First Choice In-Home Care Blog

5 Traits Required for Home Health Care Providers

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 10, 2017 5:29:00 PM / by First Choice posted in In-Home Health Care, Caregiver, Professional Caregiver

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The demand for home health care workers is expected to skyrocket in the years ahead due to the rapidly aging population. While this is good news for people looking for the stability and satisfaction promised by a job in this crucial field, it's important to acknowledge that home health care careers aren't for everyone.

Beyond the obvious "hard" skills required of home health care providers, what soft skills do you need to succeed? These five traits are a great place to start.
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Keeping Safe When Providing Home Care Assistance

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 14, 2017 4:01:00 PM / by First Choice posted in In-Home Health Care, Professional Caregiver

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While professional caregivers devote their lives to the health of others, this doesn't mean their own safety should go unaddressed. And the reality is that caregivers are vulnerable to a number of different wellness concerns. In fact, the "home health care industry logs relatively large numbers of lost worktime injuries resulting from highway accidents, all types of overexertion when assisting clients, and falls inside and outside their homes," according to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The good news? There are some things home health workers can do to minimize risk and maximize safety while working in non-hospital settings. Read on for a roundup of five tips aimed at keeping in-home caregivers safe.
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3 Steps to Providing the Best Home Health Care Possible

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 11, 2017 2:27:00 PM / by First Choice posted in In-Home Health Care, Professional Caregiver, Career

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Home health care professionals are in high demand and that demand is projected to continue for some years to come, making home health care an excellent choice for those looking for employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for home health aides is projected at 38 percent, which is much higher than the projections for most types of employment.

If you are interested in a career in health care, but you do not want to spend years in school to reach your goals, choosing a career as a home health aide will put you in a position to be truly helpful to patients and impact the lives of patients and their families for the better. What steps can you take to provide the best home health care possible?
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Challenges and Complications of Senior Care at Home

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 1, 2016 8:27:00 AM / by First Choice posted in In-Home Health Care, Caregiver, Questions, Professional Caregiver

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Family caregivers have a tough job and a huge responsibility. Alarmingly, however, these caregivers are often marginalized as they go about their tasks of caring for their elderly family members.
Terry Fulmer, RN, PhD, FAAN, president of the John A. Hartford Foundation, observes: "Family caregivers of older adults are almost invisible in our health care system, yet the system could not function without them."
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Senior Moments: An Aging Population and Gaps in Senior Care

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 15, 2016 12:41:00 PM / by First Choice posted in In-Home Health Care, Senior Care, Caregiver, Professional Caregiver

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As a virtual flood of Baby Boomers enter their senior years, the American caregiving system is facing a crisis of sorts. When you crunch the projected numbers, there is a significant gap between demand for senior health care and supply.

Senior Population Growing Rapidly
Some would argue that there is already a shortage of caregivers to care for the increasing senior population. But statistically speaking, a wider gap is imminent. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2014, there were 46.2 million people in the U.S. over the age of 65. They represented 14.5 percent of the population.

Now, fast forward to projections for the year 2040. By 2040, adults ages 65 and over will account for 21.7 percent of the population. By 2060, it is estimated that 98 million Americans will be 65 or older. That is more than double the number of seniors in America today.
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Sometimes, Caregivers Are Abused

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 7, 2016 8:18:00 PM / by First Choice posted in In-Home Health Care, Caregiver, Professional Caregiver

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Caregiving is a challenging job under the best of circumstances. However, when the person for whom you are caring is combative, aggressive, or abusive, the challenges can be both shocking and overwhelming. What can be done if you, as the caregiver, are the one being abused?

Why Seniors May Become Abusive
First, it is important to understand why aggressive or abusive behavior occurs. In some cases, you may be caring for a senior who has always been a little rough around the edges. As he or she gets older and mental and physical health declines, it may be easy for the senior to slip into anger over a perceived loss of independence, control, and ability.

At other times, abusive behavior can spring from a physical or mental condition, such as pain, hallucinations, medication side effects, or dementia. Such conditions may cause a person who has never exhibited violent tendencies to become aggressive.

AARP's "When Caregivers are Abused" notes that abuse can stem from denial on the part of a senior when he or she is confronted with failing health. Aggression can also come from depression on the part of your loved one. Decreased inhibition may also be a factor, especially for those in early stages of frontotemporal dementia and in later stages of Alzheimer's.
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How Home Health Care Helps Prevent Avoidable Hospitalizations

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 24, 2016 6:05:00 PM / by First Choice posted in In-Home Health Care, Caregiver, Professional Caregiver

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While recipients of home health care and their families provide much anecdotal evidence of the benefits of home care, it is always good to learn about research in provable positive outcomes of utilizing in-home care services.

A recent Harvard pilot program has been designed to explore whether a new home health care coordination program will reduce the number of repeat hospitalizations among seniors using the services of home health agencies.

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How to Avoid Burnout When Providing Home Care Services

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 3, 2016 3:52:00 PM / by First Choice posted in In-Home Health Care, Caregiver, Professional Caregiver

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Many people associate caregiver burnout only with family members who serve as primary caregivers for other family members. The reality is, however, that caregiver burnout can affect the most professional of hired caregivers at any time. What can you do as a professional caregiver to protect yourself from the harmful effects of caregiver burnout?

Understanding What Caregiver Burnout Is

The first step to preventing caregiver burnout is to understand what it is. According to WebMD, caregiver burnout is "a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude -- from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned."
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What Caregivers Need to Know About Bedsores

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 10, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by First Choice posted in Senior Care, Caregiver, Professional Caregiver

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When it comes to senior care, the more you know the better care you can provide. This is very true when it comes to bedsores. Did you know that there is more than one way to get a bedsore? While most people think of bedsores as only affecting seniors who are completely bedridden, there are a variety of other conditions that may lead to the development of bedsores.

Since it is much easier to prevent a bedsore than to heal it after it forms, it is important to learn about the risk factors, causes, and treatment of bedsores before they become a serious problem for your loved one.
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5 Tricks Senior Care Providers Use to Avoid Stress & Stay Positive

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 8, 2016 2:29:32 PM / by First Choice posted in In-Home Health Care, Senior Care, Caregiver, Professional Caregiver

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Professional caregiving is not for the faint of heart. Just as family caregivers can experience burnout and distress while watching a loved one's physical and mental health decline, so too can professional caregivers who develop a bond with their patients feel stress and the emotional pain that comes with caring for the elderly.

In some cases, professional caregivers may also encounter significant resistance from a patient who is having trouble adjusting to his or her changed circumstances. Occasionally, this resistance manifests itself in the form of anger or irritability displayed inappropriately toward the caregiver. This, too, can be stressful.
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