Get Continuous Care with 24-Hour Care for Seniors

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A woman smiles with her caregiver as she receives 24-hour care for seniors.

Learn more about 24-hour care for seniors and discover if it is right for your loved one.

Navigating the evolving needs of a loved one can be a journey filled with considerations and decisions. There was a time when Mom’s care requirements were a few days a week, for just a few hours each day. As her needs shifted, the idea of having a caregiver more consistently became apparent, with you offering care on weekends. Now, the realization dawns that Mom would benefit from someone present around the clock to ensure her needs are met and to handle any unforeseen emergencies. Read more

Tips for Discussing Aging Parent Care During Holiday Visits

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A senior woman enjoys a holiday meal with her family. Many adult children find it necessary to discuss aging parent care during holiday visits.

Observing changes in your parents’ health during a holiday visit? Approach the conversation about aging parent care with sensitivity and compassion.

Returning home for the holidays can be a heartwarming experience, filled with the joy of family gatherings and shared memories. However, for many adult children, it can also be a time of sobering realization – a moment when they observe subtle changes in the health and well-being of their aging parents. These changes may go unnoticed throughout the year, making the holiday season a reality check for the need to address potential aging parent care requirements. Read more

Understanding the Stages of ALS and How to Care for Them

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Several pills and a needle lay on a table with ALS written in the middle to represent the stages of ALS.

While symptoms can vary from person to person, the stages of ALS tend to follow a particular pattern for all.

Receiving a diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease (also known as ALS) can create plenty of questions and apprehensions, both for the individual diagnosed and their family. What’s the cause for ALS? What are the symptoms of ALS which may be experienced now, and how will they change in the future? Where can I go for support?

Approximately 30,000 people in America are presently diagnosed with ALS, and around 5,600 new patients are diagnosed with the illness every year. And although the specific cause is not yet determined, some studies point to complicated risk factors, such as a twofold risk of ALS in people who served during the Gulf War.

Though each individual can be impacted by ALS in different ways from others, the progression of the condition does seem to follow distinct stages. Understanding the stages of ALS can help those diagnosed with the disease and those who care for them execute the most appropriate plan of care.

San Diego Home Caregivers, the leading provider of home care services in San Diego, La Jolla, Point Loma, and the surrounding areas, shares details below:

Initial Stages of ALS

  • ALS signs may be detected in only one single area of the body
  • More mild symptoms may affect more than this one region
  • For some people, the first impacted muscles are those used for swallowing, breathing, or speaking
Possible Symptoms:
    • Weakened grip
    • Stumbling when walking
    • Fatigue
    • Poor balance
    • Slurring of speech

Middle Stages of ALS

  • Indicators of ALS are now more substantial
  • Twitching could be noticeable
  • Some specific muscles may be paralyzed, while others are weaker or totally unaffected
 Possible Symptoms:
    • Difficulties standing without support
    • Struggles with eating and swallowing, which can cause choking
    • Possible uncontrolled and inappropriate crying or laughing, known as the pseudobulbar affect (PBA)
    • Difficulty breathing, particularly when lying down

Late Stages of ALS

  • The person can no longer drink or eat by mouth
  • The person with ALS needs full assistance to care for their needs
  • Speaking may no longer be possible
Possible Symptoms:
    • Breathing is significantly affected, leading to fatigue, unclear thinking, headaches and vulnerability to pneumonia
    • Paralysis in the majority of voluntary muscles
    • Mobility is dramatically impacted

Obtaining care from a professional caregiver, like those at San Diego Home Caregivers, can increase the quality of life for people affected by ALS symptoms. Our care providers work with families to develop an individualized plan of care, allowing those with ALS to maintain dignity and the greatest level of independence at all times.

Contact us any time at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about how our services can help someone you love.

Reduce Caregiver Stress This Holiday Season

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Finding support is a great way to reduce caregiver stress at the holidays.

The holiday season is an ideal time to visit with friends and family members, but it’s not quite what you would call a relaxing time of year. The busyness of the holiday season, from shopping to parties to family gatherings, can be incredibly stressful, and when you’ve got someone you love to care for, your own tasks can fall by the wayside. How can you reduce caregiver stress and still enjoy the holidays?

If you’re wondering how you will get everything on your to-do list completed in time for the holidays, try the following recommendations to reduce caregiver stress and to help you stay on task.

