Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Importance of Workers Comp for Care Givers

Workers compensation insurance protects both caregivers and the agencies for which they work should a senior care provider sustain an injury on the job. As such, it is a crucial aspect of responsible care in virtually any field, but particularly those that require employees to carry out physically demanding tasks. While providing senior care may not seem physically demanding on the surface, professionals who provide home care to elderly individuals must drive to different locations, lift heavy objects, and engage in other activities that may result in injury.

Mary of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, discovered the importance of workers compensation insurance when she was injured on the job. Mary was caring for a patient and, while helping the patient into a wheelchair, she pulled her back. The injury forced her to miss two weeks of work, as she had to visit multiple doctors and allow her back to heal before resuming her daily responsibilities.
If it weren't for workers compensation insurance, Mary would have lost much more than the use of her back for those two weeks. With bills to pay, she would have been financially devastated had workers compensation not covered the lost wages and doctor's fees associated with her injury.

Workers compensation laws vary from one state to the next, but in all cases they are meant to protect all parties involved. Here are some important highlights about this form of insurance:

  • Workers compensation will provide employees with wages they have missed should they be absent from work due to a work-related injury.
  • Workers compensation often covers medical bills associated with a work-related injury, such as costs regarding hospital visits and follow-up appointments.
  • When an employee accepts workers compensation coverage they give up their right to sue their employer.
  • This form of insurance allows for a variety of situations, as it can offer weekly payments, similar to disability insurance, and can provide benefits to the families of workers who die due to their injuries, depending upon the circumstances.
Workers compensation insurance is important for caregivers, as their job requires them to complete tasks that can result in injury.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Managing Holstility from Mom following a Transition

As individuals age, they will face a variety of transitions that may prove extremely difficult to endure. From moving in with family members to hiring a senior care provider to adapting to new medical needs, these transitions will most likely place a great deal of stress on your elderly loved one. It is important, then, that you are able to understand the reaction of your senior and manage any hostility that they may demonstrate.

Lucy has cared for her elderly mother, Martha, for several years. She recently made the decision to hire a senior care provider who is able to supply the constant care that Lucy cannot, due to her professional and familial obligations. Martha was not happy with this decision and felt as though Lucy was abandoning her. For this reason, Martha was hostile toward Lucy for several weeks after the senior care provider began work. Lucy and the home care professional talked about the issue and came up with the following ways to manage this hostility. They are sharing these tips to help others navigate this sensitive situation successfully.

  1. Discuss any major transitions with your elderly loved one ahead of time. Give them ample time to prepare for such changes and ask any questions they may have.
  2. If your loved one will be moving to a new place, take them to see their future home before their move in date if possible. Also ideal is allowing them to contribute to the decision making process; it may make the transition easier if they feel as though they have made the choice themselves.
  3. Communicate regularly with your elderly loved one. Talk about the transition, explain why it is necessary, and remind your senior that it is in their best interest. In Martha's case, she felt abandoned even though Lucy was doing what was best for her mother. Talking about this will help seniors and their loved ones manage hostility that may arise on both sides.
Making major transitions is not easy for anyone, but it can be particularly difficult for seniors who resist change or feel as though their families are giving up on them. Clear communication and patience are crucial when managing hostility.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Creating Boundaries When Mom Moves In

If you are providing senior care to your mother or other elderly loved one, it is likely that they have already moved in or that you are considering the possibility that such a move will take place. While taking your elderly family member into your home is often a wonderful decision, it is important to remember that this is a major transition for both you and your loved one. As such, the setting and reinforcing of boundaries is critical to the success of such a move.

The senior care professionals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, have helped several families adjust during this transition. John, who asked his mother Margaret to move in with him, turned to senior care providers to learn more about the needs of his mother and how he can provide them while creating minimal impact on the independence of them both. John was relieved to hear that there are several ways in which he can create strong boundaries that will protect and improve his relationship with his mother while he provides her with the senior care she has come to rely upon.

  1. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child; however, the authority of a parental figure should never be crossed. If you ask your parent to live with you and still have kids in the home, make sure that you stand firm in your role as parent. This boundary is one of the most difficult to create, but it is one of the most important.
  2. Ensure that financial responsibilities are clearly assigned. It may be awkward to discuss money matters with your loved one, but this will create a boundary that eliminates stress and encourages the smooth running of the home.
  3. If you have several people living in your house (spouse, kids, elderly loved one) it is important to set boundaries regarding your time. Set time aside for yourself each week. Taking this time to care for yourself is integral to your ability to take care of others.  
In addition to these tips, John and Margaret took the advice to communicate often and honestly. In doing so, they are able to determine what new boundaries need to be set and how to best reinforce them.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Importance of Background Checks for Caregivers: Keeping Your Senior Safe

