Care Seeker Resources

A collection of resources to help you navigate the care continuum.

By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: February 06, 2017

Tech making an impact on home health care services

Carelike's senior housing and elder care directory, coupled with its CareMatch technology, lets care providers quickly and easily post business information and service offerings.

Home care aides have long been facilitators of independence and good health for seniors. From providing assistance for individuals who want to age in place to ensuring their clients remain active participants in their communities, it's crucial that care providers have the means to promote this self-sufficiency.

Thankfully, an assortment of emerging technological devices and internet platforms have arisen that ease the facilitation of this independence and health lifestyles for seniors.

Social media keeps everyone connected

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media outlets have made the world more interconnected than ever before. While Facebook began solely as a means for college students to stay linked, it quickly transformed into a global network accessible to people of all ages. Increasingly, older adults are using the channel. According to a 2016 survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 62 percent of online individuals ages 65 and older log in and use Facebook - a jump of 14 percentage points from the 48 percent of this cohort who reported using the site in 2015.

"Facebook keeps seniors connected with friends and families."

One of the great things about social media is that it allows seniors to interact with friends, families and even strangers - a key component to remaining independent and healthy. However, the service also provides a channel for seniors to keep everyone updated about health problems or other issues preventing them from living life to the fullest.

Wearable technology

As computers become smaller and more ubiquitous, innovative companies have been incorporating technology into just about everything. This has facilitated the advent and growth of wearable technology. And it's having an impact on the home health community for good reason. 

Each year, roughly 33 percent Americans ages 65 and older and half of people 85 and older, experience a life-changing fall, Live Science reported. These slips can cause severe injuries and prevent individuals from reaching their phone to contact an emergency service.

A medical alarm system that includes a pendant or device that senses a sudden fall and impact reduces the chances for long-term injuries or worse. These devices have become much more advanced in recent years, with internet connections and immediate contact methods if the wearer doesn't respond.

Increased access to wearable technology allows home care aides to stay informed of any potentially dangerous slips or falls that might occur to the seniors they assist.

 

New technology has been key in allowing home health aides boost their quality of care.

New technology has been key in allowing home health aides boost their quality of care.

Matching with the best care aides

Finding the right home care aide and matching him or her with the ideal person is crucial for maintaining solid relationships. 

Carelike's senior housing and elder care directory, coupled with its CareMatch technology, lets care providers quickly and easily post business information and service offerings. The information is then sent to Carelike’s network of Channel Partners who license and view the provider information in order to make referral recommendations to their patients.  This robust and comprehensive search technology connects the most ideal care provider candidate best suited to the care seeker’s needs. For a minimal fee, care providers can set up a detailed profile with a comprehensive list of qualifications and experiences. This enables the CareMatch technology to produce more accurate connections that allow for better relationships between care providers and care seekers. 

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: January 04, 2017

5 signs you have a great home health aide

There are some tried-and-true signs that you've hired a great home health aide no matter what kinds of conditions your loved one is struggling with.

Finding the right home health aide for your senior loved one, even after months of research into candidates, can still be a roll of the dice for many people. After all, this individual is responsible for meeting the care and treatment needs of a person you have loved for decades, so it's understandable that you want to ensure your home health aide is the right fit.

There are some tried-and-true signs that you've hired a great home health aide no matter what kinds of conditions your loved one is struggling with. Here are the top five you should look for:

1. Good communication skills

Although a home health aide knows how to take vitals to prevent and identify health issues, the bulk of his or her job is going to rest on proper communication with your loved one, and with you as well. This starts with the home health aide having a good attitude and an open mind when he or she is talking through a daily routine, especially if there are changes to doctor recommendations or treatments. Above all, your senior loved one should feel calm and comfortable while speaking to the home health aide, according to Aging Care.

 

Patience and empathy are essential for home health aides' success.

Patience and empathy are essential for home health aides' success.

2. Professionalism

Before a patient receives care from a home health aide, he or she should sit down with both you and your loved one to discuss job expectations and his or her approach to care. This is also a time when you and your loved one should discuss what to expect during the day and what kinds of tasks should be carried out.

3. Plenty of patience and empathy

As with any care professional setting, providers need to have patience to best serve their patients. This is especially true if your loved one is struggling with a cognitive issue like dementia or Alzheimer's. In care settings, there are times when providers may run into frustrations, but during these times they need to remain calm and focus on the job at hand. Although this often results in extra time and empathy on their end, for providers, these two traits are absolutely essential to success.

