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How Care Coordination Is Key to Helping Older Parents Age at Home

Care coordination is a vital component to helping older parents age at home.

Ask most seniors if they would prefer to continue living at home, even if they are challenged by aging-related issues, and the answer in the majority of cases is a resounding “yes!” Having to move away from home, a place filled with so many memories, can be upsetting, even if a senior admits that it’s getting more difficult to manage. However, wanting to continue to be at home and having the ability to do so safely, all alone, are two different things. So what can you do? Even if you are a 24/7, around-the-clock family caregiver, you can’t do it all by yourself. You need help, and it could be that care coordination is the solution you need when helping older parents age at home. 

Many families find that preparing for home care services requires the expertise of a professional who fully understands all of the options. And it’s true — appropriate care coordination from an aging care specialist will help everyone involved feel more organized and secure.

Who Can Help?

Many seniors can benefit from help with several aspects of life, such as meal preparation, transportation to and from medical appointments, taking medications, and conducting the routine activities of daily living. Trying to coordinate all of these tasks can be challenging for a family caregiver. What many people don’t understand is that home care agencies, like Home Care Solutions, can help identify, locate, and coordinate all of the aspects of effective care at home. They can even uncover recommendations that may not have been considered at first for helping older parents.

Home care agencies have resources and contacts that are incredibly helpful for families who are in the middle of planning for long-term care. Our experienced staff and caregivers are always happy to help families in determining the right care plan for a loved one and assisting with all of his or her care needs. Our care plans are always customized to each individual and can include a broad range of services, such as:

  • Personal care (showering, dressing, etc.)
  • Planning and preparing healthy and appetizing meals
  • Providing friendly companionship 
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Running errands
  • Transportation and accompaniment 
  • And others 

Call us at (509) 627-8575 to learn about our in-home care and care coordination services. As the leading provider of at home care in Richland, WA, and surrounding areas, we’re here with the resources and answers you need, any time.

How Senior Care Management Can Help During the Pandemic

How Senior Care Management Can Help During the Pandemic

The providers of home care in Richland, WA, and the surrounding areas recommend senior care management during COVID-19.
The providers of home care in Richland, WA, and the surrounding areas recommend senior care management during COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially concerning for seniors and their families. Seniors are disproportionately impacted by the virus, in particular those with underlying conditions such as heart problems and COPD. In an effort to maintain social distancing and reduce contact with potential contagions, many older adults have become progressively isolated from their family members. In the absence of regular socialization and attentive care, loneliness and depression as well as memory issues linked to dementia and other diseases can creep in. In response to these difficult circumstances, many families are seeking the help of senior care management services.

Care managers help family members ensure that their senior loved one is safe and cared for, even in unprecedented times such as these. Care management services can be a great help with coordinating hospital appointments and in-home care to ensure that your loved one has access to prompt care despite social distancing constraints. Care managers are up to date and compliant with COVID-19 guidelines, and use their expert knowledge to help your loved one live safer and more comfortably at home. They can provide moral support in trying times and manage the finer details of care so you’re able to rest easy knowing your loved one is well taken care of. With a care manager working on the ground and communicating with you directly, you’ll know what is taking place in your loved one’s life in spite of the distance and will be empowered to make decisions regarding their care.

Care management services can cover a broad range of offerings, including:

  • Evaluating care needs and setting up in-home care services
  • Coordinating medical appointments and arranging transportation
  • Advocating for the senior to healthcare providers
  • Arranging respite care to give family caregivers a break
  • Making referrals to financial and legal professionals as needed
  • Assisting with housing transitions
  • Facilitating crisis management in case of emergency

The senior care management team at Home Care Solutions is experienced and ready to assist a senior in your life. Our care managers will thoroughly evaluate your loved one’s holistic mental, emotional, and physical wellness in order to offer streamlined, accessible solutions. Our care management team is fully integrated with our full-service home care, ensuring smooth transitions and clear communication.

If you’re ready to explore how care management services can enhance the life of a senior you love, call us for a care consultation. You can reach us online or give us a call at (509) 627-8575 [SG2] to learn more about home care in Richland, WA, and the surrounding areas.

