Caring for Older Parents? Ask These Questions Before They Move in

Probably the most admirable decision an adult can make is to open up their house to an older parent. Our parents took care of us, so it seems obvious to return the favor if they need a safe place to live. However, there are a number of things to consider when caring for older parents. 

Check out these key questions to ask when caring for older parents and deciding where they should live:

Is there sufficient space?

For example, consider how making room for the parent can lead to a change in another family member’s accommodations.

Is the home safe and efficient for the elderly’s needs?

Walk through your home and try to see it through the viewpoint of your parent. Are pathways clear between the senior’s bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc.? Are there any tripping dangers, such as throw rugs? Should you install grab bars, an elevated toilet seat, or other home care equipment? Are there any stairs to maneuver? Is the house wheelchair-accessible?

Will someone be home each day?

Isolation and the dangers of being left alone will still be a problem if you and your spouse work outside the home.

Is everyone completely agreeable with the plan?

While you may be thoroughly convinced of your senior parent’s new living arrangements, feelings of reluctance, or resentment on the part a family member can create stress.

Are you prepared to handle increasing care needs?

While they may just need a little help currently, disease progression and the normal frailties associated with aging will change the amount of care needed. Think about the potential difficulties.

Is your parent okay with this decision?

Giving up status as “head of the household” is extremely challenging for some seniors. It takes careful planning to help your parent maintain self-esteem, autonomy, and a sense of control.

If you’re feeling uncertain about your ability to look after your elderly loved one, another choice may be better suited to both the senior and your family. One option to consider is the addition of a home care provider, such as a Comprehensive Home Care specialist. Our knowledgeable caregivers partner with families in Charlotte so that seniors stay safe and thrive inside their homes – whether that involves a few hours each week of companionship to promote socialization, personal care assistance for safe bathing and dressing, help with household chores and meal preparation, or round-the-clock, live-in care. We provide a free in-home consultation to learn about your senior loved one and then suggest a strategy of care to handle all concerns. Call us today at 704-333-5214 or contact us online to find out more about our Charlotte, NC, senior care services.

Signs that Your Loved One May Need Senior Home Care

“I do NOT want to move to a nursing home!” This is an often-heard sentiment expressed by many seniors, even when they’re beginning to experience some difficulty managing at home on their own. And who can blame them? Home is where older adults feel most comfortable and safe. They know where everything is and they can enjoy their own individual routine and they may have friends and family who live close by, who enhance their quality of life. But, if you have concerns about your senior loved one’s ability to remain living safely at home, it may be time to assess the best possible solution, senior home care.

Consider the following questions to determine if your loved one could benefit from senior home care:

Weight Loss

  • Has your senior loved one lost weight unintentionally over the past several months?
  • Are they able to pick up groceries and prepare meals?
  • Do they prepare meals safely, remembering to turn off the oven or stove?
  • Do they complain about how food tastes?
  • Are they drinking sufficient amounts of water and other fluids during the day to prevent dehydration, especially during the hot summer months?

Personal Hygiene

  • Is your senior loved one adequately maintaining their hygiene?
  • Can they take care of laundry, bathing, grooming, and toileting needs sufficiently?

Medications

  • Does your senior loved one take medications?
  • Do they take them exactly as prescribed?
  • Can they read the labels and understand what each medicine is for?
  • Are they physically able to swallow pills, or otherwise use them as they are intended (i.e. creams, drops, etc.)?

Safety

  • Is the home free of clutter, which could be a tripping or falling hazard?
  • Could your loved one call for help if they were to fall?
  • Are there grab bars in the shower/bath, and are banisters and handrails on stairways fastened securely?
  • Is there sufficient lighting to allow them to safely get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or kitchen?
  • Do you notice any cuts, bruises, scrapes, or burns that could have been caused by a fall or other unexplained circumstance?
  • Is the kitchen clean enough to safely prepare food?
  • Is your loved one taking multiple medications from multiple doctors and/or does they use multiple pharmacies?

