Find Answers to Our Most Frequently Asked Home Care Questions

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compass solutions home care questions

Discover the answers to your home care questions.

You’re beginning to become concerned that Mom might be in need of some professional help at home, and so naturally, you know just where to go for assistance, right? No? Rest assured – you are not alone. Millions of people in the U.S. are faced with the same predicament, and most people have a lot of home care questions they need answered right away.

If you’re in the beginning stages of investigating home care options, it’s helpful to have some understanding of what exactly home care is and how it works. To assist you through this journey, the professional team at San Diego Home Caregivers, the top-rated private caregiver in La Mesa and surrounding areas, has pulled together some commonly asked questions about home care, along with the appropriate answers to help you make better, more knowledgeable care decisions for your loved one.

Q: Can Medicare cover the cost for long-term in-home care?

A: No. Even though it’s true that Medicare might pay for some home health care costs within very specific parameters, it was never meant to cover long-term in-home care.

Q: Is it less expensive to hire a caregiver independently than working together with a professional home care company?

A: No. While at first it might seem that hiring a caregiver independently is more affordable than hiring a caregiver through a professional home care agency, there are numerous unrevealed costs when hiring an independent caregiver. For instance, with an independently hired caregiver, you are the caregiver’s employer, meaning it is your duty to cover the cost for taxes, worker’s compensation, and more. When working through a home care agency, you do not have to worry about or cover the cost for any of these things.

Q: Is home care the right choice for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease?

A: Yes. San Diego Home Caregivers provides highly skilled, compassionate Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Our caregivers receive ongoing training on how to provide the highest quality support to older adults, offering families much-needed breaks from care and peace of mind.

Q: What do ADL and IADL stand for?

A: ADL refers to Activities of Daily Living, or activities that take place every day, such as taking a shower, dressing, transferring from the bed to a chair, walking, etc. IADL stands for Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, and covers such activities as managing household expenses, shopping, using the telephone, etc. ADLs and IADLs are evaluated when determining which level of care is best suited for a senior.

San Diego Home Caregivers can help older adults with both ADLs and IADLs, which results in safer, more comfortable, and more independent lives at home.

We know you probably have some additional home care questions, and we’re always here to provide the answers you need. You can reach us any time at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our home care services and dementia care in La Mesa, CA and the surrounding areas.

Top Six Benefits of Home Care for Seniors

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beefits of home care reading to senior disabled man

Learn some of the top reasons home care is best for seniors.

As we grow older, it is common to start to be affected by challenges with daily activities, including showering, dressing, fixing meals, and even driving a vehicle. This can result in the fear of having to give up not just our freedom, but our home as well. Yet there is encouraging news for older individuals: home care services, like those provided by San Diego Home Caregivers, can help actually increase independence for seniors and help them continue residing at home where they are most comfortable.

And the reality is, these days, the majority of older adults are deciding to receive the care they need at home. To help you better comprehend exactly what home care is, we’ve provided the following benefits of home care for seniors:

  • Home care services are delivered on an individual basis, leading to more personal attention than in a nursing home or assisted living facility. There is never the need to have to wait your turn when care is needed.
  • A caregiver in the home can help encourage a healthier way of living. Professional caregivers are skilled in planning and preparing nourishing and delicious meals that are appealing to the individual and can also help keep track of the amount of food consumed.
  • A customized, ongoing exercise regimen can be implemented and carried out with the help of a caregiver, providing the extra safety measure of a qualified professional being present during exercising.
  • Home care strengthens self-esteem and independence, essential factors for a fulfilling lifestyle. Home care (in particular, private pay home care) ensures personalized care specific to the needs of the family and senior on any given day, whether the need is as simple as companionship, or more complex, such as help with personal care needs.
  • The additional benefit of accompanied transportation to and from medical appointments, social events or running errands means that families have the opportunity for more quality time together.
  • The recent pandemic brought to the forefront how dangerous senior isolation can be to both physical and emotional health. An in-home caregiver offers necessary socialization opportunities and the chance for seniors to have a companion at the ready to avoid loneliness and depression, through interesting conversations and reminiscing, fun activities, participation in enjoyable hobbies and interests, and more.

