4 Steps to Prepare Your Loved Ones for Elderly Care: A Guest Post by Chris Palmer

Dementia

 

It is one of the most primary duty for us to think of our parents and their better care.  Parents are like blessing who sacrifice their wills to make our dreams come true. This makes us to be obedient and to be sincere with them for their best care in their old age. If you ever think about what parents are, your answer would always be love and affection. Parents are the ones who work day and night to make our future bright. They work tirelessly leaving all their happiness at one side for the sake of their children. So it is our job to find the best solution for their growing and weak age. The affection and the love of our parents must be fully repaid, and the expectations they have from us must be fulfilled. With the growing age of parents, they become both physically and mentally weak so to make them happy we should take some good step.

With the increase in the mental disorder in old age, it makes it very difficult to take a right step and to convince our parents for the best solution we have. But still, there are four steps to make it easy to let our parents spend their old age with happiness.

1- Brief conversation

It is a talk to be held with your parents and your siblings (if present) so that you can get an idea of what to do for the betterment of your parents. Before talking to your parents, you should speak to your siblings to get their idea about their parents and then to convince them to support you in front of your parents. After convincing your siblings, you should talk with your parents about their situation and should let them speak for what they want. Then you should try to convince them for the best solution you have for their care.

2- Getting your finance ready

For the better elderly care of your parents, you must have some budget for them. This budget can vary, it can either be high or low according to what your parents demand. If the budget is high you should plan for how will you earn the amount and in how much time it would be arranged. This amount should be privately stored and should not be used by you or anybody else to make it sure that you have the right amount at the right time.

3- Expert advice

Expert advice is a significant point to be taken in concern. Even if you have consulted with your siblings and your parents, you would still need an expert opinion as the experts have experience with situations like this. So they can tell you some things that you couldn’t have figured out.

4- Choosing of a care coordinator

At last, after following all the steps, you should even try to find a good care coordinator for your parents. You should try to leave this decision to your parents.

The thing which you must care for is the Carers Allowance it must be given to your parents.

Author’s Biography

chris

This article was written by Chris Palmer who regularly shares advice on elderly care. In particular dementia and supporting your elderly parent. You can find more by Chris on: https://www.agespace.org/.

Tips for Wearing Your Colostomy Bag A Guest Post by Gary Simmons

caughtinthemiddle

People want to be different, and they want to stand out of the crowd. Most of the time—but not when that difference is based on a health issue or disability. Then, people may fear to stand out, and sometimes withdraw from the company of others. The difference can lead to unhappiness.

People who wear colostomy bags may have some of these fears, whether they’re young or old, independent, receiving home health care or in a nursing facility.

Colostomy bags are usually placed in an obvious place, potentially visible when clothed and unclothed. They announce to the world a previous medical issue, and someone might feel they remind others of a bodily process we’d rather not have on our mind.

But maybe there’s a way to turn that bag into an asset, or at least make sure it’s not a liability. Here are some tips and ideas for making sure you remain a vibrant part of your community and can wear your colostomy bag discreetly and stylishly.

The Bag Itself

The location of the bag will influence what you can wear and how you wear it. Some stomas are at or above the beltline, while others are below it. If you have not yet had your colostomy, you do have some influence in where it will go. Speak with your surgeon before they operate.

Belts and tight clothing can interfere with the smooth functioning of your colostomy bag. Whatever style of clothing you wear, make sure you have a good flow into the bag.

Using the Bag

One way to avoid backsplash while emptying your bag is to sit “backward” on the toilet, facing the tank. You then can float some toilet paper on the surface of the water and on the seat. Empty down onto the paper itself. Backsplash can also be avoided by flushing just as you empty the bag.

Use an electric razor to trim any hair around the stomach. Most of us have a little hair on our abdomens and the hairs can either make sticking more difficult or cause discomfort when removing the appliance. An electric razor avoids cuts.

It’s more pleasant to change the bag without active output. Changing just after waking is the best time—you will have gone an extended period without eating, and the output will probably be slow enough to allow a change.

Changing your appliance while showering has several benefits. You may be able to shower bagless because if you shower after waking, output will be minimal (and washed away). You’ll also have a few more minutes without the bag, which can boost your mood.

There is a lot of ostomy appliances and equipment on the market. Don’t hesitate to accept free samples. Your ET nurse may be able to get you free samples as well.

