Sunday, January 5, 2020

Gentleness Is Key to Personal Home Care Services


At Visiting Angels Newton/Canton, our personal care program is vital to the safety and well-being of seniors. Unlike companion care, which covers less intensive caregiving needs, personal care provides seniors with assistance for daily living activities such as dressing, grooming, and bathing.
Given the sensitive nature of these activities, personal care providers need special skill sets to perform these tasks. One particularly important quality—that is often overlooked is gentleness. And not just physical gentleness, but emotional gentleness, too.

Home caregiver providing grooming assistance to senior adult woman

Physical Gentleness
When you consider the activities personal care entails, physical gentleness seems like a given. After all, you don’t want to be rough when helping seniors in or out of the shower or when brushing their teeth. 
Gentleness may suddenly seem like a tall order. When you help a person into and out of the shower, it takes a great deal of physical effort, and your main priority is injury prevention, not comfort. Meanwhile, simple activities like tooth brushing can be tricky to get right. Even with the best intentions, home care aides may struggle to apply the right amount of pressure or use the proper brushing technique. A mistake in one direction can lead to oral health problems. An error in the other direction can inflict pain during brushing, especially to sensitive gums.
Without training or experience, caregivers can fail to strike the right balance when performing personal care tasks. And seniors who receive assistance may be unwilling or unable to speak up, causing them to endure pain and discomfort quietly.
That’s why it’s so crucial that personal home care providers perform their jobs well and gently. For example, they know how to safely transfer seniors into the tub or shower without causing discomfort or comb an elderly adult’s hair while navigating painful knots. In short, they know how to attend to their clients’ physical well-being without compromising physical comfort. 
Emotional Gentleness
In personal care, it’s not enough to be physically gentle. Caregivers must also exhibit emotional gentleness toward seniors who feel uncomfortable and sensitive when needing personal care, which makes sense when you consider many of the private acts personal caregivers provide. Few of us would feel comfortable dressing or bathing in someone else’s presence. These emotions are only compounded by the loss of independence that many individuals feel in these moments. 
Navigating these moments takes a great deal of emotional intelligence and compassion on the part of caregivers; it’s a critical part of the job. If a client receives care and feels embarrassed or powerless afterward, a caregiver has failed to impact their quality of life positively.
Compassionate caregivers understand this and take an equally gentle approach to the emotional components of personal care. They talk clients through care when appropriate, they stay quiet when silence is needed, and they remain attentive to the emotional sensitivities of caregiving. They also take time to check in regularly with their care recipient asking questions and seeking feedback to ensure they are not overstepping any unforeseen boundaries. 
At Visiting Angels Newton/Canton, we are passionate about providing in-home living assistance that is gentle, both physically and emotionally. Our caregivers are chosen because they share this same passion. We take the time to get to know your loved one personally, to understand their needs, and to put them at ease. Dignified, compassionate, gentle home care is always our top priority. 
Contact us today to request a free personal care consultation!
Our Caregivers
Visiting Angels Newton/Canton has an outstanding team of Caregivers who work tirelessly to provide quality care to our Clients. Our Caregivers are CNA or HHA certified. They must provide three professional references and have professional experience in the home care field. We perform both the MA state criminal record check (CORI) and national background screening(s) on each potential employee. Caregivers must pass an extensive home care exam and are interviewed at length by two Case Managers. Our new Caregivers complete a full orientation training, which includes a specialized dementia care program.
About Visiting Angels Newton/Canton:
Visiting Angels Newton/Canton MA is an award-winning local home care agency providing in-home care services to the elderly and people with disabilities. Countless families have benefited from our Alzheimer's home care, dementia care, companion care, senior care, respite support, transitional aid, and senior home care in Westwood, Norwood, Brookline, Watertown, Needham, Dedham, Canton, Stoughton, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Roslindale, and nearby towns.
We are honored to have been awarded Top Places to Work by the Boston Globe for five years. We have also earned the Best of Home Care – Leader in Excellence, Trusted Provider, Best of Home Care Provider, and Best of Home Care Employer by Home Care Pulse. We are proudly accredited by The Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.
While non-medical in nature, the care provided by Visiting Angels Newton/Canton can make a significant impact on your loved one's happiness and quality of life. Call us at 617-795-2727 for information.



