Category: Aging in Place

A 24-hour home care provider embraces her client as they both smile.

Get Around-the-Clock Peace of Mind With 24-Hour Home Care

There was a period of time when Mom only required care assistance a few days each week, just for a couple of hours each day. As her needs evolved, having a caregiver with her most days became more beneficial, while you provided care for her on weekends. Now, you’re realizing that Mom would feel most secure with someone there around the clock to ensure her needs are met and to handle any emergencies that may arise. If this resonates with you, it might be the right time to explore the option of 24-hour home care! Understanding 24-Hour Home Care The truth is, a person’s need for care doesn’t adhere to a typical nine-to-five schedule. The health and well-being of older loved ones is a constant priority. While some people may manage well with daytime care only, others may face challenges during the night that necessitate professional assistance. This is where 24-hour care becomes invaluable. With 24-hour care services, two or more caregivers are assigned to an older adult, working in shifts both day and night. This care model ensures that the individual has a dedicated caregiver present at all times, actively addressing their care needs. Regardless of the hour, you can have peace of mind knowing the person you love is in the capable hands of a trusted care professional. Distinguishing Between 24-Hour Care and Live-In Care Although 24-hour care and live-in care share similarities, there are crucial differences to consider in determining the best service for an older loved one. Live-in care involves the caregiver having a private bedroom in the house but doesn’t require them to be actively providing care around the clock. In contrast, 24-hour care ensures continuous, active caregiving. Is 24-Hour Home Care the Right Choice? If you’re grappling with the decision of whether 24-hour care

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A caregiver providing live-in care services helps a senior man get out of.

The Benefits of Live-In Care Services

As people age, their evolving abilities may prompt the need for increased support. Initially, an older adult’s care journey may involve an in-home caregiver assisting with light housekeeping, meal preparation, and offering friendly companionship. However, as time progresses, a few hours of assistance each day may prove insufficient. Older loved ones might encounter challenges with nightly tasks or face issues requiring assistance during the overnight hours. Recognizing these evolving needs is crucial, and that’s where live-in care services, such as those provided by Dakota Home Care, emerge as the ideal solution! Understanding Live-In Care Services In the live-in care model, a caregiver resides in the older adult’s home and is available both day and night. It’s important to note that the caregiver isn’t continuously providing care, however. During nighttime, the primary advantage of a live-in caregiver is their immediate availability for emergencies. Considerations for Live-In Care Services Live-in caregivers must be provided with a private bedroom in the home and a mandatory eight-hour break, including a minimum of five hours of uninterrupted sleep. These stipulations ensure that live-in caregivers prioritize self-care, guaranteeing they are in the best condition to deliver exceptional care. Distinguishing Live-In Care From 24-Hour Care While 24-hour care and live-in care share similarities, a key distinction lies in where the caregiver resides. In a 24-hour care model, the caregiver does not live with the senior, eliminating the need for a designated bedroom. Instead, a rotating team of caregivers works in shifts to provide around-the-clock care to meet the needs of an individual. When to Opt for Live-In Care Wondering if live-in care is the right fit for someone you love? Consider the following questions: Do you have concerns about nighttime emergencies? Do both you and the older adult want the comfort of having someone in the home

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An older man offers senior mentorship to a teenage boy.

Wisdom Beyond Years: Embracing Senior Mentorship

Reflecting on the journey of life prompts contemplation about the lessons learned along the way. Life doesn’t provide a manual, but it does offer something even more valuable: the shared wisdom of those who’ve traveled similar paths. Older adults, with their wealth of experience, can become mentors, creating a ripple effect of positive impact on others. This not only contributes to their own self-esteem and sense of purpose but also strengthens intergenerational connections, making mentoring a mutually beneficial endeavor.

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A grandmother shares photos with her daughter and granddaughter, part of how she will leave a lasting legacy for her family.

