Friday, March 4, 2011

March is National Nutrition Month: Learn How Home Care in Montgomery County PA Can Help

March is National Nutrition Month: Learn How Home Care Can Help!
The key to a long, healthy life includes eating a wide variety of foods including nuts, fruits, grains, vegetables, and lean meats. This is even more important as we get older and our nutritional needs begin to change.
This year, March is National Nutrition Month, an awareness-raising campaign sponsored by the American Dietetic Association to help people plan their diets in order to support a long and healthy life.
This year’s theme is "Eating Right with Color," and the goals of the program are to teach people of all ages how to stay healthy and fit. This information can be useful in a number of contexts, including home care for seniors. Often, seniors receive assistance from elder care professionals who may be responsible for doing their grocery shopping, cooking, or meal planning. This is an important job for any caregiver, and so it is vitally important to understand how to promote healthy eating for older people. Many caregivers who work with elderly individuals say that they spend a considerable amount of time grocery shopping, cooking meals, or planning meals for their patients. This is important because it gives the caregiver an opportunity to help their patient find foods that are going to be nutritious. There can be a couple of obstacles to this, however. Some seniors regularly take several prescription medications that may interfere with the foods that they can eat. Others may have some kind of health problems that can restrict their diet. When hiring a home care professional, make sure they are aware of any restricted food items so these are avoided when planning meals.
As people grow older, their nutritional needs change, and many older people do not receive the proper amount of certain nutrients, such as calcium and Vitamin B, Vitamin B12, fiber, potassium, and others. These nutrients are important for helping maintain the bones and organs in old age. Many of these important vitamins and minerals are found in fortified cereals, fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, and grains.
By working with a home care agency, you can rest assured that the foods provided for your loved one are both high in nutritional content as well as accommodating to their dietary needs. The caregivers will know which foods to avoid when grocery shopping and will be aware of any dietary restrictions or possible complications with medicines. Professional caregivers are well-trained to be able to identify ingredients in medicines that may interact with food products and adjust their menus accordingly.  Caregivers are also trained to know which nutrients are more important for men and women as they age. While both groups have less of an appetite as they get older, their nutritional needs are slightly different. Men should consume more potassium and fibers, whereas women need more Vitamin B12 zinc. Both men and women should increase their daily amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D. This is something that caregivers understand well, and they have the skills they need to properly care for your loved ones as they grow older.
This March, show your support of National Nutrition Month and consider hiring a professional caregiver for your loved one. By doing so, you will ensure that your loved ones are receiving the best possible care that caters to their special needs. All caregivers provide customized care for each patient to see that they receive the best care possible. Healthy eating is important for all people, and proper nutrition becomes even more important as we age. Consider hiring a professional elder care agency to care for your loved ones to be sure that they remain healthy and happy for many years to come.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Home Care Services In Montgomery County PA Can Beat Caregiver Stress

Home Care Services In Montgomery County PA Can Beat Caregiver Stress
A person who volunteers to be the live-in care provider for a family member runs the risk of encountering severe stress or burnout. Assuming the responsibility of providing elder care for a person who, due to physical or mental deterioration, can no longer live independently is very noble and can enrich the lives of both people involved; if respite care is not set in place, however, the living situation can become seemingly impossible.
The positive feelings that come from providing live-in care to a loved one can, unfortunately, become overshadowed by negative feelings. The stresses of being responsible for the care of another can result in feelings of anxiety, isolation, frustration and fear. In addition to the emotional impact, there is often an impact on the physical health of the elder care provider: The care provider often neglects their own health in favor of the needs of the recipient of their care. When the combination of emotional and physical impact goes unrelieved there are further complications for the care provider in the form of depression and feelings of inadequacy and failure based on their, self-perceived, inability to cope.
This is why there is a need for respite care. The person providing care is given a break from the amount of responsibility while knowing that the safety and well being of the person needing care are guaranteed. There are three basic types of respite available, each suited to different levels of need.
Adult Day Centers offer a community center setting. These centers often provide various programs, entertainment and socialization opportunities for the older person, yet still provide security in the form of experienced personnel to provide different levels of assistance. The majority of centers accommodate a range of participation from all-day, everyday visitors to those who only spend an hour at the center as they feel like it.
In-Home Care Services bring an experienced home care professional into the residence. The hours are more flexible than those of adult day centers and often of longer duration. In-home care professionals can be employed to watch for the person unable to live independently if the primary care provider has an outside job, if the provider of elder care simply needs an hour away for a break from daily concerns, or for an entire weekend when the caregiver needs to travel.
Assisted Living Respite Care can sometimes be found at assisted living homes, when space allows. For any number of reasons the caregiver may find themselves in a position of needing to find temporary care for an extended period of time, and no better aid can be found than in a facility that exists as a permanent residence for others that require assisted living.
The primary home care provider may initially be hesitant to use respite, but soon finds that taking short breaks from stress to focus on their own needs, both physical and mental, leaves them better able to care for their loved one. The previous negative emotions become, instead, an overall feeling of rejuvenation that leads to a happier relationship between the care giver and the care recipient.

