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At Home Nursing Care announces a new medication management program to reduce hospitalizations and improve the quality of life for our patients. Every year in the United States, 7,000 people are killed and 2 million people are harmed by medication errors.   (40 % of all medical errors in the United States are medication errors). This unnecessary suffering robs patients of their chance to heal and costs the economy $3.5 billion dollars. [caption id="attachment_895" align="alignleft" width="150"] 18% of Older Americans Take 10 or More Medications[/caption] The reasons for the errors are many.  They include problems in our health care system, socioeconomic factors, caregiver engagement and functional issues such as dementia. Some of the confusion comes from the vast number of medications that Americans are prescribed.  40 % of adults over 65 years of age take 4 to 9 medications, and 18% take 10 or more medications.  At the same time, 81% of adults report that they cannot say the reason they are taking the medication. As the quality nurses who work for At Home Nursing Care understand, every prescription written is supposed to have these facts; the name of the patient, the date of the prescription, the strength, quantity, how the medication should be taken, the number of refills and the doctor's signature.   Still, 12 % of all prescriptions written contain errors. Patients are often confused by their medications, they may skip medications, they may not refill a prescription or they are never taken off a medication that they no longer need. On the health care delivery side (think of physicians and hospitals), medication interactions are not addressed, the medication list is incorrect or not updated, patients are sent home with the wrong medications, there is no care provider who is made responsible for the medications and chronic medications are not adjusted for current issues.  At Home Nursing Care can help.  With doctor's orders, the nurses of At Home Nursing Care can be the provider who oversees the medications, reviews them, checks for interactions and streamlines current prescriptions.  Our in home nurses can create an easy, clear, legible and understandable medication plan. [caption id="attachment_901" align="alignright" width="100"] Denise Callas, Nursing Supervisor, At Home Nursing Care[/caption] We offer the Phillips Lifeline automatic medication dispenser for those who need it, and we also provide clearly labelled pill boxes, filled by a licensed nurse. [caption id="attachment_896" align="alignright" width="150"] Lifeline Pill Dispenser, Filled by an RN[/caption] If you or someone you love would benefit from medication management for seniors, give At Home Nursing Care a call at 760-634-8000.  We are here to help.  Also, visit us online at athomenursingcare.com. At Home Nursing Care offers quality non medical in home care caregivers and also licensed nurses who can provide care in the home.  We are licensed by the California Department of Public Health for our skilled nursing services and we are Certified by the California Association for Health Services at Home and the American Board of Home Care for our non-medical in home care.  Call for more information about the home care services in Los Angeles and San Diego we...

At Home Nursing Care warns consumers what some "registries" are hiding - Caregivers are never independent contractors. Having employees in California is a challenge.  There are ever changing rules, lots of documentation that must be done, income that must be reported, taxes that must be withheld, insurance that must be provided. The list goes on and on.  At Home Nursing Care complies with all of those regulations, and more. Others do not.  To avoid the employment liability and cost, many families are told by registries, (firms which simply screen caregivers and introduce them to a family for work in a home), that the caregivers are “independent contractors” and so insurance and payroll issues are the responsibility of the caregiver, not the elderly client.   According to California state regulators, that is never true.   Yet registries continue to make that assertion to families who believe they can save a couple of dollars per hour by using a registry to find care for mom or dad. (At Home Nursing Care is not a registry, it’s a full service agency which employs all of its employees, reports all wages, provides proper withholding of payroll taxes and complies with all worker’s compensation and general liability insurance standards. Our caregivers are always our employees.) “The caregiver working in a domestic setting is always an employee, either of the family or of the registry,” said Lynn Prettyman.  She works for the California Employment Development Department, or EDD.  It’s the agency that regulates employers and levies fines for non-compliance with labor laws. She says many audits are triggered when a worker, such as a caregiver, files for unemployment and the state realizes no wages were reported and no unemployment insurance was withheld.  Or a caregiver may fall in the elderly client’s home, become injured and will seek worker’s compensation coverage that was never purchased.  The state then investigates who the employer was and levies fines to pay for the unemployment or worker's comp insurance. Prettyman says once an employee earns $1000 in a quarter, a three month period, then the wages for that worker must be reported to the state and unemployment insurance and payroll taxes must be paid.  Additionally, California says even an individual with only one employee must provide worker’s compensation insurance.  Not having worker’s compensation insurance can lead to a $10,000 fine or more. In addition, referral agencies cannot train the employees at all, and they cannot supervise them or direct how the client is to be cared for.   All they can do is run a background check. If the referral agency is audited, then the state has the open of auditing each client who hired a caregiver from that registry.  Asked if the state actually goes after elderly people who hired what they thought were independent contractors, Prettyman answered simply “yes.” Families considering hiring a caregiver through registries need to "watch their step" and make sure they are well informed that short term savings could lead to longer term liabilities. If you or someone you love needs quality in home care services in...

