Category Archives: Nursing Homes

Do Nursing Homes Accept Medicare?

One frequent question we get is, “Do nursing homes accept medicare?”

Medicare will not usually pay for long-term room and board at nursing homes. A nursing home that provides medical services may accept payment for those particular items, but not for residential fees.

If it is medically required for you to get “skilled nursing care” (for example, trained nurses who can administer chemotherapy medications and monitor your response) then Medicare Part A may cover your stay at a skilled nursing facility.

Medicare is health insurance and covers medical expenses like doctor’s visits, hospitalization and medical supplies – it does not typically pay for extended care or nursing home fees. Even though an elderly person may need help bathing and dressing does not mean Medicare will pay for that assistance.

Transitioning a Loved One into a Nursing Home: Before, During, and After

The life changing process of moving into a new home can be difficult for anyone at any age, especially for someone 50 years set in their ways and even more so if that person has been living in the same home for decades. Many of us get attached to our belongings after a few years, months, or even weeks. Could you imagine taking away a child’s favorite toy that they just received for their birthday? Now take that same loving attachment but turn it into sentimental belongings built up over many decades. Seniors need friends and family most when uncertainty looms. Here are some helpful steps and things to keep in mind when it’s time for your loved one to embark on this journey.

Preparing for the Move: the Longing for Belongings

  • Start early to minimize stress. Give them more time to evaluate and go through all the things they’ve held onto over the years. Allow them to go through all of the possible emotions: reluctance, anger, sadness, fear, and hopefully acceptance.

  • As you go through possessions, establish guidelines and time limits to turn decision-making into a self-fulfilling process. It can be very easy to get off topic, try your best to avoid it.

  • The above notwithstanding, leave time to reminisce about the house and all its special memories. Setting aside some dedicated time to discuss memories and precious moments could turn out to be very valuable family time in the end.

  • Make a list of things family members would like to keep. Done in a loving fashion, this can help make the senior feel both special (to be able to give) and needed as well.

  • It may be a stressful time, but try your hardest not to show it. Remain strong, kind and hold your patience throughout.

Moving

  • Selling unneeded items on Ebay, Craigslist or through a local consignment shop is a great way to make some pin money, as the older generations would say. Be careful of yard sales watching strangers pick through familiar belongings can be tough on a nostalgic person.

  • Consider hiring a Senior Move Manager. They specialize in helping seniors who are downsizing and/or moving to nursing homes and their special skills can help tremendously.

  • Seniors often want to ship a dining room set, grandfather clock or similar family treasure to children or grandchildren out of state. Hire a dedicated small move specialist rather than engaging a full-load mover who will charge more.

Life After Moving

  • Visit frequently. Don’t just drop off and say goodbye until next time. Put it on your calendar. More often than not, both parties will find tremendous fulfillment.

  • Nursing home residents don’t revert to childhood per se, but they often rediscover the joys of simple pleasures. So bring things when you visit. Here are a few suggestions:

    • A stuffed animal can be a delight and even a comforting companion.

    • Bring pictures and videos of family events. Watch the video together, and create a small photo album to leave behind.

    • Large-print books and magazines are usually welcome. Large-print crossword puzzle magazines, too. Exercise the mind and have fun at the same time.

    • Bring some favorite foods. Remember seasonal treats. Depending on the time of year that could include Halloween candy, pumpkin pie, holiday ham, chocolates (always a fan favorite) or corned beef and cabbage.

 

Keep them active by taking them places. Declining health can make outings difficult, but on the other hand, healthy activity can stave off decline. Here are a few ideas:

  • Enjoy a meal at a favorite restaurant. And since nursing home meal plans don’t usually vary much from week to week, this could be a special treat.

  • Go shopping. A mall is good, many malls offer early hours to allow seniors time to walk around the empty floors. Even a trip to a Walmart or a Target will break the routine.

  • Visit the past. If it won’t be an emotional drain, take a drive past the old house, a church or school they once attended, or the cemetery for a visit with a deceased family member.

  • Visit the present. If health permits, take them to those family events, recitals and graduations.

  • Just go. In this age of expensive gasoline, people don’t much seem to drive for pleasure anymore. Why not buck the trend?

This is a sponsored post by Transit Systems, a fully licensed leader in the shipping and moving services industry for over 20 years. With many specialties under their belt including senior move manager, Transit Systems is the best choice for moves big or small.

