All posts by Always Best Care

Independence Among Seniors


Nothing beats the comforts of home, so it is not surprising that an AARP survey revealed that approximately 90% of American seniors wish to stay in their own home for as long as possible. Aging in place offers a wealth of benefits, such as:

  • Familiarity: Seniors are intimately familiar with the layout and organization of their home. They know how to navigate and find what they want, and they feel relaxed and comfortable in a recognizable environment. This can be especially beneficial for those experiencing cognitive decline.
  • Routine: Seniors are used to their consistent daily routines and the predictability of life in their own home. They feel secure. A new environment can lead to confusion.
  • Health: Studies have shown that seniors tend to have better health outcomes and improved recovery when living in their own home versus a nursing home or assisted living facility.
  • Independence: In their own home, seniors tend to feel more in control of their lives and their surroundings. With so many changes occurring with aging, this can be reassuring.

Non-Medical In-Home Care Can Keep Seniors in Their Homes Longer

As individuals age, they often require increasing levels of assistance completing everyday tasks. But that does not mean that they must move into a nursing home or assisted living facility. With structured support and a personalized in-home care plan, they can continue to safely age in place. This can be beneficial not only for their mental health, but also their financial health, as non-medical in-home care can be a cost-effective alternative.

At Always Best Care, we conduct a multi-point assessment that provides details regarding each client’s unique needs and goals. Our caregivers are well-versed on the individual’s:

  • diagnosis and prognosis
  • medications
  • personal care needs
  • nutrition and dietary needs
  • fall risk
  • other critical care-related information

A comprehensive care service plan is created to address these needs and create an environment where the client can remain in their home and live as independently as possible. Caregivers provide necessary services to improve safety, adherence to medical treatment plans, and enhance quality of life. Seniors play an active role in decision making and guiding their care, which fosters a positive, constructive relationship.

If or when the time comes that the client’s needs exceed the capabilities of non-medical in-home care, Always Best Care can help families navigate the process of transitioning to assisted living, a nursing home, or another care facility.

Contact Always Best Care at (877) 470-2273 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how you can benefit from non-medical in-home care.

Infection Prevention Tips for Seniors


With aging, the immune system naturally weakens, putting seniors at increased risk of illness and infection. In addition, many seniors also have other health conditions that can make them more susceptible. Whether in the hospital, an assisted living facility, out in the community, or at home, there are steps that older adults can take to improve infection prevention.

  • Get recommended vaccines. Vaccines can help prevent many diseases such as the flu, pneumonia, COVID-19, hepatitis B, HPV, etc. Talk with your doctor about any vaccines or vaccine boosters that you may benefit from as you age.
  • Wash hands often. Germs are everywhere, and they are easily spread from the hands to the eyes, nose, and mouth, where they enter the body. Use soap and water to frequently wash your hands, especially after being in high-traffic areas and touching handrails, doorknobs, elevator buttons, or countertops. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. Ask others to clean their hands regularly as well.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces. Use disinfectant sprays or wipes to clean common surfaces that multiple people may touch. This can help further reduce the spread of germs between people.
  • Take care of wounds. If you have a cut, sore, or burn, make sure that it is properly cleaned and covered with sterile gauze or an adhesive bandage. Change dressings as needed to limit bacteria growth and promote healing. Wash hands before and after treating any wounds.
  • Finish antibiotics. Even if you are feeling better, make sure you take your entire prescription. Stopping early may mean that the bacteria or infection has not been fully cleared and may return.
  • Cover coughs/sneezes. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue whenever possible. This helps to block germs from spreading as easily through the air, and keeps your hands cleaner so you are not promoting spread through touch.
  • Avoid people who are sick. Refrain from visiting with individuals who are sick, or politely ask them to reschedule their visit with you until they are feeling better.
  • Speak up about concerns. If you develop any concerning symptoms or have questions about medications or changes in your health, talk to your doctor. Ask about ways that you can be proactive in preventing infection and staying healthy.

Working with an in-home caregiver can help you maintain a cleaner, healthier environment at home. A caregiver can assist with planning and preparing nutritious meals, performing light housekeeping, providing medication reminders, scheduling and attending appointments, and other activities to promote better health.

Contact Always Best Care at (877) 470-2273 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how you can benefit from non-medical in-home care.

