Wellness Roundup: Are You Prepared?

Happy Fall to all! As we approach the winter months, have you familiarized yourself with the precautions to take and protocols to follow in emergency situations? How about routine wellness steps you should be taking to prevent those emergencies? Not to worry, we’re here to help.

First, be sure to check your daily blood pressure. This simple step can help keep your general health awareness keenly tuned, as a sudden change in BP can be a warning sign for many other medical issues.

Second, have your emergency contact information updated and accessible. In the event of an urgent medical situation, the last thing you (or someone in your household at the time who you’re depending on) will want to do is frantically search for the phone number of your doctor, nurse, or closest family members

Third, consider establishing a formal home medical kit. You can find tips on what to stock yours with here.

Fourth, be sure you are maintaining a nutritious and balanced diet. Overall wellness and health start with the food and drinks that we fuel ourselves with!

And of course, if you have any questions or need support in your journey to home wellness, we are always here to help. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date and connected.

News From Your In Home Care Agency

Family Best Care – Caring Like Family

What Can You Do To Be Ready For Winter.

Happy October! As we prepare to enter the colder months, the time is ripe to analyze your readiness for weathering a safe and effective winter season. While unlikely, we should all be ready to weather a storm or other emergency situation that requires staying home for extended periods of time. Have you contemplated the steps you can take to ensure you and your loved ones are equipped to do so? Family best care has  constructed this convenient guide to assist you in your preparation:

  1. Take stock of your water and dried/canned/frozen food stores. A good rule of thumb is to have at least a 1-month supply of food and water per person.
  2. Confirm that you are aware of your water and electric shut off locations
  3. Stock your home with warm blankets that can be used in the event of a power outage
  4. Items like flashlights (with extra batteries) and a first aid kit make wonderful additions to the home should an emergency situation present itself
  5. Don’t forget about your mental health! Keeping a healthy stock of board games, puzzles and books is a must for any bout of isolation at home.

Our Family Best Care Team is always here to answer any questions you may have.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date and connected.

Care At Home: What Does It Mean For You And Your Loved Ones?

The decision for how to care for your loved ones has never been more high stake. As we continue to face the threat of COVID-19, we all must be vigilant and purposeful in our protection of those most vulnerable.

In-home care offers a more personal, compassionate approach to standard in-home services – but in addition to that, our providers can help with a myriad of other services related to the home while they are onsite. These include:

  • Coordinating home projects
  • Light cleaning
  • Home organization
  • Grocery shopping

Why settle for the bare minimum when you can have it all? You’ll love having someone involved in the daily functions of the home!

Beyond that, one of the most valuable benefits of employing our services for at-home care is the personal touch we can provide. A facility is focused on dozens if not hundreds of other clients, so how can you have the assurance that your family members are being prioritized? The simple and honest answer is that you can’t.

Our in-home care is the answer to your needs. Contact us today to get started! And be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date and connected.

The Power of Knowledge: Staying Up To Date on COVID-19 Recommendations

As we near the end of summer and prepare for Fall the need to stay vigilant against COVID-19 remains more important than ever.  

Even if you are vaccinated, it’s important to remain up to date on recommendations from the CDC so that you can be sure that you are following the proper protocols. The safety of our families is of the utmost importance to us, and we encourage you to reach out to us if you’re feeling unsure or unsafe. We are always here to help!

Don’t forget that this is still an evolving situation and our experts and scientists are adjusting their recommendations as needed. Changes in guidance are expected and normal! We know that the pandemic has created a lot of stress for our families, but our best defense is to empower ourselves with knowledge so that we can make informed decisions. 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to manage the safety and well-being of all your most vulnerable loved ones. So why that all by yourself? Secure the help that you want and need by employing our services. Our offerings are well suited for keeping your family safe during these difficult times. For example, our caregivers can offer light cleaning services while at the home to ensure that cleanliness remains top priority. Whether sweeping, dusting and vacuuming or keeping up with laundry to ensure all linens and clothing is fresh and sanitized, we have you covered.

Follow us on Facebook to stay in touch and up to date!

Maintaining Adaptability And Its Many Advantages

​We are very flexible when working with a client, and understand that things do not always go as planned.  In these situations, we remain calm and make sure to reassure our clients that we are able to adjust the day accordingly.  We have learned that patience and flexibility are qualities that have kept our clients peaceful and confident that their day will turn out well. ​

Every day is not always the same. Sometimes things don’t go at all as expected, and these hiccups can make clients tired or unwilling to get up and manage the daily routine. Sometimes, clients may not even remember why we are there. These instances can disrupt the schedule and keep the day from going as planned. Our patience and flexibility at times like this not only help us adjust and optimize the day moving forward, but we can positively impact the mood and willingness of our clients to adjust as well. 

When all has been said and done, our caregivers are extremely passionate about their roles with our families and are always looking for ways to enrich the lives of anyone they care for. 

