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Adult Day Care Can Help with Loneliness

Loneliness is Deadly! How Atlanta Adult Day Care Can Help

Posted by Ned Morgens on May 21, 2019 - Adult Day Care

Adult Day Care Can Help with Loneliness

When we think of epidemics which can kill people, we tend to think of chronic diseases, like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

What doesn’t always come to mind are emotional issues, particularly one as “commonplace” as loneliness?

To some extent, we all deal with loneliness. However, studies have shown chronic loneliness can have a severe impact on a person’s life.

Even our beloved senior friends and family members are at risk of developing chronic loneliness and depression.

The Impact Loneliness Can Have on Our Health

Researchers and physicians have found loneliness has become an epidemic. Nearly half the population feels the effects of it at times.

What causes loneliness? The biggest issue is isolation, whether it’s by choice or not. We all need contact with people who love and support us. However, due to distance, responsibilities, and social media, more and more people lack the real-life, in-person, interpersonal communication which is vital to our health and wellbeing.

Some even say loneliness is actually deadly, but is this really the case? Actually, it is. Researchers have found loneliness can have an adverse impact on a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health. The combination can lead to premature death.

In 2013, an article was released regarding the dangers of loneliness. The Journal of the American Heart Association did some follow-up research more recently to see how loneliness and isolation affected patients with heart failure.

Researchers found patients who were lonely due to high perceived social isolation had:

  • Risk of death increased nearly four times
  • Hospitalization increased close to two times
  • Visits to the Emergency Room increased over almost two times

This has caused some to make the claim that loneliness impacts a person’s health as much as, if not more so, than smoking and obesity.

What Can Be Done to Help Seniors Overcome Loneliness?

Seniors are at serious risk for developing severe loneliness. What can be done to help them?

Some might assume all a person has to do is invite friends and family over more often, or set up a social media account, and they’ll be just fine.

The problem is, though, seniors are in a very unique situation.

They can’t always simply invite friends and family over, due to the fact as we get older, we start to lose friends and family members. The grief from this in conjunction with the loneliness can lead to overwhelming depressive feelings for seniors.

Additionally, seniors sometimes have a hard time having company over because of physical limitations. Due to age, illness, or injury, they aren’t always able to do what they used to, like entertaining people.

Add to this the fact that younger family members, like adult children and grandchildren, often work the majority of the day and have other responsibilities to care for and it’s easy to see why seniors often feel so isolated.

Thankfully, There’s a Solution: Adult Day Care

Adult day care facilities give seniors the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with people of all ages, including their peers and the adult day care staff and volunteers.

Day care provides seniors with a safe, enjoyable environment and regular attendance will help to significantly reduce feelings of loneliness.

When seniors feel less lonely, they feel happier and healthier. This, in turn, can boost their immune health, resulting in less illness and the ability to fight illness when it strikes. Seniors will also be able to recover faster from surgeries and hospital visits when they’re feeling emotionally healthy.

Encourage Seniors to Seek Help with Their Loneliness

Every single one of us will feel lonely at some point. The goal is to not let it become the norm. Chronic loneliness can lead to depression and reduced immune function.

To help our senior loved ones avoid experiencing this, we should encourage them to invest their time and energy into adult day care. Doing so will make them feel so much better!

Senior-Late-Life-Depression

Late-Life Depression: What to Watch for and How to Help

Posted by Ned Morgens on February 24, 2020 - Adult Day Care

Senior-Late-Life-Depression

Seeing someone you love struggle with depression is heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, their depression can have a negative impact on you, too, contributing to your own feelings of depression, loss of energy, and burnout.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help you and your loved one cope.

How to Help Your Loved One Through Their Depression

Late-life depression is common, with over two million seniors struggling with it.

Knowing how to help your loved one requires understanding why they’re depressed. Seniors experience depression because of:

  • Grief due to the death of a spouse
  • Loneliness
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Chemical imbalances
  • Disease diagnoses
  • The “side-effects” of diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and arthritis
  • Side-effects of medications

Once you know the underlying cause, you can take the proper steps.

