OUR BLOG

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May 11, 2020hearts298

With so many seniors and friends with special needs unable to leave their homes during COVID-19, we have decided to offer complimentary grocery delivery. Simply send us the details of your order and our volunteer caregivers will pick it up, sanitize it, and drop it off at your door. Priority is given to those who […]

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March 12, 2020hearts298

While the coronavirus outbreak poses health risks for everyone, officials have made clear that the elderly are particularly vulnerable. At Big Hearts Homecare we prioritize the health and safety of both clients and workers. COVID-19 is a serious health threat and while the risk of transmission varies between communities, the risk to Canadians is still […]

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March 12, 2020hearts298

Seniors in BC who need help with the activities of daily living (such as bathing and dressing), as well as those who need assistance with the instrumental activities of daily living (such as preparing meals), have a number of options. Some seniors living in Vancouver choose to move into an assisted living facility where aides […]

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October 16, 2019hearts298

When it comes time to take care of your elderly loved ones, you want to be sure that they are handled with care, love, and patience. While it may be stressful at times, you must also keep in mind that it is not easy for them to become dependent on you or others for their […]

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September 21, 2019hearts298

What is palliative care? If you have a life-threatening condition or a serious illness, palliative care can: help improve your quality of life reduce or relieve your physical and psychological symptoms help you have a more peaceful and dignified death support your family and those you care for while you are dying and afterward This […]

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September 2, 2019hearts298

Your loved one is getting discharged from the hospital, so what is next? This Fact Sheet will look at the keys to a successful transition from hospital to home, explain some important elements, offer suggestions for improving the process, and provide caregivers with checklists to help ensure the best care for a loved one. If […]

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August 20, 2019hearts298

It’s normal for people to experience some foot problems as they age. But experts say that problems with feet can be the first sign of more serious medical conditions, particularly among older adults. Health problems, such as arthritis, diabetes, nerve issues, and circulatory disorders, may first be manifested in the feet. That is why it […]

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August 12, 2019hearts298

As we age, certain everyday activities become difficult. We may not be able to perform easy tasks such as cooking, cleaning and even bathing. Safety also becomes a concern as we get older. Besides forgetting to take our daily cocktail of medications, we may have trouble getting out of bed, or we could slip and […]

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August 5, 2019hearts298

            Alzheimer’s disease causes brain cells to die, so the brain works less well over time. This changes how a person acts. Big Hearts Home Care can help you deal with your loved one’s condition and here we provide you with suggestions on coping with Alzheimer’s disease. Common Changes in […]

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June 29, 2019hearts298

Summer is most Vancouverites’ favorite season. When the sun shines on Vancouver, there’s no prettier place on earth, and locals make the most of the summer months—June, July, and August—with tons of festivals, parties, outdoor adventures, and more. 01of 18 Celebrate Canada Day Canada Day, celebrated on July 1, is always a massive party in the city, with […]

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August 10, 2018hearts298

Shifting Towards Autonomy:  A Continuing Care Model for Canada CLICK HERE    

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May 30, 2017hearts298

Emily Carr, one of British Columbia’s most beloved artists, once said, “There is something bigger than fact: the underlying spirit, all it stands for, the mood, the vastness, the wildness.” Like so many others, Carr was inspired by Vancouver’s sweeping views and tangible sense of spirit. There really is no place like Vancouver, and for […]

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April 6, 2017hearts298

Spring is a time of new growth and warm weather. After spending the winter indoors, your elderly loved one may yearn to hear birds sing and see flowers blooming again. In fact, fresh air and sunshine have been proven to contribute to good health—both physically and mentally. Many doctors recommend spending some time outdoors each […]

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April 6, 2017hearts298

British Columbia’s government will spend $500 million over the next four years to improve care for seniors, including increasing the direct services the elderly receive at residential care facilities. Health Minister Terry Lake says the plan will allow provincial health authorities to provide more than three hours of daily direct care to seniors in public […]

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April 6, 2017hearts298

After a long and sometimes dark winter, you might feel inspired to make changes to enhance your health. If that is the case, read on to find out how you can rejuvenate your life this spring. Whether you’re living in a senior community already, living independently, living with a family member, or caring for one, […]

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06/Mar/2021

Seniors in BC who need help with the activities of daily living (such as bathing and dressing), as well as those who need assistance with the instrumental activities of daily living (such as preparing meals), have a number of options. Some seniors living in Vancouver choose to move into an assisted living facility where aides are available to help them with those tasks. Seniors who prefer to remain in their homes or to live with relatives can choose to get help from a service that provides homemakers and home health aides.

Homemaker and home health aide services send workers to the senior’s home. The assistance they provide allows seniors to maintain independence and a sense of dignity. Interaction with homemakers and aides often brightens a senior’s day and reduces feelings of loneliness. The services provided increase the senior’s comfort while reducing stress caused by their inability to take care of their own needs.