4. A balanced schedule

There is a good chance that your home health aide is caring for several patients. This means you need to be respectful of his or her schedule and hours, and vice versa. Many home health aides today rely on apps and shared calendars to find a balance in the schedule. However, he or she should also be in communication with you when times or dates are rearranged just so all of the bases are covered when it comes to your loved one's care.

5. Experience with all types of care

Just like a doctor or nurse, successful home health aides have seen and been through it all, and that's a good thing. You want your home health aide to know what to do in a variety of medical situations, large and small. That's why every care seeker much look to the experience this individual has encountered over his or her years in the health care industry to see if he or she is the right fit for your loved one's health needs. 

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: December 13, 2016

Qualities to look for in postoperative care

As a care seeker, there are a lot of things you will need to consider for postoperative care.

As a care seeker, there are a lot of things you will need to consider for postoperative care. Going through surgery or a procedure is only the beginning: Postoperative care is incredibly important as you heal from an operation, as the right care can lessen health complications and also bolster your recovery from a condition.

Basic postoperative needs
A lot of families prefer a caregiver be with their senior loved one consistently following an operation. There are a lot of reasons behind this: For instance, if a medical issue were to arise, such as an infection at the surgical site, a trained professional will he on-hand to give the best advice and ease worries. This is especially true for older patients, as their immune systems are weaker and response time to these medical events is critical.

Recovery is also every bit as important as the surgery itself. From dietary changes to physical activity to pain management, postoperative care requires a schedule and system that is best implemented by a medical provider who is trained in this field. Here are a few things you should look for in postoperative care:

 If you're recovering from surgery, postoperative care is crucial.

1. Caregiving 101: For recovery after most surgeries, your caregiver will need to understand some basic nursing credentials, such as checking vital signs, helping your loved one get dressed, administering medications and changing bandages. If the doctor recommends physical therapy, you might want to specifically look for a caregiver that also has a background in this field.

2. A focus on mobility: Many senior loved ones require home health services because they are recovering from an invasive surgery, such as a hip or knee replacement. For these types of operations, it is crucial that the patient is up and moving as soon as he or she is able to. Although every patient recovers differently from an operation, the main goal is to get your loved one back to normal, and that requires mobility.

3. Transparency about medical costs: Some recovery services and equipment might be covered by Medicare, while others require additional insurance or cost. According to the New York Times, most insurance companies will only pay for skilled care on a temporary basis if you are homebound. However, a good postoperative caregiving agency will be upfront ahead of time about what you need to get healthy as well as what is and is not covered so that you can make the right financial decisions for you and your family.

4. Care coordination: Part of caregiving requires care coordination. Depending on the operation, your loved one might require some tests after surgery to see if the surgery was successful. Your postoperative caregiver will be aware of these updates and implement the care techniques instructed from your physician.

The care you or your loved one receives after surgery is critical for long-term health. Be sure that you know the basics about postoperative care so that you can make the most informed decisions about your family's health and recovery.

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: December 06, 2016

The growing threat of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer's disease has become one of the biggest public health crises in the U.S., especially over the past few decades.

Alzheimer's disease has become one of the biggest public health crises in the U.S., especially over the past few decades.

According to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, more than 50 percent of nursing home residents who used long-term care services were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, and it is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Although these statistics are alarming, they only tell one part of the story when it comes to this condition. The Alzheimer's Association also says that 47 million people are currently living with Alzheimer's or other dementias worldwide, affecting people from all walks of life. 

Alzheimer's at a glance
This disease doesn't just affect those who are afflicted, but it also impacts whole families and communities. Support from caregivers, friends and family members is absolutely crucial for patients who are trying to battle Alzheimer's, so it is important to understand the behaviors and challenges.

Alzheimer's goes through three general stages: all with mild, moderate and severe cognitive decline, according to the Alzheimer's Association. The progression of these stages depends on the person, but the disease can last anywhere from four to 20 years.

Cognitive decline can also afflict individuals in different ways, but some of the more common ones include difficulties communicating during work or social interactions, losing valuable objects, trouble remembering names, speech pattern decline, and the inability to plan or organize daily tasks. Eventually these symptoms can progress into more debilitating symptoms, such as forgetfulness about personal history, personality changes and physical problems as well.

 

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease affects millions of patients and families worldwide.

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease affect millions of patients and families worldwide.

