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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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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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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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How to Help Your Client Maintain Their Privacy

As a caregiver, you may need to assist your client in performing daily activities that require you to be there when they use the restroom, change or bathe. At first, this may seem like an invasion of privacy for both parties, as they are likely not used to a stranger helping them when they are the most vulnerable. As a caregiver, it is essential to make sure that your client is happy, feels respected and is content with their levels of privacy. We put together a list of tips to help you allow your client to maintain their privacy during care.

  • Know that they are trusting you with their body, their private information and their home. When you come into an aging individual’s life as a caregiver, they may feel as though they are losing all privacy having a stranger in their personal space. You have access to their medical information, details about their life and being a part of daily activities that be intimate. Being cognizant of the situation and reminding yourself of the reality of your relationship will allow you to be more aware and not step over the line.
  • Remember that your client’s private life should not be discussed outside of work. Anything that you discuss with your client, do with your client or see while you are giving them care, should be kept to yourself. If you feel that your client may be at risk or you need to speak with a medical professional about their health, please seek professional assistance immediately. You should only express concern or share details if the client is in danger and they may need medical or professional services.
  • Concealment is key. If you are helping your client to the restroom and they can use it on their own, ask them if they would like you to help them on the toilet and then leave while they use it. By stepping out of the room, you give them the privacy to be alone and feel comfortable while using the restroom. If you must stay in the room, ask them if they prefer a towel over their lap, to avoid them feeling exposed and uncomfortable. If your client needs assistance getting dressed, it may be preferable for you to direct your attention elsewhere, looking down while helping them or looking away while they change.

We hope that these tips will help you feel more comfortable while giving care to your client and will allow them to feel calm as well. We know that privacy is of the utmost importance to people and we encourage you to find ways to preserve their privacy and pride.

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How to Communicate Effectively with Your Patient

Communicating with a patient is one of the most important aspects of being a caregiver. You want to make sure that the client feels understood, valued and respected, while you communicate with them the things that you need in order to keep them healthy. You may find it challenging to find a creative and polite way to express your concerns for their well-being, or to tell them that you are going to be helping them carry out a task that they previously have refused to do. It can be challenging to engage in communication with your client if he or she is reluctant to allow you to help them as a caregiver. Here are some tips you can take to improve your communication with your patient:

  • Learn to respect their home, their privacy and them as individuals. When you are communicating with your client, remember that you are in their personal space and their home. If you are suggesting rearranging the furniture to make it easier for them to move around safely, remember that you are asking to alter their living space. Respect goes a long way and you can have more effective communication by saying things like “I know this is your home, and I want you to feel comfortable in it but…”
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  • Be compassionate to their situations. Whether your patient is simply aging, or they were recently diagnosed with an illness, compassion can go a long way in your communication habits. Remember that your client is likely going through a lot in their own head and facing a lot of changes within themselves as well. If they seem hardened or reluctant in their communication with you, try not to get offended or off put. Simply remember that they are going through their own battle, and that you are there to make their lives easier and show them kindness.
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  • Show them that you are listening to them. Part of being a great communicator is what you do when you are not physically speaking to someone. When your client is speaking to you, remember to show them you are paying attention and that you value what they have to say. Your body language plays a huge part in them feeling heard, such as eye contact and nodding your head to acknowledge their words.
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  • Choose your words wisely. Positive reinforcement and uplifting language can help create an effective line of communication between you and your client. Remember to speak to them in an uplifting tone and to use words such as “wonderful” or “excellent” when describing their habits. For example, if you are helping your patient perform physical therapy exercises, let them know that they are doing a wonderful job and you are proud of their progress. Even if you must let them know they have to work harder, you can first tell them that you are proud of them for their hard work, but they may need to work on their exercises more often to improve.

Communication between a patient and a caregiver can be difficult, frustrating and seem impossible. However, with these tips, you can communicate in a more effective and positive way. We hope that you and your patient will continue to feel valued, respected and heard throughout your relationship.

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Roles and Responsibilities of Home Care Professionals

When it comes to the health care of a loved one, you want the best treatment possible. Whether you or a family member need temporary in-home care in Lafayette, or full time senior home care in Walnut Creek, you expect experienced, professional caretakers. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of a home health caregiver will assist you in choosing the best agency for your needs.

Care Should Match Needs

Some seniors are capable of caring for themselves, yet they may require assistance with daily needs, such as bathing, housekeeping, meal planning, medication reminders, or even pet care. Others may be recovering from hospitalization or suffering from a long-term illness and require more extensive care. The goal of home care is to provide the opportunity for seniors to stay in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.

