Can Your Parents Pay for a Retirement Home? Helping Them Starts Now

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Retirement Home

The right time to help aging parents plan for future needs is before care is needed.

Millions of people in the U.S. struggle with the decision of whether their senior parents are able to cover the cost for long-term care. Monetary issues can be a delicate subject, and when it is time to begin thinking about long-term care needs, having an open and honest discussion about how your parents will be able to pay for aging care services is essential.

To that end, our San Diego Home Caregivers team has gathered together the following questions to help you get started:

  • What are your parents’ assets? A good place to begin is to determine approximately how much funding your parents have available in cash, investments, and Social Security. This provides a foundation for covering long-term care expenditures.
  • Do your parents anticipate needing financial assistance? People are living longer than ever before, meaning more people are outliving the resources they have designated for retirement. Ask your parents if they have enough funds to sustain their needs for the balance of their lives. If not, how much support will be necessary?
  • Do your parents have insurance? Find out if your parents have a long-term care insurance policy, as well as life insurance. Review to gain a solid understanding of their policies.
  • Can you access their passwords and account numbers? Ask for account and password details, and maintain a copy of this information, along with contact information for your parents’ attorney and financial advisor. This will make it an easier process to work through affairs when the need arises.
  • Do your parents have a power of attorney? Suggest to your parents that they select and finalize paperwork for a power of attorney so they are assured that there is a dependable, trusted person to make decisions for them in the instance of a medical emergency.

Planning in advance for long-term care is essential, and easier to accomplish while your parents are independent and thriving. Gaining an understanding of their finances now will help you be more prepared for their future care.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, we realize that discussions about senior care and finances can be difficult, and our professionals are always available to offer help. Contact our Oceanside home care experts at (619) 487-9000 to learn more, and see our full service area.

Your Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance Begins Here

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Long-Term Care Insurance

Maximizing the benefits of long-term care insurance begins with understanding your policy.

Long-term care insurance can provide extraordinary peace of mind, but utilizing those benefits can wind up to be a perplexing experience for seniors and their family members. To help lead families through the process, San Diego Home Caregivers provides this helpful overview.

Which services are covered?

Prior to filing a claim, it is important to carefully review the long-term care insurance policy in order to gain an understanding of the types of services the policy covers. If you do not have a copy of the policy, get in touch with the provider to ask for one.

Although all policies differ in what they cover, long-term care insurance usually covers non-medical services in the home with the condition that support is necessary for two or more activities of daily living, or the policyholder has been diagnosed with some type of cognitive condition, such as dementia. Examples of the type of care that long-term care policies might cover include:

  • Personal care, such as bathing and dressing
  • Transfers and ambulation
  • Using the bathroom and incontinence care
  • Meal preparation and feeding if needed
  • Housekeeping
  • And more

If you or a senior loved one would like assistance understanding the details of the policy, an insurance agent, elder care attorney or financial planner can help.

Are all of the costs of care covered?

While individual plans vary, every plan details the permitted monthly coverage, which is identified as the “present daily allowance,” and frequently has a specified lifetime maximum. Policies also usually identify a particular duration of time for which the benefits are accessible, such as five years, or the coverage may be effective for the policyholder’s lifetime.

It’s also important to check the long-term care plan’s elimination period. The elimination period is the time during which the cost of care is paid out-of-pocket until a predetermined amount of time has gone by. Although some plans identify a zero-day elimination, which means cost for care and coverage begin immediately, other policies might require up to 120 days of care first.

Choose your care provider carefully.

If you plan on filing a claim for long-term care insurance, it is important to work with a home care company with experience in billing long-term care insurance providers; otherwise, there is the possibility that the claim may not be reimbursed. San Diego Home Caregivers has experience with helping families obtain their long-term care insurance benefits and can provide the documentation needed to help clients file claims properly.

How can claims be filed?

In order to file a long-term care insurance claim, the following documents are usually required:

  • A claimant’s statement (or policyholder statement) describing the reasons for the claim
  • A statement from a doctor, verifying that care is warranted
  • A prescribed care plan and nursing evaluation
  • A provider statement, completed by the home care agency
  • An authorization form

Once completed and submitted, a phone interview is scheduled with the insurance company’s claims department.  In the next step, the claim is either approved or denied.

