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Our home care and healthy living blog covers a wide range of topics concerning aging and health, support and guides for caregivers providing care, and articles on living a more healthy and positive lifestyle.
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How Caregivers Can Communicate with Doctors and Nurses on Behalf of Seniors

Being a caregiver has many benefits and drawbacks. While caregiving can be a wonderfully rewarding and inspirational career, it’s also a very challenging job, and many caregivers find themselves frustrated with the difficulties of their positions. Of all of these challenges, though, few are more agonizing than the task of trying to figure out how best to communicate with doctors and nurses on behalf of a senior. The post How Caregivers Can Communicate with Doctors and Nurses on Behalf of...

Being a caregiver has many benefits and drawbacks. While caregiving can be a wonderfully rewarding and inspirational career, it’s also a very challenging job, and many caregivers find themselves frustrated with the difficulties of their positions. Of all of these challenges, though, few are more agonizing than the task of trying to figure out how best to communicate with doctors and nurses on behalf of a senior.

For older adults, communicating effectively with care staff is often a difficult task. Thanks to cognitive decline or a simple unwillingness to speak up, seniors often don’t effectively express their needs to doctors and nurses, and the responsibility to ensure the senior’s medical wellbeing falls to caregivers.

While this can be a stressful experience for both parties, it doesn’t have to feel like a burden. Here are several tips for caregivers who want to learn how to communicate more efficiently with a senior’s care staff:

Communicating On Behalf of a Senior 101: 7 Tips to a More Open Dialogue

1. Develop a relationship with the senior’s doctors

Unless you have an ongoing relationship with a senior’s care professionals, communicating with them effectively can be a challenging task. Because of this, it’s essential to dedicate some time and energy to developing relationships with a senior’s doctors and nurses. The best way to do this is to attend as many appointments as possible with the senior you care for.

In addition to allowing you to get a feel for each doctor or nurse’s care style, this will also enable you to spot certain dynamics or difficulties and prepare yourself for how best to deal with the professional and his or her unique style of care and communication.

This is especially critical for caregivers working with seniors who see multiple doctors on a regular basis. Because each of these doctors’ care styles and treatment approaches may differ, it’s smart for caregivers to understand, as fully as possible, what makes each doctor tick and how best to communicate with each team to ensure the long-term care and well-being of the senior.

2. Gain inclusion in the HIPPA contract

HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) dictates that doctors, nurses, and other care professionals are not allowed to discuss a client’s personal medical information with anyone else unless the person is incapacitated and over the age of 18. While HIPAA rules are in place to protect patients, they can make it difficult for caregivers to access relevant health information about the elderly people they care for.

Because of this, it’s essential that caregivers gain inclusion in the HIPAA contract before it becomes time to speak with medical professionals on behalf of a senior. This enables caregivers to help seniors make medical decisions and to protect the senior’s overall health and wellbeing better. It also ensures that the caregiver will have all of the information needed should a major medical decision present itself.

3. Ask plenty of questions

Helping seniors understand and respond to medical conditions and care options can be difficult, and things like diagnoses and medical-speak are often far from easy to interpret. Because of this, it’s essential for caregivers to ask plenty of questions to fully understand a senior’s condition and what, if anything, can be done in some cases. This empowers the caregiver with relevant information and is an efficient way for caregivers to safeguard better the health and well-being of the seniors they care for.

While many caregivers shy away from asking questions because they believe they’ll be perceived as stupid or incapable, it’s important to ask for clarification any time you don’t understand something. Knowledge is power, and clarifying confusing explanations and asking for more information allows seniors and their caregivers to work together as a unified team.

4. Avoid assuming the worst

Among caregivers, specifically family caregivers, there’s often an assumption that a senior’s medical staff doesn’t want to help the caregiver provide care. Unfortunately, this makes it impossible to communicate efficiently and can have a drastic negative impact on the senior’s overall care and wellbeing. Instead of being combative with doctors or nurses, caregivers will do well to view them as skilled allies who actually want to help resolve problems and provide the best possible care for a loved-one.

When caregivers take the time to develop this type of relationship with doctors and nurses, caregivers and medical staff can work together to provide outstanding care for seniors without excess frustration and missed opportunities for communication.