  • Forget about the mall & shop virtual. Going out to a crowded mall can be a challenge this time of year, specifically when you have an older family member in your care. Online shopping can be taken care of from almost anywhere: in the doctor’s office, before going to bed, while watching television, etc., and is far less stressful than struggling through the large holiday crowds.
  • Make it a team effort. Too many presents to wrap? Unsure how you’ll write out all of your holiday cards? Find a family member or friend who can help wrap gifts. Set aside an afternoon to visit, sip hot chocolate, and write out all of your holiday cards together with your older family member assisting in whatever way possible.
  • Be discriminating about “made from scratch.” Many people feel obligated to go overboard on food during the holiday season, but not everything on your table needs to be homemade. Select one or two selections for your holiday menu that you enjoy making from scratch, and incorporate some microwavable or ready-made dishes to round out the table and save you time.

Did you know a caregiver can provide support with these holiday to-dos and much more for the older adults you love? Not only can we run errands like grocery shopping, prepare nutritious  meals, and help with gift wrapping and decorating the home, but we also love taking seniors out holiday shopping! Our caregivers are always available to make each day during the holiday season – and beyond – happier and brighter for the seniors we serve, while allowing family members to take necessary time away from their care responsibilities.

Being a caregiver during the holidays can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to stress you out. With San Diego Home Caregivers, you are never alone in your caregiving role. Contact our home care specialists to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more about how our memory care in San Diego, CA and the surrounding areas can help you and an older adult you love. From all of us at San Diego Home Caregivers, we wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and all the best in the coming year!

Simple Solutions to Reduce Caregiver Stress That You Can Start Today

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It is important for caregivers to manage caregiver stress for their own wellbeing.

Caregiver stress is inescapable, but realistically, not always a bad thing. They say, “A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.” But is that true for caregivers? In particular for family caregivers, the level of stress can rapidly worsen and become overwhelming, and if not handled correctly, result in significant health concerns. Read more

Healthy Ways to Deal with Family Caregiver Guilt

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happy-woman-on-windy-beach

Learn these helpful ways to deal with family caregiver guilt.

Family caregivers give a lot of themselves to the people they care for, which often means leaving behind their own desires and needs in the process. It may seem normal, then, to presume that caregivers would feel good about themselves, with high self-worth and sense of purpose.

However, that is not always the case. Family caregiver guilt is prevalent, and many family caregivers wish they possessed more patience, the answer for all of their loved one’s problems, or the capability to accomplish everything on their own without needing help. They give themselves unattainable and unrealistic goals, which can lead to:

  • Feeling trapped
  • Bitterness
  • The desire to get away
  • Never feeling good enough
  • Heightened stress
  • Lack of joy in life
  • Lacking good quality time with a senior loved one
  • And more

If you have been feeling the effects of family caregiver guilt, taking these actions can be extremely liberating:

  1. Maintain a realistic viewpoint, knowing that all family caregivers are faced with challenges. We are all human.
  2. Admit your feelings of guilt along with the particular reason causing it; as an example, “I am feeling guilty because I became impatient with Dad’s repeated questions.”
  3. Change your focus to a positive outcome. Remind yourself of the joke you told that made Dad laugh this morning, or how much he loved the lunch you prepared.
  4. Be sure to put aside plenty of time for soothing, pleasurable and gratifying activities: engaging in favorite pastimes and hobbies, journaling, spending time with friends, family and pets, etc.
  5. Exchange your internal “should have” dialogues with a more encouraging slant: “It is difficult to respond to the same questions repeatedly, and I am doing the best that I can.”
  6. Find a support partner. To be the best family caregiver you can be means ongoing, scheduled breaks from care to take care of your own needs.
  7. Follow a healthier lifestyle that includes nutritious meals, aiming for 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night, exercising, giving up smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.

Reach out to San Diego Home Caregivers at (619) 487-9000 for top-rated home care in Point Loma and the surrounding areas. Our professionally trained at home caregivers allow family caregivers time to destress and unwind, an integral aspect of effective elder care. We’re available based on your preferred schedule and routine, with as much or as little care as needed, up through and including 24/7 care. Keep in mind that taking the best care of yourself helps you to provide the best care for the senior you love, and we are always on hand to assist!

How Senior Home Care Helps Families Get Back to Enjoying Life Together

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senior man and caregiver laughing

Rediscover the joy of simply sharing life together with those you love by partnering with our senior home care team.

Fulfilling the care needs of an elderly or disabled loved one is a psychologically, physically, and emotionally demanding undertaking, and it’s essential for family caregivers to take routine breaks to rest and relax. Senior home care offers relief from the everyday duties of caregiving, enabling family caregivers to also care for themselves.

Here are a few basic principles of senior respite care:

  • Respite from everyday, ongoing care tasks assures older adults still receive the attention they need and deserve.
  • Respite care supplies family caregivers with care that is planned, temporary, intermittent and substitute.
  • Respite care can be provided from part of one day to ongoing scheduled routine relief.

