Month: March 2019

Caregiver trying to stay positive while at work

How to Stay Positive While Caregiving!

Do you live each day having a positive outlook?  Or at least try to stay positive throughout the day?  If you do, there is good news.  A study involving 106 participants and conducted by Mayo Clinic, showed that individuals who are able to self-talk themselves out of being stressed will live a longer and healthier life.  Other benefits include lower blood-pressure, improved sleep patterns, and lower rates of depression.  Here are a few tips to help you stay positive while caring for your loved one.

8 ways to stay positive as a caregiver

 1.  Don’t hold your emotions inside of you

This may seem like the best option at the time.  Trust me, it isn’t.  Keeping your feelings to yourself will only end up hurting you in the future.  Don’t be afraid to talk about these frustrations or concerns with others.  While everyone may not completely understand what you are going through, they will be able to see how much it affects you and be a compassionate listener.  Be sure to try your best to not show these emotions in front of the person being cared for.  They can already feel like a burden at times.

2.  Take time to be grateful

Even when you may become overwhelmed, you need to take time to remember the things in life you are grateful for.  Talk about the positive conversations you two share and the bonding that has created such a strong relationship.  Recognizing the things you are grateful for, especially pertaining to caregiving, will help provide you with a positive mindset, even during the hard times.

3.  Learn how to manage stress

Managing your stress level is crucial when it comes to maintaining positivity.  Stress occurs when you believe the demands placed on you exceed your ability to cope.  However, this does happen to everyone.  So don’t feel like you are alone or singled out.  For ways to manage stress click here.

 4.  Find time to relax and unwind

Caregiving for a family member can be a 24/7 job.  So, finding time may not be the easiest thing to do.  By the end of the day your are tired and ready for bed yourself.  Try to schedule time once a week to do something for yourself.  Wether that is going to get your nails done, taking a walk in the park, or visiting your friends.  See if a family member is willing to help out, even if it is just for a few hours.  I’m sure they would love to assist you.  If you cannot find help, we can provide our services such as companion care or personal care.

 5.  find joy in exercising

Exercising releases endorphins in the brain and has been proven to help reduce stress and increase energy.  Exercising will also encourage good eating habits.  Many of our caregivers feel maintaining a healthy diet is a key factor to keeping their mind sharp.  If you feel like you cannot find 30 minutes each day, break your exercises up into 10 minute blocks.

6.  Keep things simple

Sometimes doing only what needs to be done is okay.  That means as long as the dishes are done, laundry is clean, and meals are made then you have accomplished the day.  Try not to set too many daily goals.  This may make you feel rushed and frustrated if everything on your list isn’t completed.

7.  Start writing in a journal

Keeping track of your thoughts and feelings will help relieve some of the pressure and stress you may be feeling.  Journaling has also been proven to help the brain process issues that are currently active.  Meaning, if something is bothering you, writing it down can help you resolve the issue.

8.  Remember, you’re doing great!

Always remind yourself that you are doing a great job.  If something doesn’t work out as planned it is okay.  You did the best you could at that particular moment.

For more tips on caregiving please visit our learning center here.

Any questions or concerns please contact us at

You Can Get Paid Being a Caregiver to Your Family!

Becoming a paid family caregiver in CT

Did you know you can be compensated for being the primary caregiver to a family member?  Are you, or someone you know, already taking care of a loved one who is over the age of 65?  Or, are you and your family seeking options for a parent who is currently aging?  Do you currently live in the Hartford, New Haven or Bridgeport area?  Well, Connecticut offers a program that will pay YOU to take care of an aging loved one.

That’s right.  You!

You don’t need to have any medical background or experience in this industry.  You aren’t required to get licensed or go to school before becoming a paid family caregiver.  So long as the individual you are caring for qualifies under title 19, you are all set.  For those qualifications click here.

This program began with the main intent to help seniors age in place.  A study done by AARP in 2017 shows that 87% of seniors above the age of 65 want to stay in their own home.  This was never possible before.  As nursing homes have began to fill since 2013 this idea of aging in place has become a reality.

Over the last two months our company has been sharing information about this program.  The reason I am writing this post today is due to the amount of people who are unaware there is financial help available.  With that being said, here are some valuable tips on how to get started.

The adult family living program

What does it take to become a caregiver in Connecticut?

  1. Caregiver must be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Caregiver may not be a spouse or legal guardian of the person receiving care

Who qualifies under the Adult Family Living Program in Connecticut?

  1. Care receiver must be at least 65 years of age
  2. Must be a resident of Connecticut
  3. Meet the programs financial eligibility criteria
  4. Needing assistance with everyday routines such as eating, bathing, toileting or dressing.

The Connecticut Department of Social Services will then determine if the recipients are eligible for the program.  There are four different levels to assist with those needing any amount of care.  In return, care providers receive compensation for their caregiving efforts. In the case of family members, caregivers are paid for work that they would have likely provided for free.

