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Everything You Need to Know – [COVID-19]

24 Hour Home Care is actively monitoring the progression of the coronavirus, COVID-19, to ensure that we have the most accurate and latest information on the impact of the virus.

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Overcoming Overeating for Caregivers

Being a caregiver can bring a lot of stress into your daily routine. As a caregiver, you have several people that are relying on you to take care of their loved one, which often translates as anxiety or stress for a caregiver. There are several ways that people choose to cope with their stress, many of which are healthy and encouraged, but every now and then a caregiver may cope with stress by overeating.

Food serves as comfort for some individuals and can be a coping mechanism. Although allowing yourself the occasional treat is healthy and key to a balanced diet, it is important to know when you are overeating and overindulging. By definition, overeating or overindulging means that you are eating more food than you need, and you are simply eating because it serves as comfort for you rather than for nutritional value. When you overeat, you are not eating because you are hungry, and you most likely do not stop eating when you are full. It is important to recognize the signs of overeating and understand when you are doing so.

When you are stressed or overwhelmed, it is important to find outlets to put your energy in rather than eating. Having a water bottle near you at all times can help you focus on drinking water when you would otherwise reach for a snack. Although it will take time to get used to the experience of replacing food with water, it will eventually become a habit for you. You will reap the benefits of an increased water intake and find another outlet or oral fixation for you during your times of stress.

If you overeat or overindulge after your shifts, try finding another outlet for your pent-up energy or anxiety. We suggest taking a walk and getting fresh air, especially after a long stressful day. The combination of fresh air and endorphins from exercise can increase your mood and your overall mental health. If you would rather work out in a gym or with a group, try exercise classes or join a gym where you can use your stress or anxiety for good! We love boxing, cycling and yoga!

During your time of stress or anxiety, it is important to recognize the signs of overeating and channel your energy to a healthier outlet. Whether that is cooking healthy meals, taking a walk or attending a yoga class, you can overcome your challenges. We encourage you to find an outlet that will work for you! Remember that each person is different and that it may take several times to find what works for you. If you are concerned with your overeating or overindulging due to stress, we encourage you to consult your doctor for more information.

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How Caregivers Can Connect with the Adult Child

As a caregiver, it can sometimes be tough to figure out the family dynamic of the household that you are working in. The adult child likely has something to do with your client’s care, and they may even be the decision maker in most situations. While you want to please your client, it is important that you also connect with the adult child that is imperative in your client’s care. It can be challenging to connect with them, especially if they are not physically able to meet with you. Take a look below to see how you can make sure that you have a healthy relationship with your client’s adult children.

  • Introduce yourself first and foremost. If the adult child is present at the time of the interview, it is important that you make sure you leave a lasting and positive first impression with them. They are likely to be one of the closest people to the potential client, and it is so important that you treat them with respect.
  • Communication is key! If the adult child is very involved in their parent’s care, make sure that you have their contact information in the event that you need to get in contact with them. You should avoid calling them often for small things, especially if it is just to vent about their parents. Communicate with them openly and honestly when it is necessary. For example, if your client seems to be getting agitated when you recommend going for a walk and they are becoming increasingly aggressive, make sure that you follow protocol by reaching out to 24 Hour Home Care and give the adult child a heads up. This allows the point of contact, or the child, to know what is going on with their parent and they can even try to mitigate the situation for you.
  • Make sure you are not overstepping your boundaries with your client. The adult child is likely protective of their parent and allowing a relatively new person into your parent’s home to take care of them is a very foreign subject for a lot of people. While they may know your intentions are pure, it is important that you respect their boundaries. Know that they are doing what is best for their parent and if they are the clients point of contact, they deserve to be kept in the loop always. Make sure you respect that they are involved and do not overstep by going over their head and directly to the client.
  • If your client is asking to go against the point of contact & adult child’s wishes, contact them immediately. Sure, your client may feel better if they do not take that 15 minute walk the doctor suggested, but if they are telling you that it is no long necessary, make sure you follow up with a call to the child. This avoids you getting into an issue with them in the future going against care protocol and their wishes.

