Technology’s Role in Staying Connected

It’s no secret that technology is one of the most important tools in any job. But how far can that technology go to really serve us? Well as it turns out, pretty far, and especially as of late! Now obviously this includes the medical technology that we rely on to help keep our loved ones and clients safe, strong, and healthy, but it certainly doesn’t stop there. The emergence of new technology into the near one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to provide ease and comfort as we work to accommodate the world that awaits on the other side, and this tech comes in all shapes and sizes!

(Re)Connections

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has left us in a world where the ability to connect is challenging. Social distancing, mandatory lockdowns, and highly strict rules when it comes to visiting seniors—especially our clients in care facilities—have forced a reconsideration of how to stay present in each other’s lives. Luckily, this comes at a time when rapid advances in technology have helped immensely in overcoming these challenges. Now right away, you probably think of things like Zoom, Alexa, Google Nest, Apple products, etc. and you’re right! But there have been many more innovative (and almost certainly) less expensive methods taken by some creative and thoughtful minds that are helping to bring families closer together in a time of worldwide isolation.

As many have done in their own homes with members of their extended family, the implementation and use of virtual meeting technology for those who require quality care has been a saving grace for many. It’s also given reason to some of our older clients and those of similar ages in other locations to learn and utilize technology they otherwise may not have. It is truly a wonderful feeling the first moment a client of ours makes a successful call to their loved ones and discovers the joy and ease that technology has brought them in a time when they could have gone months (or at this point more than a year) without seeing them! In addition, simple tasks like asking about the weather, hearing their schedule, or playing someone’s favorite music have become so much easier with this boost in the use of everyday technology, and again… it’s so wonderful to see and be a part of.

Another HUGE impact of technology has been in contact tracing. With number restrictions on visitations, it’s very important that we know how many people are at a care facility at a given time. As such, this tool has been quite successful in allowing families some more (safe) visitation time as vaccines are distributed more rapidly and the world begins working towards a return to some form of the old normalcy.

Some Simpler Technology

On the other side of the same coin, a large price tag (often associated with the aforementioned tools) has not necessarily been the only contributing factor of innovation in the technology used for quality care thus far. We have seen very creative endeavors! For example, there has been a wide array of small shelter construction near ground floor window units for families to visit safely in the winter months, keeping them protected from the elements while safely allowing outside visitations! In addition, there has also been the implementation of a simple and highly user-friendly software system that allows visitors to sign up in an orderly manner. This not only ensure safety to their loved ones, but anyone in the given bubble that might cross paths. This also goes hand-in-hand with the contract tracing tools mentioned above, as the one could simply not work without the other.

To put it lightly, it has helped us TREMENDOUSLY over the past year and continues to provide ease on our staff and caregivers alike to make sure they are working in the safest conditions possible.

A Tool in the Right Hands

The bottom line is that we could not have made this last year work without the wonderful technology available to us and all its many forms. I know it can be hard to take such a positive stance on some of it in this day and age (due to the many issues that we see every day with things like social media or mass production/online sales companies) but the right technology tool in the right hands can have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life. And after the year we’ve had, we are very comfortable hanging out hat on that fact!

Find a Pandemic Care Partner With HealthStar Home Health

It has been almost a full calendar year since the “new normal” has taken precedence in our daily lives, and to say that things have changed would be a rather blunt understatement. Specifically in regard to HealthStar, we have had to fully invest in and revamp our beliefs in safety, inviolability, and sanctuary assurance when it comes to interacting and caring for our clients in the midst of COVID-19. As such, we understand how challenging these times can be when it comes to caring for a loved one—or someone close to you—when there are limitations on just how and when you can actually perform those acts of care. Luckily, HealthStar can provide you with some tips and helpful information to improve the way that you provide care for them. We also have the services that can provide relief, comfortability, and a trusting relationship if you are ready to take the next step into working with our healthcare professionals.

All The Small Things

Well… maybe not ALL, but at least two…

As a team of over 1,100 caregivers, there are two words that come up time and time again when it comes to the best in quality care: Consistency & Comfort.

Consistency is something that has definitely been hard to come by lately, oh boy do we know… “change is the only constant” has once again proven true for us even into 2021. With that said, we still understand that consistent care is the pinnacle of helping someone make improvements in their life through quality care. So, if you are struggling to find ways to be consistent, start small! Assisting them up at the same time each day and developing a regular morning routine that fits into both parties’ schedule is a great first step, helping to get the day off to a great start and set a structure for the rest of it. Consistency also aids in fostering a growing amount of trust overtime, with trust being the framework for any strong and healthy relationship. This is something that HealthStar always keeps in heavy consideration, as we understand the responsibilities we are tasked with when asked to provide quality care through the same trust that you—a fellow loved one—possesses. It is with this trust that we can move to our second crucial care factor: Comfort.