Emotional, Psychological and Cognitive

  • Does your loved one seem depressed or anxious?
  • Are they staying social as much as possible, whether in person or through the Internet or by phone?
  • If he/she is religious, are they continuing to attend services or programs available?
  • Are they still enjoying hobbies that interested them before?
  • Are they forgetful? Unusually loud or agitated?
  • Are their finances in order?

The list of questions may seem overwhelming at first, but our senior home care services team can help. Our professional home care team can evaluate your senior loved one’s situation and provide suggestions and solutions, giving you and your loved one peace of mind. Our trained home care staff can provide companionship, perform light housekeeping tasks, prepare nutritious meals, among other helpful tasks. We can even coordinate services between various healthcare providers.

Contact us at 704-333-5214 for a free in-home assessment and see how we can help your loved one.

4 Situations When Home Care is Beneficial

There are several different ways for a loved one to receive care. A home care company can give you the medical attention your patient needs while staying in a place that is comfortable and familiar.

Here are a few situations when home care is beneficial:


You cannot afford a nursing home.

If you cannot afford a nursing home, then home care might be the best option as it is more affordable.

You want your family to stay together.

Allowing the patient to stay at home close to other family members is a great benefit of home care.

You want more personalized care.

When you hire a Comprehensive Home Care specialist a nurse will be assigned to assist your disabled family member. This will result in a better patient/nurse relationship that’s more beneficial for both people. Your loved one will know that the nurse assisting them will know exactly what they need, and the nurse will have fewer patients to work with.

You only need a nurse for a few hours a day.

People in nursing homes receive constant assistance, however, some only need assistance for a few hours a day. So if you want your family to play a bigger role in the assistance of your disabled family member, then you have that option.

These are a few situations when home care can be very beneficial. It will give you a lot of freedom, so you can be sure you are making the best choice for your loved one.  Consider Comprehensive Home Care when searching for the best option for your loved one. We offer many different types of services and will give you the service you need.

Perks of Home Care

Home care provides equal, if not better, care for your loved one than other assisted living options. And, there are many perks of home care versus the other options. For this reason, it’s the main choice for people who need assistance but still want to feel independent.

Main perks of home care include:


Familiar environment

Your loved one may already be going through a lot emotionally. If it is possible, you should do what you can to keep them in their own house where they are comfortable. They may need to depend on a specialist for assistance, but at least they are familiar with their surroundings.

Dedicated attention

Comprehensive home care provides dedicated specialists who will take the time to learn exactly what your loved one needs. This type of one-on-one attention will help build a relationship between your loved one and the specialist.

Surrounded by family and friends

Home care gives your loved one the opportunity to be surrounded by family and friends while receiving the care they need. Other assisted care options require loved ones to depend entirely on strangers which can be scary for both you and your loved one.

Cost efficient

Home care is the best, most cost-efficient option for assisted living. Other options can get very pricey and may not be as effective for treating your loved one’s health.

Consider Comprehensive Home Care to provide these benefits and more. We offer many different home care services and will be willing to accommodate your loved one’s needs. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214.

Types of Illnesses that Require Home Care

Having a family member fall victim to illnesses is always unfortunate. The levels of family stress dramatically increase and there is a lot of pressure on you to do the right thing, despite not knowing what that is. So, when such an event occurs you should find a home care specialist. It is necessary to do whatever it takes to help your family member recover from their condition.

Here are a few illnesses in which home care can be very beneficial:


Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis causes weakness in the bones, causing back problems, an increase in the risk of falling,  and difficulty walking. Comprehensive Home Care can accommodate their needs during this time.

Alzheimer’s Disease

When someone has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s their life is going to change a lot. It would be best to keep them in a place they are familiar with as their memory will be fading. They may need specialized care or even someone by their side at all times. Comprehensive Home Care can help in whichever way deemed fit.

Strokes

When someone has a stroke their brain has been partially damaged, and you don’t know how long it will take for them to recover. Since their brain won’t be functioning at a top-notch state, it would be better to surround them with family and friends than to put them in a nursing home full of strangers.

