How to Get an In-Home Caregiver in Harrisburg, PA

How to Get an In-Home Caregiver in Harrisburg, PA

Your loved one has been struggling, and you’ve been struggling to give them support and care. Then one day comes and you just can’t continue. You’re tired, frustrated, and burning the candle at both ends. It’s time to start considering getting an in-home caregiver in Harrisburg, PA. So, where do you begin?

First, make a detailed list of what you perceive as the household’s needs. Does your loved one need help with chores, for example? Do they have trouble keeping track of their medication? When you’re talking to top health service providers, these are the kinds of things they’ll need to know to assess your situation.

This conversation acts as an opportunity to see how the agency answers your inquiries, too. As pointed questions like:

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. How quickly can you fill a no-call; no-show?
  3. How do you screen your employees?
  4. Has your company won any awards or received other types of recognition?
  5. What type of training do you offer your caregivers?
  6. Are you licensed, accredited, and insured?
  7. Can you request a different aide if one doesn’t work out?
  8. Does a registered nurse come out to meet the family and develop a personalized plan of care?

Beyond these questions, do your due diligence by checking the Better Business Bureau for complaints. Additionally, look for any online reviews you can find.

How to Hire an In-Home Caregiver in Harrisburg, PA?

Working with a professional caregiving agency has a lot of benefits. They include:

  • Prescreened staff, including background checks.
  • Directed placement. An agency can select staff based on their experience with your loved one’s condition. Should the individual’s situation change, staff can likewise be adjusted.
  • Agencies have many staff members, any one of whom can become a stand-in for a day when your normal caregiver cannot make it.
  • Liability protection. The agency carries liability insurance in case a worker is injured on the job.
  • Untying red tape. “Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork” seems to be the mantra for obtaining home health caregivers on your own. An agency manages your paperwork by working with doctors and the family.
  • You are not the employer. With an agency, you never have to worry about paying your aide or handling their taxes.

Agencies in Pennsylvania must be licensed by the department of health and meet established regulations. Those regulations are enforced by unannounced reviews. These agencies can obtain certification for Medicare-paid services through the Federal Health and Human Services’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid. This is particularly important since Medicare can pay some, if not all, of the bill for said services if you meet financial guidelines.

There is another quality control safeguard, too. Medicate-certified agencies must conduct regular patient assessments that are electronically submitted for review.

How to Get an In-Home Caregiver in Harrisburg, PA

Hire Family & Friends as Caregivers

The option to hire a family member or friend (not a spouse) exists. Some agencies work in tandem with federal in-home care to “hire” this person and manage their payroll. The beauty of this is that you have choices, and your caregiver is known to your loved one.

If you’re considering this option, know the person must be over the age of 18, and you may need to get a doctor’s approval. You will have to fill out an interview form and whether or not you want a background check. Then, the person hired gets some training on best practices for their job and has a physical before beginning.

Should the caregiver find they love the work, they may consider becoming an aide at a later date. However, if something goes wrong, you can opt out of the private hire and go back to having the agency manage your staff placement.

Why AmeriBest Home Care Harrisburg?

At AmeriBest Home Care, your loved one isn’t simply a number on our docket. We believe in doing things the right way, with compassion and professionalism. Improving a person’s quality of life is among our top goals along with safety and contentment. We are happy to field your questions. You can fill in our online form, call our Harrisburg office at 717-545-2920, or email info@ameribest.org.

National Mental Health Month

Since 1949, May has been dubbed Mental Health Month. The goal of the designation is to reach out to people through various venues offering help and education. AmeriBest is a home care service agency in Harrisburg, PA. As part of our commitment, we work hand-in-hand with families who need assistance navigating the tumultuous waters of understanding mental health and finding effective solutions for their loved ones. 

The 2022 theme for Mental Health Month is “Back to the Basics.” After two years of living with the pandemic, many people find themselves feeling stressed, isolated, and uncertain about how to get back to some semblance of normal. This is doubly true for seniors whose support often had to remain separate due to social distancing. In-home caregiving services like those offered by AmeriBest, Harrisburg, filled some gaps by utilizing special protective uniforms so they could still be on the job.

