Respite Care

Good day and welcome everybody to the Wellsprings home Care Podcast. I’m your host Justin Currie, and I am the owner and also a certified senior care manager here at Wellsprings Home Care. 

So a little bit of background on Wellsprings is we’re based in Exton, Pennsylvania and we serve the counties of Delaware, Montgomery, and Chester, and we offer non-medical home care services to seniors and also to those with disabilities. And Wellsprings is very proud to announce that has named us one of 2020 Best of Home Care winners. What that award is it’s actually presented to the top 2 – 3% of home care providers nationwide. So that’s obviously something we’re very excited about here and we couldn’t be more proud of our staff and our caregivers and just the way they’re able to really go in every day and take care of our clients, form great relationships with our clients and we couldn’t be more proud of them. 

So today’s topic, what we’re going to talk about is Respite Care. We’re going to talk about what is Respite Care, what the definition is. We’re also going to talk about some of the struggles that family caregivers face and the reasons for needing Respite Care. And we’re also gonna talk about different payment options for Respite Care. 

What is respite care? 

Respite Care is essentially, it usually has to do with a family caregiver who’s in place caring for a loved one. And it’s essentially to come in and provide relief for them. And in certain cases it can be a one-time thing. It can be in an emergency or it can be on a consistent coverage basis. 

Respite Care  allows seniors and those with disabilities to stay at home while the home care company like Wellsprings can come in and help out by assisting family members. So we can sort of provide that relief for the caregiver in place. And wellsprings can also provide that safety and security in a family member’s absence. So if there is a family member that’s in place caring and they have an emergency, if they’re going even on vacation or any time that they need to leave, one of our caregivers can actually come in and help out with that and just provide them relief so they can work on certain things in their personal lives. Also in certain scenarios, a lot of family caregivers, they’re working 12 hours a day, 14 hours a day, and just really, really tough hours it becomes really demanding – and that’s when Wellsprings caregivers can actually come in and just sort of provide a break, also known as Respite so they can provide that temporary relief. So the family caregiver in place, they can become rejuvenated. They can have their rest, they can catch up on their sleep and they can come back to work, helping out their family member and be in a really good mental and physical state.  

So the next thing I wanted to talk about is the daily struggles that family caregivers face. So probably the number one struggle would be Stress. So obviously when you’re caring for a family member, in most cases the individual, the caregiver, they have their own personal lives. A lot of them are still working full time. So when they’re working full time jobs or even part time jobs and they’re coming into care for a loved one  eight, 10, 12 hours a day, it can become very stressful situation and they don’t have a lot of personal time, which brings us to our next point is just a Lack of Personal Time

Obviously with working a second job as a family care, that really limits your time with your own family. So that’s where a caregiver could come in and offer respite, whether it be for one day, two days a week, whatever works in the family situation.  

And another struggle that family caregivers face is issues with Finances. So essentially when a family caregiver comes in, a lot of times they have to take a step back from their job they’re working. That’s typically you become an unpaid caregiver. Obviously not a lot of us can do that. It would put a big strain on anyone’s finances to quit a full time or a part time job to care for a loved one. And it really puts everybody in a tough position. 

So what our caregivers could do is they can come in and help in that situation and we could maybe come in and help out during the hours where the family caregiver is working their current job and in certain scenarios, benefit providers like Medicaid can actually pay for the respite care to come in and help out. It really depends on the situation. Types of insurance, whether it’s private pay, long-term care insurance, there’s generally options, which we’ll jump to in a few minutes here.  

Another issue would be Lack of Privacy. A lot of our family caregivers that are in place, they’re actually living at the homes of their loved ones. So there they are pretty much on 24/7. It doesn’t give them a lot of time, especially this can be a problem when they have their own family, their own personal life that they need to attend to and it becomes a very large burden. Even though they love who they’re caring for, it can really cause a strain on that family relationship just because of the heavy demand.  

