To provide the best possible care, it’s important to understand the differences between two often-confused terms: hospice and palliative care. I want to shed some light on the subject and hopefully we can all approach hospice and palliative armed with more knowledge and of course, compassion!

Hospice Care: Hospice care is a form of healthcare designed for individuals with a terminal illness. It focuses on providing comfort and improving the quality of life for patients who are no longer seeking curative treatment. Hospice care typically involves a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors and home health aides. It is usually provided in the patient’s home or a hospice facility.

Palliative Care: Palliative care, on the other hand, is a broader approach to care that can be implemented at any stage of a serious illness. Its primary goal is to relieve symptoms, manage pain, and enhance the overall well-being of the patient. Unlike hospice care, individuals receiving palliative care may still be pursuing curative treatments. Palliative care can be provided in various settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and even at home.

Here’s where you come in as a caregiver:

1. Tailoring Care: Recognizing which type of care is appropriate for the patient’s condition allows caregivers to tailor their approach effectively.

2. Communication: Professional caregivers can facilitate open discussions with patients and their families about the care plan and goals when they understand these distinctions. You should know when there may be a change in condition and more clinical support may be needed.

3. Support: Knowing when to involve hospice or palliative care specialists ensures that patients receive the most appropriate and comprehensive support.

4. Holistic Care: Palliative care’s focus on symptom management can be integrated into the care of patients receiving other treatments, providing a more holistic approach to their well-being.

Care professionals who understand the nuances between hospice and palliative care will be able to provide more informed and compassionate support to individuals with serious illnesses. Remember it is not just about the physical state of the client/patient/resident but also the mental state of whether or not they are seeking curative treatment versus comfort. Both hospice and palliative care are gifts. They allow a person to really dictate what is best for them and isn’t that what we all want in our aging journeys? The best thing to be is supportive and caring and of course, informed of their wishes.

Stay Amazing Caregivers!


Happy Pride Month!

National Pride Month is a time to honor and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, their achievements, and their resilience. As care professionals, we should recognize and respect the unique needs and experiences of LGBTQ+ older adults. Providing sensitive and inclusive care ensures they feel valued, supported, and safe. Here are a few essentials to keep in mind:

Foster a welcoming environment: 
Create a safe space where LGBTQ+ older adults can be open about their identities. Don’t avoid the subject, be genuinely curious if they are open to talking about their paths.

Educate yourself: 
Take the time to learn about LGBTQ+ history, terminology, and the unique challenges faced by this community. This knowledge will help you provide better care and establish trust.

Click here for a great video explainer on working with LGBTQ+ older adults

Use inclusive language: 
Respect preferred pronouns and avoid assumptions. Allow individuals to self-identify and be mindful of using inclusive language in all interactions.

Click here for language guidance

Acknowledge healthcare disparities: 
LGBTQ+ individuals may have faced discrimination or barriers to healthcare throughout their lives. Understand their health needs and if you are accompanying them to the doctor make sure the doctors are fully understanding what their patients are saying (a good tip for all doctor visits!)

Click here to learn more about why there are health disparities

Connect with LGBTQ+ resources: 
Familiarize yourself with local LGBTQ+ organizations, support groups, or healthcare providers experienced in serving this community. They can offer valuable resources and guidance.

Remember, the path to sensitive caregiving begins with empathy, open-mindedness, and a commitment to creating an inclusive environment. By nurturing an atmosphere of respect and understanding, we can ensure that LGBTQ+ older adults receive the compassionate care they deserve during National Pride Month and beyond. 

FrannyCares celebrates diversity and equality in all aspects of our lives!

Stay Amazing Caregivers!

~ Franny

May is Stroke Awareness Month

Caring for someone who has had a stroke can be challenging, but being aware of the warning signs and treatment options can make a big difference in their recovery. As a care professional, it’s important to understand the causes of stroke, the symptoms to look for, and the steps to take if you suspect your client/patient/resident has had a stroke.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or reduced.. There are two types of strokes: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes occur when a blood clot blocks an artery that supplies blood to the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and causes bleeding.

Warning signs of stroke

As a caregiver, it’s essential to know the warning signs of stroke so that you can act quickly. These signs include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, including the face, arm, or leg
  • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you notice any of these symptoms, call for emergency medical assistance immediately. Remember that time is of the essence in stroke treatment, and every minute counts.

