Commonwise has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure we exceed Covid safety standards for our clients and caregivers.
Learn more here about our Covid response and protocols. With Commonwise, home remains the safest place for older adults receiving care.

Your Guide on Caregiver Training for Family and Professional Caregivers

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

July 19th, 2021


Caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be challenging. Whether you’re a professional caregiver or a family caregiver, you may find yourself wondering, “Is there training for caregivers of individuals with dementia?”

Unfortunately, there’s no easy handbook that can teach you everything you need to know about how to be a caregiver for dementia. However, there are caregiver training programs and classes for professional and family caregivers.

For professional caregivers, many home care companies provide comprehensive Alzheimer’s and dementia training. If you’re a family caregiver, there are courses and classes for dementia caregivers that are available to you.

In this article, we’re sharing how professional and family caregivers can acquire the skills needed to work with dementia patients. Keep reading to learn more about how you can receive caregiver training and help today.

 

What is Dementia and Alzheimer’s?

In order to provide the best care for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it’s valuable to understand these diseases and how they affect individuals.

Here’s more information about dementia and Alzheimer’s.

 

Dementia

Dementia is the general term for any memory loss disorder. Experts still aren’t sure what causes or leads to dementia, but they do know it’s associated with changes in the brain.

Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning its symptoms get worse over time. The earliest signs of dementia include:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion in familiar places

The early stages of dementia are accompanied with slow cognitive and mental decline, but the individual still has the ability to do many life tasks independently. 

However, as time progresses, dementia can start to affect motor functions. Most people with dementia eventually need assistance with:

  • Bathing and dressing
  • Eating
  • Walking and moving around

The progressive nature of dementia is what creates the greatest challenge for family caregivers.

 

Alzheimer’s

While dementia is the umbrella term for any condition that leads to a decline in cognitive ability, Alzheimer’s is a specific type of dementia. Alzheimer’s gradually and irreversibly erases memory and cognitive ability. 

Accounting for 60-80% of all dementia cases, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

It’s important to learn more about Alzheimer’s so you can: 

  • Recognize the early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s 

Now that you know more about the specifics of dementia and Alzheimer’s, let’s look at caregiver training programs and ways family caregivers can get help caring for a loved one with dementia.

 

Training for Caregivers of Individuals with Dementia

Perhaps you’re a professional caregiver who’s looking for additional Alzheimer’s training. Or, maybe you’re a spouse or family member wondering if there’s Alzheimer’s and dementia training for you.

Keep reading to learn about the resources available to family caregivers. We’ll then talk about what caregiver training programs exist for professional caregivers.

 

1. Caregiver Training for Family Caregivers

The Alzheimer’s Association is one of the best resources for family caregivers. It has an extensive online library of blogs, videos, and training materials that can help you better understand how to be a caregiver for dementia loved ones.

Some of Alzheimer Association online resources include:

  • General information to help you understand dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • Classes on the early, middle, and late stages of dementia
  • Courses on how to deal with Alzheimer’s for those diagnosed with the disease
  • Options for care help, including in-home care

Additionally, you can find a local Alzheimer’s Association chapter and get involved. They offer support groups and training opportunities for those caring for loved ones with dementia.

 

2. Caregiver Training for Professional Caregivers

If you want to attend the most complete dementia training for caregivers, then Commonwise Home Care is the place to go.

At Commonwise, we developed a unique training program called Caregiver University (CU). CU is an online and in-person program that provides you with the skills needed to work with dementia patients. It’s a comprehensive course that prepares you for the roles and duties that come with being a caregiver.

We only offer this caregiver training program to Commonwise Caregivers, so your first step toward classes for dementia caregivers is to apply to work at Commonwise.

Once you’ve applied to work with us and get hired, you’ll be enrolled in CU. The CU program involves:

  • A 6-8 hour online training with engaging videos, games, quizzes, and other stimulating activities that teach you technical and hospitality skills
  • In-person caregiver training where you get to practice the skills you learned online
  • Memory care classes to aid in providing care to individuals with dementia

Some of the major benefits of working as a Commonwise Caregiver include:

  • Generous pay
  • Salary increases and incentives
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Ongoing training and support

We highly value our caregivers and ensure they’re ready and prepared for anything that could happen on the job.

 

Quick Tips on How to Be a Good Caregiver for Dementia

Whether you’re a family caregiver or a professional caregiver, communication is key when caring for someone with dementia.

Here are some quick communication tips anyone looking after someone with dementia should consider:

  • Keep a positive attitude and tone.
  • Make sure you have their attention before communicating.
  • Be clear and concise, using simple words and sentences.
  • Ask easily answerable questions one at a time.
  • Listen attentively and carefully.
  • Break things down into small steps.
  • Don’t try to prove them wrong or argue with them.
  • Talk about and bring up old memories.
  • Use tasteful and appropriate language and humor.

As a caregiver, your ultimate goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of the person with dementia that you’re providing care to.

 

Professional Caregiver Training and Help for Family Caregivers

Caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be rewarding and fulfilling. You get to make sure the person is cared for and improve their quality of life. But there are also challenges and difficulties that can come with it.

Family caregivers looking after someone with dementia may find themselves unprepared and in need of Alzheimer’s training. The Alzheimer’s Association has many great online resources available for spouses or adult children looking after a loved one with dementia.

Professional in-home caregivers may have received some training, but it might not be extensive Alzheimer’s and dementia training. Commonwise Home Care’s Caregiver University offers caregivers the opportunity to learn, practice, and develop their dementia care skills.

At Commonwise Home Care, we’ve dedicated ourselves to three things:

  • Providing exceptional in-home care to elderly adults
  • Supporting family caregivers and their loved ones
  • Training caregivers extensively 

Our goal is to provide the best, most complete home care experience possible.

Family caregivers in need of help can contact our Care Managers. They’ll talk with you about your care situation and help you understand what your loved ones need.

Caregivers looking to grow in their careers can apply to work at Commonwise today. We’re ready to make you the best caregiver you can be.

The Best In-home Care for the Elderly Jobs in Charlottesville, VA

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

July 12th, 2021


There’s currently an in-home caregiver shortage, and many jobs taking care of seniors at home are available in Charlottesville, VA, and all over the country.

Do you have a passion for taking care of others? 

Are you a compassionate, hard-working individual?

Have you thought about looking into in-home care for the elderly jobs?

Caregiving is a rewarding and fulfilling career that can offer flexible hours and generous pay. As a caregiver, you’ll enter the home of elderly adults, spend time with them, and assist them with daily life tasks. Not only will you help aging seniors, but you’ll also provide peace of mind to their adult children and family caregivers.

If you’re interested in jobs taking care of the elderly at home, this article is a great place to start. We’re sharing everything you need to know about jobs working with elderly home care companies.

Keep reading to learn why caregiver jobs are comparable to CNA jobs in Charlottesville, VA, and how to apply to be a caregiver today. 

 

Why Choose Jobs to Help the Elderly at Home

There are three reasons why you should choose jobs taking care of seniors at home:

  • You have the desire to be a caregiver
  • It’s a fulfilling and rewarding job
  • There’s always “help wanted” in elderly care

Let’s take some time to look at these three points more closely.

 

1. Desire to Be a Caregiver

First and foremost, you need to have a passion for caregiving. 

Caregiving isn’t always an easy profession, and some days or weeks may seem very long. There might be times that you have to work with a needy client or someone with a severe medical condition. 

It takes the right kind of person with compassion, patience, and high emotional intelligence to be a good caregiver (more on caregiver qualities later). If you don’t have these qualities, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a caregiver—you can always grow and learn new skills.

