All posts in Caregiver Services

Live-In Home Care in Venice: When Regular Care is not enough

Home Care VeniceThere are two distinct types of caregiver situations: the most common one where caregiver tends to a senior one but lives in their own residence and the one where the caregiver shares a home with their client. Sometimes the second option is the only possible one, especially if your senior loved ones cannot take care of themselves anymore or are at constant risk due to their condition.

Live-in caregivers offer the same services as regular caregivers but help provide personal care, ease daily activities and offer nursing services. Live-in caregivers can also help by preparing meals and performing light housekeeping. However, before you look for the live-in home care Venice service, there are some things you will need to provide for the caregiver and discuss with your senior loved one.


Aging in Place and In Home Care in Burbank

Aging in Place and In Home Care in BurbankThe Aging in place trend has seen a steady increase in popularity with Burbank homeowners, and for all the obvious reasons. Aging in place allows seniors to live unhindered and not confined to a small room in a retirement home. With the latest in technological developments and good caregiver support in home care in Burbank is the perfect way for senior citizens to live out the rest of their days perfectly happy.


ABW Featured in Ventura BLVD Magazine

ABW Ventura BLVD Magazine

When Steffi Gaines was only 34 years old she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. Her experience gave her a passion to maintain people’s dignity no matter their condition, so she made a career transition in 1999 and opened A Better Way in Home Care, serving the Los Angeles area. Referring caregivers who have the same passion is of the utmost importance to Steffi. In 2012 the Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative presented A Better Way with the Award of Excellence in recognition of their contributions to cancer pain relief.

What sets you apart from the many home care services that are available?

“With 16 years of experience, we offer professional, certified caregivers who have undergone rigorous background and reference checks. We know the people whom we refer and work to find the perfect match for each customer. Steffi personally interviews each caregiver and speaks to all potential clients.”

How do you find the perfect match of caregiver-to-client?

“Listening. We are professional listeners who work closely with the individual and their family. We advocate ‘aging in place,’ so we pinpoint the needs and personality of an individual and coordinate a living arrangement and caregiver that are conducive to happy and healthy relationships.”


What services does A Better Way In Home Care offer? 

“We specialize in Certified Nursing Assistants, Home Health Aides and companions who can be full-time, part-time, temporary, live-in or live-out. The caregivers assist with medical orders, bathing, dressing, grooming, oral hygiene, incontinence care, cooking, shopping and driving. Most importantly, our team is trained to advocate for our clients’ physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and to be the bridge between family and medical providers.”

What is the biggest challenge facing your clients today? 

“Fear. The fear of making the decision to get in-home care for their loved one and the senior’s fear of having a stranger in their home. I am committed to helping families choose the best in-home care. No one should ever be uncomfortable in their home. I find out who the client was prior to becoming ill, what they did for a living, their hobbies and personality, and I match accordingly. Because I take the extra time to do this, the clients and caregivers can build a best friend/advocate relationship. This is a complete joy for me.”

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In Home Care Is Often the Perfect Option

In Home Care Is Often the Perfect Option

In home care Los Angeles is something that many people consider when a loved one needs help. There are a number of benefits, making it the perfect option for many. In fact, the benefits can be summarized perfectly with the following three points.


As people get older, they fear that they will lose some of their independence. It’s an understandable feeling that many will relate to. People prefer to look after themselves and have the freedom to do as they wish but those abilities diminish, as we get older.  Often, the lack of independence isn’t something that seniors will choose for themselves. It happens due to physical issues and some memory problems that can happen over time.

It may be worthwhile thinking about how a lack of independence would affect you to understand this. When someone takes something from you without your permission, you feel angry.  This is how many seniors feel when their freedom is taken from them.

Going into a care home facility can take that independence away. In fact, 86% of senior citizens, at least, say that they want to avoid nursing homes for their twilight years. Many will fight against home help, let alone going into a care home, because they want to still do everything they can by themselves. They don’t want to go back to being a child where people tell them what they need to do and when it needs to be done.

When organizing in home care, making it clear that it is just a supportive option is essential. The senior will still be able to act independently but ask for help when necessary. There is none of the being ordered around or made to do something that they simply don’t want to do.  The professional caregiver Los Angeles is not there to restrict their movements.  They are there to help them remain free for as long as possible.

Improving Quality of Life

Quality of life gets worse as your health goes. As people fail to be able to leave their homes as much, they find themselves stuck in one place.  A serious illness or injury such as a fractured hip can take significant time to heal and restricts movement. This can often lead to a sudden and quick decline in overall health.

With a Los Angeles caregiver, a quicker and full recovery is possible for certain illneses. Los Angeles in home care providers are there to offer help with moving around and make sure seniors are safe at all times. This can help to avoid accidents and breakages. Senior citizens won’t feel like they have to give up the things that they love to do, like they would if they didn’t have help.

Family can try their best but eventually a senior family member can come to feel like a burden. There is a lot of guilt when this occurs, for the family members and the elderly family member. However, in home care assistance is a perfect option to avoid these feelings and make sure your senior relative has the best quality of life possible.

