Helping Clients who Suffer from Depression

While there are different types and intensities of depression, all have similar signs. If a client is “feeling blue” it does not necessarily mean that they suffer from depression. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes multiple symptoms including:
– weight loss (from poor appetite)
– weight gain (from eating too much when sad)
– trouble with sleeping (too much or too little)
– extreme fatigue and irritability
– disinterest in family and friends
– disinterest in activities they otherwise enjoy
– disinterest in personal hygiene
– trouble concentrating
– suicidal tendencies

Ideas to keep in mind when working with clients who suffer from depression:
– too much stress can make depression worse, encourage clients to express their feelings and worries.
– depression is not a normal part of getting older.
– depression is not something a person can snap out of, it is an illness.

What to say to a person who is depressed:
– I care about you.
– I am here for you if you need anything.
– I may not know what you are going through, but I will help in any way I can.
– Do you want a hug?

What not to say to a person who is depressed:
– It’s all in your head.
– Cheer up!
– You would feel better if you smiled.
– Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

Classes for 2014

Dates: Class Name:
Aug 12 Infection Control
Aug 26 Dementia Care
Sep 09 Depression in the Elderly
Sep 23 Neurological Diseases
Oct 14 Patients’ Rights
Oct 28 Diabetes

Please contact Elizabeth in the office to RSVP for a class
(650) 839-2273

Time: 4p-6p
Cost: $5/hr
Location: 1800 El Camino Real Suite B, Menlo Park, CA 94027. Please enter through the front door (on El Camino, not Buckthorn). Parking is available in front of building and on Buckthorn Ave.

Oppose: AB 1863 The Home Care Licensure Bill that betrays seniors in California.

AB 1863, the Home Care Consumer Protection Bill of 2014, does not, in fact, protect the consumer.  It actually exploits the elderly home care consumer by giving a state home care license to entities that do not assume any legal responsibilities or costs for the workers – they just broker them.  The bill was sponsored and written by the Domestic Referral Agency home care industry, NODRA, which claims that the consumers are already fully aware of their employer responsibilities, while labeling the caregivers to be “independent contractors” which is something that DRAs never actually tell the consumer.  The consequences of this bill will have dire effects on seniors (who become the unwitting employer) and caregivers (who could be charged with tax evasion) for years to come.  One rationale for the bill is that there needs to be a mechanism to ensure that the DRA caregivers are fingerprinted and tested for competency which can be easily achieved without licensing these agencies.  If you do license these companies there needs to be a way to ensure that the client is informed of their responsibilities as the employer.  As of now, that information is in the fine print with these companies or sometimes not at all.  The current business model of DRAs negatively impacts both the consumers and the caregivers while cutting the IRS and state out of taxes that are due.  Multiple unknowing clients have already been faced with EDD and workers compensation claims in California (see Anderson v. Griswold).

The current so called “Consumer Protection Bill” condones transferring employer responsibilities to the unknowing client.  The clients, the hospital referral sources and even government AAA agencies are none the wiser.

Financial impact of AB 1863 to the state:

Using data from SB 411 Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary that estimates that there are 2000* existing home care agencies in California.

  Full Service Home Care Agency Domestic Home Care Referral Organization (DRA)
Average annual payroll of 1.4 Million x 2000* agencies $2,800,000,000 $2,800,000,000
Federal tax payments $586,979,840 $0
California income tax payment $48,823,180 $0
Federal Social Security/Medicare employee tax payments $289,486,120 $0
Federal Social Security/Medicare employer tax payments $289,486,120 $0
State disability taxes $27,442,560 $0
State unemployment taxes $40,038,220 $0
State Employment Training Tax $1,000,000 $0
Workers Compensation – at 10% of Payroll for category 8810 $289,000,000 $0

*number comes from 2012’s SB411 analysis

Additionally, SB411 estimated there will be approximately 255 new agencies a year requesting licensure (>12% increase a year).  Let’s make sure that only agencies that protect the consumer (full service agencies) can be licensed.

Summary: While not all Full Service employer-employee agencies are perfect, the state should not be proliferating agencies that use independent contractors.  The Domestic Referral Agencies can still operate under civil code but should never ever get the state’s “good housekeeping seal of approval” least of all under the guise of a “consumer protection bill.”


Home Care – Don’t Let Stress Get You Down

Home Care Stresses Are Damaging To Your Health

Home Care StressCaring for the needy is very hard on care givers. More than a third of caregivers find themselves overwhelmed by the demands of caring for others while trying to live their own lives.

