Senior Independence


Helping Family Caregivers Find Resiliency in a Time of Crisis

Portrait of a happy senior woman making a heart shape with her hands after exercising on the riverbank.

Times of crisis can sometimes bring out both the very best and also the worst in us. During the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve come across stories of people hoarding items and selling them in order to make an excessive profit, along with stories of wonderful people who selflessly met the needs of others in spite of their personal fears.

The key to weathering the storms which are certain to show up in our lives in a healthy and balanced way is resiliency. Mia Bartoletti, clinical psychologist for the Navy SEAL Foundation, works with families of people serving in the armed forces, and provides guidelines that can help improve resilience through any time of crisis.

Convey your reactions. It is common to have … Read More »



Elective Medical Procedures: Assessing the Safety for Seniors

Determine the safety of elective medical procedures with these tips.

The COVID-19 pandemic put our world on pause, including, among many other activities, medical appointments and procedures. In fact, nearly half of all adults either cancelled or put off routine medical care and elective medical procedures since the coronavirus crisis began, leading physicians to become concerned about the consequences.

As we tentatively strive for a new normal, it’s important to talk with your doctor about any procedures you might have been considering pre-pandemic, and to get answers to the following questions to help you gauge the safety of following through with them now.

Is the medical facility where I’ll be treated also treating COVID-19 patients, and are the same medical staff who will care for me also taking care of them? If so, what precautions are in place … Read More »



Can Your Aging Parents Afford Long Term Care?

It’s important to discuss long term care with your aging parents.

Millions of Americans struggle with the question of whether their elderly parents can afford long term care. Financial matters can be a sensitive topic, and when it’s time to start thinking about long-term care needs, holding an open and honest discussion about how your parents will be able to afford long term care services is crucial.

To that end, our Sonoma home care team has compiled the questions below to help you get started:

What are your parents’ assets? A good starting point is to determine approximately how much money your parents have available in cash, investments, and Social Security. This provides a basis for covering for long term care expenses.
Do your parents anticipate the need for financial assistance? People are living longer than ever before, … Read More »



Accessing the Benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance

These tips will help families access the benefits of long-term care insurance.

Long-term care insurance can provide extraordinary peace of mind, but accessing those benefits can end up being a confusing experience for seniors and their family members. To help guide families through the process, Hired Hands Homecare, the leader in home care in Rohnert Park and the surrounding area, provides this helpful overview.

What services are covered?

Prior to filing a claim, it’s important to thoroughly read through a copy of the long-term care insurance policy in order to gain an understanding of the types of services the policy covers. If you don’t have a copy of the policy, reach out to the carrier to request one.

While all policies differ in what they cover, long-term care insurance usually covers non-medical services at home, provided assistance … Read More »



Incorporate These Safe Activities for Seniors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

There are some great activities for seniors that are safe throughout the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us to some extent, but for older adults, it’s been especially traumatic. With an increased risk of serious complications from the virus, combined with the need to isolate from family and friends, the lives of the seniors we love have been turned upside down practically overnight.

At Hired Hands Homecare, we remain committed to providing safe, reliable care for seniors that is focused on each person as a whole – meaning mental and emotional health are equally important to physical wellbeing. To that end, we take time to incorporate meaningful activities into each day, adjusted to the new social distancing recommendations while still bringing enjoyment and connection with others.

Our Sonoma home care experts suggest the following … Read More »


Balancing Senior Safety with Freedom During the Pandemic

Posted on August 7th, by Mark Winter in Benefits of Home Care, Homecare, Senior Independence. No Comments

Senior safety is key to keep in mind while stay-at-home orders are lifted.

After months of quarantining, isolating, and distancing from loved ones, stay-at-home orders have been relaxed. But for seniors in particular, can it be safe to consider heading out?

Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer, and a number of criteria need to be considered to arrive at the best decision for every person, balancing senior safety with mental and emotional wellbeing. For example:

What health problems is the senior loved one encountering?
How challenging has it been for her or him to be isolated from loved ones?
Is the incidence rate of the virus subsiding or spiking within your town?

As a family caregiver, the best place to get started is sitting down and having a one-on-one conversation with the older adult. If your senior loved … Read More »



Advance Health Care Directives Provide Peace of Mind

Advance health care directives help individuals ensure their care wishes are met.

Life is unpredictable. And although an advance health care directive can be easy enough to put off, planning end-of-life choices now can help provide peace of mind that your standards and wishes about your health care will be listened to in the future. Additionally, it will ease the responsibility of decision-making on your family members.

Advance directives typically include these documents:

Living will. This written, legal document outlines the kinds of health care procedures and life-sustaining measures a patient would or would not like, such as mechanical breathing (respiration and ventilation), tube feeding or resuscitation.
Health care power of attorney (POA). The health care POA is a legal document that identifies an individual to make health care decisions on the patient’s behalf if the patient … Read More »



Questions You Need to Ask Your Aging Parents

Learn about your aging parents’ wishes by asking a few key questions.

We’re all familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s sage advice: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” This has special significance when it comes to our aging parents, and to finding the answers to a number of important (as well as engaging) questions: from the practical knowledge of what their wishes are for their remaining lifetime, to what their favorite hobbies were as a child – and anything in between.

It’s a good idea to let your parents know that you have some questions you’d like to ask, and then schedule a time that will be uninterrupted, inviting siblings or other family members to attend as appropriate. Then prepare your questions in advance, thinking through ideas such as:

Do you have a power of attorney? … Read More »



Senior Finances: The Emotional Issue of Money and Caregiving

Having a frank discussion about senior finances is important for long-term planning.

Family financial matters are oftentimes a taboo subject, and in addition, the root of many different controversies, heightened emotions, and misunderstandings. And for a number of today’s older adults, who maintain a “Depression era mentality” from many years of saving for a rainy day and learning to “waste not, want not,” it may be hard for them to grant access to finances to adult children, and to acknowledge the necessity to spend some of those personal finances on caregiving needs.

Talking with an aging parent about finances is most efficient when begun before the need arises, appreciating it might take numerous discussions before an understanding can be reached. These conversation starters can certainly help:

“Dad, at some point, we have to make some choices in regards to … Read More »



The 6 Best Coronavirus Resources for Seniors and Family Caregivers

Our team is here to provide the best resources for seniors and keep your family safe

Researching where to turn for the current, most dependable information about COVID-19, especially as it relates to older adults and people who take care of them, is extremely important – and can be difficult. Because of so many sources and differing opinions on this serious subject, we wanted to help make it more straightforward to locate what you need by building the following list of trusted Coronavirus resources for seniors and family caregivers.

COVID-19 Guidance for Seniors: The CDC’s COVID-19 Guidance for Older Adults web page includes a great deal of information, including help determining who is at higher risk, symptoms, how to protect yourself, a checklist for the household, stress and anxiety coping advice, and much more.
Coronavirus: What Seniors and People with … Read More »






From Our Blog:

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Helping Family Caregivers Find Resiliency in a Time of Crisis

Portrait of a happy senior woman making a heart shape with her hands after exercising on the riverbank.

Times of crisis can...