senior care for moms

Mother’s Day Gifts for Moms in Senior Care

May is here in Carmel, IN, and that means Spring is officially underway! The month of May brings many things, besides just spring flowers, and one of those things is Mother’s Day.

Have you thought of a gift to give this year?

We get it – It’s hard to be unique year after year with gift-giving! Especially if you have a mom in senior care you’re buying for. So we did the creative thinking for you!

Take a look below at our list of unique gift ideas that you can give to your senior mother this year that she will absolutely love on Mother’s Day!

Memory Jar

Love gifts that have sentimental value? This is it! The fundamentals for creating a memory jar involve buying a jar and some stationary, and making sure you have time to reflect. Write down your memories on the stationary, one by one, and fill up the jar! Mom can read them over time and reminisce.

Digital Picture Frame

If your mom has old family photos in multiple rooms, boxes, and albums, then a digital picture frame could be a great idea! You can scan and digitize her many photos into one digital frame that rotates all of these photos and is always on display.

Adult Coloring Book

Did you know that a recent study found that individuals ages 65 + who regularly engage in creative activities have better overall health than those who do not? Mom may love a large-print adult coloring book this year! Coloring helps to actively relieve stress, too.

Vitamin D Lamp

If your mom is in senior care, she may not get as much sun as she once did by being outdoors. If that’s the case, a Vitamin D lamp will make a great gift! Vitamin D lamps will help support her hearth health, immune system, and vision – all while improving her mood.

We know that whatever you get your mom for Mother’s Day, she’s going to love it. Home Care Assistance wants to provide that same special and unique value for you and your family! For a free consultation, please give us a call today. Happy Mother’s Day!

home care in carmel, in

How to Get Your Senior Loved One Outdoors This Spring in Carmel, IN

Finally, Spring has sprung, and that means warmer temperatures are coming! It’s time to get outdoors with your senior this season, which is going to be a whole lot easier with the help of a great home care plan.

We have a few tips for you, highlighted below, to help make enjoying the outdoors with your senior fun for everyone this Spring!

Visit Your Local Parks

When it comes to outdoor activities, parks are the obvious choice. Whether your local parks and reservations have just a quick loop for walking, or you can explore miles of trails – Parks make the perfect spots to observe nature and bond with your senior!

Looking for a park near you?

Visit the Carmel, IN parks and recreation website to find a local park.

Take a Stroll Around the Neighborhood

Don’t worry if you don’t have a park near you. You can also consider just going for a walk around the neighborhood! Make sure you know the area well to have a backup plan if the sidewalk ends, or if your senior needs to turn back early.

Head to Gardens or Museums

This is a fun one — head to a garden or museum! These make fun and easy trips because there are usually one or the other in big cities, suburbs and less populated areas. During the nicer weather months, there are almost always outdoor exhibits to enjoy. You and your senior will learn something new every time!

Have Lunch Outside

If you don’t want to take a trip but still want to enjoy some sunshine and warm air, have lunch outside! Enjoy good food and conversation with your senior from the backyard or on a patio or balcony. Your senior’s mood can improve just from soaking up the sun.

Bonus Tip:

Why just limit this to meals? You can also bring out a deck of cards or grab your senior’s favorite board game to play! You can make fun memories and enjoy the outdoors without having to prepare a meal.

With the help of Home Care Assistance, life for your senior doesn’t have to change all that much. We work with you to develop an individualized senior care plan, allowing your senior to thrive and age comfortably right in their own home! Give us a call to schedule your consultation and learn more about your options!

millennials-providing-senior-care

Senior Care Trends: Millennial Caregivers

Millennials are probably not the first generation that comes to your mind when you think about the word “caregivers.” However, you may find it surprising that Millennials, ages 20 – 34, are stepping into roles as “primary caregivers” – a growing trend as their parents become “secondary” caregivers.

Furthermore, there are approximately 5.3 million grandchildren caring for their grandparents, with the average Millennial caregiver being 27 years old, male or female. This means that 1 out of 12 caregivers is caring for a grandparent!

In their new role as primary caregivers, Millennials are handling all of the responsibilities that come along with providing their grandparents’ senior care.

Why is this happening?

Let’s take a look at the most common reasons Millennials are stepping in to give senior care:

Compassion and Support

Millennials are all about providing support for their grandparents, simply because they are compassionate towards the older members of their family.

Deceased Parents/Grandparents

Often times, Millennials will step in as the primary caregiver because of the death of a parent or grandparent who otherwise may have been in the role.

Reciprocal Relationships

It is natural for Millennials to reciprocate a relationship with their grandparents – They want to provide senior care because their grandparents once took care of them as a child. They like being able to spend this time with them because they will miss their grandparents once they are gone.

