive stimulation, social connections, health monitoring, safety, and access to supportive services can empower seniors to lead fulfilling lives and promote their overall wellness.

By nurturing the health and wellness of the elderly, we can ensure that they enjoy their golden years with vitality and happiness.

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Heart Health: Understanding the Causes and Improving Your Cardiac Health

Heart diseases pose a global challenge to public health. In the United States, heart disease remains a leading health concern. According to The American Heart Association, between 2017 and 2020, 127.9 million US adults, or about 48% of the population, had some form of cardiovascular disease. This includes conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke.

However, heart diseases are not an inevitable outcome. They can be prevented. By taking proactive steps, we can significantly improve our heart health and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).

At Home Health Companions, we believe in placing the heart at the core of overall well-being. As home health care providers, we understand the critical role a healthy heart in a person’s well-being, and we’re committed to supporting our client’s heart health. That’s why, in this article, we are exploring everything you need to know about heart diseases and how to live with them.

What causes heart disease?

Several factors cause heart diseases. Some are personal (uncontrollable) factors, while others are (modifiable) lifestyle choices. Medical conditions also play a significant role in developing a heart disease.

Personal Factors

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), several health personal factors, including your age and family history can increase your risk of developing a heart disease. The CDC notably claims that heart diseases can develop at any age, but the risk goes up significantly as you age.

Men and women experience different risks and experiences with heart disease. Generally, men are more at risk of developing a heart disease, but once women reach menopause they become more at risk than men. Hormonal changes, such as the decline in estrogen levels that occurs after menopause, contributes to an increased risk for women.

Likewise, a family history of heart disease can raise an individual’s risk. For instance, if a close relative has experienced heart disease or had a heart attack at an early age (before age 55 for men or before age 65 for women), individuals find themselves more at risk of developing heart disease.

Lifestyle Factors

Some factors contributing to high heart disease risk are controllable and based on an individual’s lifestyle. For example, unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, and stress lead to higher risks of developing heart diseases.

Smoking, for instance, damages the lining of the arteries, which makes it easier for fat deposits to build up and cause blockages. Moreover, a diet high in saturated and trans fats, salt, and sugar can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity. These conditions increase the risk of heart disease. In addition, a sedentary lifestyle also contributes to development of heart diseases.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol or diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease. For instance, high blood pressure can damage the arteries by making it easier for fat deposits to build up, while high cholesterol can lead to the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves, which affects the heart’s ability to function properly.

These medical conditions are well known to Americans. According to the American Heart Association, from 2017 to 2020, over 120 million US adults had hypertension, while more than 111 million had high cholesterol, and an estimated 29.3 million, 10.6% of the US adults had been diagnosed with diabetes. These conditions, however, can often be managed through medication, lifestyle changes, and regular medical checkups.

Can heart diseases be reversed?

While the short answer is ‘yes,’ it depends on the severity and type of heart disease. Some heart diseases are difficult to reverse, but some of them can be either slowed down reversed through lifestyle changes, medications, and medical procedures.

According to a recent study published in the Harvard Medical School, a plant-based diet low in saturated fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can reduce the risk of heart disease significantly. Other studies have shown that exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight can also improve heart health and reverse some types of heart disease.

At Home Health Companions, we understand the importance of heart health and offer personalized care plans to help our clients maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle. Our in-home companionship and care services support activities such as exercise, meal planning and preparation, medication management, and more. By working with our experienced caregivers, our clients can improve their cardiovascular health while reducing their risk of heart disease.

Symptoms of poor heart health

Symptoms of poor heart health vary from person to person, and some affected individuals don’t experience any symptoms at all. However, common symptoms of heart disease include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort: These pains and discomforts often feel like pressure, tightness, or a squeezing sensation in the chest. They also sometimes spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath often occurs during physical activity or at rest. It’s sometimes accompanied by a feeling of tightness in the chest.
  • Irregular heartbeat: Irregular heartbeat feels like a fluttering or racing sensation in the chest.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness: These sensations occur suddenly and without warning and often come with a nauseous feeling.
  • Fatigue: Fatigue that indicates poor health occurs even with minimal physical activity.

 

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. To determine if you have heart disease, your doctor may recommend diagnostic tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram, or stress test. Early detection and treatment can help prevent complications and improve outcomes.

How to live with heart disease?

Living with a heart disease requires adopting a healthy lifestyle and making necessary changes to manage the condition effectively. The American Heart Association provides valuable guidance through their “Life’s Simple 8” framework, which focuses on eight essential components for maintaining heart health.

Here are key strategies for living well with heart disease:

  1. Maintain a heart-healthy diet: Prioritize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and limit saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars.
  2. Exercise regularly: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, along with muscle-strengthening exercises twice a week.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight: Achieve and maintain a body weight, namely, a weight appropriate for your height and body composition, to reduce the strain on the heart.
  4. Control blood pressure: Monitor your blood pressure regularly and work with your healthcare provider to manage it within a healthy range.
  5. Manage cholesterol levels: Follow your healthcare provider’s guidance to keep your cholesterol levels in check through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication if necessary.
  6. Reduce blood sugar levels: If you suffer from diabetes or prediabetes, it’s crucial to manage your blood sugar levels through lifestyle modifications, medication, and regular monitoring.
  7. Quit smoking: Seek support to quit smoking cigarettes or any other tobacco products as smoking significantly increases the risk of heart disease.
  8. Prioritize mental well-being: Manage stress, get enough sleep, and maintain social connections to promote overall mental and emotional health.

Home Health Companions can help you with incorporating these lifestyle modifications so you can enhance your life’s quality and minimize the impact of the condition.

What food and drinks make your heart stronger?

Maintaining a heart-healthy diet is crucial for strengthening your heart and overall cardiovascular health. Here are some key recommendations from The American Heart Association for foods and drinks that can make your heart stronger:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Incorporate a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into your meals and snacks. These are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber—which helps lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Whole grains: Choose whole-grain options like whole wheat, brown rice, oats, and quinoa. Whole grains provide important nutrients and fiber that contribute to heart health.
  • Lean proteins: Include lean sources of protein such as skinless poultry, fish, legumes, and nuts. These options are low in saturated fat and provide essential nutrients that support a healthy heart.
  • Healthy fats: Choose healthier fats found in foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These fats, especially monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, help improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Low-fat dairy products: Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. These provide important nutrients while minimizing saturated fat intake.
  • Limit added sugars: Reduce the consumption of foods and drinks that contain added sugars. Choose naturally sweet options like fruits and limit sugary beverages and desserts.
  • Control sodium intake: Control your sodium (salt) intake by choosing low-sodium options and avoiding excessive use of salt in cooking and at the table. High sodium intake can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated. Water is essential for overall health and helps maintain normal bodily functions.

How long does it take to strengthen your heart?

Improving heart health is a lifelong process, but you can start making healthy lifestyle choices today. These changes will start impact your heart positively within a few weeks or months. Regular exercise also improves heart health within a few weeks, and a healthy diet can lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure within a few months.

It’s important to note that while these foods can be beneficial for heart health, they should be part of a balanced diet and not consumed excessively. It’s also important to limit the consumption of processed foods, sugary drinks, and saturated and trans fats. These foods increase the risk of heart disease.

Your heart health and Home Health Companions

Heart health is essential for overall physical health and wellness. Understanding the causes of heart disease and healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent and even reverse heart disease. At Home Health Companions, we strive to raise awareness about the importance of heart health and provide resources to support heart-healthy lifestyles. Our trained caregivers and healthcare professionals can assist you with medication management, diet and exercise plans, and other personalized care needs.

Whether recovering from a cardiac event, managing a chronic condition, or looking to improve your heart health, Home Health Companions is here to support you on your journey. Small lifestyle changes and personalized care make a large difference in overall heart health and quality of life.

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Celebrating Nurses Week: Honoring Compassion and Service

In healthcare, there is a group of individuals who go above and beyond to provide excellent care, dedication, and compassion. These individuals are nurses, the heart of the healthcare system. At Home Health Companions, we join in celebrating their outstanding contributions and service.

Nurses hold a special place in our hearts and communities. They embody the spirit of service and compassion. Every day, these extraordinary healthcare workers make a difference in the lives of patients and families. They offer support, guidance, and unwavering care during vulnerable times.

A Rich Legacy: The History of National Nurses Day

The history of Nurses Week shows the enduring dedication and impact of nursing professionals. Let’s explore the key milestones that have shaped this special occasion:

In 1953, Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare suggested a “Nurses Day” to President Eisenhower. Although it wasn’t proclaimed, it planted the seed for future recognition of nurses’ invaluable work.

In 1954, National Nurses Week was celebrated from October 11 to 16. This coincided with the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. Representative Frances P. Bolton sponsored a bill in Congress to establish a nurse week, but no action was taken.

In January 1974, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaimed May 12 as “International Nurses Day” to honor Florence Nightingale’s birthday. One month later, the White House designated an entire week to celebrate nurses, with President Nixon issuing the proclamation.

In 1981, the American Nurses Association (ANA) and other organizations supported a resolution to have May 6, 1982, established as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.” It wasn’t until February 1982 that the ANA Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6 as “National Nurses Day.”

That same year, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 6 to be the “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

In 1990, the ANA Board of Directors expanded the celebration. They declared May 6 to 12 as National Nurses Week. Since then, Nurses Week has become an annual celebration.

Honoring Dedication and Compassion: Nurses Day

This is a special occasion to honor and appreciate the dedication and compassion of nurses. We take this day to express gratitude for their selfless service and acknowledge the positive impact they have on people’s lives.

Nurses Day helps create awareness about the nursing profession. It highlights the different roles of nurses, like advocating for patients’ rights and educating them about health. This promotes respect and appreciation, helping others understand the crucial role they play.

Ultimately, Nurses Day serves as an inspiration for those considering a career in nursing. It showcases the incredible contributions nurses make and motivates individuals to pursue this noble path in healthcare. This day reminds us of all the value and significance of nurses in shaping and transforming the world of healthcare.

Impact of Nurses on Healthcare: Enhancing Quality Care and Support

Nurses, including those at Home Health Companions, have a significant impact on healthcare:

  • Patients’ Care and Well-being: The healthcare team brings compassion, skills, and knowledge to ensure the client’s well-being and recovery. Activities such as monitoring the patients conditions, providing treatments, and offering medical support are part of a healthcare worker day-to-day life.
    Nurses create a nurturing environment that promotes healing and helps individuals get back on their feet.
  • Emotional Support and Compassionate Care: Providing invaluable emotional support and compassionate care, and helping patients cope with challenges. By building trusting relationships, nurses offer comfort, encouragement, and a listening ear. They ensure that patients feel understood and supported throughout their healthcare journey.
  • Collaboration and Advocacy: Working with physicians, therapists, and caregivers to provide comprehensive care. They advocate for the people they are helping, ensuring their needs and preferences are considered and respected. This collaborative approach promotes positive outcomes and ensures a seamless healthcare experience.

The Future of Nursing: Embracing Technology

Technology is changing the game for nurses, bringing exciting advancements and opportunities. It’s revolutionizing how nurses work, making things easier and improving patient care. New technologies enable them to do their job better and provide better care for those in need.

One area where technology is making a significant impact is electronic health records (EHRs). Say goodbye to piles of paperwork! Now, nurses can access patient information on digital platforms quickly and securely. This helps everyone on the healthcare team communicate better and provide excellent care.

Telehealth is another game-changer. Nurses can use video calls and virtual visits to check on patients and offer advice from a distance. It’s like bringing the doctor’s office to your home.
This is particularly helpful for people who live far away or have trouble getting around, since nurses can give care and support without making you leave the house.

Fancy devices and wearable tech are also making a difference. Nurses can use various technological tools to monitor patients. Smart pumps and health trackers provide them with the information they need to give the right treatments. Plus, these tools help catch problems early and make sure patients stay safe and healthy.

The future of nursing is all about embracing new technologies. As technology advances, we want to take advantage of this progress to benefit our clients. We’re always looking for innovative solutions to improve the quality of care, achieve better health results, and make nursing an even brighter profession.

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Common Questions About Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease affects millions worldwide. It is the most common cause of dementia, a group of conditions that cause cognitive decline and loss of daily function. It also affects memory, thinking, behavior, and, eventually, a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.

As people age, their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases. According to a study made in 2019 by the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.5 million Americans older than 65 have it. By 2050, the number of people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s and dementia will reach 18.8 million unless scientists develop new approaches to prevent or cure it.

Despite being a well-known condition, the causes, progression, and effective treatment of the disease are still a mystery. This lack of understanding can lead to misconceptions and myths about the disease, further complicating care and treatment for those affected.

However, in recent years, awareness and understanding of Alzheimer’s have grown, and ongoing research continues to shed light on the disease’s mechanisms and potential treatments. Thanks to that progress, we will address in this article some of the most frequently asked questions about Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Alzheimer’s, and what causes it

Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disorder that causes a decline in cognitive function and daily activities. It is characterized by the accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain, including beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles, which interfere with the normal functioning of brain cells. As a result, communication between brain cells is disrupted, and eventually, the cells die.

Alzheimer’s disease affects different parts of the brain, including the hippocampus, responsible for memory and learning, and the cortex, which controls thinking, reasoning, and language. The disease progresses slowly over several years, with symptoms worsening over time.

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not fully known. However, it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Studies have identified several genes associated with the disease, including the APOE gene, linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Environmental factors can increase the risk of developing a disease. These factors include head injuries, exposure to toxins, and chronic stress.

How to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s

There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following:

  1. Exercise regularly: Physical activity can improve blood flow to the brain, reduce inflammation, and promote the growth of new brain cells. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity weekly exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.
  2. Eat a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Avoid processed foods, saturated fats, and sugary drinks.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight: Suffering from obesity can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Aim for a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
  4. Stay mentally and socially active: Keeping your brain busy by learning new things, engaging in stimulating activities, and staying socially connected may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  5. Manage your health conditions: Chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Work with your healthcare provider to manage these conditions and maintain good overall health.

