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PREPARING THE ELDERLY FOR AUTUMN AND RELATED HAZARDS

PREPARING THE ELDERLY FOR AUTUMN AND RELATED HAZARDS

 

Wear Layers, When Going Out.

Throughout the fall, temperatures can begin to feel cooler. However with the fall season, especially in Texas, one can find that it may be warm during the day and chiller by the evening. Be prepared for both instances with a sweatshirt, light jacket, or a hat, according to where you are located.

Senior Care and Seasonal Vaccines.

Cold and flu season begins in the fall , so getting a seasonal flu vaccine can help prevent unwanted illnesses. Washing your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water for at least 30 seconds prevents the spread of bacteria and germs. Be sure to lots of sleep to strengthen your immune system to help your body naturally fight intruders.

Residential Maintenance.

For the elderly that are living by themselves may want to have a professional to check their heating systems. Even for those who reside in assisted living communities, now is an excellent time to grab a space heater or even two for those who feel cold. Never leave them unsupervised. Place at least 3 ft. between the heater and walls or curtains.

Outdoor Precautions and Senior Care.

Autumn remains warm enough to get out and enjoy outsides activities. The autumn weather can present certain obstacles for the elderly since rains cause slick surfaces and falling foliage could cause risky and low visible walking conditions. There is plenty of work associated with maintaining a safe outside area and driveways throughout autumn, so hiring a professional service prevents debris buildup and keeps walking paths clear.

Be Prepared For an Emergency

Transitioning weather can cause storms leading to power outages, loss of heat, water and phone services. Inclement weather means a difficult time venturing out for essential supplies. Prepare for emergency situations:

  • Store lots of non-perishables and clean water.
  • Keep candles, fresh batteries, flashlights, extra blankets, Sterno fuel and a battery-operated radio available.
  • Don’t wait on a crisis to establish a system of communication. Everyone, not just the elderly, living alone ought to create a “buddy system.”

Keeping appropriate heat levels inside the home is an integral part of elderly care. It is unfortunate that, many people are not able to afford for heating. Senior care and assistance programs provide a safe and clean environment for seniors where they have access to care and necessities to experience a high quality of life.

 

by  | Oct 10, 2015 | GeneralHelpful Information for Family MembersSenior Safety Tips |

Medicare vs. Medicaid

Difference Between

Medicare & Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid are

Two Entirely Different Programs

 Medicare

 Medicaid

Government health insurance program for people over 65 and for those who are on Social Security disability. Funded jointly by the Federal Government and the individual states. Individuals must meet specific financial and “need for care” requirements in order to receive benefits.
Qualification based on age and/or disability. Participation not subject to income, asset or “needs” test. Qualification based on “need for care” and financial need. Single (unmarried) individuals must be essentially broke (below $2,000 in most states). Rules allow certain strategies to protect assets.
Provides coverage for hospitalization, doctors and other types of medical expenses. Medicare is a medical insurance program, and except for a limited short-term nursing home benefit, is not coverage for nursing home or other long-term care. Provides benefits for long-term nursing home care, and, in many states, benefits for other types of long-term care.
In order to get Medicare coverage for a nursing home stay, you must be in an approved skilled nursing facility, have been in the hospital for at least three days prior to entering the facility, and to be deemed by Medicare to be medically benefiting from that skilled nursing. Custodial care is not covered. Technically, there is a maximum of 100 days of nursing home benefit. In actuality, the requirement about medically benefiting usually limits the benefit to a period of 10-20 days for rehabilitation. Those individuals who meet the definition of “need for care,” as well as the financial requirements, can qualify for nursing home care (including custodial care). There is no maximum limit on the period of time that care can be provided.
Under no conditions does Medicare pay for assisted living, residential care facilities, and adult foster care. In many states, Medicaid will provide care in assisted living, residential care and/or adult foster care facilities.
Except during the time you’re in the hospital, Medicare does not cover medications. Medications are covered.
Medicare does have some benefit for home health but this is purely for medical reasons, not for caregivers to come in and attend to someone who needs help with personal needs on a long-term basis. In many states, in-home care is provided to allow for caregivers to come into the home to provide care and help with personal needs and activities of daily living.

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Age-Related changes in memory such as forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. But It can also be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There are 10 warning signs and symptoms, and every individual may experience one or more of these signs in a different degree. Therefore if you notice any of them, please see a doctor.

