Choosing a Senior Care Agency

If you or an older loved one needs care in the home, it’s important to choose the right senior care agency. You may be able to plan ahead and carry out some research, although all too often an emergency medical condition determines a hasty decision. Regardless of your situation, there are some factors to consider if you are looking for a reputable, experienced and caring company.

One of the best ways of finding a senior care agency if you don’t know where to start, is to look to family, friends and co-workers for any recommendations, as well as read posted online reviews. Of course, any agency you work with should be licensed in your state, will carry adequate liability insurance and will conduct thorough background checks. A reputable agency is also responsible for their caregivers’ taxes and workers’ compensation insurance.

A well-known, national senior care agency may be a safer and more reliable option than a smaller, local company, and working with an agency that has been in business for at least a few years is also recommended. You should also feel free to ask the agency about their hiring process, background checks and ongoing training or certification for their caregivers. It’s also acceptable to ask to see a copy of the agency’s latest financial report, their patient bill of rights or any satisfaction survey results.

Other things to consider are whether the caregivers are employed by the agency, rather than working as individual contractors. Find out whether you can reach your assigned caregiver 24/7 and whether the agency will supply a substitute in the event of staff calling out. And although it may seem obvious, you also want to work with a caregiver who is reliable, professional, and personable, and who sees their role as being more than just a job.

Determine how many hours a week you will need care in your home, as well as whether the care will be on a fixed schedule or as needed. Some other factors to consider are whether your loved one will need assistance with nutrition and diet, bathing and dressing, and taking medication. Many caregivers transport patients in their own car; they should have comprehensive insurance and a good driving record. If you need help with taking blood pressure, giving daily shots, testing blood sugar levels, or caring for wounds, it’s important that you work with someone who is qualified and able to do that correctly.

Easy Exercise Regimens for Seniors Living at Home

These days, choosing to age in place is a common occurrence for many senior citizens throughout the United States. More people are opting to remain in their homes rather than be placed in a nursing home, or move to an assisted living community. There are many things one has to consider when making this decision though, and individuals making this choice need to think it over thoroughly. One thing that is incredibly important for seniors aging in place is making sure they get enough exercise on a regular basis.

As we get older our bodies don’t maintain muscle mass as well, and many people opt for a more sedentary life as time goes by. This makes sense because as we age it takes more effort to do things that used to be incredibly easy. But getting older doesn’t mean we no longer need to exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

That being said, many exercise regimens are too much for older adults, and can lead to injury or excessive soreness. Luckily there are plenty of exercise regimens that are gentle, but still rigorous enough to get the blood pumping and work out those muscles. Many of these routines can be done once a day or 2-3 times per week resulting in better blood flow, more energy, and better physical and emotional health overall.

Here are some exercise ideas that are recommended for senior citizens:

Yoga is great for older adults because it is highly adaptable to skill level. This means you can find a routine that is perfect for you regardless of physical limitations. Many yoga poses are more based on balance than raw strength or flexibility, and you still get the benefits of yoga, even if you aren’t able to make each pose to its fullest extent. Yoga is a favorite among seniors because it can be done in the comfort of your own home, or at your local gym, which can provide a wonderful social group for seniors who live alone.

There are many videos of differing skill levels and intensity for those who prefer to do yoga at home, and by circulating different routines, you can make sure that you are getting a full range of exercise. Yoga is gentle on the body, and increases strength, flexibility, relaxation, and circulation. In addition to yoga’s physical benefits, there are also mental and emotional benefits that come from the meditative session that ends most yoga routines. Yoga makes for a great exercise regimen by itself, or can easily be added as a supplement to a larger exercise routine.

This has become the cliché of senior fitness, and there’s a reason for it. Aquatic exercise is very low-stress on bones and joints, since there is no significant impact on your body like there is with running, or even walking. For seniors that suffer from arthritis or osteoporosis, aquatic exercise can help build muscle without damaging your joints and causing further pain.

Unfortunately this can be difficult to do at home if you don’t have a pool. Most gyms offer senior aquatic programs though, which can be a great place to meet other seniors in your community and make new friends. If you have trouble driving, you can always get in touch with an in-home senior care service that can assist you to and from your aquatic aerobics class, or utilize senior transportation services in your area.

Aquatic aerobics classes help seniors build muscle, increase circulation, and remain active as they age and is highly recommended as a regular exercise routine for anyone over the age of 65.

