All Posts in Category: Caregivers

A caregiver discusses personalized care plans with a senior couple considering in-home care services.

Why Personalized Care Plans are Essential for Home Health Care

You’ve just started checking out home health care choices for an older loved one, and you’re becoming a bit overwhelmed. There are a lot of options to consider, and so many new and unfamiliar terms to learn. Take, for instance, personalized care plans. It may look like just another bit of jargon in a sea of confusing terms, but it’s actually perhaps one of the most important aspects of home care services. Here is why:

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A mother facing cancer and daughter smile together as they learn how to communicate about the mother’s disease.

Communicating With Empathy: How to Talk to a Loved One Facing Cancer

Striking up a conversation with a family member with cancer can leave you feeling awkward and unsure of what to say. Should you bring up their diagnosis right away, or avoid the C word altogether? Is it ok to try to make the person laugh? What if they start crying? Conversations become loaded with unspoken emotions, and finding the right words isn’t easy.

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A family meets to discuss how to better communicate about family caregiving.

Building Stronger Family Bonds Through Better Communication

Looking after a loved one in the home can strain family dynamics. Siblings may argue about care decisions, adult children may feel stressed, and aging parents may resist help. Effective communication is important to bridge the gap between differing opinions, ease the burden of caregiving responsibilities, and make certain everyone feels heard and valued.

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A woman who is one of many family caregivers stands behind her older mother.

We Hear You! Here’s What Family Caregivers Say They Need Most.

If you have ever felt invisible as a family caregiver, you’re not alone. Caring for someone you love takes center stage, and you may discover that your own needs are put on the back burner. A recent listening session, however, allowed family caregivers to speak openly and honestly about what they need—and the feedback may surprise you. Here are a few of the key insights and findings derived from these sessions.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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20 Questions to Help You Get to Know Your Client

It’s likely that one of the reasons you are a health care professional is because you want to help people. You signed up and trained to provide your expertise so others can live their best lives. You feel good about what you do and know your work matters.

One of the ways to continue that purpose is to build stronger connection with the people you serve. It can be easy in the day-to-day challenges to lose sight of the point of your effort, but by establishing relationships with your clients you will renew in your deepest sense of satisfaction.

Here we deliver information on how to ask questions and trigger memories—and the benefits of shared life stories.

 

Reminiscence Therapy Benefits

Most people enjoy talking about themselves, and for some seniors their past is even more solid than newer, recent memories. Termed Reminiscence Therapy (RT) or life review, you don’t need to be a therapist to encourage life storytelling with your clients.

As a “people person,” you recognize the nature of your working relationship with your clients. As your work progresses, though, you’ll feel when the time is right to allow for more time to ask more questions to illicit life storytelling.

There is brain science at work during RT, too. Per Good Therapy, “RT encourages discussion of memories that have been stored away. It helps stimulate those memories through sensory organs. This causes the brain to react differently than usual. Those reactions can impact emotions or behavior. Studies have shown that RT can help older adults become more engaged.”

By evoking your clients to talk about their past, you provide more holistic care that honors both the patient and your role as a caregiver. Whether working with someone dealing with dementia or other conditions, seniors can see other benefits of life review, including improved mood or behavior, higher confidence, and reduced depression.

20 Memory Prompt Questions

These 20 questions are a starting point to guide you in conversation. The most important part is to remain invested and pay attention. Consider taking notes that you can refer to for future topics, and let the answers guide you to other questions naturally.

The most rewarding experience for you and the client can happen when your curiosity is heightened and YOU want to know more!

  1. Where and when were you born?
  2. What is your most vivid childhood memory?
  3. Describe the place where you lived (i.e., the community) as a child.
  4. Who were the most important people to you as a child?
  5. Who was your best friend, and why?
  6. Describe the kinds of games you played.
  7. Where were your favorite places to go when you were a child? Why?
  8. Describe your favorite childhood meal.
  9. What was your favorite subject in school? Why?
  10. What chores did you do as a child?
  11. Did you have a pet as a child?
  12. What was your special talent?
  13. Did you memorize anything like a poem for school?
  14. Who was your favorite teacher, and why?
  15. Describe one of those times you feel you succeeded in something.
  16. Describe the members of your family.
  17. What was your role in the family? (Were you the brain? Were you the athlete?)
  18. Describe a time you encountered danger as a child but lived to tell the tale.
  19. When did you realize you had truly become an adult?
  20. Describe a courageous moment when you took a big leap.

 

Other Reminiscing Tools

In addition to questions, other tools can yield memories, too. Pay attention to the photos on display in the home and ask about the people in the images. Who are they and how are they related to your client? Do the photos document an important event or milestone? Let one question lead to another.

Our senses are another strong memory trigger. Particular scents, sounds, or the touch of certain things can call up bits of memory that provoke more stories. Consider playing favorite music the client recalls or showing images of tools he or she might have used for work. Are there other objects on display in the home that are attached to stories?

Film clips from the time period of a person’s life are topics to start the flow of memories. Play video clips from major historical events and ask your client what he or she remembers of this significant time in history.

 

Stay Connected to Your Purpose

Your role as a health care provider is impactful for your client and the family as well. But at the core of your role, you are present in a person’s life at a vulnerably human moment. We will all have times we need the support of others due to illness or an ongoing condition. When that happens, all any of us wants is to be heard and treated with dignity. Taking time to enrich the relationships with your clients through reminiscing will keep you grounded in the importance of what you do.

But even more profound, perhaps, will be the life lessons and insights you glean from hearing the life stories of others.

