Are You Taking Advantage Of Respite Care?

are you taking advantage of respite care

Caregiving takes its toll. It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, how much you feel they deserve, or the strength of your conviction that nobody can take care of him/her like you can – caregiver burnout is absolutely inevitable unless you take care of the big picture. 

If you are a caregiver or are planning to take over caregiving duties for an aging parent or senior loved one, make sure to read our post, How to Recognize and Prevent Caregiver Burnout.  

Big Picture Planning: Respite Care Is An Essential Part Of Caregiving

Respite care should automatically be included in any long-term home care plan. Period.  

When you hire a full-time professional caregiving agency, this is automatically taken care of because our employees are only allowed to work a specific number of hours per shift, and per week. In the spouse/immediate caregiver plan – things get murkier. 

What Is Respite Care? 

Respite care is a way to provide a break for primary caregivers while ensuring your loved one has expert and compassionate care in the caregiver’s absence. If your niece or sister offers to come and stay with your parent for a day or overnight, they are offering respite care. Friends or volunteers from your spiritual community may also provide occasional relief from the rigors of caregiving.  

When a care plan includes regular respite care or long-term respite care, it’s a good idea to meet with a licensed caregiving agency – especially if the senior loved one has a progressive condition.  

Professional home care providers are educated, trained, and experienced at providing care for seniors in all stages of the aging process – from those who need a bit of help getting around and preparing meals to seniors who are completely bed-bound, which demands a different level of care and attention. 

While respite care shifts typically have a minimum billing window, typically three to four hours, they can be used as intermittently as you like. Respite care can be used to help caregivers: 

  • Attend their own health and wellness appointments 
  • Resume regular religious/spiritual services and events 
  • Participate in special family events, ceremonies, and gatherings 
  • Take days, weekends, or weeks off for the sake of time off, and not because you’re having to accommodate yours or someone else’s need(s) 
  • Have the freedom to take “sick days” when they or family members are ill or experiencing an emergency and need to “take care of business” 
  • Get together with friends for weekly lunches, self-care, or whatever else you need to fill your cup and nourish your dedicated, hardworking spirit 

In addition to preventing caregiver burnout and supporting caregivers by providing regular breaks, respite care also establishes a rapport between the client and other caregivers. This can come in handy in the event of a sick day or emergency because the client already feels comfortable with the caregiver replacement. 

Make Respite Care Part Of The Plan When… 

Here are some signs that you and your family should take advantage of respite care as part the home care plan from the very start: 

There are only one or two family caregivers 

The reality is that it is impossible for one or two caregivers to provide quality, patient, compassionate, and attentive full-time care, 24/7. You will become depleted and that depletion will take its toll on your ability to care for your loved one, not to mention the negative toll it can take on your health and wellbeing. 

If your loved one requires care around the clock or more than just a few hours each day, you will either need to assemble a team of caregivers to observe regular shifts or you will need to ensure you have adequate respite care each week to give you a break. 

Your loved one has Alzheimer’s/dementia or other “progressive” diagnosis 

The care required at the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s/dementia or other “progressive” medical conditions, like Parkinson’s, is 180-degrees from the constantly increasing levels of care required as the disease progresses. Enlisting the support of respite care providers and building them into the care plan from the beginning, makes it easier to get the support you will need when things get more intense. 

You are working and/or still have children at home 

In the realm of senior care, we refer to you as “The Sandwich Generation” because you are sandwiched in between your children/work and your aging parents. It is absolutely consuming and completely depleting. Respite care is an affordable way to buoy you up as you work to meet everyone’s needs while still fulfilling your work obligations, family fun, children’s extracurricular activities, etc.  

Visit Parents Caregiving for Parents: Support for the Sandwich Generation, to learn more about that topic. 

Your family takes an annual vacation, holiday(s), etc. 

If you have to miss one family vacation or a string of traditional holiday gatherings for a single year, that is one thing. However, a decline from Alzheimer’s or dementia, chronic illnesses, or general aging decline can last for years. 

If your loved one isn’t on hospice or in the last weeks or months of his/her life, you are going to need respite care so you have the ability to balance your life while simultaneously caring for the needs of your loved one. 

You need respite care if you have children living at home 

If you have children living at home you absolutely must find a way to have stand-in caregivers at the ready. Your senior loved one enjoyed a rich, full life and s/he almost undoubtedly wishes the same for you and your family. Childhood is fleeting and so it’s imperative that in the midst of honoring your senior loved one that you also honor your children’s milestones and important events. 

Respite care is the way to make sure you can be at the game, attend the school pageant, volunteer in the classroom, or chaperone field trips.  

Would you like to learn more about how you can take advantage of respite care when creating a long-term senior home care plan? Contact HomeAide Home Care, Inc. and schedule a free assessment and consultation.

Getting Paid To Take Care Of Elderly Parents

getting paid to take care of elderly parents

Are you losing money in an effort to provide “free” care for elderly parents or family members? In an effort to save money, many children of senior parents wind up losing money as the result of unpaid time off work or having to quit their jobs altogether. 

Fortunately, there are programs available that pay children to take care of their aging parents. The amount varies depending on your situation and rarely replaces a full-time salary. However, the financial boost may be just what you need to make it possible to take time off or minimize work hours to take care of the ones you love. 

Programs That Pay Children To Take Care Of Elderly Parents 

There are no programs out there that will fully compensate you for the countless hours you’ll spend caring for your aging parents. That said, the income derived from the following programs may help ends meet, or alleviate financial stress, along the way. 

MediCal/Medicaid In-Home Support Services (IHSS) 

Medicaid services in all 50 of the United States provide some level of compensation to qualified individuals to manage their own, long-term care plan – as opposed to paying an agency to do so. In California, this can include hiring qualified children to provide care for senior parents.  

In fact, California has one of the more generous versions of this program because it also pays qualifying spouses, siblings, and extended family members. Those who provide care for qualifying individuals can get paid for everything from direct patient care to housekeeping and errand running, depending on the circumstances. 

This program is largely dependent on the income/asset value of the person requiring care. You can contact the MediCal Member Helpline to learn more about qualifications and how to apply. 

Home & Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver 

Have you just received a diagnosis, like Alzheimer’s or dementia, that will require a long-term care plan? If so, now is the time to apply for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers. These are designed for people who get Medicaid but didn’t qualify for IHSS.  

It can allow you to care for a parent at home, rather than having to transfer him/her to an assisted living or another type of care facility if that goes against your parent’s wishes.  

If you’re trying to decide which makes more sense, home care or assisted living facility, we recommend reading, The Cost of Senior Care: Home Care vs Assisted Living, to compare the two. 