  • Check with the agency to see what level of care is offered. Some agencies provide non-medical services only; however, their caregivers are trained to take vital signs and help with medications.
  • Some agencies also offer transportation services.
  • Agencies offer services in 30-minute to 24-hour options.
  • Live-in care and 24-hour care are not the same, and are billed differently. Live-in caregivers reside in the home and serve in a safety and companionship role, sleeping when the client sleeps. The client is charged by the day. Not all agencies offer live-in care providers. With 24-hour care, the client is charged by the hour. The caretaker never sleeps, and works in 8- or 12-hour shifts, rotating with other caretakers employed by the agency.

 Choosing the Right Provider

Find the names of potential home care providers through reliable online sources, including the Medicare website and the National Home Care & Hospice website.  If your loved one has just been released or will soon be released from a hospital, check with the social worker or discharge planner for reputable home care service providers, or check with a physician. To ensure quality of care, also check for the following:

  • Find out the length of time the agency has been in business.
  • Understand the process used to hire caretakers, and ask for documentation of any training provided.
  • Verify that caretakers are adequately supervised, and their work is evaluated on a regular basis.
  • Fee structure should be clearly understood and provided in print form.
  • The caretaker should provide a list of references.

Licensing and Certification

A California law that went into effect on January 1, 2016, requires senior home care workers to be state-certified if they are employed by a non-medical, licensed home care service provider. A criminal background check is also required. Home care agencies who provide non-medical home care services must be licensed through the California Department of Social Services.

Seniors at home

Agency Responsibilities

The agency is responsible for ensuring that the certifications of their workers are up-to-date and a thorough background check was conducted. As the client, you have a right to see the results of that background check before accepting the caretaker into your home. Here are additional responsibilities:

  • The agency should insure the caretaker to protect you from liability should he or she be injured in your home.
  • The caretaker is hired by the agency, and their wages are paid by the agency. The agency is also responsible for withholding Social Security, unemployment, and other taxes, in addition to maintaining accurate records of their employment.
  • The agency supervises the caretaker and ensures the employee is following guidelines and adhering to standards.
  • The agency should offer a consultation to determine the level of care you are expecting, and match a caretaker with your needs.

Senior woman and caregiver

Caretaker Responsibilities

The caretaker should be trained to handle the level of care agreed upon, and should also be familiar with standards and regulations. In addition:

  • The caregiver will likely assist with personal daily care, such as bathing and dressing.
  • Caregivers may assist with meal planning and preparation.
  • Light housekeeping duties usually fall within a home care professional’s duties.
  • Most are trained to provide basic medical assistance such as vital signs and medication reminders.
  • Some provide transportation to and from medical appointments or errands.
  • Companionship is an important aspect of the professional caregiver services.

Your Role

The role of a professional home care provider is to ensure a safe environment for the client. If you feel the caregiver is not performing to expected standards, or if you are concerned about the caregiver’s behavior, contact the agency immediately and report your concerns.

For more information regarding professional home care in the Berkeley area, contact 24HR Home Care via our toll-free number, and speak with one of our trained client representatives.

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5 Things You Never Knew about Being a Caregiver

Home health care workers are skilled, trained, certified professionals. Many people are understandably nervous and hesitant to allow a stranger into their home or a loved one’s home. While such worry is natural, it’s not necessarily warranted. Home health care professionals undergo rigorous training in order to earn their credentials, and they also undergo background checks and drug screenings. If you have questions regarding home health care professionals, continue reading for 5 things you need to know about them.

Nurses

Anyone practicing medicine must be licensed to do so. A registered nurse (RN) will often give education and guidelines for post-operational care, but they also provide medical aid directly. People who are sick, convalescent, disabled, or injured will often be cared for by a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN). Both LPNs and LVNs commonly assist with home health care.

Physical Therapists

Physical therapists work in home health care, specifically to assist with mobility. They also help patients who are recovering from joint replacement surgery.

Occupational

An occupation therapist specializes in assisting patients with daily activities so that they can maintain independence and operate safely in their homes. This involves daily activities such as dressing or bathing.

Social Workers

Medical social workers can be essential in assisting with access and resources. They aid patients and their families with adapting to their illness or injuries, and they also help with identifying and obtaining available community resources.

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Caregiver Training: Dental Hygiene Tips

Dental care is important and here at 24hr HomeCare we couldn’t agree more. We proudly train all caregivers in senior dental hygiene.

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Caregiver Training: Assisting With Walking

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