Caregiver Training Should Be Ongoing

iStock10540746XSmallNursewwomanandwalkerIt can be a major decision to entrust the care of your senior to someone else, even if just for a few hours a day. You want to make sure that they are getting high quality care and that their caregiver is trained how to respond to a wide range of scenarios and issues. When choosing a senior care company to provide in-home care, it is a good idea to ask many questions about their training and certifications. Find out what areas caregivers are trained in and how often training occurs.  Ask about background checks and references.  A reputable agency makes training and quality care top priorities and promotes professional development of its staff.

Training should be ongoing in the following areas:

Safety

In-home caregivers should be looking out for your senior’s safety in all they do. This ranges from assisting them in safely transferring from the bed or a chair to making sure the kitchen is set up in a way to prevent hazards. First aid and CPR certifications can also be very valuable should an emergency arise.

Caregivers can also promote better safety by assisting with meal preparation and light cleaning, managing medication, and supporting self-care activities. By having a well-trained caregiver, they will know to alert you with concerns they may have about your loved one’s safety and support your senior with activities they may struggle with on their own.  Read more about home improvement safety for your senior loved one here.

Mental Health

It is not uncommon for seniors to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia as they age. However, these conditions can be difficult to handle without a solid understanding of how they affect seniors and how to cope with the challenges they present. Talk to the caregiver about their training in these areas and their approach to caring for someone with cognitive impairments. You want your loved one to feel comfortable and respected as they face troubles with their memory and you want their caregiver to be sensitive to these issues and know how to effectively respond.  Some examples of how to respond include not arguing with a loved one who has memory loss and pureeing food for an individual who is forgetting to swallow.

Senior Care

Caregivers should also be well-versed in the changing needs of seniors as they age. This means helping them to stay physically and mentally active and engaged, recognizing when they need more support and when they can do things independently, and creating an environment that is conducive to aging in place. This also means being aware of challenges that seniors face, whether it’s changes in their physical or mental health, losing loved ones, or having to transition to a higher level of care. All of these things should be addressed with compassion and sensitivity.  Many online tools are also available for reference to caregivers.  The Alzheimer’s Association has message boards available for both caregivers and loved ones.
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Ongoing training ensures that caregivers are equipped to handle whatever comes their way and are up-to-date on best practices and the latest policies and procedures. Always Best Care ensures that all of its caregivers receive current training that helps them to be more well-rounded and provide exceptional care for clients. Contact Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059 or email dbaim@abc-seniors.com to learn more about our commitment to care and training and how it can benefit your loved one as they age.

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Creating The Perfect Space For Aging In Place

Today’s elderly population is blazing a new trail for seniors in many ways. Aging individuals in our world are living longer, leading more active lives and are participating more in society than any previous generation in their later years. As a result, they are shunning typical lifestyle choices and patterns of the past in favor of new ways to live. For many seniors, this means living and aging at home where they are comfortable and secure. This desire has created a huge demand on family members and other loved ones as they consider their options.

These days, family members aren’t worried about putting Mom or Dad in a nursing home; they are more concerned with how to make sure Mom or Dad’s current house is fit for aging in place safely and comfortably.

If you’re concerned about a family member who insists on aging in place, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure conditions at home are ideal and appropriate for healthy aging.

Here are some helpful tips:

1. Make Necessary Changes

The cost to retrofit a home can be scary, but think about this: the cost to make structural modifications to a typical one-story home is about $10,000. However, when you consider the costs associated with occupancy of a nursing home or other facility, which can rise to tens of thousands of dollars a year, the costs of modifications are worth it. At this point, doing what is necessary to make the home safe and secure  will make you feel confident that you made the right choice.

2. Don’t Forget the Small Things

Consider normal, day-to-day activities like opening doors or removing items from kitchen shelves. Are these tasks presenting unnecessary challenges to your loved one? Small changes such as  installing better doorknobs or rearranging items on shelving to a lower level can make a huge difference. It’s also a good idea to evaluate the home’s lighting both inside and out.  New fixtures may be the best solution, but you might be able to make significant improvements simply by installing new bulbs.

3. Take Advantage of Technology

Today’s world benefits from automation in a number of ways, and your senior loved one’s home can take advantage of the same benefits. Programmable “smart” thermostats, self-monitoring alarms and timer-enabled lights can help you ensure that the home is always comfortable, plus it can take responsibilities off of an aging individual’s plate. You can also use technology to communicate with your loved one and ensure that the home is safe and sound, even when you’re thousands of miles away.

More Advice for Aging in Place

Are you caring for a loved one who insists on aging in place? Always Best Care can help you. Call us at (267) 217-7059 for your free consultation.

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Recognizing and Preventing Senior Abuse

Recognizing and Preventing Senior Abuse

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How many seniors do you know who rely on others to help with their daily living activities?

As seniors age, many become more reliant on others to help care for them. While they may be living fairly independently, they often receive support with daily tasks, managing finances or medications, transportation to and from activities, and other tasks. Unfortunately senior abuse is a serious problem that can sometimes go overlooked.
As memory and mobility decline, it can be easier for people to take advantage of seniors.

Senior abuse is not always physical; there are other forms of abuse as well, including:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect
  • Exploitation
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Abandonment
  • Self-neglect

You may notice that your loved one has cuts, bruises, or broken bones that seem out of character. They may become more withdrawn or fearful around certain people from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Exploitation could put their financial security in jeopardy or lead to missing property. Neglect or abandonment could result in declining health and well being. All of these things can be serious problems for seniors and are issues that family members, friends, and healthcare providers should be aware of.

There are several steps you can take in preventing senior abuse:

  • Research care providers. If your loved one receives in-home care, ensure that you have researched the organization and they are licensed and provide thorough screenings on all employees. Get to know the person who is providing senior care and report any concerns that you may have.
  • Check in regularly. Whether you call, visit, or chat online, stay in touch with your loved one on a regular basis. Be alert for any warning signs that may indicate senior abuse and listen to any concerns your senior may have. If you can’t be there, ask someone you trust to check in. An in-home caregiver may also be able to alert you if they notice anything out of the ordinary.  Make sure you check in on their finances periodically too or offer to take over paying the bills.  This gives them less to worry about, eliminates potential for financial fraud and assures no one will take advantage of them.
  • Keep your senior active. Make sure they are not isolating themselves and have the opportunity to engage socially and interact with others. This can keep them more mentally alert and help prevent senior abuse. It can also build a network of support and connect them to valuable resources. Look for reputable senior groups or activities in their area.
  • Ask for help if you need it. Don’t feel obligated to take on the responsibility of caregiver all on your own. This can be physically and mentally exhausting. Hiring senior care services can take some of the burden off you and reduce risk of burnout.
  • Video Monitoring.  Install a nanny-type video camera in your loved one’s home, especially if you are suspicious.  Any doubts you have will hopefully be put at ease with a live-feed video.

Protect your loved one from senior abuse by being actively involved in their care and recognizing warning signs. If you do see something concerning, make sure you report it so that it can be investigated further. When looking for senior services, trust in a provider such as Always Best Care for high quality care that will keep your loved one safe. Always Best Care is a fully licensed organization, and caregivers are bonded and insured. Learn more about how we can help by calling (267) 217-7059 today!

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