Surviving Awkward Conversations and Determining a Loved One’s Needs During the Holidays

senior giftsThe holidays may be the only time some family members are able to come together. Situations such as long-distance travel or celebrating with in-laws may prevent having the entire family together some years. For many, the holidays mark a time of joy, nostalgia and celebration, but others are feeling maxed out. And some may be in for an unpleasant surprise if they haven’t seen parents or grandparents for a while and realize they are aging faster than expected and need help. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the added stress that is placed on families when visiting during the holidays and offers ways to manage awkward conversations as well as tips to pin-point your aging loved one’s needs.

Knowing how crushing it can be to a young boy when Grandpa’s dementia has progressed to a point where he no longer remembers the little boy’s name or the dread of having a conversation with a sibling you resent for not doing their part in caring for a parent adds to the stress of the family gatherings. Home Instead Senior Care offers some guidance to having that awkward conversation or helping you respond to these challenging situations and more.

Consider these four common scenarios caregivers or their relatives might encounter during the holiday season:

You want to discuss with siblings your need for help in caring for Mom or Dad
While speaking up to ask for help is a good way to garner help from others, is the family dinner table really the right time to address a touchy subject? Read tips to help you navigate the conversation successfully.

You’ll be seeing a relative for the first time after they have received a serious medical diagnosis
With the dire diagnosis statistics for cancer, heart disease and other serious health conditions increasing with age, the likelihood of seeing a relative who was recently diagnosed goes up each year. Consider these tips for what to say.

You notice during a recent visit that your aging parents need more help than you thought
Typically, when you speak to mom and dad, they assure you everything is fine and they don’t need help, but when you arrive to stay over the holidays you discover that isn’t exactly the case. Concern creeps in when you realize the pile of mail is quite large and their home is beyond cluttered. Read ideas of how to handle this situation.

Preparing your children for Grandma or Grandpa’s different behavior due to Alzheimer’s disease
Young children may become frightened by the often-inappropriate behaviors or symptoms of Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Keeping the details and conversation age-appropriate will help, as well as staying calm and patient. Learn tips to help prepare your children.

Be prepared to manage any changes you notice in your aging loved one.

Keep your eyes open for some common issues that can threaten a senior’s independence, such as:

• Pain
• Memory
• Depression
• Social Engagement
• Safety
• Housekeeping
• Medication

Learn details about each of the above common issues as well as how to address the issues uncovered, by reading 7 Ways to Investigate Your Loved One’s Needs During a Holiday Visit. If you’re unsure how to discuss concerns with your loved one, refer to Home Instead Senior Care’s conversation starter guide.

At Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis, our passion for serving seniors and their families runs deep. We are invested in the communities we serve and believe every family in the area deserves individualized in-home senior care with a compassionate touch to help seniors live independently at home. It’s our mission.

Caring for seniors is a job that requires a special personality with just the right touch. Could that be you? As a Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis 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 to learn more about the home care job opportunities and becoming a Home Instead Minneapolis CAREGiver.

If you or a loved one could use some assistance with senior care, contact us for a free care consultation to learn how we can help. Call us today at 763-634-8247.

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Daughters in the Workplace, part II

DaughtersWorkplace2It seems our lives are busier than ever these days. Women are navigating a career while raising children and in many cases, also caring for aging parents. The term ‘sandwich’ generation is used when an age group is caring for their parents while caring for their own family simultaneously. This sandwich generation is fast emerging and seems to be wearing many hats.

Studies show two-thirds of all caregivers are female, and many feel they have to choose between their career and caring for their family. It’s a balancing act that often leaves employers and employees alike, frustrated. This should not be the case. To help working family caregivers feel empowered to talk to their employer about their needs and to help employers understand what their employees need as caregivers, Home Instead Inc. has launched their latest public education campaign, Daughters in the Workplace℠. This program offers free resources to working family caregivers while also identifying caregiving support that may be available from their employers, as well as support for the smaller percentage of male family caregivers. This article expands on the Daughters in the Workplace℠ campaign, click here to read our first blog post.

