Ask Amy: Home Health Aide Needs During A Pandemic
Recently, another “Ask Amy” has been published in Long Island Weekly. “Ask Amy” Q&A’s were originally created and published in our monthly newsletters. It is a column featuring hard hitting questions asked by clients and caregivers on a regular basis. Our goal is to gather the most commonly asked questions and turn it into a resource for caregivers. Read the article below, or click the “LIW” Link to view it on the Long Island Weekly website.
Friends for Life Homecare and Medicaid Consultants, located in Massapequa Park is offering safe home health aide services for those who may be in need despite the coronavirus pandemic. In a Q&A format, Owner and Executive Director of Friends for Life Amy Recco answered some important questions clients may have about healthcare services during this difficult time.
Q: With this Covid-19 Pandemic going on, is it still safe to get an aide for my mother now?
A: Surprisingly, now is a good time to have an aide take care of your loved one in their home. Having a second set of eyes on your loved one is so essential during this period, especially if they live alone. First, there is less exposure to others when at home. They are reducing their chances of receiving or spreading illness in a one-on-one environment.
It is important to stay healthy and germ-free during this time. The aide will clean regularly, make sure medications are taken on time, make sure hygiene is in-tact, and any food or items coming into the home are properly cleaned as well.
Another reason this second set of eyes will be crucial, is if there is any detection of illness in your parent, the aide will be the first one to notice. They will ensure emergency services are contacted in a timely manner.
This time can be extremely lonely for seniors. Many live alone and are isolated from their family members. Having someone else in the home can help immensely. It can keep your family member from slipping out of basic routine and feeling depressed. Often, positive emotions can enhance the immune system.
The aide can keep your mother mentally and physically stimulated by going on walks, playing games, or simply watching television together. The caregiver will make sure your mom is getting up at a decent hour and getting ready for the day (which can boost their mood due to productivity).
Lastly, it will give you peace of mind, knowing someone is caring for your mother, while you are caring for your family at home.
Q: What services are Friends for Life able to provide during this time?
A: “Friends for Life continues to provide a number of services and we are continuously expanding what we offer when we see there is a need. We specialize in providing home care services such as hourly and live-in companions, as well as long-term senior care planning.
We offer Medicaid consulting, on site, or more recently, virtually in order to protect the health of our clients and employees. We also provide hospice care and senior advocacy. If home care is not the right fit, we offer multiple referrals and nursing home/assisted living placements. Lastly, we understand the stress and struggles of caring for loved ones, we provide free caregiver support groups for families that need to talk through their situations and share resources. Due to current circumstance, our support groups have been postponed, but if you need advice and guidance, do not hesitate to reach out 516-900-1818.
Q: What are some ways that Friends for Life provides the best care possible for clients?
A: Our commitment to excellence provides our clients and their families with the assurance of safe, reliable and affordable services. Each client’s situation is different and we are sure to suggest the best possible solutions and services to meet their individual needs. We want to see our clients thrive and give their families the peace of mind they deserve. We make sure our clients are comfortable with their companions and are respectful of their wishes within their own home.
Q: Knowing that the elderly population is one of the more vulnerable right now, I would like to help them out in some way. What is the best way to help make this an easier time for them without putting them at risk?
A: If you’re younger and in good health, there are many ways to help without compromising a senior’s health (or your own):
Pick up the phone and call a senior or elderly neighbor and check on them. Ask if they are in need of groceries /essentials/ toiletries? Do they need their dog walked or the trash taken out? All of these questions will not only make them feel good that someone is looking out for them, but may be necessary to help keep them in good health.
If food shopping for them is not an option for you, introduce them to the number of grocery delivery services readily available. Help them make a list and place the order. Some of these include Instacart, Fresh Direct, Shipt, Peapod, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Now.
Become your neighbor’s emergency contact. If they are living alone, or have no one really looking out for them, become their emergency contact and let them know they can call you for help in the face of an emergency.
Q: I’ve been staying with my grandma, and fortunately I am able to work from home. My grandma has been getting a little restless being stuck in the house, for she is usually up and about. I feel like it is not mentally good for her to continue watching television all hours of the day. What else can I do with or for her while we are stuck inside?
A: Great question. There are plenty of things to do to keep her occupied, even while you are working.
Garden together: If she is still able to garden, pick up some flowers for her to plant in the yard. This will help her feel good because she will feel a sense of accomplishment when the job is finished. If she cannot bend down and plant anymore, have her sit in a chair and allow her to tell you where to plant. She will feel like she is contributing even though she cannot do the physical end of things.
Help her write a cookbook. We always want the secret to our parents or grandparents’ famous recipes. Ask her to write the steps and ingredients down and you can help make it into a book. When you’re done, make one of the recipes together.
Listen to music: Take a break from the television and play some hits from her time. The memorable music will boost her mood and can even spark good conversation between you two.
Have her teach you a new game that you have never played. Let her take the lead and once you have it down, enjoy some fun, quality time.
Q: If someone needs help with Friends for Life, how can they reach out? Is there a consultation process?
A: We have three offices, with plenty of experts that remain on staff to assist you and your loved one. We welcome anyone to come into our office to sit-down and talk with us, so we can come up with a plan that best suits you and your loved one’s needs best. As of now, we are able to create that same experience over the phone to ensure your safety. We become very vested in the needs and wants of our clients and often times start to build close relationships and become “Friends for Life”. We are always available 24/7 and we offer same day emergency services for those that are in crisis-mode.
For more information on Friends for Life Homecare, click the image below to visit their website.