Aware Senior Care Blog
Aware Senior Care and a panel of experts on the Live Well at Home Panel sit down with the Heritage Pines Community to discuss local resources for seniors.
Heritage Pines Community
“Live Well at Home Panel”
April 13 2016
- Home Care (Personal and Companion Care) Aware Senior Care. Gina and Tim Murray (email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org, Website Home (P) 919-436-1871.
- Personal Access Solutions: Areas of Expertise: Home Safety and Home Renovations: We are Independent Living Strategists committed to the mission of safely maximizing independence in homes. Jacqi Dix Office 919-267-2610 email@example.com
- Smart Homes and Business: Jerry Tester and Erin Huddleston firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.smarthomesnc.com/ 800- 700-6758
- In-Home Physical Therapy: Dr. Joe Rattien Physical Therapy 2 You Physical Therapy 2 You 919-345-9196
- Pharmacy Home Delivery: Steve Adkins, 919.847.7645, email@example.com Website: Health Park Pharmacy
- Geriatric Care Management/Aging Life Care Professional: Aging Family Services Amanda Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org and Cheryl Thierault Cheryl@lifelinks.care 919-781-5979 Aging Family Services
- Home Meal Delivery Kitchen Capers Nanette Mattox Undercover Chef and Nazy Kitchen Capers 919-500-1100 email@example.com
- Doctors Making Housecalls Dr. David Fisher 844-932-5700 Doctors Making Housecalls
Home Care (In-home personal and companion care)
Aware Senior Care
Link to our website FAQs
Q. There are many home care agencies what makes you different?
A. Absolutely! Here are a few things:
- Personal Experience. Tim and Gina, the owners, have been through what you’re likely going through right now – researching and finding the best options for an aging loved one and we have been caregivers to our own parents.
- Medical references. We are one of the few Home Care agencies that I’ve seen who have active MD references that will both refer and be a reference for the care that Gina Murray has provided for the elderly, chronically Ill and disabled. Gina is a registered nurse and a graduate of the Villanova University School of Nursing. Gina has spent more than 30 years in the field of gerontology. She spent over 15 years at one of the top skilled nursing facilities in our region, serving as a supervisor, Nurse Manager, and Assistant Director of Nursing. She also worked for Hospice of Wake County and was instrumental in the opening and management of the first inpatient hospice facility in our area (now Transitions LifeCare).
- Family References. We have families who will talk to prospective families about our services and our wonderful caregivers. See Client Reviews for more.
- Highly trained staff. During initial hiring all caregivers go through our one-day caregiver orientation training. At least quarterly we do in-service training and we will be offering advance training on care for people with chronic illnesses. Training is a key part of who we are.
- Extensive caregiver screening. We background check all of our caregivers using state of the art background web-based software from Talentwise.com. Through TalentWise, we automatically check US wide criminal database, sex offender and DMV. We drug screen and TB test all of our candidates and we do a thorough review of the NC Registry for CNAs. All caregivers are personally interviewed and screened. If hired, all caregivers go through one-day orientation and we schedule at least quarterly in-service training.
All training is done by our RN staff.
Q. Can your caregivers provide transportation?
A. Yes. Caregivers drive to doctors’ appointments, senior centers, etc. If driving your vehicle, there is no extra charge. A standard per-mileage rate applies if using the caregiver’s vehicle.
Q. What areas do you serve?
A. We provide home care services in Cary, Raleigh and parts of Apex in Wake County, North Carolina.
Q. Will my Long Term Care Insurance cover your services?
A. In most cases, Long Term Care Insurance does reimburse for services. We are happy to help determine eligibility requirements for your insurance company. For former US service personnel, the Veterans Administration offers the “Aid & Attendance” pension home care benefit.
Home Safety and Home Renovations
Jacqi Dix – Personal Access Solutions
Q. What is an Independent Living Strategist?
A. Independent Living Strategists help to identify issues and partner to devise solutions that include home modifications and equipment. We orchestrate and supervise construction and installations, help to provide referrals to other resources, and strive to increase awareness of universal design.
