What to Expect When You’re Expecting

what-to-expect

I would bet that most moms have read this book.  Back when I was pregnant it seemed like this was the ‘go to’ book to prepare for what was yet to come.  Personally, I remember reading and highlighting the pages, trying to ready myself for this enormous change that was about to happen to my life. I loved that book because it prepared me for the unknown. By the time my baby arrived I was armed with information- I was ready (or so I thought!).

On the complete opposite end of the life spectrum it seems like we are less and less prepared for growing old. It’s almost as if aging sneaks up on us. Maybe it’s denial that it’s happening, or maybe it’s because we are so busy thinking about everything else- but it seems like we could use a “What to Expect When You Grow Old” book?

If I were to write such book, I’d include a chapter on what to expect when hiring homecare. Hiring help in the home can be a wonderful way to ‘age in place’. People can receive care similar to what they would get in an Assisted Living, but in the comfort of their own home. And as with any new thing, it’s helpful to know what to expect.

Below are my top 10 tips on – “what to expect when hiring homecare”.

  • 1.Expect a to have an assessment the homecare agent will spend a couple of hours asking questions and gathering information on what exactly the client is looking for. They need all of this info so that they can then write up a plan of care tailored to the particular client.  This is also a great opportunity for the client to get to know the homecare agency. They can ask questions and learn more about who they will be working with.

 

  • 2.Expect several days between the assessment and when care actually starts. Many people assume that caregivers are available at a moment’s notice, but this is unrealistic. In some emergency cases agencies will be able to provide a caregiver with little notice, but for most clients finding the right caregiver, who has the appropriate skill set and availability, may take time. We’ve had clients expect care immediately- and when we aren’t able to provide that they move on to another homecare agency- only to have the exact same situation. Be patient… we want to make the best possible match and that might take time- but it will be worth the wait.

   

  • 3.Expect communication– the homecare company should communicate with you on who will be caring for you or your loved one. They should also communicate to you any changes in scheduling or concerns the caregiver has about the client’s health or status. They should be available 24/7 to answer emergency calls.

 

  • 4.Expect trained caregivers who are certified nursing assistants. If you are receiving 24 hour, overnight or live in care- expect that there will be more than one caregiver caring for you. It is impossible for one person to work that many hours!

   

  • 5.Expect the agency to do all they can to provide consistency. Expect that sometimes the same caregiver might not be available (people do get sick or have emergencies), but expect the agency to have a back up caregiver to provide service.
  • 6.Expect that homecare is paid for privately- or with long term care insurance.  Unfortunately, it is not covered by Medicare.

 

  • 7.Expect that the caregiver might not look busy 100% of the time. Many people hire caregivers to assist them with their daily needs and help with light housekeeping or transportation- but there will be some down time when the housework is done and the client is asleep or comfortable. The caregiver may be reading a book or watching TV. They are there and ready to assist as needed- but know that they may not look busy all of the time.

   

  • 8.Expect to be able to make changes to the schedule– you decide how much care you want, when you want it. Most agencies have a 4 hour minimum- but otherwise it is up to you to decide how much care is necessary.  As a courtesy, if you are cancelling care- you should call at least 24 hours in advance avoid being charged.

 

  • 9.Expect that English may not be the first language of the caregiver. In our 9 years of providing care we have found that some of the best caregivers were born in different countries. However, it is always our goal to hire people who can communicate clearly.

 

  • 10.Most of all, expect compassion, professionalism and respect. Expect a relationship you can trust. 

Knowing what to expect when hiring homecare can help alleviate any concerns. Having a realistic view of what to expect makes the whole process much smoother. 

Please let us know how we can assist you or your loved one. Capability Homecare strives to be an industry leader in providing safe, compassionate care in the home.

Call us today 425 679 5770.  

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Senior Centers for those who Age In Place

One of the benefits to moving to a retirement community is the opportunity for social interactions with other seniors. However, numerous studies have shown that most elderly people prefer to remain at home rather than move. The choice to ‘age in place’ is one we fully support at Capability Homecare, yet we also recognize the importance of social interactions and life enrichment.

