Caring for an aging parent is hard, even under the best of circumstances. It can be physically demanding, emotionally taxing, and financially draining. Yet eldercare at home has the kind of advantages that just can’t be quantified in a bank statement. Here are 4 reasons caring for an aging parent at home should be an eldercare solutions consideration for your family.

Builds family character – If you have kids of your own, caring for an aging parent will set a positive example of how to show respect and love for older generations-those aren’t bad qualities to model when you consider that they may be caring for you one day! When your kids or other family members help in caring for an aging parent, it also builds a sense of responsibility toward one another as well as an atmosphere of teamwork.

Strengthens family bonds – Our society is a mobile one and, as a result, many families find themselves on the opposite ends of the state or the country. Eldercare at home allows your parent to become more thoroughly meshed into your family life. Grandpa can attend your child’s baseball practice, or Grandma can help your toddler daughter plant a garden. You may also find yourself bonding with Mom as she shows you the secret to her favorite cookie recipe. These are the kinds of memories that are harder to build if you need to look for eldercare solutions in an assisted living or nursing facility.

Allows you to become a better advocate – By caring for an aging parent at home you’re in a position to observe their habits and behaviors more closely than anyone else. Why is that important? Knowing that your Mom has become scared of the dark, you can remind the night nurse at the hospital to leave a light on in Mom’s room. Knowing that Dad doesn’t agree with his doc’s recommendation in favor of a major surgery will help you fight for a second opinion.

Makes you a better guardian of their health – Age- and disease-related decline can be slow. Eldercare at home will allow you to make those observations that are so important to maintaining good medical care. You and your family may notice, for example, that Pop’s hand is shaking so badly that he can no longer shave without slicing off half of his skin. Or you might observe that Mom seems to “check out” on a much more regular basis. These kinds of observations can help you and your parent’s medical team more easily assess your loved one’s health.

Eldercare at home doesn’t have to be a burden. From creating a stronger family to advocating for better health, your decision to start caring for an aging parent at home can build a better life for you, your parent, and your family.

Elderly care is an event that most children do not wish to think about. No one wants to think about his or her parent growing old. We look to our parents for guidance and support, but there comes a time when the parenting roles reverse.

It is important to discuss future events with your loved ones and develop a long-term plan for their care for when they become unable to care for themselves. Developing an Eldercare checklist is a proactive way to ensure your loved ones whether parents or grandparents receive the level of care they need and services they want, or, in the case of artificial nutrition, they may not want.

There are several key points and strategies you will want to include on your Eldercare checklist:

1. What level of eldercare is needed, and where will this care be given?

2. How will you pay for the eldercare? The medical costs of eldercare.

3. What will be done with your parents’ or grandparents’ assets while they are receiving eldercare?

4. Are all legal documents including the Will and Living Will current? Have your parents’ or grandparents’ Wills and Living Wills been reviewed recently by an Attorney? What is an Advanced Financial Directive? What is an Advanced Medical Directive in eldercare estate planning?

5. Have your parents or grandparents designated a Durable Power of Attorney?

Making sure you have answers to these questions for your parents or grandparents eldercare early on will avoid confusion and distress later. Don’t wait until there is a tragedy to make plans that will affect how your loved one spends the rest of their life. For the purposes of this article we will assume “loved one” to mean a parent or grandparent.

Where will eldercare be given, and by whom?

1. CAREGIVER AND ELDERCARE

INFORMAL CAREGIVER

There are two types of caregivers: informal and formal. An informal caregiver might be a spouse or child, and these caregivers do not receive direct payment for their services. Usually payment is made through services exchanged such as food or housing at no charge while caring for your parent.

FORMAL CAREGIVER

A formal caregiver is usually employed by an agency to provide quality care in the comfort of your home. If the formal caregiver is not associated with an agency, it is important to conduct a thorough check of references to ensure you are hiring a quality professional.

It is important to inform all formal caregivers of the responsibilities associated with your parent’s needs. If your parent needs assistance in and out of a wheelchair, a hired caregiver should be able to perform this task without harm to your parent or to him/herself. To avoid injury to all persons involved, informal and formal caregivers should receive training on proper techniques for lifting and moving, proper use of bedpans, and how to maintain good hygiene for a parent confined to bed.