We know that it can be challenging to deal with a family dynamic that is not your own. While it can be uncomfortable at first, we hope that these tips will help you maintain a healthy and happy relationship with your client’s adult children.

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Caregivers Guide to a Happy Heart

Caregivers are described as caring, selfless and nurturing individuals. We are so grateful that our caregivers dedicate their time and energy to taking care of our wonderful clients. However, we know that caregiving can take a lot of a person, both emotionally and mentally. Having a happy soul and heart can make a caregiver feel fulfilled in all aspects of their life. Read below to see 24 Hour Home Care’s guide to a happy heart.

  • Find time to wind down at the end of the day. This is an important part of finding inner happiness. If you like to meditate at the end of the day, try taking 10 minutes out of your evening to do so. Find the right thing to help you get into a healthy and happy mindset to get a good night’s rest and have a productive next day.
  • Spend time with the people that you love and that love you. You will feed off the energy of those you surround yourself with, so make sure you choose wisely. Choose to surround yourself with positive, upbeat and happy people that will put you in a positive headspace.
  • Learn that it is okay to take a break and say no, for your mental clarity. Do you have friends or family asking to come over after you get off a long shift? Would you rather just stay in bed and catch up on television? It is okay to say no! Pick and choose what things you want to do, and don’t feel bad when you do say no. Remember to let go of things that no longer serve a purpose for you!
  • Know that you are valued and appreciated. As a caregiver, you are selflessly giving your time, energy and resources to someone that needs your assistance. You are kind, patient and loving even on the hardest days. Here at 24 Hour Home Care, we appreciate you so much! You are respected and cherished today and every day!

We know it can be challenging to keep your head up on some of the most hectic days of your life. You may find yourself in a negative headspace or with a heavy heart, as you feel you are doing the best you can. Take a deep breath, dedicate your time to doing something you love and know that we appreciate all our caregivers so much. Thank you for all that you do!

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Activities to Help Caregivers Decompress

Caregivers can have hectic schedules that demands a lot of energy and emotions from them. Between taking care of their family and tending to their client’s needs, caregivers are likely in need of a way to relax and decompress. It is important to remember that taking time for yourself is not selfish, it is the best way to take care of your mental, physical and emotional well-being. Here are some ways that caregivers can decompress after a long day.

  • Go for a walk to clear your mind! Not only will a walk allow you to get fresh air and a moment to yourself, it will allow your body to get exercise and a chance to increase your endorphins.
  • Find a book that you love and dive into it! A great story can take your mind off your reality for a few hours. Find a book that you love, a comfortable place to sit and read it and enjoy!
  • Give yourself a massage. Whether you prefer hand or foot massages, give yourself a little pampering by finding pressure points that will help you relieve stress. You do not need to go to a professional to find relief! We recommend doing research on pressure points that will help you relieve stress or techniques to relax you.
  • Disconnect from the chaotic and hectic world. Your days are likely jam packed with activities, travel and interacting with others. While that can be rewarding, it can also cause you to feel burnt out and overwhelmed. Try turning your phone off or putting it into a different room for the rest of your day. Disconnecting from the outside world for a reasonable amount of time can help you feel refreshed, recharged and reinvigorated.
  • Surround yourself with people you love that will lift you up higher. When you are feeling overwhelmed and in need of decompression, you likely are feeling anxious as well. You feed off of the vibe from your surroundings, which makes the people you surround yourself with incredibly important. Surround yourself with people that will put you at ease and make your anxiety disappear.
  • Just breathe. Take some time to find your breath and put your mind at ease. While it may seem easy, focusing on only your breath can be extremely challenging and will require you to clear your mind. Try finding a comfortable place you can sit in and breathe in and breathe out.

Anxiety, stress and tension should not be a part of your routine. Instead of allowing yourself to experience burn out and stress, we hope that you will use these activities to help you decompress. You work hard serving others each and every day, but remember putting yourself first should always be a priority!

