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

How to Tell if a Senior Is Suffering from Loss of Vision

loss of visionDiscussing health issues can be tough for seniors. They may feel that their health is private, or they might be fearful that admitting that they have a problem will lead to loss of independence. This is often the case when it comes to vision loss.

A senior who is suffering from loss of vision may do her best to hide the issue from family and friends. For family and friends, it is helpful to know how to identify changes in behavior and appearance that might indicate a senior should visit her doctor or eye care professional. Keep an eye out for these red flags that could be symptoms of vision loss:

  • Bumping into objects, tripping, moving very carefully or touching the wall while walking
  • Visual confusion (i.e. not recognizing buildings, landmarks, houses, etc.) in a familiar place
  • Under-reaching or over-reaching for objects
  • Ceasing enjoyable activities such as reading, watching TV, driving, walking, or participating in hobbies
  • Tilting the head or squinting to see, or holding reading material close to the face
  • Struggling to identify faces, objects or colors
  • Stained clothing or outfit color combinations that do not match
  • Seeking out more or different kinds of lighting for reading or other activities
  • Having trouble cutting or serving food, or knocking over objects in the kitchen or on the table

Additionally, if the senior complains about the following, it could be a sign of vision loss:

  • Halos or rings around lights, or seeing spots
  • Eye pain
  • Reduced night vision, double or distorted vision

Loss of vision doesn’t have to mean loss of independence. As a Hillendale Home Care provider, you can help seniors with vision loss live safer and more independent lives. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Hillendale Home Care CNA, click here for more information.

Take These Steps for Better Diabetes Foot Care

diabetes foot careOne of the most crucial aspects of diabetes care, aside from managing the disease itself, is ensuring feet remain free of the problems that can lead to serious health risks. Since improper foot care can lead to the potential for nerve damage, restricted blood flow, and even a weakened immune system, wounds, especially those that occur on the feet, can require extra care to heal.

To make sure those with diabetes stay a step ahead of foot problems, try these strategies from the American Diabetes Association:

  1. Keep diabetes in check: Stay on top of overall diabetes care with health care professionals, such as by making sure blood glucose levels are in the appropriate range.
  2. Check feet each day: It should be part of the daily routine to inspect the bottoms of the feet for any red spots, cuts, swelling, blisters, etc.
  3. Remain active: With the advice and approval of the physician, implement – and stick to – an effective exercise regimen.
  4. Seek out specialized footwear: There are shoes made specifically for diabetic feet, and Medicare will sometimes even cover the expense.
  5. Make sure feet stay clean: Carefully wash and dry the feet every day, paying particular attention to the areas between the toes.
  6. Take care of the skin: Apply a light layer of skin lotion on both the tops and bottoms of the feet (but never between the toes).
  7. Clip toenails: Keep toenails clipped straight across, and file the edges carefully with an emery board.
  8. Avoid going barefoot: Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes at all times.
  9. Keep it warm: Treat your feet the same way you would a baby, by checking water temperatures before stepping into the tub or shower, and avoiding the use of heating pads, hot water bottles, and electric blankets.
  10. Increase blood flow: Avoid crossing the legs for extended periods of time, elevate the feet when sitting, and take time throughout the course of the day to wiggle the toes and flex the ankles.

For additional tips on proper foot care for those with diabetes, call on the Walnut Creek home care experts at Hillendale Home Care. Learn more about how our caregivers assist those with diabetes and other chronic conditions with in-home care services such as bathing/showering, dressing/grooming, mobility, homemaker/companion services to offer emotional support, recreational activities, light housekeeping and laundry, and much more, customized to each person’s unique needs. Interested in becoming a Hillendale caregiver? Contact us at 925-933-8181 to learn more.


Is It Dementia or Depression? Here’s How to Find Out.

dementiaA dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, can manifest with symptoms that are very close to some of those experienced in depression, such as cognitive decline – making it difficult to know how to best provide care. At Hillendale Home Care, we understand the challenges caregivers face when trying to determine the right course of action. The first step to take when cognitive issues are noticed is to discern, with the help of the senior’s family and physician, whether depression or dementia is at play, and then to begin the appropriate treatment.

Regardless of whether the cognitive decline is a result of dementia or depression, proper diagnosis and treatment are crucial. If the cause for the decline is depression, treating the depression effectively will result in restored memory, concentration and energy levels. Proper treatment for dementia can also improve quality of life, and in some forms of dementia, symptoms can even be reversed or at least slowed.

