Our home care and healthy living blog covers a wide range of topics concerning aging and health, support and guides for caregivers providing care, and articles on living a more healthy and positive lifestyle.
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As one continues to age, the last thing they want to worry about is sustainability. For the elderly, this worry can be a significant liability to their personal sense of capability. The majority of seniors want to stay in their home for as long as possible but this can be difficult when dealing with disease or illness. The post Cost of home healthcare vs cost of hospital stay appeared first on Community Home Health...
As one continues to age, the last thing they want to worry about is sustainability. For the elderly, this worry can be a significant liability to their personal sense of capability. The majority of seniors want to stay in their home for as long as possible but this can be difficult when dealing with disease or illness. Home care, however, allows one to do this. It is different from institutional care, like assisted living or nursing homes, while still providing medical and, sometimes, non-medical care. For these types of elderly people, home health-care provides the satisfaction of quality service in patients’ home under the physician.
Johns Hopkins developed its hospital-at-home program as a means of treating elderly patients who either refused to go to the hospital or were at risk of hospital-acquired infections. The early trials of its model found the total cost of at-home care was 32% less than traditional hospital care, the length of stay for patients was shorter by one-third (3.2 days vs. 4.9 days), and the incidence of delirium – disturbance in mental abilities that result in confused thinking and reduced awareness – associated with prolonged hospital stay, was dramatically reduced (9% vs. 24%).
In a recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, healthcare costs were 52% lower than when acutely ill patients received hospital care at home, rather than being placed in a hospital bed. The cause of this is lower labor costs for at-home patients compared to patients in a hospital, where staff must be on hand 24/7. Home-care patients also had fewer lab visits from specialists. For instance, the average daily cost of a hospital stay is $6,200 while the average cost of home health care is just $135 per visit.
Care quality may have also been slightly better for at-home patients, compared to patients who stay at the hospital, because acutely ill patients treated at home experienced more physical activity since they were able to sit upright and freely move around.
Unfortunately, in the U.S., the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and most private payers, do not pay for hospital care delivered at home and restrict payments for telemedicine – an essential aspect of the model that allows physicians and healthcare staff to communicate with the patient – and ultimately, restricting the possibility of implementation for a lot of patients.
In a research study, led by Levine, a clinician-investigator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, they conducted a small, randomized, but controlled trial that compared the health-care use, experience, and cost of Brigham patients who either received hospital-level care at home or in the hospital of 2016. The 20 patients analyzed in the trial had one of several conditions, including infection, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma. Caregivers – those providing aid – reported far less stress because they didn’t have to travel to an unfamiliar hospital, find parking, and coordinate bedside time with the clinical stuff while worrying about their clients.
Home health care is suitable for patients with chronic conditions, like diabetes, heart and circulatory diseases, musculoskeletal disorders that affect movement, or COPD and other breathing problems. Without assistance, these patients would usually have to seek long-term help from a nursing home or other residential setting but with home health care, they’re able to stay in the comfort of their home after hospitalization. Furthermore, home health-care increases participation in treatment because patients are able to receive therapy at home rather than travel to a remote location while dealing with their illness.
If you introduce the idea to a loved one, make sure that it’s covered by your insurance plan. Some health insurance carriers don’t offer an easy way to cover hospital care at home, as NPR has noted. Others may only cover certain services or specific providers – so determine what options are best for you. Remember, your financial circumstance is important but the biggest priority is your loved one’s safety and recovery. For more information on how to approach delicate subjects regarding the elderly, visit our website, at https://commhealthcare.com/home-care-blog/.
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As they continue to age, an optimal choice for seniors looking to optimize their quality of life is to age in place. In fact, a 2014 AARP survey revealed that 87 percent of adults over the age of 65 preferred this option. Although health and physical capability are two big factors associated with aging at home, The post Aging in Place, Home Living Trends appeared first on Community Home Health...
As they continue to age, an optimal choice for seniors looking to optimize their quality of life is to age in place. In fact, a 2014 AARP survey revealed that 87 percent of adults over the age of 65 preferred this option. Although health and physical capability are two big factors associated with aging at home, one factor that’s often forgotten is the livability of the home seniors are located in.
