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.

How to Find a Good Caregiver for Elderly Parents

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


November 21th, 2022

With the aging population living longer, home health and personal care aide jobs are expected to increase by 25% in the next 10 years. If you want to explore caregiving careers, now is the time. But if you’re an adult child seeking an in-home caregiver for your aging parent, you’re likely searching everywhere for the right fit. 

It’s an emotional decision to begin seeking in-home caregivers. And you don’t want just anyone in your or your parent’s home. You need to find someone you can trust. But how? Where do you start? Who do you trust?

In this blog, we define what a caregiver is and explain where to find caregivers for seniors.


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What Is a Caregiver?

A caregiver or home health aide tends to the needs of the elderly, disabled, injured, and those with chronic illnesses who cannot fully care for themselves. Caregivers enable clients to be more independent by supporting them with activities of daily living (ADLs):

Caregivers improve their client’s quality of life and may also help with:


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Some caregivers are trained professionals, while family members and friends are known as informal caregivers. Professional caregivers relieve the burden of care from family caregivers so adult children can return to being family members

If you are a family caregiver looking for a replacement or notice that your elderly parent needs daily assistance that you can’t provide, it’s time to search for a caregiver. At this point, you may be asking, “Where can I find a caregiver?” Keep reading.

In this next section, we explain how to find a good caregiver for the elderly.


Where to Find Caregivers for Seniors


1. Referrals

One of the easiest ways to begin finding a caregiver for elderly parents is by asking your community for referrals. Given the aging population’s size, someone in your social circle likely has an elderly family member receiving home care. Ask about their experience working with the home care provider to learn more.

Referrals are a safe option because you get a trustworthy recommendation from a friend. The caregiver didn’t pay your friend to say nice things about them. Your friend will hopefully give you their honest opinion, and if the caregiver has the bandwidth, they may be able to help you, too.


2. Registries

Another place where to find caregivers for seniors is on a registry. Registries are essentially staffing services that act as the middleman between families and caregivers. These online registries help families find caregivers and dual function as caregiver job websites where caregivers can find work. 

Registries have an extensive list of independent caregivers that you can search through using various criteria. For example, you can search for a caregiver who lives in your city and has experience working with elderly dementia patients. However, once hired, you assume the full responsibility of employing a healthcare provider.


3. Agencies

Home care agencies are one of the most common, fastest ways to find caregivers in your area. Agencies have caregivers readily available to help your aging loved one, so you can begin care immediately. Although hiring from an agency may be more expensive, they relieve you of all the HR work and liability that comes with hiring an independent caregiver. 

Plus, you have built-in backup care. If your parent’s caregiver can’t make their shift, the agency will send a comparable replacement, preventing you from having to step in inconveniently. As your parent’s needs change, the agency will also have higher levels of care that it can provide, such as 24/7 in-home care.

Looking for caregivers can take a considerable amount of time, especially when you’re the one doing all the searching, interviewing, and vetting. When you rely on a home care agency, you have more peace of mind because they handle the logistics.


Looking for Home Care? Contact Commonwise Home Care

Stop searching Google to find caregivers in your area or posting ads on caregiver job websites. If you want to know how to find caretakers, look no further than Commonwise Home Care (Commonwise). 

“The care was superb and worth the slightly higher hourly cost, and the staff had a much higher emotional intelligence than other groups. I would not look any further than Commonwise.”

—Valeria Niehaus

Nearly 9 in 10 older adults want to remain in their current homes as they age. If you live in Charlottesville, Williamsburg, Richmond, VA, or Charleston, NC, our care team can safely help your senior loved one age in place. 

At Commonwise, we take a sympathetic approach to in-home care, aiming to serve our clients with wisdom and compassion. We are devoted to serving seniors and their families by providing reliable and intuitive elder care at home. Speak to a Care Advisor today to learn more about how in-home care could be a perfect fit for you and your aging loved one. 


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4 Tips for Adult Children Caring for Senior Parents

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


October 24th, 2022

According to Caregiving in the U.S. 2020, 61% of family caregivers also work. If you’re an adult child caring for senior parents, we commend you. It’s a tall task that many take on, but few plan on it. Juggling the responsibilities of helping elderly parents alongside your work and personal life can be overwhelming.

If you’re saying, “I need help with my elderly mother,” this blog is for you. It’s okay to ask for help caring for elderly parents. In fact, there is a list of reasons why it may be more challenging for you to care for them than a professional caregiver:

  • You have competing responsibilities
  • You have bad familial relationships
  • Your own health is declining
  • You feel ill-equipped
  • You live far away

These are just a handful of reasons that may prevent you from being a good fit as a family caregiver. But caregiving isn’t for everyone, and adult children certainly weren’t meant to parent their parents. Do what you can to remain a son or daughter, not your parent’s caregiver.

In this article, we give advice on caring for elderly parents and what to do when your elderly parent needs care that you can’t provide.

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How to Take Care of an Elderly Parent

According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 17% of adults end up caring for aging parents. If that’s you, here are a few tips on how to take care of an elderly parent.

1. Set Clear Expectations

Before caring for aging parents, it’s important to set healthy boundaries and expectations about how the relationship will work. 

As their caregiver, let your parent know what you are and aren’t comfortable helping them with. For example, maybe you’re willing to help around the house, drive them to appointments, and cook meals. However, as soon as they need help bathing or using the bathroom, you agree that it’s time to coordinate in-home care.

You shouldn’t be the only one talking during this conversation, though. Your parent also will have things they are and aren’t comfortable with you doing for them. Make sure that you hear and respect their wishes as much as make sense. During this conversation, consider discussing who they want their power of attorney to be and have them fill out an advance directive.

