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!

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!

Employment Opportunities! Become a Paid Caregiver

Employment Opportunities! - AmeriBest Home Care

During these past months, unemployment rates have skyrocketed as millions of Americans apply for unemployment benefits.

It’s no stretch to say that these have been tough times to navigate through.

But, they are certainly not impossible.

If you’re one of the many Americans worried about the economy to come and your finances, we might just have the perfect idea for you:

Become a paid caregiver!

What’s in the job?

As a paid at-home caregiver, you’ll be helping elderly live their best lives in the comfort of their homes.

All caregiving is done in the patients’ own homes. You’ll head on over to your client (or multiple clients depending on the schedule you set for yourself) and help with activities such as:

  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Meal prep
  • Light housework
  • Companionship

Why become a caregiver?

The bottom line: caregiving is a stress-free job that pays well.

As a caregiver, you won’t have to worry about making intense deadlines or coming up with the next biggest idea. You just need to concentrate on the little things: being compassionate, courteous, and careful.

It’s as rewarding as it is manageable.

And that’s really the best combination for any job.

What’s the time commitment like?

As a paid caregiver, you get to be in control of your own time and create the schedule that works best for you. Whether full time, part time, or per diem, the time commitment is up to you.

We know that some of our caregivers use this job as a supplement for their regular income. Which is why we provide maximum flexibility. After all, caregiving is about helping others grow upward, not chaining them downward.

However, we also know that many of caregivers come to us for a fresh start. To begin a new career in a place they can truly belong. And, for those employees, we do everything in our power to help them succeed.

AmeriBest is Hiring!

AmeriBest Home Care is currently seeking caring and motivated individuals to become a part of our family of healthcare workers.

Whether you’re looking for a new career or a part time gig, this could be the opportunity for you. You don’t need any prior experience. Just a good attitude and a willingness to learn.

At AmeriBest Home Care, we’ll train you and set you on the path to great caregiving.

We’ll teach you the necessary skills to succeed in the home healthcare world. And, we’ll be with you every step of the way, guiding you through the field and supporting you as your caregiving career develops.

At AmeriBest Home Care, we care about our employees just as much as we care about our clients. Which is why, we offer full-time benefits such as medical, dental, vision, 401K and paid time off.

How to apply?

Simply fill out the online form at the bottom of the page here:

Or, give us a call at 215-925-3313.

Come join AmeriBest, today!

We’re not just an agency, we’re a healthcare family.

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.

Caregiving Rules: How to Stay on Top of Your Game

How to Stay on Top of Your Game - AmeriBest Home Care

Whether you’ve recently started caregiving for a loved one or you’ve been doing it for a while, here are 4 rules that can really make or break your time as a caregiver.

Rule #1: Accept Help

This is the first rule because it’s the most important. When you’re caregiving, you often want to do everything by yourself. Not because you don’t trust others, but because you think it’s your duty. And you think it’s your responsibility to do it all on your own.

This is the biggest trap that caregivers fall into. And they’ll even run themselves ragged thinking they just need to push themselves a little more. But this is not a sustainable way of life. And, it certainly is not a sustainable way of caregiving. Eventually, both you and your loved one will feel the consequences of your pushing yourself too hard.

So, you need to understand, you don’t have to do everything by yourself.
And, it’s okay to accept help.

If someone is willing to offer you an extra hand- take it. The same way you want to help your loved senior, others want to help you. You wouldn’t want your senior to reject your help, so don’t reject others’ help to you.

Rule #2: Stay Organized

When you’ve finally decided to accept help from others, it can get a little hectic remembering who is doing what for your senior.

And when things are hectic, it makes others less likely to continue to give their support. When someone offers help, they want to actually be able to help or they’ll come away feeling frustrated. They don’t want to show up, only to find your senior being helped by two other friends as well, because of your overbooked.

So, you’ve got to keep a good schedule. Don’t just make lists in your head, because you’re likely to forget those. Instead, have a physical (or digital) calendar, and write everything down. Who, what, where, and when.

Rule #3: Take Care of Yourself

While you’re scheduling your senior’s healthcare appointments, make sure to schedule your own as well. Whether it be mental or physical.

As the popular saying goes, you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.
Because you simply can’t give someone good care if you don’t have the energy to do so.

Take care of yourself.
Keep yourself healthy and strong, even if that means taking some time off for yourself.

Rule #4: Consider Your Options

In addition to getting help from friends and family, you can also get help from professionals.

It doesn’t have to be all the time, but having a professional caregiver come to your home and take care of things every now and then is a huge stress reliever. Even just knowing that you have a professional to rely on, is comforting.

This way, when you need to take time for yourself, or simply can’t take off from work for another doctor appointment, you can pay a professional caregiver to do the work for you.

Uncovering the Real Answers: Can You Get Paid to Caregive?

Uncovering the Real Answers - AmeriBest Home Care

When you search the question “Can I get paid to caregive” or “How can I get paid to caregive,” there are different paths your query might take you.

Now, having different answers is great, but it can also make things a little confusing. Especially if you’re looking at the information for the first time. Because when you’re suddenly presented with all these different pages giving you various sets of information, which do you follow?

Which is the right answer for you?

So, in this article we’re going to break it down for you and explain what all the webpages are actually talking about.

Within the search lies two answers.

When you scroll through your search pages, you’re going to come across answers leading to two paths: getting paid to caregive for your parents or loved ones and getting paid to become a caregiver.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s important to realize these are two separate answers, although they can sometimes overlap.

Let’s get into it.

Close-up of holding hands

Answer one: Getting paid to caregive for loved ones.
If you are already caring for your loved one, and looking for a way to pay the bills, this is the answer for you.

Yes, you can get paid to caregive for you loved ones. But it is not because of the work you are doing, but rather the circumstances you are doing them in. Getting paid to care for you loved ones essentially means acquiring financial support and financial medical aid.

