We solve one of the most difficult challenges facing families today...caring for loved ones requiring in-home companion care and personal assistance.
De-cluttering and Cleaning for Senior Safety

Keeping a clean home can be a difficult task for senior citizens. Even daily upkeep requires a lot of energy and time. Seniors who experience a lack of mobility or are ill can find it especially hard to stay on top of daily tasks. Many family members chip in and help seniors as needed . If you are helping a loved one with household tasks, we've compiled these four tips which can help.
  1. Ask for assistance from family and friends. Ask your loved one who they'd like to help clean and let those people know about the tasks that need to be undertaken. Many family members are happy to help and only need to be asked.
  2. Plan out tasks with your relative. Include your family member when planning the house cleaning activities. Keeping your loved one involved will allow them to feel included and in charge which can reduce anxiety.
  3. De-clutter the halls and doorways to interior room. Cluttered hallways and doorways are major causes of falls in the home. Plan to clean these areas first to make the house safer for both you and your loved one. You can move on to the interior area of each room afterward. If you are worried about your loved one falling, your local Visiting Angels office can help with an at home assessment.
  4.  Give the house a deep clean. After de-cluttering each room, use the proper cleaning products to rid the house of unwanted germs. Deep cleaning provides the added benefit of a healthier house.
If your schedule makes it difficult to provide the care your loved one needs, consider calling Visiting Angels. Our caregivers can visit your loved one on a regular schedule to help with light housekeeping, meal planning and preparation, running errands, and a wide variety of other activities of daily living. One of the greatest benefits of having an in home care provider is the companionship and friendly conversations your loved one will enjoy.

If you would like information regarding home care services from Visiting Angels, please call us today at 410.218.9506. 
Three Things No One Wants to Organize 
by Tara Donohue Rudo
Usually, I love to organize anything I can get my hands on. Unfortunately, I have found over the 14 years that I have been in business that there are 3 things no one wants to organize, but there are three critical situations that need the most organizing. They are: Surgery, Long term illness and Injury. These three situations often cause disorganization within a household. The disorganization adds stress, clutter and extra work to an already stressful situation.
These situations can come as a surprise, but during your lifetime, you will encounter at least one of them, so it is best to do a little research and get organized now so that you can be prepared.
  • Paperwork
The first area that we see fall into chaos when life throws us a curve ball is paperwork. I highly recommend that you put as many bills as possible on automatic payment which will reduce the paper bills coming into the house. Second, make a list of the monthly bills with account numbers and monthly due dates. This will allow a spouse, parent or child to easy know what to look for.
If any of the above happens, it usually involves lots of medical paperwork. Getting a separate file box for just these papers will make your life easier for both filing and matching up the bills with the insurance forms. A small file box like this one   http://tiny.cc/lzneay or even a rolling cart http://tiny.cc/u0neay will help you with easy access and portability. In the event of a long term illness or surgery with long recovery, having a rolling file cart that can be wheeled will allow you to have a mini-office near the bed or couch to keep you productive (if you want to be).
  • Don't Keep Secrets
Somewhere on your computer or on paper, you should have a list of any medications that you are on, who your doctors are and your computer passwords. A trusted friend or family member should have access to this information. This information can allow that person to pay bills, check your calendar or email to reschedule or cancel appointments and give your doctors up-to-date information.
  • Research Services
Even if you think you won't need them, make a few phone calls or do some internet research on grocery delivery places, home health care agencies, transportation services, pet sitters/walkers, home cleaning services, so that you have an idea of what is available to you and what it takes to get started. You can probably get groceries the next day, but getting nursing care or a home health aide may take several days to set up. This is especially important if you are dealing with an aging parent and don't live close enough to help easily. www.AngiesList.com is a great place to start finding service providers with reviews from customers.
  • Ditch Your Pride
Reducing stress will help you heal faster or maintain your health longer. If you have family or friends that want to help you, LET THEM! Make a list of all the things that you want to have done and ask them to pick something off the list. It could be as easy as bringing you your favorite soup or watering your plants or picking your kids up from school or practice. People often feel helpless when someone they love is sick or hurt and they really want to help. It makes them feel good that are doing something to help no matter how small. Letting them help will reduce your stress and keep your household from going into chaos while you get healthy. There are even websites like www.signupgenius.com, www.carecalendar.com, www.mealtrain.com or www.takethemameal.com to easily coordinate whatever a family needs, allows people to sign up for what they can do and sends reminders.
If you don't want to rely on the kindness of family and friends, hire help. Concierge Services, Professional Organizers and Daily Money Managers can help with many of these tasks. You can find these on www.AngiesList.com and www.NAPO.net.
  • Your Physical Space
Depending on your needs, you may need to rearrange your home to accommodate your injury or illness. You may need to make wider paths in your home for a walker, crutches or a wheel chair. You may need to clear a room to set up a hospital bed. In addition to accommodations for your physical wellbeing, you may need a guest room set up for overnight family and friend helpers.
A little planning and forethought can go a long way in alleviating some of the stress involved in highly stressful situations like surgery, long term illnesses and injuries. Asking for advice and recommendations from friends or family members who have gone through similar situations or doing some research can help you take a little control over the uncontrollable.

If you liked this article, you're welcome to use it in your own newsletter or blog as long as you include the following blurb: Tara Rudo, Life Strategist helps families get organized and declutter so that they can focus on what's important. Get our FREE weekly tips and advice at www.NoMorePiles.com.  Tara is one of only 350 Certified Professional Organizers in the world and a Certified Family Manager Coach. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and NAPO's Golden Circle.
Choosing the Right Home Care Provider

We get it, looking for a home care provider is stressful. At Visiting Angels, we do everything we can to put potential clients at ease, but the fact remains: you need to hire a home care provider you and your loved one can trust. It's our responsibility to make sure that happens.
Asking the right questions is essential when searching for a home care provider. Depending on the provider in question, you might only be given a chance to interview a sales rep. At Visiting Angels, we make sure you get the chance to interview both our management team and our caregivers. We believe you should have the chance to evaluate our company as a whole along with the staff who will administer your loved one's care.
We strongly encourage potential clients to ask any questions they need to feel secure with their choice of caregiver or care-giving team. Whether you're interviewing us, one of our staff, or another home care provider, we suggest vetting your provider in the following areas. We've developed this list in keeping with recommendations from the NAHC and Mayo Clinic.
* Does this caregiver or company seem caring and compassionate?
* How do they speak about previous clients?
* Do they make the care recipient and/or the care recipient's family a part of the home care planning process? 
* How long has this company and/or caregiver been providing professional home care?
* Are they able to provide references?
* How have they handled previous home care challenges? 
* Are they able to offer everything you or your loved one requires from a caregiver?
* Does this provider have literature or materials available explaining their services in detail?
* Do they have services in place for emergencies or after hours concerns? 
* How does this provider ensure patient confidentiality?
* Do they supply literature or materials that fully explain their fees and payment requirements?
* Are all services and financial terms put in writing prior to starting care?
At Visiting Angels, we take pride in the lengths we take to meet our client's expectations and answer their concerns. Our staff and our caregivers will be open with you from day one, ready to answer your every question.
Concerned about your caregiver's experience? At Visiting Angels, we prefer to hire home care providers with previous experience, a commitment to the community, and who are passionate about providing respectful, dignified care.
Wondering how we handle emergencies? Visiting Angels locations have staff available 24-7 and we monitor the phone at all hours for urgent situations.

Let us help you through the steps of hiring home care for your loved one!

Please call us with any questions about the home care services we provide or to begin care for your loved one.


Dave Pyser
Visiting Angels of Pikesville