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A Caregiver’s Guide to Dealing with Loss

As a caregiver, you are the first line of defense for your client. You protect them from falls, malnutrition, missed medications and help them maintain a healthy life. During the time you spend together, you may grow attached to them and start to build a repour with them. But what happens when the client that you held near and dear to your heart passes away? Are you equipped to dealing with that grief and loss?

It is important to know that the feeling of grief and sadness is completely normal, and you should allow yourself to feel this way. Individuals may try to suppress their feelings by continuing to go on with their daily routine as though nothing happened. While this may work as a coping mechanism for some people, for others it only harms their emotional health. Allow yourself to feel the sadness that is in your heart and recognize that you are entitled to feel the way you do.

After you have allowed yourself to recognize sadness and grief, figure out what is the best course of action on how you can deal with it. For some people, this may mean getting up in the morning and meditating for 10 minutes. Meditation can calm your mind and soul, bringing clarity to a hectic situation or time in your life. For others, exercise or increased physical activity may bring a cleared mind and a happy soul. During your time of sadness, find a healthy outlet that will bring happiness to your days. As long as you are not filling your time with obsessive exercise or physical activity, you will begin to feel the effects of replacing your loneliness and sadness with healthy habits.

During your time of grief and sadness, it is important to find positive ways to celebrate the life that was once lived by someone very special to you. Did your client have a love for books that you can carry on in their legacy? Maybe they loved bird watching and you can pick that up as a new hobby. Finding a way to honor your clients legacy can be a way to heal and to find a purpose in this otherwise confusing time in your life.

It is important to know that talking to someone is not a sign of weakness or fragility. Seeking out someone to talk to can be as easy as confiding in a family member or friend that is patient and will listen to you. In some cases, caregivers may choose to seek out a grief counselor in the beginning stages of grief, to get them through the hardest of times. The act of talking through your feelings and emotional state can be incredibly healing for those going through a hard time and dealing with grief. Allow yourself to heal by speaking with someone that you trust.

Although there isn’t a magic fix for caregiver grief, it is important to know that your grief and sadness is completely warranted. Your heart is big, and you opened it to the client that you were honored to served. After losing a client, try to find the outlet that works for you during this pivotal time of healing.

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What Skill Set Is Needed to Be an Efficient Caregiver?

It’s estimated that nearly 12 million Americans require some sort of home healthcare. From memory care to assistance with day-to-day tasks, in-home healthcare allows patients to receive the care they need from the comfort of their own home. A career in home healthcare is rewarding. Not only do you improve the quality of life of those you interact with, but you also have the opportunity to take part in the recovery and healing process. You many increase the independence of some of your patients or make day-to-day living easier. The relationship you build with each of your patients will make a difference.

If you’re interested in a job in homecare in Plano, look no further than 24 Hour Home Care. We pride ourselves in staffing qualified individuals with a passion for improving the lives of those around them. If you possess any of these skills and attributes, home healthcare may be a good fit for you.

Effective Communication

Because of what home healthcare entails, communication is key. It’s not only important to communicate effectively with the patient, but also with any family members who are involved with the care. Communication may involve something as simple as reviewing a daily schedule or taking note of any medical questions the patient may have. Appointment updates, changes in the medication schedule, and meal requests are other examples of things that may need to be clearly communicated to family members or patients. In some cases, multiple caregivers may be staffed to provide the proper amount of care.

The communication between caregivers must be clear and concise to prevent problems and confusion.  Placing an emphasis on communication creates an environment of trust between the patient, family, and caregivers. It allows the family members and patients to ask questions and opens up the line for questions or concerns. Plus, communicating effectively also ensures that the proper amount of care is being administered.

Positive Demeanor

There’s only one way to approach the job of an in-home caregiver—with positivity.  It is important to know that a negative attitude can be detrimental to your client and the family you are serving. Some of the patients you encounter may feel defeated or depressed due to the health concerns they’re facing. It’s your job, as their caregiver, to provide a ray of positivity and hope in their lives. The more positive you are, the more it will affect those around you.