These conversations are hard but necessary, and it’s best to have them sooner rather than later.

2. Make Home Safety a Priority

As your parents get older, their balance, depth perception, and vision all decline, making them more susceptible to injury. As you care for them, the first step is making sure their living space is safe. To prevent falls, it’s best to have everything they need on one level, especially their bedroom. 

  • Clean up clutter.
  • Install grab bars in the bathroom.
  • Remove rugs and cords from walkways.
  • Plug-in night lights around the house.
  • Put necessities within reach, reducing the need for stepstools or bending down low.

These are just some of the ways you can clear your parents’ home of potential hazards.

3. Assist With ADLs and IADLs

Activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are key life tasks that people need to manage if they want to live independently. If you’re a family caregiver, these are the tasks you’re likely helping elderly parents with.

Activities of Daily Living

ADLs are basic self-care tasks that we learn from a young age. Depending on the task, your parents may be fully dependent on you (e.g., bathing) or able to do it themselves (e.g., eating). 

  • Walking
  • Feeding
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
  • Toileting
  • Bathing

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

IADLs are often the first things older adults need help with before requiring support with ADLs. These tasks are necessary for living independently and require more cognitive functioning than ADLs.

  • Bill pay
  • Driving
  • Meal prep
  • Housekeeping
  • Managing medications
  • Grocery shopping
  • Doctor’s appointments

Keep in mind that these tasks evolve. One day your parent may only need you to stand by just in case they need help, while the next week, you may need to do it for them. Monitor their ability to perform different daily tasks, so you know how to best assist them.

4. Ask for Help

The best advice on caring for elderly parents that we can give is to ask for help. Maybe that looks like using a temporary respite care service, asking your parents’ neighbor to check in on them, or sharing the load with other family members. However, your aging parents will eventually reach a point where they need a higher level of care. 

For example, many older adults that get diagnosed with a chronic condition require medication management, monitoring, and other forms of ongoing care that exceed your abilities or comfort level. Besides, you don’t want to burn yourself out trying to be a caregiver and a parent, employee, sibling, child, aunt/uncle, etc. Professionally trained caregivers exist so that you don’t have to be one.

If you’re wondering what to do when your elderly parent needs care, keep reading.

What to Do When Your Elderly Parent Needs Care

My elderly parent needs help, what should I do?” Call Commonwise Home Care.

As a premium in-home care company, we’re passionate about serving the elderly community. Whether you’re local or not, we provide elderly care for parents like yours living in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA, and Charleston, SC.

Our goal is two-part: (1) preserve the health and independence of older adults so they can age in place safely, (2) and come alongside adult children who need help coordinating care for their aging parents. 

If you’re saying, “I need help with my elderly mother,” but don’t know where to start, give our Care Team a call. Our expert care managers will work with you to assess your aging loved ones’ needs and then recommend the best type of senior care for them, giving you respite and peace of mind.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA, and Charleston, SC.

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Assisted Living vs. In-home Care: The Pros and Cons

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


September 26th, 2022

When your parent or spouse needs more assistance than you can give, many families face a difficult choice: assisted living vs. in-home care. Choosing between the two is a complex decision with many variables, but you should make sure to include your elderly loved one in the conversation.

In this blog, we compare in-home care vs. assisted living facilities, breaking down each so you can make an informed decision for your family. Let’s begin by defining our terms.

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What Are Assisted Living Facilities?

An assisted living facility is an establishment for people who cannot or choose not to live independently. Most residents are mobile adults over the age of 65 that live in small rooms with a bathroom and maybe a small kitchenette (no stoves) and share common areas.

Unlike nursing homes, assisted living is designed for those who need very little elder care on a daily basis but aren’t totally independent.

Some services offered at assisted living facilities may include: 

  • Three meals a day
  • Assistance with personal care
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • 24-hour security
  • On-site staff
  • Transportation services
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Social and recreational activities

Assisted living communities enable residents to retain their independence without compromising their safety. They uphold a resident’s right to privacy, autonomy, and dignity while promoting community and family involvement.


What Is In-home Care?

In-home care is when a caregiver provides personalized, one on one care in your own home – wherever you call home. Home care agencies offer a range of services, from companionship to elder care management. Caregivers help seniors with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as: 

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Walking
  • Eating
  • Errands
  • Household chores

It’s no secret that most seniors prefer to age in place, but what do their adult children think?

A national survey concluded that nearly 85% of baby boomers and Generation Xers prefer that their parents and loved ones age at of at a professional senior care facility. In-home care improves seniors’ quality of life in comfortable surroundings while offering peace of mind and respite to their families.


In-home Care vs. Assisted Living Facilities

Before deciding whether in-home care or assisted living is right for your elderly loved one, you must evaluate a few things.


1. Determine How Much Help Your Loved One Needs

Be honest with yourself and your loved one: How much help do they require? 

Start by making a list of everything your loved one needs help with daily, weekly, and monthly. For example, they may need daily help taking a shower to prevent falls or weekly help picking up groceries. In addition, every month, they may require assistance with bill pay. This list will give you a clear picture of what type of care is necessary.

Be realistic: How much can you and your family or friends help? Think about the long-term, not just what’s possible to keep up for the next few weeks or months. Your loved one may need ongoing care for years, so keep in mind the big picture here.

After comparing the list of their needs and what you can help them with, you’ll know how much additional support is needed. Don’t forget to include them in this conversation. Your loved one may adamantly want in-home care, and that desire shouldn’t go unacknowledged.


2. Consider the Pros and Cons

Let’s look at assisted living vs. in-home care, evaluating the pros and cons of each.


