Home Health Aide Duties

Assisted living

 

As an elder starts to require medical care and assistance with daily activities in order to maintain a life it at home, it can be challenging to understand the difference in the semantics between the semantics of the different kinds of care available.

Home health care is a great option for elders who still want to stay as independent as they can, without moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility to receive the care or medical aide they need.

 

Home Care Vs. Home Health Aide

There are many senior aide services out there, and elder care types can encompass a broad level of care by skilled medical and nonmedical professionals who specialize in serving seniors at home in specific ways.

When looking for care at home, it is important to know the difference between home care and home health aide. Home health aide implied providing medical attention by a registered nurse to some extent to a senior at home. Home health aide goes beyond assisting with daily living tasks or proving necessary monitoring, and may also involve skilled nursing care.   Home health care services can include duties such as physical therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, wound care and wound dressing, injections, table feeding, diabetic care, and post-stroke monitoring and care.

The duties of a home care provider will be less extensive and less medically focused. Home care offers seniors assistance with less health crucial activities, such as meal preparation, dressing, transportation, and need for monitoring and companionship.

 

Home Health Aide Credentials

Home health agencies need a state license in order to operate to ensure seniors are in medically capable hands when living at home with medical conditions. Background checks and adherence to regulations are needed for home health aide agencies to provide care. When selecting a home health aide agency, it is best to make sure they have the credentials to show they are equipped to meet an elder’s medical.

 

When to Seek Home Health Aide

The best times to seek home health aide may be after concerning health developments or after accidents or surgical procedures that may have temporarily left an elder vulnerable at home and in need of care and company. When a senior has a chronic or terminal illness, is living independently after a major surgery, or is ill enough to require short-term health aide, it may be time to get in touch with a home health aide provider.

 

The best home health aide agencies will work with elders to help determine which type of care is best suited to an elder’s personal, specific medical needs. Home health aide nurses are most effective when they work with the elder in their care to assist them in meeting their goals for what they want to be able to achieve while living at home, and accordingly concoct a fitting routine that works best for the both of them. The relationship of a home health aide caregiver is a bit more medical and professional and less relational and personal than that of a home care caregiver. Companionship is more suited to home care, while medical assistance is more the focus of a home health aide. That is not to say that home health aides cannot be friendly or personally acquainted with an elder, it is just to say that home health aides are more specifically focused on their nursing duties.

Non Medical Home Care

 

Young attractive woman working in care home

One of the common duties of an in-home care provider for seniors is provision of medication. However, distributing medicine to elders is not the only task offered by home care providers. There are many important uses and needs for in-home care, even when an elder at home requires no medical assistance. Non Medical home care focuses on assisting elders at home with activities of daily living (ADLs) that are needed to be able to keep living comfortably from home.

 

The rent, amenities, and monitoring costs of assisted living can be too expensive of an investment for many seniors who require help with certain daily tasks. Home care services available to seniors span across both professional (senior care agencies) as well as informal (friends and family) networks of support. The goal of non-medical home care is to assist elders in maintaining as much personal independence as possible in their senior years.

 

With in-home care, seniors still have the freedom to rule their own roost in their familiar and comfortable living space. Sometimes nursing homes, adult day care, or assisted living facilities set rules, regulations, and requirements that may not be agreeable to certain lifestyles. Receiving non medical home care helps seniors to avoid ant-pet policies, curfews, standardized dining hours, etc. that may clash with a senior’s preferred living habits by allowing seniors more choice and more say in how to coordinate their daily living activities.

 

Non medical home care is often chosen as an option for families who want to stay close to their elder loved ones, whose schedules don’t allow for their adult children to serve as full-time caregivers. There is a variety of non medical home care options available to seniors; we will go over the specifics here:
Home Based Services – these in-home supportive services have a mission to help seniors with physical and mental limitations in undergoing daily living activities in their homes. Some services may be covered by government care, non-profits, or other specializing businesses, depending on the amount of care needed.

 

Home Care Registry –  these registries keep track of the many home care offerings and their number of years of experience to help clients understand the qualifications and expectations of the services they seek. Professional caregiver services for non medical in home care may include Home Health Aides (HHA) or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA).