However, caregiving is a profession that requires dedication to your roles, responsibilities, and clients to ensure you deliver the best care possible.

 

2. Caregiving is Rewarding and Fulfilling

Though caregiving can be challenging, it’s also a gratifying and fulfilling career.

Elderly adults have a strong desire to age at home. But often, general issues associated with age or medical diagnoses can hinder them from living independently. A decline in physical ability or health can cause an aging adult’s family members to consider moving them into a nursing home or other senior living facility.

As a caregiver, you provide the necessary care an aging adult needs to stay and live at home. Caregivers have the opportunity to provide the quality of life that elderly seniors long for.

Not only are you assisting the elderly, but you’re also helping their family members. Because caregivers take over the burden of caregiving, family members don’t have to worry about their aging loved ones as frequently.

 

3. There’s a Huge Need for Caregivers

Lastly, a caregiving career provides job security and stability.

There’s currently a large amount of help wanted in elderly care. Across the country, there is a massive demand for those who will care for aging adults at home—and the need for caregivers will continue to rise through 2030.

As the population of adults aged 65 and older grows, more home care professionals will be needed.

Now that you know the “why” behind becoming a caregiver, we’ll share the typical job description of an in-home caregiver. 

 

What Does an In-home Caregiver Do?

In-home caregivers enter an elderly adult’s home to assist with daily life tasks.

Sometimes aging seniors simply need companionship and help with small tasks, like:

  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Meal preparation
  • Driving them to/from appointments/events
  • Bill pay

Other elderly adults may have more limitations and need hands-on help with tasks such as:

  • Bathing and grooming
  • Incontinence support
  • Transfers and ambulation
  • Feeding

Ultimately, your job is to provide the highest level of care possible to your client each time you’re with them.

We’ve talked about the “why” and “what” of caregiving, now let’s look at how to become a caregiver.

 

Requirements and Qualities of In-home Caregivers

The list of requirements to become a caregiver isn’t extensive, but there are a few you should know. Likewise, there isn’t an exhaustive list of caregiver qualities, but some are necessary for a successful caregiving career.

We’ll start by sharing the requirements to become a caregiver, followed by caregiver qualities.

 

Caregiver Requirements

Most people searching for “cna jobs charlottesville va” or “caregiver training courses”, don’t realize that prior experience or certifications aren’t necessary to start a career in caregiving.

The only requirements you need to meet to fill out a caregiver application are:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Hold a valid driver’s license
  • Pass a drug screening and background check

If you check these three boxes, then you’re on your way to applying for jobs taking care of seniors at home.

The next steps to becoming a caregiver simply involve:

You can’t always control getting an interview, but you can control how many jobs you apply for. If you know you want to start a career in caregiving, you can look up home care companies in your area and begin applying to their open positions.

 

Caregiver Qualities

Apart from physical requirements, there are also some qualities that all good caregivers need. Often, it’s these traits that home care companies care most about.

Here are four of the essential traits good caregivers possess.

 

Patience

Those who work with the elderly should be able to exercise patience. 

Many older adults have a slower pace of moving, speaking, and sometimes processing. It’s important to be able to work at that pace without showing annoyance.

 

Empathy

Caregivers should have empathy when working with the elderly. 

This population is often lonely, depressed, or in pain. Showing empathy to these people and their medical needs builds trust and care in the caregiving relationship.

 

Respect

Along with patience and empathy, you should be respectful. 

The elderly population can often feel dismissed and belittled. Good caregivers make it a point to show kindness, decency, and respect to the elderly adults they serve.

 

Optimism

Lastly, anyone working with in-home care for the elderly jobs should be optimistic. 

Often, aging seniors may be experiencing a challenging or transitional period of their lives that significantly affects their health. Staying optimistic and providing them with a constant, daily, sunny disposition can improve their physical and mental health. 

Although these are important traits, having all of them isn’t required to fill out an application and become a caregiver. There’s always room to improve and learn new skills.

If you’re interested in applying to one of the best caregiver companies in Charlottesville, VA, keep reading.

 

Apply to Jobs Taking Care of Seniors at Home Today

Elderly adults want to age in the comfort of their own homes. Yet, many seniors have limitations that keep them from living independently. One of the best solutions is in-home caregivers.

Caregivers enter aging adults’ homes to provide the hands-on assistance they need to continue aging in place. While some seniors need a small amount of help, others require more tangible assistance. A caregiver’s primary role is to ensure a high quality of life for their client.

You don’t need any prior experience or certifications to apply for a caregiver position. Though, most caregivers do possess such qualities as:

  • Patience
  • Empathy
  • Respect
  • Optimism

If you feel fulfilled by caring for others, you may want to consider in-home care for the elderly jobs. Rewarding, fulfilling, and in high demand, these jobs can make a world of difference in someone’s life. 

At Commonwise Home Care in Charlottesville, VA, we’re currently looking to hire new caregivers. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality care to seniors in and around the Charlottesville area, and our caregivers are the main reason we can do that. Because our caregivers are so valuable to our success, we make sure to care for them well through:

  • Generous pay
  • Flexible schedule
  • Ongoing training and support

Apply online today to come work for us and see why our caregiver career opportunities are better than other CNA jobs in Charlottesville, VA.

Where’s the Best Place to Get Alzheimer’s Home Care in Richmond, VA?

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

July 6th, 2021


Not only is professional dementia care in Richmond, VA available for family caregivers, but it’s also one of the best ways to provide quality care for an aging loved one.

Many adult children or family caregivers feel a responsibility or sense of guilt to care for their aging loved ones. Yet, family members might not have the emotional intelligence or required skills to support them in the best way possible.

Fortunately, there are ways to get professional dementia or Alzheimer’s home care for your aging family member. 

  • Do you know what home health care for dementia patients is?
  • Are you aware of the benefits of dementia in-home care?
  • Do you know how to find dementia in-home caregivers for your loved one?

In this article, we’re providing expert information on how to get help caring for dementia patients at home. You’ll learn the benefits of professional caregivers for seniors with dementia and how to find the best memory care in Richmond, VA.

Read below to gain more insight into respite care for dementia caregivers and learn when your loved one may need 24-hour care.

Note: Technically, dementia is the general term for memory loss disease, and Alzheimer’s is a specific type of dementia. Since Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, we’ll use the terms “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” interchangeably in this article.

 

The Need for Professional Dementia In-home Caregivers

Caring for a relative with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is a rewarding but challenging task. Early stages of memory loss are gradual, and the individual with dementia is still quite independent. 

But as dementia progresses, it often affects a person’s cognitive and motor functions. These decreases in function require an increased level of care. 

People with advanced dementia usually need help with tasks like:

  • Bathing, grooming, and dressing
  • Feeding
  • Movement and transportation
  • Incontinence support

Additionally, someone with dementia may also experience: 

  • Uncontrolled emotional outbursts of anger, rage, or frustration
  • Difficulty or inability to sleep at night
  • Confusion in familiar places
  • Wandering and getting lost

As a family caregiver, it may get more difficult for you to provide the Alzheimer’s care your loved one needs in the later stages.

Finding and hiring an in-home caregiver can provide you with expert help caring for dementia patients at home.

 

Expert Dementia and Alzheimer’s Home Care

Home health care for dementia patients or those with Alzheimer’s is an excellent option for any family caregiver.

