October 20, 2019
By Lizzie Weakley
If you have special needs due to being an older person with one or more disabilities, don’t hesitate to consult local social service agencies. Many now offer household assistance to help maintain safety and security at home. Here are a few types of services that may be available to eligible disabled seniors.
Many agencies provide a wide range of household assistance services that can keep you safe and comfortable at home. Housework assistance may be able to send someone to your residence to help with daily basic chores like cooking, laundry, and housecleaning. This can help to reduce or eliminate the amount of time or effort you will have to spend maintaining a clean, orderly home. Dusting, vacuuming, and other related tasks may also be covered. Find out what you may be eligible for in terms of getting this work done.
While friendly neighbors may be able to help occasionally with mowing the lawn or weeding the flower beds, you might be able to get someone to assist on a regular basis. It is important to keep the yard well cared for to prevent pests and wildlife from burrowing near your home and possibly causing property damage. If they get into your home through the foundation or other entryways, that could present another problem to be addressed.
If you need rides for medical appointments or to do errands like grocery shopping, transportation might be available to accommodate people with disabilities. This may involve private transport with a regular driver or public transportation via bus or taxi. When contacting social service agencies that help older people with disabilities, ask if there is help for getting around town as needed.
Disabled persons often have family members or friends helping out with housework, yardwork, or other needs. However, many of those people have their own responsibilities to handle as well, or something might come up in their lives that will keep them away for a while. Social service agencies that work with disabled clients may be able to offer respite services. This provides a temporary substitute person who is qualified to provide necessary help until your regular caregivers or family members can resume their support.
While it is not easy living with a disability especially when getting older, it is good to know that valuable assistance is available for those in need. Find out about the type of services you may qualify for to make life more comfortable and secure.
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April 3, 2019
By: Darleen Mahoney
As Seniors search for more Healthcare options and answers, Health fairs are becoming more and more a valuable resource. Healthcare can be confusing and overwhelming for many seniors and their caregivers. Health fairs offers seniors in the community the opportunity to engage with professionals in a relaxed and threatening or sterile atmosphere to discuss common health issues and concerns.
Many Health fairs focus on preventative and offer proactive information like health screenings, blood pressure checks, cholesterol blood tests, vision and hearing tests which may provide feedback to identify any risks. For example, Gulfside Healthcare Services located in Land O’Lakes Florida, is presenting a community Health fair for Seniors and their Caregivers on April 16th, featuring a “Healthcare Navigation Table of Experts” for one-on-one assistance with healthcare-related needs offering free blood pressure checks, free living wills, and access to information on Home Health, Palliative Care, Hospice Care and Elder Law.
Successful Health fairs can inspire health lifestyle changes in Seniors and provide support for their Caregivers.
*If you would like more information on the Gulfside Healthcare Services community Health Fair, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-845-5707
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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 16, 2018
Courtesy of Janet Campbell
When you’re tending seniors, you want to provide the best possible care to ensure the best quality of life. In order to be effective and efficient it can help to create a checklist, whether mentally or physically, of the areas you should discuss on a daily basis. Follow these important guidelines to ensure you’re covering the crucial aspects of your senior’s care and making the most of home health care visits.
Sleep. As we grow older, getting sufficient sleep is an area in which many seniors struggle. It’s also an area that can have ramifications in other parts of life, contributing to a variety of mental and physical health concerns. According to The Guardian lack of sleep is linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, reduced ability to focus, poor memory and a shorter life span.
For seniors, the concerns are even more far-reaching, with some studies showing poor sleep quality contributing to dementia, depression and the decline of other mental faculties. These together can be a slippery slope. With health concerns mounting, some feeding each other such as obesity contributing to sleep apnea and heart disease, depression can then worsen, sleep can worsen and a vicious circle can quickly develop.
There are many ways to encourage better sleep quality. One idea is to establish a bedtime routine including a warm, relaxing bath to help unwind. Sunlight can help trigger healthy body rhythms, so spending time in the outdoors during the day can also be a boon. Physical activity can also help seniors sleep, so long as they avoid exercising within three hours of bedtime. Also offer an appropriate sleep environment, free of noise and lights. Seniors should have a comfortable bed that alleviates pain as well. For those who wake up groggy or achy, consider upgrading to a new mattress better suited for an aging body’s needs. It is best to replace your mattress every seven to eight years to get a good night’s sleep. If you dream of reducing the number of times you toss and turn each night, refer to this guide to choose a comfortable mattress.
Diet. Meeting a senior’s nutritional needs is another key way to enhance quality of life. As we age the body’s metabolism gradually slows, and as some experts point out this can mean less calories burned. Seniors should opt for foods that are nutritionally dense instead of consuming empty calories. The diet should be tapered down according to need, rather than adding the nutrient-dense choices.
The diet choices should be simple, satisfying and nutritious. Plates should be half-filled with fruits and vegetables, and whole grains should be the source of at least half of the grain choices. Whole grains include foods such as brown rice, whole grain cereals and whole grain breads. Seniors should avoid consuming excessive amounts of sodium. The diet should include healthy fat sources such as nuts, avocados, vegetable fats and fatty fish. Protein sources should include eggs, chicken, fish, beans and nuts.
Exercise. Getting sufficient exercise is another key component in maintaining good quality of life for seniors. OnHealth explains loss of muscle mass associated with aging contributes to the metabolic decline in seniors. Staying fit helps keep muscles and bones strong, helps maintain a healthy weight, and helps maintain or restore balance. Seniors who stay active can reduce their risk for health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, obesity and back pain. A senior fitness program can enhance flexibility, memory function and improve mood as well.
Seniors can begin exercising at any age but should discuss a new exercise program with their physicians. Scheduling sessions can help stay on track, and celebrating progress can be an encouragement. Seniors should include aerobic, strength training, balance and flexibility exercises in their regimen. Gentle chair yoga is a good option for many seniors new to exercise.
Easing a worried heart. Has your senior been fixated or overly worried about life lately? Chatting lightly can begin loosening up a senior who has become wound too tight about the ups and downs of life. First and foremost you must listen – most folks benefit from a sympathetic ear even if their listener doesn’t give them a solution to their problem. But if there are recurring issues then you could begin gently guiding them to take some action towards acceptance, no matter how small it might be. It could be as simple as some advance planning for the inevitable, or volunteering part time.
Better health, better life. Helping a senior maintain a good quality of life is paramount. Check off these three things when visiting seniors: Ensure seniors get sufficient sleep, enjoy a healthy diet and participate in an exercise program. Make the most of home visits with these simple guidelines.
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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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