Provider Resources

A collection of resources for senior care providers and their businesses.

By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: February 22, 2017

Marketing on a tight budget for home health care providers

Being more active on social media, attending conferences and leveraging Carelike's CareMatch technology can go a long way to improving your marketing campaign and boosting your referral network and client base.

As a home health care provider, you know the importance of networking and marketing yourself to continually find new clients. But carving out the time and money from your already thinly stretched calendars and budgets can make these crucial tasks difficult or even impossible.

However, with the right focus on a streamlined, cost-effective strategy, you can launch a robust marketing campaign with little money and minimal time.

Consider these simple yet valuable techniques for marketing your home health care business on even the smallest budget:

Boost your online presence

The internet has been a boon to small organizations and self-employed individuals who want to expand their reach and build their brand. However, it is surprising that many home health care providers will spend a substantial amount of money on traditional printed marketing materials, such as brochures and business cards, while neglecting their online presence.

"Your online presence reaches a larger audience than traditional printed materials."

Improving your online presence, position and reputation will help you reach a wider audience, and at a fraction of the cost and time of print marketing. Social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, offer you an open channel to upload and interact with current and prospective clients.

Along with social media, online review site and local business apps like Yelp and Angie's List are a great way for people to locate new services. Ensure that your home health care operation is listed in these places and that your contact information is available and accurate. These sites will also house feedback from customers voicing their satisfaction or lack thereof. While it's okay to reply to posts about your services, remember to keep things civil and professional, since this information will be available for all to see.

You can use these resources to upload insightful information about the industry, build up your referral base and keep your clients and peers updated on current success stories.

Attend conferences and local community events

Locating and attending conferences and conventions for home health care providers broadens your professional network. Forging connections at these events creates new referral channels and can even substantially expand your social media following if you leverage these interactions correctly.

From the National Association for Home Care and Hospice to the Home Care Association of America or the American Association for Homecare, there are plenty of organizations of all sizes that host conferences and provide numerous opportunities throughout the year to engage in networking. Even organizations like your town's Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce will host breakfasts, luncheons or cocktail hours to gather local small businesses.

Leverage CareMatch technology

Having access to an expansive nationwide network of families and seniors seeking care providers can be a great advantage to expanding your operations. With more than 350,000 senior care options available in the database, Carelike's CareMatch search capabilities let you gather better qualified leads while also letting care-seekers see your detailed profile highlighting your qualifications and experience.

Additionally, Carelike is in partnership with dozens of organizations that are looking to the Carelike directory to make referral recommendations.  Organizations range from patient advocacy groups like the Alzheimer's Association, to EAP programs, to hospital systems like the Mayo Clinic, health insurance companies, discharge planning software companies, and many more.  When you populate your business information with Carelike, you are not only getting exposure on Carelike.com and with their CareMatch technology but you also get exposure to thousands of professionals making referral recommendations based off of the information you provided Carelike.

Being more active on social media, attending conferences and leveraging Carelike's CareMatch technology can go a long way to improving your marketing campaign and boosting your referral network and client base. 

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: February 06, 2017

Tech making an impact on home health care services

Carelike's senior housing and elder care directory, coupled with its CareMatch technology, lets care providers quickly and easily post business information and service offerings.

Home care aides have long been facilitators of independence and good health for seniors. From providing assistance for individuals who want to age in place to ensuring their clients remain active participants in their communities, it's crucial that care providers have the means to promote this self-sufficiency.

Thankfully, an assortment of emerging technological devices and internet platforms have arisen that ease the facilitation of this independence and health lifestyles for seniors.

Social media keeps everyone connected

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media outlets have made the world more interconnected than ever before. While Facebook began solely as a means for college students to stay linked, it quickly transformed into a global network accessible to people of all ages. Increasingly, older adults are using the channel. According to a 2016 survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 62 percent of online individuals ages 65 and older log in and use Facebook - a jump of 14 percentage points from the 48 percent of this cohort who reported using the site in 2015.

"Facebook keeps seniors connected with friends and families."

One of the great things about social media is that it allows seniors to interact with friends, families and even strangers - a key component to remaining independent and healthy. However, the service also provides a channel for seniors to keep everyone updated about health problems or other issues preventing them from living life to the fullest.

Wearable technology

As computers become smaller and more ubiquitous, innovative companies have been incorporating technology into just about everything. This has facilitated the advent and growth of wearable technology. And it's having an impact on the home health community for good reason. 