Searching for breakthroughs in Alzheimer's
Breakthroughs in science are also needed now more than ever to stop this disease from progressing. As Forbes recently pointed out, a promising new drug, solanezumab, did not pass late-stage clinical trials with Alzheimer's patients, meaning that many researchers are going back to the drawing board and looking for a more practical approach to conquer the disease.

However, there are some glimmers of hope. Fortunately, many researchers and policymakers have recently made Alzheimer's a priority. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the House Appropriations Committee approved an additional $350 million to go toward Alzheimer's research this past summer after pressure from more than a thousand Alzheimer's advocates who expressed their concerns.

No matter what happens in the future with Alzheimer's, it's clear that a combination of medical innovation and informed policy decisions are needed in order to give families, caregivers and patients the resources they need to meet the immense challenges of this condition moving forward. 

Raising awareness
As Alzheimer's continues to affect more people in the U.S., various awareness efforts have taken place across the country. Many people have joined in Alzheimer's Awareness marches, worn purple during Alzheimer's Awareness Month and shared their stories on social media with hashtags like #ENDALZ or #IGoPurpleFor in order to shine the spotlight on the disease and research efforts. Many celebrities have also shared their support and personal stories about the fight against Alzheimer's, including comedian Seth Rogen, the cast of "The Big Bang Theory," athlete Tony Hawk, musician Grace Potter and fashion expert Nina Garcia.

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: December 01, 2016

Financial assistance for making your home wheelchair-accessible

If you need financial assistance for home modifications to make your house wheelchair-accessible, there are several resources that may be able to help you get started.

Many seniors want to live their lives as independently as possible, and home modifications are an excellent way to help them do just that. If you need financial assistance for home modifications to make your house wheelchair-accessible, there are several resources that may be able to help you get started.

Common home modifications
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are a few common alterations that many people seek out once they rely on a wheelchair for day-to-day activities. Some of these may include:

  • Push-button access to doors that replace traditional door handles.
  • A walk-in shower.
  • Handrail installation on staircases, both outdoors and indoors.
  • Altering kitchen counters so that they are lower and easier to reach.
  • Wheelchair ramps that help you get inside and outside more easily.

Whether you are seeking resources for one or all of these alterations, it's important to speak first with your physical or occupational therapist to see what might work best for you and your home.

 

There are several resources that can help you make your home wheelchair-accessible.

There are several resources that can help you make your home wheelchair-accessible.

Get educated about home modifications
Getting yourself informed about making your home wheelchair-accessible is the first step, and there are plenty of resources and organizations that can help. The HHS also explained that repairs and alterations can cost seniors anywhere from $150 to $2,000, depending on the type of renovation you are seeking. A contractor will be the best person to explain to you what is needed in your home, how much it will cost and what kinds of reduced rates or fees might apply.

However, it's important to know that these modifications and their respective expenses are provided by the Older Americans Act, and then dispensed through the Area Agencies on Aging, according to the HHS. You can find out where your local AAA chapter is by visiting the Alzheimer's Association's Community Resource Finder (www.communityresourcefinder.org)  and then clicking on the "Community Services" tab.

Resources and organizations
In addition to your local AAA, there are several other resources and organizations that might be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to financial assistance. The HHS recommends Rebuilding Together, Inc., which operates with local affiliates and volunteers to help low-income seniors find the resources they need. You might also be able to find rebates with the U.S. Department of Energy's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, though those discounts may vary state by state.

It's also worthwhile to contact organizations in your area, as many cities and towns offer grant funds through community development centers and local departments. Local banks and lenders might advise you to look into home equity conversion mortgages or reverse mortgages to cover additional costs for renovations as well.

If you're a senior looking to make your home wheelchair-accessible, there are many ways you can get the assistance you need, both from private and public sources. Be sure to ask family and friends about their own experiences with these types of renovations as well so that you gain more insight into the right contractors to hire for this important task.

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Press Release  |  On: November 15, 2016

Carelike, LLC. leads change in senior care referral industry

Carelike differentiates from its competitors by giving care seekers access and transparency to all providers in their area, not just those who pay for a profile. Carelike displays all available information, truly giving families the power of choice and the ability to make informed decisions.

Carelike, LLC. leads change in senior care referral industry

Media contact:
Stephanie F. Jackson
Carelike, LLC.
Tele: (404) 250-8370

ATLANTA, GA. (November 15, 2016) -- As many Americans (especially baby boomers) are discovering, finding the perfect care service for a senior loved one is challenging. Per data from a 2015 AARP report, approximately 43.5 million adults provided unpaid elder care, mainly to relatives. This number only stands to grow as baby boomers age, and Carelike has come up with a solution.

