Benefits Of Respite Care

Want to know about some of the benefits of having our company deliver trained respite care to seniors in the home?


Well, first of all, it’s important to understand what respite care is, and what it represents.


When you talk about the definition of respite care, what you’re talking about is backing up and supporting a primary caregiver. That primary caregiver may have been providing care for one day, or one month, or one year or more. It’s often a member of the family, but it can just as easily be a paid support person or someone else. The key is that the respite care offers that primary person the assistance they need to take care of themselves!


Getting “You Time”


The way the people describe it in this industry, sometimes, is often with that saying about airplane safety. We always say that the flight attendants tell us that you have to put your own air mask on before helping others. Senior care can be like that, too. If you don’t have the time that you need, you’re not likely to be able to assist someone else in the best ways. That’s the idea behind respite care, which gives you the backup to be successful and effective in caring for a senior at home. 




Having respite care in place also allows the primary caregiver to go out and support their networks in the community. They might need input from one or more doctors. They might need to check on that social support network for the person who they are caring for. They might need to get information about public services or public events, etc.


No matter what their need is, the respite care will allow them to do that without worrying about what’s happening to their ward at home. Again, it’s about having a backup person so that you don’t feel the isolation and stress of being the only one in line to care for someone who may need a lot of care. 


Meals and Planning


Then there’s the practical side of planning meals and everything else, as well as planning the primary caregiver planning for themselves, too. Getting their hair done, going to their own doctor appointments, that sort of thing. It’s surprising how many times people just get inundated when they go it alone and think they can provide all of the care for a family member. When they are able to secure respite care, they never want to give it up!


Keeping Up


We know that for primary caregivers, it sometimes feels like you’re slipping backward. You might feel like you just don’t have the time you need to get everything done during the day. We understand how you feel, which is why we offer these services.


Talk to River Oaks Home Care about the support that you need for your family. 

Reasons Your Elderly Parent May Seem Angry

There is a common ageist stereotype among older adults – that they are angry. However, this stereotype isn’t actually accurate since most people’s emotions will “level out” as they age. Older adults have developed coping skills through the years that help them maintain an even keel, which helps them avoid stressing the small things. 

However, some changes in a senior’s life can create feelings of anger. Reduced mobility, giving up driving, and similar things lessen their independence. This can also threaten their self-esteem. Many seniors experience a lack of respect and ageism, too. 

Health issues can exacerbate anger, especially in cases of physical pain. The truth is people of all ages tend to be more irritable when something hurts. These frustrations can accumulate and may lead to an older person having a sudden outburst during a TV program or even overreacting when someone gets in their way at the grocery store. 

The Potential Dangers of Anger

Even though negative emotions, like anger and sadness, anger especially can be bad for you. Over time, feeling anger regularly can hurt an older adult’s health. Anger causes the body to release hormones that activate the “fight or flight” response. This increases inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases. The effect of this is even more pronounced as a person ages. 

Other research has confirmed how anger can impact your health. It’s been found that older men who feel angry often usually perceive (right or wrong) anger in other people’s faces. These seniors usually have higher blood pressure, too. The impact of this is often immediate. In fact, feeling angry has been proven to raise a person’s risk of stroke by up to 30% for up to an hour. When patients suffering from heart disease report experiencing anger within the prior week, they did worse on heart function tests than others. 

Excess anger has also been linked to the increased likelihood of dementia and impacts a senior’s relationships. This may result in an increased risk of isolation and loneliness. If a senior is angry frequently, it is important to address the issue. 

Steps to Address Anger in Seniors 

If you provide care to a senior loved one and are concerned about their anger, there are a few things you can do to help them. Start by using the following steps:

  • Schedule an appointment with their doctor
  • Learn what is causing your senior’s anger
  • Determine what stressors can be changed and which ones can’t
  • Monitor what your senior loved one watches and consumes through media
  • Engage in activities with an outlook that promotes a more positive outlook and mood
  • Consider giving their lifestyle a makeover

Helping Your Senior Loved One Deal with Anger

Unfortunately, many seniors deal with anger issues. There are multiple causes for this, but as their care provider, there are options to help them. If your senior loved one has a home health service providing care, be sure to discuss their anger with the senior care provider. They can take steps to help alleviate these feelings, too.