Thursday, December 19, 2019

4 Common Concerns About Respite Home Care


At one point or another, many of us act as the caregiver for an aging spouse, parent, or grandparent. Most people find caregiving manageable in the early stages. But as your loved one ages and their needs become more intensive, you could find yourself at a growing risk for caregiver burnout. To avoid burnout, it’s crucial that you ask for help, either from other family members or through respite care services.

Home health aide assisting senior adult with house chores


With traditional home care services, the majority of caregiving tasks are performed by professional caregivers, with family caregivers acting in a support role. With respite care, the roles are reversed. Family caregivers remain the primary care providers, but they’re supported by professional caregivers. This way, family caregivers can reduce their risk of suffering caregiver burnout.

With respite care, you can rely on professional caregivers to:
  • Offer a helping hand with difficult or stressful care activities.
  • Look after your loved one when you have other commitments.
  • Help you find time to attend to your well-being.
  • Provide guidance and support in confusing or difficult situations.

Despite the clear benefits of respite care, many people are hesitant to hire these services. Often, family caregivers feel guilty about reducing their caregiving workload. Other times, they worry about their loved one’s security and safety. In some instances, they’re concerned that in-home elder care is a bad fit for their finances, lifestyle, or schedule.
Thankfully, many of these concerns are easily addressed by hiring the right home care agency.

  • Can my family afford respite services?

Respite services, like other types of home care, are typically provided by the hour. While hourly rates and minimum visit lengths will vary from agency to agency, this will give you financial flexibility when scheduling care. Most agencies will happily work with you to minimize home care costs, where possible.
  • Will care be scheduled in a way that works for me and my loved one?

Do you need respite services for a specific day and time each week? Are you worried about maintaining your loved one’s routine? If so, you might be concerned about your options for respite care schedule. Once again, scheduling policies will vary between different agencies. However, the vast majority of respite care providers will provide you with options that fit your needs, routine, and lifestyle.
  • How will caregivers respond to my loved one’s unique needs?

Caregiving is extraordinarily personal. Every care recipient has his or her unique needs, limitations, and preferences, so care must be customized on a person-to-person basis. A high-quality caregiving agency will take pains to personalize your senior’s care services.
  • What if my loved one needs specialized care?

Seniors who are coping with significant physical or cognitive decline may require specialized care. If your loved one needs assistance with personal activities like bathing or toileting, you’ll need an agency that provides personal care services on a respite basis. Similarly, if your loved one is coping with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, you’ll need caregivers who are trained in memory care.

Learn more about respite care services and request a free consultation by contacting Visiting Angels Newton/Canton today!

About Visiting Angels Newton/Canton:
Visiting Angels Newton/Canton MA is an award-winning local home care agency providing in-home care services to the elderly and people with disabilities. Countless families have benefited from our Alzheimer's home care, dementia care, companion care, senior care, respite support, transitional aid, and at home living assistance in Canton, Stoughton, Westwood, Brookline, Watertown, Needham, Dedham, Norwood, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Roslindale, and nearby towns.

We to have been awarded a Top Places to Work by the Boston Globe for five years. We have also earned the Best of Home Care – Leader in Excellence, Trusted Provider, Best of Home Care Provider, and Best of Home Care Employer by Home Care Pulse. We are proudly accredited by The Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.

While non-medical in nature, the care provided by Visiting Angels Newton/Canton can make a significant impact on your loved one's happiness and quality of life. Call us at 617-795-2727 for information.