10 critical questions about Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is a complex condition that can raise many questions and concerns for those affected by it. Here are 10 of the most common questions about Alzheimer’s disease:

Are dementia and Alzheimer’s the same?

No, dementia and Alzheimer’s are not the same. Dementia is a general term used to describe a decline in cognitive function and daily activities. The main difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s is that Alzheimer’s disease is a common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of cases. However, there are other types of dementia, such as vascular dementia and Lewy body dementia.

Is Alzheimer’s a mental illness?

No. A mental illness is typically characterized by symptoms such as persistent sadness, feelings of hopelessness, or extreme worry and fear, which are commonly seen in conditions like depression or anxiety.

In contrast, Alzheimer’s is a neurological disorder with symptoms like memory loss, difficulty with problem-solving, impaired judgment, and changes in personality or behavior.

Is Alzheimer’s inherited from the mother or the father?

Alzheimer’s disease does not have a clear-cut inheritance pattern based on whether it is inherited from the mother or father. While genetics can play a role, most cases occur sporadically without a clear family history.

That being said, there are some rare cases where Alzheimer’s disease appears to be inherited in a dominant manner, meaning that if one parent carries a specific genetic mutation associated with the disease, their child has a 50% chance of inheriting the mutation and developing it as well, but the specific gene mutation and inheritance pattern can vary depending on the individual family.

In some families, the mutation may be inherited from the mother, while in others, it may be inherited from the father.

How young can you get Alzheimer’s?

While Alzheimer’s disease is most commonly diagnosed in people over 65, it can also affect younger people. Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease is rare and accounts for less than 5% of cases.

What tests are done to diagnose Alzheimer’s?

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and cognitive tests. Imaging tests like MRI or CT scans may also rule out other causes of cognitive decline.

Does exercise prevent Alzheimer’s?

Regular exercise benefits overall health. Even though physical activity alone cannot completely prevent Alzheimer’s disease, incorporating it into your lifestyle may be a helpful strategy. Additionally, exercise has numerous other health benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of other chronic diseases.

How fast does Alzheimer’s progress?

The progression of Alzheimer’s can vary from person to person. The disease progresses slowly over several years, with symptoms worsening over time.

What are the 7 stages of Alzheimer’s?

Several models are used to describe Alzheimer’s stages. Still, one standard model is the seven-stage model developed by Dr. Barry Reisberg:

  1. No impairment: This stage is characterized by no cognitive decline or memory problems. Individuals in this stage don’t show signs of Alzheimer’s.
  2. Very mild decline: This stage is characterized by Alzheimer’s early signs, such as minor memory problems often associated with normal aging. While in this stage, affected people may forget familiar words or names or misplace objects, but these problems are not noticeable to others.
  3. Mild decline: This stage is characterized by increased memory loss and difficulty with tasks that require planning and organization. Also, patients could have trouble remembering recent events and can experience personality changes.
  4. Moderate decline: This stage is characterized by significant memory loss and difficulty with daily activities, such as dressing and bathing. Individuals in this stage may also have trouble with speech and language and experience mood swings and behavioral changes.
  5. Moderately severe decline: This stage is characterized by a further reduction in cognitive function, including difficulty with basic activities of daily living, such as eating and using the bathroom. Patients may also experience confusion, disorientation, and difficulty recognizing familiar faces.
  6. Severe decline: This stage is characterized by severe cognitive decline and a loss of communication ability. Individuals in this stage may need help with everyday tasks. They may have trouble swallowing and difficulty controlling their bladder and bowels.
  7. Very severe decline: This final stage is characterized by a complete loss of cognitive function and communication ability. Patients require round-the-clock care and are vulnerable to infections like pneumonia.

It’s important to note that while this model provides a general framework for understanding the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, the course of the disease can vary widely from person to person. Additionally, not all individuals with Alzheimer’s disease will progress through all seven stages.

Is there a cure for Alzheimer’s?

There is currently no cure. However, there are Alzheimer’s medications and other treatments available that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

How to help someone with Alzheimer’s?

Supporting someone with Alzheimer’s can be challenging, but many strategies can help. These may include creating a safe and supportive environment, establishing routines, and providing social and emotional support. Education and support groups for caregivers can also help manage the challenges of Alzheimer’s care.

Why is it important to know about Alzheimer’s disease

One important reason to know about Alzheimer’s is that it can help increase Alzheimer’s awareness, reduce stigma, and promote education and research. By understanding the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, individuals and communities can work together to advocate for better policies and resources to support those affected.

In addition, knowledge about the disease can help with early detection and diagnosis. By being aware of the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, individuals can seek medical attention and receive an accurate diagnosis earlier in the disease process. This can also help them understand their risk factors and take steps to reduce them.

Finally, knowing about Alzheimer’s disease is also essential for accessing care and support services.

Many resources are available to help individuals and their family members plan for the future and manage the challenges of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. This can include making financial arrangements, considering long-term care options, and accessing potential therapies that may slow the progression of the disease, such as respite care, adult day care, and support groups. By being aware of these resources, families can find the help and support they need to manage the disease and maintain their health and well-being.

Home Health Companions offers in-home companion and caregiver services, private-duty nursing, and aging life care services. Our trained and compassionate professionals can support individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, including assistance with daily activities, medication management, and emotional support. By utilizing our services, families can ensure their loved one receives the care and attention they need in their home.

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How to Improve Workplace Culture in Healthcare

The workplace culture in healthcare can profoundly impact the well-being of employees and clients. When healthcare organizations prioritize a positive workplace culture, they create a safe and supportive environment that leads to improved employee and client satisfaction, and, ultimately, better health outcomes, such as reduced complications, improved quality of life, and overall better health.

At Home Health Companions, we prioritize workplace culture and are proud to be the winners of HCP’s 2023 Best of Home Care®Employer of Choice Award. This award recognizes our commitment to creating a positive workplace culture. We have been recognized as one of the region’s top employers of home caregivers for five years, a testament to our dedication to providing the highest quality care possible.

That is why we want to show you the benefits of a positive workplace culture in healthcare and highlight specific actions that can improve communication, cultural diversity, and employee safety.

We will also examine how workplace policies and procedures can contribute to a better work environment and discuss the importance of client-centered care, especially in home healthcare settings.

How do Healthcare Clients Benefit from a Good Workplace Culture?

A good workplace culture in healthcare can directly impact clients’ quality of care. When healthcare providers feel supported and valued in their work environment, they are more likely to provide compassionate, client-centered care. This, in turn, can lead to higher client satisfaction and better health outcomes.

Ensuring employee safety is a crucial aspect of a positive workplace culture in healthcare. Organizations that prioritize employee safety are likely to have well-designed safety policies, procedures, and training programs to educate and prevent employees from any potential risks. This reduces the incidence of workplace accidents, which can have a direct impact on client safety and the quality of care they receive.

For healthcare organizations that provide care in a client’s home environment, it is especially important to focus on improving client-centered care. This means understanding each client’s unique needs and preferences and working to tailor care to their circumstances. This can help to improve client satisfaction, as well as health outcomes.

At our healthcare organization, we take steps to ensure client safety, employee well-being, and a positive workplace culture. We prioritize clear workplace policies and procedures, diversity and inclusion, employee safety, effective communication, and client-centered care to provide the best possible care for our clients, regardless of the type of healthcare they require.

What Actions Improve Communication in the Healthcare Workplace?

Improving communication in the healthcare workplace is crucial for ensuring client safety and high-quality care. Here are some actions that can be taken to improve it:

1. Encourage active listening: Healthcare professionals should actively listen to their colleagues and clients to ensure everyone’s concerns and needs are heard and addressed. Healthcare professionals should also use clear and concise language when communicating with patients and colleagues to ensure that information is accurately conveyed.

2. Standardize communication methods: Healthcare organizations can establish standardized communication policies and procedures, such as using a common communication tool, or using structured communication formats. This can help prevent misunderstandings and errors that can compromise client safety.

3. Use technology: The right tools can help to streamline communication and reduce the risk of errors or misunderstandings. For example, Patient Portals enable clients to access their health information, request appointments, and communicate with their healthcare providers. Electronic Health Records enable healthcare providers to quickly and easily access clients’ information, including medical histories and medication lists.

4. Promoting an inclusive and welcoming environment: According to research by Zippia, as of 2022, most healthcare workers in the US are women, comprising approximately 80% of the healthcare workforce. The most common ethnicity among healthcare providers is White, making up 35.6% of all healthcare providers. In comparison, there are 24.0% African American healthcare providers and 23.4% Hispanic healthcare providers. Additionally, 5% of all healthcare providers identify as LGBT.

Healthcare organizations can take steps to recruit and retain a diverse workforce and provide opportunities for employees to learn about different cultures and backgrounds. This can improve cross-cultural communication and reduce healthcare disparities.

5. Emphasizing teamwork and collaboration: Encouraging teamwork and collaboration among healthcare professionals fosters an environment of open communication, mutual respect, and shared responsibility. This creates a safer environment for both employees and clients.

At Home Health Companions, we firmly believe that taking specific actions to promote a positive workplace culture in healthcare can significantly impact the well-being of employees and clients.

As an industry, we can all take action to improve workplace culture in healthcare, prioritizing a safe and supportive environment and working together to provide the highest quality care possible for our community.

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How to Bring Holiday Cheer to Patients: Reducing Loneliness in Seniors During the Holidays

“There’s no place like home for the holidays.”

For many of our patients, this tune doesn’t ring as true as it once did. One AARP Foundation survey found that over 1 in 4 seniors experiences loneliness during the holidays.

As a home health caregiver, you understand that supporting your patient’s mental health is supporting their physical health. In a season that can feel isolating, you can bring holiday cheer to patients. You can remind them that they have someone who cares about them, even when the days grow colder and darker.

That’s what Home Health Companions is all about.

Loneliness in Seniors During the Holidays: Understanding How the Holidays Can Affect Your Patients

As we know, the holidays aren’t so “holly jolly” for everyone. Understanding loneliness in seniors during the holidays can help build your empathy and compassion for your patients as a caregiver:

  • Grief – No matter your patient’s circumstances, they’re likely no stranger to grief. From friends to family, the holidays can feel especially lonely without those they love most.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease – The holidays can be overwhelming and disorienting for patients with Alzheimer’s. This can be a difficult time for them and their families. 
  • Depression – About 5% of the population experiences Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The colder, darker weather can worsen feelings of grief, depression, and loneliness in seniors during the holidays.
  • Sickness & Anxiety – Seniors can be more vulnerable to illnesses in the winter. The fear around their health can increase stress and cause them to feel isolated as they take safety precautions.
  • Disappointment – As we age, the holidays can feel a bit less magical. This can bring great disappointment and loneliness in seniors during the holidays, especially for those who won’t see their loved ones this year.

How to Bring Holiday Cheer to Patients & Relieve Loneliness in Seniors

As a home health caregiver, you make more of a difference than you might realize. While you don’t have to single-handedly combat these holiday obstacles, you can help make their burdens a bit lighter. With some thought and intention, you can spark joy and bring holiday cheer to patients in the comfort of their homes.

Here are 8 ideas for serving your patients and reducing loneliness in seniors during the holidays:

Learn about their favorite holiday memories and traditions.

The joy of the holidays is often found in nostalgia and memories. Ask your patient about their favorite holiday traditions throughout the years. Here are a few festive questions you might ask to bring holiday cheer to patients:

  • What is your favorite holiday song?
  • What is your favorite holiday movie?
  • What is your favorite (and least favorite!) holiday food or dessert?
  • What were the holidays like when you were a kid?
  • What is one of the best gifts you’ve ever received?

From here, you can offer to play their favorite song or put on their favorite movie to bring holiday cheer to patients. If they are not cognitively able to have this conversation, consider asking their loved ones some of these questions. Listening to nostalgic music can often help those with Alzheimer’s feel comforted and calm.

Share your holiday favorites.

Consider sharing your holiday traditions and memories with your patient! Play your favorite song, describe your childhood memories, and even offer to share your favorite holiday recipe. Sharing their memories and learning about yours can help them feel connected to you as their caregiver during the season.

Deck the halls!

Make their home feel warm and cozy by offering to help with any simple, low-maintenance indoor decorations. This can be as simple as putting a garland on the table setting or bringing holiday cheer to patients with a card to put on their bedside.

Let them know how much you care.

Remind your patient how much they are loved and cared for this season and always. Write a simple note sharing how grateful you are to know them as their caregiver, and wish them a Happy Holiday.

Turn up the Jingle Bell Rock!

Music is the universal language of joy and togetherness. Offer to turn on some soft holiday music during your visit to help lighten and brighten their mood.

Give the gift of listening.

A listening ear is one of the greatest gifts you can give your patients as a caregiver. Don’t forget to check in and truly see how they’re doing. Hold space for them to open up about the stress, grief, and loneliness of the holidays. Of course, respect their privacy, as well. Allow them to open up on their terms. As they do, you can receive insight into their needs while they can feel more seen and heard.

Take and communicate health precautions.

Health and sickness can add another layer of stress to your patients this time of year. Adhere to all of the precautions required by Home Health Companions caregivers, and communicate these to your patient to provide comfort.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself.

The holidays can be a stressful time of year for you and your patients. Take time for your personal self-care. As you take care of your personal needs, you can have a greater capacity to take care of others.

Bring Holiday Cheer to Patients with Home Health Companions

Home health caregivers, nurses, and CNAs — you make a difference far greater than you can ever imagine. You not only have the opportunity to bring holiday cheer to patients, but you remind them that they’re not alone. This is at the heart of everything we do at Home Health Companions. We’re inspired by your dedication to bringing hope and light all year round.

Ready to join a team that truly cares? Find meaning and motivation for your career with competitive pay, incredible benefits, and continuing education opportunities that home health professionals deserve. Explore our openings and benefits here!

Happy Holidays from our team to you!

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Happy Home Care & Hospice Month

It’s November, which means it’s time to celebrate Home Care & Hospice Month.

It’s a great time to thank all the gifted people who work in home health care and acknowledge the many ways they improve our lives.

We can’t think of a better time to celebrate the hard work of home health caregivers, nurses, and our entire Home Health Companions community.

