The Essence of Home Health Care Vs Nursing Home Argument

Is the subject home health care vs. nursing home argument on you decision horizon? Cost is certainly a factor in the equation of perception.

home health care vs. nursing home

Home health care vs. nursing home

Our research has shown that if you are looking on the low end of nursing home care, then the prices of home care (24 by 7 hours) is slightly higher. On the other hand, if you are looking for a high-end nursing home, then its cost will be 15-30% higher.

Many of our aging parents want to live on their own. According to AARP, more than 95% of seniors want to stay in their home as long as possible, even if they need help with day-to-day activities. After all, home is comfortable and familiar, and they are surrounded by memories and circumstances that make them feel safe.

their vision

Their vision.

There is no magical age when a senior may need help. There are many 90-year-olds who live at home and need very little help. On the other hand, there are 60 and 70-year olds who find their ability to live independently waning.

It’s a hard reality for adult sons and daughters to face:  when is it time to become a caregiver yourself, get help in the home, or move your parents to a nursing home or assisted living facility?

Let’s explore the pros and cons of each living situation so you can make an informed decision about what is best.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Home Care

How often we have heard seniors say: “If you move me to a nursing home I will crawl up and die.”  The major advantage of home health care is that seniors get to “age in place” among their friends and surroundings that make them feel secure and happy.

They can maintain their freedom. The main problems with staying at home are they may need help with cleaning, meal preparation, driving, grooming and other tasks.

However, if seniors need a little help, there are various options available:

  • Enlist friends or family. The chore of being a caregiver shouldn’t rest on one person’s shoulders. Enlist family or friends to help with tasks your aging parents find challenging. Many religious communities or organizations have volunteers who can help with driving and prepare nutritious meals. Or you can have meals delivered to the home.
  • Hire inhome care. Home health care agencies such as Wood Home Care have compassionate caregivers who can come into the home on a part-time, hourly or 24/7 basis. We provide different levels of care, from personal care to dementia care. This can provide you with peace of mind knowing that someone is there to pinch hit for you. In some cases, the home care costs can be reimbursed by Medicare, Veteran’s aid or other sources.
  • Remote monitoring. Remote devices are now available for both emergency situations or to remind your loved ones to take their medication. Web-based tools are often available so you can know your parent’s schedules and communicate with any caregivers.

If your parents want to stay in their home, make sure it is as safe as possible because falls are quite common. Do a home maintenance checklist to make sure any hazards such as loose rugs are removed. Also, it may be easier if grab bars are installed in bathrooms.

Other Senior Care Housing Options

According to a study by Clarity, seniors fear to move into a nursing home more than they fear death, mainly because of the institutional feeling and loss of freedom.  However, depending on the level of care that is needed, this may be the only option.

There are many different types of senior homes, all providing different services and levels of care Medicare describes them as follows:

  • Group homes or board and care homes. Adults live in a home with 10 – 12 people their age and get assistance with bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom.
  • Subsidized senior housing. If your loved one has a very moderate incomethere are federal and state programs that help pay for housing. Additionally, there may be help with meals and other activities like housekeeping, shopping, and doing the laundry. Residents usually live in their apartments in the complex. Rent payments are usually a percentage of your income (a sliding scale).

 

  • Assisted living facilities mean that your loved one has his/her apartment within a building or a group of buildings, but can get help with meals, transportation, cleaning and social activities. Some of these facilities have health services on site. You pay a monthly fee for rent and utilities and a separate fee for any extras.

 

  • Retirement Communities.The beauty of this type of community is they usually have different living options and progressive levels of care. In other words, you can start out in your home and progress to skilled nursing care when and if you need it. Many retirement communities charge a large fee before you move in plus a monthly maintenance fee.

 

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities. If your loved one needs 24/7 care, skilled nursing facilities have nurses and doctors on site.

 

  • Hospice Care.Ordinarily, for the terminally ill (who have six months or left to live), these facilities primarily make patient’s comfortable and provide counseling for the family. As part of hospice care, you will have a team of doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, counselors and trained volunteers to help you and your family cope with your illness. Depending on your condition, you may get hospice care in a hospice facility, hospital, or nursing home.

