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Caregivers Play Many Roles

Most people assume that caregivers are just there to help with activities of daily living, which include personal hygiene, cleaning, cooking, and medication reminders. Yes, caregiver do complete tasks such as these as part of their job but they do much more than that. At Virginia Home Care Services for example, before a snow storm we call all of our clients to make sure they ask their caregivers to complete other tasks like picking up their medications, picking up food from the grocery store, and getting things prepared in lieu of a big snow storm which could render them immobile. That is just one example of how Virginia Home Care Services goes above and beyond to help our clients and their familes. Other tasks that our caregivers help with include:

  • Managing side effects from medications
  • Reporting problems with housing, vehicles, and other essentials.
  • Trying to keep other family members and friends informed of what’s happening with individuals care.
  • Helping to decide whether a treatment is working and things that may be improved.

The Not So Golden Years

FAQHeader For many seniors, from the time of retirement on, it does not feel like their “golden years”. In some situations individuals have a hard time completing everyday tasks such as doing laundry or dishes. Even cooking or walking to the mailbox may feel like an overwhelming and daunting task. Asking for help or the feeling as though they are a burden to their loved ones drives many seniors to keep performing daily tasks on their own, even though it may be detrimental to their health. Feeling like a burden to their children and loved ones is a common accordance for the elderly population. Family members may not want to argue, cause stress, or overwhelm their loved ones by insisting they receive outside help. This is often frustrating for families and can cause an apathetic attitude towards getting the help that a senior may really need. So how can family caregivers help aging relatives overcome the reluctance to ask for help?

  • Start mentioning the possibility of receiving additional help in advance.
  • Address the possibilities of falling, serious injury, or household needs.
  • Stress that asking for help is actually a sign of strength and is not burdensome.
  • Express that working together with family or a caregiver strengthens communication.
  • Help your loved ones understand that caregivers help their clients to maintain their independence.

To make this transition a little easier, Virginia Home Care Services can help alleviate concerns about your loved ones being alone and needing help with any activities of daily living. We provide assistance with personal hygiene, dressing, getting to and from doctors appointments, or post-hospitalization care among other daily tasks. In-home care services provide a workable solution to meeting your loved ones needs, while allowing the them and family members to enjoy burden-free relationship.

5 of the Biggest Misconceptions About Home Care

As the owner of a home care agency, I often come across many misconceptions that people have regarding home care services. When looking for the best care for our loved ones we don’t always know where to turn, who to trust, or how to apprehend proper and suitable care. It is through my exposure to the field, cognizance of the corresponding distress I have witnessed in family members, spouses, parents, and children, as well as the responsibility to unveil the truths and fearful preconceived notions that many experience in order to empower you to make the right decisions when it comes to your family’s care. Here are the 5 biggest misconceptions about home care:

  • 1. Medicare and Privet Insurance covers home care services.

    Although Medicare covers your loved ones hospital stays (Part A), medical equipment (Part B), and medicine (Part D), they DO NOT cover home care services. In some cases, Medicare covers skilled care services which includes catheterization, wound care, and medications. Unfortunately, if your loved ones need assistance with activities of daily living; personal hygiene, meal preparation, help with cleaning and laundry, and/or errands, Medicare will not cover these services.

  • 2. Home Care is more expensive than moving your loved ones into a facility.

    Of course there are costs associated with any in-home personal care service, but these services are much more flexible than those associated with moving into a nursing facility. Due to the adaptability and the value of staying in your own home, home care service costs are measured much lower than facility care.

  • 3. Home Care services are only needed after my parent or loved one has a bad accident.

    Most people want to spend as much time as possible feeling independent, especially as they age. A common misconnection is that having a caregiver will cause a person to lose their independence, but in fact a caregiver can not only increase a person’s independence by prolonging and possibly preventing a major accident but also enhance safety and quality of life. Many elderly individuals living on their own are not as alert and vigilant as they once were. Having an aide present will not only significantly decrease the likelihood of accidents, debilitating conditions, and serious injuries, but increase the safety and quality of life through prevention. In certain situations, where a cognitive condition is at hand, a trained personal care aide can remind individuals to take their medications, be conscience of things like stoves being left on, doors being closed and locked, wondering at night, and other ailments of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s or any other condition involving the brain to function abnormally. The harsh reality is that most family members do not consider hiring an aide until the situation has gone from suitable to extremely hazardous and/or life-threatening.

  • 4. A home care agency can not provide the same level of care that a nursing facility does.

