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How to travel while caring for an elderly family member

It’s a tough question to ask, and for many of us, we feel selfish for wanting to take a trip or go on vacation while we’re caring for an elderly family member.

You need to allow yourself a break every once in a while and a trip is one of the best ways to reset yourself and put yourself in a new mindset. You come home refreshed, excited, full of new ideas.

But then you remember that your grandmother will have nobody to watch over her. How can you leave and let her stay at home by herself?

Luckily, there are plenty of options to help give you peace of mind, and give your loved one the best care possible.

In-Home Care Service
This type of service involves 24 hour care, where a nurse, home health aid, or other healthcare professional will live in the home with your loved one. This is generally best for those family members that require constant care and attention. Finding an in-home care service in your area is simple, finding one you trust can be more difficult. We recommend asking around first. A testimonial from someone you know can put you at ease. Also take a look at online reviews to see what people are saying about that company. Then call and make an appointment to meet and talk to whoever will be taking care of your loved one. If you don’t feel comfortable, say no. It’s up to you to decide the home care service you want to use.

Daily Visits
The homecare service you find will also likely provide daily visits from a healthcare professional. They can perform routine tasks like cleaning, laundry, cooking, running errands. You can have a specialist like an RN stop by if your loved one requires certain medical treatments daily.

Stay in touch
Once you decide on the homecare service you’d like to use, and found a provider who you feel comfortable leaving to care for your loved one, figure out how you’ll stay in touch. Maybe you’d like a phone call or email each day from the provider. You could set up a Skype account and use an iPad or laptop in your loved one’s home, and have the provider set everything up so you can video chat at different times during your trip.

Emergency Plan
In the unfortunate case of an emergency, know what you’d like your provider to do. Leave the number of your loved one’s doctor with the provider. Also leave contact information for another relative or someone you trust nearby in case you cannot be reached or are out of the country.

With the availability of trustworthy, professional home care services you are bound to find someone capable of caring for your loved one while you’re away. If you’re in the Southwest Florida area and ever need some extra assistance caring for someone, or are planning a trip and would like some peace of mind, call Just Like Family Home Care at 239-431-6661.


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Become a Caregiver for Just Like Family

Caregiver and male patientJust Like Family Home Care is a Nurse Registry that takes applications at all times. As an independent contractor registered with our company, we will refer clients to you that meet your availability and skill level.

Please download the caregiver application and fax to (239) 431-6690 or mail to our office. If you have any questions, you may direct them to info@justlikefamilyhomecare.com or call our office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at (239) 431-6661. The application must be complete including copies that you need to include according to your skill level. Please also download a copy of the rules and regulations that apply to your skill level. We also have physical forms available to download if you need one.

Click HERE to download the application


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Alzheimer’s Disease: Do you know all the facts?

Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and as many as 16 million will have the disease in 2050. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated to total $214 billion in 2014, increasing to $1.2 trillion (in today’s dollars) by mid-century. Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

Have you ever wondered about Alzheimer’s Disease? Does it run in your family? Do you know all the facts about this disease?

Here are some quick facts according alz.org:

  • More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease
  • Every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States
  • There are approximately 500,000 people dying each year because they have Alzheimer’s
  • 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia
  • In 2013, 15.5 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care valued at more than $220 billion

Alzheimer’s statistics for Florida 

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia which is a progressive brain disease. If you are over 65 years of age you should know all the facts of Alzheimer’s. This disease slowly attacks nerve cells in all parts of the cortex of the brain. There are three brain abnormalities that are indicators of the Alzheimer’s disease process. The first indicator is plaques which is a protein that accumulates and forms sticky clumps between nerve cells. This will impact your memory and learning process. The second indicator is tangles which are damaged remains of the support structure that allows the flow of nutrients through the neurons. The last indicator is the loss of nerve cell connections. This process is the combination effect of the tangles and plaques that causes nerves to die off which in turn causes your brain tissue to shrink.

Memory Loss Myths & Facts

Now that you have a little insight on what Alzheimer’s disease is, there are some early symptoms that can be warnings signs to pay attention to: forgetfulness, loss of concentration, language problems, confusion about time and place, impaired judgment, loss of insight, impaired movement and coordination, mood and behavior changes, and apathy and depression. If you or a loved one feels like you have one or more of these symptoms please contact your doctor.

Know the 10 Early Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Those that are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s have a tough choice to make. They can either choose to receive care at home from a caregiver or receive care at a nursing home. This decision can effect many of your loved ones and you should know the facts about each one.

Receiving care from a home caregiver is the first choice for most patients with Alzheimer’s disease. About 80% of patients receive care at home by family members. There are also options for patients to receive care from a home health aide. Home care can cause a tremendous amount of stress and impact on the quality of life on family members. It is very important to make sure that family members receive the right support services.

Receiving care from a nursing home is normally the second choice for most patients with Alzheimer’s. Many of the patients who end up in a nursing home are at the point where the home caregiver is no longer able to care of them. It is very important to find the right nursing home that will offer the correct services for Alzheimer’s.

