Let’s Talk About Rx, part II

Imagine your senior loved one trying to juggle the daily dosing schedule for their many medications. Several pills must be taken at various times ranging from twice to four times a day, some must be taken with food and others on an empty stomach, add in an occasional multi-vitamin or inhaler and this is a lot to manage! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 100,000 North American older adults end up in the hospital each year due to an adverse drug mishap. Furthermore, 1 in 10 seniors surveyed by Home Instead, Inc. reported making mistakes, although unintentionally, when taking their medications and of those making a mistake, 11% have experienced a medical issue or emergency as a result. These numbers are alarming and should not be ignored. Preventing unnecessary trips to the hospital will not only save a lot of money, but more importantly, will help to keep our Minnesota seniors safe.

In an effort to provide families with the resources needed to help identify potential pitfalls facing seniors and their medications, the Home Instead Senior Care network has introduced the public education program Let’s Talk about Rx. This program will help family caregivers begin the often difficult conversation about this important issue and offers a number of resources to the family and their senior loved ones. Medication management can be a touchy subject to broach because it is personal and something your senior loved one has taken care of daily on their own for a long time. This just got easier with access to helpful tips and resources, such as:

Senior Emergency Kit
Conversation starters
Simple Meds by Home Instead

Understanding the sensitivity of approaching medication management and the challenges families face, the Home Instead created the Let’s Talk about Rx program with many resources and easy to follow medication guides and trackers. One such resource is the Senior Emergency Kit. This Home Instead kit ensures that family caregivers have access to important information about their loved ones in the event of an emergency call. The Senior Emergency Kit includes various worksheets and checklists, medical insurance tips and resources, as well as helpful links to additional resources.

Conversation starters such as “I’d like to help ensure you’re safe at home. Do you know why you’re taking this medication and what it’s supposed to do for you?” and other examples can be found on the website www.LetsTalkAboutRx.com. This helpful and easy to navigate website is brought to you by the Home Instead Senior Care network, and serves as an online resource, tools, and solutions center for families and caregivers of seniors. Here you will find informative articles, such as How Family Caregivers Can Help and 10 Signs Medications Could be to Blame for a Senior’s Health Issues. These articles and others found on the website mention using a medication tracker worksheet, using a pill organization system, and introduces Simple Meds by Home Instead. Simple Meds is a simple and convenient way to take medication correctly. Medications are sorted and conveniently organized into single serving packets by a Simple Meds pharmacist, as well as labeled with the date and time they should be taken. Even using something basic like a weekly pill organizer that has 4 compartments labeled with the dosage time of day would be helpful to keep several prescriptions and dosage amounts, times straight. Our friends at Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment have several items that may be helpful, such as a pill splitter or pill organizers. You can stop in at any of their eight Minneapolis/St. Paul metro locations to find these and other products to help keep your senior loved one safe and healthy in their Minnesota home.

This is the second article in a series focusing on the Let’s Talk about Rx program and helping to prevent medication mishaps with aging adults. To learn more about this public education program and access even more resources including helpful conversation starters, take a moment to read our first article in the series. Our senior loved ones are one of society’s greatest resources – together, let’s make sure they receive the best care you can give. Visit www.LetsTalkAboutRx.com today and start the conversation.

Join the Crowd: Give65

GIVE65LogoJoin the crowd! The Home Instead Senior Care Foundation has created the GIVE65 crowd fundraiser exclusively devoted to help non-profit organizations raise money geared towards caring for seniors. GIVE65 is the first of its kind for Home Instead Senior Care and was created to raise money online for programs and services related directly to helping seniors and creating hope for them. Home Instead is expecting it will be a catalyst for social change and we will continue to see fundraisers like this for seniors in the future.