 

Bibliography:

http://www.homehealthcompanions.com/caregivers-companions  https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/reminiscence-therapy

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5 Tips to Help Your Clients Understand Technology

Many take technology for granted these days, but it wasn’t all that long ago that holding a computer in your hand was the stuff of science fiction. For people under 20, computers are simply a way of life, but older generations have had to play catchup. For the most senior members of society, the gap to using technology is even greater.

Seniors need to understand tech not just to stay connected with others, but also to help with their health goals. Teaching tech to older adults, however, requires some special forethought and consideration.

As a healthcare professional, it will fall on you at times to help teach clients about technology, particularly as it relates to devices for healthcare.

Here, we provide five tips to assist you in working with seniors to help them learn ways to adapt to tech.

 

Technology and Senior Learning

It was in the mid-1980s that desktop computers began to appear in homes with practical use for everyday people.

Nowadays, it’s almost quaint to think about the advent of the “dumb” cellphone which became standard later in the 1980s that only made phone calls. In comparison, and much to annoyance of some of the older generation, people have abandoned phone calls entirely to instead connect via text and video.

It is nonetheless the smartphone that is bringing more seniors up to speed with technology. Per a recent Pew study, “While adoption rates among seniors continues to trail those of the overall population, the share of adults ages 65 and up who own smartphones has risen 24 percentage points (from 18% to 42%) since 2013.”

While more seniors have the tech tools, however, they are still lagging in how to use them. Per Forbes, it turns out the disconnect isn’t only due to frustrated older learners. Often, the very tech designed for them wasn’t developed with their input.

The pandemic has forced more elders to brave the tech frontier, and the push has had an upside. Not only is tech helping elders stay engaged with family and friends, but many have been surprised to find that it’s possible to learn new tech after all their previous doubts.

Technology is becoming an essential part of medical care as well. Today, healthcare technology delivers medication, monitors vitals, and links healthcare providers to patients via telemedicine. Healthcare trends suggest that as more seniors strive to age in place, it will be tech that will help them do so.

 

Tips to Technology Learning for Seniors

If you’re a health care professional who works with seniors, you already have some expertise in how to provide new information. Seniors are capable of learning tech, but the training must be adapted to how they learn best. Here we offer you five tips to keep in mind as you offer tech support to your clients.

  1. Explain the value. The first step is to explain the “why” of the tool. What value will this technology provide the client? Will it help monitor their insulin or report data to a physician’s office? Learning is a nesting process. We take in new information by applying it to what we already understand. By helping your client see the purpose of the tool, there’s a better foundation to learn more.
  2. Use easy language and gradually introduce terms. When teaching new technology to older people, try for the simplest language possible. Instead of saying “operating system,” for example, try explaining that Windows 10 is the hardware that allows a computer to work with other tools.
  3. Go sloooowly and be patient. Be prepared to explain a concept slowly and reexplain it several times. Remember that you’re teaching new terms and ideas, so it’s naturally going to be a steeper climb for your clients to understand. Encourage them to take notes (the old-school way, with a pen and pad of paper) if that helps.
  4. Give them confidence. Perhaps the biggest fear for any learner is concern of doing it wrong. Assure your clients that they won’t break the internet, and that if an error is made like inputting the wrong data, there are ways to fix it. Provide them with support numbers to call and let them know that most everything is fixable.
  5. Tap into professional training services. It’s unfortunate that sometimes an older person’s first experience with learning technology occurs when they ask their younger family members to help them learn it. Weather it’s grandchildren, nieces or nephews, it’s likely they aren’t skilled at training. They don’t mean to, but that younger family member often explains things too fast or ends up doing whatever the elder person requested rather than teaching it.

As impatience grows for both the senior and young person, it won’t help with learning or the relationship.

As a health care professional, you are a person outside the family dynamic who comes to teaching with a broader perspective. You have the opportunity to connect seniors to other opportunities where they can continue to learn technology, too. There are even national programs such as OATS which focus on computer education for people over the age of 55.

 

Technology for Elders

Because of how we learn (building knowledge one block upon another), it makes sense how it can be harder for older adults to learn technology. However, the benefits of doing so are many.

Not only will learning tech raise clients’ level of self-confidence, tech training can improve quality of life and the medical care you deliver, too. By utilizing these 5 steps, you will be well on your way to help your clients gain the information they need with all the benefits that come with.

 

Bibliography

https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2017/05/17/technology-use-among-seniors/

https://oats.org/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robinseatonjefferson/2019/06/28/more-seniors-are-embracing-technology-but-can-they-use-it-ucsd-researchers-suggest-asking-them/?sh=135be8712323

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8 Tips for Seniors to Shop Safely Online

It was just 25 years ago that Amazon began selling books online. At that time, the predictions were that online sales would represent only a fraction of total retail sales for the foreseeable future.

Fast forward to today, and thousands of retailers big and small have closed physical locations and moved to an online presence instead. In this year of the pandemic, even the consumers who were previously most reluctant to shop online have found it to be easier, faster, and safer than they had imagined.

Per Digital Commerce 360, “Consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, up an incredible 44.0% year over year. That’s the highest annual U.S. ecommerce growth in at least two decades. It’s also nearly triple the 15.1% jump in 2019.”

Seniors are embracing ecommerce as a useful tool to help them age in place. It allows them access to services and products from the comfort of home, and in the days of the pandemic also allows them to reduce exposure to the novel virus. However, there are still those who worry that shopping online as a senior automatically means falling victim to fraud.