Luckily, in the Seattle/ Eastside area we have a number of senior centers that provide these social needs- for those seniors who want to ‘age in place‘. It’s the best of both worlds- you get to stay in your home but also have the opportunity to get out, see friends, have a nice meal, play games, learn a craft, participate in outings and enjoy life!

Besides the social interaction, one advantage of senior centers is that they connect older adults to a variety of services. There are many services available to the senior population- yet educating them on all of their options is sometimes difficult. Senior centers can be that gathering place where information is available.

Some of the other benefits to a senior center include:

  • Information and assistance
  • Health, Fitness and wellness programs
  • Meal and nutrition programs
  • Transportation services
  • Public benefits counseling
  • Employment assistance
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Educational and arts programs
  • Intergenerational programs

The best news is that participating in a senior center can actually be good for you!

“Research shows that older adults who participate in senior center programs can learn to manage and delay the onset of chronic disease and experience measurable improvements in their physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental, and economic well-being.”*

Check out the list below to find the senior center closest to you!  

Ballard Northwest Senior Activity Center

5429 – 32nd Avenue Northwest
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 297-0403
(206) 297-0558 (FAX)
Burien Senior Program
14700 6TH Ave SW
Burien, WA 98166
(206) 988-3700

Central Area Senior Center
500 30th Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 461-7816

Columbia Club
424 Columbia St.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 448-5021

Greenwood Senior Center
525 N 85th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 297-0875

International Drop-In Center
409 Maynard Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 587-3735

Northwest Senior Center
5429 32nd Ave. NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 461-7811

Pike Market Senior Center
1931 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 728-2773

Ravenna-Bryant Senior Center
6559 Ravenna Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 527-0718

Salvation Army Senior Center
9002 16th SW
Seattle, WA 98106-2354
(206) 763-8842

Senior Center Of West Seattle
4217 SW Oregon
Seattle, WA 98116
(206) 932-4044Shoreline Senior Center
18560 1st Ave. NE #1
Seattle, WA 98155
(206) 365-1536

South Park Senior Center
8201 10th Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 767-3650

Southeast Seattle Senior Center
4655 S Holly St.
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 722-0317

Tallmadge Hamilton House
5225 15th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 524-0473

Wallingford Senior Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 461-7825

King County outside of Seattle

Auburn Senior Center
808 9th St SE
Auburn WA 98002-4132
(253) 931-3016

Federal Way Senior Center
4016 S. 352nd
Auburn, WA 98001
(253) 838-3604

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
Senior Center
39015 172nd Ave. SE
Auburn, WA 98002
(253) 939-3311

North Bellevue Community Center/City of Bellevue Aging Services
4063 148th Ave. NE (PO Box 90012)
Bellevue, WA 98009-9012
(425) 452-7681
E-Mail: nbcsc@bellevuewa.gov

Black Diamond Senior Center
31605 3rd Ave. (PO Box 220)
Black Diamond WA 98010
(360) 886-2418

Northshore Senior Center
10201 E. Riverside Dr.
Bothell, WA 98011
(425) 487-2441

Sno-Valley Senior Center
P.O. Box 96
Carnation, WA 98014
(425) 333-4152

Des Moines Senior Center
22030 Cliff Ave. S.
Des Moines, WA 98198
(206) 878-1642

Enumclaw Senior Center
1350 Cole St.
Enumclaw, WA 98022-2633
(360) 825-4741

Klahanee Senior Center
33901 9th Ave.
Mail To: 33530 1st Way S.
Federal Way, WA 98003
(253) 661-4151

Issaquah Valley Senior Center
105 2nd Ave. NE (PO Box 786)
Issaquah, WA 98027-0786
(425) 392-2381

Kent Senior Center
600 E. Smith St.
Kent, WA 98031-4628
(253) 859-3342

Kirkland Senior Center
352 Kirkland Avenue
Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 828-1223

