If your loved one is beginning to need more help at home and you can’t be there all the time, a home health care provider can lend much-needed assistance. However, you may feel intimidated by the process of trying to select a reliable, trustworthy worker. The following criteria can help guide your selection process.
Talk to Other Patients
Current clients can be some of the best sources of information about how good a home health care service is. According to Kindley Firm, elder abuse is sadly an increasing phenomenon as the population ages, so you may feel unsure about whom to trust. Consulting recent references can ease your fears. Ask other families questions about the activities that the provider did with the patient, the strengths they exhibited and their attitude toward the job. You should also ask the reference to describe a time that the care provider faced a problem or emergency.
Look at Online Reviews
Looking at reviews using search engines is a quick way to get a feel for how past customers feel about a service, but reviews are only worthwhile if they’re reliable. To gauge whether reviews are legitimate, consult multiple review sites. As Batzner suggests, you should steer clear of reviews that sound almost exactly alike or ones that gush over every aspect of a service. When a provider responds professionally and pleasantly to reviews, especially ones that involve criticism, that can be a positive sign.
Look at Response Time
Health problems don’t always fit neatly into a 9-to-5 schedule, so it’s important to have the ability to reach your caregiver and receive an answer quickly. For example, some of the best caregiving companies use telehealth monitoring so that they can identify a problem right away, and they also offer an around-the-clock contact number. Furthermore, good home health services schedule appointments quickly so that you can have your loved one seen within 24 hours when it’s necessary.
Education and training can help a caregiver provide appropriate services. Good agencies offer providers who are licensed as LPNs or RNs, so you can trust that they have received thorough training as health care providers. Also, some organizations employ occupational or physical therapists to provide well-rounded care for your loved one.
You need to have full confidence in your care provider. You want to make sure that your loved one is well-taken care of in their elderly years. Diligently evaluating a service can help you entrust your loved one’s care to a reliable, professional team.
One of the unfortunate side effects of the aging process is the host of digestive issues that often accompany this season of life. As you age, many body functions begin to slow down and deteriorate. While it may be tempting to brush off the issues as a natural part of aging, it is important to make attempts to identify the problem and treat it. Here are three of the most common things that might be contributing to digestive issues in yourself or a senior member of your family:
Regardless of if it is over the counter or a prescription, medicine can wreak havoc on the digestive system. Seniors need to be extra cautious of fillers and additives if they have food intolerances. Fortunately, there are a variety of steps that seniors can take to help to mitigate these digestive issues. Taking the medicine along with food will help to prevent nausea. Medicines that cause constipation can be combined with fiber supplements to negate these issues. Prescription medicines such as penicillin are prone to causing diarrhea and should be taken with a probiotic or foods that are high in lactobacillus.
Missing teeth and poorly fitted dentures reduce bite force and can contribute to the development of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Seniors with dentures need to be careful to diligently chew their food. Poor digestive issues begin in the mouth. One common condition associated with dentures is aerophagia. This excessive swallowing of air can lead to a severely distended stomach, poor digestion, and pain. Dental implants can help with digestive issues by supporting biting strength and chewing stability.
Diabetes and Gastroparesis
Diabetes is a common ailment in the aging population. This condition is a common cause of gastroparesis, a disorder distinguished by food taking a long amount of time to clear the stomach. People who suffer from gastroparesis experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and discomfort at the top of the stomach. This disorder cannot be cured and can only be managed through medication and proper diet. People with severe cases of the disorder often have to resort to tube feeding to get their nutrients because their stomach cannot process the food effectively.
Seniors do not have to suffer through the discomfort. The first step in treatment is a proper diagnosis. By recognizing the most common causes of digestive disorders in seniors, you can take steps to alleviate the issue.
Welcome Homecare has earned the 2018 SHPBestTM “Superior Performer” Patient Satisfaction Award
Jacksonville, FL, 6/18/2019 – Welcome Homecare has been recognized by Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) as a “Superior Performer” for achieving an overall patient satisfaction score that ranked in the top 20% of all eligible SHP clients for the 2018 calendar year.
The annual SHPBest™ award program was created to acknowledge home health agencies that consistently provide high quality service to their patients. The 2018 award recipients were determined by reviewing and ranking the overall satisfaction score for more than 2,500 home health providers. With the largest HHCAHPS benchmark in the nation, SHP is in a unique position to identify and recognize organizations that have made patient satisfaction a priority and have been rewarded for their efforts with high marks on the HHCAHPS survey.