 

Home Health Care Agency – A home health care agency offers a variety of home care, specializing in providing skilled care, physical therapy, and occupational therapy for senior patients at home.

 

Independent Providers – privately hiring a non medical home care provider can place much of the screening, background checking, and hiring in your hands. This can be riskier than using a registry that keeps track of a non medical home care provider’s records, unless you have received a recommendation from a reliable source, or know the non medical home care provider personally.

 

None of these non medical home care options are inherently better than the others; each has their pluses and minuses, and in the end it is up to the family of a senior loved one to determine whether a caregiver is qualified to assisted an elder with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dining, dressing, etc.

 

 

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7 YouTube Videos Every Caregiver Should Watch

As a caregiver, you have many responsibilities. You may have been positioned as a caregiver at the last minute, with no formal training on taking care of your senior loved one. Taking care of the elderly, you should have a visual demonstration of how to handle their needs, for their safety and yours. Here are seven YouTube videos that every caregiver should watch.

1. Understanding and Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

As a caregiver, you may have a limited support system. Family and friends may help out initially, but their support gradually fades away. They are busy supporting their family. Their finances are tied up in their household needs. They don’t understand that even one hour a day provides you with much-needed relief.

You’ll notice signs of caregiver burnout such as having anxiety, restless nights, or are easily frustrated. You may avoid social interactions as well. Second Opinion has a health care team addressing caregiver burnout and what can be done about it. It’s important to address your health and emotional needs before you can assist others.

2 . Feeding a Senior While in Bed

Feeding a senior is not as easy as you would think. There are a lot of concerns, such as if they can sit up properly to swallow food, if they can chew their food, and what foods they can eat. A senior can easily become malnourished due to special dietary concerns of dysphagia. So it’s important that you understand how and what foods to feed your senior loved one. Caregiver Minute presents this video that shows you step by step instructions on feeding a senior while they are in bed.

3. Simple Modifications for Senior Home Safety

85-90% of seniors want to stay at home, and it is recommended they stay home for their mental well-being. Were you aware that the majority of household accidents seniors are involved in occur in the bathroom? Certain accidents such as falling over objects, falling off ladders, or slipping in the bathroom occur often, but can be avoided. Home Instead reviews their Home Safety Checklist. In this video, you will learn simple and inexpensive tips to modify your senior loved ones home for safety.

4. How to Transfer Your Loved One

As your senior loved ones primary caregiver, you are going to need to transition them from a laying down position to a sitting up position. You may need to move them from the bed to a chair. Moving them around often helps prevents bed sores and their muscles from tightening. It also exposes them to other areas of the home so that isolation and loneliness does not set in.

Transferring your loved one around is not easy at all. It is far more difficult than moving a heavy object because you must be careful not to cause physical injuries to yourself or them. Watch this video by Family Caregiver Alliance to learn how to transfer seniors around safely.

5. Managing Medications

A very tough job for caregivers is managing medications. It’s a difficult enough task getting a senior to take just one prescription, but when you have a host of them, it’s confusing as well. Doctors do attempt to prescribe the least amount of medications for a patient. When they are on multiple pills, they then attempt to let the senior take as many as possible together. This is not always safe to do. So in those situations, you, as their caregiver take on the immense responsibility of ensuring they take their medications on time. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has an outstanding video reviewing various tips on proper medication management.

6. How to Monitor Blood Sugar

Your loved one’s blood sugar should be carefully monitored. If it’s too high or too low, the senior could become very sick. Knowing where their blood sugar levels are at is important to treat them immediately if something should occur. It’s also important to track it so your senior loved one’s doctor will know if their diet should be adjusted or prescriptions changed.

Monitoring your blood sugar is not as simple as poking one’s finger. There are precautions and proper procedures that should be followed. Watch this video from the Mayo Clinic that shows you step-by-step instructions on how to monitor your loved one’s blood sugar levels. They also have this important video demonstrating how to administer insulin using an insulin pen.