Each year, roughly 33 percent Americans ages 65 and older and half of people 85 and older, experience a life-changing fall, Live Science reported. These slips can cause severe injuries and prevent individuals from reaching their phone to contact an emergency service.

A medical alarm system that includes a pendant or device that senses a sudden fall and impact reduces the chances for long-term injuries or worse. These devices have become much more advanced in recent years, with internet connections and immediate contact methods if the wearer doesn't respond.

Increased access to wearable technology allows home care aides to stay informed of any potentially dangerous slips or falls that might occur to the seniors they assist.

 

New technology has been key in allowing home health aides boost their quality of care.

New technology has been key in allowing home health aides boost their quality of care.

Matching with the best care aides

Finding the right home care aide and matching him or her with the ideal person is crucial for maintaining solid relationships. 

Carelike's senior housing and elder care directory, coupled with its CareMatch technology, lets care providers quickly and easily post business information and service offerings. The information is then sent to Carelike’s network of Channel Partners who license and view the provider information in order to make referral recommendations to their patients.  This robust and comprehensive search technology connects the most ideal care provider candidate best suited to the care seeker’s needs. For a minimal fee, care providers can set up a detailed profile with a comprehensive list of qualifications and experiences. This enables the CareMatch technology to produce more accurate connections that allow for better relationships between care providers and care seekers. 

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Blog  |  On: December 22, 2016

5 New Year’s Resolutions for care professionals

There are several New Year's resolutions that you could try to achieve that specifically apply to your work as a caregiver.

Believe it or not, 2016 is coming to a close, which means that a lot of people are thinking about New Year's resolutions. There are several New Year's resolutions that you could try to achieve that specifically apply to your work as a caregiver.

A new year is always a fresh start. Consider some of these New Year's resolutions for caregiver in order to have a happy and healthy 2017 for both you and your patients.

1. Take more time for yourself: As a caregiver, you often have a lot of responsibilities both at work and at home. And, more often than not, it can seem like you are burning the candle at both ends at times. However, your career as a caregiver is all about finding the right work-life balance. After all, if you are completely burnt out at work, you aren't going to be in the right mindset to properly care for your patients. Be sure that you take time off when you need it, find room to exercise and relax, and keep those extra-long days to a minimum. 

2. Get organized: With so many patients, medication schedules and updates to keep track of, caregivers need to take steps to be more organized. Fortunately, there are a lot of tech solutions that can help you accomplish this. Also be sure to document all of your patients' papers and files in an online forum so that they are easy to find. Some time management tools include CareZone, Evernote and Personal Caregiver, to name a few.

 

There are plenty of great New Year's Resolutions for care professionals this year.

There are plenty of great New Year's resolutions for care professionals this year.

3. Learn how to delegate and say 'no' when you need to: Caregivers by nature want to make sure they are doing everything they can for their patients. However, it's simply impossible to meet everyone's needs 100 percent of the time. To prevent burnout and make sure your patients are properly cared for, you will need to learn how to say no when you simply don't have the time and to lean on family caregivers and friends of patients when you can't be there in person.

4. Start doing your research: With so many therapies and treatments getting more advanced by the minute, the possibilities for better care are endless. When have some down time, begin reading studies and publications about caregiving so that you are staying on top of the best cutting-edge treatments. You could also take the time to learn about healthcare plans and reforms so that you are better equipped to answer common questions from your patients about coverage and costs.

5. A renewed focus on nutrition and exercise for your patients: Seniors need daily exercise and nutrients in order to live the best quality of life. However, this is far too often swept under the rug in most care plans today. While you are documenting your patients' care plans, be sure to also include information about diet and exercise so that you have a holistic care plan in place for all of your patients heading into 2017.

If you are unsure about what your New Year's resolution should be this year, consider one of these suggestions to get 2017 off to a good start. 

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: December 06, 2016

The growing threat of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer's disease has become one of the biggest public health crises in the U.S., especially over the past few decades.

Alzheimer's disease has become one of the biggest public health crises in the U.S., especially over the past few decades.

According to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, more than 50 percent of nursing home residents who used long-term care services were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, and it is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Although these statistics are alarming, they only tell one part of the story when it comes to this condition. The Alzheimer's Association also says that 47 million people are currently living with Alzheimer's or other dementias worldwide, affecting people from all walks of life. 

Alzheimer's at a glance
This disease doesn't just affect those who are afflicted, but it also impacts whole families and communities. Support from caregivers, friends and family members is absolutely crucial for patients who are trying to battle Alzheimer's, so it is important to understand the behaviors and challenges.

