Home Care Services for Senior

Many elderly people want to stay in their own homes as they age. However, an unexpected illness or injury or gradually increasing frailty can make that more difficult. Luckily, there are many home care options available.

Assess the Situation

The first step in deciding whether home care services can meet an elder’s needs is to evaluate the situation. For example, is the home located in an urban setting where services are readily available or in a more remote rural setting? Can the living quarters be easily accessed or can the home be modified with ramps and similar changes? Is there any support from family and/or friends? What is the client’s financial situation? All of these factors will have an impact on what services are available.What is Home Care?

Home care services typically fall into certain categories. These may encompass basic home support, transportation, nursing care, specialty medical care and respite care for caregivers.
Household Care
A home takes considerable maintenance. For example, gardening and yard work, painting, general maintenance and repairs are required on a regular basis. The interior of the house also requires cleaning. Then there are activities such as laundry and dishes, and the usual “business” activities such as paying bills and scheduling appointments. All of these services are available in many locations.
Transportation
Transportation services may be very important in allowing elderly people to remain in the home. In the city, buses and taxis are usually available, as are services like Uber. Seniors may have the option of reduced fares in some cases. Medical vans are available in many locations for seniors who have disabilities.
Personal Care
A home health aide can provide assistance with many of the activities involved in daily living. Sometimes called custodial care, this can include assistance with bathing and other hygiene activities, assistance with meals – including meal preparation – shopping or transportation. In some areas, home health aides may also be able to help supervise medications or take a patient’s blood pressure.
Health Care
Health care services typically fall into one of two categories – nursing care and specialty care. The first includes the full range of nursing services, such as medication administration, dressing changes and other skilled services. Specialty care is provided by health care professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists or respiratory therapists.


Care Providers

Although many family members are ready and willing to help a senior who lives alone, others may have time limitations or live too far away. Sometimes neighbors can help as well. A church group or similar community organization may be able to provide some services. Care providers may be independent contractors or work for organizations like a hospital or home health agency. In the first case, the senior or his/her family members pay the contractor directly and must take care of all employment issues such as interviews, background checks, hiring, taxes, Social Security and payroll. In the second, those services are provided by the agency. One of the advantages of an agency is that they will handle all legal issues and payroll, perform extensive background checks and have multiple caregivers on the payroll to cover all times of the day and night. Full-service agencies usually bond their employees. Full-service agencies are more expensive, however. A registry falls somewhere between the two options – it is less expensive but does not offer the full range of personnel management services.

How to Hire In-Home Caregivers

The initial hiring process is key to getting the kind of services and person you want and need. Hiring someone to come and do yard work once or twice a week is very different from hiring someone to perform hands-on personal care. Begin by looking for community resources – contact the local hospital and organizations dedicated to the needs of the older adult. Check the phone book and ask for reverences from friends, family or neighbors. Always interview more than one candidate if at all possible. Develop a specific list of tasks and expectations and if you’re hiring an independent provider, have a contract to spell out all the details. Confirm fees if working with an agency. Check references and do background checks on your top candidates. The internet, local police, legal aid and local attorneys may be able to help in this process. If things don’t seem to be working out, don’t hesitate to hire a new provider.
Good research and careful preparation can allow you or a loved one to find the necessary support. You can also access community resources other than those mentioned here. Home care can make a big difference in an older person’s ability to continue living at home in relative independence. 

References:
http://www.californiamedicaresupplementinsurance.com

Long Term Care Insurance

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 70% of 65-year-olds will need some type of long-term care in the years to come. As the baby boomer generation gets older, many find themselves considering how they will take care of themselves later in life.
Long-term care — which can include home care, adult day care, assisted living, or a nursing home facility — can be expensive and quickly eat away at your savings, potentially reducing or eliminating your ability to leave something behind for your loved ones.

According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of even a semi-private room in nursing home is $6,800 per month ($81,600 per year) while a home health aide costs about $3,800 per month ($45,600).

Long-term care insurance is one way to prepare for the high cost of care if you ever need long-term care in your home or a facility. This type of insurance covers many services that aren’t covered by regular health insurance and it can defray the costs of managing a chronic medical condition. Here’s what you should know about long-term care insurance.

How Does Long-Term Care Insurance Work?

Regular health insurance will not cover long-term care but Medicare will not help, either, as it only covers limited types of home health care and short nursing home stays. Long-term care insurance is a form of insurance that covers long-term care services such as help with routine daily activities and medical care.

