Mind Your Mental Health This May

Mind Your Mental Health This May

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you are like most people, you have been quarantined in your home for over a year. This isolation has undoubtedly taken a toll on your mental health. In particular, Philadelphia seniors and those who live alone are that much more likely to suffer mental health problems. After all, we are a social species with a yearning to bond with others in-person rather than over screens through videoconferencing.

Tips for Caregivers

If you provide care for someone who is elderly or otherwise isolated, go out of your way to engage them in conversation throughout the entirety of your caregiving sessions. Even if you don’t have much to discuss, you can make small talk about the weather or current events to stimulate the individual you are caring for. Keep in mind, those who have no one to talk to have the potential to lose their phonetic abilities, meaning they will struggle to enunciate words following extended periods of silence. It will also help to engage in shared social activities with the patient such as board games, outings around town, and other group activities.

Even taking the senior citizen or other needy individuals in your life to the park or another social space for a picnic will lift his or her spirit, stimulate conversation and potentially lead to a conversation with Philadelphia community members. If the individual you care for expresses an interest in participating in a community activity such as a book club, a movie club, bingo sessions, or anything else involving others, volunteer to drive them to and from that event. Even if these social experiences only occur once every couple of weeks, they will provide the individual you care for with something to look forward to.

Mind Your Mental Health This May

Mental Health Following the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread loneliness and mental illness in Philadelphia, the United States, and the rest of the world. Studies show one-third of those who contracted the virus suffered mental health or brain health issue. However, even those who did not contract the virus are dealing with social isolation. In particular, those with minimal income and savings have suffered severe mental health problems throughout the pandemic. Though the rich also endured mental health issues during the pandemic, those with less money lack the financial means necessary to obtain assistance from a mental health professional. Furthermore, those lacking in financial resources have also spent comparably more time worrying about paying the rent, buying enough food, and paying for the cost of monthly utilities.

Anxiety and depression amongst Americans have doubled from 20% prior to the pandemic to 40% during the pandemic, making it crystal clear that it will take some time for our collective mental health to return to even a semblance of normal. Ameribest is here to help with the assistance of home health aides and other healthcare professionals who are happy to provide assistance including social and mental stimulation that improves your well-being or that of your loved one.

Ameribest is on Your Side

Our Philadelphia home health aides are here to provide essential assistance including social stimulation. Our team is friendly, talkative, and more than willing to engage you in conversation. If you suspect or know you or a loved one can benefit from the assistance of one of our home health aides, our skilled nurses, our physical therapy, or our occupational therapy, contact us today. Ameribest can be reached by phone at 215-925-3313 or by email at info@ameribest.org.

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A Caregiving Journal has the Potential to Change Your Life for the Better

A Caregiving Journal has the Potential to Change Your Life for the Better

People are quite fond of diaries yet there is comparably little discussion pertaining to caregiving journals. A caregiving journal will lift your spirit, help you avoid a crippling depression and ultimately regain control, at least to a limited extent. If you were to read a caregiving journal from an altruistic Philadelphia care provider, you would find this journal is quite insightful, even if the daily entries were fairly short.

The Power of Caregiving Journals

Caregiving journals might not seem that important on the surface yet they are quite important for individuals who selflessly provide assistance to others. These journals detail daily challenges in the context of caregiving in Philadelphia, oftentimes delving into the frustrations that inevitably arise when providing care for those in need. Writing journal entries after providing care certainly takes time and effort yet doing so will make a meaningful difference in your mental health, boosting your spirit, and ultimately empowering you to continue to provide care as time progresses.

One Part Therapist, One Part Diary

If you were to ask care providers about the merits of writing a caregiving journal, the majority of them would testify their journal is an outlet to vent. Instead of detailing their challenges to friends and family and ultimately bringing them down while chewing up their limited time, caregivers who journal write down their thoughts. The process of venting through writing really is quite cathartic. In fact, plenty of professional care providers including some physicians journal on a daily basis. 

