Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What We Do

A friend of mine asked for a list of the services we provide. Although we've published that list in a few different places, it's always helpful for me to write it down (or type it) again Here’s our list of services:

Personal Care requires CNA training and certification, and includes assistance in the bath & toilet, help with hygiene & incontinence, help with mobility, transferring & positioning (getting in and out of bed or a wheelchair, etc), dietary & feeding concerns. 

Companion Care doesn’t require certification as a nursing assistant, although CNAs will perform all of these tasks in addition to their more specialized work: assistance with meals (cooking, or helping the client cook), light housekeeping, laundry, errands, shopping with or for the client, grooming, transportation.

We can remind a client that it’s time to take meds, and we can help them to read and even open the containers, but we cannot administer meds.

Dementia Care - Because of the prevalence and increase of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-causing conditions, we have joined Dementia Care Professionals of America (a division of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America) to provide specialized training and certification for dementia care. Good dementia care involves all of the assistance that anyone else would need, with special attention to the particular mental, emotional and safety challenges that dementia patients and their families face.

Respite Care addresses the issue of caregiver burnout, when someone caring for a family member needs some help or goes on vacation.
Recovery Care helps those recovering from an injury, accident or surgery.
Disability Care helps individuals (we are licensed to care for children and adolescents as well as adults) with various types of disabilities remain independent in their homes.

That’s a fairly comprehensive list, although it doesn’t cover ever task that one of our caregivers will perform. For instance, they can do windows, but only from the inside, and only what they can reach while standing on the ground. I make all that very clear when I visit the client’s home.

If this sounds like something you need, contact me here.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Cost of Dementia Care

Even though Alzheimers and other dementia-causing conditions have been around for a long time, most of us don't take the time to learn about what happens to a family when dementia enters the picture. Sometimes, we end up scrambling to find the right kind of care and to figure out how to pay for it. Even when you do your homework, finding and paying for long-term care is a daunting prospect.  

I read a great article this morning at Caring.com, called Paying for Memory Care: 7 Things to Know. It's a good starting place for thinking about planning for the future, not just for payment options, but for thinking about different kinds of care. The alarming cost of nursing homes and assisted living facilities isn't included in most family budgets.

At Brandywine Home Care, we can often provide a very cost-effective solution for families struggling with caring for a loved one with advancing dementia. One of our gifted, compassionate caregivers can supplement the care that you provide at home, with a personalized plan and schedule that fits your needs. Having a professional caregiver in your home can make all the difference for the health, safety and well-being of your loved one, and is often a great way to provide the right care, right at home, for much less than the cost of a memory care facility. 

For many of us, memory care facilities will still play a crucial part in the continuum of care. But a few extra months or even years caring for your loved one at home can be a gift to your family, as well as a benefit for your budget.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Caregivers Need Care

3.5 million of adult family caregivers care for someone 50+ years of age and 14.9 million care for someone who has Alzheimer's disease or other dementia.

Millions of Americans care for their aging and disabled loved ones at home. This is something we do for our families out of love, a sense of family duty, and oftentimes out of economic necessity. The times that we spend caring for a loved one can be precious times of bonding, sharing memories and honoring relationships. Yet, the act of caregiving often comes with a personal cost. "The close relationship between the caregiver and care recipient is a shared relationship with involved emotions, experiences, and memories, which can place a caregiver at higher risk for psychological and physical illness." Family caregivers can sacrifice their own health and well-being in the very act of caring for one that they love.

Get these and other caregiver statistics here.

Brandywine Home Care can help you provide the care your loved one needs. Our gifted, compassionate and trustworthy caregivers are there to care for your family.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day from Brandywine Home Care!

Happy Father's Day from Brandywine Home Care! Shalini and I were blessed with wonderful fathers who loved us and taught us so much about life, faith and family. They passed on values to us that are essential to the way we live our lives. And they loved our kids - their grandchildren.
Benjamin Peters, 1990

We miss them both, especially on Father's Day, but we're grateful for the gift that they were to us, and for the gifts that continue in our lives through their lives, their love and their influence. 