For more information about home care in Montgomery County PA, contact the caregivers at Family Caregivers, we are a home care agency providing quality in home care and assistance to seniors in our community.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Baby Boomers’ Eldercare Wake-up Call in Montgomery County PA

Baby Boomers’ Eldercare Wake-up Call
There are approximately 78 million reasons for boomers to jump on the long-term care strategic thinking, planning and executing bandwagon.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau report in 2009, boomers were 78 million strong based on the 2006 census.
The staggering number of aging boomers in America serves as a wake-up call to boomers to start planning for our elder care needs. We’re only more than a decade late. How’s that timeline for urgency, my fellow boomers? Our millennial wake-up call is more urgent if any of the following scenarios are sound bytes from your life.
  • Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance: If you are familiar with LTC insurance, you get an “E,” for effort, as my octogenarian mother occasionally said about a few of her former elementary school students who didn’t quite make the grade in reading, writing, or arithmetic. If you have LTC insurance, you’re barely passing with a C-.  LTC coverage is a sound baby step, though maybe not for everyone.
  • Childbearing Profile:  You are single and childless. While having grown children is no guarantee of having at least 1 trustworthy LTC gatekeeper in your golden years, being a parent of an adult child may yield elder care dividends down the road.
  • Health:  You have been medically diagnosed with at least one chronic medical condition.
  • Family Medical History:  You have a family history of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer and/or diabetes. As is said in Spanish, “¡Ojo!” (Translation: Keep an eye on that!)
  • Relationships in Your Family:  Some families can’t wait to get as far away from each other as possible as members age. If your family’s relationships are strained, don’t count on family support in your golden years. Some caregivers could tell you stories about dysfunctional family relationships that erupt in nasty feuds when aging family members need long-term assistive care.  Who are your family allies? Do you know? You should. One day in the not too distant future, your daily eldercare may depend on a family member. If that day comes, your primary (family) caregiver should be your elder care advocate.
  • Home Upkeep:  If you are a homeowner, you know that appliances and various parts of your home eventually will need repairs. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially, will you be prepared, and able, to keep up with increasing demands of homeownership as you advance in years?
  • Family’s Go-To Contact?  Your parents are older and/or starting to show signs of age-related or chronic disease health decline. You volunteered, or, Dad asked you for help with mowing the lawn after his heart attack scare. Your sibling who lives closer to your parents than you do has been calling you to vent about “little things” around your aging parents.
  • Sibling(s) Lives Closer to Your Elderly Parents: You’ve long assumed that your sibling was merely venting with those telephone calls about your parents. You never gave the conversations a second thought. Your sibling takes care of helping your parents and lives within 15-minutes of your parents’ home.
  • Financially Tangled Elder Web:  You feel blindsided when you inadvertently discover that your parents have not paid their (property) taxes for more than a year now. Then, you discover unopened and unpaid bills in your parents’ home. How, and when, did your parents’ financial affairs get so out of hand?
  • Your Emotional Roller Coaster:  You wonder what you may have missed and decide that the whole mess is your sibling’s fault. You had nothing to do with this.  You have no idea what to do, or, where to begin. You have your own life, marriage or divorce, relationship woes, job demands, financial challenges, adult child(ren) who just moved back into your home in a dismal economy, mounting debt, and more drama. You’ll help your parents because no one else in your family seems to care.
  • Stress:  Your anger mounts. You’re depressed. You stop talking to your sibling(s). You argue with your parents.
You feel so alone.
With 78 million aging boomer cohorts and 65 million caregivers in the U.S., you are part of a supportive community.  Recognizing eldercare’s red flags is one way to achieve confidence that propels you to reach out to healthcare and eldercare professionals for help. Involve your parents and siblings in decisions.
You’re not alone. It’s a family affair.

 Family Caregiver Network caregivers can help your family with all of your home care needs.  We are a home care agency providing affordable in home care in Montgomery County PA.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Senior Care Montgomery County PA: Happy (Or Not So Happy?) 65th Birthdays

Happy (Or Not So Happy?) 65th Birthdays – The Baby Boom Generation Hits Retirement Age

People celebrating their 65th birthday today were born 9 months after Victory in Europe Day. Their arrival marked what some consider the very beginning of the Baby Boom Generation, which (at least in the Western World) enjoyed economic abundance, rock and roll, and long life expectancy.

Many wonder, however, whether the “Golden Years” are really going to be all that golden–not only for them, but for everyone else. Experts warn that many “Baby Boomers” are alarmingly short on savings, saddled with debt, and in poor health. The questions being asked are: Who’s going to pay the bill? And how will the aging of this generation affect the social landscape?


