Archive for the ‘Benefits of Home Care’ Category

3 Helpful Home Care Products to Make Life at Home Easier

June 8th, 2017

As your loved one ages, adaptive home care products can aid in making everyday life around the home simpler and less dangerous. There are scores of home care products obtainable today that can make older adults’ lives safer and more secure. At Visiting Angels, we wish to provide you with some expert recommendations for purchasing and using just a few of the most widely used pieces of home care equipment.

Commodes

A commode can replace both a raised toilet seat and a toilet safety framework and offers the additional advantage of being movable, so can be utilized individually at a bedside as well.

Guidelines for purchase:

  • Search for one with non-removable armrests and rubber tips on the legs instead of wheels, and check for sturdiness.
  • Look for a commode that includes both a pail (with lid) and a sleeve (for use over the toilet).

Rollators

A rollator is a four-wheeled walker that contains a brake system, a seat, and a basket. They work effectively both indoors and outdoors, provide a seat when the user needs to rest, and the basket allows users to carry objects with them, keeping their hands free to work the rollator.

Guidelines for purchase:

  • Bigger wheels are preferred, as they roll easier on uneven ground and are generally more sturdy.
  • Look for a light-weight, foldable version so that it can fit in the trunk of a vehicle.
  • Test out the hand brakes before purchase to make sure that they are not stiff or difficult to use.
  • Search for a rollator with a cushioned seat for comfort.
  • Versions that allow easy accessibility to the basket while in the normal walking position are preferable.

Shower bench vs. shower board

A shower bench is beneficial for older adults who feel insecure when lifting their legs over the side of the tub and greatly minimizes the chance of slips when getting into and out of the bathtub.

The primary benefits of shower benches over shower boards are that they have backrests and are height adaptable. Having a taller surface makes getting up from a seated position less difficult and backrests provide more support to seniors who tire more easily. Shower boards can also be difficult to fit securely to a tub.

Guidelines for purchase:

  • Search for a shower bench with a handle and backrest that can be adjusted to accommodate different bathtubs.
  • Make sure to also invest in a quality hand held sprayer that connects to the faucet and is simple to use.

For additional tips and information on home care products, feel free to contact the Fremont home health care professionals at Visiting Angels online or call us at 510-284-0000.

Alzheimer’s Personal Care Battles? Our Home Care Agency in California Offers Help.

September 16th, 2016

home care agency in California

Helping another person with personal care needs, such as bathing, dressing and assistance with using the bathroom, can be uncomfortable for all involved. It’s difficult to put modesty aside and allow someone to assist you when you’re at your most vulnerable. And there are times when seniors, most notably those with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, become terribly anxious while receiving this needed help, to the point that a battle can erupt.

The exact cause for these outbursts varies from person to person, but some of the potential reasons can include:

  • Loss of control. Independence and autonomy can feel as though they’re slipping away in a variety of areas for older adults, and maintaining control over the most basic functions becomes even more important.
    • What can help: Let the senior maintain as much control as possible, and come up with compromises instead of pushing the senior too far. If she insists on wearing an unmatching outfit, for instance, allow her that freedom.
  • Adherence to tradition. When today’s seniors were children, standards of hygiene were far different than now, oftentimes with weekly rather than daily baths. A senior whose memory is unclear may revert back to those days and balk at the idea of a daily bath or shower.
    • What can help: Using positive, motivating language can sometimes encourage the senior to see things from a different perspective. For example, use bath time as a springboard to a fun activity, such as a lunch date for which she certainly will want to look and feel her best.
  • Fear of the experience. As we age, once simple tasks such as bathing and dressing can become fraught with fears, and often rightfully so, as the fear of falling in the tub or while getting onto or off of the toilet are risks to consider. Some seniors with dementia also become fearful of the sound of running water, or may become distressed by the feel of water that’s too warm or too cool.
    • What can help: In-home safety modifications, such as grab bars beside the tub and toilet and elevated toilet seats, will reduce the risk of falling. Using a soft, soothing voice and explaining each step of the process in advance can also help.

The tips below can also help minimize fear and anxiety:

  • Always allow the senior as much independence as possible to enhance self-esteem.
  • A little planning can go a long way in optimizing comfort, such as keeping the room warm, using comfortable lighting, and maintaining as much privacy as possible.
  • Lay clothing out for the older adult in the order that each piece should be put on, gently giving guidance for each step if needed.