If you are looking to receive home care services through a long-term care policy, call San Diego Home Caregivers today at (619) 487-9000. You can feel confident in knowing that we have years of experience in not only providing exceptional care in the comfort of home, but also in assisting families with long-term care insurance claims and getting the most out of their plan. To learn more about our premier options for senior care in San Diego and surrounding areas, please contact us today.

Creating Purpose and Enhancing Health with Engaging Activities for Seniors

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Activities for Seniors

Escape the boring routines and discover how home care can enrich your life!

Is your senior loved one participating in enriching activities on a regular basis, or is he or she stuck in a rut that consists of watching television, eating, and sleeping? Particularly during this time of quarantining and isolation, it can be difficult to maintain an active and involved way of living – but it’s crucially important for the health and quality of life of aging adults.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, we believe that enhancing home health care services with enjoyable activities for seniors is a key component of ensuring the highest quality of life. San Diego Home Caregivers is one of the leading providers of home health care in North County and the surrounding area, in part because we believe the individuals we serve ought to be honored with activities that engage them and help them remain involved in living life to the fullest on a daily basis. As a result, our in-home caregivers individualize activities to match each person’s distinct interests, hobbies, and ability levels.

Our person-centered care begins with discovering as much as possible about the individual’s preferences, dislikes, hopes and dreams, interests and life history. We get to know each person through an interview that may also include other family members if desired, and then build a personalized plan of care to incorporate a variety of appropriate enrichment activities.

Some of the benefits of including enrichment activities for seniors include:

  • Alleviate boredom and lack of enthusiasm
  • Enhance self-confidence and independence
  • Renew or increase purpose and meaning to life
  • Help improve memory
  • Restore physical abilities
  • Foster a sense of wellbeing for older individuals struggling with a chronic health problem

Successfully enhancing seniors’ daily experiences means not just customizing their activities to meet their individual preferences and tastes, but also ensuring that their daily routine has some variety. This means that on a particular day we may concentrate on activities that are created to boost their inventiveness with a simple but meaningful art project. Another day, the focus may be on just having fun with a board game or taking a short walk around the neighborhood. Ultimately, our senior home care services are customized to help older individuals develop the highest possible quality of life.

It’s equally important to use some resourceful consideration when identifying activities for older adults during a time such as this when it’s best for older adults to stay at home. This might include activities such as taking virtual field trips to check out places of interest, making full use of technology like Zoom and Skype to keep in touch with loved ones, or streaming a live concert featuring his or her favorite genre of music and dancing, singing, or tapping our toes together. Our care professionals are always available to help spark creative ideas.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, improving the daily lives of seniors and optimizing their independence are central components of our mission. Our home care services are created not only to support seniors’ physical needs, but to enhance their everyday experiences with activities designed for seniors. Contact us any time at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about the leading provider of home health care in North County and the surrounding area.

How to Overcome Senior Fitness Hurdles and Improve Wellbeing

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senior fitness hurdles - at home nursing in san diego

San Diego Home Caregivers offers suggestions on how to overcome normal senior fitness hurdles to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle through exercise.

Establishing a routine exercise habit is challenging at any age. Working out is tedious. We would prefer not to expend the time. We’re feeling the pain from yesterday’s workout. We’ve all made excuses such as these for not staying physically fit; but frailty and advanced age make it even more difficult to stick with an exercise routine and overcome senior fitness hurdles 

San Diego Home Caregivers, providers of home health care in La Jolla and the surrounding area, is here to help the elderly continue to remain more physically active with suggestions to overcome the following normal senior fitness hurdles: 