7. How To Measure Blood Pressure

High and low blood pressure levels can alert you to a serious problem in your loved one. Too high or low blood pressure could be an indication of neurological or heart disorders. The symptoms include dizziness, thirst, confusion, and a host of other symptoms. However, it’s not always apparent, especially in seniors with diabetes. As a caregiver, you should monitor your loved one’s blood pressure levels to ensure they are safe. Cal Poly’s PolyFit students give an excellent overview and demonstration of how to measure blood pressure.

These videos will help ease your transition into the role of caregiver for your senior loved one. Best of all, they are always there for you to refer to if you get nervous or forget.

Activities of Daily Living

As our parents age, we often try not the think about the worst case scenarios. However, the truth is, your parents will age and come to a state where they depend on us to handle their financial, legal, and emotional matters. It’s important for you to know their wishes and how to obtain important documentation. Here are seven questions to ask your aging parents before it’s too late, and things become complicated.

1. Do You Have Someone to Make Health Care Decisions for You?

In most cases, aging parents are expected to make health care decisions for their spouse. However, decisions can be prolonged or go in the opposite direction of what a person wanted. This is because family and close friends are too emotionally attached, thinking of their own wants and needs. Your aging parents can select a health care proxy who will handle all their health care decisions. Before they designate one, they need to be sure this person can carry out their wishes.

2. Do You Have an Idea of the Type of Medical Care You Want?

Having a health care decision maker only works well if they know your medical care wishes. That’s why it’s important to discuss with the decision maker exactly what they want, especially when faced with the end of life decisions. Comfort levels, pain management, life support decisions, these are all important as your parent does have their own views.

3. Do You Have a Will or Living Trust?

The fact that both of your parents are alive and well does not mean they shouldn’t have a will or living trust established. Typically, when a spouse passes away, the surviving spouse automatically receives the assets. However, what should happen if they become incapacitated or pass away soon thereafter? It’s important that both of your aging parents establish a will or living trust so their possessions can be passed on as they wish.

4. Do You Have Your Long-Term Care Plan in Place?

Some parents believe they will stay at home until they pass on. They don’t think about how they will be able to remain at home and be comfortable. There are costs involved, such as an actual caretaker, medications, and supportive equipment. They may, in fact, not be able to remain at home and need to go to a supportive facility such as an assisted living or nursing home.

The costs of these communities are rising so having a long-term care plan in place, especially insurance, is going to be helpful. If they do have long-term care insurance in place, set up an appointment for you, your parents, and the insurance agent to discuss the policy in full. You need to make sure you understand it and the coverage options.

5. Where Can I Find Your Important Documents and Are They Current?

If you are not familiar with where your parents keep their important documents, it’s time to find out. If something were to happen to them, you don’t want to waste time searching their home for insurance documents, medical paperwork, financial statements, or proxy designation forms. Any documents kept in a safe deposit box should have a designated family member assigned a key. Ensure these documents are up to date as well.

6. Do You Have All Your Doctor’s Listed in One Location?

Should an emergency happen, it could be critical for attending physicians to talk to your parent’s primary care physician (PCP). There could have been a recent appointment that uncovered important information about your parent’s medical condition. You should know who their physicians are and how to contact them.

7. What Are Your Current Medications?

As your parents age, you can expect that sooner or later there may be medication management problems. They may get confused regarding what prescriptions they take and why. They may mix up their dosage. Having a clear understanding of their prescriptions could save your parent’s life should they become confused.

If your parents are comfortable and open with you, go over these 35 questions that AARP has compiled together. Sometimes the best way to be there for your aging parents is to ask them the hard and uncomfortable questions.

Discover 10 things you should never say to your aging parents. http://bit.ly/1DsAmGV

Skilled Nursing Facility vs. Nursing Homes

skilled nursing facility The next step for an older patient once they leave a hospital or are no longer able to be cared for at home is a nursing facility. It’s a difficult decision to place your loved one in a facility, and often, families are confused on the most appropriate care needed.  There are, in fact, two types of facilities. One is a skilled nursing facility and the other is a nursing home. These two terms are often used interchangeably. However, there is a major difference between the two.

Skilled Nursing Facility Defined

A skilled nursing facility provides custodial care as well as around the clock licensed medical professionals. There also are physical and occupational therapists available on site so the patient would not need to be sent to another facility for care. A nursing facility cannot be labeled as “skilled” unless Medicare covers them. Medicare ensures the skilled facility meets certain criteria. A few criteria include:

• The facility must have an agreement in place with a hospital in case the patient needs transportation for emergency or rehabilitative care.