Friday, December 6, 2019

Protecting Your Senior from Medical Identity Theft


One of the most significant benefits of senior home care services is an increased sense of safety. When you hire a caregiver for an elderly loved one, they can safeguard your loved one’s physical well-being, helping them stay healthy and avoid injury. At the same time, a caregiver can provide peace of mind about your loved one’s tosecurity, helping them steer clear of scammers, fraudsters, and other criminals.

The rise of medical fraud has underscored the need to protect seniors from scammers. Cases of medical identity theft have increased in recent years, with seniors among the most targeted demographics. This year, scammers have been using the new style of Medicare cards as a way to trick seniors into giving up sensitive personal information.

If you’re worried that your loved one could A caregiver’s presence may thwart attempts at medical identity theft by one of these scams, senior home care services can offer peace of mind. Seniors are most vulnerable to scammers when they’re alone. A caregiver from a reputable senior homecare agency will give your loved one someone they can turn to when they get a strange call, receive a suspicious email, or find someone on their doorstep asking odd questions.

home caregiver assists elderly woman with documents

How Senior Homecare Services Help

It’s no coincidence that elderly adults who need at-home living assistance the most are also likely targets for scams. These include older adults who live alone, suffer from chronic physical disability, or are experiencing cognitive decline or dementia. All of these factors increase seniors’ risk of health and wellness problems, as well as their vulnerability for criminal targeting.

In-home care services can help seniors manage isolation, physical disability, and cognitive decline. In doing so, home care providers can increase physical and mental wellness, while also shielding seniors from different types of scams and fraud.

Attempts at medical identity theft may be thwarted by a caregiver’s presence. Right now, many of the most common medical identity theft scams involve the new Medicare cards. Some of the tactics used by scammers include:
  • Claiming that seniors need to pay an activation fee in order to use the new cards.
  • Claiming the card is frozen and asking seniors to unfreeze by “confirming” their social security number or Medicare number.
  • They are claiming that seniors are owed a refund related to the new card and asking for private information or financial data.
Typically, these scams are conducted over the phone, though there are instances of email and door-to-door scams as well.

When seniors are targeted by these scams, having someone else present can make a huge difference, scammers will try to exploit older adults who are unfamiliar with new technologies or who are suffering from cognitive decline. If someone else is present, they are often able to recognize what’s happening and intervene.

Unfortunately, many seniors don’t have someone else around when this happens. Many of them live alone and are separated from family by long distance. Others live with or near family members but are alone during the day when family members go to work.

If you have an elderly loved one in this situation, and you’re worried about their safety and security, senior home care services could be the solution. With senior homecare services, your loved one will have a home care aide present on a full-time or part-time basis, reducing their risk of falling victim to medical identity theft. Because of their experience with other seniors, many caregivers are able to quickly identify scams, further reducing the chances of victimization.

It’s important to note, however, that medical identity theft isn’t practiced solely by hardened criminals. Often, seniors are defrauded by those close to them, including predatory family members or untrustworthy caregivers.

In light of this, it’s crucial that you hire senior homecare services from a reputable agency, like Visiting Angels Newton/Canton. Ask questions about the security measures taken by different providers and take the time to find an agency — and a caregiver — that you can trust.

About Visiting Angels Newton/Canton:
Visiting Angels Newton/Canton MA is an award-winning local home care agency providing high caliber in-home care services to the elderly and people with disabilities. Countless families have benefited from our Alzheimer's and dementia care, companion care, respite support, transitional aid, and in-home elder care services in Dedham, Needham, Norwood, Westwood, Brookline, Watertown, Canton, Stoughton, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Roslindale, and nearby towns.

We are honored to have been awarded Top Places to Work by the Boston Globe for five years. We have also earned the Best of Home Care – Leader in Excellence, Trusted Provider, Best of Home Care Provider, and Best of Home Care Employer by Home Care Pulse. We are proudly accredited by the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.

To discuss your options for professional, in-home care, call Visiting Angels Newton/Canton at 617-795-2727 today!



Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Long-Distance Caregiving Services For Seniors


What is long-distance caregiving? Long-distance caregiving refers to the times when a family needs to find at home living assistance for a loved one who does not live in their area. For example, your mom and dad still live in your family’s home stat, while you and your siblings have moved out of state. What do you do when your parent needs help, and you can’t relocate to be there for them? Long-distance caregiving is the answer.

At Visiting Angels Newton/Canton, we recognize that not all families live close together. In today’s fast-paced world, adult children are relocated for jobs, parents move for retirement and sometimes retired adult children relocate far from where their parents have retired. No matter why you live far away from a loved one, you don’t have to worry if they need care. Our long-distance caregiving services can help.

home health aide with elderly adult

Getting Started with Long-Distance Caregiving

When you find yourself in need of care for a loved one who lives in Newton, Canton, Needham, Wellesley, Brookline, Natick, Westwood, Dedham, Norwood, Stoughton, Roslindale, Watertown, and nearby areas, call Visiting Angels Newton/Canton at 617-795-2727 anytime. Our friendly and helpful team can help you get started with in-home care services. Over the phone, they will discuss topics that include:

  • Your parent or loved one’s location
  • Where you live (for reference)
  • What care needs your loved one has
  • How often you believe your loved one will need care
  • How long these care visits should last
  • If your loved one can or would like to be involved in the discussion of caregiving choices
  • If your loved one has any chronic care conditions, we should be aware of (for example dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other conditions)


Once we have the basics established, we can discuss setting up a free, no-obligation one-on-one visit by one of our case managers at your loved one’s home. The case manager will meet with your loved one and go over the guidelines you have established and to see if there is anything else that may concern them.

From here it’s easy, we’ll match your family member with a carefully screened home caregiver who can meet your loved one’s needs and scheduling requirements. The home health aide will visit based on the schedule determined and provide feedback to the case manager. Our team will keep in regular contact with your family to ensure we are meeting all your needs.

Visiting Angels Newton/Canton provides a variety of non-medical elder care on an hourly, overnight, respite, and 24-hour care basis. Care plans include a range of services that attend to personal care, housekeeping, personal hygiene, meal preparation, transportation, medication reminders, and more. We also offer a cognitive health program as well as dementia & Alzheimer’s home care.

If you are concerned about the well-being of a loved one who lives far from you, long-distance caregiving can provide the solution you need. Call Visiting Angels Newton/Canton today at 617-795-2727 for a free in-home consultation!

About Visiting Angels Newton/Canton:

Visiting Angels Newton/Canton MA is an award-winning local home care agency providing high caliber in-home care services to the elderly and people with disabilities. Countless families have benefited from our Alzheimer's care, dementia home care, companion care, senior care, respite support, transitional aid, and at home living assistance services in Westwood, Norwood, Brookline, Watertown, Needham, Dedham, Canton, Stoughton, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Roslindale, and nearby towns.

We are honored to have been awarded Top Places to Work by the Boston Globe for five years. We have also earned the Best of Home Care – Leader in Excellence, Trusted Provider, Best of Home Care Provider, and Best of Home Care Employer by Home Care Pulse. We are proudly accredited by the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

When Your Loved One Rejects Home Care


Maybe you’ve been concerned about your mom recently. As she ages, you’re noticing a few worrisome signs that her needs at home are about to evolve beyond her independence. Sure, you’d love to stop by the house more frequently to help, but with a career and family schedule, it’s nearly impossible for you to take on this massive responsibility. It's a typical scenario in families, and it usually results in uprooting a senior to a nursing home or assisted living facility or retaining professional home care.

However, people can be stubborn, especially parents who may be insecure about a type of "role reversal" happening. Your parent not only refuses to leave home, but Mom or Dad is rejecting the very idea of a professional caregiver.

So how do you get them on board when they want to stay home but don’t want help from a professional caregiver? Here are five ways to find a caregiving compromise.

