As a patient, your relationship with a care provider is essential in recovery, preventing disease and maintaining your overall health.
As a patient, your relationship with a care provider is essential in recovery, preventing disease and maintaining your overall health. This is especially true if you are seeking home health services. Although health professionals can run tests and observe your medical data to reach conclusions or diagnoses and offer treatment, a lot of investigatory work they do comes from effective communication with you or your loved one.
Why communication matters in health
Many patients don't realize how much power they have in determining their own health outcomes, and a lot of that starts with the way they communicate with care providers. Patients actually have more access to information about preventative disease, alternative medicine, and traditional treatments than ever before with the internet as well.
That's why, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance, many medical professionals are now seeing the doctor-patient relationship as a partnership. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health also concluded that communication between doctors, patients, and their families actually improves patient health because they are more engaged and knowledgeable.
That means that you need to prepare for your medical appointments, break down barriers between yourself and your caregivers, and learn how to adequately communicate with medical personnel in a meaningful way. Not only does this remove the risk of medical error on their end, but it also helps you become better educated in your own health.
Learning how to communicate with health professionals
Communicating about your medical history with someone you just met might seem a little daunting, but there are ways to remove those barriers. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your next appointment:
Clear communication with your doctor isn't just important for medical professionals, it's also imperative in keeping your health in the best shape possible moving forward.Read in 2 minutes
As baby boomers enter retirement, more of this generation is thinking about senior living situations outside of assisted living.
As baby boomers enter retirement, more of this generation is thinking about senior living situations outside of assisted living communities or relocating to typical retirement destinations like Arizona or Florida.
The fact is, many people want to stay near their hometown and maintain a sense of community once they enter the senior years. According to an AARP survey, 69 percent of respondents indicated they preferred to stay in their home and be near the locales they grew up in. These results make a lot of sense: Seniors want to be near their grandkids, sons and daughters, and lifelong friends, and as the old adage goes, "There's no place like home."
However, living on your own presents a lot of challenges once you age, both personally and financially. That's why a lot of seniors have turned to home sharing and Airbnb to overcome a lot of these obstacles.
"Home sharing helps seniors financially and offers a sense of community."
Mortgage debt and seniors: Looking at the numbers
After the 2008 housing bubble, it became clear that owning your home and maintaining a mortgage was going to require navigating certain obstacles moving forward. When you're a retired senior relying on savings, Social Security, and if you're lucky, retirement funds, the bank account is usually running low for most after the mortgage is paid every month. What's more, AARP highlighted a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Board stating that median mortgage debt for seniors increased by a stunning 82 percent between 2001 and 2011.
Home sharing: A new solution for senior living
Because of these skyrocketing costs, a lot of seniors are renting out rooms, or in some cases, their whole homes, on Airbnb and other home-sharing sites to pay the bills and still stay in their homes. In fact, Airbnb even put out a report showing that older Americans have earned nearly $750 million from relying on services through Airbnb, and seniors over 60 are the fastest-growing demographic for the company.
Others are turning to local shared housing programs that now exist in more than 20 states, according to Bankrate. Not only do these programs help reduce rent and mortgage payments, but they also curb loneliness and allow seniors to age in place: A win-win situation all around.
What providers need to know
As a home health provider, it is important to be even more mindful of these housing trends as baby boomers continue to enter retirement. It's likely that as home-sharing technology becomes more advanced and companies like Airbnb become the norm, more seniors will be looking to these types of arrangements as a long-term housing solution.
With your patients likely living with other seniors or in home-sharing situations, you will need to be understanding of their living arrangements. Schedules might change and your visits might need to be held in these type of environments moving forward.
The home health sector is also becoming increasingly tech-friendly to keep up with these demands, so look to apps to help you organize your appointments and better communicate with patients who may be utilizing home-sharing services.Read in 2 minutes
Carelike offers a comprehensive and un-biased database of home health agencies that meet your needs for providing the highest level of quality care.
