Hospice and palliative care is a wonderful service for our seniors and loved ones. It provides end of life comfort and care by experienced doctors and nurses, at a time when specialized care is essential. End of life situations carry a considerable amount of stress and energy that the average person is unable and ill equipped to provide. It requires a magnitude of specialized training that the average caregiver or family member is unable to offer. While hospice care is a wonderful service, what happens when hospice care is not enough?
When a family needs more care for a loved one than hospice is able to provide, it often falls back onto the family to attend to those needs, thus creating more stress in an already stressful situation. Home Careolina is an option for providing additional care in conjunction with the care hospice is providing. Our experienced, professional caregivers understand what hospice does and never interferes with their service; we are trained to be a compliment to hospice, not a replacement. We provide the care and attention beyond what a hospice caregiver is allowed or able to provide and we work the hours they are not available. Our staff works on rotating schedules enabling Home Careolina caregivers to provide 24/7 care if needed. We are there when you need us.
Home Careolina provides it's caregivers with ongoing hospice care training via our unique Home Careolina University program and our state of the art in house training lab. If you have a family member who is receiving hospice or palliative care and you need to supplement that care with additional caregivers, please give us a call. We can help you fulfill your loved ones wishes to stay at home for as long as possible.
Are they looking for a rewarding part time job?
Do they want to make a difference in someone's life?
Do they want to do something meaningfuland make some money at the same time?
Then a companion caregiver job at Home Careolina is the job for them!
We are always looking for great caregivers. Specifically, we hire women and men who have the "caring gene." People who have a passion for helping our elderly friends and neighbors. We have clients in Charlotte, Concord, Kannapolis, Denver, Statesville, Mooresville, Huntersville, Davidson and Cornelius. And we are constantly hiring quality companion caregivers and CNA's (certified nursing assistants).
We train and place our caregivers in the homes of seniors who want to stay at home rather than move to a facility. They are often forced out of their homes prematurely because they can't manage their household tasks, have memory issues, or continue to drive safely. We create care plans based on our clients' individual needs. Some folks need more help than others and we go to great lengths to make sure that our caregivers and clients are a great match! Our clients come to expect "boutique style" service from us and it’s our pleasure to provide that level of service to our clients and their families!
Our trusted agency has provided care for seniors since 2004. We are bonded and insured and have a Registered Nurse on staff who trains and supervises all of our caregivers.
If you or someone you know wants to learn more about becoming a member of our Caregiving team and can pass a rigorous background check and has reliable transportation, then visit our website and fill out our online application at www.homecareolina.com.
I was at the soccer fields this weekend having a casual conversation with a fellow soccer mom who happens to work in the health care industry too, and she gave me some advice that I wanted to pass on to all of you.
She advised me to never schedule surgery in June or July or even August if possible. Not only are doctors and nurses on vacation during the summer months, but all of the residents working in hospitals finish their residencies in June and start them in July. That means that if you have surgery in June then you will be surrounded by a bunch of residents who already have one foot out the door! And, if you schedule your surgical procedure in July, then you will find yourself amongst a bunch of newbie residents who are just getting their feet wet...at your possible expense!
So put some thought into the scheduling of any surgeries in your future. As we ALL age ....we know too well that hip and knee replacements and rotator cuff surgeries are pretty common in the aging process.
If you find that a surgery is in your future (or your spouse, mom or dad's future) you might find yourself in need of help at home after surgery....give us a call. We have a lot of short term rehab clients who need temporary help with housework, transportation, meals, bathing/grooming/dressing assistance etc. after surgery. Some of them spend some time in a skilled nursing facility...but others prefer to rehab at home. You do have a choice! Some folks go to a rehab facility and then still need some help at home after their rehab stay. And, some of our clients like for our aides to provide a sitter service at the hospital or rehab facility to make sure their needs are being met by the facility.
Winter, spring, summer or fall, all 'ya gotta do is call.....because whatever the season or the reason you can always count on quality care from Home Careolina!
(James Taylor pun intended!)
I don't need to tell you how difficult caring for a loved one can be. You are feeling guilty for not doing enough, frustrated because you can't fix the problem, tired from lack of sleep, isolated because you don't have time for friends, pulled in many directions and stressed out.
It will take time to figure it all out but asking for help with your loved one is a good start. By asking for assistance from family, friends or a home care agency, you allow yourself the time to get yourself organized. With organization, comes reduced stress.
You won't be much of a caregiver if you have a health crisis or emotional meltdown from the demands of caregiving. Take care of your health; be willing to ask others for assistance whether it be running errands or making meals or helping with household tasks; find out about community resources; hire a home care agency, join a support group; learn to relax through meditation or other activities that will take you to a place that makes you happy or calm; deal constructively with negative feelings and start by learning to forgive yourself for the anger and resentment you feel.
Most importantly, remember how special you are. You have taken on a huge responsibility on top of everything else you do. You are not alone, there are thousands around the world like you and each has a unique situation. Remember, that often, people are willing to help but if you give the impression you can do it all, they will not offer. Most people are just waiting to be asked. Only you can tell them what you need. And once you get that needed help....you might even find that your relationship with your loved one is much better because you are spending more meaningful time with each other.