Senior care providers are tasked with an immense amount of responsibility. Naturally, then, you want the elder care provider who is caring for your family member to be well-qualified—both professionally and legally speaking. For this reason, reliable senior care agencies will require both proper certification and background checks for the home care professionals that they hire. The senior care providers in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, know that this extra step toward ensuring the safety of elderly individuals is important to seniors and their families.
Protecting Your Elderly Loved One

When looking to hire a senior care professional, either through a senior care agency or on your own, it is crucial that you make sure that a thorough background check is performed. While you certainly do not want to discriminate against candidates based on their personal history, you do want to ensure that they have no criminal history that would interfere with their ability to perform the job well.
While background checks are important in many industries, they are exceptionally valuable in the field of home care because senior care professionals will work in your elderly loved one's home. For this reason, it is imperative that you can trust the elder care provider whom you hire.

Hiring a Senior Care Agency
While you could look for a senior care professional on your own, a local senior care agency will have the resources to find the best provider for your elderly loved one. Not only will the local senior care agency have access to a network of elder care professionals, it will already have the background and certification checks in place that are necessary in hiring a qualified home care provider.

Ultimately, when working through a senior care agency, you can rely upon the expertise of the organization to find the best in-home care professional for your elderly loved one's needs. In doing so, the agency should conduct thorough background checks, consult with references, and confirm up to date certification.
When choosing a caregiver, safety should be your number one priority. A background check will help ensure that the senior care provider you choose is the best fit for your family's needs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to Get Mom to the Doctor When You Live Three States Away

Whether you live three states away or across the country, getting your elderly loved one to the doctor's office can prove to be quite the challenge—that is if you do not have a support network in place. The senior care professionals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, understand that many families provide long distance care to their elderly loved ones. In fact, senior care providers are often a part of the network that these families need to build in order to ensure that their elderly loved ones are able to access the assistance they need.

Elder care professionals have helped families with long distance care since the emergence of the senior care industry. Here are a few tips that these professionals have provided to help you better care for your elderly loved one from afar.
  1. Rely on the expertise of senior care professionals. Senior care agencies can assist you in choosing the right level of home care to meet your elderly loved one's needs. As such, elder care professionals can see to it that your senior is able to make important doctor's appointments. Additionally, these professionals can see to the daily needs of your elderly loved one, depending on the level of assistance that they need with day to day activities, such as grooming, dressing, cleaning, and more.
  2. If you have a trusted friend or family member living near your senior, ask them to take your senior to their doctor's appointment. Caring for an elderly family member often requires a bit of effort from several members of the family—particularly if your senior lives in another state.
  3. Keep open lines of communication with the friend, family member, or senior care professional who is assisting with your elderly loved one. This will facilitate quality care, including the ability of these caregivers to make and keep important medical appointments.
If your elderly loved one needs assistance getting to the doctor's office and you live in another state, it is important that you call upon a network of support to help you take care of your senior. From friends and family members to senior care professionals, members of this support network will ensure that your loved one gets the care they need.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Signs that Dad should no longer drive

Knowing when to take the keys from your parents is an extremely difficult task. In revoking driving privileges, caretakers can easily, even if accidentally, insult the seniors whom they love. But not revoking driving privileges can cause much more damage, as seniors who insist on driving even after they should turn in their license can cause automobile accidents. These accidents may be minor or fatal, but they are all a danger to both your elderly loved one and other drivers on the road.
Asking your parents to turn in their keys is an emotionally difficult responsibility; however, it is a necessary task that can keep them and other drivers safe. The senior care professionals of Durham, North Carolina, have provided these three warning signs to help you determine when it is time for your mom or dad to stop driving.

1.       Your parents’ vision does not meet the demands of driving in traffic. Avoiding accidents by remaining vigilant is the only way to keep from hitting other cars, pedestrians, trees, and a number of similar objects.

2.       Declining reflexes. Preventing accidents requires defensive driving, meaning that drivers must be capable of quickly reacting to the actions of other drivers. For instance, moving to avoid a car that has swerved into your lane. If your parents cannot react quickly enough, they may put themselves and others in danger.

3.       Difficulty remembering where they are going and how to get there. Many elderly individuals experience memory loss. When mild, they may still be able to drive; however, when this memory loss interferes with daily life it is time to stop driving. Memory loss can affect driving in several ways. For example, your parents may forget where they are going, how to get there, and the rules of the road. When this occurs, their driving can become extremely dangerous.
The senior care professionals in Durham, North Carolina, understand that asking your parents to quit driving is a difficult task. But communicating why you feel as though they should give up their keys, and how you believe their actions could affect other drivers and family members, can help your parents understand that you are looking out for their best interest—not trying to take away their independence.