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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

10 of My Favorite Things About Customized Policy Manuals

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 28, 2016 10:21:08 AM

 One of the industry experts I learn from every time we speak is Ginny Kenyon, principal at Kenyon Home Care Consulting.  Ginny helps open home care agencies and has given Ankota great inputs on our software.  We at Ankota strongly believe that keeping elderly people healthy and comfortable in their homes (and out of the hospital) is an important step in the evolution of healthcare.  Ginny is one of the pioneers driving moves in home health delivery.  Enjoy her post (below).

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Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, Ginny Kenyon

Google Reveals Ranking Secrets for Your Home Care Website

Posted by Jed Hammel on Apr 22, 2016 11:45:16 AM

Google doesn't generally share a lot about how to make websites score well in searches.  I'd presume that this is for two reasons: 1) they don't want to give anyone an unfair advantage, and 2) they change their criteria frequently.  But in a rare occurrence uncovered by home care website expert Valerie Van Booven, Google shared a 160-page document that offered guidance for how to optimize your site. 

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Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, May 2016 Newsletter

Why I Chose Home Care Instead of a Nursing Home for My Mom

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 21, 2016 12:24:18 PM

Today's guest post is from Sara Fields.  "Sara is a businesswoman from Boston. In her free time she enjoys blogging and writing on various topics, such as elderly home care and healthcare in general."  I think it's always interesting to hear the perspective of someone shopping for care for their loved one.  Please enjoy Sara's article:

Once a great American politician, Frank A. Clark, said that we are putting more effort into helping folks reach old age than into helping them enjoy it. And I could not agree more.

When several years ago my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, my first reaction was that I will not leave her side, just like she never left mine whenever I needed to be taken care of. Since long working hours prevented me from being full-time family caregiver, I had to find a suitable alternative in order to avoid quitting my job.

Like many other elderly folks, she too expressed her desire to age in the comfort of her home where she has been living for the last 47 years. I always hated the light blue facade of that house, but the memories we have of that place, memories that are a present tense to her, were simply too precious to be so easily disregarded. Even there she would get lost on her way from the store, the route that was very much familiar to her. She started misplacing items around the house, could not manage finances anymore, but most importantly, she put herself in danger way too often. Poor decision making caused by Alzheimer’s more often than not compromised her safety and I knew it was time to either put her in a home or hire a caregiver. After careful consideration, I decided it was best to find a professional to take care of her in her own house.

Before going into details when it comes to details of the thorough research I conducted, I would like to emphasize that I have no regrets whatsoever when it comes to opting for home care instead of nursing home. My mom enjoyed utmost comfort and was completely independent. Every meal she ate was prepared according to her taste, she could do whenever she wanted to do and go wherever she felt like, the only difference being that she had a reliable person by her side. One thing is certain – she would have never had such freedom in a nursing home. Finally, when it comes to finances, we ended up saving much more than we initially expected. People told me that home care pays off in the long run, but I was still pleasantly surprised once I did the final count.

Norah, our licensed practical nurse that comes to my mother’s home only once a week for a regular checkup, whereas Linda, the caregiver is with my mother from Monday to Friday, 5 hours a day in two shifts. She would work for one hour in the morning, help her dress and then prepare the meal. Later in the day she would return to help her eat, clean up after she finishes and then spend some free time doing different activities. Linda would either read a book while my mother drank her green tea or she would take her for a walk around the neighborhood. My mother simply adores her and loves spending time with her. I take over on the weekends, and when lucid, Linda is all my mother talks about.

Let me just tell you that at first, I did not disregard nursing home as an option completely. I flipped through a multitude of brochures of local nursing homes and even visited a fair number to get to know the places and the staff in person.

Internet too was my source of information. My research went so far that at one point I ended up browsing and learning about home care in Austria. I was amazed with the outstanding platform they established that connects all home care services providers in the country and enables you to find the one that is nearest to your home.

After browsing through both home care services and nursing homes in Boston area, I thought to myself that I cannot rely solely on the promises they made on their websites, nor testimonials of strangers. I turned to my friends and family who were in similar situation and asked for recommendations. Interestingly, every single person was an advocate for home care and were totally against putting my mother in a nursing home.

Some of their strongest arguments included the lack of privacy and individuality. They warned me that even though my mother would move to a place where she will have people her age to socialize, that place is not her home. It is not the environment she is used to and the place she feels most comfortable in. Furthermore, what made home care even more attractive option in this unfortunate state of economy is the fact that it is much more affordable in comparison to nursing home. Once I put everything down on paper, home care stood out as an obvious choice. In the end, all of their stories turned out to be true and in the future I’ll certainly recommend home care to people in who find themselves in similar situation.

We are certainly hoping to have Linda by my mother’s side everywhere she goes for years to come. She is an absolute professional and I can rest assured that she will tend to my mother’s needs no matter how serious health issues are. Home care is definitely shaping the realm of elderly care

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Ankota offers a number of useful white papers, including,  Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies,  Click the link or the picture below to download it.

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

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Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Care Technology, May 2016 Newsletter

6 Useful Homecare Start-up Lessons: Dancing With The Stars

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 18, 2016 12:05:20 PM

 One of the industry experts I learn from every time we speak is Ginny Kenyon, principal at Kenyon Home Care Consulting.  Ginny helps open home care agencies and has given Ankota great inputs on our software.  We at Ankota strongly believe that keeping elderly people healthy and comfortable in their homes (and out of the hospital) is an important step in the evolution of healthcare.  Ginny is one of the pioneers driving moves in home health delivery.  Enjoy her post (below).