Data proves otherwise. Per the FTC, it turns out that older adults were the least likely age group to report losing money to scams in a 2012 review. It was also the group of over 60s who spotted fraud and reported it more often before losing any money (at twice the rate of people between 20 and 59). A pretty wise group, we’d have to admit!

So, it turns out that an informed senior can be an online-shopping savvy one. Seniors are able to use the internet to shop and engage with the world safely so long as they remain informed. So, by staying current about online safety and using these 8 tips, you can shop online with more confidence.

 

1: Research retailers before you buy

Amazon is the biggest ecommerce retailer on the internet, and there are advantages to shopping there. A consumer can search the portal and instantly compare prices and products from a variety of sellers in one place. Reviews for each merchant and product are easy to find, which empowers buyers to make informed decisions.

With a bit of homework you can also enjoy other ecommerce shops that offer even greater variety, specialized expertise, and unique items you can’t find on Amazon. With a bit of research into reviews for those shops, too, you can feel confident shopping elsewhere if you look for the following:

  • An address and phone number listed on the website
  • Reviews from other customers
  • Robust product information for the items you wish to purchase

 

2: Know the return policy

Per Small Business Trends, 52% of shoppers don’t buy online because they’re concerned about ecommerce shops return policy. As a consumer, be sure to read a shop’s return policy to see if you can send things back within a minimum of 30 days or longer, and also to see whether the retailer will pay for shipping with no questions asked for the return. Serious retailers know they are better off providing fair return policies to help shoppers feel more confident.

 

3: Look for signs of website security before you shop

Glance at the URL found at the top of the page for the ecommerce shop and be sure it has the HTTPS format. This means the website is secure to protect any sensitive information that you key in for a purchase.

Also review the shop’s privacy policy to confirm they have one and that they guarantee your information won’t be sold or shared with another entity. A privacy policy should protect your credit card information and other personal information you share.

And have you ever wondered what’s going on when you see a window pop up asking if you wish to “accept cookies” on a website? The question is asking if you’re okay with the website gathering bits of data about your behavior on the page. By saying yes, you’re giving the merchant permission to use the information about your shopping and viewing experience to tailor their offerings to your interests. Just remember, this permission ONLY applies to the website you’re on.

 

4: Shop with a credit card

You can never be totally confident your information is safe online, but a credit card offers the most secure option. If your account is compromised, you’re not liable for unauthorized charges, and can dispute transactions with your bank to have them reversed. While a charge is in dispute, it remains frozen and doesn’t impact your credit limit.

The same protections exist with a debit card as well. However, if a thief gains access to a debit card, they can drain the account attached to it. You can dispute unauthorized charges from your debit card as well, however you’ll have to wait to have your account credited until the dispute is resolved.

 

5: Stay clear of spam in your email

There are those who think emails are less relevant today thanks to texting and messaging apps. However, marketers know that email is still a powerful channel to build relationships with customers.

Merchants gain your information when you sign up for an account to shop on their site. Your role as an informed consumer is to pay attention to your email inbox to separate those you want from those that have come along as spam.

If you don’t recognize the sender of an email, don’t click on the link or attachment they provide. Check your junk folder filter options and be sure to unsubscribe to newsletters that you don’t want or no longer use.

 

6: Be selective with your social media communication

Facebook is increasingly becoming a favored space for seniors to communicate. Per Pew Research, the share of older Americans over 65 who use the platform has more than doubled since 2012. However, more than half of all users don’t understand how the personal information the social network collects is used.

Recent news stories have shed light how these social platforms operate, specifically by commoditizing our data in exchange for advertising dollars. On the face it might seem like a reasonable swap, except that users signed up to share, like, and tweet without fully understanding the deal they made.

Use social media with your eyes wide open. When it comes to the information and sales tactics on social media, stay clear of gimmicky games and surveys which are often designed as “click bait” meant to capture more information about you.

Per Safe Streets, there are numerous ways you can protect your information and still enjoy some of the benefits of social media. Learn and use the privacy settings, be selective about the friends you have on your list, and review friend invitations before accepting additional friendships to your feed.

7: Monitor your online accounts and your credit reports

One of the wonderful benefits of online banking is the instant access you have to your transactions. Be sure to regularly review your checking, savings, and credit card activity daily.

The same holds true for monitoring your credit report annually. Be certain that the accounts on your report are yours and that the credit report inquiries are ones you’ve initiated. You can obtain one free copy of each of your three credit bureaus every twelve months by going to annual credit report.

 

8: Keep your passwords protected

Finally, take a moment to assess the security and organization of your passwords. In order for passwords to be effective, they must be personal to you and arbitrary in format. This makes keeping and tracking passwords more of a burden because they are meant to be different from one account to another, and are notoriously difficult to remember.

Using your address, or birthdate of your dog, or favorite word repeatedly as passwords across multiple accounts will put you at risk. Passwords are supposed to be random, often a series of letters, symbols, and numbers.

Keep passwords handy and up-to-date in an analogue system you can reference easily—but where no one else will see them. Don’t let bits of papers, sticky notes, and frayed bits of notebook pages here and there be your solution. Maintain a tidy book, perhaps alphabetically ordered, where you can easily go to refresh your memory on your assortment of sign-ins.

 

Your Online Defense is Knowledge

The internet is a remarkable place to gather information, interact with others, and conveniently shop for the things you need and want. It’s also a vast landscape for bad players to take advantage of those who are poorly informed.

Even though you’re older, you weren’t born yesterday when it comes to seeing that knowledge is power. By understanding that there are risks and doing your homework as an online consumer, you won’t fall prey to hackers online.