One option is to talk with their doctor and pharmacist about medication side-effects, as well as drug interactions. They might recommend dosage adjustments or new medications altogether.

If your loved one is feeling lonely, spend time with them more often if you can. Ask friends and family members to visit them regularly. Unfortunately, due to time and distance constraints, visiting in person may be difficult. A simple text, video chat, or phone call every week can do wonders.

Other helpful tips:

  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Talk with a nutritionist and fix nutrient-dense meals
  • Chemical Imbalances: Talk to a doctor about anti-depressants and counseling
  • Grief and Disease Diagnosis: Encourage your loved one to talk to a grief counselor or join a support group

3 Ways You Can Cope with Your Loved One’s Depression

Caretaking is hard work and feelings of depression can compound the emotional impact of your work. In addition to caring for your loved one, you need to take care of yourself, too.

1. Set Emotional Boundaries

As a caregiver, it’s easy to feel guilt over not being able to fix a situation so your loved one doesn’t feel bad physically or emotionally. Guilt is a normal reaction. Just remember that it’s not your job to fix everything or to work yourself to death. Doing so can drain your time and energy, which isn’t good for you or your loved one.

2. Take Care of Yourself, Too

When caring for someone else, it’s easy to let things in your life slide. Everything from spending time with friends and relaxing to getting plenty of sleep, working out, and drinking enough water can fall by the wayside. Check in with yourself often, set aside time to care for your needs, and remember: You can’t take care of anyone if you’re sick, stressed, and burnt out.

3. Ask for Help

Ask someone to sit with your loved one for a couple of hours while you do something nice for yourself. Ask other family members to share the load of caregiving – physically, emotionally, and financially.

How Home Care and Adult Day Can Help

A contributing factor to late-life depression is loneliness. A senior’s loved ones may be off at work or school the majority of the day, or they could even live out of the area. Their friends might not be able to visit them regularly.

Thankfully, home care and senior adult day care can serve as a remedy for senior loneliness.

When a senior goes to a senior daycare facility, they’re able to converse with their peers, something they desperately need. When a home care aide comes to their home, they have someone to talk with throughout the day. Having such interactions is refreshing and energizing!

How to Cope with Isolation After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

How to Cope with Isolation After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Posted by Ned Morgens on January 17, 2020 - Alzheimer

How to Cope with Isolation After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Alzheimer’s is a scary disease, both for the person diagnosed and their loved ones.

Sometimes, people with Alzheimer’s find they’re living in isolation, and those who used to visit them often don’t come around as much – if at all.

What can you do if this has happened to you, your parent or spouse who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Is there a way to cope with the isolation?

Why Some People Abandon Friends and Family with Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease, which like other dementias, attacks the brain robbing the individual of memories and skills. The medications currently on the market for the disease only help curb symptoms marginally.

Our best researchers focused on the disease continually find new avenues to explore. It’s no wonder that friends and family members can be confused and at a loss for words.

Your loved ones may also feel uncomfortable. They don’t feel like they have the right words or know how to “make it better.” A serious illness could also remind them of their own mortality – yet another thing which can make talking to someone with Alzheimer’s uncomfortable for them.

How You and Your Loved One Can Cope with Isolation Associated with Dementia

The thing to remember about friends and family members who may disappear is they don’t do it to be hurtful. Most of it is based on emotional discomfort.

Does this mean you and your loved one with Alzheimer’s should live in lonely isolation? Definitely not. Here are a few steps you can take to reduce feelings of loneliness and ensure your loved one has an emotionally healthy, socially active lifestyle.

Attend Support Group Meetings

Whether you’re looking for a support group for caregivers or one for your loved one who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, there are multiple associations that provide regular support meetings. The Alzheimer’s Association is one of them. It’s always nice to know you’re not the only one dealing with such a big change or a big responsibility.

Talk to Friends and Family About the Disease

It’s important to keep communication channels open. Give friends and family more information about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Let them know what to expect. And don’t forget to tell them how much you want and appreciate their love, support, and presence.