LOCATION OF ELDERCARE FOR YOUR PARENTS

There are many options for the location of care provided. Most people would agree that living our their remaining years in the comfort of home is more appealing than living in a state facility. If your parent wishes to receive care in their home you can make home modifications, such as a wheelchair ramp or seat in the shower, to accommodate their changing needs. You can also hire a formal caregiver to come and assist your parent with daily activities such as bathing, eating, taking medications, or regular exercise.

CONSIDERATIONS OF ASSISTED LIVING HOUSES OR NURSING HOMES

If it is not possible for your parent to remain at home, you can choose to place them in assisted living houses or a nursing home. Before placing your loved one in a facility, you should thoroughly check both the location and the staff. Make yourself familiar with required paperwork ahead of time to prevent delays when it comes time to move in, and, if possible, make several unannounced visits to oversee daily activities.

You should check if the facility is regulated by the state, and request to see any licenses they have for providing eldercare. Find out how the staff is trained and if they are required to have certification to work there. You should consider the cost of the facility and the living accommodations your parent will be provided.

Additional considerations when choosing a facility might be types of activities offered to residents and the quality and type of food provided. While no place will be perfect, you should choose a facility that makes your parent feel as comfortable as possible away from home.

2. MEDICAL COSTS OF ELDERCARE AND MEDICAID

Not many insurance companies are willing to pay for long-term care. It is important to check the details of your parent’s policy and read the fine print for restrictions. For example, Medicare will not pay for long-term care but it will pay a very short-term benefit. However, Medicaid will pay for long-term care but only if your parent receives care in a Medicaid facility.

If you plan far enough ahead, you can begin setting aside money so you can afford to provide long-term care to your parent at home. You should consult a financial advisor or estate planner to go over your parent’s bank statements and assets to determine how long their current funds will be able to provide medical care, and based on this assessment you can establish a savings plan to make up the difference needed for long-term eldercare. When figuring in additional savings you need, keep in mind that you will also need to continue paying any current bills your parent might have.

3. WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR PARENTS’ ASSETS DURING ELDERCARE

Before you rush off and put your parent’s house on the market, make sure you have discussed where they want to receive their long-term care. It would be quite devastating for your parent to come home from a hospital stay to discover you had sold the house and moved their belongings into a nursing home.

You should also ask your estate planner or financial advisor which of your parent’s accounts you should withdraw money from to help offset costs. Some accounts, such as annuities, carry penalties for early withdrawal and may require you to pay taxes on income earned through these accounts. Also, once you begin withdrawing money from an annuity you cannot stop payments.

LEGAL ISSUES OF ELDERCARE

Hopefully, your parent has written a will and made you aware of its location. A Will should be reassessed by an Attorney every few years to make sure all the people listed as beneficiaries are still alive, and that your parent still wants them to receive a portion of their estate.

Moreover, your parents should have an irrevocable trust as part of their estate planning eldercare needs which will avoid the high expenses of probate, reduce estate taxes and possibly eliminate some earned income and your parents will gain the benefits of asset protection. Speak with a qualified and good estate planner such as Estate Street Partners who can guide you through this complex process.

4. IMPORTANCE OF LIVING WILL, ADVANCED FINANCIAL DIRECTIVE AND MEDICAL DIRECTIVE IN ELDERCARE ESTATE PLANNING

You should also council your parents on drafting a Living Will in the event they are unable to speak for themselves. Learn more about Living Wills and Advanced Financial Directives and Advanced Medical Directives by going to our website. The Advanced Financial Directives and Advanced Medical Directives are extremely important in eldercare estate planning when your parents cannot speak for themselves and will protect their financial and medical wishes.

5. DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY (DPOA) AND ELDERCARE ESTATE PLANNING

You should know ahead of time where these documents are before an emergency arises to ensure that your parent’s wishes are followed. Having a DPOA allows someone your parents trust to act on their behalf and make legal and financial decisions for them, including the transfer of valuable assets, if they become incapacitated.

