Happy Mother’s Day!

Maria Baylis, Founder of North Oakland Caregivers

Maria Baylis, Founder of North Oakland Caregivers, mother of nine

Happy Mother’s Day to all who are mothers and mothers-to-be, to sisters, aunts and grandmothers who gave motherly care to those who were in need of it. Thank you for your nurturing love and support. Thank you for believing in us. We ended up good people because of you. Thank you!

What to Do If Your Elderly Parents Need Care but Want to Stay at Home?

Smiling caregiverMany of us with elderly parents know how fiercely they protect their ability to live independently, even if their health is declining. According to a research report by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the AARP Public Policy Institute, up to 90% of people over age 65 want to stay living in their home as long as it is possible.

Families support this desire of their elderly loved ones.  Staying in their home and feeling connected to their community helps them maintain a positive outlook and live longer. But at some point it becomes challenging for the family members to support the growing needs of their aging loved ones. And everyone dreads the discussion of a nursing home or assistant living facility. After all, it often implies an emotionally heavy time period and a sense of loss on the part of the aging parents. It’s something that one can never fully adjust to.

Many families do not know that this can be avoided and that they have a better option in their arsenal – a 24/7 home care assistance where 1 or 2 caregivers would support the elderly parent still in the familiarity of their home. This option removes the unnecessary stress of changing the environment for the parents and, on top of that, gives them a better one-on-one care than many facilities can provide.

We at the North Oakland Caregivers see how the 24/7 home care option becomes a welcome choice for many families who have not even thought of it at the beginning. We see how our elderly clients bond with the caregivers and their families gain peace of mind that their parents will be taken care of around the clock. We have given this kind of experience to many of our clients and we are happy to help your family too. Call us to start the conversation. We are happy to answer any of your questions to help you explore your options!

3 Reasons Why Our Clients Choose Us For Home Care

Senior men and women smilingWhen it comes to the decision of starting a home care support for your loved ones, people want to be sure they choose the right provider.

What defines the “right” provider might be slightly different for different families. Businesses are not created equal, even in the same sphere of home care services, every business tries to stand for something they do best. We at North Oakland Caregivers have our own set of strengths. They are not generated by our staff, they are called out by our clients. They are what our clients noticed and valued when they were looking for the “right” home care for their families.

So, how did they search, and what made them choose us? We asked that question to our customers in order to understand what stood out for them in our business, what they found most persuasive in our profile. And their answers were consistent, they kept giving us three key reasons:

  1. Our experience of 25+ years makes us experts
  • 25+ years of home care experience means we have withstood the test of time and are not going anywhere
  • It also means we have gathered great expertise in the field of home care and in understanding of what seniors and their families look for
  1. We are a local business connected to our community
  • We grew up in this area, know and understand the local community and use our knowledge for the benefit of our clients. For example, if bad weather is coming, we know and plan ahead.
  • We offer a face-to-face communication. In the age of virtual offices,phone calls might be perceived as too generic and anonymous. It’s reassuring for our clients that they can come to our office and discuss their situation in a much more personable environment.
  1. We have amazing 5-star reviews
  • We are proud to have 5-star reviews in Google, Facebook and our website. We consider this our best recommendation as the words of appreciation are coming directly from our clients’ experience.
  • These outstanding reviews are testimony to our human touch that comes from our hearts, not our duties. We know all our clients personally, we call them to just ask how they are doing, we stop by when we can. We like it when it feels like a family.

These three reasons are our strengths we are proud of. Something that our clients experienced and appreciated to trust us with their families. It’s a reputation we’ve built, and now are working hard to maintain and improve.  Will you trust us with your loved ones? We hope to be the “right” home care provider for you, too.

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Home Care Service for Your Loved Ones

Family disagreement over starting home care serviceWe at North Oakland Caregivers have been providing senior home care for 26 years, and during this time we have seen a lot of difficult situations families went through when time had come for them to decide how to care for their loved one.  However, we know that many of those situations could have been avoided if the families knew what to expect. Here we describe 3 common mistakes we see over and over in our practice and suggest ideas how to avoid them.

