Posts By: Kyle Kane

Home Health Care vs. Older Adult Home Care

It can be confusing to find the exact service and care necessary for an older adult. You may encounter terms for home health care, home care, personal care and companion care services that can be tricky to understand. At Corewood Care, we provide many of these services across the greater Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland, Northern Virginia and the Washington D.C. region, in accordance with our licensures. In this guide, we’ll explain the difference between home health and older adult home care to make it easier to find the necessary services for you or your family member.

What Is Home Health Care?

Home health and home care services have some similarities in service capabilities, but they are not the same. Let’s begin with home health care. This term describes more in-depth, skilled medical care that comes to the home so the client doesn’t have to visit a doctor’s office or other medical provider. Home health care may be necessary to treat a chronic health condition or during recovery from surgery or a serious illness or injury. 

These services are considered clinical or skilled care, so licensed caregivers provide them. Home health caregivers can range from a registered nurse (RN) to a certified nurse’s aide (CNA), according to pertinent licensure requirements. Private insurance companies or Medicare and Medicaid will usually cover these services. 

Providers often prescribe home care or recommend it as part of a care plan. Older adults may need home health care if they require supervision after a medication change, recently received a discharge from a skilled nursing facility or rehabilitation center, or lack the ability to travel safely to a doctor’s office. Other older adults may need this care if they experience a decline in their functions that requires therapies to help regain their independence. 

Home health services can include health monitoring, medical tests, medication administration, pain management and wound care. Although a home health care provider may offer some similar services as a home care provider, such as medication reminders, they will not deliver the same personal touch, social interactions or daily activity assistance as home care.

What Is Non-Medical Older Adult Care?

Home care usually refers to making life better for older adults as they age in whatever location they call home, including independent living facilities, apartments or houses. Home care is non-medical care and can include services like transporting the client, assisting with dressing and grooming, house cleaning and toileting assistance. Some people also refer to home care as a personal care service because caregivers will use a holistic approach to meet the client’s needs while helping with hygiene, medication reminders and other unique challenges.

Home care can be a long- or short-term service. For instance, home care may be a temporary need for someone recently released from the hospital. Home care can also provide valuable social interaction, making older adults feel more comfortable. 

Choosing Home Care or Home Health Care

Ultimately, choosing home care or home health care will depend on each client’s unique needs. If a client needs wound care, specialized therapies or medication administration, they will be more suitable for home health care. Meanwhile, older adults needing assistance navigating activities of daily life (ADLs) can benefit from home care. 

Chart of services for home health care versus senior home care

However, when choosing necessary services, you should also consider price. Although both types of care typically have an hourly rate, home health care services may be more expensive because the caregiver can administer licensed medical support. If an older adult needs or wants both types of care, it’s possible to create a more budget-friendly schedule that allows for each type of assistance. This way, the client can receive the medical attention they need from home while also accessing a supportive and dedicated caregiver to help them navigate daily activities.

Get Support at Home From Corewood Care

At Corewood Care, we tailor in-home care services to each client. Our home caregivers also help keep the client engaged during our visits with conversation and interaction. The term companion care refers to the more social side of home care — these clients perhaps do not need help with bathing or grooming but would benefit from someone to play cards with, reminisce with or engage in activities that keep the brain stimulated.

Corewood Care can provide the customized in-home care an older adult needs to feel comfortable while they rest, heal or navigate their homes. We’ve served clients across the region with home care services, respite care and 24/7 care for many years. If we can be of service, answer questions or help find the right service, please give us a call at 301-909-8117, schedule a free home assessment or use our chat.

10 Simple Steps to a Healthier Heart for Older Adults

Heart health is crucial at any age, but for older adults, taking steps to protect the heart can significantly improve quality of life and independence. As a home care agency dedicated to the well-being of seniors, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities in promoting heart health among the elderly. Here are ten simple, caregiver-friendly steps to support heart health in older adults.

1. Adopt a Heart-Healthy Diet

Encourage a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. For older adults, focus on easy-to-prepare, nutrient-dense foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium to help manage blood pressure and cholesterol.

2. Promote Regular Physical Activity

Physical activity is essential, even for those with limited mobility. Tailor exercises to the individual’s ability, focusing on activities like walking, chair yoga, or light stretching exercises that can maintain cardiovascular health without overexertion.

