How To Help An Elderly Loved One Deal With Depression and Isolation

As a person gets older, they will experience a number of mental and physical health changes. Dealing with these changes is not always the easiest thing to do. As the relative or friend of a senior citizen, it should be your goal to improve the quality of their life. One of the main things you need to keep your eyes peeled for when caring for your aging loved one is signs of depression. 

Over 6 million senior citizens deal with late-life depression. Feeling depressed can make the latter years of a person’s life joyless and stressful. This is why you need to do all you can to help your elderly loved one deal with isolation and depression. Read below for some tips on how to provide this help.  

Help Your Aging Loved One Find a Sense of Purpose

Millions of Americans are provided a sense of purpose by their jobs or family. Raising children and working a full-time job can keep a person motivated and devoid of depression. However, when a person retires from their job or their children move away, they might lose their sense of purpose. Without a sense of purpose, a senior citizen might start to get depressed. 

If you want to help your elderly loved one find a new sense of purpose, then you need to encourage them to take part in new hobbies or activities. Learning how to knit or grow a garden is a great way to keep senior citizens motivated and distracted. You may also want to encourage your older friend or family member to volunteer with local charities. This will allow them to help others and regain their sense of purpose. 

Social Interactions Are Important

Feelings of isolation usually surface when a senior citizen lacks socialization. If a person spends all of their time alone, they will soon become depressed. This is why you need to relay the importance of social interactions to your aging loved one. Encouraging a senior citizen to visit friends and family members is a great way to remove feelings of isolation from their lives. 

If your loved one has chosen to age in place, then hiring home care professionals is a good idea. Not only will these professionals help a senior citizen with things cooking and cleaning, they can also provide them with much-needed social interactions. 

Encourage Physical Activity

Numerous medical studies have been performed that show the link between increased physical activity and a reduced risk of depression. This is why you need to work on keeping the senior citizen in your life physically active in order to keep them happy. Senior citizens that get up and go to the gym every day also have a renewed sense of purpose. A senior citizen will also be able to engage in social interactions while at the gym. 

By using the tips in this article, you can help the senior citizen in your life avoid feeling depressed and isolated.

Home Modification Tips For Safely Aging In Place

More than ever, seniors are opting to “age in place,” remaining in their homes or the homes of their loved ones during their golden years. This increase in the numbers of older adults living at home is partly due to the range of professional in-home care services available that enables seniors to live on their own or with loved ones rather than in a residential care facility. 


While extensive choices of in-home care services open the doors for seniors to age in place, their homes may lack the basic accessibility features necessary to facilitate life at home safely. The good news is that quite a few measures can be taken to make sure your loved one’s space is comfortable and safe for them to continue to thrive. 


The following home modifications can instantly improve mobility and accessibility to make aging in place a positive experience for your loved one.


Ramp And Lift Installation

Even if your elderly loved one is currently mobile, the possibility of future need for a wheelchair for mobility should be considered. As we age, our ability to safely maneuver stairs and abrupt elevations begin to wane, leaving us vulnerable to severe injuries from falls. 


Change Doorknobs 

If your loved one uses a wheelchair or has difficulty gripping objects, consider replacing doorknobs for easier access. Push-pull bars are simple additions that can make accessibility less frustrating, and automatic doors controlled by a remote switch are options for easier accessibility. 


Rethink Furniture Arrangement

Most wheelchairs need approximately a five-foot radius to maneuver effectively in the home. Furniture arrangements should allow for this space; consider removing unnecessary furnishings out of the room and rearranging furniture to accommodate the passage of a wheelchair. Also, minimize sharp turns or tight corners that a wheelchair may have to navigate around to ensure safety. 


Install Safety Bars

Older people lose muscle mass and dexterity during the aging process. Ensure your loved ones can safely lift themselves in and out of spaces they need to utilize often, such as tubs, showers, and toilets. Ensure that safety bars are appropriately installed and anchored into the wall’s stud to support a person’s body weight adequately. 


Aging In Place Requires Careful Attention To Detail

To ensure your loved one is aging in place safely, you must pay careful attention there needs on an ongoing basis. Making initial basic safety modifications to a home is essential for promoting a good quality of life in a safe and accessible space. 

What To Know About In-Home Respite Care

Caring for your loved one at home can be both rewarding and challenging. While our loved ones thrive in our care, caregivers can experience stress from the strain of meeting their loved one’s emotional, physical, and medical needs. As a caregiver, self-care is essential to both you and your loved one. 