Examples of the various waivers, all of which are applied through via MediCal using the link provided above, include: 

  • Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) 
  • Veteran Directed Care (VD-HCBS) – more on veteran’s care below 
  • Multi-Purpose Senior Services Waiver (MSSP) 
  • Home and Community-Based Services Waiver for the Developmentally Disabled (HCBS-DD) 

These programs almost always have waiting lists, which is why time is of the essence. 

Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Program 

The Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Program is overseen by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). It was created to support veterans who are struggling to pay for home care services or care costs at other residential facilities. 

In addition to being the recipient of a veteran pension, the basic qualifying criteria for the extra Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Pension include: 

  • You need another person to help you perform daily activities, like bathing, feeding, and dressing, or 
  • You have to stay in bed—or spend a large portion of the day in bed—because of illness, or 
  • You are a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability, or 
  • Your eyesight is limited (even with glasses or contact lenses you have only 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less) 

You can Click Here to read more about the program and to determine whether or not your parent is eligible. 

Long-Term Care Insurance 

Sometimes, seniors forget about the funds they set aside or planned for when they need it most. Ask your parent whether s/he ever paid for a long-term care insurance plan. If s/he is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s worth a trip through the file cabinet or safe to search for paperwork. We also recommend checking in with his/her estate attorney or reviewing any will or trust to see if a long-term care insurance plan is accounted for in any of their estate documents. 

Paid Family Leave Act 

The state of California offers the Paid Family Leave Act (PFL). This legislature ensures employees have the ability to take paid time off work to care for a family member. It requires certification from your parent’s medical care provider, and you can earn 60% to 70% of your wages to do so. 

The caveat is that the plan is short-term, only allowing up to eight weeks off work. That said, a combination of your siblings, children, or adult grandchildren may make it possible to provide a long-term family home care plan, interspersing shifts with professionals as needed. 

Direct Payment From Family To Care For Elderly Parents 

Many families find that a family payment pool is the best and most affordable way to ensure their senior loved one is cared for by a family member, without causing financial stress or demise for the caregiver.  

If you go this route, it is wise to consult with an attorney or paralegal who specializes in elder care and estate planning to draw up documentation that is professional, thorough, outlines potential scenarios, and that everyone can sign. 

The combination of paying a family member, paying professional caregivers in-between times, and taking advantage of senior care resources in the Bay Area is a wise, comprehensive solution. 

A Reverse Mortgage 

Depending on the situation, your family may decide it’s beneficial to apply for a reverse mortgage. The Bay Area real estate market has only gone up in the past two to four decades, and that equity is far better used to provide high-quality, loving care at home than saved to disperse to beneficiaries after your parent(s) pass on. 

Even a very small equity line of credit, that doesn’t dramatically reduce the home’s total equity, may be exactly enough to pay for family caregivers for the time, energy, and emotional investment required when taking care of elderly parents. 

Always consult with a financial advisor or tax attorney before making any major decisions like this, and having a family meeting to gain a consensus so the decision feels equitable to all. 

Would you like to learn more about how to integrate paid family caregiving that allows you to take care of elderly parents, while also having access to professional home care providers for respite care or to fill in the shift gaps? Contact HomeAid Home Care and schedule a free assessment. 

Top 10 Blogs For Seniors

top 10 blogs for seniors

It’s always a challenge to keep homebound seniors socially engaged. And, we also know that social engagement and the human-to-human connection is invaluable to the mental, emotional, and physical health of our senior loved ones. Blogs for seniors are one more piece of the connectivity puzzle. These blogs are mostly by seniors and for seniors, which helps to send the message that, “you are not alone!” 

Bookmark These 10 Blogs For Seniors And Start Reading 

Not only are these blogs helpful (and entertaining) for seniors to read, we also recommend that caregivers and close family members read some of your loved one’s favorite blogs as well.  

Firstly, you may find that reading about another senior’s experiences and insights provides a better picture or more compassionate insight into your parent/grandparent’s day to day life and experiences. Secondly, reading the same blogs is like being part of a book club. The posts can provide mutual conversation ground that is not just about medical issues, ailments, or caregiving.  

To that end, here are 10 senior blogs worth recommending for your senior to bookmark on his/her gadget of choice. Just getting your loved one on board with tech, read How to Support Seniors with Technology. 

Senior Planet 

We’ve intentionally put Senior Planet (seniorplanet.org) towards the top because it is a resource and go-to support for seniors who are using technology to remain connected. Senior Planet is about much more than just the latest gadgets and apps and websites. Those gadgets and apps and websites are just means to an end: enabling older adults and people of all ages to come together and find ways to learn, work, create, and thrive in today’s digital age. 

In addition to that, the website offers all kinds of fun ways for seniors to engage with one another, from joining book clubs and online tech classes to support groups and chat features. 

Elder Chicks 

The Elder Chicks (elderchicks.com) website and blogs were started by senior “chicks,” Dr. Thelma Reese (now 88 years old) and Dr. Barbara Fleisher (age not stated). Click Here to watch their video about their blog and their goal to “master the art of senior life,” which has become the fun, witty, and intelligent theme across their blogging spectrum. One of our favorite aspects of The Elder Chicks’ mission is that they promote the hand-in-hand pairing of senior life/retirement and volunteerism.  

Feisty Side of 50 (geared towards females) 

Tired of all the social and cultural messages that say “aging is bad,” and that our goal should be to remain “forever young?” We are too! Not only is aging inevitable, but it is also a process that can forge ever-deeper and more meaningful connections to our wisdom, inner-strength, heart, soul, and the absolutely essential need for humor and joy. The Feisty Side of 50 is run by Mary Eileen Williams, M.A., N.C.C.C. You can also listen to her Feisty Side of 50 radio show and podcast. 

Her personal mission is to, “…reach as many of my gender and generation as possible to celebrate our remarkable history, our awe-inspiring futures, and just plain hoot and holler as only the menopausal can. We gals have overcome some pretty formidable challenges and we’re not going to let a few wrinkles stop us now. We’re bringing a whole new look and spirited style to the aging process. In fact, our next major revolution will be nothing short of astounding. So, here’s to us, the incredible, incomparable, fabulous, female boomers and to embracing life fully on the feisty side of fifty!” 

Grey Fox 

This senior blog, on the other hand, is geared towards senior men. Did your senior dad or grandfather lead a dashing and dapper life? Then he’ll love reading Grey Fox, which focuses on fashion trends for men 40 years and older, with a penchant for brands that target the older, affluent demographic. Because the website host, David Evans, is from the UK, he targets UK brands.  

