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Is My Doctor Really the Best Person to Recommend Elderly Care Solutions?

Decisions are plentiful when it comes to elderly care solutions. And making informed decisions can be overwhelimg, not to mention moving to a new community to help you with your needs can be nerve-racking. You don’t want to move to one community and find it doesn’t suit you, and then have to move to another one. That’s why it’s important to know who you should turn to when it comes to finding the right place for this stage of your life.

Recommendations from Doctors for Elderly Care Solutions

doctor suggesting elderly care solutions to an older female patientIt is important to seek help from your doctor when it comes to elderly care services. You need to know what assistance is needed based on your health conditions.

People suffering from dementia often need help with remembering medications, if they have a number of them to take each day. Some medications must be taken daily at the same time, while others can be taken at any time of the day, and it isn’t a serious health concern if a dose is missed. Depending on the medications you’ve been prescribed, you may need to have someone administer the medication to you or just check each day to see if you took them.

This is why a doctor’s appointment to see what your needs are is important.

Does this mean that the doctor is the best person to recommend elderly care solutions? Probably not.

While your health is a critical piece of the care you need, there are other factors that need to be considered and addressed. These other factors are likely beyond the scope of what your doctor can confidently weigh on for his or her recommendations.

For instance, you may need more social interaction than you are receiving right now. While your doctor may know this, it may not know which elderly care facilities will provide you with this part of your well-being.

This is the reason you need to not only consult with your doctor, but with an elder care consultant.

How Consultants Help Match You with Elderly Care Facilities

senior woman viewing study about elderly care facilities with doctorElder care solutions specialists can better help you with recommendations on elderly care solutions. The specialist is able to take the assessment your doctor has done, give you an additional assessment to determine other needs, and then match you up with elderly care facilities that not only help you physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. This way you receive help in all areas to keep you happy, healthy, and safe.

Please know that when you speak to an elder care consultant, you do not need to answer any questions you do not feel completely comfortable answering. All of the questions are only used to help match you up with the right community, but we understand some of them may seem too personal.

If you’re the loved one of an older individual, you can also call us for help. We offer FREE referral Senior Placement Services and we use your information to help you find the right elderly care facility.

Contact us today at (513) 685-8998 for more information. Or complete our Contact Us form. We love helping our senior friends!

What Does Medicare Cover: Understanding Medicare Coverage

One of the most common questions people ask when they seek services for elder care is “What does Medicare cover?” This is important question, as elder care services can be expensive. The following information will help you better understand what Medicare covers.

Medicare coverage may offer some long-term care options. This government program is split up into:

  • Medicare Part Adrawing shows what medicare covers
  • Medicare Part B
  • Medicare Part C
  • Medicare Part D

Medicare Part A covers hospital care. This includes inpatient hospital care. It can help with skilled nursing services, hospice and some home care as long as it is prescribed by a physician.

NOTE: Most beneficiaries receive Medicare Part A free from premiums because of Medicare tax deductions during their years of employment.  

Medicare Part B is the medical portion of the insurance. This consists of outpatient physician and hospital services. Some home health services and medical equipment costs may be paid for by this insurance. Part B does come with a premium cost, and it changes each year.

Part C of Medicare coverage is for the Medicare Advantage Plans. This is coverage for private companies, such as HMOs and PPOs. Individuals with Part C may benefit from the same benefits as those with Part A and B, but are able to use services of their choosing as long as they are part of the HMO or PPO network. This coverage can help with dental, vision and some prescription drug costs.medicare coverage has several plans including medicare advantage plans

Medicare Part D is referred to as Medicare’s Prescription Drug plan. Individuals can receive their medications at a lower cost by paying an additional monthly premium. These premiums can be anywhere between $10 and $100.

What does Medicare Cover in terms of facility services and long-term care benefits?

Medicare coverage provides short-term medical care assistance to people over the age of 65. The following are what Medicare covers and how much they will cover.

For a Skilled Nursing Facility Medicare pays for 20 days at this type of facility. After those initial 20 days, they will cover 80% of the cost for 80 more days. This is only for individuals who need this type of care following a hospital stay.

what does medicare cover infographic showing many servicesWhat Medicare covers in terms of In-Home Care and skilled nursing care is very possibly for a limited time. The nursing care must be prescribed by a doctor and should only be on a part-time basis. The individual must also be confined to their home or in other words, homebound – meaning the person cannot seek care on an outpatient basis at a medical care facility. If this is your situation you may want to read our article Top 10 Questions to Ask a Home Health Care Provider.

For Alzheimer’s care only medical costs associated with the disease are covered. For late stage Alzheimer’s disease, hospice may be covered.

And finally for Hospice care, Medicare coverage involves hospice care for individuals with 6 or less months to live, but does not cover the room and board. Only charges having to do with medical care, prescription drugs and homemaker services are usually included.

ElderCare Connections Answers the Question: What Does Medicare Cover and more!

ElderCare Connections works with older individuals and their loved ones every day to help them seek support depending on their needs. If you’re in need of assistance from elder care services, contact us. We offer a free referral service providing the help you or your loved one needs in this stage of life. Contact us at 513-685-8998 or use our Contact Us form.