5. Write down your questions

Many caregivers think of questions when they’re not in a doctor’s office. By the time they make it to the next appointment, though, they’ve forgotten their questions. This makes it easy to bypass critical inquiries and neglect essential queries that can help safeguard a senior’s health and well-being. Because of this, it’s essential for caregivers to write down their questions and bring them to the doctor’s office at every appointment. This ensures critical questions are being asked and prevents caregivers and seniors from suffering the fallout of forgotten information. 

6. Make additional appointments for additional concerns

Doctors and nurses are busy people, and they may not have time during a meeting to discuss, at length, all of your questions and concerns. While many caregivers take this as a sign that the doctor doesn’t care, this is seldom the case. To avoid frustration and ensure all questions are answered as thoroughly as possible, don’t hesitate to make an additional appointment. This can help facilitate more functional communication and avoid frustrations born from misunderstandings.

7. Encourage the senior to speak on his or her behalf

While caregivers must learn to communicate effectively on a senior’s behalf, it’s also important to encourage a senior to speak up wherever possible. Often, the message is a bit louder when it comes from the senior’s mouth, and doctors may well understand things better from seniors than they do from caregivers.

In some situations, it’s essential for caregivers to learn how to communicate with their seniors or on behalf of them. While this can be a confusing dynamic to learn, understanding different communication necessities and timeframes is critical for good ongoing communication.

Excellent Communication Starts Here

While learning to communicate on behalf of seniors can be difficult, it’s a critical skill for family caregivers and hired caregivers alike. By developing relationships with doctors and nurses, bringing lists of questions to every appointment, scheduling additional appointments for questions and concerns that will take more time, encouraging seniors to speak for themselves when and where appropriate, becoming included in a HIPAA contract, and holding off on assuming the worst, seniors and their caregivers can develop effective communication strategies that help ensure a good relationship with doctors and nurses and the best possible care. 

The post How Caregivers Can Communicate with Doctors and Nurses on Behalf of Seniors appeared first on Community Home Health Care.



How Caregivers Can Learn to Provide Better Care for Older Patients

For caregivers, learning to provide care for patients is an ongoing process. Even after dozens of hours of training, caregiving is a fluid process, within which things are always changing and adapting. Different clients require different care, mental and emotional upset can rise and fall quickly, and confounding factors like dementia and cognitive decline can make it difficult to connect effectively with patients. The post How Caregivers Can Learn to Provide Better Care for Older Patients...

For caregivers, learning to provide care for patients is an ongoing process. Even after dozens of hours of training, caregiving is a fluid process, within which things are always changing and adapting. Different clients require different care, mental and emotional upset can rise and fall quickly, and confounding factors like dementia and cognitive decline can make it difficult to connect effectively with patients.

As such, caregivers are always learning to provide better care for their older patients. It’s an ongoing process and, when caregivers dedicate themselves to it fully, it can overhaul the way they view their jobs and connect to their clients.

10 Ways Caregivers Can Learn to Provide Better Care

Providing better care is a process, and it requires learning new steps. Here are a few tips for caregivers who want to learn to provide better care:

1. Keep Yourself Healthy

The healthier and fitter you are, the better able you are to offer quality care. As such, it’s essential for caregivers to care for themselves. This means eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, staying active, and getting enough rest. When all these things are done, caregivers have the energy, stamina, and attention needed to care for aging patients.

2. Ask for Help

Sometimes, caregivers run into confounding care situations that can be very confusing. For example, what if an existing patient begins to develop Alzheimer’s? That changes the level of care the patient needs, and can be confusing for caregivers.

In these situations, asking for help is one of the best things you can do. Many caregivers hold the position all their life, and can act as a wealth of knowledge for caregivers struggling to adapt to changing clients, or striving to ensure they’re offering the best possible care to the people they spend time with.

While asking for help can feel intimidating, it’s one of the best ways for caregivers to learn more about their industry, and learn to provide the high-quality care their clients deserve.

3. Study Up

Reading can be a great way for caregivers to take in new information. If you’re struggling with a particularly difficult situation or making your way into a new facet of caregiving, read a book about it. Books like The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss can be comforting and illuminating for people caring for Alzheimer’s patients. In fact, there are well-written books available for people in virtually every facet of caregiving, if you’re looking for something that applies to your situation, do a quick Google search or ask your fellow caregivers what they’d recommend.