The nurses, caregivers and staff of At Home Nursing Care understand that better nutrition can lead to better recovery and healing. This connection is very clear in a story about a 62 year old man who for 9 months suffered with a large diabetic wound on his foot.  He was only a couple of weeks away from amputation of his leg because of the sore. For months, his nurses and doctors had done everything they could think of to close the wound, from IV’s full of antibiotics to topical creams.  But the wound just wouldn’t get better. Shortly before the scheduled amputation, dietician Nancy Collins was brought in by the doctors to give her advice. “It’s not every day you get to save a man’s leg,” she says, but that’s exactly what she did. She didn’t turn to some expensive, fancy new medical device or experimental treatments.  She simply improved his nutrition. [caption id="attachment_859" align="alignright" width="150"] A nutritious, high protein meal[/caption] “Nutrition has a role in 12 of the top 15 causes of death,” she said, “but it’s been neglected historically.” Collins added more protein into the man’s diet, made sure he got at least 3,000 calories a day to fuel healing, and she had him drink water mixed with a powder called “Juven”, a combination on glutamine, arginine and HMB (amino acids.)  He drank two packets a day for 12 weeks, while his doctors continued the topical treatments on his foot. [caption id="attachment_868" align="alignleft" width="150"] Juven Powder Supplement[/caption] Thanks to his improved nutrition, his body was able to grow tissue, something that wasn’t happening before, and his foot wound finally closed. “Instead of losing his leg, he went on a cruise with his wife,” she said. Collins recently spoke at annual conference for the California Association for Health Services at Home, a group of home-based providers including At Home Nursing Care. Our staff members attended the conference to learn how to improve the quality of life of our clients and patients. Collins explained that nutrition is often the missing link in recovery, one that is too often overlooked in the medical community. And nutrition doesn’t just mean the amount of food someone eats or the amount of fat stores in the body; it’s the quality of food and the amount of amino acids and protein. “With just a 10% loss of lean body mass, wound healing is impaired, “she said. A 20% loss causes wound healing to cease and a 40% loss of lean body mass leads to death, usually from pneumonia, Collins explained. She says that most patients do not take in enough calories or protein to sustain their lean body mass, which peaks for people at age 25 and then goes downhill from there. Malnourished patients are significantly more likely than well-nourished patients to experience re-hospitalizations.  Nutrition, or the lack of it in nursing or rehabilitation centers, plays a role in 61% of malpractice lawsuits, she said, because patients who are malnourished are 200% to 500% more likely to develop pressure wounds. Why are patients not eating enough or the right kinds of foods?  Collins sites cognitive problems, financial problems, fatigue...

At Home Nursing Care, Inc.  is proud to announce it is licensed by the California Department of Public Health to provide in home skilled nursing. "We are so proud of this accomplishment and we are confident it will mean we can provide a more comprehensive level of care to our valued clients", remarked Lauren Reynolds, Administrator and Founder of At Home Nursing Care.  Reynolds is a former 10News Anchor and Reporter who opened her own in home care company after her mother MaryKay was diagnosed with terminal cancer at age 56 and needed care in order to stay at home.  Reynolds' mother passed away at age 58. [caption id="attachment_796" align="alignleft" width="150"] Reynolds and her mother at 58th birthday, months before her death[/caption]   "I know the struggle to care for a parent or loved one in declining health, and I want to do the best for people going through what I already experienced," Reynolds explained. Now with the license as a home health agency, At Home Nursing Care offers everything from caregivers and personal care attendants to dementia specialists and nurses in the home.  Services are provided hourly, daily, or around the clock.  In many cases, the company can provide the client with a live-in caregiver, for constant safety monitoring and companionship, and visits from a skilled nurse. At Home Nursing Care specializes in medication management, helping seniors to sort through the dozens of medications many take every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control,  29% of American adults take 5 or more medications every day. "Medication errors account for 40% of all hospital re-admissions, and taking the wrong doses or the wrong medications can put seniors and those recovering from accidents or injuries at risk of very serious consequences," said Reynolds. With the medication management service, a nurse will visit the patient in the home, review all the medications being taken and will sort them into pill boxes.  The nurse may also confer with the pharmacist and the patient's physician to rule out potential drug interactions and discuss whether some of the medications can be consolidated or reduced.  The nurse will visit every other week or as needed to keep the medications in order. At Home Nursing Care is among only a handful of home care companies which can offer this higher standard of care. "There are as many as 300 home-care agencies in San Diego County of all shapes and sizes that offer caregivers in the home.  But those companies are not legally allowed to provide medication management and they cannot offer nurses in the home.  Only licensed home health agencies, like At Home Nursing Care, can legally do that," Reynolds said. At Home Nursing Care must follow strict protocols and is monitored by the California Department of Public Health. "Our nurses and caregivers are employees who are bonded, licensed and insured.  We take care of all payroll taxes, worker's compensation insurance and general liability insurance.  We conduct background checks, offer superior training and we supervise our employees in the home.  All our clients and patients have to worry...