Locating the right home health care provider for yourself or a loved one requires finding someone with the qualifications that best suit your particular needs. For most family, there are many needs to try to match to a care provider.
One of the current obstacles facing care seekers is the rise in demand for care providers. As the average lifespan of the general population continues to rise, more people will need care providers, which makes finding the right match more difficult.
Current forecasts highlight this trend and predict even greater demand in the coming years. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the employment outlook for home health aides to rise 38 percent between 2014 to 2024. This is more than five times the projected 7 percent rate for all occupations over the same time period. These numbers illustrate just how great the demand for home care providers will skyrocket.
Major growth expected in the home health aide sector will create greater competition among care seekers who are all trying to get the best possible home health aide. What are the right qualifications for you or your loved one?
Finding a care provider with the right home health aide training remains one of the biggest challenges when evaluating prospective home health agencies and their staff.
Depending on yours or your loved ones needs, the type of home health aide training you're looking for will vary. It might include assisting with housekeeping or other instrumental activities of daily life, such as cooking meals and facilitating transportation to doctors or leisure activities. In other scenarios, you might need a care provider to take vital signs, dress basic wounds, has specialized training in dementia or Alzheimer's, or even help with medication schedules. Regardless of your needs, though, it's important that the home health aide you're seeking has the proper training to handle tasks and provide the best care and companionship for your loved one.
New training programs are being launched around the country such as the Integrated Model for Personal Assistant Research and Training (IMPART) and Building Training, Building Quality (BTBQ), according to Home Health Care News. By identifying care providers who have undertaken these additional training programs to enhance their skills, you can find a better qualified prospect.
As noted by the source, studies have revealed that greater training for senior care providers:
These traits help ensure a better standard of care for you or your loved one.
"It's important that home health aides have strong communication skills."
Foreign language fluency plays a major role in delivering top-notch home health care. If the care provider you seek out is unable to communicate clearly with you or your loved one due to translation problems, it can cause a decline in the quality of care.
While many will accurately pinpoint Spanish as the second most spoken language in the U.S., the others might surprise you. After English, the top five most spoken languages in the U.S. according to CORE Languages are:
Finding a care provider that can communicate proficiently with you or your loved one in a native tongue ensures a better relationship.
And while finding multilingual care providers will remain a top priority, it's also important that you locate a home health aide that has solid communication and interpersonal skills all around. The ability to build a personal rapport and establish trust through both words and actions are key components of a strong relationship.
Surging demand for home health care aides will mean you'll have to diligently sift out underqualified candidates. Pouring over reams of paper resumes is a time-consuming and labor-intensive method to locate the ideal care provider. Additionally, how can you be sure that the skills listed are truthful and accurate?
Instead of spending hours online or calling dozens of different agencies, the data available through the Comprehensive Community Resource Finder from Carelike provides you with more than just basic candidate contact information. Carelike offers a comprehensive and un-biased database of home health aides that meet your needs for providing the highest level of quality care. While many other online directories only list providers who are contracted with them, Carelike lists all licensed providers in your area - giving you the most comprehensive view of your options.
Additionally, Carelike's CareMatch™ Advanced Search technology, lets you narrow down your search to pinpoint the precise qualifications you're seeking in a caregiver, whether this includes providing specialized Alzheimer care, speaking a particular language or knowing how to handle specific health conditions.Read in 4 minutes
Carelike's senior housing and elder care directory, coupled with its CareMatch technology, lets care providers quickly and easily post business information and service offerings.
Home care aides have long been facilitators of independence and good health for seniors. From providing assistance for individuals who want to age in place to ensuring their clients remain active participants in their communities, it's crucial that care providers have the means to promote this self-sufficiency.