Go to a Senior Adult Day Center

A great way to keep your loved one with Alzheimer’s socially active and reduce their risk of depressing loneliness is by enrolling them in a senior day center program. At Skylark Senior Care, seniors get regular interaction with their peers, as well as the Skylark staff. Such interaction can boost spirits and make daily life more enjoyable.

Help Spread Awareness and Compassion About Alzheimer’s

One of the issues around this disease is it’s still not fully understood. Though it affects 5.8 million people and their families and is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., only a fraction of research money goes to Alzheimer’s research.

Why is this significant? First of all, it’s significant because a cure is needed. Don’t you find it frustrating there’s still no cure? Second, it means there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the disease, which is one of the reasons people might unintentionally abandon their friends with Alzheimer’s.

Thankfully, there is something you can do. You can advocate on behalf of your loved one. You can explain what you know about the disease to friends and family. You can help raise research money. You can take steps to build compassion and awareness around the disease so more people are comfortable talking about it – and so society is one step closer to finding a cure.

atlanta adult day care center

How to Choose The Best Atlanta Adult Day Care Center

Posted by Ned Morgens on January 03, 2020 - Adult Day Care

atlanta adult day care center

It’s hard to accept that an elderly loved one needs help throughout the day. We understand you completely. Know that getting assistance from an Atlanta adult day care center is sometimes just the best solution.

You need to know how to make sure they’re the right fit for you or your loved one. There are several things to consider and questions to ask.

The Needs of the Senior

There are many reasons people would choose an Atlanta adult day care center.

Different establishments cater to different needs so choose wisely. It’s helpful to find a program that provides a great activities program to attend to the social, emotional, and recreational needs of your senior.  Many programs also offer health care services. Health services delivered under the watchful eye of experienced nurses helps the center attend to health care needs when needed.

Each center has a particular culture and area of focus.  Some focus exclusively on Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias.  Some serve a specific culture and its language needs.   Most of the adult day centers serve a variety of seniors with needs including being lonely, depressed, isolated, requiring a bit supervision, needing help with personal care needs, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, or have complex chronic care needs associated with diabetes or COPD.

 In Georgia, adult day centers are licensed as adult day care or adult day health centers.  The adult day care center is considered a social program.  Its hours are typically limited and might be housed in a church or synagogue.  Adult day health programs will also include social and recreational opportunities, but also include the nurse to help with healthcare needs and any physical, occupational, or speech therapy needs.

Adult day care services are not as targeted on any particular illness. The goal of these centers is to improve the quality of life of the citizens. That is achieved through social and health-related services. 

Even if your loved one is in good health but wants more interaction and socialization, look for a center that combines a great activities program with great health care.  As a senior ages, a family will be very grateful for her advice, expertise, and counsel.

A adult day care center is a perfect place for seniors that want assistance and a place to socialize.

The Open-Hours and Accessibility of the Atlanta Adult Day Care Center

Before signing a contract, you need to make sure that the adult day care center schedule works well with yours. If the senior citizen will be left unsupervised, look elsewhere.

Then there’s the matter of distance. Make sure you or the Atlanta adult day care center can provide transportation.

The establishments are designed with the well-being of its clients in mind. That being said, not every center is equally beneficial. The one you choose should be accessible and well prepared.

Questions You Should Ask

The staff of the center is just as important as the facilities and location. Get to know them. When visiting the premises, ask these questions:

  • How do you keep the seniors safe?
  • What is the daily cost?
  • Are there any separate expenses such as lunch fees?
  • Are there daily schedules set in place? Can I see them?
  • Is there a nurse on hand?
  • Can the staff take care of citizens with health problems?
  • Are there any emergency plans prepared?

These are some basic questions to ask.  If you can think of any other questions, ask away. After all, the well-being of your loved one is the biggest priority.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself

After talking to the staff and seeing the place for yourself, you need to think about some things. Here are some important questions:

  • Was the facility clean?
  • Did you and your loved one feel welcome?
  • Were the seniors treated well?
  • Is the furniture comfortable?
  • Were there enough staff members to take care of the seniors?