 

The Benefits of Care Management for Seniors With Chronic Health Issues

The Benefits of Care Management for Seniors With Chronic Health Issues

The providers of home care assistance in Kennewick, WA and nearby areas recommend seniors with chronic health issues seek out care management.
The providers of home care assistance in Kennewick, WA and nearby areas recommend seniors with chronic health issues seek out care management.

Keeping up with the various medical appointments, treatments, tests, medications, lifestyle changes, and more is a way of life for the numerous older individuals with chronic health care needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 85% of seniors have at least one chronic health condition, and 60% are living with two or more. The challenges may seem overwhelming. But there is one essential component of care for seniors with chronic health issues: care management.

Medical diagnoses like diabetes, COPD, heart disease, and more are life-altering. They impact a person’s mental as well as physical health, and it’s essential to enlist help in meeting all care needs. Geriatric care managers, also known as aging life care specialists, are skilled specialists with expertise in meeting all of the varied care needs of older individuals.

Here’s how care management for seniors with chronic health issues works:

The Consultation

A preliminary, in-depth assessment, conducted in the senior’s home, enables the care manager to fully comprehend the senior’s particular concerns and challenges. The care manager will assess cognitive, physical, dietary, and mental acuity, as well as the overall safety of the home environment. With this information at hand, a personalized plan of care is then put into place.

The Plan

  • The older adult’s personalized care plan will include a full range of recommendations, like:
  • Training as necessary to improve chronic disease management
  • Referrals to community resources
  • How to confirm that medications and other care needs are managed properly
  • Home alterations to improve safety and reduce the risk of falls
  • And more

The Outcome

  • Carrying out the plan may involve, as appropriate:
  • Coordinating and collaborating with the older adult’s medical team and network of support
  • Problem-solving to eliminate any barriers to effective care and management of health conditions
  • Advocating for the senior
  • Mediating through any complicated family dynamics
  • Serving as the “eyes and ears” for loved ones living at a distance
  • Assisting with documentation for long-term care insurance or other necessary paperwork
  • Accompanying the senior to medical appointments to ensure doctors’ orders are understood and followed
  • Legal guardianship
  • And many others

At Home Care Solutions, we’re pleased to offer professional care management services in tandem with our trusted in-home care services, to best meet the varied chronic care needs of seniors. Our caregivers are thoughtfully chosen, highly skilled, and thoroughly vetted and background checked.

Discover the peace of mind and higher quality of care our care management services offer. Contact us today for an in-home assessment and help a senior you love enjoy a healthier, safer, and more independent lifestyle. Contact us online or call us any time at (509) 627-8575 to learn more about our care management and home care assistance in Kennewick and the surrounding communities.

Long Distance Caregiving: How to Help Aging Parents from Far Away

Long Distance Caregiving: How to Help Aging Parents from Far Away

Prior planning is important when long distance caregiving for senior loved ones.

Living far away from senior loved ones can make the need for help at home easier to overlook. In fact, many adult children of older parents frequently do not realize that Dad and Mom need assistance until they arrive home for a visit or spend a longer period of time together. If you are long distance caregiving for senior loved ones, it’s essential to have a plan set up for crises and care.  Continue reading “Long Distance Caregiving: How to Help Aging Parents from Far Away”

Helping the Sandwich Generation Make Caregiving Manageable

Helping the Sandwich Generation Make Caregiving Manageable

The sandwich generation has a lot of care tasks to juggle. Learn tips that can help.

Are your senior parents in need of care? At the same time are you trying to meet the needs of children and family in the home? If that’s the case, you are a member of the sandwich generation – a demographic of males and females, typically in their 30s or 40s, who are now responsible for raising their children while simultaneously providing care for their senior parents. The to-do lists of the sandwich generation are overflowing. Many family caregivers have demanding careers, are busy with activities for their children, and manage a variety of household tasks in addition to their caregiving responsibilities. There are strategies to support caregivers though, and the first step is becoming informed about how to make the circumstances more manageable.  Continue reading “Helping the Sandwich Generation Make Caregiving Manageable”

Tips for Improving Outdoor Safety for a Senior with Cognitive Functioning Decline

Cognitive functioning decline impacts all elements of your parent’s life, including their safety. If you are a family caregiver for an aging adult who is living with these types of challenges, it is important to make managing them a central and consistent part of your care routine.