Fortunately, services exist that allow you to find a balance between meeting your and your loved one’s needs, ultimately relieving some stress. In-home respite care is a service that provides aid to caregivers by reducing some of their responsibilities. Let’s take a closer look at in-home respite care and how it may be the right fit for you and your loved one. 


In-home Respite Care

Respite care is defined as temporary care that provides services for helping caregivers manage responsibilities associated with caring for their loved ones. This care can be provided in off-site settings such as adult day care or in-home care services. 


In-home respite care providers offer a range of assistance through services designed to fit your specific needs. These services can be from conducting household chores, cooking, assisting with personal hygiene routines, companionship, and engaging in activities with your loved one. 


Professional in-home respite care providers may come to your home for a couple of hours so that you can conduct errands or take care of personal tasks, or they may spend specific times designated for therapy activities and emotional engagement with your loved one. If needed, overnight care may be arranged when necessary, and some in-home respite caregivers also provide transportation for your loved one when needed.


Benefits Of In-Home Respite Care

The challenges of caring for a loved one at home can be alleviated in various ways by using in-home respite care services. In-home respite care allows your loved one continual care in their comfortable surroundings and provides consistent schedules and smooth transitions. This consistency of care relieves the stress and anxiety of both you and your loved one. 


In addition to giving caregivers greater flexibility and better time management, in-home respite care eases the strain you can feel by providing care, ultimately restoring your energy and keeping you healthy both mentally and physically. Just knowing that you have a trusted source of help designed to fit your and your loved one’s needs gives you peace of mind. 


When we care for loved ones in our homes or their homes, we can quickly become overwhelmed. In-home respite care can provide not only relief for you as a caregiver but also a consistent aid for your loved one



Great Ways For Family Caregivers To Earn Some Extra Money

Acting as a caregiver for an elderly friend or family member can be challenging. Not only does acting as a caregiver take up a lot of your time, it can also negatively affect your finances. While there are many government-sponsored programs that pay family caregivers, the compensation allotted under these programs is not very much. 

There are millions of people currently acting as family caregivers in the United States. If you are one of these individuals and are struggling to make ends meet, it is time to figure out how to make a few extra dollars. Below are some great ways you can make some extra money without giving up your job as a family caregiver. 

Look For Babysitting Jobs

Most caregivers are extremely compassionate and nurturing people. Using your friendly nature and nurturing tendencies to make a few extra dollars is a good idea. One of the best ways for a caregiver to generate more income is by seeking out babysitting jobs. Ideally, you want to find parents that are willing to drop their children off at the home where you live. 

This will allow you to keep a close eye on your ailing relative while babysitting children for money. Most parents looking for a babysitter will want to see your references. Compiling a list of references and documentation about your previous childcare experience can help you land a babysitting job with ease. 

Provide Caregiving Coaching

If you have years of experience acting as a caregiver, then you need to use your knowledge to help others. People who are about to embark on their own caregiving journey usually seek out the guidance of someone with experience. If you want to monetize your caregiving knowledge, then offering coaching services to people in your area is a great idea. 

Devising a course that walks your clients through how to achieve their caregiving goals is a must. Before you try to get clients for your caregiver coaching service, you need to compile a list of your qualifications. These qualifications will allow you to attract new clients and inform them about what qualifies you to provide these coaching services. 

Pursue a Career as a Freelance Writer

Finding remote work opportunities is something most caregivers are passionate about. In the past few years, the number of remote work opportunities available to people in the United States has grown. If you consider yourself to be a good writer, then you might want to try your hand in the world of freelance writing. 

Business owners and marketing companies are willing to pay good money to dependable writers that can produce great content. Luckily, there are tons of online platforms where you can apply for freelance writing jobs. The great thing about being a freelance writer is that you can do all of your work without leaving the side of your ailing relative. 

By using the information in this article, you can start to make more money in no time. 

Tips For Taking Care of Elderly Loved Ones

Making sure our loved ones are safe, happy and healthy is one of the most important things we can do for the people we care about as they get older. However, taking care of elderly loved ones can often present challenges as life gets increasingly busy. Navigating the stresses between school or work and making time to take care of loved ones can be uniquely difficult. It is important to remain sensitive to eldery loved ones under your care, however. Depending on others for day-to-day activities is difficult in of itself, and it’s vitally important that you continue handling elderly loved ones with patience, love and kindness.