Caregiver Friendly Business Practices

In a recent survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., the percentage of working family caregivers who reported being “very satisfied” with their employer’s work-family policies was less than 50% in any category surveyed. In fact, the highest rating of those surveyed was given to the flexible schedule question at 44%. Knowing these numbers are not acceptable as well as the challenges that working family caregivers face, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis wants you to know you are not alone. Home Instead Senior Care offers these Caregiver Friendly Business Practices to help guide employers in their support:

  • Empower employees to ask for what they need
  • Be flexible (and human) when needed
  • Have a back-up plan
  • Offer support
  • Respect caregiving needs

Identifying What Support You Need as a Working Family Caregiver

DaughtersWorkplace1Identifying your needs as a family caregiver is the first step in helping you manage your own health, your job, and maintaining a quality family life. Studies show having support in the following areas are important to working family caregivers:

  • Access to respite care
  • Time off from work
  • Flexibility

Read more on each of these support areas and more.

Once you’ve identified your needs, make sure your employer understands what you’re looking for and what options the company has to offer. It’s best to have an honest conversation with your employer and Home Instead Senior Care offers some examples to help get the discussion started.

Learn more about Home Instead’s public education campaign along with ideas and tips to help you stay physically, emotionally, and mentally fit by visiting www.caregiverstress.com, including a list of resources for the Daughters in the Workplace℠ program. Also, take a quiz to see what you know about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other benefits you may have access to when you are working and caring for an aging loved one.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the stress the working family caregivers face and offers a wide range of in-home care services, including respite care, personal care, 24-hour and live-in care and Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The loving and experienced CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offer friendly, responsive care for seniors right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community, as well as support for the family. To inquire about any of our senior services or becoming a CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today.

Fall Prevention

by Guest Blogger – Jon Burkhow, Director of Senior Community Services’ HOME program

senior safety mnDid you know according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA) one-third of Americans aged 65+ falls each year?  What can you do to help prevent a senior loved one from falling?  With the annual Fall Prevention Awareness day, just around the corner on September 22, 2017, now is the time to take some simple steps to reduce the risk of falls for our Minnesota older adults.

  1. Find a good balance and exercise program. Many local community centers in Hennepin County offer classes specially designed for seniors.  Also consider a Matter of Balance class in your community.  Find more details including locations near you:  http://mnhealthyaging.org/en/FallsPrevention/MatterBalance.aspx
  2. Talk with your health care provider. It is important to tell your doctor or family members if you have fallen recently.  Certain medications can increase fall risk and your health care practitioner can review these and give you an overall assessment for fall risk based on your situation.
  3. Check your vision and hearing annually. Your eyes and ears are key to navigating your environment.
  4. Get a free safety assessment from the HOME program. Learn how we can help make safety improvements to your home, such as installing grab bars, improved lighting, new smoke alarms, reducing tripping hazards inside and outside the home, and more.

It’s human nature to procrastinate but we urge you to consider being proactive and reduce your fall risk.  Perhaps, you know someone who has suffered from a fall.  The recovery can be difficult and severe.  Falls can cause serious physical and psychological injury and are common during the Minnesota winter months.  In addition to the action items above consider a quick check of your physical environment.  Here are a few things to look for:

  1. Assure that you have adequate lighting on all stairways and going in and out of your home.
  2. Make sure that you have sufficient hand railings or grab bars in these locations and use them! Try to avoid carrying heavy loads when using these transition areas as your balance and line of sight can be impaired.
  3. Remove all objects from stairways.
  4. Remove loose rugs or put a non-slip backing under them. Make sure all pathways are clear of clutter.  You shouldn’t have to walk around things to navigate in your home.
  5. Make sure that you have a good pair of indoor shoes that have non-skid soles.

Do what you can to mitigate your fall risk.  Make today the day to take action and stay safe!  If you would like more information on the HOME program, visit our website: www.seniorcommunity.org. Contact us by email at home@seniorcommunity.org or by phone (952) 746-4046.