Monthly Support Meetings to help families facing health care concerns are are now being offered.  The goal is to provide encouragement, information and support to families dealing with Alzheimer's/dementia, Parkinson's, Cancer and other debilitating conditions. At Home Care Solution and Aviara Healthcare Center announced they are partnering to provide the free monthly support meetings in North San Diego County. Entitled "Dealing with a Loved One's Illness", the monthly meetings will provide a forum where family members can vent, ask questions, express their feelings and learn from others in similar situations. The meetings/support groups will be held on the third Wednesday of every month from 4 - 5 PM in the Occupational Therapy room at Aviara Healthcare, 944 Regal Road in Encinitas, 92024. Cookies and coffee will be served. The first meeting will be January 16th. The meetings will be moderated by Diane Darby Beach, who has a P.h.D. in education and a Master's Degree in Public health. Any member of the public who may benefit is invited to attend. At Home Care Solution will provide an on-site caregiver to those families that register ahead of time.  Simply call 760-634-8000 or email [email protected] to register.  Those who do not need a caregiver are invited to simply show up to our San Diego support groups. We invite all of our partners in care to refer families who would benefit from cancer support groups, dementia support groups or other debilitating condition support groups. Click here for a flier about our free monthly support group...

Today At Home Care Solution celebrated the growth of its in home care services by celebrating its employees and clients.  The festive holiday open house showcased the company's new expanded offices. [caption id="attachment_682" align="alignleft" width="270"] At Home Care Solution Caregivers and Office Staff[/caption]   The company, which provides non-medical in home care and care management throughout San Diego County, just moved into new offices on Saxony Road in Encinitas.  After two years of providing in home care to seniors, the company had outgrown its original space. [caption id="attachment_699" align="alignright" width="300"] The In Home Care Manager and Quality Control Manager[/caption]   “We’ve been so fortunate to have loyal clients and satisfied referral sources, we simply grew faster than we anticipated, which prompted our move.  Our new office features an expanded training center where we plan to hold numerous caregiver and professional training programs in 2013 and beyond,” explained founder Lauren Reynolds. [caption id="attachment_689" align="alignright" width="300"] The in home care office staff[/caption]   After a 15 year career as a reporter and anchor for 10News in San Diego, Reynolds opened the home care company in2010 after her own experience needing in home care for her terminally ill mother. “She asked us to make sure she could spend the rest of her life in her home in Los Angeles, and my family did that with the help of  in home care.  The experience inspired me to want to provide the same valuable service here in San Diego,” she said. Reynolds now employs 70 caregivers and office staff which includes a Certified Home Care Manager and a Registered Nurse with a degree in Public Health. [caption id="attachment_691" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Certified In Home Care Manager with wonderful caregivers[/caption] They provide senior in home care hourly, daily and they specialize in placing live in caregivers with elderly or disabled clients who want to remain in their homes.   All of the caregivers are screened, trained, bonded and supervised. [caption id="attachment_693" align="alignleft" width="300"] Managers at Aviara Healthcare Center and Balboa Ambulance[/caption]   The company is BBB accredited and Certified by the California Health Services at Home and American Board of Home Care. Clients who attended the party included Lucille, who sat between Christine and Rosa, her two caregivers.     “They are my best friends,” she said. Also at the party was Loren, who will turn 101 in January. [caption id="attachment_684" align="alignright" width="196"] Loren and Aida[/caption] He told the crowd that the key to his long life was that he "didn't drink, smoke, curse or go with the girls who did,  well, at least that's what I tell people."  He attended the event with his caregiver, Aida. [caption id="attachment_694" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The youngest attendee with her mother[/caption] The company has a five star rating with Carerate.com, a service which evaluates the quality of care provided by companies like At Home Care Solution.  To learn more about At Home Nursing Care and their quality home care services, visit their website at www.thecaresolution.com or call 760-634-8000 for a no-cost, in home assessment for senior home care in Los Angeles and San Diego.   [caption id="attachment_703" align="alignleft" width="300"] Enjoying lunch![/caption]...