Professional caregivers for seniors with dementia benefit both you and your loved one. They provide you with:

Alzheimer’s caregivers also ensure that your loved one has:

  • High-quality memory home care service
  • The hands-on assistance they need with daily tasks
  • The ability to age in the comfort and familiarity of their home

To get expert help for dementia patients at home, you’ll need to contact a home care company in your area. Many home care agencies will provide you with an initial consultation call to assess your loved one’s care needs and suggest the care services that are right for you.

The most common types of care that family caregivers seek are respite care and 24-hour in-home dementia care.

 

Respite Care for Dementia Caregivers

Respite care is a short-term care option for family caregivers. It’s best during the early to middle stages when someone with dementia is independent but needs occasional help or supervision.

With respite care, in-home caregivers drive to your loved one’s residence. They enter into the home and take over caregiver duties. You can hire a respite caregiver for as little as four hours once a week or as long as eight hours multiple times each week.

These short-term caregivers are highly trained to provide hands-on assistance to your loved one. They can offer companionship services, like:

  • Medication reminders
  • Light housework or laundry
  • Transportation and errands
  • Meal prep

Respite caregivers are also ready to help with more personal needs that include:

  • Transfers and ambulation
  • Bathing and personal care
  • Dressing and grooming
  • Feeding

While a respite caregiver looks after your loved one, you’ll have the freedom to take care of personal tasks and responsibilities.

 

24-hour Care for Dementia Caregivers

In the later stages of dementia, loved ones often need care and supervision all day and night. It can be tiring and exhausting to provide this type of care as an adult child, spouse, or family member. This can make it difficult to enjoy your loved ones during their final years fully.

24-hour home care for the elderly with dementia is the best way to ensure:

  • Your loved one receives full-time care during the day and night
  • You’re relieved of your burden to provide continual care
  • You can enjoy time with your loved one more fully

Around-the-clock Alzheimer’s home care provides your aging loved one with a caregiver during the daytime hours and then a second caregiver during the nighttime. This changing of the guard ensures that the caregiver on duty is always awake, alert, and attentive to your loved one’s needs.

Whether your loved one has difficulty sleeping, is prone to wander, or is unable to feed themself, 24-hour in-home caregivers for seniors with dementia will provide the care your loved one needs.

 

The Best Dementia Care in Richmond, VA

While being a family caregiver is rewarding, there are also many challenges and difficulties. The early stages of Alzheimer’s care are often manageable for family caregivers. However, the later stages of dementia usually require greater hands-on care.

One of the best ways to get help caring for dementia patients at home is through in-home care. Professional caregivers have specific training that allows them to enter in and care for someone with dementia. 

Respite care for dementia caregivers provides a much-needed break for family caregivers from the burdens of caregiving. The respite caregiver steps in for a few hours each week so the family caregiver can have free time for themself and other life responsibilities.

If your loved one needs care at night and during the day, 24-hour home health care for dementia patients is available. 24-hour care provides your loved ones with the care and supervision they need at all hours of the day.

At Commonwise Home Care in Richmond, VA, we’ve provided quality in-home care to elderly adults for decades. Our team of highly-trained Care Managers and Caregivers makes us one of the best memory care providers in Richmond, VA. Whether you’re looking for respite care a few days a week or your loved one needs 24-hour dementia care, we’re ready to provide the help you and your loved ones need.

Contact our Richmond office today to speak to one of our Care Advisors. They’ll help you understand more about home care for the elderly with dementia.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Hire a Caregiver

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

June 28th, 2021


In the current home care landscape, everyone is looking for the best ways to recruit caregivers. Whether it’s increased caregiver rates of pay or more flexible hours, there’s no shortage of different approaches to attracting new workers.

Not only is recruiting caregivers becoming more difficult but so is keeping them around. So, what are the best ways to find caregivers and make sure they stay around?

As a cornerstone in the home care industry for years, Commonwise Home Care in Virginia has learned a lot about where to find caregivers and how to hold onto them. 

In this article, we’re sharing expert tips for recruiting caregivers. We’ll start with finding caregivers, move onto the interview process, and finish with ways to keep caregivers around. You’ll also learn how providing industry-leading VA caregiver pay, valuable training, and ongoing support leads to lower caregiver turnover.

 

How to Hire a Caregiver

Successfully hiring caregivers starts before you ever post a job listing, receive an application, or hold an interview. Setting yourself up to hire caregivers means two things:

  • Viewing caregivers as your most valuable asset
  • Properly preparing your job postings

 Let’s expand on these two points so you can lay a better recruiting foundation.

 

1. Viewing Caregivers as Valuable Assets

One of the biggest mistakes home care agencies make is viewing caregivers as disposable commodities instead of long-term, valuable assets.

The best way to recruit caregivers from the beginning is to develop a correct view of caregivers. When you invest in your caregivers and make them the core of your business, it leads to:

  • Increased caregiver excitement and passion in delivering high-quality care
  • Increased client satisfaction as they receive care from caregivers who like their job
  • Decreased caregiver turnover and time spent hiring

If you already greatly value your caregivers, you’re starting on the right foot.

 

2. Preparing Your Job Postings

The second trap home care companies fall into is poorly worded and posted job listings. 

A job posting is often the first thing a potential hire will see—it’s their first impression of you and your company.

Here are two good questions to ask yourself when you post jobs.

 

1. Are your criteria turning away suitable applicants?   

Anyone in the home care industry knows that character traits and high emotional intelligence are more valuable than hard skills. You can always teach hard skills and provide necessary on-site training, but you can’t train compassion. Ensure you don’t turn away high-quality candidates due to unnecessary qualifications.

 

2. Are your applications attention-grabbing?

Posting a job is a balancing act between filtering out unwanted contacts and attracting the ones you want. Here are some tips for recruiting caregivers with job listings:

  • Prioritize necessary information
  • Use a relatable tone
  • Provide job-specific roles
  • Showcase any awards you’ve won
  • Give caregiver testimonials

Taking time to make your openings attractive will significantly help in the recruiting and hiring process.

Once you finish the preparatory work, you can start thinking about hiring channels and where to find caregivers.

 

Where to Find Caregivers

There are many places to post job openings and ways to find caregivers. You may be familiar with many of them, but here are our top suggestions.

 

1. Internet Websites

One of the important places to post job listings is online. 

You want to post your jobs on your company website. Often home care agencies will have an entire careers page for potential hires to peruse. 

It’s also an excellent idea to utilize third-party online job sites. There are both general and niche sites, and it’s often best to use both.

Some of the top sites to use are:

Some allow you to post jobs for free, while others require you to pay or purchase a membership. 

 

2. Referral Program

Another way to find caregivers is through an employee referral program.

With a referral program, you pay your employees for any hires they refer to you. You’ll want to create a simple, standard process so that everyone in your company knows about it and can follow it.

Referral programs help you reach more potential candidates through word of mouth. And if you’re treating your caregivers well, they’ll be more active in sending others your way. 

 

3. Social Media and Paid Advertising

Third, you can use social media and paid advertising.

If you have a company Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, you can freely post job openings. These channels help reach a wider audience and can be shared by those who follow you.

Many sites like Facebook and Google also allow you to pay for online ads. It will require some time and money to set them up. But once you get your ads set up, they’ll provide another way to help you find new hires.

 

4. Job Fairs

Lastly, job and career fairs are an excellent way to recruit candidates. Due to world events the past year, in-person recruiting opportunities have been minimal. However, as restrictions loosen and in-person events happen again, you should look to take advantage of them.

We’ve talked about preparing for hiring and some of the ways to find caregiving candidates. Now, let’s spend some time looking at the interview process.

 

The Caregiver Interview Process

Creating a good interview process is one of the best ways to recruit caregivers that provide excellent care and stay with your company long term.

