Many seniors who might not otherwise be able to continue to live at home benefit a great deal from home care. But just deciding that it’s time for a senior to get some help around the home or around town is only the first of many steps. If you are planning to hire a caregiver for your loved one, you’ll need to make a number of important decisions. One important one is whether to choose a senior home care company or hire a caregiver on your own.
Are There Advantages to Hiring Privately?
Private caregivers often charge less than a home care agency. That’s because, relative to agencies, private caregivers have less overhead to worry about; this can translate into lower hourly rates. However, this can also mean that the caregiver has never been vetted or checked by an employer.
With the well-being of your senior at stake, money should not be a more important factor than the professionalism and reliability of the caregiver. Unless you know the caregiver personally, hiring one privately represents a risk. Although there are excellent caregivers who do not work through agencies, it is wise to consider the alternative.
Is It Better to Choose an Agency?
When you obtain a senior aide through an agency, you know the aide has been evaluated. Agencies take applicants who are fully trained, qualified, and meet state requirements for home care aides. Generally speaking, this evaluation includes an interview and a background check.
Background check help to ensure that senior care providers are trustworthy, honest, and reliable. When you know that a caregiver does not have a criminal record, addictions, or a poor work history, you can be confident that your loved one and his property will be safe.
Some agencies, such as Seniors Helping Seniors in-home care service, go a step further: They also assess the personalities of their caregivers in order to provide a good match with their clients.
Vetting a Private Caregiver
Potentially you could opt to hire a private caregiver – and perform the same background checks as a care agency. But this may be more difficult than you think. While many wonderful caregivers work independently, you’re taking unnecessary chances and risks if you do not know the individual personally. You can’t be sure that everything a prospective aide says is true.
You could check your prospect’s background and references, but this requires time, efforts, and resources; the average person lacks the time and knowledge to perform these background checks adequately. With an agency, this entire process will be done for you. When it comes to the care of a senior you live, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
When performed correctly, professional carpet cleanings can greatly enhance the look and feel of your carpet, and remove harmful grit that can shorten its lifespan. If poorly executed, a cleaning can leave behind grit as well as moisture that encourages mildew and sticky residues that attract dirt. With that in mind, you want to ensure that you’re working with a quality carpet cleaner. Asking the right questions will help you find a carpet service you can rely on.
Before you hire your next carpet cleaner, here are five important questions to ask. These questions are often overlooked, but may help keep you safe from substandard services and misunderstandings.
- What carpet cleaning methods do you use?
Once you get in touch with a prospective carpet cleaner, try and find out what methods they use for the task. Some methods may be more appropriate than others. If you have pets or children, for example, cleaning methods that are non-toxic and child-safe will be best for you. Other methods require more moisture – and longer drying times – than others. Only hire the services of a cleaner that is able to employ an appropriate cleaning method for you, and don’t be afraid to say no.
- How long will the process take?
Before agreeing to services, ask about the duration of time it will take for the process to be completed – both in application and in drying. You’ll want to know the length of time the cleaners will be on your premises. This may be especially true if you have to schedule the cleaning around work or family. It’s equally important for you to understand the amount of time it will take before the carpet is completely dry. You’ll find that answers can vary a great deal, and you’ll be glad you asked the question.
- Do you give guarantee for the work?
Before the contractor begins work, read their terms and conditions or ask if they offer any guarantees. It isn’t unusual for a carpet cleaner to guarantee your satisfaction; if your prospective cleaning company does not offer that kind of assurance, they may not be ideal for the job. For example, Chem-Dry will gladly come back to perform additional service if you’re not satisfied (provided, of course, that your expectations are reasonable).
- How much do you charge?
Some carpet cleaners may advertise low prices but add hidden charges to the final bill. Thankfully, many carpet cleaners offer free estimates and can provide you with a price prior to beginning work. If your prospective cleaner does not offer clear pricing or hems and haws about a final price, you might want to keep looking.
