What to Expect When You’re Expecting


I would bet that most moms have read this book.  Back when I was pregnant it seemed like this was the ‘go to’ book to prepare for what was yet to come.  Personally, I remember reading and highlighting the pages, trying to ready myself for this enormous change that was about to happen to my life. I loved that book because it prepared me for the unknown. By the time my baby arrived I was armed with information- I was ready (or so I thought!).

On the complete opposite end of the life spectrum it seems like we are less and less prepared for growing old. It’s almost as if aging sneaks up on us. Maybe it’s denial that it’s happening, or maybe it’s because we are so busy thinking about everything else- but it seems like we could use a “What to Expect When You Grow Old” book?

If I were to write such book, I’d include a chapter on what to expect when hiring homecare. Hiring help in the home can be a wonderful way to ‘age in place’. People can receive care similar to what they would get in an Assisted Living, but in the comfort of their own home. And as with any new thing, it’s helpful to know what to expect.

Below are my top 10 tips on – “what to expect when hiring homecare”.

  • 1.Expect a to have an assessment the homecare agent will spend a couple of hours asking questions and gathering information on what exactly the client is looking for. They need all of this info so that they can then write up a plan of care tailored to the particular client.  This is also a great opportunity for the client to get to know the homecare agency. They can ask questions and learn more about who they will be working with.


  • 2.Expect several days between the assessment and when care actually starts. Many people assume that caregivers are available at a moment’s notice, but this is unrealistic. In some emergency cases agencies will be able to provide a caregiver with little notice, but for most clients finding the right caregiver, who has the appropriate skill set and availability, may take time. We’ve had clients expect care immediately- and when we aren’t able to provide that they move on to another homecare agency- only to have the exact same situation. Be patient… we want to make the best possible match and that might take time- but it will be worth the wait.


  • 3.Expect communication– the homecare company should communicate with you on who will be caring for you or your loved one. They should also communicate to you any changes in scheduling or concerns the caregiver has about the client’s health or status. They should be available 24/7 to answer emergency calls.


  • 4.Expect trained caregivers who are certified nursing assistants. If you are receiving 24 hour, overnight or live in care- expect that there will be more than one caregiver caring for you. It is impossible for one person to work that many hours!


  • 5.Expect the agency to do all they can to provide consistency. Expect that sometimes the same caregiver might not be available (people do get sick or have emergencies), but expect the agency to have a back up caregiver to provide service.
  • 6.Expect that homecare is paid for privately- or with long term care insurance.  Unfortunately, it is not covered by Medicare.


  • 7.Expect that the caregiver might not look busy 100% of the time. Many people hire caregivers to assist them with their daily needs and help with light housekeeping or transportation- but there will be some down time when the housework is done and the client is asleep or comfortable. The caregiver may be reading a book or watching TV. They are there and ready to assist as needed- but know that they may not look busy all of the time.


  • 8.Expect to be able to make changes to the schedule– you decide how much care you want, when you want it. Most agencies have a 4 hour minimum- but otherwise it is up to you to decide how much care is necessary.  As a courtesy, if you are cancelling care- you should call at least 24 hours in advance avoid being charged.


  • 9.Expect that English may not be the first language of the caregiver. In our 9 years of providing care we have found that some of the best caregivers were born in different countries. However, it is always our goal to hire people who can communicate clearly.


  • 10.Most of all, expect compassion, professionalism and respect. Expect a relationship you can trust. 

Knowing what to expect when hiring homecare can help alleviate any concerns. Having a realistic view of what to expect makes the whole process much smoother. 

Please let us know how we can assist you or your loved one. Capability Homecare strives to be an industry leader in providing safe, compassionate care in the home.

Call us today 425 679 5770.  

Capability Homecare Acquires Peace of Mind Home Health

Capability Homecare Acquires Peace of Mind and Names New Director of Operations

Bellevue, WA

Locally owned Capability Homecare has made two strategic moves to further ensure their place as the premiere homecare agency in the Greater Seattle area.

Effective November 14th, 2014, Capability Homecare acquired Peace of Mind Home Health and will assume all of Peace of Mind’s current operations.

Additionally, Laura Henrichs has been named Director of Operations of Capability Homecare. Laura has over 14 years working in the homecare industry and joined Capability Homecare last February. The transition will be seamless, as Laura has been leading Capability Homecare’s client services efforts for the past nine months.

Capability Homecare was established by Daniel and Megan Bigbee in 2008. Since then, they have been committed to providing superior home care services for clients in the Greater Seattle/Bellevue area.

Capability Homecare’s screening methods exceed industry standards to ensure their caregivers meet the high expectations of their valued clients.

Capability Homecare is committed to maintaining the dignity, respect and independence of clients while creating peace of mind for their families.

Services include assistance with Activities of Daily Living, Personal Care, Medication Management, Meal preparation, Transportation, Companionship and Nurse Delegation. More information can be found at www.capabilityhomecare.com.


What’s Your “Thing”?

I was out with a friend last night that I hadn’t seen for years.  She asked me if I was still sewing (a few years ago I used to sew matching mother and daughter skirts), and I replied that I had given that up- and that now my ‘thing’ is tennis. I chatted briefly about how much I love to play and how much fun it has been to have a new hobby.

I then asked her what her ‘thing’ is, and she looked at my blankly for a minute- and then replied, “I don’t have a thing… I need a thing!”

Her remark got me to thinking… don’t we all need a ‘thing’?

By ‘thing” I mean something that we do for the simple pleasure of doing it! Personally, I think life is so much richer and more enjoyable when you play a sport, or have a hobby, or have something special that excites you.

