If you need financial assistance for home modifications to make your house wheelchair-accessible, there are several resources that may be able to help you get started.
Many seniors want to live their lives as independently as possible, and home modifications are an excellent way to help them do just that. If you need financial assistance for home modifications to make your house wheelchair-accessible, there are several resources that may be able to help you get started.
Common home modifications
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are a few common alterations that many people seek out once they rely on a wheelchair for day-to-day activities. Some of these may include:
Whether you are seeking resources for one or all of these alterations, it's important to speak first with your physical or occupational therapist to see what might work best for you and your home.
Get educated about home modifications
Getting yourself informed about making your home wheelchair-accessible is the first step, and there are plenty of resources and organizations that can help. The HHS also explained that repairs and alterations can cost seniors anywhere from $150 to $2,000, depending on the type of renovation you are seeking. A contractor will be the best person to explain to you what is needed in your home, how much it will cost and what kinds of reduced rates or fees might apply.
However, it's important to know that these modifications and their respective expenses are provided by the Older Americans Act, and then dispensed through the Area Agencies on Aging, according to the HHS. You can find out where your local AAA chapter is by visiting the Alzheimer's Association's Community Resource Finder (www.communityresourcefinder.org) and then clicking on the "Community Services" tab.
Resources and organizations
In addition to your local AAA, there are several other resources and organizations that might be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to financial assistance. The HHS recommends Rebuilding Together, Inc., which operates with local affiliates and volunteers to help low-income seniors find the resources they need. You might also be able to find rebates with the U.S. Department of Energy's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, though those discounts may vary state by state.
It's also worthwhile to contact organizations in your area, as many cities and towns offer grant funds through community development centers and local departments. Local banks and lenders might advise you to look into home equity conversion mortgages or reverse mortgages to cover additional costs for renovations as well.
If you're a senior looking to make your home wheelchair-accessible, there are many ways you can get the assistance you need, both from private and public sources. Be sure to ask family and friends about their own experiences with these types of renovations as well so that you gain more insight into the right contractors to hire for this important task.Read in 2 minutes
Carelike differentiates from its competitors by giving care seekers access and transparency to all providers in their area, not just those who pay for a profile. Carelike displays all available information, truly giving families the power of choice and the ability to make informed decisions.
Carelike, LLC. leads change in senior care referral industry
Stephanie F. Jackson
Tele: (404) 250-8370
ATLANTA, GA. (November 15, 2016) -- As many Americans (especially baby boomers) are discovering, finding the perfect care service for a senior loved one is challenging. Per data from a 2015 AARP report, approximately 43.5 million adults provided unpaid elder care, mainly to relatives. This number only stands to grow as baby boomers age, and Carelike has come up with a solution.
With most senior-placement companies, care seekers use online or call-in services to find an assisted living community or home health aide for their loved one. However, they only get information from a small, select number of providers who have a contract to be listed on that referral company's website. This means care seekers miss out on many providers who might more closely fit their needs, have more esteemed credentials or elicited better patient reviews.
The senior care referral industry has been around for years, and so has Carelike (previously SNAPforSeniors). The organization is well-connected and has the experience and expertise required to drive a much-needed change to the industry. Their business model has always put the care-seeker first. Everyone who is a licensed senior care professional - not just those who "pay to play" - shows up in Carelike's comprehensive database of providers. This is because Carelike pulls from 400 different sources to gather data on senior and post-acute care providers. The organization then goes to great lengths to clean, filter and augment the data to give care seekers the most up-to-date and accurate picture of each provider.
This methodology has made Carelike the preferred partner for organizations who help consumers find care, which include renowned health organizations, health insurance companies, care management companies, EAPs and patient advocacy groups, including the Alzheimer's Association.
If you haven't heard of Carelike, it may be because the company has always worked behind the scenes providing well-known, reputable organizations with data. Now that this company aims to appeal to consumer care seekers, Carelike will share providers' information with not only organizations who license the data but with family members looking for senior services through their new consumer search site.
Carelike is the only online senior listing company that provides that type of exposure for providers - to both consumers and professional care-seekers at organizations who license the data. Meanwhile, Carelike differentiates from its competitors by giving care seekers access and transparency to all providers in their area, not just those who pay for a profile. Carelike displays all available information, truly giving families the power of choice and the ability to make informed decisions. Discover the possibilities for yourself at CareLike.com.Read in 2 minutes
There is no better time than now to reward yourself for being a caregiver or honor friends and family members who are.