A good tool to is a memory screening. Memory screenings make sense for those who:

  • Are noticing the warning signs of dementia;
  • Have had family and friends notice changes in his or her behavior;
  • Believes he or she may be at risk due to a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or other type of dementia; or
  • May not have an immediate concern presently, but wants to establish a baseline score for future comparison.

Additionally, anyone answering “yes” to any of the questions below may benefit from a memory screening as well:

  • Do I seem to be more forgetful lately?
  • Am I having trouble concentrating?
  • Am I experiencing difficulty with performing familiar tasks?
  • Do I sometimes struggle to recall words or names in conversation?
  • Have I ever forgotten where I am?
  • Have friends or family members told me that I am repeating myself?
  • Am I losing or misplacing items more frequently?
  • Have I gotten lost while walking or driving in a familiar area?
  • Are my family or friends noticing changes in my mood, personality, behavior or interest in engaging in activities?

Note that a memory screening cannot diagnose a certain illness and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified physician or other healthcare professional. For more resources on caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s, or to receive more information about our employment opportunities for caregivers, visit www.hillendale.net or give us a call at 925-933-8181.

Caring for Seniors Throughout All Stages of Alzheimer’s

Stages of Alzheimer'sProviding care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can feel like trying to solve a constantly changing puzzle. Once you find the solution to one piece, you discover that the image has suddenly changed, and you have to rethink things all over again.

Trying to figure out the puzzle of Alzheimer’s care requires continuous education in the many facets of Alzheimer’s disease support. The following tips, courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Association, can help caregivers establish care strategies throughout the stages of Alzheimer’s:

  • Early Stages: Caregivers can best help clients with Alzheimer’s through assisting with family planning, offering a patient, calm, listening ear and memory prompts when needed. Strategies may include:
    • Being a care advocate for the senior and his or her family, offering emotional assistance and encouragement.
    • Helping the family plan for the long-term.
    • Offering memory prompts, establishing a daily schedule, and helping the person stay healthy and participate in enjoyed activities.
  • Middle Stages: During this phase, care techniques will be focused on the person’s adaptabilities, patience and day-to-day structure. Strategies may include:
    • Maintaining daily routines and structure.
    • Improving quality of life with shared activities.
    • Promoting as much self-reliance as possible, but being prepared to help as needed.
  • Later Stages: During the later stages of Alzheimer’s, care should be focused on preserving dignity and quality of life while maintaining a safe and healthy environment. Strategies may include:
    • Remaining connected and expressing care through touch, sound, sight, taste and smell.
    • Providing increased support with activities of daily living, and with alleviating body pressure if the individual is bedridden.
    • Being aware of unspoken cues such as paleness, swelling, agitation or facial expressions that can identify discomfort.

Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease requires compassion, patience, and knowledge of ever-evolving care tactics. If you are interested in assistance with providing care to seniors throughout all stages of Alzheimer’s disease, contact Hillendale Home Care of Walnut Creek, California. We fully support our caregiving team through ongoing training and CEU offerings to help you keep your CNA or HHA license current.


Stroke Recovery Tips: How to Modify the Home Post-Stroke

Stroke Care Recovering from a stroke can be both physically and emotionally overwhelming, and the only thing a stroke survivor wants to do is return home to his or her everyday life. However, since more than two-thirds of stroke survivors have some form of disability (per the National Stroke Association), modifications to the home may be necessary to make life easier and safer for a client who is recovering from a stroke.

There are some simple steps that we can take to make the home safer and more accessible for a stroke survivor. Below is a checklist of items to use when assessing the home that can be used to make suggestions to the client:

Fall Prevention:

As many as 40% of stroke survivors experience serious falls within the year following their strokes. Check the following to prevent trips and falls in the home:

  • Hallways and pathways to the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen should all be clear so the person can move to and from these high traffic areas easily
  • Stair glides or platform lifts are recommended to help the client move safely up and down stairs
  • Loose rugs and throw rugs should be removed, or firmly secured to the floor
  • Grab bars should be installed in the shower or bathtub and beside the toilet
  • A tub bench or shower chair makes bathing easier and safer
  • Non-slip mats should be placed both inside and outside of the tub

Laundry Safety:

Laundry tasks require a great deal of lifting, reaching, ducking and pulling that can be challenging for those who have suffered a stroke. These changes can help:

