September 5, 2019
By Lizzie Weakley
When you are responsible for finding home care for a loved one, you will want to find caregivers who you can trust. Fortunately, there are other individuals who have had the same situation, and they offer excellent advice for finding the right type of care for your loved one. Here are five tips that you can use to help you find a great caregiver.
Talk to a Physician
When you have an appointment with the senior’s physician, you can ask about the best way to find a caregiver. A physician can provide information about senior care services for patients with dementia conditions, brain trauma from a stroke or terminal conditions such as cancer. Call each nursing home to learn more about the services, and also, schedule appointments to visit the nursing homes.
Ask Your Friends
Many adults are caring for older relatives, so you can ask your friends about the caregivers that they use. Some cities have senior day care centers where you can take a loved one while you are working. There are also organizations that have volunteers who will assist with senior home care occasionally. Make a list of the different places that are recommended by your friends so that you can contact each place for more information.
You can contact an agency that has a list of trained caregivers available. These individuals have already had criminal background screening, and the office staff at the agency has verified that the caregivers have references. In just a few days, you can have a great caregiver for your loved one who recently had surgery or has dementia. Elderly home care is available each day, or you may need part-time services instead.
It is important to interview the caregivers to find an individual who meets the needs of the senior citizen. Some caregivers excel at caring for individuals with physical problems such as severe arthritis while others are able to cope better with a senior who has Alzheimer’s disease. Finding the right caregiver can make your loved one happier and healthier.
Consult with the Senior Citizen
Your loved one should provide some input into selecting a caregiver. Remember that you probably won’t stay in the home all of the time to observe what is going on, so they should select a caregiver instead. Despite having a dementia condition or physical health issues, it is essential for your loved one to have a good experience with selecting a caregiver.
It is a good idea to maintain communication with a caregiver by making telephone calls occasionally, or alternatively, by stopping by your loved one’s home at different times of the day or the night.
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August 21, 2019
By Meghan Belnap
Aging in Place: Top 4 Qualities in the Ideal House for Retirement
Retirement is a challenging time that can be made less stressful if retirees already live in a home that’s designed to meet their needs. While homeowners can renovate their property to better suit this new stage in their life, it’s often easier to search for a home that is already appropriate for retirement and its unique challenges. Keep the following in mind when shopping for a home perfect for with retirement.
Choose a Home with Wide Hallways
Aging makes it harder for homeowners to get around the house. Furthermore, along with old age comes the need to use the likes of canes and wheelchairs. Homes with wider hallways will make it easier to use these new tools and will also reduce the likelihood of injury.
Find a House with No Stairs
When on the hunt for properties that are better suited for retirement, homeowners should look for properties without stairs. While stairs may make a property more appealing for younger and larger families, homes with stairs and multiple levels aren’t ideal for retiring individuals as they can easily lead to falls and similar accidents. As such, homeowners searching for the best properties for retirees should consult with local real estate services to help them find one-story homes in their area.
Pick a Property with Handrails
Though handrails aren’t always a common find in most homes, buyers that are of retirement age should keep this feature in mind. Having handrails in potentially dangerous areas around the house will make it simpler for homeowners to navigate the property. For example, as older people tend to fall easily when in the shower, it’s ideal to have homes already designed with handrails as their presence will help to eliminate the likelihood of falls.
Buy a Home with Access to Natural Lighting
In addition to being designed with homeowners’ safety in mind, properties that are ideal for retirement also offer health benefits to its inhabitants. Homes built with ample windows will have increased access to natural lighting. This allows homeowners access to vitamin D, an essential nutrient that will help improve one’s mental and emotional state.
The right house will make easing into one’s retirement less of a challenge and more of a transition. These properties help to limit any unnecessary dangers while providing homeowners with benefits that will improve their overall quality of life. Keep this guide in mind as you search for the right home for retirement.
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August 19, 2019
By Lizzie Weakley
As we age, a lot of things change. Our hearing and eyesight may not be as sharp, and our mobility could be reduced. Meanwhile, we typically spend more time at home because we’re retired. This combination means that it is more important than ever to be safe at home, and these four tips can help you achieve that.
Keep It Simple
The last thing you probably want is to make your home feel like a fortress, even though you’d like it to be as safe as one. The more things you can add without creating extra effort for yourself, the more effective your safety plan will be.
Choose a home security alarm system that is easy to activate and deactivate. The more codes and buttons you need, the less likely you are to arm it. Get smoke detectors that are hard-wired to reduce battery demands, and think about installing some “smart home” controls to help you improve security when you’re away.
Ramp Up Your Security
With such great technology available today, home security systems can provide you with much better protection. Video systems can capture clear footage of intruders and trespassers. The system can also link to your phone while you’re away.
Think about your lifestyle and what would help your alarm system serve you better, and then add on the features that will benefit you the most.
