Visiting Angels of Auburn NH Receives 2015 Best of Home Care® Leader in Excellence Award

It is time to celebrate! We are pleased to share the news.  Here's the press release:

Visiting Angels of Auburn NH received the distinguished Best of Home Care Leader in Excellence Award from Home Care Pulse, the leading firm in quality assurance for private duty home care. The Leader in Excellence Award was given to the select few home care businesses that consistently ranked among the highest in 18 or more quality metrics assessed by Home Care Pulse. As a Leader in Excellence, Visiting Angels of Auburn NH is now ranked among the best home care providers in the nation. Further, this award makes the Visiting Angels of Auburn NH one of two agencies in the country who has received in four years in a row!

This accomplishment shows Visiting Angels of Auburn NH’s long-term dedication to excellent care and quality improvement. To qualify for this award, 10% of their clients and caregivers were interviewed each month by Home Care Pulse. Over a 12-month period,  Visiting Angels of Auburn NH received high client and caregiver satisfaction ratings in areas such as caregiver training, compassion of caregivers, communication, scheduling, response to problems, overall quality of care, etc. Using feedback from clients and employees, as well as quality benchmarks from Home Care Pulse, the Visiting Angels of Auburn NH management team set goals to reach the highest level of excellence possible.

“We do everything in our power to connect deeply with our clients and their families. We sort of adopt the families. As a team, both the caregivers and full time office staff, we stay connected every step of the way.  We are very pleased that the feedback we receive reflects our commitment to what we do and how much we care.” says Debra Desrosiers, Owner and Director.

The Best of Home Care Leader in Excellence Award highlights the top-performing home care businesses in the nation. Home Care Pulse believes that by honoring these providers, families looking for in-home care for a loved one will be able to recognize and choose a trusted home care provider.

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Families Encouraged to be P.R.O.A.C.T.I.V.E.

Unfortunately, "the call" comes in regularly at Visiting Angels. Families sometimes wait too long to set up homecare services and now are in a crisis situation. Sometimes this is due to financial reasons, sometimes families just don't recognize how, even just a few hours a week would have helped to preserve Mom or Dad's safety and independence. Consider these points and remember to be P.R.O.A.C.T.I.V.E.

P. Protect Mom or Dad's choice to remain at home by being proactive in looking into professional homecare to keep them safe at home.
R. Research your options by using the article "Choosing a Homecare Agency with Confidence."  (Contact us and we will send you this article)
O. Open your eyes fully as to Mom and Dad's current status of physical, mental/emotional, and cognitive state, not how it was 20 years ago, but today and knowing the decline will progress.
A. Assessments (by an homecare agency) or choosing (or getting on the waitlist) an appropriate senior living facility is a great way to hear from the professionals as to what is needed and how they can help.
C. Check on what training the caregiver has received. Have they had courses in palliative care, dementia, and activities?
T. Think nutrition! Look inside Mom and Dad's refrigerator. Expired food, or very little food is a clear indication that help is needed. Consider it a silent cry for help.
I. Insist on professional care that is insured and bonded, such as a reputable agency. Private caregivers (not working through an agency) can leave Mom, Dad, or yourself wide open for liability.
V. Verify what options Mom or Dad has in terms of a long term care insurance policy or what reserves they have for private pay.
E. Educate yourself on dementia as there are specific communication methods that will work well for those with a form of dementia like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

Visiting Angels of Auburn NH offers free assessments that can be scheduled during regular work hours as well as after work hours or on weekends to accommodate working family members.  The assessment is an important step toward being proactive for our aging parents who often initially resist care. Even just a few hours a week of great homecare may be enough initially to keep Mom or Dad safe, healthy, and organized at home.  For more information, call us at 603-483-8999.


Incorporating Meaningful Activities into a Care Plan for Seniors with Dementia

In designing a successful daily care plan for someone with dementia, one thing is for sure: one size does not fit all. Covering the ADLs (activities of daily living) is the starting point. Beyond that, where's the joy? Just because an individual has some form of dementia doesn't mean they don't have the capacity to have fun! Including meaningful activities, based on the persons likes and dislikes, is a great strategy to improve quality of life for both the senior as well as the caregiver. Innovative activities for those with cognitive impairment have widespread benefits. Person-centered activities plans can be created with some upfront effort on the caregivers' part. Caregivers who have taken the time to educate themselves along these lines will tell you, creating an appropriate and intentional activity plan for a senior with dementia pays great dividends for everyone involved.