The GIVE65 event is a 65-hour online charitable fundraising event aimed at inspiring greater giving to non-profit organizations serving seniors. It will take place from July 12-14, 2016. During this time a limited number of approved, participating organizations compete for up to $100,000 in matching grants and are also eligible for one of two $10,000 financial rewards which recognize outstanding small, medium and large-size non-profit participants. Wondering how you can join the crowd and help make a difference for seniors? Beginning July 1st, you can schedule your 100% tax deductible donation to be given to an approved non-profit of your choice during the fundraising event July 12 – 14. By scheduling it in advance, you ensure the organization of your choice will receive your donation during the event time period and it also may be eligible for matching grants and financial reward prizes.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is proud to exclusively support the Park Nicollet Foundation, who applied and was carefully selected to be a recipient of donated funds during the GIVE65 crowd fundraiser. The Park Nicollet Foundation is located in St. Louis Park, Minnesota and for over 40 years has partnered with schools, nonprofits, community organizations and the local government branches to solve complex issues in the community including health concerns of seniors. The Park Nicollet Foundation is the philanthropic branch of Park Nicollet Health Services which supports hospitals and clinics and a variety of community programs in Minnesota. By donating to Park Nicollet Foundation you are helping them continue to live by their mission of improving the health and wellbeing of their patients, families and communities, right here in Minnesota.

Park Nicollet Foundation has decided to use the donated funds to implement a Senior Safety Post-Hospital Discharge Visit Program. Understanding that the time after being discharged from the hospital can be a very challenging transition for seniors, Park Nicollet Foundation is partnering with local fire departments to provide patients with a visit that gives the extra care and support they need. Area fire departments have committed to provide a visit to patients within 12-24 hours after being discharged from a hospital stay. During this visit, local firefighters ensure the elderly patients:

  • Understand how to take their medication
  • Have a follow-up visit with a medical professional scheduled and have transportation to the appointment
  • Know who to call if they are in need and understand any symptoms to be aware of
  • Have enough food to take their medicine
  • Have hazard-free homes and will replace all non-working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

The funds donated to Park Nicollet Foundation through the GIVE65 crowd fundraiser will be used to provide specialized training to the fire departments involved, obtain the technology needed for the program to be successful and the development of infrastructure and protocol for digital information exchange. The program fundraising goal is $26,000. Home Instead Senior Care Foundation is offering a $5,000 match and the opportunity for an additional $10,000 if Park Nicollet Foundation either raises the most money or has the most donors. If you are interested in getting involved and being a GIVE65 donor or would like to learn more about Park Nicollet Foundation, you can find more details here: https://www.give65.org/parknicollet

The benefits of a program such as this are great for all involved. The seniors will see decreased readmission hospital rates and a better understanding of their care and transition plan. The firefighters involved have an opportunity to build relationships with their community members, improve the safety of our local aging population and reduce the costly emergency calls to their department. Park Nicollet Foundation and Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis are proud to partner with fire departments from the St. Louis Park, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Minneapolis communities to roll out the Senior Safety Post-Hospital Discharge Visit Program

The Minneapolis area senior population needs our help and your donation to Park Nicollet Foundation through the GIVE65 crowd fundraising program will help. Lori Hogan, Home Instead Senior Care Foundation Vice President says “The need is great. I think GIVE65 is a rallying cry for all of us – the public and private sectors – to come together and create hope for our seniors in need.” Home Instead Senior Care understands the challenges faced when raising money for social service programs that focus on seniors in need and believe they can lead the charge in charitable giving and inspire others to work together towards a common goal.

Programs like GIVE65 are important to our local communities as the senior population grows, non-profits need financial support to maintain the programs and services they provide that give hope for seniors. Every gift will make a difference – from the minimum donation of $10 to the larger donations. Those who want to help our local seniors, including businesses, corporations and other foundations, can visit GIVE65.org to invest in the growing Minnesota senior population. And don’t forget to save the date! Beginning July 1, 2016, you can schedule your GIVE65 event donation to ensure your donation will be given to the non-profit of your choice during the fundraising time period. Together we can make a difference in the lives of the seniors in our local communities!

Caring for Seniors: A Labor of Love

The aging population and their need for care have been overlooked for so long, that the demand for caregivers in the workforce is at a critical level. As the New York Times reports, more than 1.3 million new paid caregivers will be needed to meet the demand of the aging senior population by the year 2022. Caregiving is on track to become the largest occupation in the United States in the next 5 years and is expected to replace retail with the most people employed in the field, many of whom will work for home care agencies.