Below are the primary ways Millennials are providing senior care for their grandparents:

Creating a Bond

Millennials feel it is important to bond with their grandparents, so they will often send mail to keep in touch. When visiting, they will take time to learn the hobbies and interests of their grandparents so they can continue passing them on as a tradition.

Running Errands and Assisting in the Home

As we age, driving, running errands, and other simple tasks become harder to do. That’s where Millennials are stepping in to help transport their grandparents or complete these tasks for them. They also contribute to household chores, like cleaning, cooking, paying bills, sorting mail, and hygiene.

Even though Millennials are content with providing senior care, they can still become burnt out in the role as primary caregiver. At this stage in life, many Millennials are still focusing on other thing things – Friends, school, careers – and so caregivers must sacrifice. Still, Millennials need support as well.

This is where we come in. Home Care Assistance helps to take on these responsibilities for caring for grandparents. With our customized programs that are tailored to fit your senior’s needs, we may just be the perfect fit for your family. To schedule a consultation and learn about your options, please give us a call!

spotting senior depression in carmel, in

How to Spot Signs of Depression in Senior Care

Did you know that depression is actually a very common issue among seniors? There are both causes and symptoms of depression in the elderly that can affect all aspects of your loved one’s life and their senior care. This is why it’s important to be aware of the signs and red flags associated with depression, which can often go unnoticed. This happens for several reasons, like a reluctance to talk about feelings of sadness, or assuming that sadness is just a part of the aging process.

It is extremely helpful to learn about both the causes and symptoms of senior depression, especially if you’re in charge of your loved one’s senior care. Doing so can help you catch the onset of depression or preventing it altogether.

The Causes

Being aware of the major causes of senior depression, listed below, can help you stop it in its tracks.

  • Isolation and Loneliness: A decreasing social circle can be the result of living alone; this is also attributed to an inability to drive or decreased mobility.
  • Health Problems: This can be caused by chronic and severe pain; illnesses or disabilities; or cognitive decline.
  • Fears: A fear of death or dying; struggling with anxiety from health issues or financial distress.
  • Reduced Sense of Purpose: Sometimes retirement can be to blame for a loss of identity or purpose; a lack of engagement in previously enjoyed activities may be due to new physical limitations.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain conditions can directly cause depression in seniors. For example: Parkinson’s Disease, thyroid disorders, Cancer and Lupus.
  • Recent Bereavements: If your loved one has experienced a recent loss of friends, family members, pets, or a spouse or partner, this can be a major cause of depression.

The Symptoms

Even after learning about the above causes, it still a good idea to recognize the symptoms, listed below.

  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Slower speech and/or movements
  • The use of alcohol or other drugs (or increased use)
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Neglecting personal care
  • Sadness and despair; feelings of hopelessness; loss of self-worth
  • Loss of interest and activities; lack of motivation and energy
  • Weight loss and/or loss of appetite
  • Aches and pains that are unexplained

As you notice signs of prolonged sadness or depression in your senior loved one, it’s important to make changes to their care to help support their emotional wellbeing. Through the Balanced Care Method, Home Care Assistance aims to support both the emotional and physical health of older adults as they age. If you’re looking for support for an older family member, contact us today!

Signs your loved one may need senior care in Carmel, IN

Five Signs Your Loved One is Ready for In-Home Senior Care

Before you can begin to decide whether or not your loved one needs in-home senior care, it is helpful to first understand what just what it means and how it works. In-home senior care refers to care that is provided to seniors in their own home, for as long as possible before being placed in a facility. In-home services can be constant care – 24/7 – or it could even be select days and times each week depending on your senior’s needs.

As for the service types that come with in-home care, there is a wide variety to choose from based on your senior’s priority. Your loved one may need non-medical services (assistance with errands, cleaning, bathing cooking), socialization services (companionship), or even medical assistance. Knowing this, we still must ask ourselves: How do we know when our loved ones need in-home senior care?

Here are some of the telltale signs to look out for:

Worsening Health Conditions or Recent Accidents

If your loved one has had a recent medical scare or maybe even taken a fall, these could be signs in-home care is needed. The older your loved one gets, the higher the chances are of an accident happening again.

Not Leaving the House

Pay attention to how often (or not) your loved one leaves the house. If it has been several days at a time that they have not left the house, this could be due to a fear of driving themselves or using public transportation.

Forgetfulness

Have you noticed that your loved one seems to forget things lately? Maybe they forget to check or open the mail, or they forget where their home is after driving back from the grocery store. These are signs of memory loss and having someone to check in may be helpful.

