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Saturday Mar 17, 2018
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Elderly Advice to ALL Caregivers in San Diego

Saturday, January 7th, 2017 6:23 pm | by San Diego Home Caregivers

A friend here in San Diego recently sent me this great list. This can be great advice for ALL caregivers in San Diego. It’s a compilation of pieces of advice from the elderly and clearly demonstrates that we need to listen to what they have to say:) Spend some time with this and reflect on what is important in your life. If you are a primary caregiver, this will help connect you with the person you’re caring for. We are a home care agency in San Diego and this short article has helped with our perspective as caregivers to the elderly. Enjoy!

  1. The most important person in your life is the person who agreed to share their life with you. Treat them as such.
  2. You might live a long life, or you might live a short one — who knows. But either way, trust me when I say that you’re going to wish you took better care of yourself in your youth.
  3. Stuff is just stuff. Don’t hold onto material objects, hold onto time and experiences instead.
  4. Jealousy destroys relationships. Trust your significant other, because who else are you supposed to trust?
  5. People always say, ’’Make sure you get a job doing what you love!’’ But that isn’t the best advice. The right job is the job you love some days, can tolerate most days, and still pays the bills. Almost nobody has a job they love every day.
  6. If you’re getting overwhelmed by life, just return to the immediate present moment and savor all that is beautiful and comforting. Take a deep breath, relax.
  7. Years go by in the blink of an eye. Don’t marry young. Live your life. Go places. Do things. If you have the means or not. Pack a bag and go wherever you can afford to go. While you have no dependents, don’t buy stuff. Any stuff. See the world. Look through travel magazines and pick a spot. GO!
  8. Don’t take life so seriously. Even if things seem dark and hopeless, try to laugh at how ridiculous life is.
  9. A true friend will come running if you call them at 2am. Everyone else is just an acquaintance.
  10. Children grow up way too fast. Make the most of the time you have with them.
  11. Nobody ever dies wishing they had worked more. Work hard, but don’t prioritize work over family, friends, or even yourself.
  12. Eat and exercise like you’re a diabetic heart patient with a stroke — so you never actually become one.
  13. Maybe this one isn’t as profound as the others, but I think it’s important… Floss regularly, dental problems are awful.
  14. Don’t take anyone else’s advice as gospel. You can ask for advice from someone you respect, then take your situation into consideration and make your own decision. Essentially, take your own advice is my advice…
  15. The joints you damage today will get their revenge later. Even if you think they’ve recovered completely. TRUST ME!
  16. We have one time on this earth. Don’t wake up and realize that you are 60 years old and haven’t done the things you dreamed about.
  17. Appreciate the small things and to be present in the moment. What do I mean? Well, it seems today like younger people are all about immediate gratification. Instead, why not appreciate every small moment? We don’t get to stay on this crazy/wonderful planet forever and the greatest pleasure can be found in the most mundane of activities. Instead of sending a text, pick up the phone and call someone. Call your mother, have a conversation about nothing in particular. Those are the moments to hold onto.
  18. Pay your bills and stay the hell out of debt. If I could have paid myself all the money I’ve paid out in interest over the years, I’d be retired already.
  19. If you have a dream of being or doing something that seems impossible, try for it anyway. It will only become more impossible as you age and become responsible for other people.
  20. When you meet someone for the first time, stop and realize that you really know nothing about them. You see race, gender, age, clothes. Forget it all. You know nothing. Those biased assumptions that pop into your head because of the way your brain likes categories, are limiting your life, and other people’s lives.

I hope you enjoyed this list and that it helps you understand as a caregiver how to identify with your senior loved one in San Diego. The following link is another great article on advice from the elderly: http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/priceless-advice-from-older-americans/.


Caregiver Tips with Alzheimer’s

Thursday, July 14th, 2016 1:43 pm | by San Diego Home Caregivers

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease. Below are some useful communication tools that we thought would help families in San Diego that have a loved one afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease.