With most senior-placement companies, care seekers use online or call-in services to find an assisted living community or home health aide for their loved one. However, they only get information from a small, select number of providers who have a contract to be listed on that referral company's website. This means care seekers miss out on many providers who might more closely fit their needs, have more esteemed credentials or elicited better patient reviews.

The senior care referral industry has been around for years, and so has Carelike (previously SNAPforSeniors). The organization is well-connected and has the experience and expertise required to drive a much-needed change to the industry. Their business model has always put the care-seeker first. Everyone who is a licensed senior care professional - not just those who "pay to play" - shows up in Carelike's comprehensive database of providers. This is because Carelike pulls from 400 different sources to gather data on senior and post-acute care providers. The organization then goes to great lengths to clean, filter and augment the data to give care seekers the most up-to-date and accurate picture of each provider.

This methodology has made Carelike the preferred partner for organizations who help consumers find care, which include renowned health organizations, health insurance companies, care management companies, EAPs and patient advocacy groups, including the Alzheimer's Association.

If you haven't heard of Carelike, it may be because the company has always worked behind the scenes providing well-known, reputable organizations with data. Now that this company aims to appeal to consumer care seekers, Carelike will share providers' information with not only organizations who license the data but with family members looking for senior services through their new consumer search site.

Carelike is the only online senior listing company that provides that type of exposure for providers - to both consumers and professional care-seekers at organizations who license the data. Meanwhile, Carelike differentiates from its competitors by giving care seekers access and transparency to all providers in their area, not just those who pay for a profile. Carelike displays all available information, truly giving families the power of choice and the ability to make informed decisions. Discover the possibilities for yourself at CareLike.com.

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: November 03, 2016

National Family Caregiver Month: Reward yourself for being a caregiver

There is no better time than now to reward yourself for being a caregiver or honor friends and family members who are.

Last month, President Barack Obama proclaimed November 2016 as National Family Caregivers Month, and "encouraged all Americans to pay tribute to those who provide for the health and well-being of their family members, friends and neighbors." There is no better time than now to reward yourself for being a caregiver or honor friends and family members who are.

Why caregivers are so important
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, there are more than 44 million Americans who currently care for a neighbor, friend or family member. Caregivers are incredibly important for the health and well-being of millions of Americans, as they help people manage disabilities and carry on with daily life. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates up to 30 percent of American adults are somehow involved in caregiving for a disabled or sick loved one, especially older Americans and people with disabilities.

There's a good chance you are either a caregiver yourself, or someone close to you is. This is the best month to either celebrate your role as a caregiver or support friends and family members who are. Here are a few ways you can do so:

1. Make a donation: There are many foundations and organizations that advocate on behalf of caregivers, including the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. Making a monetary donation will not only support caregivers but also people who are struggling with conditions and disabilities across the country.

2. Volunteer: If you don't have the means to give money to a charitable organization, you can definitely give back by volunteering or advocating for these same organizations. You can also contribute to your caregiving community locally by volunteering at a nursing home or senior care center.

3. Give yourself a day off, or fill in for a caregiver: Caregiving can take a toll on your physical and emotional health, which is why days off are so important. In order for you to give the quality care your loved ones deserve, you need to ensure that you are taking time for yourself as well. You can also fill in for a caregiver one day so they can enjoy some much-needed time off to relax and recharge.

Caregivers do incredible work in our communities, so it's important to thank them.

4. Let them know they are appreciated: Sometimes a kind note, thank you card or even a simple verbal "thank you" is enough to brighten any caregiver's day. People always want to know that they are appreciated, especially in a role that can presents a lot of emotional and physical challenges.

5. Give yourself a gift: It could be a dinner out, a nice new pair of shoes or even a weekend getaway. Rewarding yourself for a lot of tiresome nights and days is definitely in order, especially during National Family Caregivers Month. Be sure to treat yourself if you haven't in awhile.

This month, reward yourself or thank loved ones who devote their time to caregiving. With so many lives enriched by these individuals, it's important to let them know they are appreciated.

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: October 06, 2016

Is your home healthcare covered by Medicare

Seniors over 65 may be wondering what kinds of home health care benefits are covered under Medicare.