“SHP is proud to present the SHPBest awards to our top-performing customers. We commend these organizations for their continuous focus on delivering the highest quality of care to their patients”, said Rob Paulsson, President of SHP.
Welcome Homecare has serviced Jacksonville residents, physicians and assisted living facilities for over 30 years, as one of the original Home Healthcare providers in the city. From being the first agency to go all in on silver coated foley catheters to bringing the first tele-health monitoring devices into the homes of Jacksonville patients, Welcome Homecare has a history of leading the industry with cutting-edge technologies, spearheading the charge to improve the quality of home health in the greater Northeast Florida and beyond. This along with Welcome Homecare’s dedication to 5-Star service for their patients has made the agency an icon of the community and their standard the standard in Patient Care.
“As a locally owned and operated family business, we are so proud of our nurses and clinical staff for their unwavering dedication to serving our patients with integrity and love. Plenty of agency’s have mottos, but few actually practice what they preach. We owe this great honor to our team, who have consistently put their heart into home care and shown the city that, when it comes to our patients, we aren’t almost family – we are family. We look forward to many more years of providing 5-star service to the community in Jacksonville, Orange Park, Fernandina, St. Augustine and Macclenny”, said Dwight Cenac II, Director of Marketing for WHC.
Read more about the SHPBest awards program, including methodology and award recipient lists at https://www.shpdata.com/home-health/shpbest-hhcahps.
About Welcome Homecare
Welcome Homecare is Jacksonville’s longest-running premiere home healthcare agency, with the only Medicare-backed 5-Star Patient Satisfaction record of over 300 patient surveys. For over 25 years, Welcome Homecare has serviced the greater Jacksonville area as well as Fernandina, Macclenny, Green Cove Springs, St. Augustine and Orange Park. Welcome Homecare offers a variety of home healthcare services to bring the highest quality care to patients’ homes including skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and telemonitoring.
About Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP)
Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) is a leader in data analytics and benchmarking that drive daily clinical and operational decisions. Our solutions bring real-time data to post-acute providers, hospitals, and ACOs to better coordinate quality care and improve patient outcomes. Since 1996, SHP has helped more than 7,000 organizations nationwide raise the bar for healthcare performance.
Aging is a difficult process that affects all people. Over time, the human body naturally begins to lose some of its strength and abilities. While this process cannot be stopped, it can be slowed down, allowing seniors to be active longer than previous generations were able to do. By taking advantage of recent advances in medicine, seniors can live more actively and more confidently.
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the United States. For some people, symptoms like shortness of breath or struggling with activity build over time. For others, a cardiac event comes without warning. It used to be that routine heart monitoring could only happen in a medical setting. Now patients can wear portable monitors that record their information and send it directly to a doctor. This kind of biofeedback can even be synced to a smartphone, allowing doctors to reach out to patients if something unusual is detected.
Hearing loss is a common symptom of aging. According to Gardens Cosmetic Center, about 36 million people have hearing loss in the U.S., and almost half of them are under the age of 65. In recent years, hearing aid technologies have improved in the ability to compensate for hearing loss as well as in appearance. Modern hearing aids for age-related hearing loss can be quite small and can be worn without notice. They can also be adjusted for the needs of the patient whether it is compensating for lost range or filtering out background noise.
Staying active is one of the keys to feeling young. However, the aging process tends to take away flexibility. Many seniors also have to deal with osteoarthritis and joint pain. As the Baby Boomers age, much more research has been done to help seniors deal with painful joints. Physical therapy techniques have improved, increasing mobility in a more natural way. There are many more interventions that are not as invasive as a full joint replacement. For example, according to VeryWell Health, arthroscopic surgery can repair some problems with a very small incision. At the same time, joint replacement technology has also improved so that artificial joints last longer, giving seniors better mobility for many years.
Modern medical technology is helping older adults live active and productive lifestyles. Common medical issues can be diagnosed, monitored, and, in some cases, corrected far more quickly than in previous years. With advances in medicine, seniors can stay vigorous and curious well into their golden years.
Seniors are prone to spending a significant amount of time in the comfort of their own homes, which should be safe and comfortable places to navigate. Unfortunately, there are often many hazards or inconveniences that can affect an individual’s quality of life and safety. If you want to make your home more senior-friendly, there are a few steps to consider taking.