Top 5 Resources for Advice on Aging Parents

Eventually, the decision to care for an elderly parent or guardian is one many find themselves making. However, this is not one that anyone should jump into. Shepherding older family members through their autumn years can be a stressful yet noble undertaking. Depending on their needs, personalized care develops from a multitude of issues: Suffering from chronic physical illness, mental disabilities that require someone around to help with daily tasks, or other emotional woes.

Simply having the luxury of daily human contact is something that brings joy to lives of the elderly. This can come in the form of a live-in health aide or senior companion.

Taking on the responsibilities of a live-in senior healthcare member will cause a shift from the everyday, but the rewards are bountiful. There are various milestones those making this leap should consider.

1. Learn About Medicare Options

One of the most important issues faced when assisting an elderly family member is whether or not their needs (medical testing, prescriptions, hiring a live-in nurse, etc.) can be covered by Medicare insurance.

If you are hiring an eldercare person to come into the home, make sure to perform a thorough background check into the agency in which they represent. Questions you need to ask: Is their employment covered and approved by Medicare? Are there going to be extra out of pocket charges? Is the service certified by the Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations? If so, how long have they been in business? Is care undertaken with input by the patient, doctor and family? Do they publicly announce their Patients Bill Of Rights?

If you are looking into a reputable agency, all of these answer will either be found on a company website or by chatting with one of their customer representatives. Also, researching sites like Care.com, Eldercare.gov and Elderkind.com will put browsers in touch with other satisfied patients or their caregivers. This type of investigation yields first-person testimonials, and will guide you through the process with spectacular results.

2. Look for an In-Home Caregiver

Searching for home caregivers, either live-in or ones who only visit daily, can be time consuming. However, it is a process that can be started easily both online or by requesting information from your elder family member’s doctor. Asking for referrals from a medical advisory team will assure trusted representatives, and people who truly care for what their duties are, will overlook the stability of loved ones. Discussing it with a family physician, geriatric specialist, or even the local hospital social services department should result in finding a quality home healthcare member.

3. How To Screen Home Health Aides

Home Healthcare Aides work with many different kinds of disabilities and medical issues. You want to be 100% certain the aide has trained in the issues afflicting your elderly family member. Agencies will have background information available, and many institutions will allow family members to interview the candidate beforehand.

Having more than one aide on stand-by is another option to consider, and is also something agencies keep in mind. One cannot be expected to work 7-Days a week. Sometimes, if you are around on weekends, the same aide will come on a Monday – Friday basis. Still, whether you go through an agency or find senior companions on your own  -  do a wide range background check, interview them, and have back-ups ready in case of a scheduling conflict or emergency.

4. Assisted Living – Right for You and Them?

On occasion, the issues an elderly loved one faces are too much to deal with while keeping them home. In-home care or a companion is typically more affordable (and much more personalized), but moving an aging parent into an assisted living home might be the best options. It involves a guarantee they will be cared for and monitored 24/7 by a large, well-trained staff.

5. Finding a Senior Companion On Your Own

As discussed above, you may want to find a senior companion on your own. Many do it this way, and it is recommended that a thorough check into the aide’s background and work experience is performed. References and multiple interviews are a must, so make sure this is something that does not have to happen immediately.

Once hired, you must inform the home care provider about existing injuries and illnesses, as well as indicating symptoms. Give detailed instructions and schedules for medication, and keep them abreast of possible behavioral problems.

No matter what ailments are affecting your elderly family member, have a serious discussion with them before bringing anyone else into the home. It is important, above all else, that they be kept involved in the decision making process.

This guest post was provided by Drexel University Online. Drexel began offering online courses in 1996, bringing its recognized nursing & medical faculty and curricula to a worldwide student body. The university offers bachelors and master degrees, as well as certificates, in nursing & health professions, ranging from family nurse practitioners to nursing leadership. Drexel also acts as a resource guide for those interested in the nursing field, providing salary guides and information for nursing careers.

Discussing Senior Care with your Siblings

My siblings and I used to be really close but we settled in locations that were a hundred miles away from each other. When our dear mother got ill, we all came together to provide support and to prove to her that we will/can stick together throughout the tough times. I give the credit to Millie, our eldest sister, who went out of her way to organize reunions and regular conference calls. She also came up with a list of assignments along with a timeline for the family. After 7 months of fighting colon cancer, our mom passed away but I know that she was happy and proud of her children, who despite financial and proximity limits, still managed to come together to take care of her on her last few days.

So today, I’m hoping to reach out to everyone out there who is experiencing the same dilemma in taking care of their parents. I’d like to let you know that yes, it is possible that siblings can be one, that they can come together and bond despite differences in the past all for the love an aging mother.