  • Washer and dryer should be moved to an easily accessible location in the person’s home
  • Stackable, front-loading washing machines and dryers may be easier to utilize
  • Detergents and other laundry supplies should be stored in an easy-to-reach spot
  • An ironing board that folds down from the wall is a safer option than a free-standing one

Bedroom Safety:

The stroke survivor’s bedroom should be a place that he or she feels safe, relaxed and comfortable in. Consider these tips:

  • A light switch near the bed can help prevent falls from stumbling in the dark
  • Clothing and personal items should be reorganized to make them easier to access; for example, placing the most commonly used items in drawers that are easiest to reach
  • A commode chair near the bed makes bathroom needs easier to manage at nighttime

Clients who have survived a stroke can be offered a free in-home assessment to improve the safety of their home as they recover, and to reduce the risk of re-hospitalization. Check with your supervisor if you believe this would be beneficial for your client.


Learn the Stages and Symptoms of ALS from Hillendale Home Care

symptoms of ALSReceiving a diagnosis of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) can bring up a lot of questions and concerns, for both the individual diagnosed and his or her family members. What causes ALS? What are the symptoms of ALS now, and how will they change in the years to come? Where can I go to find needed support?

As many as 30,000 Americans are currently diagnosed with ALS, and nearly 5,600 new patients are diagnosed with the disease every year. And although the ultimate cause is unclear, some studies point to puzzling risk factors, such as a doubled risk of ALS in veterans who served during the Gulf War

Although each person can experience ALS differently from others, the progression of the disease does seem to follow certain stages. Understanding these stages can help those with ALS and those who care for them implement the most appropriate plan of care.

Early Stages

  • Symptoms of ALS may be noticed only in a one particular area of the body
  • However, milder symptoms may affect more than that one region
  • For some individuals, the first affected muscles are those used for speaking, swallowing or breathing

Possible Symptoms:

  • Poor balance
  • Fatigue
  • Slurring of speech
  • Weakened grip
  • Stumbling when walking

Middle Stages

  • Some particular muscles may be paralyzed, while others are weakened or completely unaffected
  • Symptoms of ALS are now more widespread
  • Twitching may be evident

Possible Symptoms:

  • Challenges in standing up unassisted
  • Trouble with eating and swallowing, which can result in choking
  • Difficulty breathing, especially when lying down
  • Possible uncontrolled and inappropriate laughing or crying, known as the pseudobulbar affect (PBA)

Late Stages

  • The individual with ALS needs full assistance to care for his/her needs
  • Speaking may no longer be possible
  • The person can no longer eat or drink by mouth

Possible Symptoms:

  • Paralysis in most voluntary muscles
  • Breathing is severely compromised, resulting in fatigue, unclear thinking, headaches and susceptibility to pneumonia
  • Mobility is severely impacted

Receiving care from a professional in-home caregiver, such as Hillendale Home Care of Walnut Creek, California provides, can improve quality of life for individuals during any stage of ALS. Our professional caregivers work with families to create an individualized plan of care, allowing those experiencing symptoms of ALS to maintain dignity and the highest possible level of independence at all times. Interested in becoming a caregiver for Hillendale? Contact us at 925-933-8181 to learn more.

Holidays Are Brighter When Certified Nurses Aides are “In the House!”

One out of every four households in the U.S. have one person caring for an aging adult. Family caregiving can be rewarding but it’s also physically, emotionally and CNA Training Classesspiritually overwhelming– especially during the holiday season. Hillendale Home Care has been teaching CNA classes for several years on the Walnut Creek area.

Hillendale offers caregiver support during the holidays and throughout the year for families who have aging loved ones that need home care services.

Family caregivers who care for an aging parent, spouse or adult family member are usually patient, kind, and dedicated to their family.  Sometimes family caregivers have feelings of stress, anxiety, isolation and helplessness because of the  nature of caregiving. Certified Nurses Aides trained and employed by Hillendale Home Care provide the respite, support, and confidence that family caregivers often need.

CNA Class Schedule

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.

The January 2014 CNA class is actively enrolling students! Check out our website for specific course details and to print out the $200.00 coupon to apply towards the tuition! Take the step towards a positive change for yourself and call to secure you spot in this great 7 week course.
http://www.hillendalecnaschool.com/ 925-933-8181

By request of the CNAs in our CEU class, we are offering ONE MORE CEU class before the end of 2013! Tuesday, December 31 7:30am-3:30pm 
Topic: Vital Signs and Personal Care 

If you need to accomplish your “in class” CEUs by the end of 2013….this is the class for YOU! Call our office to reserve your spot! 925-933-8181

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.

