The Benefits of Home Healthcare

home healthcare benefits

There often comes the point in our adulthoods when we need to divert more of our attention and resources toward taking care of mom or dad. One commonly considered idea is to move one or both parents into some form of a retirement facility. Many reasons can prompt these considerations, such as health, financial or safety concerns. What many don’t realize until exploring health care options for their loved ones is the sizeable price tag and multitude of options that come with these types of organizations.

Yes, healthcare is expensive for seniors. But, you have options that won’t wipe out your bank account. Before you consider an independent living, semi-independent or dependent living facility you may want to take note of the various benefits of home health care services.

For those battling high blood pressure–not uncommon for seniors–the need for quality home health care can be of life and death importance. High blood pressure creates greater risks for stroke, kidney failure, and other serious issues.

  • Less stress – Being at home is always a more comfortable and peaceful environment than being someplace foreign or new. The advantage of keeping our loved ones feeling relaxed is a great benefit for those fighting high blood pressure.
  • Healthcare expenses – Although it depends on the particular needs of an individual, high blood pressure doesn’t normally require around-the-clock care. Being able to schedule when, how often, and what testing is done can result in considerable savings versus a living facility expense.
  • Overall health – Common sense states that we all–regardless of our age–prefer to live in a place we call home. The comfortable and peaceful environment afforded by home as opposed to a living facility can only promote better health. That, in turn, means the need for less medical attention.

The goal is simple – keep our parents as healthy and happy as long as possible. There have been enough studies done to prove that interaction and human connection make a difference, for both young and aging populations. So permitting our parents the happiness afforded by the comforts of home is invaluable – emotionally, physically and even financially.

To find out more about caring of your loved one and your options contact us. When it is all said and done, there really is no place like home.

For more information about our qualified compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

 

 

 

How to Make “Aging in Place” Possible

aging in place david york agency

 

As of January 2016, the Population Reference Bureau reports that more than 46 million Americans are over the age of 65. They project that this number will rise to 98 million in the next 40 years. According to a study by the AARP, of those 46 million Americans, 90% want to stay in their homes as they age. Coined as “aging in place,” the CDC defines this desire to stay home as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”

Some positive changes fueled this “aging in place” trend:

  • Increased education levels
  • An increase in life expectancy
  • Declining poverty rate for those over 65

Aging in place has positive psychological benefits as well. Kathryn Larlee, J.D. explains in her article on Advancing Smartly that adults who grow older in their own home have better mental health, lower levels of depression, and higher levels of daily living function than those in a long-term care facility. She also states that those who remain in their own homes have more community involvement and experience less social isolation.

However, choosing to grow old at home comes with risks too. As people age, their ability to care for themselves diminishes. The need arises for assistance with personal care, food preparation, transportation, medical care, and many more issues. Sometimes this burden falls to family members. Other times there is no one available to help.

With so many older Americans wanting to remain at home as they age, how can they do so successfully? Thankfully, there are many support services available. In 1965, Congress passed the Older Americans Act, which mandated grant funding to states for establishing social services.

For New York City and the surrounding boroughs, the best place to start is the NYC Department for the Aging. They can connect you with some of the following agencies and services:

  • Senior Centers – Senior centers offer a place for socialization, education, fitness, and healthy meals.
  • Case Management Agencies – The CMA will assess the needs of the person and then help obtain in-home care services and meal deliveries, as well as educate on entitlements and available benefits. They can also provide advocacy with landlords and utility companies.
  • Transportation – Some senior centers will provide transportation to doctor’s appointments or grocery shopping. The CMA can provide referrals to other transportation services in the area.
  • Free Legal Assistance

In-home care services are the highest need as people grow older, and finding the right services is important. These in-home services can include:

  • Home delivered meals
  • Caregiver services such as bathing, feeding, housekeeping, etc.
  • Social services such as transportation and shopping assistance, home visits, and regular phone calls to check on the person
  • Pen pals are available through a service called Platinum Pen Pals, which connects high school students with seniors.
  • In-home educational services
  • Library services via mail
  • Carrier alert programs: This is a special program that trains mail delivery people to recognize when a senior is in distress, such as accumulation of mail in the mailbox.

With the right combination of family or community involvement and support services, it is possible for people to grow old in their own home safely. They can maintain their comfort and dignity while receiving the help they need.