In-Home Care and Intellectual Disabilities

In-home care for the disabled is different than the same kinds of care for someone who is neuro- typical


We know that intuitively, and as families, we deal with that each day. As in-home care providers, we also know that having different systems in place for the disabled is important. When you read about how we care for seniors, you see evidence of that, and our consideration for the disabled as part of our philosophy and care program. 


Customizing Care


But how is it different?


For one thing, the routine care that is so central to these services is different for the disabled. Meal planning, transportation, hygiene and other typical processes look different when someone has a physical or mental disability to deal with.


Staff interactions also look different based on a person’s specific needs. And then there’s state agency approval…


So having the versatility in place to deal with this is key for businesses like ours.




We are an approved ODP provider in PA, which means that we have met all of the standards and compliance requirements for helping people with disabilities.


There is also a complex equation of state funding in play, and our people know how to navigate that bureaucratic world to serve families with disabled individuals in a better way.




When it comes to covid, PA ODP has set particular guidelines. Here’s how it is explained by the state agency:

“The Department of Human Services (DHS) recognizes that this is a frightening time for many of our DHS-licensed congregate care facilities. If used appropriately, personal protective equipment (PPE) can help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Information contained in this guidance is only for congregate care settings licensed by The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and not for other provider types. The Pennsylvania DOH has requested that all critical needs for ODP licensed facilities are first screened by ODP to ensure that facilities are adhering to current guidance and PPE conservation strategies before forwarding to the PA DOH. The PA DOH has a very limited supply of PPE and is triaging needs daily.”

You can see how approval means following rules, and putting standards in place. Read more about our track record in Pennsylvania at the web site and ask us what we can do for your loved one. We are pleased to call ourselves a partner with Pennsylvania families, and a place where you can feel confident about care. 

Great Fall Prevention Tips For Senior Citizens

If a person is lucky enough, they get to enjoy their golden years surrounded by the people they love. When you finally reach the age where you are classified as a senior citizen, you will have some pretty important decisions to make. One of the main things you need to consider when reaching this milestone is whether you want to age in place or enter a retirement community. 

If you have chosen to age in place, you need to be mindful of the ever-present risk of slip and fall accidents. Every year, over 3 million senior citizens are treated in emergency rooms across the United States for fall-related injuries. This is why you need to work on mitigating the risk posed by slip and fall accidents. 

Here are some great fall prevention tips for senior citizens. 

Fall Prevention Starts With a Healthy Body

If you want to improve things like flexibility and balance, you need to realize the importance of exercising. When engaging in physical activities designed to strengthen your body every day, your ligaments, tendons and joints will have a higher level of flexibility. Routine exercise is also a great way to improve your reflexes. 

With these enhanced reflexes, you will be more likely to catch yourself in the event of a fall. Exercising also allows you to strengthen your bones and will reduce the risk of osteoporosis. 

Don’t Forget to Monitor Your Medications

Did you realize that taking a number of different medications increases your risk of falling? Some medications also have side effects that include dizziness, weakness and confusion. If you are currently on multiple medications, then you need to monitor how you feel. If you notice that you are experiencing extreme dizziness or confusion when taking a particular medicine, you need to speak with your doctor. They might be able to prescribe a different medication that doesn’t produce these side effects. 

Find and Remove Hazards In Your Home

The older you get, the harder it will be to see the hazards around you. If you already struggle with vision issues, then your main goal should be to remove as many hazards in your home as you can. Allowing a friend or family member to inspect your home is a great way to pinpoint where hazards are. 

Piles of clutter and small rugs are among the most common hazards you need to keep an eye out for. By reducing the number of hazards in your home, you can reduce the chance of a slip and fall accident occurring. 

Invest in Bathroom Safety Upgrades

Residential bathrooms are among the most common places for slip and fall accidents to occur. This is why you need to realize the importance of investing in things like bars in your shower and a slip-resistant bath mat. With these safety upgrades, you can reduce the chances that a fall will occur in your bathroom. 

As you can see, avoiding slip and fall accidents is not an easy task. However, if you implement the tips in this article, you can prevent falls from occurring.

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.