At Visiting Angels, we understand the difficulties that can surround personal care tasks, and we’re here to help with trained, experienced caregivers whose ultimate goal is to make sure that each senior feels at ease, safe and respected. Contact us at 408-735-0977 or 510-284-0000 for more tips or to partner with our home care agency in California for trusted senior care services to give both your senior loved one and yourself peace of mind.

California Home Care Services Ensure Seniors Are Current on Crucial Immunizations

August 10th, 2016

California Home Care Services As the summer season comes to a close, parents of school-aged children are busy picking up school supplies, seeing if last year’s clothing still fits or needs to be updated, arranging appointments for medical checkups, and, depending on their children’s ages, making sure they’re up to date on vaccinations. But fall isn’t just the time for school kids to roll up their sleeves and grit their teeth for the dreaded shots. At this time of year, adults also need to get in on the act, especially those over the age of 60.

According to this report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), adults over the age of 60 should be up to date on a number of vaccinations, including:

  • Influenza – every year
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis – every ten years
  • Varicella (chickenpox) – two doses throughout one’s life
  • Herpes zoster (shingles) – one dose after the age of 60
  • Pneumococcal (PPSV23) – one dose after the age of 65

As one ages, the body’s natural immune system becomes weaker, which puts older adults at a higher risk for catching viruses such as the flu and pneumonia. In fact, influenza and pneumonia together are the seventh leading cause of death for people over the age of 65 in the United States. Appropriately vaccinating against these diseases can ward off, or at least reduce the severity of these viruses, which can save lives.

Despite common misconceptions, both the flu and pneumonia vaccines are rather safe. The fact is, fewer than 1% of those who receive the shots develop symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, or more severe local reactions. And, you cannot contract the flu from the traditional flu shot, which is made with a dead virus. In fact, the flu vaccine can be as much as 70 to 90 percent effective for healthy seniors. According to the National Network for Immunization Information, hospital patients who receive the pneumonia vaccine:

  • Have a lower incidence of respiratory failure
  • Have a lower incidence of kidney failure
  • Have a lower incidence of heart attack
  • Spend two fewer days in the hospital on average
  • Are 40 to 70 percent less likely to die from complications from pneumococcal bacteremia than unvaccinated patients

For many seniors, it has been a very long time since they were last vaccinated for tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis. This vaccination, also called the DTaP, should be boosted with another shot every ten years.

Finally, even if you received the chickenpox vaccine as a child, and whether or not you actually contracted the virus as a child, as an adult you still need to get the shingles, or herpes zoster vaccine, as the virus can present in a more painful and harmful way in later life. The risk of getting shingles also increases as you get older, with half of the cases occurring in men and women over the age of 60.

The CDC offers a free, downloadable Adult Immunization Scheduler so that older adults and their family members can keep track of the vaccinations that are needed as they age.

As a part of our California home care services, Visiting Angels can help to encourage and facilitate proper vaccinations. To learn more, contact us at 408-735-0977 or 510-284-0000.

Visiting Angels Senior Care in California Offers Five Ways to Help Older Adults Stay Social

July 27th, 2016

Senior Care in California Thanks to technology, older adults have more opportunities than ever before to remain engaged and social, especially for those who are homebound, frail, or simply lacking transportation. These social connections help seniors avoid isolation, stave off depression and keep their minds more active and healthy. Research has proven that social contact is beneficial to health, reduces risk of disability, depression and pain and even protects the brain from mental decline. And some studies have even shown that isolation can double the risk of an early death. Our brains are wired for socialization, when socialization is lacking, it leads to stress, which in turn leads to a myriad of health problems such as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and mental illness.