Some families choose to avoid care professionals and decide to take care of their aging parents by themselves instead. While studies have proved that having an immediate family take good care of seniors could be a little more traumatic, it comes with a range of advantages as well. One of the biggest benefits is savings. In other cases, rotation of responsibilities can also improve relationships among siblings. However, if you decide to take care of your parents by yourselves, you have to make sure that everyone is willing to take part in the obligations. This can be quite a challenge especially if not everyone is willing to put in the same amount of effort, time, and finances.

So how did we manage to discuss senior care among our siblings?

One has to take the lead. In most cases, it is the eldest who takes the most proactive role. If you are the eldest, oblige yourself to be the person in-charge. Call your siblings for a family discussion. The common mistake that we make is that we only start setting meetings when our aging parents are already facing a health crisis. Don’t wait for your parents to be ill. Discussing senior care matters while they’re healthy is always better because it allows everyone, including your parents, to make sound decisions.

Just the siblings. It’s nice to have everyone in the family involved but during the planning stage, it’s best to start with just your siblings. Decide on what you want to do and how you want to go about your plan. When things are finalized, that’s the time that you involve everyone in the family.

Evaluate your parents’ needs. It’s always best to assess and discuss your parents’ needs with your siblings. Sometimes, we don’t have the same understanding about our parents’ condition so it’s best to schedule a meeting with a doctor so you can ask questions and get informed together.

Assign responsibilities. You have to figure out the best way to divide responsibilities among each other. In some families where siblings live in faraway locations, the one living closest to the parents is given the major responsibility for senior care while the others take major responsibilities in financial expenses. But if your siblings live in one area, it’s best to divide financial and caring obligations equally among yourselves. Some may also consider seeking professional help by hiring caregivers or by admitting their parents to senior care homes or availing of in-home care services. An online resource like InCareHomes can help you find in-care institutions in your area.

Make a communication plan. When parents are ill and require senior care, open communication among siblings is very important. It’s time to forget about sibling issues and come together for the sake of your parents. Set regular meetings with your siblings. But instead of holding table meetings, plan fun family gatherings instead to make discussions a little lighter. If the family resides in faraway states, hold conference calls regularly as well.

Keep these tips in mind and enjoy a harmonious relationship with your siblings, and provide the best care to your aging parents.

Moving a Loved One to a Senior Care Home

Anytime you prepare to move from one location to another, there is normally a degree of stress associated with the transition. It is commonly known that aside from divorce and death, moving house is one of the most stressful events you undertake in life. There are several things you can do to reduce any tension that may be related to an upcoming move from a home care arrangement to a care home. It all comes down to careful planning.

Do a preliminary visit to the care home to get a better sense of what the facility has to offer, meet with other residents and get an overall sense of what life will be like at your new home. It can help to alleviate any feelings of apprehension.

Prepare a checklist of things you will need to do prior to the move as well as what will be moved and what items will need to be stored, sold or offered to charity. If you are helping an elderly relative move, sit down with him or her and go over the list. Whenever possible, include the person that is moving into any preparation plans. This helps to produce of empowerment and control over the situation.

Give ample notice when moving out of an apartment or house. If you have been renting, a thirty-day notice is generally required by a landlord. Other things, such as terminating electrical power services, phone, water, cable and other related services should be done normally a month before you want these services to be discontinued.

Determine how much space you will have for personal items at you new home. It is likely you will have to significantly downsize in terms of the how many items you can bring with you to a care home. Also, contact the personal at the facility to determine if there are any items that will not be permitted.

If you intend to bring your pet with you to your new home, verify the care home allows pets. It can be absolutely heart breaking to part with your pet so careful research will go a long way. You don’t have to give up those morning and evening walks with you pooch if you don’t want to. Remember… The choice is yours.

You may need to rent storage space or store personal items at a relative’s home. Again, make sure to choose a storage space that will ensure that your valuables are safe. Beyond looking at the types of security offered by a storage facility, determine if the facility’s store space is airtight and that the facility takes measures to ensure that rodents and insects will not damage your belongings.

Moving to a care facility does not have to be a traumatic experience as long as you approach it in the right way. By planning carefully, you can make the shift to your new home with as little disruption as possible. Keep in mind that throughout this journey the choice is always yours. You choose where you live. You choose why you want to be there. You choose what you want.

Sarah writes regular articles like this one which is for Homes With Care, Homes With Care provide a unique and dedicated service that helps inform interested parties on the availability of assisted living facilities, retirement homes for sale and rent offering integrated close care, close care, extra care and independent living.