3. Support a Healthy Weight

Help seniors maintain a healthy weight through balanced nutrition and regular activity. This often involves managing portion sizes and ensuring meals are well-balanced.

4. Encourage Smoking Cessation

For seniors who smoke, offer support and resources to help them quit. This might include connecting them with local support groups or exploring nicotine replacement therapies, under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

5. Moderate Alcohol Consumption

Advise moderation in alcohol intake, as excessive drinking can exacerbate health issues, including those related to heart health.

6. Manage Stress Effectively

Help seniors find ways to manage stress through activities like reading, listening to music, engaging in hobbies, or mindfulness practices. Caregivers can play a significant role in identifying sources of stress and providing comfort and support.

7. Monitor Blood Pressure Regularly

Keep a regular check on blood pressure, utilizing home monitoring devices if necessary. This can help detect changes early and adjust care plans accordingly.

8. Manage Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

With the guidance of healthcare professionals, ensure that seniors are maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol and triglycerides through diet, exercise, and medication when prescribed.

9. Ensure Adequate Sleep

Promote good sleep hygiene by establishing a regular bedtime routine, ensuring the sleeping environment is comfortable and quiet, and addressing any sleep disturbances promptly with healthcare providers.

10. Facilitate Regular Health Screenings

Ensure that older adults are keeping up with regular health screenings and doctor’s appointments. This includes managing appointments for them and providing transportation if needed.

Conclusion

Caring for the heart is a lifelong journey, and for older adults, maintaining heart health is key to enjoying a fulfilling, independent life. As caregivers, we play a vital role in supporting the heart health of the seniors in our care, through both our actions and by fostering an environment that prioritizes their well-being. By implementing these ten simple steps, we can make a significant positive impact on the heart health of the older adults we serve.

When Professional Life and Personal Life Meld

My Dual Role: The Professional and The Daughter

A good portion of my time is spent reassuring older adults and their family members that I understand what they are going through. I am a Clinical Social Worker with a 30-year career in working with older adults and their family members. The primary focus of my work has been to guide and support older adults in the aging process to improve the safety and quality of their lives. My undergrad and graduate education is in Social Work and my PhD was earned as being the daughter of a fiercely independent mother. You see, my professional and personal life often collide at this time of my life.

Understanding the Aging Process: A Social Worker’s Perspective

I have been an advocate of the rights of older adults’ wishes while being mindful of the need to provide safety measures. Social Work school taught me that a client’s right to self-determination is an ethical principle that recognizes the rights for clients to make their own choices.

Marie’s Way: The Independence of a 94-year-old

That goes out the window when dealing with my 94-year-old mom. Marie lives alone in her home of over 65 years in Ohio, she walks to her church and volunteers once a week, she does her laundry and cooks her own meals. There’s no topic regarding her safety that I discuss with her that is not dismissed in 2 minutes. My suggestions for her safety and quality of life are always met with the standard saying: “ I’m not ready”. In my professional opinion, she is very ready: for a walker, cleaning help, a move to a senior community where she can play bridge, enjoy happy hour, and talk sports, however, she believes she is not ready.

The Siblings’ Support Network: United for Mom’s Well-being

She lives life on her terms, and I continue to worry from a distance. I’m not alone in this; I am part of a group. This caring, cautious, and nervous group consists of my sisters and brother. We’re on a group text and reach out to each other often. We text to update each other and discuss ways to keep her safe and happy. When we feel a subject needs to be proposed to my mom, we turn to my brother, the oldest and her only son as she will listen to him. Last year an emergency response system was proposed after a serious fall, she rejected the idea. After a sibling conference call, Steve was elected to speak with her, she begrudgingly accepted it and now has an emergency response system.

Lessons from Care Management: The Beauty of Watchful Waiting

The majority of my career has been in the field of Care Management. This is the perfect fit for me, working with older adults in their home, over the course of time. I am honored to be a part of their life at this stage, have meaningful conversations and listen to their concerns, fears and hopes.  

I have discussed the concept of watchful waiting with my siblings and my client’s children. Staying updated on our parents and being ready to assist when they are willing to accept it. As adult children, we are first responders; ready to spring into action and be the ultimate safety net.   

Reflections on Independence in Aging

I commend all of us for navigating this stage of life. In my mind, I hear Frank Sinatra singing “I did it my way” and it makes me smile. 

The Dilemma of Independence and Safety: A Personal and Professional Take

How do we protect those who want to retain their independence and what will we want when we are their age? It is a dilemma that I understand at a professional and personal level.  