What services are provided?
Who are homemakers and home health aides?
How should seniors choose a homemaker and home health aide service?
How can seniors who receive services maximize their safety?

What services are provided?

Home health aides are sometimes called “personal care workers” or “home care attendants.” They provide “hands on” help with the activities of daily living. They may assist seniors with:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Using the toilet
  • Moving from one place to another

A home health aide might also help seniors manage their medications. An aide may be limited to reminding seniors to take their medications, or may be allowed to count or measure the correct dosage and hand that dosage to the senior.

Homemakers help seniors with the instrumental activities of daily living. Those are the daily tasks that require dexterity, mobility, or cognitive abilities that may be impaired by the process of aging. Examples of the services that homemakers might perform include:

  • Meal preparation
  • Cleaning and housekeeping
  • Personal laundry
  • Shopping
  • Performing essential errands
  • Providing companionship

In some cases, a single trained employee might be assigned to cover both the homemaker and the home health aide functions. Other services allocate tasks to different employees who receive different training.

Some homemaker and home health aide agencies take a “team” approach. They may assign a geriatric social worker to define and oversee the senior’s needs. For example, despite being homebound, some seniors maintain a social life by receiving regular visits from friends or family. Those seniors may not need additional companionship. Other seniors may be at risk of depression due to loneliness. When that is the case, a geriatric social worker might instruct a homemaker to spend additional time interacting with the senior.

Who are homemakers and home health aides?

Home health aides provide personal care services. Unlike visiting nurses who provide care for a specific health condition, home health aides are not licensed. Personal care services are classified as “nonmedical” services that do not require professional licensing. Many services have nurses on staff who supervise home health aides, but the supervision is not regularly provided in the senior’s home.

The training required for the position of home health aide varies by province. While all provinces offer certification of home health aides, they do not all require home health aides to be certified. Some only require the employing agency to be certified and leave it to the agency to decide upon the training and certification requirements of their employees. An agency employee who provides only homemaker services is typically not subject to any certification requirement.

Not all homemakers or home health aides work for services. Some work independently. They may charge lower rates than homemakers and aides provided by agencies, but they may not be bonded or insured. Since they work without supervision and may not be as well trained as an agency employee, seniors need to give careful thought to whether the cost savings of hiring a private homemaker or aide outweighs the advantages of hiring a service.

After you are satisfied that the employees of a service are properly trained, ask these questions:

  • What services do your homemakers and home health aides provide?
  • Does the agency have a geriatric social worker who can evaluate your needs?
  • What times of the day and days of the week can services be made available?
  • If you require meal preparation, does the agency make homemakers available on weekends and holidays?
  • Will you have the flexibility to cancel services without charge?
  • Is there a waiting list? When can services begin?
  • How long has the agency been in business?
  • How are employees supervised?
  • Are employees bonded? Is the agency insured?
  • What fees are charged for the services provided? Can the agency provide you with a written schedule of fees so you can decide which services you can afford?
  • Is there a minimum charge per visit regardless of the length of the visit?
  • How often does the agency bill and when does it expect payment?

You should also ask for a list of references. Contact those references to make sure that the service has satisfied its clients in the past. You might also obtain recommendations from social workers employed by the medical clinic you visit and from local government agencies or nonprofit organizations in your community that work with the elderly or that specialize in healthcare issues.

How can seniors who receive services maximize their safety?

Before you hire any homemaker or home health aide service, confirm that it screens employees before they are hired to assure that they do not have a criminal record. You also want to be sure that the service conducts periodic criminal record checks of employees during the course of their employment.

While crimes committed by homemakers and home health aides against their clients are not common, the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Theft and physical abuse are always a potential risk. Seniors should be encouraged to tell children, other relatives, or friends about any suspicion they have concerning a homemaker’s or health aide’s misconduct. Children and others who regularly visit a senior should also be alert for evidence of physical or psychological abuse. The police should be alerted if abuse is suspected or if property is missing after a visit by a homemaker or home health aide.

Other risks to seniors include:

  • Poorly trained health aides cause injuries by using improper lifting techniques or by dropping the senior.
  • Health aides may make errors if they dispense medication without appropriate training and supervision.
  • Homemakers and health aides may spread viruses and infections if they visit a senior while they are ill or after they have visited another client who is suffering from an illness.
  • The improper preparation of meals or inattention to a senior’s dietary needs or allergies may place a senior at risk of illness.
  • The risk of disease may also be enhanced by a homemaker’s failure to maintain a clean environment, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom, and to wash laundry properly.
  • A homebound senior may not be in a position to notice deficiencies in the job performance of homemakers or home health aides. Children, relatives, and friends of the senior who visit the home and who see problems with hygiene should complain to the homemaker and home health aide service. They might also encourage the senior to hire a different service.

Big Hearts Homecare can help you care for the needs of your loved ones. Give us a call at (778) 788-5578 or email us at [email protected] to help you get started!

Source: https://seniorcareadvice.com/housing-care/in-home-care


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