In a recent blog, we explored several signs that alert you to the need for help from a home health agency. When faced with the reality that assistance has become necessary when it comes to caring for a loved one, there are several important items to consider. The following questions are a good start.
This can vary widely from light assistance, for a few hours a week, to full-time specialized nursing care. Clients’ needs vary widely, it’s important to ensure that the needs fit with the services offered by the agency in question. AccuCare Home Health of St. Louis offers customized plans to meet the needs of each individual client, because every client is a unique individual.
For a loved one’s safety, and for peace of mind, only work with a qualified home health agency. State licensure is a bare minimum. Also inquire about training and certifications, and that the company is insured and bonded. AccuCare Home Health of St. Louis is a member of the Missouri Association of Home Care, the Better Business Bureau, and is an Emergency Medical Response Agency.
It is a well-known fact that caregivers face a great deal of stress at work and that pay is low compared with other professions. This leads to a high turnover rate in the industry. The people who provide one-on-one care must be chosen with great care. Thorough background checks are essential, as are basic certifications such as CPR. Don’t be afraid to ask about hiring practices and staff turnover. AccuCare Home Health of St. Louis is proud to say that we hold our carefully-screened caregivers to a high standard, they’ve been a part of our team for a long time and we greatly value each and every one of them.
No matter how careful the screening process, caregivers need the support of management to provide the highest level of care. Our clients enjoy the support of a 24-hour Registered Nurse, as well as visits from a Nursing Supervisor to assure quality care. As a small, independent organization, our staff is empowered to make decisions as needed to best serve those in our care.
Questions or concerns should be regular and open, with easy access to those caring for a loved one. It is unacceptable to get the run around. We are always at the ready to speak with and share information with families and our caregivers to ensure that we are providing the best care possible.
6. Does the model of service meet our needs?
Many private pay home health care companies in the St Louis area call themselves “non-medical” and do not have an RN or Nursing Supervisor on staff. This can result in problems as the client’s health declines with no one overseeing the client’s healthcare needs. Not only can AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis meet daily needs, but we also can address health issues. We offer customized plans to meet the needs of each individual client, because every client is a unique individual.
7. Can services change as our needs change?
It is vital to assess not only what your needs are now, but also whether the agency in question can offer continuity of care as needs change. AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis provides a wide range of services, and is committed to serving you as needs change, always keeping in mind what is best for your loved one.
8. What are the costs and how are they billed?
The world of healthcare can be confusing, with many different levels of care and payment options. Private, in-home care is a long-term commitment for those in need of consistent, daily care. The majority of private in-home health care is private pay or covered by a long-term care policy. AccuCare Home Health Care can help determine if your insurer covers the services you need. We can help you file claims or provide any necessary documentation required by your insurance company.
9. What happens if/when there is a problem?
It’s important to consider the “what ifs” and how those in charge of your loved one’s care will handle them, from health crises to staffing issues. AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis has a Registered Nurse on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Inquiries regarding care are answered quickly by our owner or Director of Nursing. We guarantee our 24-hour care, and you can rest assured that our caregivers will be there when promised.
10. What do others say about this agency?
Fortunately, there are many resources that point to a company’s dependability, integrity and quality of care. AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and received the 2017 BBB Torch Award for Exceptional Ethics and Service. We are a member of the Missouri Alliance for Home Care, and we are an Emergency Medical Response Agency. We are honored to have received a Future 50 Award. Our staff have received the 2016 Caregiver of the Year by MAHC; Lifetime Achievement and Caregiver of the Year sponsored by the VOYCE (an ombudsman program for seniors). Our clients are also happy to share their experiences.
These 10 questions are just the beginning. Hiring a home health care agency to provide the best care for your loved one is an incredibly important decision. We hope that you have many more questions, and that you will contact us so that we can answer each and every question for you. Call us for a free consultation and let us show you how AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis can meet your family’s needs.
Yes, Valentine’s Day has passed, but we’re still thinking about hearts. February is American Heart Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association. It is a time to raise awareness of the prevalence of Heart Disease, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women, causing one out of every four deaths. Take note caregivers, the focus of the 2018 campaign is encouraging younger adults to take control of their cardiovascular health and be aware of their own risks, but this does not lessen the need for awareness in the aging population.
Anyone can make small choices that improve heart health:
A healthier heart means a healthier life. We wish you a happy heart month, and great health for many years to come!
It has been a very difficult flu season across the nation. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, the 2017-18 influenza season has brought a total of 66,373 cases to the state of Missouri. Of these positive cases, 11,269 have been in individuals aged 65 and older. The aging population is also more likely to suffer serious complications, making flu awareness even more vital.
The CDC warns that influenza awareness and prevention are still very important and there are still weeks of flu season ahead. So, how can we beat the flu?
Know the flu. The flu comes on suddenly and typically involves a fever (not always) or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. Occasionally, there is also vomiting and diarrhea.
Practice prevention. The flu shot is recommended for most individuals, particularly those over age 65. Talk to your doctor about taking this step; and if you haven’t already this year, it is not too late. However, remember that it is not always effective, so you must practice wise habits; eating healthy, exercising, reducing stress, getting plenty of sleep and taking doctor-recommended supplements all contribute to a stronger immune system. Stay away from people with symptoms and avoiding close contact in crowds. Washing hands frequently and properly is perhaps the most important preventative step.