 

The bottom line

The most important questions are: How much care do my loved one’s need and how can we meet these needs considering out budget and lifestyles?  Then you as a group can best determine what type of long term care would be the best!

commitments

 

Pay Attention to These 10 Common Signs of Anxiety Disorders

The common signs of anxiety disorders are both psychological and physical.Anxiety comes in many forms, but all the different types often have certain core features. These are the ones we will be discussing today.

signs of anxiety disorders

Signs of anxiety disorders.

Like many mental health problems, almost everyone experiences anxiety from time-to-time.Whether it is a problem all depends on the amount and nature of the anxiety.

Everyday anxiety in response to stressful events is normal, but severe anxiety in response to relatively minor events can be seriously disabling. Pay attention to the anxiety sources. Are they ones that you would previously ignore?

Bear that in mind when reading the signs of anxiety.

For example, a lot of people have problems sleeping and muscle tension now and then. That is to be expected.

This might happen before a job interview, when going into hospital or before a stressful event, like deciding how a senior loved one should be cared for.

But experiencing anxiety frequently and intensely over smaller matters can be a sign of something more serious. Don’t try and sweep these under the rug.

Signs of anxiety

Here are four typical psychological signs of anxiety:

  • Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness.
  • Feeling constantly ‘on edge’ or restless.
  • Having a frequent sense of dread.
  • Problems are

And here are six typical physical signs of anxiety:

  • Muscle tension.
  • Problems
  • Dry mouth.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Heart palpitations.

These ten do not cover the full extent of what people experience. They are typically part of the core people experience.

People often report a very wide range of different physical and psychological signs of anxiety.We have seen lists with at least 50 items.

Note that some people have many symptoms, others have fewer.

The real key to diagnosing an anxiety disorder is to the extent of the symptoms and how they affect everyday life.

People experiencing severe or disabling anxiety most days should consider seeking some help.

Psychological therapies (including self-help) are particularly good at treating anxiety disorders.

Apart from ‘generalized anxiety,’ anxiety can also be triggered by all sorts of different things.

Many of these are familiar terms nowadays: phobias, PTSD, and social anxiety.

commitments

What You Should Know About BenefitsCheckUp

Have you ever heard of BenefitsCheckUp? Or perhaps the Nation Council on Aging? If not it is time to learn.

National Council on Aging

National Council on Aging.

BenefitsCheckUp is a free service of the National Council on Aging (NCOA), a nonprofit service and advocacy organization in Arlington, VA.

Many adults over 55 need help to pay for prescription drugs, health care, utilities, and other essential needs. There are over 2,500 federal, state and private benefits programs available to help. But many people don’t know these programs exist or how they can apply.

BenefitsCheckUp asks a series of questions to help identify benefits that could save you money and cover the costs of everyday expenses.

After answering the questions, you will get a report created just for you that describes the programs you may get help from. You can apply for many of the programs online, or you can print an application form.

Here are the types of expenses you may get help with:

  • Medications
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Legal
  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • In-home services
  • Taxes
  • Transportation
  • Employment Training

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner

benefitscheckup

benefitscheckup

to help older adults meet the challenges of aging. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and businesses to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.

 

keeping seniors engaged

 

Aging Alone or with a Small Family: Questions to Consider

Are you a single person with few (or one) children? Or are you a single child with an aging parent or parents. Aging alone or with a small family creates some tough questions, doesn’t it?

aging alone

Aging alone.

Consider these questions:

Who will help you when you are growing old?

Even if you have enough money, who will help you manage your finances when you are no longer able?

Who can you count on to be a caregiver?

Don’t have an answer to those questions? Doesn’t give you a warm feeling, does it?

You are not alone (pun intended J)

Millions of seniors face a similar situation where they are by themselves or have few relatives to count on. And yes, one day they may need long term care and not inclined to choose leaving their home for a nursing home. They will need someone they can trust to help them manage their care and their money.

small family

Small family.