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Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, Ginny Kenyon, May 2016 Newsletter

Caregivers Can Aid Seniors’ Health by Growing a Garden

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 13, 2016 8:06:22 AM

Today's article is an encore guest post from Heather Roberts.  Her previous post, was on cleaning tips. This new post is just in time for spring and recommends gardening as an activity for caregivers to get their clients outside and give them a sense of purpose and pride.

Getting some fresh air is always helpful to people’s health, but if combined with some physical activity, this will really encourage seniors’ well being. Yet, aged people are less likely to get involved in exercising just for the sake of exercise. An excellent idea for caregivers to promote the outdoor activities of their clients is to help them plant and grow a garden. This way the regular exercises will also provide them with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

 

Strengthens the Caregiver-Senior Relationship

When caregivers and their clients work on something together a deeper and stronger connection is created. Caregivers may help the senior with the lawn care tasks or they can also weed, water, and finally pick the fruits of their common labor. The caregivers’ company and gardening assistance will also be very beneficial to the social skills of the senior and will help them remain active, communicative and kind. It is very important that the caregiver makes sure that seniors hydrate, often have little rests and do not push themselves much. Knowing that the person who takes care for them is a reliable and attentive person will let the seniors feel way more comfortable while doing the garden maintenance or whatever activity.

Supports Emotional Health

Seeing the results of their work will surely boost the emotional well being of elder people. Planting and watching the greenery grow will make every senior feel fulfilled. Knowing that they are still able to take care of something and having control over the gardening process will help the preserve the sense of independence which many elder people lose when they start to need daily assistance. Being outside, connected and contributing to nature is a great way for the client to become more positive and the physical labor will undoubtedly improve their mood.

Improves Socialization

Elder people usually take great pride in several things – their children (and grand-children, of course), their homes and their gardens. Having an exquisite vegetable or flower garden can make seniors extremely proud and also very popular amongst their neighbors of the same age. With more neighbors coming to their house to take a look at the garden or just to exchange some gardening experience, seniors’ social life will really improve. Exchanging advice and produce with other people will help the elder client make new friends and feel much happier.

Promotes Healthier Eating

Seniors will be more than happy to consume the herbs, vegetables and fruits they have grown on their own. They will also be excited to treat everyone with their produce. Eating fresh and organic products will surely support the organism of the senior and it will also be more affordable than a ready-made salad from the store. Having a personal garden provides people with much more healthy eating options which taste a lot better.

Every senior will certainly take a great advantage of having a garden and with a little bit of help by the caregivers, this will be an absolutely achievable and exciting experience

One of the key habits in our white paper,  Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agenciesis to differentiate.  Perhaps prospects will choose you if they know you'll do gardening with their loved ones.

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

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Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Care Technology

Care Transition Nurse Explains Her Role

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 10, 2016 10:41:16 PM

The following post was shared by Housecall Providers of Portland, OR.  Housecall Providers has embraced the concept of healthcare at home and they provide primary care, transitional care services as well as hospice and palliative care in their community.  Their website features stories that can help provide inspiration to home care organizations who aspire to broaden their impact in helping their clients stay healthy at home and avoid hospitalizations.

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Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions

14 Ways Your Home Care Agency Can Make a Good 1st Impression

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 8, 2016 10:28:40 AM

My experience with Ankota has given me a chance to speak with hundreds of homecare agencies, many of which are start-ups.  The advice I always give to start-up homecare agencies is that the key to their success, will depend more than anything else on marketing and relationship building.  Especially with referral partners like senior living communities where residents would prefer to stay in independent living with homecare support than to move to assisted living.  This has been the topic of numerous other blogs we've written, such as this one introducing Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss, entitled The 1 Thing You Need to Do to Increase Home Care Leads and Referrals.

Making a Good 1st Impression

If you're with me so far, you realize that your networking skills are critical to your success.  I recently wrote a piece called 5 Networking Tips for Home Care Professionals, and recently came across an article called How to be More Creative in Self-Introductions and First Impressions by Lolly Daskal, CEO of Lead from Within.  Here I'll give you Lolly's list of14 items, but if you read her full article, it will tell you how to be successful using these techniques.

14 Ways to Make a Good First Impression

  1. Remember their names

  2. Dress to Impress

  3. Speak their language

  4. Act confident

  5. Project positivity

  6. Be a problem solver

  7. Strive to inspire

  8. Be interesting

  9. Look for Common ground

  10. Seek the story

  11. Listen attentively

  12. Share a compliment

  13. Have a winning smile

  14. Be helpful

We hope that these tips will help, but again the most important thing is to get out there and network.  On a  related note, we invite you to download our free whitepaper that expresses habits of successful home care agenciesSeven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.   

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

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Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Care Technology, May 2016 Newsletter

2016 Aging in Place Technology Market Overview Now Available

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 4, 2016 11:46:00 AM

I'm a big fan of Laurie Orlov who writes the Aging In Place Technology Watch.  Laurie is a tremendous authority on technology for the elderly.  She's a frequent conference keynote speaker and has even been called upon to speak to the US Congress on aging in place matters.

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Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Aging in Place Technology, Home Care Technology, Care Transitions, laurie orlov, April 2016 Monthly Newsletter

Preventable Readmissions - A Doctor's View

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 3, 2016 2:46:44 PM

A recent New York Times article, entitled Most Dangerous Time at the Hospital? It Might Be When You Leave gives a doctor's perspective on the causes for readmissions.  I'd encourage you to read the full article, but here are some high points.

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Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Care Technology, Care Transitions, May 2016 Newsletter, eric coleman

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About Ankota

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Reeadmisison avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

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