Although taking care of elderly loved ones may seem like a daunting task, in practice you can easily adopt a few habits into your daily routine that will greatly help ensure your elderly loved ones remain safe and cared for. Additionally, you can also consider external support and help in taking care of your loved ones if you feel that you don’t have enough time to do so all on your own. Here are three fantastic tips for how you can take care of the elderly loved ones in your life as best as possible.


Visit Loved Ones Frequently


One of the most important things you can do when taking care of elderly loved ones is visiting often. As your loved ones get older, many daily activities can become difficult or even dangerous, such as home maintenance tasks or leaving the house. By visiting frequently, you can make sure that the home of your elderly loved ones is safe for them to live in, and help handle tasks such as cleaning or maintenance work. It’s also a good idea to make some routine checks during visits, such as ensuring that elderly loved ones have enough food, and that the mail and laundry aren’t piling up.


You can also help your elderly loved ones by simply spending time with them. While leaving the house alone may be difficult for older individuals, they still require the same social and emotional fulfillment that everyone needs. By engaging with elderly loved ones in conversation or activities, you can help them to meet their intellectual and emotional needs.


Check Their Medicine


While performing home and safety related checks on visits, another important thing you can do to help ensure the health and wellness of elderly individuals is keeping an eye on their medication. It may be difficult for your elderly loved one to visit the pharmacy and refill their prescriptions. It’s vitally important that elderly loved ones take the medicines that doctors have prescribed them, so be sure to regularly check that they still have enough and to refill their prescriptions if needed


One way you can help make taking necessary medications easier for your elderly loved ones is by purchasing a pillbox organizer for them, with labeled compartments for when they should take which pills. If your elderly loved one takes several medications, it’s also a good idea to check with a doctor to make sure their medicines can be stored together or taken together safely, and to remain mindful of possible side effects due to the interaction of different medications. 


Consider Hiring Help


Finally, if you’re finding it difficult to make up enough time to adequately care for your elderly loved one, it might be a good idea to consider hiring some help in order to make sure your elderly loved ones are safe and provided for. This can range from having a nurse check on your elderly loved one every week to hiring full time care, depending on the needs of your loved ones. 


Always ensure that you’re hiring help from a licensed and reputable agency. If you can’t afford to hire the help your loved one needs, look into different government programs or benefits that may help alleviate costs. By ensuring that your elderly loved one has the support and help they need, you can make sure they are well cared for.

Setting Up Care

Any time you’re trying to provide for an elderly family member and looking for a place for them to live, there are a lot of considerations to be made. Some of these have to do with the care they’re getting throughout the day, and some have to do with longer-term issues like estate planning or dealing with a legacy property. Others, though, have to do with funding. How do you make sure that the family has the resources that they need to keep a family member in a home?


Consultation and Care


The short answer is that you can get excellent advice from professional teams who know what they’re doing when it comes to elder care.


At River Oaks Homecare, we sit down with families and talk about various funding possibilities, because we feel like this is an important part of how they make decisions. This includes a range of options that the family might not know about unless they’re closely involved in this line of work. So we help to explain – because that’s what we would want others to do for us if we were in that situation. So many things today need specialized attention, where people who are most in the know have to “translate” things  to others, to some extent. With that said, here’s some of what can help families. 


Medicaid/Medicare Waivers


There are a number of waiver options available in the state of Pennsylvania. We often go over these with families.


One is simply an “aging waiver.” This applies to many seniors and can be a source of funding for long-term care.


There is also an attentive care waiver for individuals with some disabilities.


Another disability-based waiver is the Obra home/community waiver that also provides for disabled persons to stay in a community. This can apply to residential home care or other types of long-term care.


A fourth type of waiver is a “Commcare waiver” that applies to individuals with traumatic brain injury.


Other Funding


If an elderly family member had served in the military at some point, they may be eligible for some types of veteran’s aid or assistance.


In other cases, the individual had selected some type of long-term care plan that could help pay the costs of this type of service.


Where a family does have to self-pay for part or all of the care, we can help with consulting and ideas about how to get the right solution for a particular family.


You can see a lot more on the website for how to make the decisions around care. Reach out and we will help you as much as we can. That’s part of our mission, and a commitment that we make to families. 


How To Effectively Communicate With People Who Have Developmental Disabilities

There are over 6 million intellectually disabled individuals in the United States. If you are in charge of providing care for a friend or family member with a developmental disability, you need to learn how to communicate with them effectively. The approach you need to take when communicating with a developmentally disabled person will vary based on the individual. 