We would love the chance to chat with you and your family more about the benefits of our home care services. Call San Diego Home Caregivers, the leading provider of home care assistance in La Jolla and surrounding areas, at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our trusted home care services for seniors.

Reducing Readmission Risk Starts with a Safe Discharge Home from the Hospital

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safe discharge home from the hospital

Patient follow-through, including continuing home health care services at home, is an important part of reducing the risk for hospital readmissions.

There’s currently a high priority for hospitals: reducing readmissions for high-risk patients. Healthcare Financial Management Association’s article “Two Ways Hospitals Can Reduce Avoidable Readmissions” outlines that efficient initiatives from hospitals with lower 30-day rehospitalizations are, to a certain extent, the result of participating with inpatient and outpatient care providers, such as San Diego Home Caregivers, who can provide a continuum of care.

The hospitals discussed in the article provided the guidelines below to reduce hospital readmissions:

  • Begin getting ready for a patient’s discharge from a hospital stay on the day of admission. When a senior is admitted to the hospital, call a home care agency, such as San Diego Home Caregivers, to implement a plan for in-home care upon being discharged. Patient outcomes are more positive when home care services are initiated as early as possible following discharge.
  • Identify patients who might be at an elevated risk for difficulties after discharge for additional care coordination and/or case management services. (Ensure social workers see all patients age 80 and over to provide support with care needs.)
  • Use technology to assess, track, or refer patients.
  • Conduct an in-depth analysis of the patient’s care needs, risk factors, available resources, understanding and management of the disease or health condition, and level of family support.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, leading providers of home care in La Jolla and surrounding areas, we recognize how important it is to create a transitional care plan in order to ensure a safe discharge home from the hospital and reduce the risk of readmission. Our team of experts can begin planning a customized plan of care starting on day one of their hospital stay, monitoring their health and making sure that care plans are implemented as soon as they return home. Call us at (619) 487-9000 or complete our online contact form to discover more about how we can help someone you love transition from hospital to home, reducing the risk of readmission by utilizing professional home care services including:

  • Providing training and assistance with chronic condition management
  • Medication reminders to improve adherence to the prescribed plan
  • Assisting with coordination and balance
  • Skilled nursing services
  • And many more

Avoid an unnecessary follow-up hospital visit by partnering with San Diego Home Caregivers to improve patient outcomes for a safe discharge home from the hospital. Our team of experts is available to provide support according to a customized plan of care. See our full service area.

How to Help a Loved One Avoid the Emergency Room this Holiday Season

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avoid the emergency room this holiday season

Hospitals see an increased number of older adults around the holidays.

While we’d like to imagine enjoying a Norman Rockwell-worthy holiday celebration, with all of our loved ones spending quality time together, and Grandma’s traditional holiday feast, the reality is that numerous families will instead experience something unforeseen: an E/R visit. In fact, research shows that emergency room visits for older adults increase around 10 – 20% during the holidays.

Although pinpointing the reason behind this statistical increase is tricky, one issue could be that family members who have not been spending significant time with an elderly relative, discover during a visit for the holiday, that his/her health condition has deteriorated.

Dr. Tamara Kuittinen of Lenox Hill Hospital shares, “It’s an issue of out of sight, out of mind for many people. If you haven’t seen your mom in six months, you may not be fully aware of the aging process and her health in general.”

Not only that, there are some common changes related to aging that may be misconstrued, causing family members to feel that an E/R visit is required.