How to Leave a Lasting Legacy for Generations to Come

We all share a common desire to leave behind a world that’s better than we found it. One impactful way to achieve this is to leave a lasting legacy to the generations that follow us. A person’s legacy is more than just a physical inheritance; it’s a tapestry of wisdom, values, and contributions woven together over a lifetime.

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Nurse holding hand

In-Home Care Reduces Hospital Readmissions

A poor transition from the hospital to home is often the reason for unplanned, expensive, and often traumatic readmissions, many of which could have been prevented. Quality in-home healthcare can help improve the transition and prevent readmissions during the vulnerable time after hospital discharge. Unfortunately, the majority of patients in the U.S. are sent home without any supportive services. Repeated hospitalizations can be even more traumatic for the elderly, many of whom live alone. Incidents such as falls, unsupervised medication, pressure wounds, infections and a lack of other necessary follow-up care can send an elderly patient back to the hospital within days or weeks of discharge. Studies show that people who live alone have a 50 percent higher risk of unplanned readmission compared to those living with others. In-home care provides a cost-effective supplement to medical-based care transitions. Hospitalization for Illnesses Three of the most common illnesses that require hospitalization and are prone to readmission are Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Pneumonia (PN), and Heart Attacks or Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI). Trained in-home caregivers can act as the critical link with other care providers, report early detection, and give much of the care necessary to prevent additional hospitalization. Dakota Home Care nurses and aides can monitor and report symptoms of these and many worsening or recurring illnesses: Congestive heart failure: weight loss or weight gain challenges, nutritional needs and restrictions, blood pressure monitoring, exercise requirements, etc. Pneumonia: oxygen requirements, medication reminders, good nutrition and the needed recuperation period for patients who have just been discharged. Acute Myocardial Infarction: heart rate monitoring, blood pressure, diet and exercise restrictions or recommendations, medication reminders and adjustments. Surgery that Requires Hospitalization Recovery from an operation takes time, especially for seniors. Not only do older bodies take longer to heal, but there are other factors to

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Senior woman in wheelchair and arm sling at the hospital

Questions to Ensure an Easier Discharge From the Hospital

It’s a great feeling to hear that an older loved one is ready for discharge from the hospital after a surgical procedure. However, as they hand you that mountain of discharge documents and instructions, a certain degree of stress and anxiety may start to settle in. Will the senior adult you love be able care for herself at home? The senior care team at Dakota Home care is on hand to ensure you can arrange for an easy discharge from the hospital to home by detailing the questions you will need to get answered prior to a hospitalization or surgery: Who will be able to answer questions about the medications? Should I contact the doctor, the pharmacist, or does the hospital have someone else for me to reach out to with questions about care? Will the prescription medicines cause drowsiness or confusion? What symptoms should I keep an eye out for that might suggest a problem during recovery? What sorts of tasks might be overwhelming to perform when coming home, considering the nature of the surgery (such as taking a bath or shower, getting dressed, going up or down the stairs, picking up prescription drugs, preparing meals, shopping, driving, etc.)? Who is going to pick up medications? Do I need to depend on a family member for this responsibility? Will they be promptly available when a refill is required? What type of medical equipment might be needed (such as a walker, crutches, or telehealth tools), and who will supply them? What activities are not advisable after surgery? What phone numbers should I have on hand? Taking the time to learn about what you and the senior loved one need to do to ensure an easier discharge from the hospital can make the transition back home a more manageable process. However,