CNA School in Walnut Creek CA Teaches CNAs How to Provide Excellent Senior Care Services

Senior Care Services at Home- Helping Seniors Maintain IndependenceCNA School Walnut Creek CA

Considering home care is an advantageous way to help our aging  loved ones continue to maintain an independent life for as long as possible.  There is a vast amount of in-home care options available to seniors today.  Before considering adult daycare or a residential facility, home care services the include a well trained CNA staff are worth learning more about.  It is important to learn how CNAs can help our loved ones….. in order to make an informed decision.

One of the first things that you need to determine is if your loved one is still capable of living an independent lifestyle.  For example, if you were not able to come over for one day, would your loved one make it through the day alone, or would the result be disastrous?  Once you have determined if your loved one is able to maintain an independent lifestyle with help, you need to determine what type of services they will need.

Hillendale CNA School provides the proper training and is committed to help men and women start their CNA careers on the right path.

Here are just a few of the services that a well trained CNA can assist aging loved ones with at home. Ask yourself these questions and then consider hiring a qualified CNA to help at home:


  1. Does your loved one still drive safely?

  2. Is your loved one capable of using a senior bus service to complete errands such as grocery shopping?

  3. Does your loved one have trouble walking long distances, such as shopping at the grocery store without the assistance of an electronic cart?

It is essential that your loved ones transportation plan is organized or you may find you are still providing rides and help as needed.  

Daily Care

  1. Is your loved one able to cook timely and nutritious meals on a regular basis?

  2. Does your loved one adequately clean their home without help on a regular basis?

  3. Is your loved one still able to take care of yard work on their own, i.e. cut the grass, etc.?

  4. Can your loved one bathe and take care of personal hygiene matters without help?

If your loved one is unable to take care of basic tasks that are required to live an independent life on a regular basis, homecare could be a great solution.  A CNA can provide many of the services required to help your loved one complete the tasks needed on a day-to-day basis.  Additional support, such as a lawn care service, gives your loved one the peace of mind that they are able to handle things on their own with a little help.

Medical Care

  1. Does your loved one have a chronic illness such as diabetes that needs monitoring?

  2. Is your loved one capable of remembering to take their medication?

  3. Has your loved one recently had an illness or injury that your doctor suggested homecare for after leaving the hospital?

A CNA may not be able to administer medications or give your loved one medical care; however home care agencies often employ skilled nurses that are able to address medical issues.  A CNA can remind your loved one to take their medication, or to follow their doctor’s order to help your loved one maintain independence.  Addressing and monitoring these three key areas in your loved ones life will help you to make a better-informed decision of if home healthcare is the right choice.

If you are considering starting your career as a CNA, call Hillendale CNA School today to learn more about a rewarding career helping our aging loved ones live in their own homes with dignity and independence. If you are considering home care services, call Hillendale Home Care for the best senior care services, with CNAs trained and certified by Hillendale.

Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. Call 925-933-8181 Today!

CNAs in Walnut Creek California Make a Big Difference in the Lives of Seniors

Keeping our parents or grandparents at home with us or independently in their homes seems like a much better option these days than what was Certified Nurse's Aide CAavailable in the past. This holds true because of the options that have opened up over the last decade or so.

Many people are choosing to hire CNAs in Walnut Creek, from home care services like Hillendale Home Care,  for their loved ones over the traditional options of a long term care facility or adult day care; this is not to say that these latter options are still not the best for some families.

As we all know, our loved ones most often are happiest and prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. With home care, this option can become a reality for seniors.

You might be asking how a CNA can help in providing what your parent or grandparent needs? Over the years, the elderly might find that certain activities aren’t as easy as they used to be and they might be in fear of losing their independence; some families can give assistance where needed and others don’t always have the time due to work hours or children’s activities. This is how a CNA can help. Home care can alleviate the stress of worrying how everything is going to get done and worrying about keeping your older loved one happy and feeling independent.