When faced with Alzheimer’s remember that you are never alone and that there are ways to help you cope with the disease.

For more information and resources, visit http://www.alz.org 


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JLF celebrates 107-year-old client Mary Curtean on Senior Day

photo-9August 21 is Senior Citizens Day. While we hope that you think of our seniors every day of the year, Senior Citizens Day is a reminder to spend time with a senior, make plans to volunteer, share stories and memories, help with chores or errands or just do something fun with a senior! 

At Just Like Family Home Care, we took the day to honor a special client who brings our company and our caregivers so much joy! Mary Curtean is 107-years-old. 

Mary’s family reached out to Just Like Family Home Care last year after she fell in the middle of the night. “She is still very active at 107 years old, so we’ve been hesitant to put her in a quote on quote institution. We found Just Like Family Home Care and it was perfect for my mother in law and perfect for our family. This was the first place we saw and it clicked. It’s not just a name, you walk in and you feel just like family,” says Nina Curtean, 74, Mary’s daughter in law.

For the past year and a half, the Curteans have had a caregiver stay with Mary every night from 7:30 p.m. – 7:30 a.m. “It’s not an easy decision, but it was 100 percent necessary and the right move. My mother-in-law is very independent and she insisted she didn’t need someone to ‘watch her sleep’, but the reality is, someone needs to be there just in case. Just Like Family Home Care has given us such piece of mind,” says Nina Curtean. “My mother-in-law’s caregiver Marta is unbelievable. She gives her heart and sole as a caregiver. Loyalty is a very rare quality, but it’s very important and Marta has that quality. I couldn’t be happier with her and Just Like Family.”

The Curteans are able to work directly with Just Like Family Home Care to personalize all of Mary’s home care needs. “Just Like Family is special. They’re detailed in everything they do. You ask them for anything and they will do it,” say Nina Curtean. “My mother in law is a very simple woman. She loves to live because life was great for her. She just enjoys it, but aging has played a role and it changes a person and a family. We would not be able to do what we do today without Just Like Family.” 

 

 


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Kelly Dillaha joins Just Like Family Home Care

Kelly JLFJust Like Family Home Care, a family-owned and operated home care company servicing seven Southwest Florida counties, has announced that Kelly Dillaha joined the firm as a the Community Relations Representative for Lee County.

Dillaha previously spent three and a half years at Scotlynn USA Division Inc. in Fort Myers working as an Office Manager, Accountant and HR Manager. Previously she spent time as a Child Protective Investigator for the Florida Department of Children and Families. Dillaha graduated from Mariner High School in Cape Coral before receiving her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Florida Gulf Coast University.

Just Like Family Home Care owner Elisabeth Nassberg says, “Kelly portrays every quality we desire in our employees at Just Like Family Home Care. The combination of her work history and outgoing personality will make her a great fit at Just Like Family Home Care. I am confident that she will represent our company well in the Lee County area.” Nassberg and Dillaha met last year on the Love That Dress! 2013 in Collier County, and both are passionate about supporting local charities in Collier and Lee Counties.

Just Like Family Home Care is a personalized home care company dedicated to caring for its customer’s loved ones with an easy, professional and loving dedication to their clients. “I am beyond thrilled to join the Just Like Family team. I am excited that this new opportunity allows me to be out in the community that I grew up in,” says Dillaha. “Plus, JLF is one big family and it already feels like I am a part of it.”

In her free time, Dillaha enjoys dance, Zumba, going to the gym and spending time with her husband. Dillaha is currently the Silent Auction Chair for the 2014 Love That Dress! in Collier County.

 


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Helping Seniors Prepare for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is already upon us, as you saw with Hurricane Arthur hitting the Atlantic coast earlier this month. Being in Southwest Florida, it is essential that we make sure to plan ahead and have supplies ready just in case another storm comes our way. What would you do without electricity, water or a way to communicate? While hurricanes affect each and every one of us, senior citizens in particular can be more vulnerable and may need extra help in planning. Many Seniors are in good health, but aren’t quite as agile as they once were. Some have hearing or vision problems, others use a cane or wheelchair. Whatever the limitation, we at Just Like Family Home Care want to make sure our all of our clients are prepared. Whether it’s ensuring they have a full supply of their medications or making sure their supply bag is not too heavy, it’s important to get all the essentials squared away ahead of time.

THE KIT

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What are some of the first things you think of when putting together a supply kit? Of course food, water, and medicine. But, how much do all of these items weigh? It is best to put these supplies and other necessities in a bag with wheels for added convenience. Ensure the bag has copies of personal documents, contact info cards, and even a cell phone with an extra battery or charger in case.  This bag can be used as a “go” bag in case you or your family member must evacuate.
Water: a rule of thumb for water is one gallon per person, per day, with a two week supply for home and a three day supply for evacuation.

Food: The same rule of thumb for water goes for food, but make sure your food doesn’t require cooking.

Prescription Medication: You should have, at least, a two week supply of all prescription medications along with a list that includes dosage and any allergies. If you or your loved one use any special medical aids like oxygen, catheters, or electric wheelchairs, you need to be sure to have extra supplies for each.