Alzheimer's goes through three general stages: all with mild, moderate and severe cognitive decline, according to the Alzheimer's Association. The progression of these stages depends on the person, but the disease can last anywhere from four to 20 years.

Cognitive decline can also afflict individuals in different ways, but some of the more common ones include difficulties communicating during work or social interactions, losing valuable objects, trouble remembering names, speech pattern decline, and the inability to plan or organize daily tasks. Eventually these symptoms can progress into more debilitating symptoms, such as forgetfulness about personal history, personality changes and physical problems as well.

 

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease affects millions of patients and families worldwide.

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease affect millions of patients and families worldwide.

Searching for breakthroughs in Alzheimer's
Breakthroughs in science are also needed now more than ever to stop this disease from progressing. As Forbes recently pointed out, a promising new drug, solanezumab, did not pass late-stage clinical trials with Alzheimer's patients, meaning that many researchers are going back to the drawing board and looking for a more practical approach to conquer the disease.

However, there are some glimmers of hope. Fortunately, many researchers and policymakers have recently made Alzheimer's a priority. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the House Appropriations Committee approved an additional $350 million to go toward Alzheimer's research this past summer after pressure from more than a thousand Alzheimer's advocates who expressed their concerns.

No matter what happens in the future with Alzheimer's, it's clear that a combination of medical innovation and informed policy decisions are needed in order to give families, caregivers and patients the resources they need to meet the immense challenges of this condition moving forward. 

Raising awareness
As Alzheimer's continues to affect more people in the U.S., various awareness efforts have taken place across the country. Many people have joined in Alzheimer's Awareness marches, worn purple during Alzheimer's Awareness Month and shared their stories on social media with hashtags like #ENDALZ or #IGoPurpleFor in order to shine the spotlight on the disease and research efforts. Many celebrities have also shared their support and personal stories about the fight against Alzheimer's, including comedian Seth Rogen, the cast of "The Big Bang Theory," athlete Tony Hawk, musician Grace Potter and fashion expert Nina Garcia.

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: November 28, 2016

Coordinating home healthcare schedules with patient family members

The field of caregiving is growing and becoming much more reliant on technology to keep up with the demands of modern healthcare.

Caregiving is a task that requires a lot of patience and understanding. In addition to having empathy for those who need your medical care, you must find ways to make caregiving management less stressful and more meaningful for both you and your patients.

Many of your patients rely on family members to help them complete daily tasks, especially if they struggle with cognitive issues like Alzheimer's disease or physical disabilities. Everything from medication instructions to appointment scheduling must be communicated with family members and other loved ones to ensure your patients are finding the right balance and staying as healthy as possible.

That's why coordinating schedules with patient family members is so important. It helps you communicate better with the people who need your services the most, and it also makes your job a little easier as well. Fortunately, the field of caregiving is growing and becoming much more reliant on technology to keep up with the demands of modern caregiving.

If you're a healthcare provider looking for better ways to coordinate schedules with patient family members, read below for some sound advice on how to get started.

 

There are several caregiving apps that can help better manage your time with patients and their families.

There are several caregiving apps that can help better manage your time with patients and their families.

1. Talk about your schedules from the very beginning: It's easy to get overwhelmed with your work as a caregiver, so you'll need to set boundaries and schedules with new patients and their families from the very beginning. Let them know when you will be available for work and when certain hours and days are off-limits. Being a caregiver means you can likely balance your own schedule and do amazing things for your patients. However, job demands can be challenging in this field, so it's important to schedule time for yourself as well.

2. Make a care calendar for patient family members: With so many appointments, medications and treatments to keep track of with each patient, care calendars are a must. Just like you, patient family members have careers, schedules, relationships and kids to think about in addition to their loved one who needs care. Having a care calendar lays out all of the information your patient needs upfront so that both parties can keep track of medications, doctor's visits, physical therapy sessions and other treatments needed to stay healthy.

3. Try out caregiving apps: Smartphones and other remote devices have become a huge asset for caregivers who want to balance schedules, especially with patients and their family members. According to Provider magazine, there are several reputable apps to choose from that can help you balance your activities directly from your phone or tablet, and some even link to social media sites and online calendars to make life even easier for all parties involved. What's more, many of these apps are available for free through the iOS and Android stores. Some of these include Balance, CareZone, Balance and Care/Mind. If you already carry around a smartphone for personal use, try downloading one of these apps to see if it works for you and your busy lifestyle.