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With our senior population aging and the ‘sandwich’ generation emerging, there is a great need for caregivers. The sandwich generation refers to the age group who are caring for their parents and simultaneously caring for their own children. When you factor in their daily job and family activities, they can quickly become overwhelmed. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis Client Care Coordinator, Lori Leigh, explains why this growing field is so important and what being an in-home care assistant involves:

In an effort to meet the demands of the healthcare industry, one health professional in Maryland is proving he can make a difference with the High School Health Education Foundation. Dr. William Leahy, a semi-retired neurologist, created this foundation and has rolled out an education program aimed at attracting new young people to the field of home health care. The program is geared toward high school seniors who otherwise may not attend college, and offers free classroom instruction followed up by on-the-job training at a local retirement community. Textbooks, scrubs, and equipment are also covered by the foundation. This foundation’s education program has proven to be very competitive with high application numbers as well as successful graduates and Dr. Leahy is planning to expand the program to a high school in Washington D.C next. We hope he brings it to Minnesota as well!

returning-home-nutrition-480x450As the Minneapolis Star Tribune recently reports, health care is a gold mine – it is an occupation industry in Minnesota that is expected to grow more than 40% by the year 2022. So, what does it mean to be a caregiver? The type of care will vary and the client’s needs will really dictate what an in-home caregiver will be doing on any given day. The caregiver may be assisting with transportation, doctor visits, errands, meal preparation, medication reminders or light housekeeping. Companionship is the most important aspect of the caregiver’s day and is a big part of the caregiver client relationship, as well as being an advocate for them within the community.

Caring for seniors is a labor of love that calls for just the right person with a special touch. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis hires dedicated CAREGivers who share our passion for caring for seniors and providing in-home care assistance to join our team. This caught the attention of Leah Beno with Minneapolis KMSP Fox 9 Evening News who featured our own Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis CAREGiver, Rebecca, and her client Liz and highlighted their very special bond.

Every day, families in Minneapolis are struggling to balance raising their own family, a demanding career, and caring for a senior loved one. The family caregivers eventually run out of hours in the day and the stress becomes unmanageable. This is where a Home Instead CAREGiver steps in to help. If you believe you are that special type of person who enjoys working with seniors and wants to make a difference in the lives of older adults as a career, being a Home Instead Senior Care network CAREGiver might be the career for you. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis provides training as well as on going 24/7 support to our CAREGivers. We also provide advanced training opportunities throughout the year, including dementia and Alzheimer’s specific training, which is currently in high demand.

Home Instead offers flexible work hours, a competitive salary and health insurance benefit package, including overtime pay and paid travel time between client appointments to our employees as well. We offer this and more to our CAREGivers through a holistic approach – caring for our CAREGiver’s mind, body, and spirit. We believe when we care for our CAREGivers, they are better equipped to have meaningful relationships with the clients and their families and it will allow them to do what they do best, which is ensuring seniors live independently as long as possible.

Home Instead Senior Care understands what it takes to provide care to seniors and we are dedicated to hiring the best individuals to fill our needs. To learn more about current openings at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis, visit the Careers tab of our website where you can also apply online or contact us by calling 763-634-8247 today.

Let’s Talk About Rx

According to a study recently conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care network, for seniors 70 years and older, as the number of prescription medications increases, so does potential health risks and challenges with medication management. This research found the majority (57%) of seniors in North America who were surveyed are taking four or more prescription medications daily, with more than one-fourth (27%) taking six or more medications. We find this statistic to be consistent with our Minneapolis home care clients.

The research goes on to show that nearly 20% of seniors surveyed who are taking five or more prescription medications have reportedly experienced challenges in managing their daily medication regimen, including keeping track of which medications they have taken and when. This alarming statistic appeared to increase when both the age of the person and the number of prescribed medications increased.

In order to provide families with the resources needed to help identify potential pitfalls facing seniors and their medications, the Home Instead Senior Care network has introduced the public education program Let’s Talk about Rx. This program will help family caregivers begin the often difficult conversation about this important issue and offers a number of resources to the family and their senior loved one. Sometimes just having the conversation is difficult since medication management can be personal and something seniors may have taken care of on their own for many years. Raising the question of possible medication issues with your senior can be a touchy subject, but can be made easier if approached the right way. Asking any of the following questions may help to open the door to a discussion about these potentially difficult topics:

  • “I want you to be as healthy as possible. Do you ever feel unusual after taking your medications, like dizzy, light-headed or confused?”
  • I’d like to help you better understand your medications. Is there anything about your prescriptions that concerns you?”
  • “That’s an awful lot of pills. How do you manage to keep track of them?”