Elderly woman deep in thought

Talk Through Their Fears — and Yours

It’s not easy for your parents to admit they need help. The thought of having another person in the home to help them perform tasks that used to be routine could make them quite uncomfortable. Of course, over time, that professional home health aide can become a close friend and partner, but it may take a while and trust-building.

Work through these fears with your parents instead of forcing a solution. When an adult child becomes too controlling, the resistance from your parents is bound to increase. A 2004 study from SUNY Albany found this to be accurate, stating that participants were ambivalent about receiving care and “use a variety of strategies to deal with their ambivalent feelings, such as minimizing the help they receive, ignoring or resisting children’s attempts to control.”

Though you may be frustrated by rejection and reticence, put yourself in their shoes. Be understanding, and once your parent feels understood, explain your point of view. Remember not to be patronizing or disrespectful, but share your genuine concerns about being able to stay home safely.

More Dancing, Less Wrestling

An expert in geriatric communication and family relationships, David Solie, wrote a book about the best ways to navigate these difficult conversations. It was called “How to Say It to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders.” Solie recommends the partnership approach and advocates for adult children to “put control on the table” rather than commandeering the process. He believes conversations about care should be “more dancing, less wrestling.”

To that end, he offers many tools to talk in more concrete, visual ways about the current situation and the proposed solution. His "dance cards" provide go-to strategies on topics like resetting expectations and minding the gap, and his caregiver “mind maps” allow a caregiver to lay out in detail all the aspects of care to be considered. You could also keep a journal of your parents’ changing in-home senior care needs. All of these checklists and resources are especially helpful in getting buy-in from siblings as well, as your parents may not be the only ones opposed to bringing in-home care.

Consider the Risks

Staying home without any support can be risky. For one family, an aging spouse refused any at-home living assistance. The family has been worried about his waning mobility. Ultimately, he suffered a fall, which led to a hospitalization and, unfortunately, his passing — as he was not able to recover from the injuries he sustained. While no family can be fully prepared for a fall or other type of sudden health event, there are ways to prevent injuries and incidents that lead to such devastating outcomes — and having a professional caregiver as a presence in the home is one of them.

Of course, not every fall results in such a tragic outcome; however, the road to recovery can be a turbulent one for a senior who has fallen. Along with doubling the risk of falling again after falling just once, the sheer financial impact can be crippling.

All of this is to say, the risk of leaving Mom or Dad alone when he or she needs help isn't worth it, and you must discuss the risks with your parent.

Work With a Mediator

You’ve explored every avenue of persuasion, using all the logic at your disposal, but it may be there is just no convincing Mom or Dad that this is the best option. That’s when bringing in a neutral third party to moderate the conversation could make a difference in the outcome. Sometimes your parents need to hear the options, risks, benefits, and challenges presented by someone who is not as emotionally invested as you are. A mediator may also help lessen the guilt burden many parents put on their children for considering home care. AARP offers these resources for finding a mediator, should this approach work best for your family.

Present Options and Let Them Choose

Empower your parents to decide on home care by gathering information on some providers. Ask for their input: what do they value in a home care company? What’s the budget? Talk about what a professional caregiver can do that they maybe never considered as an option: like providing companionship, or helping with housework and transportation to doctor’s appointments. Once you’ve gathered information on a few options, sit down together to discuss the pros and cons.

Remember: even as you partner with a professional caregiver, you will still play an essential role as coordinator and advocate. Your opinion on a trusted in-home caregiver is equally valuable.

Need more advice on building consensus on home care among the family? Visiting Angels Newton/Canton can help. Contact us today at 617-795-2727.

About Visiting Angels Newton/Canton:
Visiting Angels Newton/Canton MA is an award-winning local home care agency providing high caliber in-home care services to the elderly and people with disabilities. Countless families have benefited from our Alzheimer's care, dementia home care, companion care, senior care, respite support, transitional aid, and at home living assistance services in Westwood, Norwood, Brookline, Watertown, Needham, Dedham, Canton, Stoughton, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Roslindale, and nearby towns.

