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Watch for These Early Signs of Mobility Problems in Older Adults

All family caregivers need to know the early signs of mobility problems in older adults in order to prevent falls or other serious injuries.

Benjamin Franklin certainly had it right: An ounce of prevention is really worth a pound of cure. When it comes to noticing and addressing the early signs of mobility problems in older adults, prevention is a must. Falls in seniors lead to 3 million emergency room visits, 300,000 hip fractures, and 32,000 deaths every year, according to research by the CDC.

Preempt a tragedy by keeping an eye out for these warning signs of increasing mobility issues in older loved ones:

Experiencing dizziness. Dizziness and issues with balance can develop from a variety of contributing factors that ultimately cause problems with mobility. It’s important to discover why these issues are taking place and address them … Read More »



The Final Stage of Alzheimer’s: What to Expect

Being prepared for the final stage of Alzheimer’s is key to continuing to help make life as meaningful as possible for someone you love.

The journey through Alzheimer’s disease can be compared to navigating a winding road that spans years, riddled with intermittent stops, starts, unexpected twists, and a plethora of unknowns. As the dedicated caregiver for an individual grappling with dementia, having foresight about what to expect around the next bend is paramount. This knowledge empowers you to not only be well-prepared but also to administer the most fitting and compassionate level of care in the final stage of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s, being a highly individualized experience, manifests uniquely in each person. Yet there are certain commonalities at every stage of the disease. When an individual transitions into the last stage, discernible challenges emerge, including struggles with eating … Read More »



The Most Important Vitamins for Older Adults

With all of the options on store shelves, which are the most important vitamins for older adults?

Minerals, vitamins, and supplements – oh my! Nearly three in four older adults are taking them; but are they really needed as we get older? After all, a balanced and healthy diet offers older adults essential nutrients. But there are specific areas of deficiency that may make a case for the addition of a supplement. Make sure to talk with the doctor before making any changes, but with their recommendation or approval, consider the following important vitamins for older adults:

Calcium

Aging bones are susceptible to breaks and fractures when calcium intake is inadequate. This is especially true for post-menopausal women, with a full 50% of those over age 50 breaking a bone because of osteoporosis. However, men are also in … Read More »



Seven Years with Lilia!

Posted on February 9th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

All of us at Hired Hands Homecare are proud to salute Lilia C as our latest Caregiver of the Month!

We have had the absolute pleasure of working with Lilia for over SEVEN years now. During that time, this is actually her THIRD time being awarded as our Caregiver of the Month, and she truly deserves it! Lilia is a highly skilled Caregiver and is active on both of our Dementia and Hospice specialty teams. Lilia is one of our most requested Caregivers by clients as a favorite. Lilia has really raised the bar when it comes to providing care outstanding for our clients. She is dependable, joyful, attentive, and is always willing to help.  Everyone at Hired Hands is grateful to have Lilia on our team, as she is an absolute pleasure to work with!

Hey Lilia… what do you have to … Read More »



HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Posted on February 8th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, Home Care Staff, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

It Was THIRTY Years Ago Today!

While we absolutely love the Beatles… we’re not talking about the day “that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play”!   On February 8, 1994 (YES, the Nineteens!) we started this little company called Hired Hands in Mill Valley!  Humble beginnings to say the least… but we made sure to have fun with it!  From Day One, our mantra and main premise was clear – Happy Employees create Happy Clients!  We knew it to be true… and we knew that by following those simple words, we could make a really positive impact on the people that we get to work with AND the families that we care for.

 

Today, WE move forward with THIRTY years of laughter, sweat and tears under our belts!  Together, in that time, WE have worked so very hard to brave the storms, … Read More »



Why Alzheimer’s Caregivers Say They Need to Go It Alone – And Why It’s a Bad Idea

“You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” – Betty Ford

Alzheimer’s caregivers may feel as though they are the only ones who can provide the best care for an older loved one, but finding a care partner is vitally important.

As a family member caring for a loved one with dementia, you know firsthand how challenging it can be. It’s definitely never a role that Alzheimer’s caregivers should try to fill on their own. Yet, many caregivers struggle with seeking the support they need, intensifying stress and leaving minimal room for self-care, a vital aspect for those in caregiving roles.

See if you can relate to these top reasons given by family caregivers for attempting to provide care solo, and why they need to be reconsidered:

Dad would not want another … Read More »



3 Steps to Better Advocate for an Aging Parent

Trusting someone you love to the care of someone else is never easy, particularly for a senior family member. Whether at home or in a facility, you’ll have questions you need answered. You will also want to be ready to advocate for an aging parent to proactively address any potential problems and also to quickly take care of issues that do take place.

For instance, review the following common situations and how to most effectively advocate should they arise with an older adult you love:

The person has dementia. A loved one with Alzheimer’s might not be able to effectively communicate their wishes and needs. As an example, a new caregiver may not realize that Dad wears inserts in his shoes and she may put his shoes on each day without them. Dad may not know how to communicate this … Read More »



How to Get Away From It All While Caring for an Older Loved One

Dreaming of that perfect vacation while listening to friends and family share tales of exciting getaways? The desire to travel and escape reality for a little while is universal, but when you are caring for an older loved one, it might seem like an unattainable luxury. However, taking a break is not just possible; it’s crucial for both your well-being and the well-being of your older family member.

Why Taking a Break Matters

Neglecting self-care can lead to burnout and depression, ultimately affecting the quality of care you provide. So how can you step away and know that the individual you’re caring for will remain safe and well while you’re gone?

These tips are a great place to start:

Talk About It. Initiating a conversation with the older adult about your upcoming break is a crucial step. Transparency builds trust … Read More »



What to Do When an Older Adult Refuses to Pay for Care

Many of today’s older adults grew up during the Great Depression. They lived through a time when the country was cutting corners and pinching pennies. Frugality was embedded in many of them at an early age and quite often remains firmly in place for life.

So what can you do when an older adult refuses to pay for care, even though they clearly are in need of care at home and have the financial ability to pay for the care?

First, empathize. Understand that the person’s perspective is valid and determined by past life experiences. If the older adult seems to be resistant to the idea of spending money for the care they need, remind yourself of the emotions behind the behaviors. An additional layer of difficulty may be in simply accepting the need for care altogether, something that … Read More »



Acceptance, Unity & Inclusion!

Posted on January 12th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Martin Luther King day, we honor a leader whose message of remaining resolute in the face of adversity continues to guide us in building a more equal, compassionate world. We must continue to honor his legacy by fighting injustice in all its forms. At Hired Hands Homecare, we are so very honored to have the pleasure to work side by side with such an amazing, diverse workforce. Acceptance, unity, and inclusion must become more common place in today’s society. Thank you for your role in that effort. Together, we can move mountains.

In celebration of the great Dr. King, our offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024.  Even though our … Read More »



Reminiscing in Dementia: How to Spark Memories and Instill Joy

Memory loss and dementia may seem synonymous. Yet it’s crucial to understand that long-term memory frequently remains intact long into the progression of the disease. For this reason, tapping into those distant memories is a good way to help an older adult with Alzheimer’s stay engaged in current conversations by connecting to the past. Reminiscing in dementia can help older adults:

Better connect to others through sharing stories
Instill self-confidence by bringing to mind the numerous accomplishments they have made as well as the lives they’ve impacted
Minimize some of the adverse effects of Alzheimer’s, such as restlessness, wandering, agitation, and more
Reduce negative emotions and stress by shifting the focus to happier times

Reminiscing in dementia, also known as reminiscence therapy, doesn’t have to be elaborate. Begin by cracking open a photo album and simply looking at pictures together. Then let … Read More »



How to Manage Feeling Unappreciated as a Caregiver

These three simple steps can help if you’re feeling unappreciated as a caregiver.

From the moment you started your day until its end, you’ve dedicated yourself entirely to the well-being of an older loved one. Your tasks ranged from assisting with daily activities to managing appointments and household chores, all performed with love and dedication. Yet, the acknowledgment you deserve is often absent, leaving you feeling unappreciated as a caregiver. Left unchecked, this can lead to caregiver burnout or depression.

If you’re experiencing this, know that you’re not alone. Here are some tips to help navigate and address the challenge of feeling unappreciated in your caregiving role.

1. Practice Self-Appreciation:

Acknowledge the importance of the work you’re doing and prioritize self-appreciation. Take a moment each week to reward yourself for a job well done. It … Read More »



Ease the Strain of Working and Caregiving With These Tips

Working and caregiving together isn’t easy, but these tips can help you find a healthier life balance.

The far-reaching impacts of the pandemic have touched every aspect of our lives, creating unprecedented challenges for many, especially those juggling the responsibilities of both working and caregiving for senior family members. The stress of managing both roles simultaneously can be overwhelming.

If you find yourself in this situation, consider these tips to better navigate the dual demands of caregiving and professional responsibilities.

Understand Finances

The financial aspect is a crucial component of caregiving that deserves attention. Initiate a conversation, albeit potentially uncomfortable, with the senior in your care to assess their financial situation. Address important questions such as the senior’s financial security, the need for setting aside funds for future care needs, the existence of a long-term care insurance plan, … Read More »



The Importance of Friendships and How to Find Friends as a Senior

Knowing how to find friends as a senior is the first step to enhancing socialization and quality of life.

Observing kids effortlessly form friendships at the playground is a heartwarming sight, but as adults, building connections can be a bit more complex. Friendships are vital, especially for seniors emerging from COVID-related isolation. How can you assist the older adults in your life in enhancing their socialization and making new friends?

While a pick-up game of tag might not be on the agenda, consider these alternative tips for how to find friends as a senior:

Join a Club: Help an older loved one brainstorm their interests, whether it’s reading, knitting, gardening, fishing, or sports. Look online for local groups or explore resources at the senior center. If no suitable groups exist, consider creating one!
Take a Class: Community colleges often offer … Read More »



Jane is Definitely Not Plain!

Posted on December 8th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Please join us in congratulating Jane as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!

Last week, we had the pleasure of surprising Jane with our Caregiver of the Month award while she was on shift with our client, Peter. Jane originally joined our Hired Hands family in February of 2015.  She had taken a brief break, and we were so happy when she returned this year!  Let’s just say that it didn’t take long for Jane to prove she is one of our Best, and quite deserving of this award!

Jane goes above and beyond each day with the care she provides. Jane is a part of our live-in team and has taken on some high acuity cases during her time with Hired Hands. She never misses a beat and is an excellent reporter, which is so important to our Clients’ well … Read More »



Understanding Chemo Brain and Its Effects

Chemo brain can last for months or even years after treatment has ended.

Memory lapses, confusion, and difficulty concentrating—these symptoms could easily be attributed to Alzheimer’s, but for cancer survivors, there’s another likely culprit: chemotherapy. Referred to as chemotherapy induced cognitive impairment (CICI) or “chemo brain,” these effects can linger for months or even years after treatment concludes. It’s not exclusive to chemotherapy recipients, either; radiation, surgery, hormonal treatments, and even the cancer itself can contribute to cognitive challenges, complicating effective treatment.

Exploring the Complexity:

Dr. Kevin Liou from the Bendhaim Integrative Medicine Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center emphasizes that cancer-related cognitive impairment is a multifaceted issue with various contributing factors. This complexity means that chemo brain can manifest at any point during or after cancer treatment, presenting symptoms like difficulty multitasking, reading comprehension issues, word-finding … Read More »



Do You Need a Guardian for a Senior Parent?

Learn when it’s a good idea to designate a guardian for a senior parent.

In an ideal world, our family relationships would all be helpful and positive. We would manage transitional times cooperatively, smoothly, and without any disagreement. As our parents grew older, it would be a simple process to satisfy their current needs and their changing future needs.



Take Two: Why You Should Consider Keeping Two Caregiving Journals

Keeping two separate caregiving journals for two distinct purposes is most effective.

Most of us are jotting down notes all the time: grocery lists, to-do reminders, appointments, meetings, events…the list goes on and on. If you’re a family caregiver, you’ve got even more reasons for writing, as you manage another person’s life in addition to your own. Journaling is a great way to keep everything together in one concise location. Yet we recommend taking it a step further by utilizing two caregiving journals for two distinct purposes that are equally important to your caregiving role.

The Organization Journal

This type of journal is a great tool for keeping everything linked to a senior family member’s health and wellbeing in one place. Include:

Any condition changes
Information about any troubling symptoms and what could be having an effect on them … Read More »



Who’s a Great Caregiver? Come on – it’s Juan!

Posted on November 17th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Team Hired Hands is proud to honor Juan as our latest Caregiver of the Month!  This is extra special, as we rarely award this to an individual who has been employed less than 6 months, but when we discussed this as a team, there was no question that Juan was most deserving!

Since Juan started in July, there is not a single client he has worked with that has not called to inform us how amazing he is!  Juan came to us from Tam Adult school with minimal professional caregiving experience and still in the early stages of working very hard to learn English. This can be a challenge for some but not for Juan.   Since Day One, he has jumped right in, and has been working hard and winning hearts over ever since.

As we were presenting the award to Juan, … Read More »



4 Ways to Better Advocate for Your Older Loved Ones

Being a better advocate for your older loved ones begins with these four tactics.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Serving as an advocate for your older loved ones is perhaps one of the greatest honors – and responsibilities – you’ll have as a family caregiver. It means fully comprehending their needs and wishes, and communicating them to those who can help to make sure they’re achieved.



What You Need to Know About Clutter and Dementia

Clutter and dementia may seem like an unhealthy combination, but research is showing some surprising benefits between the two.

Decluttering is a vital component to safety for individuals with dementia, particularly in ensuring walking paths are clear to prevent falls. However, there may be some surprising benefits to controlled clutter, according to a study by the University of East Anglia that explored the link between clutter and dementia.



We Think Andi is Dandy!

Posted on November 3rd, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Please join us in congratulating Andi as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!

We recently had some fun with Andi, and surprised her on shift to present her with her award.  Andi is super dependable, flexible, and always eager to help in any way she can… even if that means going across counties to help our Hired Hands Clients!  She has grown into a wonderful caregiver and is always looking for opportunities to enhance her skill set.  We are grateful for Andi’s hard work and strong communication skills.  She always gives the office the best reports!

Hey Andi… what do you have to say?

“I love working for Hired Hands because it gives me a chance to do one of the things that gives me a sense of fulfillment, from helping people.  It has also allowed me an opportunity to cross paths with … Read More »



Improving Health and Wellbeing for Seniors With Six Simple Steps

Improving health and wellbeing for seniors is easier with these tips.

Though New Year’s Day is still months away, who says resolutions should only be made at the start of the year? There is no time like the present to start a new habit or goal, especially when it comes to improving health and wellbeing for seniors.

We have six strategies you can implement today. Pick one to begin, or jump right into all of them to attain the greatest benefit:

Make an appointment for a physical. Rather than waiting for an injury or illness to call the doctor, a yearly check-up is a great way for seniors to stay on top of their health and potentially prevent issues before they occur.
Get physical. With the physician’s approval and recommendations, kick off a new exercise routine – together! Working out … Read More »



Tsengel… You’re Number One!

Posted on October 20th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Caregivers, Family Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

HIRED HANDS is proud to honor Tsengel as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!  She became part of our Hired Hands team back in October of 2017, and has been enriching our Clients’ lives ever since.  Tsengel wholeheartedly represents our standards of “Exceptional People.  Extraordinary Care.” with her positivity, commitment to our clients she serves, and doing all she can to support our team.  We can’t say enough about Tsengel, and neither can the Clients and families that she works with!

“Can I keep her forever?”

“The connection she has made is extraordinary.”

“So much trust.”

“Just like a member of our family.”

Upon receiving this award, Tsengel replied “I am so happy to work at Hired Hands in Marin!  I always feel so supported by my team here.”

Tsengel, your commitment and dedication is evident in all you do for us and the Clients … Read More »



Walking Each Other Home: How to Ease End-of-Life Care

Learn how to ease end-of-life care with these tips.

Although the holiday season may be filled with joy, it can also spark feelings of loss and nostalgia for loved ones who are no longer with us. It’s also an incredibly poignant time for anyone who is caring for a loved one nearing the end of life. The ebbs and tides of life, as we know, do not always follow our schedules, routines, or desired outcomes. It becomes crucial to know how to ease end-of-life care to bring much-needed comfort during this trying time.

If you are in the midst of a season of providing end-of-life care, here are some thoughts to keep in mind that will help you best help the person in your care – as well as yourself.

Provide a calming environment. Ram Dass, author of … Read More »



The Strategy You Have to Try: Virtual Reality in Dementia Care

Virtual reality in dementia care can be highly effective in improving engagement, communication, and joy.

Imagine for a moment how it could feel to struggle with the cognitive challenges of dementia. The people who are closest to you are now unfamiliar. The words and phrases that would roll off your tongue without a second thought are now just beyond your grasp. In fact, the world as you once knew it has turned completely topsy-turvy, leaving you yearning for a recognizable foothold.

However, one of the kindnesses imparted by Alzheimer’s is the long-term memories that oftentimes remain intact long after short-term memories have disappeared. It’s why connecting older adults with Alzheimer’s to the past is often a remarkably effective way to engage them – through music, movies, photos, and reminiscing. Now we can add a high-tech tool to the … Read More »



Why You Need to Find a Geriatrician for the Best Senior Health Care

The best senior health care is provided by a geriatrician who is an expert in the unique needs of older adults.

If your child suddenly developed an illness, who would you call? It’s a no-brainer; many parents have the number on speed dial for the pediatrician they’ve carefully chosen to manage the medical care needs of their children. With their specialized training, working with a trusted pediatrician ensures the best possible care.

Likewise, selecting the best senior health care provider who focuses on specific health concerns of older adults is equally as important. However, sadly, the health care system as a whole has not placed a great focus on the unique health care needs of seniors. Dr. Carla Perissinotto, geriatrician and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, shares her alarm over this age-related health … Read More »



Feeling Worn Down? Try These Ideas to Gain Energy as a Caregiver!

These four simple tips can make a big difference in helping you gain energy as a caregiver.

Providing care for someone else can be exhausting. Add in the shortened daylight hours of fall that we’re beginning to experience, along with the everyday stressors in life, and it’s no wonder so many of us are feeling worn down and sluggish. Try these ideas from our home care team to help you shift from feeling fatigued to fabulous and gain energy as a caregiver.

Consume more high-energy, complex carbs. If the hectic pace of life or simply ingrained habits have you grabbing a quick bowl of sugary cereal for breakfast, snacking on chips and soda, and seeking out comfort foods like macaroni and cheese or white bread, it’s only natural for your energy level to be sapped. Instead, choose whole grains, … Read More »



Tatiana Brings the Joy and Happiness!

Please join us in congratulating Tatiana as Hired Hands Homecare’s latest Caregiver of the Month!

We recently lured Tatiana into the office to present the award to her, and she was so surprised! She has been with Hired Hands for a little over a year now and is still working with some of the same ongoing clients since she started with us. It has been an absolute delight to work with Tatiana and watch her blossom into the professional Caregiver she is today! Tatiana is a beam of happiness wherever she goes, and always shows up for work with a big, infectious smile on her face. She is an amazing companion which allows her clients to maintain their dignity and independence while remaining safe and comfortable in their own homes. Every client that Tatiana has cared for has had nothing but … Read More »



Tips for Communicating About Your COPD Diagnosis

Communicating about your COPD diagnosis can be easier with these steps

It began with your inner circle, those closest to you, and it has slowly been spreading outward to good friends and acquaintances. Communicating about your COPD diagnosis and knowing how to respond to the numerous questions that arise about it can be uncomfortable – for you personally, and also for those you’re speaking with as well.

Surprisingly, you might find that the biggest challenges come in speaking with your primary caregiving partner – the person who is closest to you personally. The caregiver/care receiver relationship can raise a number of emotions. The individual on the receiving end of care may feel insecure and self-conscious as a result of needing assistance, that may lead to feelings of anger and frustration just to name a few. The care provider … Read More »



How Should You Respond to Aggressive Behaviors in Dementia?

Remember the six R’s when responding to aggressive behaviors in dementia.

Of the many challenging behaviors common in Alzheimer’s, probably the most complicated to manage is aggression. A senior who has always been mild-mannered can abruptly lash out in outbursts that are truly alarming: hitting, cursing, kicking, yelling, biting, or throwing objects. How can you, as a family caregiver, safely help restore a sense of calm when confronted with aggressive behaviors in dementia?

To start with, remind yourself that the aggression is a consequence of the disease. It is not something the older adult can control, and it is not intentional. That said, it must be defused to keep both you and the senior safe from harm.

“The 6 R’s of Managing Difficult Behavior,” developed by Dr. Peter Rabins and Nancy Mace in their book The 36-Hour Day, … Read More »



How to Care for Someone With a Progressive Disease

These tips will guide you in how to care for someone with a progressive disease.

It might have been expected, or perhaps broadsided you without warning. Mom has just received the official diagnosis for a progressive disease that is likely to make independent life difficult. While there are a number of uncertainties, one thing is for sure: she is adamant about remaining at home – meaning you’ll have to learn how to care for someone with a progressive disease.