There are all sorts of ways to get this kind of monetary support, it just involves filling out some forms and making a few phone calls. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, home care agencies often help with the technical aspects of applying.

When you sign up with AmeriBest, we’ll help you gather the information you need and get you to make the right phone calls. We help you with the bulk of it, so that you don’t have to worry about if you’re talking to the right people or providing the right information.

Our staff is highly experienced with how the processes work, so they’ll be able to help you find out what you qualify for in no time.

Answer two: Getting paid to become a caregiver.

Now, this answer is a career path.

While the first answer will help you find financial sources while you are providing care for your loved ones, this answer will help you get money though an actual job. While the first answer is more passive, this is answer involves an active approach from you.

Home care agencies are always looking for new caregivers. If caregiving is what you want to do, AmeriBest will help you make it happen. AmeriBest will help you get the training and experience you need. And once you get out on the field, you’ll get competitive pay and all the flexibility you need to be happy and care for yourself as well.

It’s a wonderful opportunity.

It’s Time for A Break: Caregiver Vacation Tips

Caregiver Vacation Tips - AmeriBest Home Care

It’s almost summer, and you know what that means… vacation time!

Caregiving is hard work. So, it’s important to give yourself time off to rejuvenate and unwind. This way, when you get back to work, you’ll be ready to get back at it with some pep in your step.

Now, as a caregiver, you’ll know that things don’t just stop moving the moment you go on vacation. Life goes on, and the people in your care continue to need caring.

Often times, this thought prevents caregivers from taking the well-deserved vacations that they need. But don’t let that happen! Because, there are ways around it.

If you’re planning a vacation, here are some tips to make sure everything is safe and sound at home, while you’re away.

Hire backup

The most important thing to arrange before leaving for vacation, is who will be taking care of your loved one in your stead. Although you’ll only be gone for a short time, it’s important to find someone who will take just as good care of your loved one as you do. This means, getting a caregiver who will actively listen to yours and your loved one’s needs, as well as is kind and experienced.

If you’re having trouble finding a caregiver on your own, consider contact-using a home care agency who will do the search for you. At AmeriBest, we match you with top-notch caregivers, who will work hard and do good by you and your loved one.

Portrait Of Female Nurse Wearing Scrubs In Hospital

Make sure the house is stocked

Before taking off, make sure that everything is ready. And we don’t just mean your suitcase.

You’ll want to be certain that the house is fully stocked with everything your loved one might want and need. Of course, if there’s anything your loved one needs while you’re away, your hired substitute caregiver can take care of it. But, if you know that most things are already taken care of before you leave, you’ll feel a lot better about leaving the nest.

Not to mention, only you know what your loved one loves and his or her favorite things. Which means, that you can leave a few nice surprises in the house that will make your loved one happy and know how much you care.

Organize your contact-us info

It’s always a good idea to make sure your loved one or your hired caregiver can reach you easily. So, take the time before you leave to organize your contact-us info. Obviously, you’ll want to leave your regular cell or the overseas number you’ll be using. But it’s also smart to leave hotel contact-us info as well.

Leave your loved one a list with the names of the hotels you’ll be staying at, as well as the hotel numbers. This will leave your loved one feeling safe and relaxed, because they’ll know that they can easily reach you if the need should arise.

Plus, it might be fun to chat and catch up on all the vacation happenings.

Countering the Stress and Reaping the Benefits

Countering the Stress and Reaping the Benefits - AmeriBest Home Care

Caring for a loved one can be tough.

And finding the right balance between taking care of your own needs and taking care of your loved ones’ need, is the hardest part.

That’s why so many caregivers find themselves running out of steam and out of spirit. They exert so much energy racing around between work, family, and personal activities –trying to make it all work just right –they eventually burn themselves out.

And that takes an emotional toll not just on the caregiver, but also on the loved one. Because our loved ones know when we’re stressed. They know when we’re exhausted, and they know when they’re part of the cause. Which makes them unhappy, too.

It’s an unfortunate cycle.

Luckily- it doesn’t have to be that way!
Caregiving doesn’t have to be a chore; it can be a passion, kindness, and a career.

When you become a professional caregiver with AmeriBest Home Care, we help you strike the balance you need to make you and your loved one happy.

Here are just some of the many benefits of becoming a professional caregiver.

Making Bank

For most caregivers, the biggest emotional toll is stress from finances. How do you take care of your loved one while also making enough money to do so? The anxiety of working all day in order to support yourself and your loved one, and then spending all night actually taking care of your loved one is difficult for anyone to handle.

That’s where professional caregiving comes in. When you sign up with AmeriBest Home Care to become a registered caregiver- you get PAID to CAREGIVE.

Yes, that’s right. You heard us correctly: becoming a professional caregiver allows you to get paid for what you’re already doing!

Fulfilling Career Goals

Becoming a professional caregiver isn’t just a one-time duty- it’s a career. When you sign up with AmeriBest, we won’t just leave you to figure things out on your own. We’ll teach you all you need to know to be the best caregiver you can be. Then, we’ll help you out onto the field, and get you set up to caregive.

When caregiving is your career, you’re not just helping your loved ones, you’re helping yourself too.

Smiling carer with senior in rest home

 Getting Support

When you’re caring for a loved one on your own, one of the most tiresome things is not having the support you need- whether this be emotional, mental, or physical.

But, as a professional caregiver with AmeriBest Home Care, we make sure you always have the support you need. Our friendly staff is always there to give you an extra hand when you have questions. And our mentors are there to guide you through it all.

With AmeriBest, you’re not just working alone- you’re working with a family and a network. You’re working with a full support group that backs you every step of the way.

Everyone needs a little bit of help. Even caregivers.