Elder Care 101: What you NEED to Know

Mom loves living in her home where she raised her kids. But she doesn’t always remember to take her medicine … and sometimes the fridge doesn’t get filled. Grandpa was fine living alone until a fall made it harder to get around. As our loved ones age, sometimes they help to continue living happily on their own.

If you are considering elder care, here are some things you should know.

Does my loved one need extra help?

Watching our family members get older is a hard process for everyone. For them, age can bring unexpected changes to their mental and physical health that leaves them less able to care for themselves. And for you, there are difficult decisions to be made when this happens.

But how do you know if your loved one needs that extra help now? Take stock of their well-being.

Ask yourself:

  • Do they have difficulty walking? Are they unsteady on their feet or falling?
  • Are they neglecting their personal hygiene?
  • Do they have trouble concentrating? Are you concerned about their decision making skills?
  • Are they suffering from memory loss, confusion or a feeling of “fogginess”?
  • Do they take the medications properly and per instructions?
  • Are they not eating well?
  • Is their energy level down? Do they suffer from fatigue?
  • Are they moody?
  • Is their driving questionable? Are you concerned they may be a danger to themselves or others behind the wheel?
  • Are they paying their bills on time? Are they opening their mail?
  • Do you have concerns about the safety and sanitary conditions of their home?

What help does my loved one need?

When it comes to elder care, there is no one-size-fits-all solution because every case is different. From home services like house cleaning to part- or full-time elder care, there are many services available to help your loved one continue living in their own happily – and safely.

Start by looking at the parts of your loved ones life that are in need of assistance. Do they need a little help and companionship to make the week run smoother? Is their house in need of more cleaning help them they can do themselves? Or do they need more frequent assistance to ensure that they are staying on top of all of life’s chores and duties?

What type of help is available?

  • Part-Time Help – Part-time caregivers are great for providing companionship to your loved ones. They can help with personal care, medications and schedules, drive your loved one places and do light chores like laundry and cooking.
  • Full-Time Help – Full-time caregivers do many of the same tasks as part-time ones, but they do so on a more frequent basis. If your loved one needs more time with someone to help with their day-to-day tasks, then full-time help can be perfect.
  • Special Needs Care – When your loved one is impacted by Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, strokes, broken bones or surgery, they sometimes need specialized care. These type of elder care professionals can help with personal care, medications, scheduling and running errands. Special needs care can also help with companionship – both through overnight care and through activities.
  • 24/7 Care – For those who need constant non-medical care, 24/7 care is available to ensure that your loved one lives comfortably (and safely) in their home.

What is a CNA? A HHA?

When selecting elder care, you will probably hear acronyms like CNA and HHA used to describe the people who are available. But what do these certifications mean? A CNA is a certified nursing assistant and a HHA is a home health aide. Both are have similar capabilities – they both can help with daily activities like bathing, light household duties, dressing and personal care. But a CNA – often found in care facilities – can also perform some medical tasks to under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, which a HHA cannot.

Does my loved one have dementia?

You can tell when something is just … off with your loved one. But does that also mean that they are experiencing dementia? Dementia refers to symptoms that affect one’s social and thinking abilities and hinder that ability to perform once-easy daily functions.

According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of dementia include memory loss, difficulty communicating, difficulty with complex tasks, planning and organizing, difficulty with coordination and motor functions, disorientation, personality changes, inappropriate behavior, paranoia, agitation and hallucinations.

If your loved one experiences some of these symptoms, they should see their doctor.

Don’t forget about you

When your parents and loved ones age – and especially as their health declines and they need more help with everyday things – it can be stressful. You are losing the vibrant people who raised you as the roles reverse and you care for them. It’s sad, and it’s hard. Be sure as you deal with elder care that you remember to take care of yourself – eating well, exercising and taking breaks. Get help when you need it and find support – either through friends who are experiencing similar things or through support groups. These will help you cope with the changes and best prepare to help your loved ones with elder care.

What Sets LifeWorx Housekeepers Apart from Others?