Conversation starters, like these above, as well as other resources are available on the website www.LetsTalkAboutRx.com. This helpful and easy to navigate website is brought to you by the Home Instead Senior Care network, and serves as an online resource, tools, and solutions center for families and caregivers of seniors.  Here you will find informative articles, such as 10 Tips to Help Seniors Avoid Medication Mistakes.
This includes:

  • Make one doctor the gatekeeper to manage medications
  • Know why your loved one is taking the medication
  • Call the doctor about any changes in how your senior is thinking, feeling or looking
  • Keep regularly scheduled appointments and an open dialogue with your loved one’s health care provider
  • If your senior is having trouble paying for medications, talk with the doctor
  • Tell your senior loved one’s health care provider if you suspect he/she is depressed
  • Discuss any problems an older adult may have in taking a medication, such as the inability to swallow or difficulty opening a pill bottle
  • Tell a health care provider if you suspect a loved one is forgetting to take a medication
  • Consider a caregiver
  • Get a pill organization system or service

Consider using a medication tracker worksheet, a pill organization system, or Simple Meds by Home Instead. Simple Meds is a simple and convenient way to take medication correctly. Medications are sorted and conveniently organized into single serving packets by a Simple Meds pharmacist, as well as labeled with the date and time they should be taken. Even using something basic like a weekly pill organizer that has 4 compartments labeled with the dosage time of day would be helpful to keep several prescriptions and dosage amounts, times straight. Our friends at Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment have several items that may be helpful, such as a pill splitter or pill organizers. You can stop in to any of their eight Minneapolis/St. Paul metro locations to find these and other products to help keep your senior loved one safe and healthy.

The goal of Home Instead’s public service program Let’s Talk about Rx is to strengthen the role family members can take to help reduce the potential for medication-related health risks, and to help them feel confident about their senior loved one being safe at home. Don’t let your loved one be one of the more than 100,000 older adults in North America who are hospitalized each year due to medical problems. Plenty of programs stress the importance of talking to teenagers about the dangers of drug misuse. But who’s talking to Minnesota seniors? Visit www.LetsTalkAboutRx.com today and start the conversation.

Making the Minnesota Orchestra Hall an Alzheimer’s Friendly Business

AFB3

With the lack of education and misunderstandings about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias – which eventually impacts thinking, speaking, and behavior – many people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers would rather not fight the battle of dealing with the public. In fact, families often utilize our home care services to transport and accompany seniors to run errands and attend social events. Because our CAREGivers are educated through an acclaimed training program called CARE: Changing Aging through Research and Education®, they are equipped to handle sensitive situations that arise when people with Alzheimer’s are interacting publically. But family members are often not trained or equipped to assist their loved ones so instead, they either stay home and become isolated or they venture out and find themselves in uncomfortable situations. Home Instead Senior Care is hoping to change this with their public education program, Alzheimer’s Friendly Business. This program aims to offer training to the businesses in your local Minneapolis community which will help educate those serving customers with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their caregivers, and ultimately ease the daunting task they feel when trying to complete daily routine tasks like banking, shopping, or attending appointments.Alzheimers-Friendly-Businesses-logo-embed

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis has been busy training local businesses and the latest to jump on board is the Minnesota Orchestra Hall. Beginning in January, 2016 and continuing through April, we are on track to provide training to more than 200 Minnesota Orchestra Hall employees when it is all complete. With the average age of the Orchestra Hall season ticket holder being mid-sixty, the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program is a great fit. From the employee who holds the door for their guests as they arrive, to the greeters, coat check associate, refreshment servers, ushers, and musicians to the upper level of management, and everyone in-between, customer service is top priority for everyone. Every employee strives to ensure the guest’s experience at Minnesota Orchestra Hall is unmatched, each and every day and that is why they felt it was important to have their employees participate in this training program. The average age of the employees receiving training is 55 years and some employees have been with Orchestra Hall in some capacity for over 40 years.  The employees are patient, really understand what their guests need and try to anticipate their requests – the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business training seems to go hand-in-hand with a local business like the Minnesota Orchestra Hall.AFB5

Recent research conducted by Home Instead shows that 74% of surveyed caregivers for individuals with a dementia illness report they or their loved ones have become more isolated as a result of this disease, and that 85% of the seniors in this survey report feeling a reduced quality of life. These are disturbing findings that, as a trusted provider of home care services to seniors, we cannot ignore.