 When a long-term care policy is activated, it will reimburse you a daily amount for services up to a pre-determined limit. This type of policy can cover the expenses of managing a disability, chronic health condition, or disorder like Alzheimer’s by reimbursing you for care provided in many settings. As a general rule, a comprehensive long-term care policy will cover:

  • Home care in which an individual or agency provides help with daily activities like bathing, cooking, and housekeeping.
  • Assisted living in which residents live in apartment-style units. When needed, services like meal delivery and personal care assistance is provided.
  • Nursing home. Nursing homes are residential centers that offer skilled health care, personal care, daily activities, and rehab around the clock.
  • Adult day care in which you receive daytime support, social, and health services in a supervised setting.
  • Alzheimer’s care.

How to Save on Long-Term Care Insurance

It’s important to educate yourself before purchasing an insurance policy so you are sure you can afford the premiums and understand the type of coverage you will receive. There are a few steps you can take to keep your policy premiums as affordable as possible while maximizing your benefits:

  • Don’t wait too long to buy. The younger you are when you buy long-term care insurance, the lower your premiums will be. Experts recommend buying long-term care insurance when you are in your 50s and in good health. If you wait too long, you’re facing higher premiums and a higher risk of a serious medical condition that can deny you coverage.
  • Read the policy. Long-term care policies vary a great deal in terms of what is covered and what you need to do for coverage. While some companies allow you to hire nonlicensed or independent providers or even family members, others require using services from a certified agency or licensed care professional. Check that your policy covers the types of services and facilities you will want and can access in your community. You will also want to know the policy’s benefit triggers, or the conditions that must be met before you receive benefits.
  • Compare rates. Because premiums for long-term care insurance can vary a great deal, it’s a good idea to do comparison shopping among several carriers.
  • Adjust your coverage. You can make your policy premiums more affordable by adjusting the terms of coverage of the policy. You may want to limit the term of the policy or choose a longer elimination period (or period before coverage kicks in).

Is Long-Term Care Insurance a Good Option?

No one wants to think that they may be frail or unable to care for themselves one day, but it’s a future that many encounter. Even if you have loved ones who are willing to care for you, they may be unable to provide the level of care you need due to insufficient time, living too far away, lacking the technical know-how, or lacking strength and health of their own. Most family caregivers are spouses, but the average spousal caregiver is almost 63 years old, according to AARP.

It’s also unwise to rely on Medicare and Medicaid for the assistance you may need one day. Medicare does not cover long-term care (including nursing home care) if that’s all you need. Many family members and seniors also assume Medicaid will pay for the cost of long-term care, but this coverage only kicks in once you meet functional and financial criteria. Until you are no longer able to perform daily living activities on your own and spend virtually all of your savings, Medicaid won’t help.

Keep in mind long-term care policies take effect immediately should you need the coverage sooner than you expect. Long-term care insurance is a valuable form of protection to get ahead of ever-increasing health care costs and protect your savings.

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Medical Alert and Home Safety

With the constant advances in modern medicine, people are living longer and fuller lives than ever before. One of the challenges that a family faces as parents and grandparents get older is the need to balance safety with a sense of personal freedom.
Today’s seniors are active people who don’t want to give up their independence in exchange for safety. Of course, there are risks associated with aging that must be addressed. Falls, health crises, fires and break-ins all pose a potential risk, especially to the senior citizen who lives on their own. For information on Long Term Healthcare, click here.

Fortunately, there are many products on the market that can provide a sense of comfort for both seniors and their families, while allowing the elderly an opportunity to live on their own and enjoy their lives the way they want to.

Medical Alert Systems For Falls and Accidents

There are many devices on the market today that help the active senior live an independent life. Medical Alert Systems are typically worn as either a necklace or watch style device, with buttons used to alert and communicate with trained operators prepared to call in the help required by the situation.

Some brands have sensors that can detect a fall even if the senior is unable to push the button to signal for help. No matter whether you have suffered an injury from a fall, feel the beginnings of a heart attack coming on, smell smoke or hear the sound of a possible intruder, these operators are just the click of a button away, ready to contact your local fire department or police station and send the help you need.

24/7 Response

Operators associated with your medical alert device are available at all hours of the day and night. No one knows when you might suffer an injury from a fall or feel the stirrings of a medical emergency.

Well trained operators are ready to ask important questions and get you the help you need. Most models allow the operator to stay on the line with you until emergency personal show up, calming and comforting while ensuring that the emergency staff are by your side before hanging up. Some models even include a GPS to assist seniors who might get lost or disoriented when out and about.