What is Home Care & Hospice Month?

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) created the month-long celebration to honor the millions of caregivers who provide home care services to patients and their families.

At Home Health Companions, we believe that caregivers are the backbone of our industry, and we’re proud to be a part of this celebration.

Thank You, Home Health Companions Team

We want to thank our caregivers and nurses for their dedication, hard work, and compassion. From the front desk staff to the clinical team and everyone in between, we couldn’t do what we do without you.

Our clients agree that our caregivers and nurses are the best in the industry. Here is what one of our clients says:

“Jimmy compliments the caregivers in EVERY text. They are incredibly good. So patient and loving with every resident. Joyce is up every day around 10-10:30, dressed and at the table. She goes around with them at night to put everyone to bed. She loves it. She is still verbal at times. They said she sings a lot! There are times she still knows who we are and can still tell us she loves us.”

We take pride in providing a healthy environment for our caregivers and nurses, who are vital to our mission.

Why You Should Join Home Health Care

Home health care is an expanding field, and as more and more baby boomers age, we need skilled professionals to help them stay healthy and independent in their homes.

Home health care is the place to be if you’re looking for a way to make a difference in people’s lives. At Home Health Companions, we’re looking for compassionate, dedicated individuals who want to be part of our team. If you are looking for a rewarding career in home health care, please contact us today.

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Alzheimer’s Post-Diagnosis Steps 

Do you have a loved one recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? You and your family are not alone. Currently, more than 6 million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years. Despite the prevalence of Alzheimer’s, it is often a lonely experience for those diagnosed and their families.  

Having a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is life-changing. Everyone will feel the effects of the disease, so it’s essential to have a plan in place to ensure support and relief for everyone. Here are some helpful tips and steps for your loved one and yourself after a diagnosis. 

Protect Your Health as a Caregiver 

As a caregiver, you’ve decided to be your loved one’s primary caretaker. The best thing you can do to care for them is to stay physically and emotionally strong. 

In order to do this, it’s vital that you take care of yourself—and that includes getting enough rest and exercise; eating well; staying socially connected with friends and family; setting aside time for hobbies or other interests, and finding ways to relax. Home Health Companions can help you relax and provide you with a caregiver three or more days a week, four hours daily.  

Find a Support Group 

After a diagnosis, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. Finding a support group can help both those diagnosed and their caregivers cope with the life changes: 

  • Find a support group near you. Alzheimer’s Association chapters, community centers, and local senior centers often host support groups for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. You can also search online for local groups that meet in person or on the phone. 
  • Call the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline at (866) 232-8484 to learn more about helpful resources in your area and how they can help you navigate this new stage in life. 

Develop a Daily Care Plan 

You should develop a daily care plan for your loved one. This can be customized to their individual needs and refined as their condition changes. The plan should be realistic for your family and consider the time, resources, and finances that may be needed to provide care. 

The first step in developing a daily care plan is making sure you have all the necessary equipment and medications at home. Doing so ensures that if anything happens while you’re out running errands, a designated person to help will have everything they need. Having your daily care plan written and displayed in the home is helpful, so others who help have clear guidelines to follow. 

Seek In-home Care Services 

If you have a family member diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and would like them to stay in their home, the proper care services must be available. In-home care services can be lifesavers for both the person living with dementia and their caregivers. They allow Alzheimer’s patients to remain in a familiar environment while assisting in areas such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. It also gives caregivers time away from daily household duties to give attention to other aspects of their life. This is especially important if you work full-time or still raise children at home. 

Home Health Companions Is Here to Help 

The more you know about the disease, the better equipped you are to care for your loved one and yourself. At Home Health Companions, we pride ourselves on our compassion and knowledge to help individuals and their families with Alzheimer’s.  

We offer in-home assessments where we can determine the best course of action to give you and your loved one the support you all deserve. Together, we’ll discuss all of your options and help empower you to make choices that ensure the best quality of life, security, and happiness for the entire family. 

At Home Health Companions, we’re proud to be a licensed in-home care company that specializes in working with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. To start your in-home assessment, contact us at (214)295-8213 or at our website contact form.  

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How One HHC Caregiver Helped Improve a Client’s Quality of Life 

It’s no secret that finding a caregiver for your loved one can be an overwhelming process. You want to know they’re getting the quality care they need, but you also want to make sure they’re happy and comfortable in their own space. 

But what if you don’t have family or friends to navigate this process for you?  

The Need for Home Health Companionship & Caregivers 

A Home Health Companions client was previously diagnosed with Alzheimer-Dementia. In addition, the client began to experience severe symptoms like UTIs, pneumonia, edema, severe pain, weight loss, and depression. They spent most of their time in and out of the exhausting cycle: emergency rooms, hospital admissions, rehab, and back home.  

The doctors believed many of these trips could have been avoided if the client had proper medication compliance. Since they live alone with no family or supervision nearby, there was no one to help them keep track of their 30 different medications — a serious concern, especially with their memory challenges.  

The Limitations of Medicare Home Health 

Although Medicare Home Health services provided this client baseline care, they were not receiving the care that was fully needed. Medicare programs can provide impactful solutions, but these programs often fall short with limitations like time constraints as well as the types of services a patient can receive like medication management. After an in-home assessment by one of our nurses, we discovered this client needed round-the-clock care, medication management, and medication delegation, all of which as a licensed home health provider we offer.   

How One HHC Caregiver Changed A Client’s Life 

It was a difficult path to get there, as a result of a Home Health Companions’ in-home assessment, this client like thousands of others found a caregiver who could provide the hands-on care needed at home. Eight-hour daily supervision from one of our Certified Nurse Assistants transformed this client’s quality of life, by helping them perform daily activities, delivering health care at home and providing medication management.  

This story is an unfortunate reality for many individuals. We serve clients like the above every day at Home Health Companions who deserve personalized, hands-on care.  

We’re here to help you find the same kind of peace of mind for you or your loved ones with free in-home assessments and consultations. We’ll work together to find the right fit for your unique situation. 

Sign up for a free in-home assessment to discuss your custom care options. It’s time to find the quality of care you deserve.  

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Home Health Companions Alzheimer's Tips for Caregivers

National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Home Safety Checklist Tips for Caregivers

Alzheimer’s statistics are currently at an all-time high. More than 6 million Americans now have Alzheimer’s disease, and this number might rise to almost 13 million by 2050.

November was officially declared National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. In this year’s proclamation, President Biden stated that:

“The Department of Health and Human Services is investing in research and technology that can keep Alzheimer’s patients living longer in their own homes; training caregivers to support them; and educating Americans about early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, dementia risks, and brain health generally.”

Caregivers play a critical role in helping patients with Alzheimer’s disease maintain their quality of life and independence. Unfortunately, many caregivers lack the support they need to provide quality care.

At Home Health Companions, we are committed to helping caregivers get the support they need. And today, we’ll share home safety checklist tips for caregivers.

Home Safety Checklist Tips for Caregivers

Alzheimer’s disease causes impairment in memory, reasoning, and the ability to perform daily tasks. As a result, it can be difficult for people with Alzheimer’s disease to make sound decisions about what is safe or dangerous. To help, here is a home safety checklist tips for caregivers for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month:

General Home

  • Keep harmful items out of reach, including medications, cleaning supplies, and tools.
  • Ensure all rugs, appliances, and furniture are secured to the floor.
  • Walkways and pathways should be well-lit and free of clutter.

Kitchen

  • Store prescription drugs, vitamins, and seasonings in a locked cabinet.
  • Ensure food is marked and dated, and check expiration dates regularly.
  • Stove knobs should be turned to the “off” position when they’re not in use.

Laundry

  • All cleaning products should be stored in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf.
  • Use safety clips to secure your washing machine’s lid, and ensure all electrical cords are out of reach.

Bathroom

  • Prevent falls by installing grab bars in the shower and around toilets. Install non-slip mats in tubs and showers.
  • Replace any broken or missing tiles, and clean up any spilled water.

Bedroom

  • Closet shelves and other storage should be accessible.
  • Place a seat near the bed for easy access.

Basement and Garage

  • Prevent access to cars and other heavy machinery. 
  • Lock and keep away any tools or chemicals that could be dangerous.

Home Health Companions is looking for nurses, caregivers, and other health professionals who want to make a difference in the lives of others. Join us in fighting Alzheimer’s disease and creating safe, supportive spaces at home. Check our careers page for more information on our competitive benefits and programs!

 

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How to Select the Best Home Health Care Services for Your Loved Ones

Home health care services can include a variety of benefits for both the elderly and the chronically ill. They allow people to receive the necessary medical care and support they need in the comfort of their own home. Whether your loved one is in need of companionship and conversation or recovery help, Home Health Companions has a service that can suit their needs. We offer aging life care, caregiver and companionship, private duty nursing and other in-home care services. How do you know which is best for you? Let’s explore some of the popular in-home health services to understand what might be best for your loved ones.  

Caregivers and Companionship 

Sometimes, a friendly face is all it takes to brighten someone’s day. This service is the perfect option for anyone who has recently lost a spouse, friend, or is struggling with loneliness. It can also be a great option for anyone who has memory loss and could benefit from light supervision. Oftentimes, companion and conversation services also come with meal preparation services. 

In-Home Recovery 

If your loved one has recently suffered a stroke or other health emergency, in-home rehabilitation services can help them recover. This service includes physical therapy, speech therapy, or muscle rehabilitation. Regardless of what their rehabilitation journey looks like, in-home recovery services can help. 

Housekeeping and Laundry 

For assistance completing daily, weekly, or monthly chores, consider consulting a housekeeping and laundry service. This in-home service can help with routine housekeeping such as washing dishes, vacuuming, laundry, dusting, and changing the bed sheets. Housekeeping services can help alleviate a lot of the physical strain on your loved one. 

Meal Preparation 

Another popular in-home health service is meal preparation. Meals are often prepared during daily visits. This service ensures that your loved one has plenty of healthy and delicious meals to eat. 

Incontinence Care and Personal Hygiene 

If your loved one needs daily care with bathing, toileting, dressing, and grooming, this is the service for them. In-home incontinence care and personal hygiene services can help them feel fresh and confident. 

Medication Reminders 

Sometimes it can be challenging to stay on top of medication. That’s where medication reminders come in. Caregivers will monitor adherence to medication timing and dosages to ensure that your loved one is staying on track. 

Errand Service and Shopping 

For many people, it can be difficult to get out, especially after an injury or medical emergency. When you select errand and shopping services for your loved one, you can ensure that their errands are run and their weekly shopping is completed. 

Transportation 

Feeling cooped up all the time can make your loved one feel trapped or confined. Thankfully, there is a service that can help them get out and explore the world safely. When you need to arrange for your loved one to make it to and from appointments, transportation services come in handy.  

Home Health Companions is Here to Help

At Home Health Companions, we understand how important it is to get the appropriate care for your loved ones. That’s why we provide the best in-home health services to suit your family’s needs. The above list can be used as a guide during your in-home assessment to develop a custom solution for your family. Contact us today at 214-295-8213 to speak with a representative regarding your home health needs. 

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Female Home Health Private Nurse

What Is a Private Duty Nurse or Caregiver?

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the way we view our lifestyles, goals, and careers. One survey showed over half of employees now want a career that allows them to contribute even more to society and their communities.

If this is you, you’re not alone. Does the thought of helping people who need care give you a sense of purpose? If so, becoming a private duty nurse or caregiver may be a rewarding career choice for you.

But… What is a private duty nurse? Who needs private duty nursing? What are the duties of caregivers? And why should you become one?

Let’s explore these questions in more detail to help you know if it’s the right fit for your goals and ambitions to contribute to the world around you.

What Is a Private Duty Nurse?

A private duty nurse is a registered nurse who provides specialized healthcare services in a patient’s home. A caregiver can also work in assisted living facilities or a hospital.

Private duty nurses may work under the direction of an established agency or on their own. Their goal is to provide quality care and improve the lives of those they serve. They may work on a short-term or long-term basis.

Who Needs Private Duty Nursing?

Private duty nursing is typically required when a patient needs constant special care, such as someone who has had major surgery or has a terminal illness. Private duty nursing has no age limit, but it’s common for the elderly and individuals with chronic diseases.

Some common medical conditions that may require private duty nursing include:

Duties of a Private Duty Nurse

As a private duty nurse, you’ll be responsible for providing compassionate, one-on-one care to patients according to their needs.

Some of the duties will be directed by a physician, while others will be based on your own assessment of the patient’s condition.

Directed duties may include:

  • Monitoring the patient’s vital signs, such as temperature and blood pressure
  • Taking blood samples for testing
  • Administering medications
  • Wound care and dressing

Discretionary duties may include:

  • Helping the patient bathe and dress
  • Feeding patients
  • Shopping
  • Preparing meals

Why Become a Private Duty Nurse in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Area

If you’re looking for a way to make your nursing career more exciting, challenging, and rewarding, becoming a private duty nurse is the perfect solution. At Home Health Companions, our exceptional private duty nurses have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others by supporting what matters most: home, health, and relationships. Apply now to serve others, further your healthcare career, and enjoy competitive pay, benefits, and continuing education opportunities.

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What is the Difference Between Medicare Nursing and Private Nursing Care?

Quality care is delivered in the home.  

When your loved one’s needs begin to change and evolve, they deserve extra love, care, and attention. Thanks to home health care, many services can now be delivered in the comfort of their own home rather than in a hospital or assisted living center. 

With home health care, you can help create a quality of life for your loved one, empowering the confidence, convenience, and comfort of their care today, tomorrow, and in the months to come.  

Choosing a Home Health Care Provider 

There are two main routes you can take in home health care: Medicare Nursing and Private Nursing Care. Let’s define each method to determine which is best for your loved one.  

What is Medicare Nursing? 

Medicare nursing is a type of limited care covered by Medicare. Medicare is a government-funded health insurance program serving qualifying seniors ages 65+ and other eligible individuals with disabilities. Medicare nursing typically supports short-term care over long-term care solutions.  

The type, length, and scope of care the patient qualifies for depends on their doctor’s approval and Medicare regulations. To receive Medicare nursing services, you must work with a Medicare-certified home health care agency.  