THREE SISTERS OPEN ALWAYS BEST CARE OF WINSTON-SALEM


Always Best Care Senior Services, one of the leading senior care franchise systems in the United States, announced today the launch of its ninth territory in the state of North Carolina with the opening of its location in Winston-Salem. Located at 802 Birch Lane, Suite B, Always Best Care of Winston-Salem is owned and operated by franchisees and sisters Joanne Pizzuto, Gina Ward and Andrea Allegretto, and will provide award-winning senior care services to Winston-Salem as well as the surrounding communities of Kernersville, Walkertown, Colfax and Oak Ridge.

“We are thrilled to continue working alongside Joanne who has been a part of our Always Best Care community for years, and we look forward to also welcoming her sisters Gina and Andrea to the team,” said Jake Brown, President & CEO of Always Best Care. “Joanne’s experience over the years with Always Best Care has now led to a new expansion opportunity to join forces with her family.  We look forward to supporting this new location that will, in conjunction with others, serve the state of North Carolina and its senior population.”

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Pizzuto, Ward and Allegretto all relocated to North Carolina more than 25 years ago. Pizzuto, who took the first initiative to North Carolina, did so in the beginning of her career in the healthcare industry. Since, she has gained experience working with seniors in a variety of settings from assisted living to long-term care. In 2011, Pizzuto opened Always Best Care of Burlington, North Carolina, further dedicating her career to the industry. After working many years alongside each other, Pizzuto was honored to exit the business in 2016, handing the reins over to her daughter, as she continues her entrepreneurial endeavors with the opening of Always Best Care of Winston-Salem alongside her sisters. Ward, Pizzuto’s sister, joins the business with more than 30 years of experience in the finance world in various accounting roles, earning the trust of national brands. In 2017, Ward, alongside her husband, launched a successful home inspection business which is still currently owned and operated by the couple. Rounding out the trio, an inspiring health and wellness enthusiast for more than 29 years, Allegretto joins Always Best Care in pursuit to continue fulfilling her life’s mission to put the needs of others first.

“Being an owner of Always Best Care for more than 10 years, I knew that this business would continue to be the perfect franchise model to have my sisters join alongside me in pursuit of entrepreneurship,” said Pizzuto. “We have always been a very tight-knit family, growing up in Brooklyn together. Having the family own this business together is an incredible feeling, as it combines our passion for serving others and entrepreneurship, all while spending time together. Every day we come into the office; we are proud to work together to make life better for the seniors we care for in the Winston-Salem community.”

Always Best Care is one of the nation’s leading providers of non-medical in-home care and assisted living referral services. The company delivers its services through an international network of more than 200 independently owned and operated franchise territories throughout the United States and Canada.

By working with case managers, social workers, discharge planners, doctors, and families, Always Best Care franchise owners provide affordable, comprehensive solutions that can be specifically matched to meet a client’s particular physical or social needs. The hallmark services of Always Best Care include non-medical in-home care and assisted living finder and referral services, with skilled home health care in some limited markets.

For additional information on services available through Always Best Care of Winston-Salem, or for a free evaluation, please call (336) 338-7896, email [email protected] or visit www.alwaysbestcarewinston-salem.com.

 

About Always Best Care            

Founded in 1996, Always Best Care Senior Services is based on the belief that having the right people for the right level of care means peace of mind for the client and family. Always Best Care assists seniors with a wide range of conditions and personal needs, and currently provides millions of hours of care every year. Franchise opportunities are available to individuals interested in leveraging the company’s clear strategy and proven track record for delivering affordable, dependable service to seniors in their local areas.

Always Best Care also offers an exclusive program called Always in Touch, a telephone reassurance program that provides a daily phone call to seniors and disabled adults who are living alone and have limited contact with the outside world. Always in Touch is a national telephone reassurance program offered in the USA and Canada. For more information on Always in Touch, or to request an application, visit www.Always-In-Touch.com.

What should seniors do as Dorian threatens Florida


BY HOWARD COHEN

After 14 elderly residents died in a sweltering post-Irma rehabilitation center in Hollywood in September 2017, which led to the arrest of four former staffers on manslaughter charges, many have acute concerns about their loved ones when storms threaten.

Here are some things you can do to prepare seniors if a hurricane or other major storm threatens, according to Zamira and Mario Froio, owners of Always Best Care, a firm that provides in-home care and assisted living services in Broward County.