Modern homes are not always equipped to accommodate aging citizens. It’s not an easy choice to relocate, nor achieve a complete home remodel, especially when costs are high. However, the environment can be adapted to suit the needs and caution of older citizens with minimal modifications. The emergence of different technologies has also allowed aging in place to be more secure, and enables seniors to stay connected to family, as well as maintain medicinal schedules and any other health habits. Here are some of the home living trends to better maximize a seniors ability to age at home.
First thing’s first- is the entrance to the home well lit? Though not many would consider it, making sure the entrance to the home accommodates seniors is something to think about when aging in place. Good lighting is essential for when night falls, and any mats that could cause a stumble should be removed. Also, a threshold entrance could warrant falls, so modifying to a level entrance would be more beneficial to prevent any trips or stumbles.
In order to accommodate a scooter or wheelchair should the need arise, wider doors and hallways are essential for a home to fully accommodate seniors. Recommended hallway width is 48” and door width 36”.
One in four American seniors fall every year. Because falls are a leading cause in accidents for seniors, a fall-proof home will make for a happy aging in place with little worry. To do this, install slip-proof flooring and/or get rid of threshold bath/shower entry. Also, other small modifications include getting rid of area rugs or running cables on the floor that could lead to tripping.
Steps and stairs in the home can trigger falls if not accommodated properly for older citizens. So if living in a two-story home, make sure the stairs are well lit by installing light switches on both ends. Also, replace any worn out carpeting and make sure no nails are sticking out of the stair steps. And the most beneficial step in modifying the home: make sure handrails are installed. This can be critical in preventing any falls!
As newer technologies emerge, there are now apps beneficial for folks looking to age in place. Some apps are useful for emergencies and medication woes. For instance, Medisafe Pill Reminder reminds seniors when to take their pills and when it’s time for a prescription to be refilled. This app is also useful to track weight, pulse, temperature, blood glucose levels, and blood pressure.
Then there’s the Red Panic Button app, which lets seniors open the app and tap the red button that appears in the middle of the screen in case of a fall or other emergency. This immediately sends a text message and email with your GPS location in a Google Maps link to all of your emergency contacts.
As seniors continue to age, many don’t see a reason to leave the comforts of their home and prefer to age in place. Modern advancements such as apps enable family members to stay close with these older citizens, and a few home modifications can ensure well-being and ease worry. Many seniors and their families are unsure where to start, or what programs are available to educate and support aging in place. Contact Community Home Health Care at 845-425-6555 to learn more today. Our care providers will be happy to assist.
As the baby boomer population continues to age, more and more families are embracing 24-hour home care as an attractive option that allows seniors to age in place, rather than having to move to assisted living facilities or nursing homes. In addition, 24-hour home care is seen as a more cost effective option that results in being happier and healthier. The post Adjusting to 24-Hour Home Care: What Families & Seniors Need to Know appeared first on Community Home Health...
As the baby boomer population continues to age, more and more families are embracing 24-hour home care as an attractive option that allows seniors to age in place, rather than having to move to assisted living facilities or nursing homes. In addition, 24-hour home care is seen as a more cost effective option that results in being happier and healthier. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that in the coming decades, home health care will become an increasingly popular choice for patients and family members.
Often, individuals start with home care on an as-needed basis. This may mean that your loved one receives physical therapy in their home following a surgery, or it may mean assistance with self-care, such as bathing and meals. This limited home care may be extremely effective for many seniors. However, as a disease or condition progresses, so will the need for more assistance to make remaining in the home a safe and realistic option, which leads us to 24-hour care.
Even though 24-hour home care is an amazing choice for seniors wanting to age in place, it can also be met with some resistance, anxiety, and uncertainty. It’s normal for family members and seniors to have these questions:
The best way to lessen the resistance and uncertainty regarding 24-hour home care is to become informed. Therefore, we’ve come up with a few ways that you can use to strategically prepare for and adjust to 24-hour home care services.
The first thing you’ll want to establish is that the caregiver is simply there to help. Having a very clear understanding of what the home care provider will or will not do before they even begin almost immediately brings a sense of relief. Home care providers can assist with everything from medication reminders and medical procedures to housekeeping and food preparation. Sometimes it’s as simple as companionship.
However, no matter what their duties entail, it helps to know beforehand so expectations can be set.