Care Manager – December Newsletter

The Holidays are Here!

The holidays are here, and our care managers are often asked about gift suggestions for people living with dementia. It is wonderful to continue the tradition of gift giving, so we have put our heads together to come up with different categories and examples of possible gifts appropriate at different stages of dementia. (Please remember that you know your loved one best, and these are general suggestions).

Stages of Dementia

Early to Mid-Stages of Dementia: Gift suggestions for people living with dementia that are managing in their daily lives but notice a decline in one or more areas of cognition.

Arts and Engagement Art and music activities are great gift ideas. Plus they are good for the brain!

Home – Discovery Paks

Share their stories Creating opportunities for family member to share their memories and commemorating them is a gift for you as well. It can be as simple as asking questions while recording on your phone or use an outside company. Here are suggestions:

http://bit.ly/3FcF2Yn

https://bit.ly/3Hkaq9U

Read about others’ journeys with dementia People living with dementia share their experiences and hopefully connect with what your loved one is feeling

https://bit.ly/3uGqwTH

https://bit.ly/3FbBsOk

Brain Games Keeping the brain engaged is important during the early to mid-stages of dementia. Here is an example.

Keep the Mind Alert and Active with Easy Word Searches in LARGE Print | Activity Books for Dementia, Memory Loss and Alzheimer’s | Alzstore

Middle Stages of Dementia

These suggestions focus on activities that you might have enjoyed previously with your loved one, but these gifts have slight adjustments to accommodate their current abilities.

Arts and Creativity

Painting made simple

Communication and Conversation starters Conversation cards for Adults with Memory Loss

Music

Research shows that we hold on to the music we heard in our youth. Here is one option to consider:

Simplified Music Player For Alzheimer’s and Dementia | Simple MP3 Music Player for Seniors and Elderly with Limited Hand Coordination or Arthritis | Easy to Use and Easy to Play Music | Preloaded w/ music or Upload Your Own | SMPL | Alzstore

Later Stages of Dementia

As your family member is experiencing the changes in the later stages of dementia, sensory items are enjoyable. Tailor them to their interests. Activities that are simpler and larger have the most success. It might take a few tries before they participate with you.

Art and Creativity

https://bit.ly/3BlVHYt

Sensory Exploration Items allow your family member to explore safely a smaller world at their fingertips. These sensory items have demonstrated to reduce anxiety for people who are no longer able to express their thoughts and feelings. Here is an example:

Animatronic Animals are wonderful companions if appropriate for your family member. It is best to get this recommendation from a professional. Here is an example of one.

https://bit.ly/3iKRBCE

Color match dominoes: Here is one suggestion of an activity for someone that loved dominoes.

Buy Jumbo Color Dominoes at S&S Worldwide (ssww.com)

Oral Health in the Elderly

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association points out the need for oral health in the elderly. The study says that older adults with tooth loss have a higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. The more teeth that are missing, the increased risk.

Researchers reviewed records of 24,074 participants, of which 4,689 had cognitive impairment or dementia. They found that each missing tooth was associated with a 1.4% increase in the risk of cognitive impairment and a 1.1% increased risk of dementia. Those with 20 or more missing teeth had a 31% higher risk. Participants who had missing teeth but also used dentures were not found to have a higher risk.

The connection between missing teeth and these risks is not clear. Perhaps missing teeth create problems chewing food so much that nutritional deficiencies or chemical imbalances occur. If there has been poor oral hygiene, increased bacteria in the mouth or gum disease may also have a connection.

Or it’s possible that people who are experiencing cognitive decline become less able to take care of their teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. There’s still a lot to be studied on this issue but one thing is clear: aging adults often need more care. At Corewood Care, we serve seniors and their families with in-home care, allowing the elderly person to age in place in their own home.

Our caregivers are trained to help with the physical needs such as toileting, bathing, dressing and basic oral care, as well as help in the home with light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders, and companionship and compassion during every visit.

If you or a family member are struggling to keep up with the tasks of daily living, let us help. Contact us for a no-cost home consultation for senior home care services across the greater Bethesda and Washington DC region.

Local vs National Home Care Companies

If you’re looking for a home care service in the Bethesda-Montgomery County-DC Metro region, there are many options. Dozens of in-home care companies offer care for seniors. Some are large national companies; others, like Corewood Care, are locally owned.

