East Bay CNA from Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

Dementia Wandering Prevention Tips

Dementia wandering can be a troubling issue for families of people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Of all of the outcomes of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, probably one of the most troubling is the person’s tendency for wandering, alongside the possible risks which may arise if the senior gets disoriented or lost. Wandering may occur if the elderly loved one is: [Read more…]

10 Easy Steps to Proper Skin Care for the Elderly

senior woman applying facial cream

Learn techniques for proper skin care for the elderly.

As we grow older, our skin becomes more dry and delicate. Medscape reports that nearly 75% of seniors experience dry, flaky skin, which not only is easily damaged (cut, scratched, or bruised), but also often leads to uncomfortable itching.

The most common areas for dry skin in seniors are the elbows, lower legs, and forearms. For older adults who are less mobile, dry skin may also play a role in the development of bed sores that result from being in one position too long, in either a bed or chair.

Dry skin can be caused by the loss of sweat and oil glands. Try these tips for proper skin care for the elderly:

  • Avoid hot baths and showers. Warm water causes less drying to the skin.
  • Encourage the senior to bathe less often if possible. Although hygiene is important, the utilization of “dry baths” (with a dampened bath towel) may be sufficient between baths and showers.
  • Use mild shampoo and soap on the senior’s skin. If his/her scalp or skin is extremely dry, there are certain products, such as Nizoral, that may be helpful.
  • Moisturize the senior’s skin well, especially after showering or bathing.
  • Use unscented products, as scented products may irritate the skin.
  • Be sure the older adult drinks an adequate amount of fluids.
  • Consider utilizing a humidifier in cold weather or dry environments.
  • If the senior smokes, encourage him or her to quit.
  • Incorporate stress-reducing activities into the senior’s everyday routine.
  • Ensure the senior uses sunscreen when outside, and minimize exposure to the sun.

It’s also important to examine the senior’s skin on a frequent basis to see if there are any signs of excessively dry skin, and to report any conditions that may require medical care.

If you are interested in learning more about senior care and becoming a HHA or CNA through our professional school, contact the leading provider of elder care in Pleasant Hill and the surrounding area at Hillendale Home Care.

6 Cancer Care Tips to Try When Chemotherapy Affects Appetite

Grilled chicken with fresh vegetable salad

These cancer care tips can help with appetite problems from chemotherapy.

Maintaining a healthy diet is particularly crucial for those undergoing chemotherapy or another type of cancer treatment, but one of the leading side effects stopping patients from eating well is an alteration in how foods taste. It’s important to conquer this and other hurdles to healthy eating in order to preserve the strength needed for chemo treatments and safeguard against infections. Eating a well-balanced diet may perhaps even help cancer patients better cope with greater dosages of some types of medicines.

When suffering from challenges with taste changes that interfere with adhering to an advised dietary plan during cancer treatment, you can help the clients you’re caring for with these cancer nutrition tips:

  • Experiment with various food temperatures. For some people undergoing cancer treatment, cold foods are more palatable, providing less fragrances than hot foods, which could increase feelings of nausea.
  • Try different seasonings. Marinades, herbs, and spices can make food more appealing. Several choices to try include mint, garlic, rosemary, dill, lemon and basil.
  • Pay attention to oral health. Taste buds may become inflamed by chemotherapy, and bacteria amounts may become imbalanced. Brushing the teeth with a soft toothbrush and gentle toothpaste a few times during the course of each day, and encouraging a visit with the dentist for further suggestions, can help.
  • Consume smaller portions. Smaller, more frequent meals tend to be easier to digest. Be sure to incorporate plenty of fluids, both during and between meals, as well.
  • Try gum and mints. Sugar-free gum and mints, or other flavored hard candy, can help reduce the metallic or bitter tastes in the mouth that can occur from chemotherapy treatments. They can also trigger production of saliva to soothe a dry mouth.
  • Partner with a dietitian. A professional dietitian who has a specialty in cancer nutrition can help with suggesting food choices specific to the person’s particular difficulties. He or she can also recommend suitable vitamin supplements, high-nutrition liquid shakes, etc.

