5 Must-Have Talks with Parents This Holiday.

Starting a conversation with an aging parent around long term care can be difficult. If you find yourself not knowing how to broach the subject with your parent, check out these tips to learn how to discuss things in a way that is sensitive and effective – at any time of the year.

https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/12-10-15-must-have-talks-with-parents-this-holiday/

A visit home for the holidays is an ideal time to connect with parents and family members you don’t see every day. It’s a time-honored opportunity to catch up, share old memories and create new ones. But sometimes these holiday gatherings can also be a time when you notice an elderly loved one is struggling.

Dad and Mom may be moving slower, forgetting things or showing signs they can’t take care of their home. Sometimes the signs of a struggling elderly person are more subtle. For instance, you may notice an overgrown lawn, a messy kitchen or a disheveled appearance. Adult children are sometimes afraid to confront these changes.
Will Mom or Dad be insulted that you think they can’t take care of themselves? Will “the talk” become an argument that ruins the holidays? These fears can make it easier to just avoid the topic altogether. But failing to discuss and plan for things like cognitive decline, physical ailments and other realities of aging can lengthen the time your parent suffers.

Fortunately, you don’t have to approach the tough conversations about aging with fear. In fact, you may find that it is easier than expected. But you can’t find out until you get started. Keep reading for tips to help adult children discuss things in a way that is sensitive and effective. We cover topics from retirement finances to end-of-life wishes.

Credit: “A Place for Mom”

Where to Find Home Health Services in Pennsylvania

As family members get older, it may become difficult for them to continue living entirely on their own. Health concerns, diminished mobility, and cognitive decline are all factors to consider when deciding when older family members need living assistance. Contrary to popular belief, there are options other than traditional nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Depending on the level of care required, some seniors can remain at home with the help of home care services. River Oaks Home Care is dedicated to helping Seniors continue to experience the richness of life in the comfort of their own home.

Allowing seniors to remain in their homes can produce better outcomes than moving them into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Home health care for seniors used to be the kind of thing that only the wealthy could afford. However, an increase in the number of trained home health professionals has led to more affordable prices. River Oaks Home Care provides high-quality home services for seniors that are effective and less expensive than other forms of managed care.

River Oaks Home Care has home health aides who improve the quality of life for seniors through professional, hands-on care and compassionate kindness. Often, our clients consider their home health aide or caregiver to be a trusted friend. We have a diverse pool of associates, so we always have someone with the skill set you need. Depending on the training, home health aides can administer a client’s medication or check vital signs, change bandages or dressings, and or provide skilled health care as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Patient Care Assistant (PCA).

Home health aides can also help around the house in a variety of ways. They can assist with tasks such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, grocery shopping, and light housekeeping. Our home health aides can stop by for companionship visits, give the client a ride to appointments, and more. River Oaks Home Care does everything possible to help improve the health and quality of life of seniors.

River Oaks Home Care can also provide care for seniors who are experiencing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Our attendants provide specialized, non-medical Alzheimer’s care that can allow seniors in the early and middle stages of the disease to remain at home. More than half of all diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients continue to live in home settings. River Oaks Home Care staff can help with responsibilities (e.g., daily orientation to time, place, and person) that can overwhelm family and friends who are assisting the senior.

Our specialty Alzheimer’s care services utilize a customized care regimen that will take into account the environment and unique needs of seniors, which makes their lives less difficult and stressful compared to moving them into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Other advantages include staying in the home that provides a familiar frame of reference, the freedom to move about in a more casual and unrestricted space, reduced stress which aggravates dementia symptoms, and continuity of daily routines and schedules.

Home health care services are more affordable than people assume. You can request a free quote for the services you need from our website. If you have any questions about getting home health services for your family member, send us a message online.

5 Specialty Home Health Services That Can Help Seniors

Most people know that it’s possible to get home health care services to help seniors with basic living assistance. As more Americans reach their golden years, home health care services are a popular way to keep older loved ones living at home instead of a managed care facility. However, many people have a limited view of how much can be done via home health care. By hiring high-trained professionals, River Oaks Home Care can assist in various situations. Here are five specialty health services that River Oaks Home Care can provide for seniors at home.

Alzheimer’s and Other Related Dementia Home Care

As adults get older, they may experience cognitive declines as a result of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. These conditions make it harder for seniors to live on their own independently, but these conditions don’t automatically make it necessary to use a nursing home or assisted living facility. During the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, patients can remain at home so long as they get some assistance with daily responsibilities. Home health aides from River Oaks Home Care can help seniors stay in their familiar environment as long as possible, which can improve their quality of life.

Hypertension/Stroke Recovery Home Care

Following a stroke, patients may have diminished cognitive and physical function that make care and assistance necessary. However, home health aides from places like River Oaks Home Care give stroke survivors more options for living independently at home. Having help from a home health aide can help seniors recover from a stroke with no minor or long-term effects. Trained home health aides can assist with physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and their companionship can help provide mental health support. Our aides can also help patients with hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure) manage their condition to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Heart Disease Home Care

Heart disease is a common problem for older adults, and River Oaks Home Care has specialty services that can help patients recovering from heart disease symptoms or the after-effects of treatment. Providing in-home assistance for cardiac disease patients can lead to better health outcomes. It’s estimated that around 25 percent of heart failure patients will be readmitted within 30 days. Many health experts believe that using home health services to ensure patients take their medication and eat appropriate meals can reduce readmission rates and significantly improve health and quality of life for the patient.