Mental Illnesses

Home care is the most appropriate option for anyone suffering from mental illness. It is in your loved one’s interest to keep their environment as familiar as possible. Also, it might be better for them to be treated by one nurse instead of many. This gives them a better opportunity to build a relationship with their home care assistant.

Comprehensive Home Care is the best option to take some worry off their and your plate. When you are looking for quality home care in Charlotte, then you should consider hiring Comprehensive Home Care. We offer many different types of home care that will be of great benefit to your loved one. From personal care to companion care, we will be able to offer you the best service you can find.

Ask These Questions Before Hiring a Home Care Specialist

Hiring a home care specialist is useful when your loved one prefers to stay in a more active lifestyle while needing assistance with things around the home. There are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure that your loved one is cared for in the best way possible. These questions are a great way to find out which specialist is best for your family member.

Consider these questions before choosing a home care specialist:

  • What specific experience and certification do you have in caring for the elderly?

This question is so important because it gives an overview of the person’s background and qualifications. The way they present their experience will show how they feel about the elderly care they provide. The qualifications should already be in place if you are considering any home care specialist. To ensure proper care and a nurturing environment, it is important to ensure that the home care specialist is more than just qualified. The specialist should also enjoy giving care to those who cannot care for themselves.

  • What references do you have in regards to specifically caring for elderly patients with illnesses such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease?

The references will provide a frame of time for the experience presented and also a backup for honest feedback.

  • How would you handle emergency situations during after-hours?

This gauges the specialist’s ability to handle situations that may occur during times you may not be readily available. It is important to have emergency protocols and to know that the home care specialist is comfortable with addressing issues and prepared with the necessary procedures and practices.

Comprehensive Home Care provides the necessary processes and background checks to find the right fit for your loved one. We specialize in caring for those who need assistance taking care of themselves. This includes: the elderly, those who have an illnesses, disorder, or injury, pregnant women, and new mothers.

Read How to Narrow Down Your Home Care Search for more advice.

Transitioning to Assisted Living

When your loved one transitions into an assisted living facility, they may experience challenges that arise within their first couple of days through their first year. It is normal for any senior to experience a challenge here or there especially since they are moving into a new environment.

Consider the following common challenges seniors face when transitioning to assisted living:


A loss of independence.

One of the biggest challenges is the feeling of a loss of independence. While this is not true, it is common for seniors who are new to the assisted living environment to feel as though they are giving up their life or that they have surrendered themselves.

To overcome this challenge, it is important for you to speak with your loved one and let them know that their life has not changed much other than where they live. They will still be able to do the things they love, make their own food, and live their own life. The biggest difference between an assisted living facility and home life is that your loved one will be receiving care when they need it.

Adjusting to their new life.

Another common challenge that the elderly face is adjusting to their new life. Your family member must understand that they live in a community now and they are not alone. It is common for your loved one to feel as though they are lonely even though they are not. Some need time to get used to the changes from having their meals cooked to living in a smaller area. It does take time, but they will be able to overcome it and adjust.

Understanding change in their bodies.

Lastly, the elderly are often faced with challenges when it comes to changes that happen in their body. Some residents experience outbursts and they do not want to accept the changes. This is normal and it is important for you to listen and reassure them that they are in the best place for this.

It is important for you to provide the support needed to help your family member get through this time. It is best for you to go along with your loved one to tour the facilities. You need to make sure that your loved one’s needs can be met with ease. Comprehensive Home Care can provide guidance during this time. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214.

How Do I Know if My Loved One Might Benefit from Home Care?

As time goes on, you may notice your loved one is not quite what they used to be. There are countless reasons why there may begin going through changes. These changes can seriously affect your loved one’s ability to live alone. In this case, they may truly benefit from home care.

Here are some things to consider when deciding if home care is the right move to make for your loved one:


When they are becoming more forgetful.

While forgetting something every now and then can be okay, when your loved one is constantly forgetting, it is a rise for concern. Even if it is small things like checking the mail, you may want to start paying more attention. When they are forgetting to throw out old food, forgetting appointments, and other similar things they should not continue living by themselves.