This is particularly important for those seniors who might be suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, but desperately desire to remain independent for as long as possible.

Easy To Use

Medical Alert Systems are simple to set up and easy to use. When the system arrives, you need only plug the base into a wall socket, connect a phone line and go. The large button is much easier to press than dialing a phone and access to a trained operator is immediate.

The pendant or bracelet is easy to wear, water-proof and small enough to be hidden under clothing while remaining durable enough for everyday life. With just the touch of a button you have the sense of security that someone is there to help no matter the situation.

Piece Of Mind At An Affordable Price

Available in a variety of options such as with landline, without landline, and on the go, Medical Alert Systems can be ordered for a low monthly cost, no hidden fees or activation costs included. Simply choose the best option for your life and pay a single monthly bill.

There’s no contracts to sign or long term commitments involved. Add extras such as fall detection for an additional fee, included on your monthly billing and enjoy the security that even if you have fallen and cannot push the button, help will be dispatched.

People these days are enjoying active lifestyles and greater health. Seniors are no exception. Give your family a sense of security that your safety is well in hand while continuing to enjoy the personal freedom you crave. Medical Alert Systems are the perfect way to balance security and independence for the senior on the go.

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Alzheimers & Memory Care

Alzheimers & Memory Care

According to researchers, more than 28 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia, is considered by some as the defining disease of that generation. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but more importantly, the disease presents very real challenges in care. Alzheimer’s or memory care is a specialized form of long-term care that’s designed to meet the specific needs of people with Alzheimer’s or dementia with 24-hour supervised care, personal care services, and more.

What is Memory Care?
Memory care is a specialized form of care that includes a range of services depending on the severity of a senior’s symptoms. While people with early Alzheimer’s disease may just need cues to help them perform tasks, others require a secure setting to prevent them from wandering away and getting lost or hurt. Security is essential as an estimated 60% of people with Alzheimer’s will wander.

Memory care exceeds the level of services and security traditionally offered in a long-term care facility. While assisted living and memory care both include housekeeping, meal preparation, and laundry services, memory care also increase more advanced help with daily activities. In many cases, activities offered in a memory care facility are designed to help the person reconnect with favorite interests.

Many assisted living and nursing home facilities today offer entire neighborhoods or wings devoted to residents who need memory care. These centers are usually designed in a way to reduce stress and prevent wandering. Many have natural light, a circular design for safe wandering, and door alarms, and memory boxes outside each room to help residents find their home.

Most memory care treatment centers can accommodate people in the early, middle, and late stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia with a low staff-to-resident ratio for greater supervision.

Services Offered in a Memory Care Facility
Memory care centers may offer a range of therapeutic, leisure, and medical programs that differ from assisted living. This may include:

  • Leisure programs. Most memory care communities offer leisure programs and activities designed to reduce stress among residents. These programs may include listening to soft jazz and classical music, aromatherapy, sensory games, and puzzles.
  • Therapeutic programs. These programs can address memory impairment, wandering, and behavior typically associated with dementia for improved quality of life.
  • Behavioral management programs to address harmful behavior common among people with Alzheimer’s.
  • Uniquely designed community with circular design for safe wandering, brightly color-coded sections to help residents find their way, and memory boxes.
  • Security with door alarms/locks, a lower staff-to-resident ratio, and other strategies to reduce injuries and elopement.

The Cost of Memory Care
Assisted living and memory care can both be costly options, although the cost of long-term care will depend on many factors like geographic area, the size of a room or apartment, whether the space is shared with another resident, and what services are needed.

Assisted living usually has a base monthly rate that covers room and board and two or three meals each day. On average, a one-bedroom assisted living apartment costs $3,300 per month. Additional services like housekeeping and laundry are extra. Because memory care is a specialized service, the cost tends to be much higher. A home in a dedicated memory care facility costs about $5,000 per month on average.

On both cases, there are options to help pay for memory care and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. This may include Medicare, Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, and long-term care insurance.

Is Memory Care the Right Choice?
Assisted living may be a great choice if a loved one is still relatively independent and able to perform some activities. When a loved one has more complex care needs with memory impairment, dedicated memory care is typically the best option. A memory care community can come with many benefits over assisted living, including:

  • Reduction in the use of medication and medication side effects.
  • Decreased injuries and falls through greater supervision.
  • Fewer incidents involving violence from other residents due to behavioral programs.
  • Greater independence and social interaction through a uniquely designed community, a community dining room, and social and leisure programs.
  • Improved or maintained cognitive functioning in many patients.