A Caregiving Journal has the Potential to Change Your Life for the Better

Caregiving journals are not limited to a private airing of grievances. Some such journals are more gratitude-oriented, meaning they serve as a medium to express one’s thankfulness for their health and ability to provide care to others in need. Jot down your challenges as well as your moments of joy, humorous experiences, and other events that occur on a daily basis and you will find you gravitate toward your journal. 

Write Rather Than Edit

The beauty of jotting down entries in a caregiving journal is no one else has to read it, meaning it can be written in your handwriting no matter how sloppy it is. This is your opportunity to write down your daily experiences without worrying about the rules of grammar or punctuation. Just be sure to read your journal entries every now and then so you can reflect on prior challenges and also your accomplishments. Ideally, you will wait a few weeks or even a month to read prior journal entries so you have some time to emotionally distance yourself from the experiences chronicled in your journal.

A Caregiving Journal has the Potential to Change Your Life for the Better

AmeriBest Home Care

If you know or suspect you or a loved one can benefit from home care services, reach out to AmeriBest Home Care today. Our Philadelphia team is here to help you live a rewarding life for as long as possible in the comfort of your home. You can contact our team by phone at 215-925-3313. If you prefer to reach out to our team online, you can do so by completing our contact form or by sending an email message to info@ameribest.org.

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Legal Matters in Caregiving

Though no one wants to discuss the legal aspect of caregiving and the end of life, this subject matter is quite important. The bottom line is it is only a matter of time until you and the senior citizen or adult son/daughter sit down to discuss the legal component of caregiving and death. It is important that these discussions zero in on the nuances of estate planning in Philadelphia. Let’s take a quick look at some key areas to highlight during this discussion. 

Estate Planning With a Will 

Though you or your loved one are certainly empowered to create a will in a DIY (do it yourself) manner, doing so has the potential to backfire in a big way. There is no reason to run the risk of your will being invalidated by a judge or challenged by a family member when a Philadelphia estate planning attorney is available to craft a detailed will suited to your nuanced financial picture and desires. 

This is the time to review your assets as well as your financial obligations with your estate planning attorney and loved ones. Determine how you would like your assets to be distributed, sign your will, and you will finally rest easy knowing your hard-earned money, home, vehicle, investments, and other assets are distributed to beneficiaries exactly as desired. Be sure to update your will as major life events unfold to ensure it is completely accurate.

Legal Matters in Caregiving

Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best

The worst possible scenario is your health declining to the point that you are no longer capable of taking care of yourself and your property. You deserve better than a small room in a nursing home where you might be neglected or abused. Opt for home care services and you will have the essential assistance you need to be provided by truly caring individuals in the comfort of your home. Do your research on Philadelphia home care service providers today and you will enjoy invaluable peace of mind knowing someone will be available to lend vitally important assistance when you need it the most.

Create a Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is a document that provides legal powers to a specific individual on behalf of the senior citizen. This legal tool is effective as soon as it is signed. Furthermore, if you become physically disabled or mentally incompetent, the durable power of attorney will still be a valid legal document. This tool grants powers pertaining to the senior’s financial decisions, banking, real estate, government benefits, and other important matters to a family member or friend who can be trusted to make fair and logical decisions.

A Living Trust

Living trusts are legal documents that empower an individual, known as a trustor or grantor, to form a trust and subsequently name a trustee to manage the assets within the trust. This management occurs when the trustor is no longer capable of managing his or her finances. Trustees can be a person or a financial institution.

Legal Matters in Caregiving

Advance Directives

Advance directives are specific instructions pertaining to a senior’s preferences for medical care. Advance directives range from living wills to health care proxies, health care power of attorneys, and do not resuscitate directions. Advance directives should be prepared well ahead of the point at which you or your loved one need home care or nursing home care.

Contact Ameribest Today

Ameribest is proud to provide home care services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, skilled nursing, and additional services that make a meaningful difference for Philadelphia-area patients. If you or a loved one can benefit from home care or other Ameribest services, reach out to us today to learn more about our team. You can reach Ameribest by dialing 215-925-3313. If you prefer to contact us online, fill out our contact form or send an email to us at info@ameribest.org. 