Also, remember that you’re doing this for a reason: to provide your loved one with good, quality care. Having an around-the-clock caregiver can limit the possibility of wandering, medication neglect, and loneliness. Let your loved one know that you’re doing what’s best for them and what’s been recommended by a medical professional.
If your loved one has concerns about 24 hour-home care, then allow them to express their feelings. They’ll feel better knowing that their opinion has been heard. Plus, understanding their fears will allow you to ask the right questions and find the best fit.
Sharing a living space with anyone can be challenging, especially if your loved one has lived on their own for decades. Therefore, it is important that when hiring a home health care worker, you not only look for someone who is extremely well-qualified from a medical perspective but also for a person whose personality meshes with your loved one. Working with a home care agency can make this part of the process a lot easier.
A home care agency will review the caregivers qualifications, run a thorough background check, and handle the details regarding employment laws and taxes. In addition, they’ll present to you caregivers that are the best fit for your situation.
Lastly, you’ll likely have an opportunity to meet with the caregivers before they begin helping in the home. Having the opportunity to meet someone beforehand will bring ease to not only you, but you’re loved one too.
Like most things in life, adjusting to change can take a little getting used to. The same applies to around-the-clock caregiving. Understand that it can take several months to adjust to someone being constantly in the home, but communication and transparency go a long way. Start slowly. Consider beginning with part-time care to ease the transition.
If you plan to have a live-in caregiver, then there are some federal regulations that have to be adhered to. For example, a live-in caregiver must be provided with their own room. Therefore, you or your family members may have to make renovations or rearrangements to the home to make it comfortable for multiple people. In addition, live-in caregivers are allowed an 8 hour sleeping break.
If scheduled caregivers come in for 8 to 12 hour shifts, then the home health aide is expected to remain awake throughout the shift and sleeping arrangements do not have to be made.
In either situation, you’ll want to make sure it’s easy to navigate the home and find items the aide may need for your loved one.
As they say, it’s much better to be proactive than reactive.This couldn’t be more true with scheduling. In the event that your loved ones assigned caregiver requires time off, then a temporary aide will be assigned. Let your loved one know that this could occur. In addition, consider having a log that includes helpful information about your loved one for caregivers. Information like their favorite foods, topics to avoid, and more could make transitions go over more smoothly.
Home care can be an important service that allows your loved one to successfully age in place rather than having to transition to facilities that can be financially costly and emotionally challenging. 24-hour home care is extremely beneficial, but the process isn’t without hiccups. Often, going from living independently to having full-time home care can have its fair share of challenges, some of them emotional in nature. However, none of these challenges are insurmountable. With careful communication and planning, you and your loved one can embark on this journey prepared and informed.
If you have a special senior in your life that needs companionship, we at Community Home Health Care can help. Our staff of highly trained in-home caregivers includes home health aides, personal care aides, and registered nurses. We are here to provide personal and medical assistance, but most importantly—friendship. Please visit our website, call us at (845) 425-6555, or drop by our facility and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.
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Being a caregiver to an elderly parent is an enormous responsibility. You’re in charge of nearly every little aspect of your parent’s life and daily activities. It can be overwhelming, exhausting, and possibly even frightening at times. However, early planning and organization can make caregiving a little easier and less stressful. Whether this is your first time as a caregiver or you’ve been doing it for some time, The post Organizational Tips for Caregivers appeared first on Community...
Being a caregiver to an elderly parent is an enormous responsibility. You’re in charge of nearly every little aspect of your parent’s life and daily activities. It can be overwhelming, exhausting, and possibly even frightening at times. However, early planning and organization can make caregiving a little easier and less stressful.
Whether this is your first time as a caregiver or you’ve been doing it for some time, you need to be organized. It eliminates confusion, frustration, and wasted time. You may be reluctant at first because it’s just another thing to add on your “to do” list, but you’ll quickly find that it’s worth it.
Here are a few tips to help you get better organized as a caregiver. Note that if you’re a hired caregiver for an elderly adult, you can still use many of these tips, perhaps in conjunction with the family (primary) caregiver.
