The Use of CareProfiler in Full Swing

Posted on November 6, 2013

Care Profiler was developed to help healthcare organizations find caregivers that are responsible, attuned, and capable of creating meaningful connections with the people they care for.

The Questionnaire takes about 20 minutes to take and looks for strengths and weaknesses in:

Interpersonal Workstyles: 

  • Empathy and EQ
  • Hospitality
  • Dependability
  • Self Control

Care Core Areas:

  • Comforting
  • Motivating
  • Socializing
  • Enriching

Performance Workstyles: 

  • Open to learning
  • Persistence
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Attention to Detail
  • Achievement

The results are then analyzed by the program to provide a detailed picture of each candidate to provide the most compatible placement with our clients. We have been using this tool since June 2012, and it has been a tremendous success for both Constant Companions and the seniors that we serve, as it goes far beyond the resume and interview. Not only can we qualify caregivers based on skill and experience, but we can now provide clients with caregivers that are more attuned to their particular personality and situation, a must when working in the home.

If you would like to learn more please visit our website at www.constantcompanions.net. If you would like to take the test, go to the “Click Here To Apply’ link on the home page. Indicate that you are taking the test ‘Out of Curiosity’. Please don’t forget to put in your email if you would like us to email the results to you.

The Launching of Affordable Alternatives

Posted on November 6, 2013

affordable alternatives

 

 

 

Constant Companions continues to serve the senior population of San Diego and SW Riverside with a full-service, employee-based home care model. However, throughout 2011 and 2012, as our care coordinator met with many seniors and their families, they were increasingly turning down traditional home care agency services and opting to look on Craigslist or another private set-up. Private hire caregiving can be risky, if not downright dangerous. We felt we needed to provide a solution to families that offered them the assurance of background checks and care oversight.

In January of 2013, Affordable Alternatives was created. Affordable Alternatives is a separate Home Care Referral Agency that seeks to provide seniors with a safer alternative to inexpensive home care.

All of the caregivers at Affordable Alternatives must pass the same rigorous screening process as Constant Companions’ Caregivers:

  • 7 year/50 state background check
  • Employment/Reference check
  • CareProfiler Questionnaire
  • Interview
  • Orientation

Affordable Alternatives is insured with both general and professional liability in addition to being bonded. All caregivers registered with Affordable Alternatives are independent contractors that are allowed to set their own rates and the agency collects a set fee for care management and administration (billing, payment, compliance, and maintaining insurance).

As with Constant Companions, Affordable Alternatives clients receive a comprehensive in-home assessment, care plan and regular contact to make sure all is going as expected and to make any adjustments in the care plan as necessary.

Rates for Affordable Alternatives begin at  $15.60 per hour and $156/day.

To Reach a Care Coordinator 24/7, please call:  888.713.3268 

Here’s the Skin(ny)—The Importance of Skin Integrity As We Age

Posted on November 6, 2013

Skin Integrity in Seniors

Skin Integrity in Seniors

As we age, the skin, like every other organ in our body, begins to decline. While we don’t have any way to reverse this aging process there are things that we can do to boost it functioning and help to prevent skin integrity issues, a major complication for many seniors.

What does skin do for us?

·         Helps maintain proper body temperature
·         Wards off infections
·         Waterproof barrier that keeps moisture in and moisture out.
·         Provides sensory information about our environment and injury

Skin integrity is just a fancy way of saying skin health. As the body ages, the layer of fat under the skin starts to disappear as well as the blood vessels feeding the skin with lots of oxygen. As a result the skin becomes looser, unable to insulate us well, and thinner. The most visible evidence of this is wrinkling and sagging of the skin. As our skin becomes thinner, it becomes vulnerable to tears and pressure sores.  Open skin is an invitation to infection and discomfort.

 

Risks Factors:

 

·  Diabetes – it is under-diagnosed and under-treated, so make sure you are checking for it regularly with your health care provider. Diabetes causes decreased blood flow to the skin and extremities, encouraging the formation of wounds where there may be pressure points. To make matters worse, it makes the body less efficient in healing wounds, once they have developed.

·  Immobility—Any condition that requires someone to be in bed or confined to a wheelchair for long periods of every day will increase the need to be especially vigilant for skin problems. Daily skin checks for tears and sores are essential. Also, making sure that skin is kept clean and dry is essential. If moisture is a problem, check with your health care provider about the use of barrier creams.

·  Hip fracture—In otherwise health and active people, hip fractures can cause long periods of immobility during the healing and rehabilitation process. This immobility can increase chances of developing a bed sores.

·  Dementia—Dementia can contribute to problems with overall skin integrity due to nutritional factors. Not remembering to eat or prepare balanced meals can cause a drop in weight and nutrients essential to the maintenance of the skin. Additionally, inadequate nutrition can contribute to a higher incidence of falls (weakness from low blood sugar and not enough calories) which can open the skin and lead to infection.

·  Rapid weight loss— The lack of ‘padding’, coupled with the underlying cause for weight loss, i.e. poor nutrition or disease, can be problematic for skin integrity.

·  Cancer— During treatment, immunity is compromised, appetite may decline, and chemotherapy can directly affect the condition of the skin. Special care should be taken to avoid a skin tear and to try to make sure that food and liquid intake is maintained as much as can be tolerated.

·  Smoking or history of smoking—Decreases blood supply to the skin.

·  Neurological damage—This can decrease ability to sense discomfort at pressure points that would otherwise prompt one to shift positions.

 

What you can do NOW

Nutrition is one of the best defenses against skin break-down. No matter what your current health status, making an appointment with a dietician is a great way to make sure you are getting the adequate nutrition you need to provide your skin the opportunity to keep working for you, not against you.

Nutritional factors that can help maintain skin integrity:

·  Stay hydrated

·  Eat a balance diet that includes protein

·  Include healthy fats in your diet

·  Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin A, C, E, K and minerals zinc, iron and copper

 While there is no cure for what age does to our skin, there are things that we can do to keep it in the best possible condition to help protect us when we are our most vulnerable.


Written by Gabriela F. Brown, CSA

Constant Companions Home Care

http://www.constantcompanions.net

888.883.8393

Happy 10th Anniversary!

Posted on November 6, 2013

It was on October 14th, 2003, that we accepted our first client! 

We want to extend a heart-felt THANK YOU to all of our referral sources, community partners and clients for their continued faith, feedback and recommendation of our senior home care services.

Our 10-year anniversary is more than just a celebration, It is a time for gratitude, a time to reflect and a time to plan for the future.

Since 2003, we have continually looked for ways to differentiate us from the myriad of other agencies in the community. Over 10 years we have learned a great deal and are continuing to learn as the entire health care industry is facing new challenges including home care, which is facing new state-wide regulatory challenges.

As we plan for the next 10 years, we are very busy learning about these new changes in order to be an asset your organization and the overall well-being of each of our clients.

We will continue to have an open-door policy regarding any suggestions and concerns that you may have in our overall practices, compliance and customer service. In fact, we will be encouraging it as we discover new ways to continue being an asset to the health care community as well as the seniors in our community.

Once again, thank you ALL. We couldn’t have done this with out you. Our deepest wish, at this milestone, is to continue providing excellent services to the seniors of San Diego and SW Riverside for the next 10 years!

-Gabriela Brown, CSA 

Founder of Constant Companions Home Care