Because of their need for more caregivers, most home care companies have a short interview that doesn’t properly vet and screen the candidate. After a few weeks or months, either the employee leaves or the company realizes they weren’t a good hire.

If you want to hire quality caregivers, you need the ability to boil down your applicants to the ones that can excel in the caregiver role.

At Commonwise, we partnered with an organizational psychologist to help us develop a recruitment process and better understand how to hire a caregiver successfully. The process involved:

  • Conducting a rigorous job analysis
  • Clarifying our vision of a successful caregiver
  • Performing a multi-month evaluation of our highest performing caregivers
  • Understanding the skills and personality traits necessary to provide exceptional care

All this information allowed us to create a standard interview process. We can score candidates against predictive questions to assess how successful they’ll be in their role. 

No process is perfect, but our interview assessment provides us with a way to vet candidates more effectively.

 

How to Decrease Caregiver Turnover

After the hiring process is complete, you need to make sure that your caregivers have every reason to stick around. You can’t control everything, but there are some things you can do that will go a long way in retaining caregivers.

 

1. Better Pay

Money isn’t everything, but it certainly is a significant contributor to hiring and retaining employees. 

  • Do you know what the competitive caregiver rates of pay are?
  • Do you offer training and incentives that lead to higher pay?
  • Are your caregivers satisfied with their wages?

One of our values at Commonwise is to offer the highest caregiver salary to our employees. Since they’re our greatest asset, providing high VA caregiver pay is a worthwhile investment.

 

2. Better Training

The second action you can take to create a culture of loyalty is to offer high-quality training.

Caregivers desire:

  • To be well prepared for their first day on the job
  • Have opportunities to grow in their caregiving careers

When caregivers are ready for their job and know that you’re investing in their career, they’ll be more likely to stick around.

At Commonwise, we offer in-house training to new employees to ensure they’re ready for their roles. We also provide “Level Up” days throughout the year for caregivers to attend voluntary training and increase their salaries.

 

3. Better Support

Lastly, you’ll want to create a work environment that fosters encouragement and relational support. 

Caregiving is a challenging profession. It requires great mental, emotional, and physical determination. Even experienced caregivers might experience exhaustion or a season of burnout. Additionally, there may be situations that arise that your caregivers need help with or aren’t prepared to handle.

Caregivers need to know that someone is ready to assist them and provide the necessary support. They require ongoing help from their employer that makes them feel like human beings and a valued member of the team.

 

The Best Ways to Recruit Caregivers

The best ways to recruit caregivers involve good preparation and end with a healthy staff of qualified employees. But getting through the process with a positive result can be challenging.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to hire a caregiver successfully:

  • View your caregivers as valuable assets
  • Create clean, attractive job offers
  • Utilize different recruiting platforms
  • Develop an interview process
  • Pay, train, and support your caregivers well

We know this is how you hire and retain top caregiving talent because we’ve been doing it for decades.

At Commonwise Home Care, we’ve dedicated ourselves to providing premium in-home care to elderly adults. The way we deliver exceptional care day-in and day-out is by investing money, time, and resources into our caregivers. We genuinely believe that caregivers are at the core of our company, so we make sure they’re:

  • The highest-paid caregivers
  • Expertly trained
  • Sufficiently supported

Caregivers looking to join our team can check out our job openings online.

Adult children with aging parents can contact our Care Advisors to learn more about in-home care.

Top Tips and Advice for Adult Children Caring for Aging Parents at Home

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

June 21, 2021


It’s not uncommon for adult children to need help looking after elderly parents. Whether you’re a part- or full-time family caregiver, caring for aging parents can be challenging.

Are you an adult child wondering how to care for elderly parents?

Do you need some tips for taking care of parents at home?

Many adult children feel that they must care for their aging parents. Others may genuinely desire to provide the hands-on assistance their parents need. Regardless of your feelings or situation, taking care of your parents is most likely uncharted territory.

In this article, we’re sharing top tips and advice on how to take care of elderly parents. We’ll discuss some ways to handle the caregiver role and how to find home health care for elderly parents.

Keep reading to learn all about taking care of elderly parents at home.

 

The Top 4 Tips for How to Care for Elderly Parents

Every caregiving situation will be different. Your parents may need unique help or assistance, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to taking care of parents at home

However, some tips and pieces of advice are beneficial to know regardless of your situation. Here are five things you can do to help ease your burden when caring for aging parents.

 

Tip #1: Monitor Your Parents’ Care Needs

Monitoring your parents’ needs is the first step to successfully taking care of your aging parents and providing them with the necessary care.

Before you ever step in to talk with your parents or address their care needs, observe and take notes. Look for areas of concern, safety hazards, difficulties with normal daily activities, or comments your parents make regularly.

  • Are your parents more cautious when using stairs?
  • Have you noticed a decrease in your parents’ functional mobility?
  • Have your parents made comments about their fears with driving?
  • Do your parents have trouble remembering to take medical prescriptions?
  • Do they have any trouble dressing, bathing, or feeding themselves?

The above list isn’t exhaustive, and you may recognize things in your parents not listed here. But the main point is to take time to assess your parents’ life and living situation.

Once you understand your parents’ situation, you’ll know how to take care of your elderly parents better.

 

Tip #2: Increase Safety in Their Place of Residence

Increasing safety features in your parents’ residence is another positive action to take. 

Some standard safety precautions that can go a long way in providing greater independence for your parents include:

  • Tightening or installing handrails
  • Placing non-slip mats or strips in the bathroom
  • Cleaning clutter off the floor
  • Replacing old or burned out light bulbs  
  • Replacing carpet or removing old rugs
  • Installing a video or home monitoring system

Many precautions will involve mitigating falls, as they’re among the most common accidents in elderly adults. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure your parents are safe and secure in their home.

 

Tip #3: Provide Assistance with IADLs

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) aren’t fundamental to life, but they affect independent living. IADLs include such activities as:

  • Shopping and buying necessities
  • Cleaning and home maintenance
  • Cooking and meal prep
  • Finances and bill pay
  • Running errands

In the earlier stages of caregiving for your elderly parents, your parents may still have the ability to do most daily tasks independently. But they may benefit from someone helping them out once in a while with these IADLs.

If your parents aren’t comfortable driving, picking up their groceries or other home goods for them every week could be a massive relief for them. Similarly, they might be unable to clean as regularly as they previously could. Spending one day a month helping them clean or maintain their home will ensure their living space doesn’t become too dirty or cluttered.

 

Tip #4: Don’t Neglect Your Self-care

When an adult child becomes a caregiver to aging parents, they often overlook their self-care. The demands of taking care of parents at home can become all-consuming, and it can feel like all your time is taken away. But you still need to maintain your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Some ways that you can practice self-care include:

  • Exercising three times each week
  • Setting aside one night each week for a spouse or friend
  • Attending dental, medical, and other appointments
  • Hiring an in-home caregiver (more on this next section)

It’s important to remember your health as you provide care to your parents. The better you care for yourself, the better you can take care of your loved ones.

 

Tip #5: Seek Help Caring for Aging Parents

Lastly, ask for help. Asking for help can be one of the most challenging things to do, but it’s also one of the most valuable.

Help could come in the form of:

  • A sibling or family member
  • Local friends
  • A local senior center
  • An adult daycare

However, one of the best options for in-home help looking after elderly parents is through a professional in-home caregiver. Many in-home care companies can provide short-term respite care or more extensive 24-hour care.

Respite care is perfect for adult children who are comfortable taking care of elderly parents at home but need some time away to handle personal matters. 