How you can help a family caregiver:

  • Offer to share caregiving tasks. Even if you are only available to help out once in a while, it shows the family caregiver that you care about his/her health.
  • Offer to assist with the family caregiver’s own personal chores. Family caregivers have their own lives too, and taking time to manage their own laundry, grocery shopping, and housecleaning chores can be tricky.
  • Chip in to hire respite care services from a professional home care agency, like the senior home care experts at San Diego Home Caregivers. Often, family members who live at a distance want to contribute to a loved one’s care. Helping to pay for respite care services not only helps the senior, but the family caregiver too.

How family caregivers can find needed support:

  • Request assistance. Other family members often want to help with caregiving, but aren’t aware of what help is needed. Involve them in the respite care plan so you can take a break when needed.
  • When family members are not available, schedule respite care with a senior home care agency, like San Diego Home Caregivers. Professional caregivers can help family care providers take the time away they need while providing quality care for their older loved ones.
  • Talk to the person in your care. A change in daily routine, such as by introducing a new caregiver, can be taxing for the senior, so take the following steps to alleviate any concerns:
    • Make sure you have a respite care plan ready to go in advance.
    • Remind the older adult regularly that your break is approaching and someone will be coming to provide care
    • Introduce the older person to the new caregiver if he/she is not another family member.
  • Follow your plan. Taking time away from caregiving is critical to your health. Make sure that everyone involved in your respite care plan are on the same page so that you can take time to care for yourself.

The bottom line is, no one person can do everything alone, and there is skilled and compassionate help here for you through San Diego Home Caregivers’ senior home care team! Providing home care in Carlsbad and nearby areas, call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn about how we can help you.

Your Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance Begins Here

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Long-Term Care Insurance

Maximizing the benefits of long-term care insurance begins with understanding your policy.

Long-term care insurance can provide extraordinary peace of mind, but utilizing those benefits can wind up to be a perplexing experience for seniors and their family members. To help lead families through the process, San Diego Home Caregivers provides this helpful overview.

Which services are covered?

Prior to filing a claim, it is important to carefully review the long-term care insurance policy in order to gain an understanding of the types of services the policy covers. If you do not have a copy of the policy, get in touch with the provider to ask for one.

Although all policies differ in what they cover, long-term care insurance usually covers non-medical services in the home with the condition that support is necessary for two or more activities of daily living, or the policyholder has been diagnosed with some type of cognitive condition, such as dementia. Examples of the type of care that long-term care policies might cover include:

  • Personal care, such as bathing and dressing
  • Transfers and ambulation
  • Using the bathroom and incontinence care
  • Meal preparation and feeding if needed
  • Housekeeping
  • And more

If you or a senior loved one would like assistance understanding the details of the policy, an insurance agent, elder care attorney or financial planner can help.

Are all of the costs of care covered?

While individual plans vary, every plan details the permitted monthly coverage, which is identified as the “present daily allowance,” and frequently has a specified lifetime maximum. Policies also usually identify a particular duration of time for which the benefits are accessible, such as five years, or the coverage may be effective for the policyholder’s lifetime.

It’s also important to check the long-term care plan’s elimination period. The elimination period is the time during which the cost of care is paid out-of-pocket until a predetermined amount of time has gone by. Although some plans identify a zero-day elimination, which means cost for care and coverage begin immediately, other policies might require up to 120 days of care first.

Choose your care provider carefully.

If you plan on filing a claim for long-term care insurance, it is important to work with a home care company with experience in billing long-term care insurance providers; otherwise, there is the possibility that the claim may not be reimbursed. San Diego Home Caregivers has experience with helping families obtain their long-term care insurance benefits and can provide the documentation needed to help clients file claims properly.

How can claims be filed?

In order to file a long-term care insurance claim, the following documents are usually required:

  • A claimant’s statement (or policyholder statement) describing the reasons for the claim
  • A statement from a doctor, verifying that care is warranted
  • A prescribed care plan and nursing evaluation
  • A provider statement, completed by the home care agency
  • An authorization form

Once completed and submitted, a phone interview is scheduled with the insurance company’s claims department.  In the next step, the claim is either approved or denied.

If you are looking to receive home care services through a long-term care policy, call San Diego Home Caregivers today at (619) 487-9000. You can feel confident in knowing that we have years of experience in not only providing exceptional care in the comfort of home, but also in assisting families with long-term care insurance claims and getting the most out of their plan. To learn more about our premier options for senior care in San Diego and surrounding areas, please contact us today.