Senior Home Care Blog - Barrington IL


By Christine Browning, R.N.

President's Corner - (For Caregivers) By Christine L. Browning R.N.

I want to formally thank all of you on the caregiving team for your hard work and dedication.  Home Helpers of Barrington and Palatine is a lifelong dream of mine and you are the day to day face of that dream coming true. Our mission is;

“To improve the quality of life for clients of all ages and their families through comprehensive, quality, compassionate care.”

YOU!  Are the face of our organization and I thank you for showing up on time every time, looking nice and with a smile on your face even though we all have those days where we don’t feel like smiling.  I know we also have some clients that don’t make us feel like smiling either.  The good news is that I have found that when you really put yourself in the client’s shoes it is so much easier to care for them.  Many of them are in constant pain.  They are frustrated remembering the days when they could do things for themselves.  Our job is to make sure they can still do many if not all of those things with just a bit of help from us.  We keep them in their home rather than in a home.  We keep them safe and put their minds and the minds of their families at ease.  All of this is possible because of you!  So again, I thank you for making us the best homecare agency  in the Northern Chicagoland suburbs!

“ Weathering the Winter ”

During the winter months, ice, snow and cold temperatures can make life challenging for everyone. Slippery sidewalks and cold weather can cause a wide range of injuries and illnesses -- especially for seniors.

Here is some helpful advice for preventing common winter dangers that the elderly population faces.

1. Avoid Slipping on Ice

Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. "Unfortunately, falls are a common occurrence for senior citizens, especially during the winter months," says Dr. Stanley Wang, a physician at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. Often these falls cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma and major lacerations.

While younger people often recover relatively quickly from such injuries, older adults face complications, which Dr. Wang says are a leading cause of death from injury in men and women over the age of 65.

Make sure to wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles, and stay inside until the roads are clear. Replace a worn cane tip to making walking easier. Take off shoes as soon as you return indoors because often snow and ice attach to the soles and, once melted, can lead to slippery conditions inside.

2. Dress for Warmth

Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia -- a condition where the body temperature dips too low. According to the CDC, more than half of hypothermia-related deaths were of people over the age of 65.

So, don't let indoor temperatures go too low and dress in layers. Going outside? Wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs.

Your body temperature should never dip below 95 degrees -- if it does get medical assistance immediately.

3. Fight Wintertime Depression
Because it can be difficult and dangerous to get around, many seniors have less contact with others during cold months. This can breed feelings of loneliness and isolation.

To help avoid these issues, family members can check in on seniors as often as possible; even a short, daily phone call can make a big difference. Seniors can also arrange a check-in system with neighbors and friends, where each person looks in on one or two others daily. We also offer this for clients and have many families who utilize this service year round.

4. Check the Car
Driving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone. But it is especially dangerous for older people, who may not drive as often anymore or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Get your car serviced before wintertime hits -- or ask a family member to bring it to a garage for you. Checking things like the oil, tires, battery and wipers can make a big difference on winter roads. Also, make sure your AAA membership is up-to-date in case of emergencies.


5. Prepare for Power Outages
Winter storms can lead to power outages. Make sure you have easy access to flashlights and a battery-powered radio in case the power goes out. Stockpile warm blankets. Longer power outages can spoil the food in your refrigerator and freezer so keep a supply of non-perishable foods that can be eaten cold on hand. If the power goes out, wear several layers of clothing, including a hat. Move around a lot to raise your body temperature. Check out this winter weather checklist from the CDC to make sure you have everything you may need.

6. Eat a Varied Diet
Because people spend more time indoors and may eat a smaller variety of foods, nutritional deficits -- especially Vitamin D deficiency -- can be a problem. Nicole Morrissey, a registered dietician in southwest Michigan, recommends consuming foods that are fortified with Vitamin D, such as milk, grains and seafood options like tuna and salmon.

7. Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Using a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure your safety by checking the batteries on your carbon monoxide detector and buying an updated one if you need to.

The most important tip to keep in mind during the colder months is to ask for help. If you need to clear your property of snow and ice, don't hesitate to ask a family member or neighbor, or hire a professional. Arrange rides to the grocery store and doctor's appointments. Many communities have shuttle services specifically for seniors. Don't be afraid to reach out for help.