For more tips to combat changes in taste or other side effects of chemotherapy, contact Hillendale Home Care’s experts in CNA and home care aide training as well as home care in Concord, CA and the surrounding area. And contact us to learn more about joining our team of caregiving professionals through our CNA and HHA school, or share with someone you know who’s interested in a rewarding career as a senior care provider!

What Differently-Abled Adults Wish You Knew

Walnut Creek senior caregiving

Learn how to better serve adults with disabilities in this article from the senior care experts at Hillendale Home Care.

Although the mental and/or physical challenges encountered by individuals with a disability may be apparent, many of us fail to fully comprehend the social struggles that often go hand in hand. As a result, we may tend to “talk down” to or make incorrect assumptions about the person.

Below are some suggestions to help you better and more respectfully communicate with disabled individuals in your life:

  • Never judge or assume anything about an individual’s disability. Just because a person is in a wheelchair doesn’t mean the person is paralyzed, and just because someone has a speech impediment doesn’t mean that person is intellectually impaired.
  • Talk directly to the individual and look him or her in the eyes when speaking.
  • If you can’t understand what the person is saying, never pretend that you do. It’s perfectly fine to ask again for clarification.
  • Respect personal boundaries and avoid leaning on the person’s wheelchair or walker, or touching a service animal unless you have been given permission to do so.
  • Never patronize.
  • Maintain patience.
  • It’s acceptable to offer assistance, but never insist or be offended if your offer is not welcomed.
  • Never assume the individual is unable to participate in an activity. Always give the person the benefit of the doubt. You may be surprised!

One great way to boost the independence of differently-abled adults is through technology. If the person is willing, suggest trying one or more of the following:

  • Digital Voice Recorder: These devices come in handy for those with cognitive impairments to provide reminders for things like phone numbers and medication instructions, or daily routine details such as when a favorite show comes on.
  • Motorized Chair Lifts: For people in wheelchairs as well as those with other mobility disorders, a motorized chair lift is a wonderful way to allow for getting up and down stairs safely.
  • Vibrating Alarm Clocks/Strobing Smoke Alarms: For someone who is deaf or struggles with hearing issues, alarm clocks and smoke alarms that only make noise are of little help. A vibrating alarm clock uses a sensor that can be placed under the bedsheets which vibrates when the alarm goes off, allowing the person to feel the alarm instead. In the same way, a smoke alarm equipped with a strobe light allows the hearing impaired person to see the alarm and get to safety.

If you’d like to learn more about joining the Hillendale team as a CNA and improve quality of life for a senior or differently-abled adult in our California community, contact our CNA and HHA School by completing this simple form!

Walnut Creek Home Care | Fit for Life: Top Exercises for Seniors

cna assisting senior female exercise

Walnut Creek home care tips on exercises for seniors

Exercise is important throughout all stages of life, and there are numerous benefits of exercise for seniors of all activity levels. Even seniors who have limited mobility can still improve strength and flexibility with a wide range of appropriate exercises.

First off, always check with the senior’s physician to get a recommendation on the best exercises for seniors that fit with his activity level and medical history. Initially, exercising even for as little as a few minutes a day, repeated several times throughout the day, can greatly enhance the senior’s health and wellbeing.

Following are several examples of the exercises for seniors that caregivers and CNAs can assist with:

  • Aerobic Exercises: If whole body movements aren’t possible, exercises from a seated position are available to build cardio strength. When possible, good options include:
    • Swimming or water aerobics
    • Dancing
    • Walking
    • Tai Chi
    • Bowling
  • Resistance Exercises: Elastic resistance bands are excellent to build strength in a safe way. Studies show that even one day per week of resistance training helps seniors build muscle and reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Flexibility Exercises: Stretching helps improve flexibility and freedom of movement. Senior yoga classes can help older adults stay flexible.