Last month, President Barack Obama proclaimed November 2016 as National Family Caregivers Month, and "encouraged all Americans to pay tribute to those who provide for the health and well-being of their family members, friends and neighbors." There is no better time than now to reward yourself for being a caregiver or honor friends and family members who are.
Why caregivers are so important
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, there are more than 44 million Americans who currently care for a neighbor, friend or family member. Caregivers are incredibly important for the health and well-being of millions of Americans, as they help people manage disabilities and carry on with daily life. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates up to 30 percent of American adults are somehow involved in caregiving for a disabled or sick loved one, especially older Americans and people with disabilities.
There's a good chance you are either a caregiver yourself, or someone close to you is. This is the best month to either celebrate your role as a caregiver or support friends and family members who are. Here are a few ways you can do so:
1. Make a donation: There are many foundations and organizations that advocate on behalf of caregivers, including the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. Making a monetary donation will not only support caregivers but also people who are struggling with conditions and disabilities across the country.
2. Volunteer: If you don't have the means to give money to a charitable organization, you can definitely give back by volunteering or advocating for these same organizations. You can also contribute to your caregiving community locally by volunteering at a nursing home or senior care center.
3. Give yourself a day off, or fill in for a caregiver: Caregiving can take a toll on your physical and emotional health, which is why days off are so important. In order for you to give the quality care your loved ones deserve, you need to ensure that you are taking time for yourself as well. You can also fill in for a caregiver one day so they can enjoy some much-needed time off to relax and recharge.
Caregivers do incredible work in our communities, so it's important to thank them.
4. Let them know they are appreciated: Sometimes a kind note, thank you card or even a simple verbal "thank you" is enough to brighten any caregiver's day. People always want to know that they are appreciated, especially in a role that can presents a lot of emotional and physical challenges.
5. Give yourself a gift: It could be a dinner out, a nice new pair of shoes or even a weekend getaway. Rewarding yourself for a lot of tiresome nights and days is definitely in order, especially during National Family Caregivers Month. Be sure to treat yourself if you haven't in awhile.
This month, reward yourself or thank loved ones who devote their time to caregiving. With so many lives enriched by these individuals, it's important to let them know they are appreciated.Read in 2 minutes
Seniors over 65 may be wondering what kinds of home health care benefits are covered under Medicare.
If you're a senior who struggles with maintaining your health and well-being on your own, you might be considering the help of a home health aide. Seniors over 65 may also be wondering what kinds of home health care benefits are covered under Medicare. Below we will break down who is eligible for Medicare coverage of home health services and actions you can take to get the care you need.
Eligibility, Medicare and home health
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, home health services have become increasingly popular for Medicare recipients, as they typically cost less and offer the same high level of care. Many home health services focus on preventative care to also reduce acute care costs and help seniors become more independent.
As a result, Medicare does allow seniors to attain home health coverage, but you have to be eligible to receive these services. Here are a few requirements you'll need to receive home health care, according to CMS:
What exactly is covered under Medicare's home health policy?
If you meet these requirements, you will not be expected to pay for home health care services per Medicare's policy, according to CMS. Additionally, Medicare will cover 20 percent of the amount approved from Medicare to be put toward durable medical equipment used while at home. Regardless of your home health needs, each agency should explain in full detail what is and what's not covered under these policies based on your condition, also known and the "Home Health Advance Beneficiary Notice."
Skilled nursing care is also covered when administered on a part-time or intermittent basis. Skilled nurses are defined as registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Some of the treatments you may expect from these medical professionals include changing dressings, informing you about your prescriptions or diabetes treatments, administering IV drugs or shots, as well as tube feedings, if necessary.
Skilled nursing care is covered under Medicare if on a part-time or intermittent basis.
What isn't covered under Medicare's home health policy?
CMS also stated that the home health policies under Medicare only direct revenue to the services you need from your chosen agency. However, doctor visits and other routine appointments are generally already covered by existing Medicare benefits. Meals, 24-hour care, housekeeping services like cleaning, shopping, and personal care like bathing and dressing, generally are not paid for under Medicare policies.
You have the right to appeal
CMS also indicated that once covered home health plans come to an end, Medicare recipients have the right to a fast appeal. During this process, a quality improvement organization (QIO) will review your treatment plan and determine if you still require home health services. Under Medicare policy, the home health agency will send you a written notice at least two days before your home health treatment is scheduled to end, and it will also give you a breakdown of how you can appeal.
