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When it comes to home care...go premium!

Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Qualities of a Great Caregiver

August 19, 2018

What Being a Great Caregiver Means


Caregivers are all around us. But that doesn’t mean they are all great caregivers. When it comes down to what separates the caregivers from the great caregivers there are some marked traits and work habits that stand out. Those who have experienced a great caregiver could make a list of what makes them great and sets them apart from the crowd.

Here are some of the traits that make someone a great caregiver:

Empathy and compassion. Working with people in a home care setting, it is essential that a caregiver feel the desire to want to help. By showing both empathy and compassion caregivers will let the person they are caring for know that they care about the person and want to do what they can to help them.

Patience. When you work with someone who needs home care it is important that you are patient and understanding. It helps to sometimes put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see what it might be like to ask people for help.

Reliable. A great caregiver is someone that can be counted on to be there. If the caregiver says he or she is going to be there to provide home care every Thursday morning, then the caregiver shows up, unless there is an emergency. Those needing home care services need a reliable and dependable caregiver.

Trustworthy. Most people who need home care services are in a vulnerable position. They are inviting someone into their home to be near their valuables. A good caregiver is someone who is trustworthy in this regard, as well as in being trusted to keep the client’s information confidential.

Flexible. As with most things in life, home care needs may change and unexpected events can happen. A good caregiver will be prepared to go with the flow, being flexible, so that they continue to provide good home care, even if a rigid schedule isn’t being followed.

Good home caregivers are those who naturally have an urge to help others. Often times they are people who have always placed a priority on helping other people. They want to make the world a better place and they do it with one home care patient at a time. Becoming a good home caregiver isn’t something that will necessary happen immediately, but if the basic qualities are there, those people can develop their skills over time to become great!

Developing a Caregiver Back-up Plan

August 19, 2018

by Lissa Marcucci


Providing in-home care for someone who needs daily assistance is a major commitment. It’s not something people enter into lightly – and for that reason, it’s important for a caregiver to have a backup plan ready before it’s needed.

I recently spoke to a fellow social worker who saw the importance of a backup plan firsthand He was working with a caregiver who believed that a family friend would step in to provide care if needed. However, the caregiver never discussed this plan with that friend. When the caregiver unexpectedly landed in the hospital, the friend was not in a position to help.

This created a short-term crisis that sent the person receiving care to a nursing home. Fortunately, the caregiver returned home in only a few days. However, this story underscores the importance of a backup plan.

Is your caregiver backup plan in order?

Here’s a few quick tips that can help ensure that you’re ready for the unexpected:

Plan Together: A backup plan is only helpful if everyone involved is on the same page. Granted, discussing worst-case scenarios can be difficult. Caregivers may feel more comfortable just hoping that one or more family members will step in if there is a crisis. However, this assumption can cause confusion or resentment, or worse, inadequate care for the dependent person.

To ensure the well-being of this person, a backup plan requires a commitment from the prospective backup care providers. The only way that the caregiver can receive this commitment is to begin the discussion.

Think Short and Long Term: At a bare minimum, caregivers should have a short-term backup plan for emergencies. Since life is unpredictable, it is also important to consider longer term care as well.

A longer term plan may be particularly relevant for parents who are caregivers of disabled, adult children. Will the parent be able to provide the necessary care as they themselves age? The adult child may want to live more independently in a residential setting with peers or direct their own care, relying on paid care attendants. Again, starting a discussion about the future care needs of a dependent child can be difficult. But beginning this conversation brings the reward of knowing that your loved one’s future care needs will be met.

Investigate Caregiving Resources: Caregivers often depend on their family members and social networks for backup when the going gets tough. There are many other resources available to support them as well. For example, one MassHealth funded program, Adult Foster Care, provides training, financial compensation and paid time off for caregivers. Local elder service agencies are an excellent place to start to learn about connecting with this program, as well as other kinds of in-home support and caregiving resources.

Hopefully that’s enough to help you get started. Developing a caregiver backup plan can be challenging, and sometimes there is no perfect answer. But it’s always better to know your options ahead of time, instead of waiting for a crisis.

Lissa Marcucci is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works for Adult Family Care (AFC), a non-profit Adult Foster Care program at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services that provides compensation, training, and other supports for in-home caregivers across the Greater Boston Area. For more information, visit or call 617-628-2601.

Who Needs Fixed Index Annuities?

August 22, 2018

By Patrick Anderson, CFO, Premium Home Health Care, LLC | Brand Contributor,

Fixed index annuities (FIAs) have risen in popularity over the years. With the potential for growth and no direct stock market risk, it’s no wonder many people are choosing an FIA as their preferred financial product.

But, how do they work? Is a fixed index annuity right for your retirement portfolio?

Read more: Fixed Index Annuities

Patrick Anderson, President of Unifirst Financial, is a registered tax professional with more than 12 years of experience in the financial, insurance, and tax industries. As a licensed financial and retirement professional, he engages in tax-free income planning, catering to the needs of his clients. He holds his bachelor’s degree and graduate certificate in U.S. taxation. He has earned his designation as Certified Financial Education Professional and Certified College Plan Specialist.

What Does Long Term Care Insurance Cover?

