Senior Caregiver Health at Risk: Facts, Signs, and Solutions

Senior Caregiver Health at Risk - AmeriBest Home Care

When it comes to seniors and caregiving, attention is always placed on the seniors’ well-being.

Which makes sense.

However, there’s another important player in the caregiving cycle that deserves attention too. And, that another player is the one giving the care- the dutiful family member who spends the day in and day out helping to care for the loved senior, and who often gets overlooked or overworked.

In this article, we’ll go through the facts of caregiver health, the signs of an overworked caregiver, and some practical solutions.

The facts behind caregiver health.

As more and more baby boomers enter their senior age, more family members are being called upon to care for their parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts.

While caregiving is amazing to work and truly exemplifies the meaning of family, it can also be quite a strenuous job. Especially, for those family members who also have their own spouses and children to take care of. Needless to say, the time commitment and workload of caregiving can be difficult to manage.

Unfortunately, this often leads to overworked or overwhelmed caregivers, which can result in poor health. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that of the 18 million Americans who are informal caregivers (meaning, they are not paid for their caregiving services), about 1 in 5 are in roughly moderate or bad health.

Essentially, while caregivers are working to keep their loved seniors in good health, they are letting their own health slip away. A sad consequence that we, at AmeriBest, aim to prevent.

The signs of an overworked caregiver.

When it comes to determining someone’s health, direct questions don’t always work.

Because it is not uncommon for caregivers to brush off questions with “I’m fine” or “I have it under control.” And the problem is that these caregivers really might really be fine at the moment. But burn out can happen in an instant. Informal caregivers are fine until they’re not fine. At which point their physical and mental health may be at serious risk.

So, while open and honest communication is usually the best option, sometimes a little something else is required. Something called tactful observation. 

If you’re worried about a caregiver you love, look out for these tell-tale signs of burnout:

  1. Persistent tiredness
  2. Anxiety or sadness
  3. Forgetfulness
  4. Weak immune system (I.e. getting sick easily and often)
  5. Loss of weight

Obviously, everyone exhibits signs of burnout differently. But, if you notice any of these signs within yourself or a caregiver you love, consider that it might be time to intervene and help.

The option for help.

Whether it’s for you, a friend, or a loved one- don’t be afraid to call a home care agency for a bit of extra help.

Caregivers often avoid calling for help because they see it as a lack of responsibility on their part. They worry that by calling in someone else to do the job, they are casting off their beloved seniors.

But if you know what home care really is, you know that’s not the case.

With at-home care, family caregivers can come in and out as they please. There are no visiting times and no need to call in advance. Family caregivers can help monitor their seniors’ schedules and care, while also having a professional home care aide to lean on for support and advice.

With at-home care, seniors never feel alone and caregivers never feel overwhelmed.

Winter Safety Checklist for Seniors: Prepare and Protect

Winter Safety Checklist for Seniors - AmeriBest Home Care

Every winter, we cross our fingers and wish for a magical winter wonderland.
We hope for a dreamy world of white covered treetops and fluffy snow blankets.

After all, what better suits the holidays?

But, with this beauty, comes a bit of danger.
This winter season, prepare and protect your elderly. Let your loved seniors enjoy the crisp, white holiday magic while also staying safe and warm.

How to keep seniors safe in the winter?

The key ingredient to keeping elderly parents safe in the winter is preparation.

It’s extremely important to be ready before the chilly weather hits. Once the snow arrives, it’ll be too late to get what you need. Especially, if you need to order some of the safety equipment online.

So, think smart and plan ahead.
It’s never too early to start prepping for winter safety.

How to prepare your senior for winter weather?

Don’t let the stress of prepping get to your head.
Here’s a winter safety checklist to help protect your senior during the rough winter weather!