If the location, building, and staff were to you and your loved one’s liking, you might have found a great center.

We understand the challenges of caregiving brings and how to help. Get in touch with us and schedule a visit at any of our Atlanta adult day care centers. The comfort and well-being of your loved one are our top priority.

Senior Housing Market

Boomers Want to Age in Place: How Will This Affect Senior Housing?

Posted by Ned Morgens on December 20, 2019 - Adult Day Care

Senior Housing Market

It isn’t uncommon for aging seniors to need extra care.

In many cases, it means seniors must move out of their homes and into a care facility.

Things are changing, though. While a care facility seemed like the fate of seniors of the WWII era, Baby Boomers are doing all they can to age in place. In other words, they want to stay at home.

Thankfully, tech companies and healthcare innovations are making this possible for Boomers. Unfortunately for real estate investors, seniors staying at home means a loss in profits.

Real Estate Investors and Builders Might’ve Made a Pricey Gamble

Real estate investors and builders do their job based on future projections. In order to make those projections, they look at the current trends and anticipate whether the trends will continue or not.

For years, investors and builders have been putting money into new senior housing projects. It made sense since so many seniors were leaving their homes and moving into these types of facilities. Money has continued to be invested in these projects as investors figured more facilities would be necessary as Boomers age.

Anticipating Boomers would follow in the footsteps of the Depression and WWII era seniors is a huge gamble – one that might not pay off.

There are nearly 79 million Baby Boomers. If they decided to move into senior care facilities, real estate investors and builders would make a mint. However, due to technological innovations and modern healthcare, more seniors can stay at home longer – some are able to stay indefinitely.

Are You Interested in Aging in Place? Tips, Tools, and Technology Which Can Help

Are you interested in ensuring you or an aging loved one are able to stay at home for as long as possible?

Here are a few tools which can help make this happen.

AI Innovations, Like Alexa, Google, and Siri

You’re probably aware of how helpful Siri can be when you need to make a shopping list or have a random question you’d like answered. But this technology can do so much more.

Siri, Alexa, and Google can help seniors who have reduced mobility – including those in wheelchairs – accomplish things around the house. Instead of having to rely on someone to turn on the lights or lower the thermostat, seniors can take care of this themselves. These tech tools can also remind seniors to take their medications or call a loved one or doctor for help.

Other Innovations Help Reduce Senior Loneliness

Loneliness can be dangerous to seniors. Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with loved ones – even with everyone’s busy schedules.

Google Home, Amazon Echo, and HomePod allow seniors to digitally connect with friends and family whenever they want.

In-Home Care

Sometimes, seniors need some practical help at home. Home care aides are a great resource for seniors. They can take seniors on errands, help with chores around the house, and provide some much-needed human contact on a daily basis.

Senior Adult Day Centers

Adult day care facilities give seniors the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with people of all ages, including their peers and the senior day care staff and volunteers.

Regular attendance can help to significantly reduce feelings of loneliness.

Will aging in place be in your future?

Most seniors would rather stay in their own homes than move to an assisted living facility. Will aging in place be in your future?

We all want to retain our independence for as long as possible. It doesn’t matter what age we are.

With modern technology and the right assistance – like home care and adult day services – aging in place is becoming a more and more attainable future.

Is Atlanta Home Care Affordable

Senior Home Care: What Options Do You Have and Can You Afford Them?

Posted by Ned Morgens on December 04, 2019 - Financial

Is Atlanta Home Care Affordable

Seniors want to retain their independence for as long as possible.

There comes a time, though, when most of us will need some assistance. Nearly everyone ends up facing the realization maybe they’re not as strong as they used to be – either due to age, illness, or injury – and they now need help with chores around the house.

It’s difficult for adult children to take on all the responsibility of caring for their parents because of full-time jobs, their children, and other responsibilities. Because of this, many look to senior home care agencies for some extra help.

