April 25, 2019

3 Reasons Voice-Guided Technology Services Elderly Care

Voice Assistants for Seniors

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.

Digital Access

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.

Conclusion

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.

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November 7, 2018

The Short Version of Veterans Aid and Attendance

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 Veterans Benefitswith 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:

  1. Age: you or surviving spouse must be 65 or older or officially disabled if younger.
  2. 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.
    1. World War II: December 7, 1941-December 31, 1946
    2. Korean War: June 27, 1950-January 31, 1955
    3. Vietnam War: August 5, 1964-May 7, 1975
    4. Gulf War: August 2, 1990-Undetermined
  3. 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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