5 Popular Pandemic Hobbies for Seniors and Caregivers

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While the world begins to re-open stores, schools, theaters, amusement parks, and more- many seniors and caregivers are still sitting at home waiting for safer conditions before they fully re-enter society.

And with so much time on their hands, they’re looking for more to do than just watch TV or read a book.

If that sounds like you, or someone you know, here’s a list of 5 popular pandemic hobbies to help you occupy your time!

Make the most of your days with worthwhile and enlightening activities.

1. Gardening

As we all strive to navigate through this uncertain time, some hobbies have skyrocketed in popularity.

Gardening is one of those hobbies. In fact, gardening went up 100% on Google Trends– a whopping twice as much as last year!

Gardening is a great way to spend some quality time out in the fresh, open air. And, there’s so much to do: planting new flowers, designing topiaries, growing fruits and vegetables, creating raised gardens beds. The creative possibilities are endless.

2. Cooking

Another fan favorite has been the #QuarantineFifteen.

During the months of quarantine and social distancing, many caregivers and seniors have finally found time to not only enjoy the food they eat, but also the cooking process beforehand. Searches for “recipe” of all kinds went up 100% when compared to 2019’s search trends.

Sitting or standing, humming along to music or listening to a podcast, chatting on the phone or pondering in silence- there are so many ways to enjoy yourself while cooking. Not to mention, the delicious food that comes after!

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3. Pet Fostering

One good thing to come from this pandemic is that animal shelters have emptied tremendously.

Animals give people joy and companionship. So, it’s no surprise that during these trying times, people have flocked to animal shelters to help not only the animals, but also themselves.

One act, two kindnesses.

If you’re looking for way to boost your mood at home, consider fostering a pet for a little extra love and fluffiness in your life.

4. DIY Projects

“Do it yourself” activities have become a huge hit in recent months. With most people stuck at home, it’s been hard to make purchases and hire others to do work around the house. This struggle has encouraged many to start fixing up their homes on their own and even making their own products.

For seniors and caregivers who are goal oriented, DIY’s are a wonderful hobby. There are plenty of easy-to-follow DIY videos online, as well as books and magazines that feature various projects.

Furniture, cosmetics, clothing, stickers, home renovations, jewelry- there’s so much to choose from that you’re bound to find something you just can’t wait to make!

5. Backyard Birding

Spending so much time at home has also allowed seniors and caregivers to gain a new appreciation for their homes and the wonders that reside in their own backyards.

Backyard birding is a calming activity that brings a sense of excitement to your own backyard. You’ll suddenly take note of things you never noticed before like rare birds, unusual melodies, interesting migration patterns, and more.

AmeriBest Home Care caregivers are ready to assist you or your loved one with daily activities so that you can peacefully enjoy your favorite hobbies.
Call AmeriBest Home Care today by phone: 215-925-3313
We will always be happy to take care of you!

Sit Back and Relax with Passive Stretching for Seniors

What is passive stretching?

When it comes to stretching, there are two important categories to know: active and passive.

Active stretching is when you target a specific joint or muscle and work to stretch it using only that same joint or muscle.

Passive stretching, on the other hand, is when you target a specific joint or muscle using external pressure to stretch it out.

For instance, if seniors were interested in stretching their fingers, here is what the two types of stretching might look like:

  • For active stretching, seniors would try to wiggle and move their fingers about, with no external help.
  • For passive stretching, seniors would use their other hand (or something else) to physically push the fingers back and forth.

What are the benefits of passive stretching?

If you try out the finger stretching example, you’ll see that passive stretching (moving your fingers with external pressure), allows you to stretch your finger much further and much faster than active stretching. Because, you can push your fingers further than they can bend on their own.

This means, that with passive stretching, seniors can get to their stretching end goal much faster than with active stretching.  Not only that, but passive stretching can give seniors an opportunity to sit back and relax while someone else does the hard work for them. Since the stretching is coming from an external pressure, seniors can get help from friends, family members, or caregivers. This makes passive stretching more enjoyable for many seniors, and makes it easier to psychologically maintain a steady schedule.