24-hour care provides your parents with in-home caregivers during the day and night. Elderly adults suffering from dementia often benefit significantly from this type of full-time care.

The bottom line is that you don’t need to be the only one caring for your aging parents. Even if friends or family can’t help, you can always contact a local in-home care company.

 

Professional Caregiving for your Elderly Parents

Many adult children find themselves wondering how to care for elderly parents. If you find yourself in this position, you’re not on your own. There are many things you can do to help ease the burden of caring for aging parents.

Each family may have its unique situation, but there are a few things anyone taking care of elderly parents at home can do, including:

  • Monitoring your parents’ needs
  • Providing increased safety in their residence
  • Assisting with IADLs
  • Caring for yourself
  • Finding help with caregiving

If available, in-home respite care or 24-hour care is an excellent way to give your loved ones the care they need while putting your mind at ease.

Commonwise Home Care is a premier provider of in-home care in Virginia and South Carolina. With offices in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, and Charleston, you’re never too far from expert in-home help. Our staff is highly trained and prepared for mild or severe caregiving needs. We also offer in-home physical therapy for any elderly adults in need of rehab assistance regaining muscular strength.

Contact us today to talk with our Care Advisors. They’ll talk with you and provide insight into the care that’s best for your loved one.

The Best Option for 24-hour Home Care for Elderly Adults in Their Own Homes

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

June 14, 2021


24-hr care in your own home is the best way to ensure elderly adults can age in place and receive the assistance they need at all hours of the day. It also provides peace of mind and caregiver relief to spouses or family caregivers.

But when it comes to home care for the elderly in their own homes, things can get a little confusing. Some in-home care providers offer 24-hour care in your home, some offer elder live-in care, and some offer both.

Is there a difference between live-in help for the elderly and 24-hour-a-day care at home?

If there is a difference, what is it and which one is best?

In the home care world, live-in care and 24-hour care are different services. Keep reading to learn more about these two services, how live-in care works, and whether live-in care or 24-hour care is best for you.

 

The Importance of Home Care for Elderly in Their Own Homes

Based on a recent AARP survey, 90% of adults aged 65+ desire to live independently in their homes for as long as possible. Another 80% believe that their current residence is where they’ll live for the rest of their lives—aging seniors want to age in place.

There are many benefits of aging in place, including:

  • Familiarity and comfortability
  • Continued access to close relationships
  • Ability to see the same medical provider
  • Emotional attachment and joy of your own home

These are all significant advantages, and it isn’t hard to see why seniors want to stay home as they age. However, independent living can quickly become complicated with a decline in health or the need for serious hands-on attention and care.

Spouses or family caregivers can provide some care, but prolonged caregiving or a severe decline in health can become significant roadblocks for spousal or family care. That’s where a trained elder caregiver can come in handy.

Caregivers possess unique skills that allow them to provide quality care and companionship for aging adults. They can help with tasks such as:

When a loved one wants to age at home but needs regular assistance with daily tasks, full-time elderly care at home could be the solution.

 

Live-in Elder Care vs. 24-hr Care in Your Home

If your aging spouse or parent requires hands-on care to live independently, home help for the elderly is a great option.

But should you choose a senior live-in caregiver or a 24-hour caregiver?

Live-in care and 24-hour care sound similar, but they have unique differences. Below we’ve detailed how each of these home care services works to help you better understand them.

 

How Live-in Care Works

Live-in care is a home care service that some home care companies offer. It’s a way to provide your loved one with hands-on assistance during daytime hours.

With elderly live-in home care, an individual caregiver lives with your loved one at their place of residence. Every few days, a new caregiver will come to take over the duty of care. The caregivers will assist with activities of daily living and ensure the safety of your loved one throughout the day.

Each day, a live-in caregiver is allowed a place to sleep for up to eight hours without interruption. Families looking for a live-in caregiver for elderly seniors usually have aging loved ones that sleep through the night.

However, many seniors may require assistance during the day and night, especially those with dementia, sleep problems, or mobility issues.

 

How 24-hour Care Works

When your aging loved one needs attentive care during the day and night, 24-hour home care is the best solution.

Similar to live-in care, 24-hour care in your home provides aging adults with a trained in-home caregiver. But unlike elder live-in caregivers, 24-hour caregivers aren’t allowed to sleep during their shift. 24-hour-a-day care at home ensures that your loved one always has quick access to a trained and alert caregiver.

The ability to sleep or not sleep is the most significant difference between live-in care and 24-hour care.

24-hour home care for the elderly in their own homes is great for anyone with loved ones who:

If you look into 24-hour care, it may be helpful to know that some of its other names include:

  • Full-time elderly care at home
  • Overnight home care for seniors
  • Around-the-clock care

With overnight home care for seniors, your loved one will receive quality care all day long. It will also provide you with peace of mind and relief from the burden of care.

 

Expert Advice on Full-time Elderly Care at Home

Aging adults have a strong desire to age in the comfort of their homes. They want to keep and have access to what’s familiar to them. But as they age, it may become more difficult for them to perform daily tasks independently.

Fortunately, live-in care and 24-hour care both offer seniors the opportunity to receive hands-on assistance in the presence of their homes. 

Live-in help for the elderly provides aging adults with trained caregiver help during daytime hours. The caregiver lives in the elderly adults’ home for convenience. However, a senior live-in caregiver is given a place to sleep and up to eight hours of sleep each night.

On the other hand, 24-hr care in your own home provides aging seniors with a caregiver that’s awake and alert during all hours of the day. Your loved one will have access to trained in-home help as soon as they need it.

At Commonwise Home Care, we’re experts in elder care. We offer a wide range of in-home care services to suit you and your aging family member’s needs: 

  • Respite care for family caregivers who need a break from caregiving
  • 24-hour in-home care for seniors who need assistance during the day and night
  • In-home Physical Therapy for elderly adults

Contact our Richmond, Williamsburg, Charlottesville, or Charleston office to talk to a Care Advisor today.

Expert Advice on How to Use a Cane Properly When Walking

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

June 07, 2021


Learning how to walk with a cane presents an excellent opportunity for any elderly adult to overcome movement limitations and get back to a normal lifestyle.

Do you feel uncomfortable walking on your own?

Have you recently had knee or hip surgery?

Are your hips, knees, or ankles more unstable or weak than you remember?

Many elderly adults eventually reach a point where they need assistance walking and moving around. Learning how to use a cane or another assistive device can help you get back on your feet.

Using a cane can seem unfamiliar or difficult at first, so you must learn the correct way to use a cane. Once you know how to use a cane for balance, you’ll gain greater confidence moving around.

In this article, we’re providing information on how to know when you need a cane. We’ll also be sharing expert advice on how to use a cane properly when walking

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of using a cane.

 

How Do You Know When You Need a Cane?

Nearly 40% of senior adults use a cane or assistive device. However, age isn’t the only factor that necessitates the use of a cane. In addition to age, other reasons for cane use often include: 

  • Severe knee or hip arthritis
  • Recovering from a knee, hip, or joint surgery
  • Assistance during physical therapy
  • Relearning to walk after a stroke or serious accident
  • Frailty or weak muscles/bones

There are also more personal and emotional reasons to use a cane:

  • Are you afraid of falling when you walk around?
  • Do you feel like your legs are getting weaker as you age?
  • Is it difficult for you to climb or descend stairs independently?
  • Have you stopped leaving home because of mobility issues?

If you’re an elderly adult who’s experiencing any of these medical or emotional challenges, a cane may be right for you. 

You can also talk with a medical professional or physical therapist about your situation. They can provide expert insight into when and how using a cane can help you overcome all these obstacles.