Q. What are some types of simple bath modification that can be done in my home?
A. A few quick tips of simple home modifications are to make sure lighting is good especially at night by installing a reliable nightlight, a lighted path to the bathroom, or even lighted grab bars. Installing grab bars on the side of the tub or shower and around the toilet area, or install a floor to ceiling vertical rod, sometimes referred to as a safety pole, these poles are removable and relocatable. Also the use of a sturdy shower seat is an important addition. A raised toilet or bidet can be of assistance.
Q. What are some kitchen modifications that can be done?
A. Well, one of the easiest is to add a sturdy chair in the kitchen so that food preparations can be completed while sitting. Adjustable counter-top heights. Replacing knobs on kitchen hardware with loop/bar, and having easy glide cabinet inserts in both upper and lower cabinets installed can be most helpful with independence. Adding in molded flatware, and dishes with contours can help with comfortable eating.
Q. What are some of the things that are examined on a home consultation?
A. We look at is there at least one entrance/exit from the home that is “visit-able”, so that if friends of family are coming to visit, is there one barrier free entrance into the home. We look at doorway widths, are they 36 in into a bathroom? Are the faucets lever touch, or do they have knobs? How is the lighting within and outside of the home? Is the home free of tripping hazards? Interior and Exterior. Does the main door to the home have a peephole for security purposes? Where are the light switches and controls located?
Q. Can you make the entrance or exit from a home barriers free without using a ramp?
A. Yes, there are various options to using grading and landscaping. Additionally we have portable threshold ramps that can be used only when necessary.
Q: What can you do for me in case I fall?
A: The program has a pendant that you can wear and press, if you need it. It also has big red emergency buttons that can be placed in the bathroom, near a bed, and on the floorboards in the places that falls tend to happen. The Freedom Program is a passive system, which learns your daily routine. If an abnormality is detected, your caregivers and loved ones are notified. The Freedom Program can prevent someone from lying on the floor for hours before someone is notified and help is called.
Q: How much does this cost?
A: It’s about $60 a month, or about $2 a day, plus equipment which is available to rent or purchase.
Q: I already have home-care. Why do I need this?
A: Home-care, a wonderful service, is not at your home 24 hours a day. The home-care staff is typically at your home for a few hours a week. The Freedom Program will learn how you maintain your daily routine, and will notify your home-care or loved ones, when your daily routine is interrupted. The Freedom Program is there for you when home-care is not there.
Q: I already have Life-Alert. Why do I need this/why is this better than Life-Alert?
A: Life-Alert will only work IF you press the button. A stand-alone pendant will only work 20% of the time. This is due to not wearing it, not being able to press it, or forgetting about it. This program allows loved ones to get a feel for your normal routine, and will notify friends and loved ones when your routine is interrupted. If you don’t get up at your regular time in the morning, someone can be notified.
Q: How do I use it/What do I do with it?
A: That’s the best part! Out of sight, out of mind: You, as an individual, don’t have to do anything extra. The sensors are smart enough to know when something is wrong. You simply continue to live your life, at home, like you normally do.
In-Home Physical Therapy:
Dr. Joe Rattien
Physical Therapy 2 You
Q: Can you talk about the role of a geriatric care manager/aging life care professional? What exactly does a GCM do?
A: Aging Life Care is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or other facing ongoing health challenges. The expertise of an Aging Life Care professional provides answers during times of uncertainty. There guidance helps families plan actions, make decisions, and helps reduce worry, stress, and time off of work for family caregivers by:
- Assessment and Monitoring
- Planning and problem-solving
- Education and advocacy
- Family caregiving coaching
Q: Can you give me examples of circumstances during which someone might benefit from the services of a geriatric care manager?
- The person you are caring for has limited or no family support
- Your family needs direction about available services
- The person you are caring for has multiple physical or psychological issues
- The person you are caring for is no longer able to live safely in his current environment
- Your family is either “burned out” or confused about care solutions
- Your family needs education about dealing with behaviors associated with dementia
- You are the spouse caregiver and worried about what will happen to your spouse if something happens to you.
Q: What are some of the benefits of working with a GCM?
- Peace of mind
- You save a lot of time
- You are assured that you are not overlooking something important
- You feel you understand the choices and options available for your specific and unique situation
Q: What can a family expect when they engage the services of a GCM?
- An appointment will be made to begin the assessment process. This meeting can take place in the home of the older adult or a consultation in the GCM’s office.
- An understanding or the charges associated with working together will be made.
- Some paperwork will be completed.