These 8 steps are a good beginning to taking care of yourself as you travel the internet. But make it a point as a person of the twenty-first century to stay informed. You can enjoy the many benefits available to you on the web where age is only a number.

 

Bibliography

https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/us-ecommerce-sales/

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2019/10/scams-and-older-consumers-looking-data

https://smallbiztrends.com/2020/01/easy-return-policy.html

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/05/16/facts-about-americans-and-facebook/

https://www.safestreets.com/facebook-foibles-10-social-media-safety-tips-for-seniors/

https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/get-my-free-credit-report

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Health Care Services

6 Reasons to Be A Home Healthcare Provider

Why do you work? You might think this is a trick question, but dive below your first answer and give this a moment of thought. The average fulltime employee spends 40 hours a week at their job. Over a lifetime, a fully-employed person works an average of 90,000 hours or nearly one third of their life. 

2020-Q4-Nurses-2-Six Reasons To Be A Home Health Care Provider-1In her book “The Writing Life,” author Annie Dillard notes, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. If you start to sum up your days and realize how much of it is spent working, then all the sudden your work needs to be much more than a paycheck. Your time working comprises a lot of the limited time that is your life.”

In this post, we’ll point to the top 6 reasons that working to bring healthcare to people where they live (aka, home health care) is a truly incredible use of your time that will bring you much more than a paycheck.

  1. 2020-Q4-Nurses-2-Six Reasons To Be A Home Health Care Provider-3You’re in demand. Nobody likes feeling like “a dime a dozen,” and in the healthcare industry, particularly for in-home care, you are a jewel. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for home health aides will increase to as high as 34 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom generation ages and the elderly population grows, the need for the services of home health aides andpersonal care aides will continue to increase.
  2. In-home care is optimal care. For those who truly want their work to have an impact in the lives of others, health care services provided to people in their homes is more effective than in retirement facilities or long-term hospital stays. Per the Institute on Aging, remaining at home is the most desired option among older adults, and aging in place comes with multiple benefits. Research shows that seniors are far happier living at home and that the service received happens to be much more affordable than in the institutional setting. When you bring care to the places people live, they respond better and can stave off facility care longer or indefinitely. 
  3. You build important relationships. Once you’ve onboarded with a service such as Home Health Companions, you’ll build a roster of clients who will come to count on you for care and you’ll establish a relation of trust. These clients won’t be just patients, but people with whom you’ll feel connected knowing that you see them regularly. 
  4. Flexibility in your work. Home health care providers enjoy caring for others and the positive impact of their support. With time, once you’ve established your relationships, you can work autonomously to determine who needs more care and at what time of day. This self-management allows you to work independently and ensures you meet client needs efficiently. You’ll also find that you’re more resourceful in matching care needs and your skills as they evolve, thus build your own self-reliance. 
  5. You will be on the cutting edge of technology advances. After the care of your patients, the most important work of in-home care providers is to document your work and your client’s health data and information. As in-home care continues to increase, technology is ever-changing to help providers bring in the treatments and efficiently document important information in real time. It’s likely you’ll be using the latest and greatest of tech for all parts of care as this market continues to expand.
  6. You can specialize. With more people using in-home care services, the range of conditions continues to increase as well. Several key areas of medical need begin to arise that require specialized care. If you find you prefer to work with patients who are dealing with specific health concerns, the opportunity to specialize your care for a subset of clients may be an opportunity as you move forward.

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Your desire to be of service and make the time you invest in work count is noble as well as invaluable to your personal wellbeing. If you work for the paycheck alone and derive little satisfaction from what you do, on the other hand, you are not meant to be a home healthcare provider. 

If you want a career that will be in demand and where you can make a difference, you’ll continue to see your fortunes improve in this space. Home health care providers along with several states and federal programs continue to crunch the numbers to find the right balance for salaries and what the market can afford.

The data points to the many benefits of helping people stay at home while receiving medical care. In-home care outpaces long-term care and extended hospitalizations for cost in relation to its benefits. This means you will see an increase in your income with time as you build your career. 

Bibliography:

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home-health-aides-and-personal-care-aides.htm

https://blog.ioaging.org/home-care/how-cost-effective-is-home-care-compared-to-a-nursing-home/

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Nurses, Caregivers and CNAs: Boost Your Confidence for Your Interview

For any recent grads in nursing, CNA programs or like studies, you’ve accomplished something significant by completing your education and training. Now, it’s time to apply for positions and prepare for the interviews.

The great news is that you are—and will always be—in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the growth of these fields is greater than the average for all occupations, and is expected to increase by another 11% between now and 2026.

Whether this is your first job or a career change, you’ll want to put your best foot forward to apply, interview, and secure the position you want. It’s understandable that you might feel nervous 

2020-Q4-Nurses-1-Boost Confidence For Your CNA Interview 2

about the job hunt, but if you prepare in advance, you’ll feel be confident and stand out as a good candidate. 

In this post we’ll share key tips to note for online job applications, how to prepare for your job interview, and how to follow up once you meet with a prospective employer. And don’t forget—Home Health Companions is hiring, too!

Prep for online application processes

Job seekers and employers are online these days with a number of portals used to communicate. Often, human resource departments use these services like Indeed and Glassdoor to help them quickly select the most qualified candidates for their needs.

You can check out a list of job services over at the The Balance Careers article featuring the top 10 and determine which platform you like best as a job hunter. Ideally, start with one or two and become familiar with how to craft and load your resume before applying for several positions in their system. 