How Juniper can help you

Juniper Homecare is an industry leading provider of all your home health needs.  We hold an initial orientation to help both the caretaker and care recipient.  We assist with training, 24/7 support, and scheduled nursing visits.  Give us a call today.  We will help you with any questions you may have.

Helping seniors age at home is an amazing gift that is now possible.  You may already be helping with everyday tasks that you are not being compensated for.  Don’t wonder if you qualify.  Call us at 860-523-1418 to find out!

For more information click here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the Family Caregiver Program?

Family caregiver program in ct

Do you currently live with someone who may have issues with mobility, transportation, bathing, eating and more? Are you their primary caretaker? If so, you may qualify for compensation as a result of the tireless, committed care you already provide.

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) was established in 2000 with an initiative to help support family and informal caregivers care for aging adults to keep them in their home as long as possible.  Connecticut has offered a new service under the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) which includes a family caregiver program (AFL) that began in 2013 that allows seniors to be cared for in the comfort of their own home.  In addition to, caregivers may be eligible to receive a tax free stipend up to $500 per week or $26,288 per year.

Thats’ incredible!

This is a great alternative to aging in a nursing home or having to hire an outside caregiver.  Outside caregivers are very expensive and do not know the senior loved one nearly as well as family.  The type of services provided in this program include:

  • providing information to caregivers
  • assistance in gaining access to these services
  • counseling, support groups, and caregiver training
  • personalized care plan
  • 24/7 support to the caregiver and client

Family caregiver qualifications

The Department of Social Services mandates the applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible to participate in this program:

  • the client must be 65 years or older and caregiver must be at least 18 years of age
  • Connecticut state resident
  • needing assistance with personal care.  This includes bathing, eating, transportation, dressing and taking medication.
  • must meet the programs financial eligibility

Each applicant is then reviewed to determine if the client is able to stay at home with the assistance of home care services.

How Juniper homecare can help

Serving as a caregiver for a family member is one of the most rewarding jobs anyone can do. Not only do you get to spend time with your loved one, but you also have the opportunity to ensure he/she receives the best quality care possible.

Juniper is an industry leading home healthcare agency focused on providing support and resources to the elderly community in Connecticut.  Juniper staffs the highest level nurses to assist family caregivers in providing the best care to their loved one.  We understand the importance in training and guidance when it comes to taking care of another person.  Our team helps you every step of the way.

Additional services that Juniper also provides:

  • Adult Day Center – located in New Britain and Hartford – Check out how much fun and excitement our groups have each day here!
  • Meals on Wheels – serving the Greater Hartford area – Get a hot and delicious home cooked meal delivered to your door from Elmwood Kitchen
  • Around the Home – Looking for some help with tasks around the house such as homemaking, personal care, or heavy housekeeping?

For more information about Juniper and the Family Caregiver Program click here or contact us today at 860-523-1418 for any questions with home care.  We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

How to Improve Senior Care Communication

Caregiver communication is key

Initiating a conversation about health and wellness with a senior can be difficult.   Family members tend to be hesitant to talk about certain needs that are recognized, or how to properly plan for future care.  What exactly be needed?  What type of care does mom and dad want?  Knowing the answers to these questions will help you better understand what steps to take.  Although these conversations may not be the easiest, they are worth having.  Here are some types to help with communicating.

gather information about your loved one

Write down everything during this conversation.  Ask them about the last few months.  Have they fallen?  Did they forget to take their medication or pay the bills?  Are all doctors’ visits current?  This will help you get a better understanding of their current state.  Listen to your instincts.  Any change in conditions could indicate for added care.

Remian connected and unbias

Create a positive environment with the objective to listen rather than to respond.  This will help them feel comfortable and more open to longer communication.  Your goal is not to give advice but to express love and concern.  Stay calm and be as comforting as possible.  You don’t want your loved one to feel pressured into making a decision he/she feels others want.  Keep assumptions to a minimum.  Ask questions to gain intel and only refer to situations that already have occurred.

involve siblings and close family members

Talk to your brothers and sisters about the current situation before talking with your loved one.  They may have been informed about information that you are unaware of and vice versa.  This may require putting aside personal issues between one another for the best interest of him/her.  The first conversation should be only between a family member and your senior loved one.  Involving too many individuals at the beginning will create unsteady and hostile surroundings.  After the first or second conversation, gather everyone together.

Be prepared for the word “no”

This is a topic that also needs to be discussed with siblings before the actual conversation to make sure everyone is on the same page.  Your loved one may be frustrated by the situation an unwilling for any type of care.  This is completely normal.  Do not push or try to persuade him/her into anything.  Instead, step back and give them some time to think things through.  Try offering tips in a positive manner such as the benefits are there.  This may give them the opportunity to stay at home longer and be able to spend more time with family and friends.

While it may be discomforting to think about your loved one aging and showing signs of added assistance, many seniors feel relieved that they are being loved and cared for.

Click here to visit our website and explore options on senior care.

Already a caregiver looking for help and support?  Juniper offers a free service to help and assist with questions about senior care.  Click here!