If they seem to not be taking care of themselves.

When a loved one seems to not be properly taking care of themselves, this is another rise for concern. This may mean that they are either struggling to do or just forgetting to do simple tasks.  By turning to a home care specialist you will have peace of mind.

If they can no longer drive safely.

When you start to notice their car getting more dents and scratches, it may be a sign that they are struggling behind the wheel. This is not only putting themselves at risk but other people as well.

When you are starting to get worried about your loved one’s well being have a conversation with them or their doctor and see what the cause could be. Comprehensive Home Care can also ensure they are getting the proper care from professionals who know what to do. Contact Comprehensive Home Care to get a free home assessment and learn more about the services we offer.

Tips to Start the Care Provider Search

The care provider search is no easy task. And deciding on the best care for a loved one is an extremely important, sometimes urgent, decision. Some struggle with knowing where to even begin.

Here are some tips to start the care provider search:


Assess the needs of your loved one.

In order to find the right care provider, you must first know what your loved one’s needs are. Do they need someone only to help with meals, baths, and cooking? Or do they need 24-hour care? Answering these questions will help you narrow down the type of specialist you need and set you on the right path.

Do your research and ask questions.

Put together a list of providers that meet the requirements. Interview each provider in person, over the phone just won’t cut it. You can tell a lot about a person by meeting them and making eye contact. Before the meeting, make sure that you put together a list of questions to ask. These questions should include things such as quality of care provided, fees, services provided, and hours the provider is able to work.

Check references.

It is very important to check references and do a background check on any provider you are considering. This person is going to be taking care of your loved one and you want to be sure that it is safe. Request the names of two or three different clients and talk to each of them if possible. Ask how the provider treated their loved ones and if they would employ them again.

Adjust and observe.

Your job does not end after you have found a provider. Your loved one’s needs may change, so it’s best to continue to play an active role. You should also keep an eye on how the provider gets along with your loved one until you are sure that they are a good fit.

From assessing the needs of your loved one to not being afraid to ask questions, these tips will truly help the process. Comprehensive Home Care can help in this process, as well. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214 to see how we can assist.

Senior Living Options

One of the hardest decisions a family member has to make is to place a loved one in an assisted living or use a home care specialist. Many families just want to know that they are making the best decision for their loved one. Many people put off the decision for far too long.

The term “senior living” always seems to be thrown around but it is a term that is often misunderstood and misused. This term covers many aspects of caring for the elderly. There are many senior living options available for those wanting to find a place for a loved one, as well as someone who wants to find a rewarding career in this field. When it comes to finding the best options, there are two main divisions in senior living.

Two main senior living options are:


Assisted Living Facility

Assisted living facilities offer a wide range of benefits and they generally provide a good selection of services and amenities designed for elderly patients. The services are designed specifically to help the residents live a happy, healthy, and semi-independent life. Assisted living facilities are ideal for individuals who can still take care of themselves and are able to perform day to day tasks without much help. This option helps the patient and the family by providing peace of mind that residents can enjoy life without the fear of things like falling and being alone for days or weeks at a time. Those who work in this area of nursing care, need to be kind, patient, understanding, supportive, easy-going, soft-spoken, and outgoing.

Home Care Facilities

Home care facilities are another variation of assisted living that provides a higher level of help and assistance. It is an ideal choice for those who need more care and attention in their day to day living and activities.  Board and home care facilities offer more assistance and help than the traditional assisted living facility.  They are a better choice than a nursing home or an assisted living facility because there are far more staff members and far fewer residents.

Ways to know when a move is necessary include:

  • The inability to dress, change, bathe, use the bathroom, and take care of themselves.
  • Vision issues that cause injuries.
  • Frequent falling.
  • Gaining weight or losing weight in an unhealthy manner.
  • If their memory is affecting important things such as remembering medications or taking the wrong doses.

If you see any of these in your loved one reach out to us! Comprehensive Home Care can help families make decisions on senior living options. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214 for more information.

