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Atlanta Caregiver & Home Care Articles

Home Care: 8 Things You Should Know Before You Hire a Caregiver

Posted by David Bacon on Apr 29, 2014 2:53:00 PM

home care, caregiver, senior care, Easy Living Services

 

 

 

Each week, Easy Living Services interacts with clients that are struggling to make decisions not only for themselves, but also for a loved one.  Each family has questions and we took our most common queries and posted them below.  We hope you find them useful!

What are the three most important qualities to look for in a caregiver?
  • Compassion, Passionate about helping others & Skilled -  Caregivers that are Certified Nursing Assistants who have a minimum of 5 years experience.  Demand a rigorous screening process that includes an extensive background check, in-depth interview and personal and professional reference checks. Only with an agency that provides this are you ensured of working with a highly skilled caregiver who is passionate about caring for those who need assistance.  For your peace of mind, our referred caregivers meet all of these criteria and are fully insured.
What kind of services should I expect from my caregiver?
  • All non-medical assistance that will keep your loved one safe and comfortable at home, at the hospital or in a nursing or re-hab facility. Companion / Homemaker / Personal Care - Caregivers can provide light housekeeping, errands, meals, socialization and companionship.  Personal Care can include bathing, dressing, grooming, safety, sanitation and meal preparation.
What if my caregiver can't make it due to illness?
  • Ensure that your provider has a large staff of qualified, professional and reliable caregivers -  In the event of  caregiver illness or emergency absence this ensures that a replacement is available. Easy Living Services maintains a backup program and has a large network of professionals available to assist with your needs.
Why should I use an agency instead of hiring a private caregiver out of the newspaper or internet?
  • You will want to ensure that caregivers are screened, trained, have an excellent work ethic and are insured for your safety - Caregivers that have been professionally trained specifically in working with persons who are disabled, recovering from an illness or injury as well as senior care must be adequately screened to ensure that they are qualified to care for your loved one.  Working with an agency is like having an insurance plan ensuring that you have a qualified caregiver available when you want and need "life made easier".
What is live-in care and how is the cost determined?
  • Clients requiring around the clock care can opt for a caregiver to live with their loved one.  The caregiver must be able to sleep 7-8 hours at night and have a separate room for sleeping.  Live-in services are available for both Companion and Personal Care. Instead of paying an hourly rate Live-In rates are normally a flat fee per day making the cost a more affordable option.   Easy Living Services rates are highly competitive - starting at $175/Day.
Can I have flexible hourly care?
  • Yes. Some clients require only part-time care. Easy Living Services offers hourly care services starting at only $16.95/Hour.  (Some minimums may apply.)        
What about emergency care after business hours?
  • Your caregiver provider should be available 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  When their office is closed, there needs to be an on-call knowledgeable person availble to assist with any emergency needs. Easy Living has an on-call knowledgeable person available to assist with emergency after hour needs 24/7/365.
Why would I want to use a locally owned company rather than a franchise agency?
  • Ask yourself if a bigger company is necessarily a better company. Home Care agencies are one of the largest growing industries in today's market.  "Big business" has seized this opportunity.  Franchised, "locally owned" agencies are on every corner.  A franchise owner typically goes to franchise school for a couple of weeks and then becomes apart of a large corporate run entity.   At Easy Living you control your Home Care service and selection guided by our expertise and insight.  At Easy Living caring is more than just a business, it is our philosophy in action every day! 

 

Easy Living works with only the best Atlanta caregivers. Many of our clients have used our service for 10+ years and the feedback is consistent in superior levels of satisfaction. We are your Home Care staffing expert - we've been assisting Atlanta families for over 20 years!

For more information on professional In-Home service for your loved one, please contact Easy Living services today at (770) 442-8664.

 

Topics: elder care, Home Care, senior care, caregiver, homecare, dementia, cancer, Alzheimers

Helping Someone Who is Facing A Mental Meltdown

Posted by Debby Franklin on Apr 11, 2014 12:43:00 PM

mental health, mental health disordrs, mental breakdown, nervous breakdownAs a country are we facing a nationwide mental meltdown?  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 26% of American adults are currently suffering from mental health disorders with 18% from conditions that are rooted in anxiety.  As a family member or friend, you may be the one most likely to recognize when someone you know is approaching a mental crisis. The vast majority of people are silent sufferers which can make the cry for help difficult to identify.  