Black History Month – Celebration of Achievements of African Americans in Healthcare

Black History Month is here. This is a time to celebrate the contributions of African Americans to society including the healthcare industry. Though the mainstream media ignored these contributions in decades past, African Americans are finally getting their due attention.

Diversity in Healthcare Matters

Racial diversity in the healthcare industry is important, especially in the context of home care services provided in the melting pot that is Philadelphia. As time progresses, more and more African Americans are entering the healthcare industry and receiving much-deserved recognition for their contributions.

Diverse caregivers with a wide range of perspectives and experiences really do make Philadelphia home care services that much more effective. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of African Americans’ contributions to the healthcare industry.

Dr. Alexa Irene Canady

Dr. Canady was the first-ever African American female neurosurgeon in the country. She officially started working in this role in 1981. Dr. Canady’s passion for medicine stems back to a summer program centered on the study of genetics specifically created for racial minorities. Dr. Canady’s academic advisers discouraged her from pursuing a career as a neurosurgeon yet she beat the odds, broke through barriers, and became the first female African American neurosurgeon in the history of the United States.

Dr. James McCune Smith

Dr. Smith was the first African American to earn a medical degree. He earned his medical degree way back in 1837 at Scotland’s Glasgow University. Dr. Smith subsequently returned to the United States where he opened the country’s first pharmacy run by an African American.

The Father of the Blood Bank

Dr. Charles Richard Drew often referred to as the father of the blood bank, is worthy of our respect and admiration this February. Dr. Drew’s unique approach for storing blood products relied on the preservation of blood plasma for transfusion. This method has saved thousands of lives. Dr. Drew also worked as a medical scientist and surgeon. In fact, Dr. Drew was the first-ever African American to graduate with a medical doctorate from Columbia University.

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mahoney was the first African American to become a licensed professional nurse. Mahoney’s nursing degree was awarded in 1879. This was quite the accomplishment as Mahoney was subjected to considerable racism throughout her career. In 1908, she went on to co-found NACGN, an acronym short for the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses.

Aside from serving as a trailblazer in the nursing field, Mahoney also contributed to the women’s suffrage movement. In fact, Mahoney was one of the first women to register to vote following the 19th Amendment’s ratification in 1920.

Contact AmeriBest Home Care Agency Today

If you or a family member need home care, we are here to help. We provide the industry’s best home health services. Our full range of services is custom-tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Contact us today at 215-925-3313 or by email at info@ameribest.org to learn more about how we can help. You can also reach us by filling out our online contact form.

2021 Resolutions for Seniors and Their Caregivers

AmeriBest Home Care - 2021 Resolutions for Seniors and Their Caregivers

The new year has finally arrived. The transition to 2021 presents an opportunity to put a nightmarish 2020 in the rearview mirror and focus on a better future. Whether you are a senior citizen or a caregiver, this is the perfect time to establish one or several resolutions. Let’s take a look at some suggestions for 2021 resolutions for the elderly and those who care for them.

Welcome a Helping Hand

There is no shame in accepting assistance from others. Even if you championed self-reliance your entire life, the time has come to let others help you. Think of accepting the assistance of others in the form of home care as gratitude for all your hard work in years prior.

Reach Out to Old Friends

If you have not talked with a friend in years, make 2021 the year of change. Pick up the phone or write a letter to friends you have not spoken to in the past year(s). There is no reason to feel guilty about the prolonged silence as it is easy to lose touch with others. Have a phone conversation, interact through videoconferencing, or handwrite a letter to old friends, and you will feel that much better about yourself. Just as important is the fact that you will have something to look forward to in the new year as you await responses to your letters and rekindle friendships from years past.

Make an Effort to Learn Something New

Just because you are a senior citizen does not mean you have to stop learning. Seize the opportunity to learn something new in 2021. Learning how to use a tech device or starting a new hobby stimulates your brain and makes you a more interesting person. Furthermore, you might make a new friend or two during the learning process.