You’ve probably heard before that walking is good exercise, and it’s especially good exercise for older adults. Running puts a lot of stress on the body and requires a lot of energy, which makes it a less viable exercise option for most seniors. Walking on the other hand provides a lot of the same benefits as running (depending on how long you choose to walk for), without causing extra stress on your bones and joints.

A short walk every day can have a myriad of health benefits including:

  • A chance to get out of the house
  • Aerobic exercise to keep your heart and lungs healthy
  • Stretching your leg muscles to keep from cramping up
  • Increased metabolism

Walks are a fairly easy habit to get into for most seniors, and it can be a great addition to any existing exercise routine. Even if walking is the only exercise you get during the week, it’s important to take that time for yourself and get out and get moving, even if it’s just a short walk. Choose a route that has nice scenery and try to get into the habit of walking in the morning and afternoon.

These very basic exercise routines can drastically improve the health of seniors who choose to remain in the homes for their twilight years. Physical and emotional health are very important to keep track of when living by yourself in your old age. Many seniors who age in place suffer from feelings of isolation and depression, both of which can be stymied by regular exercise. So do yourself a favor and make a regular exercise routine part of your everyday life.

Helping Seniors Find the Perfect Animal Hospital

senior and dog

As an aging senior, I couldn’t think of anyone that has provided me with more love than my dog Belly. She has been with me for the past 8 years and the only thing that is most important to me is to provide her with the services of Richmond’s best animal hospital. Finding a reliable veterinary clinic is usually on top of every pet owners list and you can find a whole directory of great animal hospitals in Richmond, Va. With the help of Wellesley Animal Hospital, we have created a list of tips for finding an excellent pet care specialist nearby which we will expand on throughout this article.

Tips on Finding a Reliable Veterinarian Hospital:

  • Does the animal hospital provide emergency care?
  • Does the vet office have many great online reviews?
  • Are there any available references to follow up with?
  • Is the medical equipment in the animal clinic modern and up to technology standards?
  • If they are part of the BBB, do they have a good standing review profile?
  • Does the vet office perform diverse services and are they trained with different procedures?
  • Is pet dental care an option?
  • Do they provide in-home care for my abscence of senior mobility?
  • When you walk in to visit the animal hospital, does everyone welcome you and are they effective in accommodating your needs?


Is Emergency Pet Care Offered by the Vet Clinic?

When looking for the right animal hospital, it is best to find one that also can accommodate any emergency occurrences. You don’t want to have to take you dog or cat to an emergency care unit that you and your pets aren’t used to. This can cause unwanted anxiety from not knowing whether or not the emergency care technician is qualified to perform the care needed. You can also allow for more time to arrive and get the care you need when you are currently a patient of the animal hospital.

vet with dog

Look for Reviews Online & Offline

We personally believe that performing an extensive Richmond animal hospital review analysis is the leading way to find the veterinarian that is right for you. Make sure to diversify where you get your reviews from whether it’s from an acquaintance, friend, or from the world wide web. They hold the first-hand experience of how that specific animal hospital performs their business. By looking on Yelp, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the BBB you can start to get a feeling of how the public feels about that animal clinic in mind. I then like to reach out to friends nearby and proceed onto facebook and other social media for more insight on finding the best local Richmond veterinarians. Three hospitals that we have found to continually provide quality pet care are Fan Veterinary Clinic, Wellesley Animal Hospital, and the Churchill Animal Hospital.


Follow Up with All References

After finding a few great animal clinics that seem to fit you and your pets needs then you can begin to start asking for references. Before calling these references, make sure to have some questions set aside that will address any concerns that you may have with that vet office. Here are a few examples of questions that you could ask:


  • Are you always welcomed kindly?
  • Do you feel satisfied every time you leave?
  • Does your pet feel comfortable there?
  • Are they organized?
  • Do they diagnose the problem properly every time?

Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions that you feel necessary

Modernized Veterinarian Equipment

The best animal hospitals are the facilities that have new and up to date equipment. This shows that the are making proper revenues to afford the equipment and ensuring that they are doing regular business. This also provides better safety in the fact that the equipment meets the veterinary industry standards. Procedures and methods can be done more precisely showing for better outcomes. This can be a lifesaver in times when surgery is a must.


Do They Offer Many Diverse Services?

