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Respite Care: An Unexpected Benefit

Posted on: July 18th, 2014 by Care Response Admin No Comments

Respite care provides caregivers a temporary break from their duties.  Often, these caregivers are family members or close friends.  They are relieved by a home health care agency, for anywhere from a few hours to several weeks.

Respite care is the subject of many popular articles and current studies, and its benefits are well known.  Taking a break from caring for a loved one is an opportunity to alleviate built-up stress, restore energy, and add balance to your relationships.  Whether it is a two-hour escape to the movies or a week-long vacation, respite care is an essential part of ongoing care.  It also provides peace of mind, knowing your loved one is safe and spending time with a caring professional.  However, there is another important benefit of respite care that is often overlooked, likely because it is not a popular subject among families.

In the event your loved one suffers a medical emergency and needs additional in-home health care, respite care can help ensure a smooth and safe transition when they return home.  Think of respite care as an insurance policy, easing the difficulties and stress brought on by a medical emergency.

A Familiar Face

First, your loved one will already be familiar with their home health aides.   A caregiver’s familiar face can be very comforting in the wake of a hospital discharge, and will help put your loved one at ease.  Similarly, their home health aides will already know favorite meals, engagement activities, and other personal preferences.

Staying One Step Ahead

A reputable home care company will already have a care plan in place, even for respite care clients.  Medications, personal health history, and other essentials will be accounted for and available.  Following a hospital discharge, your agency will be ready to make the necessary changes to the plan and stay on top of your loved one’s health (instead of starting from scratch and quickly creating a new plan).  At Care Response Home Care, each our our clients has a registered nurse to oversee any discharges and changes to their care plan, all at no additional cost.  Click here to learn more about our RN advantage.

Your Trust and Confidence

Above all, your chosen home health care agency will have already earned your trust and confidence.  You will have interacted with the home health aides, spoken to office managers, paid invoices, and experienced the nuts and bolts of working with an agency to ensure your loved one is safe.  Having proven themselves as a respite care provider, your agency will then rise to meet the challenges following a medical emergency.   You will have an ally in your family’s time of need, and you will feel confident when requesting additional care for your loved one.

Where to Start?

Even just a few hours of respite care each week will provide all of these insuring benefits, allowing you the opportunity to vet agencies until you find the right fit.  Click here to download a free copy of Asking the Right Questions, a handout featuring useful and revealing questions to ask when interviewing home care agencies.  Once you’ve found an agency that meets your loved one’s respite care needs, starting a dialogue about increasing hours in the event of an emergency will certainly bring you piece of mind.

Does respite care sound like the right proactive option for you and your loved one?  Contact Care Response Home Care today and discover how we can help.

A Critical Change to Medicare Benefits Goes Unannounced

Posted on: June 3rd, 2014 by Care Response Admin No Comments

In January, Medicare officials quietly decided to provide treatment for patients with chronic diseases, even if the patient’s condition does not improve.  Previously, coverage for skilled care was only continued if the patient showed signs of improvement.  In certain cases, this led to seniors being denied these essential treatments and losing the ability to age safely in the comfort of their own homes.

Unfortunately, these landmark changes were not communicated to Medicare beneficiaries and many are unaware they could now be eligible for services previously denied.  These services include nursing care, physical therapy, and treatments for various chronic conditions, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.  For further information, click here to read A Quiet ‘Sea Change’ in Medicare, an excellent piece by Susan Jaffe and published on the New York Times website in late March.

For complete details of the settlement and what it means for you or your loved one, click here.

If you are a Michigan resident and you or a loved one have previously been denied care, but are now eligible due to the settlement, call 1-800-365-5899 to file an appeal.  If you are not a Michigan resident, click here to find your state’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization and file an appeal.

Still not sure where to go for assistance?  Contact Ann Arbor’s senior care experts today and find out what you can do to get the treatment you or your loved one deserve.  Aging safely in the comfort of your own home should be an option for every senior- make sure you can get the treatment you need to do so.

Ann Arbor Home Health Care Agencies

Thank You, Attendees!

Posted on: May 13th, 2014 by Care Response Admin No Comments

Thank you to all who attended the 2014 Senior Living Week!  And, of course, a big thank you to the UM Senior Housing Bureau.  We are already looking forward to next year’s events.