Welcome to the world of family caregiving! If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with what can be expected next, these recommendations will help.

Discover as much as you’re able to about the disease. The older adult’s doctor can provide you with resources and educational materials to help you know what to anticipate and to gain confidence in your caregiving role.
Prioritize … Read More »



Happy Labor Day!

Posted on September 4th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Greetings,

On this special Labor Day, Hired Hands would like to honor our absolutely incredible employees.  Our profession certainly takes a village, and it is only through tireless dedication and compassion that we can take such amazing care of the seniors and families that we serve.  From the bottom of our hearts, we say THANKS, for ALL you give, everyday!

Happy Labor Day,
~ The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE Team



4 Ways to Boost Resilience in Older Adults

Discover how to improve resilience in older adults in four simple steps.

Did you ever encounter someone so inspiring that it completely changed your viewpoint on life? It might lead you to pause and wonder what it is about that person that supplies them with the drive and strength to stand out from the crowd. This type of resilience in older adults is especially encouraging, showing us that whatever comes our way, at whatever age, life is beautiful, rich, and fulfilling.

At the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University, research workers decided to examine this further with their “Exceeding Expectations” project. They followed 20 elderly New Yorkers from diversified backgrounds and cultures for a two-year time period. Here is what they learned about the resiliency of these extraordinary individuals.

They never let their obstacles define them. … Read More »



Sera B… We think you’re a Sweet-Pea!

Posted on August 25th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE team is proud to congratulate Sera B, as our most recent Caregiver of the Month! We actually recently lured her into the office to drop off an air mattress, so we could surprise her with our Caregiver of the Month award. Sera was speechless and honored to be recognized for going above and beyond. Sera is a regular on our Live-in Team, and has really raised the bar for super high quality care. Sera is highly skilled, dependable, flexible, and willing to help in any way she can, most recently even helping out with a client down in Fairfax in Marin!  Even though Sera has only been with Hired Hands since March, we have received MANY compliments commending Sera for her great work- including a handwritten letter and a nice mention in a clients’ obituary.  The Hired Hands team couldn’t … Read More »



Help Seniors Live Longer and Better Through Finding a Sense of Purpose

Learn how to help seniors live longer and better with these tips.

What inspires you to get up out of bed every morning? The answer is different for every one of us, of course, but there’s one commonality: it could extend your life. Scientific studies are showing us that having a feeling of purpose is a key way to help seniors live longer and better, something evidenced in Japan – the country with the highest life expectancy on earth.

Remarkably, there is no word for our definition of “retirement” in the Japanese language. There is, instead, a concentration on maintaining purpose and meaning beyond a person’s working years and defining themselves according to their current passions and pastimes.

So just how can we help older adults – and ourselves – stay involved in what sparks interest and makes … Read More »



Separate Truths From Myths About Hospice Care

Learn some of the most common myths about hospice care and the true facts about this incredibly beneficial form of care.

If you knew that a significantly better quality of life could be achieved for someone you care about, you would not think twice about exploring that option. Yet one of the most beneficial forms of care – hospice – is one that family members shy away from, due to many different misperceptions and myths about hospice care.

Hospice is meant to help someone with a life-limiting illness find respite from pain and other difficult symptoms, while obtaining comfort as well as spiritual and emotional support. Hospice care is provided night and day, both for the individual needing care as well as family members. And, for anyone covered by Medicare, hospice care is offered for a very low … Read More »



How to Overcome Sleeping Problems in Dementia

Try these tips to help someone experiencing sleeping problems in dementia get a better night’s rest.

If it seems like a senior with dementia has completely rewritten the rules on when and how to sleep, you’re not dreaming. For reasons that aren’t yet fully understood, sleeping problems in dementia are quite common. Changes to the senior’s circadian rhythm lead to drowsy days and sleepless nights.

The development of the disease is one contributing factor. Damage to brain cells causes increased weakness, making everyday tasks and activities exhausting. Medication side effects from commonly-prescribed dementia treatments can further exacerbate the issue.

Why Is a Good Night’s Sleep Crucial for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s?

Decreased sleep quality in dementia may bring about an increase in restlessness and delusions, and can cause serious safety concerns, such as the potential for an … Read More »



How to Be the Best Possible Caregiver

Taking steps to learn how to be the best possible caregiver will improve life in a variety of ways for the person in your care – and yourself.

If someone were providing care for you, how would you want that caregiver/care receiver relationship to look? What qualities would shift that level of care from ordinary to extraordinary? Placing yourself in the shoes of the person in your care is the first step to learning how to be the best possible caregiver – something that will have a lasting impact on both your family member and yourself!



What’s the Best Flu Vaccine for Older Adults?

Learn about the best flu vaccine for older adults and make sure the seniors you love are protected.

While COVID-19 continues to dominate our overall health concerns, it’s important to keep in mind that other illnesses can be equally as dangerous, especially for older adults. Flu season is upon us, and it’s time to make sure that the seniors you love are protected. This starts with knowing the best flu vaccine for older adults.



What It’s All About!

Posted on July 21st, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Caregivers, Home Care Staff, Homecare, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

The team at Hired Hands Homecare is thrilled to honor Charles as our latest Caregiver of the month!

Charles has been an outstanding caregiver since he started with us back in 2020 and we are so grateful that he is part of the Hired Hands Team in Napa! Every client that Charles has cared for has nothing but positive feelings towards Charles and the care he provides comes straight from the heart!

Charles enjoys helping others and whenever we share positive feedback from his clients regarding the care he provides, he always says “This is why I do this.  To be able to touch people’s lives and make a difference is what it is all about.”

Charles always creates professional and positive connections with his clients.  Recently, Charles helped a client come out of a state of depression and has really helped to … Read More »



FREE Money!

Posted on July 20th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Support Tip, Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Greetings Outstanding Hired Hands Caregivers!   As we enter the second half of the year… time is running out!

As a reminder, HIRED HANDS HOMECARE is a proud partner with the state CalGrows program. Together, we are empowering Caregivers, by helping them Learn More and Earn More! Grow your skills and knowledge, allowing you to advance in our profession, while working smarter! And the best part… the CalGrows program will PAY you $30 per hour to take FREE classes, and provide LARGE bonuses for putting your new skills to work with Hired Hands. YE$… you could earn up to $6000, but this program is set to end at the end of the year, so the clock is ticking!

It is SO easy!
1. Visit www.CalGrows.com
2. Choose one of the two Incentive Tracks. Each Track is designed a little differently. A maximum of $2500 can … Read More »



How to Tell the Difference Between Dementia and Medication Side Effects

With so many similarities, can you tell the difference between dementia and medication side effects?

Disorientation. Confusion. Memory loss. While these are certainly hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, they may also come about from taking certain medications. Before automatically assuming an inevitable diagnosis of dementia, review the following list of prescribed medicines that can cause similar adverse effects in order to help tell the difference between dementia and medication side effects.



Caregiver Anger: I Never Expected to Feel So Angry About Caring for Aging Parents!

If you’re feeling angry about dealing with aging parents, know that you’re not alone, and there are steps you can take to help. Contact us for help.

If you were to detail the top 5 emotions you encounter in meeting the caregiving needs of your aging parents, what would they be? Maybe you would first think of emotions like compassion, love, and sometimes, even frustration or stress. Would caregiver anger make the list? In many cases, though family caretakers wouldn’t wish to admit it, it’s quite common to feel angry about caring for aging parents. Read on to learn more about caregiver anger, and reach out to Hired Hands Homecare for the support you need to step away to care for yourself!



The Latest Surprising Facts About Alzheimer’s

The latest surprising facts about Alzheimer’s are changing the way scientists are thinking about what causes the disease.

Surprising facts about Alzheimer’s are surfacing nearly every day, it seems. Take, for instance, amyloid plaques: they’re at the heart of scientists’ hypotheses about what causes Alzheimer’s, and the focus of research is on removing them as an effective treatment option and hopefully, one day, a cure.

Yet a research study led by the University of Cincinnati and in cooperation with the Karolinska Institute in Sweden is turning this thinking upside down. Alberto Espay, the study’s senior author and professor of neurology at UC, shares, “It’s not the plaques that are causing impaired cognition. Amyloid plaques are a consequence, not a cause.”

If Not Amyloid Plaques, Then What?

Espay and the UC team believe the focus should instead shift to … Read More »



Emeli and Ana are the Dream Team!

Posted on June 23rd, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Please join us in congratulating Emeli as our Caregiver of the Month for May and Ana as our Caregiver of the month for June!

Emeli and Ana are currently our Live-In team for our client Darlene.  We recently got a chance to surprise them together as they were doing a shift change, and Darlene was so pleased to share in the celebration of her “Dream Team” as she refers to them.  Believe us… Emeli and Ana are truly just that- a DREAM TEAM!

Emeli and Ana have both REALLY raised the bar with the care they provide 24/7.  When we started providing assistance to Darlene, she had rather severe ambulation challenges, and was unsure if she would be able to walk again. As of a month ago, Darlene has made amazing progress and is now able to walk around the house with … Read More »



The Benefits of a Daily Routine for Seniors

ry implementing a daily routine for seniors who are struggling with physical or cognitive functioning problems.

Life can be full of uncertainties. For seniors who are feeling less in control of particular areas of life, such as losing cognitive or physical functioning, concentrating on what can be controlled is empowering. An excellent way to help is by establishing a daily routine for seniors, personalized to a senior’s particular interests and needs.

Keep in mind that the older adult’s routine is certainly not meant to be a rigid regimen to be adhered to, but simply the basis for predictability and structure. With the older adult’s input and direction, settle on a preferred framework for every day. A sample daily routine may look like this:

Wake up at 7:30 a.m.
Handle personal hygiene needs and get dressed
Enjoy breakfast on the porch while … Read More »



Let Us Celebrate…!

Posted on June 16th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Caregivers, Family Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

What an important time it is… Let’s Celebrate!

June is a special time of year for so many different reasons!  First, the whole month celebrates Pride.  Around the globe, we join the LGBTQ community to celebrate their impact, progress, and acceptance.

Secondly, let’s raise our glasses to the Grads and Dads!  Whether its Pre-school or Grad School… we toast these important educational milestones, and all the hard work it took to get there!  Great job GRADS… and best of luck in your next chapter!  And to all the DADS… our heartfelt THANKS for your patience, support, and guidance over all these years!  Happy Father’s Day – we wouldn’t be here without you!

And lastly, on Monday, June 19, we celebrate Juneteenth, to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the US.  Let us all applaud African American freedom and achievement, and encourage self-development, respect … Read More »



The Harm in Talking to the Elderly Like Babies

We all need to understand how disrespectful talking to the elderly like babies is, and to avoid this common practice.

Watch what happens at the next family members get together when a new mother places her baby in someone’s arms. The person is likely to shift instantly into baby mode: a sing-song, high-pitched voice, exaggerated facial expressions, and overly-simplified speech. Of course, this is quite normal and actually beneficial to an infant’s growing brain. Sadly though, it is also quite common to hear people talking to the elderly like babies too. This can be so harmful to the elderly, that there’s a word to describe it: elderspeak.

A recent research study by Susan Kemper, a professor specializing in gerontology at the University of Kansas, matched senior listeners with younger speakers. Even with  the seniors’ instructions just to listen … Read More »



Concerned It Might Be Dementia? Here’s How to Bring It Up to the Doctor.

You may be afraid to talk with the doctor if you’re concerned it might be dementia, but these tips can help.

Distress. Embarrassment. Fear. If you’re concerned it might be dementia, the feelings surrounding a potential diagnosis can force you to keep your suspicions to yourself. An  AARP survey peeled away some of the layers of emotion to find the reason – namely, worry over losing independence and becoming a burden to others.

While there is some truth to these worries, there are also some misconceptions fueling them. As an example, roughly 1/2 of the participants, who were adults age 40 and over, believe they’re likely to get dementia as they grow older. The truth is that just over 10% of older adults over age 65 are identified as having Alzheimer’s disease.

Because of this, it’s critical for … Read More »



Katarina is So Sweet!

Please join us in congratulating Katarina as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!

We have had the distinct pleasure of working with Katarina for over three and a half years now.  In that time, not only has she been amazing with a number of our Clients, but she has also enjoyed working here so much that she has referred multiple family to join our team!  Nice!  We consider it a HUGE compliment when our employees are so happy, that they refer us to their own friends and family!

Recently, Katarina was has been working with Pat, one of our long-time clients, and has been doing an outstanding job!  Typically, Pat has chosen to keep to her room, and not leave for any reason.   Within a week, Katarina was able to change that with her sweet and soft-spoken nature. Katarina is now … Read More »



Unique Dementia Signs to Watch For in Latinos

Learn the distinct dementia signs to watch for in Latinos.

A new study sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association is uncovering some striking results in how dementia may show differently in Hispanic people. While further research is necessary to fully understand whether these differences are the consequence of social/cultural nuances or the dementia itself, it is beneficial information for Latino families to learn the specific dementia signs to watch for in Latinos.

What Are the Unique Dementia Signs for Hispanic Seniors?

Daily Life Activities

One feature of this research was the dramatically faster decline in the capability to do everyday activities, including walking, getting dressed, and taking a shower, when compared with other ethnicities. Andrea Ochoa Lopez, the University of Houston doctoral student who performed the research, explained that the cultural dedication to caring for older relations can be … Read More »



Join Us at the Expo!

Join us today from 10 to 3 at the 2023 Senior Disability Tech Expo!

Proudly sponsored by Sonoma County Senior Advocacy Services and HICAP.

Sonoma County Fairgrounds
Grace Pavilion
1350 Bennet Valley RD
Santa Rosa, CA

More info:  https://senioradvocacyservices.org/gva_event/2023-northern-california-tech-expo-outreach-event/



So Great to See Everyone!

Posted on May 11th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Homecare, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

WOW!  Thanks to everyone who took important time out of their day to join us for our super fun Caregiver Appreciate Brunch yesterday in Santa Rosa!
We had such a great turnout, and it was wonderful to get to spend time with our amazing Caregivers both old and new!  Extra Kudos to those who brought our Clients to join in the festivities!

Can’t wait for the next one – hope you can join us then!

 



What NOT to Say to Aging Parents When It’s Time to Give Up Driving

Learn what not to say to aging parents regarding driving and giving up the car keys.

As our parents grow older, it’s not always easy to know what our role as adult children should be. We want what’s best for them, but if we’re not careful, we can overstep our boundaries and find ourselves trying to parent our parents. It’s important to choose our words carefully, and to take it a step further, to know what NOT to say to aging parents.

This is especially true when safety is a concern. There’s a fine line to walk between ensuring senior parents are safe, and promoting the independent lifestyle they need and deserve. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago when our parents were meeting not just all of their own needs, but ours as well. The transition … Read More »



In Honor and Loving Memory…

Posted on May 9th, by Mark Winter in Home Care Staff, Management Team. No Comments

Greetings,

Today, we take a brief moment to stop, breathe deep, and celebrate our Erin.  It was a year ago today that she tragically passed away.

Over the past year, our family has received so many notes of sympathy and heartfelt condolences.  As you might imagine, it is hard to describe in words the hole she left in our lives.  They say that time will help heal, and so that is what we hope for.  It is still a bit surreal.

A very common thread in all of the kind words about Erin, was that not only did she always light up the room, but that she made everyone feel like they were special and important.  That is absolutely one of the biggest things that we are proud of, and will remember most about her.  … Read More »



Siteri is a True Gift!

Posted on May 5th, by Mark Winter in OUR Caregivers. No Comments

All of us at Hired Hands are ecstatic to acknowledge Siteri as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!  Siteri is pictured here with our wonderful client Suki. Siteri has an amazing calm and caring demeanor when interacting Suki, which really makes the day go nicely!

We’re quite happy that Siteri was very pleased to receive this award and recognition. When she first started with us, she said she was nervous to make a change to our Team because she didn’t know anyone that worked here.  That didn’t last long, and Siteri now states that joining HH was the best decision she has ever made!

Hey Siteri, what do you have to say for yourself ?..

“Hired Hands is like family to me and the clients are an extension of that family. I have worked for other agencies and companies but never one as … Read More »



Not All Alzheimer’s Diagnoses Are the Same!

Alzheimer’s is increasingly common in older adults, but not all Alzheimer’s diagnoses are the same!

For many years, experts have been examining the advancement of Alzheimer’s through one basic model. Yet not all Alzheimer’s diagnoses are the same, presenting with a variety of symptoms and progression rates.

Now, however, a large, new collaborative study between the US, Canada, Sweden, and Korea is revealing some fascinating information to help us more accurately understand and treat Alzheimer’s disease. Rather than one universal, dominant diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, researchers have discovered that there are four unique variants that occur in as many as 18 – 30% of cases. This change in thinking is helping researchers more fully comprehend the variations in the disease from one person to another.

The findings are also significant in that they are allowing specialists to begin to … Read More »



Julianne’s the Best of the Best!

Posted on April 19th, by Mark Winter in OUR Caregivers. No Comments

The team at Hired Hands Homecare is proud to recognize Julianne as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!  We have actually only had the opportunity to work with Julianne for about five months so far, but in that short time, she has proven to be quite a star!  In fact, one of her most compelling talents is to WOW some of our most particular clients!  Her amazing smile and personality seem to be able to win just about anyone over… and we greatly enjoy working with her.  In fact, Ms. H, one of our MOST particular clients recently commented that Julianne is the Best of the Best, and thanked us profusely for finding her a perfect match.

Congratulations Julianne – it is a pleasure to work with you, and thanks for all you do!
~The Hired Hands Homecare Team



Are the Older Adults You Love Missing Out on These Life-Changing Adaptive Tools?

As many as half of all seniors living at home are not utilizing life-changing adaptive tools.

Consider the many tools you make use of each day – your phone, toothbrush, hairbrush – simple items, but ones you can’t imagine living without. For many seniors, there are basic but life-changing adaptive tools available that could mean the difference between living at home and facing a move to assisted living. Yet almost 50% of seniors living at home are not utilizing these helpful tools – even though costs are minimal.

A recent National Health and Aging Trends Study assessed the ability of older adults to execute tasks such as rising unassisted from a sitting position and walking, and discovered that a large number of the participants could benefit from assistive devices.

Not only that, but the likelihood of older adult … Read More »



The Post-Pandemic Health Care Appointments You Should Schedule Today

Learn about three post-pandemic health care appointments you may have been putting off, and why you should get them scheduled.

At the start of the pandemic, life as we knew it came to a screeching halt – including, in many cases, our health care needs. Dr. Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute, shares, “There was a time, early in the pandemic, when we didn’t know much about this virus. So at that time, I think hospitals and clinics closing – that made sense.” But he goes on to explain that we know more now – and now is the time to get back on track with post-pandemic health care appointments and procedures.

We have evidence now that the health risks of avoiding exams and tests outweighs the risk of contracting COVID-19. Experts have outlined three key … Read More »



What Can I Expect as Dementia Progresses?

If you’re asking yourself, “What can I expect as dementia progresses?” we have the information you need.

One of the first questions in most people’s minds when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia is, “What can I expect as dementia progresses in the weeks, months, and years to come?” We understand that the hallmark of dementia is the increasing decline in cognitive abilities as well as the skills needed to manage daily life. However, each person progresses through these changes at a different pace. There are a variety of factors that will influence the rate of decline, such as:

Prescription drugs the individual is taking
Overall health and physical makeup
The circle of support in place
The individual’s general emotional wellbeing and resilience

There are also other determinants to take into account based on the specific type of dementia diagnosed. As … Read More »



LELA… Three Times a Charm!

Posted on March 31st, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Please join us in congratulating Kelera AKA ” Lela” for being selected as Hired Hands’ latest Caregiver of the Month!  We have had the absolute pleasure of working with Lela for over three years now, and every day, she simply raises the bar for quality care.  In those three short years, this is actually her THIRD time being honored!

Lela is a key member of our special Hospice Team, and she considers it a personal calling to provide our clients and families with the most caring and compassionate care. Lela is an amazing teammate and everything she does comes from a place of love.

Here Lela is pictured with Debbie, one of our favorite clients.  When she first was discharged from the hospital, Debbie needed a great deal of care.  Under Lela’s watchful eye, Debbie’s situation has improved greatly and she is … Read More »



The Increase in Senior Falls From Medications and How You Can Prevent Them

Studies are showing an increase in senior falls from medications, making it imperative to know what to do to reduce fall risk.

We’ve known for a while that there are certain medications that raise the likelihood of falls for seniors. Twenty years ago, a little over half of seniors were impacted by that risk; yet today, that number has increased dramatically – to a staggering 94% of older adults who are now in danger of senior falls from medications. Additionally, deaths from such falls are happening at more than twice the earlier rate.

Researchers who observed this growing concern also discovered that between 1999 and 2017, senior prescriptions for medications that escalate fall risk were filled more than 7.8 billion times. This consists of a spike from 12 million antidepressants in 1999 to greater than 52 million in … Read More »



Lilia… Take a Bow!