Balancing your time as a caregiver can get tricky, especially with so many people to care for. However, by following these tips, you can worry less about scheduling and focus on what matters most: your patients and their families.

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: November 16, 2016

Uber used as transportation for home health providers

The terms "Uber" and "healthcare" have been used together a lot in the news lately, and it's no wonder.

Ride-sharing apps like Uber have taken over a considerable share of the transportation market in the past several years, especially in cities. Though the benefits of grabbing a ride from your phone are obvious for the general public, many businesses in the private sector are beginning to capitalize on the affordability and ease of use with Uber, including the healthcare sector.

Paving the way
Circulation, a transportation platform based in Boston, is now setting up a platform with health systems to arrange rides with Uber's application programing interface. Many experts working within Circulation believe this model has huge potential, as it could provide a reliable form of transportation for home health workers. It also works on demand to deliver high-quality healthcare workers to patients suffering from non-emergency medical issues safely and accurately. According to Home Healthcare News, John Brownstein, Circulation's co-founder, Harvard Medical School professor and a health care adviser to Uber, Circulation is already looking toward the future.

"That would be the next phase of this platform," he said. Brownstein went on to explain that Circulation was "designed with seniors in mind … there's definitely an opportunity to use Circulation for on-demand home health services." 

 

Apps like Uber could become a useful tool in the home health industry soon.Apps like Uber could become a useful tool in the home health industry soon.

Working with hospitals and providers to use Uber for home healthcare could indeed help many seniors suffering from cognitive issues, such as dementia and Alzheimer's. These patients might feel more comfortable seeing a medical professional in their own homes. The same could be true for homebound seniors with physical impairments, such as those who rely on a cane or wheelchair to get to their appointments.

Is an 'Uber for healthcare' on the rise?
The terms "Uber" and "healthcare" have been used together a lot in the news lately, and it's no wonder. After all, on-demand services are incredibly easy to use and convenient, which is not the case for healthcare in many ways. Wait times to see a healthcare professional are rising, and many people want the personal connection with providers that quick appointments don't always allow. It would seem that an "Uber for healthcare" would solve many of these issues.

Still, there are some professionals in health tech who are wary about on-demand health services. In a recent TechCrunch article, the argument is that healthcare is a multi-faceted need for consumers and can't be solved in the one-time transaction, such as a ride to the airport. Most people, the author argues, value the doctor-patient relationship above anything else, which can be hard to nail down in an on-demand experience.

However, that's not to say that Uber can't be a great stand-alone tool for health systems to use for homebound seniors or patients with cognitive decline. Brownstein also spoke with the Boston Globe about a project he led last year called UberHEALTH, which successfully helped transport medical professionals in Boston and 35 other cities to administer more than 2,000 flu shots. In a survey given to those who participated in the program, 78 percent said that the delivery of the vaccine was crucial in deciding to be part of the platform.

While it's still unclear whether or not Uber will turn into a fixed part of the healthcare system, there are signs that it could become more common in the home health sector in the future. 

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Press Release  |  On: November 15, 2016

Carelike, LLC. leads change in senior care referral industry

Carelike differentiates from its competitors by giving care seekers access and transparency to all providers in their area, not just those who pay for a profile. Carelike displays all available information, truly giving families the power of choice and the ability to make informed decisions.

Carelike, LLC. leads change in senior care referral industry

Media contact:
Stephanie F. Jackson
Carelike, LLC.
Tele: (404) 250-8370

ATLANTA, GA. (November 15, 2016) -- As many Americans (especially baby boomers) are discovering, finding the perfect care service for a senior loved one is challenging. Per data from a 2015 AARP report, approximately 43.5 million adults provided unpaid elder care, mainly to relatives. This number only stands to grow as baby boomers age, and Carelike has come up with a solution.

With most senior-placement companies, care seekers use online or call-in services to find an assisted living community or home health aide for their loved one. However, they only get information from a small, select number of providers who have a contract to be listed on that referral company's website. This means care seekers miss out on many providers who might more closely fit their needs, have more esteemed credentials or elicited better patient reviews.

The senior care referral industry has been around for years, and so has Carelike (previously SNAPforSeniors). The organization is well-connected and has the experience and expertise required to drive a much-needed change to the industry. Their business model has always put the care-seeker first. Everyone who is a licensed senior care professional - not just those who "pay to play" - shows up in Carelike's comprehensive database of providers. This is because Carelike pulls from 400 different sources to gather data on senior and post-acute care providers. The organization then goes to great lengths to clean, filter and augment the data to give care seekers the most up-to-date and accurate picture of each provider.

