Posts Tagged ‘home care’

Prepare for the Holiday Reality Check with These Warning Signs that Senior Care Is Needed

December 20th, 2017

Senior Care It’s holiday time once again, which means it’s also the ideal time for a “holiday reality check.” If you haven’t seen your elderly loved ones in a while, now is a good time to take note of how they are doing. With busy agendas or long distances separating families for much of the year, subtle (or not-so-subtle) indications that senior care is needed can very well be undetected. Keep a lookout for the following signals that additional senior care may be required, and bear in mind that looking for warning signs is not for the purposes of judgment or critique; it’s a check for wellness, wellbeing and safety.

Physical signs: An unanticipated disheveled appearance of a loved one may be noted during a holiday visit. Failure to stay up with daily hygiene routines such as bathing, brushing teeth and other basic grooming could be indicative of health concerns such as dementia, depression, or physical impairments. Look to see if clothes are clean and if the individual appears to be maintaining good grooming habits.

Weight: At the dinner table, the senior’s appetite may seem to be just fine through the holidays, but significant weight loss without trying could be a sign that something is wrong. For older adults, weight loss might be related to many reasons, such as trouble with cooking or loss of taste or smell. In addition, weight loss is a sign of a more significant underlying concern, such as poor nutrition, dementia, depression, or even cancer.

Within the home: Any significant modifications in the way things are done around the home could give clues to health. For instance, burned pans could mean forgetting about food cooking on the stove. Ignored housework might be a sign of depression, dementia, or other issues. Make sure the lights are working, the heat is turned on, the bathrooms are clean, and no clutter is obstructing the walking areas of the senior’s home.

Click here for more warning signs that senior care is needed.

If you notice signs like an unkempt home, unexplained weight loss, or other general personality changes, talk to the senior about care experts at Visiting Angels about possibilities. While it might seem better to delay difficult discussions until after the holiday season, it’s much better not to wait until a real crisis strikes. Be reasonable with your expectations, and realize that your senior loved one may resist the conversation at first. The most important thing at this time is to open the lines of communication.

Need help with initiating the home care conversation with a loved one this holiday season? Call the Fremont home care experts at Visiting Angels at 510-284-0000 today for information about home care services in the Fremont, San Jose and Sunnyvale areas.

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.


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).


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.

Living with MS: Staying Comfortable and Safe at Home with Multiple Sclerosis

March 24th, 2017

Living with MSAs the famous author Jane Austen said, “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” And for those living with MS, comfort is essential, as is remaining safe. If a family member has been diagnosed with MS, the first step in caregiving should be to make the necessary modifications so the home is a safe, comfortable sanctuary, and not a dangerous place.

Multiple sclerosis can cause getting around to be difficult, and because daily activities — including recreational activities — can result in fatigue more quickly in people with MS, creating specific changes to the home environment may help conserve energy and increase independence.

Some examples include:

  • Change out thick carpeting with smooth, nonslip flooring for easier mobility
  • Put grab bars in the bathroom
  • Reposition furniture to widen pathways throughout the home
  • Include items in the shower or bathtub such as a handheld showerhead, a slip resistant bath mat and a bathtub seat
  • Consider a bed rail to assist with changing sleeping positions
  • Replace knobs throughout the home with handles, which are easier to manage

If you have a loved one who is living with MS, Visiting Angels of Sunnyvale, San Jose and Fremont, CA can provide in-home modification guidelines and help in scheduling customizations to ensure your loved one’s residence is a more convenient place for independence. To discover more about our in-home care services in Santa Clara County and the surrounding area, contact us at 408-735-0977 or 510-284-0000 or 408-610-9996. Our in-home care from expert caregivers can help individuals stay in the comfort of their home, with the care needed to improve quality of life.

Issues You Need to Know About When Hiring California In-Home Care Providers

January 20th, 2016

Hiring California In-Home CareThe time has come – you and your loved one have decided to hire an in-home care provider, either to perform some basic duties, such as light housekeeping or to provide companionship, or to provide some health care services, such as personal care. Whatever the services your loved one may require, now that you know you need to hire someone, how do you go about it?

First, you need to be aware that there are some risks that are involved in bringing a care provider into your home. While it may seem easiest to respond to an ad in the paper posted by an individual person claiming to have years of experience, glowing references, and low rates, there are some crucial differences between hiring a caregiver privately (or through a registry) instead of through a professional home care agency, like Visiting Angels.

Registry/Private Hire vs. the Home Care Agency

Although hiring a caregiver privately or through a registry may seem more affordable than a professional agency at first glance, there are hidden costs and risks associated with the private hire and registry.

  • Tax Issues/Worker’s Compensation: A professional agency such as Visiting Angels employs its caregivers and is responsible for all workers’ compensation and Social Security, unemployment and payroll taxes for its employees. When hiring privately or through a registry, you become the employer and may be required to pay for all of those items. Additionally, with the private hire or registry model, you may be held liable for any work-related injury that occurs on the job. This can include the cost of all medical expenses and any disability payments that might become applicable.Even if the caregiver represents himself or herself as an independent contractor, it is your responsibility to make sure this is actually the case, as oftentimes the caregiver will not meet the legal criteria as an independent contractor, in which case the tax and worker’s compensation responsibilities will be yours.
  • Supervision: Unmonitored, unsupervised care means a greater chance that care providers can exert undue influence on a frail person for personal financial gain, or the possibility of emotional or physical abuse. A professional agency will provide routine supervision and care monitoring.