#1 Siblings disagree

This afflicts at least 50% of our cases.  When one sibling makes a unilateral decision with regards to their mom or dad’s home care, the rest often cannot agree and gain a consensus on how, when or where mom or dad should be taken care of. This becomes a classic case of “paralysis by analysis” – meaning nothing gets decided or important decisions get delayed. The person who suffers most in this situation is the very person who the family wanted to help – not only their care is being delayed, they also often feel guilty and upset believing they were the cause for siblings’ disagreement.

Solution:  Involve everyone in the discussion before making any further steps. When everyone starts together, there is more free will and openness allowed in the discussion, and it’s easier to get the whole family on the same page. This will make the senior home care experience for your mom or dad comforting, not upsetting.

#2 Mom or dad don’t want a “stranger” in the house

This is the most common reason the families decide NOT to get senior home care for their elderly member. Not because the family does not want it – they want and need care, and everyone is on board. Except mom or dad.  They are hesitant about letting someone into their house that they don’t know.  They don’t understand how it will all work. They simply do not want to change anything. This is understandable.

Solution:  Small steps are always less intimidating. Start the process of getting help for your loved one by starting early and on a limited basis if possible.  North Oakland Caregivers starts out each case with a “Meet and Greet” with the family, the caregiver and a member of our management team, in the client’s home.  This has been a great way for clients to start the process of familiarity.  We often recommend, where possible, that a caregiver start out 1 or 2 days a week, so the client can gain a comfort level before more days need to be added. When this process is followed, inevitably the client ends up looking forward to each and every visit, and adding more days or hours becomes seamless.

#3 Family delays asking for help until an “event” occurs

This is a common mistake because it is very hard to see small changes as your loved one’s health starts to give. Still, simply having a heightened awareness of how your loved one is feeling, moving, or tending to activities of daily living may go a long way.  You may notice a diminished ability or difficulties in accomplishing what used to be commonly performed tasks.  Moreover, you may see forgetfulness. It may seem just an odd situation to you at the time.

Solution:  Don’t wait until you have to face a much more serious accident. Make a phone call to discuss your situation.   We at North Oakland Caregivers understand you are facing an unfamiliar issue, and you do not need to go through it alone. We offer an informative meeting to help you become aware of many available options and always strive to find a solution for your specific situation. The key is to come up with an early plan to provide care, so that everyone stays ahead of any and all possibilities.

Flowers to Clients on Our Client Appreciation Day

North Oakland Caregivers visiting clients on National Seniors Health & Fitness DayWe at North Oakland Caregivers would like to recognize our clients this month as we honor  National Senior Health and Fitness Day.

Health and well-being of our seniors is the focus of our efforts every day – after all, senior care is our specialty. However, genuinely caring for our clients goes above and beyond our professional duty. We talk to them on the phone, sometimes we cheer them up with flowers if we hear from a caregiver that they are going through a rough spot. We even visit them with a lunch of their choice if we know this will put them in a good mood!

And we believe our clients feel the genuine interest and concern we have for them and pay us back with great trust, friendly chats and amazing recommendations. But this is a topic for another time! For now we leave you with this picture from the latest visit to one of our clients in Clarkston, MI; it left both us and the client smiling.

In the picture: North Oakland Caregivers President Lance Baylis with a client

Mother’s Day – The Best Gift You Can Give

Lance and Maria Baylis, North Oakland Caregivers, senior home care company, celebrating Mothers Day

Lance Baylis, North Oakland Caregivers’ President, with his mother, Maria Baylis

May is the special time of year when we celebrate the most important person in our lives, the person who gave us life, love and the entire world. What she has done for us is hard to top. So, how to best say we love her? What would be the perfect way to express our gratitude? How to show care to the best caregiver of the world?

We ask these questions every year, and there are some traditional ways that we choose – recent trends* show that:

  • Almost all of us buy a greeting card – 78%
  • Fewer, but still the majority, buy flowers – 67%
  • Half of us organize a special outing – 55%
  • Many prefer to give her a freedom to choose a gift with a gift card – 43%
  • Third of us selects clothing items or jewelry – 35% each

They are all precious and special gifts. After all, we want the best for our Mom! However, what she will remember most would probably be something that is not material at all – how we made her feel. This may not be new but it is always magical.