How We Ensure Our First Visit Is A Success

Before we arrive at a new client’s home, we familiarize ourselves with their care plan and specific needs. While at the home, we ensure that no adjustments need to be made to the requests or care plan.  In the event that they do, we update our care coordinators immediately upon leaving the home.  ​

We also utilize that first meeting to better understand our client’s personality and preferences. For example, do they like someone who is quiet or someone they can hold a conversation with throughout the day? Do they want someone to be close by or someone who gives them space? Everyone is different, and no situation warrants the exact same measures discretely. Then, once they are settled safely we step back and keep a close eye without being obvious.  ​

Most of all, we listen and ask questions only to clarify their needs. In doing this we can connect with them on an individual basis. Here’s how we look at it: if we are going to be with our clients for a good part of the day it is of the utmost importance that they feel safe and well cared for.

How Our Caregivers Make A Difference

Our caregivers are extremely patient by nature, bolstering high creativity and the initiative to take on a variety of tasks. These traits, combined with their passion for caring for others render them exceptional candidates for caregivers. ​

Our goal at Family Best Care goal is to create a safe and enjoyable environment that enables our clients to not only enjoy longer, fuller lives in their homes but to give ultimate peace of mind to their family members. We understand that having someone in your loved one’s home can be a difficult adjustment, so rest assured that we minimize disruption as much as possible. We approach every home and client individually and look for ways to personalize the care as much as possible.  ​

For example, our caregivers make keen observations and ask pertinent questions when they are introduced to clients so that they can learn what the most important aspects of their life are and know what brings them joy; enabling them to incorporate these factors in their care. By knowing what their interests are, they can engage in meaningful and lively conversations. 

How to Spot the Family Best Care Difference

It’s easy to tell good care from bad, but it’s not always as easy to discern what distinguishes great care from good. Do you know how to spot the difference? Here are a few things to consider:

First, ask yourself whether your needs are met. Simple, to be sure, but you may be surprised by how often typical care services only partially fulfill the scope of what you need. Many customers come to us after years of settling with other providers, having gotten accustomed to the feeling of being unsatiated.

Second, muse on the ways that this care has bettered the lives of those it affects. More than simply safe and secure, are your loved one’s lives enriched and actively better because of this care? Can you honestly and confidently declare that its effects are transformative, elevating the experiences and existence of those involved?

Lastly, do you find yourself wondering about whether the care in question is doing what you need it to? Is there room for doubt? If so, perhaps you have your answer. The ultimate care is so all-encompassing, so assuring, that you find yourself forgetting that you need it at all!

At Family Best Care, we strive for and deliver exceptional service. There is no question about it, the difference is obvious! Contact us today at [email protected] or (425) 647-8510 to start your journey today!

Who is the Family Best Care Client?

We can’t believe that we are nearing the halfway point of 2021! As we all reevaluate our needs and priorities, you may be wondering whether our services are right for you. Did you know that Family Best Care offers a wide range of assistance for a variety of customers? It’s true! Here’s the kind of people we serve:

Independent elders: Looking for some light assistance or support for an otherwise capable and active senior? We offer short-term support services like errands and transportation and concierge services like booking appointments and facilitating medication reminders.

People looking for in-home care: Do you have a family member or friend sequestered away in a home care facility? Our in-home care team provides compassionate and rigorous care that is leaps and bounds above the attention that can be received in a stuffy facility.  
Busy people needing help around the house: Need help washing dishes, making beds or doing some light cleaning? We’ve got you covered!

There are so many ways we can help you and your loved ones. Your needs are unique, and so are our offerings. We would be happy to curate a specialized package of services to meet your needs and support you to the fullest potential.

Contact us today at[email protected] or (425) 647-8510 to learn more and discuss next steps!

Home Improvements and Modifications for Aging in Place

by Julia Weaver

Now more than ever before, we’re seeing more adults choosing to live at home as they grow in years, or what is known as aging in place. Living at home helps aging adults maintain their lifestyle for as long as possible, rather than moving into a nursing home or assisted care center. In fact, three-quarters of adults 50 years and older would prefer to remain in their homes as they age, according to a survey by AARP. Though many of us won’t be able to live independently forever, home modifications will allow your loved ones to continue to live in their home longer by creating a more manageable environment. Whether they’re living in a single-story condo in Dallas, TX  or a three-story home in Portland, OR, there are modifications that can be made to every home to help make daily tasks a little easier.

Helpful home modifications

As we grow older our bodies and capabilities change, and not all homes are designed to support this challenge we’ll face. A lot of times doorways are too narrow, bathrooms too small, floors too slippery, and kitchen cabinets too high to reach. For aging adults, a home designed for optimal accessibility, convenience, and safety is imperative to avoid falls or serious injuries. 

Optimizing a home for safe and comfortable living while creating a home environment that makes getting around easier is essential for aging in place. That’s why we’ve gathered the most common home modifications, from simple adjustments to larger remodeling projects.

