Sunday, December 11, 2016

Tips for Choosing In-Home Caregivers For Your Elderly Loved One: Part 1

In-home senior care is not a one-person job. Even if you're the primary caregiver, you'll still need help from family and friends. In some cases, you may need help from respite in-home caregivers to lighten your load further. 

Nevertheless, selecting the right person for the task isn't easy. You have to be thorough with your screening process in order to choose someone you can trust. 

The best place to start is with your interview. Before sitting down to talk to a candidate, prepare a set of questions that will help you know more about their character. You won't find that kind of information on a resume, so you'll have to draw it out of them. 

Some questions to ask are: 

           What kind of patients have you taken care before?

           What is the most fulfilling part of being a caregiver?

           What is the most challenging part of being a caregiver

           Can you work the hours the patient needs?

           Is driving the patient around part of your service? 

Aside from general questions, present scenarios that you have experienced while providing in-home care to your elderly patient to see how the candidate would react.  

Examples are: 

* My mother doesn't want to perform the daily exercise regimen her doctor prescribed. What will you do? 

* My father with dementia escaped the house without his medical ID. How will you find him? 

Answers to such questions should give you a clear insight to the kind of person the in-home caregiver is and helps you select the best candidate for your elderly loved one.  At Home Care Advantage, we work hand in hand with families to ensure that there is a compatibly matched caregiver for your senior parent’s unique needs, not only physically and emotionally, but personality as well.   

For more information, visit our Website, join us on Facebook or call us at (707) 205-4343 to schedule your free in-home care giving assessment today!


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Helpful Suggestions for In Home Caregivers: Part 2

Just because you’ve accepted the role of primary caregiver doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Otherwise, you’ll soon burn out. Don’t let that happen when help is within reach:

             Family and friends

Approach them with a specific request. For example, if your sister is a great cook, you can ask her for help with preparing meals. When you appeal to people’s strong points, they’re more likely to say yes.

             Local community

Look for organizations that provide resources for caregivers. For optimum efficiency, use Eldercare Locator, a free public service of the US Administration on Aging. You can search by zip code, city, state, or topic.

             Medical personnel

Ask your counselor, your family member’s doctor, and other medical personnel involved in the patient's healthcare administration. Because they have a full understanding of your situation, they can give tailored advice.

             Online forums

Connect with people who are in the same position as you. Experienced caregivers can provide useful tips on in-home senior care, while new caregivers can offer comfort through the fact that you aren’t alone. Caregiver Action Network and Aging Care are good places to start.

             Professional services

Consider hiring experts in 24/7 elderly care who are bonded, insured, and qualified senior caregivers, such as our compassionate staff at Home Care Advantage. As respected professionals in the field, we know how to develop an effective caring plan that works best for you and your family member.  We also offer respite for those times you need a break!

Caregiving for seniors isn’t easy, but if it gets tough, be sure to reach out for support you need and know that we’ll be there for you. 

Our 24/7 care givers not only serve elderly folks who need in-home care in the following Sonoma County areas: Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Rohnert Park, Occidental, Kenwood and Windsor, to name a few, but we also strive help seniors be more socially active and enjoy better health and happiness. To learn more, follow us on Facebook or call us at (707) 205-4343 for an in-home assessment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Helpful Suggestions for In Home Caregivers: Part 1