So, go ahead and – along with the card and the flowers – give your Mom a reason to laugh, spend time reminiscing together, relive the moments of your family’s life, make more memories!

“I will have my Mom over and grill up a storm,” says North Oakland Caregivers’ President, Lance Baylis. “I want her to have a great day surrounded by the family.”

*Source: National Retail Federation, 2016

 

Most Important Factor to Live Beyond 100

north oakland caregivers - smiling face-to-face young woman and elderly womanThe ultimate treasure we all can agree on is a human life, and we are always looking for ways to make our life and the life of our loved ones long, healthy and fulfilled.

We try to watch what we eat, we go to the gyms to stay fit, we reduce the number of glasses of wine we get each week, we hope our genetics will help where our lifestyle fails to be up to par. However, more and more research is pointing toward a different factor that will ultimately define how long we will live, how healthy we will stay, and how happy we will feel.  Can you guess?

Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a researcher at Brigham Young University, ran an extensive study that involved tens of thousands of middle-aged men and women to understand what reduced their chances of dying the most. Then she ranked top predictors strongly associated with longevity. It turned out that health-related factors like being lean vs. overweight, exercising or not, etc. are important but they didn’t make it to the top of the list.

Top 2 strongest predictors involved interaction with other people: close relationships that support you in bad times, and – surprisingly – daily social interactions, both personal and casual, like the corner store owner you get your snack from, or the woman walking her dog on your street every day.  But here is the key – it only counts if it’s a face-to-face contact, so frequent texting with your loved ones will not be a good substitute. But “simply making eye contact with somebody, shaking hands, giving somebody a high-five”, as Susan Pinker states in her well-known TED talk about longevity, is enough to increase your trust and lower your stress. It even triggers a release of dopamine, a body’s natural high that can reduce pain!

Modern society leaves little opportunity for seniors to stay socially connected, especially if they are home bound. So, what if you do not live close to your elderly parents and cannot see them often enough? You can give them a gift of that essential social interaction via regular visits by a caregiver while you are away. Call us at North Oakland Caregivers to discuss your situation, we can help.

New Year’s Resolution Tip On Senior Home Care – Starting Small

Senior Home Care with North Oakland Caregivers - smiling senior mother and daughterMany families are entering the New Year with resolutions on their mind. It just seems easier to create a new habit, make a big change for the better, reinvent yourself at the beginning of a new year! So many people will use January as an inspiration to start something significant, something that will make a lasting impact on their lives. But this may also be the right time to make a lasting impact on the life of your elderly family member. We mean making a step towards planning for the future of your older mom or dad who may need assistance in their activities of daily living.

The idea may feel daunting at the beginning, like many changes do. We know some seniors may not be immediately open to the idea of having a caregiver coming into their home to help them.  Great long-term benefits can be overshadowed by a perceived fear of loss of independence or a temporary anxiety of having a “stranger” in the house.  Seniors can respond with resistance in many different ways. Frankly, family members might have their own concerns about how this new arrangement might work.

We understand. Every change requires an adjustment. Our experience has shown that slowly easing into this new “caregiver” scenario is often all it takes to relieve the concerns of starting a home care routine for your senior loved one.  Maybe having a caregiver come into their home once or twice a week just to give them an idea of what it’s all about might help alleviate their anxiety.  Maybe one 8 hour day a week will do the trick. Maybe 4 hours a day, 2-3 days a week will help set a comfort level.  The key is starting small and adjusting to what the future needs will be.

Having a senior home care provider that is flexible enough to allow time to find the perfect routine for your senior loved one is a great solution.  North Oakland Caregivers at Clarkston, MI, has been doing it for 26 years. We are waiting for your call. Are you ready to make the first step towards the New Year’s resolution that will make a lasting impact on the future of your family?

Happy Holidays from North Oakland Caregivers!

Merry Christmas from North Oakland Caregivers“Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a very happy New Year from all of us at North Oakland Caregivers!

We hope you’ll spend this festive season relishing your time together with your loved ones. May you fill every moment with love, peace and joy and begin the new year with the hope of many wonderful things to come!”

Lance Baylis, President