  • Shovel – This one’s a no-brainer. You can’t expect your senior to trudge through the thick snow.
  • Car Ice Scraper – If you or your senior have a car, you’re definitely going to want one of these. Particularly, a scraper with an attached snow brush. Otherwise, you might find yourself having quite a hard time driving. After all, we wouldn’t want you to miss any doctor appointments because you couldn’t clean your car of snow and ice.
  • Salts – If you want your loved senior to be able to walk on the paths that you just shoveled, it’s crucial you put down melting salts. Slipping on ice is a huge danger to elderly parents.
  • Candles – Hopefully you won’t need this. But in the case of a snowstorm and/or blackout, you’re going to be glad you had extra candles around. A flashlight works too.
  • Throw Blankets – It’s so important that your senior stays warm. Seniors often get chilly faster than middle-aged adults might. And, with chills can come all sorts of illness. Make sure your senior is feeling warm and toasty inside, no matter how cold it gets outside.
  • Medication Refills – It’s extremely scary when you’re snowed in for a day or two and your senior runs out of his or her medication. Don’t let that happen. If you know a storm is on the horizon, make sure your senior has plenty of pills and vitamins to last through a snowstorm. Put in the orders for refills right away if any are running low.
  • Things That Make Your Senior Happy – Unfortunately, winter is often the time that seasonal depression hits the hardest. Yes, the world is beautiful when covered in snow, but it’s also darker. And, if your senior is stuck at home, it can be a lonely time. Make sure your senior is happy and of high spirits by keeping some favorite things on hand. This could be favorite movies, favorite games, favorite foods. Anything that brings a smile to your senior no matter the circumstance.

Headaches and Back Pains: What’s Really Going on Inside Your Body?

Headaches and Back Pains - AmeriBest Home Care

Headaches and back pains are amongst the most common complaints of seniors.

As we get older, it’s not uncommon to develop sore muscles or chronic pains in our bodies. But, that doesn’t mean we have to live in misery.

Now a day, there are all sorts of remedies and solutions to alleviate headache and back pain.

The first step in alleviating body pain is identifying what and where it is. Next, is understanding the cause. And lastly, is finding the solution with which to approach the problem.

Here are some questions and answers to steer you on your way to a painless life.

Is it a chronic pain or acute pain?

When identifying head or back pain, you need to recognize whether it is “chronic” or “acute.” Because that’s one of the first questions a doctor will ask you.

Chronic pain can be described as more of a dull sense of pain over an extended period of time. You might be able to function normally with the pain, but it is still there. And it is still irritating.

Acute pain, on the other hand, is a sudden burst of pain. It can be described as sharp or intense. It is a pain that might really make you stop what you’re doing and pay attention to it. But it’s likely not to last long, and certainly not as long as chronic pain.

Being able to categorize your pain as chronic or acute, is a huge step in finding a remedy.

What causes persistent headaches and back pains?

Unfortunately, there is a myriad of items that could cause head pain or back pain. Causes can range anywhere from lack of sleep, poor posture, arthritis, disease, ulcers, and cancer.

We’re not trying to scare you with those last few examples. But we do want you to understand the wide range of causes that can be the triggers of chronic pain.

Are headaches and back pains connected?

When seniors complain of back pain or head pain, they often complain of the other as well.

This observation has led to new scientific research on the subject. Researchers are now suggesting that there is, in fact, a connection between the two pains. Doctors are hoping that the research found may lead to a new and improved remedy- a remedy that targets both pains at once.

The wish is that as one pain lessens, the other will as well.

What can I do to alleviate my headaches and back pain?

It all depends on what the cause of your pain might be.

For chronic headaches, doctors will often prescribe medicinal treatments to alleviate the pain.
For chronic back pain, on the other hand, the solution is often exercise or physical therapy. Back pain is usually associated with weaker muscles, and so strengthening stomach and back muscles is thought to help lessen the pain.

In light of the new studies done, researchers now suspect that exercise and physical therapy intended to target back pain may also help with head pain.

FAQ: Post-Stroke Rehabilitation

FAQ: Post-Stroke Rehabilitation - AmeriBest Home Care

What is a stroke?

Strokes can be divided into two main categories: Ischemic and Hemorrhagic.

Ischemic is the more common of the two types. An ischemic stroke occurs when clots or plague block the blood’s path to the brain. This can happen directly in the brain’s blood vessels or it can happen in other blood vessels that run toward the brain.

A hemorrhagic stroke, on the other hand, occurs when a blood vessel actually breaks. In some ways, this can be worse because the blood contained within the vessel escapes and damages the brain’s tissue.

Can you recover from a stroke?

The good news is- yes!
The bad news is- recovery can take some time.

Strokes can cause serious damage to the brain. Often times, it damages motor neurons, resulting in physical mobility loss. This can show in the form of speech impairment, facial expression impairment, or limb control impairment.

Recovering from a stroke may not always be as neat as one would like. If survivors are lucky, they are able to recover fully with minimal residual effects. But other times, survivors may be left with some kind of disability to work through.

How long does it take to recover from a stroke?

Depending on the severity of the damage, stroke survivors could take anywhere from days to years to recover.

What is post-stroke rehabilitation?