Senior Health Care Supplemental Insurance

Today, there are more than 500 million seniors across the world. People are living longer because of significant technological advancement in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. It is estimated that the number of senior people in the world is bound to increase.

According to current demograpic reports, individuals above the age of 65 living in USA were 40 million in 2010. It is also estimated that by 2030, elderly persons will make 72 million of the total population in the country.

Access to better health care services helps in promoting longevity, and as individuals continue to get older, so is the advancement of healthcare services and the need for enhanced senior health insurance.

At 65 years or older, you have a few options to secure a senior health insurance. Since the healthcare cost continues to rise, your one medical insurance plan may not be enough to cover your medical needs fully.

Moreover, as you age, the more you get exposed to diseases, so it is vital that you get a proper health insurance plan. As you go shopping for your senior health coverage, it is important that you get a better understanding of the options available for you and get everyone around you involved.

Here are some of the senior healthcare insurance options available for you.

• Private health insurance
• Medicare supplement insurance
• Medicaid
• Medicare

Private Health Insurance
Most seniors are never confident about getting a pocket-friendly medical insurance plan which can provide them with maximum coverage for their healthcare needs. Since most of them are already tired, they are always concerned with the rising medical expenses. This gives them enough reasons to search for an affordable health insurance plan.

However, if the rising medical costs aren’t a worry to you when trying to get a health insurance, then the private health insurance plan can provide you with the right healthcare coverage you need. This program can provide you with sufficient coverage without limitations. Nevertheless, you should get an independent manager to help you understand the plan and have all inclusions to avert gaps in coverage.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance
This insurance plan is meant to supplement Medicare. In this case, Medicare supplemental insurance offers coverage to healthcare services that are not taken care of by Medicare. This healthcare insurance plan is also referred to as ‘Medigap.’ As a senior and having enrolled for Medicare part A and B you qualify to take up this plan. Medigap plans will provide coverage for your excess healthcare expenses such as co-insurance, deductibles among others that are not covered in you Medicare Part A and B.

Medicare Supplemental insurance plan is offered by private insurers that cater to seniors. The premiums for Medicare vary according to coverage and insurers. As such, you have much freedom to pick the coverage plan right for your healthcare needs.

Medicare for Senior Medical Insurance Plan
Although this insurance plan can cover even younger persons with serious health issues and disabilities, it is a medical insurance program primarily for seniors of 65 years and above. This plan is divided into four categories.

1. Medicare Part A.
This part is also called hospital insurance plan because it is meant to cover home care and hospitalization expenses. It is free for seniors who worked for more than ten years and were able to pay their social security taxes. You will only be required to fill application forms to get the coverage.

2. Medicare part B
This part takes in medical insurance as well. It largely covers mental- health care, yearly check-ups, X-rays and doctor’s appointments. Unlike Part A, this plan isn’t free, and its coverage is limited. As such, there are annual premium payments for this plan. And once you are considered eligible for social security you automatically get registered.

3. Medicare Part C
This category allows you to get cover through private insurers. It is also known as Medicare Advantage, and its primary benefit is that it offers you better coverage as compared to A and B. However, you must first register for Medicare Part A and B to qualify. You can shop for a cost effective plan as costs vary according to providers.

4. Medicare Part C
This plan covers prescription drugs only. As such, it is essential for those seniors who are on medications on a regular basis. Hence if you are in this category, you might consider it. The plan is flexible since it takes a monthly premium based on the treatment expenses.

Medicaid
This is a medical insurance plan for those seniors who are in the low-income bracket. It is a federal program that is used in unification with Medicare. Medicaid helps the needy seniors by providing coverage for various health care services that Medicare does not cover. However, you need to follow certain procedures to ascertain you income limitations to qualify for enrollment.

As noted, there are different insurance options available for you and with several coverage combinations that you can pick, thus getting the best senior health insurances can be tricky. As such it is important to get and work with and independent insurance agent to guide you through choosing the right senior insurance plan.

The Complete Health Care Guide for Disabled Seniors

Disabled seniors need specialized health care to keep them strong at their age. When you are a senior living with a disability, there are activities that become burdensome for you to accomplish. This is why you need specialized health care that gives you the opportunity to live a high-quality life.