Here are tips on warning signs and how to take action and respond to troubling behavior that can lead to a mental meltdown:

  • Depression - Loss of interest - Negative viewpoint - Aggressive criticisms - Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of concern for safety - Risky behavior - Thoughts of suicide or violent daydreams
  • Major change in eating patterns - dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Stressed and extremely anxious - Increased blood pressure - Trembling or shaking - Dizziness - Upset stomach - Panic attacks - Difficulty breathing 
  • Lack of sleep that is on-going for several days
  • Mood swings that are unexplained - Increased irritability
  • Hallucinations - Paranoia - Delusions - Flashback of past traumatic events
  • Neglected appearance - unable to get out of bed, bathe or dress
  • Substance abuse
  • Social withdraw - Isolation - Fear and detachment 
By definition a mental health crisis is an event in which a person has reached his or her limit and can't cope or function normally or effectively in day to day life.  Getting your loved one to seek help is the first step but this can be difficult to accomplish.  If there is imminent danger call 911 immediately. If the symptoms are not suicidal or lifethreating discuss voluntary hospitalization.  Involuntary hospitalization is an option of last resort but necessary when the person facing the meltdown can no longer make healthy decisions on their own.  Some of the above symptoms can indicate a brain seigure or other medical conditions that needs treatment. Drive or take a taxi to the closest ER for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Your goal is to stablize and get your friend or loved one professional help as quickly as possilbe.  
 

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services. Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care and attention to your loved one at home.

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  

Topics: caregiver, mental health, mental health disorders, mental breakdown, nervous breakdown

Head & Brain injury

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jun 7, 2013 1:21:00 PM

head injury, brain injury, concussion, atlanta homecare,

 


When you experience a head injury, the brain which is a soft organ protected by the bone that surrounds the brain becomes more vulnerable.  This type of injury can cause swelling and bleeding of the brain. Falls are the leading cause of brain injury for all ages.  
The head injury that is most common is a concussion.  A concussion can cause unconsciousness or not.  
If you suspect that someone has a concussion, here are some things you can do while waiting for the emergency response team:
  • Only if it is absolutely necessary for safety reasons should you attempt to move the injured person.
Check to see if the injured person is conscious or unconscious.
  • If unconscious, check breathing, circulation and the airway.
  • How is the injured person's awareness and eye movement?
  • Be watchful for vomiting and try to keep the injured person awake for a period of time in order to monitor their condition.
Brain injury symptoms can include:
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Inability to remember what caused the injury or any events immediately before or up to 24 hours after the injury
  • Difficulty retaining new information
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty communicating coherently
  • Loud ringing in the ears
  • Emotional and behavior changes
  • Changes with sleep habits
What to do once you have returned home from a head injury:
  • Avoid driving for the first few days.
  • Try to rest and relax as much as possible for the first 48 hours. Chances are that you will feel more tired than usual.
  • Don't be left alone for the first 48 hours, make arrangements for someone to be with you.
  • Don't eat or drink for the first 6-12 hours unless advised by your physician.  
  • Once you resume eating keep the amounts small aid in moderation.
  • Use an icepack on the painful or swollen area.
  • Only take the pain medication instructed by your physician.
  • The only treatment for mild head injury is rest and not overdoing activities.
You should seek medical care if you are experiencing the following:
  • A fever-this could indicate infection
  • Visual problems such as blurred or seeing double
  • Memory recall, confusion
  • Dizziness or blackouts
  • On-going and severe headaches
  • Sluggish and lethargic behavior
  • Tremors or spasms
  • Vomiting
  • Fluid or blood from ears and nose
  • Extreme weakness
  • Numbness, tingling or neck pain
  • Difficulty communicating
Take your time and be certain that you have fully recovered before returning to your normal activities.  Recovery time will vary by individual and by the severity of the injury.  Always seek the advice of your physician.  
If you or a loved one should experience any symptoms of a head or brain injury, seek medical advice even if the symptoms seem mild.  Immediately call 911 for anyone who is unconscious or who experiences seizures, repeated vomiting or for any symptom that seems to worsen over time.  To be safe seek emergency care for any head injury even if consciousness is not loss and the symptoms clear up quickly.  A brain injury may have occurred and the injury can have serious and long-lasting effects.

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services. Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care and attention to your loved one at home.

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  

Topics: caregiver, Atlanta Home Care, Brain Health, head injury, brain injury, concussion

What Does Home Care Companion Services Provide?

Posted by Debby Franklin on May 3, 2013 3:54:00 PM

companion service, caregiver, Home Care, sitter, Home Care Companion Services offer a wide range of non-medical assistance for those who wish to remain in their home but need help with certain tasks. 