Posted on March 22nd, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

The team at Hired Hands Homecare is proud to acknowledge Lilia C as our Caregiver of the Month!  We recently surprised her as we visited her on shift with our clients, Amelie and Gratien. They were so pleased to share in the celebration and noted that Lilia has really raised the bar for their care!

Lilia has worked for Hired Hands since 2017 (SIX years!) and is a highly skilled Caregiver, being a proud member of both our specialized Dementia and Hospice Teams.  She is so dependable and flexible and willing to help in any way, and she is often requested by name.  This is actually the second time Lilia has been honored with this award and she truly deserves it!

Lilia – take a bow as the Hired Hands Homecare Team proudly salutes you!  Thanks for ALL you do!

~HHH



Learn How to Ease Caregiver Stress by Trading Worries for Positive Action

“Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want.” – Abraham Hicks

Discover how to ease caregiver stress in three simple steps.

Worrying can quickly become a way of life for family caregivers. Between age-related concerns, chronic health conditions, and trying to balance a plethora of other commitments, it’s no wonder that anxious thoughts tend to overtake positive, peace-inducing ones, making it difficult to know just how to ease caregiver stress.

How Can You Alleviate Caregiver Worries?

It is possible, however, to take the energy you’re exerting for worry and changing it into productivity. These three simple steps are a great place to start:

To start, write it all down. Worrisome, anxious thoughts have a tendency to swirl haphazardly through our minds. If you write down your thoughts, it corrals them into manageable chunks, while giving … Read More »



Rightfully Honoring All Women!

Posted on March 8th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Family Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Today, we joyfully join the world as we honor and celebrate International Women’s Day!

From our humble beginnings Twenty-Nine years ago, Hired Hands Homecare has been owned, operated & staffed by some of the most compassionate and dedicated women imaginable.  During this time, we have had the amazing opportunity to work alongside literally thousands of heroes who go above and beyond the call of duty, in service to seniors in our communities.

We could not be more proud to work with such an amazing and diverse group of women, and proudly celebrate them on this special day!

Sincerely,
The Hired Hands Homecare family



How Can I Overcome Caregiver Dread?

If you’re asking yourself, “How can I overcome caregiver dread?” we have the help you need.

What are your first thoughts as soon as you wake up each morning? Are you looking forward to what your day will bring, or would you rather crawl back underneath the covers and stay there? If you find yourself wondering, “How can I overcome caregiver dread?” you are not alone.

Distinctly different from depression, anxiety, and even burnout, caregiver dread is a heavy, exhausted sense of duty. It stems from feelings of overcommitment and the need to get away from responsibilities. While it is possible to push through and carry out needed tasks regardless of these feelings, there are methods to conquer them instead – and restore the joy that comes from making life better for someone you love. To begin with, … Read More »



The Surprising Sense of Awareness in End-Stage Dementia and What It Means

Someone you love may experience a heightened sense of awareness in end-stage dementia, which can be both surprising and overwhelming.

Even as confusion and memory loss escalate during the advancement of dementia, there’s a fascinating and pleasant reprieve that often occurs. Formerly termed “terminal lucidity,” it is more commonly known as “paradoxical lucidity.” It signifies an unexpected, short-term regaining of clarity and awareness in end-stage dementia to a nearly pre-dementia frame of mind. During this time period, the effects can consist of nonverbal but emotional connections to a more drastic improvement in cognitive functioning.

For loved ones, it’s a special gift to be cherished. It offers an opportunity for meaningful conversations and reminiscing, and also the mutual sharing of feelings and thoughts, if only for a brief period of time. For medical researchers, it means much more.

Dr. … Read More »



Discover the Many Benefits of Gardening for Older Adults

Help someone you love discover the incredible benefits of gardening for older adults.

The cool dampness of rich soil. The warmth of the sun’s rays. The joyful trills of songbirds. Gardening has the capacity to engage so many of our senses, and offers a great deal of positive benefits to seniors. Regardless of ability level or any space restrictions, there is always a way to help those you love reap the many benefits of gardening for older adults through the joys of planting outdoors or indoors, watching new growth appear, and harvesting.



Try These Fun Activities for Someone With Alzheimer’s and Vision Problems

If you’re struggling to come up with engaging activities for someone with Alzheimer’s and vision problems, give these ideas a try!

Finding meaningful, engaging ways to spend each day for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s can be a challenge. Add in vision impairment, and it might seem overwhelming. Even so, it’s vitally important to ensure every day holds opportunities for purpose and joy – minimizing the level of agitation, frustration, and other difficult emotions and behaviors in dementia. If you’re coming up blank when trying to come up with these kinds of activities for someone with Alzheimer’s and vision problems, we have some suggestions you can try.



The Sweetest Human!

Posted on February 17th, by Mark Winter in Benefits of Home Care, Caregivers, North Bay Home Care, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Hired Hands Homecare is proud to announce Gloria as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!

Gloria has been with us only about six months, but in that time, she has done nothing but impress!  Every client and family that she has worked with has given her great compliments!  On top of that, Gloria has been super helpful to pick up extra shifts when our clients needed extra assistance, often working 7 days in a row… simply to make sure everyone is well cared for!  All in all, Gloria is honestly one of the sweetest humans we have ever met!

Gloria, THANK YOU for being you!  It is a pleasure and honor to have you on the Hired Hands Homecare Team!

~HHH



Learn About the Scam Targeting Lonely Seniors and How You Can Help

If you haven’t heard yet about the new scam targeting lonely seniors, be sure to read on to learn how to protect those you love.

Sadly, loneliness in older adults is quite common, for a variety of reasons. Mobility issues, chronic health conditions, and the loss of family and friends are all contributing factors. Yet humans are social creatures, and this lack of socialization has many seniors turning to online sources for connection – such as dating websites. While this may seem harmless or even beneficial, there can be hidden dangers for seniors specifically, known as sweetheart scammers. Here’s what to watch for to help keep those you love safe from the scam targeting lonely seniors:



COVID-19 Delirium and Dementia: Is There a Link?

Find out what experts are saying about a possible link between COVID-19 delirium and dementia.

Just one of the numerous negative effects from COVID-19 is temporary delirium. As a matter of fact, two separate studies revealed that 55% – 65% of individuals who were severely ill from the virus experienced the acute confusion that is one of the trademarks of delirium – as compared to approximately 33% of those critically ill with other health conditions. And while it may be short-lived, the long-term effects are still being determined, including a possible link between COVID-19 delirium and dementia.



What Can You Do When Family Members Refuse to Help With Senior Care?

If your family members refuse to help with senior care for a loved one, there are effective ways to get the help you need!

If you find yourself handling all of the care responsibilities for an aging parent while your siblings distance themselves from offering help, you’re not alone. In fact, as many as one out of every two family caregivers are taking care of an aging loved one on their own, according to a recent report from AARP. What can you do when family members refuse to help with senior care?

There are several reasons why siblings may shy away from supporting you in the care you’re providing. We’ve compiled the most common, along with what you can do to remedy the situation.

They don’t realize there’s a need for help. It may very well be that from … Read More »



Are You Being Followed? How to Overcome Dementia Shadowing

If you’re the primary caregiver for someone with dementia, you may be quite familiar with the challenges experienced in trying to find a quiet moment or two alone – to use the restroom, take a quick shower, or even simply walk into another room. Seniors with dementia can experience heightened anxiety and fear when a loved one is out of sight – a condition known as shadowing. And the behaviors that result can be extremely difficult to manage: anger, crying, or repeatedly asking where you are, to name a few. If you’re struggling with how to overcome dementia shadowing, our dementia care experts have a few tips for you to try.

What Causes Dementia Shadowing?

It helps to understand the reasoning behind shadowing. You are the person’s safe place, the one who helps them to make sense out of … Read More »



“Free at Last…”

Posted on January 13th, by Mark Winter in Home Care Staff, North Bay Home Care, Sonoma Elder Care. No Comments

“I have a dream that one day, this nation will rise up and live our the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self -evident, that all men are created equal.”  ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Martin Luther King day, we honor a leader whose message of remaining resolute in the face of adversity continues to guide us in building a more equal, compassionate world. We must continue to honor his legacy by fighting injustice in all its forms. We are so very honored to have the pleasure to work hand in hand with a very diverse workforce. Acceptance, unity, and inclusion must become more common place in today’s society. Thank you for your role in that effort. Together, we can move mountains.

In celebration of the great Dr. King, our offices will be closed on … Read More »



Humidifiers for COPD: Helpful or Harmful?

Learn from our home care experts when and if humidifiers for COPD should be used.

For seniors and anyone else with a lung condition like COPD, maintaining the best possible air quality within the home is vitally important. But are humidifiers for COPD the right solution? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. If the air is too dry, for example, it can cause or exacerbate health problems including:

Chapped, dry, or itchy skin
Nose bleeds
Dry eyes
Sore throat
Aggravated allergy, asthma, and cold/flu symptoms like congestion
And more

However, air that is too humid can cause mold and mildew to grow, which can lead to a host of health problems along with potential damage to the home.

Humidifiers, when used properly, can help maintain the ideal level of moisture in the air (between 30 and 50%), and in particular for those … Read More »



Congratulations Amelie! Here’s Looking Forward to Each Day!

Posted on January 6th, by Mark Winter in Homecare, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Hired Hands Homecare is proud to honor Amelie as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!

Amelie is a real delight and such a kind soul.  She was brand new to the Senior Care profession, and has now been with Hired Hands for about nine months. Her older sister Azure referred her to us, knowing that she had the compassion and reliability to make an excellent Caregiver.  In her relatively short time with us, she has learned quite a lot, and continues to grow with us. While this may be her first “real job”, you would not know it, as she is regularly punctual, reliable, responsible and a great communicator.

Our clients love Amelie because she is a great companion and allows our clients to maintain their dignity and independence while residing in their private homes.  Safe and happy at home is … Read More »



Helping Your Parents Downsize? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Helping your parents downsize is a much smoother process with these tips!

Take a moment and look around your home and surroundings – the pictures on the walls, collectibles, furniture, books, and memorabilia that all are part of the story of your life and who you are as an individual. Now think about having to part with most of those items in order to move into a smaller home or a family member’s home. You can imagine how overwhelming it would feel. It’s important to keep this in mind if you’re helping your parents downsize.

How Can I Help Make Downsizing Easier?

If your parents are faced with the need to downsize, there are a number of steps you can take to simplify and ease the process. These guidelines from a professional organizer are a great place to … Read More »



Understanding Parkinson’s Fatigue: It Feels Like “Walking Through Molasses”

Parkinson’s fatigue affects a person cognitively, physically, and emotionally.

Parkinson’s fatigue affects as many as one in two people with the disease, but until recently, we haven’t fully understood just how debilitating this condition actually is. A study is providing us with the insight we need to comprehend the impact of Parkinson’s fatigue, and what we can do to help someone experiencing it. Led by Duke University’s Sneha Mantri, MD, the goal of the research was to gain firsthand patient insights to know how to better address this challenging condition.

Three distinct areas of fatigue were investigated in the study: physical, emotional, and cognitive. Participants were asked to describe their level of fatigue, and the terms they used were quite revealing, including feeling unmotivated, overwhelmed, isolated, lacking energy, and as if they were “walking through molasses.”

Parkinson’s fatigue … Read More »



Happy Holidays from Hired Hands Homecare


How to Help Seniors After a Fall to Regain Confidence

Discover how to help seniors after a fall to regain the confidence they need to stay active while preventing a second fall.

While comedians and circus clowns may stir audiences to laughter over such stunts as slipping on a banana peel, there’s nothing funny about falling when it comes to seniors, who are at an elevated risk for serious injuries which could lead to a long rehabilitation process. Not just that, but there’s a lesser known complication that typically comes from a senior’s fall: a fear of falling again which is extreme enough to impact quality of life and health. Knowing how to help seniors after a fall to feel safe and secure again is crucial.

As the saying goes, “Once bitten, twice shy.” It is natural – and sensible – for a loved one who has fallen … Read More »



Leading the Senior Care Experience!

Posted on December 20th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Caregivers, Holiday Care, Home Care Staff, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Hired Hands Homecare’s Team Sonoma, proudly sporting their new Leader in Experience t-shirts!

We’re extremely proud to wear this badge of honor from Home Care Pulse, the leading national firm in Quality Assurance and Experience Management for the home care industry. The Leader in Experience Award is the highest recognition awarded by Home Care Pulse and is given to select home care businesses that consistently rank among the very highest quality metrics.

This accomplishment demonstrates our long-term dedication to excellent care and quality improvement. Over a 12-month period, Hired Hands received the highest client and caregiver satisfaction ratings in areas such as caregiver training, compassion of caregivers, communication, scheduling, client/caregiver compatibility, and more.

“Quality Assurance has been a daily focus since our family started our company TWENTY-EIGHT years ago,” says Mark Winter, President. “Our entire management team strives to deliver the highest levels … Read More »



Sarah is a Shining Star!

Today, we are honored to recognize Sarah F as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!   Sarah joined the Hired Hands Homecare team just a few months ago, but has been amazing since day one.  She is always patient and professional, willing to jump in at the last minute to help when needed, and as her Clients have expressed… “extra caring”!  Recently, a family noted “We LOVE Sarah!  She is exactly the kind of Caregiver we have always wanted.  She is really engaging with Mom, is very safety conscious, super friendly, and keeps Mom mentally active and happy!”

Sarah is one of those Caregivers you wish you could clone and share with everyone.  When communicating with her, you can immediately sense her smile and positive attitude.  The Hired Hands Napa group is so appreciative to have her on our Team, and … Read More »



Its that Most Magical Time of Year…!

Happy Holidays
from the Hired Hands Homecare family!



The Alarming Link Between Isolation and Alzheimer’s Progression

An attractive mature African American woman asks a question by raising her hand in class.

In the past several years since COVID-19 became a household term, seniors, who are most vulnerable to severe complications from the virus, became more isolated in order to stay safe. And while we already were aware that there are health risks connected with loneliness and isolation, we’re now beginning to realize another serious concern: how isolation and Alzheimer’s progression are linked.

Since people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia may struggle to understand and follow safety precautions, like wearing face coverings, reporting symptoms, and social distancing, isolation for these individuals became especially critical. But while maintaining these seniors’ physical health was the top priority, it’s also important to pay attention to their emotional wellbeing, which can also be negatively impacted without sufficient … Read More »


Dementia Delusions: How to Respond to False Accusations

Dementia delusions can lead to false accusations, and it’s important to know how to respond.

Dementia delusions can come seemingly out of thin air: you place your loved one’s favorite chicken salad sandwich in front of her – light on the mayo, no onions – something she typically enjoys. But today, she pushes the plate away and will not take a bite, insisting that you’ve poisoned the food.

Or, you’ve provided your loved one with a meaningful activity that links her to a significant time in her past career, sorting paperwork. Out of the blue, she accuses you of tampering with the documents in order to steal money from her banking account.

How can you respond to dementia delusions or hallucinations without further agitating the person? Try these strategies:

Keep a controlled, soothing, understanding tone. It might be instinctive … Read More »



How to Effectively Handle the Extreme Emotions of Alzheimer’s

Screaming, crying, and other extreme emotions of Alzheimer’s can unnerve even the most seasoned family caregiver.

Of the many and varied challenging behaviors someone with Alzheimer’s may experience and display, perhaps the most heartbreaking is uncontrollable screaming and/or crying. Seeing a person you love in an inconsolable state of mind, and being completely unsure how to help or to understand what’s causing these extreme emotions of Alzheimer’s, is both painful and frustrating. How can you help a loved one with dementia feel calmer?

To begin with, realize that crying and yelling in dementia can occur as the result of:

Pain
Fear
Boredom
Sadness
Agitation
Frustration
Delusions, delirium, or hallucinations
Sundowning
An uncomfortable environment
Or a number of other factors

For the short-term, try these strategies to help:

Stay calm yourself, speaking to the senior in a soft, soothing tone of voice.
Try to uncover what’s causing the outburst. Maintaining a … Read More »



Happy Thanksgiving from Hired Hands Homecare

Posted on November 23rd, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, Holiday Care, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Greetings!

As we step into the Thanksgiving holiday, we would like to send a sincere and heart felt THANK YOU to the amazing employees of Hired Hands Homecare.  It is a true honor to work alongside so many incredible individuals.  Together, our compassion and dedication make such an important difference in the lives of so many people, on a daily basis.
We sincerely wish you and yours a healthy and wonderful Thanksgiving!

With great Thanks!
The Hired Hands Homecare Team



Help for When You Can’t Live Up to Your Aging Parents’ Expectations

When you can’t live up to your aging parents’ expectations, these tips can help.

In an ideal world, we could manage to perfectly compartmentalize our caregiving duties, staying with a routine that met your aging parents’ expectations, while allowing enough time to take care of our assortment of other responsibilities. But needless to say, life doesn’t follow our desired script, and conflicting needs are frequent when caring for an aging parent. Many older adults resist the need for help, while others may come to depend too heavily on an adult child, leading to unfulfilled expectations and ultimately disappointment for both parties.

Hired Hands Homecare’s aging care professionals provide the following tips to help clarify expectations and communicate successfully:

Focus on empathy. As opposed to pulling away from an older loved one whose expectations seem unrealistic, stop and empathize. Think … Read More »



Make Sure You Have These Legal Documents for Aging Parents in Place

Finalizing all of the necessary legal documents for aging parents can be a challenge, but these tips can help.

If there’s one thing we learned from the COVID pandemic, it’s to be ready for anything. Although it’s human nature to want to procrastinate, particularly as it relates to the unpleasant topic of future planning and putting together all of the necessary legal documents for aging parents, now is the best time to take stock of your loved ones’ final wishes and make sure all of the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, before the need arises.

Surprisingly, a number of older adults actually do begin the process of completing a will, trust, durable power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, etc., but for a variety of reasons, they never finalize these important documents. Attorney Carolyn Rosenblatt, author of … Read More »



Happy Veterans Day

Posted on November 11th, by Mark Winter in In-Home Care, Senior Independence, Sonoma Elder Care. No Comments

Our heartfelt THANKS go out to all the men and women
who have given so much to protect our safety and freedom.
We gratefully salute you for your service and sacrifice.

We are truly honored to provide service and support
to so many Veterans in our community.

With great respect,
The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE family



5 Tips for Rummaging Behaviors in Dementia

Try these tips for rummaging behaviors in dementia.

Digging through boxes, cabinets, and closets, taking out assorted items from drawers, and searching repetitively through a number of items may be frustrating for the people providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, but in fact these actions are fulfilling a purpose. Rummaging behaviors in dementia can provide a degree of reassurance, along with the comfort of identifying familiar items and finding purpose and meaning.

The important thing then is not to discourage rummaging, which might lead to agitation, but to more effectively manage this behavior if it becomes disruptive.

How Can You Help Someone with Dementia with Rummaging Behaviors?

These guidelines will help:

Keep rummaging to a controlled area. Assemble bins of items the senior seems especially interested in, such as keys, paperwork, a billfold, tools, gardening equipment, sewing … Read More »



Juliet is Such a Pleasure to Work With!

Posted on October 27th, by Mark Winter in Homecare, OUR Caregivers, Sonoma Elder Care. No Comments

Hired Hands Homecare is excited to celebrate and honor Juliet K. as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!

Juliet is a student working towards her Nursing degree while also working full time for Hired Hands. Hard worker is an understatement!  She is a beam of happiness wherever she goes. Juliet shows up for work with a smile on her face and accepts any challenge given to her with grace.  We were excited that her friend Monica referred her to work with us.  She is going on her 6th month with us and although she is a newer addition to our team…  if feels like she has worked with us for years.

Hey Juliet… what do you have to say?  “Hired hands is more than just a job to me because they are family oriented in that both clients’ and caregivers’ needs … Read More »



WHAT AN HONOR!

Posted on October 14th, by Mark Winter in Benefits of Home Care, Home Care Staff, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

HIRED HANDS HOMECARE Receives
2022 Best of Home Care® – Leader in Experience Award

Hired Hands Homecare is extremely proud to announce winning the distinguished 2022 Best of Home Care –Leader in Experience Award from Home Care Pulse, the leading national firm in Quality Assurance and Experience Management for the home care industry. The Leader in Experience Award is the highest recognition awarded by Home Care Pulse and is given to select home care businesses that consistently rank among the very highest in 10 or more quality metrics.

This accomplishment demonstrates our long-term dedication to excellent care and quality improvement. Over a 12-month period, Hired Hands received the highest client and caregiver satisfaction ratings in areas such as caregiver training, compassion of caregivers, communication, scheduling, client/caregiver compatibility, and more. Using feedback from clients and employees, as well as quality benchmarks from Home Care … Read More »



How to Tell if It’s Delirium or Dementia

Learn whether a senior may be experiencing delirium or dementia, and how you can help.