Mercer Island Parks and Recreation
2040 84th Av SE
Mercer Island, WA 98040
(206) 236-3545

Mount Si Senior Center
411 S. Main St. (P.O. Box 806)
North Bend, WA 98045
(425) 888-3434

Pacific/Algona Senior Center
100 3rd Ave. SE
Pacific, WA 98047-1335
(253) 931-8289

Redmond Senior Center
8703 160th Ave. NE
Redmond, WA 98052-3534
(425) 556-2314

Renton Senior Center
211 Burnett Avenue North
Renton, WA 98055-1626
(425) 430-6633

North Seatac Park
Community Center
13735 24th Ave. S.
Sea Tac, WA 98168
(206) 439-9273

Tukwila Senior Program
12424-42nd Ave. South
Tukwila, WA 98168-3133
(206) 768-2822

Vashon-Maury Senior Center
P.O. Box 848
Vashon Island, WA 98070
(206) 463-5173

http://www.scn.org/seniors/senior_ctrs.html

*Source: http://www.ncoa.org/press-room/fact-sheets/senior-centers-fact-sheet.html#sthash.49aIE2NF.dpuf

 

Does your Senior Parent need Homecare?

Do you, or does someone you love need Homecare?

This list of questions will help you decide if Homecare is the best solution for your needs.   Use it as a conversation starter, or as a tool to decide if homecare is the best option.

  1. Do you ever feel disoriented or confused?
  2. Have you recently had a fall?
  3. Do you feel unsafe in your own home?
  4. Is it difficult to get in and out of bed?
  5. Do you skip meals?
  6. Do you feel lonely?
  7. Do you need assistance with bathing?
  8. Do you have incontinence?
  9. Do you need a ride to appointments or errands?
  10. Can you do your own laundry?
  11. Do you need help getting dressed?
  12. Are you showing signs of dementia?
  13. Are you able to clean your own home?
  14. Are you recovering from surgery?
  15. Do you need help exercising and staying fit?
  16. Do you need medication reminders?
  17. Do you have a hard time climbing stairs?
  18. Do you eat a lot of frozen meals?
  19. Do wake in the middle of the night and need help?
  20. Do you have an illness or chronic condition?

If you answered yes to 2 or more, Homecare might be a great option for you or your loved one.

For as little as $100 a day, you can have assistance in the privacy of your own home. Many Long Term Care insurance policies will cover most of the cost of homecare, so please call us today to find out how we can help you stay in your home and stay safe. 425 679 5770

Capability Homecare is locally owned and operated and serves seniors in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties.

Capability Homecare, Client Profile

Caregiver with a client

I was at a party the other night and someone asked me what I do for a living. When I told them my husband and I have a Homecare agency their face went completely blank. They had never heard of homecare– and they wondered, what is it? Who is it for? Why would someone use it?

It actually reminded me of myself 10 years ago- when I had never heard of homecare either.  Unless you have a reason to be involved with seniors, you might not have heard of homecare as an option for staying in your own home as you age.  But, before you know it, you might be in the position where it can be a lifesaver.

Perhaps your dad falls and breaks his hip and you are not able to take 6 weeks off work to help him recover at home.

Perhaps your mother has passed away, and your dad can no longer live independently, but can’t imagine selling the family home.

Perhaps your grandma is showing signs of early dementia, but can’t imagine moving apart from her husband of 55 years.

Perhaps you’ve been helping your elderly parents with their care; preparing meals and chores, driving them to doctor’s appointments, yet now your husband has now been transferred across the country and your parents will be left all alone…

These are some good examples of why people would chose homecare. The fact is, most people would prefer to recover or age in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

Besides, who wants to go through the stress of uprooting and selling your home, or moving to a community where you don’t know anyone (see my post here about the importance of community).  Hiring a caregiver to come into your (or your parents) home to provide the care that you need is often the best solution.

Having total control over the care that is being provided gives you the piece of mind to know that you will chose exactly what services you want to receive.