What differences might be found between a corporate home care agency and a locally owned home care service? You may be more familiar with the big-name national companies. Several of them run nationwide TV commercials, hire well-known actors or former television news people, place ads in magazines, or send direct mail to your home. All of that costs money which is factored into the rate they charge.

Services that match you to a home care company, assisted living facility or nursing home can have very high fees that are paid for by that business. Those also have to be factored into the rate they charge for their services.

Locally owned senior home care agencies have a smaller management structure and less overhead cost. That means that if you ever have a concern, you can easily speak with top management or the home care agency’s owner. At Corewood Care, our company was founded by Mary O’Donoghue. Following her experience caring for her father in the family home on Corewood Lane, she believed in-home care for the elderly entailed more than physically helping the senior adult. She set out to build a company that employed caregivers passionate about helping people, caring for their emotional and physical needs.

It’s that desire to find the most caring and compassionate staff, provide excellent training and hands-on care management that often sets local senior home health care agencies apart. Corewood Care offers no-cost home assessments before we match a caregiver to the senior client. We work to make that a good relationship from the beginning, whether it’s for respite care, post-surgery care, or 24/7 in-home care.

Senior care services can help with dressing, bathing, medications, and activities of daily living, as well as light housekeeping, meal preparation and companionship. We’ll tailor a specific plan to help care for you or your senior family member, and always be available to make the senior care services meet your needs.

Corewood Care Named Among America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies

September 13, 2021– Inc. magazine has named Corewood Care as No. 845 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list provides a look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses.

In the most recent three-year period, Corewood Care achieved revenue growth of 577%, outpacing the average of other companies on the list.

“We’re honored and excited to be part of the 2021 Inc. 5000,” says Mary O’Donoghue, CEO and Founder of Corewood Care. “Our company was founded on the belief of helping people across the DC Metropolitan area, and our growth is testament to ‘doing well by doing good’.”

At Corewood Care, our mission is to improve the way health is managed, allowing our clients to thrive and live gracefully. From household duties to skilled care, we provide Home Care and Care Management services throughout the DC Metropolitan area – Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C.

Whether at home, the hospital, a senior living community, or elsewhere, our dedicated care team provides our clients with individualized services and flexible support. For senior home care or aging in place services, Corewood Care is setting a new standard as a home care agency.

Not only have the companies on the 2021 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, this year’s list also proved especially resilient and flexible given 2020’s unprecedented challenges. Among the 5,000 companies to make the list, the average median three-year growth rate soared to 543 percent.

Companies on the 2021 Inc. 5000 are ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2017 to 2020. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2017. They must be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2020.

Learn more about the company at https://corewoodcare.com/

Loneliness in the Elderly

As people age, loneliness and social isolation can become very real concerns and create health risks for dementia and other medical conditions. A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) indicates that nearly one quarter of adults 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated. 

Aging seniors are more likely to live alone, often after the death of a spouse; and are more likely to experience the loss of family or friends who may pass away or move to another location. Chronic illness and loss of hearing also contribute to isolation and loneliness. A recent study found that social isolation increased the risk of premature death to nearly the same extent as smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.

At Corewood Care, we work to address the issues of loneliness and social isolation for our senior home care clients and their families. Often, we are brought into a senior’s home because they, or their adult children, recognize that they need help with bathing, housekeeping, or meal preparation. Our caregivers are adept at providing that physical, tangible assistance, but they are also trained in the importance of companionship while they’re performing other duties in the home.

That companionship is part of our company philosophy; it’s our mission to help our clients thrive and grow. That means we’re attuned to the issue of loneliness, and we make an effort to reduce those feelings in our clients during our visits. So while our caregivers help a client bath and dress, they try to engage each client. These conversations might be inquiring about the places the senior lived or the type of work they did; their families; the weather or news of the day. While our caregiver prepares meals for the senior, they might ask about their favorite meal or what memories he or she has of holidays, or about hobbies or interests he or she enjoyed.

Our hope is to not only provide home care but to make a difference. Senior home care is not just about physically helping the senior with activities of daily living as they age, it’s also about caring for their mental health by offering friendship and companionship. Corewood Care is a senior home care company serving Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland; Fairfax County, Arlington and Alexandria region in Virginia; as well as Washington DC area. Call on us for assistance with home health care services, 24/7 care, and respite care for your family.

Call Us: (301) 909-8117