Sage (dedicated to the LGBTQ community) 

There is no denying that the senior LGBTQ community is largely ignored – and that’s saying something when you consider our senior home care agency is located in California’s Bay Area! While the LGBTQ community is well-represented in the Millennial realm, LGBTQ seniors can feel very alone, and studies show members of this sociodemographic have a much higher risk of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Read, Inclusive Care for LGBT Seniors, to learn more about how you can help. 

Another boost for your LGBTQ senior loved one’s spirit will be connecting with the Sage USA blog. The blog and organizational mission are to, “…make aging better for LGBT people nationwide. How? We show up and speak out for the issues that matter to us. We teach. We answer your calls. We connect—generations, each other, allies. We win. And together, we celebrate.” 

Sage is a phenomenal resource and they also promote a myriad of LGBT resources. We feel regular perusal of their posts will support, inspire, inform, and connect LGBT seniors and their families. 

The Senior Nomads 

Whether your senior loved one is fond of travel, or would enjoy living vicariously with other travelers, The Senior Nomads blog is centered around the travels of Seattle-based seniors Debbie & Michael Campbell.  

While they slowed down at the beginning of the pandemic, these passionate nomads revamped the way they move from place-to-place and have resumed their travels. That means their blog is chock full of informative (as well as entertaining) tidbits about their travels, experiences, and other “senior moments.” 

Viva Fifty! 

This bilingual blog serves both the English- and Spanish-speaking senior communities. The Viva Fifty! Blog is published by Lorraine C. Ladish. The posts are divided into five main categories: Mind (culture, books, mind, empowerment, money), Grace (style, hair, skincare, beauty), Body (health, nutrition, fitness, and yoga), Soul (relationships, family, dating, inspiration), and Escape (travel, leisure, dining, tech, and shopping).  

The site features a diverse group of guest posters, and we feel this one is another ideal “blog club” candidate for you and your senior loved one to share. 

The Upside to Aging 

Remember we mentioned that some of these blogs are worth the caregiver’s read? The Upside to Aging is one of those. Hosted by longtime caregiver, Molly Wisniewski (LeGrand), the blog balances the upsides (and the challenges) faced by seniors and their caregivers. Molly specializes in in-home care for clients with dementia and other memory issues, so there are plenty of posts dedicated to that realm.  

The National Council on Aging 

As professional senior home care providers, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) is one of our favorite resources for the latest studies, research, and information on aging and how to provide the best care possible for our clients. The NCOA blog can be that same resource for you, your family’s caregivers, and then seniors you care for as you navigate this next chapter of his/her life. 

Their blogs for seniors serve as an approachable, digestible synopsis of that aforementioned resource, and also keeps seniors informed about medical, legislative, and social/cultural topics particular to their demographic. 

The HomeAide Home Care Blog 

Yep, we’re biased, but we work hard to create monthly blog topics that are timely, relevant, and that provide support, insight, and informative tidbits about senior care topics. We also try to balance the equation and include plenty of posts geared towards family and private caregivers who work so tirelessly hard for the ones they love. Bookmark to the HomeAide Home Care blog and be part of a wider network of people who understand exactly what you’re going through. 

Do you suspect it’s time to bring licensed, compassionate homecare professionals to support your family’s journey through senior care? Schedule a free home assessment with HomeAide Home Care.

The Cost Of Senior Care: Home Care vs. Assisted Living

the cost of senior care home care vs assisted living

It’s inevitable that questions of the cost of home care vs assisted living enter the mix, no matter how much you love, care for, and want the best for senior loved ones. Each option has its own positives and negatives and deciding which makes the most sense for your aging senior depends on a variety of personal and practical considerations. 

We like to remind families that in addition to financial costs, there are also social/emotional costs when comparing home care and assisted living or nursing home facilities. The best way to make a sound decision is to start long-term planning conversations as early as possible. Ideally, these conversations would begin before or immediately after you notice signs a senior needs support.  

Meetings should include the most important family, partner, or close-friend players, to come up with a mindful plan that accommodates all of the big picture needs – taking all of the financial and emotional costs into consideration. 

Comparing The Financial Cost Of Senior Care

Finances must be carefully considered. Many of the conditions that affect aging seniors, from regular age-related decline to Alzheimer’s or dementia, can require years or even decades of caregiving support. The two most common solutions are home care or assisted living. 

We use the reliable, research-based statistics from the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program as our guide to the money-based cost comparisons. According to their calculations, the average, annual cost of home care vs. senior care are: 

  • Home Care (5 days/week, 6 hours/day): $37,440 
  • Assisted Living Community: $57,600 
  • Nursing Home (semi-private room): $92,710 

There is no doubt that paying caregivers to provide care in the home is the most affordable senior care option by tens of thousands of dollars. 

Beware too-good-to-be-true monthly quotes for assisted living or nursing homes when comparing the cost of senior care 

One thing to know about assisted living facilities is that they often provide low-ball, “monthly rates,” to entice prospects. However, it is essential that you ask about “add-ons.” Services like laundry, accompanied mobility to meals or events, off-site trips, visits to the onsite barber or beauty shop, etc., can all add up quickly.  

If assisted living communities are your first choice, we understand (more on that below), but we highly recommend AgingCare’s post, The Hidden Costs of Assisted Living, so you are well-informed and know what questions to ask when you take tours or speak with their staff. 

Weighing The Social And Emotional Costs 

Of course, financial costs aren’t the only costs you should weigh when taking the steps to care for an aging senior. And, while we are a homecare services provider, we are also very transparent that home care isn’t for everyone. It is imperative that seniors not feel isolated, which can lead to depression, anxiety, failure to thrive, or exacerbate dementia and other health conditions. 

There are social and emotional costs for both home and assisted living care, and many of these decisions depend on the family structure, accessibility to peers and favorite locations/activities, relationship with the home or neighborhood, etc. 

Would the senior prefer to age-in-place, or live in a larger retirement community? 

Statistics say that the majority of seniors choose to age in place if they have the choice, but that only represents the majority. Many seniors aren’t interested in bringing people into their homes to help them. They would rather move to a new place, get situated in their room or small apartment, and begin taking advantage of the “amenities in one place” lifestyle. 

It’s a personal choice and only a good conversation can establish which version is best. 

Is there an active family and friend network at play? 

The family structure matters a great deal. If there is a healthy family, friend, and neighbor network available, bringing care into the home makes the most sense. Seniors get to age-in-place, in the comfort of their own home, and they can still have lots of social interaction with family, friends, or neighbors. The same holds true if s/he is an active member of local clubs, spiritual groups, volunteer organizations, etc. 