4. Take a Course

To continue your trajectory of study, look for free or low-cost courses in your local area. These courses can teach everything from caregiving techniques to self-care tactics that will quickly become instrumental in your caregiving approach. These courses are available through senior centers, caregiving support groups, and assisted living facilities.

5. Shadow Another Caregiver

One thing few caregivers think of doing is shadowing another caregiver. Ideal for any caregiver who wants to learn new skills, or is struggling to adapt to changing or more complex clients, shadowing a more experienced caregiver is an excellent way to gain hands-on experience and learn some new skills that can help inform and enhance your own caregiving tactics.

6. Reach out to Your Employer

If you’re a caregiver who works for a company, reach out to your employer for additional learning materials or educational courses. Most caregiving centers are happy to help educate their caregivers and will work hard to further learning in their workforce.

From books to courses and beyond, it’s highly likely that your employer will have some resources to pass your way. Remember: being specific about what you want to learn and what you’re struggling with is the best way to ensure you get the education you need.

7. Branch Out

While many caregivers believe that the education they should pursue is limited to the field of caregiving, branching out into other industries can be incredibly helpful.

For example, caregivers who are struggling to manage anxiety in their careers may benefit from learning about meditation or yoga, while people who are dealing with patients with Alzheimer’s may benefit from learning a bit more about the human brain, through a course in psychology or neuroscience.

Caregivers are busy people, and many think learning about these topics is a waste of time. The truth is, though, that a broad education is incredibly valuable for caregivers, and provides the extensive information and resources required to succeed in the field.

8. Join a Support Group

Support groups can be instrumental for caregivers. In addition to providing the mental, emotional, and social support caregivers need to remain happy and relaxed in their careers, support groups are also a great place to pick up resources and education.

By putting you in contact with other caregivers from different backgrounds and educations, a good support group can help you learn the tricks and tactics needed to provide better care, and to release stress and anxiety in the process.

9. Give Yourself Time to Rest

When you’re busy learning and working a demanding career, you need to give yourself time to rest and reflect. How you do this is up to you, but resources like respite care can be invaluable.

Even if you can’t take a long vacation, ensure you’re making small pockets of time throughout the week to reflect on your recent learning, unplug, and get the rest you need for the new information to sink in and take hold.

10. Participate in Online Forums

If you’re looking to pick up some new information about caregiving, head to an online forum. Popular places for caregivers from around the world to gather, discuss topics related to the field, and problem-solve together, online forums can be great resources for anecdotal experience and hands-on expertise.

A quick online search for “caregiving online forums” will reveal options from reputable sites across the U.S. To get started, try out AARP’s online caregiving community.

Better Caregiving Starts Here

There is no plateau point with caregiving. Instead, caregivers are always learning, adjusting their skills, and adapting to new information. While this may feel exhausting, it’s important to remember that the best caregivers are the ones who remain flexible and fluid, and that ongoing education is essential to providing great service. By exploring these ten avenues, caregivers can absorb pivotal new information and become more effective in their positions.

The post How Caregivers Can Learn to Provide Better Care for Older Patients appeared first on Community Home Health Care.



Signs you Should Switch from Companion Care to Overnight Care

As an elderly loved one ages, making care decisions only seems to get harder and harder. While companion care may be enough for a while, there comes a point in every senior’s life when overnight care is needed.  While companion care offers care with the activities of daily living (ADL) such as dressing, The post Signs you Should Switch from Companion Care to Overnight Care appeared first on Community Home Health...

As an elderly loved one ages, making care decisions only seems to get harder and harder.

While companion care may be enough for a while, there comes a point in every senior’s life when overnight care is needed. 

While companion care offers care with the activities of daily living (ADL) such as dressing, cooking, cleaning, and eating, overnight care is more comprehensive care designed to cater to seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s or related conditions. 

If you’re struggling with knowing when it’s time to trade in companion care for overnight care for your aging loved one, this post is for you. Read on to learn more.

The Emotional Implications of Hiring Overnight Care

Before we move on to discuss when is the appropriate time to hire overnight care, let’s first establish that many, many family members have an incredibly difficult time making this decision. It’s okay to find it difficult to accept the deteriorating health of a loved one, and many family members find themselves in a bit of denial about the fact that their loved one needs round-the-clock long-term care.