Do you want to know more about how your business can become more Alzheimer’s friendly? The Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program starts with a training session, which lasts approximately 45-minutes, conducted by our own Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis trainers. This program is designed to help local business’ employees understand the disease and provide simple techniques to ensure customers with Alzheimer’s or dementia are treated with compassion and respect. The training program will educate the local business staff in main areas, such as:

  • Becoming aware of behaviors commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease
  • Being understanding of the challenges an individual with Alzheimer’s may have
  • Assisting with interactions

Once the employees have completed the training, the business will receive a certification, which is valid for 2 years, reflecting the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business designation, and are also given window stickers and other materials to be used for display. Watch this short video to see a training session in action with our friends at Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment:

So, join our movement and make your business Alzheimer’s friendly by learning simple techniques to ensure customers living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are treated with compassion and respect. Help break through the misconceptions of Alzheimer’s disease and ease the challenges of going into the local community for those customers and their caregivers by completing Home Instead’s thoughtful and thorough training program. Call Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis today at 763-544-5988. Or, if you are a caregiver to a loved one with Alzheimer’s, be sure to tell the local establishments you frequent about the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

by Guest Blogger – Francis Sheehy, Owner, Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment

Much more than a case of the “winter blues”, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a medical condition, a type of depression. It affects many people who live in northern states like Minnesota, in the late fall, winter, and early spring due to the lack of sunlight during these seasons.  The Mayo Clinic defines seasonal affective disorder as a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons – SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. SAD is diagnosed more often in women, but men tend to have more severe symptoms. Most people with seasonal affective disorder feel the symptoms beginning in the fall and continue through the winter months, affecting their energy levels and overall moodiness. The good news is there are treatments to help fight this condition! One is the use of a SAD lamp so, to assist our Minnesota clients and CAREGivers who are affected by this disorder, Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment is offering 30% off all SAD lights during the month of January. lightbook-elite-300x240

The major cause of SAD is lack of sunlight. SAD has been referred to as many things over the years, such as winter blues, winter depression, and cabin fever. Seasonal affective disorder was made a clinical diagnosis in the early 1980′s. On average only 2% of the population has SAD, although the incidence of it goes up the farther north you live. Also, in Canada it is estimated that 20% of the population has some symptoms of SAD. Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include:

  • Depression
  • Lack of energy
  • Increased appetite or weight gain
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Sleeping longer hours
  • Socially withdrawn
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low sex drive

One of the methods of treating SAD is with light therapy, also called phototherapy. The therapy is provided through use of a light box or SAD light, which a person sits within two feet of for thirty minutes per day – typically first thing in the morning. The SAD light (also called a SAD lamp) emits a bright light simulating sun light, and should be a minimum of 10,000 Lux (metric measurement of light intensity). The light stimulates a receptor in the eye that in turn causes a chemical reaction in the brain linked to mood, and is believed to help reset your circadian rhythms.

Sometimes referred to as happy lights, the SAD light therapy works for people with mild to very severe seasonal affective disorder. SAD light therapy is typically covered by most insurance companies, if the individual has a diagnosis of SAD, and a prescription for light therapy from their doctor.  Also,the light box must produce 10,000 Lux. Insurance companies tend to rent the light box for the first two months, and then purchase it if the therapy is successful. Contact your insurance company for specific coverage criteria – coverage may vary. Many people purchase light boxes at their own expense because it makes them feel happier and more energetic in the winter. A doctor’s prescription is not needed to purchase a light, unless you want an insurance company to pay for it.

Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment provides light boxes for purchase or rental at all eight of our Twin Cities metro locations and we are a provider for most insurance companies. So don’t miss out – take advantage of our great sale which features brands such as Carex & the Litebook Elite. During the month of January, Liberty Oxygen is offering 30% off all SAD lights. If you have questions on seasonal affective disorder or SAD light therapy, contact us today. Our knowledgeable employees can help you determine if this type of therapy would be good for you.

Francis Sheehy has owned and operated Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment in the Twin Cities metro area since 2001. He is dedicated to the senior community and is committed to delivering medical equipment solutions to your family and senior loved ones with compassion and care in Minnesota. Home Instead Senior Care of Minneapolis and Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment have partnered over the years on a variety of initiatives, such as the Liberty Oxygen crown contest and Home Instead’s Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program, to offer support to the senior community and our employees. This month, we asked Francis to contribute an article for our blog. His blog site containing education for seniors and their loved ones can be found at http://www.libertyoxygen.com/blog

Huge Success: Be a Santa to a Senior 2015!

Once again this holiday season, Minneapolis volunteers went above and beyond to make Christmas memorable for local seniors who may not have otherwise received gifts or companionship.

The 2015 Be a Santa to a Senior® program was a huge hit this year and I cannot thank the many volunteers involved enough for your support. Without the workshop full of elves taking care of putting up the trees, selecting tags and shopping for local seniors, storing the gifts, and helping to make the deliveries, this program would not exist. A heartfelt thank you goes out to each and every one of you! We at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understand this is a very busy time of year for all, but hopefully seeing the smiles on the faces of the seniors and knowing how much fun the volunteers had participating warms your heart as much as it does mine.

Delivering over 2,500 donated gifts, this truly was a memorable Christmas and I’d like to give a special shout out to the following businesses:

  • Security Life Insurance
  • Herzing University
  • Women’s Club of Minneapolis
  • Wells Fargo
  • Polaris
  • Lennox Senior Program
  • Federal Bankruptcy Courts
  • HealthPartners
  • Tommy Hilfiger Outlet
  • St. Louis Park Retired Firefighters
  • Plymouth Fire Department

To stay in touch and make sure that you’re informed about our Be a Santa to a Senior® program next year, like us on Facebook and you’ll see our timely updates. Check out some of the fun pictures!

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The Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign is all about helping seniors who are alone or in need. The Minneapolis office of the Home Instead Senior Care® network has partnered with local non-profits groups such as East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Meals on Wheels, several nursing homes and low income housing to provide gifts and companionship to seniors who otherwise might not receive either during the holiday season. What began with just one nursing home has since grown into a movement.

The official kickoff began with decorating Christmas trees with ornament tags inside the establishment of our participating partners. Thank you to the 2015 partners:

From there, generous donors selected an ornament tag from the trees with the name of a senior and some suggestions of what they would like. The donors delivered the item(s) back to the location in a gift bag and the Be a Santa to a Senior “elves” picked up the gifts and delivered them to seniors in nursing homes, low income senior housing, adult day centers and personally nominated individuals.

Home Instead Minneapolis was thrilled to partner with several local fire stations. Relief associations, retired and off-duty firefighters from Golden Valley, Minneapolis, St Louis Park, Plymouth and Hopkins all assisted the program by picking up and storing the gifts.  When the gifts were all collected they also helped to deliver the gifts to several of the nursing homes, assisted living and senior apartment facilities in and around the Minneapolis area. THANK YOU to the Golden Valley Fire Family, Plymouth, Minneapolis, Hopkins and St. Louis Park fire stations and relief associations for being involved with our Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign! The members of these stations, along with retired members, spouses and family members, partnered with us and donated their own time.

Since its inception, the Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign has attracted over 60,000 volunteers throughout North America, and has provided 1.2 million gifts to over 700,000 seniors who are in need of assistance or companionship. We’re doing our little part here in Minneapolis and surrounding communities – you can join the movement and help a senior in your Minnesota community too!

Be a Special CAREGiver

A shortage of caregivers is bringing attention to an occupation that is expected to grow more than any other in the next 5 years, Personal Care Aids (PCAs). Leah Beno with Minneapolis KMSP Fox 9 Evening News featured our own Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis CAREGiver, Rebecca, and her client Liz and highlighted their very special bond.