If seniors have sacrificed their keys and can no longer drive, home care agencies can provide a caregiver a few times a week to act as a driver and then help out with other errands, shopping, or activities that are harder for your loved one to handle on his/her own, eventually increasing care services as wanted or needed over time. 

Is the senior more introverted by nature? 

If your loved one is more of an introvert, preferring to spend most time quiet and alone by choice – rather than necessity – moving into an assisted living community may be traumatic. Innate introverts and homebodies typically fare much better when family caregivers minimize transitions and keep visitors and activities focused on the familiar. 

What Are The Projected Memory Care Needs? 

If you are interested in memory care for a senior loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you can go either way. Memory care facilities (much different from assisted living communities that have “memory care” services or wings, are exceptional at providing care that aligns with the foremost research pertaining to dementia care and treatment.  

That said, memory care centers cost notably more than the average assisted living communities because every resident eventually requires acute care and assistance. Most cost closer to that $90K+ price tag listed for nursing home facilities. 

If your loved one isn’t interested in moving to a memory care facility in the early to mid stages of the disease, look for home care providers who specialize in memory care, including mid to late stage dementia care, and who also offer live-in care services in case those are necessary. 

We’re Here WhenYou’re Ready

Would you like to learn more about the cost of home care services and the types of services available to Bay Area seniors in their homes? Contact us at HomeAide Home Care and schedule a free, in-home assessment.

Senior Care Resources In The Bay Area

senior care resources in the bay area

Bay Area residents are fortunate to have an impressive array of options when it comes to senior care resources. From home care and adult day care options and providers to transportation support, meal delivery, and support groups – there is a myriad of agencies and organizations dedicated to making your life easier. 

Our List For Top Bay Area Senior Care Resources 

Here are 7 of our favorite organizations that serve seniors in the Bay Area. They can be especially helpful if you are a spouse or family caregiver who is sandwiched between the demands of caring for your senior loved one and your job or children who still live at home. 

Bay Area home care agencies 

Licensed home care agencies in the Bay Area can provide invaluable support to seniors and their caregiving loved ones. Yes, we are available to provide care full-time or live-in, around the clock support. More often than not, however, we simply help to fill in the gaps for spouses or the family team of caregivers.  

We can provide errand running and shopping/grocery delivery. We can provide respite care when you need a break, or work just a day or three a week to relieve the regular caregiver(s). Our agencies are here to listen to your needs and fill those gaps with compassionate professionals. 

Your local senior center can help with senior care resources  

Do a search online for the local senior center(s) in your immediate community. First and foremost, these centers have their fingers on the pulse of senior resources within their immediate proximity. Plus, they offer their own social events and community meals that help seniors get out of the house and engage with others

While we’ve provided recommendations based on our knowledge and experience in and around our own and our clients’ communities and neighborhoods, senior centers often know about smaller or lesser-known senior care resources that aren’t on our radar. 

Meal delivery services 

If your senior loved one lives alone, or with a partner who also requires some level of caregiving, undernourishment is a real threat. Meal planning, shopping, and cooking require a substantial level of energy. If dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other age-related disabilities are in the mix, eating three healthy meals a day becomes an even greater challenge – but is of the utmost importance for managing those conditions. 

Here are a few suggestions: 

If you have plenty of family living nearby, this can also be a great way for everyone to contribute to their beloved senior’s wellbeing. Have a family meeting and brainstorm ideas for senior meal planning. The ultimate goal is to ensure seniors have nutritious and delicious meals that are easy to heat up and that align with any relevant healthcare recommendations. 

Encourage everyone to make extras and freeze them or deliver them with clearly marked labels as to what they are and how to heat (masking tape and sharpies are perfect for this). Or, consider using free, online platforms such as Meal Train to create a meal calendar and delivery schedule. 

Here are some links to help you get started: 

Adult day care centers 

Adult day care centers allow primary caregivers to go to work every day, observe routine appointments, get some weekday respite care, or enjoy a few hours off to catch up on rest, self-care, or much-needed social time with other friends and family. The following is a list of some of the most reputable adult day care centers around the Bay. 

Live Oak Adult Day Center (San Jose) 

DayBreak Adult Care Centers (12 Locations around the Bay Area) 

Mt. Diablo Center for Adult Day Health Care (Pleasant Hill) 

Mental health & grief support  

The Institute on Aging has incredible mental health and grief support options for homebound seniors. The mental health professionals who work with seniors have niche expertise in many of the areas that trouble seniors most, including: 

  • Isolation 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Grief 
  • Cognitive decline 

While their services used to be provided in the home, technological platforms are used as much as possible to support social distancing when needed. If your senior loved one isn’t already familiar with tech, we recommend getting him/her a senior-friendly tablet to support their process. 

Read How to Support Seniors with Technology for additional tips on creating more successful tech transitions. 

 Your local hospice provider 

Hospice is an incredible organization with an often mistaken identity. For many, the idea of “going on hospice” is the equivalent of saying, “I’m dying…” That is not the case. We’ve learned through experience that hospice clients benefit most when they sign up for available services months or even a year or so before death would be on the horizon. From in-house social services and therapeutic support, to comfort care and immediate delivery of home hospital equipment that makes life easier, hospice can help home caregivers in exponential ways. 

If your loved one has any terminal medical diagnosis (cancer, COPD, dementia, Parkinson’s, ALS, etc.), schedule a consultation with a few local hospice organizations to learn more about their services. 

We feel the same way about home care. The earlier you begin researching your options and learning more about the home care agencies near you, the more informed you’ll be when it is time to make a decision or enlist the next level of care for your loved one.  

Transportation support 

Is your senior facing the reality that it’s no longer safe to drive? That’s a difficult transition to make because, for most, it feels like the end of independence and autonomy. Help your senior loved one embrace that transition by offering transportation services s/he can use on his/her own. 

Visit the Institute on Aging’s Bay Area Guide to the Best Transportation for Seniors, which has an independent transportation option for a variety of senior needs. 

We’re Here To Help You

The caregivers here at HomeAide Home Care, Inc. have decades of experience serving Bay Area seniors and their families. We offer free, no-obligation consultations and can answer any questions you may have about the types of services that make the most sense for your loved one. Contact us today to schedule your free, in-home assessment. 510-247-1200. 

Parents Caregiving For Parents: Support For The Sandwich Generation

parents caregiving for parents support for the sandwich generation

Are you a member of The Sandwich Generation? If so, you are probably working full time, taking care of aging parents, and still serving in the role of mom or dad to children who still live at home. That’s a tough order.  