  • There really is no point disputing a faulty fact or memory. Your loved one with dementia truly believes it, so arguing will only cause stress. And even if they agree with you, he or she almost certainly will not recall doing so.
  • Accept their reality. Dementia is going to give your loved one a view of the past AND the present that will be different than yours. They have forgotten who has passed away, they aren’t sure what year it is, etc. So if they say, “When can we go see my mom?” and you know that their mother has passed, do not say, “Your mom is dead.” Say something like, “Let’s go tomorrow to La Jolla and see her” and move on to another subject. The truth is not so important, keeping them calm and happy is the goal as their Caregiver.
  • Don’t give too many instructions and ask them to help. Everyone wants to be helpful. The word “help” is key. Can you help me set the table? Or fold the laundry? Everyone wants to feel productive in their day.
  • Reintroduce yourself every time you enter the room. You do not want to assume that they know you, even if you’re their primary caregiver, a family member or close friend. Also, you don’t want to scare someone with dementia by suddenly appearing at their side. Always approach from the front so that they can see and hear you.
  • Do not quiz them. Asking such things as “Do you remember what you had for breakfast?”, “When’s your birthday?” and “Don’t you remember my name?” can be very frustrating for someone who cannot remember. Instead, offer soft reminders: “The muffin you had for breakfast seemed good.” “Look who’s here: It’s your grandson Peter.”
  • Choose simple words, and use a calm and confident voice.
  • Don’t act disappointed in front of them if they don’t recognize you as their Caregiver or say something that doesn’t make sense, and don’t talk as if they aren’t there. For example, when in a group, always include them and make lots of eye contact.
  • Minimize distractions. Turn off the television or radio to help them focus on interacting.
  • Again, make eye contact when speaking, and call them by name, making sure you have his or her attention before you start to talk. Allow plenty of time for a response. Sometimes it can take a while and try not to interrupt when they are speaking or taking their time to speak.

We hope that this proved helpful. For more tips on how to communicate effectively with someone that has Alzheimer’s Disease here in San Diego, please visit: https://www.alz.org/care/dementia-communication-tips.asp

To visit the Alzheimer’s Association San Diego Chapter online, visit: http://www.alz.org/sandiego/


Truly Inspiring Caregiver Technique

Thursday, April 28th, 2016 3:34 pm | by San Diego Home Caregivers

Your family in San Diego may be weighed down mentally by the many challenges that suddenly surface when caring for someone who is in need of daily in-home care. The following is a creative caregiving technique using a short ritual that deserves a quick read:

Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It’s a simple ceremony that works for both the primary caregivers and the loved ones they take care of because illness and disability hurt in many different ways and in more than one direction. Ho’oponopono is a way to merge the divide of hurt caused by something outside of each other’s control. For example, an illness that hurts not only the person affected, but also those who love and take care of them. Any hurt caused on either side can be calmed and relieved through acceptance, love and forgiveness.

To begin the ceremony, face each other. Hold hands and look into each other’s eyes if you’re comfortable doing so. Then say the following:

I’m sorry that this illness has caused you hurt.

Please forgive me if I have let this illness carry me away. I know it is not your fault.

Thank you for being the one I love, for taking care of me and being there for me, and also for letting me take care of you too.

I love you for everything you are, were, and aspire to be and always will be, no matter what.

Then close your eyes and say to yourself:

I’m sorry that this illness has caused you hurt.

Please forgive me if I have let this illness carry me away. I know it is not your fault.

Thank you for taking care of me, being there for me and doing the best you could given the circumstances.

I love you for everything you are, were, and aspire to be and always will, no matter what.

We hope you enjoyed this wonderful tool and that your family here in San Diego can benefit from this inspiring caregiving technique.


Home Care Aides Registry

Friday, January 15th, 2016 4:26 pm | by San Diego Home Caregivers

New California Registry of Qualified Caregivers (“Home Care Aides”):

Effective January 1st of 2016, the State of California has put into effect California Assembly Bill 782, The Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act (HCSCPA). This created a new Home Care Services Bureau that will establish a registry that lists all applicants who have met the requirements to be registered as a Home Care Aide. For an overview of this Act, please visit: http://www.ccld.ca.gov/PG3654.htm. Registration requires a background examination, including submission of fingerprints, a declaration regarding prior criminal convictions, evidence that the Home Care Aide can comply with the requirements of the law and is of “reputable and responsible character,” disclosure of any prior revocation or disciplinary action against the home care aide applicant, and a signed statement that the applicant has read and understood both the HCSCPA and other rules and regulations enacted under that statue.