Post-stroke rehabilitation is a type of therapy treatment.

As aforementioned, strokes often result in some after-effects as an outcome of brain damage. Post-stroke rehabilitation cannot undo brain damage. It is not a cure. But, it can help alleviate and manage symptoms.

Post-stroke rehabilitation works to provide a long-term solution to the aftermath of a stroke. And, to get stroke survivors functioning as independently as possible.

When should you start post-stroke rehabilitation?

Post-stroke rehabilitation begins as soon as a stroke survivor has been stabilized.

There are two ways to begin rehabilitation. If the stroke patient is paralyzed or unable to move on his or her own, a therapist will begin the rehabilitation by physically moving the patient around to increase mobility. If the stroke patient has some mobility control already, the therapist will have the patient independently exercise his or her own limbs.

After that, the main key to successful rehabilitation is continuous and consistent exercising and therapy.

Where to go for post-stroke rehabilitation?

When it comes to rehabilitation, it’s extremely important to do the therapy sessions consistently. And on a regular basis.

Keeping to a regular schedule can be hard for many, especially when it involves coordinating transportation. If this is the case for you or a loved one, we highly recommend hiring a professional home care aid.

When you hire through a home care agency like AmeriBest, we send our therapists and nurses straight to your own home. So that you never have to worry about traveling to your therapy sessions and getting there on time.

At-home rehabilitation is a great time saver and an even greater way to make sure you’re getting the care you need.

4 Quick Tips for Stress Relief in Caregivers

4 Quick Tips for Stress Relief in Caregivers - AmeriBest Home Care

If you follow our blog you definitely know by now: caregiving is hard work.

But, you’ll also know that there are ways to make that work easier. And ways to relieve the stress that comes with the job of caregiving.

So, here are 4 quick tips for caregivers when it comes to stress relief.

Get paid for your caregiving.

Let’s be honest. One of the biggest stresses for caregivers is financial insecurity.
Caregiving is basically a full-time job. And when you’re a family caregiver, you’re usually not getting paid for the time spent caring.

Which means, that you’re working a regular job on top of working regular caregiving hours. And, that equals a huge amount of stress.

But, there is a solution: get paid to caregive.
If you’re caregiving anyway, why not make money doing it? Sign up with home care agencies, like AmeriBest, where you actually get paid to be a caregiver.

At AmeriBest, we also help our caregivers with career growth, experience, and competitive pay.

Take time for yourself.

You may be tired of hearing this one, but it’s so so important that you take time for yourself to refresh and reenergize.

And, you have to actively set aside time to do so. If you just keep saying you’ll relax when you get a break, that break is never going to happen. You have to choose a specific time, let all your friends and family know, and then take that time for yourself.

Caregiving is demanding work. It requires constant focus and decision making, things that often wear a person down. And, worn down people don’t do good work. Which means, that not only are you harming yourself by not taking time to breathe, you’re also harming those you care for.

It’s okay to take a break. We give you permission.

Find meaning in the work you do.

More often than not, we get caught up in the routine of the work we do. On the one hand, this is great, because the less decisions we have to make in a day, the better. On the other hand, when we’re just going through wrote motions, we don’t challenge ourselves, and we don’t find meaning in the work we do.

As conscious beings, we need meaning. And when we don’t have it, we start to feel stressed out and down about ourselves.

Solution? Once a week, take a bit of time to process what you’re doing and why. Caregiving is important work. It’s work that matters. It’s work that makes a huge positive difference in someone else’s life.

And you need to remind yourself that, every once in a while.

Spend time with friends.

Friends make us happy.
They know what we need, and they know how to make us feel better.

But most importantly, spending time with friends means getting out of the house and focusing on something other than caregiving. So, meeting up with friends every now and then is a great way to relieve stress. Because, whether you use the time to vent or catch up, you’re giving your mind time to relax and enjoy life.

Something we all need to do.
Stay happy!

Welcoming Men into the World of Caregivers

Welcoming Men into the World of Caregivers - AmeriBest Home Care

Or, saying hello to the many that are already here.

For years, caregiving has been dominated by women. Accompanied by the picture-perfect image of a kindhearted young girl sitting beside a senior citizen, reading books and drinking tea.

Okay, so maybe that’s more of the image presented in historical fictional pieces on television.

But the fact still stands: men are not often associated with the idea of caregiving for the elderly.
And the truth is: there are already many male caregivers, and there are many more on their way.