Although dementia takes center stage in diagnoses for older individuals who are struggling with confusion, memory lapses, and disorientation, there’s another condition that is also common, producing similar symptoms, and most importantly, can be cured: delirium. In fact, as many as ¾ of older adults experience delirium after a surgical procedure or infection, and proper diagnosis is crucial to ensure proper treatment. So how can you tell if it’s delirium or dementia impacting someone you love?

One of the biggest differentiators in delirium is that it arises quite suddenly. It also has a tendency to cause symptoms that come and go throughout the day, as opposed to dementia’s slow, steady, ongoing, and rather predictable progression. For example, a person with delirium may struggle … Read More »



Showing the Love to Loata!

Posted on September 23rd, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, OUR Caregivers, Sonoma Elder Care. No Comments

Hired Hands Homecare is proud to celebrate Loata as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!  We have had the honor of working with her since January of 2020, and this is actually the SECOND time she has received this important award.

Loata is extremely committed to senior care, and is an important member of our Live-in Team, providing compassionate care on a 24 hour basis.  Our client often note that she is soft spoken, extremely gentle and caring.   Our Management Team finds her consistently reliable, dependable, and always willing to assist in a pinch.   Even on some of our most challenging cases… Loata is steady, confident, and solid as a rock!

Her most recent client Helen adores her so much that she often writes us hand written Thank You notes showing her appreciation that Loata has come into her life.   She … Read More »



Dementia and Incontinence: 7 Tips to Help

If dementia and incontinence are causing challenges for someone you love, these tips can help.

Dementia care necessitates both compassion and creativity to deal with a number of complex behaviors and effects, and that’s particularly true when someone is experiencing both dementia and incontinence. Unfortunately, incontinence occurs frequently in Alzheimer’s as well as other forms of dementia. These tried-and-true approaches from our experts in home care in Marin and the surrounding areas can help decrease the impact of incontinence and prevent an escalation of emotions in someone you love with Alzheimer’s.

Choose your words very carefully. Rather than making reference to incontinence products as “diapers,” for example, call them “briefs” or “pull-up underwear.” Nonetheless, take the cue from your senior loved one; if she or he chooses to utilize the word “diapers” and seems more comfortable with that, then … Read More »



Add This to Drinking Water to Potentially Fight and Prevent Hypertension

This one simple addition to your next glass of water may just prevent hypertension.

Great news for the more than 116 million Americans who are fighting hypertension – and, for the rest of us who’d like to prevent hypertension. Recent studies shared in the Journal of the American Heart Association link calcium and magnesium to lowered blood pressure, and it might just be as easy as adding a certain combination of minerals to drinking water to benefit the entire population. 

The surprising results of the research uncovered that those who drank salinated water, compared to those who drank fresh water, experienced lower blood pressure levels – believed to have been the result of the positive benefits of calcium and magnesium outweighing the negative effects of the sodium. 

And though the resulting lowered blood pressure readings were small, Dr. … Read More »



5 Ways to Calm Agitation in Alzheimer’s

Agitation in Alzheimer’s is common but can be eased with these tips.

Agitation in Alzheimer’s is one of the more difficult effects a senior may experience, and it can be incredibly hard for family members to manage. The key is in taking steps to handle agitation before it’s felt and expressed by the senior, which involves keeping track of what has brought about these feelings in the past, and creating a home environment in which those triggers are removed or minimized. These strategies can help:

Designate an area of retreat. When life begins to get stressful, having a specially created area for a senior loved one to go to de-stress can work wonders in restoring calm. This could be a separate room, or merely a comfortable corner with several soothing activities easily available, quiet music, a calming scent to … Read More »



Happy Labor Day

Posted on September 2nd, by Mark Winter in Benefits of Home Care, Caregiver Careers, Home Care Staff, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

It takes… AND WE HAVE… an Amazing Village!

As we head into the Labor Day weekend, we would like to humbly and sincerely salute and celebrate ALL the employees of Hired Hands Homecare.  We are absolutely amazed at the dedication and compassion that is shown to the clients and families that we serve on a DAILY basis.  Your generosity, professionalism, and smile make a huge impact every single day.  And it is SO very appreciated on so many levels!  When people are in the toughest times of their lives… we make magic happen.  It is truly a gift and an honor to work alongside so many amazing people.  

Please know that you make the world a better place…
and bring great comfort to folks that really need it!

With sincere gratitude,
Lynn, Mark & The HIRED … Read More »



Tips to Make the Most From Family Senior Care Meetings

Make family senior care meetings more productive and efficient with these tips.

“It takes a village” was never a more accurate statement than when taking care of an older family member. It’s important for that “village” to have effective, ongoing communication so that you can offer the best care and to make sure everyone taking part in that care is on the same page. It’s also critical for family caregivers to have the opportunity to express concerns and to come together to get to resolutions, to share various perspectives, and to continue to be proactive in preparing for the future.

Holding senior family care meetings that produce good outcomes includes thinking through the following:

Who should always be included – and who should not? Unquestionably, those providing direct or indirect care for the senior loved one should attend, as … Read More »



We’d Marry Mereseini!

Posted on August 16th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Home Care Staff, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Today, we are honored to present Mereseini N with our Caregiver of the Month award!  Since Mereseini joined the Hired Hands Homecare team, she has quickly become one of our best Caregivers.  Every day, she brings her positive energy to brighten her Clients’ day.  Her passion of helping others really shows, as she is a great team player, and goes above and beyond regularly without hesitation.  On top of that, everyone knows we can rely on her whenever needed.

Mereseini, thank you so much for all you do!  We are truly lucky to have you on the Hired Hands Homecare team!



Senior Finances: Help Prepare for Future Needs Now

Get a grip on senior finances and plan for future needs today with these tips.

The good news is we’re now living longer than ever before, with upwards of one in three older adults living until age 90 and beyond. The bad news, however, is that retirement planning for today’s seniors often didn’t take into consideration such longevity, leading to a strain on senior finances in later years.

So, what happens if your parents outlive their financial resources? As part of the sandwich generation, making their own retirement plans while still covering expenses for your own children, you may find yourself in need of supporting your aging parents as well. As a matter of fact, a recent survey by AgeUp shows that:

Nearly three out of four participants believe that at least one of their parents will live longer … Read More »



How to Approach Money Management Issues With Seniors

Money management issues with seniors need to be addressed tactfully and with sensitivity.

Among the most difficult obstacles for older adults is recognizing the need for help with financial matters. Finances are both extremely personal and a representation of your autonomy, and adult children specifically can often be met with opposition when stepping into this arena when suspecting money management issues with seniors. 

However, for a number of reasons, including the ever-increasing incidence of senior scams and cognitive decline, it’s essential to make sure that the financial assets our senior loved ones have acquired through the years are safeguarded, and that bills are paid correctly and on time. It’s an issue that needs to be taken care of delicately and with diplomacy. Try these strategies for an easy transition to assisting a loved one with monetary management:

The introductory … Read More »



Tips on How to Help Someone With Alzheimer’s Through Reminiscence Therapy

Discover how to help someone with Alzheimer’s in a simple and unique way: reminiscence therapy.

Did you ever experience that jolt of a past memory that immediately pops to the front of your mind, perhaps through a scent, a song, or a picture? For those with dementia, the power of long-term memories is especially impactful, as short-term memory becomes weaker. And if you’re looking for ideas on how to help someone with Alzheimer’s, tapping into this idea is a great place to start. In fact, it’s become a growing trend in creative Alzheimer’s care: reminiscence therapy.

One extreme example is the transformation of a 9,000-sqft building in Chula Vista, California. The building is now an interactive 1950s town, including storefronts like a diner, a movie theater, and a healthcare clinic, all operating just as they would have been … Read More »



Overcome Senior Isolation and Loneliness with These Tips

We know that socialization is vitally important for our overall emotional (and even physical) wellbeing – but we also know that senior isolation and loneliness is an epidemic in America. With the hectic pace of life, it’s difficult for families and friends to provide the full measure of social interaction needed to keep loneliness at bay for older adults, who are often homebound or unable to get out as much as they’d like. 

But the mother of invention truly is necessity, and the need for creative socialization solutions has sparked some interesting innovations:

The Chat Bench

Thanks to the police department in the southwest England town of Burnham-On-Sea, several benches now boast signage that boldly proclaims, “The Happy to Chat Bench: Sit Here if You Don’t Mind Someone Stopping to Say Hello.” And, stop they do! It’s a lovely … Read More »



4 Important Facts About Cancer You May Not Know

These facts about cancer may change the way you think about the disease.

Each year since 1999, we’ve achieved an increasing decline in cancer-related deaths, an encouraging trend that’s poised to continue as researchers learn more and more facts about cancer and its causes, and are able to develop new and better treatment methods. Yet cancer is still one of the leading causes of death in America, second only to heart disease – making it all the more crucial to continue to press forward with persistence to find a cure.

Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

Diet makes a difference. Although a diet rich in antioxidants can help prevent cell damage (and protect against cancer), a recent study showed that in some cases, cancers take advantage of a nutrient-rich diet, leading to accelerated metastasis. As a result, the recommendation … Read More »



Women and Alzheimer’s: Why the Risk Is So Much Greater and How to Help

Understand the trend between women and Alzheimer’s and discover how you can help someone you love who is battling the disease.

Researchers are finally beginning to get a grip on the imbalance between Alzheimer’s diagnoses in women and men. Currently, as many as 2/3 of those with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. are female. As scientists begin to understand the particular nuances behind the increasing trend of women and Alzheimer’s, we can begin to address the problem and find solutions.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Director of Scientific Engagement, Rebecca Edelmayer, “Women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease as both persons living with the disease and as caregivers of those with dementia. Over the last three years, the Alzheimer’s Association has invested $3.2 million into 14 projects looking at sex differences for the disease and some of the … Read More »



Avoid These 5 Ways That Worsen the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

It’s important to be aware of several key triggers that can worsen the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

While there are a number of commonalities, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can impact each individual differently. Our highly trained dementia caregivers know, for instance, that while one person may appreciate being outdoors, another may be overwhelmed by so much sensory input and prefer a quieter indoor environment. One may appreciate a morning bath routine, while a dose of resourcefulness is necessary to help a different individual maintain good hygiene. 

We also realize there are certain triggers that may often worsen the challenging aspects of Alzheimer’s disease. Family care providers should be particularly careful to avoid the following:

Dehydration. Someone diagnosed with dementia might not be able to identify when they are thirsty, or may refuse when offered fluids. It’s vital to ensure appropriate … Read More »



A Fitting Feather in Our Cap!

Posted on July 1st, by Mark Winter in Homecare. No Comments

Greetings,

We are VERY PROUD to share that we have once again been nominated and chosen as the winner
of the Pleasanton Weekly’s Readers’ Choice Award for the BEST HOMECARE COMPANY in the Tri-Valley area! Reader’s, Clients, Families, and our Caregivers took it upon themselves to vote and bestow this honor on us.  Of course, to us, it is a testament to our constant focus on delivering the highest levels of care, service and support to those whom we serve and have the privilege to work with.

We’re honored to have won this award FOUR years in a row…
but this one is super special, and is dedicated to Erin!
This award was really special to her,
so its only fitting that we raise a glass up to her today!

~ She is sorely missed, but her legacy lives … Read More »



Take These Steps to Prevent Financial Elder Abuse

Protect the seniors you love from financial elder abuse with these tips.

When asked whether they thought they might be at risk for financial elder abuse or fraud, the overwhelming majority of surveyed older adults – 81%, in fact – were confident that they would never fall for a scam. We all want to believe we’re too savvy and smart to be taken advantage of; but the reality is, many scammers are even smarter and savvier. 

And though we might assume that financial fraud mostly occurs at the hands of strangers, the truth is that as many as two out of three of all financial crimes are committed by people the victim knows and trusts. 

The good news is, there are several steps that seniors and their loved ones can take to protect themselves:

Register with EverSafe (or a … Read More »



We Love Luisa!

Posted on June 24th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Please join us in celebrating Luisa VP as our latest Caregiver of the Month!

Luisa joined the Hired Hands Homecare team in 2020 and has been such a hard worker every day since!  Luisa is always dependable and happy to jump in and help in any way she can. She has assisted several different clients remain comfortable in their homes and over the past year, has been assisting Jim 4 days per week.

We recently dropped in on her while she was on shift to present her with her Caregiver of the Month Award.  It was additionally exciting, as Jim and his family really wanted to join in on the fun, showing their appreciation for all Luisa does for them.  We were really happy that she felt so honored and appreciated!  Furthermore, Luisa enjoys working with us so much that she recently … Read More »



Warning: These Common Medications May Increase Dementia Risk

Certain medications may now be linked to an increased dementia risk.

They are currently recognized to cause various short-term side-effects, for example, memory issues and confusion, but new research links some of the stronger anticholinergic drugs (like those prescribed for Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, depression, and overactive bladder) to a markedly higher dementia risk. 

The research involved two groups of seniors: 59,000 patients with dementia, and 225,000 without. Approximately 57% of those with dementia, and 51% without, were supplied a minimum of one (and up to six) potent anticholinergic medications. Considering other established dementia risk factors, the outcomes were an astounding 50% increased risk of dementia in individuals who were taking strong anticholinergics daily for three or more years, with the highest risk to people who received a dementia diagnosis before age 80.

It is critical to note that … Read More »



How to Empower Seniors to Take Control for Better Chronic Health Care

Seniors know best what they’re dealing with; empower them to take control of their chronic health care needs.

When it comes to chronic health care, seniors are the experts, hands down, with up to three out of four seniors affected by a number of conditions that are ongoing, necessitate long-term medical treatment, and place restrictions on activities. With the never-ending barrage of bloodwork as well as other tests, physicians’ appointments and procedures, and medications, managing chronic diseases usually takes both a physical and emotional toll, and may quickly become daunting.

Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics and internist at Yale School of Medicine, said, “Once you get three, four, or five and six diseases, several things happen: Number one, almost guaranteed, trying to get one of these diseases under control is going to make one of the other … Read More »



Alicia is the Apple of our Eye!

Posted on June 8th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

The Team at Hired Hands Homecare would like to take a minute to salute and celebrate Alicia as our most recent Caregiver of the Month!

Alicia was actually introduced to Hired Hands by her sister Nancy, whom we’ve had the pleasure of working with for a very long time.  Nancy… we couldn’t thank you enough for referring her to work with us!

In a short time, Alicia has proven to be one of our absolute Stars!  She is highly skilled, responsible, kind, and has a very likeable personality, enjoyed by every client has the opportunity to work with her!   Others have complimented her saying that she is “quietly amazing, and an instant Client favorite!”  Alicia… we couldn’t be more proud to have you as an important member of the Hired Hands Homecare Team!

“I would like to thank everyone at Hired Hands for … Read More »



Caregivers, Watch Your Back! Prevent Caregiver Injuries with These Tips

Posted on June 8th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Support Tip, Respite Care, Sandwich Generation. No Comments

Senior couple in kitchen paying bills, looking frustrated

Even though the ultimate goal is always to improve safety and health for seniors they love, family caregivers, regrettably, frequently end up diminishing their very own in the process. In fact, an astonishing 94% of caregivers in a study carried out by Ohio State University revealed musculoskeletal pain in a minimum of one part of their body – and 66% noted this pain influencing their quality of life. 

And know that a “family caregiver” can describe anyone in the family who helps another individual with day to day activities. As reported by the Family Caregiver Alliance, this suggests 34 million Americans are at risk of becoming hurt through the care they provide. 

At Hired Hands Homecare, we know firsthand the amount of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing necessary in satisfying the … Read More »



With Great Sadness…

Posted on June 7th, by Mark Winter in Homecare. 2 comments

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Hired Hands’ Vice President, Erin Winter, who suddenly passed away of natural causes at her home on May 9, 2022.

Born in Milwaukee WI, Erin grew up in Virginia, North Carolina, St. Louis MO, & Los Angeles CA, before moving to Tiburon CA, where she graduated from Redwood High School in 1992.  She found quick success in the real estate industry before joining her mother Lynn and brother Mark in their thriving family business Hired Hands Inc.  It was here where she truly prospered, bringing light, commitment, and compassion to every day.

In 2013, Erin expanded Hired Hands operations by opening an office in Pleasanton and moving to Livermore to be with her long-time partner Tim.  It was here where she greatly enjoyed the ranch … Read More »



How Artificial Intelligence Is Playing a Key Role in Alzheimer’s Research

Learn about the tool that’s helping expedite Alzheimer’s research.

Alzheimer’s research took a giant leap forward, thanks to a tool that allows pathologists to analyze and classify amyloid plaques and abnormalities in blood vessels through technology similar to face recognition software – leading to the ability to process a vast amount of data in a markedly reduced amount of time. 

The study, conducted by UC Davis and UC San Francisco, tested the ability to automate the time-intensive process of reviewing, identifying, and analyzing microscopic amyloid plaques in brain tissue. Dubbed “blob or not,” this digital pathology tool was found to be highly efficient – correctly annotating plaque samples at the unimaginable rate of 2,000 per hour – limited only by the number of processors used in the study. The program was even able to distinguish between different types … Read More »



7 Ways to Ease Hygiene Care for Someone with Alzheimer’s

Make hygiene care for someone with Alzheimer’s more comfortable with these tips.

Of the numerous challenges related to caregiving, the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that the most prevalent challenge is hygiene care for someone with Alzheimer’s, for various reasons:

Decreased sense of vision and smell
Comfort found in familiarity (i.e., desiring to wear exactly the same clothes repeatedly)
The challenges of bathing, compounded by cognitive impairment and confusion
Fear of falling, the noises and feelings associated with the water, and more

Cajoling, arguing, and logical thinking are hardly ever practical strategies with those impacted by Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Rather, attempt these innovative techniques if your loved one resists hygiene care:

Arrange the bathroom in advance so that the room will likely be comfortable and you will not have to juggle collecting supplies along with assisting your senior loved one. Warm the … Read More »



Caregiving Tips to Ensure You’re Motivating Without Bullying

Make sure you’re not crossing the line from motivating to bullying with these caregiving tips.

As a family caregiver, you obviously encounter an array of feelings throughout the day: shared laughter over a joke with your senior loved one; worry due to a health concern; and certainly, from time to time, irritation. We want only the best for those we love, and if a senior loved one is resistant to doing an activity we realize is beneficial, it could be tough to identify the most appropriate response. 

The key is to try to offer motivation and support, while remaining cautious not to ever cross the line into bullying your senior loved one. These caregiving tips are good to remember:

There’s no one-size-fits-all. An approach that has worked on a single occasion may perhaps be entirely ineffective in another. In … Read More »



One Simple Way to Replace Caregiver Stress with Joy

Rediscover joy and watch caregiver stress melt away with this one simple tip.

Our facial expressions divulge so much to those around us, and when you’re feeling an unusual level of caregiver stress, well-meaning family members will certainly recognize it, possibly encouraging you to essentially, “Cheer up, buttercup!” In reality, of course, it takes a whole lot more than a couple of words to turn our mood around.

Nonetheless, recent research does support the concept of positive thinking as a method to minimize levels of depression and anxiety which might develop when we’re bombarded with stress – something critical for busy family caregivers to take to heart to decrease the possibility for burnout.

Judith Moskowitz, head psychologist in the research project who consequently established a program to combat the downward spiral of emotions so typical in individuals providing … Read More »



End-of-Life Care Tip: Participating in Tough Conversations

When providing end-of-life care, one of the best gifts you can offer is a listening ear.

Sharing what’s on our hearts with those we love is never more important than when someone is nearing the end of life. There are often unspoken sentiments and unresolved issues that, once verbalized, can bring peace and a deeper connection with our loved ones in their final days. 

As Dr. Jessica Zitter, physician in critical and palliative care medicine at Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA explains, “Those are opportunities for people to take stock and say, ‘I want to be more intentional about how I want to relate to people in my life.’ Death should really be seen as the last opportunity that you have to make amends and clean things up before you’re in the next world, wherever that may be.”

Read More »



4 Ways to Promote Purpose and Meaning for Seniors

Promote purpose and meaning for the seniors in your life with these ideas.

Think of a typical day in the life of a senior loved one. Hopefully it provides several positive and enriching experiences: enjoying breakfast, engaging in a fun hobby or interest, visiting with a friend or family member, watching a favorite TV show. Nevertheless, there’s a difference between positivity and purpose and meaning for seniors; and the need for a life rich with significance and purpose is starting to become more evident, particularly in the life of aging parents.

Viktor Frankl , world-renowned psychiatrist and survivor of the Holocaust, shares poignantly, “What matters is not the meaning in life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”

For people whose identity has been focused on a career and raising … Read More »



Refer a Friend – $250 times TWO!

Posted on April 16th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Family Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

We’re extremely busy… and are seeking to add outstanding new Caregivers to our Team!  Thus, we’re bringing back our popular “$250 Times Two Referral Bonus” program!

Our Caregivers are like Family!

HIRED HANDS is extremely proud of our diverse, professional care team.  For over 27 years, we have focused steadfastly on being the BEST homecare provider in our Communities.  We are
honored to have many Caregivers that have worked with us for ten, Fifteen, and even TWENTY Years!