As painful as it is, this is a reality in many peoples’ lives, and addressing it by hiring the best-quality overnight care possible is the only way to provide for the health and wellbeing of an aging loved one. 

What are the Benefits of Overnight Care? 

Overnight care has many distinct benefits, both for the caregiver and the senior. Here are some of the top advantages overnight care has to offer: 

a) Medical assistance at all hours of the day and night.

 When a senior is suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, being alone at night can be dangerous. Alzheimer’s is well known to affect sleep patterns and it’s very common for affected individuals to get up and wander in the middle of the night. Without the care and supervision of a qualified attendant, a senior may wander out of the house and get lost or find themselves in a dangerous situation. Overnight care helps mitigate these risks and ensure that the senior is safe and well cared-for at all times.

b) A break for family caregivers.

More than 65 million people act as family caregivers in the U.S. alone, and these patient, kind, loving individuals cope with superhuman burdens nearly every day. In addition to the responsibility of caring for an aging loved one, these people often have young children and spouses to care for, as well. This creates a significant emotional, financial, and mental burden that contributes to caregiver stress and burnout. In many situations, it’s not uncommon for a family caregiver to be with an aging loved one every hour of the day that he or she isn’t working or caring for his or her family. Luckily, hiring overnight care can help decrease this burden a bit. By giving the family caregiver a way to step out of the care responsibilities without putting the senior at risk, overnight care offers a critical respite for stressed family caregivers who need small, regular breaks.

c) Medical assistance.

Overnight care providers are generally trained medical staff, which means they can assist with things like catheterization, medication administration, and other healthcare needs the senior may have. This helps ensure the senior’s safety and encourage appropriate treatment at all times.

7 Signs That it is Time to Hire Overnight Care

If you’ve noticed any of the following signs or symptoms in your senior loved one, it is time to hire overnight care: 

1. Wandering off

If a senior is suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s and has started to wander off, it’s time to hire overnight care. Without it, these seniors may wander out of the house and find themselves in serious trouble late at night. An overnight care assistant can monitor and prevent this behavior to keep the senior safe.

2. Intense forgetfulness

If the senior has become increasingly forgetful and has begun to do things like leave doors open or stoves on, it’s time to hire overnight care. These forgetful behaviors pose a risk to the senior’s health, and overnight care is one of the best ways to ensure the senior stays safe.

3. Depressive thoughts or actions

Seniors have an increased risk of depression, and older people who feel intensely depressed may try to wound themselves. If you’ve noticed this tendency in your loved one, overnight care is a critical tactic that can help keep the senior safe and happy.

4. Medication neglect

If your loved one forgets to take his or her medications, hire overnight care to ensure they’re administered correctly. With certain drugs (like anti-seizure or blood pressure medications), forgetting to take them can have dire consequences. Luckily, an overnight care professional will be able to ensure that the senior adheres to a medication schedule. 

5. Anger or uncharacteristic behavior

If your loved one has recently started to exhibit strange or atypical behavior, it may be time to hire overnight care. Because overnight caregivers can help seniors stay in a routine and remain safe in their homes, they’re a valuable form of assistance for elderly people who have started to behave differently than they used to.

6. Medical conditions that necessitate round-the-clock care

If your loved one has seizures or another medical condition that can be dangerous if left alone, overnight care can be lifesaving. By hiring someone to attend to the senior when you can’t, you get the benefits of peace of mind while also ensuring that the senior has the medical assistance he or she needs to cope with their condition. 

7. When the senior needs help to get around

If your senior loved one has a difficult time walking or moving around the house, overnight care is a smart idea. This way, a senior can get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night while also maintaining his or her dignity and independence as much as possible.

The Case for Overnight Care

In the right setting, overnight care is a critical service that can overhaul a senior’s life as well as that of his or her family caregivers. Because overnight care steps in to fill a critical care gap where the family caregiver needs to sleep and the senior is often left alone, it’s a fantastic option for seniors who need a high level of care or who are suffering from cognitive impairment.