Risks for Developing Mental Health Issues

When someone begins experiencing mental health issues, it probably has more than one root cause. Psychiatrists have created a list of risk factors for mental health. The more you have, the more likely you’re to experience one or more mental health conditions. 

  1. Genetics: Think of your genes like a map of how your entire body grows and functions. That includes the brain. So if there is a history of mental health in your family, you may have a genetic predisposition. For example, if either or both of your parents had an anxiety disorder, your risk of developing the same disorder can increase by 6 times as much at the top end. 
  1. Lifestyle: Your mom was right. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly. It’s god for your body and mind. Should you develop a mental health problem, these simple things become coping mechanisms and helpmates. 
  1. Social conditions: Where you live, work, and socialize all impact your quality of life. Individuals living in poverty, areas with high crime rates, and who have limited access to a healthy community environment illustrate more mental health problems. The amount of anxiety-centered conditions went up 20% because of isolation during Covid, for example. 
  2. Trauma: This is a big category. For example, someone in your life may have had a stroke or car accident that created limitations. That’s trauma as is the death of a loved one, being bullied for extended periods, racism, and experiencing a disaster up close and personal. 

The impact of trauma can remain with little notice until something triggers a memory. Then the world can come cascading down into a pool of tears and fears. Experiencing trauma as a child puts you at 1.3 times the risk of developing mental health problems in adulthood or senior years. 

How can You Help?

If you are a caregiver for someone with mental health problems, even part-time, there are things you can do to help them. The most important is companionship. Loneliness is a huge factor in someone developing depression, and depression can impact other aging issues including dementia. 

Motivation and intellectual activities go hand-in-hand with companionship. An idle mind is one prone to spiraling into negative thought-forms. When people are dealing with things like SAD there’s a tendency to want to simply give up. When you offer said person input at the right time and in the right way, it can make a huge improvement in their quality of life. 

Now, not everyone has the capacity to step into this type of role. There’s a lot of responsibility including paying attention to the signs that mental health is on the decline. That’s the time to reach out. Any organization participating in Mental Health Month can get you started with more tools and know-how. Alternatively (or consecutively) you can call AmeriBest’s Harrisburg, PA office at 717-545-2920 and talk to one of our professionals. 

One of the core principles of professional aid services is helping the entire family. People don’t realize that their personal mental health can be adversely impacted by a loved one’s struggles. Ours is a holistic approach. You can email us (info@ameribest.org) or use our online form for more information. 

Home Care Agency for Stroke Recovery in Philadelphia

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. As a home care agency for stroke recovery in Philadelphia, AmeriBest sees the impact of strokes on individuals and families daily. Did you know that, according to the American Heart Association, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds in the United States? It can lead to disabilities and death. The good news is that 80% of strokes can be prevented. Keep reading to learn more about stroke reasons, risks, signs, and post-stroke care in Philadelphia.

The Makings of a Stroke

A stroke occurs when blood flow to some part of the brain becomes blocked. Alternatively, it may happen when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. When brain cells do not get oxygen-bearing blood, they will die. This creates a medical emergency. The sooner stroke treatments can be administered, the better chances physicians have of allaying some of the potential results. Delays in stroke treatment increase the risks of permanent brain injury or even death. 

Stroke Risks

There are a variety of factors that increase the potential for having a stroke. Some risk factors can be managed by medicine and monitoring, others cannot. If you have:

  • A history of smoking, alcoholism, or using illegal drugs
  • An abnormal heart rhythm
  • Damaged heart valves
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Hight Red Blood Count, Cholesterol, or Lipids. A high red blood count means your blood is thick, increasing the chance of clots. Cholesterol can thicken arteries
  • Obesity
  • TIA (transient ischemic attacks aka a mini-stroke) history

Then you have a higher propensity toward stroke, especially if more than one of these factors is in play. 

While strokes can happen to anyone at any time, people over 55 have twice the chance of having a stroke. Men experience strokes more often than women. One in four people who survive a stroke are at risk for another. 

Home Care Agency for Stroke Recovery in Philadelphia

Stroke Signs

The CDC explains the use of the FAST system to recognize the signs of a stroke.