Some men are embarrassed to admit it because of the stereotype that has surrounded caregivers for so many years. And, some men don’t even realize that what they are already doing -caring for a parent or spouse- is, in fact, considered caregiving.

So, for all the men out there who already identify as caregivers, and for all the men out there who want to be caregivers, here are some tips and tricks of the trade specifically for you.

Be proud of what you do.

We sometimes get caught up in the appearance of what we do, and what others might think of the work we do. But, we’ll tell it to you straight: being a caregiver is a wonderful thing.

As a caregiver, you are dedicating your time to helping another life the best life that they can. You are giving up night outs or days in, to make a huge positive difference in someone else’s life.

Caregiving is one of the most self-less jobs you could have. And for that, you deserve all the respect and recognition that one can give.

You should be proud of being a caregiver and yell it to the streets.

Be even more proud of what you do.

Now, there’s another extremely important reason you should be proud of being a caregiver.
When you’re embarrassed about the work you do, it shows in how you work. It shows in the little grimaces you might make here and there, and the sluggishness you might have when doing a job.

Seniors sense this unease and that makes them feel uneasy as well. And, when everyone is feeling uneasy, it makes for a weird atmosphere. Not just weird, but lonely and a little bit sad.

If you really want to be a great caregiver, you need to be proud of the work you do and show it!

Get paid for the work you do.

Since men are relatively new to the field of caregiving, they’re not always part of caregiving communities.

This means, they miss the memo: you can get paid to be a caregiver.

Homecare agencies, like AmeriBest Home Care, will actually pay you to caregive. Not only that, but they’ll also give you the training and advice you might need to be an outstanding caregiver.

Caregiving alone is hard. But when you’re getting paid and you have people to rely on, it makes the whole thing so much more enjoyable.

Fighting Depression in Caregivers

Fighting Depression in Caregivers - AmeriBest Home Care

Caregiving can be tough.
Especially when it’s for your own family member. Because it means seeing someone you love at their weakest and most vulnerable. And that kind of experience can take an emotional toll on even the strongest caregivers amongst us.

Which is why it’s not uncommon for caregivers to become depressed.

So, here are some words of encouragement:

  • To all the caregivers out there: Stay strong. Take care of yourself. You are doing a wonderful thing. And, you are not alone.
  • To all the seniors out there: Aging is hard, but you have so much more to live for. Stay happy for the ones you love.
  • To all the young ones who may one day become a caregiver: There’s no real preparation, except knowing that when the time comes, you can do it. Like many have done before you.

Warning Signs of Depression in Caregivers

Whether you’re a caregiver yourself, a friend of a caregiver, or the one being cared for, it’s good to know the signs of depression. This way, you can recognize the symptoms and get help if need be.

And with that, you can make a positive difference in someone else’s or your own life.
Some depression symptoms to look out for are:

  • Loss of interest
    This could be a loss of interest in people, activities, or things. When caregivers are depressed they tend to lose hope in the world and their life, which in turn causes them to lose interest in doing anything.
  • Insomnia
    Caregivers with depression often have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night. Once or twice is okay, but when it happens for consecutive nights over an extended period of time, something might be wrong.
  • Fatigue
    This symptom is more than just not having the energy to do something. It’s a constant state of fatigue and can often be tied with the symptom of loss of interest.
  • Sadness
    This one might be obvious, but it’s still important to take note of. Sadness is one of the main symptoms of depression. This feeling of sadness can also appear as anxious or restless thoughts. And intense loneliness often accompanies them.

What you can do to help with depression?

If you recognize any of these symptoms in a caregiver near you, it may be a good idea to talk to them delicately about what you’re seeing. Before it’s too late.

And, if you’re a caregiver or someone looking to become a caregiver, consider doing your work with a homecare agency.

Caregiving on your own can be difficult.
As social creatures, we need support and encouragement.

Which is why it’s best to get paid for caregiving with an established and reputable homecare agency like AmeriBest. At AmeriBest, we have a close-knit team of nurses, doctors, and medical staff so that you never have to feel alone. We support all our nurses and caregivers. We give you the skills to succeed, and then we give you the emotional support to do it.

Get paid to caregive this month at AmeriBest HomeCare!

Don’t worry. Be happy.

6 Big Benefits of Home Health Care for Seniors

6 Big Benefits of Home Health Care for Seniors - AmeriBest Home Care

The loving comforts of home

Changing environments isn’t just scary, it’s also stressful.
And this stress can actually place negative effects on the body, making it harder to stay healthy and strong. Because, when the body has to exert energy to fight off stress, it doesn’t have the energy to fight off other more serious health hazards.