Gather All Paperwork in One Location. Get an accordion folder or three-ring binder with sections and place your parent’s paperwork in it. Label each section and sort accordingly—hospital bills; list of doctors/specialists phone numbers; list of medications, dosage, and what they’re for; insurance, and so on. Keep this binder in an easily accessible location in the home, and clearly labeled. That way, anyone else caring for your elderly parent (relative, home health aide, etc.) can quickly refer to it if necessary.
Maintain a “To-Do” List and Keep it Updated. Even if your elder parent’s schedule is relatively stable with few changes, it’s important to keep a “To-Do” list. Write down your caregiving responsibilities and activities, but also any family- or work- oriented tasks. You can use a physical paper daily/weekly organizer or an app on your digital device—whichever you feel most comfortable using.
Keep a Small Notebook for Observations. One of your roles as caregiver is observing your elder’s physical and mental health. That way you can note if there’s a change in say, eating habits or mental faculties.
Use a Large Wall Calendar for Appointments. In this day and age of smartphones and tablets, physical time management items seem old fashioned or unnecessary. In fact, having a large wall calendar displayed in a prominent location will help you stay more organized, because it’s always within view. You should still write down any appointments on your digital device as a backup. Furthermore, not only does a physical calendar benefit you, but anyone else caring for your elder and most importantly, your elder him/herself. It allows them to be involved in their own care.
Don’t forget to include any of your own appointments, so that there are no surprises. If a hired caregiver shows up on Thursday morning because you have your own doctor’s appointment, your elder will be well aware and not feel anxious or upset.
Utilize Other Help Services. As a family caregiver, it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. If you can afford it, consider hiring outside services to take care of smaller errands so you can focus on more important tasks. Hire a housekeeper to clean twice a month. Sign up for meal or grocery delivery. Find a local teenager to mow the lawn for a fee.
If you’re really swamped, you may want to hire an outside caregiver. A second person can help share the load a few times a week and leave you free to tackle other responsibilities, or simply take some personal time off for yourself. Places like Community Home Health Care offer home health aides, personal care aides, and even registered nurses for hire.
Find a Back-up Caregiver. What will happen if YOU get sick or are somehow incapacitated? Who will care for your parent? Ideally you’ll have a sibling who lives nearby, but not everyone is fortunate. Consider asking a neighbor or close friend to help if you’re not able to be there.
Keep a List of Medical Supplies and Medications for Restocking. You don’t want to suddenly find yourself out of medication, bandages, or other important supplies. Keep an updated list and make sure that you always have everything you need.
Don’t Let Responsibilities Pile Up. As a caregiver, it can be easy to let small tasks slide, but soon you’ll find yourself overwhelmed. Bills remain unopened; supplies are alarmingly low; dishes aren’t put away; your parent hasn’t done their physical therapy in days. Take care of each task as soon as you can and resist putting it off, or risk forgetting altogether. For example if a new bill arrives, open it immediately and pay it, then file in your folder with all the other paperwork.
Find Senior-Friendly Gadgets and Accessories. Observe the senior in your care and look around his/her surroundings. Sometimes you may need to purchase a few simple items to make things easier for the both of you. For example, a large adult bib can mean doing far less loads of laundry. A grabbing tool can mean less time for you picking up items off the floor or on a shelf because your senior can grab them him/herself. Do an online search for commonly used products for seniors, and strange as it sounds, keep an eye out for “As Seen on TV!” informercials. Many of those products are aimed in bettering the lives of seniors.
Put Everything in One Place. Spending ten minutes searching for the right medicine bottle can be stressful. Organize all important items and supplies so that they can be quickly found. Put all medicines in one spot, all physical therapy equipment in a basket, all feeding-related items together, etc.
Don’t Forget Regular Household Tasks. Typical household duties such as paying the bills, doing taxes, walking the dog, even changing the air filter in the air conditioner can fall by the wayside when you’re caring for an elderly parent. Make sure to include these tasks in your “To-Do” list.
It takes a little time to get organized and significant effort to stay organized. However, you will find that you’re more prepared, relaxed, and confident in your role as caregiver if you do so. Keep in mind that you may encounter a “trial-and-error” situation, in that not everything may work smoothly right away. In fact, not all of these tips may work for you. For example, you may not be able to afford hiring outside services, or rely on a neighbor as a back-up caregiver. That’s okay; try it from a different angle, or just skip that tip and move on to another. Following some of the tips is better than not doing so at all.
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