Why use a professional care giving agency? Peace of mind

A while back I was at the home of a potential client and her grown daughter, chatting to see what their care expectations were and if we would be a good fit, like I always do. We were talking about their options for respite care, help while the family is away, this could be a few hours weekly or 24 hour care during a vacation. The daughter is part of our local law enforcement, she told me that she had been to a website that passed along contact information for independent caregivers. “ I recognized at least 80% of them as having been through our local criminal system.” I was shocked!

How do we protect our seniors? How can you trust a stranger to care for your mom or dad?

A Hand at Home is licensed through the State. This means that the business has to prove that it will follow the law, protect our seniors, pay their taxes, carry sufficient insurance to protect clients and employees and train and supervise their caregivers.

Caregivers who work for my agency must not only be compassionate, reliable and skilled they also need to register with the State. Registration includes a fingerprint background check that goes all the way back to when they turned 18, any infraction could make them ineligible.

One of my first clients hired us primarily because they had tried hiring an independent caregiver in the past, which had not worked out. The family had gone to Hawaii on a dream vacation leaving grandma in the care of an acquaintance. Luckily a friend stopped by that first evening to see how things were going. The front door was wide open, the remains of dinner sat on the table, and grandma was passed out on the floor, an empty bottle of booze and two glasses were the last they saw of the “caregiver”.

We ended up working with the family for several years and many happy vacations.


Today I ran into the daughter of a client that we helped move to a memory care facility last year. We only spoke for a few minutes but we did some real sharing. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to face dementia in a loved one with out the support of friends and family. Caregivers fill a special gap, not quite family or friend but definitely someone who’s been there and understands.
It is a privilege to be of help during such difficult times. I am honored by the deep yet often temporary role I play.

Sandwich Generation

sandwichAre you part of the “sandwich generation”? Are you between 40 and 60? Supporting a child while caring for a parent, at home or from afar?
Well, I’m just about there. I’m 46, I have a child at home and my parents are beginning to need more of my time. As the owner of A Hand at Home,  you might think I’d know all the ins and outs of senior care. On one level I do, but when it comes to the delicate issue of helping my own parents, I’m right with everyone else.
Through my work I’ve found that most parents don’t want to be a burden to their children, but we kids need to know what’s going on and how to help. Right?
Try to sit down and have those personal talks as soon as you can. Find out where things stand and how your folks want issues to be handled should their circumstances change.
You don’t have to do it all alone, we’re here should you need some help. If you live far from your family, an agency like mine can take away a lot of worry. Give it a try and good luck, 530-545-0780

Help for Mom

Last week we had another call from a concerned daughter who was worried that her mom wasn’t taking care of herself as well as she should be. What can we do?

Well the answer is never the same from one family to the next but  help starts with a simple conversation.

In this case the parent knew she needed help but had no idea what to ask for.  The daughter lived out of town had a busy life, still   wanted to help so she contacted us.

After a couple of phone calls we decided to have a face to face, mother, daughter, potential caregiver and myself. We spent about an hour getting to know one another, figuring out what areas mom could use some help with and setting up a  schedule, leaving the financial arrangements for another time. ( in this case the daughter chose to handle the financial obligation herself)

It’s been a couple weeks and everything seems to be going well. The mother is getting the help she needs and the daughter has the confidence that someone is looking out for her mom.

I love this work!


Fraud Alert!!!

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department received information of a scam to access retiree’s financial information. A person falsely presents themself as a representative from the local gas company and offers to set up an appointment to review the customer’s financial records. The representative claims they can lower the gas bill, if they can review the financial documents. The public should know Southwest Gas will not ever send anyone out to review personal financial information of customers. Anyone receiving a phone call of this nature, should not give any information. They should contact the police department. If someone arrives at your residence asking for personal information, call the police immediately at (530) 542-6100.

AHAH in the news

In case you missed it, A Hand at Home was in the Tahoe Daily Tribune on Saturday.

Here’s the story:

A Hand at Home, Lake Tahoe Personal Assistance offers non medical in home senior assistance or help while recovering from surgery, illness or injury.
Services the business can provide includes helping elderly family members with tasks such as preparing meals, taking a shower or being present when no one else is available. Staff can also help new moms around the house during the first weeks after a baby is born. Other services including assisting those recovering from surgery or illness.
“We are proud to be the only locally owned and operated, non franchised personal care agency in South Lake Tahoe,” a press release from the business stated. “It has been a dream of ours for many years to open a business that serves our neighbors when they need help the most.”
A Hand at Home is a fully licensed, bonded, and insured care-giving agency. Its team can provide care a few hours per week or every day. Its caregivers go through a comprehensive training program, are drug and background screened, and demonstrate a genuine desire to help others.
For more information, call 530-545-0780.


When do you reach out for help?

Have you noticed that your father isn’t bathing as often as he should? Has your mother’s house started to take on the characteristics of a hoarder’s home? Or are you losing sleep worried that your parents simply need more care than you can provide. Whatever the reason may be taking that first step and making a call doesn’t need to be a big deal. Think of it as a time for information gathering. No decent care giving agency is going to try and trap you into a contract. We are here to help and that help begins with listening to your unique situation. Unless you need immediate care, generally, the next step is to have a meeting with a care planner. This is a great time to get a feel for the agency you will be working with. Most people in this field really care and you should get a good feeling right away. Go with your gut, if you don’t feel right about things, don’t do it. Remember these people will be taking care of your loved one and hopefully give you some peace of mind. When you know it’s time, make the call.


Cancer Walk

The Mountain News recently ran an article about Connie Phillips, former owner of Curves, cancer survivor, and current manager of Sierra Athletic Club. What an inspirational story. This gal has a real passion for helping others. Here at A Hand at Home we have been so affected by her life that it has spurred us into action. As a group we will be participating in the Community Cancer Walk a fund raiser for South Lake Tahoe Cancer League. Connie has touched so many lives with her infectious positive spirit, we can’t help but want to support her and all the great things the Cancer League does for folks in our community. You guys Rock! We will try in the future to help get the word out sooner about local events. Wouldn’t it be great to have our seniors participate next time?

You can see pictures of the team from A Hand at Home at the local Cancer Walk here.