Time waits for no one; before we know it, we’re older and limited in our physical abilities. You can’t enjoy life the way you used to when you were younger. It can be a sobering reality for many people that eventually they’ll get older and depend on others to take care of them. If the family is not able to move the elderly family member in, it’s common for them to live in a nursing home facility. However, most families have found it’s better to have home care due to cost and convenience. Here are the benefits of home health care.
One significant advantage of home health care is it costs less to keep the patient home than at the hospital. Home health care professionals provide a range of medical services for those discharged from the hospital, yet they need medical attention. Keep in mind that home health care may seem like a logical solution; it can add up over time. The average cost to have home health care is about $22.00 an hour when you consider the expenses of continuing home care, family members missing work to help out, and the cost of more services as needed.
Patients have the freedom and independence to recover in the comfort of their home. Most seniors wish to continue medical treatment and live their remaining time in their home. In most cases, home care delays the family from placing the patient in a nursing home. Although most patients benefit from a familiar environment, the opposite may happen— the person withdraws from society and stays in bed most of the time. In this case, placing the patient in a nursing home facility is beneficial for his sanity. He can socialize with other patients.
Another advantage of in-home care is the patient receives one-on-one attention, something he will not get at a hospital or nursing home. The home care professional can tend to their every need. In a nursing home, sometimes it’s one staff member responsible for caring for 10 or more patients. The disadvantages of this are it’s easier for elderly abuse and abandonment to occur. Also, federal nor state laws regulate home health care.
When the patient is home, it’s easier for family members to take turns caring for him in addition to having in-home care. The senior is familiar with the family and is more receptive of daily routines (e.g., taking medication, bathing, etc.). The downfall is sometimes the responsibility falls on one family member to take care of the patient, while others are busy with their lives. The family member can get burned out quickly. If the family can’t agree on the patient’s in-home care, he usually ends up in a nursing home.
Almost every state offers home health care for discharged patients that cannot stay in a hospital, yet they need to continue medical treatment. In-home care has many benefits, allowing family members to save money while the patient receives one-on-one attention.
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
Now is the perfect time to start a healthy lifestyle.
Caregivers can help seniors maintain health with proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle habits.
It is extremely important for Seniors to practice good nutrition. Poor nutrition affects not only the body, but also the mind, energy levels, and can also lead to other health issues. The more caregivers know about nutrition for seniors, the better they will be able to care for them.
- Potassium for blood pressure and to help avoid fatigue and depression.
- Healthy fats to lower chances of heart disease.
- Vitamin B12 for energy and brain function.
- Vitamin D and Calcium for bone health.
Healthy Eating after 50:
- Sugar & Solid fats.
- Eat fish 2x per week.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Limit caffeine & Alchohol intake.
Help Seniors become more active:
- Find something they enjoy.
- Make sure it is geared to their fitness level.
- Start at a level they can manage and work their way up slowly.
- Do exercises at home with them. You can watch online or rent videos at the library and modify as necessary.
Benefits Of Exercise in older age:
- Increases Mental Capacity.
- Prevents Diseases
- Improves Healing
- Increases Balance
Sample Weekly exercise routine for seniors can be found in the full article here: Health and Wellness for Seniors