The caregivers at Family Caregivers are here to answer all of your elder care questions. We are a home care agency providing quality and affordable home care in Montgomery County PA.

Monday, February 7, 2011

February is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month
Heart health is an area of grave concern among healthcare professionals, policy makers and the government. Heart disease has killed more Americans than any other diseases or chronic illnesses. It is the leading cause of death among patients of all race, gender and age. About 785,000 patients in the nation suffer their first heart attack every year and 470,000 of them have recurring heart attacks in a year. It has been estimated that heart attack affects one patient in every 34 seconds in America, costing a whopping healthcare bill of $316.4 billion a year. The risks of heart disease also dramatically increases with age affecting one in every five women above the age of 65 as compared to one in every 10 women between ages 45 and 65.

For 37 years, the American Heart Association tirelessly organized and campaigned for the fight against heart disease. February is the ‘American Heart Month’ where efforts are spent to increase awareness and raise funds for research and education on heart disease.

Heart disease is a lifestyle-related condition. Risk factors that can lead to heart disease or stroke are physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and alcohol. As more elderly patients tend to have high cholesterol, high blood sugar or high blood pressure conditions coupled by weaker immunity systems, healthy living to promote elderly health is one of the primary concerns during American Heart Month.

Good heart health can be attained by adopting change in lifestyle, diet and regular monitoring of one’s blood sugar level, cholesterol level and blood pressure. The following are five healthy living tips to good senior health that not only help keep heart disease at arm’s length but also increase one’s quality of life.

Regular Exercise or Physical Activity

Moderate exercise on a regular basis is the best remedy for elderly health and wellbeing. Walking, jogging, yoga, swimming, golf, dancing and others help to build strong healthy hearts and help to improve blood circulation. In fact, statistics show that a sedentary lifestyle is a leading threat to heart health; those who are physically inactive and seldom participate in regular exercise program are 39.5 percent more likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke.

Balanced Diet 
Healthy living starts with balanced diets rich in fiber and low in trans fat, sugar and sodium. Elderly patients should also consume high nutrient foods that are good for the heart and body as a whole. Greasy food and food high in trans fat found in cooking oil and meat should be avoided to prevent gradual formation of blockage in the arteries especially among elderly patients’ whose body metabolism decreases with age.

Control blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level 
Senior health checks should never exclude regular monitoring of seniors’ blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level as these are among the top risk factors to cardiovascular disease. Senior patients can perform regular monitoring of their conditions at home and take precautionary measures such as diet and prescribed medication if levels are higher than normal.

Maintain Healthy Body Weight
Being overweight can also lead to heart disease or stroke; it is as unhealthy to one’s heart as it is to one’s bones and joints. Excessive fats in the body can strain the heart and cause additional stress on the bones and joints. Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial to good senior health as it helps to prevent adverse conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol that can potentially lead of heart disease.

Stop Smoking and excessive Alcohol intake

Smoking and excessive intake of alcohol are harmful habits that are especially damaging to elderly patients. Smoking increases the chances of blood clot and accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, hence increasing the risks of coronary heart disease. It can also increase the chances of a relapse or recurring heart attack. Smoking is also linked to many elderly health conditions such as cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.
Family Caregivers are available to talk with you and your family about your live-in home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable home care in Montgomery County PA and the surrounding areas. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Setting Up a Plan of Care in Montgomery County PA

By Maria M. Meyer, Paula Derr, and Jon Caswell, Contributing Writers

A plan of care is a daily record of the care and treatment a person needs on a daily basis. The plan helps you and anyone who assists you with caregiving tasks.

A plan of care helps caregivers manage the day-today activities of the person in their care--medications, appointments, exercise, etc. This type of written record is also very helpful when respite (relief) care is used.

The plan of care includes the following information:
* diagnosis

* medications

* physical limitations of the care receiver

* a list of equipment needed

* diet

* detailed care instructions and comments

* services the home health care agency will provide, if using such on agency.

This information is presented in a certain order so that the process of care is repeated over and over again until it becomes routine. When the plan is kept up to date, it provides a clear record of events that is helpful in solving problems and avoiding them.

Continue reading from by clicking HERE.
Alzheimer’s home care counselors at Family Caregiver's Network are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Family Caregiver's Network is a home care agency providing Alzheimer’s In Home Care in Montgomery County PA.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ask the Right Questions When Hiring Home Care in Montgomery County PA

Americans are living longer than ever before. While that is something to be celebrated in many ways, it nevertheless creates its own set of problems. As the population ages, more and more seniors are currently in need of support through homecare in city.