AmeriBest Home Care - 2021 Resolutions for Seniors and Their Caregivers

Get Your Paperwork in Order

Though no one wants to think about the paperwork such as wills, testaments, and power-of-attorney documents, it is in your interest to get this information in order. Gather and organize all the documents pertaining to your assets, insurance policies, financial information, will, testament, power of attorney, and so on. Once all the documents are created, signed, and filed, you will enjoy a truly invaluable peace of mind.

Philadelphia Caregivers: Provide Care Like Never Before

If you are a caregiver, this is a golden opportunity to provide care to others, especially senior citizens and those with disabilities. Go out of your way to make seniors comfortable, keep a smile on your face, and focus on the positive when interacting with those in need of assistance. Be the bright light that continues shining during these dark times, and you really will provide those around you with much-needed hope for the year ahead.

Patiently Teach Seniors the Ins and Outs of Technology

Teaching the subtleties of today’s computing technology to a senior citizen requires time, effort, and patience. Take your time when communicating how computers, the internet, and other technology is used.

Anticipate the senior you are guiding will make mistakes when learning the ins and outs of these complex tech devices. However, if you remain patient and reinforce the importance of making progress, you will eventually succeed in helping others learn how to use video chat, social media, email, or other digital socialization tools. These tools will help the seniors you care about to socialize with others as prolonged social distancing continues amidst the pandemic.

AmeriBest Home Care - 2021 Resolutions for Seniors and Their Caregivers

AmeriBest Home Care Philadelphia is Here to Help

You have the power to provide your loved one with care in their own home through AmeriBest. Reach out to us today to find out more about our in-home care service. You can contact us by dialing (215) 925-3313 or by emailing info@ameribest.org

All About Caregiving: Numbers, Facts, and Meaning

AmeriBest Home Care - All About Caregiving: Numbers, Facts, and Meaning

You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers!

Individuals with older parents, neighbors, friends, or family may be acting as unpaid caregivers without even knowing it. Read on to find out what caregiving is, what it means to be a caregiver, and what you can do about it.

All About Caregiving

Caregivers are individuals who care for others- friends, family, patients.

Caregiving is what they do.

Caregivers dedicate hours of their time and energy to help care for the medical, emotional, mental, and physical needs of older adults. Caregivers make it their mission to help elderly live their best lives, as happily and healthily as possible.

Caregiving is usually done in a facility or at home, with many seniors now opting for at-home services more and more.

Caregiving At-Home

At-home caregiving services have become increasingly popular over recent years. With at-home caregiving, seniors are able to age comfortably in the familiarity and calmness of their own homes. Whether with a family caregiver or a professional health aide, seniors are able to continue to live their “regular” schedules with just a bit of help.

Caregiving services include:

  • Light housekeeping
  • Meal prep
  • Oral hygiene
  • Showering
  • Dressing
  • Repositioning in bed

More medical at-home services include:

  • Skilled nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medial social work

Caregiving Statistics

Although there is great meaning and reward to a job like this, it’s not all roses and rainbows for caregivers. Many caregivers work unpaid, simply helping friends and family. This means doing the work of a full-time job, without the pay. And, 24% of caregivers even care for more than one senior at a time.

Unfortunately, the time restraints and stresses of caregiving can have a real negative effect on health and wellbeing. In fact, 21% of family caregivers view their health as fair to the poor.

Over the past five years, the number of American citizens providing unpaid care for others has increased significantly. In 2015, stats showed that approximately 43.5 million Americans acted as family caregivers. Now, in 2020, the statistics show a mighty 53 million. That’s a 3% increase in just 5 years. Meaning, that around one in five Americans acts as some kind of family caregiver.

What this Means for You

For friends:

If you think one of your friends, neighbors, relatives, or acquaintances might fall under the category of unpaid caregivers in America- offer them support. You may think there’s not much for you do to, but as a friend, you can lend emotional and physical support. And, that support may just make the difference between a happy caregiver and an overwhelmed caregiver.

For seniors:

It can be hard to rely on others for help. But know: your family, friends, and aides are helping because they want to because they deeply care about you. So, say thank you, accept the help, and appreciate the time and effort they are putting into their relationship with you.