• The staff manages, observes, and evaluate the patient care needs such as giving physical therapy and intravenous injections on site.

• Examples of the staff on site of a skilled nursing facility include a medical director, registered nurses, audiologists, and licensed practical and vocational nurses.

• The facility provides on-site laundry services, laboratory services, and respite care.

Nursing Home Defined

A nursing home is a place a patient or resident can receive help with daily living needs. These homes may or may not have certified professional staff members, but it’s not required. Medicare and Medicaid do not govern these facilities. A charitable organization may, in fact, operate the home.

Nursing homes usually are permanent homes for those with emotional, physical, or cognitive issues. They receive daily living assistance. Examples of what you’ll find residents needing assistance within a nursing home include assistance with:

• Bathing, getting in and out of bed, meal preparation, or using the restroom

• Receiving oxygen

• Taking their catheters in and out

Making the Decision to Place Your Loved One in a Home

If your loved one is in need of assistance, it’s often difficult to place them in a home. You may feel guilty as you feel placing them into one is deserting them and not taking care of them. However, consider the instance of your loved one getting hurt at home if you don’t have the strength to lift them in and out of the tub. What should happen if they get up in the middle of the night confused and hurt themselves? Skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes have trained staff to help with their daily care and medical needs. You would be neglecting your loved ones if you did not give them the help they truly need.

Determine What the Best Level of Care Is

In general, you’ll want to start with a nursing home. For instance, a nursing home may be a great start as your loved one can still feel independent. They may have their own apartment of which they’ll have a kitchenette and living room area. Placing your loved one here means they can do light care on their own or may need slight assistance. They can get meals, have housekeeping services, and transportation when needed. There are activities they can choose to participate in such as gardening, playing board games, and working on art and crafts.

Placing your loved one in a skilled nursing facility means your loved one requires around the clock care. Your loved one will need assistance with taking medicine, being transported, and help bathing. Their original caregiver is no longer able to care for them properly in the home. Or, if you’ve used the help of a home health agency or private duty nurse, the expense is too much to keep up with.

Think about the safety of your loved one. If they have memory issues, such as constant confusion or forgetfulness, a skilled nursing facility is for them. Does your loved one get up in the middle of the night and wander through the neighborhood? Would they start cooking and leave the stove on? These are more than just custodial needs that need to be met. Their lives are at stake and need professional assistance 24 hours a day.

Before your loved one is discharged from the hospital or while you are determining which move is best for them, a formal assessment may be necessary by their doctor. This assessment helps clarify if a skilled nursing facility or nursing home will best fit their needs.

5 Ways Baby Boomers are changing Long-Term Care

Long-term careAbout 75 million people born between the year of 1946 and 1964 comprise the baby boomer generation and they would be approaching retirement in the coming ages. With aging of baby boomers there will be an enormous impact on long-term care for the elderly. The growth in the number of seniors will significantly change how health care is provided to this large amount of aging people. Further, with loss in boomer-age providers there will be further pressure on the already stressed health care industry.

According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, almost 12 million people will need long-term care by the end of 2020. The rising concern is not just about the health care facilities but also about the cost of Medicaid and financial preparedness of the baby boomers. Significantly, there are 5 ways in which baby boomers are changing health care industry and you must know about the same to prepare yourself and your loved ones for the coming years.

1. Baby Boomers Live Longer

The first basic concern of the baby boomer population is that they live longer. This directly impacts the long-term care requirements for the aging population. Although the seniors are aging but they tend to live longer due to advancement in medical technologies. Further, since baby boomers are living long past their retirement age, their need for health care and support is significantly high.

2. Baby Boomers Wish to Live Independent

Most of the baby boomers wish to live independent since they have been working independently. After retirement, most seniors do not want to depend on their children and it is their need for independence that drives them to care centers. Most of the seniors would look for health care centers and residential care centers which will significantly impact the long-term care industry. Sometimes, baby boomers also wish to stay at home and require in-home care and assistance.