Thankfully, an assortment of emerging technological devices and internet platforms have arisen that ease the facilitation of this independence and health lifestyles for seniors.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media outlets have made the world more interconnected than ever before. While Facebook began solely as a means for college students to stay linked, it quickly transformed into a global network accessible to people of all ages. Increasingly, older adults are using the channel. According to a 2016 survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 62 percent of online individuals ages 65 and older log in and use Facebook - a jump of 14 percentage points from the 48 percent of this cohort who reported using the site in 2015.
"Facebook keeps seniors connected with friends and families."
One of the great things about social media is that it allows seniors to interact with friends, families and even strangers - a key component to remaining independent and healthy. However, the service also provides a channel for seniors to keep everyone updated about health problems or other issues preventing them from living life to the fullest.
As computers become smaller and more ubiquitous, innovative companies have been incorporating technology into just about everything. This has facilitated the advent and growth of wearable technology. And it's having an impact on the home health community for good reason.
Each year, roughly 33 percent Americans ages 65 and older and half of people 85 and older, experience a life-changing fall, Live Science reported. These slips can cause severe injuries and prevent individuals from reaching their phone to contact an emergency service.
A medical alarm system that includes a pendant or device that senses a sudden fall and impact reduces the chances for long-term injuries or worse. These devices have become much more advanced in recent years, with internet connections and immediate contact methods if the wearer doesn't respond.
Increased access to wearable technology allows home care aides to stay informed of any potentially dangerous slips or falls that might occur to the seniors they assist.
Finding the right home care aide and matching him or her with the ideal person is crucial for maintaining solid relationships.
Carelike's senior housing and elder care directory, coupled with its CareMatch technology, lets care providers quickly and easily post business information and service offerings. The information is then sent to Carelike’s network of Channel Partners who license and view the provider information in order to make referral recommendations to their patients. This robust and comprehensive search technology connects the most ideal care provider candidate best suited to the care seeker’s needs. For a minimal fee, care providers can set up a detailed profile with a comprehensive list of qualifications and experiences. This enables the CareMatch technology to produce more accurate connections that allow for better relationships between care providers and care seekers.Read in about 3 minutes
There are some tried-and-true signs that you've hired a great home health aide no matter what kinds of conditions your loved one is struggling with.
Finding the right home health aide for your senior loved one, even after months of research into candidates, can still be a roll of the dice for many people. After all, this individual is responsible for meeting the care and treatment needs of a person you have loved for decades, so it's understandable that you want to ensure your home health aide is the right fit.
There are some tried-and-true signs that you've hired a great home health aide no matter what kinds of conditions your loved one is struggling with. Here are the top five you should look for:
1. Good communication skills
Although a home health aide knows how to take vitals to prevent and identify health issues, the bulk of his or her job is going to rest on proper communication with your loved one, and with you as well. This starts with the home health aide having a good attitude and an open mind when he or she is talking through a daily routine, especially if there are changes to doctor recommendations or treatments. Above all, your senior loved one should feel calm and comfortable while speaking to the home health aide, according to Aging Care.
Before a patient receives care from a home health aide, he or she should sit down with both you and your loved one to discuss job expectations and his or her approach to care. This is also a time when you and your loved one should discuss what to expect during the day and what kinds of tasks should be carried out.
3. Plenty of patience and empathy
As with any care professional setting, providers need to have patience to best serve their patients. This is especially true if your loved one is struggling with a cognitive issue like dementia or Alzheimer's. In care settings, there are times when providers may run into frustrations, but during these times they need to remain calm and focus on the job at hand. Although this often results in extra time and empathy on their end, for providers, these two traits are absolutely essential to success.
4. A balanced schedule
There is a good chance that your home health aide is caring for several patients. This means you need to be respectful of his or her schedule and hours, and vice versa. Many home health aides today rely on apps and shared calendars to find a balance in the schedule. However, he or she should also be in communication with you when times or dates are rearranged just so all of the bases are covered when it comes to your loved one's care.