What is Private Nursing Care? 

Private nursing care is for seniors or individuals with disabilities who need specialized assistance in the home. Private nursing care is paid for privately instead of through Medicare. As a result, private duty nursing care is personalized and flexible to provide for the patient’s individual needs.  

Private duty home care patients can receive as much support as they need, whether short-term or long-term.  

Differences Between Medicare Nursing and Private Duty Nursing Care 

While both types of care can be beneficial, there are some key differences to be aware of, particularly regarding pricing, services, and the overall structure of care:  

Medicare Nursing in Home Health Care 

Payment Methods 

Does Medicare pay for home health nursing? Yes, to an extent. 

Medicare pays for the services your Medicare-certified home health agency provides during a 30-day period. Patients can qualify for more than one 30-day period, depending on their eligibility.  

Application Process 

To qualify for Medicare home health benefits, you must meet each of the following criteria

  • Primary care physician’s approval for at least one of the following services: 
  • Part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Speech-language therapy 
  • Occupational therapy 
  • Patient must be homebound or unable to leave home without assistance. 
  • You must receive services from a Medicare-certified home health care agency. 

Types of Services 

Medicare only covers part-time or “intermittent” skilled nursing care. Intermittent care can only be less than 8 hours daily and fewer than 28 hours weekly.  

You can receive this care for as long as you remain eligible and your doctor verifies you need it.  

Overall, Medicare nursing services can include: 

  • Skilled nursing care 
  • i.e., wound dressing, certain injections, IVs, tube feedings, and teaching about medical care. 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Speech-language therapy 
  • Occupational therapy  
  • Medical social services, such as counseling. 

Medicare nursing does not cover the following services: 

  • 24-hour or full-time care. 
  • Long-term care. 
  • Medication management and administration.  
  • Homemaking or housekeeping. 

Private Nursing Care 

Payment Methods 

Private duty home care is private-pay, meaning you have control over the services, timeframes, and care methods. Private duty home care is typically covered by a combination of long-term care insurance, private medical insurance, the patient, or the patient’s family.  

One of the main differences between Medicare and private duty home care is that Medicare only pays for skills-based visits. This means a nurse will visit the patient’s home and check their vitals for a quick visit. Unlike private duty home care, Medicare is intended as a temporary service until nurses teach these same skills to the family or the patient gets better.  

Application Process 

With private duty home care, you will still need to be pre-approved by a doctor but you are not limited to the number of hours needed with a nurse for services. When you partner with a home health care agency, they will help match your loved one with the right services and plan based on their unique needs.  

Types of Services 

Private duty nursing care is indefinite and tailored to the patient’s medical and day-to-day needs. It can be offered either short-term or long-term and typically provides specialized nurses and professionals to deliver quality in-home care. 

Even if a nurse is scheduled with a patient for four hours, they will deliver comprehensive, customized services. During that time, they can provide expert wound care, medication management, or simple oversight, to mention a few.  

At Home Health Companions, our licensed nurses provide personalized one-on-one medical care for our patients, including general and specialized services such as: 

  • Medication and pain management 
  • Post-operative and wound care 
  • Diabetic care 
  • Heart disease and hypertension 
  • Respiratory therapy and care 
  • Foley/Colostomy care 
  • Personalized care plans, including light housekeeping and personal hygiene 
  • Parkinson’s care 
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia care 
  • Cancer care 
  • Hospice and palliative care 

Having flexible, diverse care options is essential, especially if your loved one needs specialized care and skills not paid for by a Medicare home health nurse.  

Key Differences Between Medicare Nursing and Private Duty Nursing Care 

In summary: 

  • Private duty home care offers a variety of specialized services, while Medicare only pays for limited care services
  • Private duty home care can be customized as a short-term or long-term solution, while Medicare is a temporary service. 
  • You do not have to qualify for private duty home care, while Medicare nursing requires ongoing doctor’s approval and the maintaining of other eligibility requirements. 

Find the Best Private Duty Nursing Home Health Care for Your Loved One in Dallas/Ft. Worth 

At Home Health Companions, we are on a mission to help you find the best care possible for your loved ones. With a team of exceptionally skilled nurses and caregivers, we are honored to create customized care options for your family members and their unique needs.  

Give us a call today at 214-295-8213 to learn more about our 24/7 private duty nursing care services. Together, we can provide the support and specialized care your loved one deserves in the comfort of their own home. 

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Home Health CNA helping patient

What is the Role of Home Health CNAs?

Thinking of starting or expanding your CNA career in home health?

Home health CNAs are an integral part of the healthcare industry. CNAs are responsible for assisting with a range of home care services, including companion care and private duty nursing care.

A CNA works under a registered nurse and adheres to the core values of confidentiality, professionalism, and accountability. This means that they are dedicated to providing the highest level of care possible while respecting the rights of patients and their families.

Roles of Certified Nursing Assistants

Home health CNAs perform various roles that are important to the well-being of patients. Here are the common roles of a home health CNA.

Assisting patients with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).

As a home health CNA, you’re a part of your clients’ everyday lives. The activities of daily living include grooming, dressing, feeding, bathing, toileting, and moving.

Monitoring vital signs.

CNAs are often in charge of monitoring patients’ vital signs, such as their blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate. They record these readings in the patient’s chart, which can be used to identify changes that may require medical attention.

Communication.

Communication is key, especially when it comes to CNA careers. CNAs are often in charge of communicating with other healthcare providers and family members. They may have to notify a doctor if a patient’s condition changes or if they notice any problems with their care.

Family members may also rely on CNAs to keep them updated on their loved one’s conditions. They may have to explain medical terms and procedures, so CNAs should be able to communicate clearly and effectively.

Housekeeping.

Housekeeping roles include keeping the patient’s room clean and tidy, shopping for groceries, cooking, cleaning up after meals, and performing other household tasks.

Managing patient equipment.

CNAs may also be required to manage patients’ equipment, such as oxygen machines, feeding tubes, portable toilets, wheelchairs, and lift chairs. They must ensure these devices are working properly and if they need to be replaced or repaired.

Maintaining a clean and healthy environment.

Depending on the patient’s condition, CNAs may need to perform tasks such as changing bedpans, soiled sheets, catheters, and cleaning spills. Sanitizing is also a critical part of the job. CNAs must be aware of any infections their patients may have and take steps to prevent the spread of germs.

Assisting with medical procedures.

Depending on location, a CNA may be asked to help with certain medical procedures, such as wound dressing, drawing blood, and administering injections.

Empower Your CNA Career!

Home health CNAs play an important role in the lives of their patients and families. They’re truly our healthcare heroes! While their tasks are varied, they all tie back to the same mission: providing care for people who need it most.

If you’re already working in this field, remember: no matter how much experience or training you have, it’s never too late to learn more or improve upon what you already know.

If you’re looking for a CNA career that allows you to provide comfort and support to others while learning new techniques and skills, this could be your dream job. At Home Health Companions, we’re looking for dedicated and compassionate people who want to make a difference in the lives of others. If you’re interested in joining our team, please apply today!

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Tips for Caring for Clients with Alzheimer’s

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and we wanted to take a moment to provide some crucial tips for caring for clients with Alzheimer’s.

At Home Health Companions, Alzheimer’s and dementia care is near and dear to our hearts. As a home health caregiver, you have the opportunity and responsibility to provide specialized care and truly make a difference in the lives of your clients and their families.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia that causes issues with behavior and memory. This can include memory loss, behavior changes, and confusion.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, around 6.5 million people in the U.S. live with Alzheimer’s. When a relative or a loved one is diagnosed with the condition, family members often decide to take care of them at home for as long as possible.

The comfort of a familiar environment can help, but keeping them at home becomes increasingly challenging as their health declines. Every day comes with new challenges, changes in functional abilities, and unexpected behaviors.

As a home health caregiver, understanding how to navigate these changes can help you and your client feel comfortable and confident in your journey together. To help, here are a few essential Alzheimer’s caregiver tips.

5 Alzheimer’s Caregiver Tips

Empower your Alzheimer’s education.

As a home health caregiver, it’s crucial to learn about the condition of your clients and patients. This can help empower your communication and help you support their health and wellness.

Different patients experience different symptoms and progression — practice flexibility and patience as you handle any frustrations and challenges ahead.

Keep your clients physically and mentally active.

Regular exercise can help support your client’s cognitive health. Of course, exercises help with joints, muscles, and the heart, too. This can likewise improve your patient’s mood — and yours!

Help keep your clients mentally active by helping them handle simple tasks themselves. These include brushing their teeth, doing household chores, and bathing. You can also encourage other activities such as reading and puzzles!

Be patient with their frustrations.

An individual with Alzheimer’s disease often becomes agitated when a once-simple task becomes challenging. To reduce these challenges and ease frustrations, you can help by setting a daily routine. Take your time and involve your client by offering choices and giving simple instructions.

Create a safe, supportive environment.

Dementia is known to impair problem-solving and judgment skills, increasing the risk of injury. Caring for clients with Alzheimer’s starts with preventing falls. Look out for any extension cords, rugs, or other clutter that could cause a fall.

Promote nutritious eating.

When caring for clients with Alzheimer’s, notice if they start to lose interest in food. While it’s common, it’s crucial to encourage a healthy and balanced diet when possible. When assisting with meals, try to welcome foods that empower cognitive benefits, like berries, poultry, fish, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables.

Make a Difference as a Home Health Caregiver.

As a home health caregiver, you have the opportunity to make a lasting difference in the lives of your clients. If you’re looking for an opportunity to propel your career and expand your impact, we’d love for you to join our team of inspiring caregivers at Home Health Companions. You can learn more about our award-winning careers here!

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Care Coordinator & CNA Spotlight: Why Maurice Chose to Work at Home Health Companions

Meet Maurice Ward: One of our most hard-working, caring team members of six years.

From the moment Maurice interviewed with our team, he became a part of it. We took some time to ask why he continues to grow his career at Home Health Companions, and here’s what he had to say:

The Power of Quality over Quantity.

Maurice has worked for other healthcare companies before. So, we wanted to ask why he continues to choose Home Health Companions.

His answer? Quality over quantity.

Other companies push a quantity of work, rushing, pressuring, and overworking employees to get a profit. But Maurice says that’s not the case here. With quality over quantity of work valued, he’s able to actually have the time to bond with clients and get to know their needs. In the end, it’s all about purpose.

“It feels good to be able to help someone who can’t help themselves,” he said.

Find the Support You Need to Grow Your Caregiving Career

Starting with our team as a Caregiver, Maurice has grown to a Care Coordinator position. Home Health is dedicated to helping you reach your career goals while enjoying competitive pay, benefits, and continuing education opportunities like our recently established Home Health Companions University.

Want to see if Home Health Companions is the right fit for you? Start your application here, and we’ll discuss your career goals.

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n-Home Senior Care | Seniors Helping Seniors | Caring Help

How to Find Joy in Your Career as a Home Health CNA or Caregiver

August is Happiness Happens Month! For the next few weeks, we want to celebrate anything that makes you happy — including the joys of caregiving!

Of course, there’s more to life than work. But when you spend a great deal of time dedicated to your career, it’s essential to find happiness in it — even joy in it. Studies show that over half of the employees in the U.S. feel a sense of identity in their jobs.

 Why not make this sense of identity joyful?

 When you find meaning and passion in what you do, you can grow both personally and professionally.

3 Ways to Find Joy as a Home Health CNA in Dallas

You spark joy for your amazing clients each day. Now, we want to bring you joy each day! Here are three ways to find joy in your career as a home health CNA, caregiver, or nurse.

1. Build a relationship with your home health clients.

One of the most meaningful parts of being a home health CNA or caregiver is being able to make an authentic difference in the lives of others. You travel to their homes each day to provide comfort, relief, and support. This means the world to them.

As you connect with clients, you can find more joy.

Laugh with them. Learn from them! The wisdom of older adults is remarkable. Take time to get to know them, their story, and their lives — and you’ll never be the same.

2. Set goals for your home health career.

Goal-setting isn’t just for productivity. It’s for happiness!

Growing as an individual, caregiver, and coworker empowers a sense of satisfaction and meaning that motivates you to continue on.

Make a habit of setting goals for your home health career, whether specializing in an area of care, continuing your education, or learning something new. Aim for both short-term and long-term goals to build momentum and stride toward your exciting future.

3. Care for yourself, too.

You’ve heard the saying before:

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

 It’s true. As a home health CNA, you spend your days caring for others. This brings a sense of joy and fulfillment on its own.

But if you forget to take care of yourself, you can easily find yourself burnt out and exhausted. Don’t forget to extend the same care and love to yourself as you do your clients.

Find a Joyful Career as a Home Health CNA in Dallas

 In the end, there are three main ingredients to creating a joyful home health career:

  1. Building meaningful connections and relationships.
  2. Growing personally and professionally.
  3. Finding balance through it all.

At Home Health Companions, we’re on a mission to create an environment that empowers all three! Our goal is to help home health CNAs, nurses, and caregivers further their careers while enjoying competitive pay, benefits, and continuing education opportunities like our recently established Home Health Companions University.

Want to join a team that makes a difference each day? Explore our fulfilling home health career openings here, and apply today!

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Psoriasis Action Month: What Caregivers can do to Support Patients

August is Psoriasis Action Month, and we wanted to take a moment to support our clients, family members, and loved ones affected by this condition each day.

If you aren’t familiar, psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. It causes itchy, inflamed, and irritated skin, often affecting older adults.

With over 8 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with psoriasis, we’re here to take action. Here’s what caregivers, CNAs, and nurses can do to support clients with psoriasis this month and every month.

Tips for Supporting Psoriasis Care as a Caregiver

Support Healthy Diet & Exercise Habits

As a caregiver, you can best support your clients by helping them understand how the disease impacts their bodies and lifestyle. Encourage them to support their skin health and reduce inflammation with a healthy, nutritious diet and simple exercise routines.

Ask About Medication Reactions

Some medications can irritate symptoms and trigger reactions in psoriasis patients. Sit down and talk about how they’re responding to the medications they’re on. If they’re experiencing any discomfort, pass this information on to their doctors.