Generally, people who act as a caregiver for a developmentally disabled person will have to try a number of approaches before they find an effective way to communicate. Here are some things you need to keep in mind when trying to develop a way to communicate with a developmentally disabled person. 

Provide Clear Explanations

In the beginning stages of your job as a caregiver to a developmentally disabled person, you will be presented with a variety of questions. Generally, the individual in question will want to know why you need to do things like brushing their hair or help them get dressed. When confronted with these questions, you need to provide clear and decisive answers to avoid confusion. 

For instance, if you are trying to brush the hair of a developmentally disabled person, display the motion you will use to accomplish this task on your own hair. If the person wants to know why you need to do this, simply explain to them it is to help them look nice and presentable. This clear explanation and visual representation of what you have to do should be enough to get the developmentally disabled person to comply without any problems occurring. 

Avoid Using Abstract Language

As the caregiver for a developmentally disabled person, you will be in charge of helping with everyday tasks. You also need to help them express how they feel by using concrete language. Rather than asking a developmentally disabled person how they feel, simply ask if they are sad, happy or angry. If the person you are providing care to is attempting to explain something, ask them to show you if you are having a hard time comprehending. 

You also need to provide clear instructions when trying to get a developmentally disabled person to get dressed for an outing. Instead of telling the person to get ready, you need to lay out what they have to do step by step. This will help them clearly understand what is expected of them and will remove any confusion from this situation. 

Visual Aids Can Come in Handy

If you are having trouble communicating with a developmentally disabled person using words, you need to think outside of the box. One of the main things you should try when faced with this problem is visual aids. A developmentally disabled person should be able to grasp a concept better if they have a picture or a gesture to use a reference

Is providing care to a developmentally disabled person starting to wear you out? If so, you need to find out more about the respite care provided by the team at River Oaks Homecare.

How To Prevent Falls In Your Home

How To Prevent Falls In Your Home

Falls in the home can happen at any age, but the chances of serious injury resulting from a fall increase as we age. Six out of every ten falls occur in the home, which makes taking action to prevent falls vital to our wellbeing and the safety of family and friends. Often we tend to move about in our homes without considering the hidden dangers that exist that could cause a fall, but there are changes you can make to your space that will help you avoid accidents and ensure your safety.

Stairways And Hallways

Many stairways have a single-hand railing on one side; however, adding handrails to both sides of the stairs is recommended to prevent falls. Handrailing should be examined regularly to ensure it is tightly fastened and anchored. Use the bars every time you go up and down the stairs, even if you are carrying something in one hand, and ensure that what you are holding doesn’t block your view of the stairs.

Keep your stairways and hallways free from clutter, such as shoes, clothes, and other items. If you have carpets or stair runners, make sure they are firmly affixed to the floor so they won’t slip. While small area rugs are not advised, the use of no-slip strips can help you keep them in place on wooden and tile flooring.


Installing a hand railing by your shower or tub and next to the toilet will give you something to grip while maneuvering in the bathrooms. Rugs that have rubber no-slip backing are best in these areas, never place towels on the floor to step on as they are prone to cause slipping.

Keep your bathroom well lit at all times; a night light can safely guide you in the middle of the night. Ensure your toiletries and towels are at arm’s length and easy to access; you may choose to use a small shelf or basket system instead of taller above the sink options.

Other Living Spaces

Consider how you move around your home and make sure your paths are free from clutter, cords, and furnishing. Arranging your furniture and everyday objects so that they accommodate an unobstructed pathway around your home is advised, especially for elderly homeowners. Less is more when ensuring your interior spaces areeasily maneuverable, keep clutter and small objects to a minimum.

Quick Fixes To Prevent Falls

Using grabbing sticks can help you reach the items you need that are stored in high spaces. Many people fall due to overreaching or climbing on step stools, so lowering your most needed items to an easier-to-reach height can help prevent a fall. If you live alone or are elderly, consider using an emergency alert system that can call relatives and emergency operators in the event of a fall.

Ways You Can Get Paid for Taking Care of a Senior Loved One

Ways You Can Get Paid for Taking Care of a Senior Loved One

Approximately 65 million Americans serve as caregivers to disabled or ill relatives annually. Caring for a sick relative can be extremely stressful and time-consuming. In some cases, the amount of care your aging relative needs may require you to stop working a full-time job. One of the main problems you face when becoming a full-time caregiver to a family member is the loss of income.

