Thursday, December 30, 2010

Planning for Temporary Home Care After the Hospital Stay in Montgomery County PA

Planning for Temporary Home Care After the Hospital Stay

DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS There are two basic levels of home care: skilled and unskilled. Most insurers will pay only for skilled care, but even then you must be homebound and require only temporary care. The hospital should have arranged for short-term nursing care, if needed, before you were discharged. But typically a nurse will also come to your home and evaluate your continuing needs.

Private insurers almost never pay for unskilled help, like a home health aide. If you decide you need more help than your insurer will authorize, first consider whether you need a nurse (who may charge $50 or so an hour) or whether a home health aide will suffice (more like $10 to $38, depending on where you live).

If you do want a skilled nurse, you must get a prescription from your doctor ordering the services, even if insurance is paying.

How do you find a home health aide? It’s usually less expensive to find someone on your own than to go through an agency, so start by asking friends and family for referrals. If you do opt to use an agency, call a few and ask for price quotes. Ask, too, whether they do background checks on their workers. (They should, of course.)

A good place to start is the local visiting nurse agency. These agencies are nonprofit and privately operated, so each one offers slightly different services, but some can provide the services of both nurses and home health aides. For tips on selecting health care agencies, go to the V.N.A.A. Web site at

HIRE A MANAGER If you don’t have the time or stamina to figure out an ideal home health care plan for yourself or a loved one, turn to a health care advocate or, in the case of elderly patients, a geriatric care manager.

These consultants charge an hourly fee of $90 to $160, which is not reimbursed by insurers. But a one-hour consultation could potentially save you hours of precious time.

A nurse advocate or geriatric care manager can explain how insurance and Medicare work and the services you may be entitled to, and they can speak to doctors on your behalf. If you’re interested in hiring a geriatric care manager, contact the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. If you want to find an advocate, you’ll have to ask around for referrals, as there is no central resource.

Continue reading from the New York Times by Clicking Here.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nursing Home Costs Rising Fast that Costs of Home Care in City in Montgomery County PA

Nursing Home Costs Rising Fast that Costs of Home Care in City

The cost of receiving long-term care services at home is increasing, but not nearly as rapidly as the cost of nursing home or assisted living services, according to findings of the 2010 Cost of Care Survey from Genworth Financial.

Over the past five years, the median annual rate of a private room in a nursing home rose from $60,225 in 2005 to $75,190 in 2010. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 4.5%, according to the report, which was released Tuesday. In contrast, the compound annual growth rate for home health aides was 1.7% during that same period. A home health aide was making roughly $17.50 per hour in 2005, and makes about $19 per hour today, according to the report.

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For more information on Home Care in the Montgomery County PA area visit our website at

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top 5 Myths of Family Caregiving in Montgomery County PA

Study Reveals Top 5 Myths of Family Caregiving

Americans significantly underestimate the impact that a family member’s long term care needs could have on their own lives, marriages, work commitments, financial stability and future financial security, finds a new landmark study, Our Family, Our Future: The Heart of Long Term Care Planning, sponsored by Genworth Financial (Genworth) and released today by Age Wave and Harris Interactive. The study, conducted online in September among 2,151 U.S. adults age 18 and over, sought to uncover the hopes, worries, and needs of family members providing care to loved ones.1

An estimated 66 million Americans — or roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population — are serving as unpaid family caregivers.2 The research revealed that the actual impact of caregiving on this group is often significantly greater than expected, as evidenced by the following Top 5 Family Caregiving Myths and Misconceptions:

1. Financial Contributions:

While only 40 percent of caregivers expect they will contribute financially to the care of a family member, the reality is that 83 percent actually do.

2. Income Hit:

In actuality, 63 percent of caregivers experience a reduction in income. This compares to 38 percent of caregivers that expect to experience such a reduction.

3. Reduction in Savings:

37 percent of caregivers expect their savings to decline as a result of their caregiving responsibilities. The study found that, in fact, 61 percent of caregivers have used some of their savings to care for a loved one.

4. Retirement Funds Tapped:

Of caregivers surveyed, 57 percent actually tapped their retirement funds to care for a loved one, compared to 34 percent that expected to do so.

5. Career Impact:

Nearly half (48 percent) of caregivers lost a job, changed shifts or missed out on career opportunities as a result of their caregiving responsibilities, compared to 29 percent that expected such impact.

“Not only do people underestimate the financial, emotional and other costs associated with providing care to a loved one, they greatly discount the likelihood that they themselves will need long term care in the future,” said Colleen Goldhammer, senior vice president, financial institutions distribution, at Genworth. “This disconnect can be potentially dangerous, as it may discourage people from developing their own comprehensive long term care plan.”

To read the original article from Genworth Financial Click Here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Buy, Buy Love: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Aging Parents in Montgomery County PA

Buy, Buy Love: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Aging Parents

by Joy Loverde

With decades of birthdays and holidays gone by, who isn’t stumped when it comes to knowing what gifts to buy aging parents and other elderly loved ones? By now, they’ve received their fair share of neckties and slippers, and there’s a good chance they already have everything they want and need.

Time is a precious commodity; few of us can afford to spend hours of shopping for the perfect gift, and overspending on unwanted and unneeded items. Besides, what is treasured by older adults is spending quality time together and gifts that relay loving messages that they are special and thought of and cared about each day.

As a way to touch the heart and soul of the people who mean so much to you, here are a few gift ideas that are sure to make that happen:

Go back to school. Learning something new is twice the fun when you do it together. Adult education classes offer a variety of learning opportunities — from exploring ancient history and learning the computer or a new language, to arts and crafts. Spend time together taking a class.

Picture this. Offer to organize their photograph collection. Buy new photo albums and photo boxes, and spend a few afternoons looking at the photos together as you put them in order.

Write on. Give a small decorative box of stationary cards and stamped envelopes, and offer to be their personal secretary. Let them dictate letters to friends and family as you write down their thoughts and mail the letters in their behalf.

Sing-a-long. Attend sing-along events at movie theaters, community events and college musical venues. Singing and harmony is always fun. If they have trouble leaving the house, buy or rent a karaoke system.

Lead the way. Offer to chauffer your elders down memory lane by driving them around neighborhood streets and familiar places that hold special meaning for them. Pack a healthy picnic basket and enjoy the sights as you munch away.
Continue reading from the Eldercare ABC Blog by Clicking Here.

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