    At Virginia Home Care Services and most other home care agencies we provide more specialized, personal, and involved care than a nursing home would or could offer. At a nursing facility, you might have one nursing assistant responsible for 5 to 10 individuals AT ONE TIME! No one is receiving specialized personal care because it is IMPOSSBILE to look after 5-10 people at the same time and give each person the care they deserve. In-home caregivers will monitor medications and vital signs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An in-home care aide is only responsible for one patient at a time, which means that he or she is able to focus, pay more attention, and interact with one key individual.

  • 5. Home care services are a replacement for family and friends.

    This common misconception could not be more wrong. In fact, when a caregiver is brought into the picture it allows family and friends, be just that, family and friends. A home care aide can help release stress and allow time for a periodic break from taking care of a parent or relative. Care givers can provide respite care, allowing loved ones to find much-needed balance in their lives and not become so overwhelmed with the weight of overexerting yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Key Principles to Remember When Working with People with Disabilities

Virginia Home Care Services specializes in working not only in the elderly community but also with individuals with intellectual disabilities. Working with individuals with disabilities is rewarding, though at times it can be a challenging endeavor. That is why we at Virginia Home Care Services follow five key principals that help our clients and staff. The purpose of this post is to encourage everyone to interact with individuals with disabilities in a way which promotes autonomy and stimulates successful fellowships. At Virginia Home Care Services we believe it is extremely important for people with disabilities to fully experience self-determination, independence, the pursuit of happiness, and to have the opportunity to live a fulfilling life. We advocate for enrichment in order to provide an environment and kinship that promotes individuality. Needless to say, having a satisfying and gratifying life looks different for everyone. We at Virginia Home Care Services believe that a gratifying life includes happiness, safety, meaningful activities, intimate relationships with family and friends, an occupation, financial stability, and contribution to the community. When working with individuals that may have a form of disability, we try to incorporate these comprehensive but key principles in their day to day care.

Principle 1: Listening

Individuals are listened to and their choices are respected.

Principle 2: Community

Relationships with families and friends and involvement in the community are supported and encouraged.

Principle 3: Self-Direction

Individuals have informed choice and control over decisions that affect them.

Principle 4: Talents and Gifts

Individuals have opportunities to use and share their gifts and talents not only with staff and family but with their community as well.

Principle 5: Responsibility

There is shared responsibility for supports and choices, from the individual, caregiver, and family as well. We believe that everyone can and should experience a good life. People who provide support should be focused on promoting fulfilling lives of those individuals with disabilities. We believe that these instrumental values are essential to sustaining a meaningful and happy life.

  • A home health aide in Virginia helping her patient

Home Health Aide in Virginia: What Makes a Great Caregiver?

What Makes a Home Health Aide in Virginia Great?

A home health aide needs to have a few key attributes to separate them from the pack, most people have a good deal of compassion and empathy for others but it takes much more than this to be a great caregiver! Patience, honesty, the right attitude, respect, and professionalism are a few qualities our home health aides at Virginia Home Care Services posses that make them truly stand out. Even though we only employ individuals that have gone through specific training, which include certified nursing assistants or home health aide training, we also make certain that they have a natural aptitude to be great.

1. Patience

Being patient with a client means enduring difficult situations not only without annoyance and anger, but having the compassion to understand the strain that an elderly or disabled individual can be under. It is very important for caregivers to put the client first, whether dementia is an issue, or someone is set in their ways, home health aides need to be understanding, accommodating, and most of all patient!

2. Honesty

Aside from running criminal background checks on all of our employees, they also go through a rigorous interview process to ensure our clients safety. Honesty means much more to us than just that, it means caregivers handle their responsibilities accurately and can be accountable for their actions. It also means they understand the importance of their jobs and arrange for time off in advance, give proper notice for when they can’t make it to work, and deal with every situation in a honest and professional matter. Honesty means working with integrity and reliability with their company and clients.

3. The Right Attitude

No matter how dire the situation, a home health aide must go into his or her job with the right attitude and demeanor. Sometimes, the only things a client needs is for someone around them to have a positive attitude to brighten up their day. Our staff not only plays the role of a caregiver, but go above and beyond to be a friend and a shoulder to lean on. That is why having a caregiver with the right attitude can make all the difference in a clients life.

4. Respect

Following a care plan, observing a client’s needs and wants, and achieving the highest possible results in their work is what we look for in caregivers. Our staff respect our clients, themselves, and their professions. Being a home health aide is a very tough job. The best caregivers are the ones that show respect to their clients and the other people that surround them. By doing this they gain respect for themselves and everyone around them.

5. Professionalism

Being a professional is what ties all the attributes of being a great home health aide together. Showing up to work on time, treating the client with respect and honesty, showing patience, and possessing a great attitude is what makes a great caregiver. At Virginia Home Care Services, we strive to hire individuals who posses these key attributes. By offering the best care possible for you and your loved ones we set ourselves apart from our competitors.