Recognizing you need a cane and purchasing one is the first step. However, you’ll also need to learn how to use a cane properly and how to walk with a cane.

 

How to Use a Cane

Proper use of a cane involves some initial preparation. Without this preparation, you may improperly use your cane and not receive all the benefits of using a cane

The correct use of a cane involves:

  • Purchasing the right cane
  • Setting the cane to the correct height
  • Knowing which side of the body to use it on

Let’s look at these three areas in more detail to help you best prepare for using your cane.

 

1. Purchasing the Correct Cane

A single-footed cane and a four-footed cane are the two main types of canes. 

Single-footed Canes

Single-footed canes are the most common cane type and only have one point of contact with the ground. These types of canes are great for seniors who are still comfortable walking but desire some extra support.

Four-footed Canes

Four-footed canes offer greater stability and support than single-footed canes. Instead of one point of contact with the ground, they have four. These are an excellent option for anyone in need of greater stability than a single-footed cane provides.

 

2. Setting your Cane Height

Before you start using your cane, you want to make sure it’s the correct height. The top of your cane should align with your wrist when your arm is hanging straight down at your side. 

To test your cane height, you can:

  • Place the cane on the side of your body with your unaffected (stronger) leg
  • Hang your arm straight down at your side
  • Line up your wrist with the top of the cane
  • Adjust if needed

When you hold your cane, your arm should bend about 20 to 30 degrees, and you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort in your arm or shoulder.

Cane height is significant. If your cane’s height is too high or too low, it can cause further discomfort, pain, or damage to your body.

 

3. Positioning your Cane Correctly

Many people who start using a cane wonder, “Do you use a cane on the affected side or unaffected side of your body?” The answer is the unaffected side of your body. 

When you start using your cane to walk, you should position it on the side of your body with your stronger leg. You should also place your cane a few inches forward from your body.

If you’re unsure which cane to purchase, what height to set it at, or how to position it, you can schedule an appointment with a physical therapist. They can help you choose, adjust, and place your cane correctly.

Now that you know the preliminary preparations for using a cane, let’s talk about how to walk with a cane.

 

How to Walk with a Cane

Once you’ve chosen the correct cane, adjusted its height, and know which side to hold it on, you’re ready to use your cane for balance.

Using a cane will require practice and some getting used to. However, once you master walking with your cane, you’ll experience greater control over your mobility. 

Here are the basic steps for using a cane when walking on a flat surface:

  • Hold the cane on your unaffected (stronger) side
  • Place the cane at your side and slightly ahead of your body
  • Simultaneously move the cane and your affected (weak leg) forward
  • Plant the cane firmly on the ground
  • Step forward with your unaffected leg

Now, here’s how to use a cane with stairs:

  • Start with your cane and legs on the same surface
  • Lift (or lower) your strong leg onto the next step and firmly plant it
  • Lift (or lower) your weaker leg onto that same step
  • Lift (or lower) your cane back to your side
  • Repeat until you’ve completely ascended or descended

Learning the correct way to use a cane isn’t difficult, but it will take time, practice, and patience. 

An excellent idea is to set up an appointment with a physical therapist. They can teach you the correct way to use a cane and provide you with supervised practice before you’re on your own. There are even physical therapists that will come to your home so you can learn in the comfort of your residence. 

 

Need Help Learning How to Use a Cane Properly?

Canes offer elderly adults improved stability and comfort moving around. They’re an excellent resource to get you back on your feet and perform daily tasks independently.

However, using a cane does require some initial preparation and practice. You’ll want to:

  • Choose the right cane
  • Set your cane at the correct height
  • Know where to position your cane

Once you complete these steps, you’re ready to learn how to walk with a cane. Proper use of a cane will take some time to learn and master. But after you practice it, you’ll reap all the new lifestyle benefits of using a cane.

If you need help learning how to use a cane, you can always make an appointment with a trained physical therapist.

At Commonwise Home Care, we desire to help aging seniors experience independence and healthy living for as long as possible. Our Physical Therapists are the perfect option for any elderly adult who needs physical rehabilitation or assistance using a cane. They’ll create a unique plan suited for your needs and will come directly to your home for your comfort and convenience.

Contact our Richmond, Charlottesville, or Williamsburg locations today to schedule an appointment with one of our trained Physical Therapists.

The 4 Most Important Things to Look for in Caregiver Training Programs

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

May 24, 2021


Are you looking for a live-in caregiver training course or caregiver training university in Richmond, Charlottesville, or Charleston?

Most people may not realize that most caregiver training programs don’t require any previous experiences or certifications. They’re readily available to anyone with a compassionate heart and desire to provide seniors with a higher quality of life.

Are you a caring, compassionate individual?

Do you have a passion for helping and serving elderly adults?

Have you thought about taking an in-home caregiver training course?

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about in-home caregiving, the marks of a good training course, and how to find the best home care training programs

 

What is a Caregiver?

An in-home caregiver is an individual who knows and understands the daily living needs of elderly adults. They enter into the client’s home to provide an extra set of hands with activities of daily living, companionship services, or advanced care needs. 

Often, caregivers are people who are:

  • Compassionate
  • Personable
  • Communicative
  • Patient

This isn’t an exhaustive list, however, and a lack of any of these qualities doesn’t disqualify you from becoming a caregiver. Ultimately, a caregiver is someone who sees elderly adults as human beings and treats them with compassion.

 

What Does an In-home Caregiver Do?

A caregiver’s primary responsibility is to provide the necessary care and assistance aging adults need to live independently.

They’re trained in hands-on hard skills and soft skills (hospitality skills) to provide increased quality of life to aging seniors. 

 

Caregiver Hard Skills

Hard skills are the practical skills used to deliver hands-on care to elderly adults. They usually involve helping with daily life tasks.

Every aging adults’ needs will be slightly different, but some examples of hard skills include:

  • Assisting with transfers and ambulation
  • Bathing and personal hygiene
  • Dressing and grooming
  • Transporting a client to and from appointments
  • Preparing meals or feeding

Caregiver Soft Skills

In-home hospitality skills involve having high emotional intelligence and understanding how to make a client feel comfortable. Some examples of soft skills are:

  • Asking the client if they want to control the temperature or radio in the car
  • Taking the scenic route home from an appointment
  • Leaving plenty of time to get to events or appointments

When a caregiver has both hard and soft skills, they can handle the caregiver role better. 

Unfortunately, many caregiver training programs teach hard skills but overlook the hospitality skills. The best home caregiver training involves teaching both sets of skills.

 

The 4 Marks of a Good In-home Caregiver Training Program

Not all live-in caregiver training courses and in-home caregiver programs are the same. Before taking a home care training program, it’s best to know what a top-level in-home caregiver training should include. 

Below we’ve listed the top four marks to look for in a high-quality caregiver program.

 

1. Hard and Soft Skills Training

Earlier, we mentioned that the best caregivers possess both hard and soft skills. If you want to be a great caregiver, it involves learning and growing in both sets of skills. A premier caregiver university will provide the opportunity to learn hard and hospitality skills. 

The best caregiver training programs will give you opportunities to train in hands-on skills to grow in competency. They’ll also model and coach you in soft skills to help you become a complete caregiver.

Look for a senior care training program that promotes growth in hard and soft skills.

 

2. Practical Training 

Piggybacking on number one, you want a training course that teaches you what you need to know about caregiving. 

Most people don’t realize that you don’t need any special certifications or degrees to become a great caregiver. You can get official caregiving certifications, but they may not give you the comprehensive training required to best assist the elderly.