Hube Pickett, 1991
Both of our fathers experienced great health challenges late in their lives, and depended on family caregivers, as well as professionals both in and out of the home. As we work to provide care to people who need support to stay independent in their own homes, we remember our fathers, who were able to be at home, surrounded by family and friends, even as their health failed. 

And so we honor the memory of our fathers today, and we'll continue to honor them by remembering how important the care that they received at home was to them, for their comfort and peace of mind. 

If you are facing challenges with in-home caregiving, call us. We choose caregivers that we would trust them with our own family, so you can trust them with yours.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

High Percentage of Seniors Needing Help at Home

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a troubling report. It estimates that 75 percent of seniors who likely need home-based care are not receiving it. Here is an excerpt:

"Approximately Two-Thirds of People Age 60 and Older Who Have Difficulties with Daily Activities Receive Limited or No Home-Based Care, Though Some Improvements Seen Since 2008. 
An estimated 27 percent (about 16 million) of people age 60 and older likely need home-based care like the services provided by Title III programs because they report difficulties with one or more daily activities. Depending on the number and type of difficulty, between an estimated 67 and 78 percent of older adults who likely need home-based care do not receive help with all of their difficulties, according to our analysis of 2012 HRS data..." 

As the number of seniors in our population continues to rise, the numbers will increase.

"About One in Five People Age 65 and Older Potentially Need Transportation Services. About 20 percent of people age 65 and older are potentially at-risk for needing transportation services, such as those provided by Title III programs, according to our analysis of 2012 HRS data."

The need for these kinds of services is expected to continue to grow as the Baby Boomer generation ages. Many Boomers are now helping to provide care for their parents. 

We started Brandywine Home Care to help with these needs. Our caregivers provide the help needed in the home, and also help with transportation, accompanying our clients to doctor appointments, shopping trips and errands. This is part of our commitment to provide services that enable independence, dignity and peace of mind.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Making A Difference

This video has been showing up on my facebook newsfeed for a few days, and I finally took a few minutes to watch it - definitely worth it. A nursing home is a very different model of business from what we're doing at Brandywine Home Care, but the isolation that many elderly people experience, and the loneliness and depression that follows, is and will be a great concern for many of our clients. 
At Brandywine Home Care, we're working hard to make a difference for people who need a little help to stay independent in their homes. We're also working hard to care for our caregivers.

Take a few minutes to watch this video if you haven't already - it will add a little perspective and compassion to your day.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Caregiver Tips & Tricks (and a little facebook lesson)

I just read a great article by Amy Goyer, a caregiving and multigenerational issues expert. I also checked out her facebook page - a great resource for information on aging and caregiving. For those of you who do facebook, if you want to get notifications from someone like Amy, or from the Brandywine Home Care page, you need to check "like." But that's not all - see the "like" box that now says "liked?" Hover over it with your cursor, or click the little triangle in that box and also choose "Get Notifications." If you want to keep receiving articles from the page, click "like" on their articles regularly. Otherwise, facebook's algorithms will make it disappear. Thus ends the facebook lesson for today.

More importantly, Amy talks about some of the tips and tricks that make being a home caregiver easier. Some of the tech solutions she uses may be overkill for you, but then again, maybe a floor mat alarm is exactly what you need.

As my Dad's multiple myeloma increased his mobility challenges, this little Auto Assist Grab Bar made it much easier for him to get in and out of the car, and it's not expensive. We all know that grab bars in the bathroom help to prevent falls, but they can be tricky to install without the help of a professional, and just screwing them into plaster or drywall can even increase risk. Bars give the sense of confidence, but screws can easily rip out of plaster or drywall, making a fall even more likely than if the bars weren't there in the first place. Besides, there are many bathrooms where installing bars simply isn't an option. I like these rails that fasten directly to the toilet. They don't take up that much space, and again, they're not expensive.

At Brandywine Home Care, when our Care Coordinator makes a home visit to assess needs, we'll gladly do a brief home inspection as well, and suggest simple changes that can make your home safer.