As the life expectancy rate in America continues to grow, more and more families are facing issues related to caring for aging relatives. For a variety of reasons, there may come the point when it’s not feasible for a relative to take care of themselves. For many years, the only course of action for families in this situation was to place the relative in a nursing home. However, there are good reasons to consider using a health care service that comes to your relative. Here are five advantages to choosing in-home elder care services.
Specially Trained For At-Home Care
In-home elder care services use highly skilled professionals who are trained to help patients in environments outside of traditional hospital and nursing home settings. Aging in place creates unique challenges. To provide the level of care a patient needs, in-home care specialists are trained on how to handle the various issues that may arise For some people, having someone around or on-call who can help with the age-related matters is all the patient needs to remain at home and keep their independence.
Individual Attention for Needs and Health Concerns
When placing their loved ones in managed care, it’s common for people to be concerned about how much personal attention they are receiving. These concerns are valid concerns since many facilities keep their minimum level of staff needed to meet state requirements. Traditional staffing levels at nursing homes make it hard for nurses to focus on an individual resident. With in-home care, the nurse can devote their entire attention to the patient and their needs. When you use an in-home care service, like River Oaks Home Care, your relative has the same small team of nurses and caregivers. The individual care also makes it easier for the person to bond with their team of caregivers, which also provides healthy social interactions.
Person Gets to Remain in a Familiar Environment
The most significant benefit of in-home is keeping the patient in their old home. Older adults are justified in their desire to remain in the places where they have lived for years. A house is filled with memories and familiarity that a nursing home can’t replace, and it can be a hard adjustment for many people. By using in-home care services, there’s less disruption to the life of your loved one, and they don’t have to adjust to a new environment. They are near their friends, favorite restaurants, places of worship, etc. In-home care gives the patient more independence.
Reduced Risk of Infection
Something that is often overlooked when considering in-home versus managed care is the risk of infectious diseases. Nursing homes do everything they can to minimize the risk of germs spreading from person to person, but it’s impossible to prevent all vectors for illness. Whenever you put a large number of people in one space, it increases the risk of spreading germs. Besides the possible viruses from other residents of the nursing home, there are also the germs from staff and visitors to considers. The risk of death from seasonal cases of flu increases as someone ages. Compared to nursing homes, in-home care has significantly fewer opportunities for illnesses to spread.
Potentially Lower Costs.
Because you aren’t paying for a large facility and staff, in-home care services can be less expensive than nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Depending on the situation, you may only need to hire an in-home care specialist for specific times of day rather than have someone with your relative 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Many people overlook the option of in-home care for their aging relatives due to price concerns. However, as the number of qualified in-home nurses increased, the cost of in-home care has dropped, and more insurances are making paying for in-home care options. Depending on the services the patient needs, in-home elder care may be a less expensive option than moving your relative into a nursing home.
If you’re trying to decide on the best care option for family members with age-related health issues, the specialists at River Oaks Home Care can help you weigh the options. Contact River Oaks Home Care to learn more about getting in-home health care services for your loved ones.
If you or a loved one can no longer care for themselves, you have the option of either sending them to live-in a care facility or allowing them to stay in their home by hiring a homecare service to help them.
Homecare is the preference of many people because it allows them to remain in a familiar place and keep their home and belongings. It also gives them a better sense of freedom and more happiness. If you are ready to hire a home care company for yourself or a loved one, consider these tips to help you choose the right one.
Winter Slip, Trip & Fall Safety Tips.
It is that time of the season where slips, trips and falls occur at an increasing number. The following are a few safety tips:
- Wear the proper footgear. Remember that no shoe sole material is perfect under all conditions. Shoe soles made of hard plastic or leather and high-heeled shoes are less than ideal, especially during wet weather.
- Take small steps to keep your center of balance under you and extend arms to the side with hands out of your pocket to maintain balance.
- Point your feet out slightly like a penguin to increase your center of gravity.
- Walk slowly and never run on icy ground.
- Avoid carrying loads on stairways.
- Walk in designated walkways and look ahead when you walk.
- Keep walkways clear of debris, water, ice and slippery materials.
- Use floor mats to remove moisture from the soles of your shoes upon entering a building.
- Be aware of your footing and any potential slip, trip or fall hazard that may be present.
- Report slip, trip and fall hazards.
- Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles.
Slip and fall injuries are common but these can be prevented. Have a safe winter!
What is VA Aid and Attendance Benefit?
The VA Aid and attendance is a tax-free benefit distributed to eligible honorably discharged veterans or their surviving spouses. It’s the highest level of Veterans Administrations Improved Pension Program. Those approved will receive monthly benefit that must be used as a reimbursement for the cost of acceptable medical expenses from the Veterans Administration (VA). This aid or assistance can be provided at home, in an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. Home care services are an acceptable medical expense.
Many veterans use this supplemental pension to help pay for supportive home care, medications, Assisted Living, etc.
This most important benefit is overlooked by many families with Veterans or surviving spouses who need additional cash flow to help care for ailing parents and loved ones. There is over $1B each year unclaimed by people who could qualify but never applied.
Wartime veterans or surviving spouses of veterans may be eligible for up to $2,100 per month via the Veterans Affairs (VA) Pension With Aid & Attendance Benefit – that can pay for a personal assistant to come into their home part-time.
