Posts Tagged ‘caregivers’

How a Personal Care Aide Can Help One Live Well with Multiple Sclerosis

by: John Aker | March 1st, 2017

Personal Care AideMultiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive disease of the central nervous system which currently affects approximately 400,000 people in the U.S. In recognition of National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness month, we would like to offer some information for families. With a progressive disease like MS, education about the disease can lead to better management of symptoms.

Living With MS

People with MS typically don’t appear outwardly ill but that doesn’t mean the disease isn’t always present. In fact, 86% of MS sufferers list fatigue as the number one symptom of their disease. The exact mechanism of MS fatigue is not known, but studies suggest that changes in the brain caused by MS may require persons with MS to use five times more effort to complete a simple task than a person without MS, especially if aggravated by stress, activity, fever, and heat exposure.

MS fatigue is not just being tired — it is like having the flu without the other symptoms. Although MS fatigue is common and frustrating, there are things one can do to fight fatigue and increase energy.

A few hours a day of practical assistance from a professional personal care aide from Aker Kasten Home Health Care who is trained in MS care can save energy sources from being drained.

How Home Care Can Help

Nourishing a person’s mind, body and spirit are essential when helping a person with MS stay motivated and enabled. Due to the changeability of the disease, the type and degree of help needed will vary from person to person and may even vary from time to time for the same individual. As with any ailment that requires caregiving, family members can become burnt out or simply not know how to help. Turning to a professional personal care aide for some respite help can be extremely valuable to provide families with a break and some education. Here are a few of the ways a home health care agency can help.

MIND – Professional personal care aides can help family members with their understanding of MS and their ability to make lifestyle adjustments. For instance, they can help establish a daily routine, stressing the importance of limiting activities and taking regular rest periods to prevent fatigue and symptom exacerbations. They can also provide tips and techniques for easier bathing and dressing, assisting as needed.

BODY – Physical limitations play a big part in the caregiving role for MS. It is important to know how to address these. A personal care aide will help with all of these:

  • If the MS patient is on bed rest, maintaining proper body alignment when positioning
  • Protecting skin from friction, pressure, and excessive heat, moisture, or dryness
  • Assisting with body mechanics for good posture, alignment and improved gait
  • Encouraging daily exercise and assisting with physical therapy
  • Providing tasty, nourishing meals and assistance with eating if needed

SPIRIT – The power of mind over body is key in any disease, but really plays a big role in MS. Keeping spirits high will go a long way in managing the disease and making life more enjoyable. Personal care aides from a home health care agency are not only physical helpers but know tips/tricks to help lift spirits, such as:

  • Offering comfort measures, such as gentle massage and warm (not hot) baths
  • Encouraging independence by being sensitive to knowing when to take and then give back responsibility for tasks as symptoms come and go
  • Providing emotional support
  • Providing recommendations for devices designed to make daily activities more comfortable, such as built-up utensils, reaching devices, and sliding boards

Looking for more information?  There are many great online resources and support forums for family members to connect.  Here are a few favorites:

With various adjustments made along the way, most individuals with MS may look forward to a fulfilling and productive lifetime. A personal care aide experienced in MS care such as at Aker Kasten Home Health Care can help with interventions to fight MS fatigue. Contact Aker Kasten Home Health Care in Delray Beach and the surrounding area for more information on how our in-home personal care aides can make a person with MS feel enabled, motivated and connected to others.

Caregiver Stress Affecting Productivity & Profitability in Boca Raton Businesses

by: John Aker | June 26th, 2016

 

Boca Raton BusinessesBoca Raton companies are always concerned about the well-being of their employees. Many offer wellness coaches, gym facilities, stress management tactics and more. However, there is a silent undercurrent of stress for many employees that companies are likely unaware of that could be affecting performance and ultimately, the bottom line.

This silent stressor centers around the “sandwiched” employees: those that have their own nuclear family to care for and are also now in charge of an aging relative. Currently over 1 out of 4 households is involved in providing care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend. Just over half of all caregivers for persons aged 50 and over are employed full-time, while simultaneously providing 20 hours or more of care per week.

Employed caregivers are more likely to miss work or come in late/leave early, experience a loss in productivity, take unpaid leave of absences or use personal or sick days to provide care, and are two to three times more likely to develop depression. All of these factors cut into morale and productivity in the workplace.

By recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress in an employee who is also caregiving for a senior or disabled person, steps can be taken to assist through a respite care benefits program or home care referral.