Home care Services” is a broad term that covers the gamut from professional live-in nurses to weekly services by cleaners. What help the senior needs will be determined by their own particular circumstances. Do they need basic help running the household? Can they cope with the cooking and cleaning but need help with errands, such as carrying groceries? Do they need constant in-home care by a trained health professional?

It might be useful to make a list of the specific tasks the home care provider will need to perform, in order to determine what type of service is appropriate. The patient, or his or her family, will also need to decide whether to employ an individual or whether to hire an agency to fulfill the role.

There are numerous agencies that provide in-home care and many of these specialize in elder care. But once a patient has decided what is needed and set up some interviews with potential candidates for the job, what questions should they be asking of the would-be care providers?

Will the home care services agency meet all the patient’s needs?

The patient should discuss his or her specific needs with the agency to ensure that all their requirements can be met. Preventing misunderstandings is crucial and many agencies will provide a written care plan to protect both parties. Some agencies specialize in elder care and it might be worthwhile to check those out first but, in any case, patients should ask lots of questions to determine which organization best meets their needs.

Does the home care services agency have a license?

Not all states require such agencies to be licensed, but most do - and that’s a good place to start. The state’s health department may even be able to provide reviews of the agency. In addition, it would be worth finding out whether Medicare has certified that the agency meets federal health and safety guidelines.

Who are the agency’s caregivers?

Patients should ask how the agency employs its staff. They need to ensure that the caregivers are all trained, licensed in their field, and insured. They should also find how the agency monitors its staff – are they evaluated often? If it’s possible, the patient should set up a meeting with one of the agency’s representatives. The patient needs to know that they could get along well with somebody who may be working for them in their home. The caregiver should be friendly and willing to answer questions.

Can the agency provide references?

References from doctors, other health professionals, and clients will prove invaluable. The agency should be able to provide a list of references. Patients considering employing an agency should also ask their own doctor, family, and friends, if they can recommend a particular senior care organization.

How much will it cost?

This question is crucial. The patient must be sure they fully understand all of the fees. The agency should be able to provide detailed breakdowns of each cost and may have payment plan options available. The patient should also find out exactly how the bills are processed. Some agency fees may be covered by Medicare or even health insurance.

Home care counselors at Family Caregivers Network are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing quality, affordable care. Family Caregivers Network is a home care agency providing In Home Care in Montgomery County PA and surrounding areas.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why Caregivers Need Respite Care in Montgomery County PA

Why Caregivers Need Respite Care

Giving Yourself a Break Helps You and Your Loved One

From Carrie Hill, PhD

Caregivers who use respite care often tell me that although caregiving is one of the hardest jobs they've ever had, they wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Helping a family member or close friend who has Alzheimer's disease can provide a sense of purpose and great satisfaction.

Still, the emotional and physical demands of caregiving make it hard to be a caregiver 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Without respite care -- a temporary break from the demands of caregiving -- you may be more susceptible to the effects of caregiver stress, such as depression, exhaustion and other health problems.

Continue reading from by Clicking Here.

Home care counselors at Family Caregivers are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing quality, affordable care. Family Caregivers is a home care agency providing In Home Care in Montgomery County PA and surrounding areas.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stand Up for Homecare in Montgomery County PA

Stand Up for Homecare

The Stand Up for Homecare campaign continues to generate positive public awareness about the value of homecare and key threats to homecare. Threats include the “competitive” bidding program and regulations and legislation that make it harder to provide oxygen, power wheelchairs, and other medical supplies and equipment to the millions of seniors and people with disabilities who depend on those items. This aggressive, proactive public awareness campaign reaches millions of Americans across every state through the media. The campaign also delivers powerful messages about our vital issues to members of Congress, their staff, and other targeted inside-the-Beltway audiences.

So far in 2010, AAHomecare and its public affairs firm, Rational 360, have circulated to the media more than 100 locally targeted and national press releases about key HME issues. In addition, we have logged hundreds of phone calls and emails to specific reporters. These efforts have resulted in press coverage of our issues as well as guest editorials and features in newspapers throughout the U.S. The campaign is also funding research on the impact of the bidding program and intense outreach to Congress and key congressional districts.

The Stand Up for Homecare campaign is funded through generous contributions from the HME sector, and it is guided by a steering committee of American Association for Homecare members.

What is the Stand Up for Homecare Campaign?

The Stand Up for Homecare Campaign started in 2007 with the HME sector’s recognition of the need to change its image both in Washington, DC and throughout the country. The public awareness campaign has grown into a large scale effort which includes a public relations firm and steering committee to help direct the use of the funds. With the help of the public relations campaign, the American Association for Homecare is able to quickly respond to media stories, be even more proactive in sharing the value of homecare, and provide high quality resources for members to do the same.

Continue reading from America Association for Homecare by Clicking Here.

For more information on Home Care in the Montgomery County PA area visit our website at