Home health services are a part of your care plan as a senior if you need them, so it's important to understand what is and is not covered under your Medicare plan. If you need more information about home health services and Medicare, be sure to contact your doctor or home health agency.Read in 3 minutes
The frightful night of Halloween is quickly approaching. If you're a grandparent, you've likely been thinking about fun activities to do with your grandkids.
The frightful night of Halloween is quickly approaching. If you're a grandparent, you've likely been thinking about fun activities to do with your grandkids. Whether you're at home or an assisted living facility, there are plenty of ways to make this spooktacular one to remember. Here are a few ideas to get started:
Spooky and sweet treats
Trick or treat? We say treat! Baking sweets with your sweeties is a great way to teach them kitchen skills, pass down family recipes and have fun. For little ones who aren't quite at the stage of measuring out ingredients, opt for desserts that you can decorate. Kids can easily top sugar cookies and cupcakes with icing and sprinkles - just pick festive Halloween colors like purple, green and orange. Or, these googly eye pretzels featured on the Lauren Kelly Nutrition blog are easy to assemble - even for little kids.
For grandchildren who are a little older and can follow directions, spend the afternoon creating an edible haunted house, like the one here featured on Woman's Day. Made with cookies, Golden Graham Cereal, candy and cookies, this dessert is to die for!
Watch a scary-ish movie
During this spooktacular holiday, it's all about balance. You can enjoy a night of hair-raising excitement without giving the little one's nightmares if you pick the right movies. It can be hard knowing which flicks are good for kids unless you've seen them, so we've created a list of family-friendly recommendations.
Don't forget the popcorn!
Read thrilling tales
You likely have fond memories of reading to your kids before bed, and now you get to do the same with your grandkids. As with the movie selection, it's important to find a book that isn't too scary. That means you'll have to leave Stephen King on the shelves. Instead, consider diving into these tales come Halloween:
Halloween is fun for all ages, from the young to the young at heart. Whether you watch a movie or gather around the fireplace for story time, spend this special holiday with your grandkids.Read in 3 minutes
Do you move your aging mother to an assisted living community, or do you hire a home health aide so she can stay at home? Discover the benefits of aging in place.
We only want what's best for our senior loved ones, but all too often, we are just unsure of what that really entails. Do you move your aging mother to an assisted living community, or do you hire a home health aide so she can stay at home?
The latter option, called aging in place, is often the preferred choice. According to a 2011 survey from AARP, about 90 percent of adults age 65 and older said they want to stay in their homes as long as possible. Plus, this long-term care route has plenty of advantages:
It's more affordable
While the price tag shouldn't be the only factor swaying your long-term care decision, it's important to consider what options you have within your budget. According to 2010 data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, using home health aide services costs $21 per hour on average. Meanwhile, the mean monthly payment for an assisted community is $3,292.
You would need home health aide services for 40 hours per week to come close to that price. Depending on your loved one's health status, you may only require this type of care a few hours per day or when you're not around. Additionally, this reduction in cost has extended benefits, the executive director of the National Aging in Place Council, Marty Bell, told The Nation's Health.
"There are a lot of people who argue … that if enough people could be taught to age in place, and it's available to them, that it can really bolster the sustainability and strength of the Medicaid and Medicare program," Bell said. "So it's kind of a win-win for the individuals and the society as a whole."
Aging in place provides a sense of community
Your aging parent has spent a lifetime building family relationships and likely years bonding with neighbors. Removing older adults from their long-time homes can make them feel like those connections have weakened. According to research published in The Gerontologist, the majority of seniors want to age in place because of the attachment and familiarity they feel with their home and communities. While moving to an assisted living community provides opportunities to make new friends, older adults may rather maintain already-existing relationships.
It fights isolation
That sense of community provided through aging in place does more than make seniors feel comfortable. It is also integral for fighting feelings of isolation, a dangerous trend among seniors. Researchers from the University of Chicago found a link between loneliness and high blood pressure in older adults. The study authors noted that feelings of loneliness can occur even when a senior is surrounded by people - such as at an assisted living community. This further demonstrates the importance of the familiarity and sense of community provided through aging in place.
This is not to say that assisted living communities aren't a great option for long-term care. It all depends on your senior loved one's personality and needs. Have an open discussion about long-term care options so everyone's voice is heard.
CATEGORIESRead in 2 minutes
Your home is your safe haven, but for seniors, a house can all too easily turn into a maze of hazards. Fall-proof the space with these tips.