  • Self-confidence: It’s natural for aging adults to feel some level of stress with the concept of achieving exercise objectives. It can be beneficial to begin slowly with exercises that are easily accomplished and advance slowly; and, encourage the senior consistently. 
  • Attitude: Attitude is so crucial when it comes to exercise. If approached negatively, it will be much more difficult to stay with an effective exercise regimen. Opt for activities that will be enjoyable and that the older person will look forward to. 
  • Pain: The expression, “No pain, no gain” actually isn’t true. Older individuals should prevent overdoing it, and scale back the level of intensity if sensing pain or discomfort. 
  • Disabilities: Older adults with physical or cognitive limitations can and should remain active according to their ability level. Consult the doctor for a referral to a personal trainer or physical therapist who can come up with a program of specialized exercises. 
  • Fear of Injury/Balance Problems: There are a range of assistive devices to permit safe, effective exercising without worry of falls while still enhancing senior fitness. 
  • Financial Concerns: It does not have to cost a lot of money to stay fit! Walking and other simplistic exercises in and around the senior’s home, making use of ordinary household objects can be incorporated into an exercise plan at little to no cost. 
  • Illness or Fatigue: Exercises can be personalized to match the older individual’s energy level, and he or she may gradually increase the endurance level over time. 

Keep in mind that the way to ongoing positive results with an exercise plan is to ensure the senior feels comfortable and safe with the plan and the exercises. If discomfort is observed in muscles or joints the next day after exercising, a reduced intensity can be put in place; and check with the doctor if the pain or discomfort continues.  

San Diego Home Caregivers will work with your loved one’s doctor to develop a safe exercise plan in accordance with his or her abilities to boost strength, independence, and overall quality of life. Contact us at 619.487.9000 to learn more about the advantages of daily exercise in improving senior fitness and to learn more about how our services in home health care in La Jolla and the surrounding area can help! 

From Frail to Fit: Best Exercises for Seniors

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exercises for seniors - elderly home care in san diego

Seniors should participate in exercises that help strengthen muscles and improve flexibility.

Exercise for seniors is not only beneficial, it’s extremely crucial to uphold as active a way of life as possible. Even seniors who are confined to a bed or wheelchair-bound have a variety of possibilities available to strengthen, increase resistance and flexibility.  

The first step is always to consult the physician to get a recommendation on the best exercises for older persons that match your loved one’s activity level and medical history. At first, exercising even for as little as a few minutes every day, repeated several times during the day, can dramatically improve the older adult’s health and wellbeing. 

Following are examples of the best exercises for seniors: 

  • Aerobics: If whole body movements are not feasible, exercises from a sitting position can be found to improve cardio strength. When possible, good possibilities include: 
    • Swimming or water aerobics 
    • Dancing 
    • Walking 
    • Tai Chi 
    • Bowling 
  • Resistance Exercises: To strengthen and build muscles, resistance exercises can be performed with elastic bands, which can be found in a variety of tensile strengths. The Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences shares that even just one day per week of resistance training helps older adults retain independence and decrease the chance of injuries. 
  • Flexibility Exercises: Stretching exercises help enhance flexibility and range of motion. Search for yoga classes at local senior or recreation centers. 
  • Dementia Exercises: In the initial stages of Alzheimer’s especially, a range of exercise possibilities are possible, and with enhanced supervision and some adjustments, can be continued as the disease progresses. Because repetition is typically comforting to those with dementia, activities including walking, riding a stationary bicycle, and folding laundry are beneficial to both the older adult’s physical and mental state. 

Motivating your older loved one to start and then stay with an exercise program is integral to success. Try these tips to make it something interesting that he or she will look forward to: 

  • Join in an exercise program with the older adult. It’s always more fun to exercise with a partner. 
  • Include favorite, upbeat music. 
  • Set aside dedicated time each and every day expressly for physical fitness, and make it a priority. 
  • Designate incentives or rewards for obtaining goals. 

For more resources on helping seniors increase activity levels, contact San Diego Home Caregiversproviders of elderly care in San Diego and the surrounding area. Our skilled San Diego in-home caregivers are knowledgeable in helping seniors thrive and improve their overall wellbeing, and we love nothing more than knowing the seniors in our care are healthy and living life to the fullest! Contact us at 619.487.9000 to learn more! 

Geriatric Care Managers Help Families Navigate Long-Term Care Needs

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Geriatric Care Managers

Geriatric care managers work to help families find care solutions for senior loved ones.