 

Why It Matters

According to MetLife, family members needing to care for loved ones 50 years or older cost American businesses as much as $29 billion each year. Another national study reported that companies without eldercare benefits stand to lose $2,500 a year per caregiving employee. Some evidence shows that:

  • Each caregiver loses on average 166 hours of productivity due to absenteeism and interruptions.
  • 20% of the caregiving employees will quit their jobs to provide care full-time.

The financial impact of all these factors combines to staggering dollar amounts. For example, a Boca Raton area company that employs 500 people loses over $1.8 million each year to unmanaged eldercare – equal to about 15% of their salary budget. Bottom line, family caregivers need help, and more and more companies are looking to provide it.

 

Employer ROI

For any Boca Raton company to create a new program, there needs to be a business case for it. Will helping employees stressed with caregiving benefit the company? The answer is yes. The most valuable return on investment for an eldercare program is employee retention. The time, money and valuable expertise that are lost when employees leave is far more costly. Benefits typically offered include:

  • Work time flexibility
  • Financial assistance
  • Phone- or Internet-based resources and referrals
  • Face-to-face consulting
  • Educational activities like on-site seminars and health fair kiosks

 

Web Resources for Family Caregivers in the Workplace:

Aker Kasten Home Health Care works with many Boca Raton area companies to assist in advising family caregivers. We have compiled the following list of resources for employers to begin the process of learning about the benefits of eldercare programs or referrals.

With the graying of the Boomer generation, these trends pose an urgent need for Boca Raton businesses to plan for the needs of their working family caregivers. A strong support network is always going to be the greatest protection against stress. Through an eldercare benefits or referral program, businesses can help alleviate some of the responsibilities and pressures of family caregiving.

For further information about our eldercare resources and respite care programs, please contact us today!

Snacks Can Be Delicious & Healthy

by: John Aker | September 10th, 2013

September is Healthy Aging Month!

What are you doing to age in a healthy manner?  Exercising?  Eating healthy foods in the right portions?  Taking your medications and vitamins as prescribed?  Enjoying some social time with family or friends by phone or in person?

All these simple things can help you age in a healthier way.  When we neglect any of the items above, we risk our good health and energy.  Since we can’t avoid aging, we should do what we can to remain healthy and vital. healthy snack post

Recently, one of our dedicated in home caregivers posted a picture of a BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS and HEALHTY snack she had prepared for her client.  We are so thrilled that she had taken the time to not only prepare a healthy snack option, but to make it appealing to the eye as well.  Often when we think of eating healthy, we conjure up a picture of something unattractive or unappetizing.  Caregiver Fahaina had prepared low-fat greek yogurt with fresh berries to encourage her client to enjoy a healthy snack.  It was simple, healthful, pleasing to the eye, and enjoyed with enthusiasm!

Eating right can taste great too!  And snacking between small meals is often recommended since it helps you eat less at mealtimes.  When you make healthy snack choices like Caregiver Fahaina presented, you can be proud AND enjoy great tasting food.  Thank you, Fahaina for the reminder that presentation can make good food so much more inviting!

Here’s a simple and delicious healthy soup option for you.  Ask you caregiver to help you prepare this soup and invite a friend over for a simple salad and soup meal.  Enjoy sharing some old stories and create new memories with a little social time around a healthy meal.  Bon appetit!

Quick and Healthy Potato Soup

2 cups Stock or reduced sodium broth

1 1/4 lbs White Potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 stalks Celery, chopped

1 medium Onion, choppedpotato soup

1 small Carrot, peeled and chopped

1 cup fat-free Half & Half or Milk

1/2 tsp Thyme or Italian Seasoning

Sea salt or garlic salt to taste

Pepper to taste

 

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan.  Chop vegetables while broth is heating, then add to saucepan.  Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, for 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then puree until smooth, or until soup is desired consistency.  Stir in remaining ingredients and cook for 5 minutes more.

Approximate cost per serving: $2.00

Nutritional Analysis per serving:  Calories  340, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 40mg, Sodium 590 mg, Potassium 209 mg, Carbohydrates 42g, Fiber 4g, Sugar 8g, Protein 22g, Vitamin A 60%, Vitamin C 90%, Calcium 50%, Iron 10%.

SOURCE:  www.healthyagingfood.com

 

The content of this page is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.

 

Aker Kasten Helps Raise Funds for Memory & Wellness Center

by: John Aker | December 5th, 2012

We were delighted to be Bronze Sponsors and send a team of caregivers to participate in a fundraiser for a local Memory & Wellness Center to help them reach out to those in our community living with memory disorders! Here’s a picture of our team, giving of their time on a Sunday to walk for this great cause:

Aker Kasten Memory Walk 2012 Team - memory disorders

Read more here: https://fauf.fau.edu/news/?p=6698