Take advantage of our home care services today, which are all designed to help our clients in the Bay Area achieve overall wellness.
Three essential questions to ask to ensure the company you choose has a strong set of core values:
- Communication – Will I be able to easily communicate with the personal attendant and have continued access to my case manager? This is the core of our approach. We believe that you should never feel there is a lack of control or communication with your personal attendant. For this reason, you are assigned a case manager who is always available.
- Integrity – Has a sense of trust been established? We believe this is the key to a comfortable relationship and the well-being of the client. That’s why we carefully screen all our personal attendants.
- Performance – Am I confident I will get the professional care promised and that there will be accountability and follow up? Home care is dynamic; a family’s needs can change daily. You chose home care to allow your loved one to remain independent and retain their quality of life, not to endure more paperwork and problem-solving. We make a simple promise: we will be there for your family. If you’re not satisfied, we will work with you until you are.
We are committed to:
- recruiting, training, and retaining competent staff
- valuing, supporting, recognizing, and appreciating our staff who are our greatest asset
- providing a work environment that encourages personal enjoyment and enhances job satisfaction and performance through recognition and reward
- developing and maintaining positive relationships with the community, including local Home Care and Health Care personnel/organizations
- conducting our business in an accountable and responsible manner
- adhering to the professional code of ethics of the Home Care industry and applying continuous quality improvement measures throughout our Agency
Does Your Loved One Need Assistance To Help Them Stay Independent At Home? Use This Checklist To Determine If They Need Help
1. Care Needs
Consider their care needs and make a list of things that need to be provided. Be able to show an example of a usual day, from the moment they wake until they return to bed and be sure to include a timeline of when they have their meals, naps, and other activities.
3. Transportation Services
Do you need someone who can escort the care recipient to their Doctor and other social activities? If so, how will they travel? Will the Caregiver drive the care recipient in the care recipient’s car? Will the Caregiver drive the care recipient in the Caregiver’s car? Has the home care agency verified the caregiver’s vehicle insurance is active. Will they take public transportation (bus or taxi cab)? Some cities provide transportation for seniors – you may want to call your local Department on Aging for information.
4. Memory Loss
Is there memory loss? If so, have you had the type of Memory Loss diagnosed (Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Pick’s Disease, Frontal Lobe Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia, Lewy Body Disease, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, Vascular Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease)? Blood clots and brain tumors may also cause Dementia. A diagnosis of Dementia type will help the agency to better understand the care needs and assign a Caregiver with the right type of training and qualifications.
Do you need a Caregiver who speaks a certain language?
How many hours of care per day will you require? Review the list of services you will need performed during the care visit and decide on the minimum number of hours per day which would work as a starting point. The agency will need to know the hours of service to assign a Caregiver and will allow you to adjust the hours after the first week to accurately meet the care needs.
Are there any special cooking requirements? Communicate any food allergies or specific cooking requests and consider how groceries will be purchased or delivered if the care recipient is unable to shop for groceries on their own.
8. Additional Skills
Are there any “skilled” care requirements, such as taking blood pressure, blood sugar testing, wound care or a feeding tube? Communicate if these specialized services will need to be performed or monitored.
9. Medication Management
What is the care recipients method for managing medications? Do you know for sure if the medications are currently being taken correctly? Be able to provide a list of medications and the method of monitoring so the Agency will be aware of possible side effects and other requirements such as taking pills with or without food, etc.
10. Care Management
Will Care Management be required? As Caregivers are responsible for providing the “hands-on” care, they do not have time to manage the overall care issues. A trained Care Manager can supervise all of the care needs, from obtaining refills to medications via the local pharmacy, to arranging doctor’s appointments and other necessary services. A Care Manager will work with family members and take on responsibilities which they are unable to perform and provide professional expertise in guiding the long-term care decisions.