By hiring overnight care for a senior loved one, family members can put their minds at ease and shrug off some of the guilt that comes from not being able to accompany the senior through every moment of the day. Since overnight caregivers are highly trained and qualified attendants, they’re the ideal tool for helping to ensure a senior’s ongoing health, safety, and wellbeing.

The post Signs you Should Switch from Companion Care to Overnight Care appeared first on Community Home Health Care.



Why Some Seniors Lose Their Hearing and How You Can Prevent it

As seniors get older, it’s not uncommon for them to lose their hearing. A grandmother who used to share whispered secrets with a grandchild may now struggle to hear shouts from across the house. A grandfather who used to be an avid talker may now feel isolated from discussions he can’t make out. The post Why Some Seniors Lose Their Hearing and How You Can Prevent it appeared first on Community Home Health...

As seniors get older, it’s not uncommon for them to lose their hearing.

A grandmother who used to share whispered secrets with a grandchild may now struggle to hear shouts from across the house. A grandfather who used to be an avid talker may now feel isolated from discussions he can’t make out.

While hearing loss is a common side effect of aging, it’s not the rule for every senior. With proper care and prevention tactics, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent hearing loss and maintain your hearing well into your golden years.

Read on to learn more.

Why Hearing Loss Happens in Seniors

Today, about 8.5% of seniors ages 55-64 are experiencing some degree of hearing loss. By the time seniors reach the age of 75 or older, that number has risen to 50%.

With these numbers in mind, it’s clear that hearing loss is a widespread problem that affects many people. But what causes it?

The truth is that there are dozens of reasons for hearing loss and that very few people lose their hearing for the same reason.

For starters, age is a factor in hearing loss. As you age, the microscopic hairs in the ear (which are required for helping the brain make sense of sound waves) get damaged or die off completely, making it more difficult for seniors to convert sound waves into discernable sounds.

This type of hearing loss is known as presbycusis, and it is, unfortunately, permanent. Once the hairs in the ear have become damaged, they cannot grow back, and seniors must turn to mechanical hearing aids and the like.

Aside from age-related hearing loss, there is also hearing loss associated with things like medications, high blood pressure, tumors in the brain or inner ear, strokes, viruses, punctured eardrums, or even a simple buildup of earwax. In some cases, people who have worked in loud industries (such as music or factories) may experience hearing loss that results because of damage to the eardrum.

The Effects of Hearing Loss

For people who haven’t experienced hearing loss, the effects of the condition may seem as simple as not being able to hear friends or acquaintances or requiring people around you to speak louder.

If you’re currently suffering from hearing loss, though, you know that the effects can be much more pronounced than that. For many people, hearing loss results in a pronounced feeling of isolation and exclusion.

While the world around you continues to move, as usual, you’ve lost your ability to participate as you once did simply because you can’t hear like you once did. The effects can be devastating.

In some cases, the effects of hearing loss can go far beyond the physical and start to affect seniors on a mental and emotional basis. According to one 2014 study, approximately 12% of seniors affected by hearing loss experience depression ranging from moderate to severe.

In addition to being linked to an increased risk of depression, hearing loss can also wreak havoc on a senior’s cognitive function. According to a JAMA Internal Medicine study published in 2012, hearing loss can decrease cognitive function by as much as 41% in some seniors.

These things can be detrimental to your health and, as such, it’s critical to ensure that you’re taking proactive steps to prevent hearing loss. 

How to Prevent Hearing Loss

We’ve all heard the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and nowhere does it ring truer than with hearing. While hearing is difficult to restore once it’s been lost, it’s relatively simple to maintain. With this in mind, here are some of the primary ways seniors can protect their hearing both now and in the future: 

1. Wear ear protection.

Upwards of ten million Americans have already done irreversible damage to their hearing as a result of loud noises. With this in mind, it’s clear that protecting your ears from loud noises is essential. Because of this, it’s wise to wear ear muffs at loud concerns, insert ear plugs before running chainsaws or other loud machinery, and be careful about how loud the music you play in headphones is. These are small steps, but they can serve to safeguard your hearing in the years to come.

2. Be careful with medications.

Some medications can have dire effects on hearing, and many people assume this is normal when it’s not. If you’ve noticed that a medicine you recently started taking is affecting your hearing negatively, see your doctor. There may be an alternate treatment you can adopt to protect your hearing and your health.