5. Experience with all types of care
Just like a doctor or nurse, successful home health aides have seen and been through it all, and that's a good thing. You want your home health aide to know what to do in a variety of medical situations, large and small. That's why every care seeker much look to the experience this individual has encountered over his or her years in the health care industry to see if he or she is the right fit for your loved one's health needs.Read in about 3 minutes
As a care seeker, there are a lot of things you will need to consider for postoperative care.
As a care seeker, there are a lot of things you will need to consider for postoperative care. Going through surgery or a procedure is only the beginning: Postoperative care is incredibly important as you heal from an operation, as the right care can lessen health complications and also bolster your recovery from a condition.
Basic postoperative needs
A lot of families prefer a caregiver be with their senior loved one consistently following an operation. There are a lot of reasons behind this: For instance, if a medical issue were to arise, such as an infection at the surgical site, a trained professional will he on-hand to give the best advice and ease worries. This is especially true for older patients, as their immune systems are weaker and response time to these medical events is critical.
Recovery is also every bit as important as the surgery itself. From dietary changes to physical activity to pain management, postoperative care requires a schedule and system that is best implemented by a medical provider who is trained in this field. Here are a few things you should look for in postoperative care:
If you're recovering from surgery, postoperative care is crucial.
1. Caregiving 101: For recovery after most surgeries, your caregiver will need to understand some basic nursing credentials, such as checking vital signs, helping your loved one get dressed, administering medications and changing bandages. If the doctor recommends physical therapy, you might want to specifically look for a caregiver that also has a background in this field.
2. A focus on mobility: Many senior loved ones require home health services because they are recovering from an invasive surgery, such as a hip or knee replacement. For these types of operations, it is crucial that the patient is up and moving as soon as he or she is able to. Although every patient recovers differently from an operation, the main goal is to get your loved one back to normal, and that requires mobility.
3. Transparency about medical costs: Some recovery services and equipment might be covered by Medicare, while others require additional insurance or cost. According to the New York Times, most insurance companies will only pay for skilled care on a temporary basis if you are homebound. However, a good postoperative caregiving agency will be upfront ahead of time about what you need to get healthy as well as what is and is not covered so that you can make the right financial decisions for you and your family.
4. Care coordination: Part of caregiving requires care coordination. Depending on the operation, your loved one might require some tests after surgery to see if the surgery was successful. Your postoperative caregiver will be aware of these updates and implement the care techniques instructed from your physician.
The care you or your loved one receives after surgery is critical for long-term health. Be sure that you know the basics about postoperative care so that you can make the most informed decisions about your family's health and recovery.Read in 2 minutes
Alzheimer's disease has become one of the biggest public health crises in the U.S., especially over the past few decades.
Alzheimer's disease has become one of the biggest public health crises in the U.S., especially over the past few decades.
According to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, more than 50 percent of nursing home residents who used long-term care services were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, and it is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Although these statistics are alarming, they only tell one part of the story when it comes to this condition. The Alzheimer's Association also says that 47 million people are currently living with Alzheimer's or other dementias worldwide, affecting people from all walks of life.
Alzheimer's at a glance
This disease doesn't just affect those who are afflicted, but it also impacts whole families and communities. Support from caregivers, friends and family members is absolutely crucial for patients who are trying to battle Alzheimer's, so it is important to understand the behaviors and challenges.
Alzheimer's goes through three general stages: all with mild, moderate and severe cognitive decline, according to the Alzheimer's Association. The progression of these stages depends on the person, but the disease can last anywhere from four to 20 years.
Cognitive decline can also afflict individuals in different ways, but some of the more common ones include difficulties communicating during work or social interactions, losing valuable objects, trouble remembering names, speech pattern decline, and the inability to plan or organize daily tasks. Eventually these symptoms can progress into more debilitating symptoms, such as forgetfulness about personal history, personality changes and physical problems as well.
Searching for breakthroughs in Alzheimer's
Breakthroughs in science are also needed now more than ever to stop this disease from progressing. As Forbes recently pointed out, a promising new drug, solanezumab, did not pass late-stage clinical trials with Alzheimer's patients, meaning that many researchers are going back to the drawing board and looking for a more practical approach to conquer the disease.