In-home Care Pros

  • Seniors get personalized, 1:1 care
  • Seniors get to remain in the comfort of their (or a relative’s) home
  • Flexible care arrangements (i.e., different types of care can be combined to lower costs)
  • Depending on the level of care required, in-home care can be cheaper

In-home Care Cons

  • If 24/7 care is required, it’s expensive
  • Families need to coordinate care
  • Seniors’ homes may require modifications for safety
  • Seniors may feel socially isolated

Assisted Living Pros

  • 24/7 care is easily accessible and more affordable
  • Families don’t have to coordinate care
  • Residents have ample social opportunities

Assisted Living Cons

  • Care won’t be as personalized
  • Quality of care varies depending on the staff
  • Seniors may not enjoy living in an assisted living environment

Now that you know more about in-home care vs. assisted living facilities as it relates to pros and cons, it’s time to consider the cost of assisted living vs. in-home care.


3. Evaluate the Cost of Assisted Living vs. In-home Care

According to the Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey (2021), in-home care costs an average of $4,957 per month (44 hours per week). However, the monthly median cost for assisted living nationally totals $4,500, making it slightly cheaper than in-home care.

Note that this is a national average; costs will undoubtedly vary state-by-state. Additionally, providers and facilities in the same area may charge different prices, so compare the costs of a few to find the best value.

To get the most accurate cost for in-home care, request to speak with a care manager from a trusted home care agency who can help you navigate the nuances of elder care.


In-Home Care, At Your Service

Whether you want your elderly loved one to age at home or relocate to an assisted living facility, it’s vital that they receive the best care possible. At Commonwise Home Care, our compassionate caregivers help maintain the highest quality of life for older adults wherever they call home.

We offer multiple care solutions, from 24-hour in-home care to memory care for those with dementia living in nursing homes. We also provide care management services to guide families and support their aging loved ones by coordinating healthcare, advocating during acute stays, and even helping with long-term care insurance.

If you have additional questions about in-home care or are ready to get help for aging parents, we’d be honored to serve your family in whatever ways we can. Speak with a Care Advisor today to learn more about how Commonwise can partner with your family.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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What to Do When Your Elderly Parent Needs Care

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


August 29th, 2022

Aging affects everyone. As an adult child, you may begin to see your parents’ health declining as they grow older. Although you may see the signs of their age, your parents may not. Even so, there will come a time when they can no longer live independently and care for themselves.

A national survey found that nearly 90% of adults over 50 want to age in place. Though your parents may be unfit to live alone, they are likely part of the majority who don’t want to move from their homes. Most of the time, the responsibility of caring for aging parents falls on the adult children.

So, you may be thinking a few things:

  • I’m not sure how to take care of aging parents
  • I need help caring for my mother/father
  • How do I get home care for my mother/father?

In this article, we help family caregivers like you know what to do when your elderly parent needs care and how to get carers for the elderly at home.

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How to Take Care of Aging Parents


1. Acknowledge your needs and limitations

Before assuming that you have to become a family caregiver, stop and think about your personal circumstances.

  • Do you live close enough to help out regularly?
  • Are you physically able to care for someone else?
  • Do you have a healthy relationship with your parent(s)?
  • Do you have the disposition to be a caregiver for seniors?
  • Do you have other responsibilities that would interfere with being a caregiver?

These are just some of the questions to consider before jumping into the role of a caregiver. It’s not selfish to acknowledge that you’re not the best person to be caring for aging parents. Caregiving is not for everyone; it’s a vocation for compassionate, patient individuals who find fulfillment in caring for older adults. 

If possible, you should maintain the role of son or daughter, not your parent’s caregiver. No one should judge you for saying, “I need help caring for my mother.” Asking for help is an act of humility and shows self-awareness.


2. Assess your parents’ needs

The first step in caring for aging parents is to assess their needs. What activities of daily living (ADLs) can they do themselves, and which do they need help with? Some ADLs include:

  • Bathing
  • Grooming
  • Dressing
  • Ambulation
  • Eating
  • Toileting

As you start supporting elderly parents, write down everything you help them do and when. For instance, maybe your mother can move around fine during the day but needs help at night getting to the bathroom. Keep a care journal for a month to capture everything you do for them on both a daily and monthly basis, such as bill pay.

Once you’ve thoroughly evaluated the situation, you’ll know what to expect and how you can best help them. You can also use your notes as a baseline, tracking any health changes you notice over time.


3. Prioritize home safety

Whether your parents live with you or alone, start by identifying any safety hazards around their residence. More than one out of four older adults will fall each year in the United States, making falls a major concern. To minimize risks such as falling, consider making the following adjustments around your parent’s home:

  • Clear walkways of clutter, rugs, and cords
  • Install railings to stairways
  • Add grab bars in the bathroom
  • Place non-slip strips in the shower/tub
  • Add nightlights around the house
  • Lock medications in a drawer or cabinet

If your elderly parent is living with dementia, move locks above or below eye level on exterior doors and remove locks on interior doors to prevent them from locking themselves in.


4. Get help for aging parents

Although supporting elderly parents may be feasible now, it will eventually get to a point where they need more specialized care on a regular basis. You’ll know when that day comes if you begin saying things like, “I need help caring for my mother” or “My mother needs home care.”

You don’t want to resent your parents, so get help for aging parents before you burn yourself out. Here are a few ways you can reduce the stress of caregiving while still supporting elderly parents:

Select the best option based on your loved one’s needs and how you’re feeling. If you just need a break for a few days, consider respite care. If you want a professional to take on the role of caregiver, get in touch with an in-home care agency like Commonwise Home Care.