Note: If you’re still not sold on the benefits of passive stretching, here’s a fun fact that might just change your mind. According to research published in the Journal of Physiology, regular passive stretching done for a consecutive 12 weeks can help reduce stiffness in arteries, allowing for improved blood flow. This, in turn, can help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more.

How to successfully engage in passive stretching?

As with all types of stretching, passive stretching requires consistent work if you want to reap the benefits. Stretching a little bit every day is better than stretching a lot every few days.

Each day that you stretch, your body builds on what it could do the day before. Like steps on a ladder. The more rungs you move up, the higher the rungs you can reach.

However, when you skip a day (or days) of stretching, your body doesn’t just stay where it was before. It actually moves down a rung.

So, essentially, on days that you miss stretching, you’re not just not moving forward, you’re actually moving backward. Which is why, consistency is key when it comes to passive stretching. 

Passive stretching tips for caregivers.

As a caregiver, your job is two-fold for helping your senior successfully stretch.

First, you need to give your senior motivation and inspiration to keep stretching regularly. It can be difficult making a habit out of something new. And it’s all too easy to skip days or become lax with a new routine. However, for the best results, seniors need to passively stretch on the regular.

Second, you need to equip your senior with the tools to stretch whether you’re there or not. This might mean buying stretchy exercise bands so your senior can stretch on his or her own. Or, it might mean putting up signs around the house reminding your senior to stay on track.

And, just remember, stretching doesn’t have to be a chore. 

It can be a fun and relaxing activity too!

Protecting the Senior Community of Philadelphia During COVID-19

With so many heads turned toward the actual COVID-19 virus, the number of deaths caused by other indirect factors has received little to no attention.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of deaths during the pandemic have actually been caused by conditions other than the virus itself. Albeit, not unrelated to the virus.

With all hands on deck dedicated toward helping those immediately affected by COVID-19, fewer resources have been available to those in need of other types of care. Many seniors have suffered from not getting fast enough medical attention, as well as from lack of emotional and financial support.

The struggles have been especially hard for seniors who live alone and rely heavily on friends and family visiting. While social distancing has been a successful precaution against the virus, it has also caused many dilemmas for seniors who need help with daily activities.

In light of these deficiencies, many organizations and outreach groups have stepped up to give a lending hand to seniors in need. From grocery shopping to social phone calls, individuals have been working hard to ensure that our seniors stay safe and secure.

Supporting the Senior Community of Philadelphia

One such group that has persevered in its assistance for older adults is the leading home care agency – AmeriBest Home Care. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, AmeriBest has done nothing but focus on caring for its older adult community during the pandemic.

Here are just a few of the ways in which AmeriBest Home Care continues to care for its seniors and its caregivers.

Continual support for clients.

As an essential business, AmeriBest Home Care has been open and functioning throughout the entirety of the pandemic. AmeriBest’s caregivers have worked tirelessly to find careful and innovative ways of serving their clients in order to ensure that those in need still receive the medical and emotional help they require. AmeriBest caregivers continue to help seniors with acquiring food, medical supplies, medical treatments, doctors’ appointments, as well as help with everyday living activities.

Continual support for caregivers.

AmeriBest’s priority is not just its clients, but also its caregivers who give up so much to help those in need. Right from the start of the pandemic, AmeriBest’s administration dedicated its time to keeping caregivers in the loop with up-to-date information on the virus, as well as guidelines for how to handle COVID-19 situations that could arise with clients. AmeriBest continues to gather and share resources with caregivers to help them protect themselves and be the best caregivers they can be.

Taking COVID-19 precautions.

In order to ensure the safety of both caregivers and clients, AmeriBest Home Care has instructed all caregivers to wear personal protective equipment, wash hands for 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer, and to always be cognizant of coughing and/or sneezing into tissues and not touching their faces.

In addition to the above-mentioned precautions, AmeriBest Home Care also adheres to social distancing, increased office cleaning, the limiting of large social gatherings, and consistent monitoring of any and all virus updates.

For more information on how AmeriBest Home Care is taking steps to ensure the safety of seniors and caregivers alike, give us a call at (215) 925-3313.

We’re here for you.