Keep yourself and your bag clean. A washcloth and plain water or a sterile saline wipe will keep your abdomen clean. Avoid baby wipes—they may leave a film on the skin which interferes with your wafer adhering to your skin. Rinsing your appliance after emptying is probably a good idea. Squeezable bottles or even turkey basters are perfect.

Take advantage of opportunities to empty your bag—it will help with comfort. Also, remember the pouch itself is not the first thing people are looking for—many times people won’t notice it until you call attention to it.

You will find the right rhythm of living to take care of yourself with little to no extra fuss. Remember that everyone goes to the bathroom; you just manage that ordinary task a bit differently. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and no one needs to know what’s going on.

Stoma Guards

If your stoma is at or above the beltline, you might want to consider a stoma guard. Made of hard plastic, they provide protection from seat belts, tight pants and belts, and other impacts. Frequently, they will allow you to tuck the pouch inside your pants or skirt.

They’re probably not needed when you’re at home relaxing. They certainly will protect your stoma from sudden affectionate bumps from pets or grandchildren.

Pants

Both men and women may want to consider high-waisted pants. The stoma will be below the belt/waist, and thus not subject to pressure or flow constriction. You’ll have to decide if a high waist works for you—most folks probably don’t want to look like Pee Wee Herman or Urkel.

Women might want to consider maternity pants as an option. Because they have an elastic band across the front, they may be more comfortable than ordinary pants.

If you’re going to wear your pouch under your clothes, you might want to consider going one size larger with your pants (and shirts).

Suspenders might also be a stylish option with pants. Some suspenders clip onto the pant waist, while others button to the pants, especially for more formal ones. Most tailors can add suspender buttons to pants.

Underwear

The location of the stoma may influence your choice of underwear. A higher stoma will allow you to wear the underwear normally. Some underwear, for both men and women, is designed with an inner pocket to keep your bag away from your skin and in place.

Swimwear

There’s no reason to avoid going to the beach or pool with a colostomy bag. You’ll want to take steps to secure the bag and to make sure it can handle the water, but you’ll still be able to enjoy the water.

Men may want to consider high-waisted swim trunks, especially if your stoma is low. If the stoma is higher on your abdomen, high waisted trunks will not be as flattering—you don’t want the waist at your chest! You’ll want to consider an ostomy bag wrap to keep it in place, as well as ostomy bag covers to add a bit of flair to your beach attire.

Loud and Proud

One way of handling any issue is to look it squarely in the face, accept it and then have fun with it. Colorful bag covers are the way to go, regardless of where on your abdomen the stoma is.

Many businesses now sell a variety of pouch covers in all colors and patterns. Some, like C & S Pouchcovers, even include a set of patriotically themed covers, allowing you to celebrate all our national holidays in style.

Conclusion

People of all ages wear colostomy bags, and many have lived fruitful and adventurous lives. Even in retirement, you should not let your bag get in the way of enjoying life. Whether you’re living independently or have home health care make sure you discuss with those around you how you want to handle life.

And then enjoy it. Don’t let this be an obstacle to seeking out good times for yourself, or being with others.

 

 

 

5 Work From Home Jobs for Family Caregivers A Guest Post by Ruthie Serna

1705196_1280

Being a family caregiver is a full time job by itself. Unfortunately, it doesn’t bring in much cash. If you’re a family caregiver, you can still earn some money without sacrificing your current responsibilities. There are plenty of work from home jobs that can be quite lucrative, and many of them allow you to make your own schedule. Work out of your house on your own schedule and your own terms.

  1. Freelancer

Being a freelancer comes with a lot of options. You can do almost anything you do well, and charge rates you feel are fair for doing it. If you can edit or write, it’s easy to find a freelance position online. If you have specialty skills, such as graphic design or web design, you might fare even better. The best thing about freelancing is that it isn’t as set in stone as regular jobs – you can work whenever you have time. If your family keeps you busy, you can wait until all is well until you sit down to freelance for the day.

  1. eCommerce

Start a webstore! You can sell crafts you’ve made yourself, resell vintage clothing, or design products that can be sold through a company that will create and sell them for you. You don’t need to be an innovator or an entrepreneur to break into eCommerce – you only need to see a need and fill it with a web shop. There are plenty of platforms that allow people to list and sell without ever needing to build a webpage. It’s as simple as can be.