What home care options are available? Which option is best? And is this type of care affordable?

Home Care Services – Are They the More Affordable Option?

When first considering the cost of an in-home aide, many families cringe. We totally understand – getting the right type of care isn’t cheap.

However, home care is typically more affordable than nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. So, by putting your hard-earned money toward home care, you actually accomplish two things:

  • You save money in the long run.
  • You allow your parents the opportunity to stay independent longer.

In June 2017, HowMuch.net (a resource to help people understand their money) released data pertaining to the cost of various care options available to seniors.

Here are some annual estimates based on their figures for the state of Georgia. Keep in mind, some estimates may be more or less based on the level of care needed.

  • Nursing Home –Private Room: $74,100 per year
  • Assisted Living: $34,800 per year
  • Home Care Aide: $41,184 per year
  • Adult Day Services: $15,600 per year.

As you can see, signing your parent up for adult day services or hiring a home aide is significantly less than a nursing home.

Granted, there are some circumstances when 24/7 care is necessary. But many seniors can maintain their independence despite age, illness, or injury – as long as they get the home assistance they need.

Fortunately, not all of the money spent on this type of care needs to come directly out of your pocket or your parents. Veterans’ programs, Medicaid, Social Security, and other programs are available to help cover some – if not all – of the costs of these services.

We recommend contacting your parents’ insurance or benefit providers to find out what kind of coverage they have and how they can benefit from it the most. We’ll also be happy to help you in any way we can.

Types of Home Care Services in Atlanta You Should Consider

To understand what you’re paying for, here’s a breakdown of the types of in-home assistance which are available to Atlanta residents.

Companion and Sitter Home Care Providers

This is a non-licensed position and is best for seniors who simply need a little help around the house. A personal care provider can help with:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Running errands
  • Bathing and dressing

In some cases, they can also provide transport for seniors.

Besides helping out with day-to-day chores, a personal care provider can offer some much-needed socialization and companionship.

Personal Care Providers

A Personal Care aide can do everything a personal care provider can do and more. Their primary role is to assist people who have suffered through an illness or injury. They help the person with their daily activities and to regain their independence.

The personal care aide often is a Certified Nursing Assistant. They should have more training than sitter or companion service.

In addition to doing everyday tasks, an aide can provide the following services:

  • Medication assistance
  • Testing blood sugar and/or blood pressure levels
  • Insulin injections
  • Pain monitoring
  • Help with physical therapy exercises

Keeping Your Parents’ Health and Happiness at the Forefront

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they need a little extra help. If the time has come for your family, we welcome you to visit Skylark Senior Care.

Like you, our main concerns are keeping your loved ones safe, healthy, and happy. We understand the need for independence and socialization, as well as assistance. And this is exactly what your parents will get from our home programs.

We work with each family to create a care program which is unique to their needs. These programs – including home care and adult day care – can help you find the balance you’ve been looking for. You’ll feel confident knowing your parents are safe, and they’ll love retaining their independence.

 

Medicare Enhancements Allow for Adult Day Care and Home Care

New Medicare Enhancements Allow for Adult Day Care and Home Care

Posted by Ned Morgens on November 14, 2019 - Adult Day Care

Medicare Enhancements Allow for Adult Day Care and Home Care

It’s open enrollment time for Medicare for coverage in 2020. An exciting change to Medicare Advantage program is the addition of supplemental benefits that include services such as Adult Day and Home Care.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has recently announced their new Medicare Advantage plans. They have one plan in Georgia that includes these supplemental benefits. For plan year 2020, we have identified one plan in Georgia that covers Adult Day and there are a handful from a variety of insurance providers that cover Home care.

Check out the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Anthem MediBlue Plus (HMO). It’s the only plan we’ve found that covers adult day in Georgia.

What are these enhancements and what do they mean for you?

Read on to find out how the new Medicare improvements can help you provide your loved ones with even better care at home.

Medicare Enhancements You Can Expect from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Here are a few of the enhancements you might be eligible to receive from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Personal Home Helper

To stay safe, happy, and healthy at home, seniors often need some assistance.