If you're a senior who struggles with maintaining your health and well-being on your own, you might be considering the help of a home health aide. Seniors over 65 may also be wondering what kinds of home health care benefits are covered under Medicare. Below we will break down who is eligible for Medicare coverage of home health services and actions you can take to get the care you need.

Eligibility, Medicare and home health
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, home health services have become increasingly popular for Medicare recipients, as they typically cost less and offer the same high level of care. Many home health services focus on preventative care to also reduce acute care costs and help seniors become more independent.

Medicare does cover some types of home health services.

Medicare does cover some types of home health services.

As a result, Medicare does allow seniors to attain home health coverage, but you have to be eligible to receive these services. Here are a few requirements you'll need to receive home health care, according to CMS:

  • The home health care plan must be reviewed and established regularly by your doctor.
  • A doctor must verify that you require one or more of the following: intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language pathology or occupational therapy.
  • The agency you choose must be Medicare-certified.
  • A doctor must confirm that you are homebound, meaning it is not recommended you leave your home due to a condition (this excludes infrequent absences from home, such as attending religious services once a week or adult day care).


What exactly is covered under Medicare's home health policy?
If you meet these requirements, you will not be expected to pay for home health care services per Medicare's policy, according to CMS. Additionally, Medicare will cover 20 percent of the amount approved from Medicare to be put toward durable medical equipment used while at home. Regardless of your home health needs, each agency should explain in full detail what is and what's not covered under these policies based on your condition, also known and the "Home Health Advance Beneficiary Notice."

Skilled nursing care is also covered when administered on a part-time or intermittent basis. Skilled nurses are defined as registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Some of the treatments you may expect from these medical professionals include changing dressings, informing you about your prescriptions or diabetes treatments, administering IV drugs or shots, as well as tube feedings, if necessary.

Skilled nursing care is covered under Medicare if on a part-time or intermittent basis.

What isn't covered under Medicare's home health policy?
CMS also stated that the home health policies under Medicare only direct revenue to the services you need from your chosen agency. However, doctor visits and other routine appointments are generally already covered by existing Medicare benefits. Meals, 24-hour care, housekeeping services like cleaning, shopping, and personal care like bathing and dressing, generally are not paid for under Medicare policies.

You have the right to appeal
CMS also indicated that once covered home health plans come to an end, Medicare recipients have the right to a fast appeal. During this process, a quality improvement organization (QIO) will review your treatment plan and determine if you still require home health services. Under Medicare policy, the home health agency will send you a written notice at least two days before your home health treatment is scheduled to end, and it will also give you a breakdown of how you can appeal.

Home health services are a part of your care plan as a senior if you need them, so it's important to understand what is and is not covered under your Medicare plan. If you need more information about home health services and Medicare, be sure to contact your doctor or home health agency.

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Blog  |  On: October 04, 2016

3 Halloween activities grandparents can do with grandkids

The frightful night of Halloween is quickly approaching. If you're a grandparent, you've likely been thinking about fun activities to do with your grandkids.

The frightful night of Halloween is quickly approaching. If you're a grandparent, you've likely been thinking about fun activities to do with your grandkids. Whether you're at home or an assisted living facility, there are plenty of ways to make this spooktacular one to remember. Here are a few ideas to get started:

Spooky and sweet treats
Trick or treat? We say treat! Baking sweets with your sweeties is a great way to teach them kitchen skills, pass down family recipes and have fun. For little ones who aren't quite at the stage of measuring out ingredients, opt for desserts that you can decorate. Kids can easily top sugar cookies and cupcakes with icing and sprinkles - just pick festive Halloween colors like purple, green and orange. Or, these googly eye pretzels featured on the Lauren Kelly Nutrition blog are easy to assemble - even for little kids.

For grandchildren who are a little older and can follow directions, spend the afternoon creating an edible haunted house, like the one here featured on Woman's Day. Made with cookies, Golden Graham Cereal, candy and cookies, this dessert is to die for!

 

Halloween spider cupcakes.

Bake some spooky treats with your grandkids.

Watch a scary-ish movie
During this spooktacular holiday, it's all about balance. You can enjoy a night of hair-raising excitement without giving the little one's nightmares if you pick the right movies. It can be hard knowing which flicks are good for kids unless you've seen them, so we've created a list of family-friendly recommendations.

