Archive for February, 2014

Questions To Ask When Choosing a Home Health Care Agency

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Choosing the right home health care agency is essential in getting your friend or loved one the right care they need to stay in their home for as long as possible. However, with so many options out there, the choice can sometimes be a difficult one to make. But before you make any decision on choosing outside assistance for caregiving, here are some of the “need to ask” questions you should consider when making your choice:

How long has the company been in business?

While how long a company has been in business should certainly not be the only deciding factor in choosing the right home health agency, it’s not a bad place to start your search. Companies that have been in business for years suggest that they are probably doing something right when caring for your friend or loved one.

What do the reviews say?

Do your homework. This question is especially important if you use question #1 as a starting point in your search. Sure, the personal home care or at home care company may have been doing things great in the past, but are they continuing to operate to the same high standards of performance they did in the past? Recent reviews, ones completed in the past couple of months, can provide you with clues as to whether or not they are continuing to do things the right way.

Ask a friend or neighbor:

If you see a couple of red flags in the reviews among a sea of positive ones, try to seek out someone you know that has had a personal experience with the home health care company. While it is unwise to immediately discredit a few outlying negative reviews, if there are ton of positive ones to the contrary, taking the negative reviews solely at their word can sometimes cause you to overlook a quality home care company. If at all possible, find an unbiased third-party to speak to about the company, and ask them about their experiences in working with them.

If you cannot find someone who has had personal experience with the company, use your best judgement. If the company has an abundance of bad reviews, it may be a sign to move on to the next one in your search. Read the reviews, and try to establish patterns in them that can help you paint a better picture. For instance, if there are a number of reviews that cite their timeliness as a positive, it’s probably safe to assume that’s a legit compliment.

What standards are the Home Health Aides held to?

If you are in need of Home Health Aide services, for instance, in Indiana, where certification is required to perform specific services, ask what standards these aides are held to?

For instance, here at Alliance Home Health Care, we require our Home Health Aides to score above the state-mandated certification 70% pass rate. Additionally, all of our aides are also fully insured, and screened via references and criminal background checks. Just one of the things we do to give you the peace of mind in knowing that your friend or loved one is in good hands here at Alliance.

If you are still unsure as to if the home health care company is the right one for you and your family, talk to them. One of the best ways to learn about the company is taking the time to get to know them, and if they truly care about doing what’s best for you and your loved ones, they’ll appreciate you showing the initiative and interest, and will do their best to help answer all of your questions.

Here at Alliance Home Health Care, we welcome your questions, and will do everything we can to make sure you can feel comfortable in knowing you made the right decision. To speak to one of our Care Advisors today, feel free to call us at 317-581-1100, or visit our site here.

 

 

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Tips for Keeping Seniors’ Minds Mentally Active

Monday, February 24th, 2014

One of the best ways for seniors to keep their minds sharp, and stay happy and healthy, is to actively engage themselves in mentally stimulating activities. And, while there’s certainly a number of websites out there that offer “brain game” services, Like Lumosity for instance, there’s also a number of ways to keep minds active that caregivers and families of seniors can easily do in their own home. Below are some good “brain game” ideas for caregivers and family:

Video Games:

Yes, video games. Video games may seem like “child’s play”, but more and more studies are showing that video games are great for keeping seniors sharp. In fact, newer studies are finding that video game playing by seniors may actually help in reversing the aging process of the brain, and that certain games can be targeted to focus on increasing different cognitive abilities.

Game on, right?

Music:

The benefits to listening to music are numerous, and include: better balance, increased cognitive abilities, reduction in falls, and an increased sense of relaxation. In addition, we here at Alliance Home Health Care often use music as part of our Nostalgia Program to help stimulate minds in seniors with dementia-related illnesses. It helps them reminisce and remember the beautiful moments in their past.

Additionally, encouraging seniors to pick up an instrument they used to play, or learning a new instrument, has shown to increase cognitive function.

Read The News:

No matter what age we are, talking current events and politics can always stimulate some good conversation. For caregivers and families: encourage seniors to read the news, and take some time out of your day to discuss what they read. Getting seniors involved in current events and topics is great for starting conversations, and maintaing a sense of purpose.

Remember that one of the best ways to keep seniors’ minds active is interaction with others. If you or your family can’t always be there for your loved one to provide conversation, feel free to talk to one of our Care Advisors about how companionship care can be a great resource for keeping your friends and loved ones happy and healthy.

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