Although caregiving is a fulfilling experience, it can also be a challenging one, especially if you are a younger family member who hasn't done it before. The additional responsibilities that come with in-home elderly care can feel heavy if you don't get enough support in your role as a caregiver.
But before you can accomplish your tasks effectively, you have to deal with your emotions first:
Fear -- You're worried about whether or not you're able to carry out your caregiving duties on top of your other responsibilities.
Anger -- You can't help but feel resentful that you're burdened with delivering caregiving services while your peers and family members are living a carefree life.
Guilt -- You love your elderly family member, so you feel bad about being angry at the thought of looking after them.
Grief -- You feel a sense of loss over the dreams you put on hold in order to become a caregiver, and also the health of your senior family member as they become frail in their old age.
Instead of denying the existence of these normal emotions, acknowledge and accept what you're feeling so that you can find the support system you need as soon as possible. You can turn to other family members or friends who are willing to lend an ear. If you're in touch with your spiritual side, you can go to a place of worship. You can also seek local and national caregiver organizations. If things get much tougher than you expected, don't hesitate to visit a therapist or a counselor. Always remember that good caregivers take care of themselves.
At Home Care Advantage, we provide in home assessments and respite care for family caregivers to ensure you have peace of mind when you need a break from caring for your elderly loved one in Santa Rosa, California and the surrounding Sonoma County region. Each in home senior caregivers is carefully vetted, bonded, insured, reliable and trustworthy.  Our elderly caregiving services are tailored to the requirements of individual clients to provide comfort and assistance to the people you care about most. 
Reach out to us on Facebook or call us at (707) 205-4343 for more information.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tips for Seniors to Improve Memory: Part 7

For several months now, we’ve been sharing tips on how to improve memory, and we can all agree that whether we’re a senior or not, we could all use some added positive mental, emotional, social and physical stimulation in our lives, not to mention improved healthy practices.  Although memory loss can be one of the biggest challenges of aging, it can be manageable as long as you're open to a lifestyle change.
So let’s recap the last several months of tips by starting with your diet.  Not only does a fish-rich diet boost your memory because of Omega 3s, but other natural “fats” such as organic, virgin, “un-refined”, cold pressed coconut oil (up to 4 tablespoonfuls a day!), avocados and walnuts are also excellent for recharging memory brain cells.  That coupled with antioxidants from fruits, especially berries and dark green leafy vegetables, helps your brain cells have a better chance against free radicals.
Start making healthy choices today to ensure you are feeding your brain and coordinate with your in home senior caregiver to help you maintain the nutrient rich diet you need.  Next on the list of memory tips would be to get up and dance! While exercise in general provides cognitive improvement, dancing in particular works best because of the way the brain is activated through dance steps coupled with music, which brings us to our next point.
Studies show that music stimulates the brain's left and right parts, so when you're dancing to a good tune, it’s like a double work out for your brain, and your body too. Above and beyond dancing, it is essential to listen to music all day, especially classical music, as it literally acts as a brain stimulant. Also remember to pick up your favorite musical instrument or learn a new one, as that triggers your brain to create new pathways to improve your memory, so start strumming on that guitar!
Another great way to exercise the brain is to expose it to added mental stimulation. Word and number games logic such as Sudoku, Scrabble, and card games are excellent ways keep your brain active -- plus they're fun! Of course, these games are best enjoyed with friends and lucky for you, socializing is also an awesome way to maintain your cognitive sharpness.
Interacting with people makes your memory sharper and steers you away from depression, which is a common problem for seniors receiving 24/7 in home elderly care. The feeling of isolation can creep in without the proper intervention. So reach out to friends and neighbors, young and old to come join in a fun afternoon of game playing and be sure to include your senior caregiver too!  If you want to take it a step further, sign up for volunteering, especially with children as there are some great programs coupling seniors with kids for a stimulation and meaningful experience.
At Home Care Advantage, we hire passionate and dedicated senior caregivers who not only care about your physical needs, but also care about your mental and emotional health as well, and are ready and willing to work with you in achieving the best qualify of life in your golden years!  We offer in home care giving services in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Windsor, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Occidental, Kenwood and all over Sonoma County.  Find us on Facebook to learn more, or call (707) 205-4343 for an in-home assessment today!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tips For Seniors To Improve Memory: Part 6

One of the biggest challenges of aging is memory loss, but you don't have to accept it without a fight. As we've shown in our series so far, there are several ways to keep your brain as sharp as it has always been, even when you’re receiving in home senior care. In fact, we're already at tip # 6, which is music!