However, there are some glimmers of hope. Fortunately, many researchers and policymakers have recently made Alzheimer's a priority. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the House Appropriations Committee approved an additional $350 million to go toward Alzheimer's research this past summer after pressure from more than a thousand Alzheimer's advocates who expressed their concerns.
No matter what happens in the future with Alzheimer's, it's clear that a combination of medical innovation and informed policy decisions are needed in order to give families, caregivers and patients the resources they need to meet the immense challenges of this condition moving forward.
As Alzheimer's continues to affect more people in the U.S., various awareness efforts have taken place across the country. Many people have joined in Alzheimer's Awareness marches, worn purple during Alzheimer's Awareness Month and shared their stories on social media with hashtags like #ENDALZ or #IGoPurpleFor in order to shine the spotlight on the disease and research efforts. Many celebrities have also shared their support and personal stories about the fight against Alzheimer's, including comedian Seth Rogen, the cast of "The Big Bang Theory," athlete Tony Hawk, musician Grace Potter and fashion expert Nina Garcia.
If you need financial assistance for home modifications to make your house wheelchair-accessible, there are several resources that may be able to help you get started.
Many seniors want to live their lives as independently as possible, and home modifications are an excellent way to help them do just that. If you need financial assistance for home modifications to make your house wheelchair-accessible, there are several resources that may be able to help you get started.
Common home modifications
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are a few common alterations that many people seek out once they rely on a wheelchair for day-to-day activities. Some of these may include:
Whether you are seeking resources for one or all of these alterations, it's important to speak first with your physical or occupational therapist to see what might work best for you and your home.
Get educated about home modifications
Getting yourself informed about making your home wheelchair-accessible is the first step, and there are plenty of resources and organizations that can help. The HHS also explained that repairs and alterations can cost seniors anywhere from $150 to $2,000, depending on the type of renovation you are seeking. A contractor will be the best person to explain to you what is needed in your home, how much it will cost and what kinds of reduced rates or fees might apply.
However, it's important to know that these modifications and their respective expenses are provided by the Older Americans Act, and then dispensed through the Area Agencies on Aging, according to the HHS. You can find out where your local AAA chapter is by visiting the Alzheimer's Association's Community Resource Finder (www.communityresourcefinder.org) and then clicking on the "Community Services" tab.
Resources and organizations
In addition to your local AAA, there are several other resources and organizations that might be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to financial assistance. The HHS recommends Rebuilding Together, Inc., which operates with local affiliates and volunteers to help low-income seniors find the resources they need. You might also be able to find rebates with the U.S. Department of Energy's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, though those discounts may vary state by state.
It's also worthwhile to contact organizations in your area, as many cities and towns offer grant funds through community development centers and local departments. Local banks and lenders might advise you to look into home equity conversion mortgages or reverse mortgages to cover additional costs for renovations as well.
If you're a senior looking to make your home wheelchair-accessible, there are many ways you can get the assistance you need, both from private and public sources. Be sure to ask family and friends about their own experiences with these types of renovations as well so that you gain more insight into the right contractors to hire for this important task.Read in 2 minutes
Carelike differentiates from its competitors by giving care seekers access and transparency to all providers in their area, not just those who pay for a profile. Carelike displays all available information, truly giving families the power of choice and the ability to make informed decisions.
Carelike, LLC. leads change in senior care referral industry
Stephanie F. Jackson
Tele: (404) 250-8370
ATLANTA, GA. (November 15, 2016) -- As many Americans (especially baby boomers) are discovering, finding the perfect care service for a senior loved one is challenging. Per data from a 2015 AARP report, approximately 43.5 million adults provided unpaid elder care, mainly to relatives. This number only stands to grow as baby boomers age, and Carelike has come up with a solution.
