Home Care 101: Getting Started with Non-Medical Homecare

Sometimes family members are thrown into the homecare environment without much warning or time to prepare. I'd like to discuss the basics of homecare to help you get started on your journey. 

As with most industries, homecare has a language all its own. To begin, the term homecare refers to receiving care in your own home, versus a nursing home or assisted living facility, although in some cases it may apply there as well. Most people do best, whether they are recovering or just need a little help staying independent, if they can remain in their own home environment.

Non-medical simply means that no skilled care is being provided. Skilled care is given by a skilled nurse or therapist (i.e. LVN, RN PT, RT, etc.). Non-medical homecare is provided by a companion, personal care aide, a CNA (certified nurses aide) or CHHA (certified home health aide) collectively called caregivers.

Non-medical care can usually be divided into four categories of services:

  • Activities of Daily Living: personal hygiene assistance, eating, getting up in the morning and bedtime activities in the evening, medication reminders (and anything else a senior might need that helps keep them independent in their day to day living)
  • Household Management: light cleaning, meal preparation, laundry services and any other chores they would normally do themselves but now need assistance
  • Companionship:  games, hobbies, accompanying to social events, outdoor activities
  • Transportation:  general errands, shopping, doctor's appointments

I hope you find this information helpful. As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

Senior Nutrition

Every time you turn on the television or open a general interest magazine these days, you are bound to be confronted with a story about the startling and ever-growing worldwide problem of obesity. More and more people are unhealthily overweight, to the point where eating can actually endanger our lives.

There have always been individuals that have eaten unhealthily, mainly because naughty foods can taste so good, but the population as a whole now has to consider how our diets are affecting our health. We can become sluggish and lethargic if we are getting the wrong amounts of nutrients, so conscious thought about what we put into our bodies is essential, and that especially applies to seniors.

As we get older, our metabolism slows down and we can no longer burn calories at the same rate as we used to. It therefore makes it easier for us to put on weight, but harder for us to shed it. However, putting on weight has a more negative affect on seniors than it does any other age group.

Being overweight can put unnecessary stress on the joints and thus accelerate the affects of arthritis, osteoporosis and other bone and muscle disorders and illnesses. It can also bring about the onset of diabetes, which is more common in seniors than in any other age group as it is.

Any senior should enjoy a little of what he or she loves to eat every now and again, but a regular balanced nutritious diet is just what the doctor orders for health and vitality.

A typical senior diet should consist of:

  • 5 to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, although more of the latter than the former
  • 6 to 10 servings of complex carbohydrates a day, which incorporates rice, pasta, bread and cereals
  • 2 or 3 helpings of calcium-based products, which includes milk, cheese and yoghurt (although the low fat variety would work out best)
  • 2 to 3 servings of meat, poultry or fish a day o provide the body with protein
  • A large amount of fiber throughout the day, which can also be found in the cereals, fruit and vegetables mentioned above

All of the foods listed above are finely balanced as far as amount are concerned. This diet would fulfill every nutritional need that a normal senior has and would encourage good health. However, dieticians do advise that seniors stay away from saturated fats and sodium. The latter, typically known as salt, is a factor of increased blood pressure.

Therefore, salt should only be used sparingly. Most natural foods do contain salt, but in healthy doses, and so excess salt should be avoided. Avoid baking with it if at all possible, and try to resist that liberal sprinkle on your meals. 

Saturated fat is actually resistant to the body’s nutritional process. That is to say it is not broken down and used for good within your body. It just sits there and clogs up our arteries. As a result, it is a factor in heart disease, forms of cancer and gallbladder disease, as well as the widespread obesity in society today.

A well balanced diet can boost your health, and a poor diet that does not fulfill all bodily nutritional requirements can actually cause it to deteriorate. In seniors, this is especially dangerous.

After all, if you struggle to move then how are you supposed to work off the excess weight? If you are in shape, you can avoid immobility. It is therefore a vicious circle that may relate directly to your diet.

All seniors should enjoy life to the fullest extent, and eating healthily on a regular basis can actively extend the quality of your life. Make the most of every opportunity because you only get one chance at life. Revolutionize your diet and reap the rewards!

 

2012 San Diego Award in the Home Health Service category

Caregivers Unlimited has been selected for the 2012 San Diego Award in the Home Health Service category by the San Diego Award Program.

Each year, the San Diego Award Program identifies companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the San Diego area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2012 San Diego Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the San Diego Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About San Diego Award Program

The San Diego Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the San Diego area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The San Diego Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.