How Do I Get Home Care for My Mother? Contact Commonwise

As a premier home care company, Commonwise provides the services of compassionate, trained in-home caregivers in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA, and Charleston, SC.  We’re committed to preserving the health and independence of older adults wherever they call home.

If you’re saying, “I need help caring for my mother/father,” get in touch with us. We understand the burden placed on family caregivers, and we want to help alleviate it. Our expert care managers work with families to thoroughly assess your aging loved ones’ needs and then recommend the best type of care for them.

Whether you have questions about home care or are ready to get help for aging parents, we’d be honored to serve your family in whatever ways we can.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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Commonwise Home Care and Sweetgrass Pharmacy Announce Partnership

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


August 2nd, 2022


Firms will integrate service offerings focused on supporting older adults.

We are happy to announce that we have partnered with Sweetgrass Pharmacy!

Sweetgrass Pharmacy is a Charleston, SC-based firm with multiple locations in the Lowcountry. Founded and led by the dynamic Cynthia Feldman, PharmD, MBA, Sweetgrass offers a variety of services tailored to the geriatric population and those aging in place with in-home care.

Additionally, both Commonwise and Sweetgrass strive to exceed industry benchmarks by setting exceptional hiring standards and developing close and enduring relationships with those we serve.

“Commonwise is a premium style in-home care provider, and our clients expect our help identifying other high-quality community resources. Sweetgrass is an obvious partner not just because of our ideological similarities, but also their unique and well executed Sweetpak program which we plan to integrate into all Care Plans” said Jeffrey Grossman, CEO at Commonwise.

“While other pharmacies might offer packaged medications, few provide the adjunct customer service necessary to ensure patients packages are updated and safe. This is one of the many ways Sweetgrass separates from the pack.” Grossman continued.

Existing Commonwise clients will soon benefit from a free in-person consultation at Sweetgrass to review their medications and explore the many unique service offerings available as a result of this partnership. For specific details, please contact us at 854-222-3539 or

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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How Do You Get Home Help for the Elderly?

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


July 25th, 2022

An AARP survey reports that 90% of adults age 65 and older desire to live independently in their homes. These are common statements made by seniors living at home who prefer to age in place:

“I’ve lived here most of my life. I’m not moving.”

“I don’t need anyone’s help.”

“I’ll be fine on my own.”

Some older adults don’t require help (yet) and don’t see a need for elderly assistance at home. However, situations may change quickly, and it’s best to have a plan in mind. For instance, an injury from a fall, or a new diagnosis, such as Alzheimer’s, may completely change someone’s ability to care for themselves.

This blog discusses how to get help for older people living alone to ensure they’re safe and taken care of. We also provide resources for senior care that will support the families of aging loved ones.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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What Help Is Available for the Elderly at Home?

In-home Care

In-home caregivers help the elderly stay in their homes. In-home services for seniors is a great option for aging adults who need regular assistance with activities of daily living (ADL). These ADLs include bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, transfers, medication reminders, meal prep, transportation, etc.

Caregivers are a special kind of professional who genuinely desire to care for seniors. One of the many in-home caregiving services is companionship. A companion caregiver remedies the loneliness older adults may experience living on their own by keeping them company.

In-home care offers hands-on support to the elderly, making it safer for them to age in place. However, your loved one will probably need a more specialized form of care at some point. Keep reading to learn more about finding help for older people living alone who may require more extensive elderly assistance at home.

Live-in Care

Live-in care offers daily help for elderly adults who want to live at home instead of moving to an assisted living home or a family member’s house. 

Live-in caregivers move into your loved one’s residence and provide 16 hours of care per day. It’s important to note that live-in caregivers must be given a place to rest and 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a 24-hour period. As a result, there are 8 hours when your elderly parent is unattended, normally at night.

Consider live-in care if your elderly loved one requires the most care during daytime hours but doesn’t need help at night. However, 24-hour care is a better option if they need around-the-clock care.

24-hour Home Care

The most comprehensive in-home service for seniors is 24-hour care. Other names for this type of elderly assistance at home include full-time home care, 24/7 home care, and around-the-clock care. When your aging loved one requires attention day and night, 24-hour care is the most suitable solution.

Although the titles may seem similar, live-in and 24-hour care are distinct. The most significant difference between the two is that 24-hour caregivers don’t sleep on the job. Instead, 24-hour caregivers rotate every 8 to 12 hours. They remain watchful throughout the night and support seniors if they wake up. 

Overnight care for seniors gives family members peace of mind knowing that their loved one is continuously being monitored. Whether your aging family member recently had surgery or suffers from a chronic condition such as dementia, you may want to consider 24-hour home care. 

Get Help for Older People Living Alone

At Commonwise Home Care, we care for both elderly adults and their families. We offer a wide range of in-home services for seniors, enabling your loved one to age in place safely. In addition to caregiving, we offer care management. Our elder care managers provide family members with resources for senior care to help them make informed decisions about their loved one’s well-being.

Whether your aging parent could benefit from a helping hand around the house, a live-in caregiver, or 24/7 support, we have a care solution for them. Our team is dedicated to helping seniors retain their independence, health, and happiness.

As we care for aging loved ones, families want to stay informed and connected. With that in mind, we use a care management tool called “Family Room.” This web platform empowers clients and their families to track our care relationship. With Family Room, families can:

  • View scheduled care
  • View caregiver assignments
  • View care logs and shift tasks
  • Keep everyone connected 
  • Pay electronically

Keeping the elderly in their own homes for as long as possible avoids putting them through undue stress. If you’re wondering how to get in-home help for the elderly, contact Commonwise Home Care.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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9 Resources for Older Adults Aging in Place

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


June 13th, 2022

Nearly ninety percent of seniors want to age in place, so in many cases, keeping the elderly in their own homes is respecting their wishes. For this reason, in-home care for senior citizens should often be one of the first options family members look into when living alone starts to be dangerous.