The Difference between Hospice and Palliative Care

Many people do not know the difference between hospice and palliative care. We wanted to inform our readers of the differences because it’s important to know this when seeking elder care services for an older loved one.

palliative care vs hospice difference is in terms of the type of support they needAbout Palliative Care

Palliative care is a service that provides for the person entirely. Most people who have palliative care suffer from a disease or disorder that requires around the clock care. Often this requires many different types of specialists to remain medically stable. For instance, the patient may need a doctor, nurse, social worker, and dietitian available on a daily basis.

Palliative care vs hospice is meant to improve the quality of life and hopefully contribute to recovery efforts. It helps patients reduce symptoms of their disease/disorder, so they can be comfortable and in the best position to recover.

About Hospice Care

Hospice and palliative care are similar in that they both include a full range of services to make a person as comfortable as possible. The main difference between hospice and palliative care is that generally the patient in hospice care only has 6 months or less to live.

Hospice’s goal is to ensure the patient has everything needed to live out the rest of their days in as little pain and discomfort as possible. It is not a long-term care option.

Treatment is provided in hospice, but it is not meant for recovery – it is entirely to alleviate or reduce the symptoms of the terminal illness.

Palliative Care vs Hospice

difference between hospice and palliative care is in terms of longevity of the patientSince elderly who receive palliative care are expected to survive for more than 6 months, the goal of treatment is not only to provide comfort but also recovery or stabilization of their disease or disorder. Hospice care is provided to people who no longer have a chance at recovering from their disease or disorder, nor can it be stabilized to prolong the person’s life. The only treatment they receive is for comfort as they reach the end of life.

People sometimes do leave hospice care and go into palliative care if their condition changes. Of course, a person can also go from palliative care to hospice care. It all depends on their prognosis, which is regularly assessed throughout receiving services.

If you are unsure of palliative care vs hospice and which one is right for your loved one, speak to a healthcare professional. This person will be able to recommend services and the type of care that is best at this time.
Seeking Hospice and Palliative Care

During these difficult times, ElderCare Connections’ senior placement services is here to help. We are a FREE referral service that can help you find the best care for your older loved one. We have great working relationships with facilities providing hospice and palliative care. Our service is at no cost to you. Please call us at 513-685-8998, or complete our contact us form to learn more about these options and which one is best for your older loved one.

Also, for help during this difficult time, please download our free eBook on making hard choices.

Top 10 Questions to Ask a Home Health Care Provider

Deciding to have a home health care provider come to your home to provide health care services is a great way to allow your older loved one to stay inside his or her home independently. As you are looking for a caregiver, you should consider asking these ten very important questions.

elderly woman using questions to ask a home health care provider

Questions to Ask a Home Health Care Provider

You do not have to ask all of these questions, but taking time to interview each candidate will save you time later by not having to spend time looking for a replacement.

#1: Are you certified by Medicare and Medicaid?

If you are paying for the home health care services with Medicare and Medicaid, it’s important to ensure the provider is certified. Most providers will have this certification, but it is always good to ask upfront.

#2: What is your privacy policy?

The home health care provider should not speak to anyone about you unless you have given them permission to do so. Be sure that you have a copy of the privacy policy in case anything were to happen. Some individual providers may not have thought to provide a policy, but they can easily enough create one. And having considered this will make them more aware of their responsibilities. Most home health care provider organizations will have a standard policy that all they’re employees must follow.

#3: What services are included in my care?

home health care provider makes patient feel at home

Services may vary among home health care providers. Be sure to ask this upfront, so you know what you are getting and won’t wonder why something isn’t being done later. Feel free to ask for services that you may need even if they have not mentioned them. You may need to include other types of services for the ones not provided.

#4: Do you have references?

Ask for references and call them to check on experience and customer satisfaction. If the person provides you references to other patients, be sure that it is okay for you to call them without breaking the privacy policy.

#5: What certifications do you currently have related to the services you’ll be providing?

These certifications may be for dementia care or CPR. Look over the certifications to make sure they are current and applicable to your needs.

#6: Can I have your social security number for a background check?

You can perform a background check online nowadays. All you need is the person’s social security number. Some providers may feel uncomfortable giving out their social security number, and that is understandable as they are concerned about security risks and identity theft. So if they choose not to provide it to you it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem with them as a provider. Some home healthcare provider organizations will have already done background checks on all their employees and this saves you the trouble of doing this yourself.

#7: Tell me about an emergency situation you’ve experienced and how you handled it.

This will give you a feel of what the person is like in stressful situations to ensure you or your loved one is in good hands if an emergency happened.

#8: Do you do an assessment and create a treatment plan?home health care provider answers list of questions in writing

It’s a good idea to ask if the person will assess you before beginning services. This way you receive a customized/individualized treatment instead of just general services. It is important to keep in mind that your doctor’s treatment plan should take priority over the home healthcare provider’s assessment. If their recommendations are in conflict with your doctor’s be sure to let them know and check with your doctor prior to beginning the treatment plan.

#9: What happens if there is a problem?

If you’re working with an agency, it’s good to know what the procedures are if a problem arises. Usually they will have specific guidelines for how to handle each situation.

#10: What times of the day will the home health care provider be at the house?

Scheduling specific times for visits is usually better than drop-ins, so that family members can make plans to come by in between when the services are being provided.

Find Home Health Care Providers with ElderCare Connections

ElderCare Connections specializes in helping older individuals and their loved ones with referrals to a home health care provider for no cost. We review what you want in a provider, and then send you some options. If you need additional options, we are here for you to help. Just give us a call now at 513-685-8998 or fill out our Contact Us form.