No matter the platform, you’ll start by writing or loading your general resume. This should include dates and descriptions of prior jobs, as well as a list or description of the skills you used in that role. You can also include a separate list of general or specific skills you acquired in training and your education. Use this information to create specific resumes for each application you complete based on the description of a position provided by the employer (selecting or reworking your skills to reflect the skills asked for in the job description). 

Along with your resume, you might be asked to include a list of up to three references. Prepare your list in advance by asking permission from your sources and collecting their preferred email addresses and phone numbers. References can be your instructors, supervisors, managers and co-workers from your past jobs, and even people you know through volunteer activities.

Use your descriptive words! Human Resource staff use online job search tools to help them target applicants who are the best fit for a position. By using popular keywords (which you can glean from existing job posts), these online portals help HR departments discover you.

In addition to job search websites, you can also look for positions for specific business and facilities where you may want to work. Perhaps your training took place in a particular hospital or nursing home that has their own human resources department. Be sure to check out these locations for the jobs they post on their website.

Consider the type of care you would like to do, then search for opportunities in your area that match your interest. Perhaps you would like to work for an in-home service such as Home Health Companions, so check out the websites of employers for open positions as well. Word-of-mouth from your instructor and classmates can also alert you to job opportunities as well, so let others know you are seeking a job.

Stand out with a cover letter. Many applicants fail to write a cover letter to include with their resume submissions. This is your chance to, once again, use key words and your specific message as to why you believe you’re a good candidate for each job. Write a standard cover letter and then modify it for the specific application. Be sure to personalize it to the primary contact person for the position as advertised with details. 

The biggest hurdle for most job seekers is overcoming the reality that seeking a job is a process of marketing one’s self. Consider this activity a chance to explore and find your best opportunity, and be honest and strategic when describing the skills and training you’ve accumulated to this point. Don’t be shy, and don’t sell yourself short!

Prepare for the interview

Once you’ve got an interview scheduled, it’s time to do a bit of preparation homework. Be sure to ask your scheduler what you should expect for the interview. Take a look at the facility’s website, too, and familiarize yourself with their mission and who they serve.

If you know someone else who works for that employer, ask them about their experience. Many of the online job searches also provide feedback from employees as well.

It’s understandable that you might be nervous as you prepare for your interview, but remember: it’s an opportunity for both you and the employer to explore what’s possible. Employers seek people who will represent their mission in a positive manner, and you want to do work that is suited to your skills and interests so you can enjoy it and get paid!

2020-Q4-Nurses-1-Boost Confidence For Your CNA Interview 3

On the day of an interview, arrive a few minutes early so you feel comfortable in the space. Bring a copy of your resume and any other documentation that details your training. Dress in professional-but-comfortable clothing that helps you feel and look your best.

Each employer is looking to see what you know, what you’re willing to learn, and why you want to work for them. They will ask you questions to get to learn about you and your work ethic. They are trying to determine if you are reliable and can be trained for what you don’t know, so be candid about areas of weakness and demonstrate examples of your ability to be learn.

An internet search will bring up a number of articles and videos featuring the types of questions you might be asked during an interview. Over at CNA Classes Near You, they offer a concise look at some common questions you’ll want to consider as you prepare in advance. Take some time to practice your answers, but realize that the questions will vary and your comments should be specific and authentic to whatever is asked. Take a few moments during the interview to reflect on the questions, and make your answers specific to the position.

At the close of the interview, be sure to ask at least one question about their facility and the importance of the position in helping them serve their clients. You might also ask about their 

2020-Q4-Nurses-1-Boost Confidence For Your CNA Interview 4

management philosophy, the rate of turnover, or educational opportunities. Do ask about next steps in the interview process, too, such as a possible second interview or a skill demonstration, and get the interviewer’s email address.

A brief “thank you.” An overlooked finish to an interview is the follow-up of a thank you. Send a brief email thanking the interviewer for his or her time and take the chance to state your genuine interest in the position.

Your career is your ticket to bigger things

You’ve made it to the point that you’re working or ready to work in the field. Your skills and knowledge are in demand. Remember: your work is a reflection of your belief that you have values and skills that merit attention and income.

Whether being a nurse, caregiver or CNA is your stepping-off point to other roles in the healthcare field or the position you plan to do for some time, you want a work-life balance that suits you and makes you feel that your efforts matter. A confident beginning with an employer can set the stage to a satisfying experience in your work, and help you advance your career into the future.

Bibliography:

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-best-job-websites-2064080

http://www.homehealthcompanions.com/careers

https://cnaclassesnearyou.com/prepare-cna-job-interview/?doing_wp_cron=1601900470.5617818832397460937500

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How to Love Your Work as a CNA

What drives you to work your hardest? Of course, you need income to pay your bills, but given it’s an investment of at least 40 hours of your life each week, shouldn’t work do more than that?

Determining what you want to feel about your work and your role makes all the difference in your success, and this goes double for the profession of a certified nursing assistant (CNA) where you work in caring for others.

It’s vital for you—yes, you—to see your value in your job and realize how your individual gifts are put to use in what you do. The best way to know if the work of a CNA is a good fit is to have a clear understanding of your “why,” as well as who you are and how you work best.

Being a CNA isn’t for everyone, but if you have the personality, passion and proper tools, the work will be rewarding and set you on a path to making a difference. Plus, your days will fly by. Here, we’ll help you assess a few of the qualities that make for a good fit as a CNA, and even highlight a few examples of how to maximize personality traits for your best work experience!

What Drives You?

First, briefly study the list of statements below and check all those that apply to you.