It is critical that you learn how to care for yourself first. Failure to be responsible for your own well-being can easily compromise your health to the point you can no longer care for others.

Here are ten ways you can deal with the stresses of home care.

1. Get organized. Make the most of calendars and to-do lists to help you get the important things done first and avoid not getting everything done.

2. Take a break from care. You deserve time for yourself. Your charge may enjoy the company of someone else. Find a friend or relative who can take over for a few days or hours. Hire a professional for a few hours or days so you can take a vacation. There are facilities available to care for your charge for a while. Adult day care centers can make the difference.

3. Deal with your emotions. Be realistic about your feelings. Don’t bottle things up or try to ignore the effect emotions can have on your well-being.

4. Find chances to relax. Take a while to relax, watch a tv show or movie on DVD, take a nap, do yoga or meditate. If you are religious take time to pray or talk to a priest or minister.

5. Your physical needs come first. If you aren’t healthy then you can give care. Don’t binge eat, or drink to excess. Get the sleep you need. Get regular checkups and plenty of sleep. Find ways to exercise. Depression is your enemy.

6. Stay in touch with friends. Don’t let yourself become isolated. Get together with friends as often as possible. Ask for help with little things, like shopping or errands, that you can’t do easily.

7. Ask for help. You can only do so much. Make a list of the things you don’t have time for and ask for help. Friends, family or professionals can fill in the gaps. Often you just need to help.

8. Investigate community resources. Most communities have organizations devoted to helping care for the elderly and special needs individuals. Find a care manager. Find a home heath care aide. home repair services may be able to help with nagging problems.

9. Say NO! Realize that you can’t do everything. Don’t take on more. Ask others for help, hire professionals, or just say NO!

10. Stay positive. Don’t get down and don’t get down on yourself. Keep in mind that you are caring for someone you love. Take a deep breath and enjoy the little moments of live.


In-Home Help When A Loved One Needs It

5 questions to ask before hiring a home-care aide or taking on the role yourself

The signs can hit you quickly or sneak up on you gradually. But what do you do if Mom or Dad isn’t safe living alone anymore?

 About 65 million Americans become unpaid caregivers for a loved one in need, and many others hire supplementary help.
If an elderly relative starts to need help to get through the day, families who want to avoid institutions often face two choices: hire a home-care aide or become one yourself. Both these options allow the older person to remain at home where he or she may be most comfortable, experts say, but each has its own pitfalls. 

Families who choose outside help must decide what level of care their loved one requires and whether they want to go through an agency or hire a caregiver privately. And people who join the ranks of the 65 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. can face health-draining burnout if they don’t budget for respite care for themselves.


There are two main kinds of in-home care. Personal or home-care aides provide companionship and support a person’s activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, preparing meals and doing laundry. Home health aides may do all those things plus tasks such as administering medication or recording changes in a client’s condition. They also may work under a nurse’s supervision.


Here are five questions to consider when thinking of hiring or becoming a caregiver.

1. What kind of care do you need and can you afford?

2. Should you hire an independent worker directly or go an agency?

3. Can you manage the process with other family members?

4. How do you find the right home-care aide for your needs?

5. Do you have a plan to take care of yourself?


Matched CareGivers can provide affordable, professional caregivers to provide the safety, companionship and loving care that you want for your loved one.

Read entire article here



Home Care Services for Seniors to Stay Happy and Healthy At Home

Rather than moving into a long–term care facility as they age, many older adults prefer to stay at home for as long as possible. But unless they have experience planning this for others, most people don’t know what all the options are or how different the costs might be or what services are available at home.


Many elders CAN continue to live in their own home much longer, with a little help. Having a professional care aide come into the home to help with personal hygiene, meals and/or companionship, can make all the difference. This article outlines the options available, and pros and cons for each. Families and friends can help so much, but adding the component of a professional helping in the home can make a huge difference.


Matched CareGivers is a local, full-service agency, founded by an RN, that has provided the best in home care and case management on the San Francisco peninsula since 1990.  Our service is one that allows seniors to live in their own home with the assistance of a trained caregiver. Our services are flexible and available for as little as 4 hours per shift or as much as 24/7 care hourly or live-in care.  Services we provide include, but are not limited to: personal care, bathing, dressing, companionship, exercise and mobility assistance, medication reminders, meal planning and preparation (including specialized diets), transportation and errands, coordination of social activities, light housekeeping and laundry. Our caregivers are fingerprinted, have a current TB clearance, are First Aid certified, and have a year or more paid experience or training.