Seniors are often at risk of falling due to slipping on smooth floors. If you want to improve the traction when you walk, then installing slip-resistant floors will allow seniors to get around easily with the use of walkers or canes. Linoleum flooring is an excellent option that is installed directly over subflooring or wood underlayment, which makes it ideal for wheelchairs. Cork is also smooth enough for wheelchairs, and it won’t catch feet compared to carpet.
Clear the Clutter
It can be easy for seniors to accumulate too many items over the years, which can limit the amount of space that is available in each room. In some cases, they may have difficulty finding what they need or caring for themselves properly if too much clutter is present. Although seniors may not want to part ways with their personal belongings, these items can be taken off-site to a self-storage facility to ensure they can still have access to everything in the future. A self-storage facility is perfect for infrequently used items that you still want to keep, for seasonal items, or just for things you need to get out of the way quickly and decide what to do with them later.
Revise the Bathroom
Make the bathroom a safer place for seniors to use by installing a grab bar in the shower or a step-in shower that is safer for them to get into compared to a bath. Grab bars can also be added by the toilet as they get up and down each day. Handheld showerheads are also useful for someone who has limited mobility. Additionally, single-handled faucets can prevent scalding at the sink.
Knowing the right modifications to make in the home of a senior can offer you and your loved one peace of mind. Providing safety and security at home will make everyone feel better. Many adjustments are useful and can create a functional environment for them to live normally each day.
Besides these changes, there are other steps you can take to make sure your senior is safe and receives the best care. With services like Telehealth monitoring, physical therapy, and more, Welcome Homecare is the perfect partner to help care for your loved ones.
Staying in good health doesn’t have to mean doing boring workouts each day. Senior citizens can benefit from a number of fun activities that will boost their physical and mental health while having fun.
Whether seniors prefer fast music or slow songs, moving to the rhythm can improve their health. Elite Dance Studio reports that studies show that regular dancing may lower a person’s dementia risk, and it can also improve flexibility, bone density, muscle mass, and balance.
Dancing can take place nearly anywhere. People can do it on their own at home, or they can enroll in a class at a local fitness center. Some gyms even offer water dance classes for seniors. Those with mobility issues can participate in dance activities from the comfort of a chair or move to the music while lying down.
Seniors may enjoy shaping their own pottery pieces or painting a colorful picture. Even those who don’t feel naturally artistic may like coloring an intricate mandala design.
American Orchards explains that art therapy has a multitude of proven benefits. Physically, it can improve hand-eye coordination. As seniors focus on their art, they may find that they don’t notice their chronic pain as much. Art can also help with mental health by elevating a person’s mood, reducing anxiety levels, and improving memory skills. Seniors who participate in group art therapy programs can build new relationships as well.
Tell a Story
Storytelling Arts of Indiana discusses how mental health is just as important as physical health for senior citizens, and telling a story provides good exercise for the brain. Some of the best stories for seniors to tell are tales about their own lives. This encourages them to sift through old memories and find creative ways to express their past experiences. Seniors who are able to write out their stories or type them on a computer may benefit from improved fine motor skills as well.
Older adults can exchange written or oral stories with one another in a group setting. They can also tell them to younger generations, including family members or community youth groups, such as scouting troops.
Physical and mental exercise for seniors shouldn’t be dull or boring. Through dance, art therapy, stories, and other engaging activities, older adults can stay in good shape while also having fun. These activities can even provide social outlets for seniors so that they can build friendships while exercising their bodies and their minds.
Just because you live at home and you are living an active lifestyle doesn’t mean you don’t need help sometimes. Welcome Homecare is here to help!
As loved ones age, it’s important to stay on top of their health. You know to be on the lookout for signs of heart disease or diabetes, but you should also pay attention to these three aspects of senior health that are often overlooked.
Although some loss of cognitive function is to be expected during aging, you should still encourage your senior to actively maintain brain health. Brain specialists explain that studies indicate that daily exercise improves cognitive function by keeping brain cells healthy and reducing chronic stress.
Research also shows that regular volunteering can improve memory skills. Other methods of boosting memory include meditation, word puzzles and social interaction.
The health of the mouth can affect the health of the whole body, so it’s important to pay attention to oral wellness. Dentists say that the major causes of oral health problems are from gum disease, oral care neglect due to other conditions like arthritis, dementia, etc. and Dry mouth.