  1. Blogger

Most bloggers won’t make money at the beginning of their blog. If you update regularly and provide valuable content, you’d be surprised at the amount of moneymaking opportunities that will come along with blogging. Advertising revenue, sponsored posts, or even eBook opportunities could pop up over time. Pick something you’re passionate about (family caregiving, for example), and write to your heart’s content. You can even partner up with the writers of blogs you already love to read. Networking will get you everywhere.

  1. Remote Support or Service

Remote support and service jobs are relatively easy to find. They’re so common that they’re often listed on Gumtree alongside traditional positions. These jobs require a computer and phone access. A company directs their calls to you, where you will be able to troubleshoot, take feedback, and resolve issues from the comfort of your own desk. It’s almost like a call center job, but you won’t need to go anywhere to work. International companies deal with people from all over the world, so it’s easy for you to work whatever hours will fit into your schedule.

5.Tutoring or Teaching

If you have credentials as an educator, you might be able to secure a position in the eLearning industry. If you have any higher education at all, it’s easy to become an online tutor. Pick a subject you’re comfortable in and offer your services to students who may benefit from your wisdom. You can tutor privately or list yourself on a service that matches tutors to the students who need them most. Tutor as many or as few students as you have time for.

At the end of the day, it’s possible to have a career without sacrificing your caregiver relationships. It might be a little tricky to juggle, but it will only be a matter of time before you develop a system that works for you.

Ruthie is a contributing writer, always willing to share her knowledge and experiences. She loves to write articles that make lives of other mothers and entrepreneurs easier. She’s interested in health, well-being and self-improvement.

 

What is the difference between a nurse and a caregiver? A Guest Post by Tess Pajaron

1471399_1280

What is the difference between a nurse and a caregiver? If you’re asking yourself this question it’s likely that a parent or other elderly loved one is in need of some additional support. Or maybe you’re looking into career opportunities in the care of seniors. In either case, the difference between a nurse and a caregiver is an important distinction to determine before you make any important decisions.

Here is some information to help answer your question:

Nurse
Qualifications: The qualifications required to be a nurse depend upon the kind of nurse you’re looking at becoming or employing. Enrolled nurses have to study for two years at a Registered Training Organisation. Registered nurses have to study for three years at a university. The former is seen as practical training whilst the latter also encompasses some of the theory behind nursing and medical care. Becoming an enrolled nurse is usually seen as a stepping stone between working as a caregiver and working as a registered nurse.

Tasks: Both enrolled nurses and registered nurses are trained to perform medical tasks and procedures. They can put in an IV to help deliver medication or food, they can care for wounds and manage medication.They often also manage the non-medical aspects of a patient’s care including bathing and trips to the bathroom.

Where do they work? Nurses have great scope when it comes to deciding where they want to work. They can work at hospitals, clinics, retirement homes, assisted living facilities, hospices and in patients’ homes.

Caregiver
Qualifications: A caregiver often doesn’t need any formal qualifications but they are usually trained in CPR and emergency first aid. Whilst you don’t need to study to be a caregiver, you do need to possess certain qualities, including patience, compassion and resourcefulness.

Tasks: A caregiver can assist with the day to day activities of an elderly person. They help people to achieve tasks that age or illness prevent them from doing independently whilst remaining in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes. This could be going to the toilet, bathing, dressing or eating. Caregivers may help with shopping and cleaning the house if a person has limited mobility. Some caregivers will also provide emotional support and companionship, essential for people who are isolated or infirm as a result of their increasing years.

Where do they work? Caregivers are usually employed to work in the home of the patient they are caring for.

Other Useful Information
For Relatives: If your loved one has medical requirements such as a wound or a need for ongoing medication assessment but they want to remain in their own home, then you’ll need to hire a nurse to take care of them. If they just need some support with daily tasks and personal care, you can look for a caregiver. Because a caregiver doesn’t require any qualifications, they are generally cheaper to employ than a nurse.

For Job Seekers: If you want to provide companionship and practical support to elderly people, work as a caregiver could be for you. However, if you want to provide more in depth medical care, looking into nursing qualifications is a good place to start. As a nurse you’ll have greater earning potential and a wider scope of job opportunities too.

Understanding the distinction between a nurse and a caregiver is really important when setting out on a career path or finding the best available care for your loved one. Once you know which job title is of interest, do further research to ensure you make the right decision.