So how can you help your senior loved ones stay social? Try these suggestions, courtesy of Visiting Angels:

  • Social Media: The 74-plus demographic is the fastest growing demographic among social networks, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Social media gives older adults and their families a convenient way to check in regularly, stimulating more frequent conversations between the generations and creating peace of mind for everyone.
  • Wii: Wii games provide seniors with a fun and active way to stay social. Seniors who may normally feel reluctant to get involved in activities are now engaging with others through Wii games. It’s also a great intergenerational activity for families.
  • Online Dating for Seniors: Seniors are the fastest growing group of subscribers for online dating, with one service reporting an 89% growth rate over the last five years of older adults using their service. Senior dating sites provide older adults with a much wider net to find others with similar interests.
  • Skype: Skype has proven to be an incredible tool for older adults, allowing online video conversations with loved ones at a distance. It’s also a great way for a family to include a homebound older adult in a celebration or a vacation.
  • Home Care: For seniors who need transportation, or who could benefit from a little encouragement to socialize, home care is a great solution. An in-home caregiver can encourage attendance and serve as a personal escort to social outings, plays, concerts, and sporting events, religious services and church activities. A caregiver can also plan and schedule visits with friends and neighbors as well as play interactive games with the older adult. In addition, a home care agency can provide transportation to an adult day facility for further interaction with other older adults.

Many older adults are still unfamiliar with all that technology has to offer. Home care agencies, such as Visiting Angels, can introduce seniors to the many opportunities that technology presents to help them remain social and engaged. For further information on how our senior care in California can help your senior loved ones remain social, contact Visiting Angels at 800-969-0499.

California Senior Care Services Keep Seniors Sharp by Enhancing Socialization

July 12th, 2016

California Senior Care Services It’s a fact: remaining social later in life can be instrumental in fighting dementia. Seniors who maintain a social lifestyle have a 70 percent reduction in their rate of cognitive decline, compared to their less social peers, according to a study by the Rush University Medical Center. But with less friends nearby, and increasing health concerns, we know it can be challenging for older adults to prevent falling into an isolated lifestyle. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help the seniors in your life remain social.

Here are a few ways to make sure your loved one stays social as he or she ages:

  • Dust off the schoolbooks. Most community colleges now offer a wide range of life enhancement and continuing education classes for seniors, providing the perfect opportunity for older adults to try something new while forging new friendships at the same time. It’s also a great way to expand upon knowledge of current interests and hobbies, such as gardening, cooking, birdwatching and identification, and much more.
  • Get out of town. Senior centers and other community organizations often host bus trips to a variety of fun destinations for seniors, whether a quick day trip to a casino or museum, or a longer, all-inclusive trip out of state to include meals and lodging. Either way, it’s a great chance to meet other like-minded seniors who are also up for an adventure.
  • Get in the game. Whether it is joining a local bridge playing club or working on the New York Times crossword puzzle with a friend over Skype, or playing Wii bowling with a grandchild, there are plenty of games to provide socialization and enjoyment. Check with local community and senior centers to see what’s already in place in your area, or take the initiative and start something new!

The California senior care services offered by Visiting Angels help enrich the lives of seniors with activities to enhance social engagement. Our compassionate, experienced caregiving team provides the friendly, cheerful encouragement needed to get seniors out and involved in the community when at all possible. For those who are homebound, our professional caregivers can engage in activities with seniors right in the comfort of their home, such as playing cards, board games, looking at photo albums, and reminiscing. Give us a call any time at 800-969-0499 or complete our online contact form to learn more!

How California Home Care Services Are Helping Those with Cancer Improve Nutrition

June 16th, 2016

California Home Care Services A healthy diet is important for everyone, but doubly so following a cancer diagnosis. Proper nutrition can help those with cancer gain the strength they need for chemotherapy treatments, protect against infections, prevent body tissue from breaking down, and help rebuild tissue. Good nutrition also helps patients cope with any cancer treatment side effects and may even be able to help them handle higher doses of certain drugs.

Recommendations for receiving proper nutrition for cancer patients may focus on helping them eat more higher calorie, higher protein foods. For example, the doctor may recommend drinking more milk or eating more foods like cheese and cooked eggs. Other suggestions might include increasing the use of sauces and gravies, or changing cooking methods to include more butter, margarine, or oil. Sometimes, nutrition recommendations for cancer patients suggest eating less of certain high-fiber foods which can aggravate problems such as diarrhea or a sore mouth.

During treatment, cancer patients may suffer from a lack of appetite. When that is the case, it’s often recommended to try to eat anything that can be easily digested.

On treatment days, patients should:

  • Talk with the nurse to learn about ways to relax if feeling sick before treatment.
  • Learn when it’s most comfortable to eat and drink. Sometimes, patients feel better when they eat a little just before treatment. Others feel better when they have nothing to eat or drink before treatment.
  • After treatment, wait at least one hour before eating or drinking.