Your home is your safe haven, but for seniors, a house can too easily turn into a maze of hazards. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, 60 percent of falls occur at home, but these incidents may be preventable. If you're caring for an aging parent, there are steps you can take to create a sound living environment for your loved one. Use this checklist as your guide for making modifications for a happier, healthier home:
Ensure home has adequate lighting
No matter how good your eyesight is, maneuvering in the dark is next to impossible. Keep the senior safe by equipping the home with adequate lighting. Go around the house and check for burned-out bulbs and replace them as necessary.
Additionally, consider the overall lighting structure. Walk through the house at night with the lights on, and see where the home could use some brightness. Perhaps one hallways is particularly dark, or you have to walk upstairs before being able to turn on the second-level light. In this case, you might benefit from bringing in an electrician who can install light fixtures in these spaces.
Fall-proof the bathroom
The bathroom is one of the most common places for falls due to activities like climbing in and out of a tub and stepping on wet surfaces. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the older someone is when they slip in this room, the greater their risk for injury.
It only takes a few modifications to make the bathroom a little safer. Consumer Affairs advised installing grab bars near the tub and toilet. Remember, towel racks are not a replacement for grab bars, as they are not as sturdy and could easily dislodge from the wall under a person's weight.
To prevent falls in the shower itself, use non-slip bath mats or considering placing a shower chair in the tub. The latter option is especially beneficial for seniors who have trouble balancing.
This simple task holds a lot of importance. Straightening up a home by clearing clutter, tucking away electrical cords and bringing stools back next to the table they belong to can go a long way in reducing the risk of tripping. The National Safety Council also advised wiping up spills as soon as they occur to prevent the senior from slipping on a wet surface.
Throw rugs are also a common cause for falls, as seniors may trip over their raised edges. Make sure rugs stay flat to the ground, or get rid of them altogether. You can certainly make someone feel accepted in your home without a welcome mat!
Some seniors may need assistance with daily living tasks to stay safe at home, even with these modifications. In this case, considering hiring a home health aide who can assist with bathing, dressing, eating and other duties.Read in 2 minutes
Hiring a home health provider for your senior loved one can be an intimidating experience.
Hiring a home health provider for your senior loved one can be an intimidating experience. You want to ensure that you have the best person for the job, which means they need to meet certain qualifications. Beyond having the right credentials - that is, the appropriate education and certifications - they should also have the necessary skills and personality traits. Here are a few to look for during the hiring process:
How well does the candidate convey his or her ideas? If you find you're more confused after asking a question to the home health aide than you were beforehand, he or she may not be the best at effectively communicating. Don't overlook this detail - the home health aide may have to relay information to you or your loved one's doctor. Doing so in an effective manner can ensure the senior gets the best care possible.
For example, imagine if the home health aide didn't speak up about a concern regarding the senior's lack of appetite. You could go for far too long without realizing there was a problem!
You no doubt want the senior in your family to spend time with someone who shows empathy and emotional support, so don't hire a cynical home health aide! Consider the candidate's demeanor during your initial conversation. Does the individual smile and shake your hand? Did you two make small talk before diving into the interview? Those interpersonal skills are crucial for making the home health care experience positive for everyone involved.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, integrity is an important trait among home health providers. After all, these individuals are helping the senior with personal activities like dressing and bathing, and you want your loved one to feel comfortable during this process. Plus, you want peace of mind knowing you're leaving older adult with someone who will always be honest.
This trait can be hard to spot - everyone will say they're trustworthy, after all. To really evaluate whether candidates are the right fit, ask them to describe a situation in which they came to an ethical dilemma. How did they overcome the situation?
Able to work under pressure
While most shifts spent caring for your senior loved one may involve leisurely afternoons at the park or helping with daily living activities, others might not be as smooth sailing. Be sure that the home health aide you hire can work well under pressure so he or she will be ready to act in an emergency. Always ask what steps the individual would take if your loved one falls or becomes seriously ill. This will give you a more realistic picture.
As long as the home health provider's resume checks out and he or she has these traits, you should be in good shape!Read in 2 minutes
Saving money is an integral part of enjoying a comfortable lifestyle, but many seniors in retirement have gone far too long without doing this.
Saving money is an integral part of enjoying a comfortable lifestyle, but many seniors in retirement have gone far too long without doing this. In fact, this financial issue has become somewhat of a crisis in the U.S. According to a report from the National Institute on Retirement Security, the median savings for older adults on the cusp of retirement is only $12,000.
