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Video: Home Care in Raleigh, NC vs Facility Placement

Sep 28, 2015   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   News, Video: Home Care in Raleigh NC  //  Comments Off

Hello, my name is Gavin Densmore and I am the founder and owner of Helping Hands of America, we are located in Raleigh North Carolina and are the Triangle’s oldest home care agency; we have been providing care for seniors in their homes for 16 years.  Sixteen years later I’m still here and we’re still taking care of Raleigh seniors. I am a key player in the agency’s day to day operation.


Today’s video is the first in a series of educational videos on what makes a great home care agency versus one that you may regret later on.  And this is applicable in Raleigh NC as it is in Spokane WA or Chicago IL.


In today’s video we want to talk about keeping mom and dad at home or place them in a facility, and when we say facility we are talking about assisted-living facility or nursing home.


The first question that everybody needs that ask is where while mom and dad be happiest?   Would they preferred to stay at home or would they prefer to be with like-minded individuals their own age in a facility? We found over the past 16 years that the vast majority of the population would prefer to stay where they are surrounded by the memories, mementos, and belongings… at home.


Number two is safety.  Safety is huge.  Can mom and dad remain at home safely or do they need to be in the facility to ensure their safety?  If mom and dad still have all their mental faculties, and they’re still ambulating pretty well, then they can probably safely stay at home.


Consideration number three is where are they going to receive the best care?   I’m biased; I own a home care; but I believe ratios and numbers speak for themselves.   If mom or dad go into a nursing home or assisted living facility the care ratio between the residence and Certified Nursing Assistants is probably going to be close to 15 residents to every one Certified Nursing Assistant. At home that ratio is going to be 1:1.  I believe that you can see the ratios speak for themselves.  Mom and dad are never going to see higher level of care than when you have a home care agency caring for them!


Cost should be and invariably always is a consideration.  A quality nursing home will costs your family member between $8,500 and $10,000 a month.  That’s a lot of money.  That will buy your mom or dad a whole bunch of homecare.  The only time home care costs exceed facility care is in 24 hours a day seven days a week situations.  Home care then cost around $14,000.  Now, let’s look at some other cost considerations as well.  Mom and dad’s house is paid for.  The mortgage has been met.  So you don’t have a monthly rent. Meals at home are going to be taken care of and here’s a consideration speaking of meals, mom and dad are going to get home cooked meals at home versus institutionalized food…ohhh, institutionalized food…that’s just something that should scare you off here and now.  But at the end of the day,a nursing home is $10,000/month versus $14,000 a month for home care; in a 24 X 7 situation.   But you need to factor in the 1:1 ratio of care along with what will make your family member happiest.

A final consideration is case management.  We are in constant contact with our clients and our client’s family members on a weekly basis, sometimes daily.  Our employees, our aides, are there obviously day in and day out, they are reporting back to me as well as my director of nursing.  If there is information that needs to be fed back to family members, we immediately pick up the phone and call the kids whether they are here in town or a 1,000 miles away.  But we are still going to get in touch with them and say “this is what occurring with mom this is what’s occurring with dad”, and we thought you needed to know about it.  And candidly I am biased, but after having done this for 16 years and seen case management at facilities and seen case management through other agencies, I am very proud of the case management we provide our clients and their family members. Myself, my director of nursing, we’re on top of it and we promise to be on top of it for your family members as well.  Now in conclusion, of all of the above we’ve spoken about, applies not only to home care in Raleigh NC, but you should be looking for these qualities and considerations out of a home care agency regardless of where you go, whether your mom and dad are in Sacramento California or Washington DC or Chicago Illinois good, high-quality home care attributes are the same whether it is here in Raleigh or anywhere else in the country.

You should always get the owners cell phone number as well as the director of nursing’s phone number and they should pick up when you call or call back immediately if you leave a message.  This is another key thing, communicating with the owners and managers of the agency.  You’re not speaking to a marketing representative or to an in-take coordinator or service coordinator or scheduler when you call into Helping Hands of America, you are going to speak to one of two individuals myself or our director of nursing.  That’s it.


I hope this is helped; I’m excited about getting the word out to the rest of the world on what it takes to run a great home care agency and I hope that you’ve enjoyed this.  If you have please click the subscribe button and please follow us on YouTube.  And please check out our website.  The information will be the end of the video.  If you have a homecare question regarding a family member whether you are in Raleigh North Carolina or not pick up the phone and call us!  We will get you moving in the right direction; that’s our commitment to you!   Whether your mom and dad are in Raleigh or in Spokane Washington, we’ll get you going in the right direction and we’ll be happy to chat with you.   Thank you, I hope you have a wonderful day and thanks for dialing in!

Share the Love: World Smile Day Happening in October

Sep 18, 2015   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   News, Senior Care in Raleigh NC  //  Comments Off

Senior Care in Raleigh NC

‘Share the Love’ day is coming up in October. That infamous yellow smiley face seen all over holds a bit more meaning on this day. In addition to sharing a smile on this day with everyone a person sees, it is also the perfect opportunity to do Senior-Care-Raleigh-NCan act of kindness.