Being a primary caregiver takes a lot of time and effort, especially if someone is caring for a person with Alzheimer’s. Caregivers can easily get burned out or suffer health challenges of their own if they don’t get regular breaks. Even if your family is well equipped for caregiver, its important to be familiar with the many home care services that are available today for the elderly. Taking advantage of these services may give you the occasional day off or vacation that you need, without putting undo stress on your family or friends.

Even if you have other siblings that assist you in caring for a loved one, there are times when they are not available or something unexpected comes up. At these times, being familiar with companies or caregivers that specialize in providing home care services for the elderly can be just what you need. Each local area normally has some companies that offer a wide range of living assistance services. Normally, you can find these by using a search engine like Google or Yahoo and searching for the word “caregivers.” However, there are also companies that provide home care services for the elderly throughout the United States. Here are some nationwide, senior care service providers, that you may want to consider.

Visiting Angels

Sometimes you may feel like a nursing home or retirement center is your only option. Visiting Angels specializes in non-medical home care services for the elderly, allowing them to maintain as much independence as possible in familiar surroundings. They have over 300 offices across the country to serve you.

Cargiver Needed

Search by state for caregivers, nurses, and sitters. Nurses are available for pediatric and geriatric care. They offer both non-medical and medical care for the elderly and for children. Both live in and live out caregiver options are available.

Right at Home

A national, in home care assistance agency, that provides trained, insured and bonded caregivers for a wide range of elder care services. They can provide home health care from as little as a few hours to 24-hours a day. Services include: caring companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, bathing assistance, respite for family caregivers, and much more.

I hope that some of these resources are helpful to you in your role as a caregiver. This is just a few of the many resources that are available for today’s caregivers. Over the years we have been blessed to have family members and close friends that have teamed up with us to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. However, utilizing other caregiver resources, at times, has afforded us with much needed breaks, while still providing excellent care for our loved one.

One important step in eldercare planning is to gather and organize all of your elder’s legal papers. These papers include their birth certificate, marriage certificate, social security card, passport, and driver’s license, to name a few. They should all be in original condition.

Find your elder’s will and make sure it is up to date. Many times I’ve come across wills that are terribly outdated and leave out family members who should’ve been included. Other times there is no will to be found. This sets in motion an entire set of other, difficult circumstances including higher estate taxes, since the state government takes over the estate. Finding and updating the will now will eliminate these potential future problems.

To facilitate eldercare planning, execute a health care proxy so everyone understands your elder’s health care wishes. Also, a durable power of attorney should be taken care of. This assigns someone, usually a close family member, the right to decide various financial, legal, and medical issues if the elder in question is no longer competent. If necessary, also take care of a “do not resuscitate order,” or DNR, a legal document that does not allow anyone to revive them or take extreme measures if they stop breathing. In addition, have a document drawn up that provides a clear understanding of how they want their medical needs met. Many families engage in heated debates about this, so it’s good for your elder to make their wishes known now.

Most elderly are much more comfortable dealing with death than we are. Legal papers are a way for your elder to tidy up their life. It’s usually the little things that bring them the most joy, such as giving a signed baseball to a favorite grandson. Another step in eldercare planning is to have their funeral arrangements in place ahead of time when possible, including where they want their remains, what type of ceremony they desire, and what they want engraved on their tombstone. Having these legal issues in order gives everyone involved important peace of mind.

If we want the cheapest personal medical insurance rate we need to do several things. We ought to contemplate look at both low and high deductible contracts. We should compare plans and costs for coverage regularly. We ought to seek to be be someone that the health insurance company wants to insure.

Make sure that you contemplate health care insurance plans with medium and high deductibles. These health insurance plans often offer the best deal when when you factor in the premiums. If you agree to to pay more towards the little expenses, they will give you a better premium. This may make it worth your while to take on the additional risk.

It’s crucial that we find the right balance between premium and benefits. Low deductible healthcare insurance contracts have better coverage but higher costs. medical insurance policies with very high deductibles have low premiums but may have coverage levels that you are uncomfortable with. Most of the time healthcare insurance plans with higher deductibles are better bargains, but you will need to find the level of risk and price that you are comfortable with.