A happy caregiver can effect change. The more positive you are, the better care you’ll be able to provide to those around you. There’s no room for boredom, negativity, pessimism, or anger in the in-home healthcare field. Instead, we are continually on the hunt for those optimistic individuals who are looking to improve the lives of others with their happiness and positive outlook.

Empathy

It’s true that working as a caregiver is a selfless job. You’re devoting yourself to the care and happiness of someone else and putting their needs above your own. While that may seem like enough, there’s more to being a great caregiver than just giving of your time. Practicing empathy is one of the most important skills a caregiver can possess. Empathy allows you to understand the difficulties that your patient is facing. Instead of brushing off those issues, being empathetic ensures that you meet their needs in the perfect way. Putting yourself in the shoes of someone who is dealing with issues that you’ve never faced will build your relationship with your patients and allows you to provide a higher quality of care.

Patience

As rewarding as home healthcare is, it can test your patience. Caregivers can’t rush through tasks or do things their own way. Instead, they’re required to consult with the patient and family members before proceeding. You may spend twice as much time performing a daily task simply because your patient wants to do something on their own. Fostering independence with patience is crucial to the happiness and success of each of your patients.

No matter how much easier it would be to do things at your own speed, it’s necessary to slow down, communicate well, and provide care that the patient needs, instead of proceeding in the way that you may see fit. This sort of patience is rare, yet important when caring for another individual. If you tend to be impatient or quick to act, a job as a caregiver may be frustrating. If patience is one of your strongest virtues, though, you may find that caring for another individual is extremely easy and rewarding.

Flexibility and Problem-Solving Skills

No matter how carefully you prepare, there will be days where things don’t go as planned. In fact, most days probably won’t go as planned. Perhaps an appointment is cancelled, or your patient is having a rough time. No matter what the issue is, it’s important to remain flexible and act quickly.

The ability to problem-solve is crucial as a caregiver. It allows you to think on your feet and create a new plan easily. Some people may become irritated or frustrated when plans suddenly change. As a caregiver, you don’t have this luxury. Staying calm will ensure that your patient also remains calm. Instead of reacting to the change in plans with panic, a great caregiver will quickly and effectively create a new idea and carry it out seamlessly.

Reliability

Once you’ve decided to become a caregiver, you’ll find that you have people that rely on you daily. Your patients trust you to show up on time, remain consistent, and provide the care that you’ve said you would. Their transportation, medication administration, and meals could hinge on your ability to follow through. If you’re unreliable, it could affect your patient’s health, state of mind, and mood.

Pursuing a career in homecare in Allen is rewarding. If you possess the qualities above and are interested in improving the lives of patients, it may be time to contact 24 Hour Home Care. We provide a variety of different home healthcare options for patients across the country. From medication reminders to companionship, it’s our mission to provide high-quality care to each and every one of our patients. To begin your career as a caregiver, contact 24 Hour Home Care today!

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Why Meditation Can Help with Caregiver Stress

Being a caregiver is stressful: you have people depending on you to take care of their loved one, you work tirelessly to make sure that your client is happy, and you are doing so with a smile on your face. We know that at the end of the day, you may feel stressed and exhausted. After your shift ends and before you go to bed, it is important to wind down and focus on yourself for a few minutes. Meditation is a great way to unwind before the end of the day and put you in the right headspace to get a good night’s rest and wake up recharged and ready to take on another day!

Meditation can allow your cognitive functions to be improved and your stress to be vastly decreased. In addition, it can allow you to be one with your breath and keep yourself present in the moment. By focusing on your breath and the act of just ‘being’ you can give your mind a well-deserved break. Meditation can allow you to improve your overall mood, your mental health and your sleep patterns. By meditating for a few minutes after you get off work, you can put yourself in a mindset that will allow you to feel rejuvenated, recharged and rested.

The key to successful meditation is to allow yourself to be open to the possibility of letting go and just focusing on your breathing. It is helpful to have one central place that you feel comfortable meditating in. This could be on your bed, in the comfort of your living room or you may choose to create a space that is used exclusively for meditation. Find the environment that works for you and choose to commit to meditating at least every other day, if not for a few minutes each day.