Keeping up with exercise is a challenge for people of all ages, so encouraging senior clients to maintain an exercise program is key to success. Try these ideas to make it something fun that he will look forward to:

  • Participate in an exercise program with the senior. It’s always more fun to exercise with a buddy.
  • Add favorite, upbeat music.
  • Set aside dedicated time each day specifically for exercise, and make it a priority.
  • Designate incentives or rewards for achieving milestones.

The senior care professionals at Hillendale Home Care provide exceptional home care Walnut Creek seniors need to stay healthy, active, and happy at home. We also provide CNA training and CNA CEU’s. Contact us to learn more!

Understanding and Caregiving for Adults With Disabilities

Adults with DisabilitiesAdults with disabilities not only face physical challenges, but social ones as well. As a result, they may often feel as though people are “talking down” to them or making incorrect assumptions about their abilities.

The tips below can help professional caregivers communicate better and more respectfully with adults with disabilities:

  • Avoid judgment about a person’s disability. Just because someone is in a wheelchair, that doesn’t mean he or she is paralyzed, and just because a person has a speech impediment doesn’t mean he or she has a cognitive impairment.
  • Instead of speaking to the person’s family member or caretaker, speak directly to the disabled person and make eye contact with him or her while speaking.
  • If it is difficult to understand what the person is saying, ask him or her for clarification. Don’t just pretend that you understood.
  • Always respect the person’s personal space. Avoid leaning on assistive devices or touching a service animal unless you receive permission to do so.
  • Don’t patronize or talk down to the person.
  • Exercise patience.
  • Offer assistance, but also respect the person’s ability to perform tasks on his or her own.
  • Do not assume the person cannot participate in an activity. Always give him or her the benefit of the doubt. You may be surprised!

Additionally, Hillendale’s caregivers know that remaining safe and happy in the home is important to clients with disabilities. Here are just a few ways our CNAs can improve the quality of life for seniors and those with disabilities.


Exercise and activity are important for maintaining the best health. Work with the physicians and other care providers to devise and implement an exercise plan that will best benefit the disabled person.


A healthy diet is extremely important for everyone, regardless of ability, but often, disabled individuals need to adhere to special diets. With guidance from the physician, caregivers can create a meal plan that will best meet the client’s needs.


One of the biggest benefits for people who cannot drive themselves is to have a caregiver who can help them stay active in the community by driving them to and from appointments, accompany them on public transportation, run errands, provide transportation to social events and enjoy fun day outings.

At Hillendale Home Care, we take great care to treat each of our Walnut Creek area home care clients with the utmost respect and dignity. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Hillendale Home Care CNA, click here for more information.


What a Certified Nurse’s Aide Does in Walnut Creek CA

A certified nurse’s aide has a vast array of duties to keep their patients comfortable and healthy. The tasks may change on a day-to-day basis depending on the care and needs of the patient. Some of the duties, which a Certified Nurse’s Aide may perform, are:Certified Nurse’s Aide in Walnut Creek CA

  1. Measuring the patient’s vital signs, which would include his or her temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate and respiration. A Certified Nurses Aide may also assist with a patient’s daily living activities. This would include dressing, bathing, eating, brushing of teeth and using the bathroom.
  2. Collecting urine or stool samples, which would be needed for certain, tests by physicians and laboratory technicians. He or she would also record any of the patient’s health concerns and provide information in reports for the nurses to review.
  3. If the patient were in a wheelchair, walker or other equipment that would limit mobility, he or she would reposition and transfer the patient as needed.
  4. Doing tasks, which would include making the patient’s bed, changing any necessary bedpans, replacing bed linens and towels and collecting dirty laundry.
  5. Educating patients on range of motion exercises. Also showing him or her stretches to relieve pain and to improve functioning.
  6. Performing CPR and other safety techniques if needed in emergency situations.

Certified Nursing Aides are not just here for helping patients and providing assessments, but for their emotional support as well. And because the CNA works with the patient daily, the CNA comes to know the patient and can have friendly conversations and interactions, which are good for the patient’s mental wellbeing.