At David York Agency, it is our mission to provide the highest-quality support services to the aged, infirmed, and disabled. Our highly trained and vetted professionals can provide your family with a level of in-home assistance that meets your needs.

For more information about our qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Ageism in Medicine: The Elderly Need Preventive Care Too

ageism elderly preventative carePreventive care is used to find and maintain a good personal health standard. During a preventive visit, your doctor will look at a number of factors to determine what vaccines, screenings, and lab work are necessary for you. These factors include age, gender, current level of health, health history, and any current symptoms you are experiencing.

Unfortunately, it’s common for the elderly to not receive proper preventive care, including important health screenings and vaccinations. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2003, nine of every 10 adults over the age of 65 did not receive the appropriate screenings.

Preventive care has many benefits. Preventing disease and illness reduces overall healthcare costs. Healthy, working adults are more productive and attend work more consistently. Most importantly, preventive care allows seniors to remain independent longer, promoting not only physical health, but also mental and emotional health.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force lists five different screenings as part of their recommendations for older adults:

  • Breast cancer screening every other year for women aged 40 years or older
  • Colorectal cancer screening for adults aged 50 to 75
  • Type 2 Diabetes screening for adults aged 40 to 70 who are also overweight
  • Lipid disorder screening for adults aged 40 to 75
  • Routine Osteoporosis screening for women aged 65 and older. Women who are found to have an increased risk of fracture should begin screening earlier.

In addition to receiving the proper screenings, the USPSTF also recommends that clinicians ask all adults about their tobacco use. Tobacco cessation counseling is covered under Medicare Part B for up to eight visits with a qualified doctor in a 12-month period.

On top of screenings, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that everyone over the age of six months receive a yearly influenza vaccination. A Rand Corporation Study done in 2003 shows that getting the influenza vaccine reduces hospitalizations and deaths among the elderly as a result of the flu virus. They also recommend a pneumococcal vaccination for those aged 65 and older. This vaccine can prevent a serious bloodstream infection.

To develop these recommendations, the USPSTF and ACIP collected data from self-reported surveys. Despite the fact that this data is dependent on the ability of the adult to remember when they last received specific preventive care, these experts believe that there are gaps in the use of preventive services. These gaps vary by race, gender, insurance coverage, and education level.

In order to reduce the number of elderly Americans not receiving the proper preventive care, local, state, and national plans have been implemented. These include things like reducing out-of-pocket costs, promoting annual wellness visits, client reminders for screenings and other tests, distributing videos and brochures to raise awareness about available services, providing transportation to medical facilities for the elderly, and expanding healthcare to take place at the patient’s home, church, or other facility.

As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you’re interested in helping a loved one maintain their health and their independence, a home health care assistant may be able to provide the support you need. At David York Agency, our healthcare professionals can help to ensure that your loved one is receiving the proper preventive care.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Benefits of Aging in Place by: Max Gottlieb

aging in place
Aging In Place

As seniors age, they and their families are faced with the difficult question of how to provide the best care. The necessary level of care depends on the situation, but aging in place is becoming more feasible due to a combination of factors. There are constant medical advancements, people are living healthier lifestyles, and people are retiring later, leaving them financially able to make the choice. Sometimes all it takes to age in place is finding a caregiver or agency you can trust.  

Familiarity

The most obvious benefit of aging in place is familiarity with one’s surroundings. Familiarity may not seem like a big deal, but aging in a familiar place can alleviate depression and disorientation that sometimes occurs in aging facilities. Also, if you have the means for you or a loved one to age in place, you can avoid the dreaded argument that frequently occurs when parents are too stubborn to leave their home. It removes the tension that occurs when older people think moving them is a sign of pushing them away. 

Keeping a Routine

Studies show that people remain healthy, both physically and emotionally, by keeping with a routine. A routine can be anything from housekeeping to yard work, or seeing neighbors and cooking. These are all forms of physical and mental exercise that patients do not receive in institutional settings. Doing small things to keep active can help reduce what is known as aging atrophy, eventually leading to a complete dependence on others. This is not to say that it’s harmful to depend on others for certain activities of daily living. Oftentimes, a loved one or a professional caregiver can help someone maintain a healthy routine.  