Some foods and drinks that may be easier on the stomach during cancer treatments include:

  • Clear broth
  • Grape juice
  • Baked chicken without skin
  • Crackers
  • Pasta
  • White rice
  • Baked potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Gelatin
  • Yogurt
  • Popsicles

A healthy diet is vital for a person’s body to work its best. Visiting Angels’ California home care services can provide help to cancer patients by planning, shopping for, and preparing nutritious and delicious meals that meet their caloric needs. Contact us to learn more about our in-home care services throughout Santa Clara County and portions of Alameda County. We can make you feel more comfortable as you go through your treatments.  To contact our Fremont office, call 510-284-0000 or to contact our Sunnyvale office, call 408-735-0977.

How Visiting Angels’ California Home Care Services Help Families Facing a Cancer Diagnosis

June 8th, 2016

California Home Care Services When someone you love has cancer, it’s natural to want to drop everything and help that person, but taking on the role of a caregiver is not without challenges. Treatment for cancer and the side effects that result can be particularly difficult for both the patients themselves and their loved ones, and feeling overwhelmed at times is normal.

As a caregiver, realize that it’s important to know and accept your own limits, and that reaching your limit does not mean that you have failed. It’s also important to have a support system in place to ensure that you’re taking care of both your loved one and yourself. Determine which tasks you will do yourself, and which ones you will need help with.

These caregiving tips can help ensure success for both yourself and your loved one:

  • Build your support system. Enlist the help of family, friends, members of your faith community, neighbors, coworkers, etc. and find out who you can go to when you need assistance with your loved one’s care. Often people are happy to help; they just need to be asked.
  • Look into respite care services in your area. Respite care services, such as Visiting Angels provides, offer experienced caregivers who can spend quality time with your loved one while you run errands or take some personal time away. He or she can help with feeding, bathing, transportation to and from treatments, or other daily routines as necessary.
  • When feelings of worry arise, talk to a mental health professional or join a support group. Caregiving can sometimes result in feelings of isolation or loneliness. Speaking with a counselor or social worker can provide some relief from worries. Also, joining a caregiver support group can help you connect with others who are experiencing similar situations and provide a safe place to express your feelings and receive support.
  • Know your rights. If the company you work for has 50 or more employees and you’ve worked there for at least a year, you are probably offered unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide care for your loved one. Ask your company’s human resources department for help.

Becoming a caregiver to a loved one who has cancer is a wonderful and selfless act, but it is important to remember to take care of yourself in the process. Visiting Angels’ fully trained California home care services team understands the unique challenges that cancer caregivers face. We can work with you one-on-one to develop strategies for coping with whatever emotional or practical challenges you may go through. Contact us at 800-969-0499 to learn more about our in-home care services throughout Santa Clara County as well as Fremont, Union City, Hayward, Newark, Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, and Alameda. Order an opportunity to do this is a task of professional paper, thesis, book review completed b us achieve high-quality professional writers will make the most valuable point starting from your and useful answers to your text you’ve come to misunderstanding. You can make adjustments to fulfill a high school, an order personally. 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Do You Know the Warning Signs that Indicate Extra Care Is Needed?

May 30th, 2016

Warning Signs Home Care Is NeededSometimes in life we get hit hard and all at once. A fall, a sudden surgery, or an illness can strike, and there is no denying that extra help is necessary. Sometimes, however, the signs are small – a missed bill or a lack of food in the refrigerator, for instance – but extra care is still needed. When the signs are small, it is easy to overlook the problem. And if you don’t live near your senior loved ones, it’s even harder to determine when there is a problem if you cannot see for yourself how things are going.

The first step in the process is to take notice of warning signs. Here are some of the most common signs which could indicate a need for extra help at home:

  • Messy house, clutter, pots and pans piling up
  • Confusing or missing doses of medications
  • Difficulty with balance and mobility
  • Confusion over once-familiar tasks
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Loss of weight
  • Signs of depression, loss of interest in favorite hobbies and activities

When the signs of senior care needs start to appear, it is important to keep an open mind and not make assumptions as to why your parent or loved one might be experiencing difficulties. The discussion is often the most difficult part of the process, but if one approach does not work, give it some time and then try another approach.