We are honored to have been awarded Top Places to Work by the Boston Globe for five years. We have also earned the Best of Home Care – Leader in Excellence, Trusted Provider, Best of Home Care Provider, and Best of Home Care Employer by Home Care Pulse. We are proudly accredited by the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.

While non-medical in nature, the care provided by Visiting Angels Newton/Canton can make a significant impact on your loved one's happiness and quality of life. Call us at 617-795-2727 for information.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Finding a Compatible Home Care Provider

Finding the right home care provider for your spouse, parent, or grandparent can be difficult. Thanks to our Select Your Caregiver® program, Visiting Angels® makes it easy for care recipients and their families to find a compatible home care provider. We’ve been matching clients with qualified, skilled, and compassionate caregivers for more than two decades. We know what it takes to find the right fit, and we understand how important and impactful your choice of caregiver will be.

If you’re currently looking for a home care provider and you’re unsure what to look for in a caregiver, don’t worry. By focusing on the following three qualities, you will quickly narrow down the list of potential caregivers.

Home health aides for Boston, Dover, Weston, Natick, Wellesley, Canton, Newton, Brookline, Watertown, Newton, Dedham, Needham, Westwood, Norwood


1. Caregiving Skills & Experience

Home care is a wide-ranging industry, encompassing many different types of care services. On one end of the spectrum is companion care, which provides aging and disabled individuals with a helping hand for necessary, day-to-day activities. On the other end, are various types of specialized care for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities.

If your loved one only requires essential in-home living assistance — help running errands, making meals, doing laundry — a companion care provider will be suitable. Other types of care will require a caregiver with specialized skills and experience. This includes physical assistance, as well as specialized care services such as Alzheimer’s care and dementia care.

Before meeting with in-home care agencies, it’s a good idea to draw up a list of tasks that your loved one will need from his or her caregiver. Consider researching caregiving activities online so that you don’t forget anything. This will also allow you to familiarize yourself with which types of caregivers provide which kinds of services.

When meeting with potential in-home care agencies, it is helpful to review this list with them in detail. Ask them whether they provide each of the services your loved one will need. Also, check whether the caregivers are CNA or HHA-certified caregivers; they have training or experience providing these services to seniors. Finally, make sure that they are adequately licensed for whatever level of care your loved one requires.

2. Choose a Home Care Aide with Personality

When hiring a home care provider, a caregiver’s personality can be as important as his or her professional skill set. On a basic level, this will ensure that your loved one trusts his or her caregiver. Without this trust, high-quality home care service can be unhelpful.

On a deeper level, the right personality fit can be the difference between substandard care and the right caregiver. Your loved one will spend several hours a week with their caregiver, so it’s vital that a strong relationship is established. When personalities clash, home care visits are a chore for both parties. However, with the right fit, a caregiver can feel like a new member of the family.

As you meet with caregivers, it’s crucial that you and your loved one get a feel for each caregiver as a person. Will your loved one feel comfortable receiving care from this individual? Will your loved one enjoy conversations or quiet time in this person’s presence? Will you and your family feel at ease with this caregiver looking after your loved one? Trust your instincts and make sure that you, your loved one, and your family are happy with the final decision.

3. Caregiver Availability & Scheduling

The third important factor when choosing a compatible home care provider is scheduling and availability. While some seniors only require a few hours of care every week, others require assistance on a full-time basis or even 24-hour care. The more intensive your loved one’s caregiving needs, the more challenging it can be to find a caregiver with suitable availability.

At the same time, many seniors are set in their day-to-day routines and preferences. It’s important that these routines are maintained or accommodated when scheduling home care visits. If your loved one enjoys sleeping in, early morning visits could be disruptive. If they enjoy afternoon walks, you’ll want to make sure that a caregiver is there to accompany them.