For caregivers:

If what you’ve read here rings true- you might be functioning as an unpaid caregiver. Ease the stress, and get paid for the work you’re already doing! Contact us today, with us you can get paid to be a caregiver. You’ll even get paid training, a flexible schedule, benefits, bonuses, and other great employment opportunities!

6 Ways Caregivers Can Safely Celebrate this Holiday Season, 2020

AmeriBest Home Care - Ways Caregivers Can Safely Celebrate this Holiday Season

Working closely with elderly and at-risk patients- caregivers this year have to be extremely cautious with their holiday plans.

However, that doesn’t mean that caregivers can’t still celebrate.

Here are 6 safe ways caregivers of the elderly can have fun and enjoy the holiday season this 2020:

1. Shop Online

Instead of fighting through crowds or waiting on extremely long socially-distanced lines, do your holiday shopping on the internet this year. Stores and brands have put almost all their sales online this season, so you won’t be missing out on savings. Not to mention, it’s easier to shop around for the best price when it’s all just on your computer. Write a cute message, send the gift straight to the recipient, and stay safe the all way through.

2. Participate in Mail-in Gift Exchanges

It’s extremely popular nowadays to do gift exchanges amongst friend groups and larger families. Unfortunately, in-person gift exchanges are not highly recommended this year. But, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun. Conduct your gift exchange this holiday season through the mail! Send your gift with a secret message, and see if your recipient can guess if it’s from you! Getting gifts in the mail is always something different and exciting.

3. Do a Drive-By

Close physical visits may not be so safe for your senior. However, appropriately distanced visits can be okay. A cute way to do this is with a drive-by! Stay in your car and drive by your senior’s house slowly. You can bring fun signs, balloons, costumes- be as creative as you want! A drive-by visit is a great way to show you care and make your senior feel a part of the holiday celebrations.

4. Make Your Parties Virtual

You may not be able to host a big holiday bash, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate with a party! Invite your friends and family to a virtual holiday party. Play games, chat, laugh and have a blast in a setting that’s safe for all. Simply be sure to set up the virtual call for your seniors ahead of time, because they may not be able to join the call by themselves.

5. Use Water on Your Envelopes

This tip is more to protect others than yourself. If you’re sending holiday cards, letters, money gifts- don’t lick the envelope closed. Instead, use a soft sponge and a bit of water to wet the envelope seal. Using water instead of saliva will help protect all those who come in contact with your letter. Just be sure not to put too much water on the envelope or it may have trouble staying sealed.

6. Order in a Holiday Dinner

If you’re eating by yourself this year, or you’re eating with others virtually- spice things up with a fancy restaurant dinner. Order your favorite holiday foods and drinks. You can even have the same foods delivered to your senior’s home and enjoy a quaint virtual dinner together.

Contact AmeriBest Home Care to learn more about what we offer. Many people feel good about our services because they make their loved ones happier!

Coronavirus Holiday Safety for Seniors

Coronavirus Holiday Safety for Seniors

With a vaccine nearly here, health officials are still strongly encouraging mask wearing and social distancing. In fact, many states have recently added new safety precautions – including limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people at a time.

This makes holiday planning a little tricky for seniors this year.

But, not to fear! Seniors can still celebrate and partake in all the holiday cheer. They just have to do it smartly and safely.

In this article, we’ve included tips on how to keep your senior safe throughout the holidays, as well as suggestions on how to help your seniors make the most of their celebrations this year.

How to Keep Seniors Safe This Holiday?

As a word to the wise, here are some basic safety precautions to take this holiday season. You may be tired of hearing these tips, but it’s always good to have a reminder every so often. Especially, when it comes to the health and wellbeing of seniors we love. And, make sure your senior is following all CDC health guidelines.

  1. Avoid large parties.
  2. Social distance.
  3. Wear a mask.
  4. Wash hands frequently.
  5. Keep some hand-sanitizer nearby.
  6. Find out the health status of your guests.
  7. Sit 6-feet apart when eating.

How to Make the Most of the Holidays This Year?

Just because there are extra rules and regulations this year, doesn’t mean the holidays are ruined. In fact, you may find that some of these safety precautions actually have some positive impacts on the holidays. 