Wintertime certainly poses challenges for seniors, but with a bit of planning and awareness, you will stay healthy and experience the joys of springtime soon enough.

If you have any helpful hints or comments, please feel free to post to our Facebook Page

"Article of Interest” 

What do I need to know about potential home care agencies?

These are some of the frequently asked questions we often receive from our clients.

1. How soon can Home Helpers place a caregiver?

As soon as you need one. We will assess your personal situation and have a caregiver in place on day one for you. We have a Rapid Care Response system that offers quick service when an unexpected situation presents itself

2. Are your caregivers insured?

Not only are Home Helpers caregiver employees insured, they are also required to complete a thorough background check. We make certain all caregivers are insured and properly screened in order for your loved one to be fully protected.

3. Does your home health care agency conduct background checks on your caregiver employees?

All Home Helpers caregivers are required to complete a thorough background check. We make certain all caregivers are insured and properly screened in order for your loved one to be fully protected.

4. Are your caregivers trained to handle tough clients? What kind of training and continuing education does this home care agency provide to your caregivers?

As a premier home health care agency, we make certain that our caregivers are prepared to handle anything. We adhere to a detailed training curriculum with both mandatory and elective courses. Home Helpers also offers online courses, webinars, and continued training to all of our caregivers. HH University is a program exclusive to Home Helpers which offers caregivers a supplemental structured training program where our caregiver can earn certifications of Specialist, Expert and Master: a title that truly differentiates the skill set of the Home Helpers caregiver.

5. If the caregiver does not work out, what do you do to find a replacement?

From the beginning, we ensure that we provide the best and most compatible caregiver match for you or your loved one. If, for any reason, the caregiver placed is not working out, we will work as quickly as possible to place a new one in the position. This is one of the great benefits of using a home care agency.

6. Who should I contact with questions about my caregiver?

You can call your local Home Helpers office and speak with the Office Manager or Supervisor. Rest assured that we will look into your questions or comments immediately.

7. Do I pay the caregiver directly, or do I tip the caregiver?

You do not pay the caregiver directly and our caregivers cannot accept tips. You pay your local office directly. Home Helpers accepts most methods of payment. The hourly rate for a caregiver differs by location. As each office is independently owned and operated, hourly rates and methods of payment differ by location. Simply contact us to discuss how we can suit your needs!

8. What if my caregiver does not show up for a scheduled shift?

This is a very rare event. But if it does occur, Home Helpers offers a system that enables the caregiver to “clock in” and “clock out” by calling an automated toll-free number. If a scheduled shift has not been called in, the system alerts the office staff immediately and we send a secondary caregiver. With our telephony system, there are no time sheets or missed shifts.

9. Who will I meet at the initial in-home consultation?

This varies by location, but in most cases, the owner and/ or a registered nurse or client care manager will visit you in your home to learn more about you.

10. How do you find and recruit quality caregivers?

We have several reputable methods of recruitment for finding and hiring caregivers that include specific websites, target groups, job fairs and focused advertising. Once we recruit potential employees, we will assess their merits through interviews conducted via telephone, in person and sometimes in groups.

11. Can I talk to any of your current clients?

Many offices are able to put you in contact with current clients. This is a great way to know that you’ve made a good choice in trusting a home care agency with your loved one.

12. How often is care available?

At Home Helpers, we will structure a care plan that meets your needs. Whether you need help for just a few hours a week or 24/7, we’re here to make life easier for you and your family. To schedule an in home care assessment, contact our office at 847-268-8676.

13. What services do you provide?

Different home care agencies provide different services. Please contact our office to learn more about what we offer that the other agencies don’t.

14. Do you really care about my family and me?

This might not be a question you ask out loud, but it’s a question most people will have in mind when choosing a home health care agency. At Home Helpers, we pride ourselves on our compassionate care philosophy, and we have over 17 years of experience in proving that, yes, we do care about helping you and your family.

For more helpful information, visit our website,

HOME HELPERS – Making Life Easier® Home Helpers offers a complete continuum of home healthcare services, similar to the care and support often provided by family members. Services include non-medical care, companionship, personal care* and medical services*. Our flexible care plans are tailored to fit our clients’ specific needs and budgets. To learn more about Home Helpers, call (847) 268-8676, or visit us online at  Compassionate Care is a newsletter produced by Home Helpers. We hope you found this edition to be informative and helpful.