Ameribest Home Care Has Acquired Cool Waters HHA

Ameribest Home Care Has Acquired Cool Waters HHA

We are honored to announce that AmeriBest Home Care has acquired Cool Waters HHA, an independently owned home and community-based services company.

Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, Cool Waters provides personal care services throughout 17 critical counties in the commonwealth. The company serves as our vehicle into significant expansion throughout central PA. Cool Waters will operate as a subsidiary of AmeriBest and will continue to operate out of Harrisburg. This acquisition triples our county presence throughout Pennsylvania, bringing out total presence to 22 counties and meaningfully expands our scale to continue to serve CHC clients for our MCO partners.

Our companies share a company philosophy and vision to be the leading provider of choice for home and community-based services by instilling and adhering to our core values of respect, dignity, service and compassion.

Exciting times for the AmeriBest family!

Ameribest Home Care Has Acquired Cool Waters HHA

How to Care for Senior Parents Who Don’t Want Help

How to Care for Senior Parents Who Don’t Want Help

Refusing help is a classic defense mechanism.

In the case of home care – older adults often reject extra help and assistance out of fear and a sense of self-perseverance. 

Seniors fear the change in lifestyle that comes with admitting they need help. They also fear the loss of identity that comes with no longer being able to take care of oneself.

It’s completely understandable, but as the child of a parent who refuses help – it can be exasperating to deal with.

Here are 4 tips for taking care of senior parents who just don’t want help:

  1. Don’t walk away.

When your senior parents are refusing help, it can be frustrating to sit and watch them struggle. Frustrating because they won’t take your advice, but also because it pains you to have to see them suffer. And, because of this frustration, it’s easy to decide to leave it all behind and walk away.

But stay strong, and don’t just leave. Because that’s not truly helping anyone in the long run.

Instead, take a breather. Take a moment away and remind yourself that you can’t control everything your parent does. Sometimes you just have to let things go. 

When you’re feeling ready, come back to your parent with a fresh mindset.

  1. Ask at the right time.

As with many things in life, timing is often at the root of the situation. 

When you’re suggesting extra help or home care to your senior parents, it’s important to choose the right time to do so. Don’t throw the idea out there in the middle of a crisis or emotional circumstance. Rather, wait for a calm moment to talk. Bring it up slowly, and in a way, that’s easy for them to digest.

  1. Show, don’t tell.

This is a common tip for writers – show us what you mean, don’t tell us what you mean.

And, it holds true for all sorts of communication in life.

Which is why, it’s important not just to choose the right time to talk, but the right way to talk as well.

Instead of only mentioning facts and reasons, try giving examples and as much details as possible. With your words (and maybe some images online), paint a descriptive picture of what life could be like for your senior parents if they had the extra help around the house.

  1. Suggest a trial run.

Sometimes the thought of permanent change is what scares people off the most.

If this might be the case with your senior parents – remind them that this does not have to be permanent. Your seniors can try the extra help just for a time. And, if they like it – great! And, if they don’t – that’s okay, too.

A trial run allows your parents to feel more in control of the situation, as you are placing the final decision in their hands.

And, remember – take a breath, stay calm, and always be respectful. 

These are still your parents, after all.

Food Drive and Personal Protective Equipment GIVEAWAY

AmeriBest Home Care will be hosting a Food Drive
and Personal Protective Equipment giveaway!

WHEN: on Saturday, June 27th, from 3 pm to 6 pm
WHERE: 990 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

If you are an AmeriBest Caregiver or an AmeriBest Patient – WE WANNA SEE YOU THERE
at the back parking lot of our building at N 10th / Spring Garden St.

GET DIRECTIONS

This is a first come – first serve event.

We will be giving out FREE FOOD such as:
• Milk 🥛
• Eggs 🥚
• Cereal 🥣
• Vitamins 💊 etc.

We will also be giving out Personal Protective Equipment such as:⠀
• Surgical masks 😷
• Hand sanitizer 🧴🤲
• Gloves 🧤

For more information, please call ☎️ 1800-HOMECARE

   

   

 

Becoming a Caregiver: How to Navigate Your Way through the Stress

Becoming a Caregiver: How to Navigate Your Way through the Stress

As COVID-19 sends us all to our homes and families, many Americans are suddenly finding themselves having to act as caregivers.