The next would be Sleep Deprivation. With sleep deprivation obviously when you’re working a full time job and you’re coming to care for a loved one, maybe in the evenings or overnight, it can become a huge strain on an individual. Nobody’s built to work that many hours in a day – seven days a week, 12, 14, 16 hours a day. It’s not a reasonable thing to be doing that on a long-term, consistent basis.  

Another issue would be Depression and Isolation. That seems to be a problem we see a lot with family caregivers, because they have a real change in their schedule and they’re in their personal life. They’re not spending as much time. They’re not doing the activities that they used to do. I’m not spending time with loved ones outside of who they’re caring for and it can just feel like an isolated feeling, like they’re almost stuck or restricted. And even though, again, they love who they’re caring for, it can become very demanding very quickly. And a lot of caregivers have actually reported a decline in health since they started caring for a loved one. So obviously this is due to stress, depression, anxiety, things of this nature. It’s different in every situation but you can tell it really takes a toll on the caregiver that’s caring for them.  

So that’s where Wellsprings Home Care can come in and help out. We do offer respite care services. We have a lot of caregivers, like I had mentioned in the Montgomery, Delaware, Chester County areas. And all caregivers are required to have a minimum level of experience and the screening is extremely thorough so whoever can come out and help is always going to have that screening process done ahead of time.  

Some types of situations that you would call on a Wellsprings caregiver would be for short notice if something came up last minute and you needed somebody to fill a spot just to help out for the day. We do have a minimum of four hours but they could come out and help for four hours. We do have a lot of caregivers so that offers more coverage than if it’s just family members caring for somebody.And also other situations would be in an emergency obviously, which no one can plan for. And also as I had mentioned before, it’s just consistent coverage. You always know that you’re going to have coverage in place for a loved one.  

I wanted to get into some also the payment options of Respite Care. So if an individual in Pennsylvania is on a Medicaid waiver, so that is, they have a hired a family member to care for them and it’s called, it’s also known as self-directed care. Depending on the waiver, they typically will pay for respite services as well as long as the provider is an approved Medicaid provider, which Wellsprings Home Care is lucky enough to be an approved Medicaid provider and we provide services for all MCOs which are Keystone first PMC and PA Health and Wellness. Another option would be private pay and that’s pretty straight forward. Obviously the individual would be paying from their savings account or any assets that they might’ve previously accumulated. 

A third option would be Long-term Care Insurance. Now this is only if they’ve had long-term care insurance ahead of time, then any respite that we can come in and help out with, we’ll provide all the information to their long-term care insurance company with hopes of reimbursement for them.  

And another option would be family members. So if you have a family member that’s helping you out financially, a respite care, it’s typically not too extensive. It’s typically only a day here or there. So it’s, the cost isn’t huge. So a lot of the times, a family member, a son, a daughter, an aunt and uncle, anything like that can come in and help out with that.  

And one other option would be Veterans Benefits. So veterans benefits they’re fairly extensive, so it really depends on which benefit you have and if they would choose to pay for that or not. 

I hope that provides a little bit of information as far as payment options and what Respite Care is and you know, hopefully, helps you make a determination on if that’s something you need. And obviously, if you have any questions or concerns, you can, uh, you can call our office anytime at 610-463-0880 or you could also send us an email at

So that’s about all I have for today. I really hope that provided some insight into what Respite Care is and how it might be able to help you. So thank you all for stopping by and I’ll talk to you again soon. 

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Hospice Care

There may come a time when you decide that hospice care is the next step in aiding your loved one’s illness. However, it’s important to know the details of this type of medical care so that you can decide if it’s what your loved one needs.

Hospice care

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is medical care that helps to increase the quality of life in someone with a terminal illness. While it acknowledges that death is inevitable, it does not try to rush it or delay it; instead, it allows the patient to be at ease, treating the symptoms as opposed to the illness itself.

These symptoms are managed by a team of medical professionals who work together to come up with an individual plan for the patient to live their last days as fully as possible. The family is included in this plan, and hospice care allows the patient to be surrounded by loved ones during this time. It allows for the patient to remain at home, as well.