3. Get frequent check-ups.

While many people forgo annual hearing screenings, attending them allows you to catch dangerous hearing loss issues before they become permanent. Be sure to see your doctor about any new or worsening hearing symptoms as you age.
While these tips may seem simple, they can go a long way toward preventing the damage caused by hearing loss and ensuring that you remain happy, healthy, and alert well into their senior years. What’s more, these easy prevention tips can also contribute to ensuring that you never have to suffer the cognitive and mental challenges caused by pronounced hearing loss. 

How to Treat Hearing Loss

If you’ve already suffered irreversible hearing loss, don’t fret. Because hearing loss is so common, it has many well-researched treatment options. For example, people suffering from hearing loss may find a hearing aid helpful for day-to-day life. Hearing aids are beneficial for seniors with various levels of hearing loss and are available in a wide selection of sizes, options, and styles.

While many people are concerned about how wearing a hearing aid will make them look, today’s models are small and low-profile, so you’re the only one who knows you’re wearing one.

If a hearing aid isn’t a fit for your unique situation, you can also explore surgical treatment options, including cochlear implants, which are meant to treat severe hearing loss by making sounds louder and helping seniors decipher the noises around them.

Beyond surgery, there are also many non-invasive and non-mechanical options available. These range from sign language to lip reading, and can serve to help you feel more interactive and included in your daily life. 

Hearing Loss Doesn’t Have to be a Reality for All Seniors  

Hearing loss affects millions of Americans, and it can have devastating repercussions for mental and emotional well-being. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be the status quo. By understanding the common causes of hearing loss and taking proactive steps to prevent it, you can protect your hearing throughout the aging process.

While some hearing loss is hereditary and can’t be prevented entirely, these smart steps can help you reduce environmental risk factors and ensure that you’re doing what you can to keep your hearing in tip-top shape.

Although many people assume that hearing loss is an intrinsic portion of old age, this doesn’t have to be the case, and people who understand the causes of hearing loss and know how to prevent them are better equipped to stay sharp and alert throughout their golden years. 

The post Why Some Seniors Lose Their Hearing and How You Can Prevent it appeared first on Community Home Health Care.



7 Different Ways You Can Work as A Caregiver

If you’re considering working as a caregiver, there are dozens of different ways to do it. While many people assume working as a caregiver means working for a home care agency, this isn’t always the case. In fact, you can work for anyone from a private employer to your own family member! To learn more about all the options you have for working as a caregiver, The post 7 Different Ways You Can Work as A Caregiver appeared first on Community Home Health...

If you’re considering working as a caregiver, there are dozens of different ways to do it. While many people assume working as a caregiver means working for a home care agency, this isn’t always the case. In fact, you can work for anyone from a private employer to your own family member! To learn more about all the options you have for working as a caregiver, read on:

7 Different Options for Working as a Caregiver

Whether you’re a new caregiver looking to enter the industry or an experienced professional wondering about your options for lateral movement, these are the top ways to work as a caregiver.

1. Work for An Agency

Working for an agency is one of the most popular methods of working as a caregiver. Designed to cater to the various needs of seniors in the in-home environment, home-care agencies partner qualified caregivers with home care jobs across the country and throughout the states.

Agencies act as a third-party between the caregiver and the patient, and make life easier for caregivers by finding clients for them, handling payroll and offering structure. Caregivers who work for home-care agencies may be required to have one or several certifications, although this depends largely on the state in which they live.

While states like Alabama have no licensing requirements, Arizona requires basic caregiver training for home care professionals, and 6 hours of training for Caregivers for Medicaid. You can look up your state’s training requirements on caregiverlist.com.

2. Work for Family

Thanks to a popular consumer-directed program known as CDPAP, it’s now possible for family caregivers to work as employees for the loved ones they care for.

Designed to take some of the burden off both caregivers and patients, CDPAP makes it easy for caregivers to offer and orchestrate payment while also ensuring that the honorable duty of caregiving doesn’t create a financial burden for family caregivers.

Under CDPAP, caregivers can hire family members or loved ones to provide their in-home care, and CDPAP will handle payroll issuing, training, and more. Throughout it all, the caregiver is responsible for hiring, managing, and terminating caregivers, and maintaining payroll reports.