 

Tess Pajaron

With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.

Giving Your Caregiver a Game Plan A Guest Post by Maggie Drag

Picture1

 

Nothing makes me happier than hearing about the way our caregivers bring a smile to their clients’ lives. In fact, that is what makes us so dedicated to our work- the men and women that are genuinely excited to spread joy and love wherever they go. After celebrating our 6th Annual Caregiver Party with our most dedicated staff members and caregivers, we felt that it was necessary to bring some inspiration to their daily routine. Here are some tips for each and every caregiver to feel empowered, valued and dedicate themselves to working in “me time” to each and every day.

Better Diet, Better You!

No matter if you are a live-in caregiver or an hourly caregiver, be sure that you are dedicating some time to prepare a hearty, balanced breakfast for yourself each morning. Enjoy your mornings- don’t dread them. You are what you eat, so look up some healthy recipes that you’ve never tried before. Regardless of what others may say, there are so many easy ways to prepare healthy dishes for yourself (especially salads ) that will lift your mood while filling you up with plenty of nutrients. Try preparing rice and different vegetables to have nearby to fill up your lunchbox quickly and to avoid eating junk food on the go.

Get moving!

The best way to stay motivated after getting through your week is to get moving (trust me!) If you love to dance, go to Zumba classes, swim, job, bike – anything, make sure you aren’t putting it off! Not only will you feel better after fitting in a short workout into your day, but you’ll be able to take on the week with much more confidence! If you hate the idea of going to the gym, try this: buy yourself a pair of light weights (preferably 2-5 lbs), soft workout mat and sleek new workout outfit. You can find a great variety of workout gear in fun colors and designs at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. This, plus any workout video on YouTube (from kickboxing to Pilates) = your best workout routine yet. And did we mention that you can do these while you’re on break from your caregiving assignment in the comfort of your own room?

Reach out to your Support Team

Always set some time aside to let the people who care about you know how you’re doing. Make a list of friends and family that you can count on for anything. It can include former clients and even some of your client’s family members that you bonded with over the years. Last but not least, don’t forget the staff at your agency. We, as well as any agency should live for caring for their caregivers.

Embrace your inner and outer beauty

Nothing boosts confidence more than the simple act of taking care of yourself. Of course, putting yourself first takes a bit of time and effort. Whether you have a job or are looking for a caregiver job at the moment, here are some simple ways to rediscover what you love about yourself- inside and out.There’s nothing better than a free makeover at your favorite beauty counter, or a refreshing swim or workout at your local gym. These special moments are known as, “me time”, and you should know that you deserve every minute of it. Besides getting a massage or spa treatment, there are countless ways to pamper yourself at home if you’re on a budget. Since you are on your feet most of the day like many caregivers, treat yourself to a soothing bubble bath try looking up do-it-yourself face masks on YouTube and video guides to meditation and yoga.

What are some ways you as a caregiver or agency motivate yourselves to care for yourself? Comment below, we’d love to hear some of your ideas!

BIO:

Maggie Drag is the owner and founder of a homecare agency located in central Connecticut. With over 27 years of experience in the industry, Maggie shares her knowledge and tips about care at home.  Visit homecare4u.com  to learn more about Maggie Drag.

 

Caregiving For Dementia Patients A Guest Post by Olivia Wolfe

Dementia

Caring for dementia patients can be frustrating and difficult. Because dementia patients are suffering from a brain disorder, basic communication can be a challenge. With that said, we have partnered with Private Home Care in St. Louis to showcase some things that will help you to communicate with people that have dementia effectively. Communication is the key to excellent care.

Get The Patient’s Attention When You Enter The Room

It’s easy for patients with dementia to become disoriented. Even minor surprises can set them on edge. Because of this, it’s important to get the attention of a patient before you interact with them.

Even if the door to the room they are in is open, you should know before entering. You should also call out their name and make sure they see you. If you let them know you are going to be entering the room, they will be prepared to interact with you.

Set A Positive Mood

You should always be pleasant and friendly when you interact with a patient that has dementia. People with dementia often experience significant amounts of anxiety. If you can create a positive environment, you will be able to alleviate that anxiety.

When you greet a patient with dementia, you should greet them with a big smile. Be pleasant and cheerful whenever they ask you questions. If you’re friendly and happy, they will know that they can relax around you.