How Do I Know When it’s Time for Hospice Care?

Deciding on hospice care for your loved one may be difficult. Hospice care is used when treatment can no longer stabilize or cure a disease. Generally speaking, when a patient has 6 months or less to live, it’s time to consider hospice care.

This can be a lot for you and your family to accept, but it’s comforting to know that your loved one has the option to spend his or her final days in peace and dignity. While deciding on hospice care can be seen as losing hope, keep in mind that it’s better to allow your loved one to experience quality of life when their regular treatment stops working.

It’s also important to note that a patient can leave hospice care at any time. For example, if your loved one begins to show improvement, it’s possible that he or she could be moved back into treatment.

What Services Does Hospice Care Provide?

Hospice care provides patients with not just medical care, but spiritual, mental, and emotional care, as well. It provides occupational and physical therapy, along with medical equipment, such as wheelchairs or walkers.

Additionally, dietary counseling is provided, along with other services to specifically help manage symptoms. You and your loved ones will have the opportunity to receive grief counseling, as well. Helping you to cope with the potential loss of your loved one will allow you to be a part of their quality of life care.

While hospice care is usually set up in the home, there may be times when your loved one needs short-term inpatient care, which is another service provided by hospices. In this situation, your loved one would be temporarily transported to a local nursing home or hospice residential facility.

Is Hospice Care the Right Choice?

If you feel as though your loved one may need hospice care, our team at WellSprings Home Care can help. Contact us at (610) 467-3880 and one of our team members will be happy to answer any questions or concerns.

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Senior Relative Care: Top 10 Things to Do in Downingtown PA

When caring for your elderly parent or relative, you might be wondering what the top activities are in Downingtown, PA. Whether you’re getting out of the house for a Saturday day trip, or finding a new hobby for you and your loved one to share, there are so many options in this Chester County borough.

Relative care

1. Go Fishing at Marsh Creek State Park

When talking about Downingtown, PA, Marsh Creek State Park is always a common subject. With it’s beautiful scenery — the 1,727-acre park containing the 535-acre Marsh Creek Lake — you’ll find plenty of activities to take part in with your loved one such as fishing, or simply relaxing and enjoying the view.

2. Go Apple Picking at Highland Orchards

Whether you’re looking for pumpkins, Granny Smith apples, Red Delicious, and more, you’ll have the perfect fruit-picking Saturday afternoon at Highland Orchards.

3. Go Site-Seeing at Harmony Hill Nature Area

If your loved one is still able to take longer walks, Harmony Hill Nature Area will be the perfect place to spend a few hours. Take a tour through nature down Harmony Hill Road, and enjoy the fresh outdoors with the senior in your life.

4. Take a Stroll through Stroud Preserve

Another great spot to take an afternoon stroll is through Stroud Preserve. You’ll see how wildlife habitats are being well kept, along with how watersheds are being protected to provide residents with drinking water. Your loved one will love being a part of history in the making at this popular Chester County site.

5. Take a Tour (or a Tasting) at Stargazer’s Vineyard

The beautiful views of Stargazer’s Vineyard are “Chester County’s best kept secret” — not to mention their great-tasting wine! Whether it’s just for a tour of the vineyard, or to stop in and have a tasting, your loved one will be thrilled with this Downingtown area spot.

6. Enjoy the Fall Foliage at Dowlin Forge Park

One of the best parts about Downingtown is the amount of outdoor sites there are to see, and another favorite includes Dowlin Forge Park. Take a stroll down the trail to see the best of the Chester County beautiful fall foliage in the fall.

7. Grab a Bite to Eat in Downtown Downingtown

Of course, sometimes your loved one may want to dive into the hustle and bustle of downtown Downingtown. Grab lunch at one of the delicious restaurants on Lancaster Avenue, or sip a warm cup of coffee at the new coffee shop hot spot, The Farmhouse Coffee & Espresso Bar.