3. Lack of Insurance

Most baby boomers have the capability to buy insurance but they are not buying enough insurance that is required for long-term care. The services offered by health caregivers are not usually included in comprehensive health care plans and unless enough insurance is bought by the baby boomers, there can be a huge financial impact on the health industry

4. Increasing Government Aid Options

All baby boomers are not eligible for Medicaid and Medicare facilities but they can seek assistance from several government aided options, such as the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program that is exclusively available for federal employees. Seniors can also seek guidance from long-term care ombudsmen to understand medical care options that would be suitable for them.

5. Diverse Health Care Options

Baby boomers will impact the long-term care industry as they would create a lot of opportunities for out-of-home care facilities as well and in-home care services. There will be huge demand for qualified professionals in the coming years and this will significantly boost the healthcare industry.

What Type of Skilled Nursing Facility Is Right For Your Loved One

Skilled Nursing Deciding to put your loved one in a nursing facility is never an easy choice. However, with the busy lives most of us lead today, it can be difficult to provide them with the attention and care they need around the clock. Luckily, a skilled nursing facility can provide your loved one with the care they need, and give you peace of mind in know they’re well-taken care of.

While a skilled nursing facility offers numerous benefits, there’s one key component to ensuring your loved one gets the right care to meet their unique needs. You need to take the time to choose the right skilled nursing facility for your loved one, ensuring their needs are met in every way possible. If you’ve only just started looking for a facility for your loved one, there’s steps you can take to ensure you choose the right facility. By following the steps outlined below, you’ll be satisfied with your decision and can rest easy in knowing they’re getting the right care.

Schedule a Tour

Once you start the process of selecting a facility, you’ll want to call and arrange for visitation with the representatives. The representatives will show you around the facilities, and answer any questions you may have at the time. While general information on each facility is easily attainable, taking a tour of the facility will make your decision easier by offering you with a first-hand analysis.

Ask the Right Questions

There’re several different questions you need to ask yourself prior to choosing a skilled nursing facility for your loved one. During the skilled nursing home tour, it’s important to keep all of your senses at their peak. Take a good look at the different areas of the facility, such as the rooms, lounges, and bathrooms, to ensure they’re well-kept. Strange odors in the air and bad housekeeping could mean a lower level of care for your loved one.

If possible, schedule your visit during lunch or dinner. The meals severed to your loved one play a huge role in their overall health and well-being. You want to ensure the patients are fed good, wholesome meals, and that preparation is done according to sanitary standards.

While on the tour, take notice of the care offered to current residence. Do you see a lot of hands on care? The workers at the facility should provide your loved one with the attention they need to live a full and happy life, such as assisting them with eating if needed.

Asking questions about the facility while taking a tour is the most important step towards choosing the right skilled nursing facility for your loved one. There’s a list called the “Nursing Home Checklist”, and it contains all of the important factors you should look for when choosing the facility that’s meets your loved ones needs. This list contains several questions within each of the following categories:

• General questions
• Staff
• Facility appearance
• Living space
• Residence appearance

You can find the entire list on Generations Healthcare, and should bring this list with you on every visit to ensure you standards are met.

Bring your Loved One

While it’s important that you feel the facility is right for your loved one, nothing is more important than their personal preference. You want to ensure your loved one is happy with the facility as they will spend the remaining years of their life within it, and should have nothing less than a positive experience. If your loved one isn’t happy with their new home, you’ll have to start the process of finding the right skilled nurse facility over.

With so many choices out there, it can feel overwhelming when looking for the right facility. However, by using the steps outlined in the ladder, you’ll be satisfied with your choice, and your loved one will get the care they deserve during their stay at the skilled nursing facility you’ve picked for them.

6 Recent Trends in Nursing Home Care

Nursing HomeThe past stigma that nursing home care is just about providing a place for old people to live out their final years is of course not true. Although, let’s be honest when was the last time you even thought of visiting an old friend living in a nursing home?

Treating our elderly as worthwhile contributors in our society is not only an important part of them maintaining their dignity, but it is also a vital element in our social evolution.

Thankfully, modern nursing home care facilities are starting to adopt strategies that are designed to rehabilitate and reintegrate their clients into a more normal life style.