As spring approaches and the weather becomes more appealing, you may be planning more time outside. If your senior has always enjoyed gardening, birdwatching, or other such activities, they may also be looking forward to getting out of the house more often. This makes it essential, however, that you take into consideration these tips on outdoor safety for a senior.

 

Use these tips to improve outdoor safety for a senior living with cognitive functioning decline:

-Be sure there is a key hidden somewhere near your parent’s home that an emergency responder or neighbor could access even if your parent is not able to remember where it is. This can help reduce danger if your parent gets locked outside.

-Have a weather-resistant box available with emergency supplies that can help your parent overcome potential dangers if they are locked outside or otherwise cannot get in. This should include water, non-perishable food in a secure container, and blankets, towels, or other materials to help combat weather.

-Ensure the address on your parent’s home is clearly and readily visible, and consider adding a distinct distinguishing feature to the lawn or home itself. This can help to create landmarks that are more easily recognizable by your parent and can also aid others who are trying to help them find their way home if your parent should wander.

-Remove any plants from the lawn that have fruit that is poisonous or that your parent is allergic to. They may become confused during their time outside and attempt to eat it.

-If there is a pool, pond, or other water feature, make sure it is well-secured or otherwise inaccessible so your parent does not accidentally fall into it.

-Keep any gardening implements inaccessible to your parent so they do not attempt to use them without supervision and potentially harm themselves.

Caring for any senior adult is challenging, but caring for one with cognitive functioning decline can have even more difficulties.

Bringing elder care into your routine with your parent can be a fantastic way to ensure your senior gets the care they need while reducing your stress and enabling you to have more control and freedom in your own schedule.

The personalized services of an elderly home care services provider are designed to help your parent manage their challenges and needs in effective and meaningful ways that promote independence, support health and safety, and encourage fulfillment and continued quality of life as they age. Having elder care as part of your care approach also means you can feel confident your senior’s needs are managed now and will be in the future as their needs change and increase.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care in Benton City, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Solutions today. We serve the Tri-Cities and Surrounding Areas.  Call 509-627-8575

Exercise and Your Senior’s Balance

One way to help your elderly family member to deal with balance problems is to encourage her to begin an exercise program for aging adults. There are a lot of variables to consider before diving into the deep end, though.

 

Talk to Your Senior’s Doctor First

Before you map out an exercise program for aging adults, it’s vital that you talk to their doctor first. Your senior’s individual health concerns might mean that certain exercises are not right for her or that she needs to stick to a specific type of exercise for the best results. Her doctor can help you to determine all of that safely. Once you have that information, it’s a lot easier to tailor an exercise plan to your senior’s needs.

 

Consider Physical Therapy First

If she hasn’t been exercising, your senior might benefit from physical therapy before starting a more traditional form of exercise. Physical therapists can look at how your senior moves and walks and help to narrow down what might be contributing to her balance issues. With specific exercises that target those issues, your senior can experience some major improvements much more quickly than she might expect.

 

Dance or Yoga Can Have Positive Benefits

Often aging family members associate exercise with something boring or difficult. But she can also do something that is a lot more fun, like yoga or dance. These types of activities do a lot to help your senior’s body learn to balance itself better and to grow stronger, but they do so without being boring or too repetitive.

 

So Can Strengthening Exercises

Dance or yoga might not be your senior’s thing, and that’s okay. Strengthening exercises, especially ones that help to strengthen her core, can be just the ticket. Water aerobics, for instance, offers your elderly family member’s muscles resistance and helps her to avoid a fall while she’s exercising. Do some exploring to figure out what options are most appealing to your elderly family member. She might want to consider trying a few different activities to find the ones she prefers.

Something else that can help your senior’s balance issues is to have someone on hand at all times, just in case. Home care providers can be there when you’re not able to be with your senior. They can help to ensure that your elderly family member is moving the way that she should and that she’s not taking unnecessary risks with herself.

If you or an aging loved-one are searching for senior home care in Pasco, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Solutions today. We serve the Tri-Cities and Surrounding Areas. Call 509-627-8575.