With most senior-placement companies, care seekers use online or call-in services to find an assisted living community or home health aide for their loved one. However, they only get information from a small, select number of providers who have a contract to be listed on that referral company's website. This means care seekers miss out on many providers who might more closely fit their needs, have more esteemed credentials or elicited better patient reviews.
The senior care referral industry has been around for years, and so has Carelike (previously SNAPforSeniors). The organization is well-connected and has the experience and expertise required to drive a much-needed change to the industry. Their business model has always put the care-seeker first. Everyone who is a licensed senior care professional - not just those who "pay to play" - shows up in Carelike's comprehensive database of providers. This is because Carelike pulls from 400 different sources to gather data on senior and post-acute care providers. The organization then goes to great lengths to clean, filter and augment the data to give care seekers the most up-to-date and accurate picture of each provider.
This methodology has made Carelike the preferred partner for organizations who help consumers find care, which include renowned health organizations, health insurance companies, care management companies, EAPs and patient advocacy groups, including the Alzheimer's Association.
If you haven't heard of Carelike, it may be because the company has always worked behind the scenes providing well-known, reputable organizations with data. Now that this company aims to appeal to consumer care seekers, Carelike will share providers' information with not only organizations who license the data but with family members looking for senior services through their new consumer search site.
Carelike is the only online senior listing company that provides that type of exposure for providers - to both consumers and professional care-seekers at organizations who license the data. Meanwhile, Carelike differentiates from its competitors by giving care seekers access and transparency to all providers in their area, not just those who pay for a profile. Carelike displays all available information, truly giving families the power of choice and the ability to make informed decisions. Discover the possibilities for yourself at CareLike.com.Read in 2 minutes
There is no better time than now to reward yourself for being a caregiver or honor friends and family members who are.
Last month, President Barack Obama proclaimed November 2016 as National Family Caregivers Month, and "encouraged all Americans to pay tribute to those who provide for the health and well-being of their family members, friends and neighbors." There is no better time than now to reward yourself for being a caregiver or honor friends and family members who are.
Why caregivers are so important
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, there are more than 44 million Americans who currently care for a neighbor, friend or family member. Caregivers are incredibly important for the health and well-being of millions of Americans, as they help people manage disabilities and carry on with daily life. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates up to 30 percent of American adults are somehow involved in caregiving for a disabled or sick loved one, especially older Americans and people with disabilities.
There's a good chance you are either a caregiver yourself, or someone close to you is. This is the best month to either celebrate your role as a caregiver or support friends and family members who are. Here are a few ways you can do so:
1. Make a donation: There are many foundations and organizations that advocate on behalf of caregivers, including the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. Making a monetary donation will not only support caregivers but also people who are struggling with conditions and disabilities across the country.
2. Volunteer: If you don't have the means to give money to a charitable organization, you can definitely give back by volunteering or advocating for these same organizations. You can also contribute to your caregiving community locally by volunteering at a nursing home or senior care center.
3. Give yourself a day off, or fill in for a caregiver: Caregiving can take a toll on your physical and emotional health, which is why days off are so important. In order for you to give the quality care your loved ones deserve, you need to ensure that you are taking time for yourself as well. You can also fill in for a caregiver one day so they can enjoy some much-needed time off to relax and recharge.
Caregivers do incredible work in our communities, so it's important to thank them.
4. Let them know they are appreciated: Sometimes a kind note, thank you card or even a simple verbal "thank you" is enough to brighten any caregiver's day. People always want to know that they are appreciated, especially in a role that can presents a lot of emotional and physical challenges.
5. Give yourself a gift: It could be a dinner out, a nice new pair of shoes or even a weekend getaway. Rewarding yourself for a lot of tiresome nights and days is definitely in order, especially during National Family Caregivers Month. Be sure to treat yourself if you haven't in awhile.
This month, reward yourself or thank loved ones who devote their time to caregiving. With so many lives enriched by these individuals, it's important to let them know they are appreciated.Read in 2 minutes