6 Ways Professional In-Home Care Can Help People With Intellectual Disabilities

For people with intellectual disabilities, daily life can be a struggle. Their challenges can make living independently, performing daily tasks, and navigating social situations difficult.

Home care in Philadelphia is a vital resource for people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Professional in-home care services can provide individuals with intellectual disabilities the support and assistance they need to live safely, independently, and with dignity.

Provide a Safe and Secure Environment

A professional in-home care provider can help create a safe and secure environment for people with intellectual disabilities. This can involve modifying the home to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, such as installing handrails or grab bars in the bathroom and removing tripping hazards.

In-home care providers can also monitor the individual’s environment to ensure it remains safe and secure. This can include regular checks for potential hazards, such as unsecured windows or doors, and addressing any concerns promptly.

Help with Daily Activities

People with intellectual disabilities may require assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and eating. Hiring home care in Philadelphia to help with these tasks is beneficial.

Doing so ensures the individual can maintain their hygiene and remain comfortable. In-home care providers can also help with meal preparation and feeding, ensuring the individual receives the proper nutrition.

Assist with Medication Management

For individuals with intellectual disabilities who require medication, managing their medications can be a challenge. Professionals assist with medication management, ensuring that medications are taken at the proper times and in the correct dosages. They can also monitor the individual’s health and alert family members or medical professionals if concerns arise.

Develop Individualized Care Plans

Every individual with an intellectual disability has unique needs and challenges. With the development of an individualized care plan, it is possible to meet the needs of a person with an intellectual disability. This can include identifying areas where the individual requires assistance, such as managing their finances and developing strategies to address these challenges.

Encourage Independence

Although people with intellectual disabilities may require assistance with certain tasks, it is important to encourage independence whenever possible. In-home care providers can help individuals with intellectual disabilities learn life skills such as cooking, cleaning, and budgeting. By providing guidance and support, in-home care providers can help individuals with intellectual disabilities gain confidence and independence.

Offer Emotional Support

People with intellectual disabilities may experience isolation, anxiety, or depression. In-home care providers can offer emotional support to help individuals cope with their disabilities. This can include providing companionship, engaging in activities together, and providing a listening ear. By offering emotional support, in-home care providers can help individuals with intellectual disabilities feel more connected to their community and improve their overall quality of life.

Is Home Care in Philadelphia Right for You and Your Family?

Professional in-home care is invaluable for people with intellectual disabilities and their families By providing these services, in-home care providers can help individuals with intellectual disabilities live with dignity, independence, and a sense of belonging within their community. 

If you or a loved one requires in-home care in Philadelphia, our team is here to help. 

5 Instrumental Activities Of Daily Living

Sometimes it helps families to know what we consult about during our free initial care consultations.

It helps set the stage for a more targeted discussion on what a senior family member needs to be assisted at home. That’s part of our proactive model as we work up plans for our families.

Our Services and “IADL”

At River Oaks, we offer a variety of home services according to what seniors need.

We have services for physical assistance, home health aide roles, and assistance with ‘homemaking and companionship,’ which you can read more about on the site.

We also have Alzheimer’s and dementia care plans, which is vital for those who suffer from the confusion and deeper care needs associated with these conditions.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Life: What Do We Mean?

We also enumerate instrumental activities of daily living to show what people need help with daily.

Here are five of these activities that we assist with.

Getting Groceries

People need to eat, and grocery runs are a normal part of life.

But it’s hard for seniors to get what they need, bring it home, and store it correctly in the house.

So we help with this type of planning and the logistics of getting the food into the home and properly put away.


Over time, seniors will have specific housekeeping needs. If they’re aging at home, they’ll likely need help with different areas of the house, including bedrooms, bathrooms and common living spaces. If they have any significant lawn, they’ll need help with that, too. They’ll also need help to evaluate appliances and make sure things keep working as they should!

Those are some components of planning around the housekeeping assistance that we offer. Let’s talk!


In addition to getting groceries, your senior needs hot meals.

Cooking can be a problem, either due to mobility impairment or other types of needs. For example, it may not be safe to have your senior family member around a hot stove.

So we help with meal planning and ensuring that someone living at home has access to the ready-to-eat food they need.


Getting around is also a common problem with seniors.

People don’t want to stop driving because they don’t know how they will get to appointments or go anywhere else they want to go.

By helping with transportation, we create a safe and practical plan for decommissioning your senior driver’s license.

Medication Reminders

Most seniors have an array of medicines that they take routinely. But sometimes, with memory loss and other problems, they can’t take the medications properly, and so various health conditions can arise.

By helping with medication reminders, we help keep seniors in better shape!

Take a look at how we work and explore funding options with Pennsylvania waiver programs and more.

Smart Home Innovations For The Elderly

 Many of the most exciting smart home innovations for seniors and elderly people have to do with mobility limitations or other sorts of disabilities that can be well served with new technology.

We often talk about this to families when we’re talking about what to do for mom or dad and how to support them in aging.

It’s an exciting time for this type of smart home progress because so many of these assistive technologies make it easier to stay in your home with different impairments or just as you age.

The Challenge of Aging

We understand as a society that certain things tend to get harder as you get older.

But new opportunities, some powered by new technology, are making it easier to meet some of these challenges over the long term and keep elderly people safe as they retain the autonomy and stability of living in their homes.

So families look to brainstorm ways to optimize their situations and help aging family members to keep their sense of agency to enjoy things about their homes like:

·        Good memories

·        Familiarity with home systems and appliances

·        Home hobbies like birdwatching

·        The companionship of a pet

All of these things are valuable to seniors in so many ways. So at River Oaks, we help families work through these situations and determine what’s best for everyone.

With that in mind, let’s talk about some of the excellent smart home innovations that we see coming on the market today.

Lights, Etc.

One of the most basic but powerful innovations is new digital controls for everything from your lights to your thermostat.

Remotely turning items on and off is great for people with mobility impairments or deficits.

We can talk more in detail about how people usually set these up as we devise a plan for your family member.

Doors and Windows

Home security is also often an issue, and smart home advances can help you here, too.

Again, it’s all about allowing less labor-intensive controls and even remote controls for people who have difficulty getting up and around.

Smart Showers

This one has enormous potential for anyone with any kind of mobility challenge. It could be a senior or a person with disabilities. The smart shower innovates the traditional shower or bath in a way that’s almost like a robotic assistant. Some people who needed a human to bathe them previously can use a smart shower setup safely and effectively!

All of this, again, is very exciting. We like to help families to think about what they can implement for their loved ones! Call us to talk about what’s best for an aging family member.

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