F – Face drooping

A – Arm limp or weak

S – Speach issues, including stuttering

T – Time is of the essence – call 911 immediately.

What Can You Do?

When consulting with families in the AmeriBest Home Care Philadelphia, PA caregiver agency circle, we strive to educate everyone on ways to prevent stroke. The most important action is living a healthy lifestyle, including adjusting your meal and snack choices to more fruits and vegetables while avoiding trans fat, cholesterol, and salt. 

It’s also important to watch your weight. Obesity increases stroke risk. The BMI index is one that shows you if your weight is in a healthy range. If you know your weight and height check it here. Hand in hand with your weight comes activity. Movement helps stabilize or even decrease your weight while supporting healthy blood pressure. 

You can learn a lot and make great contacts by participating in a National Stroke Awareness event near you.

Home Care Agency for Stroke Recovery in Philadelphia

It can be overwhelming to care for a stroke patient while also attending to your own needs. That’s where home and community-based programs like those at AmeriBest come into the picture. We can provide your loved ones with improved safety, while also focusing on their recovery. Call the AmeriBest Home Care Philadephia office (215) 925-3313; 1-800-HOMECARE for information. You can also email info@ameribest.org, or use our online form for questions.

Home Care Agency for Stroke Recovery in Philadelphia

National High Blood Pressure Education Month

Did you know there are waiver home care programs for seniors with high blood pressure? Waiver programs like those AmeriBest of Harrisburg, PA, participate in allow people to get proper care at home for lower costs than in an institution. As you can imagine, having these programs provides great peace of mind to families and patients alike.

May is dedicated to Blood Pressure Education so that you can help your loved ones who are at risk.

What is Blood Pressure

Blood pressure comes from blood pushing against arteries as it moves through your body. Everyone’s blood pressure rises and falls daily. There are two blood pressure measurements

  • Systolic: This number indicates the pressure in your arteries during a heartbeat.
  • Diastolic: This measures pressure in your arteries between heartbeats. 

Normal blood pressure is considered 120 systolic over 80 diastolic. 

What is High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. While your blood pressure may go up with exertion, for example, when it stays up there’s a reason for concern. As your blood pressure rises, the risks of a stroke, heart attack, or heart disease go up. 

When your health care provider, or that of your senior, diagnoses high blood pressure, they can then work on a treatment plan for reducing those numbers. Some providers consider 130/80 high, while others pin it at 140/90.

Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

At AmeriBest Home Care Harrisburg, PA, we believe that remaining informed and involved is vital to the care of your elder. We are a top, in-home caregiver with waiver plans and take great strides to educate our staff, too.

You can begin by learning how to take blood pressure at home if you do not have a caregiver, aid, or nurse. It is the only way to know your blood pressure changes. Remember that high blood pressure is called the silent killer because so many people never know they have it.

There are all kinds of equipment you can buy for measuring blood pressure, and it’s not overly expensive. Beyond that, here are some signs of high blood pressure:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Eyes with blood spots
  • Flushing
  • Nervousness
  • Nosebleed
  • Pounding in your ears or chest
  • Sleep interruption
  • Weariness

The longer high blood pressure continues, the more it can damage your arteries. In turn, this leads to heart disease, heart attack, or heart failure. 

Brain & Other Problems

If high blood pressure blocks blood to the brain, the lack of oxygen causes a stroke. Additionally, there is a link between high blood pressure and decreased cognitive functions. Adults with high blood pressure face increased potential for kidney disease, too

Prevention & Management

There are some simple things that help prevent and manage high blood pressure. Encourage your loved one to have about 30 minutes of activity a day. Help them prepare a healthy diet, low in salt and alcohol. And find ways of managing stress. Often, having a waiver home care plan for seniors in place not only decreases your loved one’s anxiety but also your own! Self-care matters. 

Call AmeriBest’s Harrisburg, PA office any time (717-545-2920), email info@ameribest.org, or use our contact form online for further information.

Arthritis Awareness Month

May is Arthritis Awareness Month. This condition causes individuals chronic pain that can affect their ability to enjoy life fully. The swelling in a person’s joints often limits mobility and impacts having a normal lifestyle.