While scheduling and availability are important in a home caregiver, sometimes it’s worth making the sacrifice for the right caregiver. If, for example, you’ve found a caregiver with the ideal skill set and personality, but your loved one would need to take their daily walk an hour later each day, a slight change in your loved one’s routine may be worth it to get the caregiver you feel is the right fit.

Are you looking for qualified home care providers in your area? Contact us today for a free in-home consultation.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

What Skills Matter Most for Personal Care?

If you have a loved one who requires in-home care, you will want to determine which type of services they need. The two most common types are companion care and personal care. Companion care focuses on activities like errands, meal preparation, and light housekeeping. Personal care covers these tasks, but also includes activities that require physical assistance, such as dressing and bathing.

Both types of services require different skills from home caregivers. However, the physical aspects of personal care can be quite skill-intensive. Also, individual care recipients often suffer from chronic health conditions or a form of disability, further highlighting the importance of having experienced caregivers.

So if you’re looking for a personal caregiver to assist a loved one, here are the skills that matter most.

private duty care provider in Boston, Newton, Canton, Wellesley, Natick, Watertown, Brookline, Westwood, Norwood, Needham and Dedham


Skills to Look for in Personal Care Providers

Physical Assistance
Personal care or private duty care is typically distinguished from companion care by tasks involving physical assistance. These include things like dressing and grooming, bathing and toileting, mobility assistance, or helping an individual from one position to another.
Any time that a caregiver provides physical assistance, they need to ensure the client’s safety and comfort: This requires more skill than many people realize.

So if you’re hiring personal care services, it’s crucial that you find a home care provider who can keep your loved one safe and comfortable.

Cleanliness & Hygiene
Many individuals who receive personal care are at increased risk of bacterial or viral infections. 

If an infection occurs, many of them are also at increased risk of hospitalization.
Caregivers can help prevent infections in elderly adults by maintaining high standards of cleanliness and hygiene. They take care to frequently clean and sanitize their hands. They help clients maintain high standards of personal hygiene by assisting in their bathing, dressing, and laundry needs.

Personal care is only one part of preventing infections among care recipients. However, it’s vital that you choose a home care aide who understands the role of cleanliness and hygiene.

Knowledge & Awareness
If you speak with professional caregivers or care administrators, they’ll tell you how necessary experience is to care providers.

One area where this knowledge proves useful is client monitoring. As caregivers tend to their clients, they monitor for changes in behavior, cognition, coordination, strength, emotional wellness, and other areas. This way, they can detect signs of decline early and alert the client or the client’s family, and case manager promptly. Caregivers may also keep care logs upon the client’s family’s request.

Many of these changes are subtle or gradual, so they go unnoticed without a caregiver present. However, with a knowledgeable and observant personal care provider, they’re less likely to go undetected.

Well-informed caregivers also know how to respond in unusual and urgent situations. Many caregivers have the fundamental skills for day-to-day caregiving, but when the unexpected happens, you want an experienced and educated professional.

Communication & Compassion
The best caregivers have excellent interpersonal skills, and personal care providers are no exception.

Think about some of the activities that personal care entails. Few people feel comfortable dressing, bathing, or going to the bathroom with the assistance of another person. It takes an extraordinary level of respect, understanding, and care to put clients at ease during these activities. The best personal care providers possess these qualities in spades.
Skilled caregivers are also capable communicators, both with their clients and their clients’ families.

Caregivers who communicate poorly will often leave clients confused about why specific care tasks are being performed or feeling like their wishes and preferences aren’t being considered. Proper caregiver-client communication can resolve these issues, improving quality of care.

It’s also important that caregivers communicate with family members of their clients. Without adequate communication, problems can go unreported, important care tasks can go unperformed (or get performed twice), and trust between care providers and family members might erode. Active communication will ensure that everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goals.

Visiting Angels Newton/Canton has an outstanding team of caregivers who work tirelessly to provide quality care to our clients. Contact us today at 617-795-2727 for a free in-home consultation!