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Home Helpers of Barrington • 330 E Main St. Barrington, Il 60010

"Caregiver of the Quarter"

Nicholas, the word “Blessing” is what best describes him. He manages to do so much with the highest level of Quality, Compassion and Professionalism. Though Nick has only been with us for nearly 6 months, you would think that he has been a caregiver for decades. Nicholas has also been nominated this year for the National “Exceptional Caregiver of The Year Award.” One of the things that sticks out most was the night we received the call that he was going to be late to the client’s house as his car had broken down and he was on his way walking as he had no other means. Keep in mind the client lived 10 miles away. Most people would call in sick, but not Nick! Of Course, we were able to get him a ride and on time! He never turns down a shift and always turns in his charting on time and complete. Nicholas, we are blessed to have an employee like you.

“Client Testimonial”

Dad enjoys Nana the Live-in caregiver so well. We see the connection they have and it makes us comfortable knowing that dad is safe and sound in his home. Your office staff is always available to help answer any questions that I may have. You have truly been a blessing to our family. You have delivered what you have promised. Dad even talks about the Cubs Game that your Agency had taken him to.

Peggie- Ashland, IL

“Caregiver Testimonial”

“Caregiver Photo of the Quarter”

This was taken by our own “Steven” near his home in Williams Bay, WI. Early December am Winter Sunrise.

"Caregiver Tip of the Quarter”

5 Simple Promises For a Healthier New Year

Resolutions for the Caregiver

It doesn’t matter if your payment comes in a check or an occasional appreciative smile. As a caregiver, you likely don’t do what you should to maintain your own health.

As a new year approaches, consider resolving to take a step toward caring for yourself.

Here are 5 simple suggestions:

1. Get a checkup

You wouldn’t dream of skipping your mother’s cardiologist appointment or your dad’s semi-annual visit to the oncologist. So why has it been three years since your last physical?

Pick up the phone today and make appointments with your primary care doctor, eye doctor and dentist.

If you need someone to take over caregiving while you see the doctor, make those arrangements today, too. Ask a relative, family friend or your church for help. If those don’t work, you can always call on Home Helpers to step in and care for your loved one while you’re taking care of yourself.

2. Put the Brakes on the Drive-Thru

Resolve to make that burger and fries a treat rather than a dietary staple.

The job of caregiving can leave little time or energy for preparing a proper meal, but settling for fast food means you are also settling for fat, sodium, carbs and preservatives.

3. Take 10 and Give Me 20

Experts suggest we get 30 minutes of exercise each day, but those 30 minutes don’t have to come all at once.

Instead of stressing over when to work in that half-hour workout, carve out 10 minutes three times a day.

While your mom is sleeping, spend 10 minutes walking up and down the stairs.

While Dad is reading the paper, drop and give yourself 10 minutes worth of pushups, sit-ups and and jumping jacks.

Keep a pair of hand weights handy and pump some iron while your client takes in their must-see television show.

4. Take That Helping Hand

Next time someone asks what they can do to help, take the offer seriously.

Most people genuinely want to pitch in where they can, and anyone who has been a caregiver knows how valuable a little respite can be.

When your neighbor asks if she can pick anything up at the store, give her your list.

If your sister offers to take Mom to church on Sunday, take some time to yourself rather than join them.

When the church youth group offers to spend Saturday afternoon cleaning up your yard, show them where you keep the rakes.

5. Share the Load

Everyone needs a break sometimes. And if you don’t need a break from your loved one, perhaps they need one from you!

Home Helpers’ trained caregivers can step in to provide you time for an afternoon at the movies, a weekend away with friends or just a quick trip to the grocery store. Just give us a call. We’ll make life a little easier and 2017 a little healthier.

Birthdays for the Quarter














We understand that choosing a Caregiver Agency to assist your family is a big step. It’s one that requires Trust. That’s why we choose to have our Caregivers carefully screened, background checked, and drug tested so that they can fully care for you.  Life certainly does not always go the way we want it. There are certainly many detours and distractions along the way. We hope you too find Peace, Rest, and Help in God’s Love.


Thank You!!!

John & Christine Browning R.N., and the Caregiving Team at Home Helpers.