This system provides for a safer and more comfortable care environment for seniors, and a more financially viable way to care for loved-ones for caregivers.

3. Work for Friends or Neighbors

CDPAP also allows patients to hire friends or neighbors to provide their in-home care. An extension of the consumer-directed program that allows patients to choose their own caregivers, hiring friends and neighbors has become popular among people who want to take control of their caregiving but already know someone with whom they would trust their care.

Like working for a family member, working for a friend or neighbor allows for a more comfortable and satisfying experience for both the caregiver and patient. While the patient feels in control of his or her care, the caregiver can enjoy a better patient caregiver relationship and more predictability thanks to the arrangement with the friend or neighbor.

Like working for family members, the patient in this satiation would be required to handle all the training and payroll information while the caregiver may or may not be required to obtain any official training beforehand.

4. Private Pay Caregiving

Private Pay caregivers are caregivers who are hired “under the table.” These caregivers are typically hired by patients who want to work directly with their caregivers, without the structure or requirements of a home care agency or CDPAP. Private pay caregivers aren’t always friends or family members of the patient, although they can be.

While private pay caregiving may seem simple, it’s important to remember different states have different laws surrounding hiring caregivers, and that both patients and caregivers may be responsible for taxes and withholdings if the two of you decide to enter such an agreement.

5. Through Insurance

Securing caregiver pay through an insurance company can be tricky, but it is possible. In some cases, long-term care insurance and other such policies afford some coverage for in-home care providers, and it’s possible to get paid by these companies.

Be aware, though, that there are specifications and that you may need training or certification that you wouldn’t need to be a private pay caregiver or to work for a friend, neighbor, or family member.

Sometimes, insurance companies will not pay providers who are not certified and employed by a health care agency. Before you pursue this route, talk with your would-be patient about their insurance coverage and whether it would cover you.

6. Medicare

As a general rule, Medicare benefits don’t cover the expenses of home care aides, unless the person hiring the aide needs skilled care, like nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language care.

There are many restrictions surrounding these circumstances, and it’s wise for patients and caregivers to evaluate the bounds of coverage completely before making the decision to press forward.

7. Medicaid

Medicaid provides sponsored programs meant to cover the funding for long-term care for elderly people. These programs may cover things such as meal delivery, in-home healthcare, personal care services, adult day care, transportation, and more.

To qualify for payment through these programs, caregivers need to work with their patients to ensure the household is eligible for Medicaid programs and that the caregiver’s training is enough to qualify for the program.

Getting Paid as a Caregiver

While many caregivers believe working an unpaid position is their only option, the times are changing and there are many ways to get paid as a caregiver today.

Simple options, like direct payment, and more recent options like working for family members, friends, or neighbors are all fantastic ways for caregivers to secure payment for their services and to succeed in making a living from their dedication and devotion to caregiving.

While it may take some back-and-forth to find a caregiving approach that works for you and your patient, it’s well worth it in the long run.

The post 7 Different Ways You Can Work as A Caregiver appeared first on Community Home Health Care.



10 Healthy Outlets to Relieve the Caregiver Burden

Being a caregiver can be an exhausting pursuit. While it’s important work, many caregivers feel burned-out and tired because of their caregiving duties. What’s more, many aren’t sure how to cope with the stress and anxiety their professions create. Because of this, it’s essential for caregivers to have healthy outlets to relieve stress, The post 10 Healthy Outlets to Relieve the Caregiver Burden appeared first on Community Home Health...

Being a caregiver can be an exhausting pursuit. While it’s important work, many caregivers feel burned-out and tired because of their caregiving duties. What’s more, many aren’t sure how to cope with the stress and anxiety their professions create.

Because of this, it’s essential for caregivers to have healthy outlets to relieve stress, get in touch with themselves and friends, and live happy, centered lives. Luckily finding a healthy outlet is easier than you might think! Here are our top ten suggestions.

10 Healthy Outlets for Caregivers

Whether you work as a family caregiver or a caregiver for an in-home agency, having an outlet is more critical than you might think. Stress, a major factor in virtually every chronic disease, weighs heavily on caregivers, and a good outlet is essential to blow off steam and cope well with the stresses of caregiving life. These ten outlets are great places to start:

1. Writing

Writing has been shown to calm the mind, relieve stress, alleviate anxiety and heal trauma, promote good communication skills and increase your memory capacity. Luckily, you don’t need to be Hemingway to do it.