1. Focus on What Matters

Over the years, the holidays have become so commercialized, that we’ve easily lost sight of what truly matters. The real meaning behind the holidays.

Now, we have a chance and a reason to get away from the huge parties and instead stay home with family. The stricter safety regulations this year have given us a chance to spend quality time with our seniors and the people we truly love.

2. Send Gifts Ahead of Time

Sales have already begun. This means, that you can easily start your holiday gift shopping now.

If you can’t spend the holidays in-person together, sending gifts ahead of time to your senior is a sweet way of showing that you care. You can also make it an activity over the phone, and help your senior send his or her gifts to friends and family.

3. Learn How to Entertain Virtually

If you’ve got a big family, video calls will be your best friend this holiday season. Put your senior on a video call to keep him or her safe, but included. You can unwrap gifts together, watch holiday movies together, sing together, play games together, or even just sit and chat.

Video calls are a wonderful way to spend time with everyone this holiday season, while still being cautious.

4. Send Some Holiday Cards

Phone calls and video calls are nice, but there’s something extra special about a hand-written card. It may sound old-school, but sending a hand-written holiday card or thank you card, will really show your senior how much you care about them and how much you miss them. You may even want to help your senior write out some cards as well! 

Ready to provide caring and capable Home Health to a loved one in the comfort of their very own home? AmeriBest Home Care can help you! Call us today by number: 215-925-3313!

National Long-Term Care Awareness Month: A Brief Guide

National Long-Term Care Awareness Month

Put your hands together for National Long-Term Care Awareness Month!

For seniors and caregivers alike, this is an incredibly important month. National Long-Term Care Awareness Month brings attention to the emotional hardships, the medical benefits, and the financial advantages of lasting homecare and caregiving.

In honor of the month, we’ve put together a quick guide on everything you need to know about long-term care.

What Is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care for seniors is centered around individual health and personal care. The goal of long-term care is to help with everyday tasks, enabling seniors to live their best lives stress-free and comfortably.

Long-term care is generally intended for seniors with disabilities, serious injuries, or ongoing medical conditions.

What Does a Long-Term Caregiver Do?

A home health aide providing long-term care usually helps with:

  • Dressing
  • Meal prep
  • Hair, skin, foot, nail, and oral care
  • Laundry
  • Transportation
  • Light housekeeping
  • And more

Trained health care providers can also offer long-term medical care, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and skilled nursing.

A caregiver providing long-term services doesn’t just go through the rote motions of routine but also creates a safe and warm environment for seniors.

How to Get Paid for Caregiving?

The majority of long-term care is done at-home. And, it is mostly done un-paid by family or friends. While providing care for a loved one is an extremely rewarding endeavor, it can also be time-consuming and emotionally draining.

If you or someone you know is providing long-term care, lighten the burden, and get paid to be a caregiver! You can get paid to do the work you’re already doing by simply signing up as a home health aide.

When you sign on to work with a premium home care agency like AmeriBest Home Care, you’ll receive more than just a job,  you’ll receive a lifelong career. AmeriBest provides its caregivers with paid training, competitive pay, flexible hours, medical benefits, career encouragement, and more.

National Long-Term Care Awareness Month

Who Can Get Paid for Caregiving in PA?

Pennsylvania has multiple programs that offer un-paid caregivers a chance to get reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses pertaining to their caregiving. Expenses such as food, medical supplies, health services, and more.

With these programs, many adults acting as primary caregivers can receive compensation for their work, even if they are caregiving for family members or friends.

However, if you’re looking for more than just reimbursement, working as a professional caregiver can provide you with financial security and life satisfaction.

At AmeriBest Home Care, we are committed to providing exceptional home health and personal care services to seniors and members of our community. And, when you join the AmeriBest family, you’re joining a cause. A cause to make sure no senior gets left behind. That every senior, no matter physical ability or financial status, is given a real opportunity to live their very best lives.

What could be more rewarding?

Join the AmeriBest family, and get paid to be a caregiver!

Сall today at (215) 925-3313 or 1800-HOMECARE (for PA residents).