Peace of Mind

When a family member gets ill, has a fall or is struggling with their illnesses, family members worry. They will be more at ease knowing that there is someone giving the care and attention their parent, grandparent or other family member needs. They will know that this person is safe and will have the best quality of life. The last thing anyone wants is to get that call to say the person they love is in hospital because of a fall.

When seniors develop dementia, family members worry whether they’ve locked their door, turned off the stove or forgotten to take their medication. With in home care Los Angeles, these worries don’t need to be there because a caregiver ensures that all this happens properly.  Our clients have peace of mind they need to get a good night’s sleep and be happy.

For more information on finding the best Los Angeles caregiver or general questions about senior care Los Angeles call us today at: (323) 650-2211.


What makes a Good Caregiver?

What makes a Good Caregiver?

The best caregivers have the skills and dedication to their work.  Here are some attributes that a make a great Los Angeles caregiver.


The personality of the caregiver is an important factor. This person will need to have empathy and selflessness. General human compassion isn’t enough.  There are some traits that need to be there, including a positive attitude, choosing to care, being able to empower others, being sweet and being able to handle those bad days.


Experience is important factor. With experience comes the knowledge of how to handle situations and help with different needs quickly and efficiently.

Experience also brings skills that they have learned along the way. It could be dealing with something specific, which helps the client, or how to deal with particular characteristics, emotions or outbursts. When someone is looking for care for a specific condition, hiring someone with little or no experience may not be the best option, even when they have the best of intentions.


Most of the work that a caregiver does is unsupervised. There are all sorts of problems that can happen and they can turn up late or not show up at all. Sometimes the issues can be genuine, but other times the caregivers come up with new excuses. Reliability is a must. If they can’t be relied upon to turn up on time, can they be relied upon to do all the necessary tasks and really make a difference?

References don’t always help here. Most people refused to declare the negatives about someone because they don’t want to expose themselves to problems. They also don’t want to ruin the employability of a person simply trying to make a living.

Being Honest

This isn’t just about stealing. They need to be honest in their limitations and abilities. They often find themselves in charge of a person’s money, prescription drugs and supplies. At times your caregivers might need time off but they need to be honest about the time they will take and come back when they say they will. They need to give enough notice that time needs to be taken to make sure the client doesn’t lose out.

All of the factors above can help make a caregiver a good one. Not all humans have every single quality on this list and some don’t have the right personality. The personality of the caregiver and patient in the caring relationship needs to fit in every capacity.  This is just as important as knowledge and skill.  For more information on finding the best Los Angeles caregiver or general questions about senior care Los Angeles call us today at: (323) 650-2211.



Message from Steffi Gaines – ABW’s Caregiver Screening Process

Message from Steffi Gaines – ABW’s Caregiver Screening Process

How Does ABW find the best caregivers? 

The caregivers refer us to other great caregivers in Los Angeles.  This has worked out beautifully for ABW.

Does ABW advertise for caregivers?

We do not advertise for caregivers.  Quality caregivers know us by reputation, or are referred to us.  We have a very detailed screening process all potential caregivers must go through.

What is the ABW caregiver Interview Process?

This starts with an initial screening process with Sheridan, Steffi Gaines sister, which can last up to 2-hours.

Then we set-up an appointment and they fill in their extensive application.   We review all of the caregiver’s documents and past references.  Then we have an extensive orientation to explain how ABW works.

I personally interview each caregiver and this can last between 1-3 hours.  It’s essential that I get to know them on a human basis.

If a Los Angeles caregiver interviews well and has the right attitude, experience, and heart we then do a thorough background check and confirm all past references.

Only after all these steps are taken do we start referring caregivers to potential clients. 

What are the minimum requirements to be an ABW caregiver?

  • Minimum 6-years of provable experience
  • Legally allowed to work in the U.S.
  • Positive attitude
  • Passion for caregiving and looking out for the welfare of others
  • People who empower others

Stay Independent with the Help Of a Caregiver

Stay Independent with the Help Of a Caregiver

Ask most elderly people and they will tell you that they are mostly afraid of losing their independence and not death as most would assume.  It is easy to lose your independence when you experience health issues.

A recent medical survey showed that 62 percent of elderly people over the age of 65 have a fear of losing their independence or having to live in pain as they age. Surprisingly, only 7 percent of this same group had a fear of death.

As a result, elderly need quality care to help them so that they are not readmitted to the hospital on a frequent basis.  In order to be independent and out of hospitals, many elderly receive quality senior care Los Angeles in their homes from an agency.  A caregiver is there to help him with medication when needed.  A relationship forms with your caregiver and you know they are always there to take care for you.  To ask how you feel and make sure your home environment is safe and clean.

Most importantly, being at home makes elderly feel independent.  This is very important as people continue to age.  Many consider their Los Angeles caregiver to be more of his companion.

These days, there are about ten thousand Baby Boomers that reach retirement age on a daily basis.  Most elderly people have a very positive view of what the future holds for them.  When polled about their feelings about aging, 42 percent of this age group had a positive viewpoint when to comes to growing old. There were about 36 percent who were somewhat apprehensive.