Jon Burkhow is the Director for the HOME program. The Senior Community Services HOME (Household and Outside Maintenance for Elderly) program provides affordable home maintenance and chore services delivered by trusted professionals and community volunteers. The goal of the HOME program is to provide reasonably priced services to help adults aged 60 and older continue to live independently in their own homes.

Home Instead Minneapolis is proud to partner with and exclusively support Senior Community Services and specifically their HOME program, which applied and was carefully selected to be a recipient of a $5,000 matching grant during the 2017 GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser.

Daughters in the Workplace

Between advances in medicine and living healthier lifestyles, many seniors are living longer and more productive lives, which is causing the ‘sandwich’ generation to emerge. The sandwich generation refers to the age group who are caring for their parents while caring for their own children simultaneously. Studies over the past few decades have shown increased support for women who are juggling their careers as they raise young children, but much less attention and dialogue focusing on the unique challenges that come with navigating a career while caring for aging adults.

DaughtersWorkplace2To help working family caregivers feel empowered to talk to their employer about their needs and to help employers understand what their employees need as caregivers, Home Instead Inc. has launched their latest public education campaign, Daughters in the Workplace℠. This program offers free resources to working family caregivers while also identifying caregiving support that may be available.

In a recent survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., a majority of the North American working family caregivers responded stating that caregiving has put a strain on multiple aspects of their lives including, but not limited to:

  • Finances (60%)
  • Physical health (74%)
  • Mental health (81%)
  • Career (81%)
  • Ability to manage a healthy work/life balance (83%)

You value your job and don’t want to jeopardize your position, but may need flexibility and understanding at times. It’s important to work with your employer and be honest with your boss when caregiving becomes difficult and you’re struggling to keep up with your workload. Home Instead’s Daughters in the Workplace℠ campaign offers support and resources for all parties involved during these unique challenges.

Conversation Starters: How to Talk to Your Employer About Your Caregiver Support Needs

What’s the best way to discuss family caregiving without the fear of jeopardizing your job? Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis believes that suggesting ideas that work for both your employer and you are best. Also, continue to work with your employer to make sure any changes to your work schedule or job are, in fact, working for all involved. To help you get the conversation started, Home Instead Senior Care offers some examples:

  • “Do you know I am taking care of my dad? I would love to tell you a little about him and what I am doing to care for him. I am looking for ways to ensure I am always doing the best I can at work and at home.”
  • “I hope you know how much I value my job. That’s why I would like to make sure that my work is covered in the event of a family emergency. I would love to learn about any services our company has that could help me. And then, it would be great to work with you to put together a plan.”

Read more examples. 

DaughtersWorkplace1

Consider 5 Ways Eldercare Could Impact Your Business

As the employer, you may believe you can’t afford to offer a family-friendly business setting, but in reality, the latest research shows that perhaps you can’t afford not to address these situations. Learn ways eldercare might be impacting your bottom line:

  1. Increased Absenteeism
  2. Decreased Productivity
  3. Loss of Talent
  4. Interruption of Sevices or Work flow
  5. Declining Morale

Five Signs That Caregiving Could be Putting Your Employee at Risk:

Being aware of signs that may be putting your employee at risk is important. Family caregiving is stressful business, especially when a person is also managing a full-time job and caring for their own family. This will eventually take its toll on your employee, which in turn may affect work productivity and even risk losing an otherwise excellent worker. Watching for these signs and using available resources will help reduce this risk.

  • Stress and depression: In a survey of working family caregivers, 42 percent report caregiving making them depressed.
  • Vulnerability to illness: In a Gallup study released in 2011 of working family caregivers, findings showed caregivers are 50 percent more likely to experience daily physical pain than non-caregivers. Working caregivers also reported a 25 percent higher incident of high blood pressure.
  • Fatigue: Although you cannot control your employees’ sleeping habits, recognize that fatigue is a common challenge facing many family caregivers.
  • Inability to focus: Fatigue and stress together make it difficult to focus.
  • Guilt: The guilt of constantly feeling spread too thin and not being able to give 100% to anyone leaves working family caregivers frustrated.