Safety becomes a major priority with cognitive impairment as the person can no longer use good judgment. The following list has many things that should be considered when providing care in the home for someone with dementia.
Place deadbolts either high or low on exterior doors to make it difficult for the person to wander out of the house. Keep an extra set of keys hidden near the door for easy access.
Consider a Medi-Alert bracelet or necklace.
Never lock a confused person in the home alone.
Remove locks from inside doors such as the bathroom and bedroom.
If you live on the second floor or higher, place dowel rods in slider tracks to prevent windows or doors from being opened more than 6-8 inches. Depth perception is lost and people can fall out of windows or off balconies.
Keep the water heater at a temperature that won't burn skin.
Install a child gate or some other barrier at open stairwells.
Keep walkways clear.
Remove area/throw rugs; persons with a shuffling walk may more readily trip or fall.
Take knobs off the stove.
Use kid-proof locks to store medications, cleaning supplies and other toxic household goods safely.
Install safety grips and bars in the shower and use a shower chair.
Give reminders for the use of canes and walkers for decreased motor function.
Remove and disable guns. Store away power tools and sharps such as knives, scissors, razors, and saws.
Place tape “X”s on, or label or decorate plate glass windows and glass sliding doors.
Do not allow this person to drive. Many persons with cognitive impairment don't realize they can no longer safely drive due to poor judgment, slowed reflexes, physical weakness, or sensory deficits. If it is too volatile for you to discuss with the person, ask the doctor to notify the DMV and tell the person they cannot drive. Disable the vehicle if needed.
I know I'm not alone when I say that I despise people who mistreat the elderly. One of my elderly neighbors was recently a victim of robbery. I am convinced that the crime was committed by someone she welcomed into her own home; her cleaning lady.
Little did she know that this seemingly earnest woman was taking pieces of her silver and jewelry items a little at a time. Why do we think that the cleaning lady is the culprit? She's the only non-family member to enter her home in the last six weeks. And that was the last time my neighbor counted her silver. Yes, she counts her silver. There simply aren't any other suspects. And, if you are thinking it might have been a family member, forget about it. I know every member of her family really well.
The police were called and the cleaning lady was interviewed. She denied any wrong-doing. Of course she did. And guess what! The police are inclined to believe her. Wow. Why? Only for the simple fact that my neighbor is old. "Are you sure she hasn't just misplaced these items?" the officer asked me. "I'm quite sure" I replied. "She told me she counted them six weeks ago after she hosted her bridge group. They were all there" I said. "Oh, and by the way, she told you that herself officer. Why don't you believe her? Why are you calling me about this instead of her anyway?" Granted, I didn't really say that last part. But I thought it. This woman might be advanced in years, but she is sharp as a tack. Sure, she uses a cane to get around. But she is of sound mind -- very sound mind. She can run mental circles around me -- a woman half her age. She reads the New York Times daily. She does the crossword puzzle in pen!
This experience has really opened my eyes to the lack of respect given to the elderly. And, it makes me even prouder, than I already was, to be in the senior care business. From day one, our mission has been to help seniors continue to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. We do that by respecting our clients' current abilities and we help them maintain that independence by only offering help where and when it is needed. We also check out our employees -- they are bonded and insured and we do extensive criminal, DMV and reference checks. But don't take my word for it, ask to see the proof. Why? People lie. My neighbor used a local cleaning company. They told her their employees were bonded and insured. They lied. And, they admitted that they didn't even do a background check on this employee, which, as it turned out, wasn't really an employee she was an independent contractor.
So what is the moral of this story? There are obviously several. But the primary one I would like to leave you with is the importance of treating seniors with the respect that they deserve. Just because someone's body might be failing them, does not mean that they are not capable of processing thoughts and speaking for themselves. Give them the same intellectual respect you would someone half their age. They deserve it and so will you when you are their age.
I helped my neighbor during her time of crisis and I am happy to help you too if you need advice in navigating the many options of elder care. I've been in this business for nearly ten years and I enjoy being a trusted resource to my friends and neighbors.
Try not to create a home that feels too restrictive. The home should encourage independence and social interaction.
Provide reality orientation cues to help reduce confusion such as calendars that have clear, simple information with one day per page: digital clocks that show am and pm; a blackboard or message board for reminders; and daily activities lists.
Do not rearrange furniture and keep familiar objects around and in place.
Keep a current picture of the person for ID purposes.
Check for tight or constricting clothing. Discomfort may cause acting out or behavior changes.
Label rooms and objects with large signs, especially the bathroom.
Add extra lights to entries, doorways, stairways, areas between rooms, and bathrooms.
Use night lights in hallways, bedrooms and bathrooms to prevent accidents and reduce disorientation.
Cover doors and locks with a painted mural or cloth. Use "Dutch" (half) doors, swinging doors or folding doors to hide entrances to the kitchen, stairwell, workroom and storage areas.
Make space for activities.
Be patient. If wants and needs cannot be expressed, pay attention to body language.
If finding or using the toilet is a problem, using a contrasting color toilet seat helps the cognitively impaired individual “see” the toilet.
Depth perception is often diminished; using color identifies objects such as sofas and chairs, or change in flooring levels.