How to Care for Your Aging Parents from a Distance

How to Care for Your Aging Parents from a Distance

Being a long-distance caregiver can seem impossible but it can be done. Long distance caregivers are just as important as caregivers that are in the home providing the physical care.  As our family member ages, the caregiving that a family member can offer from a distance is vital. 

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Our Caring Homecare Staff

This post is dedicated to our amazing staff who we think are the finest team for home health care in the Conway, Wolfeboro, Wakefield, NH, and Sanford, ME areas. This post serves two purposes.

1 . It gives us opportunity to boast about this truly amazing team of caregivers, and 2. We'd also like to let them know how much they are appreciated. We do our best to make them feel appreciated and to let them know they are valued, but putting it here sort of carves it in stone for all the world to see. 

First: Their care for their clients is of the highest standard

they:

  • Give their clients family peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are cared for.

  • Work long tiresome hours

  • Sleep away from home (and their family) at times to care for clients through the night

  • Are willingly woken up on those nights by clients needing their assistance (some nights numerous times)

  • Work holidays so their clients are not unattended

  • Perform tasks many people would not be willing to perform

  • Treat their clients with a high level of dignity and respect

  • Perform little "extras" in the clients home to let the clients know they are appreciated and to put a wow in their clients day

  • and so much more

Second: They care for each other.

In the homecare field it would be very easy to establish the "I'm an island" mentality as more often than not, the caregiver is working alone in the clients home with the client. They are not with other caregivers or staff. Yet I hear comments on a regular basis which reveal the level of care these caregivers have for one another, for their team. When one of them is offered a shift and she says "I can do that shift but why don't you offer it to so and so, I know she could use the work", that is team spirit, it is a type of caring which is of the heart and can not be faked. It is a care which is reflected in their care for their clients. It also shows when one of our caregivers goes out of her way to drive a lunch to a fellow caregiver whom she knows took on a spur of the moment shift. I want you all to know those things are noticed, not only by us in management but by our clients and their families, and those things all add up to the awesome team you are. 

To read what our home health care clients and their families think about our caregivers please see our page of testimonials.

Thanks For All You Do!

  

 

 

Things to Consider When Hiring a Home Healthcare Agency

We understand that providing care for a loved one can be stressful. Shouldn’t hiring home healthcare services help relieve stress, not add to it? The following list was compiled to help you when hiring. First there are a few things you should consider, following that is a list of question to ask a potential agency.

Things to consider:

1. Reputation:  Ask around. Ask your hospital discharge planners about any agency you are considering. Ask doctors, nurses, etc. Many of these places will even provide you a list of agencies to consider. It also wouldn’t hurt to stop by a senior center to ask around, or inquire at government services such as NH’s ServiceLink. Ask specifically about more than one agency for comparison purposes.

2. Check out their website: The agency’s website should be thorough, informative and professional.

3. Ask to have information sent to you. Any reputable agency should have brochures and other materials available for you to look at. These materials which will give you insight into the company, should answer some of your questions and should appear professional and well thought out.

Questions to ask a home healthcare agency:

1.Is your agency licensed by the state? The states of New Hampshire and Maine require homecare agencies and NH requires independent caregivers to be state licensed.

2.  Will you take care of all required payroll paperwork for my parent's caregiver and are your caregivers all employed by the agency?

The states of New Hampshire and Maine both consider you an employer if you independently hire someone to work in your home. There is a large amount of paperwork involved in being an employer which covers such matters as taxes, Social Security, workers comp. and disability. One benefit of hiring an agency is that an agency normally does this for you. Still, it never hurts to double-check, agencies do exist who use independent contractors as caregivers.

3. Do you conduct drug testing on your caregivers?

The states of New Hampshire and Maine do not require drug testing for home healthcare workers. Many homes in which home healthcare services are provided contain controlled substances, therefore we believe drug testing should be a vital part of the hiring process for any home care agency.

4. What kind of background check do you conduct on your caregivers?

Having peace of mind that your loved ones are in good hands is vital when hiring home healthcare services. The state of NH requires criminal background checks but not motor vehicle background checks. We believe motor vehicle background checks to be important because often home healthcare workers provide transportation for their clients.

5. Are your employees insured and bonded? 

The state of NH requires insurance of homecare agencies, but not bonding. However, insurance does not cover theft, bonding does. Also, not all liability insurance is the same, you could even ask the agency for a copy of their policy or ask what their liability insurance covers.  

6. What types of pre-hire screening do you conduct on your employees.

You should find out as much as possible about an agency’s hiring process before hiring them. All Abundant Blessings Homecare employees are required to complete an online screening prior to hire.This screening was put together by a third party and it tells us a lot of information about a potential employee. Through this screening and our other hiring procedures we are able to maintain our standard of excellence and only hire the best.

7.If at any time my loved one needs more hours of care (ie: 24 hour a day), or if a caregiver should call in sick do you have the staff for coverage?Any agency you hire should have enough staff to cover these situations should they arise.

8. What is your policy regarding sending a caregiver to my parents home whom my parents have never met?It is not safe for an elderly person to be answering the door to total strangers. An agency should have a policy in place regarding the meeting of new caregivers.

9. What kind of supervision do you provide?Once a caregiver is placed in your loved ones home, ongoing supervision of the caregiver needs to be provided.

10.What kind of service agreement is required? What are your minimum number of hours?

11. What is your method for tracking a caregivers arrival and departure from a clients home?The agency should have a system in place for this.

12. What are your hours of operation, how are phone calls handled during odd hours?

13. Do you provide a written plan of care which clearly describes any rates and fees?The state of New Hampshire has requirements which must be on the plan of care. The plan of care should be thorough and well explained to your family.

14. How soon can you start services?

For a printable version of "Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Homecare Agency" click here.

As Featured on ArticleCity.com

Family and Friends, Familiar Smells, Nana's Apple Pie....

...The Blessings of Home.

Founded on a belief in old fashioned values, Abundant Blessings Homecare can help you or your aging loved one be blessed by remaining in the safety and comfort of home.

Watch for our "Blessings of Home" apple spice cards with a packet of apple pie spice mix inside. When you receive the card and packet of spice mix, why not bake up an apple pie and bring it to a senior in your life and take the time to reminisce with them about the "blessings of home".

If you would like to receive a free apple spice card and information about Abundant Blessings Homecare, call or email us today.

(603) 473 - 2510 

info@abundantblessingshomecare.com