They live in your city, perhaps on your street or even next door. They serve with courage, perseverance, patience and love. Some give 24 hours a day, with days blending into weeks, months and years. They are family caregivers; heroes quietly providing in home care in San Diego for their loved ones. There are over 66 million family caregivers in the United States, including thousands who provide in home care in San Diego, CA to someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia or who have physical inabilities. The overwhelming responsibility can be very difficult and emotionally wearing on the caregiver. Without some type of support the caregiver may end up with his or her own health failing. Stress, guilt, anger, depression and withdrawal from family and friends are some of the emotional feelings that leave these people feeling helpless. Many caregivers give up employment to attend to their loved ones' needs, causing financial stress as well. National Family Caregivers Month was established in November to draw support for caregivers across the nation. In addition, November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. In the United States alone, there are nearly 15 million Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers. There are many resources available to help families in need of care, including support of spouses or children caring for elderly or disabled loved ones.  At Home Care Solution offers Certified in home care in San Diego with bonded, screened, well-trained and supervised employees.  Training includes a certification program for Alzheimer's and Dementia Care through the Alzheimer's Association. Many programs offer educational programs to help seniors take care of themselves or find resources available in their communities. The Area on Aging Caregiver National Caregiver Support Program extends throughout each state to provide local services. "The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), established in 2000, provides grants to States and Territories, based on their share of the population aged 70 and over, to fund a range of supports that assist family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible." Medicare’s website offers education and resources for caregivers offered through Medicare. "Medicare toolkit offers informational resources that can be printed directly from this Web site and provided to caregivers. The resources are designed to help caregivers address challenging issues and work effectively with Medicare to ensure their family members and friends receive the best possible care." Whether it is senior centers, local church groups or community groups that reach out with hands-on support; volunteers are found in every community. Private care providers can also help caregivers with the day-to-day responsibilities, enabling them to have time to spend on their own needs. There are large numbers of Home Care companies across the nation that provide medical and non-medical care as needed by the family caregiver.  At Home Care Solution is the leading provider of CAHSAH Certified and American Board of Home Care Certified in home care in San Diego. The National Care Planning Council provides a website of resources for caregivers. “National Care Planning Council and our web site "longtermcarelink.net", the most comprehensive resource...

Cost of San Diego home care rising more slowly than other options, but many seniors are still financially strained.  86 year old Mary worked hard and saved her whole life.   Now faced with mid-stage dementia, she needs 24 hour care and companionship to remain in her San Diego home.   Her daughter watches every penny and figures mom has six years at the rate Mary pays At Home Nursing Care for San Diego home care.   Assisted living is not an option for Mary.  Despite her dementia, she's very aware of her surroundings and has made her desire to stay at home for as long as possible very clear. A new report shows that the cost of in home care is rising more slowly than the cost of assisted living or private rooms in nursing homes. According to a recently released report by insurer MetLife Mature Market Institute, the cost of in home care has not risen over the past couple of years, despite a rise over the last decade.   At the same time, the study found that the average rent in assisted living facilities shot up 17 % to $3,486 over the past five years.    The price of a private room in a nursing home rose 4% over the past year to $248 a day. Hiring an agency to provide San Diego home care ensures that the caregivers are properly screened and supervised. Home Care agencies in San Diego such as At Home Nursing Care have bonding for any potential dishonesty, general liability insurance and worker's compensation insurance.  Rates average $20 to $23 an hour, with lower hourly costs for San Diego home care packaged rates such as 24/7 "Live In" care. Families that hire privately often don't realize that the caregivers are employees if they have set hours, set duties and are subject to payroll taxes.   If a private caregiver is injured on the job, he or she can file a worker's compensation claim against the senior.  Additionally, if the caregiver is let go, she or he may file for unemployment, which often triggers audits.  Families that hire privately rarely understand that they are responsible for the same taxes and obligations as agencies. Many seniors have a preference about the kind of care that they'd like in their golden years.   The majority of seniors end up paying for care out of pocket.  Medicare does not cover home care, assisted living, or extended stays in a skilled nursing facility once a health benchmark has been reached.  Long Term care insurance provides some relief for those who bought it years ago, although many companies have stopped offering it or have raised premiums and reduced benefits. To make the dollar stretch, consider having care a few times a week for help with bathing, dressing, meal preparation and light housekeeping.  Family members can handle shopping for the senior by using an online portal through stores like Vons.  The delivery fee is minimal.    As the need grows, agencies such as At Home Nursing Care can add hours to the home...