Keep Things Simple

People with dementia can’t always think quickly. You should use simple words when you are interacting with them. While you shouldn’t necessarily treat a dementia patient like a child, you should try to keep things simple. Work to avoid confusing them.

You don’t need to use medical terminology when talking to them. You should always make your explanations clear and easy to understand. If a dementia patient does not know what is going on, they are going to become anxious. This could cause behavioral issues. Try to keep things simple when you provide care. If the patient can follow what you are doing, they won’t have to worry.

Have Fun With The Patient

While dementia patients may lose some mental abilities, they still have a sense of humor. It’s okay to joke around with a dementia patient from time to time. If you can get them laughing, it will be that much easier for you to get them to relax.

Obviously, you shouldn’t make fun of a dementia patient; you don’t want them to be the butt of your jokes. However, a few simple, lighthearted comments should be enough to set them at ease. You may even be able to get them to make a joke of their own.

Don’t Just Listen With Your Ears

When you’re interacting with a dementia patient, you need to listen to them carefully. It isn’t always easy for people with dementia to express themselves. You need to pay close attention to what they tell you.

However, you shouldn’t just listen with your ears. You should also pay close attention to the way the patient is behaving. If you can see that the patient is anxious or upset, you need to try to address that.

Try to remain focused on the patient you’re caring for at all times. If you pay attention to them, you’ll be able to see what they need. Being receptive to a patient’s needs is an essential part of being a caregiver.

Break Things Down Into Steps

It can be hard for dementia patients to process a lot of information at once. That’s why it’s smart for you to break things down. Instead of overloading them with information, you should present them with one thing at a time.

If you are planning on getting a patient ready for a doctor’s appointment, try breaking down each step of the process. Tell them you are going to brush their teeth, brush their hair, get them dressed, and take them outside. If you handle things one step at a time, the patient will understand what is happening in the moment.

Reassure Your Patient

Whenever you see your patient looking nervous or confused, you should reassure them. A little bit of encouragement can go a long way. Make sure your patient knows that everything is going well.

If you regularly praise or reassure a dementia patient, they will know that they are doing what they are supposed to do. If they are getting praised, they won’t want to panic. It will be easy for them to remain calm as you provide care.

There are a lot of challenges associated with caring for dementia patients. With that said, proper communication will make it easier for you to provide essential care. As long as you’re ready for the challenges associated with caregiving for dementia patients, you should be able to provide high standards of care.

Cardinal Tips For Caregivers of Senior HIV Patients A Guest Post by David Beeshaw

Elderly woman and young female caregiver at home

In 2014, people aged 55+ accounted for 17% of Americans living with a diagnosed HIV infection.

Even if this age group has the same risk factors as young people, they might be less aware of them – especially since most awareness campaigns don’t target older adults. Most of the time, they don’t think HIV is an issue for them and may be less likely to protect themselves. That’s why it’s older Americans that are most likely to learn about their HIV infection later in the course of their disease.  As a result, they start the treatment late and might suffer from more damage to their immune system.

These are the basic facts every caregiver should know before starting to provide care for senior patients with a diagnosed HIV infection.

However, that’s not everything. Here are 4 critical tips for caregivers of senior HIV patients.

Be aware of the stigma

Patients diagnosed with HIV often face social stigma and might be suffering from lack of support from others in their circle of family and friends who in turn might lack knowledge about HIV. Older people might already feel isolated because of their illness or loss of friends and family.

Social stigma might affect their self-image and quality of life. It often discourages these patients from seeking care or disclosing their status to others. Adults diagnosed with HIV are 5 times more likely to experience depression and be at risk of suicide than HIV-negative adults.

HIV and aging

Aging with HIV infection is challenging because the disease increases the risks that come with aging: particular cancers, thin bones, or cardiovascular disease.

That’s why care providers should make sure to maximize their efforts to prevent these conditions and look for signs of illness early on. Caregivers should also pay attention to the potential interactions between medication used to treat HIV and those used by the patient to treat common age-related conditions such as obesity, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, or hypertension.

Antiretroviral treatment allows patients diagnosed with HIV to achieve a near-normal life expectancy. However, senior patients are more vulnerable to infections and illnesses because of their age. Caregivers should minimize their exposure to common illnesses such as the flu that could bring about complications (like pneumonia) for patients with a compromised immune system.