Having a professional senior home care aide with them throughout the week will help you or your loved one stay in a preferred, comfortable location.

Personal home helpers can help with daily activities including home-based around daily living and up to 124 hours of an in-home health aide for respite care.

Also, you can’t deny the benefits of having a companion to chat with regularly!

Visits to Adult Day Care Centers

Visiting an adult day care center is extremely beneficial to seniors, as well as to families.

Such services benefit seniors by making sure you’re safe and supervised, all while providing access to caring professionals. Plus, there’s nothing like getting out of the house and spending time with your peers to keep you happy and healthy.

Senior caregivers appreciate these services because you or your loved one is getting proper care and supervision during those times when you’re unable to care for them personally.

The recent Medicare enhancements allow for one visit to a center per week.

Healthy Food Delivery Services

If you have certain health conditions or have been hospitalized, Medicare will cover meal delivery services. Healthy meals will ensure better health and a speedier recovery.

Eligibility depends on certain “health events,” including:

  • Hospitalization
  • High BMI
  • High A1C levels

Medicare recipients are eligible for 16 delivered meals per event, with a maximum of four events per year being covered (which equals a maximum of 64 meals per year).

Alternative Medical Services

The new Medicare enhancements include 24 acupuncture or therapeutic massage appointments. Both treatments can help with:

  • Sore, tight muscles
  • Stress
  • Arthritis
  • Low energy
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Nausea from chemotherapy treatments
  • Headaches and migraines.

Transportation

A lot of seniors can’t drive due to certain health conditions. Getting rides to and from an adult day care center or to run errands isn’t always easy since most family members are busy working full-time.

One of the Medicare enhancements available through Blue Cross/Blue Shield is transportation. You might be eligible for 60 one-way trips to medical appointments or to an adult day care facility with this new enhancement.

Access to Safety Devices

Most seniors want to “age in place,” that is, you want to stay at home for as long as possible during their senior years.

One way insurance companies are helping seniors make this happen is by providing access to certain safety devices.

Seniors are allowed up to $500 to pay for things like:

  • Shower stools
  • ADA toilet seats
  • Reaching devices
  • Temporary wheelchair ramps
  • Hand-held showerheads.

Having these devices will keep you or your senior loved one safe while allowing a sense of independence.

Do You Need Help Figuring Out Your Benefits?

Trying to figure out the benefits that you or a loved one has isn’t always easy.

Thankfully, the Skylark Senior Care team can help. The team can talk you through the variety of financing options available through Skylark for home care services. They are well-versed in what’s going on with Medicare and can help you understand more about your plan. Affordable Senior Care Financial Options | Call Us (404) 410-1510

Of course, they won’t have answers to all your questions. Some questions should go to your insurance agent, especially regarding certain details about your plan.

However, the Skylark team will do all they can to help you choose the best services for your needs while ensuring you utilize your benefits as fully as possible. After all, why not use the benefits if you have them, right?

How Medicare Advantage Benefits You

How Expanding Medicare Advantage Benefits Atlanta Adult Day Care!

Posted by Ned Morgens on September 18, 2019 - Adult Day Care

How Medicare Advantage Benefits You

If you’re like most people, the idea of getting even more coverage under your existing insurance plan is an exciting prospect.

It doesn’t happen often – but when it does, it’s a cause for celebration.

Well, get ready to celebrate if you have Medicare Advantage in Atlanta because this program has currently undergone an expansion plan.

What does this mean for you or your loved ones who need to take advantage of programs like in-home care services or adult day care services?

What’s the Difference Between Medicare and Medicare Advantage (MA)?

To start, let’s look at the difference between Medicare and Medicare Advantage (MA).

Medicare is a federally funded healthcare program for people aged 65 and older. While it’s nice the government has provided this service to the nation’s seniors, the program itself has some disadvantages.

For one thing, its coverage is very basic and doesn’t include coverage for dental, vision, hearing tests or procedures.