  • I like to help others
  • I like my work to make a difference
  • I like to collaborate
  • I like to keep busy
  • I like to learn
  • I’m organized
  • I like to work on a team
  • I pay attention to details
  • I like to learn
  • I take pride in my efforts

If you selected at least six of the statements above, it’s quite possible that work as a CNA could be for you. The CNA is an essential member of the care team in many home care and medical settings. These are professionals who provide a great deal of hands-on, intimate care and attention to patients, including assisting bedridden individuals, taking patient vital signs, answering patient calls, and documenting patient health issues and working closely with nurses to address them.

Here are our tips to maximize the qualities that lend themselves best to satisfied and productive CNAs:

Be curious: Working as a CNA assures you’ll have an opportunity to discover something you didn’t know about medicine, physiology, and people almost every day. Look forward to this, and take advantage of the opportunities to learn.

For some, work as a CNA is their primary career goal, but often once people get a taste of the medical profession they find themselves taking courses toward another goal. You will have access to courses online through a community college and even from your employer. Take advantage of courses no matter your professional goals, and this will keep you invigorated about the work you do.

One way to help you stay engaged in your vital role as a CNA is to join a national organization. You can learn about the benefits of the National Association of Health Care Assistants here. Talking and networking with others will afford you information sure to assist you in remaining energized.

Be fit: Of course, it’s often easier said than done, but taking care of yourself both physically and mentally will keep you working better, too. The responsibilities of a CNA are varied and physically-demanding, and caring for others in general can tap into your emotional energy.

You are on your feet and on the move each day, often lifting and bending as you go. It’s essential you practice good lifting practices, too, and take the time to stretch before and after a shift. If your employer offers access to exercise services, take advantage of them.

You can also take the initiative to organize a group stretch with some of your co-workers before or after a shift. Over at Daily Nurse, they offer 4 stretches that will get you started. The first is a neck stretch that is so simple you can do it several times throughout your day. Go ahead and try tilting your head to one side until you feel the gentle pull. You can feel the release the tension in your shoulders!

Be patient: Give yourself and others the gift of patience. Sometimes progress is slow, and we don’t always know what motivates others, so it’s important to step back and look at each difficult moment objectively. Try and see a situation through the eyes of a patient or co-worker, but don’t slay yourself when you need a break to regroup.

Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Make time for you to do things you enjoy and gift yourself the occasional massage or pedicure. Take deep breathing breaks and silent meditative time just to rest for ten minutes each day. Your body is your temple, so treat it with care. Over at Inc., they offer up breathing and other tips for practicing patience. The benefits include you feeling happier in return.

Love What You Do

Caring for others as a CNA is important and critical work, but it is especially necessary for caregivers to care for themselves as well. At Home Health Companions, we know that success as a CNA involves knowledge and best practices to assure success in the profession. Keep your eye on your purpose, stay fit and practice patience, and you’ll be rewarded with the satisfaction of making a difference and doing your best work.

Maybe you can even do that on our team—we’re hiring!

 

Bibliography

https://www.nahcacna.org/

https://dailynurse.com/4-best-stretches-nurses/

https://www.inc.com/rhett-power/4-tips-to-help-you-be-a-more-patient-person-science-says-you-will-be-happier.html

http://www.homehealthcompanions.com/10-tips-to-become-a-better-cna

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Health Care Services

Caregivers in Isolation: Finding the Support You Need

If you are one of the 34 million Americans providing unpaid care for an elderly loved one, you may feel alone and exhausted by the overwhelming responsibilities you face. Add in the complications that COVID-19 has brought us, which makes even going to the grocery a risk to our health, and you may be feeling very isolated.

A caregiver support group can help you feel less alone by connecting you with others in the same boat. They can provide you with advice, useful resources, and a place to be heard. Many caregiver support groups previously held in person have moved online, making attending the meeting as simple as dialing a phone number or logging into a website.

Caregiver support groups available in the Dallas area 

Home Health Companions 

Our monthly Family Caregiver Support Group, normally hosted in our Dallas office, has moved online to continue the important work of supporting caregivers in a safe environment. The group meets on the second Friday of each month from 1:00-2:30 pm.

Our facilitator is Lisa Shardon, an Aging Life Care™ professional and president of Home Health Companions. Shardon is an Advisory Council member for the Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas in Dallas and an executive board member for the Aging Mind Foundation. Lisa also serves the Alzheimer Association of Greater Dallas as a Trailblazers facilitator for those who have been diagnosed with early-stage dementia and their care partners.

Other Dallas-area support groups 

Facebook support groups

There are many private Facebook groups dedicated to caregivers, both local and national. Here, you’ll find the opportunity to vent and ask questions 24-hours a day using your smartphone or computer, no matter where you are located.  

Note: most of these groups are not facilitated by geriatric care specialists. They are run by fellow caregivers with varying levels of expertise. These groups are best for sharing resources, sharing stories, and feeling heard. They are not a good source for medical advice or decision-making. 

Daily Caring has compiled a list of support groups that may fit your needs. You may also search Facebook directly.

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An Amazing Trade-Off!

Ms. García at the annual Bishop’s Gala. Home Health Companions helps sponsor this event, partnering with many churches in the area.

I had been a successful healthcare executive for almost two decades when I first met Lisa, the CEO of Home Health Companions. She was my client while I worked in the post-acute care industry. I would have been thrilled to know then that I would work with her later, though I never would have imagined the way it panned out.

Lisa and I connected thanks to our shared passion for integrating innovative solutions into healthcare organizations. She opened up to me about her goals, and I guided her through the executive strategy to develop the solutions that would get Home Health Companions to the point that it could optimally meet their clients’ needs.