Growing to Serve our Community.

While we continue to grow, serving our community’s challenges and needs, we are seeking to ADD additional outstanding Caregivers to our Team.  Thus… we’re bringing back our popular $250 Times Two bonus.  That’s right… any current employee who refers a great new Caregiver will get a $250 bonus.  On top of that… the newly referred friend will also get a $250 bonus … Read More »



Apo is Such a Star!

Posted on April 15th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Please join us in congratulating our friend Apo as our most recent Caregiver of the Month.   We’ve had the distinct pleasure of working together with Apo since early last year.  He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in caregiving, and our clients that have had the opportunity of working with him recognize this!  On top of that, not only is he an pure joy to work with, but he has also referred some family members to work with Hired Hands as well. In his spare time, he really enjoys playing piano.  Not only is Apo a joy to be around, but he can handle almost any level of care, and works well with so many different sorts of people.  Put that all together, and there’s no question why Apo has quickly become one of our most requested caregivers!

 

Apo, Congratulations, … Read More »



Wandering in Dementia: Why It’s Happening and How to Help

Wandering in dementia is one of the most difficult effects to manage, and safety is a top concern.

Of all the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most alarming is the individual’s tendency for wandering and the potential dangers that may develop if the senior becomes confused or lost. Wandering in dementia can occur any time the older adult is:

Scared, confused, or overwhelmed
Trying to find someone or something
Bored
Trying to maintain a familiar past routine (such as going to work or shopping)
Tending to a simple need (such as searching for a drink of water or going to the bathroom)

The aim is twofold; to help keep your loved one secure, and also to be certain that his/her needs are satisfied to attempt to stop the want to wander to begin with. Consider the following safety measures if your … Read More »



5 Tips to Effectively Manage Paranoia in Seniors

Paranoia in seniors with dementia can be challenging, but these tips can help.

“I’m telling you, there’s a dog in my closet! I hear it growling all night long. We’ve got to track down its owner!”

Listening to a senior loved one express concerns like this that you know to be untrue is distressing – however, not unheard of. Your first instinct may well be to try and rationalize with the person with a response such as, “Nonsense! There is no way a dog could have gotten into the closet!” However, for various reasons, this could be the least effective technique to handle unreasonable thoughts and paranoia in seniors.

Instead, we at Hired Hands Homecare propose the following tactics which will help bring back a sense of calm and wellbeing:

First, schedule an appointment with the senior’s physician. It … Read More »



How to Help Someone with Parkinson’s from a Distance

If you’re wondering how to help someone with Parkinson’s disease when you live out of the area, we have four suggestions for you.

The days when extended families lived together on neighboring plots of land are, unfortunately, a thing of the past in many cases. With loved ones spread apart, it’s not always possible to provide the caring, hands-on care and support that older family members often need, especially when a chronic health condition – like Parkinson’s disease – creates additional concerns. 

Yet even from a distance, there are still plenty of ways to assist. The Michael J. Fox Foundation offers these tips on how to help someone with Parkinson’s from afar:

Get organized. Take and keep detailed notes about medications being taken, treatments, emergency contacts, and other aspects of the person’s care needs. A digital version of this … Read More »


Try These Tips to Help with Appetite During chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can affect how foods taste, but there are steps you can take to help.

Good nutrition is crucial during cancer treatment and recovery, yet not always easy to achieve. Appetite problems during chemotherapy are common, as a result of the way the treatment impacts how foods taste. Many people undergoing chemo treatment complain of a metallic aftertaste in foods, and this can even occur in plain water. When combined with another prevalent side effect of chemotherapy – nausea – sticking to a healthy diet can be a challenge.

Clinically known as dysgeusia, it’s a condition that affects as many as 65% of patients receiving chemotherapy, sometimes lasting for just a few days or even up to several months. Nutritionist Ginger Hultin, RDN, explains, “Taste changes can really turn people off to eating enough food. Patients can start … Read More »


How to Find Joy Despite Living with Pain or Chronic Illness

Even while living with pain or chronic illness, it is possible to live a full and joyful life.

Have you ever woken up and said, “It’s definitely going to be one of those days!” Maybe your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided to stop working, and the dog chewed up one of your favorite shoes overnight. Now consider if each day were “one of those days!” For someone living with pain or chronic illness (and that is the majority of the older adult population), routine struggles and challenges may be a given. 

However, there are several steps that the elderly can take to discover and maintain a life of joy, even in the face of chronic illness. For instance:

Follow passions. Discovering purpose and meaning in every day is essential – and achievable. Many older adults … Read More »


Are You Torn Between a Career and Caregiving?

Many family caregivers are faced with the difficult decision to choose between a career and caregiving responsibilities.

Not long ago, actor Rob Lowe brought caregiving into the spotlight by sharing his story of caring for his mother and the toll it took on his own life. He said, “When you’re caring for a loved one, there’s nothing you won’t do to give them as much comfort and peace of mind as you can possibly provide. Often that means you’ll skip your social obligations, wreck your diet, suffer sleep deprivation, and even risk your career.” So, does that mean you need to choose between a career and caregiving for an older loved one?

Obviously, this topic is not anything new to the 75% of the United States workforce who are concurrently providing care for a parent at home. Based … Read More »



To ALL the Amazing Women of Hired Hands Homecare

Posted on March 8th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, Home Care Staff, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Today, on International Women’s Day, we enthusiastically raise our glasses to ALL the amazing women of Hired Hands Homecare! Bottom line… Your tireless daily contributions, both at work and otherwise, simply keep the world spinning in the right direction. Thank you for your care and compassion and guidance and humor as we all do our best to walk through this crazy thing called life. It is an absolute honor to know and work with such amazing women!

Sincerely,
The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE Team



This Lifestyle Change Can Turn Back Time to Improve Heart Health

Improve heart health with this one simple lifestyle change!

In our younger years, physical activity was a given. Our days were filled with participating in sports programs, recess on the playground, and games of tag with friends. All of this naturally gave our heart the workout it needed to stay healthy. But as we grow older, a more sedentary lifestyle can settle in – having serious repercussions on our hearts, including stiffness, a decreased efficiency in oxygen production, and an elevated risk of heart disease and failure. Is there anything we can do to improve heart health and possibly even restore its functioning to what it was when we were younger?



Saluting Our Heroes – Happy Caregiver Appreciation Day!

Posted on February 18th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Caregivers, Homecare, OUR Caregivers, Sonoma Elder Care. No Comments

Today, we whole heartedly honor and celebrate the outstanding Caregivers of HIRED HANDS HOMECARE, and all the Caregivers who give so much to keep our loved ones safe, healthy, and content. Every day, they make such an important impact in our communities, and the families we serve.

Happy CAREGIVER APPRECIATION DAY
from the Hired Hands Homecare family!



How To Encourage Doctor Visits for Seniors

Learn how to help a reluctant senior follow through with doctors’ visits.

Let’s face it: a lot of us delay going to the doctor’s office. It could be somewhat uncomfortable, and downright distressing when something is wrong and we’re looking at the prospect of an unwanted diagnosis. Even so, we understand it’s wise to complete what’s best for our health and wellbeing and to be diligent about receiving necessary medical care. 



4 Reasons to Consider Dementia Care at Home

Seniors with dementia can very often continue to live where they’re most comfortable, with dementia care at home.

While countless older adults are struggling with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are trying to cope with providing dementia care at home. Incredibly, nearly 75% of family caregivers are managing their older loved ones’ dementia care needs by themselves, with only 26% reaching out for professional care support.



Caring for Someone with Dementia? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Caring for someone with dementia is easier with help from our experts in elderly care in Pleasanton and nearby areas.

At times, the best lessons in life come through going through them firsthand; yet the wisdom we are able to glean from those who have walked an identical path before us is priceless. If you’re caring for someone with dementia and feeling a bit stressed in this uncharted territory, the guidelines below will help:



What to Do When You Notice Warning Signs of Aging Care Needs

Learn how to start the conversation when you notice warning signs of aging care needs.

The initial signs might be so subtle that many people wouldn’t even recognize that anything is amiss. Mom is outgoing, pleasant, and conversational while visiting loved ones and while running errands. But those closest to her have begun to detect concerns: being forgetful about the soup cooking on the stove, leading to a scorched pan. Putting her keys into the cookie jar. Failing to pay bills. What should you do when you begin to notice these kinds of warning signs of aging care needs?

As an adult child of a loved one in the early stages of compromised safety or the ability to make competent choices, it is normally incredibly difficult to transition to a higher degree of involvement and assistance – nonetheless … Read More »



Top Medications for Alzheimer’s and How They Work

These top medications for Alzheimer’s are key to managing the symptoms of the disease.

The latest Alzheimer’s statistics are sobering. The disease is now the 6th leading cause of death, rising above both breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. And though deaths from many other chronic conditions, like cardiovascular disease, are decreasing, those from Alzheimer’s have increased upwards of 100%. The toll the illness takes on family caregivers is likewise shocking, with more than 16 million Americans delivering over 18 billion hours of care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

Though we’ve yet to find an end to Alzheimer’s disease, there are two top medications for Alzheimer’s that can help minimize some of the more predominant symptoms. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, there are a couple of options the doctor may … Read More »



For Better or Worse: Providing Care for an Aging Parent Without Sacrificing Your Marriage

Providing care for an aging parent can either strengthen or strain your marriage.

In marriage we agree to stick with each other for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness as well as in health – but what doesn’t come up through our vows to one another is how to deal with the mounting difficulties of providing care for an aging parent. 

However, with our life span increasing, it is highly recommended to put together a strategy to meet both the requirements of our parents as they grow older, and also the multitude of day-to-day needs, all while honoring our cherished relationship with a spouse. It’s a struggle that’s creating stress and pressure for 80% of couples interviewed, resulting in detachment and much less quality time with each other. These particular areas in a married relationship … Read More »



Protect Senior Skin with These Tips

These tips can help protect senior skin from bruising, and heal bruises if they do occur.

You can blame it on the environment, changes in hormones, medications, and even the sun: our skin as we age is affected by a variety of factors, leading to thinning and an enhanced risk of bruising. As a result, it’s helpful to take proactive measures to protect senior skin from injury. Try the following tips:

Rearrange furniture and get rid of any clutter to reduce the chance of bumps and bruises.
Keep the skin moisturized, and always use sunscreen of at least 30 SPF or higher.
Talk with the senior’s physician about the impact of any medications on the skin. In particular, the long-term use of steroids, blood thinners, fish oil and vitamin E can enhance the risk of bruises.
Encourage the older adult to wear … Read More »



How to Respond if You’re Noticing Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

Learn how to best handle addressing early warning signs of Alzheimer’s from our experts in home care assistance in Walnut Creek & the nearby areas.

Our natural instinct when we are picking up on the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s or another type of cognitive decline in ourselves or someone we love is to look the other way, denying that there is a problem. However, the Alzheimer’s Association advises that it’s vitally important to face the issue head-on as quickly as possible, since early diagnosis and intervention allow for the most effective treatment plan to be put into place.



HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Hired Hands Homecare!

Posted on December 23rd, by Mark Winter in Homecare. No Comments



Family Caregiver Tips: How to Overcome Resistance to Care

Overcome resistance to care with these family caregiver tips from the leader in Sonoma home care services.

For many seniors, admitting the need for help is likened to admitting defeat. After living in an era that emphasized the need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and stay strong and self-reliant in the face of adversity, it’s a difficult mindset to change. How can you help aging parents understand the benefits of home care assistance, without viewing it as a threat to their freedom and independence?



Discover the Astonishing Benefits of Art in Dementia

about the incredible benefits of art in dementia from our experts in dementia care in Pleasanton, CA and the surrounding areas.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to comprehending the thoughts and feelings of someone with dementia, no truer words have been spoken. Artistic expression is vital for all of us, but the benefits of art in dementia are especially remarkable, including enhanced socialization and physical health, a calmer, more peaceful demeanor, and even improvements in both apathy and self-worth.



How Care for Diabetes in Seniors Is Different

Caring for diabetes in seniors may look a little different, as explained by the top providers of home care assistance in Kentfield and the surrounding areas.

Diabetes is a complex condition, and managing it effectively can be challenging regardless of age. And although it seems intuitive to know the importance of managing blood glucose levels, there’s actually so much more to it than that, especially when caring for diabetes in seniors. 



Communication Tips for Dementia: Try Nonverbal Techniques

Sometimes, the most effective way to communicate with someone with dementia is nonverbally.

Conversations with a senior battling with all the challenges of Alzheimer’s, especially in the middle and later stages, is often discouraging – both for you and also for the person with Alzheimer’s. Brain changes impede the ability to listen, process, and respond appropriately to conversations, and it is up to us to employ innovative approaches to communicating to more effectively connect with an individual with dementia.

It’s quite a bit easier than it might appear, however. We already communicate nonverbally in many ways:

Touch
Posture and body movement
Eye contact
Facial expressions
Gestures
Personal space

Consider these communication tips for dementia to include increased nonverbal communication into your interactions with a senior loved one:

Offer reassurance through gentle touch. If a senior loved one is comfortable with touch, hold and pat the … Read More »



A Humble and Sincere Thanks!

Posted on November 24th, by Mark Winter in Aging, Caregiver Careers, Family Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

As we embark on Thanksgiving,
we would like to extend an enormous and heart felt
THANK YOU to all our our outstanding employees.
Without their tireless dedication and compassion,
we would not be able to function as pillars of 
support in the communities that we serve.

It is an absolute honor to work side by side
with so many absolutely amazing individuals.
To you, and what we accomplish together.
we give great thanks!

~The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE Team



We Salute You!

Posted on November 11th, by Mark Winter in Companion Care Services, Senior Independence. No Comments

HAPPY VETERANS DAY!

Today, we whole heartedly salute the American men and women who have served our country, and sacrificed so much for our freedom and safety.

With much gratitude and respect,
The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE Family



Help for Dementia Caregivers: Coming to a Place of Acceptance

Posted on November 10th, by Mark Winter in Aging, Alzheimer's, Care Manager, Caregiver Support Tip, Dementia, Senior Safety. No Comments

Discover how to reach a place of acceptance in dementia caregiving.

Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is life-altering – for the person being diagnosed, of course, but just as much for his or her loved ones. It’s important for family caregivers to allow themselves ample time to process the changes to come and to find a healthy way to work through the various emotions that arise.

Because Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, one of the difficulties for caregivers is finding peace in the midst of each stage. And while providing care for a senior loved one is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding roles we can take on, it’s not without its challenges as well. It can be helpful to use reflection as a tool to better cope with the challenges and changes. Hired Hands Homecare’s … Read More »



Watch for These Signs of Dementia This Holiday Season

Posted on November 4th, by Mark Winter in Aging, Alzheimer's, Care Manager, Caregiver Support Tip, Dementia. No Comments

During holiday visits with seniors, keep an eye out for these signs of dementia.

From the second the door swings open and your elderly loved one wraps you in a warm embrace, through the joyous holiday meal and each timeless family custom, possibilities abound for not simply quality time together, but also to assess how your parent is really doing and if any warning signs of dementia are noted. 

There are specific indicators which can suggest cognitive issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s is now more and more common in seniors, and because early diagnosis and treatment are fundamental, the dementia care team at Hired Hands Homecare recommends monitoring for any of the following common signs and symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s disease throughout your holiday visit this year:

Social differences. According to John Ramsay, CEO of Shift … Read More »



What Elephants Are Teaching Us About Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted on October 27th, by Mark Winter in Alzheimer's, Medical News, Senior Health. No Comments

Researchers are gleaning information from elephants to help us better understand Alzheimer’s disease.

The old adage is true: elephants truly do have amazing memories, even into their later years. To illustrate, they’re able to recollect and go back to highly specific locations decades after visiting them, irrespective of age. Exactly what can we glean from elephants that may result in helping us better understand Alzheimer’s disease and to maximize our own cognitive performance later in life?

Remarkably, older elephants’ brains show no buildup of the amyloid plaques some researchers are linking to Alzheimer’s. Even though other health professionals tout the need for sufficient sleep to permit the mind the chance to clean away plaques, elephants are tromping over that theory, sleeping as little as 2 hours daily.

But one factor rises above the rest which may be the main key: socialization. … Read More »



Thank You Jessica!

Posted on October 22nd, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, Home Care Staff, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

We are honored to recognize Jessica L as our October Caregiver of the Month! 

Hired Hands Homecare has had the pleasure of working with Jessica since early 2019.  Since then, she has continued to build caregiving knowledge to her skill set and has become a favorite of her many clients. She is pictured here with Jim, one of our most wonderful clients, whom she has assisted for the past year.  By the way, that bicycle you see… Jim rode that cross country from East Coast to West.  What an accomplishment!

Today, Jim and the entire Hired Hands Homecare Team salute Jessica for her outstanding dedication and compassion!  Jessica, you are a STAR!

~The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE Team



How Is Caregiving Different for Male Caregivers?

Posted on October 20th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Caregivers. No Comments

A different support system is often needed for male caregivers.

If you painted a picture of a typical family caregiver, you’d probably portray a middle-aged woman, perhaps cooking and serving a meal, assisting with baths or getting dressed, an transporting a loved one to doctors’ appointments. And this assessment would be accurate; AARP reports the typical caregiver profile is a 49-year-old female helping with acts of service such as these for a 69-year-old female relative who is facing long-term health concerns.

Yet there’s a growing trend of male caregivers stepping into – or sometimes, falling into by default – this crucial role: nearly 40% of all caregivers, as a matter of fact. And though there are some trending differences in caregiving difficulties between the genders (such as a greater likelihood of discomfort for men in helping with personal hygiene tasks), … Read More »



The Disturbing Statistics About Dementia and Firearms

Posted on October 13th, by Mark Winter in Dementia, Senior Safety. No Comments

Dementia and firearms are a dangerous combination.

With a heated level of debate rivaling the Hatfields and McCoys, it seems impossible to come to a resolution in the issue of gun control. Yet no matter which side of the issue you are on, there’s one little-spoken-of situation which should cause us all to take pause: the worrying mixture of dementia and firearms.

About 33% of all older adults in the U.S. report owning a gun, and an additional 12% are living in the house of a gun owner. Bearing in mind that approximately 9% of individuals over age 65 have some kind of dementia (and that figure is expected to more than double by the year 2050), it equates to scores of seniors with dementia living with guns. Coupled with erratic states of confusion, aggression, and other difficult behaviors, having … Read More »



4 Key Warning Signs of Senior Depression

Posted on October 6th, by Mark Winter in Depression in Seniors, Senior Health. No Comments

Watch for the signs of senior depression and seek help immediately if noted.

Lots of people go through periods of time when they simply want to be left alone for a bit with their thoughts, to think through situations in their lives without any distractions, or just to experience some downtime. For older adults, however, being isolated for an extended period of time may be indicative of a more serious condition: senior depression.

At Hired Hands Homecare, our caregivers have shared the journey through depression with many seniors, and would like to offer help. The most important first step is to contact the older adult’s doctor as soon as possible if you suspect he or she is struggling with depression. Depression is treatable, and the sooner, the better.

Keep an eye out for these signs of senior depression in your loved … Read More »



Thank You Napa Valley!

Posted on October 1st, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Family Caregivers, Home Care Staff, Napa, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Hot off the Press…  Hired Hands Homecare wins NAPA VALLEY’S FINEST In-Home Healthcare Provider, as reported by the Napa Valley Register.

This award is a huge testament to our absolutely AMAZING Caregivers & Management Team, who provide the highest levels of service and support to the seniors and families we work with!  This honor will be shared and celebrated by ALL the Hired Hands folks that simply take the finest care of our community’s seniors and their families. We could not be more proud!



The Power of Play for Seniors: Why Recess Isn’t Just for Kids

Hired Hands Homecare discusses the power of play for seniors.

Do you remember that feeling as a young child when the school bell rang, indicating the conclusion of science and the start of the best part of the day: recess? There was an immense feeling of freedom bounding out onto the playground, leaving behind the pressure of school work for a quick period of unstructured play. Regrettably, for the majority of adults, this is just a happy but distant memory. Play for seniors isn’t usually something that’s considered by many adults. Nevertheless, is it possible, and even worthwhile, to recapture the enjoyment of playing? 



Could You Be a Helicopter Child?

Hired Hands Homecare provides tips for determining if you’re a helicopter child.

We have all heard about helicopter parents, particularly when a daughter or son leaves for college, but what about a helicopter child? Truth be told, we may be guilty of hovering a bit too closely ourselves. Finding that optimal harmony between caring and overstepping our boundaries is not easy. 



The Dangers of Senior Loneliness – and How to Help

With over 328 million people residing in the U.S. alone, it is hard to believe that senior loneliness would be so prevalent. And yet of the number of older adults living alone, more than 60% of them report being chronically lonely. 



Why We Need to Rethink Aging Well

Hired Hands Homecare provides tips for aging well.