Understanding The Ins and Outs of a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is vital to a family with aging parents. Someone needs to be able to step in and help a senior citizen with medical and financial decisions if a senior can’t do it him or herself. Before you agree to be that person, you should understand exactly what your duties would be.

 

People Holding a Power of Attorney Follow Your Best Interests

With a power of attorney, the person naming someone to help out is called the principal. The person being chosen to act on the principal’s behalf is the “agent.” That agent has to follow the principal’s wishes.

Say the person who wants you to act as an agent is adamantly against any life-saving measures. You cannot imagine not taking the chance to try at least one attempt to keep living. If you would be unable to tell the doctors to withhold all feeding tubes, ventilators, or other measures designed to save your life, you shouldn’t agree to be the power of attorney.

When you’re a POA, you’re given the patient’s wishes for everything from CPR to end-of-life care. You must follow those wishes. If something comes up that isn’t listed, you have to carefully think what the principal would want. This may be dialysis, medication trials, or very risky surgeries. Make sure you’re okay making the decisions you’d be required to make.

 

You Need to Stay in Contact

If you are the POA for someone and you move away, you need to make you’re principal aware of this. If you or the principal move to another country, you may not be the best choice to have as POA anymore. You can talk to the doctors over the phone before making decisions, but it’s often best to see the principal in person. There may also be paperwork that has to be signed in person.

 

Leave Room For Self-Care

When you’re making decisions regarding your parent’s care, you should consider senior care services. First instincts are to care for your parents on your own. It’s hard and you’re likely to get overly stressed if you don’t carefully plan it. You need breaks. You need to be able to take vacations.

A senior care agency can help you with respite care. An expert can also talk about services like transportation and medication reminders. Call today to discuss the rates for home care in Richland, WA, and the surrounding areas.

 

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring home care in Richland, WA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Solutions today. We serve the Tri-Cities and Surrounding Areas.  Call 509-627-8575

Can I Care for an Aging Family Member with Alzheimer’s Disease?

If your elderly loved one has been recently diagnosed by the doctor with Alzheimer’s disease, you may be wondering all about your options as you step into the role of the family caregiver.
Many seniors with Alzheimer’s disease want to live at home and have family members care for them, while others don’t have a family caregiver option and must move to a facility. As you evaluate what you are going to do, you need to take a serious look at what it takes to care for an aging relative with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Mild, Moderate and Severe: The Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

The earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease won’t affect an elderly adult’s independence, and even the mild stage may just result in a few minor incidents here and there. Family caregivers can keep a close eye on their elderly relative’s activities and look for clues throughout the months and years of increasing challenges to living independently. Over the course of a few years, family caregivers soon take over many daily tasks such as finances, medication management, housekeeping, meal planning and preparation, and household safety. Eventually, the disease progresses to the severe stage where the elderly adult cannot be left alone safely.

 

As Alzheimer’s Disease Progresses, Stress Builds for Family Caregivers

To be a competent and compassionate family caregiver to a senior with Alzheimer’s disease requires plenty of physical and mental stamina. It can cause a lot of frustration and exhaustion, which can lead family caregivers to unhealthy levels of stress. While family caregivers may think they can handle all the caregiving duties at first, the steady progression of the disease and the increased demands required often catch family caregivers unaware.

Family caregivers are soon unable to provide the same high level of care they used to, as the demands are more frequent. Other family members may be able to help, but often they are unable to give a firm commitment all the time. One of the best solutions to this problem is for family caregivers to consider hiring elderly care providers. It’s a smooth and seamless way to bring someone in with experience and dedication who can be dependable and competent.

 

Elderly Care Providers are Good for Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease

The hardest thing for Alzheimer’s family caregivers to do is to feel comfortable in leaving their elderly loved one with someone else while they focus on their own needs. The worry about whether their elderly relative will be all right can actually discourage them from doing much at all. With an elderly care provider, family caregivers can feel good about a competent professional looking out for their aging loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

You are going to have a lot of things to focus on in the coming months and years, and you will most likely be able to handle anything that comes your way as long as you have a great support group that includes home care providers in Pasco, WA and surrounding areas.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Pasco home health care, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Solutions today. We serve the Tri-Cities and Surrounding Areas.  Call 509-627-8575.