Limit Stress & Encourage Self-care

Psoriasis isn’t just a skin condition — it affects a patient’s quality of life. Sometimes, it can hurt one’s self-esteem and functioning, leading to anxiety and depression.

One of the best things you can do is to practice empathy and be there for your clients. Help them cope with their symptoms and advocate for their needs by creating a low-stress environment and encouraging self-care.

Learn More About Psoriasis Care & Take Action

Healthcare is all about taking action — and no one teaches us this better than our inspiring caregivers, CNAs, and nurses at Home Health Companions.

This month, we urge you to learn more about psoriasis and how it affects your clients. As you do so, you can truly make a difference in the lives of others and discover even more satisfaction in your career.

Want to work with a team that makes a difference every day? We’re always looking for new caregivers to join our amazing team.

Learn more about our job openings here!

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Home Health Companions: Safety help in Transferring a Loved One with Mobility Limitations

Moving or transferring a loved one with disabilities requires particular strength and coordination skills to prevent the caregiver and the loved one from injury. While a person with mobility limitations might need assistance to do basic activities like moving from the bed to the wheelchair or from the wheelchair to the toilet seat, the caregiver must also be prepared and knowledgeable in properly transferring the person.

 

Wheelchair training for caregivers and other basic tips are essential in transferring loved ones with mobility limitations. While these tips are easy to learn for the person’s family, hiring a professional from Home Health Companions (HHC) to help with mobility is a better approach to ensure your loved ones are moved safely.

Life is beautiful with our loved ones around. And as humans, we are wired not only to care for ourselves but also our loved ones. The urge to always care for loved ones, whether young or old, remains an innate desire for most humans. 

But the task could be challenging or even require expert hands when the loved one has disabilities and requires special mobility needs. It even becomes more difficult when you don’t have the time to start learning how to lift an elderly person from a chair. 

Read the techniques below to learn about practical wheelchair training for caregivers for safe transferring care. While some tips you will learn below are easy guides for family members, some require the expertise of professional transfer caregivers to execute. 

Let’s dive in.

 

Re-design the house for easy movement

Modifying the house for effortless accessibility is one of the first steps in transferring or moving a loved one with disabilities with ease. If the person with the disability is a kid, you might not have any issue modifying the apartment for easy movement. 

However, suppose your parents are the ones with mobility limitations. In that case, you have to sit them down and have a critical discussion with them about making necessary upgrades to the house to enhance easy navigation. 

Of course, they might initially bring up resistance because they are already used to the house arrangements. Ensure to convince them why you must modify the house to support their day-to-day movement within and without the apartment.

Some of the quick fixes would include:

  • One-floor living apartment
  • Transfer Training Handouts
  • Stair-free Entrances
  • Well-lit Rooms
  • Transfer Devices for Elderly
  • Grab Bars
  • Well-adjusted Toilet Heights
  • Vinyl Flooring 

More importantly, you can consult caregiver professionals such as Home Health Companions for the home safety evaluations of the loved one’s apartment. 

 

Learn proper body mechanics & communication

As stated above, transferring a loved one with mobility limitations effectively without hurting them or yourself requires special skills. You need to learn proper body mechanics for transferring patients and effective communication to do this effectively.  Learning how to lift an elderly person from a chair with proper body mechanics is now a must.

In this context, proper body mechanics for transfers primarily relates to how you move your body while moving a person with disabilities. The positioning of your legs and arms matters as much as the person you want to carry. 

Mind you, if you engage in poor body mechanics for transfers while moving your loved ones, you might mistakenly hurt yourself, eventually resulting in back pain. You should save your back and get a third person to assist you if you feel a strain.

Also, communication is vital when moving or transferring a loved one from a wheelchair. You must carry the person you intend to carry along at every stage. Talk to the person and explain what you are doing and intend to do. When you need them to participate in the transfer process, ask the person kindly what you need them to do.

 

8 Important Rules to Observe When Making a Wheelchair Transfer

You need strength and coordination to transfer a person in and out of a wheelchair. To successfully move a loved one with mobility limitations to or from the wheelchair to a car, toilet or shower seat, you need to observe these basic rules:  

  1. Move the wheelchair very near to where you want to transfer the person.
  2. Only transfer the person on their stranger side
  3. Position the wheelchair well and lock it while the person moves in or out of it.
  4. Adjust the foot pedals, and the leg rests well in order not to obstruct the transfer.
  5. Have a gait belt in hand to prevent injury to the person
  6. Embrace proper body mechanics for transfers to protect your back. Genuflect during the move and let your back maintain a natural curve position.
  7. When moving upward on a stair, ensure the person sits comfortably while pulling the wheelchair backward.
  8. Ensure the person is sitting with their legs 90 degrees at both the knees and hips

As established earlier, communication is vital to have a safe transfer process. Always remember to tell them what you intend and how you want to do it. 

 

Benefits of hiring a Home Health Companions’ Caregiver for help with transfer mobility 

Maybe the processes involved in moving a loved one with mobility limitations are too challenging for you. Or you don’t even have the strength and coordination skills to perform safe transfers for a person in a wheelchair. Don’t worry yourself too much; help is available if you are open to hiring a professional caregiver.

Only a few professionals have the training, strength and coordination to transfer people with mobility limitations safely. And Home Health Companions is one of the few places you can hire the best hands for the job.

The Home Health Companions is a one-stop caregiver service provider. Our team of professional and experienced caregivers makes it easier to remain at home and still be cared for when challenges occur in your loved ones’ daily lives. Our establishment offers professional body mechanics for caregivers.

At HHC, we provide other tailor-made services to meet a range of needs, whether you require caregivers and companions for ongoing care or recovery care. 

Our caregiver services feature these benefits:

  • Companionship for the person
  • Safe transfer of persons with mobility limitations 
  • Safeguarding transfer devices for elderly
  • Meal Preparation
  • Providing adequate transfer aids for the elderly
  • Light Housekeeping and Laundry
  • Incontinence Care and Personal Hygiene
  • Medication Reminders
  • Professional caregivers in body mechanics
  • Errand Service and Shopping 

Conclusion 

Now you have learned essential tips on safely transferring persons with mobility limitations. Though the techniques and rules appear simple and easy to follow, it takes special strength and coordination skills to ensure a safe transfer.

Hence, contact Home Health Companions for the best professional hands if you require caregivers to fill in for you in transferring your loved ones.

If wanna see more of Home Health Companions you can read other articles or go to our social media channels: Facebook and Instagram @Homehealthcompanions

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Home Health Caregiver Heat Stroke Tips

5 Summer Heat Tips for Caregivers in Dallas

Let’s face it — summers in Dallas are hot!

While the rest of the year is perfect, we prefer to stay cool inside for most of July and August. Still, as a home health nurse, CNA, or caregiver in Dallas, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect not only your clients but yourself from heat exhaustion.

5 Tips for Home Health CNAs to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dallas

Summer is for self-care! With just a bit of planning and preparation, you can feel calm, cool, and confident as you care for yourself and your clients.

To help, we’ve researched 5 tips for home health CNAs and caregivers in Dallas:

  1. Increase your water intake. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! Make a habit of carrying around a refillable water bottle: one for you and one for your client.
  2. Dress in lightweight clothing. Comfort is key. Opt for lightweight scrubs to keep cool as you move around throughout the day. Encourage your client to dress in loose, breathable fabrics to help regulate their temperature.
  3. Take advantage of early mornings. Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is vital, not just for your physical health but for your mental health. Enjoy the early morning’s cooler temperatures, whether going for a morning stroll before work or eating breakfast outside with your client.
  4. Help keep their home comfortable. Make a habit of checking on the thermostat when you arrive at your client’s home, throughout the day, and before leaving. Keeping fans on, an air conditioning set, and curtains closed during the afternoon can help their home feel cool and comfortable.
  5. Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke and exhaustion aren’t to be taken lightly. Knowing the signs of heat stroke can save a life and prevent illness in yourself and your client.

If you or your client are overheated and start developing a headache, nausea, dizziness, or fever, check your temperature and apply emergency heat procedures immediately.

More Than Just Heat Tips for Caregivers in Dallas

While these summer months can get a bit sweltering, following these simple, effective heat tips for caregivers in Dallas can keep you and your clients cool, safe, and healthy.

By caring for yourself, you can better take care of your clients. During these summer at Home Health Companions, our goal is to care for our clients and staff with respect, honor, and compassion.

We’re honored to have earned recognition from our employers and clients as a Best of Home Care Employer for 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. It’s all thanks to our amazing team and their continued dedication and hard work day after day. They truly prove healthcare workers are heroes!

Suppose you’re interested in joining our Home Health Companions team. In that case, we’re always looking to help more CNAs further their home health careers while enjoying competitive pay, benefits, and continuing education opportunities. Want to learn more about our benefits? Click here to apply and learn more!

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Why You Should Hire a Caregiver from Home Health Companions 

Have you recently noticed unusual signs in your parents? Maybe your parents find it challenging to perform basic household chores. This is just one sign that it might show that they are gradually aging, and it could be beneficial to hire a caregiver.  

Hiring an in-home caregiver might be one of the best decisions to help support your parents in this phase. Professional caregivers can help your aging parents get the specialized care and adequate support they need to age gracefully. You can also be at peace knowing that your parents are provided exceptional care and are in safe hands.  

The fact that you’re considering hiring a caregiver service for an elderly loved one shows how thoughtful and intentional you are about them. If you’re looking for a home health company that can help support the people you love, below are some of the answers to questions you might have and how to find the best caregivers.

How Caregivers Can Help:

Caregivers are professionals who perform basic tasks and offer specialized care to an aging or disabled person.  

These professionals are unlike domestic maids because they undergo formal training like nursing aides and caregiving courses. Also, they usually boast of in-depth experience in caring for older adults. These features assure a higher quality of care and help for your loved ones. 

Below are some of the duties of a caregiver: 

  • Grocery shopping, meal preparation, and feeding 
  • The offering of personal care such as bathing and dressing 
  • Transportation to appointments and other errands 
  • Essential housekeeping duties like laundry, light cleaning, etc. 
  • Medication reminders and walking assistance 

Benefits of Hiring a Caregiver 

As rightly stated, professional caregivers receive formal training to handle various circumstances. Due to this attribute, having a professional caregiver is advantageous. Some of the benefits are: 

1. Provision of Companionship 

According to research, one of the significant problems older adults face is loneliness and isolation. The lack of interaction of seniors with family members and peers often leads to anxiety, depression, and other disorders. 

An effective way to prevent your aging parents from the side effects of social isolation is by ensuring that they have regular social interactions. Putting this in place will help prevent and reduce the probability of seniors experiencing cognitive decline and depression. 

Providing a caregiver is a wise way to boost an older person’s interaction because companionship is integral to home care services. The nature of older adults makes them often become friends with their caregivers. Thus, the companion caregiver gives emotional support while an older adult is aging. 

Moreover, a caregiver can help your aging mom or dad get out of the house to socialize while enjoying more significant engagement opportunities like going on walks, seeing movies, listening to music, etc. 

In short, the offering of companionship to elderly ones by caregivers impacts their happiness and overall well-being in a positive way. 

2. Professional Expertise 

The knowledge and training in-home caregivers possess help them be in the best position to cater to the needs of aging loved ones. Their expertise makes them knowledgeable about various medical conditions that affect seniors. These health issues include: 

  • Dementia 
  • Alzheimer 
  • Parkinson 
  • Stroke and other health diseases 

The ability of caregivers to detect changes in loved ones’ physical and mental health can enable you to diagnose medical problems in their earliest stage. Also, their professional expertise makes them capable of cooking nutritious meals while managing medications.  

It is safe to say home health aides have all it takes to keep your loved ones happy, safe, and healthy. Thus, you can have peace of mind as a relative knowing that your aging loved ones are receiving world-class treatment from their home caregiver. 

3. Support for the family caregiver 

Caring for a senior loved one is challenging, particularly when you don’t have professional training in-home care. You can relate catering for older adults to a full-time job because of its high demand. Even when you are not physically present to help or assist them, your mind is always with them.  

Rather than constantly worrying or thinking about their well-being and safety, hiring a caregiver will serve as a stress relief for you. This action will give you the support you need to meet your loved one’s demands.  

As the eldercare services step in to perform their job, you get to remove the burdens of caring for an older adult. In all, the support from in-home caregivers serves as anxiety relief and, at the same time, reduces family members’ risk of experiencing burnout. 

4. Provision of safe transportation services and support for independence 

The moment you realize that your parents’ driving is beginning to pose a risk to both themselves and other people, telling them to give up driving might be the best decision to make. Even though this might not go well with them, you have to do this for their well-being.  

This action will cost them a lot of things as the lack of consistent transportation can hinder your loved ones’ routines. It can also restrict their ability to visit friends, run errands, attend religious services, etc. More importantly, it can increase their feeling of helplessness as they have no other choice than to depend on other people for a ride. 

Hiring a Home Health Companions helps minimize the adverse effects of your parents’ giving up the keys. Private home care will help take your seniors to social activities, appointments, and taking medical tests such as a colonoscopy, endoscopy, etc. Due to this provision, they enjoy a higher degree of independence which ultimately eases their negative feelings like loneliness and depression. 

In addition, the personal care and hygiene your aging parents receive from their eldercare enable them to enjoy their old age at home rather than at a care facility. Thus, your loved ones receive personalized care while retaining their: 

  • Comfort 
  • Confidence 
  • Dignity  
  • Independence  

 

5. Affordable and Flexible 

Hiring a caregiver is cheaper than putting a senior in a facility. This verdict is true because you get to decide the number of hours the caregiver will be working; this will help prevent you from paying for care you do not need. Also, insurance policies are often enough to cover a significant portion of the cost of in-home care, whereas it isn’t for assisted living facilities or nursing homes. 

From reports, older adults who receive home care after an illness or injury exhibit lower hospital readmission rates and recover faster than those who are taken care of in a care facility. This feature will eliminate heavy emotional burdens while allowing for significant financial benefits for you and your loved one. 