Through the years my I’ve had lots of ‘things’! My interests have included sewing, scrapbooking, running, book club, golfing, sudoku, yoga and now playing tennis. As I grow older my interests and hobbies have changed- but I’ve always found it important to nourish my soul.

Sadly, I noticed that often times the elderly give up on their ‘thing’, either because it’s too difficult to do, or they lack the energy, resources or initiative to do it. This can turn into a serious problem, because without a ‘thing’ people can often become withdrawn and even depressed.

Capability Homecare can help with that! It is our passion to bring joy and happiness to seniors, and we would love to assist you in doing your ‘thing’. Whether it’s gardening, playing cards, a trip to a museum… whatever your interest- we are there to assist, initiate or simply accompany you.

When I meet with clients for the first time I always go over our list of service offerings. I’ve tended to skip over the parts that describe life enrichment and focused more on the ADLs- because that is usually why people need us. But as I thought about my own ‘thing’ I realize how essential those life enrichment activities are. They shouldn’t be overlooked- they should be embraced, because- isn’t quality of life the most important ‘thing’ after all?

Education and Support for Adult Children of Seniors

At Capability Homecare we love to be a resource for events in our community.

Sara Shelton, MS Gerontology & Owner of Seattle Aging Solutions is offering a 6 week program to help educate the adult children of seniors.

The program will offer:

  • tools for coping with stress, guilt and feeling overwhelmed

  • Strategies for communicating effectively with your parents and other family members

  • Emotional support from others who are in a similar situation and understand

Workshop will be held at Ida Culver, Broadview starting Tuesday, Oct 15th from 6:30-8:30 pm and will run through November 19th.

Cost: $250 for one attendee and $400 for two attendees

For more information, call Sara at 206. 228. 2446 or email her at: sara@seattleaging.com

Does your Senior Parent need Homecare?

Do you, or does someone you love need Homecare?

This list of questions will help you decide if Homecare is the best solution for your needs.   Use it as a conversation starter, or as a tool to decide if homecare is the best option.

  1. Do you ever feel disoriented or confused?
  2. Have you recently had a fall?
  3. Do you feel unsafe in your own home?
  4. Is it difficult to get in and out of bed?
  5. Do you skip meals?
  6. Do you feel lonely?
  7. Do you need assistance with bathing?
  8. Do you have incontinence?
  9. Do you need a ride to appointments or errands?
  10. Can you do your own laundry?
  11. Do you need help getting dressed?
  12. Are you showing signs of dementia?
  13. Are you able to clean your own home?
  14. Are you recovering from surgery?
  15. Do you need help exercising and staying fit?
  16. Do you need medication reminders?
  17. Do you have a hard time climbing stairs?
  18. Do you eat a lot of frozen meals?
  19. Do wake in the middle of the night and need help?
  20. Do you have an illness or chronic condition?

If you answered yes to 2 or more, Homecare might be a great option for you or your loved one.

For as little as $100 a day, you can have assistance in the privacy of your own home. Many Long Term Care insurance policies will cover most of the cost of homecare, so please call us today to find out how we can help you stay in your home and stay safe. 425 679 5770

Capability Homecare is locally owned and operated and serves seniors in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties.

New Year, New You?!

DSCN4864It’s that time of year when many people start think about their life and evaluate what is working- what isn’t working- and resolve to make changes.

There is something very exciting about starting a new year with a new plan. Whether it’s to be more healthy, try something new, sleep more, exercise more, spend more time with family… whatever your resolution is- now is the time to look for things that can bring your life more happiness.

Unfortunately, many people over estimate the changes they can make and immediately set themselves up for failure. Once that happens, goals go out the window as it’s easy to slip back into old habits. Don’t be discouraged- stay positive and don’t let a minor mistake ruin your whole plan. Take one day at a time- and start slow. One of my favorite sayings is ‘how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!’.

To make any changes in your life you must realize that it will take time- it will be incremental- and it will be frustrating. Don’t give up! If you stick to it, over time old habits will be gone and new habits will have formed.

Personally, my goals are to simplify my life and find joy in small things. I also want to be healthier- eating better and exercising with more frequency. These are easy to accomplish goals- especially since all of them should bring me more happiness- and as a result, I’ll want to continue on this new path.

Wish me luck!

All You Need is Love

I was out to lunch with my children the other day- and as I sat and looked at them across the table my heart was literally filled with love.

Like bursting at the seams love.

I honestly didn’t know it was possible to love someone so wholly.

I looked at my kids and thought:

I love you more than anyone else in the world will ever love you-

I know you better than anyone else in the world will ever know you-

and I will always feel this way, no matter what.

It’s a pretty powerful love a mother has for a child. It’s also a reciprocal relationship. Despite my flaws, my children love me completely as well. In their eyes I am beautiful, smart, funny and kind.

I’m not sure why I’m writing about this love for my kids- except that in working with seniors and their families- we see this sort of love all the time. We see how even when children are adults and have families of their own- that love between a parent and child never fades.

We have a client who lives on Mercer Island. His daughter loves him so much- during our initial assessment, she ( a 50 year old woman) kept exclaiming ‘My dad deserves the best caregiver because he is the BEST dad in the whole world’. Her love for her father was bursting at the seams. She is so proud of him- and wanted to make sure we recognized what an incredible man he is.  Because of her unconditional love, she wanted the very best for him.

That is what separates Capability Homecare from the others.

We understand that love- and we take the time to get to know our clients. We treat them as if they are our parents- and we offer them the very BEST caregivers. Our standards are higher because we truly understand the importance of having the very best care for the one you love.  Nothing else will do.

If you have a family member who is in need of in home care, please call Capability Homecare today 425 679-5770.