It’s not uncommon for an adult child to be their parent’s primary caregiver. Many children feel as if being a family caregiver is their duty. However, there are many nuances to elder care. There will come a time when it’s not wise to continue caring for your aging parent alone because of the growing complexities.

If you haven’t explored professional assistance for seniors living at home, this blog will give you resources and solutions to meet your family’s care needs. Read on to learn how to get help for the elderly living alone, taking the burden of care off the shoulders of family members.


5 Helpful Resources for Older Adults

We highly recommend researching how to get help for the elderly living alone early on, before needs become critical. There are plenty of valuable resources available for elderly people who are healthy and able-bodied, too.

In this section, we’re listing five helpful resources for older adults.



AARP’s mission is to empower people to choose how they live as they age. It’s a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that focuses on supporting today’s 50-plus population and generations to follow. The AARP website hosts helpful resources for older adults regarding healthy living, work, finances, family, senior discounts, and more.


2. National Institute on Aging

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is a subsidiary of the National Institute on Health (NIH). It conducts research on aging along with the health and wellness of elderly adults. The NIA offers useful information and news related to the aging process, including age-related diseases and conditions.


3. National Council On Aging

The National Council On Aging (NCOA) believes that every person deserves to age well. It’s a trusted association dedicated to helping those aged 60 and older. The NCOA collaborates with nonprofits, governments, and businesses to offer community programs and services for elderly adults. Learn more about what programs are available to help seniors age well on their website.


4. The National Directory of Home Modification and Repair Resources is a useful website that helps families and their aging loved ones find qualified, local professionals to modify or renovate their homes. Home modification for seniors can help reduce the risk of accidents, such as falls—a leading cause of injury-related death among adults 65 and older. 


5. Meals on Wheels (America)

Meals on Wheels is a well-known leadership organization that provides meals to the elderly population in their own homes. It supports more than 5,000 community-based programs across the U.S., each dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger.

These resources are valuable to seniors but aren’t specifically geared toward home assistance. What about in-home care specifically for senior citizens? Keep reading.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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4 Options for Geriatric Care at Home

If your elderly loved one’s health is at a place where it’s unsafe to leave them alone, geriatric care at home is the next step. There are different kinds of in-home care for senior citizens based on their needs. 

In this section, we’ll be covering some basic forms of elder care: personal care, companionship, advanced care, and care management.


Personal Care

If your parent is beginning to struggle with activities of daily living (ADLs), Personal Care may be right for them. In-home caregivers support your loved one with basic tasks such as personal hygiene, toileting, feeding, dressing, and light exercise in their place of residence.


Companionship Services

If your elderly loved one is safely living on their own but could benefit from a kind presence that can also lend a helping hand, Companionship Services is a great option. Caregivers come alongside seniors as companions that help them with instrumental activities such as medication reminders, light housework, healthy meal preparation, and bill pay.


Advanced In-home Care for Senior Citizens

Advanced geriatric care at home is for seniors who have specialized needs. Maybe they live with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or require post-surgical care. Or, if your loved one is at the end of their life, they may benefit from palliative care at home. Whatever their unique needs are, advanced care provides personalized support for elderly adults living at home.


Care Management Services

As your aging loved one experiences transitions in their health and wellbeing, you may need guidance on what to do next. A geriatric care manager provides comprehensive support to clients and their families by coordinating health services, managing medications, advocating for elders, etc.


How to Get Help for the Elderly Living Alone

As your loved ones age, they will need assistance with routine tasks. Things such as getting dressed, taking a shower, or even using the bathroom may become difficult for them to do alone. 

But the caregiver doesn’t have to be you.

Looking for help with seniors at home? Home care for the elderly in their own homes allows your loved one to comfortably age in place without the risk. 

Commonwise Home Care is an in-home care agency that provides professional, personalized help for the elderly living at home.

Our trained caregivers support our elderly clients while giving their families peace of mind, knowing they’re in good hands. We offer a range of in-home care services that meets the needs of aging adults with care and compassion.

The primary goal of our caregivers is to improve seniors’ quality of life, not to restrict them.

If you need support for the elderly living at home, whether yours or theirs, Commonwise Home Care is there for you both. We answer our phones 24/7 and can typically provide care within 24 to 48 hours. Contact us today.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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5 Different Types of Senior Care to Consider

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


May 16th, 2022

As a family member or caregiver of an aging loved one, there are likely two types of care for the elderly you’re exploring: options for elderly care at home and care homes for the elderly.

However, there are many different types of senior care available. 

If your loved one has dementia, it may be time to consider memory care assisted living. If they are diagnosed with a serious illness, palliative care is a great option. For loved ones at the end of their life, hospice care will help them comfortably minimize symptoms while a hospice caregiver affirms their life. 

In this article, we won’t cover an exhaustive list of all of the options for senior care at home. Choosing one of the many elder care options can feel overwhelming, so we’re only listing five types of care for the elderly that we think are most helpful.

Before listing the types of care for seniors, we’re starting with the basics: What is elder care?


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What is Elder Care?

Elder care is an umbrella term for specialized services intended to help older people live as comfortably and independently as possible. Examples of elder care range from transportation, meal preparation, and cleaning to higher levels of medical care.

At Commonwise Home Care, we offer three primary categories of elder care:


Personal Care

For seniors who are struggling to perform activities of daily living, we offer personal care services. Our Care Team can provide support in various ways, from personal hygiene, dressing, and feeding to assisting with transfers and ambulation.