To put it in perspective, the American Psychological Association (APA) has reported that women in the Sandwich Generation feel more stress than any other group due to their exponential caregiver expectations. 

Adults taking care of their children and aging parents often feel pulled in two different directions: 

  • Do you answer the call from your aging parent or do you relax and enjoy the rest of your child’s recital? 
  • Should you reschedule your own doctor’s appointment again to honor a specialist appointment for your parents? 
  • Is it okay to leave a mom or dad with early-stage Alzheimer’s home alone for an hour or two to get the errands run as quickly as possible? Or will that end up in disaster? 

If you aren’t careful, you can burn out quickly, which has a negative impact on your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.  

The Sandwich Generation Needs All The Support It Can Get! 

Unfortunately, most caregivers prioritize everyone’s needs but their own, and this is the exact opposite of how it should be. When you aren’t healthy, happy, and taking care of yourself, you are simply not able to provide quality care to the ones you love.  

Don’t ever consider “taking care of yourself” to be a selfish act. It is a gift that keeps on giving to those who depend on you.  

So, in deep appreciation for all that you do to care for your parents and your children, we’ve compiled a list of ways to support yourself as a noble member of the Sandwich Generation. 

Implement a regular schedule of respite care 

Respite care means that you are free to take some hours, a day, or even multiple days off so you can honor your personal calendar appointments. At the very minimum, we recommend booking respite care once a week or, at the very least, once per month.  

If you have other family members or family friends interested in providing respite care, you can set up a SignUp Genius for free and have a regular rotation. Professional respite care is also available from licensed home care agencies in your area. 

Consider adult day care options 

Adult day care centers operate similarly to child day care centers. They provide a safe, fun, and interactive space for seniors to get together. Some even specialize in memory care, making them a safe place for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s.   

Read the AARP’s article, Adult Day Care: What Family Caregivers Need to Know, which provides a wonderful explanation of the service as well as how to find qualified adult day care options in your area. 

Join an in-person or online support group 

As this post goes to press, we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing ordinance. As a result, in-person support groups may not be an option for you. However, there are plenty of online support group options available. 

Our clients repeatedly comment on how much it has helped them to communicate with others who understand exactly what they’re going through. It makes you feel less alone. Plus, support groups give you the chance to get creative, expert, and “I’ve been there” ideas from people who are on the same journey as you. 

Click Here to view a long list of caregiver support groups to find one near you, including support groups for the LGBTQ caregiving community, or to join an online group. Professional therapists can also be a wonderful resource, helping you to manage stress and cultivate self-care tools as you navigate the hurdles along the caregiving way. 

If you’re part of the sandwich generation make time for the basic tenets of a healthy, active lifestyle 

Skipping meals, substituting healthy food for quick-and-dirty snacks, and putting off your daily exercise plan is the absolute worst thing you can do to support yourself. And, the same is true for your children and your parent(s). 

Here are some ideas our clients use to honor their health in addition to their caregiving duties: 

  • Have mom/dad over for a weekend afternoon and spend time making multiple, easy-to-store, and reheat meals for the week. Some can go home with your parent(s) and the rest remain in your fridge for easy dinners. 
  • Don’t have time to make food? Meal delivery services abound, so take advantage of them. You can have takeout delivered from your favorite restaurants via DoorDash or from meal boxes, like HelloFresh or Blue Apron
  • Exercise together using any one of a number of YouTube videos from famous instructors. Your parent(s) can do senior-centric exercises such as chair yoga or exercises with the walker, while you search for exercise programs designed for your interest and abilities. 
  • Take time each day to get outside and take a walk, look at the sky or the trees, spend some time in the garden, or simply sit on the porch sipping a cup to tea. 
  • Convert from readable to audible. If you’re an avid reader, utilize platforms such as Audible.com, so you can listen to the books while driving, cleaning, running errands, etc., that you don’t have time to sit down and read anymore.  

Make sure everyone is pulling their weight 

Remember when you put your five year old’s rain boots on, only to realize s/he had been able to put them on him/herself for two full years already? It may be time to take stock of who is capable of doing what to help out. 

  • Could a licensed teen/20-something take a turn taking his/her grandparent to the doctor? Or do the grocery shopping? Help out with dinner? 
  • Might your out-of-town/state family members take on the meal delivery coordination for your parents, which can easily be organized and paid for online? 
  • Are there extra household chores the kids can pick up to lighten your load now that you’re more actively involved in caring for their grandparents? 
  • Can other family members split or take over the adult day care or respite care bills to do their share since you do the majority of the physical, day-to-day, and logistical caregiving? 
  • Are you able to afford housekeeping help so you can spend more time relaxing at home? Even bi-monthly visits can yield extra free time for you. 
  • Have you considered using a part-time, senior caregiving service, with the costs split between your parents, yourself, and any sibling(s)?  

Learning to ask for help – or demand a fair share of help – is often essential to getting your support needs met.  

When You’re Ready For A Break

Are you looking for licensed respite care, home care, or other senior services provided by compassionate seniors in the comfort of your home – or your parent’s home? Schedule a free, in-home assessment with HomeAide Home Care

Ending Social Isolation In Seniors

ending social isolation in seniors

AARP and other senior surveys cite that up to 90% of seniors would prefer to age-in-place, in the comfort of their neighborhoods and home if it were safe to do so. 

And, while safety measures such as accessible home improvements and scaled, in-home care providers are often a focus, family caregivers can forget that supporting a senior’s social life can be equally as important for his/her health and wellbeing. 

Social Isolation Causes Loneliness, Depression, & Anxiety 

Aging-in-place translates to “living alone” for the majority of seniors, and this can lead to social isolation. Age-related decline and mortality, combined with driving restrictions and mobility issues, can cause a senior’s social life to shrink at exponential rates.  

Unfortunately, a lack of social interaction leading to social isolation in seniors is linked to escalating health conditions such as: 

  • Depression 
  • Heart disease 
  • High blood pressure 
  • More rapid cognitive decline 
  • Stroke 
  • Anxiety 
  • Sleep disorders 

These findings exemplify how important it is to prioritize the health of your senior loved one’s social life, as well as their physical and mental health. 

Ideas to support a vibrant senior social life 

Here are ideas that support a senior’s social life and that work to end senior social isolation.  

Provide the support required to maintain their current social calendar 

Does your parent have a busy social calendar, filled to the brim with lunch dates, Rotary or Kiwanis meetings, social functions at their local spiritual center, hair and nail appointments, etc.? Don’t let those fall by the wayside just because s/he can’t drive anymore or isn’t able to safely or confidently use public transportation. 