1. Nursing home care is becoming more rehabilitation orientated

Due to the high cost of skilled nursing, the trend is for nursing facilities to become short-term rehabilitation centers. Typically, over 25% nursing home resident admissions are after hospitalization for a serious injury or acute medical procedure. A growing number of nursing home patients return home fully recovered to live independent life styles.

2. Technology is enhancing our nursing homes.

We are far from the emulation of Star Trek, but technology is becoming a huge part of caring for our seniors. Specialized computers systems are being developed to do tasks that range from keeping track of medications and vital signs to mobile networks that help run smart-homes allowing for independent living.

3. Families oriented living arrangements

The cost of senior care is forcing families to rearrange their housing to accommodate the care their seniors. A well designed multi-generational housing unit is not only a cost saving measure but also a highly manageable way of keep the seniors in the family setting.

4. Senior living cooperatives

A senior living cooperative is a good way of maintaining a degree of independence while sharing some of the expenses with other seniors. The senior lives in an independent home but shares certain expenses and recreational areas. The members of the community setting will typically pay monthly dues to maintain the property and pay for housekeeping and some shared meals

5. Baby boomers prefer eco-friendly

Today’s senior citizen are much better informed and are demanding safer and more eco-friendly conditions to live. They understand that consuming organic and nutrient rich food will keep them healthier. They recognize that using LEED-certified eco-friendly materials and appliances will lead to significant cost savings in the future. They know that they will be more comfortable, happier and healthier living in environmental friendly conditions.

6. The home health care industry is booming

Senior citizens don’t want to be institutionalized.  Today’s senior citizen wants to be independent and at home for as long as possible. Home health care is much more affordable and effective than a nursing care facility due to technology enhancements and civic planning initiatives. The home health care alternative will continue to grow in popularity due to the many advantages it offers over an institutional setting.

There are many consideration to be taken into account when planning for long-term care and it can be quite overwhelming. However there is no reason to fret, visit our Facebook Page for a great place to build relationships and get advice.

 

Nursing Homes: Everything You Need To Know – Part 1

Nursing HomesAs the population ages, we are all faced with the decision to either place our loved ones in a nursing home, convalescent home or search out alternative options. This decision may come about all of a sudden after an illness that lead your loved one into the hospital or this could be a decision that you will want to be well prepared for in the future.

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home can be a very stressful and emotional situation. This is mostly because of the misconceptions about nursing homes and negative media attention we all hear on a regular basis. While there are some nursing homes that aren’t the best, there is plenty that can be a wonderful home for your loved one.

What Are Nursing Homes?

Nursing homes are usually the top level of nursing care for older or disabled adults, outside of a hospital. Nursing homes offer nursing staff, both nurses and aides, 24/7. Most nursing homes depending on the level of care will have either an LPN or an RN on staff at all times, if not both at the same time. Each state has their own set of laws, so it’s important to check with your state to find out the ratio and mandatory number of nurses to be on staff at any given time.

Nursing homes provide custodial care such as providing assistance with bathing, feeding, dressing and toileting. Depending on the nursing home, they may offer more extensive care for residents who require more medical attention or services. Nursing homes also have other skilled professionals on site during the day. These types of professionals include occupational or physical therapists, care workers and dietitians.

Living arrangements in nursing homes

The living arrangement that your loved one will be faced with will vary depending on the nursing home that you select. Some nursing homes offer private rooms that include a bed, seating for the resident and their family members as well as a dresser and a closet. Each room would also have their own private restroom that may or may not have a private shower.

The most popular and cost-effective living arrangement in nursing homes is shared rooms. These are rooms that two residents would share. They would each have their own bed, dresser and or closet and a chair for guest or themselves to sit in. Shared rooms usually have one bathroom that both residents will share and sometimes there will be a shower in the bathroom. Most places will have a shower room that is separate from the room and is shared with other residents in the hall or wing.

Typically, nursing homes will split their facility up into different sections. There may be a wing that is for residents suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, a wing for residents who only need minimal assistance, but need 24/7 monitoring and other wings for different medical conditions. Each nursing home is different and you need to make sure you find one that will cater your loved ones individual needs.