A lot of people feel the need to justify the decision not to clean their own homes. Licensed family and marriage therapist Jody Gilmore, LCSW, says, “Women are especially susceptible to feeling guilty for wanting or needing help. Often they see wanting to hire a housekeeper as a weakness, when in fact, it should be looked at as being very practical and even beneficial.”
Diana Crabb, a mother of four who works full time outside the home, says, “I could hardly function without my housekeeper. She is a tremendous help, and keeps our house running smoothly.” She adds that she’s even more grateful for the help now, as her husband frequently works out of the country. “It’s well worth the money.”
According to Gilmore, Crabb has the right attitude. She says, “There are many very good reasons to hire help, and regardless of your personal reason, if hiring a housekeeper is good for you and your family, there’s no reason to feel guilty.”
It’s true: acknowledging that you want — and deserve — help around the house can be liberating.
Finding a skilled and trustworthy Housekeeper can seem like a daunting task. The right person must have several important personality traits, experiences, and skills. At LifeWorx, we cover all those bases:
  1. They Must be Trustworthy: Your Housekeeper will be working all day in your home, around your personal belongings, your prized possessions, and even your family/children. Knowing that this individual will be trustworthy enough around your home and family, maybe even to the point where they have a key to your home, is a big step to take. You don’t want just any random person taking that responsibility. That’s why LifeWorx is here. Every single one of our professional Housekeepers must pass a thorough background check. Included in this background check is a 50 State criminal background check, a DMV driving record check, a Credit Report, as well as a sex offender background check. Along with these safeguards, LifeWorx employs full-time, dedicated recruiters whose sole job is to find, vet, and hire the best of the best. There is no other agency that equals LifeWorx’s dedication in finding the most skilled and trustworthy Housekeepers. It’s why we’re here.
  2. They Must be Experienced: Although sometimes an individual excels at their first job, a family can’t reasonably expect this from a professional Housekeeper. It’s not secret that the best Housekeepers are those with the most experience on the job. That’s why at LifeWorx, our recruiters look for the most experienced Housekeepers available. The bare minimum experience that we accept is at least two years of experience in a private home, with the majority of our Housekeepers greatly exceeding that. Not only do we require extensive experience, but our recruiters also rely on references directly from the Housekeeper’s prior employers. Although letters of recommendation may be a great addition to one’s resume, we prefer to contact the reference directly. Because of this, we ensure that every single Housekeeper that we agree to represent has truly wowed the families they worked for.
  3. They Must be Skilled: No matter what job it is, skill is always important. It’s simple; higher skilled Housekeepers are more valuable than lesser skilled Housekeepers. Because of this, LifeWorx only agrees to represent the best of the best. If there are any red flags in a candidate’s history, references, or character, LifeWorx will not move forward. A rule of thumb for our recruiters and salespersons is: If I don’t want this individual working in my home, with my family, than I don’t want them working with our LifeWorx clients.

See for yourself what sets a LifeWorx Housekeeper apart from the others. Contact us today to speak with one of our professional recruiters.

Our First Annual Candidate of the Year

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LifeWorx has announced Luisa Flores as the first Candidate of the Year for her loyalty to LifeWorx, excellent skills, and strength during a tough time. We are happy to present her with a gift of $500 to use towards her growth and education.

Bal reflected on the idea of Thanksgiving and what it represents when he came up with this award. He said “The amazing service our workers provide clients is what keeps us going, so we need to recognize that and thank them.” Luisa has worked with LifeWorx as an independent contractor for 2 years and has always been trustworthy, skilled, and reliable.

Four months ago, Luisa fainted in her bathroom and when she went to the doctor she found out she had a brain aneurysm that requires two surgeries. When she gets better she will use her award of $500 towards an event planning class, as she loves to broaden her education in various fields.

There are many factors that go into keeping the LifeWorx mission alive and hundreds of people that the company could not survive without. The professionals we represent provide amazing service to our clients, and thus are the foundation of LifeWorx success.

LifeWorx would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!!

Taking Time to Address Your Busy Household’s Needs

Recently LifeWorx received a call from a potential client. She runs her own business out of her home and has three children. Six year old twins girls and a ten-year-old boy. With that type of schedule and daily demands put on her she was feeling overwhelmed. The reason for her call was that she needed help from someone to clean her home and to take care of her children after school. She needed someone that she could trust to come into her home but also care for her most valuable possessions, her children. With LifeWorx’s rigorous matching and vetting process of all its domestic help experts, she called the right place.
The children needed to be met at the bus, driven to activities and helped with homework. Because of the immediate need, LifeWorx initially found her a housekeeper who was also able to help with the children. This solution was not perfect as the client soon realized that her housekeeping needs were bigger than she initially thought. “No problem,” we told her, “we will find you someone just for childcare and a housekeeper that can attend only to the house.” She now had someone in place to help with after school childcare and another to do the housekeeping. With this running smoothly another issue arose, she had more laundry than the housekeeper, who was coming twice a week, could get too. “No problem,” we told her again, “we will get you someone just to help with laundry.” Because she was able to get the help she needed in her home, she was now better able to focus on her business. As her mind cleared another need arose, she needed help in her home business. “No problem” again, we were able to help her with a personal assistant.
This clients once busy hectic life with too much to do is now a life she can enjoy with all the help LifeWorx was able to provide. LifeWorx takes the time to understand your individual needs and provides the best services for you that can range from nanny care, to housekeeping, to personal assistants and more to can help bring organization and remove stress from your life.