All in all the CNA makes sure that the care needed is provided within the bounds of the job. He or she monitors the response to the care received, records any observations and listens to any concerns that the patient may have about his or her health or on other issues. The aide also makes sure that the patient’s room is clean, sanitary and disinfected for optimal patient care and comfort. If the patient is bedridden, the aide can turn and reposition him or her on a schedule, to prevent bedsores and for comfort.

Certified Nursing Aides provide the link between the hospital and full patient recovery at home. It’s winning situation for all involved.

If you would like to start a rewarding career in the home care services field, contact Hillendale Home Care today and inquire about their CNA classes and CEU offerings.

Hillendale CNA and HHA School. Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

The Benefits of Being a Certified Nurse’s Aide in Walnut Creek CA!

The Benefits of Being a Certified Nurse’s Aide in Walnut Creek CA!

If you are looking for a job in the medical field, a certified nurse’s aide may be just what you’re looking for.  A certified nursing aide’s job is to provide basic nursing tasks and duties for patients who are unable to take care of themselves either temporarily, or permanently.  The duties can range from temperature readings to personal hygiene.  Some of the benefits of being a nurse’s aide are listed below:Certified Nurse's Aide in Walnut Creek CA

  1. The Training Programs are short, about 75 hours for the mandate of the federal government to be satisfied.  Each state may require a few more hours but the program runs about six weeks on average.  There are also usually weekend and night classes for those who can’t go to school during the day.  The tuition is also very affordable compared to other medical programs.
  2. There are varied work environments to choose from such as hospitals or working with patients in their homes.  Every work environment has different benefits and requirements.  A private home allows you to work with only one patient at a time in a one on one environment.  A hospital has structure and has a variety of patients.
  3. A CNA has a flexible schedule, which can be all hours of the day or night.  You can usually find a schedule that will suit your needs.  You may be working weekends and holidays though, too.  You can also work part time if you have a family to take care of, and possibly overtime if interested.
  4. You have exposure to the medical field by working with doctors, nurses and other health care employees.  This will allow you to gain needed experience in the health care field while you’re performing your duties to make you more valuable in your field.
  5. If you enjoy working with people, then this is the perfect career for you.  You will be assisting people who are ill, frightened or can’t perform the tasks they were once able to do, so you will gain fulfillment as a needed person.  You are a trusted caregiver to him or her, and you’ll learn something from each person you come in contact with.
  6. Certified Nursing Aides is an expanding and in demand field.  You can build yourself a successful career as a certified nurse’s aide and have job security for years to come.
  7. If you want to change careers further down the road to a related career, you have already faced the emotional and physical challenges of this job.  This will give you the experience to adjust to a similar demanding job much faster. 

Being a certified nurse’s aide can be a long and rewarding career knowing you will make a difference in someone else’s live.

If you would like to start a rewarding career in the home care services field, contact Hillendale Home Care today and inquire about their CNA classes and CEU offerings.

Hillendale CNA and HHA School. Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

6 Reasons Seniors Should Hire an Excellent CNA in Walnut Creek CA!

6 Reasons Seniors Should Hire an Excellent CNA in Walnut Creek CA!

As you get older, things that you used to do easily or even without giving it a thought become much more difficult.  Maybe you’re having trouble keeping up with the housekeeping or preparing meals.  Perhaps you have decided you no longer want to drive or if you do drive, you don’t feel as safe driving your vehicle as you once did.  Maybe you’re having difficulty getting dressed or bathing yourself.   CNA Walnut Creek CA

Whatever the problem, you’ve decided you need help.

So where do you turn?