Did you know that music stimulates every known part of the brain? Both the left and right hemispheres are activated when music is heard, with the left hemisphere of your brain focusing on the structure and the right hemisphere focusing on melody. This means that music delivers a total workout for the brain. 

Tip #6  Play a Musical Instrument  

But if you want to take it to another level, don't just listen to music--create it. Not only is playing music a productive hobby that makes good use of your free time, it's also an effective mental exercise that keeps the brain's processes fast, particularly for auditory signals. Called neural timing, this process slows down as people age (which is why caregiving for seniors often involves hearing aids)--though studies have shown that is not the case with musicians.

So pick up a musical instrument now and learn to play a song. It could be a ukulele, a grand piano, or a set of drums -- it doesn't matter what you choose. What's important is that you pick a musical instrument you'll love to play.  At Home Care Advantage, our in home caregiving service providers are aware of this need, so they'll happily adjust to including your newfound passion into the daily routine.

If you are a family member of a senior needing 24/7 caregiving services in Sonoma County, (Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sebastopol, Windsor, Healdsburg, Rohnert Park, Sonoma, Occidental etc.) please call us at (707) 205-4343 for an in-home assessment or message us directly through Facebook.  At Home Care Advantage, we are passionate about helping seniors to not only get the best in home caregiving services in the area, but also to provide helpful tips and positive stimuli to ensure they receive the dignity and honor they deserve.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Tips for Seniors to Improve Memory: Part 5

Are you feeling vibrant with all the antioxidants and Omega-3 super foods you’ve been taking since reading our blog? Have those endorphins been flowing, from kicking up your heels and dancing up a storm?  Is your mind buzzing from all brain games you’ve been playing?  Well, now it’s time to invite some friends over or have your in-home caregiver drive you to take part in some local volunteering to help charge your memory through some great social interaction!  

TIP #5 Socializing and Volunteering

For seniors, improving memory and protecting existing cognition needs extend beyond key nutrition, dancing, cognitive puzzles and other brain games. Often, something as simple, yet essential, as regular healthy social interaction, whether that be with friends or participating in volunteer actives, as it can make dramatic differences in health and well-being.

By definition, humans are social creatures and the more isolated we become, the more prone we are to depression, high blood pressure and memory loss. Unfortunately, seniors are more susceptible to isolation, which can further exacerbate other medical conditions. The good news is that there are simple ways to avoid isolation and reduce the effects of memory loss.

Over the years of offering in-home elderly care services here at Home Care Advantage, we have found that volunteering is a great way for seniors to socialize and engage in brain stimulating activities. Volunteering provides a sense of purpose, and you don't need a circle of friends to get started. Anyone can sign up with different organizations and make real contributions to both individuals and the community as a whole.

It is also a great way to put different generations in close contact with one another. Unlike a visit to the local senior center, where people interact with others within a certain age range, volunteering attracts people of any age. This creates an environment where everyone can put their best skills to use while also learning from one another.  Studies have shown that seniors who interact on a regular basis with children, whether that be within a family or volunteer setting, it not only helps with keeping your memory sharper, but also helps to alleviate depression.
Our 24/7 care givers not only serve elderly folks who need in-home care in the following Sonoma County areas: Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Rohnert Park, Occidental, Kenwood and Windsor, to name a few, but we also strive help seniors be more socially active and enjoy better health and happiness. To learn more, follow us on Facebook or call us at (707) 205-4343 for an in-home assessment.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tips for Seniors to Improve Memory: Part 4

Here’s a quick recap on the first 3 tips we shared for those who are trying to improve their memory…

Tip #1 Nutrition – as our brain continues to grow new neurons and repair the old, it needs a lot of Omega 3’s to be consumed to support that process.  Foods that are rich in Omega 3’s inclued; salmon, tuna, flax seed oil, walnuts, wheat germ and eggs.