If the animal hospital can’t offer the animal care services that your pet specifically needs then it is evident that this facility is not what you are looking for. It is easier to have one place that can do many procedures than many places that you have to drive to for each specific procedure.


Do They Offer Animal Dental Care

Being able to execute proper pet dental care is very important. Out dogs and cats teeth are very similar to humans teeth and proper dental hygiene should be part of their daily routine. Discovering an animal hospital that can give great dog and cat dental care services is a great convenience.

Do They Offer a Nice Welcome When You Arrive?

Whenever you enter a business, the first thing that everyone notices is how they were greeted and welcomed into the establishment. First impressions go a long way and when someone comes off tired, angry, or mean then take that as a key indicator of how the business is ran. Also, if the business seems cluttered or un organized in the environmental setting, that could also show signs of how the organization is ran. These are just some factors you can take into account when you visit an animal hospital in person.

Combine All of Your Data

After gathering all of the information on each of your chosen vet clinics, it is then up to you to decide which one is the best Richmond animal hospital. You can then take your pets in and see how they react. If they seem like they approve then you have found the pet clinic most suited to your pet family’s needs.

Great Gifts for Grandparents

christmas grandparents

As a young child, the prospect of a trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house brought cheers of joy and excitement. Maybe you recall that one visit where Grandma let you stay up to watch another movie past bedtime, or that other time when Grandpa snuck you an extra scoop of ice cream. Though older now — and able to dictate your own bedtime, as well as your children’s — the pleasant memories of spending time with your grandparents remain.

For those who are blessed enough to have their grandparents in their lives, it’s a tremendous understatement to say that grandparents are special people. Grandparents have the ability to wear a number of different hats, taking on the roles of substitute parent, friend, mentor, hero, and more. Because they don’t have to be as concerned with a child’s daily well-being, grandparents are able to participate in a unique dynamic with their grandchild, which can’t be replaced.

With the holidays coming up, don’t forget about the grandparents in your life. Whether they are your grandparents or your children’s grandparents, celebrate the many wonderful roles they play in life, and consider showing your appreciation with one of these one-of-a-kind gift ideas.

  1. Christmas Ornaments
    Homemade ornaments give a personal touch to a gift. For added sentiment, make the ornament the grandchild’s handprint or thumbprint. Other ideas could include a miniature photo frame ornament including a photo of the grandkids or a cute drawing from a grandchild.
  2. Custom-Made Jewelry
    Perfect for your grandmother who loves collecting special keepsakes, consider opting for a unique charm for her charm bracelet, or some custom-made jewelry. Stevens Jewelers in Richmond VA, for example, offers custom-made beads and charms commemorating local landmarks as well as sports teams and universities. You grandmother will love having such a unique piece of jewelry to add to her collection!
  3. Digital Picture Frame
    This is an excellent gift, especially if you don’t live near your grandparents and don’t often have the ability to visit them. With a digital picture frame, you can upload photos of your children and family, and wirelessly send them to your grandparents. The photos will almost instantly appear in their digital picture frame, and they’ll be better able to keep in touch with you and your children.
  4. Restaurant Gift Card
    Many people avoid giving gift cards around the holidays because they don’t feel very personal. However, a gift card to a restaurant can truly be a gift from the heart if you know that Grandma and Grandpa don’t often get the chance to go out on a date night together, or if you know that your grandparents have a specific restaurant that they absolutely adore. Put some thought into the purchase, and your grandparents are bound to love your gift.
  5. Quality Time
    Most important of all, this gift comes at no financial cost to you. Taking the time to visit with and spend some quality time catching up with your grandparents serves as an excellent reminder to them that you appreciate them and care for them. And when quality time in person isn’t a possibility, don’t underestimate the value of a simple phone call to check in with them and ask them how they’re doing. They will truly appreciate that you did!

Finding the right holiday gifts can be a challenge — especially when they’re for people as important as your grandparents. This season, show your love and appreciation for these very special people with a gift from the heart. Even if all you can give is your presence, your thoughtfulness will be a meaningful gift.

Grandparents Becoming More Involved In Grandkid’s Lives, Say Experts


At a time when many grandparents provide financial aid for the upbringing of their grandkids, it’s no wonder that this senior involvement is trending nationwide.  In fact, there is a commonly held point of view that grandparents make the best babysitters simply because a grandfather or grandmother is the best choices after parents to mind these young kids.  Moreover, a recent national survey of seniors and others in senior care service finds most grandparents now “provide at least 60 hours a year of care for their grandkids.”