Changes in Cleanliness and Organization

The next time you visit with your loved one, take a moment to notice two things: their appearance and their house. Do they seem clean? Are their clothes clean? Look around the house – Are things in order, or is their clutter and disorganization?

Energy Levels and Interests

Do you notice a change in your loved one’s energy level? If they have lower energy or are losing interest in activities they once enjoyed, these could be signs of the onset of depression. In-home socialization services could be beneficial.

Older adult with smart phone

New Technologies Are Improving Home Care

People employed in home care are enthusiastic about technologies becoming available to our aging population. Fall prevention has always been an issue for older people but detection devices now offer safety and security monitoring that’s especially helpful to those who continue to resist home care. Today, we have electronic devices that monitor health status, nutrition or diet, and memory aids which keep people living successfully in their own homes.

We have apps, wearables and other electronic devices to monitor blood glucose and blood pressure. Technology is developing for elderly people to connect with caregivers at the touch of a button or even by voice.

The personal health technology market is booming which has enabled more adults to age in place longer. With billions of dollars invested into enhanced technology for home care, mobile devices will more quickly connect health and emergency response teams to patients and caregivers, allowing better communication and patient empowerment, as well as considerable cost savings. Now, it’s easier to schedule online appointments, use virtual appointments, fill prescriptions, and even participate in video chats with physicians.

Monitoring and diagnostics are the biggest focus for disease prevention, stress reduction, and assistance in lifestyle changes that can impact health and wellness. Imagine if Grandma didn’t get out of bed by a certain time of day, and a silent alarm was triggered for someone to check on her. The newest motion sensors are helpful for more than home security systems. Highly sensitive sensors monitor whether a patient is sitting, standing, or has just fallen.

Other hot items developing will help with the use of medication. An ingestible device has been developed to track whether a pill has been taken. This could be a perfect solution for people of any age with mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, bipolar disease or depression. Another medication solution is facial-recognition technology, which allows prescription medications to be dispensed at home, eliminating the need for a skilled worker to attend throughout the day. “Smart pill bottles” are another technological advancement for home care which notes if a medication has been taken at the right time and dosage.

As these newfangled devices arrive on the market today, all ages will benefit. Health data, nutrition, activity, and more can be monitored for personal use or for sharing with medical providers.

Home Care Assistance is up to date on the best home care technology. Call your local office today to ask about the best home care for you or your loved one.

In Home Senior Care vs. Adult Day Care in Carmel, IN

Adult Day Care vs. Senior Home Care – What’s Best for Your Senior Loved One?

If you are responsible for an older loved one who is in need of senior care, you know it’s often a daunting task. There are numerous options on types of senior care and you’ll need to sort through mountains of information sometimes just to understand what’s best for your family or the older adult relying on your wellness decisions for him or her.

As an example, there are many senior living locations to move into, but there are also in-home solutions and adult day cares. You need to know how to make a good decision between these senior care options, too. Start with learning the differences between each. After that, you’ll be able to make a better decision as to whether one of these options are a good fit for your specific circumstance.

In-home senior care options

Most older adults prefer senior care to be provided in their own home so they can age in place if possible. This preferred care could be either non-medical care or medical, also called skilled care. Non-medical care includes running errands, light cleaning, cooking or prepping meals and bathing. Skilled providers can offer medical assistance, in addition to the above. 24-hour care can be provided in a senior’s home any day of the week, seven days a week, with caregivers who could be privately hired or vetted through an agency. Companionship provide by in-home senior care has the benefit of preventing social isolation. Occasional in-home senior care may be all that’s necessary in order for the senior to be self-sufficient and live independently. In other situations, a combination of senior care at home and adult day care becomes the favored solution.

Adult day care options

Adult day care allows for mental stimulation and healthy social interaction with daily activities. Some day care centers are specialized to offer physical therapy and medication assistance, as well. Adult day care is typically only open during common workday hours. In-home care may be better if the day care hours don’t match what is needed for the adult who requires care.

Alternately, when the hours do work well for family, it’s good to know that ample social interaction and some basic meals or snacks are usually provided, too.