Learn more about each of these signs along with ideas and tips to help your employees stay physically, emotionally and mentally healthy by visiting www.caregiverstress.com. Also, take a quiz to see what you know about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other benefits you may have access to when you are working and caring for an aging loved one.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands the stress the working family caregivers face and offers a wide range of in-home care services, including respite care, personal care, 24-hour and live-in care and Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our experienced CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offer friendly, responsive care for seniors right in your Minneapolis, Minnesota community, as well as support for the family. To inquire about any of our senior services or becoming a CAREGiver, call us at 763-544-5988 today.

GIVE65: 2017 Crowd-Fundraiser

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 toward caring for seniors. GIVE65 is the first of its kind for Home Instead Senior Care with a goal 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. In its second year, GIVE65 2017 will take place from July 11 – 13, 2017. 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 11 – 13, 2017. By scheduling the donation 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 additional financial reward prizes.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is proud to exclusively support Senior Community Services and specifically their Household and Outside Maintenance for Elderly (HOME) program, which applied and was carefully selected to be a recipient of a $5,000 matching grant during the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser. The goal of the HOME program is to provide reasonably priced services to help seniors continue to live independently in their own homes. Their network of reliable workers and volunteers provide indoor and outdoor chore services to residents age 60 and older in a wide service area of communities in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

A majority of the HOME program clients are low-income. Assisting residents with home and yard chores such as home repairs, safety checks, raking, snow shoveling, and yard projects, will allow the seniors to stay in their own home and community longer. The money raised through the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser will help the Senior Community Services HOME program keep their services affordable, with a focus on staying safe in the winter months. Donated funds will be specifically used towards winter fall prevention and the incurred expenses during the Minnesota snow season.

Each year, one-third of Americans aged 65 or older fall. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of non-fatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. In 2000, the direct medical cost of fatal and non-fatal injuries totaled over $19 billion and $28.2 billion in 2010. This financial toll for older adult falls is only expected to increase as the population ages and is expected to reach as high as $54.9 billion by the year 2020. The HOME program will use the GIVE65 donated funds to help keep the driveways and sidewalks of over 300 seniors clear during the upcoming winter season. Ensuring fall prevention by removing the snow and ice will not only maintain safe access to and from the home, but will provide a great relief to the seniors in our Minnesota communities by providing the gift of security and independence this winter.

Jon Burkhow, HOME Program Director, says “Our snow removal program is a vital part of keeping older adults safe in their home and community. Please help us continue to prevent falls with your donation!” If you are interested in getting involved and being a GIVE65 donor or would like to learn more about Senior Community Services HOME program, you can find more details here: https://www.give65.org/SCSfallprevention

The Minneapolis area senior population needs our help and your donation to the Senior Community Services HOME program through the GIVE65 crowd-fundraiser 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, 2017, 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 and be eligible for matching. Together we can make a difference in the lives of the seniors in our local communities!

Get Mom (and Dad) Moving!

SeniorExerciseStudies show that staying physically and mentally active can be a challenge for seniors, but incorporating more movement into their daily routine can help prevent and even reverse the signs of frailty. According to a women’s study in 2009, researchers at Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities discovered the important role mental & physical activity plays in the fight against frailty in seniors. Keeping an older adult’s mind, body and social life active can prevent or even reverse frailty.

WebMD states that frailty is more than just “slowing down.” Growing older typically means the body will get tired faster and overall move slower than before. But for some older adults their body becomes very weak and everyday activities are hard to do, this may be a health issue called frailty. A senior loved one may be frail if:

  • The person is experiencing weight loss without trying
  • The person feels constantly tired or weak and has very low energy

The benefits of routine physical activity for seniors are well-documented. Improved strength, more steady balance and decrease in risk of falling, to name a few positive effects an older adult will experience with regular exercise.

InHomeSeniorExerciseRegular exercise can keep older adults healthier and reduce the risk of falling by strengthening their legs and improving balance. Staying physically active during summertime in Minnesota is easy. Commit to a day and time each week with a fellow senior friend or loved one and take a walk to a local cafe, walk laps at a local mall when the weather isn’t perfect or pick a favorite Minneapolis or St. Paul metro area lake to walk around – we have over 10,000 to choose from! Another way to stay active is through the community you live in. Many communities that Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis serves offer various classes which are geared toward seniors, such as water aerobics, yoga, meditation, dance and many others. On the days where getting out of the house is not realistic, here are 6 Easy, At-Home Exercises to Reduce Senior Fall Risk.