Consider this report from Kim Painter in USA Today:

— About 20 percent of U.S. women now reach their 50s without having children, up from 10 percent in the 1970s.

— One-third of middle-age adults are heading toward retirement years as singles, after never marrying, divorce or widowhood.

— Women are likely to be single or become single as they age, with more than 80 percent unmarried after age 85.

As Painter writes, “While many may treasure their independence, the problem is that, sooner or later, most people need help with health care and household tasks — help that most often is provided by spouses or grown children.”

A report on caregiving by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found that “at least 17.7 million individuals in the United States are providing care and support to an older parent, spouse, friend, or neighbor who needs help because of a limitation in their physical, mental, or cognitive functioning.

well being

Planning Quality of Life for your Seniors

For each person, planning quality of life is different and deeply personal. One person may define the quality of life as enjoying the beauty of a sunset. Another person

planning quality of life

                   Planning quality of life.

may describe it as sharing a holiday celebration with family; worshipping at a church, synagogue or mosque; playing a game of bridge; washing a car; listening to music or solving a crossword puzzle. Each person has a unique standard of what has value and what gives quality to life.

Each person’s definition of quality of life may include different factors such as:

  • Social relationships
  • Religious beliefs and spirituality
  • Cultural values
  • The ability to think, make decisions and have control in one’s daily life
  • Physical and mental health
  • Living arrangements
  • A sense of community
  • Financial and economic circumstances.

 

living arrangements

Living arrangements.

 

For those of us who participate in the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias should understand that, despite changes and loss of abilities, individuals with the disease can still find pleasure and experience satisfaction.

Planning quality of life … keeping seniors engaged

There is no doubt that engaged seniors are more alert and happy. Our home aides are

keeping seniors engaged

Keeping seniors engaged.

trained to be good conversationalists and to work on keeping seniors involved in multiple ways consistently.

Our minds, just like our bodies, need exercise to remain flexible and agile. And just as weak muscles increase the risk of falls; an under-exercised brain can lead to confusion, depression and even an increased risk of developing Dementia.

 

Seniors with dementia

Influencing your quality of life:

As the disease progresses, you will lose abilities that you may consider important to the quality of life. Some people think that quality of life is lost once a person is diagnosed with dementia. Others feel that quality of life can be maintained well into the disease process. The disease, however, does not remove your ability to appreciate, respond to and experience feelings such as anger, fear, joy, love or sadness.

While your symptoms are mild to moderate, you will likely know what gives you happiness and contributes to your sense of well-being. You might like to seek help to adapt to changing abilities and participate in meaningful activities. Remember that once you can no longer make choices or decisions, caregivers, family members or health-care providers will need to make decisions for yours, so it is important to talk to them and let them know your wishes.

For family members and caregivers

 

Determining someone else’s quality of life: Determining how another person would define the quality of life is not easy, but it is crucial. Avoid imposing your personal values and interpretation of quality of life on someone else. The abilities and interests of someone with dementia will change over time. However, every effort should be made, especially as the disease progresses, to provide an optimum quality of life for the person. Recognizing her abilities, interests and life-long skills helps to maintain and enhance her quality of life.

Effects of caregiving:

Many caregivers derive a sense of satisfaction and growth from caregiving but may have difficulty balancing their needs and those of the person with the disease. The tasks and responsibilities of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can have powerful and adverse effects on the quality of life of family members and caregivers. The degree to which their quality of life is affected may be influenced by:

  • Nature (parent, spouse, friend, lover) and strength of the relationship between the person with dementia and the caregiver
  • The personalities of the person with Alzheimer’s disease and the caregiver, and the ability of each to adapt to changes caused by the disease
  • The psychological, physical, spiritual and financial resources of the caregiver
  • Other day-to-day roles and expectations, such as being an employee, parent, business person, volunteer
  • The caregiver’s location and place of residence, about that of the person with Alzheimer’s disease
  • The opinions, views, and demands of people outside the caregiving relationship
  • A health-care system that seems to be placing more responsibilities on caregivers while providing less and less support.