Instead of allowing yourself to get overwhelmed due to a lack of income, you need to seek out ways to get paid for being a caregiver to a senior loved one. Luckily, there are a number of programs designed to help caregivers get money for the services they provide. The following are some of the ways you can get paid for taking care of an elderly loved one.

Check Out the Self-Directed Services Programs Offered By Medicaid

When trying to get money for your caregiving services, one of the first things you need to do is assess your elderly loved one’s eligibility for Medicaid. This government-run healthcare provider has a variety of programs that are designed to help both elderly individuals and their families. The self-directed programs offered by Medicaid allow elderly people who qualify to use the money they are allotted on a variety of pre-approved expenses.

One of the ways this money can be spent is on caregiving services. This means that your elderly loved one will be able to pay you for your time, which can minimize your financial burden. If you want to assess your elderly loved one’s eligibility for these programs, then the best place to start is at your local Medicaid office.

Does Your Employer Offer Paid Leave for Caregivers?

Before you quit your existing job to become a full-time caregiver for an ailing relative, you need to see if temporary paid leave is offered for people in your situation. A recent study found that over 16% of private companies in the United States offered this type of paid leave for their employees.

This is why you need to speak with your employer to find out more about the programs they may have in place. While the paid leave may be for an allotted amount of time, it will still provide you with some form of income during this transitional phase.

Is Your Aging Loved One Eligible For Veterans Aid?

The United States government has created numerous programs over the years to directly help aging veterans. One of these programs, known as the Veteran Directed Care Program, allows veterans to manage their own care. This means that they can use the money from this program to pay a relative that is acting as their caregiver. If your elderly loved one has served in a branch of the Armed Forces, then you need to apply for this program. Contacting your local Veterans Affairs office is the first step in submitting this application.

If you want to find out more about caregiving services and how much they cost, the team at River Oaks Homecare is here to help.

What You Need To Know About the Medicaid Waiver Program

What You Need To Know About the Medicaid Waiver Program

The older you get, the harder you should focus on developing healthy habits. An integral part of being a healthy senior citizen is receiving the medical care you need. Without a comprehensive health insurance policy, you will have tons of out-of-pocket costs. For years, senior citizens around the United States have relied on a government program known as Medicaid to get the health insurance they need. Qualifying for Medicaid and Medicare can be difficult for some people, which is why strides have been made to make this government health insurance program more accessible.

The Medicaid Waiver Program provides states with the ability to tailor-make healthcare options for at-need people in the community. By waiving certain requirements and rules, the wider array of people who actually need healthcare coverage are approved. Here are some things you need to know about the Medicaid Waiver Program and what it offers.

In-Home Care Is Covered Under This Program

As previously mentioned, the federal government has left who gets this type of in-home and community healthcare coverage to the states. With these waivers, people who would not normally qualify for this government healthcare program are granted special access.  Under the guidelines of this program, states are allowed to issues as many waivers as they deem necessary if they meet certain criteria like:

  • The waiver is designed to offer a care-centered plan for the individual
  • The services in question don’t cost more than they would at a hospital or other approved medical establishment
  • The medical services in question will improve a person’s health/welfare

These waivers are generally used for non-medical services like adult daycares, home health aides and personal care assistance. If you or a loved one is in need of home care services, the professionals at River Oaks Home Care are here to help.

Who Is Eligible For These Waivers?

One of the main things most people want to know when they find out about the Medicaid Waiver Program is who is eligible. A variety of states have more than one office that handles these waiver programs and the dispersal of the benefits they offer. You need to realize that not everyone will be able to qualify for this waiver program. The average applicant has to meet various medical criteria before they are approved. In most cases, you will have to prove that your medical condition is so severe that in-home/community care is needed on a consistent basis.

What Do You Need To Apply For One Of These Waivers?

If you are in dire need of in-home care and have no way to pay for it, then applying for a Medicaid Waiver is crucial. While the application process for these waivers will vary from state to state, the information you have to provide to get approved is basically the same.

Ideally, you want to take in a report from your doctor that adequately describes your medical condition and the justification for the in-home/community care you are requesting. If you are ready to start this application process and get the in-home care you need, visit the Medicare/Medicaid website to find out how to contact an office in your state.

If you are curious about how in-home care can benefit you, it’s time to talk to a member of our staff.