Companion Caregivers provides companionship for older adult's and those who are shut-ins, and is an ideal solution for someone who would otherwise spend all or a large portion of the day alone.  Companion caregivers provide emotional support.  They help their clients stay mentally healthy and alert by engaging in conversation and by assisting and encouraging them to be as physically active as possible.  Companion Care provides a valuable social benefit by decreasing isolation and helping to reduce depression from being alone.  Companion Services also provides invaluable peace of mind to family and loved ones.

Listed below are just some of the services that a Companion Caregiver can provide: 

  • Keep a watchful eye on daily routine.
  • Remind to take medications and record time and amount taken.  Especially beneficial for clients with memory issues.
  • Provide transportation to appointments, shopping, errands, and doctor visits.
  • Assist with safety for someone unsteady on their feet.
  • Meal preparation-light snacks- grocery shopping.
  • Playing cards, board games, scrap booking, gardening.
  • Light housekeeping-laundry-linen change.
  • Assisting with pets.
  • Reading aloud.
  • Taking a stroll.
  • Engaging in meaningful conversation and reminiscence.
  • Functioning as an extra set of hands, eyes, and feet. 

We are all individuals with our own specific needs.  What one person may need help with may not apply to the next individual.  This is why the Easy Living team will meet with you one-on- one to find out your needs and the skills required for the task's that you want help with.  We then search for the skills and personality that will be most compatible with the person needing assistance from our large pool of highly trained and skilled caregivers to find the perfect match!  Service times can be as short as 4 hours or up to 24 hours on an on going bases if needed.  

Surrounded by the people and things most cherished, seniors and those with chronic illness can maintain independence, self-confidence and have peace of mind.  

Explore the affordable option of Home Care and the joy's that Companion service can bring.  Call us today at 770-442-8664

In Home Care For Seniors

Topics: Home Care, Home Care, caregiver, Companion Care, sitter, sitter service

Don't Overlook Tax Breaks for In Home Care

Posted by Debby Franklin on Apr 11, 2013 1:13:00 PM

 

In Home Care tax deductions, chronic disease, caregiver, home careMost of us are aware that some tax breaks and deductions are available to offset the cost of In Home Care for our loved ones.  Don't overlook a possible tax deduction that can help cut costs.  Before you claim the deduction however, make certain that your specific costs meet the criteria.  Here is an overview on some things you can deduct off your taxes for In Home Care.

In short, any costs associated with assistance in the "activities of daily living" or "ADLs" can be counted as MEDICAL EXPENSES and deducted if they add up to 7.5% of an individual's adjusted gross income, and only to individual's who itemize.  How will you determine if your specific scenario meets this criteria?  Ask yourself the following questions...

  • Does your loved one receive assistance with "ADLs"?  These include help with bathing, dressing/grooming, assistance with toilet needs, eating, continence care and transferring (in/out of bed or chair).  Help with errands, housework, and cooking are not qualifying activities.
  • Is the care required due to chronic illness?  The term "Chronically Ill" is applied to persons who are unable to perform at least 2 of the 6 activities of daily living. Additionally, someone who is cognitively impaired and requires supervision will also qualify as chronically ill.  It is critical that a licensed health care provider evaluate and qualify the individual as chronically ill.  This health care professional must prescribe the care and monitor the patient.  No tax benefit is applied if a family arranges for care absent a physician's order.

If you meet the qualifications, here are some of the medical expenses you would be able to deduct:

  • Privately hired In Home Care expense
  • Rent for a larger apartment to house a live-in caregiver
  • Renovations to make your home accessible/bathroom modifications
  • Insurance premiums on long-term care insurance
  • Prescription drugs
  • Skilled Nursing
  • Hearing aids
  • Optical needs
  • Dental care-Dentures
  • Chiropractic
  • Medicare Part D premiums
  • Other out of pocket medical expense
  • Travel expense to and from medical treatment

 

If you have medical or long-term care insurance that covers these expenses, you can't use the insurance coverage and get a deduction as well.  Be sure to have careful advance planning with a qualified tax professional as tax laws change. It pays to study up on the tax laws now to plan for the future.  This blog is not intended to replace tax advice from either the IRS or your financial advisor.  We suggest that you check out IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.

 

 

In Home Care For Seniors

Topics: Home Care, caregiver, taking care of a parent, chronic disease, In Home Care tax deductions