Meditation does not have to be done at a retreat or in a professional studio. There are several apps and websites, such as Headspace, that allows you to meditate anywhere. By simply unplugging from the business and craziness of the real world, you make room in your heart and mind for relaxation and rejuvenation. We hope that you will take the time to try mediating the next time that you feel overwhelmed or stressed from work.

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How Caregivers Can Have a Healthy Start to Their Day

Caregivers are busy, hardworking and passionate people. They give all of their energy to making sure that their clients are happy, healthy and in the right headspace. Their days may be long, and they leave them exhausted and drained at the end of their shifts. We think it is important for caregivers to take some time to start their day off properly, ensuring they have time to get in the right mindset and to take care of themselves. Each person may personalize their morning routines to fit their needs and schedule, but we have come up with a few healthy tips to start your day off right!

  • Get enough sleep the night before. It is important that caregivers get enough sleep every night. Aim for 8 full hours of sleep, which allows you to wake up feeling recharged, energized and ready to take on the day.
  • Take some time to just breathe. When you wake up in the morning, it can be overwhelming when you have to get up and get out of the door relatively fast. Try setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier, giving you enough time to wake up and take a few deep breaths to start your day off right. During this time, you can prepare yourself mentally for what you have ahead of yourself for the day. Give yourself time to wake up, reflect upon the day and get in the right mindset to give your clients your best.
  • Take time to eat breakfast. This is one of the most important parts of your morning routine. A balanced and healthy breakfast will give you energy and will fill you up until you are able to have a mid-morning snack or lunch. It is important that you find a breakfast that is equally as healthy as it is delicious. We want you to enjoy your healthy meals!
  • If your schedule allows for it, try exercising in the morning. Exercising in the morning can give you energy and motivation to make healthy choices through out the rest of the day. If you are unable to give more than 5 or 10 minutes to exercising, try to stretch or do yoga for a few minutes to clear your mind!
  • Meal prep your food the night before or in the morning (if time permits). You can make healthy choices through out your day, starting in the morning! Take some time to make your own lunch or to bring your own healthy snacks. We suggest washing fresh fruits and veggies or making a delicious salad to bring as your meal! Starting the day off making healthy choices will translate into more healthy choices during the day.

We know that mornings can be hectic and chaotic, leaving you little to no time to get prepared for the day. We hope that these five tips will help you start your day in a healthy, happy and content way. Thank you for all that you do, day in and day out!

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Caregiver

Being a great caregiver requires attention to detail, compassion and kindness. A successful caregiver is the backbone of an aging individual’s household, as they help them maintain their freedom to age in place and keep their household running. It is important to make sure that you are treating your client and their home with the utmost respect while you are working for them. We have put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts for caregivers. Take a look below.

Do

  • Act as a companion for your client.
  • Listen to them when they are speaking.
  • Follow their wishes and demands, unless it puts them in immediate danger.
  • Act as an advocate for their well-being.
  • Pay attention to their surroundings.
  • Act proactively, especially when it comes to their medical condition.
  • Keep a positive attitude.
  • Finish all tasks that they have asked of you for the visit.
  • Communicate any issues or concerns with the appropriate party (family member or doctor).
  • Give your client space when needed.
  • Remember that you are in their home and you should respect it each time you come to take care of them.

Don’t

  • Think that you can act as their in-home doctor. Leave the medical advice up to the professionals.
  • Overstep, especially when it comes to their private matters and family matters.
  • Go against the family or doctors wishes, even if you think it will make your client happier to do so.
  • With hold information from the family or medical professionals.
  • Violate privacy, including but not limited to going through their belongings, eavesdropping or lingering when not necessary.
  • Be late. Punctuality is of the utmost importance, especially if your client needs to be somewhere or take certain medications at a certain time.
  • Forget that you are valued, appreciated and an essential part of your client’s health and happiness.

We hope that you will continue to work hard as a caregiver and will continue to perfect your craft every day. We are so grateful for compassionate, hard working and driven people such as yourself that care for aging individuals.

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