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Determining Whether Your Loved One Qualifies for Medicare or Medicaid

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Medicare Vs. MedicaidMedicare and Medicaid are two distinct programs that offer financial assistance in paying for medical costs. Although they’re easy to get confused, they’re funded and organized by different parts of the government and cover different needs. Your loved one may qualify for one or both programs. Here’s how to find out if they’re eligible. Read the rest of this entry »

Fall Prevention for the Elderly

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In the United States alone, one in four elderly people falls every year. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury for those over the age of 65. If you have an elderly parent, grandparent, or neighbor that you are concerned about, you can help prevent falls with these tips.

Stay in Good Health

FallenA few of the most common contributors to falls are health-related. Falls can happen because of poor vision, a lack of balance, or dizziness because of a chronic condition. Make sure your loved one is getting regular health checkups with their primary care physician and their eye doctor. If the senior in your life lives alone, you should also encourage them to wear an alert device that will call for help if a fall occurs. Read the rest of this entry »

How Memory Care Is Reinventing Assisted Living

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Senior womanThe thought of moving your loved one into assisted living can be a difficult task to face. When you hear the words “assisted living,” beautiful images probably don’t quite flow to your mind. Throughout the years, pop culture has put the idea into our heads of white walls and nurses in white uniforms feeding medicine to elders in white gowns all day long. While in reality, assisted living is not nearly as drab as they’d made us believe, memory care has still completely reinvented assisted living. Here are a few of the many reasons why memory care has taken over and reinvented assisted living. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Ways to Ease the Transition into a Nursing Home

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It’s not easy to abruptly change one’s way of living, and moving into a nursing home is no exception. However, there are a few ways you can help your loved one ease into the transition and make the change much easier to deal with.

Maintain Constant Communication

While most nursing home facilities have a great staff, who will help your loved one with day-to-day tasks and whatever they need help with, nothing beats a familiar face. After they move in, visit as often as possible to make sure they’re adjusting properly and all their needs are met. They need to know you care deeply for them and their living situation, and frequent visits show you want to be involved.

Encourage Social Participation

When your loved one moves into a new place where they most likely don’t know anyone, it’s easy for them to feel unmotivated to participate or meet new people. It’s important for you to encourage them to participate in social activities, if their health allows, as they will be able to lean on new friends for emotional support when you can’t be there.

Act as an Advocate

If your loved one is in a place where they aren’t able to communicate their needs and wants fully, it’s essential you’re there to step in and communicate their desired care plan to the staff. Even if they can communicate what they want, having a backup can really help ease the transition and help keep their routine similar to what they’re used to.

 

Nursing Homes vs. Assisted Living

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As hard as it is, many people cannot provide the care their loved ones need as they grow older. When this time comes, making the move to an assisted living facility or nursing home is often in the senior’s best interests. Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, these 2 types of facilities are very different in what they offer.

Level of Supervision

Nursing homes offer 24-hour supervision by trained staff members. This makes them the ideal choice for people who are confined to their beds, suffer from dementia, or have other conditions that make it impossible to care for themselves.

Assisted living facilities, on the other hand, have less supervision–although staff members are still present to help with certain tasks. This gives a little more independence and privacy to seniors who are still able to perform most tasks on their own.

Medical Care

Both nursing homes and assisted living facilities have staff members who are trained to respond to emergencies and care for specific conditions such as Alzheimer’s. They can also help administer medications or supervise physical therapy as needed. If your elderly loved one has a condition that requires specific care, check with the facility to make sure they have the staff and resources necessary to provide the best care possible.

Cost

Because assisted living facilities require less staff supervision, they often cost between 1/2 to 2/3 that of a nursing home. Find out the details of your loved one’s Medicare or Medicaid plan before you make your final decision, however. Both of these have specific regulations for what they will and will not cover, and they vary by state.

 

Senior Living Options and Costs

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When your elderly loved one can no longer care for him or herself, you may have more options than you realize. There are many ways to balance your loved one’s independence with the care they need to find a solution that everyone will be happy with. Here are the 3 main options for elderly care.

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities are designed for seniors who still wish to retain some independence and don’t need constant supervision. These facilities vary as far as what they offer, so be sure to ask detailed questions about what services will be provided. Many facilities offer assistance with housework, and the staff may be able to drive patients to errands or doctors’ appointments. They should also have staff members who can check on patients from time to time. This is typically the most affordable senior care option, with the national average at about $3,500 per month.