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Old and young woman

10 Strategies to Help the Elderly Overcome Resistance to Home Care

One of the most challenging issues you are likely to face when caring for an ageing or ill loved one is resistance to additional help, especially when they get to the point of needing consistent in-home care. At the end of one of my dad’s stays in rehab, we were told he couldn’t go home without 24/7 care. He would rather be home, so he didn’t object. However, until after Dad was home with a caregiver, his wife kept it to herself that she was adamantly opposed to having someone else in the house. Then she made it perfectly clear how she felt by not letting the caregiver do anything to help. Needless to say, we had to make other arrangements. If your loved one who needs outside help doesn’t want it or strongly resists it, how can you get them to accept that it’s a necessity for them and for you? The situation could progress to the point where there is no other alternative. My dad’s situation came up suddenly. Hopefully, you will have more time to consider some of these strategies and gradually ease your loved one into a situation that is helpful for all concerned. 1. Communication: Don’t hesitate to bring up the topic because you suspect that your mom will be resistant to in-home care. It’s important to start talking about the need for additional help while you still have time to discuss it. a. Try to understand the source of the resistance. Some people value independence, some are scared, and some see accepting help as a sign of weakness or a loss of privacy. b. Ask your mom about her preferences. You might not be able to fulfill all her wishes, but it’s important for her to know that you are taking them into consideration.

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qualify for veterans’ benefits

I Think I Qualify for Veterans’ Benefits – Now What?

If you are a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, you will want to understand the benefits that may be available to you to help cover the cost for home care services. In our last blog post, we explained two different types of benefits to explore. If you think you may qualify for veterans’ benefits, what happens next? Applying for Veterans’ Benefits You’ll be glad to know that Aid & Attendance and Housebound benefits are extremely helpful in ensuring that care at home is available to veterans and their spouses. However, applying for and receiving these benefits isn’t always easy and can be quite time-consuming. At Dakota Home Care, we’re here to help you every step of the way in obtaining the benefits to which you’re entitled. To begin, you’ll need to contact the VA regional office that has jurisdiction of your claim. This will be the office where you filed your claim for pension benefits. If you’re not sure which office is the appropriate one, any VA regional office can point you in the right direction, or check here for more information. When applying for veterans’ benefits, you will have to provide a report that includes: Confirmation from a doctor that verifies the need for either Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits Sufficient detail to verify a disease or an injury that has resulted in loss of coordination, mental or physical impairment, or any condition that affects the ability to self-dress and undress, eat, take care of bathroom needs, and maintain personal hygiene and cleanliness Clarification on whether you are attempting to receive Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits with verification on what you can do in a typical day, how well you get around, and where you go Although the process is lengthy and may take

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veterans’ home care benefits

What Are Veterans’ Home Care Benefits – and Do You Qualify for Them?

There is a popular misconception that if someone is covered by Medicare, it will cover the cost for in-home care services when the need arises. However, unfortunately, this is simply not the case. Most people utilize their own private funds to pay for the care they need at home. However, for someone who is a veteran (or the surviving spouse of a veteran), you may have heard that there are certain home care benefits available. What are veterans’ home care benefits? Benefits That Are Available to Qualifying Veterans to Cover Home Care Costs Veterans may qualify for benefits to pay for the cost of home care if they have the following: A doctor’s order that verifies the need for the aid and assistance of someone else on a daily basis An honorable or general discharge Specific financial requirements that are met Served at least one day during an active war with no fewer than 90 days of service The surviving spouse of a veteran may also qualify for spousal benefits. The first step is to explore the Veterans’ Aid and Attendance program. This program helps wartime veterans and/or their spouses with covering the cost of care at home, if they meet the particular qualifications necessary to receive those benefits. The person who is applying may be eligible if they: Are bedridden, with their disability or disabilities requiring them to stay in bed aside from any prescribed course of treatment or convalescence, or Are a resident of an assisted living facility due to physical or mental incapacity, or Need help with performing daily activities of living, such as bathing/showering, getting dressed, eating, bathroom use, adjusting prosthetic devices, or remaining safe in their daily environment, or Are blind, or with corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less in both eyes, or concentric