For those who haven't put away enough quite yet, there are still ways to get by later in life. This is even true when it comes to healthcare, which often comes with a hefty price tag. Check out these three money-saving tips for seniors:
1. Pick the right prescription drugs and pharmacy
You shouldn't have to choose between your medications and a meal, but for many seniors, that's a decision they face on a regular basis. According to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, 8 percent of older adults without any prescription drug coverage will skip doses or come off entirely. This, of course, can have serious ramifications for one's well-being.
Beyond reviewing your health insurance options, you can also use certain strategies to save on medications. For one, always opt for generic versions of drugs when possible. Making this simple request with your doctor can significantly cut healthcare costs. A report published by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association found that this alternative approach resulted in $92 billion in savings for seniors in 2014 alone.
Additionally, as you might have already discovered, the cost for prescriptions varies between pharmacies. This is due to differences in businesses expenses, like overhead costs and profit margins. To find the best deal, shop around at both your privately-owned local pharmacies and retail chains.
Get flu shots for free.
2. Know what you can get for free
You don't have to pay a single dime for certain components of your wellness plan. For example, did you know many preventative services are free with Medicare Part B? This includes some vaccines, like the flu, hepatitis and pneumococcal shots, in addition to various screenings such as those for cardiovascular disease and lung cancer.
Certainly, a free flu shot is cheaper than getting sick and paying for doctor's visits and hospital stays. In fact, a 2010 study published in the journal Health Affairs found that the increased use of preventative services in the U.S. can lead to an annual average savings of $3.7 billion!
"Preventative services can save $3.7 billion annually!"
3. Consider aging in place
Many seniors require long-term care, and there are plenty of options at their disposal. Those looking to remain cost-efficient might consider "aging in place," a phrase used to describe when older adults utilize home health services instead of assisted living communities. Not only does this allow you to remain in the comfort of your own house, but it can also save you a lot of money.
A semi-private room in a long-term care facility costs a monthly average of $6,235 while home health aides charge about $21 per hour, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Calling on these home health professionals for even eight hours each day would still cost less per month than seeking care elsewhere.
In addition to coming up with a wellness strategy that doesn't cause pain for your wallet, be frugal in all areas of life. That is, stick to a budget and cut out unnecessary expenditures to ensure you always have enough money to take care of your health.Read in about 3 minutes
For older adults and their caretakers, safety should be top-of-mind during summer.
Summer is here, which means it's time for fun in the sun and some much-needed relaxation. For older adults and their caretakers, safety should be top-of-mind as well. After all, depending on where you live, you could see temperatures skyrocket to well over 100 degrees!
According to the National Institutes of Health, seniors are especially prone to hyperthermia, which occurs when the body can't adequately respond to increases in temperature. This can result in conditions like heat exhaustion, fatigue and stroke. To ensure the season is enjoyable for folks of all ages, stay cool with these following tips:
1. Dress up in cool clothes
Many home health providers have to help their senior clients with getting dressed each day - an especially important task in the summer months. After all, an older adult who is not prepared to perform this daily task may end up in a sweater and coat when it's sweltering outside.
While tanks and capris are great for cooling off, they won't protect the senior from the sun. Ensure the individual is wearing sunscreen when you head outdoors, and consider having him or her wear a hat. The head wear will create a little bit of shade to help shield the body from harmful UV rays. Also, if it's cool in the morning, opt for layers so the senior can remove them throughout the day.
A hat can help protect the senior's skin from the sun.
2. Take water everywhere
Always have a cold bottle of water on hand, and keep track of how much fluid the senior consumes and with what frequency. This will help stave off dehydration, which can lead to anything from a minor headache to decreased blood pressure. The latter symptom should be considered a medical emergency, according to the Mayo Clinic, and it's best to avoid getting to that point altogether.
If the older adult is reluctant to sip on plain water, flavor the beverage with pieces of fruit. Just be sure to avoid alcoholic beverages, as this can increase the risk for dehydration.
3. Find fun indoor activities
The best way to beat the heat is to not go out at all. While caretakers should still spend time outdoors with the seniors during summer, indoor activities might be better on especially hot days. For example, check out the latest movie at the theater for a morning matinee. Otherwise, arrange a day to scrapbook and look through old pictures!
As a home health provider, it is important to keep your senior clients safe this summer. With these tips, you can help the client avoid heat-related illness while still enjoying the season.Read in 2 minutes