  • CNAs will provide assistance with light housekeeping duties, such as sweeping, dusting, mopping, doing the dishes, laundry, and changing sheets. Having these light duties eliminated from a family’s schedule allows for more quality time to be spent with your loved one.
  • CNAs can also provide transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, hair appointments, picking up prescriptions, shopping, and other errands. If a client is unable to ride along to run the errands, the caregiver can shop or run the errands for them.
  • The CNA can prepare meals. The preparation doesn’t have to be for just the day they are there; they can prepare a week’s worth of meals and properly package, label, and store them to be eaten later. The meal prep can be an activity that the caregiver and client share together, making it an enjoyable and social experience for both of them.
  • If there is a recent change in the mobility of your elderly family member, the caregiver can help to arrange things in the home that are best suitable for your family member to get around.

The most rewarding part of home care, for both the CNA and the client, is companionship. The CNA is there to provide a caring and nurturing environment. This can be done through conversation, looking at photo albums, playing games, enjoying a movie together, helping the client write a letter or holiday card to a loved one, or hearing about family stories.

 Regardless of the duties that you need a home care provider to take on, it is a great option to keep your elderly family member in the home, feeling independent, and at the same time, enjoying companionship, conversation, and keeping their mind stimulated.

If you are interested in becoming a CNA in Walnut Creek and making a difference in the lives of seniors, contact us today for classes starting in January. Hillendale Home Care is currently accepting applications for our CNA School. Please call Hillendale Home Care at 925-933-8181 to apply or use our quick application e-form. 

Join Us for CNA Certification Training Nov 4- December 19, 2013

CNA/HHA Program DetailsCNA Training Classes

November 4 – December 19, 2013

The goals of Hillendale Home Care CNA training program are:

  • To prepare a student to take the California State CNA Certification Test following 7 weeks of instruction in theory and clinical training.
  • To prepare CNA trainees with the knowledge, skills and judgement to provide care under the direction of a RN, LVN and/or a licensed Physician.
  • To expand and enhance the educational career ladder opportunities in the field of nursing.
  • To instill a commitment to provide rehabilitation, restoration and maintenance of health.

28-Day CNA Training Program

Classroom Theory Training

(Minimum 60 hours total)

  • Monday 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Tuesday 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Wednesday 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • Thursday 9:00am – 4:30pm

Clinical Training

(18 days) (Minimum 100 hours total)

  • Monday 6:30am – 3:00pm
  • Tuesday 6:30am – 3:00pm
  • Wednesday 6:30am – 3:00pm
  • Thursday 6:30am – 3:00pm

The first three weeks will consist of Theory, Monday – Thursday, 9:00am – 4:30pm. The last four weeks will consist of Clincials, Monday – Thursday, 6:30am – 3:00pm.


We are in compliance with OBRA & Title 22 regulations to include in the curriculum:

  • Introduction to Nursing Assistant
  • Patients’ Rights
  • Communication & Interpersonal Skill
  • Body Mechanics
  • Medical & Surgical Asepsis
  • Weights & Measures
  • Patient Care Skills
  • Patient Care Procedures
  • Vital Signs
  • Nutrition
  • Emergency Procedures & Safety
  • Care of the Long-Term Resident
  • Rehabilitative Nursing
  • Observation & Charting
  • Death & Dying

Registration Requirements

Enrollment Requirements:

  • All students will be required to complete FBI fingerprints within the first week of the program.
  • Social Security Card
  • Valid Identification with Recent Picture (California Driver’s License, Military ID, Current Passport, etc.)
  • Physical Exam
  • Current T.B. Test
  • Non-Refundable Registration Fee: $150.00

5-Day HHA Training Program

Hillendale’s Home health Aide Program provides 40 plus hours of intensive and enhanced training covering such topics as: Elder Abuse, Chain of Command, Communication, Home Safety, Infection Control in the home setting, Cultural Diversity, Food Prep and Handling and Safe Home maintenance procedures.
At our mandatory HHA orientation three independent study projects are assigned: Home Safety, Community Food Provider and Diet for a specific assigned ‘client’.  All of this prepares the qualified applicant to work safely and efficiently in the home setting under the auspices of Home Health or Hospice Agencies and many other types employment.
This advanced training is for those who already possess CNA Certification or those who have recently passed Hillendale’s CNA pre-certification program and may not yet be certified.  Upon satisfactory completion of this week long class (M-Friday) you will receive the HHA certificate designation from the State of California.

HHA Training Program

  • 5 Days On-Site Theory Training
  • 9:00am – 4:30pm
  • *Prerequisite: Completed CNA Course