New Report released by the County of San Diego highlights need for fall prevention Last week an elderly man I know decided to take a short walk with his wife in their neighborhood.  They made it to the sloped driveway when the man suddenly fell.   His distraught wife couldn't get him up for good reason.  He had broken his hip.  He hadn't been doing anything unusual, they weren't in a rush, he was wearing good shoes, it seemed that only the slight curve in the driveway could be blamed, and the fact the the man is in his 80's. Fortunately, he was in pretty good shape before the fall so he's improving well and will hopefully recover most of his mobility and quality of life, if he sticks to his physical therapy routine. For some, falls dramatically change their quality of life.   According to the newly released San Diego County Falls Report, an older San Diegan dies from a fall every 30 hours.  The report predicts that over the next year, 117, 142 local residents will fall.  Between 23,000 and 36,000 residents will suffer from injuries that make it difficult for them to live independently. Looking just at 2010 alone, falls were the cause of 68% of all deaths due to injuries in San Diego County.  And for some reason fall related deaths are rising.  the number of deaths for people 65 and older rose 239% from 2001 to 2010. What can be done? Fall Prevention in the elderly is key to preserving independence for those 65 and older. Dr. Wilma Wooten, Director of Public Health for the county of San Diego, recommends interventions such as a medical evaluation (including a medication review and vision, strength and balance assessments), a home safety evaluation and physical fitness programs that include strength and balance components. Restrooms and kitchens are common areas for falls.  The dangers include throw rugs that are a trip hazard and water spilled on the floor.  In the restroom, it's common for us to see showers that would be much safer if a bench and grab bars were installed.  Some of our clients use towel racks as grab bars, which give a false sense of security, but they can't really support a person's weight in a fall. At Home Care Solution caregivers are trained to provide support services, such as help with bathing, dressing, and help with meal preparation.  They also encourage physical activity, when appropriate, because the fear of falling can also be a risk factor.  People who feel anxious about walking limit their physical activity, and that increases their weakness and chances of falling. More tips can be found at SanDiegoFallPrevention.org. You can read the entire report by clicking the link here.  Senior Fall Report 2012 If you are worried about someone you love, At Home Care Solution can provide comprehensive case management assessments and can work with your family to protect your loved one's independence.  Call 760-634-8000 to learn more about our San Diego senior care. You can also attend a free fall prevention conference.  Click for more information....

State of the art new hospital set to open in La Jolla on 2016. More than 200 San Diegans turned out  Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Jacobs Medical Center,  a new 245 room facility that will house three new specialty hospitals: the Hospital for Cancer Care, the Hospital for Advanced Surgery and the Hospital for Women and Infants. [caption id="attachment_163" align="alignleft" width="300"] From left, Dr. David Brenner, Carol Vassiliadis, Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox[/caption] Named for benefactors Joan and Irwin Jacobs, who donated $75 million dollars to the project, the Jacobs Medical Center will have private rooms, interactive technology, and will serve as a bridge between research being carried out at UC San Diego and bedside hospital care. Lauren Reynolds, President and C.E.O. of At Home Care Solution, the leading provider of in home care across San Diego, served as Master of Ceremonies.  She is an active member of the Alumni Association and graduated from UC San Diego in 1994.   [caption id="attachment_174" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Lauren Reynolds Introducing Guests[/caption] "I am so proud of my alma mater," Reynolds remarked, "...