Home Maker/Companions

Home Maker/Companion
agencies provide a trusted companion to help with a broad range of activities.
These tasks can be as simple as visiting with your loved one and providing companionship,
to housekeeping and cooking meals. Companions can take your loved ones to doctor’s
appointments and shopping.

When looking
for a Home Maker/Companion service, be sure to do your homework. Make sure the
agency you select will meet your needs.
Here are some
tips to help you:
  •         Make
    a list of all the services your loved one needs, as well as the times and how
    often things must be done. Your loved one may need daily help with meal
    preparation, but may only need help with the laundry once a week or a ride to
    the doctor once a month. This will help you to determine how many days a week
    and how many hours a day you will need the companion. (Some agencies require
    you hire the companion for a minimum number of hours or days per week.)
  •           Make
    sure the agency is licensed, accredited and certified to perform this service.
    The agency should be insured and their employees should be adequately trained
    and bonded. Find out how the company deals with certain issues such as theft or
    unacceptable behaviors. Ask for and check references.

  •          You
    should get a written statement indicating the services they will provide, the
    cost and payment procedures. Ask for a copy of the service plan, including a
    schedule of when specific duties will be done.

  •          If
    possible, you and your loved one should meet and agree upon the person who will
    be providing your loved one’s care. Ask about the company’s policy if that
    companion is unable to make a scheduled visit.
  •          Check
    in with your loved one after service has begun to be sure they are happy with
    their companion.

A Home
Maker/Companion service can provide you with peace of mind if you live far away
from your loved one or if your work schedule prevents you from being available
throughout the day. If you are a full-time caregiver, it can give you a much
needed break.
If you find
that you need additional help with making decisions and managing the care of
your loved one, you may want to consider hiring a Care Manager. This person
will help evaluate your loved one and their situation, design a plan and help
arrange the services. They can also monitor the services of the home
maker/companion agency and make suggestions when the service plan needs to be
updated. Many care managers will accompany their clients when they go to the
doctor or hospital and will keep the family apprised of their loved one’s

Resource: www.agingflorida.com

If you have a
loved one that could benefit from Home Maker/Companion and/or Care Management services give us a call at 727-443-2273 or visit our website at www.advsrs.com.

Beginning the Conversation about the End of Life

Planning well
in advance of the end of your loved one’s life can help safeguard his or her
well-being and your peace of mind. That planning starts with a very important
conversation about death and dying, as difficult as it may be.
Getting answers
to questions about where your loved one would prefer to spend his or her last
days and who will take care of him or her are vital pieces of the plan.
Your loved
one most likely has strong preferences and options about their final days and
it is imperative that you learn them. Start the conversation by expressing how
much you share their desire to stay as independent as long as possible and to
have their wishes followed through after they pass away.
Ask your
loved one to consider the following questions:
do they want to die? At home, in a hospital, or a medical facility? Do they
want to be surrounded by people who love them or privately with as little fuss
as possible?
kind of treatment do they want?
do they want to take care of them? Do they have a preference in terms of male
or female?
kind of funeral services do they want? Do they care about an open or closed
casket, cremation, or donating their body to science?
do they want to be buried? Do they have a burial plot? Do they want to use it
or be buried somewhere else?
Then, use
their answers to help them out together advanced directives, which hare legal
documents that explicitly describe their wishes for care near the end of their
life. Prepare the two most important directives:
A Living Will: This document specifies their wishes
regarding medical treatment, and particularly the refusal of life prolonging medication
when death is imminent.
2.    A
Health Care Power of Attorney:
document allows your loved one to appoint someone he/she trusts to act on their
behalf and make decisions regarding their medical treatment if they are unable
to do so.
Give copies
of the directives to the key people in your loved one’s life, with his or her

4 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Falling

1. Exercise
regularly, especially exercises that improve balance and coordination.
your medications with your healthcare provider. Some medications can make you
sleepy or dizzy.
your vision checked at least once a year, as poor vision can worsen your risk.
your hearing tested annually and use hearing aids when recommended.

Did you know?
  •  Every
    15 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall.
  •   Every
    29 minutes an adult dies following a fall.
  •  People
    with mild hearing loss are nearly three times more likely to have a history of
    falling. The risk is greater with hearing loss. When people can’t hear well,
    they may not have a good awareness of their surroundings, increasing the chance
    of tripping and falling.


5 Great Immune-Boosting Foods

Lean beef
It’s full of iron and zinc, two nutrients that help protect
against infection by bacteria, viruses and parasites. Plus, beef is an
excellent source of the antioxidant selenium (antioxidants defend and repair immune
cells). Choose lean beef, and limit portions to 3 ounces.

Like beef, beans and peas are good
sources of immune-boosting iron and zinc, but they’re also loaded with vitamin
B6, which helps create infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes.
You can double the amount of iron you absorb from legumes by combining them
with as little as 25 mg of vitamin C — the amount in 1/4 cup of broccoli.
Asian mushrooms — including shiitake
and oyster mushrooms — contain beta-glucans, carbohydrates that can spur
production of virus-attacking white blood cells, a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found.
White button mushrooms are rich sources of selenium and riboflavin (vitamin
B2), which help ward off bacterial infections.
This seasonal favorite is full of
beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A and that helps create
white blood cells to fight infection. Animal studies suggest vitamin A may also
enhance your body’s response to the flu vaccine. Both pumpkin pulp and seeds
protect against infection.
Wild salmon
It’s a fine source of vitamin D,
which your immune system needs to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. Eat fish
at least twice a week.
Source: http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-09-2012/immune-boosting-foods.html

10 Great Part-time Jobs for Older Adults

Are you over
50 and looking for part-time work? You are not alone. Although the unemployment
rate among older workers is lower than that for their younger counterparts,
older adults who do become unemployed spend more time searching for work,
according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But, there are jobs for those who
are willing to put their passion and experience to good use.
Here are 10
part-time job ideas for older adults:
Temp worker: Temporary jobs offer great
opportunities for those who do not want a permanent position. Contact a temp
agency in your area to find out about part-time possibilities.