In-home Elderly Care

In-home caregivers offer customized support such as total care, Alzheimer’s care, and post-surgical care. In-home care is a wonderful way to support an aging loved one with unique needs and may even help them maintain a level of independence as they age.



For older adults, living alone can increase their risk of loneliness, potentially leading to the development of a mental illness. A companion caregiver can help your loved one around the house or simply be a friendly presence, keeping them company throughout the day.

Now that we’ve discussed elder care, let’s jump into five general types of care for the elderly.


5 Types of Care for the Elderly


1. Living With a Family Member

Often, caregiver options for seniors start with family members. Family-provided elderly care in the home can happen in a few ways:

  • Senior loved ones continue living independently while a family member provides regular assistance.
  • The aging family member moves into an on-premise mother-in-law suite.
  • The elderly adult moves in with another family member.

However, moving in your aging family member requires a lot of contemplation. You will need to consider your relationship with them, financial situation, their personal and medical requirements, level of independence, etc.

This may be a good option for some families, but certainly not for everyone. If your mother currently lives with you and it’s not working out, read our blog: Caring For Parents In Your Home: How To Deal With An Elderly Parent Who Is Demanding.


2. Adult Daycare

Adult day programs offer older adults a social, structured environment to participate in during the daytime. 

Adult day cares are particularly good options for seniors who don’t require around-the-clock care. These programs allow family members to continue holding a 9-5 job, knowing their loved one is in good hands during the workday.

Studies show that older adults who enroll in these elderly care facilities experience a higher quality of life. Adult day cares can remedy loneliness through social interactions and provide psychological and behavioral benefits, especially to those with dementia.

Depending on the level of care your loved one requires, enrolling them in an adult day care may be just what you and your elderly loved one need.


3. Elderly Care Facilities

Elderly care facilities are a sensitive topic for many families. Assisted living facilities typically have a negative connotation associated with them. However, they can be a valid and incredibly beneficial option for families with aging loved ones.

Assisted living facilities can actually be transformative for aging adults. They will likely make new friendships with people their age, discover new hobbies, become more active, and enjoy amenities they wouldn’t have otherwise.

The downsides to elderly care facilities are the price and the low ratio of staff to elderly adults. The cost is usually high based on location, type of living space, and any regular care requirements—with an added cost for memory care. These facilities often have a 12:1 ratio of clients to caregivers, meaning your loved one may not get the one-on-one care they might need.

If you’re considering an elderly care facility for an aging adult in your life, make sure you process the decision with them before moving forward. 


4. Live-in Care

At some point, aging adults will need more assistance than you can provide. Whether your loved one lives with you or not, live-in care is a great alternative to an elderly care facility

Live-in care is when a professional caregiver moves into your home or the home of your aging family member. One prerequisite is that the live-in caregiver must be given a place to sleep and 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a 24-hour period.

While live-in caregivers live in your loved one’s place of residence, they only provide care for 16 hours per day. In addition, a new elderly live-in caregiver relieves the existing caregiver every few days—meaning, there’s no consistency in who’s providing the care.

If daytime hours are when your elderly loved one requires the most care, then a live-in caregiver is a good option. However, if you want around-the-clock care, 24-hour home care is a better alternative.


5. 24-hour Home Care

One of the best types of care for the elderly is 24-hour care. 24-hour elderly home care is also known as “full-time home care,” “24/7 home care,” or “overnight care.”

Unlike live-in caregivers, 24-hour caregivers don’t live with older adults or require a private space. One of the biggest differences between live-in care and 24-hour care is that 24-hour caregivers don’t sleep on the job. Overnight caregivers work 8- to 12-hour shifts, staying alert while caring for your loved ones around the clock. 

24-hour home care for seniors gives family members peace of mind knowing that their loved one is continuously receiving the specialized care they need.

Whether an aging adult in your life just had surgery and needs around-the-clock care, or suffers from an ongoing condition such as dementia, consider 24-hour elderly care in the home


Discover Your Options for Elderly Care at Home

Now that we’ve discussed five types of care for the elderly, how do you determine which one is the right fit?

At Commonwise Home Care, we can help you find the best solution given your situation, and your aging loved one’s needs. Our experienced care managers provide families like yours with comprehensive support and guidance. 

From coordinating home health services to navigating long-term care insurance, we’re here to serve you.

In addition, we offer a care management tool called “Family Room.” This web platform allows clients and their families to track our care relationship by:

  • Staying informed about scheduled care.
  • Reviewing caregiver assignments.
  • Checking care logs and shift tasks.

You can also pay electronically for care using Family Room by setting up auto-pay, splitting a bill, and viewing past invoices. Our goal is to make the home care process as easy and stress-free as possible.

You have enough on your plate—let us help share the load. Contact our Richmond, Williamsburg, Charlottesville, or Charleston office to speak with a Care Advisor today.


In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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What Are The Top Home Health Care Worker Qualifications?

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


April 18th, 2022

Wondering how to become a home health aide?

The requirements for home health aide positions are less stringent than you think. If you’re dedicated to helping others and passionate about patient care, you already possess two of the most foundational home health care worker qualifications for a rewarding career.

As the percentage of elderly adults increases, the need for those who want to become a home health aide is even more dire. Some studies project that there will actually be more job openings for home health aides than any other career in the next decade. 

In this article, we’ll review some common topics surrounding home health care worker qualifications and home health care training, including: 

  • How to get a job as a home health aide
  • How to become a home health caregiver without any formal experience
  • How to become a home health care worker who loves their career
  • How to find an organization that offers home health care training  (home aid training)

Before we dive into these topics, let’s start with some the basics.