It’s just as important to keep a senior’s mind from becoming frail as the body. Fun and simple activities that provide a challenge will help a senior’s mind stay active. Working on a daily crossword puzzle, playing card games, or changing up the routine in the grocery store will keep the mind sharp. For example, next time you are grocery shopping with your senior loved one, suggest walking a different route through the store. Even simple activities such as brushing their teeth with the opposite hand will help the brain re-think daily tasks. Click here for more activities and resource tools to keep your senior loved ones sharp as a tack.

We at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understand not all seniors have access to the same living environment and economic status and it may be harder for some to get out and be active. These social determinants of health can negatively affect an older adult’s participation in community wellness activities. Here are 5 Common Social Determinants That Can Impact Senior Exercise:

  • Unsafe neighborhood
  • Lack of financial resources
  • Poor literacy skills or primary language barriers
  • Lack of transportation
  • Cultural devaluation of exercise

Learn more about each of these common social determinants that may prevent your senior loved one from complying with an exercise plan and tips to overcome them.

According to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), 40 percent of people between the ages of 45 and 64 are considered sedentary. This is a troubling number, but for those over the age of 64, that number jumps to 60 percent. Seniors and family caregivers, as well as doctors and other health care professionals see the positive effects of staying active, both mentally and physically, as we age. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is committed to reversing these numbers and preventing frailty by helping the seniors in the Minneapolis metro area communities we serve become more active. Our in-home care services help people at any point within the aging process, is tailored to your unique situation, and adjust as your needs evolve.

We at Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis provide dependable, compassionate care at all levels, including specialty care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Our dedicated CAREGivers will help restore peace, order and balance to your lives and help your loved ones remain at home. Contact us today to inquire about the senior services we offer by calling 763-634-8247.

Be a positive role model, be supportive and encourage your senior loved one to get moving!

Wanted: A Caring Professional Looking for a Unique and Rewarding Career

Caring for seniors is a labor of love that requires a special person with a loving personality and just the right touch. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is looking for dedicated CAREGivers who share a passion for caregiving to provide in-home care assistance to seniors and their family. Could that special person be you?

Advances in medicine and healthier lifestyles are leading to many seniors living longer and more productive lives. This is causing the ‘sandwich’ generation to emerge, which in turn is demanding a greater need for caregivers. The sandwich generation refers to the age group who are caring for their parents and simultaneously caring for their own children. Many Minneapolis families are trying to find the balance of managing a demanding job, raising children, staying on top of their own family’s daily activities, as well as caring for their aging parents. It doesn’t take long before a family caregiver drops one of the many balls they are trying to juggle daily.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis Client Care Coordinator, Lori Leigh, explains why this growing field is so important right now and provides a glimpse of what is involved with being an in-home personal care assistant (PCA):

As the New York Times reports extensively, more than 1.3 million new paid caregivers will be needed by the year 2022 to meet the demand of the aging senior population. This demand for caregivers in the workforce is at a critical level, causing caregiving to become the largest occupation in the United States in the next 5 years. A recent report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune echoes the growing demand, stating that healthcare is a gold mine right now with an expected growth in Minnesota by more than 40% by 2022.

So, exactly what does it mean to be a caregiver? 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 the ability to continue living independently at home. The responsibilities will vary depending on the client’s needs, but generally, you will be expected to:

  • Provide companionship and conversation
  • Prepare meals
  • Perform light housekeeping tasks, including laundry
  • Provide medication as needed
  • Assist with errands
  • Accompany senior to appointments

Other responsibilities may be asked of you, but most importantly and rewarding is the joy you bring to a senior’s life and the value you provide to the family.

Leah Beno with Minneapolis KMSP Fox 9 Evening News featured our own Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis CAREGiver, Rebecca, and her client Liz, highlighting their very special bond.