Treatment options

The treatment for stroke depends on the type of stroke experienced. Ischemic strokes can be treated with medication that dissolves the clot and restores blood flow to the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes may require surgery to stop the bleeding.

After the initial treatment, rehabilitation will most likely be needed, to help your patients recover and regain their independence. Rehabilitation may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, depending on the areas of the brain affected by the stroke.

Preventing stroke

While not all strokes are preventable, there are steps patients can take to reduce their risk. These steps include:

  • Controlling high blood pressure
  • Quitting smoking
  • Managing diabetes
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Limiting alcohol consumption

Being aware of stroke warning signs, treatment options, and prevention measures is crucial for all of us. Knowing what to look for and how to act quickly can make a big difference in your patients’ recovery and outcome. Encourage healthy lifestyle choices and education for yourself and your patients.

Stay Amazing!

~ Franny

Hello Caregivers!

A restful sleep is so important for your mental and physical health. That’s why when you accept a night shift, it may be hard on your mind and body if you are used to working during daylight hours. Below are a few tips to help you adjust to an upcoming night shift schedule.

It is almost impossible to get ready for the night shift in just a couple of days. If you have the time, it’s best to train your body and mind for a few weeks to acclimate to the change. 

Create a perfect space for sleeping during the day by mimicking night. This may include using blackout curtains, a sleep mask and possibly ear plugs to minimize any distractions to your sleep. Also keep the room cool and tell people in your household to be as quiet as possible while you rest. It’s not easy to reset your body’s natural circadian rhythm!

On your night shift, it can be tempting to consume foods or beverages with sugar or caffeine for a much needed jolt. But these can offset all the hard work you have put into training your body’s clock. Opt for healthier alternatives such as berries, nuts, yogurt and lots of water. For a quick pick-me-up try a brisk walk, a cold compress to your face and neck or do some jumping jacks. Anything to get your mind and body moving again!

My favorite sleep mask and ear plugs I personally use:

Cute sleep masks from Etsy

Stay Amazing!

~ Franny

Hello Caregivers!

We all want to be the best professional caregiver we can be and that includes being up-to-date on what affects our clients/patients. This can include all sorts of topics to be learned in, topics such as dementia, the newest durable medical equipment, correct body mechanics, new technologies etc. Below are some resources for you to keep in mind so you can stay informed and educated about the elderly clients/patients in your care.

If You Have 5-10 Minutes

Scams Targeting Seniors
What are ADLs and IADLs?

If You Have 10-20 Minutes

What are the stages in aging?
How to prevent bedsores

If You Have 20+ Minutes

The 36 Hour Day – A Book on Caring for Those Living with Dementia
Age in Place – A Book on Modifying and Optimizing a Home for a Elderly Person

Stay Amazing!

~ Franny

Hello Caregivers!

As caregivers, you have no doubt encountered combative clients or patients who punch, slap, kick, bite and spit. These situations can be scary and at times dangerous. There are many reasons why an older person becomes combative. The older person can be dealing with dementia, depression or may not be able or willing to ask for help. It is always preferable to be armed with all the knowledge of your client’s past behavior and circumstances but it’s not always the reality. Regardless of what you may encounter, below are some tips to be prepared if you experience a combative situation.

  1. Stay Safe

Above all else your safety is most important! If the situation is too dangerous then you should call for help (there are different protocols for in-home care agencies and facilities). However if you feel you can handle the situation, try standing outside or leaving the room for a few minutes. When you do go back to the client, try asking if he/she is ready to see you again, if they aren’t, then step away for another few minutes. This will allow the client to hopefully calm down and “reset” and also keep your space safe.

  1. Communicate

Try using a soothing tone and simple language to calm your client down. If you are trying to accomplish a task such as bathing or dressing, tell the older person what you are doing before you are doing it. For example, “Bill, I am going to reach down and put your socks on. Can you lift your foot?” By telling the client what you are going to do and involving them in tasks can lead to positive results

  1. Remember Compassion

Remember that the older person is a human being who is expressing frustration for some underlying reason. But you are a human being too who deserves respect and it can be hard to not take things personally. It’s okay. You have a hard job and that’s why we at FrannyCares salute you! Head to our social media for our newest Giveaway!

Giveaway! Ends July 6th!

Stay Amazing!

~ Franny