Another aspect of grandparents boosting their personal involvement in the care of grandkids is linked to today’s uncertain economy where parents are literally at loose ends when it comes to affordable child care.  In turn, the best option seems to be calling one’s mother or father to request help in caring for young grandchildren.  The type of care provided by seniors is generally babysitting for when their children go out, or day care for their children’s children.  This result is grandparents now being dubbed the “go to” child care providers at a time when the cost of babysitting is huge, say parents commenting online.


Grandparents now care for grandkids


When parents are asked “who is caring for your children,” online research finds grandparents age 50 and older are doing this heavy lifting on the home front.  Moreover, a recent University of Chicago study stated that “grandparents with more education” are likely to agree to babysit because they understand how expensive child day care is in this difficult economy.  The study also found grandparents providing this specialized care in their own home more often than traveling to care for their grandkids.


The grandparents who are lending a land include:


– Those who provide needed financial support so their own children can better provide for their grandkids.


– Seniors who are deeply concerned about the high cost of child day care; while offering their services so there is this extra monetary support.


– Baby Boomer grandparents who actually enjoy babysitting.


– Grandparents who say they “cannot say no” to their children when asked to care for their grandchildren.


In general, this new data about more and more grandparents lending a hand to help their own children care for their kids is not new in American society, say experts.  However, there seems to be numerous research and studies that finds more and more grandparents wanting to stay more closely in touch with their children and children’s children.


Help on offer from Nana and Papa


There are many nicknames for grandparents today, but the trending one is “child care giver,” say social science experts commenting online about the rise of grandparents as “primary care givers for their own grandkids.”  While most seniors say they simply enjoy their grandkids, and want to care for them because they really want to, there is another group of grandparents who are deeply concerned that their children cannot make ends meet when it comes to affording today’s expensive child care.  In turn, these concerned seniors are stepping-up and providing “free” care when their children ask or when they feel their grandkids need family around them.


Seniors paying for their children’s children


At the same time, there is a view that grandparents are also being asked to help their children and grandchildren more in the way of finances.  This emphasis for grandparents to assist financially is common, say social science experts.  For instance, there are numerous university studies that point to “Baby Boomers” who now budget their funds so as to ease the overall financial burden of child care from their beleaguered children.  A grandparent even commented online about wanting to pay his son and daughter so much each month because they are now grandparents, and feel it is part of their role to help out financially.


This role of offering financial support for one’s children’s children is also based on more and more seniors deciding that “it is money well spent.”  For example, a grandmother with four grandkids commented online about budgeting each month so “each of my grandkids has a piece of my financial pie.”  The grandmother said this “pie” includes the funds needed to help pay for child care when she is not available.


Overall, there is a trend in America today for grandparents to help out with both babysitting and financial help because it really takes a village to help raise kids today.

For more information on senior care for your loved one, please visit,

Choosing the Right Preschool for Your Grandchild

grandparents and grandchild
Many grandparents find themselves stepping into the role of primary guardian for their grandchild. If this is your circumstance, then you know that it is up to you to ensure an adequate education for the child. This often includes finding a quality preschool program if your grandchild is not yet ready to enter kindergarten. For many grandparents who haven’t had to consider early childhood education since their own children were toddlers – much has changed. When it’s up to you to secure a quality preschool or day care program for your grandchildren, it’s important to do sufficient research.

In the year before your grandchild is scheduled to start preschool, you need to begin your search to find the best one. You will be able to find the right educational opportunity if you take an organized approach.

Search for Possibilities

When you are looking for a school, ask around. Other parents and grandparents are often an excellent resource for finding the best programs. You can also attend preschool fairs where the administration will explain the school’s educational philosophy. You can find out their approach to teaching reading, social skills, and other important lessons. You also need to consider how many hours you want your child in school each week. Some programs have a three-day-a-week plan and take children for a few hours a day. Others offer more class time or days that are divided between preschool classes and day care.

Take a Tour

Some schools give tours all year long while others only do so in certain months. Call ahead and set up tours with as many schools as interest you. Watch how the teachers interact with the students. Since some preschool take three-year-olds, the instructors must be able to handle toddlers as well as older children. This means they need to teach lessons that work well with different ages. You are the best judge of which approach will fit your grandchild.