Adult children, who never before had to care for someone else’s life, are now having to cope with the stresses of caregiving. They’re having to learn how to balance the time, the money, the work load, as well as how to actually take care of a senior citizen.

If you’ve suddenly found yourself in the same or similar boat, keep on reading for some pro suggestions to help you navigate your way through this ever-changing time.

Remember: You’re not alone.

The most important thing about becoming a caregiver is to remember that you are not in it alone.

In fact, according to AARP’s research report on Caregiving in the United States in 2020, there is an estimated 41.8 million Americans providing care for seniors 50 and older.

This means, that you have resources. And you should take advantage of those resources. You don’t have to figure everything out on your own. You can get help and advice from those who have already gone through what you’re going through now.

And if you’re still struggling to stay afloat, you can always ask a friend or hire an experienced aide to come in and take care of your senior every now and then. This will give you some time to take a breath and get yourself caught up.

Don’t forget about your own health.

When you’re busy taking care of someone else, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself.

Sadly, 23% of Americans have claimed that caregiving has had a negative impact on their own health- a 6% increase from 2015.

No matter what, you should always be watching your health, both physical and emotional. Don’t neglect things like exercise, nutrition, social interaction, relationships, self-care, etc.

Family caregivers often rationalize that caring for their loved seniors takes precedence over caring for themselves. But, what they don’t realize is that it’s not an either-or situation.

You can care for your seniors and care for yourself.

  • If you’re making a healthy meal for your senior, make one for yourself too.
  • If you’re making your senior exercise, follow along with your own workout.

Find little ways to care for your own health at the same time that you care for your senior’s.

Get paid to be a caregiver.

One of the biggest stress factors of caregiving is finances. The reason is two-fold:

  1. Caregivers often end up dipping into their own checking and savings accounts to pay for their seniors’ medical necessities.
  2. Caregiving takes the time of a full-time job. Which means, that caregivers lose out earning money from jobs they would have been able to do had they not been caregiving.

Ease the financial stress by getting paid to be a caregiver.

Agencies like AmeriBest Home Care are always looking for new talent to join the family. AmeriBest has opportunities for full-time, part-time, and per diem work- no experience necessary!

Sometimes, caregiving isn’t a choice. It’s a necessity.

And, when that happens, you may as well make the most of it.

HELP US IMPROVE: Survey for Patients and Caregivers

Survey for Patients and Caregivers

AmeriBest HomeCare is conducting this survey in order to get a better understanding of employee morale, satisfaction (customer and associate), engagement/communication at AmeriBest and service. Your opinions are important to us, and this survey is your chance to express those opinions.

We will be collecting the data through the month of June, conducting analysis and will formulate a resulting communication and actions items as deemed necessary. We ask that you be honest as these are anonymous. All information is helpful in building a stronger company going forward. Below is the link to click on that will take you directly to the survey questions.

Survey for all Patients: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XQHSYVX

Survey for all PCAs: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XJ3BT29

Survey for Patients and Caregivers 1

You can also scan a QR code to easily access the survey:

Download Client’s Survey QR Code

Download PCA’s QR Code

Summer Activities and Alternatives for Seniors Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

While the world is on a temporary pause, the seasons wait for no one.
Don’t let the summer slip by without enjoying your favorite summer activities.

We’ve gathered some of the most common activities for seniors and listed the health risks, safety precautions, and alternatives for each.

In deciding which activities to do and how, the key is to analyze how each might affect you or your senior, personally. There is no one size fits all when it comes to safety and health, and so it’s important to use cautionary judgment.

Backyard BBQ

Health risk: Eating in your own backyard holds very little risk. However, inviting other families to join, raises the threat level to medium.

Safety precautions: Limit the number of families you invite to just one. And, choose wisely. A family whose members are essential workers will be more likely to carry the virus than a family whose members haven’t left their home in a month.

Alternative: Video calls are always a safer option than in-person activities. Every family can party from their own backyard, together. Or, make it a neighborly event and party from across the fence.

Summer Soirée

Health risk: Whether it’s a party for a wedding, birthday, graduation, or retirement- parties are a high-risk activity right now.