Increase Security in Unused Spaces
As your kids grow up and move away, some large areas of your home may no longer be used regularly. As a result, these areas may have insufficient security.
If you have bedrooms that are rarely used, make sure not only to lock their windows but also their doors to further complicate a break-in attempt. The basement door that the kids always entered can now be dead bolted, and outdoor lights that once were too bright in the kids’ rooms can now be installed.
Remove Fall Hazards
It seems that we sometimes learn to ignore certain safety hazards that we have worked around for years. Slipping area rugs, dangling power cords, and poorly-lit areas only need to be dangerous one time to cause an injury.
Have someone walk in and around your home, looking for the things that you have gradually tuned out. Let them help you correct hazards. After all, you only have to fix it once to be safer every day.
Home safety is all about getting things in place and allowing them to work while you go about your daily routines. A few simple steps like these will greatly improve your safety as a senior.
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July 19, 2019
By Anica Oaks
You may have heard the saying, “Grow old gracefully,” but there are many changes that occur as you move beyond middle age and into your golden years. Your 60s, 70s and beyond will be filled with various psychological and physical changes and challenges. Asking for help can make you feel weak, but you aren’t. It’s a sign of strength and self-awareness to recognize when you can no longer do something on your own.
Understand How Age Changes Things
You were probably taught from an early age that it’s important to be independent. Asking for help can make us feel like we’ve failed somehow, and you may worry that you’ll look weak and be a burden to your loved ones.
Getting older comes with some inevitable changes, and it’s important to accept these facts rather than try to go against them. Your health may decline, or you might have to live with a health condition like arthritis. You may also be dealing with feelings of loneliness and isolation now that your children are grown. If you are widowed, then facing the rest of your life by yourself can trigger deep feelings of sadness that may turn into depression.
Recognize What You Need
Are you physically struggling to get around like you used to? Maybe going up the stairs is too painful or strenuous now. Perhaps you have emotional needs that aren’t being met, but you don’t want to bother people by calling them up just to talk.
Maybe you notice some health symptoms that weren’t there before; do you have frequent chest pains, feel dizzy or have become more forgetful than you used to be? It’s natural to want to ignore these things and write them off, but getting help early can make you happier and protect your well-being.
Finding the Right Resources
The last thing you may want to do is move into a care home, but they are not all like hospitals or filled with sick seniors. Instead, there are many retirement villages and facilities that offer round-the-clock assistance while still giving you plenty of space and independence.
For those who do not have any close family or friends they can reach out to, exploring elderly home care options can make you feel empowered and give you the help you need. Make sure that you are vocal about everything that’s bothering you; it’s possible for loneliness, sadness and even fear of the future to make us come off as cold and distant.
Don’t allow yourself to become closed off from the world. As you progress through the next stage of your life, be open to asking for help, receiving love and being in the presence of others as much as you can.
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April 25, 2019
Courtesy of Kara Masterson
Chances are that you know someone who has entered the elderly phase of life. It can seem difficult to watch older members of society struggle to do tasks that younger people take for granted. Fortunately, voice guided technology can help the elderly to function more effectively in their daily lives. Here are three reasons why voice guided technology is involved in servicing the ongoing care of this segment of the population.
When the Elderly Fall
Often, the elderly can experience a major fall when no one else is around. This can be a dangerous situation for many people who live alone. Fortunately, modern advancements in voice guided technology makes it possible for older members of society to reach out for help in these situations. It turns out that a device like Alexa in the home can be a useful tool for aiding a fallen elderly person who needs to call for help in an emergency. Not only is Alexa capable of being voice commanded to do tasks, but it is a very affordable option that even retired persons can take advantage of in their homes as well.
At Home Medical Monitoring
Another area where voice guided technology is beneficial to the elderly arises with the need to monitor and interact with the health needs of these individuals. This is an important area of advancement, because many elderly people cannot easily drive themselves to doctor’s appointments. However, they may still require regular medical care as in the case where a patient uses a Home Kidney Dialysis Machine to perform peritoneal dialysis. Such devices can guide the patient with step by step verbal instructions to ensure the proper outcome.
Voice guided technology is opening up digital access to the elderly. This can be mostly seen in how this technology is helping this segment of the population stay connected with family, friends and access information online. Due to the fact that so many elderly people are blind or visually impaired, voice guided technology can make it possible for these individuals to use modern phones and even successfully navigate and interact on popular social media-based websites. As a result, this provides an elderly person with the ability to access information and communicate with anyone they desire like everyone else. These kinds of barriers have been eliminated by the use of screen reading software that talks to a user and by voice recognition software that gives an elderly user voice command-based control over an Internet ready device.
Growing old is no longer the isolated situation it used to be. Modern devices are using voice guided technology to allow these individuals to live more fulfilling lives. From meeting at home healthcare needs to providing older individuals with a broad range of entertainment and social avenues with which to occupy their time, voice guided technology has truly redefined what it means to enjoy life after retirement.