Research the disease

Caregivers should educate themselves about HIV and AIDS. Knowing how the HIV infection is spread is a helpful measure against social stigma. Caregivers should also know how an HIV infection develops and when it might lead to the patient developing AIDS. Being aware of what different treatment regimens entail is helpful as well.

Follow these rules while providing care

Caregivers who provide care to senior patients diagnosed with HIV should know how the infection is spread and what they can do to prevent it.

Here are some tips on how to prevent the spread of HIV infection while taking care of a diagnosed patient:

  • Always wear vinyl or latex gloves if you might have contact with bodily fluids or blood from a person infected with HIV. Wear such gloves when cleaning articles soiled with vomit, feces or urine to avoid infection with other germs. Remember to wash your hands after any contact with blood, even if you wore gloves.
  • Flush all liquid waste that contains the patient’s blood down the toilet.
  • Items that aren’t flushable (sanitary pads, paper towels, wound dressings) need to be placed in a plastic bag. Close the bag securely before throwing it out. Remember to check in with your local health department about the disposal of such items.
  • Cover all breaks, cuts or sores in your exposed skin.
  • Wash all clothing and linens together – those worn by the patient don’t need to be separated.
  • Dishes used by the patient don’t need to be separated and can be cleaned using regular methods.
  • Be positive!

Follow these 4 tips and you’ll be on your way to providing top-quality care to a senior patient who has been diagnosed with an HIV infection.

Author’s Bio:

David Beeshaw is a staunch advocate of regular exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle. He is also a writer at raTrust, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those at risk of STIs and HIV. Verify raTrust on BizDb.

Navigating Medicare – Understanding Medical Supplies vs. Durable Medical Equipment A Guest Post by Rodger Sims

Medicare

Medicare is a health insurance program that covers people who are over 65 and can cover younger people with disabilities and people suffering from kidney failure, known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). With over 71.3 million people enrolled, Medicare is one of the largest insurance providers for seniors in the United States. If your loved ones are enrolled in Medicare, it is important to know how to navigate your options.

There are four different parts to Medicare:

Medicare Part A

Part A covers your hospital insurance. This coverage includes inpatient hospital stays, care in a nursing facility, hospital care and even some home health care. If you’ve worked over ten years and have paid into social security taxes, this coverage is free to you. In 2015, Medicare Part A had served 7.7 million patients.

Medicare Part B

Part B covers medical insurance and includes certain doctor’s services, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventative services. In 2015, Medicare Part B had served over 33.8 million seniors.

Medicare Part C

Part C is a health care plan offered by a private company that can help you with both Part A and B benefits. Known as a Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan, services offered include health maintenance organizations (HMO), preferred provider organizations (PPO), private fee-for-service plans, special needs plans and Medicare Health Savings Account (HSA) plans. Most of the Medicare Advantage Plans offer coverage for prescription drugs.

Medicare Part D

Part D of Medicare adds prescription coverage to the original Medicare, as well as to some Medicare cost plans, Medicare HSA and some private fee-for-service plans. In 2015, 38.9 million Americans utilized Part D of Medicare. Original Medicare is the tradition fee-for-service Medicare. The government pays directly for the health care services the patient receives.

Durable Medical Equipment vs. Medical Supplies

With all that in mind, it is also important to know that there are two main types of products: medical supplies and durable medical equipment (DME). Both DME and medical supplies are used to make meeting the basic needs of the elderly, ill or disabled patients at home.

Durable Medical Equipment

As suggested by the name, durable medical equipment is meant for long-term use. Medicare defines DME by the following criteria: durability, ability to be used in the home, not usually useful to someone who isn’t sick and must have a life span of three years of use. Examples of DME include hospital beds, mobility aids, prostheses (artificial limbs), orthotics (therapeutic footwear) and other supplies. Medicare pays for DME partially under Part A if the patient qualifies for home health benefit.

To qualify for home health benefit, the patient must be unable to leave his/her home, require care from a skilled nurse and does not require custodial care, such as bathing and toilet-usage. If the patient is eligible for home health benefit, Medicare will cover 80% of the allowable amount for DME.

An example of the allowable amount is the following: a patient needs a walker that costs $200. The allowable amount for the walker in that state is $100. Since Medicare will cover 80% of the allowable amount, the patient will then have to pay $120 for the walker. Under Medicare’s Part B coverage, the co-pay is the same at 20% of the allowable amount and any other additional expense after that.