We all desire the best for our loved ones – it’s only natural. Yet sometimes, when families are involved with an older loved one’s care, feelings about what is best may be conflicting. This can lead family members to argue with each other as opposed to working with each other. This is when it can be a good idea to bring in an outside person such as a geriatric care manager (GCM), one who understands what older adults need for long-term care and how to accomplish getting this care.

Geriatric care managers (or aging life care professionals, which is the more modern term) have the experience needed to help families in identifying what kind of care an older loved one needs and how to best coordinate long-term care. They can also function as mediators when family members end up at odds when attempting to plan eldercare for their loved one.

Consider a geriatric care manager as a “professional family member,” usually a nurse or social worker, with expertise in all of the available resources to offer help to seniors with a variety of concerns and challenges. Just a few of the numerous ways they can help include:

  • Helping families sort out complex discussions and issues
  • Addressing emotional needs
  • Collaborating with other care experts, such as a senior’s medical team
  • Making visits to the home to evaluate needs and recommend appropriate services
  • Developing both short-term and long-term care plans and goals
  • Offering much-needed relief to overloaded family caregivers

Be sure to get the answers to these kinds of questions from potential geriatric care managers:

  • Are you licensed?
  • How much experience do you have as a geriatric care manager?
  • What happens if I have an emergency after-hours?
  • Are there references I can talk to?
  • Does your agency also help with home care services?

Geriatric Care Managers and Home Care

One of the advantages of using a geriatric care manager to help coordinate care is that GCMs are specialists who are trained to work with a number of differing types of people and organizations. A GCM can help coordinate health care, work with lawyers and coordinate with your chosen in-home care agency. Home care agencies, like San Diego Home Caregivers, work seamlessly with geriatric care managers to help relieve family stress and improve quality of life in the home.

If your loved one lives in San Diego or the surrounding area, the professionals at San Diego Home Caregivers would be happy to discuss with you how best to go about coordinating care. Call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn how to get started with our top-rated elder care services in San Diego today.

San Diego Home Caregivers Helps Seniors Maintain Independence and Safety at Home

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Independence and Safety at Home

Helping seniors maintain independence and safety at home is the goal of San Diego Home Caregivers.

Ask most elderly people if they wish to stay in their home, even if they are having difficulty coping, and the reply is normally a resounding “yes!” Having to move away from their home, the place which includes so many memories, can be frightening, even if they realize that it’s getting more challenging to cope. But, wishing to continue to be at home and having the option to remain at home, all alone, are two different things. So what can you do? Even as a full-time, live-in family caregiver, you are not able to do it all independently. You need help and it may be that in-home care is the solution.

Lots of families find that planning for this kind of care necessitates the input of a professional who thoroughly understands all of the options. And it’s true — appropriate care coordination from an aging care specialist will help every person involved feel much more organized and secure.

Who Can Help?

Many older people have the need for assistance with a number of aspects of their life, including meal preparation, getting to and from doctors’ appointments, taking medications, and conducting the activities of daily living. Trying to organize all of these facets can be a daunting task for a family caregiver. What many people do not recognize is that home care agencies, like San Diego Home Caregivers, can help identify, locate, and coordinate all of the components for successful aging care at home. They can even unearth possibilities that may not have been first considered.

Home care agencies have resources and contacts that can be incredibly beneficial for families who are in the process of planning for long-term care. The experienced staff and caregivers from San Diego Home Caregivers are always on hand for help with home care assistance in San Diego and the surrounding communities. We can help you figure out the right plan of care for your loved one and assist with all his / her care needs, always customized to each individual and including a wide variety of services, such as:

  • Assistance with personal hygiene needs, such as showering, dressing, etc.
  • Planning and preparing nutritious meals
  • Providing friendly companionship to boost socialization
  • Light housecleaning and laundry
  • Errand-running, such as grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions
  • Transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and pleasant outings
  • And much more

Call us at (619) 487-9000, so we can arrange for an in-home evaluation to learn more about the challenges your loved one is facing, and offer solutions, such as a caregiver specializing in home care assistance in San Diego and the surrounding areas, to help maintain independence and safety at home.