A tried and true way for lowering health insurance premium is to comparison shop. Whether we are talking about healthcare insurance, life insurance or shoes shopping around is a proven way to help you to get the best rate.

Since health care insurance rates change on a regular basis, we should shop for medical insurance on a regular basis. Once a year or once every two years, we ought to make sure that we have the cheapest health care insurance rate by looking at other medical insurance policies. Most medical insurance companies change their costs at least annually.

Make sure that you check to see if the health care insurance company you currently have has any new plans. You may find that one of their new plans is more advantageous. If you stick with the same health insurance company chances are you will be able to use the same medical providers. You may find that this can make things much easier for you.

Getting the best premium for private healthcare insurance starts with being a good risk. All the comparison shopping in the world won’t help you get the best healthcare insurance rate for car insurance if you have 20 speeding tickets. Insurance companies are looking to insure people who are the least likely to cost them money. They are not going to give their best rates to people who are overweight or who have pre-existing conditions.

Healthcare insurance companies base their costs on numbers and not moral judgments. They know that a driver who has been caught driving while intoxicated is much more likely to cost them money when compared to a driver who has a clean driving record.

They look at a person with a high BMI or high blood pressure the same way. It’s a money issue for them. They want to offer policies to those who are the least likely to cost them more money than the average person.

Since there are so many of us who do not have control of their healthcare, those of us who do should do what we can to be healthy. By dropping some bad habits, we can cut the chance of being a burden on the health care system. We can thereby make things easier for those who do need medical intervention and can’t do anything about it.

Most of us can decrease our individual and family healthcare insurance rates if we are willing and able do a few things. We ought to think about high deductible plans including HSAs. We should comparison shop on a regular basis. We should aim to be.

Recreational Therapy has become a popular component of treatment for many health fields, including mental health. The American Therapeutic Recreation Association defines it as “a treatment service designed to restore, re-mediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition.” (American Therapeutic Recreation Association, July 2009) Recreational Therapy services are provided in a variety of mental health treatment settings, including inpatient, outpatient, and residential care. Certified therapists have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in the field and have passed national certification exam.

Recreational Therapists use a variety of techniques to help alleviate symptoms of mental illness and improve the quality of a consumer’s life. Leisure education is often provided, which can help consumers identify what types of leisure they are interested in and find community resources for participation. Many people who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness have lost touch with their leisure lifestyles or have become socially isolated. Leisure education can also improve social skills to enhance enjoyment and enable consumers to build better relationships. Many Recreational Therapists also use recreation participation as a treatment modality. Therapists will engage in leisure activities with the consumer to improve leisure skills and practice social skills in the moment. In a group setting, therapists will use leisure based activity to explore patterns of behavior and teach healthy coping skills.

In treating mental health, Recreational Therapy can be a versatile treatment addressing various issues. Leisure activity can provide improved daily structure when participating in activities such as volunteer work, classes, or social groups. Certain leisure activities also provide opportunities for social interaction and support. Physical activities and exercise can help improve your mood. Exercise and other leisure activities also can provide a sense of accomplishment. Many of the concepts reinforced in Recreational Therapy align with cutting edge treatments like Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). The skills of mindfulness, regular participation in pleasant events, and building mastery are all core components in both DBT and Recreational Therapy. Finally, leisure involvement can provide a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s life, as well as strengthening individual identity or one’s sense of who they are. A Recreational Therapist can motivate and guide someone experiencing mental health difficulties to leisure that provides the specific benefits suited to their needs. Recreational Therapy services are included in most high quality mental health programs.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, most dental insurance policies would cover up to $1,000 or $1,500 in dental care every year. Today, a single crown can cost that much, but most dental insurance policies still have the same annual dollar limits.

Unable to find affordable dental services, many people are having teeth pulled that could be fixed, because they can’t afford to pay for the work.

Finding affordable dental services in your area should not be that difficult. Though the task of locating a dental specialist who offers an affordable dental plan for yourself or your family can take some time, but it can be done easily if you know how to find them.