November 7, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
This weekend, our Nation will reflect on the sacrifices that our Veterans and War Heroes have made over the years as it became a national holiday in 1938. As their sacrifices have provided safety, security and the freedom our country continues to enjoy, it’s important to know what benefits our Veterans may be eligible. Its important that they be aware and utilize what is available, especially if they find themselves in unexpected need.
According to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, “Elderly Veterans may be eligible for a wide-variety of benefits available to all U.S. military Veterans.”
What exactly is Aid and Attendance? Its super simple, the veteran must require help with daily living or activities at home, assisted living, nursing home, or skilled nursing. Their need does not have to be related to any military service.
If you are applying for “Aid and Attendance” and would like benefits based on a housebound status, the Veterans Agency will allow some costs and annualized medical expenses if it’s for medical care. Those aging in place and using Home Health services do not have to be licensed. However, if the beneficiary or Veteran has been diagnosed with a cognitive disorder such as Alzheimer’s, a physician’s statement must indicate that a protective environment is in place.
If you are seeking Aid and Attendance benefits while living or would like to move to an Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing Facility, the facility will be required to sign a statement verifying the type of care being given or what they are expecting that resident to receive. You will also be required to submit a “Care Provider Report”.
How do you know if you may qualify? Here are a few simple indictors:
- Age: you or surviving spouse must be 65 or older or officially disabled if younger.
- Period of Military Service- you must be considered a “wartime veteran”, meaning that you have served a minimum of 90 days with only one of those days during wartime dates. You did not have to serve in combat to qualify.
- World War II: December 7, 1941-December 31, 1946
- Korean War: June 27, 1950-January 31, 1955
- Vietnam War: August 5, 1964-May 7, 1975
- Gulf War: August 2, 1990-Undetermined
- Discharge Status: you cannot be dishonorably Discharged
Applying and understanding these benefits can get very complicated, seeking the professional guidance and advice of a licensed, professional Elder Law Attorney is encouraged to help guide you through this process. If you can receive a referral from a family friend or your Trust and Estate Planning Attorney, this may help guide you in the right direction.
If you are needing additional funds to cover the cost of Home Health services, Assisted Living, or Skilled Nursing for you and your spouse, you may qualify for:
Living Veteran Monthly Rate
Housebound Without Dependents: $1,340
Housebound Without Dependents: $1,680
Aid and Attendance W/O Dependents: $1,830
Aid and Attendance W/ Dependent: $2,169
In October 2018, the VA made new rules to fiscally qualify for benefits. The new net worth limits of $123,600 became effective. They will look at the Veteran’s overall net worth in addition to income. There are also other rules that could affect a Veteran from qualifying, seeking professional guidance may be helpful.
If you believe that you or a Veteran loved qualifies for Aid and Attendance, it can always be helpful to speak to the Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing facility that you are considering, and they may have folks who are trained to assist you through this process as well.
If you find that you or your Veteran qualify, and you begin your process to apply, you are encouraged to get organized, make sure that all your paperwork and forms are completed. Above all, do not get discouraged.
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August 17, 2018
July 12, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Home Health Care by definition according to Wikipedia: is, “Home care is supportive care provided in the home. Care may be provided by licensed healthcare professionals who provide medical treatment needs or by professional caregivers
who provide daily assistance.” Home Health Care provides the ability for seniors to age in place and provides other caregivers a break.
Those who might consider Home Health Care may be recovering from a procedure, have a degenerative disorder or in need of general medical care. Home Health is recommended most often by a doctor after a visit or a hospital stay because it is provided by medical professionals.
One of the benefits that Home Health Care provides is that not only is there a medical professional in the home providing the specialized care that is needed, but also provides personal services as well.
Home Health Services that may be included, but not limited to depending on what the provider offers:
- Skilled Nursing
- Physical therapy
- Pain management
- Wound care
- Prescription management
- Helping those with Alzheimer’s or dementia
Personal Services that may be included, but not limited to depending on what the provider offers:
- Grooming, like dressing and help with bathing
- Medication reminders
- Help with moving around the home
- Cooking meals
Because Home Health Care are in the home, they can work with family members daily to make sure that routines are followed, make recommendations on medications and keep the senior in their home environment longer.
The cost of Home Health Care as an option could come down to who is going to pay for the care. While a family caregiver will not receive any monies from any programs, Medicare has limited coverage for home care. When coverage is provided through Medicare it is only covered through a Medicare-certified home health care agency. Always check with your insurance provider and any other resources that may help with the expense of Home Health Care.
If you would like to age in place and explore different Home Healthcare providers in your area to see what they offer, please visit SeniorLivingGuide.com, click on the state and area of interest. Review each one carefully, weigh the options and what is important to you and your family and then schedule a call to discuss those options.
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