How To Get Up After A Fall: MacGyver Style!

We’ve all fallen and had a hard time getting back up. For elders, it’s even more difficult. This video shows you ways to use the things around you to help you get back up. Occupational Therapist Rhonda Bonecutter from San Francisco takes us through the thought process and the way of looking at surroundings as ‘helpers’.

Click here to watch the video:



Homecare aides needed!

Caregivers: Join our Excellent Team!
Matched CareGivers is an independent, local, full-service Home Care Agency based in Menlo Park, in business since 1990. We provide home care service to clients in the San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. We are seeking quality caregivers that meet the highest standards to provide services to our clients. We seek qualified Home Care Aides, Certified Nurse Assistants and Certified Home Health Aides to provide personal care services on a live-in or hourly basis
Applicant requirements:
• One year of paid Home Care experience
• Minimum of 2 work references
• Must fully pass written tests on the provision of care/universal precautions
• Must have reliable transportation
• Must fully Pass background criminal, DMV, and social security clearance
For information and to apply: call 650-839-2273 or come into our office at 1800 El Camino Real Menlo Park, CA 94025
Matched CareGivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We offer competitive wages and benefits to qualifying employees.

Elder Scams Are All Around Us

Scams focused on the elderly at home are running rampant. Phone scams, mail scams, at-the-door scams. The scammers are focusing on this group because they have assets and they are easily fooled. Many elders are from the ‘old school’ world of ‘your word is your bond’ and sometimes are confused by a smart scammer. How to protect elders from this fraud? Education.

Phone scams:

1. Advise elder to either utilize Caller ID and not answer if they don’t recognize the number, or simply ‘screen’ all calls: don’t automatically answer a call, stand by the answering machine and listen to who is leaving the message. If they are someone you want to talk to, answer then. The scammers usually hang up if a machine answers. NOT picking up and talking to the scammer will eventually get the elder off the ‘sucker’ list and the calls will decrease.

2. Advise them the NO federal or state agency ‘calls’ citizens to ask for Social Security number, credit card number, bank account number or anything else. Any phone caller who ‘threatens’ a senior with the police is a scammer. Hang up. Call the police yourself to report them. But don’t believe it.

3. If someone calls in the middle of the night and says “Grandma this is your grandson. I am stuck in Mexico and need money to get out” they are very probably a scammer. If you ask them which Grandson, they will probably hang up. Call their parents to verify any calls like this.

4. Don’t believe anyone calling from LifeAlert, Police/Fire ‘charities’, life insurance agencies etc. that are calling you to pressure you to buy something or send money. Either hang up or tell them you don’t give money to phone solicitors. They are almost always NOT the company they say they are. Donate to local charities you know and contact companies you are interested in. Do not believe any calls on the phone.

5. The National Do-Not-Call Registry list is not perfect, but helps a little. If you are not signed up go to the National Do Not Call Registry and register all of your phones.

Another resource is this article about phone scams escalating during tax time – fake IRS agents are terrorizing elders across the country.

Bottom line: if they call you, it’s more than likely a scam. Don’t answer, don’t fall for it and tell every elder you know.









Respite Care When the Family Caregiver Gets Sick?

dizzy We hear so much about the Flu and severe colds on the news, and keeping our patients from catching these illnesses, but family caregivers are particularly at risk. Getting a flu shot and trying to avoid sick people helps considerably, but there is sometimes little one can do to avoid getting sick. We usually focus on the patient, which is natural, but if there is no focus on the caregiver, what happens when the CAREGIVER gets sick?

If the family caregiver is doing all the housework, shopping, driving, distributing medicine, cooking, attending doctors’ appointments with the patient, and/or visiting the hospital, they can get tired, and rundown and more susceptible to illness.  If the family caregiver becomes ill or simply exhausted, the patient may become more agitated and upset. They may not understand why things are not being taken care of as usual. The poor caregiver drags herself from task to task and it may be very difficult to get the rest and care needed. Often, there is no other family member who can or will take over.

What to do?

MatchedCaregivers can provide respite care for family caregivers. We can provide a caring, professional caregiver for 4 hours or four days or longer to take care of the patient’s needs, and allow the family caregiver to rest and recover from their illness. The family caregiver can take the time they need knowing that their loved one is in good hands.

If you have any questions please call us. We will provide you with the respite relief and peace of mind knowing that your loved one is being cared for by loving, trained professionals. Our job is to help you.