Opting for using a Los Angeles caregiver agency will give you more options and keep your loved one feeling more independent.   For more information and to get all of your caregiving questions call: (323) 650-2211. 


Living Longer and Healthier

Living Longer and Healthier

For the last twenty years, people are living longer and are remaining healthier during the last years of their lives. Past research discovered that people usually have poor health during the last few years of their life, however, due to advancements in medicine and nutrition knowledge, people can now remain healthier into their later years.  Working in the senior care Los Angeles arena for more than fifteen years we have learned some valuable insights. Here are some suggestions how to feel great and be healthier long into your latter years:

  1. Diet. Ward off fatigue in the afternoon.  Many adults have problems with fatigue during the afternoon hours.  In order to avoid this, drink water and eat foods such as prunes that are filled with antioxidants.  These types of foods can energize the body and jumpstart your brain.
  2. Exercise Your Brain. Do exercises from the neck up.  Finding ways to exercise the brain is very important for elderly adults.  This does wonders for keeping memory loss conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia at a distance.  Consider doing things like word game puzzles and memory exercises.  For instance, walk around the neighborhood and look for seven blue items during your walk.  Once you get home, try to remember where they were located.
  3. Share meals.  You will eat less if you dine with a partner.  This is an excellent weight loss strategy.  In addition, it keeps you social.  This is simple for the person who lives in an elderly community setting.  It would be wise for elderly adults who live alone to have more meals with their friends and family.
  4. Experience the Unusual. Do something out of the ordinary. You tend to get brain tired when doing the same things over and over again. Change your eating habits and try something new.  For instance, try eating fresh peaches instead of canned ones.  Also, switch up your route when going to the grocery store.
  5. Reduce salt. High blood pressure can decrease your cognitive function and lead to strokes.  This is a condition that gets worse as you age.  As you get older your sense of taste seems to change also. This makes you want to eat more salt as a result.  Cut back on your salt and take up more exercises like dancing.  Doing these things will help increase your cognitive function and help with your blood pressure as well.
  6. Exercises.  Start doing exercises that make you stronger and flexible.  Add a few balance exercises to your lifestyle.  Try doing things such as yoga, water exercises and anything that can increase your center of gravity.

There’s nothing better than being healthy in your senior years.  For more information about healthy senior living contact our Los Angeles caregiving agency at: (323) 650-2211.


Choosing A Caregiver

Choosing A Caregiver

No matter what else you do in the process of hiring a caregiver, the most important thing to do is to trust your feelings, and go with whoever feels right.  Use your intuition and don’t be afraid to trust it.

We interview hundreds of caregivers in Los Angeles each year and always give this advice to our clients.  Common sense and research are always essential to make certain your Los Angeles caregiver is a good match.  Once you have a candidate you like you need to use your intuition to make a choice.

Define What’s Needed in a Caregiver

There are specific skills that you need your caregiver to possess. These are must-haves in order to get to be considered.  Make a list and review it with your caregiving agency and we will make additional suggestions for your consideration.

Reviewing Your List of Potential Candidates

You know what your needs are, so be ready when interviewing potential caregivers. It matters how much you like a person but you also need to sure they possess the right set of skills.  The best way to be specific about your needs is to make sure all potential caregivers have a specific level of professional experience.  Do not interview anyone who does not have the appropriate level of experience that meets your exact needs.

The Bottom Line – Trust Your Gut

Now that you have done your research, you now have a list of requirements so go with your gut instinct. You’re probably thinking that you should not make this type of decision just by following your gut instinct and check everything out.  However, according to leading CEOs the best decisions come from following your gut.  Use this to make your final decision and the results will hopefully be a success!  One of the main advantages of working with a professional caregiving agency is the ability to change your caregiver if you are not satisfied.  Simply call us and we can make this change for you to your complete satisfaction. For more information about choosing the perfect caregiver for you, contact our Los Angeles caregiving agency at:  (323) 650-2211.


A Better Caregiving Process

A Better Way In Home Care makes sure that there is a great bond between our clients and the Los Angeles caregivers we recommend.  We make sure our clients have been successfully matched since 1998.  This match involves making sure there will be a trusting relationship and a comfortable companionship for your loved one.

We perform extensive background checks to ensure all applicants have the appropriate skill levels.  Our network of caregivers Los Angeles is scond to none and we make certain that the caregivers we recommend are compassionate and capable.  Our process is much more thorough than competitors and we go the extra mile to ensure our clients are satisfied.

A Better Way In Home Care’s recommended caregivers respect and understand the need for privacy of all clients.  We are a part of your family and this includes the person that needs assistance as well as the rest of your family.

We have caregivers who are ready and able to assist clients through a multiple list of needs and pride ourselves on be reliable and putting client satisfaction above everything.

If you have any questions or need assistance with caregiving Los Angeles for a parent or loved one do not hesitate to call your friends at A Better Way In Home Care.   We are here to help you and can be reached at: (323) 650-2211.