Dinning areas are usually placed in the middle of the facility to make it easier for every resident has access to it. While residents are allowed to eat in their rooms in many nursing homes, it’s highly encouraged that every resident who is physically able to, joins the other residents in the dinning room for their meal. This is a chance for the residents to be social and engage with their peers. There will be at least 2 food choices for the resident to choose from at each meal. Typically, there is a calendar posted for the residents to review beforehand.

When should you, consider looking into nursing homes?

Looking into nursing homes is something that is better done sooner than later. The reason why is because you want to have time to research and become aware of your options. When a tragedy hits and we are rushed into making a decision quickly, we may find ourselves not making the right decision and regretting the choice we made.

Choosing a nursing home is not an easy process and there can be a lot of emotion throughout the process. It’s important to take a few questions into consideration before making your final choice.

Has the senior been fully assessed recently? If your loved one is being placed into a nursing home after being hospitalized, an assessment has more than likely already been properly completed. If this is a decision that you and your loved one are starting to consider, it’s important that you have their primary doctor do an assessment and make sure you know what direction is the best to take when looking into nursing homes.

Would living in a nursing home be temporary or permanent? This is an important question to ask yourself because you want to make sure your loved one is being placed somewhere where they will be comfortable for either a short period of time or permanently. As for cost-effective methods, you will want to make sure their will be enough money to pay for the care for long-term.

Will their be enough support for the senior? Different nursing homes can come with different levels of care. It’s important to make sure the nursing home you choose will be able to match and exceed those needs. Your loved one may need more care later on and you will want to make sure they will be able to receive it without having to go through the stress of being moved to another facility.

Stay tuned for Nursing Homes: Everything You Need To Know – Part 2

How You Can Avoid Nursing Home Care – Part Two

In our last blog post, we discussed five creative ways to avoid nursing home care.  For more tips and tricks, check out the rest of our suggestions.

6.  Make a Move

If in-home care is unreasonably expensive in your area, consider relocating to a less costly location.  Cost of living is often more expensive in urban areas, as well as along the east and west coasts.  With a little research, you may find a new location with affordable homecare.  Is there a relative in another city or state that could help share responsibilities?  This often helps make a major move more sensible.

7.  Get Financial Help

If you consider a lack of cash as the main reason your loved one can’t remain at home, check out two often-overlooked sources of funds:

  • Cash for life insurance.  Some life insurance policies can be cashed in with the insurance company for 50 to 75 percent of the policy’s face value.  A “life settlement” may also be possible, but the amount you get will depend on the policy benefit amounts, premiums, and the policyholder’s age and health.
  • Reverse mortgage.  For those who own their own home, a reverse mortgage might raise enough money to pay for a significant amount of in-home care.   The money from a reverse mortgage is available for homecare as long as the homeowner lives in the home.

8.  Check out Assisted Living

If you’ve exhausted the possibilities for homecare, look into your community’s assisted living facilities.  These facilities are beneficial for seniors who need regular monitoring, but not round-the-clock care.  Assisted living offers basic supervision and services – such as meals, housekeeping, and help with daily tasks – while some facilities even offer specialized care for people with advanced illnesses.

Seniors often enjoy assisted living because they can associate with other seniors in the common areas, and still have privacy in their own apartment.

9.  Call Medicaid

In recent years, Medicaid has begun to recognize that the alternative to unaffordable in-home care is nursing home care, which Medicaid covers.  As a way of allowing Medicaid recipients to stay at home (saving Medicaid nursing home costs), some states have established Home & Community Based Services (HCBS).

These services offer Medicaid coverage for a limited amount of in-home care and adult daycare.  Not every state offers HCBS, so contact your local Medicaid office at Benefits.gov to check out your eligibility.

10.  Ask About Veteran Benefits

If your family member is a veteran or spouse of a veteran, he or she may qualify for Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.  The VA may offer in-home care and adult daycare benefits, homemaker services, community living centers, or cash benefits – just to name a few.  To get free information regarding your potential benefits, call the VA’s Vet Center in your state.

Avoiding nursing home care may mean utilizing several of the suggestions we’ve provided.  You may also want to contact a geriatric care counselor for more practical ways you can safely and affordably stay in your home.