2014 Ann Arbor Senior Living Week

For more information on the UM Senior Housing Bureau, click here.

There are still great Senior Living Week events!

Posted on: May 6th, 2014 by Care Response Admin No Comments

First, thank you to everyone who joined us at the Friday expo to kick off Senior Living Week!  We had a great time and were fortunate enough to introduce several great speakers and make many new friends.  We will post pictures soon! And, if you did not have the chance to attend the Friday expo, there are still three days of great events to attend throughout Ann Arbor.  There are four sessions being held tomorrow at the Turner Resource Center.  These sessions include-

  •  What are ACE and PACE? Bringing Innovative Geriatric Services to You
  • Stock Markets are Up, Interest Rates are Low…What to do?
  • Asset Protection & Estate Planning Fundamentals
  • Local Public Transportation – Maintaining Your Independence and Mobility

For more details, click the banner below!

 

Ann Arbor Home Health Care

Ten Things Physicians and Patients Should Question

Posted on: April 28th, 2014 by Care Response Admin No Comments

Working with a doctor or entering the hospital can be a daunting process, whether it’s for you or for a loved one.  To add to the challenge, with age comes new and unfamiliar diagnoses and solutions.

“How will this new medication affect my dad’s occasional insomnia?”

“Yes, a cancer screening is a great idea, but at my age, what are the risks involved?”

The American Geriatric Society, working  to improve the health, independence and quality of life of all older people, has compiled an excellent article listing key questions and considerations for patients and physicians alike.  Ten Things Physicians and Patients Should Question is a must-read for seniors and adult children alike.  It is easily printable, making it a great resource to have on-hand at you or your loved one’s next doctor’s visit.  If you need further information, contact Care Response Home Care today and find the information your family needs to make informed decisions.

Ann Arbor Home Care Nursing

Join Care Response at Senior Living Week 2014!

Posted on: April 7th, 2014 by Care Response Admin No Comments

Ann Arbor has garnered headlines for being a retirement mecca, one of the best places to retire, and a retirement hot-spot for active adults.  These praises are well deserved, and bolstered by the area’s amazing selection of assisted living communities and care options.  Now is the time to discover the senior living, housing, and care options available to you or your loved one at the 2014 Senior Living Week.  There are opportunities to ask questions, visit living communities, and participate in educational programs, all at no cost!  Care Response Home Care is proud to be a sponsor of this great event, and we hope to see you there.

Everything begins Friday, May 2nd, with the Senior Living Week Expo at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti.  Attendees can enjoy presentations, gather information from area agencies, and listen to a few words from Valerie Dockter, the director of Care Response! (Also, be sure to visit the Care Response Home Care booth!)  For more information on the Friday expo, click here.  For the rest of the week, daily events will take place at various senior living communities.  For a complete schedule of events, click here, and be sure to follow us for updates!

Ann Arbor Home Health Care

Now That I Know We Need Home Care Services…What Next?

Posted on: March 25th, 2014 by Care Response Admin No Comments

Earlier this month, we discussed some of the benefits of choosing a professional home care agency over an independent hire or registry. If you’ve decided it’s time to enlist some help with home care, there’s a variety of services available. What’s best in your situation? Below are some options to help narrow down the type of help needed:

  • Regular or Light Housekeeping: Household chores on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis, including things like vacuuming, doing dishes, laundry, changing beds, and dusting.
  • Companionship: Includes help for those who are living alone as well as supervision for safety for those who are confused or have memory loss, as well as meal preparation.
  • Personal Care: Bathing, toileting, eating, dressing, grooming, walking, getting out of bed or a chair, being lifted, and providing medication reminders.
  • Nighttime Care: Assistance with getting out of bed to the toilet during the night, or when dementia causes “sundowning”.
  • Transportation: Assistance with getting out for activities, shopping, medical appointments, etc.
  • Geriatric Care Management: Ongoing household management that falls outside of the services of a direct care provider, including moving into another living arrangement and the closing up of a household.

If your loved one could benefit from any of these services, or if there are other needs you have in mind, we’re here to help. Call us at in the Ann Arbor area at 734-662-2207 at your convenience to get started.