A quick Google search for the word “aging” produces topics such as “coping with aging,” “what you can do about aging,” as well as “the cure to aging.” The pessimistic connotations to aging are, regrettably, so embedded in our society that it is estimated that by 2027, the aging care industry will be worth $83.2 billion. While it’s very easy to get caught up in the issues that may be realized in aging well – health concerns, the passing of family and friends, and cognitive issues – what’s getting lost in the shuffle are the remarkable benefits of growing older. 



Honoring Our Dedicated Heroes!

Posted on September 3rd, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Caregivers, Family Caregivers. No Comments

As we head into this Labor Day Weekend,
we are absolutely honored to thank and celebrate
our outstanding team of dedicated and compassionate Caregivers.
These are certainly difficult times for families and our communities.
Day after day, our amazing Caregivers go out of their way
to assure that our clients are safe and well, giving families
great peace of mind and comfort.
Truly, Angels walking amongst us.

Happy Labor Day!
~The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE Family



Can Planning for Senior Falls Actually Prevent Them?

Senior falls can have serious consequences, but with a plan, the risk for falls can be greatly reduced.

Senior falls are all too frequent and may have serious outcomes. Taking preventative measures is key, such as examining the house for fall risks like area rugs and various tripping hazards, inadequate lighting, and a lack of appropriate grab bars and railings. But there is also a new strategy being advised now: creating a fall plan of care, which, when utilized correctly, has been shown to reduce fall-related emergency room visits up to 40%.

So while we absolutely don’t want to plan for a loved one to fall, we are able to be better equipped by helping the person take the following steps:

Stay vigilant – Avoid letting your mind wander and instead maintain your full focus on your surroundings.
Check vision … Read More »



Senior Independence vs. Safety: A Common Family Conflict

It’s not uncommon for families to have conflict over honoring senior independence vs. safety.

It’s a conflict that occurs for numerous families: seniors are adamant about wanting to age in place in their own home, while their relatives worry about their safety and well-being. And there’s an argument to be made in both scenarios. Seniors, specifically individuals who live alone, confront multiple risks: falls that could possibly result in significant injury, trouble in maintaining the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed as aging progresses, even a susceptibility to scam artists. Nonetheless, senior independence is one of the keys to self-worth. 

Identifying a balance that fits the requirements of both sides may be challenging, but there are several important factors to consider that can make a difference.

Let go of ageism. While there is credibility to worries over safety for … Read More »



Family Dynamics: How to Provide Care for a Loved One You Really Don’t Like

Family dynamics can make it challenging to provide care for a loved one with whom you have a difficult relationship.

When it comes to caring for a family member, family dynamics can play a big part in the caregiver’s outlook. For those who have been brought up by loving parents who provided for all their needs, providing the same standard of care may simply be second nature. But what if you’ve been scarred by childhood experiences, determined to keep your distance from difficult family members later in life, simply to end up going back to provide assistance for them in a period of need? 

AARP offers some helpful tips for family members who want to conquer old wounds in the interests of providing care:

Set emotional boundaries. It’s possible to give compassionate home care while staying emotionally detached. Just … Read More »



3 Things You Should Never Say to Someone Facing a Health Concern

Posted on August 10th, by Mark Winter in Aging, Alzheimer's, Care Manager, Caregiver Careers, Caregiver Support Tip. No Comments

When a friend or loved one is facing a health concern, it’s important to know what not to say.

Have you ever walked in to the office or a get-together with friends or family and had a person say to you with great concern, “You really look tired today!” Although you may have been feeling pretty perky before that interaction, without warning you may suddenly actually feel exhausted and rundown. The words we use with each other and the manner by which we interpret them are meaningful. And when speaking with people who have a long-term health concern, it’s very important to thoughtfully think about what to express, and maybe more importantly, what NOT to say, that can help the person feel his or her best.

While we are surely well meaning, there are specific comments which are … Read More »



Key Questions to Ask the Dr. as a Parent’s Caregiver

Every family caregiver should get answers to these questions from the doctor.

Of the many responsibilities a family caregiver faces, perhaps one of the more difficult is managing health concerns and knowing what questions to ask the Dr. as your parent’s caregiver. The National Council on Aging estimates that approximately three quarters of all seniors are clinically determined to have at least two chronic illnesses, and are seeing on average of four medical specialists. 

Hired Hands Homecare, offering in-home care in Napa, CA and the surrounding communities, offers these simple tips to communicate effectively with those on the senior’s medical team:

Are all of the medications essential? With most older adults taking many medications, you’ll need to keep an in-depth list and review occasionally with the doctor along with the pharmacist, each of whom should be able to make … Read More »




Protecting Seniors Against Elder Abuse

Watch for these warning signs to protect seniors against elder abuse.

As the seniors in your life become older and lose some of their physical and/or mental abilities, they become more susceptible to elder abuse and less equipped to protect themselves. Elder abuse is real and can have a traumatizing effect on the seniors in your life. It’s important that to protect seniors against elder abuse, including physical, emotional, financial, or sexual abuse, you know the proper precautions to take and are aware of the key warning signs. 

The best way to help prevent elder abuse is to visit and call the seniors in your life often. The more you can see a senior loved one in person or hear their voice, the more you will be able to notice changes in or on their body and in … Read More »



Honored to be Amongst Napa’s Finest!

Posted on July 16th, by Mark Winter in OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Hired Hands Homecare is excited to announce we have been nominated as NAPA’S FINEST, in the category of Homecare/Home Health in the Napa Valley Register!  This nomination is a huge testament to our amazing Caregivers, and the highest quality of service and support that our Team provides to the families of Napa county!

The nomination is honor, but its also a contest to be the Very Best, and we need your vote!  Please visit the Napa Valley Register, AND you can also text 506 to 707-289-5522.  Every vote counts, and you can vote everyday now through 8/1.  Let’s pack that ballot box, and crown Hired Hands Homecare – Napa as the BEST in the land!

 



Hired Hands Homecare Honored to Win Readers’ Choice!

Posted on July 16th, by Mark Winter in Homecare, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Wow, what an amazing honor!  For the THIRD time, the fine folks of Pleasanton, Livermore & the Tri-Valley have bestowed Hired Hands Homecare as the community’s BEST Home Healthcare in the Pleasanton Weekly!  As they so eloquently put it…  “Readers’ Choice winners yet again, Hired Hands Homecare provides senior care assistance to help locals maintain their independence as they age — and the clear communication and genuine care provided by Hired Hands obviously resonates with clients.”  We could not agree more!

This wonderful award goes to our entire team of phenomenal Caregivers!  It is their tireless dedication, compassion, and professionalism that truly set us apart, and allow us to WOW the seniors and families that we serve!  Our Caregivers truly Exceed Expectations, providing senior care Pleasanton families deserve!

Erin, Kristine, and the entire Hired Hands Homecare Team Pleasanton will wear this badge … Read More »



Ian is AWESOME!

Posted on July 16th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Today we have the pleasure of honoring Mr. Ian B as our Caregiver of the Month!  We have had the pleasure of working with Ian since 2018.  Ian joined the Napa team coming over from the Marin Team in March of this year and has been such an amazing caregiver to Mr. Jackson and Mr. Williams, his two regular Clients.

Ian is such a pleasure to work with!  Clients having nothing but the best to say about him and the care he provides.  He is professional, kind, knowledgeable, encouraging, insightful, a great communicator and always willing to help with such a humble demeanor.  Ian is definitely one of those caregivers we feel honored to work with and excited to see his future unfold as he continues his journey to help more people someday as an RN!

Ian, please know that all of us … Read More »



Is It Possible to Juggle Work and Caregiving?

Trying to juggle work and caregiving can have a negative impact on everyone involved.

In the modern world, it is often difficult enough to maintain a work-life balance, but that is made nearly impossible when it comes to attempting to juggle work and caregiving. Up to 25% of employed adults are providing some level of care for aging parents or family members. How do you work a full-time job when a loved one needs care around the clock? Oftentimes, it simply is not possible. Hired Hands Homecare, providing home care in Napa, CA and the surrounding areas, has tips to help.



The Importance of Aging with Dignity for Older Adults

Aging with dignity is important for an older adult’s self-esteem.

It is quite easy to get swept up in the daily tasks of caregiving for a senior you love. There’s so much to be done, and sometimes it’s just easier and a lot more efficient to do it all on your own, letting the senior relax. After all, our elders have taken care of things for a lifetime; haven’t they earned a break? 

The truth however, is that aging with dignity is incredibly necessary to our wellbeing, something that comes from having a sense of purpose and meaning in life. And even though ensuring safety is, without a doubt, our primary concern, there are ways to empower a senior loved one in your care to remain in control whenever possible. For instance:  

Work together on projects. While standing … Read More »



Polypharmacy in Older Adults: Evaluating Risks and De-prescribing

Evaluate the risks of polypharmacy in older adults and keep seniors safer.

More than one out of every three 60-year-olds is currently taking five or more prescription medications, so it’s no wonder that problems occur from overmedication. Polypharmacy in older adults is defined as “…when an adverse drug effect is misinterpreted as a new medical problem – leading to the prescribing of more medication to treat the initial drug-induced symptom,” and can cause a number of additional health risks or worsen existing health conditions. 

It’s a good idea for older adults and their caregivers to work together on a plan of de-prescribing. These tips can help:

Compile a list of all medications the senior is taking, including prescription meds, over-the-counter meds, and vitamins/herbal supplements, and share with the senior’s physician and pharmacist.
Request an evaluation of the medications themselves as … Read More »



Honoring Kimberly!

We are ecstatic to announce and honor Ms. Kimberly McP as our June Caregiver of the Month!

Kimberly is such an amazing, caring, & kind person.  Her heart is full of love, and she brings a cheerful smile to every client she cares for.  The lucky folks that have had the opportunity to work with her are always made to feel special.

How special you ask?  Our client Nancy comments “we are absolutely blessed to have Kimberly as part of our lives.”  WOW!

We are beyond grateful to work together with Kimberly, and very much appreciate the person and professional that she is!  The Clients of Hired Hands Homecare – Team Napa could not be more lucky!



Tips to Safely Dispose of Unused Medications

Learn about where to dispose of unused medications safely.

With many older adults taking multiple prescriptions, and with physicians adding and changing dosages and medications to determine the ideal solutions, it’s essential to know where to safely dispose of unused medications. There are several options:

Check labels. The medication’s label or informational literature might provide instructions on how to properly dispose of the drug. You could also consult the pharmacist for suggestions.
Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This is the suggested method to properly dispose of unwanted medications, and is held once a year in locations across the country by the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. Discover the location closest to you as well as the next date for the event here. 
Exercise caution before flushing medication down the toilet. Flushing medications down the toilet … Read More »



Lilia is such a Superstar!

Please join us in congratulating Lilia for being our Caregiver of the Month for May!

Lilia has been with Hired Hands Homecare for over 4 years and has really been there when we needed her!   She is soft spoken, calm and sweet with a wide variety of skills.  Her flexibility and the ability to go with the flow is often called upon, and she absolutely delivers!  Most importantly, our Clients and the families Lilia works with all give her high accolades, and glowing reviews of her ability to anticipate their particular needs.

Lilia – THANKS for being You, and doing all you do!
~ The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE family



Caring for Elderly Parents: What to Do When Siblings Avoid Helping

It’s not unusual for some siblings to avoid helping to care for elderly parents.

If you are responsible for most of the care for elderly parents while your siblings distance themselves from helping, you are not alone. In fact, 50% of all family caregivers are caring for an aging loved one alone, based on a recently available report from AARP.

Understanding why this situation is so typical – and learning what can you do to safeguard your own personal health, which can easily be impacted by providing care for a senior loved one on your own – is critical. Our aging care experts have the answers.

Family members do not recognize there is a need for assistance. It may very well be that from the outside looking in, you have everything covered and running smoothly, and are not in … Read More »



Resolving Sibling Conflict when Caring for Aging Parents with an Elder Mediator

An elder mediator can help siblings resolve differences when caring for aging parents.

When it comes to working together in caring for aging parents, even the closest of siblings could find themselves in conflict. Stress levels and emotions are, of course, running high. Add to that your past family dynamics and history, which tend to resurface during challenging times, and it’s easy to see how difficult this stage in life can be for each of you. 

The most prevalent aspects of contention among siblings include financial decisions, differing opinions on medical treatments or living arrangements, and an unfair balance of tasks pertaining to caregiving, just to mention a few.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you and your siblings are just unable to arrive at an understanding on precisely how to best care for your aging parents. … Read More »



Innovative Advances in Stroke Recovery Show Early Promise

An innovative new stroke recovery therapy holds promise for restoring mobility.

In an innovative, ongoing trial, deep-brain stimulation – more commonly used for Parkinson’s patients – has recently been tested on stroke survivors. Physicians are hoping that the end result associated with the deep-brain stimulation treatment – which involves implanting an electrode to stimulate a particular portion of the brain – will restore mobility in stroke recovery patients and place an end to the paralysis that so many often experience after a stroke, making the future of home care for stroke patients look much brighter!

To be able to comprehend how a stroke hinders normal brain activity, Laurie Ann Bonkoski, a speech therapist, compares a stroke to a home whose front door has unexpectedly become obstructed by a fallen tree. In her studies, she’s determined to sidestep that … Read More »



Please Join Us…

Posted on May 28th, by Mark Winter in Homecare. No Comments

We join us this Memorial Day Weekend
to celebrate all the brave men and women
for the Courage, Bravery & Sacrifice they’ve made
to ensure our Freedom and Safety.

This weekend we join to Honor & Commemorate.

With sincere gratitude,
The Hired Hands Homecare Family.



Health Risks Of Ibuprofen and Naproxen

As we grow older, most of us develop aches and pains. Sometimes we overlook the pain and get on with life, but other times soreness and pain interfere with our activities. But rather than simply swallowing a few pain pills from your medicine cabinet, you should know about recent FDA warnings about the health risks of ibuprofen and naproxen. 

These over-the-counter pain relievers, sold under various brand names, such as Advil, Motrin, and Aleve, can be quite helpful. But as with any medicines, prescription or over-the-counter, they must be taken with caution, particularly because the FDA has confirmed that these have a hidden danger.

Although the FDA has long warned that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may potentially boost the danger of heart disease and stroke, the wording of this warning has been modified to reflect a more serious nature, … Read More »



Act FAST When Responding to a Stroke

Time matters when responding to a stroke. Learn the warning signs and why it’s important to act FAST.

As the fifth leading cause of death and number one cause of disability in the United States, strokes are a major health concern. Knowing the warning signs and risk factors for a stroke are critically important, as the longer someone suffers a stroke without treatment, the higher the likelihood of disability or death. That’s why when it comes to responding to a stroke, time is of the essence.

A stroke occurs when there is a blood clot or hemorrhage in the brain. A recent study from the American Heart Association has revealed that for every 15-minute delay in delivering a clot-busting drug after a stroke, there are a variety of long-term implications. This is because returning healthy blood flow to … Read More »



Care Tips for Seniors With Dysphagia

Seniors who have dysphagia can benefit from a variety of easy-to-implement care tips.

There’s nothing better than a tall, cold drink on a warm summer day, but for someone with dysphagia, this simple pleasure can be downright dangerous. There are millions of seniors with dysphagia – or trouble swallowing – due to weakened mouth and/or throat muscles. Alzheimer’s, MS, cancer, and stroke are all culprits as well. 

Signs of dysphagia include:

Drooling
Coughing, gagging or choking when eating, drinking, or taking medication
A gurgling sound in the senior’s voice after eating/drinking

Additionally, if you suspect dysphagia in an older family member, ask him or her the following questions – and check with the doctor right away for further guidance:

Are you coughing or choking when trying to eat or drink?
Are you having frequent problems with food “going down the wrong pipe?”
Is food … Read More »



Tips for the Sandwich Generation: Strike a Better Work-Life Balance

Posted on April 28th, by Mark Winter in Aging, Caregiver Support Tip, Caregivers, Respite Care, Sandwich Generation. No Comments

Hired Hands Home Care, providers of hospice care in Pleasanton, CA and nearby areas, have gathered tips for the sandwich generation.

Ask anybody in the sandwich generation if they’ve achieved a healthy life balance between caring for an older loved one, children at home, career, self-care, household management, etc., and you are likely to receive a similar refrain: perhaps a sigh of longing, a snort of frustration, or a rolling of the eyes. And if you happen to be a sandwicher yourself, you may be struggling to set aside the time to even read this article completely! Nonetheless, allow yourself just a few minutes to consider the tips for the sandwich generation below that may just help you to breathe easier and let go of some of the pressure and stress associated with striking a better work-life balance:

Read More »



Overcoming Caregiver Dread is Achievable with These Three Tips

Hired Hands Homecare, providers of elderly care in Santa Rosa and the surrounding areas, provides tips for overcoming caregiver dread.

What are your first thoughts when you wake up in the morning? Are you looking forward to what your day holds, or would you like to crawl back under the covers and stay there? If you are experiencing more dread than delight when you think through your caregiving responsibilities for the day, you are not alone. Overcoming caregiver dread is possible, it just takes a little presence of mind.

Contact us online or call us at (866) 940-4343 to learn about how we can help your family

Distinctly different from anxiety, depression, and even burnout, caregiver dread is an exhausted, heavy sense of duty. It comes from feelings of over commitment together with the desire to get away from obligations. … Read More »



Caregiver Depression: Could You Be Experiencing Burnout?

Posted on April 14th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Support Tip, Caregivers, Family Caregivers, Respite Care. No Comments

Hired Hands Homecare, provider of senior care in Novato, CA and nearby areas, provides tips for avoiding caregiver depression.

There’s no question that it’s a wonderful honor to care for family we love. Family caregivers encounter a closeness and connection with those in their care that very often far outweighs the difficulties. Yet there are difficulties. A continuous to-do list to ensure the senior loved one you are providing care for is as happy and healthy as possible. Household duties and errands to run. Work responsibilities. The requirements of other relatives and friends. And don’t overlook self-care. The end result is an often an overwhelming quantity of stress, that if left unchecked, can easily transform into caregiver depression, which can appear in any or all of the following ways:

Thoughts of frustration, unhappiness, despair, anxiety
Trouble with falling or remaining … Read More »



Advice for the Boomerang Generation: Caring for Senior Parents

Posted on April 8th, by Mark Winter in Aging, Caregiver Support Tip, Caregivers, Family Caregivers, Respite Care. 1 Comment

Hired Hands Homecare, providers of elderly care in Napa and nearby areas, provides advice for the boomerang generation.

Thanks to the advances of science and medicine, we’re now living longer than ever before, resulting in a new responsibility for not only the sandwich generation (adults who are providing care at home for both children and aging parents) but for countless aging adults who have been coined the boomerang generation. Luckily, there are some pieces of advice for the boomerang generation that can help seniors care for their aging parents while also caring for themselves. 

“Aging together” is the term being used to describe older adults whose mother and/or father are still living and in need of support to remain safe at home. This leads to a wave of seniors uprooting and “boomeranging” back to live in close proximity … Read More »



Celebrating a Super Star… the APPLE of Our Eye!

Posted on April 6th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, Home Care Staff, Homecare, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

It was such an honor to go out and deliver recognition to Apple as our most recent Employee of the Month!  We have had the absolute pleasure of working with Apple for close to five years now, and she has developed into an amazing caregiver and has become Napa’s go to caregiver for so many reasons.  Apple has a positive, friendly approachable attitude and has been so extremely helpful, flexible and willing to jump in wherever needed.  Apple has worked hard to develop her skill set, and is now an active member on both our Hospice and Alzheimer’s’/Dementia Care Teams.

She recently stepped in when we needed her on a hospice client with little notice, and they absolutely loved her.  When we ask her to switch her shift out and run on over to assist with a difficult case in Marin … Read More »



How Care Management Can Improve Chronic Disease Care

Posted on March 30th, by Mark Winter in Chronic Conditions, Health, Senior Health, Senior Medical Care. No Comments

Care management is an essential component to effective chronic disease care.

Juggling the numerous medical appointments, procedures, tests, medications, lifestyle changes, and more is a way of life for the many seniors with chronic health needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a full 85% of seniors have at least one chronic health care need, and 60% are diagnosed with two or more. The challenges may seem overwhelming. But there’s one essential component to effectively managing a chronic health condition: care management.

Diagnoses such as diabetes, COPD, heart disease, and more are life-changing. They impact a person’s mental as well as physical health, and it’s important to enlist help in meeting all care needs. Geriatric care managers, also known as aging life care specialists, are skilled professionals with expertise in meeting all of the diverse … Read More »



How COVID-19 Affects the Need for Care Management Services

Posted on March 23rd, by Marissa Snook in Aging, Care Manager, Caregiver Support Tip, Caregivers, COVID-19, Senior Independence. 1 Comment

The providers of in-home support services in Santa Rosa offer tips on how to make use of care management services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially concerning for seniors and their loved ones. Seniors are disproportionately affected by the virus, especially those with underlying conditions such as COPD and heart issues. In an attempt to maintain social distancing and minimize contact with potential contagions, many seniors have become increasingly isolated from their family members. In the absence of routine socialization and attentive care, loneliness and depression as well as memory issues linked to dementia and other diseases can creep in. In response to these difficult circumstances, many families are seeking the assistance of care management services. 