Take some time to organize carpools with other members of those groups who are still able to drive, take advantage of senior-specific public transport such as Dial-a-Ride, or begin interviewing local, licensed senior care providers that offer driving as part of their services menu. 

Hire a companion to prevent social isolation

Companion services are one of the most popular in-home care options. When you hire a companion, your senior loved one instantly gains a social connection with benefits. In addition to keeping seniors company, reading, listening to music, and driving clients to and from regular social engagements, companionship services can also be expanded to include things like errand running and grocery shopping, cooking meals or keeping seniors company while they eat, dining out at a favorite restaurant, attending community events, and so on. 

Even if your loved one has transitioned into an assisted living or nursing home facility, caregivers can still support their social interaction with regularly scheduled visits that are tailored to the client’s interests and hobbies. 

Get them active as community volunteers 

There are loads of non-profit and volunteer-driven groups in your area who are looking for caring individuals with time on their hands. Does that sound like your senior loved one? Getting seniors active in their communities, providing much-needed hands-on support is a win-win for everyone.  

In addition to providing help and care to those in need, volunteering helps to make seniors feel productive, needed, and essential – something that can slip by the wayside if their long-term care plan doesn’t include social interaction. Read our post Volunteer Opportunities Are a Win-Win for Everyone to learn more about potential volunteering needs here in the Bay Area. You can double-down on the wins by getting the whole family involved in Grandma or Grandpa’s favorite charity every once in a while. What better way to spend time together as a family? 

Make sure they’re getting ample time with grandchildren 

Speaking of win-winds and time spent together as a family, study after study shows how important it is for children to spend time with their grandparents. If Alzheimer’s or dementia make it unsafe for unsupervised visits, there are still so many ways children can benefit by reading to their grandparent, listening to their favorite songs or hearing grandparents’ stories as they watch old movies or pictures. 

Grandchildren are young, vibrant, and have a unique, heart-to-heart connection when they have the time to develop a relationship. Countless studies show the benefits for children who have the opportunity to spend more time with grandparents, including greater self-confidence and more focus in school. Visit The Benefits of Spending Time With Grandparents to learn more. 

Optimize the benefits of technology for face-to-face time 

If your parent or grandparent isn’t a natural technophile, s/he is still in luck. Companies like Samsung are creating tablets that are specifically geared for seniors by simplifying the connection process. While Zoom has become a superstar during the era of COVID-19 and sheltering-in-place, Skype and Google Video Hangouts also offer opportunities to connect “face-to-face” with children, grandchildren, or peers who have relocated over the years.  

Piggy-backing on our advice to spend more time with grandchildren, seniors with younger grandkids can check out software platforms like Caribu, that allow adults to read with children while looking at the same book (via the screen, of course) – no matter how many miles are between them. 

Ending social isolation in seniors means finding ways to make seniors feel needed, wanted, and loved – something we can all understand.

We’re Always Here

Interested in learning more about companion services and other in-home care options that provide sparks of warmth and human connection in your senior loved one’s life? Contact us here at HomeAide Home Care. We’ve provided personalized, person-to-person care and companionship to Bay Area seniors for 20-years and counting. 

Inclusive Care For LGBT Elders

inclusive care for lgbt elders

As 21st century Bay Area residents, it is difficult to understand the reality most of our LGBT elders experienced as a result of sexual orientation and/or non-binary identification. Discrimination affects LGBT seniors at every level – and health care is no exception. That is why you must take such thoughtful care when selecting inclusive home care for LGBT elders and loved ones. 

Compassionate, Non-Discriminatory Care Is Essential For LGBT Elders 

Finding compassionate, non-discriminatory care is essential for LBGT seniors to age independently and as healthy as possible. According to LGBThealth.org: 

LGBT people are more likely to experience certain health issues compared to people who are not LGBT. These health issues are mostly related to the stigma and discrimination experienced by LGBT people in their daily lives—including at school or work, in public places, or in health care settings.  

While this post serves as a very general introduction to a complex topic, we highly recommend downloading the National LGBT Health Center’s Guide, Providing Inclusive Services and Care For LGBT People, to learn more about this important topic. 

In order for seniors to age-in-place, while retaining dignity and independence, they must have caregivers who understand the specific needs of the LGBT senior population. 

Topics To Consider For Creating And Inclusive And Welcoming Space 

The simple act of including a small rainbow flag symbol on employees’ name tags, a symbol of LGBT inclusion, is a big one. However, it must be backed by employees or staff who are truly inclusive and welcoming.  

Inclusivity begins with understanding the damaging impact that can occur as the result of subtle or obvious language/word choices or insensitive questions/comments – as well as how to recover if an error is made. It blossoms when our LGBT clients and patients feel free to be themselves without judgment or criticism.  

While the hope is that care for LGBT clients and patients will become second-nature, there is much work to be done until then. As the National LGBT Health Education Center confirms, “luckily with some training and small changes in protocol, it is possible to provide safe, affirming, and inclusive environments for transgender people.” 

To give you an overview of what being inclusive means, here is a list of some of the topics, considerations, and lessons put forth in the National LGBTQs Guide for Healthcare Staff: 

Understanding the common health issues affecting LGBT elders

LGBT people are at higher risk for depression, suicidal thoughts, STDs and STD-related health conditions, addiction, smoking habits, and social and family isolation. Similarly, they are less likely to observe routine health appointments if they’ve experienced discrimination in the past, and less likely to have preventative cancer screenings. 

Other barriers LGBT seniors have faced include: 

  • Limited access to basic health care 
  • Negative experiences (discrimination or even abuse) with healthcare providers or those in authority 
  • Experiencing health care providers who were not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide high-quality care to their LGBT patients. 

LGBT clients’ expectations and triggers around honest mistakes from healthcare providers  

As you can imagine, LGBT seniors have experienced a lifetime of discrimination from society, and many have been the victims of hateful or violent verbal abuses from others. Even in the best of cases, an LGBT individual may have experienced uncomfortable or insensitive comments from those they trusted, including health care providers. 

As such, caregivers should know how to respond if they do, unwittingly, illicit a triggered response from an honest mistake, continuing to build trust with clients. 

Communication basics, including pronouns and preferred names/terms 

Caregivers should pay close attention and only use the name/pronoun(s) clients use for themselves. This also includes the terms clients use for themselves, partners, or spouses. For example, if a man refers to himself as gay, you also refer to him as gay rather than “homosexual,” regardless of your intentions to be politically correct. Acceptable vs. derogatory terms for the LGBT population have morphed through the decades and what is appropriate for him and his generation may not seem appropriate to you; our job is to honor the client’s wishes. 