Well-trained Certified Nurses Aides can answer that question for you:

  1. CNAs can keep your household running smoothly.  A companion will arrive on the day or days that you request and do laundry, light housekeeping and your shopping.  The service will even provide gardening help and handyman services if needed.  Financial and healthcare management assistance is offered to and can be helpful if you are having difficulty keeping appointments and paying bills on time because of memory lapses.
  2. If you are having transportation issues such as not wanting to drive at night or you don’t want to drive at all, there are other options.  And by having alternate options, you can keep your independence while maintaining your circle of friends.  In this, home care services can provide transportation to appointments and other places you need to be. Too, you can also take a bus or hire a taxi at reduced senior fares.
  3. You can modify your home if you have health issues instead of moving so that a home companion or CNA can help you stay in the home you love.  This will make your home more adaptable to your needs plus more comfortable too.  Some modifications may be having grab bars installed in the shower for extra grip when being assisted by your home care companion.  You can have ramps put in to avoid using stairs too.  You can even put a bathroom in on the first floor for more convenience.
  4. Personal care is when you need help with bathing, dressing, meal preparation and eating.  If you need assistance with any of this, a nurse’s aide or home health aid or can provide care for a few hours a day, a few days a week or even provide live-in care.
  5. If you need health care at home, such professional can provide health care services as home health nurses, social workers or even occupational therapists.  These professionals can take care of your health needs, including hospice care.
  6. If you want to keep busy, there are day programs called senior daycare.  This can provide socialization and activities for you to enjoy while giving a break for your caregivers.  A CNA can take you and pick you up if needed.  Some senior centers offer transportation as part of their program that may be convenient for you.  There are also different types of day programs.  One may be only social, another may have some health services and others may be for disorders such as Alzheimer’s. 

CNAs provide more than nursing care; they provide companionship and safety for seniors.  So if you have any of the above issues, you may consider looking into hiring a CNA in your area.

If you would like to start a rewarding career in the home care services field, contact Hillendale Home Care today and inquire about their CNA classes and CEU offerings.

Hillendale CNA and HHA School. Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

Characteristics to Look for in a Home Care Companion in Walnut Creek CA!

Characteristics to Look for in a Home Care Companion in Walnut Creek CA!

Two of the best traits in a home care companion are kindness and compassion.  It makes the person who the caregiver is taking care of feel both safe and understood.  It also protects that person’s dignity.  Other characteristics for consideration are:Characteristics to Look for in a Home Care Companion in Walnut Creek CA!

  • A good caregiver will be willing to sit still and just ‘be.” Sitting and holding your family member’s hand and listening to what story he or she has to tell is important.  To give your loved one the time and having the willingness to let your family member share a piece of his or herself is a priceless gift.
  • Being willing to be flexible if the occasion arises.  For instance, say you couldn’t get back in time or were held up for some reason.  Some elderly people can’t be let alone even for a few minutes and may get confused or frightened if this is done.  Would the companion be willing to wait until you got back?
  • The caregiver would be aware of any changes in your loved one’s eating habits or appearance.  This doesn’t mean the companion has to have a medical degree but he or she must be able to tell if your family member is a little “off” or maybe not eating.  Or maybe your family member is running a fever or is complaining of a bad headache.  By observing any changes and making sure you know so a physician can be seen early; this is priceless. This can prevent an illness from worsening and your senior ending up having a long stay in the hospital.
  • Can the companion be comfortable outside his or her own comfort zone?  For example, if your family member acts up while in public, will the companion be able to handle the situation with grace and tact?  Would the caregiver be willing to do a little dance on the sidewalk if that is what your senior feels like doing?
  • Being drama free.  This means the caregiver wouldn’t bring personal problems to your family member’s home.  No talking about personal issues or problems because that could add to any emotional turmoil your family member may be suffering from.  His or her job should be making your family member comfortable and as happy as possible.
  • Does the caregiver have a similar hobby or hobbies which he or she could share with your family member and talk about?  Maybe the caregiver likes crocheting or likes to knit?  Maybe the companion builds model cars as a hobby and so does your senior.  It’s not something which is always possible; but when it happens, it’s great. 

Being a home care companion is about more than cooking meals and doing the laundry. Sometimes it’s sharing a piece of his or herself or being a little silly.  Sometime it’s finding a common interest which both the senior and the caregiver can enjoy doing.  Sometimes, it’s going beyond the call of duty.  And lastly; it’s treating your client like family.

If you would like to start a rewarding career in the home care services field, contact Hillendale Home Care today and inquire about their CNA classes and CEU offerings.

Hillendale CNA and HHA School. Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.