Tip #2 Antioxidants – as people get older, substances called free radicals, which are floating through the bloodstream, will break down the brain cells.  When you eat antioxidant-rich food, such as blueberries, broccoli, carrots, garlic and red grapes, the antioxidants merge with the free radicals, making them harmless, while keep your brain cells healthy.
Tip #3 Dancing – yes, it’s true that studies prove dancing boosts memory for not only seniors, but enhances the brain function of people of all ages.  A 21 year long study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed dancing is the best exercise to improve a person’s cognitive skills, whatever age he or she might be.
While eating right and dancing will help improve your memory, don’t forget to also exercise your brain!
Tip #4 – Brain Exercises
One of the luxuries of retirement is that you don't have to spend your days at work with your brain always "on" and engaged in completing some project. You have worked for decades and deserve the freedom to catch up on TV shows you never had the time to watch, go fishing, or just sit and rock in your favourite rocking chair, but without regular stimulation, your brain can get plain lazy and forgetful, which is why exercising your mind is just as important as exercising your body.
If you had a high-stress career that was full of constant stimulation, don't worry. You don't have to keep up that same pace to keep your mind working at an optimal level. In fact, puzzles are a perfect way to continue to challenge your mind and build new synapses. Whether you enjoy crossword puzzles, sudoku or jigsaw puzzles, they will all work to keep your mind engaged. 
Playing word and number games that challenge your brain also help improve your memory as well.  Have a few friends over for a rigorous game of boggle, bridge or scrabble and enjoy some socializing with an element fun to add into your brain exercise regime!
As you experience different transitions in life, it is important to continue to pay attention to all aspects of your health. Fortunately, our in-home senior care givers in Sonoma County can help you stay on track and successfully incorporate memory-boosting activities into your daily routine. 
Call us for at (707) 205-4343 for a free in-home assessment or follow us on Facebook. Our Home Care Advantage team offers quality 24/7 elderly care giving services in Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Windsor, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Sonoma, Bodega Bay, Calistoga, Kenwood, Occidental, Geyserville, and Guerneville.

Friday, May 6, 2016


Now that you’ve already begun improving your memory by fishing for Omega 3’s and snacking on delicious antioxidant blueberries, it’s time to “step it up” a little – quite literally – and start dancing!  

Tip #3: Dance
Yes, it’s true. There are tons of studies that prove being footloose and fancy free, boosts memory for seniors, as well as enhancing the brain function of people of all ages, on a variety of levels. 
At Home Care Advantage, we believe it is crucial that our in home elderly care professionals encourage seniors in their care to exercise not only their mind, but also to engage with interactive exercises and even a little dancing!
Exercise is essential to staying healthy, both physically and mentally. A recent study from the University of Maryland revealed that exercise improves the efficiency of brain activity associated with memory. Even among seniors already dealing with mild cognitive impairment, moderate exercise that stayed within the recommended guidelines for older adults enhanced brain function and memory over the course of just a couple of months. 
The role of dancing in cognitive improvement has fascinated the scientific community for a number of years. To satisfy their curiosity, many academicians and researchers have carried out studies discerning dancing’s effect on a person’s knowledge. 
One of the recent studies that have proven the benefits of dancing on the brain is the one conducted by researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The 21 year long study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that dance is the best exercise to improve a person’s cognitive skills – whatever age he or she might be. 
The research, in fact, targeted senior citizens to determine which activity reduced the risk of dementia the most. The results came back showing that 76% of those who danced frequently exhibited lesser signs of dementia, compared to those who preferred doing only mental activity such as crossword puzzles and frequently reading.
We understand that it is often overwhelming to provide 24/7 care for your loved ones and that in home elderly care can become a drain on family members.  That’s why it’s critical to always have a back up plan where you can call on trusted care givers, who guarantee to cover your need for in home senior care giving 24/7. If providing care giving for your elderly parent may have gotten you down, try a little dancing jig to lighten the mood and your memory too!
At the end of the day, the health benefits of dancing go above and beyond improving your memory and increasing your cognitive acuity, as dancing also reduces stress, increases your serotonin levels and overall sense of well being! So what are you waiting for? Let’s dance!
Home Care Advantage offers active and compassionate 24/7 in home senior care giving services in Santa Rosa, CA as well as in surrounding regions; Sonoma, Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Bodega Bay, Calistoga, Occidental, Geyserville, Guerneville and Kenwood in beautiful Sonoma County.
Our mission is to provide the best in home senior care to bring your family and elderly loved ones peace of mind, all the time!  Connect with us on Facebook or call (707) 205-4343 for an in home assessment with expert Staffing Director, Kim McKenzie.  And don’t forget to encourage your elderly family member to kick up their heels and dance with you!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Tips for Seniors to Improve Memory: PART 2