General Home modifications to aid in mobility

  • Install handrails. For aging in place, add handrails to stairs, hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms for extra balance.
  • Upgrade the lighting. Replace existing bulbs with LED bulbs to increase visibility. Consider installing touch-activated lamps, and placing night lights in the bedroom, bathroom, and hallways.
  • Install lever door handles. Switch out standard round doorknobs for lever-style handles. These do not require the same level of grip.
  • Install a stairlift. This is a great alternative when walking up stairs becomes more difficult. Install light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs to prevent your loved one from using the stairs in the dark.
  • Install automated blinds. This style of window treatment allows aging adults to adjust their blinds without having to stand up.
  • Create an open floor plan. Make wide passageways throughout the home with little obstruction. Widen doorways and hallways if your loved one uses a walker or wheelchair to navigate their home.
  • Replace hardwood, tile, laminate, or vinyl flooring for carpet. If your loved one doesn’t use a wheelchair, carpet will be most forgiving and provides more floor consistency.

For the living room

  • Rearrange furniture and remove clutter. To avoid tripping hazards, be sure furniture placement leaves plenty of space to move about the room safely.
  • Install anti-slip mats. Add strips to the bottom of rugs to increase traction and reduce the chances of tripping.
  • Replace unsteady furniture. Discard furniture that wobbles to prevent falls, and add plastic bumpers to the sharp edges on furniture pieces.

For the kitchen

  • Keep daily-use items accessible. Store small appliances, cookware, and tableware between waist and shoulder height to avoid the need to crouch down or use a step stool.
  • Consider purchasing a stovetop with an automatic shut-off feature. Once the sensors fail to detect motion for an extended period of time, the stove will shut off.
  • Install a hands-free faucet and anti-scald device. Easily turn the water on and off with the wave of a hand, and install an anti-scald device to avoid the possibility of burns.
  • Replace kitchen cabinets and adjust counter and sink height. For more convenient storage space, install drawers, open shelving, or pull out shelves. Choose a counter height where it’s easy to prepare meals and wash dishes while sitting.
  • Adjust the location of major appliances. Place the oven, sink, and refrigerator as close to each other as possible.

For the bathroom

  • Add adhesive strips to a bath mat in showers and tubs. This can help prevent slipping on wet surfaces.
  • Install non-skid strips in case the flooring becomes slippery. Try to avoid ceramic tile as this can become slick when it’s wet.
  • Install a walk-in bathtub or a shower transfer bench. This can greatly reduce the chances of slipping and falling. Climbing in and out of a traditional bathtub or standing for an extended period of time may become more difficult. 
  • Install grab bars or rails in bathtubs and near the toilet. This will improve mobility and help to prevent falls.
  • Install a raised toilet seat. An elevated toilet seat decreases the distance between standing and sitting.

For the home’s exterior

  • Create at least one no-step entry into the home. Replace exterior stairs with a removable ramp for a smooth transition into and out of the home.
  • Add exterior lighting and landscape lighting. To avoid falling or tripping, add outdoor lighting to walkways and stairs.
  • Install handrails. Add handrails on both sides of walkways for extra support and balance.
  • Choose low maintenance materials. Opt for vinyl siding, metal roofing, composite decking, and low maintenance landscaping.
  • Install a security system. A home security system can give your loved one a sense of security and protection.

How to pay for home modifications 

While in the end, it’s generally less expensive to age in place as opposed to living in a senior living community, the upfront costs for a remodel can add up. Luckily there are resources and programs available, such as home improvement grants, equipment loans, and low-interest loans. 

You should also consider researching programs like Medicare Advantage, Non-Medicaid Government assistance and Medicaid HCBS Waivers, Veterans programs, and non-profit organizations for financial help. As you’re crunching the numbers, it’s important to remember that the cost associated with home modifications has two components: the labor cost and the materials cost. Oftentimes, the cost of labor for installing the equipment will not be covered by insurance.

Create a support system with senior care and services

Forming a support system for your loved one is a big part of aging in place. Besides the support from family members, it’s a good idea to consider senior care and services for your aging parent. There is a network of services available, including meal delivery, nurses, transportation, and house cleaning services. 

In-home care services are also offered at various levels depending on the situation. On days when you’re unavailable, an elder companion could spend time with your loved one to prevent social isolation. In-home caregivers can provide help with day-to-day activities like cooking, grooming, or shopping, while also making sure your loved one is safe in their home

Introduce technology into your loved one’s home

Assistive technology solutions, smart home features, and tech gadgets can be used to help simplify everyday tasks, promote independence, and stay safe while aging in place. There are all sorts of devices, like medical alert devices to signal for help, assistive seating devices to lift your loved one into the standing position, and smart bulbs that can be controlled remotely.

Individual results may vary.
This is not intended as a substitute for the services of a licensed and bonded home services professional.

This article originally appeared on Redfin.