Tools, Flashlights & Cash: You never know when the power will go out so it’s always a good idea to have a multi-purpose tool, flashlight with extra batteries, and manual can opener readily available. We recommend that Seniors have a whistle that can be used to call for help in case of an emergency.

Cash: Consider having cash stashed away because the loss of power will disable ATMs.

Important Papers: put all important papers in a waterproof container. These documents include, but are not limited to your driver’s license, special medical information, medical insurance and Medicare cards, insurance policies, family and physician contact numbers and a list of the style and serial numbers of any medical devices, i.e. pacemaker.

MAKE A PLAN

Be sure to discuss evacuations plans with your family ahead of time. In case you cannot return home, plan an evacuation route and a meeting place. This is especially crucial if you or your loved one uses a wheelchair or is bed ridden. Make sure you assign an out-of-town contact person, because after a natural disaster, it is often easier to make a long-distance phone call, than a local call.

Seniors and those who are disabled will typically need special assistance in order to evacuate. Many cities offer evacuation shelters and it is a good idea to determine your families criteria for when to evacuate ahead of time, so you’re not making this important decision in the middle of the hurricane. You will want to have this conversation as soon as possible, to ensure proper transportation and accommodations. This may mean going to a shelter, hotel, or relative’s home out of town.

Just Like Family Home Care Checklist:

1. _____ Important medical, family contact and insurance information, safe and secure

2. _____ Water ( Two week supply at home, three day supply if evacuating |1 gallon per person, per day)

3. _____ Food (2-week supply of nonperishable food at home, 3-day supply if evacuating)

4. _____ Non-electric can-opener

5. _____ Battery powered radio

6. _____ Flashlights

7. _____ Extra batteries

8. _____ Two-week supply of prescription medication & list that includes dosages and allergies

9. _____ Mosquito repellant

10. _____ First Aid Kit

11. _____ Water purification kit (tablets, plain chlorine and iodine)

12. _____ Pre-moistened towelettes

13. _____ Antibacterial wipes and/or hand sanitizer

14. _____ Walker, wheelchair, and other medical equipment (talk to medical equipment company prior to determine needs for battery or electric powered devices, register with the power company if electricity required for Oxygen or special needs)

If you evacuate, also take:

15. _____ Bedding

16. _____ Extra clothing and shoes

17. _____ Eyeglasses

18. _____ Folding chair or cot

19. _____ Extra hearing aid batteries

20. _____ Walker, wheelchair, and other medical equipment

21. _____ Important papers (in a waterproof container)

a. _____Driver’s license

b. _____ Special medical information

c. _____ Medical insurance and Medicare cards

d. _____ Insurance policies

e. _____ Family and physician contact numbers

f. _____ List of style and serial numbers of medical devices, i.e. pacemaker

Precious commodities before and after a storm:

22. _____ Cash, Ice, Charcoal, Wooden Matches, Grill


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Keeping Seniors Safe in the Summer Sun

BA65396It’s summertime in Naples, Florida and we all know the scenic views come with the price of overwhelming rays from the powerful sun. At Just Like Family Home Care we want to ensure safety in the warm weather! The heat makes summer a dangerous season for everyone, but seniors are at a higher risk of suffering complications from the heat.

Most people don’t realize it, but according to the Huffington Post, extreme summer heat causes thousands of heat-related illnesses in the U.S. each year, and kills more people than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined. Seniors are among the most vulnerable.

Many seniors take medications that could dehydrate them or make them more sensitive to the sun. Bodies of older adults also contain far less water than a younger person’s, and older brains don’t recognize thirst as easily, making them more likely to get dehydrated. For seniors who are not as mobile or depend on others to come by to care for them, they may not be able to move themselves to a cooler spot or help themselves if they start feeling heat-sick when they’re by themselves.

There are two main types of heat conditions: heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Both are categorized by dizziness, rapid or weak pulse, bright red skin, clamminess, and spots on the eyes. Both these conditions can cause the body temperature to get upwards toward 103 degrees.

In addition, many seniors have certain health problems that can increase their risk of hyperthermia (when the body overheats). These include:

• Underlying diseases like congestive heart failure, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.
• Trouble walking or moving around.
• Being overweight.
• Having dementia or other problems with thinking skills.

Suggestions to keep seniors cooler:

  • Wear light colored or loose clothing
  • Use sunscreen, even if going outside for just a short period of time
  • Wear a hat that is wide-brimmed to protect the face (but isn’t so tight as to prevent ventilation)
  • Stay hydrated with water or other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated drinks
  • Keep a spray bottle with cool water nearby to lightly spritz the face and body
  • A shady spot outdoors may be cooler than inside, so sitting on a covered porch with a portable or ceiling fan may be a good option
  • If you are inside with no AC, stay on the lower floor of your residence (which is typically cooler)
  • Mobile seniors should try to spend a few hours each day in a place with A/C: either a mall, library, a movie, or restaurant

At Just Like Family Home Care, we wish you a safe and COOL summer!