Moreover, caregivers help you complete most of the tasks that would have been your responsibility, allowing you to enjoy more time and flexibility. In summary, you get more physical and mental energy to focus on other parts of your life while managing your time wisely. 

6. Support for daily living activities 

Generally, caregivers go through training in various aspects, including: 

  • Mobility assistance 
  • Lessening the possibilities of accident or danger 
  • Movement and positioning of elderly, etc 

All these attributes enable in-home help to improve your loved one’s safety at home. 

Also, a dementia caregiver helps ensure that your aging loved one is in good condition. This provision is essential because seniors commonly experience physical and mental degradation during their aging process. This phenomenon often results in poor hygiene that may result in adverse effects like skin irritations and rashes on your elderly family member’s health.  

Hire Home Health Companions  

Now that you know how beneficial hiring a caregiver will be for you and your loved ones, you’re most likely wondering how to go about the hiring. Truthfully, the hiring process can be tedious for those who don’t know how to do it. Since your priority is to provide your older loved ones with the best care, finding the qualified in-home help that best suits their needs can make the search process even more difficult. 

But there’s nothing to worry about now that you have heard about Home Health Companions. The Home Health Companions is the one-stop service provider for everything caregiving. Our team of professional and experienced caregivers makes it easier to remain at home and still be cared for when challenges occur in your loved ones’ daily lives. 

Here, we offer custom-made services to meet a range of needs, whether you require caregivers and companions for ongoing care or recovery care. Our caregiver services include but are not limited to: 

  • Companionship and Conversation 
  • In-home Recovery 
  • Meal Preparation 
  • Light Housekeeping and Laundry 
  • Incontinence Care and Personal Hygiene 
  • Medication Reminders 
  • Transportation 
  • Errand Service and Shopping  

Contact us today and see your dream of offering your parents the best care they deserve in their golden years come to reality. 

Conclusion  

Hopefully, we were able to ease your doubts about hiring a caregiver for your loved ones with the information you now have about professional caregivers. Hiring a caregiver is one of the best investments you could make for your parents. Connect with Home Health Companions and allow us to help support you and your parents as they age gracefully. 

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Happy CNA Week! Why it’s a Great Time to Be a Home Health CNA

June 16th is National CNA Day, and there’s a reason we’re celebrating all week long.

This CNA Week, we’re honoring the incredible impact our home-health nursing assistants have had on our clients – not just this year, but over the past two years.

2022 CNA Day Theme: “I’m Still Standing.”

CNAs made it through these “unprecedented times” like it’s nobody’s business. They kept family members’ parents, grandparents, and loved ones company during a time of social distancing and loneliness. Day after day, they not only cared for the health of our clients, but they lifted their spirits!

And in the words of Elton John, they’re still standing.

Fast forward to today, and you’ll find that because of these efforts, there’s never been a greater time to be a home health CNA.

In honor of CNA Day, we’ll list just a few reasons nursing assistants are choosing home health career paths:

Why CNAs are Choosing a Career in Home Health

It’s easy to develop more personal relationships.

It’s easier to create a more natural, personal relationship with a client when you’re caring for them in the comfort of their home. This can help you leave a greater impact and find meaning in every day.

There’s a high demand for CNAs.

Right now, there’s a strong need for home health CNAs, creating promising job security. By choosing this path, you’ll make a difference in your career and in the life of others.

Which means excellent pay!

High demand = high rewards! We help CNAs further their home health careers while enjoying competitive pay, benefits, and continuing education opportunities, like our recently established Home Health Companions University.

At Home Health Companions, we’re celebrating CNA Week by offering exceptional pay, benefits, and flexibility to potential CNAs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We’re ready to work with you to find the perfect schedule to reach your career goals.

To be honest, we think it should be CNA Day every day at Home Health Companions. Learn more about how you can join our all-star team today!

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The Importance Of Caregiver Support Services - Seniors Prefer Homecare

National Safety Month Tips for Home Health Caregivers & Nurses

The role of home health caregivers and nurses are essential as you provide supportive and dedicated care to clients in the comfort of their home. This allows the client to maintain some sense of independence while receiving the necessary care and oversight. While our caregivers and nurses are wonderful companions to patients, caring for clients in their home can pose a number of threats to home health nurses. For National Safety Month, we have compiled a quick list of safety tips for home health workers.

Always Be Aware of Your Surroundings

When caring for patients in their homes can pose different risks than caring for those patients within a facility. You may work in a variety of locations and it’s important to know your surroundings including the patient’s community, immediate neighborhood and other residents in the home. Always have accurate directions and know the entrances and exits of the neighborhood. Be alert and watch for signals of any potential violence.

Assess the Worksite for Potential Hazards

If it’s your first time at a patient’s home, take a moment to assess any potential hazards in various areas of the home like kitchen, bathroom, stairway, etc. Be sure walkways are clear, the kitchen is free from any lose utensils, exposed electrical, and more. Ensure the home is well lit and free from clutter. This will be for the benefit of yourself as well as your patients.

Invest in the Right Tools

Patients will have varying needs and having the right tools to support their needs is critical. Proper tools will help prevent you from potentially overexerting yourself. Home health workers most commonly experience back injuries when attempting to lift and transport patients. Practicing proper body mechanics, lifts, and adjustable beds are all great tools and technics to avoid injuries.

Prepare Emergency Resources

A violent situation can occur at any moment. It’s critical to have a plan in mind just in case you encounter any kind of violence. Having an emergency plan and resources will help you quickly react to any situation that might arise. Keep resources and phone numbers handy to call if problems arise. Be sure 911 is on speed dial in the event of an emergency.

Keep COVID Prevention Practices in Mind

Yes, even if though Covid-19 seems to have tapered a bit, it’s still important to follow the appropriate protocols. It’s crucial to protect yourself as well as your patient. Continuing to use gloves, masks, and reducing exposure will ensure you remain healthy and keep your patients healthy.

Safety is Our Priority at Home Health Companions

Staying safe as a home health worker is extremely important and during National Safety Month we wanted to make you aware of some common safety practices. If you would like to work for a company that puts your safety first, check out our latest home health jobs. Learn how helping others is not only exciting, but fulfilling too, and it can bring amazing benefits!

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Maintaining Caregiving Services

Men’s Health Month Tips for Nurses & Caregivers

Men’s Health Month Tips

It’s June and that means it’s National Men’s Health Month! Home Health Companions would like to champion our male caregivers to be the best version of themselves and that involves focusing on your health. After all, if you feel great, you will empower others to do the same. We have compiled a list of men health tips for our male caregivers and clients.

Physical Activity: Exercise an average of three times per week

Let’s face it, you are busy and sometimes you don’t have time for any physical activity. It’s important to try and exercise regularly or at least three times per week. It allows you to stay in shape, while also preventing obesity and various health problems. Exercising is also a great way to relieve stress and help you be more productive throughout the day. Yes, it will be difficult to work it into your schedule but if you do, the benefits can be great. So you should consider getting started early in the day, and then challenge yourself to stick to it.

Maintain a healthy diet

Of course, you can’t really stay in shape just by working out. You also want to have a healthy, adequate diet if you can. Not only could it help prevent diseases and other health issues, but you will also feel a boost of energy. Every caregiver needs to be in great shape so you can better assist your clients. That’s why your diet is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Establish time for meditation

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health especially as a caregiver. It crucial identify ways to help eliminate stress and anxiety. Meditation is a great practice that can help with that. Give it a try, set aside 5 to 10 minutes per day to meditate. We can assure you it’s totally worth it.

Practice time management

Working as a caregiver can be very time-consuming. Find the time to not only do your job, but also the time to take care of yourself as well. Practicing better time management may also help reduce stress and anxiety while providing a greater focus on items that are most important. Yes, it can be hard to manage your time appropriately, but it will deliver amazing benefits if you are able to develop a system like creating a list and prioritizing tasks.

Make time for hobbies

Hobbies are also a great part of your mental health. Making time in your schedule to enjoy activities and things that bring you joy will help you feel more relaxed and happier. You might enjoy spending time with family, exercising, watching sports or outdoor activities; make time for it. Your joy will exude through your work as a caregiver.

Get checked

Sometimes health issues can appear out of nowhere. So the best thing that you can do is to just get checked. The faster you identify any health problems, the easier it will be to deal with them. You don’t want to leave health issues untreated. Make that appointment and stay up to date on your annual preventative exams. The Mayo Clinic identifies a number of items men should get screened and checked during their doctor visits.

Join the Home Health Companions Team

If you’re a caregiver and want to make a difference in the lives of others, boost your career and join our team today. We are here to help you enhance your caregiving career, while also helping people that are in dire need of help. The caregiving industry outlook is extraordinary, and you will find yourself amazed with the opportunities. Search our current home health jobs and apply today!

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Quality home care company for elderly

Stroke Recovery is a Long Process, Get Assistance You Need with Home Health Companions

Did you or your loved one recently experience a stroke and have to spend time in intensive or acute care? The rehabilitation process after a stroke is challenging as your stroke may have had an extreme impact on your physical or mental being. Hiring a team to help you cope or regain your mental and physical strength is best for a good and speedy recovery.
Post-stroke Rehabilitation helps restore function and teaches new ways to complete daily tasks. Hiring a team such as Home Health Companions helps make the recovery process more manageable. We aren’t only focused on your Rehabilitation, but we are also focused on making your daily life easier and helping to boost your emotional well-being along the way.

What factors affect the outcome of stroke rehabilitation?

The recovery process varies by individual, and it is difficult to predict how many and what abilities you may recover and how soon. In general, successful stroke rehabilitation depends
on:

• Emotional factors, such as your motivation and your ability to follow the rehabilitation activities outside of therapy sessions
• Physical characteristics, such as the severity of your stroke in both the cognitive and physical effects
• Social factors, such as the support of friends and family
• Therapeutic factors, including an early start to your Rehabilitation and the skill of your rehabilitation team

The effects of stroke vary depending on its severity and the area of the brain that was
affected, may include:

• Cognitive symptoms like issues with speaking and memory problems.
• Physical symptoms such as paralysis, muscle weaknesses, and difficulty swallowing
• Emotional symptoms such as depression and impulsivity
• Heavy fatigue or difficulty sleeping

Rehabilitation may include the following according to how you were affected and what was instructed by your doctor.

Physical activities

• Motor-skill exercises to help improve your muscle strength and coordination. You might have therapy to strengthen your swallowing.
• Mobility training to help you adapt to mobility aids, such as a walker, wheelchair, canes, or ankle brace.
• Constraint-induced therapy to restrain an unaffected limb while you practice moving
the affected limb to help improve its function. This therapy is sometimes called forced use therapy.
• Range-of-motion therapy includes exercises and treatments that can ease muscle tension (spasticity) and help you regain range of motion.

Cognitive and emotional activities

• Therapy for cognitive disorders. Occupational therapy and speech therapy can help you with cognitive abilities, such as memory, problem-solving, processing, social skills, safety awareness, etc.
• Therapy for communication disorders to help you regain lost abilities such as speaking, listening, writing, and comprehension.
• Psychological evaluation and treatment to help with your mental being.
• Medication. Your doctor might recommend an antidepressant or medicine that affects alertness, agitation, or movement.

Every patient’s rehab journey is different as an individual’s Rehabilitation may include therapies to improve balance, strength, or mobility, while another might need speech or other treatments. A rehabilitation designed for the individual is critical, and Home Health Companions understand. Hence our team of skilled and professional nurses and companions follows the requirements of each patient’s physician to ensure they are doing and helping our clients when and where it is needed.

Need support for yourself or a loved one to help in the stroke rehabilitation process? Well, look no further. Sign up with Home Health Companions or call to get your help. We are here
to serve and help in any way possible, from cooking to helping you get around and much more.

References

Stroke rehabilitation: What to expect as you recover – Mayo Clinic
Stroke Recovery Timeline | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Mount Vernon News

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Caregiver Tips for Effective Communication and Time Management

Being a caregiver or home health nurse can be one of the most rewarding yet demanding careers. You may feel as though there is not enough time in the day and you are constantly juggling multiple tasks both personal and professional. How do you balance it all? Effective time management is crucial for any worker but more importantly nurses and caregivers. One of the most challenging and potentially detrimental aspects of time management is communication.

In the advanced world that we live in today, communication is vital in all walks of life. From children to adults, communication plays an essential role in helping people gain insight into other’s opinions and perspectives clearly. Communication is even more important in healthcare, between the nurses or caregivers and their patients as it plays a vital role in delivering quality health and positively impacting patient care. With so many notification platforms, apps and social media, it can be easy to get behind in responding to important calls, texts and emails. If you find yourself struggling to follow-up, here are some time management tips that might help you to stay connected:

Schedule Time Blocks for Emails, Texts & Calls

We understand during work hours patient care comes first and after-hours you might have family responsibilities and obligations. Those unread emails and text messages could be mounting and you might find yourself saying you will follow up tomorrow, causing you to miss out on very important communications. Schedule time within your day to follow up to emails, calls and text messages. A good rule is to do morning, midday and evening. This will ensure you have covered the entire day.

Set a Timer – 15 minutes

Like most, you may start doing one thing on your phone then realize you have become completely distracted by the latest posts on Facebook. There is nothing wrong with checking social media and engaging however five minutes can quickly turn into 30 minutes. Set a timer for 15 minutes to respond to that post on Facebook or Instagram as well as any other texts or calls you might have received. This will allow you to engage while effectively managing your time.

Prioritize What’s Important

It’s important to block out the noise and focus on the calls, texts and emails that are most important. Did you receive an email from your employer regarding your schedule or patient? Be sure to prioritize this type of communication as it could be pertinent information that could impact patient care or convey a change in your work schedule. Star or favorite these emails in your inbox so you can follow up immediately.

Don’t forget the Portal

Home Health Companions like many companies have a patient care portal. It is crucial that you also make the time to review any updates regarding scheduling and patients within the portal. This should be checked along with emails to ensure you are up to date with the latest regarding your career. Bookmark the link in your browser or download the app for quick access.