- Written care plan report will be provided at the end of the process with care recommendations for both short and long term solutions.
- The relationship can be a one-time consult or an ongoing relationship.
Q: What kind of information is included in an assessment?
- This is a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment
- The presenting problem will be defined
- Social/family support will be identified
- Functional capacity will be evaluated
- Physical, emotional, and cognitive health will be assessed
- The home environment will be evaluated
- Legal matters and advance care planning will be addressed
- Financial matters will be discussed
Pharmacy Home Delivery
Health Park Pharmacy: Importance of Medication Management (As written by Tim Murray of Aware Senior Care)
Why is managing medications so important? Personally, we had never thought about whether or not our parents were taking their medications as ordered. After his stepdad Jack’s first stroke, Tim and I stayed with his Mom during those first frightening days.
During this time, I noticed that there were a numerous medication bottles throughout their home. With Mom’s permission, I collected all the medication bottles and sorted through them.
There were over five dozen medications- over half of them were expired. The oldest medication was 15 years old! We realized that Jack had not been taking his medication correctly which was a major factor that led to his stroke.
Where do you start if you want to help a loved one get organized?
- Do a clean sweep – collect medications from all parts of the home. Remember to check kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers, pockets of clothes (especially robes), purses, the car, etc.
- Check the expiration date for each medicine. Place expired medications off to the side or into a box to keep them separate.
- Review the current medication list or create one if there isn’t one. Include the person’s drug allergies and today’s date on the list.
- Review the medication list and compare it to those medicines you have collected. Start with the prescription medicines.
- For each prescribed medicine: Check the pharmacy label on each prescribed medicine on this list. Each should include: the name of the medicine, the dose prescribed, how many tablets/capsules/ml to take, how often to take it, the reason the medicine was prescribed, and special instruction, if any. Is a refill needed? When was the last refill? (This can help determine if too many or too few are being taken).
- Add over the counter medications and supplements that are taken on a routine basis to the list. Are there enough on hand?
- Use one pharmacy for your medicines. If some medicines are mail ordered, be sure to let your local pharmacist know about them. Pharmacists will watch for medication interactions.
- Consider the use of a pillbox(es). There are various size boxes, some have alarms you can set as a reminder to take the medicines. The pillboxes keep the medicines organized. It also makes it simple to see if doses were missed.
- Consider using a pharmacy that will prepackage the medicines into blister packs- at no additional charge. Some pharmacies will deliver the medicines to the home, at no charge as well including Health Park Pharmacy and Hayes Barton Pharmacy. Check out www.healthparkpharmacy.com and www.hayesbartonpharmacy.com for more information on these services.
- Help your loved one fill the pillboxes each week or buy more than one so you can do more weeks at the same time.
- Check each week- are the medicines being taken? Are the same doses being missed each day? Consider the use of timers or other reminders if needed.
Taking medicines as they are prescribed is essential for good health. Talk to your healthcare professional if there are concerns or questions about any medicine.
Have you been able to help a loved one organize their medicines? What did you do? Please share your experiences and what worked for you and your loved one.
Home Meal Delivery
Q: Is there a minimum order?
A. Yes, the minimum order is for two servings. You can order 2, 4, 6, or 8 servings. The more you order the more you save.
Q: Tell me about delivery?
A: We deliver to your front door. If you can’t be home to receive the order you can leave a cooler with an ice pack at your front door. That way the food will stay cold.
Q: How often do you change your menu?
A. We change our menu each week. Sometimes we repeat customer favorites
Q: Can you make substitutions for dietary restrictions?
A: Yes, we can make some simple substitutions like serving cauliflower rice for white rice or gluten free noodles. We can also cook low-sodium meals. Please let us know when you sign up if you have any restrictions or allergies. We can talk with you about how we can cook for your needs.
Q: Can you freeze leftovers?
A: Yes, there are many (but not all) dishes that freeze well. Leftovers are good for lunches too!
Q: How do i warm up the food?
A: We include heating instructions for each dish. Some can be heated in the oven, in a pan on the stove-top or microwaved in a microwave safe container
Q: I don’t like to order on the internet. Can i order by phone, and pay by credit card?
A: Yes, if you prefer not to order on line with you Paypal account or a credit card we can take your order and credit card information over the phone.