So, next time you hear someone mention homecare, you will know, it is a wonderful service being offered by trustworthy people who want to help you or your loved one age in place and remain independent.

A Sense Of Community

Photo credit, I Stock Photo

True story-

My neighbor put her house on the market last fall. Her husband had been transferred to another state to work, so they decided she would stay in Washington until the house sold- then the family would move to join their dad. Unfortunately, in this economy the house sat on the market for a long time. Meanwhile, their 14 year old daughter had to have heart surgery- and was hospitalized for several weeks.

Suddenly members of their community stepped in to help out- they cooked meals, did hospital visits, helped with errands and housework, sent flowers, cards and gifts. They really showered this family with love and support. And after all this was said and done- the husband said to his wife, ‘we live in an amazing community, why on earth would we leave this and have to start all over?’

So, they took the house off the market, decided to stay put and they lived happily ever after…

Well, we really won’t know about the happily ever after- but it got me to thinking. What does community mean to you?

Do you have a community?

My parents live in the midwest- and my local friends often ask, ‘would your parents ever move out here to be closer to you?’ and the honest answer is ‘no!’. They would never want to leave their community. My mom has her weekly bridge group, my dad has his golfing buddies. They’ve lived in the same city for 47 years- they aren’t going anywhere.

But what if they become ill? Or too frail to take care if their every day needs? In order to keep them in their community we would hire a caregiver to come in and help with activities of daily living. The caregiver could cook meals for them, help them get bathed and dressed each day, take care of housekeeping and running errands. All these essential tasks can be done by someone brought in– so that they don’t have to be brought out.

Community is important- it gives people a sense of belonging. A sense of comfort. A sense of familiarity. If at all possible, most seniors would rather age in place then live in an assisted living or a skilled nursing center. It is possible to find outstanding/ trustworthy/ compassionate people to come into your home to provide care. Be careful with who you select, use an agency and get referrals.

For more information about In Home Care, please feel free to call Capability Homecare, 425 679- 5770

or check out or website.

Games, Not Just for Kids

photo credit: I Stock Photo

I was reading Concierge Care’s website and noticed they had a link to an interesting website called Fitbrain– I had to check it out and after doing so- learned some interesting stuff! I knew games were fun for kids, but learned they can actually be beneficial to seniors.

In our family we have a tradition- every Sunday night is Game Night. I make a casual dinner, usually soup, and the 4 of us sit around the kitchen table and play games- often times it’s dominoes.  We started this tradition in order to spend quality time together as a family and also to show our children that we value spending time with them above anything else. But did you know that seniors can also benefit from playing games?

Studies are showing that by playing games, seniors are actually developing their brains. Games build upon reasoning skills, problem solving, memory and information processing. According to Ezriel Kornel, MD, of Brain and Spine Surgeons of New York in Westchester County. “It’s actually a very complex set of tasks that your brain is going through… Anytime the brain is in learning mode,” Kornel says, “there are new synapses forming between the neurons. So you’re creating thousands of connections that can then be applied to other tasks as well.”  (Web MD)

At Capability Homecare, we believe that quality of life is the most important factor to a senior’s well-being and happiness. This is often achieved through interaction with others- and what better way to do that then by playing games?

Games such as cards, bingo, dominoes, Trivial Pursuit, Wii bowling or tennis are all active and social games that stimulate social interaction as well as mental clarity. Many senior communities offer these type of games on a daily basis. For those seniors aging in place– encourage your children, grandchildren, or paid caregiver to play games with you. It’s actually for your health!

For seniors who prefer to be alone- jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, suduko and math problems are all excellent brain stimulators. There are also lots of computer based games that seniors can access easily, Click here to see and play some.

According to the website, Boomers with Elderly parents, “The key idea behind mentally stimulating games is to slow down the degeneration of neurotransmitters and to increase growth of new brain cells”. Because Alzheimer’s runs in my family, I am committed to try anything I can do slow the process.

What games do you enjoy playing?