Why Considering "Care" From Several Angles Matters As owner of a home care agency it is my job to do more than just provide care. I am always considering care from several perspectives. As steward of my business I must always think of “Burden of Care”, the concept now accepted to describe the related physical, emotional, social and financial complications experienced by family caregivers.
Elderhood is changing the conversation about age. As owner of a home care agency, I welcome the opportunity for reflection. We have too little time for it as we attempt to keep up and ahead of issues we tackle every day, especially those facing the elders for whom we care. But reflection is good and always time well spent.
This simplicity of intention got me thinking about the upcoming holidays in two ways; these times that should be filled with thanks and grace but are instead often capped by anxiety and tensions. For these are when adult children are back in family homes for extended visits, and seeing parents and aging loved ones for the first time in months, in an up-close way. In many cases these visits can be unnerving.
For over a decade our holistic caregiving and home care support has touched hundreds of seniors in more than 75 Metro-Boston and South Shore communities. We help elders age successfully in place; treasuring each individual journey with dignity and respect. n the Fall of 2019 we signed a veterans care agreement with the Veterans Administration so we could provide personal care and helping hand support are available to eligible veterans in all the towns and communities we serve -- enabling all enrolled Veterans who meet the clinical need for service, to receive "care and comfort" when they need it most.
Seniors are living longer than expected, families are mobile and adult children are spread out globally, health care policies and medical leaves have been unable to keep up with the realities of the times and company benefits differ wildly. Finding the right care solution can be challenging, but the first step is to understand you are not alone when it comes time to make important decisions about getting care and caregiving for senior loved ones. Millions are going through what you are.
In 2012 Next Avenue marched onto the senior living scene as the digital PBS for the older generation. Its mission, “where grown-ups keep growing” is bold; to unleash the potential of elders through the power of robust media. It boasts 95% of its “members” take action after reading its stories online, on its various platforms or because of its partnerships. Next Avenue believes in recycling great ideas; what was once new and attention-grabbing is always worth refreshing.
Caregivers are the backbone of Senior Helpers Boston & South Shore and it is often hard to find ways to thank them for all they do every day. With the demands we place on them we also forget that many are parents too; dealing with back-to-school shopping pressures and daily schedules that come with kid-raising.
As I started to write this article, I became skeptical about its contents. As owner of a home care agency I am all too familiar with the statistics around Alzheimer’s and Dementia as we contribute to a cure, hope for prevention, and reach for better outcomes. If you are reading this, you probably know or knew someone with a form of Dementia like Alzheimer’s or may be or were caregiving for a loved one with this formidable disease.
Mark Friedman, owner of Senior Helpers Boston and South Shore, has announced the acquisition of Shipyard Home Health Care of Hingham, MA.
Last month I wrote about “Compassionomics”, a research-based proposition for how 40 seconds of compassion can change the dynamics of care in our healthcare system. Behind this data, the founding physicians maintain that compassionate behaviors can be learned; asserting compassion can be transformational to both the giver and receiver of these communications.
A host of new scientific data does more than suggest that 40 seconds of compassion can dramatically change the course of care as we know it. “Compassionomics” is theory anchored in science and art; an important read…
Confucious once said: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” This quotation could certainly fit the larger healthcare and medical community to a T. As the owner of a Home Care agency a part of my job is to collaborate with professionals in helping seniors navigate their respective journeys of aging. This often means we share talk on trends, policy, data and research that impact their short, medium and long term care decisions. The fact is, we all want our seniors to be successful in their journey of aging.
The Impact of Technology in Senior Living: A New Study
A guy is standing in line to get on a plane. His phone rings, it’s his mom…. No, this is not a silly Facebook joke. I’m the guy and it’s a true story. …”Mark, I need help, your dad fell”.
When our stability is at risk, we all are fearful. For seniors, this can be particularly unsettling. Emotions run the gamut from: Who is to blame? When will stability be regained? Why did it happen? Is it my fault? What can I do to prevent it from happening again? I can’t go on, should I give up?
I give advice for a living to seniors and families reconciling their check list for aging in place. But when it came time to have the same “conversation” with my parents, it was a completely different story…
Recently, The Boston Globe published two unnerving articles about home care gone very wrong. As owner of Senior Helpers Boston and South Shore I responded to Stranger in the House and its sister article The U.S. has Huge Need for Home Health Care. I described the “state of the state” of the home care industry in Massachusetts; a considerably complex business, with lots of moving parts, as one that lacks basic regulation and industry standards. This makes it attractive and easy to get into as a business without understanding the innate seriousness of it.
We hear it every time we get on an airplane, “in the event of a loss of cabin pressure, an air mask will be automatically released. Be sure to secure your own mask before helping others”. Why? Because it makes perfect sense to be in a good place ourselves before we take on the burden of caring for someone else, even if that person is right next to us.
As an owner of a private duty home care agency that deliver client-centric, nurse-led and managed care to hundreds to seniors in communities within the Globe reach, I was torn between great sadness, outrage and considerable frustration by the September 15 article written by Linda Matchan that appeared in the Boston Globe.
I am passionate and outspoken about helping our elders age in place. It began when I became involved in the leadership of my Synagogue, finding many of our older congregants struggling.
As the owner of Senior Helpers Boston and South Shore I help my clients and their families make important decisions about their care plans at home. As a son (along with my siblings), I am also instrumental in helping my parents successfully age in their home in Virginia – an airport away from me here in New England. Both of these come with huge responsibilities and accountability.
Anybody who knows me and Senior Helpers, knows I have a passion for aging in place. I have always advocated for excellence – licensing standards for our wholly unregulated industry in Massachusetts, standards of care, of case management and caregiver certifications.
What I Have Learned From Caregivers
The Questions of the Future are Here Now
While Delivering Great Home Care is Serious Business, it Does not Have to be Complicated.
I was recently reminded that October is Patient-Centered Care Month. This resonated with me because I often talk about seniors being the center of OUR universe here at Senior Helpers Boston and South Shore, and I was more than curious as to how our approach to caregiving aligned with the “patient-centered care” model popularized in the broader healthcare system.
As owner of Senior Helpers Boston I love the fact that there’s an “Older American Month”, and this year’s theme is “Age Out Loud”. It speaks volumes about our seniors, the control they continue to exercise over their lives, and about the communities that care about them.
Google may be great at finding a local mechanic, but it’s lousy at helping consumers sort out the vast landscape of navigating care in the home. This is particularly true when leaving the hospital or a short term nursing and rehabilitation community to head home – leaving the comfort of acute care where all aspects of care are managed and controlled.
As owner of Senior Helpers Boston and South Shore, I am fully aware of the statistics following patients who return home from acute care. The harsh reality is that 1 out of 5 seniors return, within 30 days. It is one of the most troubling issues crippling our healthcare system in general, and for families, can prove devastating. Why does this happen? Where and how do things go so terribly wrong?
Why the Combination of Personal Support and Hospice Matters