Who Should I Hire For Home Care?

Posted on: March 20th, 2014 by Care Response Admin No Comments

Deciding on where to turn for help with care for an elderly loved one isn’t easy. With choices between hiring a professional home care agency, a privately hired individual, or a registry, which option is best? Here are just five reasons (and there are many more) to suggest that going with a professional home care agency, like Care Response, is best:

  1. Skip the laborious search for a qualified caregiver. An agency not only checks references and performs thorough background and driving record checks, but also takes care to find the perfect caregiver match for each client, taking into account personality, hobbies and common interests in addition to requested schedule and geographic accessibility.
  2. Rest assured in the competency of the caregiver. An agency often provides ongoing caregiver training as well as an orientation. Ongoing monitoring means that any needed changes or assistance can be identified and corrected.
  3. Tax responsibilities fall on the agency – not on you. If a client hires a home caregiver through a registry or independent hire, the client is responsible for the caregiver’s payroll taxes (which often is not disclosed). Alternatively, because all caregivers from an agency are employees of the agency, all payroll taxes are paid for by the agency.
  4. Caregiver illness and vacation time are covered. It’s inevitable that at some point a chosen caregiver will become ill or desire to take a vacation. An agency provides a backup caregiver if your regular caregiver is ill or on vacation. Additionally, an agency handles all worker discipline, to assist with situations such as showing up late for work.
  5. Leave the supervision to us. An agency provides supervision of all caregivers by a qualified individual. With a registry or independent hire, there is no oversight of care, opening up a client to potential financial, mental or physical abuse.

Still unsure about which option is best for you? We’re happy to discuss further and answer any of your questions. Give us a call at 734-662-2207 and let us know how we can help.

Help Keep Seniors Connected and Fight Dementia

Posted on: March 11th, 2014 by Care Response Admin No Comments

It’s easy for the elderly to fall into a withdrawn and isolated lifestyle, but increasing numbers of studies are showing that maintaining a social lifestyle can help protect against mental decline and dementia.

  • The American Journal of Psychiatric Health published a study that showed social support helps protect against dementia.
  • The Seattle Longitudinal studies and MacArthur study suggest social activity increases cognitive functions and wards off the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
  • The Rush University Medical Center study found that very social seniors had a 70% reduction in their rate of cognitive decline when compared to their unsocial peers.
  • In a study testing over 6,000 seniors across about 5 1/2 years, seniors having frequent social engagement had a slower decline in intellectual and memory abilities. Good mental capacity was maintained best in those people who were the most socially active.

So how can you make sure your loved one stays social as he or she ages?

  • Find volunteer opportunities for him or her in the community.
  • Get your loved one involved with a local senior center.
  • Help your loved one join a group focused on activities he or she enjoys, such as playing cards or a book club.
  • Taking a cooking, pottery, or language class is a great way to interact and make new friends.
  • Joining a gym or fitness center can help the senior stay both physically and socially active.

The caregivers at Care Response are committed to enriching the lives of seniors with activities to enhance social engagement. Contact us today to learn more.

Geriatric Care Management Can Help – You Don’t Have To Go It Alone

Posted on: March 6th, 2014 by Care Response Admin No Comments

Life can quickly become overwhelming when caring for the needs of an elderly loved one in addition to tending to your own needs and those of your family. Where can you find support to help manage the many intricacies of care and maintain peace of mind through it all? The perfect place to turn is to a professional geriatric care manager (GCM), who can provide services such as:

  • Care planning assessments to identify needs, problems and eligibility for assistance;
  • Mediation between siblings or family members who cannot agree on the planning of care for their loved ones;
  • Communication and coordination efforts across all medical and other care providers;
  • Liaison for families at a distance, reporting back with any adjustments in care or financial issues;
  • Client and family education on management of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, heart disease and diabetes;
  • Information on costs, quality and availability of resources, connecting to specialists;
  • Screening, arranging and monitoring in-home help or other services;
  • Containing costs by avoiding inappropriate placements, duplication of services, and crisis intervention to avoid hospitalizations.

Care Response in the Ann Arbor area would love to help relieve some of the stress involved with caring for an elderly loved one. Learn more about our GCM services, and contact us with any questions at 734-662-2207.

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