8. Enjoy the Scenery Along The Struble Trail

Another beautiful Chester County trail to add to the mix, the Struble Trail runs through the heart of Downingtown and runs right into the Brandywine River.

9. Catch a Flick at Regal Cinemas Downingtown

If it’s a favorite pastime your loved one is missing, catch a movie at Regal Cinemas Downingtown. You and your elderly relative will love the cozy, reclining seats and wide selection of food and snacks to enjoy.

10. Find Some Relaxation at Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram

Perhaps you and your loved one just need some time to relax and regroup, which can be found at Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram. The classes here are a mix of yoga for all levels, meditation, and retreats, so you’ll find the perfect setting for you and the senior in your life to take part in together.

The Top Activities for Seniors in Downingtown

Now that you know our picks for the top 10 things to do in Downingtown with your loved one, you can plan your next weekend outing and create the memories and experience you’ll both cherish forever.

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Relative Care: How to Care for an Elderly Family Member

As adults, it can be difficult to watch our parents age and become unable to do the things that they used to. However, it’s important to become aware of when your loved one may need some extra help, along with all of your options, so that you can arrange for the care they need right away.

Elderly family

Early Signs

The best way to ensure your loved one is never without assistance is to look for early signs of help needed with Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs, and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, or IADLs.

ADLs consist of the necessary actions of everyday life, such as eating, dressing, bathing or showering, and personal hygiene. If your parent or elderly relative seems to be having difficulties in this area, it may be time to start looking for some assistance.

Additionally, activities such as cooking, running errands, or managing finances can become challenging. These are called Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, or IADLs, and may require support as aging starts to become debilitating.

Options of Elderly Care

Luckily, there are plenty of options when it comes to caring for an elderly relative. However, this can be a delicate topic of conversation. It’s likely that your parent will want to maintain his or her sense of independence, which is why it’s important to know your choices ahead of time.

Assisted Living Communities
This is a rented apartment, home, or room within a community, where residents are capable of living on their own, but assistance with ADLs is provided, along with group meals and activities.

Nursing Homes
This is another option if your loved one needs 24/7 assistance, both medical and non-medical, as nursing homes are staffed with nurses and caregivers. They’ll move into a facility where they could be sharing a room with another resident, and all meals and activities are communal.

Assistance from a Relative
If your aging loved one is living close to you or other relatives, perhaps you could provide them with the extra help they need. This will also allow you to spend more time with them, while they can still remain in their own homes.

Assistance from a Caregiver
Your elderly parent is already experiencing many changes that come with aging, and leaving their homes for extra help in a nursing home or assisted living community may be stressful. However, you may not be able to provide them with the support they need on a daily basis. That’s where assistance from a home care provider can help.

Home care providers offer a variety of services, including live-in assistance. This is a great alternative to a nursing home or any other situation where your loved one will have to relocate out of their home in order to receive the assistance they need.

Finding Senior Care in Your Area

If you’re interested in finding out more about senior relative care in the Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County areas, our team at WellSprings Home Care can help. We’ll walk you through your options and explain more about our own home care services.

Contact us (610) 463-0880 to get started today!

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Senior Fall Prevention: How to Ensure Your Home is Safe

Over one-third of adults ages 65 and older fall each year. This is a serious issue, and can lead to larger health problems if not addressed before it happens. 20-30% of seniors suffer from moderate to severe injuries from falling, and at least one-third of falls involve environmental hazards in the home.

Senior fall prevention

Luckily, there are ways to prevent your aging parent or relative from failing in the home. Our team at WellSprings Home Care has developed this Fall Prevention Program, so that you can be rest assured your loved one is safe and out of harm’s way.

The Importance of Fall Prevention in the Home

Even if your loved one has suffered a fall in the past, it’s still important to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future – two-thirds of fall victims will fall again within six months.

That’s why we’ve developed training, oversight, and procedures to help “fall-proof” your loved one’s home, and be sure they’re safe at all times.