To help determine if a home care company is a registry or a professional agency, be sure to ask the home care company representative if their caregivers are employed by the company, if the company covers workers’ compensation for their caregivers and if they monitor and supervise their caregivers.

When it comes to providing care for a senior loved one, it’s important to make an informed decision and choose wisely. Visiting Angels is a licensed home care company and we conform to all applicable state and federal employment and tax laws. Our caregivers are trained and supervised. All undergo background checks so you can rest easy knowing that your loved one is safe and well cared for at all times.

If you are looking for in-home care services in Santa Clara or Alameda County, call us at 408-735-0977 in Sunnyvale, or 510-284-0000 in Fremont or use our web form. We would be happy to answer your questions and explain how our services work.

Home Care and Diabetes Care Go Hand in Hand

November 25th, 2015

Home Care and Diabetes Care Go Hand in HandCaring for diabetes is an ongoing, daily process. Ignoring your diabetes care plan can lead to complications such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetic coma, blindness, kidney disease or amputation. The home care professionals at Visiting Angels of Sunnyvale and Fremont understand that constant health management can be overwhelming and stressful, and it can be difficult to manage your diabetes on your own. If you or a loved one needs help keeping up with diabetes care, hire an in-home caregiver to assist. Here are a few ways our caregivers can help:

  • Foot sores are common issues for people with diabetes, and if they aren’t cared for quickly, they can develop into major problems. A senior with reduced vision may not notice a small foot sore, but an in-home caregiver can inspect the diabetic’s feet daily, provide proper wound care and coordinate care with the physician to ensure that proper treatment is followed in order to help the senior heal.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet is a major part of diabetes management. An in-home caregiver can plan and prepare tasty, diabetic-appropriate meals to help diabetics keep up with proper nutrition.
  • Exercise is another important part of diabetes management. Caregivers can assist with a physician-approved exercise program and help them stay motivated.
  • An in-home caregiver can provide reminders for glucose testing and can schedule regular physician checkups.

Coping with diabetes requires a reasonably high level of cognitive or mental function, given the need to follow a treatment plan that includes diet, exercise, and medication components as well as blood sugar testing and other self-care measures. Additionally, those with diabetes have a higher incidence of both dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, making it even harder for them to perform multiple, complex tasks. Even normal memory loss associated with aging can impact how well a person deals with diabetes.

If you have a loved one who is struggling to manage his or her diabetes, contact the caregivers at Visiting Angels in Fremont and Sunnyvale. We can help get you on the track to better health.

Home Care: One Size Does Not Fit All

September 11th, 2012

There are many types of in-home care, and knowing which is right for you or your loved one can help you live a happier, healthier life at home. When it’s time to seek home care, an assessment for daily function, depression, and mental status is an important step in determining what type of care is the right choice.

A geriatric care assessment is designed to:

  • Evaluate the multiple problems of seniors
  • Develop coordinated care plans to focus interventions on individual issues
  • Assess personal resources and strengths
  • Determine care needs

Once completed, a geriatric care assessment can lead to:

  • Improved health outcomes
  • Prevention of the onset of disability
  • Early recognition of health changes
  • Improved quality of life
  • Savings on healthcare costs
  • Targeting individualized rehabilitation needs
  • Informative planning for daily services to increase safety
  • Discovery of early-stage disease and determination of senior’s ability to care for himself or herself
  • Determination of fall risks

Visiting Angels can help you and your loved ones assess your care needs and determine the right type of in-home care to ensure your independence at home. Contact us in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977 to schedule your assessment today.

Assessing In-Home Care Needs

September 4th, 2012

Aging in place is a popular choice for seniors today. When you or a loved one make the choice to age in place and remain independent at home, it is important to assess the level of care that is required. Below is a list of some everyday activities that should be considered to help determine in-home care needs.

  1. Ability to use a telephone: This is an important function for seniors in the event of an emergency. If the senior can operate a phone, look up phone numbers, and dial a few well-known numbers, he or she may not need assistance in this area. However, if the senior can only answer the phone, but not dial, or cannot use a phone at all, this is an area where assistance is needed.
  2. Shopping: Depending on mobility, some seniors may be able to shop for themselves, while others may need accompaniment to the store or to have their shopping done by a caregiver.
  3. Food preparation: Proper nutrition is important for aging seniors, and you may find that your loved ones are not maintaining an adequate diet from the meals they prepare for themselves. If this is the case, they may need assistance with food preparation.
  4. Housekeeping: Daily household chores can be daunting for frail seniors. This is an area where many home care clients require assistance to help maintain upkeep of their homes.
  5. Medication responsibilities: A certain amount of memory loss is common with aging, so many seniors feel the need to receive medication reminders. For seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, this assistance is particularly important.

Seniors will likely find that, as they age, their need for assistance in many areas of daily living will increase. At Visiting Angels, our expert caregivers can help you and your family assess the right level of care to meet your specific needs. Contact us in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977 for more information.