What services can a senior obtain from home care? Home care agencies such as Visiting Angels in California help with any activities and assistance that a person needs throughout the day. Services can include:

  • Hygiene Assistance
  • Transportation
  • Live-in, Overnight, or Hourly Services
  • Assistance with Mobility
  • Bathing Assistance
  • Incontinence
  • Medication Reminders
  • Attend Religious Services
  • Respite for Family Caregivers
  • Beds & Linen Care
  • Light Housekeeping
  • Meal Preparation
  • Exercise Routines
  • Joyful Companionship

Transitioning to in home care can be hard, but we are here to make it easier. Contact our Sunnyvale or Fremont office today to learn more about how our in home caregivers can make living at home easier and safer.

How to Discuss the Possibility of Home Care in Sunnyvale with Loved Ones

May 23rd, 2016

home care in sunnyvaleAs we begin to age, there comes a time when we simply cannot do certain things for ourselves anymore. Small initial concerns can become genuine worries for our loved ones’ safety. If you determine there’s a safety issue that cannot be ignored, approach the senior with a sense of planning to find a solution rather than trying to enforce any predetermined decisions.

Here are some further tips to pave the way for a more successful conversation about home care needs:

  • Discuss what you have observed using concrete examples and ask her what she thinks is going on. Then ask what she thinks would be a good solution.
  • Make suggestions rather than demands. If driving is a concern, suggest the avoidance of driving at night or when the roads are slick. If there is a medical concern, suggest an appointment with a physician “just to check it out to relieve my concerns, although it may be nothing.”
  • If you have siblings, it may be helpful to involve them in the conversation. Be careful, however, not to give the feeling of “ganging up” on a parent or being overbearing. Talk when you and your loved one are at your best and try a new approach if the first one doesn’t work. If things start to break down or tempers flare, then try the discussion another time.
  • If you have an open and direct relationship, just come out and tell him that you’d like to talk about these issues and ask if he would mind talking about them.
  • Use conversation starters specific to your concerns to get the discussion started.

Remember to listen to your senior loved ones’ thoughts and concerns as well. It is their life, and feeling like they are losing control of it can be difficult. Once you are able to discuss your concerns, don’t pressure for an immediate decision. You may have been thinking about this for some time, but it is most likely a new idea to them. Let them absorb your ideas and return to the subject another time.

If you are unsure whether home care is appropriate for your situation, read more here, or contact Visiting Angels for a free in-home assessment. Our team is made up of exceptionally trained caregivers who are committed to making each senior’s transition easier. Contact us today at 510-284-0000 or 408-735-0977. We provide senior care services in Sunnyvale as well as throughout Santa Clara County and portions of Alameda County.

5 Conversation Starters to Make Home Care Discussions Easier

May 16th, 2016

home care assistance in CaliforniaLife is full of tough conversations, and exploring the idea with a senior in your life about the need for some extra help at home can be one of them. The idea of losing independence is hard to accept, and occasionally seniors flat out refuse to talk about it. In order to help prepare for this conversation, we have broken down some of the most common reasons for care needs and have come up with language to help you more easily approach those conversations. If you try one approach and it is unsuccessful, give it some time and try another; this process can take time.

Trouble with Getting Around the House

“Mom, I have some extra money. What do you say we find someone to help you with some of the bigger cleaning jobs at home like vacuuming and changing the sheets? It would make me feel good to treat you.”

Trouble with Medications

“I don’t know how you manage to keep all of those medications straight. I’ve heard about these medication dispensers that tell you when to take which medicines and even dispense the correct dosage. Wouldn’t it be great to have one of those? I know someone who can help us with that.”

Clutter

“Lately I’ve noticed that it seems hard for you to keep up with the housework the way I know you like it. Can we talk about why this is happening?”

Losing Weight

“Since Dad passed away, I noticed you are losing weight. For a little while at least, I think it might help to keep your nutrition up if we have someone help you with meal planning and preparation.”

For even more conversation starters, click here. To learn more about whether personalized home care assistance in California is right for you, contact Visiting Angels at our Fremont office: 510-284-0000 or at our Sunnyvale office: 408-735-0977. We provide senior care services throughout Santa Clara County as well as Fremont, Union City, Hayward, Newark, Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, and Alameda.