- Are you legally approved to operate?
Not every state requires a license to perform carpet cleaning, but some do. Not every carpet cleaner is certified by an organization like the IICRC, but many are. And you should always work with a cleaner who is properly insured. Getting your carpet cleaned by someone without the necessary license or coverage can be a risky affair – especially if you get into a misunderstanding. Ask for proof of insurance, licensing and certification before hiring the contractor.
A window serves many purposes in your home that you might not have thought about before. So it isn’t enough to choose a window based on its looks; it’s also important to pinpoint what you want your windows to do. The following is a simple guide that will help you understand the different kinds of windows as well as what they can do for you. Once you know that, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the right windows for you and your home.
The bay window is usually polygon- or square-shaped. You can expect one flat-faced pane with angled sides, though this can be changed depending on your personal preference.
Bay Windows are one of the most decorative types of windows out there, which usually helps increase the value of your home. But they do more than look good: They also expand your view as well as your interior space. That’s because bay windows are also designed to protrude out from your home.
Many homeowners who choose this kind of window do so because they feel a regular window won’t provide a large-enough view. Others choose this window to create a relaxing reading nook or to bring in more natural light.
If you’ve watched a film that featured an old cottage, you’ve probably seen a casement window. (You might even remember a person in a movie or cartoon placing a pie or cake on a casement window sill to let it cool.)
Although casement windows are traditional, they often find a place in modern homes. That’s because of their basic design – hinged at the sides and able to open inwardly and sometimes outwardly, too. As a result, casement windows are a great option for those seeking more natural ventilation.
Double Hung Windows
These windows have two sashes in one frame. Usually one of sashes can slide up to provide ventilation for the home. The slash must be pushed down to close the window.
Many of today’s double hung windows feature hinges that allow both sashes to be tilted in or out; still others feature removable sashes. The result: Double hung windows can be a great option if they are in a spot that doesn’t offer easy cleaning access.
These windows are usually made up of two sashes; one of the sashes is able to slide over the other when you want to open or close your window. Unlike double hung windows, the glide is always made to move horizontally instead of vertically; like double hung, gliding windows are a good choice when nearby space is at a premium.
While gliding windows are usually made to fit large frames, this is up to you. Also note that some gliding windows work both ways, meaning both sashes can glide past each other, rather than just one. This quality makes gliding windows even more versatile.
These are perhaps one of the most eye-catching types of windows. One reason is their size – they can be quite large. While these windows can have latches, they won’t have sashes; in fact, these windows are usually stationary.
The purpose of the picture window is to provide a clean, unobstructed view. Often picture windows extend from the bottom of your floor up to the ceiling, giving you the biggest and best view possible.
Many homeowners who choose picture windows go a step further: installing a whole row of windows to get the most out of the look. While most opt to choose just one side of the wall for these windows, you can surround you entire living room with these windows as well.
Like picture windows, these windows are usually stationary and decorative. Unlike picture windows, transom windows often pair with other elements of your home to create interest.
Many homeowners opt to place these windows over their front door to accent their front entrance. Some place them on top of other windows (such as a casement window, for example). Because of their purely decorative nature, some call these vanity windows. But no matter what you call them, transom windows can spice up any home that could use a little more flair.
Could you use more space? Or more fresh air? Or maybe just a little extra flair? Tell your local window professional. Chances are, they can connect you to a replacement window that can help you improve your home in more ways than you think!
When it comes to hiring a provider for senior care, San Antonio has plenty of options. The primary challenge is identifying a care provider you can trust. When you finally decide to hire one, it’s critical that you have a thorough vetting process. You want to make the choice only after evaluating a combination of the caregiver’s experience, interest, personality, and the information shared during the interview. And that’s why it’s critical to ask a few important questions:
What experience or training do you have?