According to the CDC, there is no cure for Arthritis. Some medications along with structured exercise may, however, provide relief and improve joint flexibility with on-going effort. 

Prevalence: 

Arthritis Awareness Month recognizes the growing health problem Arthritis represents. There are over 53 million (or 1 in 4) people in the US at the time of this writing who have the condition. By 2030 that number will likely come close to 67 million. Some of these people will lose their jobs because of pain or the loss of joint functionality, range of motion, or decreased muscle strength for things like lifting and intricate handwork. 

With this in mind, AmeriBest Home Care Services, Philadelphia, PA strives to assist seniors struggling with arthritis in a variety of ways. Our highly trained staff offers home and community-based assistance with daily activities which, in turn, decreases frustration and anxiety. It also provides families with comfort in knowing their loved ones are getting excellent care, especially when they cannot be present for help.

Types of Arthritis:

There are three prevalent types of arthritis:

  1. Osteoarthritis: When the cartilage at the end of bones wears down, the bones rub together. This is osteoarthritis, and it’s the most commonly known form.
  2. Psoriatic: This form only happens to people with psoriasis, affecting ligaments, tendons, and joints.
  3. Rheumatoid: Rheumatoid arthritis is actually an autoimmune disease. The lining of the joints becomes inflamed, and they begin deteriorating. 

It’s important to remember that while more common in the aging community, arthritis can happen at any age. Also, just because your loved one is talking about joint aches, you need to have them see a physician to conclusively render a diagnosis. Other conditions including lupus, gout, and bursitis cause joint pain. 

Caring for Individuals with Arthritis

Arthritis Awareness Month isn’t just dedicated to raising awareness, but also to education. What can you do to help someone in your life with arthritis? Perhaps most importantly listen. It’s hard to understand the pain someone has radiating from within. You can, however, SEE how they move, when they hesitate or stumble, or when they strain to open jars (for example). 

Now, people have pride. They may not ask for help. So you can open the lines of communication. Approach it from the point of view that you want to learn from them about how arthritis impacts their life. A lot of great ideas will result from that conversation. Just take care to step back when the answer is, “no, let me do this.” A sense of independence is important so long as they are not putting themselves in harm’s way. 

Professional Assistance

When you have an in-home caregiver, that person can keep your loved one as active as possible while still taking safety precautions. Examples of the types of assistance AmeriBest Home Care Philadelphia, PA provides include:

  • Bathing
  • Bending/reaching
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
  • Lifting
  • Medication regulation
  • Mobility, and much more. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us on our web form, by email at info@ameribest.org, or by calling our Philadelphia office 215-925-3313; 1-800-HOMECARE (PA only).

How can I get paid for caregiving?

If you love people and thought about becoming a home care aide, you may wonder about how you can get paid for caregiving. It’s a perfect fit for a kind, dedicated individual who really wants to help others. The good news is that you don’t have to have any experience in order to work with us at AmeriBest Home Care in Harrisburg, PA. We are hiring non-skilled home care employees, people like yourself to join our team.

How Does it Work?

Step one is filling out our online application. This opens the door for you potentially become part of a high-ranking home health agency in a relatively short period of time. In fact, you can get hired in one day by having five things ready to go:

  1. New Hire Paperwork. You can complete it in person or electronically. 
  2. Two current forms of ID (driver’s license, social security card, passport, birth certificate).
  3. Two years of proof of PA residency. If this is not possible, we will pay to obtain FBI fingerprinting.
  4. Completing the online clinical training class/test.
  5. Taking a 2 Step PPD or recent QuantiFERON test (provided at no cost) – offered on Tuesdays at our Corporate location or at any Vybe Location (voucher provided).

We have onboarding specialists that can help you along the way, too. 

What AmeriBest Offers

It all begins with knowledge. AmeriBest offers paid training, some of which can lead to expanding, specialized career options. We have classes including (but not limited to)

  • CPR Certification
  • Fall risks
  • Heart disease management
  • Hoyer Lift Training
  • Hygiene
  • Nutrition
  • Recognizing abuse
  • Transfer training

We appreciate our employees and want you to feel wholly ready to care for people in the community in need of assistance. 