Bring Your Grandchild

Once you have narrowed your choices to one or two schools, you should take your grandchild for a visit. You will be surprised at how much you can learn by observing how your grandchild reacts during that short period of time. You will have a chance to see how she interacts with the other children and how well the surroundings seem to suit her. You will also have a chance to see how the staff works with the children. Although teachers are on their best behavior when they have parents in the room, you can still tell a lot about the school by how content the students seem and how engaged they are. You can also see what condition the facilities are in and what educational materials the school offers its students.

Other Factors

You should also take note of the child to teacher ratio. Smaller classes are better for students, especially preschoolers who have endless energy and require lots of attention. You should find out how much play time the children get. Preschoolers need a lot of minimally structured time to go along with their educational activities. This Independence child care center for example offers an entire “Exploratorium” for children to indulge their curiosity and practice self-inquiry. Also, be sure to ask about the school’s discipline policies. You should know that any poor behavior that your grandchild exhibits will be positively and appropriately handled. Ask to see a handbook that details those policies. Meet the administration as well.

Experts will advise you to “trust your gut.” If something does not feel right, do not enroll your grandchild into the school. On the other hand, if everything else checks out and you get a good feeling about the preschool, you may be wise to enroll your grandchild there. When your grandchild begins school, it is an emotional time for you and for her. Careful planning and systematic research can eliminate much of the worry and uncertainty that you feel. Raising your grandchild in your home during these important formative years is both gratifying and challenging — but when you choose correctly, preschool be a magical time for you and your little one.

Self Care for Seniors

healthy grandparentsAs a grandparent, you often find yourself in the position of matriarch or patriarch of the family. At the head of the family, you make it your duty to keep in touch with each of your children and their children as well, making sure that everyone is happy and healthy. With so many responsibilities, including helping to look after the grandchildren and clean up after them, it’s easy to overlook caring for yourself. As busy as you may be, it’s vital that you take the time to care for yourself. Especially for a senior experiencing some of the inevitable effects of aging, taking proper care of your health will help to prevent avoidable illnesses and injuries, and ensure more time to spend with your children and grandchildren.

If you know that you’re the kind of person to overlook your own personal needs in favor of the needs of your loved ones, consider the following self-care tips to see if you are adequately taking care of yourself. The better you take care of yourself, the better you will be able to care for others.


More important now than ever is what you eat on a daily basis. Many seniors take in too much sodium, alcohol, and saturated fats, while not getting enough whole grains, lean protein, and calcium. A balanced and nutritious diet is imperative for not only weight management, but also for bone strength and heart health as well. While you may have lived off of ramen noodles and pizza in your 20’s, years and years of poor nutrition can add up and start to affect your health (if they haven’t already). Be sure to schedule regular visits with your doctor to see if you have any conditions like high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, or high blood pressure which may require a change in eating habits.


You already know that exercise is good for you, and it’s possible that your doctor has already told you that you need to get more exercise. Many people think that exercise involves playing high-energy sports like basketball, or running every morning. But for seniors whose bone density and muscle strength are deteriorating more quickly, almost any form of light to moderate activity will make a difference. Walking around the neighborhood for thirty minutes each day can provide you with a multitude of benefits, including mental clarity and improved memory, lower blood pressure, weight management, and stronger muscles. Stronger muscles and bones will also help you to improve your balance and prevent falls — the leading cause of injury for seniors.

Home Safety

When people think of self care, most people tend to focus on inward health, and overlook the impact that our environment can have on us. As people age, their homes often fail to age with the. Clutter around the house, dimly lit hallways, and steep stairwells slowly turn from minor inconveniences to potential hazards. In order to make sure that your home is safe for you to live in, install night lights in areas that you often walk through in the night — such as on the way to the bathroom or down the stairs. Piles of magazines and such should be stored away to prevent tripping, and if you are concerned about slipping in the bathroom, install handrails. All of these minor adjustments will help to make your home a safe place to live well into your sunset years. And if you need help around the house with tasks such as cleaning or reaching objects on high shelves, you may want to consider hiring assistance. This Hendersonville home care service for example provides in-home care for seniors looking for additional help in their own house.

You may see your own health and wellbeing as secondary to that of your family. However, it’s important to keep your health in perspective and remember that if you are ill or injured, you may be less able to care for your children and grandchildren. Regular appointments with the doctor and taking time to practice self care will help ensure that you stay healthy as a senior and a grandparent.