Signs Your Loved One Needs Home Care Immediately for Dementia

Are you learning for the first time that your loved one has dementia? This can instantly send fear into your life. Is your loved one going to be okay? Are they going to struggle from day to day? Knowing when to provide your loved ones with help can be hard to do. You ultimately want to ensure your loved one is safe, but at the same time, you want to give them the freedom they desire. With the help of Comprehensive Home Care, you can give your loved one the best of both worlds.

The following are signs your loved one needs home care immediately for dementia:


Dementia home care is often advisable when these signs begin to occur or become consistent.

  • Your loved one forgets important tasks, such as feeding him or herself, showering, or going to medical appointments. This is very important when the loved one is already using reminders and tools to ensure they are completing necessary tasks and are still having trouble doing so.
  • Your loved one is unable to communicate effectively. In this type of situation, he or she will be unable to discuss their needs or ensure they can get emergency medical care if it becomes necessary. You want to be sure your loved one always has the ability to discuss needs.
  • You find yourself unable to do all of the tasks necessary. If you are the dementia patient or your loved one is and you are helping out, it may be time to get additional help and support when the workload just becomes too much to handle. Reaching out for help is never a bad thing.
  • Individuals who need ongoing support and care should have access to home care. This includes hygiene needs, medications, physical therapy, and day to day tasks such as cleaning up, cooking meals, and making appointments.
  • Your loved one has other medical needs that may be important to monitor. Sometimes this may be related to taking medications, getting therapy, or even taking care of wounds. If he or she cannot do this, it is essential to ensure someone else can.

Dementia home care doesn’t have to be something you put off. You can often customize the service to meet your unique needs. Over time, these needs are likely to change, and that’s okay. You’ll be able to get the level of care desired and needed as time goes on.

Don’t put off talking with professionals about your needs for dementia or Alzheimer’s care services. Instead, work closely with a team of professionals, like those at Comprehensive Home Care, to ensure you or your loved one has access to the type and level of home care necessary. Home care gives you the ability to maintain your quality of life and independent lifestyle without having to risk health and well being in the process. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5214.

Planning a Family Meeting to Discuss Home Care

Home care is used to provide the care of a loved one who is unable to fully provide for themselves, yet still stable and mentally sound enough to be at home and out of the nursing home. For many people, this type of care provides far greater happiness and prolongs their lifetime and that is just the start of the exciting benefits. Even still there are drawbacks that must be considered if this is a method of care that you are considering. Before deciding if home care is the right option for your loved one it is important to plan a family meeting with the immediate members of your family. This is a big decision and everyone should be able to voice their thoughts, concerns, and hopes freely.

Preparing for a family meeting


When preparing for your family meeting make sure that you inform family members as far in advance as possible. Everyone’s schedules differ, and sometimes it can be difficult to find a time when everyone is able to come together. When informing family members of the meeting you should plan for a two-hour time slot, although it might take slightly less time. Once a time has been arranged, choose a location for the meeting. If your home is large enough this is perfectly fine. It should be comfortable so everyone is able to talk openly. Make sure that the loved one being considered for home care is present during the meeting. After all, it is him or her that will be receiving the care so their say really matters the most. Also, the home care agency caregiver or staff member should be present to help you learn more about the service and the different options available.

Things to discuss at the family meeting

  • Cost. Insurance will usually not cover the costs of this type of care so it is the responsibility of loved ones to cover the fees. Consider how you will pay, how much each person can put forth, etc. Also, take into consideration during your meeting:
  • Duration. How long/often will you require home care for your loved one? You can arrange services for part-time or full-time, or on as –needed basis.
  • Capability of the senior. Is your loved one still able to partially caring for themselves? Patients who are best-suited for home services are those who still have such capabilities.
  • Needs of the senior. Discuss with the caregiver the needs of your loved ones. Caregivers can provide a little or they can provide a lot, depending upon the need. Ensure the chosen agency is capable of handling those needs. Not all agencies provide the same levels of care.
  • Questions/concerns. Give each family member time to ask their own questions as they arise.

Comprehensive Home Care can provide help during these meetings. Contact us here or call at 704.333.5214 with any questions or care needs.