For Medicare Part B, the patient does not need to qualify for home health benefit to be eligible for coverage. If a doctor or medical professional considers the product medically necessary, Medicare will partially reimburse the patient for it. One benefit of this is the ability to rent the product being needed and still be eligible for reimbursement.

Some DME products that are not covered by Medicare include hearing aids and home adaptation items like bathroom safety and ramps. Additionally, to be reimbursed, your product supplier must be enrolled in Medicare and adhere to their guidelines. If they are not, Medicare can refuse their claims.

Make sure your providers are eligible before purchasing any products.

Medical Supplies

Medical supplies are made for short-term use. They are typically used once then thrown away. Examples of medical supplies include diabetic sugar testing strips, incontinence products (diapers, catheters, etc.) and items like bandages and protective gloves. Generally, medical supplies are not covered by Medicare, though there are a few exceptions for patients with diabetes, ostomy patients and those currently using feeding tubes. These items, however, are limited.

Ostomy products can be limited to a certain number a month. If necessary, a patient can appeal to increase the number of products received a month but must go through a process to do so. This process includes re-approval through Medicare and by a doctor.

Your Options

If you can provide insurance for your loved ones and cost isn’t a large factor, it is useful to know that Medicare can be paired up with other private insurance companies. Doing so can help get over some of the limitations that are imposed by Medicare and ensure your senior has an overall health coverage. If this is not an option, then medical supplemental health insurance, known as Medigap, can help provide funds for expenses Medicare doesn’t cover.

To qualify for the Medigap program, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Medigap can cover excess costs, like co-insurance costs such as stays in the hospital or nursing home, and deductibles in Part A and Part B plans. Costs will vary according to coverage.

Medigap is available through private insurances or organizations that cater to the elderly.

Final Thoughts

Medicare covers durable medical equipment primarily under Part B, but also for DME for people under Part A with the home health benefit plan. Most medical supplies are not commonly covered by Medicare, and those that are covered tend to have limitations. Other options to ensure your senior has all their needs covered including pairing Medicare with a private insurance company or enrolling them in medical supplemental health insurance to help cover excess costs.

With the introduction and popularity of the internet, finding the supplies you need at the right cost is easier than ever before. Different websites offer low-cost medical supplies to help ensure the basic needs of your seniors are met. It is also easier to find the right insurance company for them with all the information available online.

For more information about Medicare and what it covers, got the Medicare website at Medicare.gov.

Images

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/medicare-enrollment-form-glasses-398418109?src=YZoPqz-O9WK3A8VVD8TyZg-1-2

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/empty-bed-on-hospital-ward-247358674?src=Q9ck6CAXE6czGlRyWlBoZA-1-2

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/diabetes-test-blood-medical-equipment-506370463?src=jqL9R3jY1Q44pQysfDM6NQ-1-4

Sources:

https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/decide-how-to-get-medicare/whats-medicare/what-is-medicare.html

https://www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-and-systems/statistics-trends-and-reports/cms-fast-facts/index.html 

 

Senior Tips – Best Financial Steps to Take When You Are Forced to Retire Early: A Guest Post by Alana Downer

Closeup of young woman with couple of elderly persons

Retirement confidence is at an all-time low with employees working later into their life in the hope that they don’t outlive their savings. A recent Australian report found that 51% of retirees expected to outlive their savings. Because of stats like these, people are aiming to work longer and harder to ensure a comfortable retirement, however this isn’t always the reality. A 2015 study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that in 2013, 47% of workers were forced to retire earlier than planned.

Forced early retirement can be more common than you might think. There are many factors which can contribute to an early retirement, among other reasons these include, job loss, loss of stamina or poor health. So, what should you do? Whether as an employee faced with early retirement, or a carer who knows someone forced into an earlier retirement? Here’s our best financial steps you should consider taking:

Assess your cash flow and income:

Your first step is to not panic! All too often people think cancelling their gym membership will help them. This small weekly or monthly fee won’t see the quality of your retirement improve drastically and going to the gym is great for your health.

Instead, what you should do is list your monthly income and expenses. Consider what benefits you can receive now that you are a retiree. Look at your health, car, life, and other insurance plans and see where you can make some savings. You may also qualify for involuntary unemployment cover. Track all your monthly expenses and know how much money you need exactly for one month. From there you can estimate how long the money you have saved will last.