As the New York Times often reports, more than 1.3 million new paid caregivers will be needed to meet the demand of the aging senior population by the year 2022. Many of these will be employed by home care agencies. In the next 5 years, it will become the largest occupation of the U.S., replacing retail. A research study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP shows nearly 44 million adults are currently caring for family members with disabilities or other needs in the home. That is one out of six adults!

Rebecca Hardy, a personal caregiver with Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis, compares the seniors she cares for to veterans. “We don’t want to forget”. Rebecca loves her job and finds the relationships with the seniors she cares for very fulfilling. Her client, Liz Heller, is a retired pastor from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Though she has a large congregational family, she has no children and knew she’d need some help living independently in her home. Rebecca and Liz are always on the go and their relationship of trust and respect grew into a friendship.

Advances in medicine and healthier lifestyles are leading to seniors living home care mn longer and more productive lives. Many Minneapolis families are trying to manage their own demanding jobs, raising children, as well as caring for a senior family member. Women, especially, are struggling to find the balance of caring for their aging parents and managing their own family’s daily demands and activities. The family caregivers eventually run out of hours in the day and the stress becomes too great to handle. This is where the help of a dedicated, loving person comes in. As a Home Instead Senior Care CAREGiver, you can help these Minnesota families restore the balance, order, and peace in their lives once again while allowing their aging loved ones to continue to live at home.

Caring for seniors is a job that requires a special personality with just the right touch. A loving CAREGiver provides so much joy in the senior’s life and gives relief to their family, but what’s in it for you? Our Home Instead CAREGivers also enjoy:

  • Flexible scheduling
  • Supplemental income
  • No experience or medical skills necessary
  • Training provided
  • A rewarding way to interact with others outside your home

Caregiving is anything you do to enhance the quality of life for seniors and helps to keep them independent. The specific responsibilities will vary depending on the client’s needs, but generally, you may be responsible for:

  • Preparing meals, light housekeeping tasks, and laundry
  • Providing companionship and conversation
  • Providing medication and appointment reminders
  • Accompanying the clients to appointments
  • Running errands

Other responsibilities may be asked of you, but the most important and rewarding aspect of your job is the value you bring to a senior’s life.

As a home care employer, Home Instead Minneapolis offers industry-leading CARE Training programs that will equip the new caregiver with the skills necessary to provide the best possible care to their senior clients. Developed with the help of experts throughout the United States, they also offer an Alzheimer’s and other dementias training program. And, as a Home Instead CAREGiver, you are bonded and insured.

Becoming a paid home caregiver is a unique job with many rewards, as well as responsibilities and challenges, both physical and emotional. As a Home Instead CAREGiver, you have the opportunity to meet wonderful seniors, build fulfilling relationships, and make a difference in the lives of your aging clients. Contact Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis today to learn more about the home care job opportunities and becoming a Home Instead CAREGiver.

The 2015 Be a Santa to a Senior® Campaign

The trees are up! As described by a senior who has received a gift from us, the Be a Santa to a Senior® program “shows there are angels on earth!” That is a perfect description and since there are trees set up all over Minneapolis, it is easy for you to be one of those “angels”.Be a Santa to a Senior

Recently, WCCO 4 News caught up with Home Instead Minneapolis’ John Stuck to talk about the program. Watch this short video that was featured on their local news program with Frank Vascellaro and Amelia Santaniello and learn how easy it is to participate!

About the Campaign

The trees will be set up on November 11th. Here’s how the program works. The Home Instead Senior Care® network partners with local non-profit and community organizations. Together they identify seniors who perhaps live alone, do not have family members nearby, or are experiencing financial difficulties. The program targets many seniors who otherwise might not receive gifts or visits from family during the holidays. bastas5

Home Instead Minneapolis then works with local businesses and retail stores that are willing to help by placing trees and ornaments within their various locations. The involvement from busy stores gives the program visibility and provides a convenient way for shoppers to volunteer their assistance during the busy holiday season.

