Granny Nannies

What makes a caregiver great?

New prospective clients often ask me and my team “how do you know the caregiver you send us is qualified?” This is the most fundamental and most important quality measure of a good home care agency. Qualification criteria such as verification of home health aide (HHA), certified nursing assistant (CNA) or RN’s licenses are relatively easy to verify, as are required health checkups and periodic certification renewals. Law enforcement background checks and reference checks are required, and those checks yield information about a person’s past, work experience and character, but those checks still don’t guarantee the caregiver will be the best fit for you or your loved one.

I think about the many clients we has served over these past 3 decades and review case files to continue learning from our experiences. Of course, the happiest clients are the ones who had “great” caregivers. We have received many letters and calls of thanks and commendation from clients, and the following are some of the most cited qualities our clients told us make for a ‘”great” caregiver.

  1. Ability to provide comfort – ‘…thank you for sending us an aide who made my mother so comfortable at her time of need”. Comfort is not only making sure the person has a clean bed and pillows, but also the calm assurance that the client is safe and her or his needs are fulfilled with kindness and warmth.
  2. Cleanliness – There is an old saying that cleanliness is next to Godliness. A great caregiver recognizes that a prime element in promoting the wellbeing and dignity of her client is to maintain cleanliness in their primary space. This is not the same as a housecleaning service. This cleanliness promotes hygiene in the bathroom, the bed, kitchen and floors. This is about making sure that the client is wearing clean clothes and has clean sheets and that stale food and dirty dishes aren’t piling up.
  3. Gentleness – Clients with progressive dementia or Alzheimer’s frequently forget to bathe and follow normal hygienic routines. A great caregiver patiently eases the client into a routine where bathing, brushing one’s hair, oral care and getting dressed is associated with soothing soft music or pleasant conversation. Alzheimer’s patients often are fearful or distrusting of someone touching or being close to them for personal tasks that are so private. Great caregivers instinctively know when and how to approach these delicate tasks and earn their client’s trust.
  4. Reliability – Reliability is a wide-ranging topic. This includes being on-time and dependable according to schedule. It also covers having an agency that is there to assist when schedules change and new or back-up caregivers are needed, or being sure to keep family members current and aware of changes in the client’s condition. Doing all the tasks without fail and meeting the needs of the client promotes peace of mind for the client and the client’s loved ones. Nothing is more important, especially for out of town family, than to have peace of mind that mom or dad in Florida is getting quality care with great caregivers.

We know that “qualified” does not always equate to “great” care. Contact us and let us refer a great caregiver for you or your loved one’s needs.


Granny Nannies

Tom Hussey’s Reflections: An Emotive Look At the Elderly When They Where Young

Photographer Tom Hussey’s Reflections series is an emotional one, tying together the prime years of the elderly subjects’ past to their present lives. It is a beautiful yet melancholic take on the conceptual  reality of natural life. The series, a winner at the 2010 Communication Arts Photography Annual, was used for Novartist’s marketing campaign for the Exelon Patch, a therapy patch used for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Putting the campaign and medication aside, however, the composition of Hussey’s photographs is equally moving and impressive. He captures moments of the elderly models completing their daily, mundane tasks while their past reflection, as attractive young men and women, stare back at them through the mirror, reminding them of the fruitful and successful lives they once had ahead of them.

Hussey’s photographs, which can be viewed below, are the kind of emotion-evoking photographs that quickly captivate an audience and in turn, allow the telling of powerful stories.


Read the full story at



Granny Nannies

The Longest Day – 2014

In an effort to end Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association is hosting The Longest Day, a day where hundreds of volunteers and participants across the country got together on June 21st 2014, (the longest day of the year). The Longest Day is a sunrise-to-sunset challenge to raise funds and awareness for the care, support and research programs of the Alzheimer’s Association.

alzheimers_honorThis progressive brain disease affects more than five million people (one in eight older Americans) and the more than 15 million people who care for them. In 2013, Alzheimer’s cost the nation $203 billion since it’s the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.

In the longest day challenge, teams participate in 16 hours of consecutive activities (Bingo, basketball running, biking, swimming, golf, card games, etc.) Teams can choose to meet up at a local event, or have team members participate from various locations across the country. There was a $25 registration fee per participant, which includes a welcome kit. Many participate in Alzheimer’s Association’s “Longest Day” to show that they care and strive to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Here’s more information about The Longest Day:


About the Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. The Association provides care and support across the country through a free 24/7 Helpline and website, educational sessions and support groups. As the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, the Association has been part of every major research advancement over the past 30 years. Learn more

Granny Nannies

Senior Care Blog

Welcome to The South Florida Elder Care blog.  Created with the purpose to offer South Florida residents with information, tips, and advice regarding elderly home care.  Our dedicated team is built upon a number of professionals from Nurses, Quality Assurance Managers to Program Managers all experienced in the elderly care field. The specialists on our team will share their FREE advice, tips and recommendations when looking to place your loved one in one of our senior programs.  Included throughout our articles you will find many different types of informational charts, graphics, and videos bringing awareness to the different diseases the elderly face when needing home care.


Whether you are a senior looking for help or a family member searching to receive in home care for your loved one; it is vital to understand what we do. We always available to assist you with any questions you may have. Even if you don’t use our services, we believe in offering you a resource for honest, helpful and up-to-date information. We invite you to leave your questions on the comment section and we will answer them in upcoming blog posts.