Nursing Home

A nursing home provides much more care and supervision than an assisted living facility. The staff is also responsible for making sure medications are administered correctly. Because of this, it’s naturally more expensive, at about $6,000 per month. However, it’s ideal for elderly patients who have limited mobility or suffer from conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Home Care

Another option for senior care is to hire an at-home aide or aides. This choice is good for seniors who want to remain in the comfort of their homes, or those who only need a little light help with chores or physical therapy. The cost for at-home care varies widely depending on the services required. Home care aides charge on average around $20 per hour, although they often have daily, weekly, or monthly rates.

 

3 Things to Look for in a Nursing Home

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If your loved one needs nursing home care, choosing the right place can be intimidating. How do you know if you’re making the right decision? Follow this guide to make sure you choose a safe, high-quality nursing home for the care of your loved one.

Safety

Safety is the most important factor to look for when choosing a nursing home. Make sure the facility you’re considering has an adequate nursing staff to cover the needs of all the residents, without getting overworked or overstressed. Since the nurses will oversee everything from medication to making sure your loved one gets enough of the right food to eat, it’s essential they have complete focus.

Cleanliness

Be sure to visit the prospective facilities in person and get a feel for cleanliness. Visit the rooms, kitchen, and all common areas to make sure they look and feel clean. If it doesn’t look clean or well taken care of, this could lead to health and safety issues, which is the last thing you should be worrying about.

Comfort

Since your loved one will now be spending all their time at the nursing home you choose, it’s essential they feel completely comfortable with the staff and the surroundings. Ask about the social activities and typical routine to see if the lifestyle fits what you’re looking for.

 

What Kind of Food Is Available in Nursing Facilities?

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Most nursing homes usually offer at least 3 meals a day to their residents. The upside is that our nursing home residents don’t have to cook or clean, but it may make you wonder if the food is delicious, or at least palatable. Fortunately, the food served in our facilities is not only satisfying, you can also count on special requests being met.

Special Requests Are Met

Many nursing home residents have special dietary needs. For example, some may not be able to tolerate dairy, gluten, or nuts. These needs can be difficult to meet when you’re preparing meals for one person, but in a bigger facility, it’s not a problem. It’s a good idea to talk to our staff about your special dietary needs to ensure that we can accommodate them.

Meals Can Be Served Privately

Sometimes our residents prefer to eat in the privacy of their own rooms, whether that’s because they’re feeling a little under the weather or want to enjoy the company of a close friend. A good nursing home offers its residents the ability to dine in the dining room or wherever they feel most comfortable.

Holidays Are Special

One thing that you should pay attention to is what type of food is served on holidays. Just because our residents are in a nursing home doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing. And whether it’s a holiday or not, our nursing home food always includes nutritious and delicious menu items.

Tips for Touring Assisted Living Communities

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If you or a loved one is considering moving to an assisted living community, then you ought to know that they come at a very wide range of price points. Each one has specific benefits and amenities available, so it’s important to go through and tour a few before selecting one. Here are some key tips for finding the best assisted living center for your situation.

Check Out How Clean It Is

If you walk in and the facility feels and smells old and musty, you might want to look elsewhere. Don’t only look at the furnishings, but check out the baseboards, corners, and windows. Ask them how often housekeeping is done in each resident’s living space.

Go During an Activity

Try to schedule your tour during a time when residents are going to be involved in an activity or event. You might want to consider even participating in some of the activities. See how many attendees there are at the activity and make a note if the staff is involved and enjoying it as well.

Make Sure You Feel at Home

When you’re taking a tour of a facility, think about whether you’ll be able to feel totally at home there. Are there stringent visiting hours or security check-ins? Are the living spaces more like those you’d find in an apartment or are they hospital-like? An assisted living community is above all a home and a community, so it should feel as comfortable and homey as possible.

 

Is There Privacy for Loved Ones in a Nursing Home?

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Nursing homes can be busy places with lots of patients, so you may wonder how much privacy your loved one can hope for. Before you spend too much time worrying, you should know that all our residents’ privacy and confidentiality is protected by law.

Confidentiality

We have personal and clinical records of your loved one that we are required to keep confidential. This includes information about their accommodations, medical treatments, written or phone communications, visits, meetings with family members or resident groups, and their personal care. Our patients retain the right to refuse the release of this information outside of the nursing home.

Privacy

How much privacy your loved one has depends partially on their ability to care for themselves. For example, our patients who need help with every daily task are cared for throughout the day by our nursing staff. Our staff members will still announce their presence by knocking on the door or greeting them. When we care for our residents, we make sure that their privacy is being respected. For example, we always keep the door closed when we help them with personal care tasks.

If you’re concerned about privacy for your loved one, we recommend visiting them regularly, at varying times of day, and talking to them about their care. Our staff is also happy to answer any questions you have about your loved one.