All posts in In Home Care Services

Can Aromatherapy Help Patients Deal with Alzheimer’s?

Aromatherapy - Homecare HollywoodLooking up alternative Alzheimer’s treatments on the internet delivers a lot of interesting results. These alternative treatments include everything from music therapy to art sessions and many other fun activities that have been proven to help seniors dealing with Alzheimer’s by many studies.

But one thing that you probably never even considered to be helpful can show tremendous results in helping your seniors overcome dementia and Alzheimer’s, as recent studies have shown. We are talking about aromatherapy, and other similar alternative therapies that have been proven to deliver positive effects and surprising results.

We asked our homecare Hollywood experts to guide us through how aromatherapy can help seniors with these conditions.


Home Care Sherman Oaks Expert for Depression in Seniors

Depression in Seniors - Home Care Sherman OaksStruggling with depression is not uncommon for senior citizens, and the percent of those choosing suicide as a way out is constantly growing. Despite this, therapists often neglect senior citizens, citing correlation between depression and old age. On the other hand, many elder citizens do not want to worry or burden their families, and often do not seek professional help at all. Older generations nurture strong prejudices towards seeking help to overcome a mental disorder, which only makes their suffering worse.

Depression is not a normal thing to go through in senior years, which is why seeking help for this condition is a must. Senior citizens need even more help to overcome this terrible burden. Finding good in home care in Sherman Oaks is just the first step towards ensuring that your elderly family members are well taken care of, but if your loved one does not want to seek help to battle depression, what should you do?


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.”

Please see the article:

Insurance Benefit Plans May Offer Affordable Option for Paying for In-Home Care


PRESS RELEASE:  New Long-Term Care Insurance Benefit Plans May Offer Affordable Option for Paying for In-Home Care, According to Private Care Association

Southern Pines, N.C. – February 28, 2014 – Elder care experts advise that the emergence of new strategies enabling consumers to convert their life insurance policies into long-term care insurance benefit plans could offer millions of Americans a viable strategy for being able to afford the cost of paying for in-home private care.

“Two out of every five American adults are caring for an older loved one who is aging in place, a number that continues to increase each year as the demographics shift toward an aging population,” said James Mark, president of the Private Care Association (PCA), the national association for private duty home care registries and referral agencies since 1977. “These families know first-hand the need for access to in-home private caregivers whom they can trust to help care for their loved ones. Unfortunately, Medicare and most private health insurance plans do not cover the cost of non-medical in-home care.”

In response to this growing need, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging ( has sought to inform Americans about a variety of options for using life insurance policies to help pay for long-term care services. These options include combination life/long-term care insurance policies, accelerated death benefits products and life settlements options for life insurance policies that might otherwise lapse.

Long term care benefit plans provide consumers who need care today — or in the very near future — to sell life insurance policies to a third party and have benefits held in an irrevocable trust that will pay benefits directly to the long term care providers they choose to provide care. This option differs from the accelerated benefit rider on many life insurance polices that will advance benefits if someone meets the HIPAA definition of chronically ill and has a life expectancy of less than 12 months.

“These new products convert a life insurance policy death benefit into an asset with living benefits that can be used to pay for in-home care services,” said Mark. “This is a promising financial option that can almost immediately offer relief for seniors and their family members who are struggling with the challenge of being able to afford the cost of private duty caregivers.”

A 2013 study published by the AARP Public Policy Institute concluded that the supply of family caregivers is unlikely to keep pace with future demand in America. The study found that the number of potential adult family caregivers for each American over the age of 80 is expected to plunge from seven potential caregivers in 2010 to just four potential family caregivers by 2030 and then down to as few as three potential family caregivers by 2050.

PCA member registries conduct background checks, verify credentials and check the professional references of caregivers before they are referred to consumers. At the same time, since the caregivers are self-employed, a caregiver registry can save families anywhere from 10 to 30 percent on their in-home care expenses. For more information about private duty home care registries and how to find in-home caregivers at an affordable price, please go to

About PCA

Since 1977, the Private Care Association (PCA) has been the voice of private duty home care. PCA’s membership is made up of home care registries that refer self-employed caregivers to provide assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, lifting/transferring, continence care, feeding/meal preparation, companion care, homemaker services and nursing services in the client’s home. The PCA has an involved government relations program that actively presents its position to public policymakers at the state and federal levels and, as the national voice for home care registries, the PCA promotes the interests of the private duty home care industry, advocating the consumer-directed model of care and consumer choice. For more information, please go to



Things to Watch Out for If your Parent Needs Care In a Facility

Things to Watch Out for If your Parent Needs Care In a Facility

1)   When a family member needs to be in a nursing home its essential to visit as random times to ensure the best care for your loved one.   When the staff at the nursing home see that your family is visiting they will provide better care for your loved one.

2)   Things that can go wrong in a nursing home at night include:

  • Staffing ratio of caregiver to patient to save money leads to compromised personal care
  • Staff shortages result in patients going with inadequate care
  • Caregivers have been known to triple diapers on a patient to avoid having to change linens

3)   In interviewing CNAs they have shared confidentially that they have observed some caregivers who that pretend to wash patients hair by just adding watered to their head to give the appearance of having been bathed.

4)   Food is presented at times without taking proper care to make sure the patient can easily utilize utensils and reach the food easily.

Tips and key questions to keep in mind:

  • Have you properly educated yourself on the care your loved one will get at the facility?
  • Do the meals appear to be nutritious and appetizing?
  • What is the turnover rate of staff?
  • What’s is the staff to patient ratio on each shift?
  • Do the residents seem to be happy and engaged?
  • Do the residents appear to be groggy or overmedicated?
  • Are the residents clean and well groomed?
  • Are the residents feet and toenails kept clean?
  • Does the environment appear to be clean?
  • Does it smell like urine or deodorant to cover up the smell?

There’s no more important decision than finding the right caregiver for your loved one.  To learn more about getting the finest of in home care Los Angeles or Beverly Hills in home care for your loved one call A Better Way In Home Care today at: (323) 650-2211.


Suggestions to Make Sure Your Loved One Has Good In Home Caregiving If No Family Member Lives Close By

Suggestions to Make Sure Your Loved One Has Good In Home Caregiving If No Family Member Lives Close By

1)   Listen carefully how your loved one feels about the caregiver regardless of your personal opinion of the person.

2)   Evaluate and get feedback from all of the caregivers don’t base your opinion on the feedback of just one caregiver.

3)   Protect the finances of your loved one and make sure that there can be no abuse of their personal resources.  This will also protect the wrong type of caregiver from your loved one.

4)   Don’t feel comfortable just because someone has a good background. That is just the beginning and does not guarantee the caregiver will provide good care or be honest.

5)   Frequently check in with your loved one to make sure they are doing okay.

6)   If the caregiver is controlling or pushy get rid of them.

One of the most important decisions is finding the right caregiver for your loved one.  To learn more about getting the finest of in home care in Beverly Hills or Los Angeles home care for your loved one call A Better Way In Home Care today at: (323) 650-2211.


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.


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. 


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.