Challenges To Getting The Benefit
Most people simply don’t know the benefit exists! Our goal is to educate our local community about the benefit so they can choose whether or not they want to take advantage of it.
How Do I Qualify For The Benefit?
- Wartime Service (or widow of wartime Veteran)
- Served at least 90 days of actual ACTIVE DUTY
- Served at least one day during a war period
- Honorable discharge
Age & Medical Condition
Limit on Assets
As of October 18, 2018, the VA will increase the asset limits for all applicants of the VA Pension Aid and Attendance Benefit to $123,000
Assets VA Does Not Count
- Home (must live in it)
- Personal property
Veterans and their families should be aware of potential eligibility conflicts between pensions and other assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs and / or other government programs.
- Veterans cannot receive both VA Disability compensation and VA Aid and Attendance Pension. However, they can receive the higher benefit of the two programs.
- If a Surviving Spouse is receiving Dependents Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and needs assistance with his or her activities of daily living, she or he can qualify for additional assistance, approximately $300 / month. However, a surviving spouse cannot receive both DIC and a death pension on the same veteran.
- Receiving a VA pension may disqualify a veteran from receiving Medicaid benefits. Often times the level of income assistance received from the Aid & Attendance benefit will exceed the maximum allowable amount of monthly income to receive Medicaid assistance.
Steps To Get Started.
Contact us (Phone: 267-755-7500 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) to fill out a Pension With Aid & Attendance Benefit Referral Form. This will allow our Accredited Benefit Agents to see if you may qualify for the benefit. *We are not legally allowed to determine your eligibility.
*We do not charge families for assisting them with filing a VA benefit application. You cared for us……now it’s our turn to care for you.
Winter weather can bring special challenges and circumstances to seniors and their caregivers. By taking a little extra precaution, you can be prepared for whatever the winter weather may bring your way.
Top 5 Winter Weather Risks:
- Home power outages
- Colder weather
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Outdoor dangers
- Nutrition and staying healthy
Home Preparation for Power Outages:
Sudden power outages can be scary and frustrating, especially if they last for more than a few minutes. Prepare your home in case there is a power outage, so you’ll be ready when it goes dark. Put together an emergency preparedness kit in case of a prolonged or widespread power outage.
Emergency Preparedness Kit:
- Water – One gallon per person, per day (2-week supply).
- Non-perishable food (2-week supply).
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and required medical items.
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items.
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, Insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and Emergency Contact information.
- Extra Cash
- If someone is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment, include backup power in your plan.
- Keep a non-cordless phone in your home. It will likely work even if the power is out.
- Car with a full tank of gas
Dressing for Cold Weather:
Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia – a condition where the body temperature dips too low. More than half of hypothermia-related deaths were of people over the age of 65, according to the CDC (www.cdc.gov)
- Bundle up – Keep indoor temperatures warm and dress in layers. If going outside in very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs. When venturing outside, make sure you are outfitted with:
- Warm socks.
- A hat.
- A scarf.
- A heavy coat.
- Prevent Falls in Slippery conditions – Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. Falls are a leading cause of death from injury in men and women over the age of 65 (www.cdc.org). Help prevent falls in winter weather:
- Stay indoors until roads are clear and conditions have dried.
- Wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles.
- Replace a worn cane tip.
- Take shoes off immediately after coming indoors.
Prevent Carbon monoxide poisoning:
Carbon monoxide is gas that cannot be seen or smelled, making it nearly impossible to detect unless you have an alarm. Using the fireplace, gas heaters or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep seniors safe by making sure they have a current carbon monoxide detector and check batteries regularly.
Avoid leaks and poisoning by having any active fireplace or natural gas heater inspected to ensure it is properly vented.
Driving and walking in harsh winter conditions can pose health hazards. Stay indoors during severe winter weather and follow these tips if and when you must go outside:
- Dress warm and wear the proper footwear to help prevent slips and falls.
- Make sure the path to your door, garage and mailbox are shoveled and free of debris.
- Use salt to melt icy sidewalks and steps or cover the ice with something gritty such as sand or cat litter.
- Take your time to reduce your risk of falling
Proper nutrition in the winter months can boost immunity and help provide seniors with much-needed nutrients to ward off the germs that cause colds and the flu and even help minimize a cold’s duration.
Nutrition tips for your best Immunity:
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients such as citrus, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato and spinach.
- Fight infections with Zinc. Zinc is found in fish, oysters, poultry, eggs, milk, unprocessed grains, and cereals.
- Drink hot tea to help ward off germs.
- Include good bacteria in your diet. Products such as kefir, yogurt and sauerkraut provide live cultures that help fight off infections.
- Take a daily multivitamin.
BONUS: Car and Driving Precautions
- Keep an ice scraper in your car.
- Check your wipers and wiper fluid. keep an extra gallon of cold-weather formula wiper fluid in the car or garage.
- Be mindful of travel warnings or advisories during winter weather.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
- Take a cell phone with you.
You can download this article here: Winter safety tips for Seniors and Caregivers
In need of Homecare? Call River Oaks Homecare TODAY. 267-755-7500. We can help with the following services and much more: Our Services
Content Credit: Clear Care