Step One: Assess and Inspect the Home

Checking your parent or relative’s home first is crucial to seeing how to prevent them from falling in the first place. Our staff members will provide a complimentary home inspection that will assess your loved one’s needs for the safest environment possible.

Our home inspections include:

  • Installing grab bars in high risk areas, such as in the shower or on the stairs
  • Reducing tripping hazards in entryways
  • Ensuring that transfer benches, handheld shower heads, and chairs are all accessible in the bathtub
  • Assessing proximity and procedures for toileting use
  • Ensuring preparation for transfers

Step Two: Caregiver Training

Once the home is assessed, we can then choose an aide whom we think will be a good fit for your loved one. Of course, we’ll also consider other services your parent or relative will need in order to find the right match.

We’ll then schedule a training session with you, your loved one, the potential caregiver, and the therapist your loved one is working with. This way, we can keep moving forward with progress by staying consistent with transfers and exercise, allowing the chance for a level of independence.

Step Three: Caregiver Supervision/Monitor Progress

Once your parent or relative is able to return home, we’ll develop up a Plan of Care to ensure their highest level of safety. This plan will be monitored via supervisory visits, so that we can document compliance and progress. It is our goal to provide the best services to you, your loved one, and your family.

Begin the Fall Prevention Process Today

If you are concerned with your loved one’s mobility, our Fall Prevention Program at WellSprings Home Care is a great solution. We’ll be happy to walk you through each step, and ensure that your parent or relative will be in great hands.

To get started, residents in the Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County areas can contact us at (610) 463-0880 or or schedule a complimentary in-home assessment today!

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Non-Medical vs. Medical Home Care: What’s the Difference?

As our loved ones age, they begin to require specific assistance to accommodate their daily routines. Home Care is a great solution for this, as it allows seniors to remain independent, yet obtain the extra help they need.

Non medical home care

When you think of the term home care, you might find yourself thinking that medical and non-medical services are interchangeable. However, there are differences between non-medical home care and home health care, and our team at WellSprings Home Care is here to tell you what they are!

Medical Home Care

Medical home care, otherwise known as home health care, is provided by a licensed medical professional, such as a nurse, licensed practical nurse, or physical therapist. They can provide medical attention as needed, and make decisions based on their practice, and may only need to visit once or a few times per week.

Some services medical home care professionals provide include:

• IV treatments
• Occupational therapy
• Monitoring medication times and dosages
• Wound and injury treatment
• Mobility exercises or other physical therapies

Non-medical Home Care

Non-medical home care is provided by knowledgeable, trained caregivers who are able to assist seniors with everyday activities. This is a great option for an aging loved one who is in need of some extra support with their daily routines, but isn’t ready to move out of his or her home into an assisted living center.

Some examples of services non-medical caregivers provide include:

• Live-in assistance
• Personal Care
• Help with personal hygiene
• Running errands
• Light housekeeping
• Preparing meals
• Transportation, such as to doctor’s appointments
• Companionship
• Mobility assistance

Choosing the Right Home Care Services

While you may think you have to choose either medical or non-medical home care services, many families decide on a combination of both. Your loved one may need a nurse just a few times per week, but also require daily assistance with bathing or meal prepping, which is where a non-medical home care provider can help.

Non-medical home care is also a less costly option to ensure your loved one gets the care they need. Plus, they’ll be able to keep normalcy and independence in their daily lives, without the struggles that age or health issues can bring.

WellSprings Home Care Can Help

At WellSprings Home Care, we offer non-medical home care services that will make your loved one’s life much easier and enjoyable, when age and health issues may say otherwise.

Our compassionate, highly-trained and skilled caregivers will collaborate with you and your family to create a plan utilizing specific services we offer. Our goal is to keep your loved one’s normal routine in place, and to give you peace of mind that he or she is being cared for.

If you think that this sounds like a good option, contact us today at (610) 463-0880 or book a Free Consultation today! We proudly serve the areas of Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County, and will be happy to get your loved one on the right track with our home care services.

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