Top caregiver training programs utilize experienced home care professionals who know and understand eldercare. They provide expert insight, tips, and feedback as you hone your skills. Instead of learning general skills or knowledge, you’ll learn the practical skills needed to provide quality care to every client.

 

3. Online and In-person Training

Another valuable characteristic of good home care training is a variety of training modalities. A combination of online and in-person training can help drive retention and competency.

Online Caregiver Training

Online training allows you to work at your own pace. It provides a medium for quick bullets, short videos, comprehension quizzes, and role-playing scenarios. With online training, you can also go back and review sections that were more difficult to understand.

In-person Caregiver Training

In-person training provides the opportunity to put the knowledge you learned online into practice. As experienced coaches walk you through scenarios and training content, you can gain greater clarification and receive valuable feedback. Your trainer can also give you insight into your strengths and growth areas.

A combination of online and in-person training helps you connect with the content and learn it most effectively.

 

4. On-going Training and Support

Once you finish a caregiver training course, it’s beneficial to know that you’ll receive ongoing training and support. It’s valuable to have opportunities to further your understanding or become more comfortable with specific areas of caregiving.

On-going training keeps you up to date with the latest techniques. It provides you with the ability to grow and develop in your career instead of stagnating or becoming bored.

Some days will be difficult, and on-the-job situations will arise that you aren’t entirely sure how to handle. Continued support gives you access to tools and resources as you encounter difficulties. 

Any home care company that truly desires to provide exceptional elderly care will first care for their caregivers through ongoing training and support. 

 

The Best Caregiver Training University

Caregiving is a rewarding career that provides aging seniors with the ability to live independently and age at home. Often, caregivers possess traits like patience and compassion. 

However, there are no certifications or degrees needed to begin a caregiving career. Most in-home care companies offer some in-house training, but many only focus on hard skills and overlook soft skills.

The best caregiver training programs provide:

  • Comprehensive hard and soft skills training
  • Practical skills training
  • Online and in-person training
  • On-going training and support

How do we know that these four traits make up an excellent in-home care training course?

At Commonwise Home Care, we have extensive experience with home care, so we know the skills caregivers need to succeed. Our one-of-a-kind caregiver training program, called Caregiver University, teaches caregivers all the necessary hard and soft skills. We only offer this training to caregivers who work for us, so you’ll need to apply to work with us before attending the training. Because of our unique training, we offer higher pay than other agencies and provide opportunities for salary increases.

Check out our job openings and apply today. We’re excited to help you discover your passion for caregiving.

How to Provide and Get the Best Alzheimer’s Care in Richmond, VA

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

May 17, 2021


Alzheimer’s caregivers in Richmond, VA may not realize all the resources available as they navigate the world of caring for a loved one with dementia.

Are you an adult child or family caregiver looking after a family member with Alzheimer’s?

Do you know how to help someone with Alzheimer’s disease?

Have you been looking for an Alzheimer’s caregivers guide?

Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient can be rewarding and challenging, especially if the person with Alzheimer’s is a spouse, parent, or another close relative.

In this article, we’re sharing tips for Alzheimer’s caregivers so that you’ll know how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s. We’ll also provide information on how to find the best in-home dementia care in Richmond, VA.

Keep reading to learn more about Alzheimer’s care and how to find an Alzheimer’s caregiver in Richmond.

 

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Dementia is the general term for any type of memory loss, and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease affects a person’s memory, thinking, and behavior. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s is still unknown, and there are no treatments or cures.

Slowed thinking and difficulty remembering new information like names, dates, or places is the first sign of Alzheimer’s. Over time, symptoms may include:

  • Disorientation
  • Mood and behavior changes
  • Greater confusion about events, times, and places
  • DIfficulty remembering family or friends
  • More severe memory loss and behavior changes
  • Difficulty speaking, swallowing, and walking

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, meaning that its symptoms start slowly and become worse over time. In the early stages, memory loss is mild, and an individual with dementia can still function independently. Eventually, Alzheimer’s disease can grow severe enough to interfere with an individual’s daily life tasks. In the late stages, family caregivers often feel unable to provide the Alzheimer’s care their loved ones need and choose to seek trained Alzheimer’s caretakers to offer extra assistance.

Until the late stages, family caregivers may simply need some tips to help them better know how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

4 Tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Receiving tips and information on available resources can be helpful as you navigate caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related disease.

Below we’ve created an Alzheimer’s caregivers guide with five expert tips to alleviate some burdens of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

 

Tip #1: Personal Preparation

As much as possible, prepare yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally for the caregiving journey. Providing Alzheimer’s care for a loved one will come with many challenges, but knowing what to expect and understanding the disease can go a long way.

Preparation may include:

  • Reading articles about Alzheimer’s
  • Talking with medical professionals
  • Speaking with other Alzheimer’s caregivers about their experiences
  • Getting your personal affairs in order

The more you can prepare for the upcoming caregiving task, the more confident you’ll be when the time comes to provide care.  

 

Tip #2: Home Safety and Readiness

Another practical step to take when gearing up to care for a loved one with dementia is to prepare your or your loved one’s home properly.

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, forgetfulness is the number one symptom. Your loved one will start forgetting events, names, places, and where they placed certain items. Some ways to keep you and your loved one free from some frustration could include:

  • Buying duplicates of commonly used household items
  • Putting up sticky notes/reminders in personal areas
  • Creating a daily list of tasks to accomplish
  • Writing events on a large, accessible calendar
  • Implementing routines

Household preparation also means home safety. You should consider:

  • Cleaning up clutter
  • Removing throw rugs or other tripping hazards
  • Tightening or installing handrails
  • Increasing household lighting

Anything you can do to create a space that’s clean, accessible, and well-lit will make your home a safe place for your loved one as Alzheimer’s progresses.

 

Tip #3: Self Care

The third tip in our Alzheimer’s caregivers guide is personal care. Personal care cannot be overstated and is vitally important for any family caregiver.

To best care for your loved one, you need to maintain a certain level of self-care. Personal care can mean different things for different people, but often it includes:

  • Getting adequate rest
  • Exercising regularly or taking part in hobbies
  • Setting aside time for family and friends
  • Managing stress and anxiety
  • Handling personal responsibilities
  • Attending personal medical, dental, or other appointments

Lack of personal care can lead to exhaustion, tiredness, burnout, or poor health. The healthier you are as a caregiver, the better you can assist your loved one and handle any challenges.

 

Tip #4: Ask for Help

Sometimes asking for help is the hardest thing to do. Yet, it’s often one of the most beneficial actions a family caregiver can take.

Help can come from a variety of sources:

  • Family or friends
  • Local resource centers
  • Professional in-home care

1. Family or Friends

Ask other family members or close friends for help. You may be surprised at how willing others are to step in and provide assistance. These individuals may not have the ability to help every day, but they might have time every week or every other week. Any amount of help you can get will provide you with extra rest and relief from the constant pressure of caregiving.

 

2. Local Resource Centers

Some localities may have Alzheimer’s resource centers stocked with helpful caregiver resources. For instance, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter provides information and support for those in Richmond, VA. They offer a variety of services, including:

  • Care consultation
  • Support groups
  • Education and online resources
  • Tools and safety services

You can check the Alzheimer’s Association website to find your local chapter.

 

3. In-home Dementia Care

Lastly, you can get professional home care help from a home care agency. Some home care agencies specifically train caregivers in caring for Alzheimer’s patients.