Environmental strain is a real thing. And, for this reason, many seniors opt to live in the comfort of their own homes with at-home health care. So, they can rest and recuperate to the best of their body’s abilities.

More time with family

At-home care allows seniors to spend more time with their families and friends. When you’re stuck in a hospital all day with strict visiting hours, it can be difficult to spend time with the ones you love. But when you choose home health care, you get to choose who you see and when.

This gives seniors a chance to spend real quality time interacting with others. Which can have a very beneficial effect on their physical health, as well as emotional and psychological.


Not only does at-home care let you choose when you see your family and friends, it also lets you choose your doctors.

At home care agencies offer a wide range of services and specialists. Seniors can choose from physical therapists, occupational therapists, registered nurses, medical social workers, and home health aides. And, seniors can create their own schedules, so they’re never stuck living according to someone else’s plan.

Seniors who choose home health care can also get help with daily tasks, transportation, meal prep, and more.


If you’ve ever had to stay at a hospital overnight, you know just how expensive nightly visits can be. That’s why so many choose at-home care instead when it comes to the happiness of their wallets. Because, with home health care, you’re not paying for a room and board. You’re simply paying for the services needed. Which can save you a ton.

For seniors looking to hold on to their money, and get the most bang for their buck, at-home care is a great resource.

Better medical attention

At-home care allows seniors to get the individual attention they need to stay at the top of their health game.

Hospitals can be so packed with patients, that they often have trouble giving them all the care they need. But with at-home care, seniors are guaranteed to get all their medical, emotional, and physical requirements met. It’s like the difference between commercial and privately own companies. Often times, the small, family own places give you the better service.

The one-on-one ratio that comes with at-home care can really make a big impact on your senior’s overall health and happiness.


Not only do seniors get more social interaction because they are getting extensive one-on-one care, they can also get companionship by hiring a home care volunteer.

Home care agencies offer companions as a way to keep seniors stay mentally aware and emotionally healthy. This way seniors never get lonely and keep their minds sharp.

Home Care Aids for the Win – The Future of Caregiving

Home Care Aids for the Win - AmeriBest Home Care

What does caregiving mean to you?
Responsibility. Kindness. Assistance. Medical expertise.

These are the four core aspects of good caregiving for seniors. These are the four core aspects needed to keep your senior healthy, happy, and living a good life.

Yet, it’s hard for family caregivers to satisfy all four needs when they’ve got their own lives to live. When family members become caregivers, they have to dedicate a significant amount of their own free time to their senior’s wellbeing.

Which is great, if you have the time. But many of us, have full time jobs, families, and errands we need to attend to. And this makes the job of a family caregiver extremely complicated.
Causing many to now opt for professional home care aids.

Because, home care aids are the future of caregiving.

What is a professional home care aid?

A professional home care aid comes to you, as opposed to you going to them. This means, that your senior can enjoy the comforts of his or her own home, while also getting the necessary medical and personal assistance needed. Home care aids can help in a variety of ways, anywhere from simply changing bed linens, to overseeing hygiene care, to emptying urinary bags.

Essentially, they do a lot.

Female nurse visiting senior patient for checking blood pressure

How can a professional home care aid meet the 4 core caregiving needs?

Responsibility – Professional home care aids take their jobs seriously. They understand the meaning of reliability and efficiency. When you’re caring for someone else’s life, you’ve got to be there for them, and ready to help them with whatever they need.

Kindness – You don’t just want someone who will come in, do the bare minimum, and leave. You want someone who loves what they do, so that they will go above and beyond. You want someone who will show kindness to your senior, because they really care for your senior. And that’s exactly what home care aids are trained to do.

Assistance – There are all different jobs that a home care aid can do. Housekeeping, meal prep, transportation, personal care– just to name a few. Home care aids provide assistance to your senior, so that your senior can keep living the life they want.

Medical Expertise – In addition to basic living assistance, professional home care agencies can also get you skilled nurses and doctors. So your senior can get all the medical and emotional help they need.

Where can I find a professional home care aid that will satisfy the 4 core caregiving requirements?

Are you located in Philadelphia, PA? Then come on by AmeriBest Home Care agency to get a reliable home care aid today!

At AmeriBest Home Care, we match your needs with our experienced and talented staff. Whether your senior needs skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical social work, or a home health aide, we’ve got it all.

Give us a call today at 1800-HOMECARE.
So that we can help you make the life that’s right for you.