 

Young children in a caregiver’s family may find their quality of life affected, as they may need support and attention that the caregiver is unable to give.

As family members and caregivers, you need to find the balance between your quality of life and the quality of life of the person you are caring for. If you can’t, those close to you should help you recognize this need for balance. If you don’t find the balance, the quality of life of both you and the person with the disease may suffer.

 

well being

7 Steps to Improve Seniors Quality of Life

So what are some ways we seek to improve our seniors quality of life? Here are some ways we use to help them indulge their wishes for many years to come.

A friend of mine recently said that there’s more to life than breathing. That certainly got my attention.

No one needs to be sold on how living better gives us more energy, helps us endure stress, whets our appetites and stuffs it, and keep our brains well oiled.

Stay mentally strong

Sadly, many older folks lose their minds to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Those are extremes, yeah, but cognitive impairment is still a big issue.

One way to combat this, while improving the life of loved ones, is by asking for their wisdom — their gold nuggets of knowledge.

I mean, heck, a lot of seniors lived through the Great Depression and Dust Bowl! You don’t go through those tragedies without learning a lot about life and what it takes to survive.

In this day and age, where it seems like everyone struggles just to live, ask for the advice of someone who has lived in much worse conditions than many of us do today.

Seek Help

Turning 60 isn’t the cutoff date for vitality; nobody automatically becomes delicate and fragile the moment they enter seniority — which is why a lot of people don’t ask seniors for their help.

A well-oiled brain prevents nasty diseases that slowly degrade it. That’s what having a good quality of life is all about: keeping yourself alive to enjoy living.

Let’s be real here; we like being needed. It’s an ego-booster. Could it have something to do with the worries of being picked last on sports teams?

Everybody, whether we’re 10 or 90, hates to feel like a burden — like our existence holds someone back. So, ask your beloved elder if they could help you with things like sorting the mail, keeping up with what’s going on in the news, preparing dinner, folding laundry, or even shopping — if they’re willing and able! Who doesn’t like feeling needed?

Beware and prevent depression

It’s a sad fact that many seniors over 65 have a risk for building depression or other psychological disorders. Encourage elders in your life to see a psychologist, therapist, or even to have a mental check-up.

Introduce technology

Whether you think technology is the devil or not, the fact is that tech helps seniors — especially these days when we live in the most technologically advanced age of all time.

Take, for instance, heart monitors, alert systems, and intercoms. Heck, phones are tech, too! Every one of those tools has played their crucial role in saving another human from a tragic accident.

How else are you supposed to keep in touch with your loved ones when they’re halfway across the world, probably in a country you don’t feel like paying long-distance phone fees for? Skype, the popular web-chatting program, connects people all over the world, every day. This gives a wonderful sense of freedom and connection.

engage friends

Engage friends frequently.

Engage friends

Everyone, not just an elder, needs to stay connected with people, even if just for a social visit or an hour luncheon. Time together is well spent, because really, all we have in the end is each other.

Before my mother passed, her 80-plus-year-old mom would come over each morning to watch morning talk shows over coffee. Every day. That time together is invaluable.

 

small goals

Exercise small goals.

Focus on small goals

Whether we like it or not, it’s ingrained in our DNA to “do something.” When we’re young, we make mountains of goals like dominating the world, becoming incredibly rich or having 3% body fat. In fact, some people say we make too many goals to finish them all!

That’s why seniors need small daily goals. However, “small” does not mean minuscule or unimportant. A goal as small as finishing a few cups of healthy juice could make a big difference over time. Encourage small goals like doing light exercise for an hour or starting and finishing a craft project.

Conquering goals make everyone feel on top of the world, regardless of age!

Encourage seniors to use social media

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram may be the Millenials’ realm, but there’s certainly room for everybody. Yes — that means people over 50.

They say we age like fine wine. What better way to show seniors’ “flavor” than by encouraging them to show the “unfermented” youngins a thing or two about life? (Was that metaphor getting out of hand?)

In fact, some senior centers have computer classes! Back in the day, it was all about “how to turn it on.” Nowadays, it’s much more advanced. Google it for yourself.

home care