Keep it Brief

Remember you have scheduled a block of time as well as set a timer, therefore you must keep your communications and follow-up brief. If you find that a particular response might require more time to draft, save it and come back to it when you have more time. Acknowledge and respond to those messages that you can quickly provide a response. This will help you swiftly move through your follow-up list.

 

Impacts of Effective Communication Skills for Nurses and Caregiving Staff

It can be frustrating and overwhelming at times when you have so many unread text messages and emails or miss important communications. Hopefully, the tips above can help you better manage your time to avoid missing important and time-sensitive messages from your organization or relating to personal matters. This will not only be helpful to provide better patient care but helpful to your career as well as aid in better work/life balance.

If you are looking for a team to grow your home health career and equip you with the skills necessary to be successful, explore careers at Home Health Companions.

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Happy Nurses Week: Freebies & Discounts for Nurses

Home Health Companions is still celebrating National Nurses Week to recognize and appreciate the efforts that nurses put into helping patients and their communities. We and so many others understand that you have worked tirelessly to help others and as a way to say thank you, don’t miss out on freebies and giveaways in honor of you.

Here is a list of several brands offering freebies and discounts during nurses week. (Note restrictions apply):

  1. Crocs is giving away 10,000 pair of shoes free of cost for nurses as well as giving away free scrubs in partnership with FIGS during nurses week 2022.
  2. Amazon is also giving away four free medical drama books on Amazon prime during this week for the nurses. These books are available on kindle app for free.
  3. Adidas is offering 30% off in-store and on the Adidas website, and 20% off at factory outlet stores, when you verify your status as a nurse. All you have to do is verify your status on Id.me to receive the discounts.
  4. Costco is offering a gift card of $20 for the nurses who sign up for a Costco membership.
  5. Nike is giving all first responders and medical professionals a 10% off discount with SheerID.
  6. Enterprise Rent-a-car is giving nurses a 25% discount to rent a car with the help of id.me.
  7. Visit your local Cinnabon location and flash your ID. Normally, you are able to get a free cinnamon Rolls.
  8. Blue Apron is offering up to $110 off and free shipping on their first box from Blue Apron. All you will have to do is verify your status with ID.me.
  9. IHOP is offering 20% off your entire check. Just mention the offer when you call in your order to IHOP and verify with your ID.
  10. Sonny’s BBQ is offering a free Pork Big Deal to all nurses with a pre-verified coupon through May 12. Get your coupon through ID.me at SonnysBBQ.com/NursesWeek.
  11. Potbelly Sandwich Shop is offering nurses a free cookie or regular-sized soft drink with any entree order through May 12th. Simply show your nurse badge to the cashier.

We hope you continue to have a wonderful Nurses Week and thank you for making a difference. If you are interested in joining a team that empowers you to make a difference, search our home health careers and apply today!

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Home Health Companions Wishes You a Happy Nurses Week

Today commences National Nurses Week, where we honor the care, compassion and dedication nurses provide to their patients and families every day. Take a moment this week to recognize a nurse that has made an impact in your life. Home Health Companions wants to thank our very own home health nurses that work so hard to provide exceptional care to our clients.

When was the first National Nurses Week?

President Richard Nixon chose to recognize the National Nurses Week in 1974 via a proclamation, and the main focus was to show the true importance of caregivers all over the country. In that same year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) declared May 12th Florence Nightingale’s birthday, International Nurses Day. Now every year, Nurses Week begins on May 6th and ends on May 12th Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale was an English nurse named to be the founder of modern medicine and this holiday pays homage to the one that paved the way for so many nurses.

Why is National Nurses Week so important?

Nurses are on the frontline of care and there are not enough words to begin to thank them for their impact on the lives of so many. This Nurses Week show your appreciation by writing a handwritten note, providing lunch/dinner or giving small donations or gifts. These are just small tokens of gratitude and a way to recognize them for all their hard work and commitment to helping others get better and maintain a good health.

Thank You Nurses from Home Health Companions

We want to thank you for your hard work and the dedication you show when it comes to helping other people and serving the needs of clients. We know that the world would be a lot different and some of us wouldn’t be here without your hard work and commitment. We want to send a special thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Home Health Companions is always looking for more compassionate and dedicated nurses. See our latest home health nurse jobs and join our team!

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8 Qualities & Characteristics that Define a Caregiver

Being a caregiver is an incredibly rewarding experience that can offer many amazing benefits. From the sense of satisfaction, you get from helping someone in need to the strengthened bond you form with the person you’re caring for, there are plenty of reasons to be proud of being a caregiver. Here are just a few of the reasons why caregivers are amazing people:

1. Constantly Giving of Themselves

Caregivers are always putting the needs of others before their own. They’re always willing to lend a helping hand, whether it’s running errands, cooking meals, providing transportation, or simply being a companion. This selfless attitude is one of the most admirable qualities a person can have.

2. Great Communicators

Caregivers know how to communicate effectively with the people in which they are providing care. They understand that different people have different communication needs, and they’re able to adjust their style accordingly. This ability to communicate clearly is essential in providing quality care.

3. Have a Lot of Patience

Caregivers know that some days are going to be more challenging than others but the patience shown when faced with opposition is unmatched. This patience is often very helpful in diffusing difficult situations.

4. Flexible

Caregivers are flexible people who are able to adapt to changing circumstances. They’re able to roll with the punches and make necessary adjustments on the fly. This ability to go with the flow is a valuable asset in any caregiver’s toolkit.

5. Have a Positive Outlook

Caregivers understand that there will be good days and bad days. They try to focus on the positive and find the silver lining in every situation. This positive outlook is contagious and can often help the people they’re caring for feel better about themselves.

6. They are Resourceful

Caregivers are always looking for new ways to help their patients. They’re constantly researching new resources and keeping up with the latest developments in home health care. This resourcefulness is invaluable in providing quality patient care.

7. Caregivers are Strong

Caregivers are some of the strongest people you’ll ever meet. They have to be because they deal with challenging situations on a daily basis. They have to be strong for not only their patients but their patients’ families as well, even when they don’t feel like it themselves.

8. Compassionate

Caregivers are some of the most compassionate people one can ever encounter. They genuinely care about the people and have a desire to make their lives as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. This compassion is one of the key defining characteristics of a caregiver.

 

Why You Should Consider a Career as a Caregiver

Caregivers play an important role in the lives of their patients. They provide physical and emotional support, which can make all the difference in the world for patients who are battling illnesses or injuries. Caregivers are also vital for providing continuity of care, which can be crucial for patients who are recovering from surgery or a long hospital stay.

Becoming a caregiver can be a rewarding experience, both professionally and personally. If you have a passion for helping others and want to make a difference in the lives of those around you, then becoming a caregiver may be the perfect career choice for you. Here’s why:

1. Sense of Accomplishment

Caregivers generally report feeling a great sense of accomplishment from the work they do. This is likely because caregiving requires a high level of compassion and empathy, which are two traits that can be difficult to find. In addition, caregivers often report feeling a deep sense of satisfaction from knowing that they are helping others on a daily basis.

2. Build Close Relationships

There are many other reasons why someone might want to become a caregiver. For example, caregivers often have the opportunity to build close relationships with those they care for. This can be a very rewarding experience, as it allows caregivers to really get to know the people they are helping. In addition, caregivers often have flexible schedules, which can be a great perk for those with busy lives.

3. Make A Difference

Caregivers have the opportunity to make a real difference in someone’s life. They are the unsung heroes of the world, and they are essential in helping those who need it the most.

When you become a caregiver, you can help people with their activities of daily living, and you can provide them with companionship and support. This can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and it can make a significant difference in their lives.

4. Great Way to Give Back

When you become a caregiver, you can use your skills to help others. You can provide them with companionship, support, and care. Caregiving is a great way to give back because it provides an opportunity to make a real difference in someone else’s life.

It can be extremely rewarding to help another person manage their illness, recover from surgery, or simply listen when needed. Caregiving also allows you to build strong relationships and create lasting memories.

5. A Rewarding Experience

When it comes to finding a career that is fulfilling, many people may overlook the option of becoming a caregiver. However, this is an incredibly rewarding profession that allows you to become part of a new family and experience what it’s like to dedicate your life to others.

 

Join Our Team as a Caregiver

Caring for someone is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have. The sense of satisfaction you get from helping someone in need and the strengthened bond you form with the person you’re caring for are just a few of the reasons why caregivers are amazing people.

If being a caregiver sounds like something you’d be interested in, join us now and become part of our team of dedicated and passionate individuals. We’re always looking for new members who want to make a difference in the lives of others. Check out our home health careers and apply today!

 

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Caregivers Provide Light Housekeeping Services for Seniors | Elder Care, Senior Home Care Helping Seniors Live Well at Home

Respiratory Therapy & Care

When we think of respiratory problems, we automatically understand that a case of this nature could be potentially life-threatening because, without our respiratory system, we cannot function. However, some specialists can help provide you with the best treatment to improve your quality of life for these respiratory problems. These therapies or respiratory care include evaluating and diagnosing a patient with respiratory issues and providing treatment plans, management, and ongoing assessment to improve and help a better quality of life for people living with this problem. A patient of any age, especially someone older, can receive respiratory therapy as many diseases, injuries, conditions, and symptoms can impact breathing. Patients would benefit from care to make breathing easier.

 

Home Health Companions provides Respiratory care for patients in the short-term, long-term, and indefinitely for rehabilitation after an illness or for patients with progressive diseases that will not recover. Respiratory therapy involves using many tools, strategies, technology, and equipment to manage symptoms and improve breathing over time.

While it’s simple to hire any group to aid you or your family with breathing problems, you want a group dedicated to sticking with you and providing the best care. At Home Health Companions, our trained nurses help to guide you through your healing or coping processing with the guidelines created by your Respiratory therapists responsible for evaluating and treating you. In making the best route for care to resolve or assist problems and illnesses within the lungs, The main priority is diagnosing your issue, whether lung disease or breathing disorders, managing breathing equipment, and evaluating your blood oxygen levels.

Our program helps individuals who suffer from issues with breathing, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Cardiac Failure
  • COPD
  • Emphysema
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Lung Cancer

In addition to your treatment plans we:

  • Assisting doctors in creating and monitoring treatment plans
  • Educate patients about their conditions and properly use therapeutic types of equipment
  • Measure the lung capacity of our patients to determine the severity of your condition
  • Providing essential treatments for diseases
  • Taking notes and keeping records of each patients’ treatments and prognoses
  • We provide in-home assistance with cooking and much more
  • Aid in transport if a patient needs to travel, whether for medical or other reasons.

Get the help and service you need to achieve better respiratory function.

 

References

What is Respiratory Therapy? | Becoming a Respiratory Therapist (fnu.edu)

Respiratory Therapy | Standards of Care

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Tips for Safely Navigating Spring Texas Storms as a Caregiver

The weather in Texas can be unpredictable during the spring. Beautiful and sunny weather, could quickly turn into a severe thunderstorm with high winds and hail. We have recently experienced a number of severe thunderstorms with hail and tornadoes. As a caregiver, it’s important to be prepared for any type of weather emergency for not only yourself but for your patients as well. It’s important to be informed with the most likely natural disasters, stay up to date with weather alerts and prepare an emergency plan. In the event of bad weather, these tips can help you safely navigate spring Texas storms.

How to Stay Safe in a Tornado

Tornadoes can be extremely dangerous, and they can occur without warning. It’s important to know that a tornado watch means a tornado is possible in and near the watch area. A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted and you should immediately take cover. According to the National Weather Service, the best way to protect yourself from a tornado is to take shelter in a sturdy building. If you are not in the position to take cover in a sturdy building nearby, take cover in a ditch or low-lying area. In the event of a tornado, you should:

  1. Stay away from windows to avoid injuries from flying glass. If you can’t stay away from windows, try to find a safe place to hide, such as a basement or an interior room without windows.
  2. Stay off of porches and balconies. If you’re on a porch or balcony, go inside immediately.
  3. Avoid open spaces. Find a safe place to hide like a low-lying area such as a ditch or ravine.
  4. Stay away from power lines and poles.
  5. Keep yourself and your family together.
  6. Don’t try to outrun the tornado.
  7. Take cover immediately in basement or an interior room without windows. If you can’t find a safe place, lie flat on the ground and cover your head with your hands.

Stay Safe from High Winds with These Tips

High winds can cause just as much danger to caregivers and patients as more severe storms. According to the National Weather Service, sustained wind speed of 58mph or higher is considered damaging and have the potential to cause injuries due to downed lines or flying debris. Follow these tips to stay safe during high winds:

  1. Stay inside if possible.
  2. Wear sturdy shoes to prevent losing your balance.
  3. Use caution when driving.
  4. Stay away from power lines and poles.

Be Prepared During Hail

Hail is precipitation in the form of ice that falls like rain and can be the size of a grapefruit or larger. If not prepared, hail can be extremely deadly. Follow these tips to stay safe during hail:

  1. Quickly find shelter indoors.
  2. If you have to go outside during a hail storm, wear a hat or helmet.
  3. Stay away from windows as hail can cause glass to break possibly resulting in injuries.
  4. Protect your head and face if you are not able to find shelter by crouching down while covering your head with your hands.

What to do When Lightning Strikes

The leading cause of weather-related fatalities is due to lightning, according to the National Weather Service. Lightning can be hotter than the Sun’s surface so if someone has been struck, contact 9-1-1 immediately. Follow these tips to help prevent injuries during a storm:

  1. Find shelter indoors as quickly as possible.
  2. Stay away from windows.
  3. Don’t stand under trees.
  4. Avoid metal objects.
  5. Stay away from water.

How to Remain Safe in Case of a Flood

Flooding can occur quickly as water accumulates. For your safety, it is crucial to avoid walking or driving through a large accumulation of water or floodwaters. If you encounter flooding while driving, turn around and find an alternate route. If you’re caught in a flood, these tips can help you remain safe:

  1. Stay away from moving water.
  2. Don’t walk through floodwaters.
  3. Turnaround or find an alternate route to avoid driving through floodwaters.
  4. Stay on higher ground.
  5. Don’t enter a flooded building.
  6. Watch for hazards in floodwaters like sharp objects, animals, and other dangers.