This new segment in senior care has expanded tremendously and now has high-quality dedicated training, certifications, and education available. It is becoming widely understood that undesirable behaviors by those with dementia is caused by an unmet need. Following this train of thought, the benefits of well designed, person-centered activities help to:

* Minimize behavioral issues (keep them busy!)
* Improve sleep habits (keep them busy during the day so that they sleep more at night)
* Decrease depression and anxiety (a well suited activity makes them feel useful)
* Improve self esteem (engage them in activities in which they will experience success)
* Mental and social stimulation (we all need to connect with others)
* Reduce caregiver stress (a great plan, with plenty of room for flexibility, makes for a great day)

A person-centered activity plan layered on top of the care plan is now showing up in home care agencies as well as among savvy family caregivers. Consider the progression of the form of the senior's dementia. When crafting a meaningful activity plan, consider the following questions:

* Is the activity geared appropriately to their cognitive and physical ability?
* Is there a way to modify this activity to set them up for success?
* What are the social needs, abilities, and preferences of the senior?

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Tips for Preventing Falls

This article from July-August 2014 Vol. 10 Issue 6 Visiting Angels HomeTimes newsletter

As we all know, seniors have a tremendous fear of falling. The fear is justified, knowing that falls lead to more serious illnesses than the injury from the fall itself. For example, while in the hospital for a fractured hip, an elderly person may begin to show signs of infection, or even pneumonia.

Any efforts that we can offer our senior population towards the prevention of falls will be a step in the right direction. As caregivers, we want to help keep our seniors safe.

Below is a list of tips to help prevent such falls:

  1. Remove all throw rugs.
  2. Make sure all carpeting is securely fastened to the floor, and has no wrinkles.
  3. Make sure all electrical and telephone cords are safely out of the way.
  4. Install hand rails in bathrooms for the toilet and the bath/shower.
  5. Use non-skid pads in the shower or tub.
  6. Use a shower seat and/or pull-down shower head to reduce the need to stand in the shower.
  7. Try having the senior sit when shaving or brushing their teeth at the bathroom sink.
  8. Use caution when walking from one type of flooring to another, for example from carpeting to polished floors.
  9. When getting up from a lying position, hesitate in the sitting position for a few moments before moving to the standing position.
  10. Arrange items in the kitchen cabinets so that frequently used items are up front.
  11. Consider using a counter top toaster instead of a convention oven (to avoid bending).
  12. Make sure stairs are well lit and clutter free.
  13. If the stairs are difficult to light up, make sure that the edges of each step are covered in bright colored tape or paint.
  14. Make certain that all stairs have strong hand rails.
  15. Use night lights in the bedrooms and bathrooms, or any room the senior might enter when dark.
  16. Have the senior sit in furniture that is firm, high, and has armrests. This will make it easier for the senior to get in and out of the chair.

Using common sense is the key to protecting our seniors from falls. If the above tips are used regularly, many accidents with our senior population can be avoided.

Ladies Night Out

Ladies Night Out

We've got a great line up for this year's Ladies Night Out, to benefit the Alzheimer's Association. Our event is September 11, 2015 from 5-9 pm at 14 Hooksett Rd. Auburn NH.  This is a public event. Sorry gentlemen, this is a ladies-only event. Must be over 21 to attend. Get your holiday shopping done early and help an amazing cause! 

Check out our Vendor line up. Call to RSVP at 603-483-8999.

Pampered Chef Pattie Prescott
Silpada Guylaine Robidoux
Creative Seams Brenda Tucker
Hand Made Cards and Rubber Stamps
Michele Mudge  
Intuitive Readings by Corinne
Corinne Martin
Scentsy Rachel Deveau
Tastefully Simple Lisa Minahan
Thirty-One Saskia Barrett
Mary Kay Cosmetics  Jaynemarie Wright
Seacret Direct - Skin care
 Stacey Morin
Jamberry Nail Wraps Gwen Devine



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