When Home Health Companions’ COO stepped down in January 2020, I was flattered and excited when Lisa called me about the position. I knew we could do tremendous things together, and I accepted her offer.

 

My transition to Home Health Companions

It was a big decision to move to the COO position after years of developing global partnerships and strategies. In the first weeks on the job, I found myself sitting in an office looking at P&Ls, HR materials, policies and operations. But I knew I was the best candidate to develop an innovative strategy with my experience in operations, oversight and marketing. I was determined to champion everything Home Health Companions stands for.
I quickly came to terms with the trade-off I made. Though the environment felt like a big change, I grew more excited day after day as I took on new projects. Our clients were going to enjoy a uniquely innovative and superior model of in-home care.

But then, I was faced with challenges I never expected. Just two months into the job, the nation was hit with the COVID-19 crisis. My expectations rapidly shifted from professional growth to a laser-focused approach to serve the healthcare community. I faced immediate business threats, like not being able to serve our elderly patients or the most medically at-risk, plus creating safety policies and procedures to keep staff healthy. We all worked longer and longer hours, and I grappled with the fear of financial and business operations ramifications.
Throughout this experience, I learned a precious lesson that I did not have on my list of big plans coming in: the true meaning of being a servant leader.

Projected growth versus actual growth

When I started at Home Health Companions, I had an agenda to grow the business through innovative and improved operations. I also had an agenda for my own professional growth. The biggest lesson I’ve learned these first four months, however, was the result of the novel coronavirus, and that lesson wasn’t in my game plan.
Some of the biggest challenges I faced as soon as the pandemic escalated included creating new COVID-19 workflows to keep staff, the healthcare community and our clients safe. I also had to keep up with every governmental and CDC change, which were updated daily, to ensure we were following all the rules and recommendations.

I had to step up as an organizational leader when we experienced a growing fear from our staff around visiting nursing homes—and even going into clients’ homes. Those of us on the executive team decided to implement daily conference calls and huddles with our staff to keep them informed on all COVID-19 changes and to ensure they understood the importance of infection control. There were several Saturdays where we even met staff in wide-open parking lots to safely provide them with more masks and gloves, always at the greatest possible social distance.

This exercise in regular leadership and actionable guidance was calming for staff, and it was an empowering lesson for me. By opening these additional lines of communication, we learned that many members of our staff also had a fear of losing their jobs. We were able to quell those fears and purpose all our conferences toward what positive action they could take right then. “What can you do today?”

The value I find in servant leadership

Servant leadership is not a new concept. At some point in our business careers, we all come across the many different leadership styles. While completing my MBA at Southern Methodist University as well as during professional development experiences at Harvard and Oxford, this and the many other styles of leadership were frequently assessed. And while these incredible conceptual models fascinated me academically, they became intimately and deeply applicable during this unforeseen epidemic.

By stepping up to Home Health Companion’s organizational needs during an unprecedented situation, COVID-19 taught me that growth is about transparent servitude in times of unforeseen challenges. My heart aches for all that our community has suffered, as well as the suffering that’s taken place nation and worldwide. I have found purpose, however, in doing what I can to ensure in-home care is available to those who need it, many of them now more than ever.

 

About Ariane García

Ariane Garcia COO of Home Health CompanionsFor 20 years Ms. García has served in several firms across the healthcare industry including: hospitals, medical device companies, post-acute healthcare, and medical technology. She excels in strategy & business development, contract negotiations, operations, P&L oversight, and marketing strategy. She has championed efforts to enhance capabilities in general management, new market identification, and finance.

It is with great gratitude that Home Health Companions welcomes Ms. García to our team, and applauds her capacity to apply all her skills to such immediately profound needs our organization has had.

“Having Ariane assume the COO role will enable me to do more strategic external-facing activities for Home Health Companions mission,” Ms. Shardon of the company said.

Ms. García earned an MBA from COX Business School Dallas Texas, a bachelor’s degree in Markets & Cultures, and second in Spanish from Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas. Ariane completed a certification in open innovation strategy from University of Oxford in the UK and a certification on negotiation and leadership from Harvard Law School. She has served on various community organizations with responsibilities in governance, finance oversight and fundraising.

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Our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our hearts go out to those close to us and around the world affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). With the virus continuing to impact communities throughout Texas, we want you to be aware of the diligence with which we approach caregiving.

Our #1 is priority is the health and safety of our clients and caregivers.

As a healthcare agency, we train our caregivers in best-practice hygiene protocols, including correct hand-washing technique and use of gloves in caring for our clients.

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Home Health Companions Named to the 2019 Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies

Home Health Companions, a licensed home health provider, announced it has been named to the prestigious Inc. 5000 as one of America’s most successful independent small businesses.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies,” says Lisa Shardon, President of Home Health Companions. “Our commitment to deliver superior home health care for our clients and their families is reflected in our growth. We look forward to serving the growing aging population in Dallas-Fort Worth with the highest quality in-home health care and skilled nursing services available.”

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Health Care Services

Seniors and Financial Scams

The adoption of electronic banking and credit card transactions have made financial services easy to manage 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, often from remote locations. But that same convenience gives scammers the access they need to prey on unsuspecting seniors.

According to a 2016 study, people 50 and older hold 83% of the wealth in America; households headed by people in their 70s and 80s tend to have the highest median net worth. Combined with loneliness and lack of a local support system, some seniors may be prime targets for financial scams and the effects can be devastating. One recent study has named this issue Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability.