When arthritis or other mobility conditions make it hard to brush or floss, seniors are at increased risk of developing gum disease. Brushing and flossing twice a day is essential. You may need to perform this task if it’s too difficult for a loved one to do on his own. Rinsing with mouthwash can help as well.
To reduce dry mouth, it’s important that seniors drink eight glasses of water each day. Chewing gum can provide temporary relief. If dry mouth is caused by medications, you should discuss alternative prescriptions with a doctor.
With age, the structure of the foot can change, and that can lead to pain and other mobility problems. Podiatrists recommend looking at your loved one’s feet regularly. Be on the lookout for calluses or corns; treat these with warm water soaks and gentle filing. You should also apply lotion and trim the nails as needed.
Shoes that fit well can greatly improve foot health. Have a fitting done so you can be sure that your loved one is wearing supportive shoes and ones that don’t pinch.
Paying attention to all aspects of senior wellness means that you’re doing your best to keep your loved one as healthy as possible. Not only can this grant you peace of mind, but it can also help your senior friend or family member enjoy a good quality of life for many years.
Herbs and their essential oils have been used for hundreds of years across almost all cultures for their medicinal effects on the human body. Essential oils have been known to promote wellness, boost healing and enhance physical and psychological well-being.
Each oil contains unique molecules extracted from plants, fruits and herbs that interact with your body chemistry to produce therapeutic effects. Essential oils are often organic If you’re taking care of an older adult, parent or grandparent, you can use essential oils help them relieve some of the discomfort of an aging body. Below are three potent essential oils and how they can benefit your older loved ones.
This incredible essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the marjoram plant, which has been used for its medicinal properties across its native Mediterranean region for many years. Like many other essential oils, it is steam distilled from fresh or dried leaves and contains many of its medicinally active components. Marjoram essential oil has a host of benefits and is best known for its analgesic, antispasmodic and antiseptic properties.
As an analgesic, marjoram oil is used topically to reduce the pain caused by inflammation, sore muscles and even headaches. It can be very useful at controlling joint and arthritis pain in older adults. It is also very effective at reducing muscle spasms and cramps all over the body and can even put a stop to spasmodic cholera. Its antiseptic properties can help prevent wounds from developing secondary infections.
A powerfully sweet citrus fruit, bergamot may provide many health benefits for older adults. As years pass, studies are beginning to show that bergamot may provide many health benefits, including antidepressant and stimulating effects. Research has demonstrated the usefulness of bergamot at boosting positive feelings, leading to a noticeable improvement of individual’s mental well-being. Bergamot can also increase our body’s hormonal secretions, helping with digestion, nutrient absorption and blood sugar regulation. Bergamot comes from farmers of Calabria, Italy, and are a skilled and proud community of agriculturalists.
Extracted from dried lemongrass, this lemon-scented oil is a natural pain reliever, helping to soothe sore joints and aching muscles. It can also relieve body pain caused by overexertion and strenuous activities. Lemongrass oil is also a great aid for people suffering from excess flatulence, as it helps to remove excess gas from the intestine and prevents more from forming. In its diluted form, lemongrass also makes a great, all-natural deodorant.
Many people in the U.S. are beginning to rediscover the benefits of essential oils as a holistic, natural supplement to healthcare. If you’re taking care of an older loved one, essential oils may be able to help better their health.
Some of the factors, such as age and genetics, are unavoidable.
Others, such as smoking and other unhealthful behaviors, are lifestyle choices that a person can change.
Regularly exercising and eating a healthful diet may prevent the onset of symptoms, say the Alzheimer’s Association.
However, a new study that appears in the journal Neurology has revealed that any kind of physical activity — including basic tasks such as doing housework — may protect a person’s brain when they have already reached old age.
The researchers — from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL — studied 454 older adults. Of these, 191 had a diagnosis of dementia. Every participant agreed to donate their brain for medical research purposes when they died.
Every year for 2 decades, each person underwent a full physical examination, along with a test, to determine their thinking and memory skills.
The scientists gave all the volunteers an activity-monitoring device called an accelerometer around 2 years before each of them died. They wore it on the wrist, and it tracked any activity at all times — be it vigorous physical exercise or simply walking around the house.
The scientists used 7 days’ worth of these data to calculate an average daily activity score for each person. The average of the entire group of people was 160,000 counts per day.