Health care, in general, is vital to society. The evidence can be observed on how it continues to be versatile. There are several changes in health care ranging from compensation, regulation by the government and checks and balances by various state authorities. Stiff competition among leading private healthcare providers also brings into question the undisputable importance of health care provision.

The elderly and the disabled have for a long time been forgotten in terms of medical care. Previously, many of these adults have relied on traditional Medicare. Are you one of them? Have you relied on traditional Medicare?

Currently, there have been developed several scopes geared towards providing the required health care to senior adults with disabilities. These include Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans, As a person with a disability and over 65 years of age, you have some health care options that should significantly add to the quality of your life. A Health Care guide will be most appropriate in guiding you on this topic.

The following guide will be crucial in helping you secure the best heath care option for your well being:

  1. Medicare
  2. Medicaid
  3. Private Insurance
  4. Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly
  5. Senior Health Insurance Assistance Programme(SHIP)
  6. Eye Care Assistance Programs

Medicare

This program may be categorically described as the traditional insurance program by the government. It aims at adults like you, above 65 years of age or one who has been disabled for two years. It is, however, important that you identify your best program. This is because different programs under this health care option have different regulations: including those that bar switching of Medicare plans.

The Medicare program is able to pay at least half of your health costs. For people above the age of 65, there are some pertinent questions you need to answer as you enroll for this program.

They include:

  • Will you have to pay back to the government for the benefits you receive?
  • What about specific drugs and procedures not covered under Medicare?
  • Can you opt out and enroll in another program? 

    These are some of the pertinent issues that you need to ask yourself before taking any Medicare option.

The four parts of Medicare are as follows:

Medicare part A

Part A of Medicare covers the following sections:

Home health care
Nursing home health care
Inpatient medicare care

Medicare Part B

This is the second level of coverage under Medicare. Once you are signed up for this section, you can enjoy the following services:

Doctor and consultation services
Emergency Ambulance services
Mental check and care
Laboratory tests and x-ray services
Use of high-quality medical equipment

Medicare Part C

After taking the part A and B, you can be enrolled for Medicare part C. It covers the following services:

Provision of Medicare Advantage Plans
Private health Insurance

Medicare Part D

This is the final part you can take under Medicare. It mainly covers prescription of drugs as the major benefit. As a senior, you can use this part to claim or pay for your drug prescriptions.

Medicaid

Medicaid is a valuable option for seniors since it is geared towards availing funds for the financially unstable individuals, as well as the seniors. As long as you are above 65 years and are receiving Medicare, Medicaid will equally come your way with valuable financial boosts. For seniors, Medicaid will cover any payments and premiums usually charged under Medicare.

Medicaid, however, has some specific qualifications that you should attain to be enrolled. First, you should have less than $2000 in countable assets value. If you are to receive Medicaid as a couple, you should not have countable assets exceeding $101,500.

Private Insurance

There is a large probability that Medicare and any Medicare Advantage Plan may not have an insurance policy. This leaves you at the risk of losing support for any health issues not covered under the program. A private insurance will in this case come in handy to boost your risks.

Private insurers are more likely to offer you better cushioning against any emergencies and health finances. After you have a long term disability, these companies will examine your coverage issues and provide a suitable plan to keep your health finances in check.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

This is a nationwide program that targets elderly people who display an ardent need for home-based care. It provides medical and social services to seniors living in a community where (PACE) is located. High-quality health care is provided in the community as opposed to staying in a nursing home.

Other services you can get from PACE include:

Dental care
X-ray services and other laboratory tests
Drug prescription
Emergency response and ambulance services
Occupational therapy
Nursing home care

Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program

This is more of an information-based program. It aims at providing senior citizens (above 65) with details on medical bills, medical plans, and health insurance. As a senior, you may find it difficult to make rational decisions, and as such, the Health Assistance program will bail you out.

To receive any assistance, you need to show qualifications as follows:

Having attained Medicare assistance up to part D. This is because it is the level that provides money for drug prescription
Relevant information on disabled Medicare beneficiaries
Health Insurance Assistance
Medicare bill assistance

Eye Care Assistance Programs

A significant number of seniors have lost sight as they age. Some have lost it partially while others lose it entirely. It is, therefore, important that you get the appropriate health Insurance that covers the health and finances that are required to treat you. By the age of 65, it is estimated that around 1 in every three American citizens has some eye deformations. These can range from cataracts, and glaucoma among other complications. Eye care programs spread across the United States can help you overcome this situation or at least ensure your quality of life is enhanced.