Safety and Health

By aging in place, seniors can control their environments. They are not forced to acclimate to an environment controlled by others. The house can be as clean as they like and they are able to decide which visitors they want to see. At facilities, residents are forced to see health care professionals, other residents, and the families of other residents. Also, a major fear, when living in close quarters with other people, is the spreading of sickness or disease and this is alleviated by remaining independent.

What Kinds of Resource are Available?

As mentioned, sometimes people need caregivers in order to age in place. Caregivers are able to offer a variety of services, including homemaking, personal care, meal preparation, and medication management just to name a few. If bathing or maintaining personal hygiene becomes troublesome, a part-time caregiver can help. Or perhaps housework, laundry, or grocery shopping have become problem areas. Some grocery and drugstores offer delivery services, but if not, a caregiver can help with these things as well. Depending upon the type of services needed, there are different types of caregivers available with different job titles.

If a caregiver is needed, it is best to talk to an agency or a care manager. A care manager is someone who is trained to plan, organize, monitor, and deliver services to an elderly person. They can be immensely useful. Aging can be a time of navigating new terrain, but aging in place can hopefully eliminate some pressure.

 

Max Gottlieb is the content manager for ALTCS and Senior Planning. Both organizations work in tandem to provide free assistance to the elderly and their families when it comes to finding care options, benefits, or senior housing.

 

Aging In Place With Home Care by Anita Kamiel, R.N., M.P.S.

Aging in place is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” The value of aging in place is recognized more now than ever before. Aside from the psycho/social benefits of the elderly remaining home for as long as possible, with institutional care being extremely costly, a home health aide at the appropriate time is the ideal solution.

aging in place

Unfortunately, there comes a point in most senior’s lives where they cannot manage all their basic needs alone. It varies for everyone depending on their state of health, both mentally and physically. A senior’s compromised mobility may make them unable to shop for and prepare meals for themselves. They may need help with basic grooming, dressing and toileting or become forgetful to the degree that relatives are afraid to leave them on their own lest they forget something cooking on the stove or become disoriented and wander away. Whatever the case may be, outside care might become necessary, but how do you go about lining that up?

Sometimes families choose to find help on their own. This can be a viable option, but becomes burdensome as time wears on. Properly screening and vetting candidates is not an easy proposition. It is more efficient to turn to professionals to do that. Licensed home healthcare agencies are designed to take painstaking care in checking references and for a criminal background before sending someone to your home. They make sure all medical requirements for the aides are met and they themselves are monitored by the state. If you have long term care insurance, you will be required to use a licensed agency to be reimbursed for home care. You should be aware when choosing an agency to work with that some are fussier than others in their screening practices.

Depending on the agency, you can tap into the expertise of the home care specialists on staff, many of whom have years of experience in the field and are up-to-date with the latest rules and regulations as well as best practices. Make sure the person you deal with is professional, caring and knowledgeable as well as flexible about replacing an aide if she is not a good fit for your loved one, you or the situation – no matter how frequently. The agency must work with your schedule and the amount of hours of service you require. Fees are usually by the hour for live out care and by the day for live in.

In addition to aging with dignity and quality of life, factors such as moving during the frail senior years can prove to be fatally traumatic making it so important for seniors to stay in their homes, even through the difficulties that may bring. As important as it may be, it’s also tough to ensure that they have the care they need.

Caring for aging loved ones was never an easy prospect. However, when families lived in multi-generational households and closer together, they shared the burden of a sick or elderly loved one. Today, with families scattered, the responsibility for the details of care can be overwhelming. With so much to consider on a daily basis, it’s easy for important needs to get lost in the mix. That is where an agency can be of most benefit.

Establishing a relationship with a home healthcare agency opens up vistas to a host of services tailored to the elderly. You have access to a large pool of available aides when you need them all logistically arranged for by someone else. Several also have access to a network of professionals such as social workers, eldercare attorneys as well as elder proofing services for the home as you need them.

Anita Kamiel, R.N, M.P.S. is the founder and owner of David York Home Healthcare Agency and is fully acquainted with all factors related to eldercare services and the latest guidelines for seniors. Thirty years ago, she realized the need for affordable, quality home health aide services provided and supervised by caring individuals. You can contact her at 718.376.7755 or at www.davidyorkagency.com. David York Agency is also on Facebook, TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.