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Home Health Companions Receives 2019 Best of Home Care®–Employer of Choice Award

DALLAS, TEXAS – Home Health Companions has announced that it has received the 2019 Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse for the second year in a row. 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 now ranked among the best employers of in-home caregivers in the region.

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7 Ways Technology Has Improved Senior Care

Seniors make up more than 13 percent of the United States population (43 million people), according to the Census Bureau. That number is growing every year as a result of to the baby boomer generation. More than half of the baby boomers living in the country—around 76 million of them—are not classified as seniors yet, so it’s crucial that they become more aware of the many facets of senior care.

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Aging Life Care Managers® Help Families Create Evacuation Plans

Disaster planning is an important part of caregiving. When the unexpected occurs, like a flood or wildfire, minutes can be the difference between a safe evacuation and a more dangerous situation. Aging Life Care Managers can help families create and implement disaster plans. These professionals can assess a families’ situation, locate resources and support, and coordinate care plans so that older adults or others in need of services can age safely and with confidence.

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Health Care Services

Supporting The Hidden Caregiver

Who is a hidden caregiver? It’s one person with two full-time jobs. Typically hidden caregivers are professional women sandwiched between caring for their children and home, while also caring for older parents who need help. Statistics show that 42 percent of Generation X workers are in this position.

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Media Statement

Home Health Companions is known for providing safe, reliable, outstanding care for families in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. We understand that hiring qualified, trustworthy nurses and caregivers for our team is the single most important thing we do. We make sure that every Home Health Companions’ employee is certified, trained and qualified to serve in the homes of our clients. We follow and adhere to all state licensing protocol and perform extensive background checks using national databases on all our employees.

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Health Care Services

Finding the Right Support Group

Support Groups can provide great comfort to family caregivers but finding the right one for you depends on many factors. Review these suggestions for finding a group that fits your needs.

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Tax Tips for Caregivers

As a family caregiver, you went into the job knowing it would take much of your time. You may not have expected it to take quite so much of your money. Some 42 percent of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 on unreimbursed care for loved ones. Fortunately, there is some light at the end of the tax year: deductions and credits.

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Research Confirms Value of Home Care Services to Family Caregivers

A recent study by Stanford Center on Longevity found that fewer Baby Boomer caregivers (U.S. adults ages 55 – 64) were less “socially engaged” with family and friends in 2012 versus 1995. The key reason for the decline includes other obligations like caring for an ailing relative. Caregivers are often unable to maintain more social lives while caring for a loved one which affects their own health and well-being.

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Chronic Not Cranky: Chronic Disease in Older Adults at 2017 DAGS Fall Forum

The Dallas Area Gerontology Society (DAGS) 2017 Fall Forum will be held October 19. The forum will cover the following topics: Ethical Issues in Treating Neurological Diseases, and Easing the Ouch in Chronic Pain. RN, NAB/Administrator, Social Work and LPC CEUs are included in this day long seminar. See more details here.

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Long-Distance Caregiving for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Taking care of concerns, such as a family member’s safety, nutrition and health, can be difficult when you live in another city, state or country. But getting organized and being prepared can go a long way in helping coordinate care from a distance.

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Caregiving by Men: A Husband’s Perspective

Cancer never strikes at a good time, but for Seth Goldsmith and his wife, the diagnosis occurred at a particularly poignant moment — their twentieth wedding anniversary.

For the next five and a half years, Seth and Sandra struggled with hope, disappointment, fifty hospital admissions, two other major surgeries, countless minor procedures, and two changes of physicians. And throughout those years until her death, they had to function as a family; work, pay bills, go to school, be effective parents to two teenage son, assist aging parents and a disabled sibling—in other words, live life. For significant periods during those years, Seth became Sandra’s primary caregiver.

In an article published in Today’s Caregiver, he shares observations on effective caregiving for a loved one.

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Trading Work for Caregiving: Financial and Practical Considerations

Each year over 43 million Americans provide unpaid care to a family member, usually a parent. But caregivers should carefully consider their own financial situation before they chose to leave the workforce to care for a family member.

Most of the time adult children can manage medical appointments and financial obligations. Often, the caregiving required extends beyond this investment. What most caregivers usually don’t consider is the financial impact caregiving has on their own monthly budget and retirement funds.

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How to Communicate When Your Elderly Parent Can No Longer Speak

Many of us are coping with elders who can no longer communicate. Whether from a stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or for some other reason, they have lost their ability to talk or seemingly respond in any manner to their loved one’s efforts to communicate.

Caregivers want to communicate with them, but when they visit their elder and see them in this non-responsive mode, they tend to sit there uncomfortably watching the clock – putting in time, so to speak. There’s a feeling, for many of, “what’s the use?”

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Secrets of a Well-Balanced Caregiver

While there is some small comfort in knowing that the pressures you feel are shared by many others, the bottom line to this very personal matter is simple: finding the time and services that can help make your life and the lives of your aging parents a little easier. As you care for your elder (either living with you or still in their own home); find the balance you need each day to continue to provide great care for your loved one and yourself.

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A Caregiver’s Intro to Parkinson’s Psychosis

Shaky hands, an unsteady walk, limbs that unexpectedly freeze in place; these symptoms are practically synonymous with Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is a devastating and complex disease that interferes with movement. As it progresses, it produces a wide range of other problems. The neurological condition also has a lesser known (but no less challenging) symptom called Parkinson’s disease Psychosis.

“Parkinson’s disease psychosis is a common and very disabling non-motor feature of this disease, and patients have a substantial risk of eventually having this problem,” says Richard B. Dewey Jr., MD, professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics and Director of the Clinical Center for Movement Disorders at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

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