The California Department of Justice will use fingerprints supplied by the applicant to conduct a background check. A person is ineligible to be listed on the registry if the person “has been convicted of a crime, or other than a minor traffic infraction” without an exemption issued by the Director of the State Department of Social Services. If a person is notified that he/she is ineligible, the person may submit an exemption request to the Bureau so long as none of the crimes are ineligible for exemption. As you can see, there will be high standards used for acceptance of caregivers on this registry. For more details on the background check process, please visit: http://www.ccld.ca.gov/PG404.htm.

All Home Care Aides employed by home care agencies are required to register. Individuals who are hired privately by families to provide home care services independently and not through an agency have the option of applying personally for listing on the registry. However, they are not required to do so and may be hired privately without registering.


Cool Zones in San Diego County

Saturday, October 10th, 2015 12:53 pm | by San Diego Home Caregivers

From June 15th through October 31st, there is a new Cool Zone program in San Diego for seniors and people with disabilities to escape the extreme heat. There are over 115 locations throughout San Diego County. These Cool Zones are designated, air-conditioned buildings, identified by a Polar Bear Cool Zone logo.

Caregiver Jobs San Diego has a good blog article including a list of all the locations at: http://www.CoolZones.org.

You can also call Aging Independence Services at (800) 510-2020, and press “6.”


Home Care Givers

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 2:16 pm | by San Diego Home Caregivers

In-home caregiving can be a very rewarding & satisfying job. There are many hats that a caregiver wears other than the ones mentioned in this article but these are just a few that we will be covering. As a caregiver, you provide a variety of non-medical services that allow seniors to remain living independently in their homes.

These services generally fall under three categories:

  • Companionship
  • Home Helper
  • Personal Care

Companionship services are those that stimulate, encourage and assist an individual.

The primary responsibilities of Companionship services include the following:

  • Provide companionship and conversation
  • Provide stabilization and assistance with walking
  • Prepare meals together
  • Provide medication reminders and appointment reminders
  • Help keep client active & busy with stimulating activities

Home Helper Services includes a variety of household services for the individual or client. It includes providing cleaning & household maintenance duties.

  • Light housekeeping assisting client to keep home neat & tidy. (Vacuuming, dusting, making beds, linens, bathroom & kitchen cleaning.)
  • Meal Preparation and cleaning up the dishes.
  • Laundry and linens as well as helping client with organizing their drawers and closets.
  • Run errands, food shopping, or accompanying client to appts. – doctor, pharmacy, etc.
  • Organizing ingoing and outgoing mail, bill reminders.
  • Assist client with miscellaneous duties where clients are limited, i.e. setting up a computer, programming a remote, setting up and testing Lifeline pendants, coordinating with a handyman, etc.

Personal Care Duties tend to be a little more personal and “hands on” in nature and may include:

  • Assist with bathing, grooming & hygiene care. Dental care brushing teeth or dentures etc. Washing, drying and combing hair.
  • Assist with toileting & incontinence issues. Help with clean up & changing of sheets or briefs.
  • Help with any exercise or activity regime they might have set up.

Caregiving can have its challenges. A lack of a good routine or the constant change in a client’s health can cause stress. Stress can be constant as caregivers must flex and adjust to sudden changes to accommodate their clients needs. For example, a client with a history of head trauma or vertigo may have unexpected falls or accidents that require emergency room visits.

This and other situations can lead to stress, burnout and depression in caregivers. Well planned caregiving can be healthy & fulfilling. In order to be a capable & understanding caregiver you must equip yourself with the knowledge & support needed to do an exceptional job. There are many resources out there to help. The Caregiver Coalition is a great place to start. You may visit them at http://www.caregivercoalitionsd.org/.

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