Join the Campaign

The Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign is all about helping seniors who are alone or in need. The campaign, which first launched in 2006 by our parent organization, helps seniors get a little TLC during the holidays. The Minneapolis office of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care and companionship services for older adults, has partnered with local non-profits groups such as East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Meals on Wheels and several nursing homes and low income housing to provide gifts and companionship to seniors who otherwise might not receive either this holiday season. What began with just one nursing home has since grown into a movement. Now you can help brighten a senior’s life too. Look for the trees beginning November 11th! bastas99

How to Participate

Here’s how it works:

  1. Head to any of the following locations:

Also, Home Instead Minneapolis is happy to announce a partnership with several local fire stations. Relief associations, retired and off-duty firefighters from Golden Valley, Minneapolis, St Louis Park, Plymouth and Hopkins are all assisting the program by picking up and storing the gifts.  When the gifts are all collected they will help us deliver the gifts to several of the nursing homes, assisted living and senior apartment facilities in and around the Minneapolis area. THANK YOU to the Golden Valley Fire Family, Plymouth, Minneapolis, Hopkins and St. Louis Park fire stations and relief associations for being involved with our Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign! The members of these stations, along with retired members, spouses and family members, are partnering with us and doing this on their own time.

  1. Locate the Christmas trees inside the establishment and choose any ornament tag with a senior’s name on it. You will find gift suggestions for the senior printed on the ornament.
  1. Purchase the item(s) listed, put the item in a gift bag, return to the store with the ornament and deliver the gift to a store employee. BASTAS_WCCO

Since its inception, the Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign has attracted nearly 60,000 volunteers throughout North America, and has provided 1.2 million gifts to over 700,000 seniors who are in need of assistance or companionship. Now you can join the movement and help a senior in your Minnesota community.

Need Further Information?

The Be a Santa to a Senior website, provides a locator tool that enables you to find a location by zip code.

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Alzheimer’s Friendly Business Program

Whether you are a family caregiver or have a senior loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease, you have most likely experienced firsthand the challenges of going into the Minneapolis community with someone with Alzheimer’s.. The frustrations and confusion experienced is largely due to the misconceptions and lack of education about Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. In fact, based on research conducted in 2015 by Home Instead, Inc., 74% of caregivers surveyed report they and their loved one have become more isolated and feel disconnected from their local community. Of this 74% of caregivers surveyed, here are more findings:

  • 87% reported they leave the house less frequently with their loved one
  • 85% feel a reduced quality of life
  • 62% stay at home, spending less at local businesses
  • 55% say staying home is simply easier

Amongst the fears these caregivers reported are:

  • Businesses can be a busy and confusing place for their loved one
  • Their loved one might become confused, anxious or disruptive
  • Concerns their loved one would get lost

These statistics are alarming and concerning! Home Instead Senior Care is committed to change this with their public education program Alzheimer’s Friendly Business.

The Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program starts with a 30-minute training program provided by our own Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis trainers. This program is designed to help local business’ employees understand the disease and provide simple techniques to ensure customers with Alzheimer’s or dementia are treated with compassion and respect. Home Instead’s training will educate the local business staff in these main areas:

  • Becoming aware of behaviors commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease
  • Being understanding of the challenges an individual with Alzheimer’s may have
  • Assisting with interactions

Once the employees have been trained, the establishment will receive a certification, which is valid for 2 years, reflecting the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business designation and provide window stickers and other materials to be used for display. Watch this short video to see a training session with our friends at Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment in action:

As a caregiver, here are some signs to look for that indicate a business may be easier to navigate for your loved one with a dementia illness such as Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Gender neutral bathrooms are helpful if your loved one needs to use the restroom and the caregiver is the opposite gender
  • Restaurants that have secluded rooms or sections available help to prevent agitation for those with Alzheimer’s
  • Plan to visit a business during their down times so you won’t have to wait in line
  • Frequent businesses where the staff is known to be polite, honest and patient
  • Simple processes, procedures or choices will help an individual with dementia illness

Take a moment to watch this touching video on how local businesses help Karen Garner’s family cope with her husband’s young-onset Alzheimer’s:

Although misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease persist, the broader education efforts are helping more people understand what it means to have Alzheimer’s or other dementia illnesses. Encourage the local businesses you frequent, from your favorite restaurant to your local grocery store to the neighborhood bank, to inquire about the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program. Together we can help make the community establishments a safer, more friendly place for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia to visit. Contact Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis today to sign-up for your training!