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What Is A Home Health Aide? 

Home health aides (also known as in-home caregivers) offer a wide range of services to elderly, disabled, and chronically ill patients in their homes. 

Home health aides help patients with activities of daily living (ADLs), like: 

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
  • Using the bathroom
  • Preparing meals
  • Administering medication
  • Performing light housekeeping 

Home health aides also provide emotional support to patients and their families and are trained to care for more severe issues, like dementia.

Though a caregiver can play many important roles in an elderly adult’s life, one of the most critical roles home health care workers fill is companionship (an essential skill in most certified home health aide training courses).


Why Companionship Matters 

Research shows that the lack of social interaction is one of the leading contributors to poor health in seniors. Studies have also shown that companionship can extend life expectancy, improve mental and physical health, and reduce hospital admissions. 

That’s why home health care training involves interpersonal communication skills – and why offering companionship is one of the most essential functions of a home health aide.


Top Home Health Care Worker Qualifications 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to become a home health care worker because the requirements for home health aides vary depending on where you live. 

But the most successful home health aides share many of the same general qualities. Let’s break down the most common home health care worker qualifications you’ll need to become a home health aide.

More specifically, here’s a look at some of the most important soft skills and hard skills for caregivers to possess.


Home Health Care Worker Qualifications: Soft Skills 

Soft skills are usually difficult to quantify but are essential for caregivers. Learning how to become a home health aide means you’ll need to hone in on your: 

  • Compassion: Compassion is critical for home health aides because they often work with elderly adults who have a variety of needs. Home health care workers who can show compassion in all situations can react to the job’s inevitable challenges much better and provide a higher quality of care to clients.
  • Patience: Home health aides often deal with those who are in pain, cognitively impaired, or both. Additionally, in-home caregivers have to move at the pace of their clients. Home health aides must always exercise patience and empathy when working with aging adults. 
  • Communication: Home health aides are often the main point of contact for patients and their families, so they must be able to communicate slowly, clearly, and effectively to provide the best possible care. 
  • Critical Thinking: Because home health aides often work with patients who have physical or cognitive impairments, they must be able to react quickly in new situations or possible emergencies. 

If you don’t possess all of these skills right now, that’s okay. An in-home care agency should provide you with some training, and you can continue to hone your soft skills while on the job.


Home Health Care Worker Qualifications: Hard Skills 

In addition to these soft skills, there are also hard skills or more technical requirements for home health aides

  • Ability to lift heavy objects and people: Home health aides often need to safely and effectively assist patients with ADLs and basic tasks they can’t do on their own, like getting in and out of bed safely, bathing, or getting dressed. They may also need to move heavy objects around the home.
  • Ability to drive a vehicle: Caregivers often accompany elderly adults to their doctor appointments, social outings, and even grocery runs. Many organizations seek caregivers that not only drive but have safe and clean driving records. 
  • Ability to manage basic medication and care schedules: Home health aides often need to help clients remember when to take medication, so they must be capable of staying organized and remembering important dates/times. 

Home health aides with these skills are better equipped to provide quality care to their patients. 

Home care organizations will list some preliminary home health care worker qualifications in most job applications, but the best caregiver organizations provide their own home aid training to set new caregivers up for success.  


Does My State Require Education For Home Health Aides? 

While there’s no federal mandate for education requirements for home health aide roles, many states have their own regulations. 

However, most in-home care companies do require that you:

  • Are 18 years of age or older
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Hold a valid driver’s license and have a usable vehicle
  • Pass a background check

Additionally, you might need to complete a caregiver training program to become a home health aide. Be sure to do your research on how to get a job as a home health aide in your area. 

Higher-level medical caregiving roles may require more formal certified home health aide training, but most home health aides only require a willingness to learn and the hard and soft skills we covered to meet their patients’ needs.


Learn How To Become A Home Health Aide with Commonwise 

Home health aides are a critical link between patients, their families, and the healthcare system. They provide essential hands-on care and companionship to aging adults, which can improve the quality and even the length of their life. 

Most in-home caregivers possess both soft skills and hard skills that allow them to provide quality care to aging loved ones. If you want to start a career in caregiving but need some training, you can look up programs in your area or check with local agencies to see if they offer on-site training.

If you’ve been thinking about how to become a home health aide, now is the time to take the next step with Commonwise Home Care. Commonwise Home Care offers a unique opportunity to learn essential skills through our Caregiver University training program. In our program, you’ll gain the knowledge and experience you need to start a rewarding journey as a home health aide. We also offer industry-leading wages, great professional growth opportunities, and ongoing training and support.

Ready to start a new career as a home health aide? 

With locations in the Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC areas, a fulfilling career awaits. Apply for a Commonwise caregiver position today!

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What Are the Advantages of End-of-life Care At Home?

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


March 14th, 2022

When a loved one gets diagnosed with a terminal illness, you might have to make decisions about their end-of-life care. Maybe you’re wondering if you have to send your loved one to live their final days in a nursing home. Or maybe you’re asking yourself, “Can I find the right in-home palliative care near me?” 

Thinking about end-of-life care can be an emotional and daunting task. But with the right information, you can find an end-of-life at-home care solution that provides your loved one with the care they need. 

Today, we’re here to help you navigate this complicated and emotional time by answering common questions like:

  • Can you get hospice care at home?
  • Can you get palliative care at home?
  • What are the benefits of 24-hour in-home palliative care?
  • What’s the difference between hospice care and palliative home care services?
  • What’s more affordable: end-of-life care at home or facility-based care?
  • How easily can you get palliative care at home

If you’re considering in-home palliative or hospice care, there are lots of factors to keep in mind. Let’s start by talking about the benefits of palliative care at home. 