Cancer Recovery Home Care

Recovering from cancer treatments can take a toll on an individual, especially older adults. Many patients remain in the hospital or go to a managed care facility as they wait to recover. However, qualified home health aides from River Oaks Home Care can provide cancer patients with the same recovery assistance they would receive at another facility. Most people would prefer to remain in their home, rather than stay in the hospital, so these services benefit older adults recovering from cancer treatments.

Hospice/Palliative Support Home Care

Chronic disease and terminal illness are areas of care that are often handled in facilities such as hospitals and hospices. River Oaks Home Care can help patients during this time by providing hospice home health aids as well as aides trained to provide palliative care. Besides allowing patients to remain in their home environment, this kind of care can reduce the pain from chronic illness and alleviate some of the stresses that come with end-of-life care.

River Oaks Home Care has a staff of highly-trained professionals that can help seniors live more enjoyable lives in their home environment. Seniors maintain their freedom and independence, and family members can feel assured that their loved ones are getting personalized attention.

If you’re interested in learning more about River Oaks Home Care, you can send us a message online or request a free quote for the services you need.

Benefits of Home Health Care

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.

 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!

Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit

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?

Service Requirements

  • 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

  • Over age 65

  • Need assistance with activities of daily living

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

Exempt Assets:

  • Home (must live in it)
  • Vehicles
  • Personal property

Benefit Conflicts

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: info@riveroakshomecare.com)  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 Safety: Top 5 Tips for Caregivers and their Seniors

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:

  1. Home power outages
  2. Colder weather
  3. Carbon monoxide poisoning
  4. Outdoor dangers
  5. 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).
  • Flashlight
  • 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

Reference: www.redcross.org

  • 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.
    • Gloves.
    • 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.

  • Outdoor Safety:

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
  • Good Nutrition:

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.

(www.todaysdietitian.com)

BONUS: Car and Driving Precautions

  1. Keep an ice scraper in your car.
  2. Check your wipers and wiper fluid. keep an extra gallon of cold-weather formula wiper fluid in the car or garage.
  3. Be mindful of travel warnings or advisories during winter weather.
  4. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  5. 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

#weloveseniors

 

 

Health & Wellness for Seniors: Family Caregivers.

Now is the perfect time to start a healthy lifestyle.

Caregivers can help seniors maintain health with proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle habits.

Nutrition:

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.

Vitamins/Supplements:

  • Fiber.
  • 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:

  • Fruits.
  • Vegetables.
  • Protein.
  • Grains.
  • Dairy.
  • Oil.
  • 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

Credit: ClearCare.

7 Habits Every Senior Should have.

Seniors can change their lifestyle and start practicing these 7  healthy habits immediately:

7 Habits for Seniors

  1. Focus on Prevention – Seniors can be proactive in their health by getting regular checkups. Having regular doctor appointments to check things like cholesterol, heart problems, blood pressure and more can alert seniors of problems early on and make them more manageable.
  2. Get Social – Doing activities with others and being social can help senior’s mental and physical health.
  3. Keep your mind sharp – Doing mental activities that stimulate the brain will help ward off decline in mental health and keep senior’s mind sharp.
  4. Be physically active – Mobility can be more difficult with age, but it’s important for seniors to continue to exercise as they age. Regular exercise can help improve balance, flexibility, is good for your heart, and can help improve balance, flexibility, is good for your heart, and can even improve the health of people who are frail or have age-related diseases.
  5. Pay attention to eyes and ears – Getting annual eye exams and biannual dental exams can help seniors’ overall health.
  6. Make healthy food choices – Making healthy food choices is important at any age. As people age, making healthy choices become increasingly important. Eating well can help maintain good bone health, wealth, and can reduce the risk of stroke, heart diseases and diabetes.
  7. Manage Medicines – As people age, they often find themselves on more and more medications. Caregivers can regularly go over medications with physicians to find out any drug interactions.

Download the full document here: 7 Habits for Seniors

Caring for an ALS Patient

What is ALS?  It is commonly referred to as the Lou Gehrig’s disease, amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It is the neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It is also the debilitating disorder of the motor nerves which rapidly causes progressive muscle weakness and spasms.

According to the ALS Association, most people with ALS are diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 70, with some rare cases of people in their twenties and thirties. Most ALS patients live for 3 to 5 years after after diagnosis. However about 10% also get the chance to live for 10 years or more.

Approximately 6,000 people are diagnosed every year and this diagnosis occur around the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries where anyone can be affected. Few signs and symptoms of ALS include :

  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing,speaking and breathing.
  • Keeping a good posture and difficulty holding one’s head up.
  • Tripping and falling.
  • Trouble with activities of daily living.
  • Difficulty walking.
  • Uncontrollable periods of laughing and crying.
  • Muscle cramps and twitches.

River Oaks Homecare is committed to stepping in with round the clock hands on non-medical care. We are here to relieve families who are the caregivers, making sure our ALS clients are well taken care of.

We are dedicated to helping seniors continue to experience the richness of life. Call us today – 267-755-7500.