Can LifeWorx help you make sense of your busy household’s needs? Give us a call to find out!

Should Your Elderly Parent Be Driving?


A big part of a non-medical elder care expert’s job is often helping elderly people make transitions. More than any other activity, driving is directly linked to a senior citizen’s independence. It takes one back to the days of youth and freedom. But driving privileges must be discussed if your elder is driving erratically or showing bad judgment that can put their life in danger or the lives of others. Having driving difficulties usually come from the natural physical deterioration we all experience as we age. This can include poor vision, reduced hearing, slowed reflexes and many other things that negatively impact our driving ability.
Even if the elder you are caring for is competent behind the steering wheel of a car, having them retested at the Department of Motor Vehicles is not a bad idea if you are concerned.
Here are 5 important questions to answer if you are concerned about your aging parent driving a car.
  1. Are they a good driver during the day but not at night?
  2. Do they have 20/20 vision with corrective lenses but have drastically reduced peripheral vision?
  3. Does your elderly parent do well driving locally but has a hard time at higher speeds or when directions are needed?
  4. Do they hit curbs, miss turns, or put pedestrians at risk on a regular basis?
  5. Have they been in a car accident that has been deemed their fault?
If you can answer “yes” to any one of these questions it may be time to seriously consider taking them off the road. But don’t just take away the keys. Be sensitive to the situation and plan on how you are going to take away the keys. Try to involve them in the process.
No longer being able to drive could cause many problems for your elder, such as loss of their primary source of getting places and the ability to easily purchase food and bring it home. They could now find it hard to attend social events or help friends. The loss of being able to drive can also increase their anxiety level due to both real and imagined isolation.

Because giving up driving can be traumatic and greatly impact your aging parent’s daily life it is not something that should be taken lightly. Do you have an elderly parent or loved one who needs help with everyday tasks or just some companionship? LifeWorx can help. All of our Elder Care Experts have over 2 years experience and are fully screened and vetted.Contact us today.

Hiring a Personal Assistant

When it comes to hiring a personal assistant, it is important to remember that this is the person that will be organizing you life or helping out with extremely important, perhaps confidential, projects. It’s not just answering phones and canceling appointments. Here are a few steps to follow in order to hire a great personal assistant.
  1. Make a list of all the duties and expectations you have for the job, especially the tasks that they will perform on a regular basis. Will they be planning events, researching exotic vacations, managing your insurances and bills, working with vendors? Make sure the job description includes these factors, and don’t just assume people applying for the job will know what it entails.
  2. Personality assessment. Do you want someone young and energetic? Or someone a little older and calmer, and has life experience? Determining this before the interview process will make the search much easier. All in all, you should look for someone who is a problem solver, and the education and professionalism will follow. Having the candidates take a personality assessment questionnaire will give you much insight into how they work with others, independently, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
  3. Ask the right questions. During the interview process, it will be important to ask the right kinds of questions. Ask about situational events and behavior. Ask for recent examples of how they have dealt with emergency situations or tight deadlines. The people with proper experience and problem solving skills will have plenty of situations to speak of.
  4. Second Interview. Once you’ve narrowed down your top two choices, meet with them a second time and maybe even try a trial period to see which one fits the best. Never settle and keep searching until you find someone who compliments you and performs all your tasks exactly how you want them. We also suggest having a second person meet them- whether that be a spouse, friend, or someone else who works in your home. Rushing the search could end badly and then the search has to begin all over again, so the time is worth it to get it right.
You may need a full time personal assistant or just part time. LifeWorx can help you find the right person for what you need.

Summer Camp

Its summer time, and that means your kids may be starting a new camp. Summer camp is many children’s first taste of independence. For many, it will also be their first experience with homesickness. How do parents help them?

  • Involve your child in the process of choosing a camp- this will increase their comfort level once there.
  • Discuss what camp will be like before your child leaves so he/she knows what to expect.
  • Reach an agreement ahead of time on calling each other.
  • Send a note or care package ahead of time to arrive the first day of camp.
  • Pack a personal item from home, such as a stuffed animal.
  • If they call you in a panic, offer calm reassurance and put the time frame into perspective. Avoid your initial temptation to take the child home early!
  • Don’t feel guilty about encouraging your child to stay at camp. Once they adjust, it will be the time of their life- something they will look forward to every year!