Senior care agency employees often undergo specific training such as basic first aid or dealing with dementia; many self-employed caregivers seek out such courses as well. If a prospective caregiver has never undergone any specialized training, ask how he/she would handle certain situations or emergencies when caring for your loved one. You’ll want to assess the capabilities and general knowledge of anyone you’re considering. Although untrained caregivers can do a great job, trained caregivers provide better solutions for many seniors.
Can you provide specialized care for my loved one’s condition?
Trained caregivers are a better solution if your loved one has a particular underlying medical condition such as diabetes, hypertension, or dementia. In these cases, it’s critical to establish whether the caregiver you’re considering is experienced in providing specialized care. Make sure the potential caregiver is well informed and totally aware of the treatment needs of your loved one, and confirm that he/she can handle any special needs.
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
A reputable caregiver or agency will be protected with a workman’s compensation policy. You’ll want to be protected against various threats such as fraud, misdeeds, or theft. If the caregiver is not insured, you could be liable for medical care if he/she gets injured on your property. To protect yourself and have peace of mind, ask for proof or licensing, bonding, and workers compensation insurance.
How much do you charge?
Before making any final decisions, confirm that you have a clear idea of the pricing. Compare different rates from several providers and choose a company that is most likely to offer quality services within your budget. How you pay is also crucial, because you could be taking on more than you can handle even without knowing. For example, you need to seek clarifications on who is responsible for say unemployment insurance and payroll taxes.
Are you available 24/7?
Unfortunately, one can never predict an emergency. Whether you need a caregiver on the weekends, evenings, or every other day, you want to hire someone who is available when you need them. Find out if they have a fallback plan in case they need time off or get sick. Talk about replacements and any other relevant details.
Getting The Best For Your Senior
The description of your loved one’s needs, and the questions you’ll ask the caregiver, will provide a clear indication of the kind of work that you expect. The answers you receive will help you evaluate if they’re dependable and trustworthy. Ultimately, you want the best care for your loved one, and asking the right questions can help you to find the right person for the job.
Where To Look For Senior Assistance
Generally speaking, there are risks involved in answering advertisement or posting online requests for a senior care provider. When it comes to your senior’s health, safety, and well-being, you want to minimize risk. If you approach agencies for a care provider, you’ll have better odds that the person you select to care for your senior will be the right person for the job.
Getting the right senior care can make a huge difference to your loved one, so take the time to get what you need to make an informed decision.
There’s nothing like a daily dose of fresh air and exercise to keep active kids happy and healthy. By encouraging your kids to exercise daily, you can help them establish good physical fitness habits that can enhance their future. Exercise and active playtime should be a regular part of a child’s schedule.
There are many ways kids can incorporate exercise into their daily schedule. At school, kids can join a sports team, participate in gym classes or have active playtime during recess. Outside of school, kids can romp in a local playground, go f
or a bike ride, or play outside with friends. Parents can even enroll their children in a local kid’s gym like Romp n’ Roll to get the exercise they need.
When it comes to play and exercise, the opportunities are endless. By doing their part to instill good fitness habits into their children, parents set them up for a happier, healthier future.
Benefits of Regular Exercise
Active children will enjoy greater physical, mental, and emotional benefits than their “couch potato” counterparts. Regular exercise can:
- Strengthen a child’s bones and muscles
- Enhance coordination and flexibility
- Keep kids lean and fit
- Reduce the risk of respiratory or heart-related diseases
- Help kids sleep better at night
- Improve a child’s disposition so that he or she can enjoy a happier childhood
Good health can also enhance a child’s mental faculties to include concentration, memory and focus. This can be a plus in helping kids face social or academic challenges in school. Most children thrive on physical activity and play, especially when in the company of their peers. Through sports activities and playing with others, kids learn social skills that can help them make friends and establish fruitful relationships in the future.
Dangers of Living a Sedentary Lifestyle
Too many children today live a sedentary lifestyle. Rather than taking time to explore the great outdoors, they prefer to watch TV or play video games within the confines of their bedroom. The result is a generation of overweight, unfit kids who suffer from an array of health problems. Obesity in childhood can easily lead to adult obesity, further complicating the problem.