If you’ve never written before, there are many ways to get started. Consider joining a local writing class or taking a writing course online. These guided formats are attractive for people with no experience in writing who want to get started in a group setting.

If you’d prefer to do it yourself, you can just purchase a notebook and some pens and jot down your feelings at the end of each day. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and write until it goes off. Don’t try to structure yourself or edit yourself as you go – just write!

While many people are intimidated by writing, it can be a fantastic outlet for people in high-stress environments.  Simply getting your brain out on paper can work wonders to reduce your stress and provide an outlet at the end of a hard day.

2. Ceramics

There’s no underestimating the importance of learning to do something with your hands. If you’ve never been a crafty person, ceramics is a great place to start. In addition to the fact that ceramics classes are available at most community colleges, universities, and local arts studios, ceramics is also a great way to create some lovely keepsakes for you, your family, and your patients.

You may also find that, over time, you enjoy ceramics enough that you want to pursue it as a hobby for years to come.

3. Exercise

Exercise has been shown to be more effective than pharmaceuticals at treating anxiety and depression. If you feel stressed-out and overworked by your caregiving position, blow off some steam with exercise.

A good 30-minute run, brisk hike, long yoga class, or walk with your dog is a great way to get the feel-good energy flowing, and to manage stress caused by your work. What’s more, exercise also keeps your heart healthy, fights weight gain, and helps you sleep better at night.

Not sure where to start with exercise? Don’t go it alone. Partner with an active friend or join a gym, most of which offer a few personal training sessions with new memberships. This will help you learn to work out safely and correctly.  

4. Therapy

Therapy can be invaluable for people struggling to manage the stress of their caregiving positions. For best results, seek out a therapist with experience working with caregivers.

While many people believe that therapy won’t help them, it can be a fantastic way to handle the stress and difficulties of caregiving and find healthier ways to cope with difficult emotions like grief and sadness.

5. Support Groups

Like therapy, support groups provide an important bouncing-off point for people who work in stressful professions like caregiving. In a support group, you’ll find a dedicated group of like-minded individuals who understand your struggles and can work with you to help alleviate them.

What’s more, support groups can work with you to turn you on to helpful resources and give you the tools you need to navigate difficult caregiving situations.

6. Dance

Dance is a great way to get your body moving and dump stress all at once. Never been a dancer? No problem! Sign up for a fun local dance class in your community or join a local play to get moving.

Designed to incorporate fun, discipline, and exercise all into one movement, dance is a great way to cope with the stresses of being a caregiver.

7. Meditation

Having trouble staying in the moment? Meditation might be able to help. Designed to offer the help you need calming down, getting rid of obsessive or difficult thoughts, and maintaining your center throughout the day, meditation is a great outlet for busy or stressed-out caregivers who need help coping.

Studies have also shown that mindfulness meditation is effective at resolving anxiety, which is a bonus for caregivers.

8. Yoga

Yoga combines breath and movement for a truly calming experience that’s also good for your body. Clear up kinks in your back with downward dog while breathing your way through a stressful day or a difficult situation.

9. Reading

Reading is one of the best ways to escape from reality and infuse yourself into a new and exciting world! Pick up a novel you love to escape the day-to-day and get busy imagining new and exciting worlds. It’s also a great way to combat stress and cut down on anxiety.

10. Meeting with Friends

Laughter is the best medicine and meeting with friends is a great way to blow off steam and help yourself recover from busy caregiving days. Make tie in your schedule to get together with the friends you love and cherish.

Not only will you feel happier and less stressed because of it, but you’ll also maintain your connection to the outside world and keep your finger on the pulse of the things that keep you inspired and exited outside of caregiving.

Healthier Outlets Start Here

There’s no question about it: being a caregiver can be difficult. Finding healthy outlets is key to coping with those difficulties, though. Luckily, activities like dancing, reading, yoga, and writing can help you work through difficult emotions and find healthy methods of expression.

The post 10 Healthy Outlets to Relieve the Caregiver Burden appeared first on Community Home Health Care.



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