Similarly, a client’s records provided by the family may state s/he is a “him,” when, in fact, she identifies as a “her.” Don’t make assumptions that information from family is correct. It’s always better to check the records provided with the patient to verify his/her preferences. 

How to handle when name/gender records don’t match 

If a client is transgender, you may experience medical, insurance, or other “official” records that do not match your client. Besides the risk of discrimination or a desire to comply with social norms, LGBT seniors may not have wanted to spend the time, energy, and emotional investment required to move through the complicated process of a legal name change. 

By checking in, “Hello there. I see you are listed as Jean, is that your preferred name or do you go by another name,” gives the client a chance to open the door so s/he and the caregivers can establish an honest, honoring, and safe baseline. 

Avoid asking unnecessary questions 

It is understandable to want to get to know your client and to be curious about his/her past. However, caregivers should let clients lead the conversation around personal or sensitive topics, particularly one as potentially heated or triggering as a person’s gender and/or sexual identity. 

Before embarking on a potential emotional land mine, consider: 

  • What do I know?  
  • What do I need to know?  
  • How can I ask for the information I need to know in a sensitive way? 

Remember that gender and/or sexuality can be fluid 

Back in the 70s and 80s, you were more apt to hear about someone being gay, straight, or lesbian – with clear boundaries. In the 90s, the term “bisexual” was used more often to help those who didn’t feel exclusively any one thing. Today, the various terms available to sexual/gender orientation or expression (or even the lack thereof) abound.  

Sexual orientation 

Sexual orientation is not the same as gender expression. A person’s sexual orientation describes their sexual/emotional attraction to others. The following terms apply to sexual orientation: 

  • Heterosexual (straight)  
  • Lesbian 
  • Gay 
  • Bisexual 
  • Asexual 

Gender identity 

A person’s gender identity is his/her own identity of being male or female. Terms defining gender orientation include: 

  • Transgender woman: A man who identifies as a woman 
  • Transgender man: A woman who identifies as a man 
  • Gender fluid: A person who does not identify, or chooses not to identify, as a single-gender.  
  • Many others as accurate vocabulary continues to emerge over time 

Ultimately, LGBT clients deserve to be respected first and foremost as individuals. From there, caregivers can work to create clear, comfortable communication channels that include the correct terms or identifications that are most important or meaningful to the client. 

We Care

Are you looking for home care providers who know how to provide inclusive care for LGBT elders? Consult with multiple local agencies, and ask them directly whether or not they have experience with the LGBT client community as well as what they do to educate and train their caregivers accordingly. These in-home assessments are free and are essential to ensure you hire the right agency for the job.  

Contact HomeAide Home Care to work with a Bay Area home care agency who has years of experience serving our LGBT elders.

Home Care Agency vs Independent Caregiver

home care agency vs independent caregiver

Meta: Home care agencies offer benefits independent caregivers don’t, such as education/training, workman’s comp, flexibility, and qualified replacements time off. 

Once you notice the signs a parent or senior loved one needs more support; the hunt for the right caregiver is a logical next step. If you are bringing in a caregiver from outside the family network- either as the primary caregiver or to supplement family caregivers, you’ll have two options: hiring an independently advertised caregiver from a registry or hiring one from a licensed home care agency

There is a big difference between the two. And, while we understand that cost is one of the most significant factors determining who you hire, know there are always hidden costs associated with hiring an independent caregiver from a registry. 

Hiring From A Registry vs Hiring A Home Care Agency 

First, it’s crucial to establish the difference between the hiring processes themselves. 

Hiring from an online registry 

Searching for a caregiver from a registry takes multiple forms, including: 

  • Craigslist or “Help Wanted/Needed” adds 
  • Temp agency 
  • Professional staffing agency 
  • Referrals of private caregivers (or family members looking for work) from your social network 
  • Independent contracting agencies 
  • Private duty registry 

For safety and security purposes, we advise against hiring anyone via a Craigslist or other online format that offers no form of quality control. Seniors are vulnerable, far more prone to scams and fraud than other populations, so a high-level vetting process is essential before you let anyone into your home or your loved one’s life. 

While staffing agencies may do a basic check of a candidate’s employment history and referrals, they aren’t senior care experts. Also, they don’t typically run complete criminal background checks, DMV checks, etc., nor do they typically focus on candidates’ job history and references (who knows whether that “job reference” you called to verify was just their Uncle Bob, posing as a former boss?) 

Hiring a licensed home care agency 

When you contract with a licensed caregiving agency, you aren’t actually hiring anyone. You’re contracting with an agency, becoming a client, rather than a direct employer of their staff. 

In addition to working with caregivers who have a gift for working with seniors, you also benefit from the ability to work with Medicare-approved caregivers and to verify business licensing, Better Business Bureau ratings and reports, and other resources proving you’re working with high-quality care providers. 

We can’t emphasize enough the benefits of working with a Medicare-approved caregiving agency. That stamp of approval can become invaluable if/when your parents require care related to medical events or diagnoses, which may be covered by Medicare and private insurance coverage. 

Here are some of the other considerations when hiring independently or from a registry compared with working with an agency. 

Employer vs. Client 

As an employer, you’re beholden to regional, state, and federal employment laws. You simply can’t hire anyone “under-the-table” anymore, without facing potentially serious fines, penalties, and litigation. 

When hiring caregivers independently, you’ll need to think about: 

  • Taxes 
  • Social security payments 
  • Workers Comp/disability insurance 
  • Paid sick days, vacations, time off 
  • Health insurance, retirement, and other benefits 
  • Who will show up to fill in/takeover if the hired caregiver(s) don’t turn up, call in at the last minute, or quit in the middle of a shift? 

When you hire from an agency, you’re the agency’s client and they employ the caregivers. So, while their costs may seem higher at the outset, they’re typically far less than when you add a private caregiver’s independent wages with the additional taxes and benefits costs required of you. 

Not to mention, the business/logistics of being an employer is a lot to take on when you’re also managing aging parents’ needs with your own and your family’s needs. 

Safety and Security 

The caregivers working with qualified agencies are vetted via complete criminal background checks, employment verification, and thorough check-ins with references. Plus, because they work for agencies specializing in senior and memory care, they attend ongoing education, training, conferences, seminars, and skills reinforcement around home care, senior health, nutrition, etc. 

Not only are most independent caregivers devoid of those qualifications (never accept a candidate-provided credit or background check!), you are responsible for their continuing education and training so they can keep up with the senior’s changing needs with knowledge, expertise, and professional etiquette. 