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish, have you been eating your memory enhancing, Omega 3 fish? Nonsense, you say!  Maybe.  Maybe not.  If what Dr. Seuss once said --“I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells” – then perhaps fish and nonsense may both be good for your memory! 

Well, if you think our previous post was too fishy, here’s a significantly more delicious tip you may want to try to help protect your brain.   

Tip #2: Antioxidants 

As people get older, substances called free radicals, which are floating through the bloodstream, will break down the brain cells. If you don’t put up a fight, you’ll experience loss of memory as you age. However, there are a good deal of antioxidant food sources to choose from. Antioxidants will merge with these free radicals, making them harmless. Make sure you eat foods that have this healthy food source. Several good sources of antioxidants include:

Blueberries (other berries too)
Red grapes
Whole grains 

Whether we’re focusing on prevention or treatment, learning and managing neural medical conditions that affect memory loss should be addressed with compassion and treated accordingly. Home Care Advantage caregivers understand that the seniors they are providing 24/7 in home care for, might have degenerative or hereditary disease that can affect their memory or their cognitive functions.  Every caregiver is trained to carefully follow whatever medical treatment and exercise routine is recommended by medical professionals to help seniors improve their mental functions.
Elderly Care Giving Santa Rosa
At Home Care Advantage, we have caregivers who are reliable, affordable, and trustworthy. Our elderly caregiving services and specialized packages are tailored to meet the requirements of individual clients to provide comfort and assistance to the people you care about.  You may reach out to us on Facebook or call us at (707) 205-4343 for more information on our 24/7 in-home care giving services in Sonoma County, California.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tips for Seniors to Improve Memory: Part 1

Everyone’s heard the old joke, “there are three signs of old age: loss of memory…oh no, I forgot the other two.” Even if that little quip made you laugh, you don’t have to buy into the idea of resigning yourself to forgetting as you grow older…

While there is definitely evidence that memory lapses tend to increase with age, as we learn more and more about the brain, there are many ways to combat memory loss. Although for many years, medical experts assumed that memory loss and old age went hand in hand, extensive brain research has uncovered  new insights into the matter—“gray matter” that is—with many new discoveries that are actually very encouraging!

For instance, when mental exercises and cognitive test methods were applied regularly to seniors, the hovering danger of memory loss was averted.  Engaging in healthy social interaction also ranked high in memory enhancement studies. In addition, diet seems to play a much larger role than first thought in enhancing memory.

Here at Home Care Advantage, our in-home elderly caregivers make it our mission to not only serve seniors by attending to their physical needs, but by providing encouragement on how to improve healthy mental and emotional care as well.

We’d like to offer some great tips on how seniors can may improve their memory, enhance their brain’s functionality and preserve memories:

TIP #1: Nutrition – a nutritious diet can do wonders for the overall health of seniors and certain foods have been known to improve memory as well.

Medical professionals claim not only seniors, but people of all ages need to ensure we work on building up our ongoing brain development with healthy fats.  Did you know that the majority of the cell structure in the brain consists of healthy fats, including the most important healthy fats, called Omega-3 fatty acids?  As the brain continues to grow new neurons and repair the old, it needs a lot of Omega 3’s to be consumed to support that process!