Origins of the smiley face
That famous yellow smiley face first got recognition when the U.S. Post Office featured it on a stamp. The entire intent behind ‘World Smile Day’ is to encourage everyone to provide an act of kindness or help a person smile – the question is, why not do both?

Celebrating ‘World Smile Day’ with the elderly
Someone who may be most in need of a smile is an elderly loved one. As people age and lose mobility, they often begin to feel isolated and lonely. As a result, they can become depressed and sad. However, ‘World Smile Day’ is the perfect time to show this person some love and that they still matter.

The importance of socialization as a person ages
According to a study performed by Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, when a senior is exposed to higher levels of social interaction, even just peripheral interactions, it can result in a significant payoff. In fact, the study, which involved 1,100 seniors suffering from dementia, showed that their cognitive function was actually improved with regular social interaction.

Visiting elderly loved ones or friends
While many seniors have the companionship of an elderly care provider, this does not substitute for visits from family members and friends. What better time to visit an aunt, grandfather or other senior loved one than on ‘World Smile Day?’

Some ways to spend some time and share a smile while performing a random act of kindness for the senior include:

  • Taking a flower or balloon to brighten the senior’s day
  • Taking the senior to lunch or having tea with them
  • Spending time doing a puzzle or talking and sharing stories

The fact is, simply spending time with a senior loved one can bring a smile to their face and actually improve their health.

Regular social interaction can improve a seniors:

  • Mood
  • State of mind
  • Health and well-being

There is no reason not to spend time with a senior loved one. After all, they likely have exciting stories of the past and will enjoy the company that is provided.

‘World Smile Day’ is the first Friday in October and something that everyone should participate in this year.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care services in Raleigh, NC, call Helping Hands of America at (919) 829-2505. Call today!



Chronic Illnesses in the Elderly and How to Care for Them

Sep 9, 2015   //   by Gavin Densmore, Founder, CEO   //   News, Senior Care in Raleigh NC  //  Comments Off

Senior Care in Raleigh, NC

Senior Care Raleigh NCDue to a weakened immune system and frail body, the elderly are more commonly diagnosed with a chronic disease than that of younger generations. In fact, according to the National Council on Aging, 92 percent of aging adults have at least one chronic disease, while 77 percent have at least two. The most common disease among this demographic include stroke, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, which causes about two-thirds of all deaths each year.  If you are the caregiver of someone with a disease, you may have some reservations, especially if this is a new role for you. It does not have to be a scary experience for the caregiver. As long as you are armed with the right information and guidance on assisting with the in-home care of someone with a serious medical condition, you will be able to give them the support and help they need. Here are some of the most common illnesses and what the caregiver can do to help.


While it this disease is often associated with an unhealthy lifestyle, filled with high sugar and fat foods and lack of physical activity, that does not hold true for seniors. As our bodies age, it is unable to break down insulin the way it does in younger adults, making it difficult to keep our blood pressure under control. Fortunately with a healthy diet, exercise plan, and medication, elders with diabetes will have a better chance of keeping the disease at bay. The best thing you can do for their health is monitor the foods they consume, prepare healthy meals for them, and watch their sugar intake.

Heart disease

Heart disease can be a nerve-wracking experience for both the caregiver and the elder. It can attack with subtle to no symptoms and is the cause of death for 84 percent of senior citizens. To help, keep stressful situations away from the senior, providing a positive environment for them, and help them make lifestyle changes based on the doctor’s recommendations.


Cancer comes in many forms and can often spread like a wildfire. It may be found in the lungs, throat, colon, breasts, or other places in the body. While this condition can be treated if it is caught early enough, there are also some forms of cancer that are terminal. Since you will most likely handle the elder’s grooming routine, such as bathing and brushing their teeth, it is important to pay close attention to any new moles or abnormalities you did not notice before. If you do spot something out of the ordinary, consult with their doctor immediately.


The body is not the only thing that becomes weaker during the aging process, the brain also begins to shrink. This can cause memory loss and other cognitive disabilities, such as dementia. This condition occurs due to a “disconnect” between the brain and nerve endings in the body, decreasing the senior’s ability to remember. Providing elder care for someone with dementia can leave the caregiver feeling exhausted, stressed, and anxious because of the elder’s wandering habit, poor judgement, and changing mood. Treating someone with this condition requires an enormous amount of patience, a calming attitude, and possibly with the help of a professional.

Assisting in the senior care of a loved one with a chronic disease can be scary, but now that you know a little more about these four, it should boost your confidence in providing the best care and support for your loved one.


Elderly Care Tips. “Senior Illnesses And What They Mean To The Care Giver.”

National Council on Aging. “Healthy Aging Facts.”

Rodgriguez, Diana. Everyday Health. “Heart-Healthy Habits for Seniors.”