However, those who had dementia averaged a daily count of 130,000, while those without the condition had a higher average count of 180,000.
Also, more specifically, people were 31 percent less likely to develop dementia for every standard deviation of increase in physical activity. The same deviation increase in motor skills equated to a person being 55 percent less likely to develop dementia.
After death, specialists examined each participant’s brain for lesions and biomarkers of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers adjusted results based on the severity of any brain lesions.
Despite that, the links between physical activity and dementia and motor skills and dementia remained. Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers appeared to have no effect on the results.
Lead study author Dr. Aron S. Buchman, an associate professor at Rush University Medical Center’s Department of Neurological Sciences, concludes that their study “found that a more active lifestyle may have a protective effect on the brain. But,” he goes on, “it is important to note that our study does not show cause and effect.”
He adds, “It may also be possible that as people lose memory and thinking skills, they reduce their physical activity. More studies are needed to determine if moving more is truly beneficial to the brain.”
It is also unclear how active the participants were over the course of their entire lives, and whether this played a part in their brain health. Similarly, the researchers cannot say whether a particular form of exercise is better for a person’s brain than another.
The opportunity to physically study the brains of each participant was, however, a strength of the study. However, as Dr. Buchman explains, further research into the topic is necessary before experts can truly be sure.
Regardless of the situation, providing care for an ailing loved one is never easy. Not only are you facing a serious medical concern, but you are also left wondering how in the world you are going to pay for treatment costs—especially if insurance is an issue or if you are unable to work full-time hours.
Fortunately, there are plenty of suggestions for paying for medical expenses without insurance. While it might require some out-of-the-box thinking to get the assistance you need, know that many families have been in your shoes before and were able to get the help they needed. If you are currently struggling with the financial pressures of caring for a loved one, then here are some strategies for coping with health care costs.
Understanding Financial Pressures
When a loved one is seriously injured or diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness, family members often take on the responsibility of being the caregiver. Much of this role involves providing meaningful love and support during the treatment process, but it also carries a great deal of stress and financial responsibility. It’s common for family caregivers to use much of their income and savings to pay for the medical bills and general living expenses of their loved ones. When insurance is an issue, many of these expenses may be paid out-of-pocket.
Additionally, caregivers also find it necessary to leave their jobs in order to provide day-to-day care. This holds especially true when caring for someone with cancer since 32 percent of caregivers spend more than 40 hours per week caring for cancer patients at home. Under these circumstances, caregivers face costly medical bills while being unable to work full-time hours. It’s easy to see how these financial pressures could build to the point of overwhelming stress. Rather than allow financial pressure to overwhelm you, look into some of these options.
A lot of people turn to crowdfunding to help pay for medical expenses. Part of the reason for this is due to the fact that, even with insurance, there can be huge gaps between what is covered and what is not covered. This can leave individuals in quite a bind—of course, they have to find a way to pay for medical expenses somehow.
In recent years, crowdfunding has shown that it is a great way to cover many of these gaps. Aside from these benefits, crowdfunding is a way for friends and family to rally around a loved one as they fight cancer or help pay for life-saving surgery. Moreover, participating in crowdfunding is also a great way for many individuals to try experimental procedures that normal insurance regimens may not cover. Things such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, stem cell therapy, and antibiotics for non-traditional conditions are all things that crowdfunding can help cover.
2. Payment Plans
Using payment plans is just one of the suggestions for paying for medical treatment without insurance. One of the most surprising things about medical bills, unlike other types of debt, is that medical creditors will usually work with you as long as you make small payments. Moreover, there are many hospitals that will allow you to work out an interest-free payment plan. Ask if the treatment center provides financial counseling to patients and see if this would be an option for your situation.
3. Ask About Reduced Rates
True, the answer could be no, but you won’t know for sure until you ask. There are many medical facilities that will work with you on the cost of your health care if you just ask them. There are many medical expenses that can be haggled or reduced simply by knowing your rights and knowing the right people to talk to. Much of this process involves thoroughly researching procedures and items on the bill, and then discussing them directly with the hospital or healthcare facility. It’s definitely worth asking for a reduced rate—you may be surprised by the response.
When a loved one is diagnosed with a serious medical concern, family caregivers face significant financial stress in order to ensure that they receive the treatment they need. By adopting some of these strategies, you can reduce health care costs and take some of the pressure off.
For reliable home healthcare, let Welcome Homecare help you and your loved ones!