Here’s a short list of some of the best whole food sources to get your Omega-3’s from, in order of importance:

Alrighty then, enough food for thought on improving your memory…I think it may be time for lunch now…fish anyone?

To know more about our in-home care Santa Rosa services and our dedication to elderly care giving, feel free to join our Facebook family or simply follow us on Twitter. In order to know if Home Care Advantage is the right fit for you or your elderly loved one, please call us at 707-205-4343 to request a free in-home assessment from Staffing Director Kim McKenzie herself, to ensure that the people you love get the best care that they deserve.

Friday, February 5, 2016

4 Essential Elements To Watch For When Searching For In-Home Elderly Care

There comes a time when family members may no longer be able to handle the care giving of their aging parents.  While no one can be a substitute for family care, whether the strain of an elderly family member needing care is physical or emotional or both, when the time comes to hire a caregiver, we would like to share 4 essential elements to watch for when searching for the best option for your loved one.  Above and beyond the critical elements of finding a care giving agency that is fully bonded, insured and trustworthy, it is essential to also look for an agency that trains its caregivers to add that special touch of care and attention for your loved ones. 

When the necessities of life have become a burden, and your aging parent is no longer able to bath themselves, or remember where they last put their glasses, even forgetting the names of their close ones, or feeling difficulty in getting up from the chair, matter what age, the primary purpose of the care giving agency you choose should not only provide excellent 24/7 in home care, but also implement the following “extra” caring essentials: 

1.            Incorporation of Mood Boosters in Daily Routine

Life gets all the more difficult when frictional physical mobility or diseases like Hypertension, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Dementia interfere with daily routine.  Be sure you look for an agency that incorporates mood-boosting techniques in their elderly care giving services. It helps improve old age hormonal balance and also enables your elderly loved one to enjoy the most vulnerable time of their lives in an anxiety-free manner.

2.            Responsiveness to Subtle Clues

Not every person has the ability to explain pain or feelings of discomfort. When an elderly person requests a foot massage, the purpose may be to get comfortable, but it may also be to get comfort and relief from emotional pain. Make sure the agency you hire has caregivers who are well trained in perceiving subtle clues to ensure proper awareness of your elderly parent’s needs.

3.            Interpretation of Actions

Communication is one of the weakest links in all of our lives today. Even modern families do not communicate the way the generations before us used to communicate. While technology has bridged the gap in engaging in “instant” virtual communication, it has also pulled interpersonal communication apart, and this is what our elderly relatives miss the most. When the elderly miss their families or become homesick for the past, they can become anxious and often communicate it with their actions. Rudeness and reduced appetite are only two signs of anxiety. Just like a mother must learn to understand the needs of her crying baby, in-home caregivers need to be able to accurately interpret the behavior of your loved one’s needs so that they can to unveil any problem areas.

4.            Adaptability to In-Home Care Management

It is essential to not only look for in-home care giving services that offer 24/7 care, but to also ensure that caregivers are trained to fully adapt to and implement the best in-home care management practices, including, but not limited to the following.

             Medical alert reporting

             Regular and safe mealtime assistance

             Bathing and bathroom assistance

             Mobility assistance

             Communication training

             Assistance for visually and hearing impaired

             Mood management

             In-home culture management

             Routine hygiene maintenance such as shaving and dental care

We hope these 4 Essential Tips were helpful in your search to find the best care-giving agency to provide the in-home senior care you need.  At Home Care Advantage Care Giving Agency, our caregivers strive to provide all of the above essentials and more, while offering 24/7 guaranteed coverage to bring peace of mind to the elderly we serve, as well as to their families—all the time.  Call us today (707) 205-4343 for a free in-home assessment, as we would be more than happy to work with you to ensure your needs are met in providing excellent compassionate in-home care for your elderly loved one.