Know your risk. Everyone 65 years and older is considered at high risk for developing serious complications. Conditions such as asthma, heart disease and many other disorders heighten the risk even further. If your risk is higher, talk to your health provider about a course of action should flu symptoms develop.
Treat the flu. As soon as symptoms develop, high-risk individuals should visit their healthcare provider. In some instances, medication will be prescribed to limit the severity and duration of the illness. In others, there will be close monitoring and treatment of symptoms. Staying hydrated and keeping fever at bay are especially important in aging individuals.
Know the signs of trouble. Influenza can make chronic medical conditions worse, so watch for worsening symptoms of those conditions. Also seek medical help immediately for difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting or flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
We wish you great health in the months ahead!
There’s a conversation you’ve been dreading. It’s a moment you wished would never come, even though you knew it likely would. Your aging loved one has begun to need more care than you can give, and it is time to admit that you all need help.
Ideally, there have been discussions along the way, in which all individuals have expressed their wishes and planned ahead to have those wishes carried out. This isn’t always the case, but if there is still time to discuss the future, don’t delay. If that future is now a reality, know that there is help to make the transition as painless as possible.
How do you know it’s time? How do you know it is really the right time, and that you aren’t making a mistake? Here are a few signs that help is needed:
You don’t have to feel overwhelmed and helpless in these situations. Your loved one can maintain the maximum amount of independence possible and be served with dignity and respect. Accucare Home Health Care of St. Louis offers a wide variety of services, ranging from respite care and light assistance to full 24-hour care. The sooner you consider the possibility of enlisting help, the easier the transition will be. Call us today for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.
By now, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear us say that as you age, many things change. From loss of hearing ability to pain levels, from new illnesses to new dietary needs, the only constant seems to be change. Recent frigid temperatures are a stark reminder that individuals’ ability to regulate body temperature changes as well.
Why is it more difficult to stay warm and cozy as we age? There are several reasons.
Fortunately, cold weather isn’t quite as dangerous as hot weather, at least when it comes to weather-related deaths. That said, it is important to know the signs of hypothermia, especially if an aging person is prone to wandering or spending too much time outside. Inside, there are several things you can control in order to stay warm and cozy.
We wish you a warm and cozy winter!
In just a few short days, we will be ringing in the year 2018! It’s hard to believe how quickly time flies, especially as one gets a bit older. By the way, have you ever wondered why that is? Here are a few theories.
It’s likely that the thought of New Year Resolutions has come to your mind by now. There are two types of people who choose to make resolutions: those who make a list of resolutions (often the same ones each year) and forget them by February, and those who choose a goal or two and make it a reality. If you would like to be part of the latter group, we have a few tips for you.
So, what is your goal? If you need help thinking of something worthwhile, may we suggest you revisit one of our earlier blogs?
We wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018!
December has brought along a chill in the air, and it is likely that wintry precipitation will soon follow. Winter weather increases the chance of injury from a fall on the ice or snow. For a younger individual, a fall can be painful and inconvenient; for an aging person, it can be devastating and limit their ability to remain independent. We want you and your loved ones to experience a safe winter season, where only those playing on sleds experience slipping and sliding.
Keep these safety tips in mind.
If your aging loved one is in need of professional, friendly assistance, don’t hesitate to contact AccuCare Home Health of St. Louis for a free consultation. We will create a customized plan to meet your loved one’s needs, while maintaining as much independence as possible.
The Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, and the holiday shopping season has begun! Giving gifts is an important part of most of the winter holidays, including Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwaanza. As you look for the perfect present for each friend and family member, it often becomes apparent that the aging loved ones are the most difficult for which to buy. Often, they seem to have everything and there is nothing on their wish list. What is a gift giver to do?
We have a few ideas that your aging loved one may love:
We wish you happy holiday shopping, friends!
In just one week, family and friends will gather round the table to give thanks for the many blessings we share. Your celebration likely includes a gathering of loved ones, delicious food and fall decorations. While this can be a wonderful time, your aging loved one could experience stress and a few challenges.
These tips will help you meet challenges with confidence and create a more festive celebration.
We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving Day!
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan declared this month for awareness at a time when fewer than 2 million Americans were affected by Alzheimer’s. Now the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s has soared to nearly 5.4 million and is projected to rise to 16 million by 2050, unless advances in the disease occur.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting 1 out of every 10 Americans over age 65. The disease has a devastating effect on patients, caregivers, and the community. Symptoms of memory loss, confusion, behavior and mood changes worsen over time, often to the point that the disease interferes with daily tasks, relationships, and even safety. An estimated 18.2 billion hours of care are provided by family members. These unpaid caregivers experience stress, burnout, and accompanying physical and mental health problems at a high rate.
During Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, you can do the following things to raise awareness and join in the fight against the disease.
This month and always, let’s do our part to advocate for those with Alzheimer’s Disease and their caregivers, as well as to support research to end this horrible disease.