Home care worker or paid companion: Companies often hire older workers for a number of reasons including great work ethic and compatibility with older clients.

Party Planner: Party planning, while a demanding
career for many professionals also can be customized to be a great part-time
job for older adults. If you are organized, creative, and love a fun
get-together, this could be for you.

Crafters: Do you enjoy a hobby like
photography, jewelry, or quilt making? Why not go to flea markets and craft
shows. You could meet new and interesting people and make
as well.

Gardeners: Gardening is a wonderful hobby for
older adults. Make products you can sell at farmer’s markets and outdoor and indoor
flea markets.

Consultants: What did you do when you were working
full-time? Would your career lend itself to consulting that you could do on a
part-time basis now? You could network with old friends and colleagues from
work as well as business groups in your area to 
discover the need for your services.

Seamstress: If you have sewing skills and a
sewing machine, send out the word. You might be surprised who needs repairs and

Handy Dandies: If you are handy repairing things
around the house spread the word and you could have more business than you can

Caterers and cooks: If you enjoy cooking, why not hire out
to help with parties and special events. You could be a part-time caterer, or
call one who is already in business. He or she might need help.

10.  Baby
If you have
had plenty of experience raising your own children and now are taking care of
grandchildren, you may have a way with youngsters. Plenty of working parents
need extra help with their kids.

Resource: www.carevierstress.com/elder-financial/managing-budget/part-time-jobs-older-adults

What you should ask and Information you should provide when you go to the Doctor

Doctor visits
can be overwhelming for older adults, particularly if they have hearing
problems or dementia. Seniors can often appreciate someone attending an
appointment with them to provide any needed assistance.
Here is what to
ask and information you should provide to your doctor:
  •       Always
    tell your doctor what prescription medications, supplements, and vitamins you
    are currently taking. Write them down for your appointment. Also you should
    make a list of any symptoms or health complaints you have.

  •          Describe
    your symptoms in order and include past experiences with the same problem.

  •          Ask
    the doctor what he or she thinks is causing these problems. Take notes on what
    the doctor says or ask the person who is accompanying you to do so.

  •          If
    new tests are ordered or medications prescribed, ask the doctor why he or she
    is recommending that and why you need it. Find out if there are alternatives.

  •          Ask
    the doctor if any of the medications that he or she prescribes will interact in
    a negative way with medications that you are already taking prescribed by other

  •          Confirm
    the proper dosage and method of taking the new medication.

  •          Find
    out if there are potential side effects or complications from a medication or
  •          Discuss
    with the doctor how you will get any test results.
  •          Find
    out if the doctor wants to see you again, or if you should report back to him
    or her.
  •          Discuss
    what, if anything, you should be doing at home to improve your condition
    including diet and exercise. Find out if any of your activities should be restricted.
  •          Finally,
    if you are confused about anything, make sure you ask your doctor to explain it

Source: www.caregiverstress.com/senior-safety/planning-tips/doctor-office-what-to-ask

Look-and-See Signs of Aging

conditions of aging can leave seniors at risk in their own homes. Most seniors
want to age at home. This is why caregivers should know the signs that their
loved one might be needing help at home.

  • Look
    in the refrigerator, freezer, and drawers. Has food spoiled because your loved
    one can’t get to the grocery store? Does your loved one have difficulty
    cleaning tight, cluttered spaces.   

  • Look
    over the grocery list. Has your loved one’s declining health prompted him/her
    to purchase junk food and neglect proper nutrition? Is he/she losing weight?


  • Look
    on top of the furniture and counter tops. Are dust and dirt signs that household
    tasks are becoming more difficult for your loved one?


  • Look
    down at floors and stairways. Have shaky hands spilled drinks and food, soiled
    vinyl, wood, carpets, and walkways? Are frayed carpets, throw rugs, objects,
    and furniture creating a tripping hazard for your loved one?

  • Look
    under the beds and sofas. Is your loved one having difficulty organizing
    newspapers, books, and magazines, which are creating fire hazard?


  •  Look
    through the mail. Is your loved one’s dementia causing him/ her to forget to
    pay bills and answer correspondence?


  • Look
    below bathroom and kitchen sinks. Is poor eyesight making it difficult for your
    loved one to read medication labels and to properly store cleaning supplies? Is
    he/she forgetting to refill medications and to take them on schedule? Check the
    refill date against the number of pills in the bottle to help determine if your
    loved one is taking their medication(s) regularly.


  • Look
    at your loved one’s appearance. Is your loved one’s clothing dirty and unkempt?
    Is your loved one neglecting personal hygiene?

with your loved one’s neighbors and other close friends to find out about their
daily routine. Is your loved one at home more, watching tv and avoiding
stimulating conversation and companionship?

Source: www.caregiverstress.com/senior-safety/planning-tips/visual-signs-of-aging

Did You Know…?

Every State has some
crazy laws still hanging out there. Here’s some we found for Florida:
women cannot parachute on Sundays.
It is illegal
to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit.
You may NOT
fart publicly after 6pm.
It is
considered an offense to shower naked.
You are not
allowed to break more than 3 dishes per day or chip the edges of more than 4
cups and/or saucers.
If an elephant is left tied
to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would be for a