The level of education, training, and care available from an agency cannot be compared with the large majority of private or independent registry offerings. 

Costs & Out-of-Pocket Payment 

We spoke above that the costs associated with private caregivers often winds up being much higher, and for lower-quality care. As payingforseniorcare.com states, “Aging Americans are struggling to pay for assisted living, home care and other forms of long term care.” 

Keeping the long-term view of the costs associated with senior care is important. For example, there are multiple ways to cover these costs, including VA benefits, liquidating properties or assets that aren’t in use, Medicare coverage, or working with a financial advisor to use retirement or reverse mortgage options to subsidize at-home care. 

Supervision & Monitoring 

As an employer, you’re responsible for the supervision and monitoring of your caregiver employee. Assigning tasks, creating systems to monitor and evaluate they’re doing what they were hired to do, and you’re also responsible for discipline when job performance is sub-par or worse. 

Agency caregivers are monitored by their employers, and software and apps ensure there is a digital track record of tasks assigned/completed, communication between you the client/ caregiver-agency, any red flags, as well as caregiver’s assessment of how services/offerings can best be tailored to the senior’s evolving needs. 

If/when a caregiver requires discipline, requires removal from an assignment, fails to show up for work, etc., the agency automatically sends a qualified and situation-appropriate caregiving replacement to immediately step in until a permanent replacement is found. That’s a much harder scenario to handle if you hire a caregiver on your own. 

If you’re searching for qualified senior caregivers to support a senior loved one’s independence, consider scheduling assessments with at least three, separate agencies in your area to learn more about what’s available, their qualifications, and to feel out which one feels best-suited for the senior client. 

We’re Here For You

Interested in learning more about the benefits of using a licensed home care agency? Contact us here at HomeAide Home Care, Inc. and schedule a free, in-home assessment. There is no obligation and we’ll answer all of your questions, and provide valuable information, about how to age at home with grace, safety, and dignity

The Benefits Of Spending Time With Grandparents

the benefits of spending time with grandparents

One of the reasons we initially started a senior home care agency in the Bay Area was because we love seniors, and we know how important human engagement is for their health and wellbeing. Not surprisingly, it turns out that spending time with grandparents is just as beneficial for the third- and fourth generations. 

Until relatively recently in western culture, spending time with grandparents was a given because families either lived in multigenerational households or grandparents lived close by. Now, in a time when grandparents may live on another coast – or another country – our children miss out on crucial opportunities to develop their intelligence in all capacities and to build essential bonds with their elders. 

Spending Time With Grandparents

Here are nine sweet reasons why your children benefit from spending quality time with their grandparents. 

It builds more emotional intelligence  

Single-working parent households were largely the norm, or one parent was able to bring work into the house, keeping children with them outside of school schedules. Today, increasing numbers of children spend their first several years in daycare facilities. Regardless of how wonderful they are, a daycare provider can never fill the space that a parent or grandparent occupies in a child’s life. 

So, it makes sense that studies show children who spend more time with their grandparents have fewer emotional/behavioral problems and score higher on emotional intelligence assessments. 

They smile and laugh more often 

It’s a given that the grandparent role is a special one. In the best-case scenarios, grandparents get to serve as an unconditionally loving family member who has just slightly looser ties on the child than his/her parents. Grandparents are often retired or only work full time, have more time on their hands and are eager to share focused time and energy with their grandchildren. 

As a result, grandparents have that magical ability to make children laugh, smile, and be more silly – more often. That leads to a happier and more joy-filled child. That same interaction also makes for happier, healthier seniors. 

Encourages more positive social behavior 

A recent study evaluated 10 – to 14-year-olds from both single- and two-parent households. The number of parents didn’t seem to affect social and academic performance as much as the researchers expected it to. However, children who had more regular interactions with their grandparents were more empathetic and compassionate in social settings, and they were generally more engaged in school.  

They are less likely to become depressed 

Worried your child, tween, or teen is having a hard time socially or could be battling depression? It might be time to schedule an evening, weekend, or holiday visit with grandma and/or grandpa. Children who report having a close relationship with their grandparents are less likely to experience symptoms of depression.  

Among other things, children may feel more comfortable sharing their feelings, or being comforted by their grandparents. And, because seniors are prone to loneliness and depression, they are able to sympathize and express their understanding of where the children are coming from, which helps children feel more seen and heard. 

Children forge a deeper connection with their family history and culture 

Grandparents have long been considered the story keepers in any family line. The more time a child spends with his/her grandparents or great grandparents, the more likely s/he is to see photos and albums, watch old family movies, and to hear stories that connect them to their lineage. This is particularly important for second- and third-generation immigrants who may have a less direct connection to their cultural ties. 

It can help children have a stronger bond with their parents 

Having a hard time with your adolescent? A visit with the grandparents is a great idea. In addition to giving you and your child a break, odds are s/he’ll hear lots of stories about how you were growing up – many of which you may not remember or don’t have the “parent’s perspective” about.  

Hearing about your funny, silly, surprising, or similar escapades may benefit you, too, because your child will return with a greater understanding (and bond) with your past. 

Spending time with grandparents boosts oxytocin levels (the love hormone) with cuddles 

Oxytocin is one of the “love hormones,” facilitating feelings of emotional warmth, comfort, relaxation, and connectedness. Known as a bonding hormone, oxytocin is released when we hug, cuddle, and share affectionate touch. Since grandparents are likely to have more time to snuggle on the couch, read a book, or reach out and give a gentle, long hug, your child will experience boosts in oxytocin – and all of its physical and emotional benefits. 

They can grow their skill sets 

Feel like your kids are spending way too much time on their phones, gadgets, or in front of screens – and not enough time developing their skills? Odds are one or more of your parents, step-parents or in-laws have skills they are eager to pass down. And, your child is more likely to say yes to learning woodworking, handwork, yard work, and gardening, etc., when it’s offered up by Nana or gramps. 

Ample, unconditional love 

Everyone benefits from unconditional love, and the more of it, the better. While parents are typically the go-to providers of unconditional love, experiencing it from grandparents and extended senior family members give children the opportunity to learn multidimensional examples of what unconditional love really is.  

These are just some of the many benefits of spending time with grandparents. If possible, try to find a way to connect your children with their grandparent(s), and vice versa. It’s a win-win in every way. 

We’re Here To Help

Have a parent with mobility issues or a diagnosis that makes it harder for them to spend time with their grandchildren without help? Contact us here at HomeAide Home Care and we can connect you with just the right companion, driver, or helper to facilitate their precious bonding time.