November: National Family Caregivers Month
Casa Companion Homecare Solutions was formed due to a lifelong ambition from its Founder and Managing Director, Christine Lee, to provide a service to the community that will have a positive impact on the lives of others. Having personal experience with both hired and family caregivers caring for loved ones and seeing the many rewards and challenges that face family caregivers, Christine decided to make her passion for service into her business. Christine holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources from Chapman University, a Bachelors in Sociology with an emphasis on Social Problems from San Diego State University, and is a Certified Senior Advisor. Prior to starting Casa Companion Homecare Solutions, Christine oversaw Human Resources practices for the North American division of a global publicly traded company. Her passion for service, organizational development and performance is driven by over 15 years of experience in business, human resources development, recruitment, and operations management.
This month, we honor the more than 65 million Americans who are caring for disabled, ill or elderly relatives. This holiday season, if you’re a working woman in your 40’s, the caregiver at the Thanksgiving table was very likely you. Currently, twenty-nine percent of U.S. adults are family caregivers, and as the percentage of our population over age 65 grows larger every year, the number of caregivers will also grow. Given how many older adults are or were caregivers, it’s no wonder that most seniors’ dearest wish is to stay independent as long as possible. Nearly 90 percent of Americans over 65 want to stay in their own homes as they grow older, a plan called ‘aging in place.’ When two-thirds of family caregivers are employed full or part-time, seniors who want to maintain their independence can and should take advantage of the professional support available.
After an injury or illness, we understand the value of physical therapy and are accustomed to looking for professional help. Physical therapy practices like Reneu Health can help people of any age regain strength and mobility after an unexpected problem; rehabilitation is now a vital part of most treatment and recovery plans. Physical therapy can help patients with degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and many more that impair mobility and control. What caregivers may not know is that physical therapy can also address the issues that typically come along with aging like arthritis, declining muscle strength and bone-density, impaired balance, and even diminished neurological function. Exercise therapists design programs that seniors can do at home to maintain the physical independence that aging in place requires. This kind of support is invaluable to loved ones who want to stay active and independent as they grow older, but no PT program can make a difference if the patient doesn’t stick to it.
Caring for a family member, at any level of involvement, is both emotionally and physically tough. Tapping into the resources available is one of the best ways to keep everyone healthy – the caregiver doesn’t have to do it all. When it comes to physical therapy, the New Year’s Resolution statistics show that sticking to a regimen of exercise and physical activity isn’t easy. So, finding a resource like Casa Companion Homecare Solutions can make a big difference for both caregivers and loved ones. Did you know that a Home Care Aide from an agency like ours can support seniors in their homes with every level of assistance? We offer all kinds of services that support aging in place, making life easier, happier, and healthier for both family caregivers, and the loved ones they care for.
For example, Recovery Assistance lets a Home Care Aide manage some or all of the aspects of returning home from the hospital to recover. This includes food shopping, meal preparation, keeping track of medication regimens, sticking to medical and therapy appointment schedules, and just monitoring for signs of relapse, infection and excessive pain. Did you know that about 20 percent of discharged seniors return to the hospital within 30 days?! And if the physical therapist assigns a schedule of exercises or stretches between appointments, the Home Care Aide – though not licensed PT’s themselves - can make sure the ‘homework’ gets done.
Seniors who are aging in place may find they need a hand with some daily or weekly tasks to maintain their independence. Casa Companion Homecare Solutions’ Lifestyle Assistance is the perfect answer. A Home Care Aide can help with errands, transportation, light housekeeping, meal prep, medication reminders, and even personal care. Relaxed, friendly companionship is also available, as the benefits of staying connected to friends, family and the world are well-known. For example, walking the recommended 30 minutes a day with a companion is a great way for a mostly-independent senior to get the exercise she needs.
Caregiving is a stressful labor of love with an impact on emotional, physical, and mental health and wellbeing. Family caregivers who tap into the professional resources available to the extent possible will bolster their own inner reserves. Finding and using the right level of support keeps seniors, their families and their caregivers happy, healthy and home-based.