Another reason why this plan isn’t always ideal is it doesn’t always provide coverage for services like senior home care or senior day care. Some programs do, but not all of them.

Medicare Advantage is a program which allows seniors to sign up for insurance provided by private companies which have been vetted by Medicare. The great thing about MA is it’s a bundled package, meaning you get the benefits of Medicare along with the added benefits of private insurance, including vision and dental care.

How MA Is Expanding and How this Impacts Home Care and Adult Day Care Services

Recently, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released an article announcing the expansion of Medicare Advantage.

Starting in 2020, MA plans will include:

  • Transportation
  • House cleaning
  • Home meal deliveries

Under the new plans, benefit recipients might be eligible for several home health care services. These benefits may include:

  • Adult day care
  • Caregiver support
  • Home safety improvements
  • A variety of in-home support services

Will the new expansion help seniors only? Absolutely not! People who have MA due to chronic illness will also benefit by being able to pick plans suited to their unique needs.

In fact, some plans are going to be completely customizable, allowing beneficiaries to create their own plans. So, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes and you need dietary support – you can set up a plan that fits those needs.

When Will the New Changes to Medicare Advantage Go into Effect?

The changes being made to Medicare Advantage are the first in over a decade, and thankfully, the changes being made are really impressive.

The government recognizes the benefits of providing things like adult day care and in-home assistance. These services keep seniors comfortable in their own homes, reduce loneliness and depression, and can keep seniors healthier by preventing certain injuries and illnesses.

When can you start taking advantage of these customizable MA plans? You can start enrolling during the annual enrollment period between October 15th and December 7th. However, you can preview the plans starting October 1st, so you can get a head start deciding which plan is going to fill your needs the best.

Talk to Your Insurance Provider as Soon as Possible to Find out More

Unfortunately, not everyone who has MA will be eligible for the new expansion. Much of this depends upon your unique plan.

Talk to your insurance provider about the new expansion and see if/how you or your loved one can benefit.

If you do find out the improvements extend to your particular plan, make sure to set aside time to contact us at Skylark Senior Care to find out even more about how you or your loved one can take advantage of the new Medicare Advantage expansion.

10 Healthy Aging Tips for Seniors

How Seniors Can Counter the Effects of Time: 10 Healthy Aging Tips

Posted by Ned Morgens on August 20, 2019 - Senior Care

10 Healthy Aging Tips for Seniors

How do you imagine your parents living during their senior years?

Do you see a vibrant, energized person, or do you see someone who is stuck in bed dealing with chronic health issues?

As a person ages, certain health issues are sure to arise. However, this doesn’t mean your parents can’t quickly overcome them, reduce the risk of developing others, and live an active, happy life.

The key to achieving this is to help them implement healthy activities in their life right now.

10 Healthy Aging Tips: Helping Parents Live the Best Life Possible in Their Senior Years

Here are just 10 tips which will help your parents maintain a healthy, active life no matter their age.

1. Eat a Balanced, Nutrient-Rich Diet

Getting plenty of vitamins and minerals through a whole-foods diet will:

  • Give them more energy
  • Help them sleep better
  • Assist in warding off infections
  • Help reduce their risk of injury from falls, as well as certain chronic illnesses.

Does eating a whole-foods diet mean your parents can’t enjoy their favorite treats? Absolutely not – if you help ensure they remain as treats – not staples—of their diet.

2. Make Time for Daily Exercise

Working out will help keep your senior loved ones fit and strong, which can help reduce the risk of falls. Additionally, certain exercises can improve flexibility and range of motion, which also keep them active and stable. Exercise can even promote brain health.

3. Stay Connected to Family and Friends

It can be easy for seniors to feel like they’ve been forgotten and fall into depression. Even though you lead a busy life, take the time to reach out to your parents regularly. Doing so will benefit everyone involved, both physically and emotionally.

4. Always Encourage Continual Learning

Learning is challenging, which keeps the brain healthy. It’s also a great way for your parents to add some fun and even some social activities in their life.