  • "Casper" (1995): Casper is a friendly ghost and even falls in love with a human. His hauntings make for a not-so-scary Halloween movie night.
  • "Hocus Pocus" (1993): The three Salem sisters are more quirky than frightening, and this comical film is often featured on Disney Channel.
  • "Halloweentown" (1998): A young witch learns how to use her newfound powers to save the "Halloweentown," a magical place full of supernatural creatures. This is a Disney Channel original movie, so it was made with young viewers in mind.
  • "Mostly Ghostly" (2008): R.L. Stine, the creator of "Goosebumps," wrote another popular series called "Mostly Ghostly." The books inspired this film that follows a boy who makes friends with the young ghosts living in his house.
  • "Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie" (2005): Join Pooh, Tigger and the rest of the Hundred Acre Wood's gang to hunt down the Gobloon. If you catch him first, you get to make a wish.

Don't forget the popcorn!

 

Grandmother reading to granddaughter.

Read spooky stories to your grandchildren.

Read thrilling tales
You likely have fond memories of reading to your kids before bed, and now you get to do the same with your grandkids. As with the movie selection, it's important to find a book that isn't too scary. That means you'll have to leave Stephen King on the shelves. Instead, consider diving into these tales come Halloween:

  • "Harry Potter:" J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series isn't about Halloween, but it does have tons of enchanting stories with magic and wizards. It's a favorite for millions of people across the globe, and reading the first of the seven books on Halloween could be the start of a new night-time routine for you and your grandkids.
  • "Room on the Broom:" A bestseller, this book written by Julia Donaldson takes kids on a magical journey. A witch has lost some important items that are found by animals who want a ride on her broom stick. Will the witch find room on her broom for them all?
  • "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything:" Your grandkids will get lost in the tale of the little old lady who comes across quite the fright while walking home. All the objects she encounters make noises, too, like CLOMP CLOMP and SHAKE SHAKE, giving grandma and grandpa plenty of opportunities to get creative with how they tell the story.

Halloween is fun for all ages, from the young to the young at heart. Whether you watch a movie or gather around the fireplace for story time, spend this special holiday with your grandkids.

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Article  |  On: September 07, 2016

The benefits of aging in place

Do you move your aging mother to an assisted living community, or do you hire a home health aide so she can stay at home? Discover the benefits of aging in place.

We only want what's best for our senior loved ones, but all too often, we are just unsure of what that really entails. Do you move your aging mother to an assisted living community, or do you hire a home health aide so she can stay at home?

The latter option, called aging in place, is often the preferred choice. According to a 2011 survey from AARP, about 90 percent of adults age 65 and older said they want to stay in their homes as long as possible. Plus, this long-term care route has plenty of advantages:

It's more affordable
While the price tag shouldn't be the only factor swaying your long-term care decision, it's important to consider what options you have within your budget. According to 2010 data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, using home health aide services costs $21 per hour on average. Meanwhile, the mean monthly payment for an assisted community is $3,292.

You would need home health aide services for 40 hours per week to come close to that price. Depending on your loved one's health status, you may only require this type of care a few hours per day or when you're not around. Additionally, this reduction in cost has extended benefits, the executive director of the National Aging in Place Council, Marty Bell, told The Nation's Health.

"There are a lot of people who argue … that if enough people could be taught to age in place, and it's available to them, that it can really bolster the sustainability and strength of the Medicaid and Medicare program," Bell said. "So it's kind of a win-win for the individuals and the society as a whole."

 

Senior woman with dogs.

Aging in place allows seniors to enjoy all the comforts their familiar home has to offer.

Aging in place provides a sense of community
Your aging parent has spent a lifetime building family relationships and likely years bonding with neighbors. Removing older adults from their long-time homes can make them feel like those connections have weakened. According to research published in The Gerontologist, the majority of seniors want to age in place because of the attachment and familiarity they feel with their home and communities. While moving to an assisted living community provides opportunities to make new friends, older adults may rather maintain already-existing relationships.

It fights isolation
That sense of community provided through aging in place does more than make seniors feel comfortable. It is also integral for fighting feelings of isolation, a dangerous trend among seniors. Researchers from the University of Chicago found a link between loneliness and high blood pressure in older adults. The study authors noted that feelings of loneliness can occur even when a senior is surrounded by people - such as at an assisted living community. This further demonstrates the importance of the familiarity and sense of community provided through aging in place.

This is not to say that assisted living communities aren't a great option for long-term care. It all depends on your senior loved one's personality and needs. Have an open discussion about long-term care options so everyone's voice is heard.

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