Comfort, as an extension of consistency, goes hand-in-hand. Routine provides a sense of familiarity and calm. If, however, routine is once again something that is increasingly more challenging to come by, we can help you develop them for you and your loved ones, and work together to achieve that desired level of comfort. But comfort is more than how someone feels physically. We also make sure our clients are supported emotionally, spatially, and mentally, whether this is through creating an extensive care plan with you to facilitate, or the in-person care options offered by HealthStar.

Now, while we can provide you with an encyclopedia’s worth of knowledge on improved aspects of at home caregiving like the ideas above, our extensive team of physical therapists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, social workers, and many more experienced professionals can provide the services you or your loved ones need right in your home, with full attention to detail to the CDC’s COVID-19 practices required. Therefore, we ensure a safe and clean interaction with any clients who choose to work with us.

Finding the Care that is Right for You

We know that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, finding quality care for a loved one seemed like a process too large to endure and even too frightening to imagine someone other than yourself providing your loved ones with care. We hear from new clients how hard it is to think about someone else doing their job quite often, but that’s exactly what caretaking is—A JOB—and it can be overwhelming. As such, we are here if you wish to advocate for working with the licensed professionals here at HealthStar, where we regularly update our methods and practice to stay in accordance with all COVID-19 health standards.

So, we ask that in a time when the task of at home caregiving is so important to the safety of those who need it, that you consider a licensed HealthStar professional not to take over your job, but to act as a partner to you and your loved ones. In accordance with our community-based approach, we want to work with you to find an option that is best, whether that be Home Health Aide (HHA), Skilled Nursing, ICLS, or a simple daily homemaking plan.

Independence – what does it mean to you?

This month, the US celebrates its independence as a nation. But when do you celebrate your independence as an individual? We all have different levels of independence, whether we look at physical, mental, emotional, financial, or age-related dependencies. But there’s no special day to celebrate our own personal successes in independence! Why not? We should all be celebrating the things that we can do on our own!

I remember the first time I was able to take my mom and dad out to dinner with money that I had earned. That feeling of accomplishment sticks with me today, although maybe it’s not so fun to pay the bill these days! I also feel grateful for all the things that I can do on my own every day, like getting out of the house or driving myself around where I need to go. Working in home care has shown me that health and independence are too important to take for granted!

Celebrate small victories!

We’ve all had various successes, from small to monumental; moments when we gain the strength and the ability to take care of things on our own. Some things come easy, but sometimes we really put a lot of work in before we really feel that independence! The good thing is that all that hard work makes the accomplishment feel So. Much. Greater!

One tip that we’ve discussed before comes from Nissa Fougner, director of Rehab Therapies. She reminds us that it’s important to celebrate the small victories, so that you can see the progress as it’s being achieved. When you are able to recognize those small steps that you’ve cleared on your way to the big hurdles, it gives you more energy to keep going toward the end goal!

New service, same team!

At HealthStar, we believe that this great feeling of accomplishment should be experienced by everyone! We’re excited to help our Clients achieve independence in whatever form makes the most sense for their unique goals. This is why HealthStar is expanding into a new line of service, designed to improve and foster independence for those we serve. We’re pleased to announce HealthStar’s new ICLS initiative (short for Individual Community Living Supports)! Adding ICLS service to HealthStar’s service offerings provides a new opportunity to help our Clients achieve greater independence in their own lives.

Adding ICLS still means working with the same great office staff that our Clients already know and love. We’re lucky to have such an amazing team – they are all excited to add this new tool to our home care toolbelt! We think the new ICLS initiative makes HealthStar one service stronger in the fight for our Clients’ independence. Whether we’re helping with mobility, rehabilitation, home safety, or just providing basic homemaking services, we want our Clients to learn and grow with us!

How can we help you with your independence goals?

Take a look at all of the various support services that HealthStar has to offer – maybe we’re a fit for you or for a family member who needs a little extra help gaining greater independence. The best part is, that when you invite HealthStar into your care circle, you also get our billing team and all of the services that we can cover for you! Our awesome billing department is great at digging into the specifics of what your insurance will cover. Insurance can be very confusing, but with a few experts on your side, you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your insurance coverage. Give us the chance, and we’ll be thrilled to discuss your situation – we’d love to work with you toward a more independent future!