Being Prepared Means Staying Safe

Spring storms can be dangerous, but with a little preparation and the tips above, you can keep your patients safe as well as yourself. Part of being prepared means assessing the needs medical and physical needs of your patients so that in case of an emergency, you will know how to respond. Lastly, it’s critical to always heed the advice of local emergency officials. Sign up for local weather alerts and stay safe!

If you’re looking to join a team that makes caregiver and patient safety a priority, search our home health careers.

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Hypertension & Heart Disease 

Are you or a loved one living with hypertension or heart disease and seeking care. Home Health Companions is the group for you. When living with Hypertension or heart disease, there are numerous things that you must take into account, like the complications that come with these health issues. 

High blood pressure puts you at risk for: 

  • Cerebrovascular disease. 
  • Chronic kidney disease. 
  • Congestive heart failure. 
  • Coronary artery disease. 
  • Peripheral arterial disease. 
  • Retinal disease. 

Herat diseases such as coronary artery disease (CAD) and Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH) can put you at risk for: 

  • Aneurysm.  
  • Arrhythmia: your heart beats abnormally 
  • Heart attack: blood flow to the heart is interrupted, and the heart muscle dies from lack of oxygen 
  • Heart failure: your heart is unable to pump enough blood to the rest of your body 
  • Ischemic heart disease: your heart doesn’t get enough oxygen 
  • Peripheral artery disease.  
  • Stroke and sudden death 
  • Sudden cardiac arrest. 

While Hypertension, generally known as High blood pressure, means having higher than normal blood levels, Heart disease is any condition that affects the structure or function of the heart. However, even with the two being different high blood pressure may place you at risk for heart disease.  

The main risks factor for heart disease is high blood pressure. Your risk increases if: 

  • you’re overweight 
  • you’re not physically active enough as needed  
  • you smoke 
  • you have a high intake of fat and cholesterol 

The treatment of Hypertension and heart disease varies depending on their severity. Therefore over at Home Health Companions, we offer private duty nursing staff specifically trained to assist you with tracking your blood pressure and a heart condition. Moreover, we provide ongoing care, including transportation, in-home help with food preparation, general care preparation, companionship, and medication management.  

Medication 

Medications used to treat heart disease and Hypertension may include the following as the primary goals are to prevent blood clotting, improve blood flow, and lower cholesterol levels: 

  • Aspirin to prevent blood clots 
  • Calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibitors to help lower blood pressure 
  • Nitrates to treat chest pain 
  • Statins to treat high cholesterol 
  • Water pills to help lower blood pressure 

Adjusting to the idea that you have to prioritize your medications and maintain a particular lifestyle can become too much. Seek help with Home Health Companions as we’ll guide and take care of you every step of the way.  

Get help! Check out our website @https://www.homehealthcompanions.com/ 

 

 

References  

https://www.osfhealthcare.org/blog/hypertension-and-heart-disease/ 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-are-hypertension-heart-disease-and-stroke-related 

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hypertension 

Hypertension and heart disease | OSF HealthCare 

https://www.heartandstroke.ca/heart-disease/what-is-heart-disease/types-of-heart-disease 

 

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How to Spring Forward Your Home Health Caregiver Career

Spring Forward Your Career as Home Health Caregiver with These Tips

Spring is almost here, in fact, we spring forward on March 13th. That means it’s a great time to give your home health career a boost and continue to grow and improve in your field as a home health caregiver.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the top tips from industry experts on how to spring forward your home health caregiver career in 2022. Check out the tips below.

  1. Stay up to date with the latest industry trends

One of the best ways to stay ahead in your career is to stay up to date with the latest industry trends. As a result of the pandemic, there are always new developments and policy changes. It’s important to stay up to date regarding any changes that might impact patient care. Organizations like National Association for Home Care and Hospice and PHI, share the latest in federal updates and legislation. You can easily stay up-to-date on the latest health care news by signing up for newsletters from these professional organizations, reading industry publications/blogs, or following them on social media.

  1. Get certified

Another great way to further your home health caregiver career is to get certified. There are a number of different certification programs available, so be sure to do your research and find one that is best suited for you. There are many great resources available online, including the best home health certification programs of 2022 that list a variety of different certification programs, as well as costs associated. This could also involve getting a certification in a specific area of care, such as dementia care or wound care. By doing this, you will be able to demonstrate that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to provide high-quality care for your patients.

A great start could be online courses that teach or enhance your skills as a home health care provider. This can be done from any computer, and it’s extremely easy! All you need is access to high-speed internet, some time on your hands, as well as patience while learning. Furthermore, Home Health Companions offers online training through its Home Health Companions University to advance the skills of caregivers and the safety of clients. Continuing education and training can help set you apart from other health professionals and give you an edge when it comes to your next career move.

  1. Network with other professionals

As a caregiver, it can be challenging to network with other professionals outside of your usual work setting. However, networking with doctors, nurses and other health professionals can help provide greater career focus and an idea of career progression. Understanding where you want to go in your career will help you set goals and achieve them with proper planning.

Networking can also spring you into your next career. Most companies these days offer referral programs and the larger your network, the more opportunities you have to find your next caregiver job.

Wondering how to network with so little time? Here’s how:

    • Leverage social media and expand your network by following friends, family, and peers
    • Get to know your colleagues
    • Join organizations and professional associations
    • Attend conferences, virtual or in-person, and engage in discussion
  1. Take on new challenges

One of the best ways to further your career is to take on new challenges. If you’re always doing the same thing, you’ll never learn or grow. So be sure to ask for additional responsibilities whenever possible and volunteer for projects that interest you. As we mentioned above, take courses or training that stretch beyond traditional caregiver skills like music, cooking, and fitness. This can offer different perspectives that can be used to engage and care for your patients.

  1. Make self-care a priority

A career as a home health caregiver can be very demanding so it’s important to put self-care at the top of your priority list. This can be difficult when your work schedule does not permit, but it’s essential to your own well-being and the quality of care that you provide. One way to focus on self-care is by setting goals for yourself and taking time to replenish. This can be done by focusing on nutrition, taking brief walks throughout the day, and making time for the things you enjoy most. Your self-care will exude positive energy for yourself and those around you.

A Rewarding Career in Home Health

Home health caregiving is a rewarding career that offers many opportunities for growth and development. If you’re dedicated to your work, there are plenty of ways to advance and further your career. Join a home health team that helps you spring forward in your career as a caregiver. Learn more about the job opportunities at Home Health Companions.

 

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Healthy Tips for Nurses and Caregivers for National Nutrition Month

As a caregiver or nurse, it can be very challenging to live a healthy lifestyle as you are always on-the-go and working to keep your patients healthy. March is National Nutrition Month, and that means it’s time to focus on ways to improve our diets and stay healthy.

Home Health Companions has put together some tips to help you maintain your healthy lifestyle as you continue to provide exceptional patient care. Although it can be tough to find time for meal prep or to pack healthy snacks, it can be very beneficial and key to getting a nutritious and balanced diet. Here are a few tips you might consider:

1. Meal prep lunches.

If you have a few hours on the weekend, set aside some time to cook up some healthy lunches for the week. This will save you time and money, and it’s a lot healthier than eating out or buying pre-packaged meals. You can cook up simple meals like grilled chicken or fish, quinoa bowls, or salad jars. If you have a bit more time, you can also try out new delicious and healthy meal prep recipes.

2. Pack healthy snacks.

When you’re on the go, it’s important to have some healthy snacks handy. This will help you avoid resorting to unhealthy options, like fast food or sugary snacks. Some healthy snack ideas include fruit, nuts and seeds, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, veggie sticks with hummus, and whole-grain crackers with cheese.

3. Reduce caffeine intake and drink more water.

Caffeine can be a major drain on our energy levels, especially if we’re drinking it throughout the day. Try to reduce your caffeine intake and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water instead. A great way to be sure you are drinking enough water is by keeping a refillable water bottle handy. This will help you stay hydrated no matter where you are. A study published by John Hopkins University showed that drinking more water can help reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss. This is especially important for caregivers and nurses who are often on their feet and burning lots of energy.

4. Keep in mind a balanced diet.

It’s important to remember that our diets should be balanced and include all of the major food groups. When we’re busy, it can be easy to forget about this and fall into bad habits.

According to experts, a balanced diet includes:

  • Fruits and vegetables of all different colors
  • Grains (at least half of which should be whole grains)
  • Protein (lean and plant-based options)
  • Dairy
  • Oils

Be sure you’re getting enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats. And if you can, try to get most of your nutrients from real food instead of supplements.

5. Try to get enough sleep.

Last but not least, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. This can be extremely challenging depending on your work schedule. However, it’s so important for our overall health. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night and create a bedtime routine that will help you wind down before bed.

 

National Nutrition Month is a great reminder and opportunity to refocus on our health and make some positive changes. Following these tips will hopefully help you make better choices for your health and improve your overall wellness. Make it a point this month to put your health first and develop healthy habits. You will be your best self for those you provide care for daily.

Looking to make a career change? We are always seeking caregivers to help keep our clients healthy. Search our home health careers and apply here.

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Why You Should Consider a Career in Healthcare Recruitment

Are you seeking a career where you have the potential to impact the lives of caregivers and their patients? Consider a rewarding career as a home health recruiter and care coordinator. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall career growth in healthcare is estimated to grow 16 percent by the year 2030. As the healthcare industry continues to grow, there will be an even great need for healthcare recruiters to help match qualified caregivers to amazing career opportunities. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider a career in home health recruiting.

 

Benefits of Being a Home Health Recruiter

Potential to Grow

Health care is continually evolving. One of the many things we’ve learned from the pandemic is that change is necessary and so is innovation. As a result, new health care roles were introduced and other health care roles grew in importance, like home health caregivers. The innovation and evolution of healthcare will continue to drive the career growth of home health recruiters. As the home health landscape changes and the U.S. population continues to age, we will always need great recruiters to help us find spectacular caregivers to be companions to our clients.

Make a Real Impact

Help caregivers find their dream job while ultimately helping patients find amazing companions. In your role as a home health recruiter, your ability to help caregivers has the potential to change their career trajectory. Many caregivers have done extensive training with plans to continue their education to go on to be a nurse. Others might have become caregivers by having to care for their loved ones. Either way, there’s an opportunity to help these health professionals throughout every step of their career. You can take pride in knowing by helping these professionals, you are potentially saving lives.

Build Lasting Relationships

As a home health recruiter, you will connect with a number of professionals with the potential to build lasting relationships. You will not only recruit exceptional caregivers but you will also schedule care givers to fulfill client needs. This will help forge real relationships and possibly friendships as you are matching the needs of the care givers with client’s needs.

We’re Hiring

As you can see, the benefits add up as you dive deep into this career. If you’re interested in making an impact while furthering your career in home health, apply today for the home health recruiter and care coordinator job at Home Health Companions.

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Home Health Companions Receives 2022 Best of Home Care® – Employer of Choice Award

It’s official! Home Health Companions is excited to announce that we have received the 2022 Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse for the fourth year. The Employer of Choice Award is granted only to the top-ranking home care providers, based on caregiver satisfaction scores gathered by Home Care Pulse, an independent satisfaction research firm for home care. Home Health Companions is recognized among the best employers of in-home caregivers in the region.

“We’re excited to congratulate Home Health Companions for their well-deserved achievement: earning the Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award,” says Todd Austin, President of Home Care Pulse. “Since this award is based on employee feedback, it shows the dedication Home Health Companions has to providing their employees with a great working experience, ensuring clients have well-trained, compassionate caregivers.”

Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice award-winning providers work with Home Care Pulse to gather feedback from their caregivers via live phone interviews each month. Because Home Care Pulse is an independent company, it is able to collect honest and unbiased feedback.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized as a Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice for the fourth year,” says Lisa Shardon, President of Home Health Companions. “This award is a testament of how we continue to support our employees and provide opportunities for growth like our Home Health Companions University and Concierge caregiver program.”

We’re Hiring!

Find out why our caregivers love working for Home Health Companions, explore our careers here.

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Diabetes Care

Diabetes is a lifelong treatable yet deadly disease if it’s not treated quickly and correctly; the condition is a case in which the body either can’t produce or properly use the insulin produced in the Pancreas. Insulin is an essential substance created in our bodies as it helps to carefully regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood to ensure that the body functions appropriately. A high amount of sugar within the blood can result in organ failure or damage to our nerve or blood vessels.  

Symptoms of Diabetes  

  • Blurred vision  
  • Darkened skin (armpits and neck). This condition often indicates insulin resistance. 
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Fatigue (feeling tired or lethargic), irritability, and anger  
  • Frequent or recurring infections 
  • Frequent urination  
  • Fruity-smelling breath: This can be a warning sign of diabetic ketoacidosis. In this condition, ketones build up in the blood, mainly affecting type 1 diabetes and requiring prompt medical attention. 
  • Increased thirst  
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet 
  • Slow-healing cuts and bruises 
  • Unexplained weight loss 

 

Types of Diabetes  

  • Gestational diabetes- occurs during pregnancy and puts both mother and child at risk of developing diabetes later.   
  • Prediabetes – blood sugar levels are higher than usual but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. 
  • Type 1 – This is a condition in which a person cannot produce or regulate insulin because the body is attacking the Pancreas (insulin-dependent diabetes, also known as autoimmune) 
  • Type 2 – This is a condition in which a person cannot regulate the insulin produced by their body. 

People should treat a condition like this with a high level of care, so Home Health Companions provides a way for clients to be given the help they need to reduce the chances of it becoming deadly. With diabetes, you have to ensure you eat on time, seek the physician’s help once you have an open wound, and maintain a healthy diet. 

What we offer at Home Health Companions is: 

  • Wound care  
  • Medication management  
  • In-home help  
  • Meal preps  
  • Wellness checks  

References 

 https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetes/ 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-management/art-20045803 

https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/27/5/1047/27412/Global-Prevalence-of-DiabetesEstimates-for-the 

https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/37/Supplement_1/S14/37696/Standards-of-Medical-Care-in-Diabetes-2014  

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes 

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