These tips will ensure not only your child’s enjoyment, but will help them become more confident and independent!

Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare

We’ve all heard about the dramatic rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight in Cleveland. After being trapped and abused for 10 years, these women are finally free. The story will probably fade away in the news now that they are safe and back with their families- but this is just the beginning for them. They lost 10 years of the lives and now they need to learn how to heal and resume their “new” life.

Kidnapping is a parent’s worst nightmare. The parents of these women have lamented for a decade and they now finally have their children back- although much more broken then when they last saw them. They didn’t get to experience their teenage daughters growing up into women and this is something they have to bear. A story like this can be heartwarming- knowing that they are finally reunited. But it is also terrifying because it reminds parents how easily their children can be in danger. There are however steps we can take to keep our children safe.

  • Children should be taught they should not go with a stranger because the stranger needs help. Make sure they know that it is acceptable to tell an adult “no” if the adult wants them to do something they do not feel is right. Instruct the child to go immediately to someone they trust and tell them what happened.
  •  Teach your child that if stranger tries to take them somewhere, they should kick, hit and scream for help.
  • Children should be taught not to leave their yard when playing outside.
  • When answering the phone, a child should never tell someone he or she is alone and should not be allowed to answer the door if he or she is home alone.
  • Show your child where safe places are. Safe places can include homes, businesses, and other public areas.
  • Map out the safest routes your child should take if he or she has to walk to and from school.
  • Teach your child self defense techniques and make sure they know the kinds of circumstances to use them
Every step and piece of knowledge a parents gives their child can save their life!







Tips for Transitioning a New Nanny

Got a New Nanny? Here’s How to Make a Smooth Transition.

Finding the perfect nanny can be nerve-wracking and even a little scary. After all, she  will be caring for the most precious things in your life: your children. Once you’ve found a nanny you’re comfortable with, it’s still a big adjustment for everyone in the family. However, there are ways to make it easier, and most of them come down to good communication.

Tips for Transitioning a New Nanny

Here are some tips for successfully integrating your new nanny into your home, your lifestyle, and your way of doing things:

  • Draw up a nanny agreement. This can include specifying a trial period so that you both have an opportunity to change your mind, as well as work hours, wages, benefits and duties. Also be sure to include food in the agreement, and stipulate whether she can eat the food you buy, or needs to purchase her own.
  • Start out with a training day for how the house runs. Don’t expect her to read your mind. What’s more, if you have kids who are old enough to communicate and you haven’t given her the low-down, you’d better believe they’ll tell her how the house should run.
  • Touch base daily. Be sure to fill her in on how your children slept the night before, or anything else that would be relevant for her to know. Also, encourage her to text or call you if she has questions or even if your children did or said something of note during the day. The more comfortable she feels talking to you, the more open and honest your relationship will be.
  • Be sure she knows exactly how to handle an emergency. Keep all important phone numbers on the refrigerator, as well as insurance information. Give her complete authorization to dial 911 if she feels the situation warrants it, even before calling you.
  • Talk it out. Issues are going to arise, but be sure you talk it out, so it doesn’t fester. Make sure your tone of voice is neutral, not angry or accusatory.
  • Be plentiful with your praise. Remember, your nanny is the second most influential person in your child’s life (next to you), so let her know how much you appreciate all she does. Tell her in person, leave her little notes, and leave her the occasional little surprise that just says, “Thanks for your hard work and devotion to my little one!”

International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. A day when we can step back and realize all the accomplishments of women.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY (8 MARCH)  1909 In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913. 1910 n 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result. 1911 Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women's Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic 'Triangle Fire' in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women's Day events. 1911 also saw women's 'Bread and Roses' campaign. 1913-1914 On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen's Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women's solidarity.

Today, more and more woman continue to graduate from top schools and become figureheads in the area’s most reputable companies.  While aggressively climbing the  “corporate ladder”, these women are also moms raising families and running households.  It’s a huge challenge many women face and we are seeing these “super women” start to reach out for assistance.  Who are they reaching out to?  They are reaching out to women like Jamie, an accomplished real estate sales person in Manhattan who was in a field that may have been the first to say “times are tough”.  After experiencing the harsh conditions of the economy, Jamie is now meaningfully filling her time and pocketbook by helping these moms with school aged children  focus on their career by providing the assurance that their children are in great hands.  Even in her own times of struggle, Jamie was able to reach out and lend a helping hand. Women can relate to each other, and know the challenges of balancing family and work.  It is NOT an easy task, and it only shows the true strength women are capable of. So today, LifeWorx would like to say thank you to all the strong women out there who are working and raising a family- we admire your balance and superwoman qualities!