First and simple step for doing so is to just ask around. World of the mouth is possibly the best chance you can have while looking for a good dental care plan. Simply inquire about them from your relatives, friends and co-workers. Ask about the dental services they are getting, how much it costs, how easy it’s to get an appointment, if the emergency service is provided and so on. Inquire about their personality, if they are friendly, especially towards the children and if the atmosphere in their office is relaxing and reassuring. By asking around you will not only be able find a dental care facility that you can count on but also the ones you can avoid.

If you have just moved to a new area, it could be quite hard for you to find affordable dental care. Since you are new and don’t know anyone well enough to ask about their dental plans, you can try checking out the local hospitals and other facilities that use the services of a dentist. They or the dentist they employ should be able provide you with a list of the best dental care facilities in the area. If you are planning to move to a new area, you can always check with your present dentist and find out if he can suggest any dental facility in your new area.

The other thing you can do in order to find an affordable dental care is to check out the local dental schools. Most of these schools offer dental services and that too at competitive rates. Some of them may offer to clean and check your teeth for free. You can search for them over the Internet easily.

The most powerful and easiest way of finding great dental services in your area is searching for them online. There are thousands of websites listed over the Internet that can help you locate a dental facility in your area. Simply enter the zip code of the area, and you will get the list of dentists that offer dental care in and around the particular area. Many of the dental insurance companies also provide this facility on their websites. Searching for dentists over your insurance company’s website will give a personalized list of dentists that accept your insurance cover.

Choosing an eldercare home for an elderly can be a challenging task. You want them to get the best care they can and should receive, but there are just so many homes around, you may just feel lost at to what to consider. But do not worry too much, as here we have a guide to choosing a suitable eldercare home for the elderly.

First of all, you should talk to the elderly person, even if they are very sick. They are still very much human like we are, and would appreciate being consulted before having any decisions made. There may be some things that they would want in the centre in order for them to live comfortably. Whether it is the personality of the people caring for them or the facilities available, if the request is not too much to ask, and if some of the homes have what they need, you can narrow down your options to the few homes. At least you are taking care of their spiritual needs this way. You should also evaluate the other needs of the person, for example, if they are gravely ill needing 24-hour care, or healthy and require minimal supervision.

The cost of the eldercare should also be taken into consideration as what you can give may determine the type of care received. Some of these expenses can be covered by insurance, depending on the type of care the elderly receives. Nevertheless, make sure you calculate the costs that you will need to chip in, such as the care, medicine, toiletries, and other necessities.

Ensure that the company that provides the eldercare service is licensed, and meets the state and federal guidelines to provide care for elderly people. With the license, it is recognized that the minimum standards to care for the elderly are met by the centre. Those standards can range from the architectural dimensions of the centre; the staff having undergone intensive training and received certification; as well as the facilities and services available. Such standards are made in order to create a safer environment for the elderly. You should also do additional research on the service provided and ask for references. Just because a centre may be licensed does not make it satisfactory.

Last but not least, pay the centre a visit. Both you are the elderly person should take a look at the place to see if the environment is pleasant and clean, staff are hospitable, and the residents are safe. You will want the elderly person to be able to live there peacefully without complaints. Then, both of you can make the final say.

While consumers search for affordable health insurance, they have price in their mind as the top priority. A general conception among the consumers is that cheap health plans should not be costly-the cheapest health plan available in the market is their target. However, this approach is not good. Sometimes, paying for a cheap health insurance plan but still not getting the required level of coverage results only in wastage of money.

With the implementation of the affordable care act, the reach of affordable health plans is set to increase. Or at least, this is what is believed to be the objective of healthcare reforms. However, lots of consumers are still in confusion about how things would work. In this article, we will discuss some detailed options that consumers can try while looking to buy affordable health plans.

To get a hand on affordable health insurance plans, consumers need to take of certain things. First among them is about knowing the options in the particular state of the residence. There are lots of state and federal government-run programs that could be suitable for consumers. Knowing the options is pretty important. Next would be to understand the terms and conditions of all the programs and check the eligibility criteria for each one of them. Further, consumers should know their rights after the implementation of healthcare reforms, and something within a few days, they may qualify for a particular program or could be allowed to avail a particular health insurance plan. If consumers take care of these steps, there is no reason why consumers can’t land on an affordable health plan that could cater to the medical care needs.

