When Negotiating Doesn’t Pay

Posted by inscadmin on June 14, 2016  /   Posted in Stellar Home Care

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JUNE 2016:  Who doesn’t love a bargain?  It’s a great thing when we get a good deal, a cut-rate price, on a car, a TV, or a trip.  Home care services for your loved one?  Maybe not so much.

Perhaps you’re looking for home care services for your aging mom who’s frail and needs help with meals, bathing, dressing, and taking her medications on time.  Or maybe the care required is more complex, and your loved one has dementia, or is recovering from surgery or cancer care.  You’re trusting someone to come into the home to provide the right care, with compassion and empathy at a time when your loved one may be physically and emotionally vulnerable.  Would you rather hire these critical services from a reputable agency with trained staff who are paid a living wage, or from an untrained person willing to accept a low rate who may or may not provide the right care? Who may or may not jump ship the minute a better-paying job comes along?

Bargain-hunters, this is the reality.  When it comes to home care services for the people you love, for people whose well-being matters to you, understand that quality care is not necessarily the least expensive care.  Quality care delivered by caregivers who are well-trained and compensated fairly can make the difference between your loved one being able to stay at home, or being institutionalized. Ask yourself, is it worth it.  It’s not like shopping for a cell phone.  It’s so much more important than that.

To learn more about the home care services offered by Stellar HomeCare, call us at (203) 956-7686


Family Conflicts and Dementia Care

Posted by inscadmin on May 15, 2016  /   Posted in Stellar Home Care

MAY 2016:  Caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia often presents challenges for families.  Family members may disagree post-surgeryabout where and how care should be provided, how costs will be covered, and each person’s level of involvement.  Conflicts can also arise if relatives who live near the person with dementia feel resentful or stressed out about shouldering more caregiving responsibilities than other members of the family.  Coupled with these tensions is the emotional impact for family members as they see the disease progress and their loved one decline.

Professional caregivers trained in dementia care in the home can help families deal with these challenges in several ways.   First, caregivers can provide respite to family members who are “on the front lines” and give them a much-needed break.  Whether it’s providing companionship to the individual with dementia or performing household tasks, caregivers can provide invaluable support to families and give them a chance to regroup.

Second, trained caregivers with a professional focus on the individual’s strengths can work with the person to identify their needs and interests, and patiently guide them toward the activities they can still enjoy. It can be very difficult for relatives to witness the mood and personality changes and cognitive decline of their loved one, whereas a professional can be empathic but objective.

Finally, professional caregivers can become an invaluable part of the ‘care team,’ with their services making it possible for the individual to remain in the home environment for as long as possible.

To learn more about the home care services offered by Stellar HomeCare, call us at 203-956-7686.

Choosing Home Care Services: The Key Question Every Family Needs to Ask

Posted by inscadmin on March 15, 2016  /   Posted in Stellar Home Care

March 2016:  Families seeking home care services so a loved one can live safely at home are often concerned not only with quality of services, but cost. It can be very difficult for families to properly vet an agency, particularly if there is an urgent need for care.

But no matter what the service desired, whether round-the-clock care, companionship, or help with activities of daily living, the key question families must ask is: Who is the employer?

This is a critical question. Many times families who are attracted by the lower rates of a home care registry don’t understand that they are taking on the role of an employer and all the responsibilities that come with it.  A registry only provides referrals, and the caregivers are not the registry’s employees. A registry does not provide employee supervision, back-up coverage, worker’s compensation, insurance, or other benefits.  As an employer, the family is responsible for compliance with payroll taxes, social security withholding, and wage and overtime laws. They also face a liability risk if the caregiver gets hurt on the job. For many families, this is simply too much to handle.

A state-registered home care agency, on the other hand, is an employer. And as an employer, the agency conducts background checks, license verification, and insures and bonds their caregivers, ensures compliance with employment laws, and provides back-up coverage when needed.  A reputable agency also provides supervision and training, and has a vested interest in making sure that there is a good match between the caregiver and the individual. Rates are higher than what registries charge because the agency manages all employment functions, provides oversight and supervision, and offers back-up coverage when needed.

Every family is different and so is every caregiving situation.  To learn more about the home care services offered by Stellar HomeCare, call us at 203-956-7686.

Caregiver Burnout

Posted by inscadmin on August 25, 2015  /   Posted in Stellar Home Care


Am I suffering from caregiver burnout? It is a question many who take on the responsibility of caring for a loved one may ask themselves on a regular basis as they work to provide another with daily support. Perhaps you have noticed your own health deteriorating as stress begins to effect your sleeping or eating habits. Maybe you do not have time to spend with friends and family members or no longer have interest in your old hobbies. If you struggle with any of these issues you will find the following tips and tricks helpful to coping with the challenges of supporting one who needs assistance. It may be time to reevaluate your approach and the help you have been receiving thus far.

  • Make a concerted effort to confide in those around you, despite how difficult it may be to share details regarding what you are going through, but finding a confidant can help to relieve stress. Whether it is a friend, coworker, or family member, find someone with whom you can share your feelings to ensure that these emotions do not remain bottled inside.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out for professional assistance. A therapist or social worker who has been trained to provide guidance in caregiving situations may be a resource pivotal to providing the best assistance possible to the person you are caring for now.
  • Join a support group to meet fellow caregivers who can offer assistance. Remember that you are not alone in your struggles to provide a high standard of care for your loved one.

Carve out moments in each day to take time to yourself. Without having an outlet to release your energy, it can be difficult to not feel consumed by your responsibilities. Even just an hour of “me time” can make a world of difference to both your mental health as well as the person you are caring for. You can come back refreshed and more able to combat the day-to-day challenges of caretaking. In addition, it is important to not only maintain your mind, but your body as well. Do your best to eat a balanced diet while keeping up an exercise regimen. This can give you greater energy to ensure you are able to put your best foot forward as a caregiver.

Lastly, realize what your limitations may be and understand it is okay to ask for help. Stellar Home Care can help you through the transition should you choose to go from a fulltime caregiver to a part time caregiver. By using respite care services, you can receive aid that can range from a few hours of the day to a short stay in a nursing home or assisted-living facility.