Create a retirement plan:

A retirement plan is something you should be working on before you are retired, but if an early retirement has come suddenly and you find yourself without one, it’s not too late to set one in motion. You can base your plan around either retirement goals or create a cash-flow plan.

A cash-flow plan is based around investments, income and expenses, and making assumptions about inflation and how you will be able to spend throughout your retirement.

A goal based plan lets you plan major events, trips and really anything you want to achieve during your retirement. This is a good system as you can prioritise what you want to do, understand the associated costs and foresee what and how much you will be able to do.

Look for alternative ways to create income:

If you find yourself in need some extra income, or you just want to use your time to cover some expenses so you can take that retirement holiday a little sooner, there are several options you could consider.

A popular approach with some retirees is to begin trading. In recent years trading on the Forex market has become a largely successful approach to profitable trading. Of course, this takes some time to learn as there are certain strategies which must be used.

Other options include finding part time work. Maybe you love gardening, use the forced retirement as a time to pursue any careers you might be passionate about, even if they aren’t as serious as your previous full-time career.

Consult with a professional:

Retirement can be difficult to plan for, even at the best of times. Unexpected things can happen and you want to ensure you have enough money to live out your retirement comfortably and even enjoy it.

Meeting with a financial adviser can help you take specific steps towards a better retirement. They can help create budgets, suggest where to invest your money and build a financial plan that suits your specific situation.

Also think about your pension and how you want to receive it. The rate will change depending on your status, so it’s important to ensure you understand what you are eligible for.

The key to overcoming a forced early retirement and the associated financial challenges is planning. These steps are a great start to planning your retirement and can help you to achieve any retirement goals you have in mind.

 

Bio:

Alana Downer is a financial blogger and a part of the team behind Learn to Trade, a source of educational information for traders and investors. Having been always interested in achieving financial freedom, Alana might often be found sharing her strategies online with all those who wish to earn money on the side and become financially independent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desirable Traits in a Caregiver: A Guest Post by Lara Janssen

Desirable Traits in a Caregiver

 

One of the most important thing in caregiving business is to have the seniors and their caregivers get along. Old people are commonly set in their ways, so it is unlikely that they will be ready to change much. That means that the caregiver is the one who will have to adjust to the senior they are caring for.
Not just anyone can do this, however. It is important to have a special personality to make it as a caregiver. Care giving professionals at A Better Way In Homecare offer some activities which may help the caregiver and the senior bond in this article
Work Habit
Seniors tend to be used to a routine, whether it’s their sleeping schedule, eating habits, or exercise. A good caregiver must be able to follow this routine in order not to disrupt the senior’s life. This is especially important if the senior needs some medication. It is up to the caregiver to make sure they don’t forget to take it.
Patience
Seniors can be a bit difficult and act childish at times. It is therefore important that the person who cares for them shows enough patience and tact in difficult situations. Seniors with dementia or other degenerative illnesses can be particularly difficult to work with and require additional amounts of patience.
Compassion
Much like patience, old people require compassion and understanding from
people they spend time with. A good caregiver must be able to put themselves into the shoes of the senior to really understand what they are going through. With enough compassion and attention, seniors can really experience a transformation.
Physical Strength
With seniors who have trouble getting out of bed or walking in general, it is important that the caregiver is physically strong enough to assist them. Furthermore, if the senior is wheelchair bound, they will need assistance with every aspect of their life like getting out of bed, taking a shower, toilet needs, or getting back to bed. When it comes to exercise, even though seniors need to keep exercising to stay healthy, they should not exceed their abilities, and a good caregiver is supposed to be there to make sure that training sessions go as smoothly as possible.
Qualifications
Even though it is not a personality trait, it is very important for a caregiver to have some medical experience, especially when dealing with ill clients. Useful skills such as the ability to administer injections or use oxygen masks can be the thing which decides whether a caregiver is hired or not.
 
Apart from these skills, CPR is probably the most common and the simplest medical training people can get. It is also useful, not only for work but also for life in general. Even though it is important that the caregiver is qualified and mentally and physically ready to do the job, there needs to be a kind of chemistry between the caregiver and the senior. Otherwise, the situation can be tense and despite the qualifications and affinities of the caregiver, the senior is not going to be happy with the care they are receiving.