This methodology has made Carelike the preferred partner for organizations who help consumers find care, which include renowned health organizations, health insurance companies, care management companies, EAPs and patient advocacy groups, including the Alzheimer's Association.

If you haven't heard of Carelike, it may be because the company has always worked behind the scenes providing well-known, reputable organizations with data. Now that this company aims to appeal to consumer care seekers, Carelike will share providers' information with not only organizations who license the data but with family members looking for senior services through their new consumer search site.

Carelike is the only online senior listing company that provides that type of exposure for providers - to both consumers and professional care-seekers at organizations who license the data. Meanwhile, Carelike differentiates from its competitors by giving care seekers access and transparency to all providers in their area, not just those who pay for a profile. Carelike displays all available information, truly giving families the power of choice and the ability to make informed decisions. Discover the possibilities for yourself at CareLike.com.

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Article  |  On: September 13, 2016

How to become a home health aide

Caregiver jobs offer a gateway to an exciting and rewarding career path that other occupations simply can't offer.

Caregiver jobs offer a gateway to an exciting and rewarding career path that other occupations simply can't offer. However, the idea of all the studying, classwork and experience required to become a nurse practitioner or doctor often dissuades compassionate people from pursuing these careers. Fortunately, there's a way you can help others in no time at all - by becoming a home health aide.

As U.S. News and World Report explained, home health aides perform a combination of nursing duties and housework in an effort to make living at home easier for clients. For instance, they might one day help wipe up a spill in a senior's kitchen that the individual can't bend down and clean on his or her own. The next afternoon could be spent bathing patients and attending to wounds.

Andrea Devoti of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice told USN that home health aides have a unique and profound impact on clients.

"Many of our patients will think of their [home care aide] as the nurse that really cured them because he or she helped them do the things they needed to do to get well," she said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for this job is growing, and home health aides make an average hourly wage of $10.54. If you're looking for a way to make money doing exactly what you love, you might consider pursuing a career as a home health aide. Learn how to get started:

Determine if this career path is right for you
If you're reading this article, you no doubt have a passion for helping others. However, there is more to the home health aide job than providing care. It's important to understand all responsibilities to determine whether this career is the right for for you.

According to the BLS, home health aides may help clients with daily living tasks like bathing and dressing, organize and plan their appointments, check vital signs, perform housekeeping, encourage socialization and go grocery shopping.

 

CPR training group.

Home health aides may need to undergo CPR training to become certified.

Receive training
If those duties seem like tasks you'd enjoy, then the next step involves training. Formal education is not a requirement for this position, but you will need training from a qualified agency, which will teach you how to check vital signs, nutrition basics and first aid, among other relevant lessons. Afterwards, you'll have to pass a competency test in order to receive certification.

Apply for jobs
Now, it's time to start your job hunt! You'll likely apply for a home health agency that will then connect you with clients. This way, you can receive guaranteed hours and employee benefits as well as support for caring for clients.

To make sure you land the interview, Entrepreneur advised making sure you meet most of the qualifications before applying. Additionally, adjust your resume to better demonstrate how your skills make you an ideal candidate for a particular job. 

What are you waiting for? If a career as a home health aide seems like the right fit for you, get started on your journey today.

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Article  |  On: September 01, 2016

Stay safe as a home health care worker

A general sense of caution is vital for home health workers considering you have limited control over the work environment.

Homes are often regarded as safe havens. However, if you're working in the home health field, it's important to avoid letting your guard down even if the house's walls are lined with embroidered pictures of flower fields. While you certainly shouldn't fear your clients, a general sense of caution is vital considering you have limited control over the work environment. Here are a few tips to stay safe on the job:

Beware of dog
Even the most experienced animal experts are at risk for injury. Just consider the Bengal tiger who attacked Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy in 2003. The men had put on shows with these animals 2,000 times without incident before one cat inexplicably mauled Roy, according to the Today show.

While it's unlikely you'll encounter a tiger while working in home health jobs, pets can pose risks, too. Survey data cited in the book "Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches (Vol. 1: Assessment)" found that 17 percent of home health care workers have dealt with aggressive pets on the job. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare advised those in this field to not touch pets. In fact, you might benefit from requesting the client put the animal in a cage or separate room during your visit.