Amazing Benefits Package

You will be hard-pressed to find a better benefits package than that which AmeriBest offers.

As one of the top five home care agencies in all of Pennsylvania, we know the value of continuity in our staff. You deserve the best, including:

  • 401K
  • Bereavement leave
  • Electronic timekeeping including a Daily Pay Option: You can transfer your earnings any time through an app that also tracks your hours.
  • Life Insurance policy for full-time workers $15,000
  • Medical, dental, and vision plans (basic covered at 100%)
  • Optional supplemental insurance (term life, short-term disability, etc.)
  • Paid holidays (7)
  • Personal time
  • Sick Days
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Time and a half for holidays
  • Vacation time

The Life and Times of Home Health Aids

Our caregivers report they love their jobs. There is so much satisfaction! Clients appreciate the companionship they receive. Their families appreciate getting much-needed breaks without having to worry about their loved one’s well-being. There are few other jobs where you will hear “thank you” so much as this one. 

There is a personal element to being an aid. You get to know an individual and their family far better than someone who stops in as they pass in the hospital. You become a bridge to the community, too. It doesn’t matter in which of our programs you work, the people you serve always maintain their dignity.

But there’s more! You have flexibility as a professional caregiver. Our agency works with your time constraints in making a schedule. 

Are you ready? Give our Harrisburg, PA office a call 717-545-2920, or email us at info@ameribest.org.

Caregiver burden and alcohol use

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month, during which organizations like AmeriBest Home Care in Harrisburg, PA endeavor to raise awareness about the growing number of people struggling with alcohol use. Among them, we see caregivers who have become overwhelmed, and really don’t know where to turn. Too little focus has been given to this situation, and it’s time to work together for solutions.

What Studies Show

Ongoing reviews of caregivers indicate that the emotional, social, and physical burdens of caregiving can overwhelm anyone. Attention from mental health professionals, social support groups, and home care agencies can help. No one expects to become an informal caregiver. Illness or injuries often occur out of the blue. 

5 Negative Impacts of Caregiving

So, suddenly you find yourself with heavy responsibilities that affect you in five main ways:

  1. Decreased quality of life
  2. Emotional overload
  3. Physical grind
  4. Social limitations
  5. Time constraints

To give more specific examples, there are

  • Financial management
  • Dealing with insurers
  • Exhaustion
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Errands and meals
  • Administration of medication
  • Moderating risk factors

Just to name a few. Bundled all together you have what’s called caregiver burden.

Having home health assistance typically results in longer lives for the infirmed. But it can turn into a nightmare when you’re going it alone. You can’t sleep, have headaches, get sick more often, etc. Alcohol becomes a tempting coping mechanism. 

Caregiving and Alcohol Abuse

When faced with the inability to provide the quality of care a loved one needs, people still often push themselves. They feel awkward about asking for help, guilty that they’re not doing enough, and the relationship between them and the infirmed becomes strained. Alcohol is readily available and easy to hide from the person for whom you care. 

Alcohol is certainly not an answer. The debilitating impact of alcohol puts loved ones at risk. In some instances, too much drinking leads to elder abuse. 

How Much is Too Much

American dietary guidelines state a man drinking more than four drinks daily, or 14 per week and women-three daily (7 per week) implies alcohol abuse. People on certain medications shouldn’t drink at all. If there are other alcoholics in the family, you may have a genetic predisposition to contend with as well.

Relief is Available

Did you know that you can have a friend or other family member caring for your loved one and get PAID for it? Government-funded programs include those for caregiving. There’s a beauty and great peace of mind in having someone help who is not a random stranger.

When a person joins the AmeriBest team in Harrisburg, PA, they become part of a network of skilled professionals dedicated to compassionate care. The chosen person receives all the training they need to keep individuals safe and secure in their homes. It becomes a very rewarding career path, and one where someone can take a more active role in their family, relieving a lot of the stress that can otherwise lead to alcohol abuse. 

If you would like more information on how you can get involved, contact us, email info@ameribest.org, or call our Harrisburg, PA office at 717-545-2920