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senior care assessment

Why You Should Schedule a Senior Care Assessment to Determine Care Needs

One of the most fascinating things about human beings is that each and every one is completely unique, and that doesn’t change simply because of age. As we age, we remain the unique and intricate people that we have been our whole lives. Assuming that all seniors will act the same and have a need for the same things is a cookie cutter approach that simply will not work for seniors or those who take care of them. Providing care to older individuals requires a creative and thoughtful approach that allows the caregiver to get to know the senior and their particular needs. This information can help determine the best plan of care to keep the person healthy and safe at home. This is where a senior care assessment comes in. Just as there are a number of different types of people with a variety of needs, there are also numerous different kinds of in-home senior care services and providers. Understanding what types of services, or combinations of services, are ideal for an older family member can help the person live a happier, healthier life at home. Working with a trusted elder care provider like Dakota Home Care is also incredibly important. When it’s time to obtain home care services for a loved one, a senior care assessment for daily function, depression, and mental status is a critical step that a high quality home care service company will provide to identify which sorts of services are suggested for an older adult. What’s the Purpose of a Senior Care Assessment? A senior care assessment is intended to: Outline all of the concerns and challenges that an older adult is experiencing Develop a care plan to recommend solutions for recognized issues Evaluate an older person’s access to supports that can help them

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age safely at home

Can Your Parents Age Safely at Home? Assess These Two Areas to Find Out.

If you’re the child of an aging parent, you have almost certainly listened to your loved one explain their wish to age at home instead of moving to a nursing home. The fact is, the vast majority of older people want to live in their own homes for as long as possible – for a number of reasons. Home is the environment they’ve lovingly created, so it’s where they are the most comfortable and familiar. Living at home also creates meaning and purpose to one’s life. Something as basic as looking at your possessions, reading the newspaper, or relaxing on the porch are more meaningful at home than in a long-term care facility because it is the home that provides the framework of life. The comforts of home offer a sense of peace and privacy that cannot be replaced. And yet, many people, regardless of age, are under the false presumption that life in a nursing home or assisted living facility is inevitable for the elderly. Is it really feasible to age safely and independently with the help of home care services? Actually, in-home care services can be a long-term, practical solution for many. Continuing to live at home offers not only the pleasure of familiar surroundings and independence from rigid routines, but according to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, home care can be a much more affordable option as well. How Do I Know if My Parents Can Age at Home Safely? To decide if someone you love could benefit from the support of a skilled caregiver as an alternative to making the major decision to sell their home and move into a nursing home or assisted living facility, pay attention to the degree of functioning in the following two areas: Activities of Daily Living: These activities are essential

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Moisturizer application

The Many Benefits of In-Home Care

Like many seniors, my 94-year-old father always says that he doesn’t want to be a burden on his family, but at the same time, he is adamant about staying in his own home, even though as time passes, he requires more and more help from others. With part-time home care, he is doing quite well for a person his age. The few times when he has had to be hospitalized or spend time in a rehab center, he becomes depressed and often disoriented. We can see the benefits to his health when he is at home, and we certainly feel the benefits of having home care specialists help with the tasks required to keep him happy and healthy at home. Who benefits from in-home care? The elderly are not the only people who need and can benefit from specialized home care. People of all ages, even children, can benefit from being cared for at home vs. being in a hospital or care center. Some are recovering from surgery or have a chronic condition that requires ongoing care. Others need certain therapies or complex medical monitoring one might think are only available in a hospital or rehab center. Some simply could use some assistance with activities of daily living, like bathing or administering medication. Some need part-time care, while others need a trained aide or nurse present around-the-clock. Everyone’s situation is different, but almost everyone in need of help can benefit from being cared for at home, and their family caregivers benefit, too. What are some specific benefits? In addition to being the type of care most patients prefer, the following are just some of the proven benefits of being cared for at home: Decreases the risk of infection compared to care in hospitals or care centers. The development of ongoing

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exercise for seniors

Exercise for Seniors May Just Be the Best Medicine!