A Checklist To Help You Choose A Quality And Safe Home Care Agency
- Business license and necessary state licensure (if required by the state where the agency is located)
- Caregivers are “Employees” (this means the Agency is responsible for paying all employee payroll taxes, as required by law: Unemployment Insurance tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax and State and Federal with-holdings)
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance
- Professional Liability Insurance
- Fidelity Bond Insurance (this is sometimes referred to as “theft” insurance)
- Active Management of the Caregiver through a direct Supervisor or Manager
- Plan of Care
- Criminal Background Check performed on all Employees
- Training for Caregivers
- 24-Hour On-Call Service
- Satisfactory Customer Ratings
- Caregivers check-in and out via a phone app that validates the Caregiver is at the client’s home
- Family members can login to a website portal to monitor the care being provided to their family member
These Checklist requirements are especially valuable when no family members live close enough to monitor the care. By having these standards in place, if the Caregiver suffers an accident while working in the senior’s home, their injuries and care are covered by Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Active supervision of Caregivers allows the agency to professionally work through any performance issues. A 24-hour On-Call service allows for last-minute schedule changes and back-up Caregivers to be scheduled, when necessary. Training programs provide Caregivers with guidelines to follow for performing quality care duties.
In addition, the Caregiver is protected by Unemployment Insurance if they are not staffed between assignments and meet the necessary qualifications. Caregivers also have the guarantee of receiving Medicare and Social Security benefits when they retire because they have paid into these programs as an employee of the agency.
Senior Driver Safety
What to do if you think a Senior Should Not be Driving
The Federal Highway Administration reports that drivers age 70 and older experience more motor vehicle fatalities than any other driving group, with the exception of drivers under age 20. Aging affects each of us differently and when chronic illnesses are also present; there can be a decline in physical and cognitive abilities. While many seniors learn to compensate successfully for any cognitive or functional limitations, sometimes it does become necessary to let someone else do the driving.
Remember that medications can sometimes have a negative impact on driving ability at any age. A change in vision will also present challenges for driver safety.
First, take an assessment of the senior’s driving capability and begin thinking of alternate transportation resources to introduce to them at the same time you have the discussion to transfer the keys. You may want to begin with limiting night-time driving as a first step, as this will give the senior a chance to learn how to plan ahead when needing someone else to assist with transportation. Once they are accustomed to not driving at night and realize they still have access to alternate transportation, you can more easily adapt this to daytime driving too.
Safe Driving Checklist For Seniors
- Vision: Is the senior able to pass a vision test? (Cataracts, Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration can all impact vision quality).
- Are there any unexplained dents in the paint of the car or on the garage?
- Does the senior allow others to ride in the car with them when they are driving?
- Does the senior seem nervous or extra anxious when driving?
- Does the senior take alternate routes to avoid major highways?
- Does the senior fail to stop at red lights or stop signs?
- Are speed limits obeyed (Not driving too slow or too fast)?
- Have neighbors or others who see the senior driving (anyone who also attends a regular event they may drive to) observed anything unsafe?
If you feel that it is unsafe for the senior to continue to drive, and you feel they will not be accepting of this, it may be best to first discuss this with their physician. The doctor can do a test of their vision, hearing and reflexes and begin the conversation about how declined functionalities may negatively impact their ability to drive safely.
Although this is a tough decision to make, at the same time no one wants to be responsible for an accident which may have been preventable. The high rate of driving fatalities involving seniors includes incidents of pedestrians who are hit by senior drivers.
The tragic 2003 Santa Monica farmer’s market accident left 10 people dead and 63 injured after George Weller, age 86 at the time, accidentally accelerated on the gas pedal, instead of the brake pedal. He unfortunately had previous accidents and there were reports that neighbors and others had witnessed unsafe driving by him.
As you discuss the need for a change in driving with the senior, if you feel they are resistant, share with them your concern for other’s safety, as well as their own safety. You may be able to ask their physician to write a letter stating it is unsafe for them to drive if they are taking certain medications or suffering from memory loss.
You may contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles to request the license be revoked. Each state has different requirements for senior drivers – it may be possible that the senior will not be able to pass their license renewal test anyway. Check the criteria for your state to find out how they might be able to help you terminate the driver’s license.