In-home caregivers can provide short-term respite care a few times a week. Short-term respite care is perfect for any family caregiver who simply needs some free time throughout the week. As a respite caregiver assists your loved one, you’ll have a stress-free time for practicing self-care or getting other personal responsibilities accomplished.

In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, in-home caregivers can provide 24-hour care to your loved one. Caregivers will stay with your loved one during daytime and nighttime hours to offer hands-on assistance any time of the day.

 

Where to Get the Best Dementia Care in Richmond, VA

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. It attacks a person’s brain, causing them to have slowed thinking and cognitive abilities. As Alzheimer’s progresses, it can lead to more severe mood, behavior, and mobility changes.

Mild forgetfulness and memory loss mark the early stage of Alzheimer’s, and family caregivers can often provide the hands-on Alzheimer’s care that their loved ones need. If you find yourself as a family caregiver, it’s helpful to remember these four tips for Alzheimer’s caregivers:

  • Prepare yourself
  • Ready you or your loved one’s home
  • Practice self-care
  • Seek help

There are helpful caregiver resources available for those in the role of a family caregiver. When providing care becomes more challenging, professional in-home Alzheimer’s care can help meet your loved one’s care needs.

Are you looking for in-home Alzheimer’s caregivers in Richmond, VA?

Commonwise Home Care is a trusted in-home care provider in the greater Richmond area. All our caregivers are highly trained and know how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. They also work closely with a Care Manager to ensure care is adjusted or changed as your loved one’s needs change. As a family member, you’ll also stay informed and up to date through our Care Managers and our easy-to-use Family Room web platform.  

Contact us today to hear more about how an Alzheimer’s caregiver in Richmond can provide your loved ones with the care they need.

The Top 4 Reasons to Get 24-hour Dementia Care at Home for Seniors

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman

Published:

May 10, 2021


As a family caregiver looking after an elderly adult with dementia, you may not know when to get, how to get, or the benefits of 24-hour dementia care at home.

24/7 in-home senior care is an excellent option for any family caregiver who’s looking after a loved one with dementia. In-home caregivers for seniors with dementia can promote greater health and wellness for those with dementia and their family members.

In this article, we’re sharing all about full-time dementia care and its benefits. 

Keep reading to learn some of the signs that an aging adult needs 24-hour dementia care and the benefits it provides. Afterward, we’ll tell you how to find in-home dementia care for your loved one.

 

When Do Dementia Patients Need 24-hour Care?

Dementia is a general term for memory loss that can affect an individual’s ability to perform daily life tasks. It’s a progressive disease, meaning the symptoms will start slowly and get worse over time. Family caregivers often provide care for their loved ones in the early stages of dementia, but eventually, the burden of care may become overwhelming

There may come a time when your aging loved one with dementia needs 24/7 in-home senior care. If you recognize any of these things in your aging senior, it may be a good sign to think about full-time dementia care at home:

  • Increased falls or greatly decreased balance
  • Sleeplessness or being awake during the night
  • Inability to eat or drink independently
  • Fainting or confusion from dehydration
  • Frequently wandering or getting lost
  • Increased incontinence or inability to make it to the bathroom
  • Health risks (e.g., forgetting to take medications)
  • Safety concerns (e.g., leaving the stove on unattended)

Recognizing any of these signs in your loved one may be an indication that 24-hour dementia care is a beneficial option. 

 

The Top 4 Benefits of 24-hour Dementia Care at Home

Whether you’re already considering 24-hour in-home dementia care or you’ve just recently heard about it, it’s helpful to know more before making a decision.

Here are the top four benefits you can expect when you get 24-hour in-home caregivers for seniors with dementia.

 

1. Allows Aging Adults to Live at Home

There are many living options when it comes to taking care of someone with dementia. However, aging adults prefer to grow old in the comfort of their homes. 24-hour care in your own home provides a sense of comfort and stability, especially for a loved one with dementia. 

With 24-hour dementia care at home, experienced in-home caregivers will stay with your loved one throughout the entirety of the day and night. An around-the-clock caregiver provides your aging loved ones with continuous help and support whenever they need it. It also gives you peace of mind that your loved one is receiving quality care at all hours of the day.

 

2. Reduces Falls and Safety Hazards

Another benefit of full-time dementia care is that it provides increased safety for your loved one.

Falls are a leading cause of injury for aging adults. A 24-hour dementia caregiver provides constant assistance for seniors with dementia as they move about their homes. These in-home caregivers can help with:

  • Getting in and out of bed
  • Getting in and out of the shower
  • Walking up and down stairs
  • Decluttering the house or removing tripping hazards
  • Reminders to use a cane, walker, or assistive device

Additionally, caregivers can provide an extra set of hands and eyes around the house to assist with: 

  • Making sure the stove or oven is off after use
  • Driving the individual to and from places
  • Remembering medications 
  • Eating and drinking regularly

Overall, full-time dementia caregivers can help ensure that your loved one is safe and secure during their daily activities.

 

3. Assistance with Activities of Daily Living

In the late stages of dementia, normal functions like dressing, eating, drinking, and walking can become increasingly difficult for loved ones with dementia to perform independently.

24/7 in-home senior caregivers are specially trained and ready to assist with these activities of daily living (ADLs). They’ll have the ability to help with:

  • Bathing and personal hygiene
  • Toileting and incontinence support
  • Transfers and ambulation
  • Dressing and grooming
  • Feeding
  • Exercising and range of motion support

Often the inability to perform ADLs independently leads most families to place their aging loved ones in a nursing home or other living facility. However, with a 24-hour in-home caregiver, your loved one can get help with ADLs in the comfort of their home.

 

4. Respite for Family Caregivers

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a rewarding yet increasingly challenging task. The previous three benefits focused primarily on the person with dementia, but family caregivers also benefit from 24-hour dementia care. 

As a family caregiver to someone with dementia, you may feel like you’re giving up your life to care for your loved one. You can become overly stressed and experience burnout. Hiring a 24-hour in-home dementia caregiver for your loved one can provide needed relief from caregiving.

Once your aging loved one has a full-time caregiver, you won’t have to worry about providing the hands-on care yourself. Instead, you can start enjoying more quality time with your loved one.

Often, you’ll still have a hand in the caregiving process through the in-home care agency. They’ll keep you updated on your loved one’s care needs and be available if you have any concerns. However, they’ll handle all the practical care so you can be free of worry and fully present when you’re with your loved one.

 

Where to Find In-home Dementia Care

Dementia is a progressive disease that affects many elderly adults. Spouses, adult children, or other family caregivers often start providing the hands-on care their loved ones need. At a certain point, dementia can affect an individual’s ability to perform routine daily activities independently. When this happens, family caregivers can find themselves unable to handle all the caregiving responsibilities.

If you have a loved one with dementia, an excellent option might be 24/7 in-home senior care. Getting an aging loved one 24-hour dementia care at home provides them with great benefits like:

  • The opportunity to age at home
  • Lower risk of falls and other safety hazards
  • Hands-on help with activities of daily living

24-hour dementia care also gives respite to family caregivers and allows them to enjoy time with their loved ones instead of constantly providing care.

Commonwise Home Care is a premium home care agency in Richmond, VA, Charlottesville, VA, and Charleston, SC. We provide the highest quality home care to aging seniors so they can age in the comfort of their homes. Our Care Managers work closely with family caregivers to create a personalized care plan for the individual in need of care. Highly-trained caregivers enter the client’s place of residence to put the care plan into action. Care Managers and Caregivers stay in constant communication with the client’s family members to provide updates and continued peace of mind.

Contact our Richmond, Charlottesville, or Charleston location to talk with a Care Advisor and learn more about full-time dementia care.

Top