  •  Keep prescription medications and approved vitamins organized. This includes excess meds they may have on hand so you aren’t scrambling and searching in dim light should the power be out. Also, keep copies of prescriptions in case pharmacies close during or temporarily after a storm passes.
  • Gather medical records, including information about healthcare needs, insurance cards and emergency contact information.
  • Stock up on water. The Froios recommend enough to drink at least a gallon a day to provide hydration.
  • Have nonperishable food handy, preferably rich in B12 vitamin and low in sodium.
  • Pack a spare bag with blankets, extra clothing and comfortable shoes.
  • If your senior relies on special medical equipment such as eyeglasses, catheters, batteries or oxygen systems, stock up on spare items in case stores close.
  • Have a safe place to keep items like flashlights, battery-powered radios, and a whistle easily accessible in case of an emergency.
  • Place copies of family records and other important documents such as birth and marriage certificates, Social Security cards, passports, wills, deeds, and financial, insurance and immunizations records and emergency family contact numbers in a sealed, waterproof bag.
  • Have cash on hand.
  • If your loved one is in an nursing home or assisted living facility you need to be on top of them to make sure they have, and you know the details of, an evacuation plan.

“After the terrible tragedy that took place in 2017 [at the now shuttered Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills], Florida and the Agency For Health Care Administration (AHCA) have imposed new regulations making power generators a requirement for nursing homes of all sizes located in Florida. This regulation is now regularly monitored across the state by AHCA,” said Mario Froio.

“Despite that, Always Best Care’s advice is to confirm that the nursing home is licensed by AHCA and if they are licensed, to confirm when the most recent official review of AHCA’s licensing regulations were performed,” Froio said.

“Secondly, you should have the nursing home confirm that the generator is in place and working,” he said.

“And last, but not least, make sure that the nursing home has an evacuation plan ready to be followed by all staff in the event that there is a long period without power.”

Other tips from Griswold Home Care, which has locations that include Miami-Dade, Broward, the Florida Keys, Sarasota County, Tampa, Jacksonville, Manatee County, Melbourne, Pasco County, Pensacola, St. Petersburg and Pinellas County.

  • Write everything down, such as contact phone numbers for friends and family, their primary care physician, pharmacist, and local disaster relief numbers. You might not be able to rely on digital means if the power is out and their phones run out of charge.
  • If your parents or other loved ones live on their own far from you ask a neighbor to check in on them at least once a day and get back to you. Make sure they are comfortable having their neighbors popping over.
  • Don’t forget their pets. Make sure the pets have extra food on hand and that they know of the availability of animal shelters should it come to an evacuation need.

Source: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article234435142.html

Identifying Risk Factors that Increase Fall Risk in Seniors


A major health and safety concern that comes with aging is fall risk. Seniors tend to be more likely to fall which can lead to fractures, sprains, or contusions that can be difficult to bounce back from. September 23rd is Falls Prevention Awareness Day and a great time to brush up on some of the factors that can contribute to fall risk.

Many people are aware of some of the main risk factors for falls such as poor mobility or balance. Obviously if a senior has trouble getting around or staying steady on their feet, they are at greater risk for falling. But those are not the only issues that need to be taken into consideration.

Medications:

It’s important to understand the potential side effects of any medication that seniors may be taking. Sometimes these effects include dizziness, drowsiness, poor coordination or balance, risk of postural hypotension, and other issues. This can greatly impact fall risk and take seniors by surprise because they may not have experienced these side effects before.

Vision Problems:

Poor vision can also increase risk of tripping or falling. Glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts can all impair vision in different ways and alter depth perception. Seniors may not see obstacles in their way or perceive objects as being closer or further than they really are.

Low Core Strength/Muscle Weakness:

Your core is what gives your body support and helps keep you upright. When muscles are weak, it can be harder to maintain limb control and support your weight. This can also throw off balance and coordination increasing fall risk. Foot or ankle instability can also be problematic.

Poor Organization:

Outside of physical issues, environmental issues can also add to fall risk. For instance, having rugs that are not secured, having clutter or cords laying around, having a lack of grab bars or handrails, or having furniture arranged in a way that makes it difficult to navigate with a walker, cane, or other assistive device.

Improper Footwear:

Seniors may be used to wearing slippers, high heels, or backless shoes, but as they age, this can become hazardous. They are better off wearing supportive shoes with a sturdy sole that offers some slip resistance. Loose-fitting shoes that flop on their feet or are too big can lead to tripping or stumbling and potentially falling.

Recognizing these risk factors can help seniors and families to be proactive in protecting against falls. In addition, working with an in-home care provider can help seniors to stay organized and move about more safely, encourage them to remain physically active, and provide assistance with activities such as light housekeeping, dressing, meal preparation, errands, and more. They can also provide medication reminders and be alert for potential side effects that could affect fall risk.

Schedule a free consultation with Always Best Care today by calling 855.470.2273. Learn more about how an in-home caregiver can offer the support and assistance your loved one needs to safely age in place.