Care managers help families ensure that their senior loved one is safe and cared for, even in unprecedented times such as these. … Read More »



Need a Lifeline? Take This Survey to Determine if Care Management Services Are Needed

Care management services can help families navigate care options and services.

Hiring a professional care manager could potentially make your everyday life or the life of a loved one who needs care support easier; however, are care management services the best choice for your particular situation? When determining whether or not to hire a care manager, also referred to as an Aging Life Care Professional, consider the following questions:

Are your obligations or the adult’s care issues becoming more complex and numerous than can be comfortably managed alone?
Are other family needs and responsibilities getting in the way of providing the desired amount of supervision and care for the loved one?
Are care responsibilities interfering with the paid employment of family members?
Is the current family caregiver struggling to provide the required level of care and supervision due to health issues or … Read More »



What Does a Professional Care Manager Do?

Posted on March 9th, by Mark Winter in Aging, Benefits of Home Care, Care Manager, Caregivers. No Comments

A care manager can help families navigate senior care options.

Are you helping to manage a loved one’s care? If so, you know that hiring services and managing finances to make living at home a safe and viable solution for relatives can be overwhelming, to put it mildly. Many people who are helping loved ones simply do not know where to seek trusted advice, what questions to ask, or where to find a supportive care advocate. A professional care manager (sometimes called an Aging Life Care Professional) is a great resource for these situations. Professional care managers are experienced and trained to work with families to create and manage a detailed care plan that fits each adult’s needs with services such as:

Care planning assessments to determine needs, challenges and eligibility for assistance
Coordination and communication across all medical and … Read More »



Caregiver Tips For New Family Caregivers

Posted on February 25th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Support Tip, Caregivers, Family Caregivers, Respite Care. 1 Comment

Family caregivers have many responsibilities to juggle each day.

It might have come completely without warning: an unexpected fall that resulted in a broken hip plus the need for Mom to have help and support to stay at home. Or, it may have been building up over the years, such as through the incremental and slow progression of Alzheimer’s. Regardless of the circumstances, you have now found yourself in the role of family caregiver, and maybe are wondering precisely what this means and how to navigate these uncharted waters. You could probably use some caregiver tips to help you get started.

First and foremost, take a good deep breath, and a moment to acknowledge the selflessness of your choice. Caregiving is a respectable and extremely rewarding undertaking, yet not without its challenges. A bit of proactive planning will … Read More »



Caring for Elderly Parents SOS: Family Therapy

Posted on February 16th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Support Tip, Caregivers, Family Caregivers. No Comments

With a serious look on her face, the teen girl looks at her grandmother during group therapy.

There are specific milestones we may encounter in our lives that, while not fundamentally negative, are known stressors. Losing a job. Starting a brand new job. Getting married. Getting divorced. And one that individuals in the home care industry are especially mindful of: the mental and physical impact on family members who are caring for elderly parents. Luckily, family therapy can help. 

A number of conflicting emotions crop up for those in the role of family caregiver, and these can be magnified when trying to share duties with siblings or other family members. There are past resentments and hurts which might surface, clashes related to decision-making, in addition to the stress when trying to navigate what feels like a role reversal … Read More »


With Love…

Posted on February 14th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Careers, Caregivers, Family Caregivers, Heart Care, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

On this special day,
we send a message of love
to our absolutely amazing
team of compassionate & dedicated professionals!

We LOVE what we do.
We LOVE the people and families that we care for.
And most of all, we LOVE the people that we are honored
to work with every day.

Spread the Love!
The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE Family


How to Assess Senior Mental Health and Wellbeing Remotely

Posted on February 10th, by Mark Winter in Aging, Benefits of Home Care, Caregivers, Family Caregivers, Senior Safety. No Comments

Monitoring mental health and wellbeing in older adults is critical.

The isolation and fear brought on by COVID-19 has had a profound impact on mental health and wellbeing in older adults. In a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, nearly one half of seniors surveyed stated that their level of stress and worry has adversely impacted their own health. And even though it still may be risky to visit in person with older adults, it’s critical to stay in frequent and regular contact in order to watch for any changes or signs which could indicate a senior mental health concern.

As psychiatrist Judith Feld, MD, MPH, states, “If a senior usually really enjoys a call with a grandchild, for example, but that seems to have changed, maybe you need to ask more questions, such as, ‘How can we be of … Read More »



The Benefits and Rewards of a Professional Caregiving Career

A professional caregiving career is personally and professionally fulfilling.

There’s an old adage that states, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” While professional caregivers will tell you that there are days their job feels like a lot of work, they will also tell you that more often than not, a caregiving career is professionally and personally fulfilling because of the difference they make in peoples’ lives.

In working closely to assist others, caregivers utilize a variety of skills in order to ensure that the people in their care live full and engaged lives. If you’ve helped a loved one informally as a family caregiver, you probably know firsthand the important role of a caregiver – not only in helping with basic care needs, but in helping maintain … Read More »



What to Expect From an Average Day as an In-Home Caregiver

Working as an in-home caregiver can be a rewarding way to give back to your community.

As more and more members of our communities reach their senior years, the demand for in-home caregivers has increased. You may be considering making caregiving your career but aren’t entirely sure what to expect from the job, or if you’re even qualified. The good news is, even without previous experience as an in-home caregiver, you might be more qualified for this rewarding career than you think. 

Caregivers generally possess a unifying series of traits that form the foundation of their vocation, including compassion, responsibility, patience, and an interest in making a difference in their local communities. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are drawn to caregiving due to the job’s flexibility, variety, and service-oriented nature. 

So what can you … Read More »



Study Shines Light on Top Family Caregiving Worries: What if I Make a Mistake?

Learn how home care services can help alleviate family caregiving fears.

“Of course Dad can move in with me!” 

Increasingly, more family members are making this commendable decision on a daily basis, signifying the start of lifestyle changes they can only fully gain an understanding of once immersed in them. And even though the rewards of family caregiving are immeasurable, it’s a role that is not without its struggles and challenges. That’s why it’s important to understand the top family caregiving worries that caregivers face. 

It may seem natural to manage everyday activities for a loved one; but it’s not as instinctive as it seems on first impression. For example, helping a loved one into the shower or bath incorrectly may lead to a fall. Inadequate incontinence care could cause skin damage and infection. Non-compliance with a recommended … Read More »



Top Tips For Selecting a Home Care Provider for a Senior Loved One


A trusted home care partner can help a senior loved one thrive in the comfort of home.

There are a number of facets involved in selecting a home care provider for an older adult. In our continued quest to help families sort through their options for home care with knowledge and confidence, the following are three tips to remember: 

Assessing Needs

With a professional home care agency, you don’t need to worry about determining what services are best for a particular situation. Prior to starting care, the agency will come to the home and, through a series of questions, be able to develop a care plan that is customized to the situation and suits the particular needs associated with the person needing care. The agency may also work with the client’s physician or others on the care team, … Read More »



Senior Holiday Depression: Tips to Tackle Sadness

Seniors and the holidays: learn why feelings of sadness are not uncommon.

In spite of its reputation for being viewed as the season of joy, the combination of seniors and the holidays can lead to profound feelings of unhappiness for many older adults. Yearning for holidays past, despair over the loss of family and friends, and worrisome changes to health can intensify throughout the holiday season, and it’s important to take the appropriate steps to help older loved ones avoid the downward spiral into senior holiday depression.

If an older adult you love is feeling blue this holiday season, begin by asking yourself these three questions

Could it possibly be normal nostalgia? Wistful feelings of nostalgia, thinking of pre-pandemic holiday get-togethers and celebrations, are normal for all of us. See if the older adult’s sadness is lifted immediately following … Read More »



Celebrating the Holidays with Seniors During a Pandemic

Think about the most perfect holiday season you can possibly imagine. While that image may vary a bit for each of us, it typically includes lights, gifts, good food, and traditions handed down through the generations. Yet what most definitely rings true for all of us is the happiness in spending time with the people we love. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us all to rethink how to safely enjoy the holidays with seniors during a pandemic. With a bit of ingenuity and creativity, however, it’s feasible to bridge the gap while making new memories with the seniors you love, even if you cannot be together with them in person this season. 

Our aging care professionals have collected several suggestions to help you celebrate the holidays with seniors during a pandemic:

Adjust traditions. Think through the traditions that mean the … Read More »



The Gift of a Homemade Memory Book for Seniors with Dementia

Posted on December 17th, by Mark Winter in Alzheimer's, Chronic Conditions, Dementia. No Comments

Provide the gift of memories for a loved one with dementia this holiday season.

 “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss

Memories are what binds together our past experiences with who we are today; and for a senior with Alzheimer’s, confusion around these memories can have a powerful impact. One of our goals as a home care company in Santa Rosa, CA and surrounding areas in caring for seniors diagnosed with dementia is to help them store and share memories in order to make sense of daily life.

A great way to make this happen is through the creation of a memory book, which includes pictures and short descriptions to refer back to when an older adult has questions regarding his or her identity, relatives, etc. A … Read More »



What is the Best Way to Assist An Elderly Parent After a Hospital Stay?

Engaging home care services after a hospital stay is essential for a smoother transition.

As experts in home care in Rohnert Park and other California cities, we understand that recovering after a surgical procedure can take time, especially for older adults. Not only do aging bodies take longer to heal, but together with reduced mobility and a multitude of directions for medications, physical activities, follow-up appointments, and dietary restrictions, there is a lot to help keep tabs on after a hospitalization. So what is the best way to assist an elderly parent after a hospital stay? 

Recent research conducted by IPC, The Hospitalist Company, revealed that nearly one out of every five discharged patients required assistance with at least one thing that had the possibility of affecting their recovery. Other similar studies have shown that bringing in professional … Read More »



The Benefits of Laughter in Dementia Care

Incorporating laughter in dementia care can help relieve stress and instill joy.

Caring for someone you love with dementia is definitely nothing to laugh about. Yet studies are increasingly pointing towards the benefits of laughter in dementia care, and adding it may be exactly what the doctor ordered to boost well-being for a senior loved one.

As an example, an Australian study just recently revealed that humor therapy is effective in reducing agitation in individuals with dementia as effectively as antipsychotic medications, without any negative side effects. Shared laughter connects us, and assists people who have cognitive difficulties to feel understood, secure, and at ease. As stated by Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks, “When anyone is sick or having a hard time, they still like to laugh. I spend a lot of time teaching people that … Read More »



How Alzheimer’s Impacts Vision

Learn how Alzheimer’s impacts vision and what steps to take to ensure safety.

The intricate steps needed to make it possible for us to see are mind-boggling. Within the blink of an eye, our brains have the capability to take transmitted details from the environment around us, translate that information based upon input from other senses, thoughts, and experiences, and then build an understanding of that information to help make us conscious of what we are seeing.

It’s unsurprising that Alzheimer’s impacts vision, and therefore people with Alzheimer’s can encounter misperceptions and visual deficits, particularly in the aspects of:

Depth and/or color perception
Contrast
Motion recognition
Peripheral vision

What’s more, individuals who have Alzheimer’s can frequently encounter an altered sense of reality in the form of illusions. For instance, someone with Alzheimer’s disease could see a shadow on the ground, and mistake … Read More »



Community Conversations about Emergency Preparedness and COVID-19

Posted on November 19th, by Mark Winter in Homecare. No Comments

Greetings,

We are happy to share what should be two outstanding presentations important to both Seniors and our general community.  Please see below for details.

First, starting at 5:30 this evening, a super group of panelists join to discuss Emergency Preparedness for Seniors and People with Disabilities.

 

Secondly, our Congressman Mike Thompson holds another important Town Hall regarding the current state of COVID-19 in our community.



Caregiving 101: How Dementia Impacts Senior Personal Care Needs

Posted on November 18th, by Mark Winter in Alzheimer's, Caregiver Support Tip, Dementia, Family Caregivers, Health. No Comments

Senior personal care needs, like dressing, can become a struggle with dementia.

Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or any other kind of dementia requires empathy, creativity, and patience, the capacity to step away from your individual reasoning and logic and realize why a specific behavior is occurring, and then to understand just how to effectively manage it. That is certainly the case with senior personal care needs, such as a loved one who won’t change his/her clothing, in spite of how dirty or unkempt an outfit has become.

There are several reasons why a senior with Alzheimer’s disease may insist upon wearing the same outfit, including:

Memory or judgment problems, including losing track of time or thinking the clothes were recently changed
The comfort and familiarity of a particular piece of clothing
A need to maintain control
Struggles with … Read More »



Tips to Solve Inappropriate Alzheimer’s Behaviors

Inappropriate Alzheimer’s behaviors are common and can be managed compassionately.

Disbelief. Shame. Awkwardness. Discomfort. Many of these types of feelings can cycle through a family caregiver’s heart when a loved one with dementia displays disinhibited behaviors, such as:

Rude or tactless comments
Inappropriate sexual advances or remarks
Removal of clothing at improper times
And other socially unacceptable actions

The complicated changes that occur to the brain in Alzheimer’s disease may cause a complete turnaround in an older adult’s personality and behaviors, such as a formerly genteel grandma suddenly swearing like a sailor. For an individual who is confused, uncomfortable, disoriented, or has simply forgotten social skills and graces, these behaviors are actually quite common, so it’s crucial to learn how to specifically manage them should they arise in someone you love.

Hired Hands Homecare’s Alzheimer’s care experts suggest trying the following tactics … Read More »



Happy Veterans Day!

Posted on November 11th, by Mark Winter in Homecare. No Comments

Our heartfelt THANKS go out to all the men and women
who have given so much to protect our safety and freedom.
We gratefully salute you for your service and sacrifice.

We are truly honored to provide service and support
to so many Veterans in our community.

With great respect,
The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE family



Support for Family Caregivers Brings Peace of Mind

Support for family caregivers is vital for success.

“Obviously Dad can move in with me!”

More family caregivers are making this commendable choice, signifying the start of lifestyle changes they may only truly comprehend once in the middle of them. Even though the positive aspects of providing care for an older parent are immeasurable, they’re not without a number of struggles as well.

It may seem natural to take care of daily activities for a senior loved one; however, it’s not quite as instinctive as it seems initially. For example, helping a senior in the shower or bath the wrong way can result in a fall. Poor incontinence care can cause skin damage and infection. Noncompliance with a recommended nutritional plan can bring about a wide array of health complications.

It’s no wonder that in a … Read More »



Family Caregiving Brings a Mix of Emotions

Family caregiving is a complex role and can bring feelings of uncertainty.

If you are feeling somewhat disheartened in your family caregiving role, take heart; you are in good company. Providing care for a senior loved one is probably the most complex role we can hold: highly fulfilling on the one hand, while at the same time discouraging and ever-evolving, often leading to feelings of uncertainty about whether we are up to the challenge and providing the best care.

It is why a number of family caregivers battle against some or all of these types of feelings:

Guilt: You may feel as though you are not doing as much as you really need to in order to help your senior loved one, that you’re self-centered for wanting time away for yourself, or that you’re inadequate to provide … Read More »



Dehydration in Seniors: Warning Signs & Tips to Help Stay Hydrated

Dehydration in seniors is common and can lead to health issues if not addressed.

Did you realize…approximately 50% of all older adults are chronically under-hydrated, according to a recent study conducted at UCLA? Not only that, but seniors over age 65 account for the highest category of hospital admissions because of dehydration.

Dehydration in seniors can sneak up quickly because they often have a decreased sensation of thirst, can experience medication side effects that can cause hydration problems, or they mistakenly believe that drinking less will reduce incontinence issues.

Senior dehydration is extremely dangerous, increasing the risk for health issues such as:

UTIs
Kidney stones and/or failure
Blood clots
Seizures
Hypovolemic shock
And many others

Dehydration is generally detected by the following symptoms:

Early stages:

Decreased amount/darker-colored urine
Dry mouth
Feelings of weakness, dizziness, and/or exhaustion
Muscle cramps
Irritation

Advanced stages:

Confusion and disorientation, such as problems with walking
Low … Read More »



Tips for Effectively Managing Medical Issues for Seniors

Managing medical issues for seniors requires effective communication.

Out of all the many responsibilities a family caregiver faces, possibly one of the most difficult is managing medical issues. The National Council on Aging estimates that around ¾ of all seniors are identified as having at least two chronic illnesses, and they are seeing an average of four healthcare specialists.

As your senior parent’s advocate, it’s crucial to know how to communicate effectively with those from the older adult’s medical team, and also to arrive at appointments fully prepared to address any and all issues. The following four questions are a good starting point:

Are all of these prescription drugs required? With most aging parents taking multiple medications, you will want to keep an in-depth list and examine regularly with the doctor and also the pharmacist, both of whom … Read More »



In-Home Recovery Help Following a COVID-19 Diagnosis

Posted on September 29th, by Mark Winter in Benefits of Home Care, Caregiver Support Tip, Caregivers, COVID-19. No Comments

Home care recovery following a COVID-19 diagnosis is preferred by most individuals.

In the event that you or someone you love tested positive for COVID-19, you understand how serious it is and how recovery can be a long road.

The good news is that Hired Hands Homecare offers compassionate in-home recovery care services to help aid in the healing process after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. With continual adherence to CDC guidelines, including proper hand washing, sanitizing and disinfecting, and wearing personal protective equipment, our expertly-trained caregivers can help by allowing you time to focus on gaining strength, resting, and taking other steps necessary to make a full and complete recovery.

During recover, be sure to keep in mind the following:

First and foremost, know when you should seek emergency medical care. Some of the symptoms that warrant immediate … Read More »



Questions to Consider When Moving Senior Parents Home

Moving senior parents home is an option many families are considering during the pandemic.

The number of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities has been overwhelming, as the virus sweeps through our most vulnerable population who live together in such close proximity like wildfire. Not surprisingly, many families, as a result, are moving their senior parents home, which brings about a number of issues to work through.

Hired Hands Homecare, providers of senior care in Rohnert Park and the surrounding area, is here with the information you need to make sure the transition home for your older loved ones is a smooth one. An ideal place to start when considering moving senior parents home is by getting the answers to these questions:

Is there sufficient space for the senior to have his or her own … Read More »



Lela is the Best!

Posted on September 23rd, by Mark Winter in Homecare, OUR Caregivers. No Comments

Please meet Lela! Hired Hands Homecare is pleased to honor Lela as our Caregiver of the Month for August. Lela is on our Live-in Team, and has been finding a special calling for working with our Hospice clients. She is very special not only to us, we have had several clients and families mention that she is simply outstanding! Lela, we proudly salute you for all you do!

Thanks!
The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE Team



Helping Family Caregivers Find Resiliency in a Time of Crisis

Try these tips for helping family caregivers stay resilient during a crisis.

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 for helping family caregivers find resilience through any time of crisis.

Convey your reactions. It is common to have an array of responses to … 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 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, meaning … 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 senior 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. 1 Comment

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 »



The Emotions That Come With Caring for Aging Parents, and How to Manage Them

Posted on July 21st, by Mark Winter in Benefits of Home Care, Caregivers, Family Caregivers, Respite Care. No Comments

Caring for aging parents raises some complicated emotions.

If you’re feeling a bit discouraged in your role in caring for aging parents, take heart; you’re in good company. Providing care for a loved one is perhaps one of the most complex roles we can hold: highly rewarding on one hand, while simultaneously frustrating and ever-evolving, often leading to feelings of doubt about whether we’re up to the challenge and providing the best possible care.

It’s why so many family caregivers struggle with some or all of these types of feelings:

Guilt: You may feel as though you’re not doing as much as you should to help your loved one, that you’re selfish for wanting time away to yourself, or that you’re inadequate to provide the help your loved one needs.
Helplessness: There are some circumstances when you simply … Read More »



Stress for a Family Caregiver Is a Given. Overcome It with These Tips

Posted on July 16th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, Family Caregivers, Respite Care. No Comments

If you’re a family caregiver, it’s important to manage stress.

Stress for a family caregiver is inevitable, and actually, not necessarily always a bad thing. After all, as the saying goes, “A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.” Yet especially for family caregivers, the level of stress can quickly escalate and become overwhelming, and if not managed effectively, lead to serious health concerns.

Try these tips to minimize stress and achieve a healthier and more relaxed lifestyle – both for yourself and those you love:

Change your self-talk. Throughout the course of your day, you may find yourself entertaining thoughts such as, “I can’t do this!” or “Everything is going wrong!” Pause when negative thinking begins to intrude, and say to yourself instead, “I can handle this, one step at a time,” … Read More »



How a Hospice Referral Can Provide Comfort and Eliminate Fear

Posted on June 30th, by Mark Winter in Aging, Benefits of Home Care, Hospice Assistance, Senior Transitions. No Comments

A hospice referral can help patients meet end-of-life goals.