Encourage them to learn to:

  • Take a dance class
  • Learn to paint or engage in some other artistic endeavor
  • Play an instrument
  • Speak another language.

The possibilities are endless. Help them find what interests them the most and encourage them to go for it.

5. Designate Time Each Day for Mental Exercises

Mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness, especially as a person gets older. Learning new skills can keep your parent’s brain young, as can certain brain games and puzzles.

6. Drink Plenty of Water

Do your parents seem constantly devoid of energy? The problem could be dehydration. It’s imperative seniors stay hydrated as it will provide them with energy and help reduce their risk of UTIs.

7. Take Steps to Reduce Stress

Stress can have a profoundly negative effect on heart health. Mindfulness and meditation practices can do much to keep your parent’s heart-healthy and their outlook on life positive. As little as 10 minutes a day can help.

8. Ensure They Get Plenty of Sleep Each Night

A lowered immune response is often the direct result of poor sleep habits. Make sure your loved one gets plenty of deep, restful sleep each night. If they’re struggling, talk to their doctor about a sleep study.

9. Encourage Them to Go Outside Every Day If Possible

Fresh air and sunshine keep people in a positive frame of mind and can help them get a higher dose of the ever-important Vitamin D.

10. Assist with Medication Management

Medication management isn’t always easy, which is why getting the assistance of a family member or home care aide is imperative. Proper management can help your parents avoid ending up in the hospital because of mixed-up medications or taking the wrong dosage.

Help Your Parents Take Steps Now to Live a Longer, Happier, Healthier Life

It doesn’t matter what age your parents are, if you help them take steps to improve their health right now it will impact them in the future.

Unfortunately, many people wait until a health crisis occurs to take control of their health and wellbeing. Don’t let this happen to your family!

Your aged loved ones can live a full, happy, healthy life by putting the tips above into practice. Doing so will ensure they thrive during their senior years.

Adult Day Care Medicare Coverage

Does Medicare Advantage Cover Adult Day Care? New Changes You Need to Know About

Posted by Ned Morgens on August 01, 2019 - Adult Day Care

Adult Day Care Medicare Coverage

Up to this point, people who need extended in-home care services or adult day care services have had to pay quite a bit out of pocket. This is about to change, though.

Last year, it was announced Medicare Advantage would be making some important adjustments. One of those changes is in-home care and adult day care services will be covered.

What does this mean for seniors and their caretakers?

Additional Medicare Support – What It Means for Seniors

The government has approved in-home care coverage for seniors who need assistance. This means seniors who need long-term care can get this care in their own home, instead of having to go to a care facility. Long-term care is something Medicare has never covered in the past.

Seniors will also have the ability to attend adult day care programs. We highly recommend these programs because they provide seniors with the ability to work their body and their brain. Plus, they get some much-needed social time with their peers.

All of this can increase the happiness and satisfaction seniors feel.

The Benefits Are Incredible – How This Change Will Affect Caretakers

Caretaking is a full-time job, particularly for people who care for loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s. A senior’s sleep cycle can be thrown off completely by this disease, which means the caretaker may have to be up at night to make sure their loved one is safe and sound. Then, they have to work during the day.

All of this can take a toll on the physical, mental, and emotional state of the caretaker. But with help from in-home care providers and adult day care, caretakers can get a much-needed break – to rest, run errands, or to just have some peace of mind.

How Seniors Can Get the Most from Their Medicare Benefits

There are multiple ways seniors and their families can take advantage of these new Medicare benefits for in-home care services and adult day care services. To start, they can utilize the Medicare services and stick to the limitations therein. Limitations can include:

For those who want full coverage for in-home care services, we recommend talking to an insurance provider about supplemental coverage. This type of coverage can be a lifesaver for families of seniors who need extra care due to:

  • Illness
  • Injury
  • Family/employment responsibilities.

Take Advantage of This New Medicare Provision

Most of the seniors want to stay in their home for as long as possible and maintain their independence.

This is possible with some extra at-home help as well as adult day care services. And now, it seems more people will have the opportunity to take advantage of these services.

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