Parents play a key role in helping their children develop healthy exercise habits. By limiting the kids’ TV watching, gaming and computer use times, and encouraging physical activity in their kids’ lives, parents can break the cycle of childhood obesity. Parents can also set the example by staying active and fit themselves and promoting physical fitness activities as a family.
Doctors recommend children get at least an hour of physical activity each day. Kids who play sports regularly or participate in physical activities in a kid’s gym benefit from a well-rounded exercise program. Even daily visits to a local playground can help kids develop healthier bodies. The more exercise a child gets, the less chances of gaining excess weight that can lead to obesity. A health diet and regular exercise will help children enjoy a healthier and happier childhood.
Fundamentals of Health and Fitness
Strength, endurance, and flexibility are fundamentals of good health and fitness. By participating in activities that promote running, jumping, stretching, hand-eye coordination, and other physical activity, children can develop strength, endurance, and flexibility. This is where joining a kid’s gym can be of great benefit to a child’s health and fitness. Many children’s gyms offer sports programs and classes such as swimming, boxing, gymnastics, karate and more that can help children stay healthy and active.
Regular sports play not only strengthens a child’s body, but also helps to build endurance and improve coordination. Dance, karate, and gymnastics classes often include stretching exercises that help children become more flexible and supple. Older children and teens who incorporate pushups, pullups, sit-ups and crunches into their exercise regimen develop stronger muscles as they tone their bodies.
By joining a kid’s gym that promotes a wide range of physical activities and programs, children can pick and choose the activities they enjoy most to promote better health and fitness. At the same time, they socialize with others their age, develop friends, and learn to work together as part of a team. A healthy body combined with a healthy social life can make for a happier childhood.
Parents’ Role in Raising Healthy and Fit Children
Raising healthy and fit children can be a challenge. The following tips can help parents encourage their kids to live a healthier lifestyle.
- Promote healthy eating and exercise habits at school and home
- Make time for exercise in their child’s schedule
- Encourage kids to explore new physical activities so they don’t get bored
- Invest in sports equipment such as soccer balls, roller blades, or bicycle to help kids stay active
- Organize physical activities as a family
- Make physical fitness fun, exciting and challenging
The goal of exercise is to help children look, feel, and experience better health and fitness. Healthy kids are more likely to have a positive outlook on their future!
Discussing aging issues becomes increasingly important because people are living longer due to medical advances. However, seniors often fail to seek treatments, live with debilitating physical conditions, become depressed when they can no longer drive, experience falls, and suffer from memory loss, reduced hearing, and vision problems. Retirement years are meant to be a time for people to enjoy their lives, develop personally and spiritually, and pursue hobbies. Planning proactively for the aging process can help to maintain a high standard of life, ensure seniors stay active and involved, and make it possible for people to remain in their homes with in-home care. The best practices for initiating these tough discussions about aging issues with a senior loved one include:
- Researching the options for health treatment, financial planning, legal estate issues and senior care service
- Using thoughtful, empathetic language and communication that take into account whether your loved one is sensitive about their age or resistant to change
- Observing aging relatives closely for signs of financial problems, unsafe driving, excessive forgetfulness, changes in behavior, lax grooming and hygiene, and other signs that aging is reducing quality of life or creating safety risks
- Testing the waters to get a sense of how open the person is to discussion
- Deciding if it’s better to recruit a neutral third party to broach the issues – such as a doctor, lawyer, family physician or friend of the aging relative to discuss these matters or reinforce your efforts
Tips for Senior Care Discussions
Timing is critical, so you should never begin these aging discussions when time is limited, or you or your loved one is preoccupied, angry, defensive, stressed, or pressed for time. It’s best to put your personal issues, mobile devices, and other obligations aside during the discussion. You should try to be as direct as possible without coming across as angry, dismissive or condescending. Listen actively to what the person says, and if he or she makes a strong case against one or more points, then consider putting off part of the discussion until later. However, you should try to continue discussing the issues that are critical, such as health maintenance and getting the person’s finances and last wishes in order. Backing off on some issues could prevent alienating your parents or relatives. You shouldn’t just discuss the negative aspects of aging, but should try to foster confidence and appreciation for living with fewer responsibilities and more time for personal activities.