How Often Should I Check On My Aging Loved One?

If you have an aging loved you may realize you need to periodically look in on them in order to make sure that they are okay. Knowing how often to check up on them can be complicated but there are certain factors to help you know.

In many instances, a combination of outside help and periodic check-ins may be necessary in order to make sure that a loved one remains happy and healthy. This allows them to get by on their own with some assistance from a home care company. This is true for many medical conditions. For example, some may still be able to stay on their own as long as they have some outside help. That’s where a quality home care agency, like Comprehensive Home Care, can help. Comprehensive Home Care can check in on a family’s senior loved one, providing home care services or respite care.

In general, the need to check up on an aging loved one will depend on multiple factors. Such factors include:

  • An existing medical conditions as well as any recent medical problems such as a fall or other healthcare issue.
  • Whether or not the relative has access to a community that encourages strong bonds between residents. Many elderly people have developed strong ties to other members of their community. For example, they may be cherished for their gentle love of children and tasty contributions to the local church bake sale each year.
  • How far away their loved ones live. It can be particularly important to make sure a relative is cared for even when you cannot be physically present. In such cases, the person may want to set up a series of ways in which they can check up on a loved father or favorite aunt. This may include a combination of hired help from a home care agency that is in the area.

Comprehensive Home Care can assist the relative with certain tasks such as meal preparation and driving. Contact us here or call us at 704.333.5213 to see how we can help.

Diffusing Family Tensions

Sometimes family tensions arise when a family member needs assistance in the form of home care. However, when approached in the correct manner it is possible to resolve the tensions quickly. Tensions are typically due to the physical, financial, and emotional demands that come with providing care for a loved one.

Common causes of family tensions about home care include:


The burden of home care placed on one person.

A family member may feel the burden of the care when it is not evenly distributed throughout the family. If this happens, it is possible that the primary caregiver feels some resentment towards the rest of the family members.

The capabilities and condition of a loved one in home care.

For example, when you personally may think your loved one is no longer fit to drive, while others may disagree.

The financial matters of the home care.

Some family members may feel they cannot solely carry the burden due to financial restraints and need the support of the rest of the family.

Comprehensive Home Care can help you and your family find common ground to help ease the situation of any disagreements. We care about your family’s feelings and expectations, so we let each member of the family have a turn explaining their individual positions. All viewpoints are equally important, so compassion for one another’s circumstances is necessary.

Benefits of Laughter in Senior’s Health

Studies show that a positive attitude can greatly improve the quality of life. The benefits of laughter are numerous, from lowering blood pressure to reducing stress and anxiety.

Read on to learn the benefits of laughter in senior care:


Improves memory

Research on the effect of humor on the memory capabilities of the elderly has yielded positive findings. The research findings on a recent study in Loma Linda University in California indicate that it is possible to improve the memory of the elderly by maintaining a humorous mood.

Reduces stress

Laughter is vital in reducing the level of cortisol hormones in the brain and thus relieves stress. This effectively raises the quality of life.

Reduces risk for heart attacks and strokes

Laughter also increases the heart rate and enhances blood circulation which is beneficial for better oxygen intake. These health effects have been linked with a reduction in the risk of heart attacks and stroke.  

Lengthens life expectancy

Laughter has also been found to lengthen the lives of the elderly. Studies show that developing a sense of humor over several years can have a positive effect on the general well-being of elderly individuals and thus lower the mortality rate. 

Improves emotional state

Laughter raises dopamine and endorphins levels in the brain and thus creates a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction that further enhances general emotional well-being. There’s research on the effect of laughter on the emotional and physical wellbeing of seniors suffering from chronic conditions specifically. The findings indicate that those exposed to humor for up to 12 weeks were in a better emotional condition for up to 26 weeks later. 

While it is important to create a humorous environment for the elderly to harness the health benefits; it is important to ensure that the jokes are positive and clean. Sarcastic jokes may be negative and at times misunderstood. This would be counterproductive. Comprehensive Home Care caregivers appreciate the importance of humor on the health status of seniors.