We often educate on the importance of not delaying a hospice referral because we believe an earlier referral allows the patient and his or her family to better prepare mentally and spiritually for the end of the patient’s life. Yet a common misconception that hospice care is merely symptom management often leads to a later referral. In fact, hospice care involves many additional benefits to provide comfort:

Provides assistance in obtaining appropriate equipment and medications
Empowers families to take care of their loved one in the comfort of home
Helps alleviate the fear that often occurs for patients and their families
Helps a spouse with Social Security issues, financial issues, and long-term care questions
Addresses family dynamics and spirituality concerns (if any exist)

Hospice is not about dying, but about quality of life … Read More »



Hospice Care Brings Peace and Quality of Life to Patients

Hospice care provides comfort for a loved one and his/her family.

Determining when to shift focus from proactive cure attempts to hospice care can be difficult for the loved ones of someone diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. Understanding what hospice care is and the benefits it provides is a crucial first step. Hospice care offers supportive social, emotional, and spiritual services to the terminally ill and their families, primarily in the patient’s home.

Hospice is typically recommended when:

The senior’s physician does not believe there is a viable treatment option available.
The prognosis is six months or less to live.
The patient is enduring treatment that is neither life-prolonging nor enhancing quality of life just to avoid addressing the unpleasant facts with family and loved ones.
Family and loved ones are postponing a discussion about end of life because of a … 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 »



Support our Older Adult Community During Elder Abuse Awareness Day!

Posted on June 15th, by Mark Winter in Homecare. No Comments

Join us as our community commemorates June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day!  Supervisor Shirlee Zane leads a panel in shedding light on this critical issue.

Join the Zoom session:  https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xRYWtxbITA2cxu8hbMy4-A

 


Understanding the Benefits of Palliative Care

Posted on June 9th, by Mark Winter in Aging, Caregivers, Chronic Conditions. 1 Comment

Understand the benefits of palliative care to help increase quality of life.

What initially comes to your mind when you hear the words “palliative care?” For many, it’s associated with hospice care. The true goal of palliative care, however, is to obtain comfort from symptoms such as pain, vomiting and nausea that are the result of either a disease or from the treatment for that condition. There are times when this does come about at the end of life.

Dr. Eric Widera, who practices palliative care at the University of California, San Francisco, explains, “We hear this all the time: ‘They’re not ready for palliative care,’ as if it’s a stage people have to accept, as opposed to something that should be a routine part of care.”

And though palliative care, much like hospice care, focuses on maximizing … Read More »



10 Myths About Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Learn the facts about asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few misconceptions regarding mesothelioma, the rare and aggressive disease caused by asbestos exposure. Some people ask, “Is mesothelioma contagious?” Others believe the disease is linked to smoking.

These incorrect assessments range from how people develop mesothelioma to where the disease forms within the body. Other mesothelioma myths include the demographics affected by mesothelioma, the amount of asbestos exposure needed to develop the sickness and the legality of using the substance in the United States.

Below are some common myths about mesothelioma and asbestos, as well as the realities of the disease:

Myth 1: Smoking Is Linked to Mesothelioma

Smoking is not linked to mesothelioma. The act does not cause or increase your risk of developing the disease. The disease forms along the mesothelium, which is a lining … Read More »



Standing Together – Hopeful for Change.

Posted on June 3rd, by Mark Winter in Homecare. No Comments

Greetings,

All of us at Hired Hands Homecare are deeply saddened by the tragic events and violence that have swept through our communities and the country over the recent weeks.  Our hearts go out to everyone who has been negatively affected by the tragedy of George Floyd.  Unfortunately, our country has struggled with racial inequality for a very long time. 

 Hired Hands is extremely proud of the very diverse workforce we have had the honor of working with over the last 26 years. Hopefully, as a country, we can improve upon being a more inclusive and compassionate society.  We can only hope for peaceful progress in breaking down racial barriers as our communities work through this difficult and sad time.  May the best foot forward be with kindness and respect for all.  Please know that you are important and appreciated, and together … 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 »



Dementia Caregiver Tips for COVID-19

Our team is here to keep you informed with the most useful dementia caregiver tips for COVID-19.

Providing caregiving assistance for your family member with dementia is complicated under the best of conditions; mix in a global pandemic, one that calls for social distancing, masks, and meticulous sterilization of both ourselves and the environment, and the challenge may seem impossible.

Hired Hands Homecare’s team of caregivers offers the following dementia caregiver tips to help reduce anxiousness and irritation for those diagnosed with dementia, while keeping both them and their caregivers safe:

Make self-care a top priority. Now more so than ever, it’s extremely important to assess your own personal degree of stress, and take action to make sure you’re healthy – both physically and emotionally. You can only supply the best help for a senior loved one if your … 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 »



Happy Mother’s Day

Posted on May 10th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, Homecare. No Comments

Greetings and Salutations!

First and foremost, we hope that this email finds you and your loved ones safe and well! These are very difficult times, and it seems so odd that many are starting to act like we beat this thing, and it is ok to go out and play like we used to! We know that we have made GREAT strides towards minimizing the spread, and that we will continue to do so only by maintaining and expanding upon safety precautions and healthy habits. Together we stand!

We would like to extend a huge, heartfelt THANK YOU to all the Mothers – past, present & future! With their wisdom, love & support… they are the glue for our families! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY Moms! We love you!

Be well & stay strong!
The HIRED HANDS HOMECARE Family



Why You Should Seek Help from an Aging Life Care Professional

Make the best care choices with the help of Hired Hands Homecare and an aging life care professional.

We all desire the best for our loved ones – it’s only natural. Yet in some cases when families are involved in an older person’s care, feelings about what is best may clash. This can cause family members to fight with each other as opposed to working together. This is when it’s often a good idea to enlist the help of an outside person like a geriatric care manager (GCM), one who realizes what seniors need for long-term care and how to accomplish getting this care.


Options for Helping Older Parents Age at Home

Hired Hands Homecare is experienced in helping older parents live comfortably and safely when aging at home.

Ask most older people if they wish to age at home, even if they are struggling with aging-related issues, and the response is in most cases a resounding “yes!” Having to move away from their home, a place with so many memories, can be distressing, even if they admit that it’s getting more difficult to cope. Yet, wishing to continue to be at home and having the ability to stay at home, all alone, are two separate things. So what can you do? Even as a 24/7, around-the-clock family caregiver, you are not able to do it all by yourself. You need help and it could be that in-home care is the solution for aging at home.


The WORLD gives THANKS!

Posted on April 18th, by Mark Winter in Homecare. No Comments

Today, the world unites through the language of music to celebrate and give thanks through the ONE WORLD: Together at Home show. Tune in, it’s on all the networks and all over the internet, and includes the biggest musicians and stars in the biz!

The THANKS most absolutely go out to
YOU, for being the healthcare professional you are! Your daily commitment, compassion and dedication make an enormous impact on the lives of the seniors and families that we serve. And when times get really tough… we go to work! We know folks are depending on us, and our work is saving lives by keeping people safe and well.

As the world joins together to celebrate and give thanks, the HIRED HANDS HOMECARE Family could not be more thankful and proud of the extraordinary people we are surrounded by.

You are a HERO! THANK … Read More »


Caregiver HEROES!

Posted on April 15th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers, Home Care Staff, Senior Medical Care. No Comments

THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all your Dedication, Compassion & Commitment to the Seniors and Families of our Communities!



4 Safer Alternatives to Sleep Medication for Seniors

Sleep medication for seniors can, in some cases, be dangerous.

What could be better than waking up well rested after a full night’s sleep, feeling energized and ready to face the day? For some seniors – as many as one in three – getting sufficient sleep is something that only happens in their dreams. And sadly, it’s a common assumption that lack of sleep is something we just need to accept in our later years – a misconception that Preeti Malani, M.D., chief health officer and professor of medicine at the University of Michigan wants to dispel. According to Dr. Malani, “If older adults believe that these changes are a normal, inevitable part of aging, they may not think of it as something to discuss with their doctor. And not discussing it can potentially lead to health issues not … Read More »


The Surprising Hazards Associated with Pill Organizers and Medication Management

Medication management using pill organizers isn’t as easy as you may think for seniors.

Older adults, on average, take as many as 15-18 different prescriptions each day, so it’s no surprise that so many seniors end up missing doses or taking incorrect doses of their medications. And there are serious health complications that can occur as a result of these medication errors. One solution is the pill organizer: such a basic idea to simply put the right medications into the right little boxes each day. However, there are surprising hazards of pill organizers that people don’t realize.


Which Diet for Seniors Is Better: Nutritional Supplements, or Natural Foods?

Find the information you need to choose the best diet for seniors.

Determining the best diet for seniors can be challenging. With the many factors that impact an older adult’s ability to maintain a healthy diet, it’s important to know how to obtain the most nutritional punch for the foods your older loved ones are willing or able to consume.

Nutritional supplements, such as Boost and Ensure, are often recommended for the elderly, in order to ensure necessary vitamins and minerals are consumed each day, but many people wonder how these drinks stack up to real, natural foods. We decided to find out!

We first looked at two healthy food options that are easy, convenient, and low in cost for seniors to enjoy for breakfast or a snack: low-fat yogurt, and an orange. Together, these foods offer … Read More »



Senior Malnutrition Is Surprisingly Common. Learn How to Detect and Prevent It Here.

Keep your loved one’s safe from senior malnutrition.

Remember getting together for Sunday meals at Grandma’s house, when everyone gathered around the table for a home-cooked meal, conversations, and laughter? Unfortunately, with so many families now living at a distance from their elderly loved ones, and with so many varying needs pulling us in multiple directions, it’s hard to maintain this tradition – and it may be just one of the factors contributing to a recent dramatic increase in senior malnutrition.

In fact, as many as 25% of all adults over age 65 in the U.S. are malnourished, triggering critical health concerns. For some seniors who live alone, they simply aren’t inclined to want to prepare nutritious meals for themselves. Others are undergoing feelings of grief, depression, anxiety, cognitive difficulties, poverty, medication side effects, and many other influencers … Read More »



Good Nutrition for the Elderly Begins with Asking These 5 Questions

Ensure good nutrition for elderly loved ones with these tips.

A mother’s love for her children has no age limitations. And parents of all ages want more than anything to protect their children from problems, which can sometimes mean concealing their own concerns. Moreover, when family live at a distance, it can be especially challenging to ensure good nutrition for elderly loved ones. Contact us online or call us at (866) 940-4343 to learn about how we can help your loved ones thrive.

One of the top challenges in aging is a decline in meeting nutritional needs. If you suspect that your older loved ones may not be getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy and well, this quick assessment can help pinpoint potential red flags that could indicate a problem with nutrition:

Has your loved one mentioned … Read More »


The Link Between Senior Nutrition and Dementia: Reduce the Risk with These Tips

Poor senior nutrition may be linked to dementia.

Although there are a variety of age-related issues that can impact senior nutrition, research is now pointing to an even greater reason for ensuring our older loved ones stick to a healthy diet: potential cognitive impairment. And malnutrition in older adults is more common than you may think. According to the National Resource on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Aging, upwards of 35 to 50% of the elderly residents of long-term care facilities are struggling with malnutrition, and as many as 65% of older hospitalized adults are estimated to be malnourished as well.

Malnourished older adults are twice as likely to see the doctor, and three times as likely to be hospitalized. They also encounter lessened muscle strength and poor healing. Not only that, but a recent study points to the … Read More »



Which Is More Effective: Senior Workouts or Medication? The Answer May Surprise You!

Senior workouts may be even more beneficial than medication.

If you made a New Year’s resolution to exercise more this year, hopefully you’re continuing to stick with it! As it turns out, adding more physical activity to your daily routine is one resolution we should all be keeping – and this is even more important for older adults, many of whom take multiple medications for a variety of conditions.

Research is showing that, surprisingly, doctor-approved senior workouts can be as effective as many typically-prescribed medications in treating or preventing some of the leading causes of death. In the study, scientists compared how effective various medications and exercise routines were in reducing deaths among those who had been diagnosed with several common and serious health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. The results consistently indicated that both … Read More »



A Key Component of Senior Exercise: Laughter!

Be sure to include laughter in your program of exercises for seniors.

Have you ever found yourself in the awkward situation where you’re about to bubble over with uncontrollable laughter, usually at the most inappropriate moment – standing in a crowded elevator, sitting in a quiet waiting room, or in the middle of a religious service? While there are, naturally, times when we should suppress the silliness, author Jane Heller explains that, “Humor can keep us balanced, even in the grimmest of times. It reminds us that despite illness and disability, there are moments of real joy in life and we need to embrace them.”

The health benefits of laughter are simply incredible, including:

Releasing endorphins
Strengthening brain connectivity
Providing a social boost
Relieving pain
Enhancing the immune system
Improving mood
And many more

When putting together a plan of senior exercise, be sure to … Read More »



Dementia Exercise Suggestions for Each Stage of the Disease

Try these dementia exercise recommendations for each stage of the disease.

The many advantages of staying physically active are clear, but what is not as well known is that exercise can be extremely beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s disease, for a number of reasons: reducing the risk for muscle weakness and other issues that stem from inactivity, easing the effects of psychological and behavioral challenges, and much more.

As with anyone considering starting a new exercise routine, the doctor should first be consulted. Then, try these dementia exercise suggestions, utilizing the following strategies per each person’s individual abilities and the appropriate stage of  the disease:

Early Stages

Older adults in the initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease can often still fully enjoy active and social exercises like walking, dancing, bowling, golf, and swimming, even though some degree of … Read More »



The Latest Guidelines on Exercise for Arthritis Management

The latest recommendations make it even easier to exercise for arthritis management.

We all need to exercise and stay as physically active as possible, and older adults are no exception. But those who are challenged by the pain and stiffness of arthritis have an additional hurdle to overcome to maintain a healthy level of physical activity.

The good news: the most recent recommendations reduce the level of intensity of activity for older adults diagnosed with arthritis, suggesting as little as just 45 minutes of exercise per week to achieve and maintain a higher degree of functionality – much less intimidating for those who may typically shy away from exercise.

Per Northwestern University professor Dorothy Dunlop, “Even a little activity is better than none. For those older people suffering from arthritis who are minimally active, a 45-minute minimum … Read More »



3 High-Tech Tools to Help Overcome Senior Vision Problems

Posted on January 29th, by Mark Winter in Aging, Health, Homecare, Medical News, Senior Health, Senior Independence, Technology. No Comments

Those with senior vision problems can find help with these tech tools.

Affecting an overwhelming number of Americans, vision loss is as unique and individualized as each person who experiences it – from merely needing to don reading glasses when browsing through the morning newspaper, to full blindness and a plethora of varying degrees in between. And senior vision problems are even more prevalent, with as many as one in every three older adults experiencing some form of eye disease that impacts vision, including glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and others. The good news is that technology continues to offer new and improved options all the time to help those with vision problems. Following are just three of the many vision enhancement tools that are now available:

Be My Eyes. This incredible app connects sighted volunteers with those who have … Read More »



Overcome These Common Obstacles to Family Caregivers and Seniors Using Technology

Seniors and their family seem to want to use care technology solutions. Find out why they typically are not.

Today’s older adults are overrun with an explosion of hi-tech products focused on bettering their independence and safety and providing life enhancement. With the touch of a button or two, older adults can automatically visit “in person” with friends and family through Skype, wear a pendant that takes action with emergency help and support when necessary, and even remain safe from getting lost with specialized receptors attached to clothes or shoes. 

The issue becomes how to encourage older adults (and family members who care for them) to shift from a low-tech frame of mind to embracing all that’s available to them, something that is continually top of mind for us at Hired Hands Homecare. AARP reports that only 7% … Read More »



Seniors and Technology: The Perfect Match for These 5 Common Concerns

Seniors and technology are the perfect match when facing these issues.

Whether you are looking to tune a guitar, study a new language, or just add cats’ ears to a selfie, there is an app for that! And when it comes to seniors and technology, specifically when older adults choose to age in place at home, high-tech tools are often an extremely important component in increasing safety, comfort, and overall quality of life.

Take Amazon’s Alexa, as an example. Whereas its current benefits for seniors are numerous, such as the ability to track sugar levels, make doctor appointments, and research information related to a specific health issue, it’s actually poised to dig even further into the medical care arena – possibly even detecting heart attacks and helping doctors obtain precise diagnoses.

Here are a few additional technology … Read More »



Teaching Seniors Technology: Make Sure It’s Part of Any High-Tech Gift!

Teaching seniors technology is as important as giving high-tech care enhancing gifts.

More and more older adults are receiving high-tech gadgets as holiday gifts, for good reason: there are so many incredible benefits to enhance safety, socialization, and enjoyment. In fact, of those seniors who report using the Internet, a full 71 percent go online every day or most days, and another 11 percent are online between three and five times per week, per recent research from the Pew Research Center. And that same report revealed that seniors are more likely to own a tablet or e-reader than a smartphone.

Whether you give an older loved one a tablet, e-reader, or AARP’s new RealPad (made especially for older adults, with larger icons, fonts and around-the-clock live customer service), smart devices such as these are meant to make … Read More »



Merry Christmas from Hired Hands Homecare!


Avoid a Hospital Visit for the Seniors You Love This Holiday Season With These Tips

While we may envision a Norman Rockwell-worthy Thanksgiving celebration, with the whole family enjoying quality time together and Grandma’s traditional feast, the reality for many families includes something unexpected: a hospital visit. In fact, statistics show that E/R visits for the elderly jump an astounding 10 – 20% during the holidays. What can you do to avoid a hospital visit this holiday season?

While pinpointing the exact reasoning behind this increase is difficult, it stands to reason that one factor could be family members who haven’t spent time with an elderly relative in the months prior to the holiday season, only to discover then that his or her condition has deteriorated.

Dr. Tamara Kuittinen of Lenox Hill Hospital explains, “It’s an issue of out of sight, out of mind for many people. If you haven’t seen your mom … Read More »



The Power Foods to Reduce Stress During the Holidays – And How Home Care Can Help

As much joy as the holiday season brings, there’s also often an overwhelming level of stress, particularly for busy family caregivers who are already stretched thin. The additional responsibilities of shopping, baking, attending parties and events, and so much more can make it difficult to feel that all is calm and bright!

At Hired Hands Homecare, the top providers of Sonoma home care and senior care services in the surrounding areas, it’s our goal to partner with families to provide the dependable, professional care services that help restore a healthy life balance – even (and especially!) during the hectic pace of the holidays. One of the many ways we can help is through planning and preparing nutritious meals for seniors, and when stress levels are elevated, including these types of foods to reduce stress:

Whole grains. A great source of … Read More »



Post-Holiday Loneliness Can Be Devastating. Find Help for Lonely Seniors Here.

The holiday season can be filled with a whirlwind of activity for the seniors we love, with family gatherings, holiday parties, faith-based events and services, determining the ideal gifts for the ones they love, etc. However, after the holiday decorations are packed away and family members have resumed the everyday busyness of life, many seniors struggle with a prevalent but little-discussed concern: post-holiday loneliness.

Although naturally those who live alone are most susceptible to feelings of isolation and sadness when the holiday festivities are complete, all aging adults are susceptible to a case of the blues, as they look to the approaching year while reminiscing over years past. It’s crucial for family members to find help for lonely seniors that will encourage a positive transition. Give some thought to the following suggestions:

Start planning for the next gathering. Set a … Read More »



5 Tips from the Marina, CA Home Care Specialists on Managing Diabetes During the Holidays

The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with family and friends, but let’s be honest: it’s often also a time for overindulgence in unhealthy food choices. With a variety of rich, fatty, and sugary delicacies offered at every turn, it’s difficult to follow a healthy diet, which can result in significant health concerns for individuals with diabetes.



Sincere and Heartfelt Thanks!

Posted on November 27th, by Mark Winter in Caregivers. No Comments

At this momentous time of year,
we give great amounts of Thanks and Praise
to the outstanding management team and caregivers
that we have the utmost joy of working with.
It is an Honor to play such an important role in the communities we serve,
but an even higher honor to do it with such amazing people!
Happy Thanksgiving,
Lynn, Erin & Mark

 



New Guidelines and Recommendations for Diabetes Management

Important new diabetes management guidelines for seniors from the Endocrine Society.

The latest guidelines from the Endocrine Society concerning diabetes management and the elderly are unexpected, to say the least: lower blood sugar isn’t always best. And for individuals who’ve been maintaining a routine of finger pricks, insulin injections, and keeping careful track of food intake, this alteration may be a bit hard to swallow.

Known as de-intensification, geriatricians are now often taking the strategy with older adults that the benefits to be attained by aiming for rigid blood sugar control are not outweighing the health risks inherent with aging and illness. When A1c and blood sugar levels are held at low levels in the elderly, for instance, it may possibly result in an increased frequency of hypoglycemia and also kidney failure.

With up to one in … Read More »



Tips for Seniors: Embracing Life in Spite of a Chronic Disease Diagnosis