What Are The Benefits Of Palliative Care in the Home Setting

End-of-life care is an emotional subject for many. It’s an unfortunate reality that many families face. If your aging loved one is living with a serious illness, arranging for end-of-life care at home may be on your mind. 

There are many benefits to palliative home care services, so here are just a few to get you started as you look into it:

  • Palliative care at home is more affordable than a facility or hospital-based long-term care.
  • In-home palliative care services are provided in the comfort of familiar surroundings. Your loved one won’t need to adjust to a new place, a new routine, or new people in their final stage of life.
  •  24-hour palliative care at home is more personalized to your loved one’s final wishes and allows them to retain their dignity during their final days.

You’ll want to keep these advantages of in-home palliative care services in mind when considering a facility vs. home care.


How Does Having End-of-Life Care At Home Benefit Other Family Members? 

Beyond the benefits for a loved one, in-home palliative care services also provide comforting benefits to families. When your loved one receives palliative care at home, this difficult stage becomes a little easier for everyone. 

Family members have 24/7 access to their loved one and can easily stay in communication with the care provider. You don’t have to wait for a nurse or doctor to call you back for important updates. 

You also don’t have to abide by facility visiting hours because your loved one is in a private family home. Palliative home care services provide convenient access for your family members—there are no restricted visiting hours with in-home care. 

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What’s The Difference Between Hospice Care and Palliative Care? 

Hospice care and palliative care are important parts of end-of-life care, especially if your loved one is terminally ill or in the final stages of their life. You may be wondering,

  • Can you get hospice care at home?
  • Can you get palliative care at home? 

Yes, both hospice and palliative care can be provided at home or in a nursing or assisted living facility and both provide comfort. However, they serve very different purposes.


Palliative Care

Palliative care is compassionate comfort care that can begin when a person receives a terminal illness or other serious, chronic diagnosis. It can also be provided at the same time as curative treatment and when a person is at the end of their life.

Ultimately, palliative care aims to provide relief from the symptoms of a serious illness, as well as the physical and mental stress of a chronic or life-limiting diagnosis. Palliative care is available at the time of diagnosis, during curative treatment, and at the end of life.


Hospice Care

Hospice care is compassionate care given without curative intent. It’s provided at the end stage of life, usually when an individual has six months or less to live. Often, hospice care begins after treatment stops and when it’s clear that the person won’t survive the illness. 


What Services Are Offered with Palliative Care at Home? 

With 24-hour palliative care at home, a variety of services may be provided to your loved one, such as: 

  • Basic living activities and chores
  • Help with moving around the house
  •  Assistance with preparing and eating meals
  • Aid with personal hygiene (bathing, washing hair, brushing teeth)
  • Support to remain active
  • Relief through medications, treatment, and pain management
  • Emotional support and companionship 

An in-home care provider might also drive your family member to medical appointments and treatments, schedule social visits, and do other tasks to promote the safety, comfort, and well-being of your family member throughout the end of their life. 


Is End-of-Life Care At Home More Affordable Than Facility-based Care? 

A patient can receive palliative care or hospice care in a long-term care facility. However, if you choose this option, it’s important to know that: 

  • Your loved one (or you) will have to pay out-of-pocket for room and board, plus the 24-hour care given in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
  • Facility-based care can cost as much as $5,000 per month.
  • Medicare places limits on how long end-of-life care services will be provided in a facility. (Other insurances may also place limits on services.)
  • Medicare doesn’t cover benefits for nursing home stays that exceed 100 days. A terminally ill patient will often be sent home for the end-of-life stage. 

By choosing palliative care in the home setting, you eliminate the hefty price tag for room and board at a long-term care facility. Plus, your loved one will benefit greatly from receiving private care customized to their needs in a familiar setting. 


Why Should I Choose 24-hour Palliative Care at Home For My Loved One? 

One of the main reasons families choose end-of-life care at home is to provide their loved ones with the comfort of familiar surroundings. It’s more calming for a dying person to be in a familiar place. Everything else that’s happening to their mind and body can feel frightening and out of their control, so receiving 24-hour palliative care services at home brings your loved one peace of mind. 

Additionally, with palliative care in the home setting, your family member retains their privacy and dignity during their final days. They won’t be surrounded by strangers in a cold, clinical setting. They can face the final days and moments of life on their terms, and their end-of-life wishes will always be honored. 


How Do I Find In-Home Palliative Care Near Me

So, now that you understand the benefits of in-home palliative care services, you’re probably wondering how to get palliative care at home

When you’re ready to find end-of-life care for your loved one, try  these methods to find the best option: 

  • Complete a Google search using phrases like ”end of life care at home near me in Charlottesville (or your city name) or “the best 24-hour palliative care at home
  • Ask your Medicare or insurance provider for local recommendations
  • Lean on your medical care team for recommendations on top in-home caregivers
  • Find professional and compassionate care providers through an agency like Commonwise Home Care


Find Comfort In Palliative Care At Home With Commonwise 

The final stages of life for your loved one are already emotional. With palliative care at home your loved one can:

  • Live out their final days in comfort
  • Stay surrounded by family and loved ones
  • Maintain their end-of-life wishes and desired lifestyle 

At Commonwise, our exceptionally trained care providers deliver compassionate care that honors a client’s wishes and those of the family. We believe in-home palliative care services should be affordable, comfortable, and personalized. Our focus is on providing a high level of physical care along with the emotional support necessary to help your loved one retain their dignity, even as they approach the end of their life.  

Contact us to talk to our compassionate team members who are ready to listen and help.

In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

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