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Help Your Senior Prepare For Winter

Winter is approaching and as the temperature drops, it’s important for older adults to prepare for the potential risks that cold weather can bring.

For the thousands of seniors living in the Northwest, winter may pose a number of risks. Reports have shown much higher incidences of injury and illness due to icy sidewalks, cold and dry air, flu viruses and in many cases, hypothermia.

According to the Healthy Aging Partnership, a coalition of more than 40 Puget Sound not-for-profit and public organizations dedicated to the health and well-being of older adults, older adults should keep these tips in mind to help ensure safety and optimum health this winter.

  • Older adults are more susceptible to hypothermia, which occurs when too much heat escapes from the body. It is important to dress warmly and keep dry, but equally important to remember good nutrition. Food provides the fuel we need to keep warm. Hot food and warm drinks are best to warm the body.
  • When going outdoors, remember to dress warmly. Wear layered, loose-fitting clothing and mittens. When possible, wear a hat to protect against heat loss since close to half of all body heat is lost through the head.
  • You can prevent many winter hazards simply by planning ahead. Before winter arrives, check all the windows and doors in your home for cracked or worn sealants. A new application of caulking may be needed; in a pinch, staple a sheet of plastic tarp over really old windows.
  • Talk to your electric or gas companies to see if you can be put on a level billing system that averages your energy payments equally over 12 months. This doesn’t save money, but it does help to budget during the heating season and prevent your heat from being shut off.
  • To avoid slips and falls, wear non-skid boots or other shoes with plenty of traction.
  • Cold weather can put extra strain on the heart. When doing winter chores such as shoveling snow, do some warm-up exercises first and take many breaks.
  • To conserve energy, heat only those rooms that you use. Close off the attic, garage, basement, spare bedrooms or storage areas. But don’t overdo your money-saving efforts: keep your thermostat set to at least 65 degrees to prevent hypothermia.
  • Shift energy use from peak to off-peak times. For example, do small things like running your dishwasher after 9 p.m.
  • When using a portable heater, plug the heater directly into an outlet, not to an extension cord. Make sure the outlet and wiring are in good condition. Keep the area around the heater clear of furniture, newspaper or other flammable materials and take special care to avoid tripping over cords.

Article from www.4elders.org

What is the Difference Between Companion Care and Personal Care?

When someone mentions Home Care, there is a wide range of services they may be offering and sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what those services are. This is intended as guide to give you more information about the names of the services and which one might be right for you.

It’s important to remember that home care is different than a Home Health Agency, these agencies primarily focus on skilled medical care at the home that a standard care provider cant give. Make sure to call and discuss with a company exactly what type services they provide, as well as research that they are a reputable company.

Home Care will basically fall into two categories: Companion Care and Personal Care. When you are talking about Companion Care this is usually a less intensive, non-medical type service. This often includes activities like taking care of a pet, driving to Doctors appointments or any errand for that matter, light household cleaning, preparing of meals, grocery shopping, washing dishes or clothes and watering plants. One of the most underrated services they can provide is simple companionship, whether that is playing cards, going on walks or simply a warm smile, it can make all the difference. We all have to deal with loneliness or isolation, but these problems can acutely affect us, as we get older.  Companion Care can be a great service to alleviate some loneliness, as well provide some basic help.

Personal Care is slightly different, they will generally provide all of the services covered by Companion Care, in addition to more hands on services like help with taking medication, bathing and dressing. Personal Care is usually for people who require a much higher degree of assistance rather than merely help with chores and appointments.

It is important not to expect more from a caregiver than what they have been trained to do. Make sure to have a frank discussion before hiring someone about what they are and are not able to perform in the execution of their job. It can be a little scary for some people to invite a stranger into their home, it is important to research any company you hire for Home Care to have a good reputation. However, it’s also important to remember that most of the time caregivers very warm, good people who love what they do and provide a lot of assistance, either for you or a loved one.

Article from seniordirectory.com

What is Respite?

Respite Definition: What is Respite Care and When Do I Need It?

The dictionary’s respite care definition is “a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant” or “an interval of rest or relief”.  Respite care generally refers to care provided to offer such a break to a primary caregiver.  Respite might be provided full-time for a period such as a week or two (for example while a caregiver travels) or might be provided on an intermittent basis (such as every afternoon or once/week so the caregiver can run errands, rest or attend an activity).  You can find a good overview of respite care in Aging Wisely’s post, “Caregivers: Options for Respite“.

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