Useful tips for productive discussions about senior care include:
- Explaining how great it is that the loved one now has the time to explore hobbies, personal growth and development, artistic pursuits, and other endeavors that they never had time for in the past
- Offering to assist the person in finding creative outlets
- Explaining how it’s possible for a senior with reduced physical abilities to live independently in his or her own home with in-home care
- Offering examples of senior care services and neighbors who live happily and productively with in-home caregivers
- Avoiding the tendency to act like a parent or make suggestions that sound like orders
- Listening actively and honoring the person’s requests when possible
- Considering safety first such as dangerous home conditions, physical disabilities, hearing loss and reduced physical capabilities
There are many critical issues to cover, so set aside a time and place when it’s convenient to go over multiple aging issues that include the following topics:
Home and Financial Issues
Most parents and relatives don’t like discussing their finances with children or younger people, but you can offer financial aid or frame the discussion in terms of simplifying life by moving to a smaller place, getting outside help for home repairs, or hiring an in-home care companion from Seniors Helping Seniors in Pittsboro, NC to help with daily living, which can prevent the higher costs of living in a retirement home. Other financial topics include having enough money to pay the bills, writing a will, planning retirement financial strategy, cutting expenses, and getting aid for prescription medication costs. Most seniors are used to caring for their children, giving elaborate gifts and maintaining their lifestyles, but finances might prevent maintaining these habits.
When to Stop Driving
People are very resistant to giving up their driving privileges, so it’s important to explain both the risks of driving when reflexes and vision are impaired, and the ways to prolong driving ability. Getting eyes and hearing checked annually, discussing possible side effects of medication on driving, getting plenty of rest, keeping the care tuned and inspected, modifying the car and rectifying other physical limitations can extend an elderly person’s ability to drive. However, there are inevitable signs that driving skills have deteriorated to the point where driving is no longer possible. These symptoms include:
- Greater difficulty driving at night
- Frequent near-misses
- Scrapes on the car, fences, garage doors, or mailboxes
- Responding too slowly to unexpected situations
- Increased road rage
- Receiving multiple moving violations
- Getting lost while driving
It’s important to try to find out about these symptoms from your loved one and to encourage him or her to self-diagnose driving problems as the socially, morally, and legally responsible thing to do.
Health issues include physical health, emotional well-being and mental acuity, but no single issue is unsolvable with compassionate care and optimistic, proactive planning. It’s important for seniors to get regular health screenings, take their medicines as directed and visit the doctor when something unusual occurs. The major issues that affect seniors include cancer, arthritis, spinal trouble, hearing loss, vision problems, slower reflexes, cardiac disease, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, chronic conditions like poor oral health and adult-onset diabetes.
Mental and emotional problems include conditions such as increased forgetfulness or physical impairments and don’t seek treatment even when their symptoms are caused by other physical disorders than dementia. Other health-related problems of aging include incontinence, loss of bladder control, excessive urination and other disorders that need to be managed.
End-of-life issues include making living wills, deciding what kind of care to authorize during a terminal illness, preparing legal papers for beneficiaries, trusts and other asset transfers, determining a senior’s preference for burial or cremation and other highly charged subjects. These concerns affect both living and dying, and respecting the senior’s wishes relieves relatives of the need to make these hard choices.