If you believe you are that special type of person who enjoys working with seniors and wants make a difference in the lives of older adults and their families, being a Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis CAREGiver might be the career for you. Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis offers industry leading CARE Training programs that will equip a new caregiver with the skills necessary to provide the best care possible to the senior client. Home Instead also offers training for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Home Instead Minneapolis serves the communities in Minneapolis and western suburbs, including Excelsior, Plymouth, Minnetonka, Golden Valley, Shorewood, Wayzata, St. Louis Park, and Lake Minnetonka area. Flexible work hours, a competitive salary package including health insurance benefits, as well as overtime pay and paid travel time between client appointments are just some of the benefits our employees enjoy. Our CAREGivers are bonded and insured and are provided with on-going training and support. We offer this and more through a holistic approach – caring for our CAREGiver’s mind, body, and spirit. We truly believe when we care for our CAREGivers, they are better equipped to have a meaningful relationship with their clients and the families they support.

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 will have the opportunity to meet wonderful seniors in our Minneapolis communities, build fulfilling relationships, and make a difference in the lives of our aging clients. Contact Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis today to learn more about the home care career opportunities by visiting the Careers tab of our website where you can also apply online or contact us by calling 763-634-8247 today.

Angels on Earth: 2016 Be a Santa to a Senior

bastas2015-1Although our Minnesota weather may not admit it, it’s time to kick off the 2016 Be a Santa to a Senior® program! Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is proud to announce we will set up trees around the Minneapolis area and ensure seniors who are alone or in need receive a gift this holiday season. As once 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!” Join us in our movement once again this year to ensure seniors feel the love and be a part of our campaign.

This program targets seniors in our community who may not otherwise receive gifts or visits from family during the holidays and was first launched by our parent organization in 2003. Partnering with local non-profit and community organizations, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis identifies seniors who perhaps live alone, do not have family members nearby, or are experiencing financial difficulties and ensures they receive a little TLC during the holidays.

Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care and companionship services for older adults. The Minneapolis, Minnesota Home Instead office has partnered with local non-profits such as East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Meals on Wheels, low income housing, and several nursing homes to offer gifts and companionship to seniors in need.

You can help us brighten a senior’s life too! Home Instead Minneapolis will set up the gift trees beginning November 14th in the local businesses and retail stores that are partnering with us. The participation of the busy retail stores allows for great visibility of the program and provides a convenient way for shoppers to be part of the gift giving during the holiday season. Here’s how it works:

Head to any of the following locations:

senior_giftsLocate the Christmas tree decorated with ornament tags within the store. Select any ornament tag where you will find a senior’s name as well as gift suggestions printed on the tag. The next steps are to purchase the item(s) listed, place them in a gift bag, return to the store where the ornament tag was selected and deliver the gift to a store employee. We would also be delighted to take any donations of money or gift cards to ensure each gift wish is filled. To ensure timely delivery of all gifts, please return donations to the store by December 12th.

Since this amazing program began in 2003, there have been over 60,000 volunteers who have helped distribute over 1.2 million gifts to more than 700,000 deserving seniors nationwide. Join our movement and make a senior’s holiday special.

Home Instead Minneapolis is thrilled to partner with several local fire stations. Relief associations, retired and off-duty firefighters from Hopkins, Golden Valley, Wayzata, Minneapolis and St. Louis Park fire stations are volunteering their time by picking up and storing the gifts. Once the gifts are all collected, they will also help deliver the gifts to the nursing homes, assisted living and senior apartment facilities in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. THANK YOU once again to the firefighters, retired members as well as spouses and family members for being involved with our Be a Santa to a Senior® campaign! We could not pull this off without you! We appreciate your partnership and your volunteer time.

At this time of year, there are so many gift programs aimed at children and families in need, but we can’t forget the seniors! Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis understands there are many seniors in our local communities who have just as much need for a gift and companionship during the holidays, so join us and make a difference in the life of a senior!

For more information or to find a participating organization near you, visit the Be a Santa to a Senior® website and use the locator tool provided.

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.