Let’s discuss some options related to affordable health insurance plans state-wise:

State-run affordable health insurance programs in California

While considering California, there are three affordable health insurance plans that are run by the state government. Consumers can surely get benefited by these if they are eligible for the benefits.

• Major Risk Medical Insurance Program (MRMIP)

This program is a very handy one offering limited health benefits to California residents. If consumers are unable to purchase health plans due to a preexisting medical condition, they can see if they qualify for this program and get benefits.

• Healthy Families Program

Healthy Families Program offers Californians with low cost health, dental, and vision coverage. This is mainly geared to children whose parents earn too much to qualify for public assistance. This program is administered by MRMIP.

• Access for Infants and Mothers Program (AIM)

Access for Infants and Mothers Program provides prenatal and preventive care for pregnant women having low income in California. It is administered by a five-person board that has established a comprehensive benefits package that includes both inpatient and outpatient care for program enrolls.

Some facts about affordable health insurance in Florida

While talking about affordable health insurance options in Florida, consumers can think about below mentioned options:

• Floridians who lost employer’s group health insurance may qualify for COBRA continuation coverage in Florida. At the same time, Floridians, who lost group health insurance due to involuntary termination of employment occurring between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 may qualify for a federal tax credit. This credit helps in paying COBRA or state continuation coverage premiums for up to nine months.

• Floridians who had been uninsured for 6 months may be eligible to buy a limited health benefit plan through Cover Florida.

• Florida Medicaid program can be tried by Floridians having low or modest household income. Through this program, pregnant women, families with children, medically needy, elderly, and disabled individuals may get help.

• Florida Kid-care program can help the Floridian children under the age of 19 years and not eligible for Medicaid and currently uninsured or under-insured.

• A federal tax credit to help pay for new health coverage to Floridians who lost their health coverage but are receiving benefits from the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program. This credit is called the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). At the same time, Floridians who are retirees and are aged 55-65 and are receiving pension benefits from Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), may qualify for the HCTC.

Some facts about affordable health insurance in Virginia

While talking about affordable health insurance options in Virginia, consumers need to consider their rights:

• Virginians who lost their employer’s group health insurance may apply for COBRA or state continuation coverage in Virginia.

• Virginians must note that they have the right to buy individual health plans from either Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield or CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield.

• Virginia Medicaid program helps Virginians having low or modest household income may qualify for free or subsidized health coverage. Through this program, pregnant women, families with children, and elderly and disabled individuals are helped.

• Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) helps Virginian children under the age of 18 years having no health insurance.

• In Virginia, the Every Woman’s Life Program offers free breast and cervical cancer screening. Through this program, if women are diagnosed with cancer, they may be eligible for treatment through the Virginia Medicaid Program.

Some facts about affordable health insurance in Texas

While talking about affordable health insurance options in Texas, consumers need to consider their rights:

• Texans who have group insurance in Texas cannot be denied or limited in terms of coverage, nor can be required to pay more, because of the health status. Further, Texans having group health insurance can’t have exclusion of pre-existing conditions.

• In Texas, insurers cannot drop Texans off coverage when they get sick. At the same time, Texans who lost their group health insurance but are HIPAA eligible may apply for COBRA or state continuation coverage in Texas.

• Texas Medicaid program helps Texans having low or modest household income may qualify for free or subsidized health coverage. Through this program, pregnant women, families with children, elderly and disabled individuals are helped. At the same time, if a woman is diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer, she may be eligible for medical care through Medicaid.

• The Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers subsidized health coverage for certain uninsured children. Further children in Texas can stay in their parent’s health insurance policy as dependents till the age of 26 years. This clause has been implemented by the healthcare reforms.

• The Texas Breast and Cervical Cancer Control program offers free cancer screening for qualified residents. If a woman is diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through this program, she may qualify for medical care through Medicaid.

Like this, consumers need to consider state-wise options when they search for affordable health coverage. It goes without saying that shopping around and getting oneself well-equipped with necessary information is pretty much important to make sure consumers have the right kind of health plans.