 

Beagle sitting in kennel.

As tempting as it may be, avoiding touching clients' pets to remain safe.

Practice caution with clients
While your job is to help clients with daily living activities and provide care, you have to look out for your own well-being, too. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, health care workers are at a higher risk for workplace violence than other occupations, much of which is due to violent clients. Individuals you work with are unwell in some shape or form, and their condition can make them aggressive. For instance, a devastating prognosis or certain medications can prompt people to be combative.

This won't be the case with every client you encounter, but if an incident does occur, use it as an opportunity to evaluate cause and risk factors. Adjust your practices to protect yourself, or speak with your employer about working with a colleague on certain jobs to create a safer environment.

"Always bring along non-latex disposable gloves and hand sanitizer."

Keep it clean
Your own home might be spick and span, but there's no telling what conditions will be like in your clients' houses. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, unsanitary spaces exasperate the spread disease and infections and can cause medical supplies to become contaminated. Some may even put home health workers in the midsts of bed bugs or mites.

If this is the case for you, always bring along non-latex disposable gloves and hand sanitizer. Additionally, limit what supplies you take into the home, as this will expose less equipment to potential contamination. Finally, watch where you place your belongings, like a purse or backpack. Instead of setting them down on the carpet or upholstered furniture, which are more likely to harbor germs, set them on a table or keep them in the car.

Handle with care
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that nursing assistants are among the top occupations for incurring musculoskeletal injuries. Lifting patients is a major contributor to this issue. It's important for home health workers to practice appropriate techniques when moving clients.

This can be challenging in the home health field considering these workers often go to jobs alone and client homes don't always have lifting equipment. In this case, you should assess the patient's risk for falls and keep an open line of communication with your employer about the situation. Together, you and the agency you work for can come up with a plan to keep both you and the client safe from injury.

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Article  |  On: August 04, 2016

How home health providers can discuss long-term care options with seniors

Unless you're a live-in caretaker, chances are there will come a time when you client needs a more permanent solution for his or her health needs, such as moving to assisted living community.

As a home health provider, you have such an important job helping seniors age in place as long as possible. However, unless you're a live-in caretaker, there will likely come a time when you client needs a more permanent solution for his or her health needs, such as moving to assisted living community. Here's how to approach that discussion with older adults:

Act as the buffer for family members
If your clients have family members involved in their lives like adult children, these individuals will likely be the ones making the final decision. However, there's a good chance they'll invite you to the discussion with the senior.

In this position, you might best serve as the buffer between family members and the senior. As research published in "Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses" explained, seniors may feel like their freedoms are being taken away when family members provide care. This sense of confinement may increase when discussions of assisted living come into play. You can keep the peace in the family by conveying important information while emphasizing that the senior will still maintain his or her independence.

Don't procrastinate on this duty
Telling clients that they may fare better in an assisted living community isn't always an easy conversation. In fact, you might find yourself avoiding the topic altogether. Otherwise, it could be the family that's stalling. Either way, this type of procrastination can do more harm than good, especially when clients experience cognitive decline.

As the Alzheimer's Association explained, people are more likely to react positively to a long-term care move when they are involved in the decision-making process. That requires home care workers to have this conversation while the client is still able to understand what this transition means and can communicate their thoughts.

 

Senior woman in wheel chair gardening.

Assisted living communities allow seniors to enjoy hobbies like gardening.

Focus on the benefits of assisted living communities
While it is important to discuss why part-time care is not sufficient for the client's health needs, you can also highlight how transitioning to assisted living brings tons of advantages. For one, staff at these locales know that the move can be challenging, and that's why they create a welcoming atmosphere. Plus, they have plenty of activities for residents to fill their days, such as outings at the theater to fitness classes.

As Helpguide.com explained, most reservations seniors have about assisted living communities turn out to be myths. For example, independence isn't lost with this transition as many older adults fear. In fact, assisted living communities are designed to preserve autonomy, providing care when needed but giving residents a lot of personal freedom. Residents can enjoy their normal hobbies like reading or gardening and still visit with family and friends. Many residences host events to encourage visitors to get involved with the community.

As a home health provider, you have a duty to care for your clients, and that includes quelling their fears and helping them lead a more fulfilling lifestyle. Be honest with seniors about whether your services can help them, and guide them and their families through the transition to assisted living.

For an additional resource regarding discussing moving options with seniors, check out the senior guide to downsizing.

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