Accepting how important it is to plan for senior care and end-of-life legal, health and financial issues might take several tries and involve multiple people who care about the senior’s well-being, lifestyle and quality of life. One of the best solutions to the daily challenges that aging generates involves finding a compassionate and respected senior care service to provide a companion who can see to a senior’s daily needs, promote and active lifestyle, and provide essential companionship to keep the person invested in daily life. Even simple problems can become dangerous risks when seniors live alone, but a senior care companion can reduce most of these risks and allow your loved one to live independently.
Even those who have been cleaning their own homes for years make mistakes that waste manpower and cleaning cleaning supplies. Here’s an overview of the ten most common house cleaning mistakes that people make, as well as what you can do to make sure that these jobs are done properly.
Cleaning the Windows at the Wrong Time
If you clean windows in the morning, the hot sun will likely dry up any window cleaner you use faster than you can wipe the windows dry. This, however, can cause the cleaner to leave streaks on the windows. For better results, clean your windows in the late afternoon or in the evening.
Failing to Protect Your Hands
Cleaning supplies are abrasive. Even vinegar and lime – both natural cleansers – are acidic and can dry out your skin faster than you can imagine. No matter what you are cleaning, be sure to use a pair of comfortable gloves to protect your hands from damage.
Spraying Surfaces Instead of Rags
Most people waste a lot of disinfectant by spraying the surface to be cleaned instead of spraying the rag used to clean. What’s more, spraying the surfaces results in residue being left on the surfaces in question. The residue not only looks unappealing, but can actually be harmful for the surface if it is a heavy-duty cleanser.
Sorting light-colored clothes from dark-colored clothes makes sense if you just bought new clothes and there is a risk of colors running. However, other types of clothes-sorting are a plain waste of time. You do not need to make sure you’ve got both socks in a pair in the same load – nor do you need to keep your kids’ laundry separate from your own. Throw everything in the washing machine, then throw it in the dryer, and then get your kids to help you sort their clothes out and put them away.
Scrubbing the Carpet
Scrubbing the carpet will likely result in carpet fibers bunching up, leaving the carpet looking older than it really is. To avoid this problem, use paper towels to soak up as much spilled liquid as possible and then apply stain remover to the rest. If this tactic fails to work, call a professional carpet cleaning company.
Using the Wrong Cleansers
Read the instructions before using any type of disinfectant. In most instances, cleansers are not meant to be used on all types of surfaces and using the wrong cleansers can damage the furniture’s finish. It should also be noted that cleansers should not be mistaken for disinfectants. Disinfectants remove germs while cleansers just remove dirt and grime.
Not Allowing Wet Cleaning Supplies to Dry
Never put wet cleaning supplies away in a manner that does not allow them to dry. This applies to wet toilet brushes, cleaning sponges, rags and mops. Moisture breeds mold, and mold is not only smelly and ugly but can also cause structural damage to your home.
Not Encouraging Kids to Help Out
If you have kids, get them to help you out. Even preschoolers can help by cleaning windows and dusting furniture. Older kids can not only clean their rooms, but also capably handle other house cleaning jobs such as vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, cleaning the bathroom, putting clothes in the washer or dryer and washing dishes.
Putting Off Certain Cleaning Jobs for Too Long
Certain cleaning jobs should never be procrastinated. If you see mold growing anywhere in your home, clean it immediately before it causes any extensive damage. Clean counters, dishes, and the stove before food has a chance to get caked on the surfaces and become too difficult to scrub off. Stained clothes, carpets, curtains and other cloth items should either be immediately treated with a stain remover or washed.
Never cram all the cleaning you need to do into a single day. This point also applies to those who hire a local maid service in Midlothian, VA to handle
cleaning jobs. Saving all or even most of your cleaning jobs for a single day will not only result in stress, but also cause you to make mistakes such as using the wrong cleaning supplies, using too much of a particular cleaning supply, using the wrong cleaning tools, etc.
Don’t berate yourself if you have made one or more of the above mistakes. It takes time to learn how to clean your home properly. Simply work toward improving your skills on a daily basis and you will soon find that keeping your clothes and home clean is not nearly as challenging as it may initially seem.