December 19, 2018

By Samantha Stein

Contrary to the popular belief, Medicare doesn’t pay for long term care, such as nursing home, home healthcare and other forms of long term care. In case you’ll need long term care in the future, you might end up outliving your retirement savings.

Long term care insurance is designed to help individuals pay for long term care services and facilities in the event that they can no longer carry out at least two of their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) – eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring and incontinence.

But what does long term care insurance cover?

Here’s everything you need to know.

COVID-19 Statement and Preparedness Plan

March 10, 2020

The United States has seen a growing number of cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) since January 21, 2020 when the first confirmed case was reported. As a home care organization, we are committed to reinforcing important precautionary measures among our care providers in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We believe it is our social and moral responsibility to ensure that our aides and clients are mutually protected from COVID-19.


COVID-19 is known to spread mainly from person to person who are in close contact with one another (approximately 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person may also get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

Here are some ways on how to help protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 outbreak:

1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Apply enough friction when washing or sanitizing your hands.

4. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash or sanitize your hands using an alcohol-based sanitizer after coughing or sneezing. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.

5. Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Use household cleaning solutions according to label instructions and take the necessary precautions when using some of them such as wearing gloves or making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the COVID-19 virus:

1. Observe the same protocols stated above.

2. Stay home except to get medical care. Restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

3. Wear a facemask when you are around other people or pets. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

4. Avoid sharing personal household items. After using items such as drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, or towels, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

5. Seek medical help right away. Call ahead before visiting your doctor or healthcare provider and tell them that you may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected.

6. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.


ACTION PLAN: If an aide or a client is suspected of or tested positive for COVID-19 infection, our agency will temporarily suspend service until they are medically cleared. We will coordinate with the client, the family, and their care coordinator or caseworker to ensure that the client remains safe during a temporary disruption in service. Additionally, our agency will also extend appropriate and reasonable support to the aide should his/her work be affected due to COVID-19.

As there is currently a widespread lack and unavailability of masks, gloves, tissues, and hand sanitizers due to a tremendous demand, Premium Home Health Care is unable to provide these items to our clients and caregivers. Please reach out to your insurance care coordinators and ask if they can help you obtain these items from their partner suppliers. You may also reach out to your local health department for assistance.

If you need additional guidance or if you have any other concerns or questions related to COVID-19 preparedness, you may call our office at 571-620-7556 or send an email to [email protected]

For the latest and additional information, go to:

Thank you for being proactive and vigilant. We are together in this fight to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Jun Arbolado

CEO and Administrator

Use Your Phone To Fight COVID-19

November 5, 2020

Help Keep Your Family and Friends Safe

Virginia’s free COVIDWISE Exposure Notifications app will help you protect your loved ones, friends and community while not exposing your privacy.

The COVIDWISE app uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to quickly notify you if you have likely been exposed to other users who have tested positive for COVID-19. Once you download the app, your device is given an anonymous token that changes every 10 – 20 minutes. This protects your privacy and ensures activity cannot be traced back to you or your location.

Learn more about the app by clicking here.

Source: [email protected]

Hazard Pay for Virginia Personal Care Aides

November 11, 2020

Governor Ralph Northam recently announced that aides and attendants who provided direct personal care services to Medicaid members from March 12, 2020, through June 30, 2020, qualify for a one-time hazard payment of $1,500 (employee taxes will be deducted from the final payment).

This initiative is funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March 2020.

Who qualifies for this payment?

Aides who provided direct services that meet the criteria below qualify to receive the one-time hazard payment:

  • Provided direct care to a Medicaid member anytime from March 12, 2020, to June 30, 2020.
  • Aides must have passed all required background checks and be eligible to deliver services in the Medicaid program. Anyone on the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) does not qualify for payment.
  • Staff no longer employed by the agency still qualify if they provided services during the specified dates. DMAS will make payments to these aides.
  • Staff who provided any amount of service during the designated time period qualify for hazard pay.
  • Temporary aides who are spouses or parents of minor children qualify.
What services qualify?

Services that were delivered through one of the following programs qualify:

  • Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus (CCC Plus) waiver;
  • Community Living waiver;
  • Family and Individual Supports waiver;
  • Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT);
  • Medicaid Works; or the
  • Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
  • The care provided must have been billed as Personal care (T1019), Respite care (T1005), Companion (S5135) services or delivered through a contract with PACE.

Hazard payments will be distributed after January 1, 2021.

Source: [email protected]

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

January 11, 2020

To learn more about "Updates on COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization" in Virginia, click here.

Virginia Launches Centralized Vaccine Registration Website

February 17, 2021

Virginia launched its new statewide COVID-19 vaccine registration system. The website allows you to pre-register online to get a shot through the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) when you're eligible and the vaccine is available. The site does not allow you to schedule an appointment.

VDH will contact you through a phone call, text or email when you're eligible for an appointment. You'll get a confirmation number, and VDH will send weekly updates online.

If you have already pre-registered, you will not have to register again. If you're not sure, the new statewide pre-registration site allows you to check. Health officials ask that you do not submit another form because it could cause a delay in the process.


Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

July 19, 2021

Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe. COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID-19.

The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.

Learn more.