Safety precautions: If you absolutely must attend a party (although it is highly recommended not to), be sure to wear a face mask, gloves, and keep your distance from the other party-goers. Try not to touch anything unnecessarily, and bring some hand sanitizer just in case.

Alternative: A car parade! If you’re planning to attend a party, the better option is to drive by the party and stay in your car. You can wave or hold up a sign, and the hosts will be just as happy with your attendance as if you had actually come inside. If you’re the one hosting, stand six feet back from the street, and wave to your friends and family as they slowly drive by. You’ll be surprised how creative people can get from within their cars.

Dining Out

Health risk: Eating out at a restaurant is a medium to high risk. Dining at an indoor restaurant is a huge risk as it puts you in close proximity to other guests, with little air circulation. Dining at an outdoor restaurant is slightly less risky. However, the activity still puts you in contact with a server and possibly other staff.

Safety precautions: Bring sanitizing wipes and wipe down the menu before perusing. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before eating.

Alternatives: Set the table nicely, dim the lights, add a bit of background music, and order takeout. The food will be just as delicious, but with less of a risk.

Stroll in the park

Health risk: Walking in a park or nature reserve is a low to medium risk. There will always be others walking around nearby, which puts you in danger. However, being in a large open space lowers the risk.

Safety precautions: Wear a mask, and avoid going on busy days like national holidays. If someone is nearing you, step off to the side with your head turned away, and wait. When the individual has passed and is six feet away, continue on your stroll.

Alternative: If you’re going to the park for exercise, an alternative activity is walking around your yard. Set a timer, and walk the perimeter of your front and back yard for as long as you want. It’s not as exciting, but it will get the job done. Plus, you might even find some small flowers or quiet birds in your yard that you never even noticed before.

Family Caregivers: The Unsung Heroes of PA

Family Caregivers: The Unsung Heroes of PA - AmeriBest Home Care

No amount of praise and applause can express the true gratitude we feel for front line health care workers. While we sit at home and protect ourselves, these courageous individuals go to do battle with the COVID virus head-on. They risk themselves and their families to help others, and they deserve every bit of our unwavering respect and thanks.

Yet, there is another hero amongst us who deserves the same gratitude. There is another kind of hero who risks just as much from behind the scenes for not even a penny in return.

That unsung hero is the family caregiver.

Family caregivers administer medicine, schedule daily routines, cook, clean, provide emotional support, and more. Family caregivers are unpaid, overworked, and they don’t even mind because they do what they do out of love and genuine human compassion.

As of 2019, the AARP’s Valuing the Invaluable 2019 Update placed the number of family caregivers at approximately 1.59 million individuals in Pennsylvania, with expectations of increase for 2020. This amounts to about 1.33 billion hours of caregiving and a total economic value of $18.2 billion.

However, these 1.59 million family caregivers do not get paid for the hard work they do.

In fact, they often lose money caring for those they love. Most family caregivers spend thousands of their own hard-earned savings to care for their family members. And don’t mistake their willingness to spend this money as a result of rich or wealthy status.

No, many family caregivers actually lose out on the opportunity to earn more money because of the time commitments that caregiving requires. Caring for someone else’s life takes time. And that means less time dedicated to their own ambitions and careers. That means less time to work overtime and less time for side businesses, all of which could be making these caregivers some nice extra money.

Yet, family caregivers don’t look down or despair at these numbers. They keep their spirits high as they take life by the horns and charge forward.

While front line medical professions fight to rid the world of the disease, family caregivers fight to prevent their loved ones from getting it in the first place.

At this point and time, the best the world can do to fight against COVID-19 is to continue to flatten the curve. Rather than allow an influx of patients all at once, the goal is to spread the rate of infection over a larger period of time. This enables doctors and hospitals to administer proper medical attention to each patient, rather than be stretched thin.

Family caregivers are helping to flatten the curve by protecting those they care for. As a result of their care, seniors are able to stay safe at home and out of harm’s reach. Seniors are able to get food, household supplies, nursing care, as well as companionship and emotional support.

Thanks to family caregivers, the unsung heroes of PA, seniors across the state are able to continue living their lives as normal as possible.

Thank you to all the family caregivers out there for keeping our seniors happy and safe!