There are, nonetheless, some proactive measures that can be taken to help seniors avoid the emergency room this holiday season:

  • Maintain a listing of contact information for your loved one’s primary care physician and other medical specialists. Make sure the list contains all medications prescribed by each physician and any medication allergies or other issues. Contacting the appropriate doctor for his/her suggestions about your concerns is a wise first step prior to an E/R visit, unless of course the older person is experiencing a true emergency.
  • Talk with the older adult about appointing a health care proxy, who will be able to make health decisions if your loved one is unable to do so. Make certain a living will is in place as well.
  • Check in with your senior loved one regularly during the course of the year. For family members who live at a distance, it’s beneficial to enlist the aid of your loved one’s neighbors or close friends to stop in to see the senior routinely and to update you with any changes they notice.

Of course, if it is an actual emergency, never hesitate to call 911 and seek the emergency medical care required immediately.

A professional home care agency, like San Diego Home Caregivers, is the ideal solution to make sure your loved ones continue to remain healthy and well, and that any changes in condition are addressed immediately – so the holidays will remain as festive and enjoyable as they should be. Just a few of the many ways we can help include:

  • Medication reminders
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Household chores and laundry
  • Personal care assistance
  • And many more

Call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our professional home care services, arrange for a free in-home assessment, and to find out if our services are available in your area.  Our team of high-qualified professionals are available to provide customized senior care in Oceanside and surrounding areas over the holidays and year-round. 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.

Learn Family Elder Care Tips to Create Joy Each Day at Home

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Elder Care

Our La Jolla caregivers share ideas for activities that are rewarding for both seniors and caregivers.

An incredible number of individuals nationwide are finding themselves in the position of providing elder care for an older family member, and while being a family caregiver is very fulfilling in many ways, the everyday duties involved with senior care can become tedious for both the caregiver and the care recipient. San Diego Home Caregivers, providers of the highly skilled Alzheimer’s and in home care in San Diego and the surrounding areas, wants to help you put the fun back into your loved one’s day-to-day routine. All it takes is a little inventiveness! Try some of these ideas to make daily senior care more interesting:

Add Style

These recommendations can add some style and fun to dressing, doing laundry, and other tasks:

  • Ask the senior to help with laundry (sorting/folding/putting away). Make the most of this time to discuss your day, a television show you both like, or other common interest.
  • Flip through magazines and catalogs and choose fashions you think the other would look good in.
  • Make selecting clothes and accessories to wear every day a fun event.

Spice Up Meals

Food is part of our culture, family history and traditions, and is associated with numerous emotions. Make mealtime more fun by:

  • Involving the senior in washing/drying dishes.
  • Inviting the older person to assist in making a traditional family meal.
  • Enjoying meals outdoors when weather permits.

Try Something New

There’s always something new to be learned, and no better time than now to try a new hobby or pursue a goal. There are a variety of virtual classes available, with some targeted particularly to older adults and offering reduced (or no-cost) rates. Look for possibilities to learn:

  • A new language.
  • How to play a musical instrument.
  • Skills such as knitting, cooking, gardening, drawing – the options are limitless!

The leading La Jolla caregivers, San Diego Home Caregivers, know that providing care for an older loved one can be both rewarding and intimidating, and we want you to know that you are not alone. As a leading provider of the trusted in home care and dementia care, we offer quality companionship, personal care services such as showering, dressing, and grooming, respite care, and motivation to engage in a variety of enriching activities.

Contact us at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about personalized options for Alzheimer’s and in home care in San Diego and nearby areas to brighten up everyday life for a senior you love. See our full North County service area.

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, expert providers of in-home senior help, we believe that enhancing home health care services with engaging 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 care assistance in La Jolla and the surrounding areas, 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 engaging activities for seniors 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 dementia care in La Mesa, CA and surrounding communities is created not only to support seniors’ physical needs, but to enhance their everyday experiences with activities designed for seniors. Contact us through our online form or call us any time at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our in-home senior services. View a full list of the communities we serve.

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 home care in Carlsbad and the surrounding areas. 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.