If you set a resolution for yourself back in January to work out more this year, hopefully you’re continuing to stick with it! Adding more physical activity to your everyday activities is one resolution we should all be putting into action. And exercise for seniors, many of whom take multiple medications for different health conditions, is especially beneficial. Research is indicating that, remarkably, physician-approved senior workout routines can be as advantageous as typically-prescribed medicines in preventing or treating many of the leading causes of death. In one study, researchers compared and contrasted the benefits of physical exercise vs. medication. The finding consistently revealed that both medications and exercise shared practically the same results in decreasing deaths in people who had previously been identified as having a variety of prevalent and severe health problems, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. For instance, the research found that people with heart disease who exercised but didn’t use commonly-prescribed medicines, such as angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors, statins, or antiplatelet drugs, had a comparable risk of dying from — or surviving — cardiovascular disease as those who were taking those medications. Scientists also showcased how seldom doctors “prescribe” exercise for seniors as an effective medical intervention. Huseyin Naci, a graduate student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, along with Dr. John Ioannidis, director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center in the Stanford University School of Medicine, worked jointly on the study, determining that, according to Naci, “We are not suggesting that anyone stop taking their medications. But maybe people could think long and hard about their lifestyles and talk to their doctors about whether exercise could and should be incorporated into their care.” At Dakota Home Care, we love providing help at home that allows older adults to stay as active as they can, while

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senior couple hugging

Thinking of Moving a Senior Parent in With You? Answer These Questions First.

COVID-19 cases in assisted living facilities and nursing homes were devastating, as the virus spread like wildfire throughout our most vulnerable population who had been living together in such close quarters. Because of this, many families decided that moving a senior parent into their own home was the safest option. However, this decision isn’t one to be made lightly, and raises a number of challenges to be overcome. Dakota Home Care, the top providers of caregivers in Bismarck, ND as well Mandan and Fargo, is here to provide you with the knowledge you need to ensure a smooth transition to your home. Before the move occurs, answer these questions: Will there be enough room for the senior to have plenty of designated space for privacy? Might there be a challenge associated with issues like smoking, drinking, or pets, either on the part of your parent or someone else in the home? If you have to leave home to go to work each day, who will look after the senior while you’re gone? Do any home alterations need to be made, like grab bars and railings, additional lighting, or wheelchair accessibility? How will the move affect other household members? As an example, will one of the children need to give up their bedroom and share with a sibling? Are there any unresolved problems with your aging parent that could impact your ability to deliver the highest level of care? How will vacations be handled? Will the senior be able to travel with you, or is there a strategy you can easily put in place for respite care? Next, schedule a family group meeting. This should include everyone living in the house along with your siblings or other members of the family who might want to be involved in the senior’s care.

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caregiver and senior lady looking at tablet

Ease the Transition Home From the Hospital With These Tips

Recovery from an operation takes time, especially for seniors. Not only do older bodies take longer to mend, but there are further factors that need to be considered: reduced mobility and a number of instructions to follow for dietary restrictions, medications, follow-up appointments, and physical activities, just to name a few. This is why the transition home from the hospital is such a crucial time – to ensure a smooth recovery without any complications. A study conducted by IPC, The Hospitalist Company showed that around 20% of discharged patients needed help and support in at least one area that had the potential to hinder their recovery. Other comparable research has revealed that bringing in professional senior care at home during the transition from hospital to home can actually cut down on hospital readmissions. At Dakota Home Care, we’re here to help older individuals with safe transitions home from the hospital. We can get started with post-discharge planning immediately after hospital admission to identify the senior’s needs, ensuring coordinated efforts and continuity of care. We can work together with the hospital care team to create a recovery plan that includes: Medical concerns and how to respond to potential effects List of meds being taken, allergies and dietary restrictions Scheduled follow-up appointments Medical equipment Once back at home, we offer a full range of customized home health care services, such as: Skilled nursing care Medication reminders to ensure prescriptions are taken as directed Errands like picking up prescriptions and groceries Meal planning and preparation Health condition monitoring and reporting of changes in condition Companionship And more Below is just one example of a family we helped with our professional home care services: Mrs. R’s adult daughter is an incredibly busy working mother. When Mrs. R required a surgical procedure, her daughter wasn’t

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