Call the Home Care Assistance office nearest you today to ask about senior care for you or your loved one. Home Care Assistance will explain the variations of medical care, non-medical care, memory care, post-hospital care, and advanced care options so you can determine what type of senior care might be best in your situation.

home care for veterans

Veteran Home Care: Navigating VA Options in Carmel, VA

The aging population of the U.S. continues to mature, leaving agencies and health care systems seeking more effective ways to provide high-quality affordable home care solutions.
The Veterans Administration (VA) has been a leader in innovative home care for years, despite any controversies or reports of bureaucratic stumbles you may have read about over the years. Because they have a strong, focused mission, the VA persists in creating functional programs amidst its tough budget constraints and the ever-challenging increase in the numbers of seniors. Since the year 2000, the number of veterans that need home care has quadrupled so VA medical centers across the country have necessarily added palliative care programs for those who are in need.
Why has the VA taken the lead in innovative programming? Data from 2016 provided by the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics showed that veterans have a median age of 64 years, compared to 44 years for non-veterans. In fact, our senior population is mounting with 10,000 boomers turning 65 years old daily, yet the aging veteran numbers are growing even faster, creating a demand for new services and solutions.
People over 85 years of age in the VA population almost tripled between 2000 and 2010. This meant that the VA had to be trailblazers, supporting the social and behavioral aspects of health, in addition to veterans’ physical needs. Their newest approach allows veterans to customize health care differently than other health systems. Budgets for veterans flexibly allow them to make decisions on their personal home care needs.
As an example, the VA has a hospice program that goes hand in hand with palliative care, allowing disease-altering treatments to be administered along with hospice care. This is something that Medicare doesn’t yet consider or allow. Prior to this, patients with kidney failure would have to forgo dialysis in order to receive their hospice care. This newer approach means that aging veterans don’t have to forgo any treatments of care when electing hospice care. This compassionate VA program will hopefully influence Medicare to change programs, too.
VA’s contemporary care of hospice services and home care lessens patients’ pain and eases their last days. At first, concerns were that it would be costly, but the mix has now proven that this is actually less expensive than the alternative. Home care programs have been found to reduce hospitalizations, which reduces health care costs, as well.
With the rising health care costs of older adults, home care options are part of a solution, but it all becomes confusing. Call your local Home Care Assistance office today for help in navigating home care options for you or your loved one!

paying for in home care

Will Medicare Cover Your In Home Care?

What happens after you leave the hospital but additional help is necessary at home? In some situations, Medicare will cover in-home care which can spare you of further costs or expenses.

Of course, some in-home care is likely to be needed when you’re ill or recovering from an illness and extra help might also be required after surgery. You may require skilled nursing, physical therapy, or some other medical service. With Medicare, it’s possible you may be able to recover at home instead of a nursing home, but it doesn’t help with every type of in-home care, or in every instance it is needed.

In-home care:  medical vs. non-medical

When you need in-home care for yourself or a loved one, it’s imperative to understand the difference between medical and non-medical when requesting assistance. This makes a big difference when it comes to Medicare coverage. Keep in mind that your care will have to be ordered by your attending physician.

Medical care: If your doctor orders medical care and you qualify for the home health benefit, you’ll have coverage for a limited time, for in-home skilled nursing care, rehabilitative therapy, medication administration, medical-social services, and specific medical equipment.

Non-medical care: If your doctor says you need non-medical care, Medicare typically won’t cover it. They don’t pay for personal home services such as bathing, dressing and exercise, meal planning or preparation and delivery, housekeeping, shopping, transportation, companion service, and telephone safety checks. Although these may be vitally important, they are usually not covered.

Back to the question: Does Medicare cover in-home care or not?

Medicare Part A and/or Part B may help pay for some, or all, of your in-home care if:

  1. Your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.
  2. You need special medical equipment to make it possible to leave home. Your doctor must certify that you’re homebound.
  3. A doctor orders in-home care for the patient, certifying that there is a need for intermittent skilled in-home care, but not continuous care.
  4. A physician has seen you in person to confirm that you earnestly need specialized in-home care.
  5. You are able to obtain services from a Medicare-certified home health agency.

In summary, in-home care may be covered by Medicare, but only if skilled nursing services, besides personal care, are needed.

How Home Care Assistance of [hca_city] Can Help

Home Care Assistance of Carmel is a private pay in home care provider. This means that we do not accept Medicare. Most home care services are excluded from Medicare coverage, so we are dedicated to finding an affordable, flexible care plan that is right for your loved one. Contact us for a free consultation to review your in home care options.

10 health snacks for older adults in senior care in Carmel

10 Healthier Snacks for Adults in Senior Care

People in senior care need proper nutrition at least as much as the general population. Eating a healthy diet with ample fruits and vegetables, high-quality protein, nuts, seeds, and legumes is important. Avoiding red meat, processed foods and sweets is also a good idea. Our bodies need the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to stay strong and free from illness and disease.

Unfortunately, adults in senior care commonly suffer from chronic illness, possibly with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. These problems are all potentially connected to poor eating habits and lifestyle choices. Older adults in senior care often have additional requirements, needing more vitamin B and D than younger adults, and there could be other needs to consider, too.

The majority of adults in senior care will benefit from eating healthy snacks to stabilize blood sugar levels in between their meals. This can prevent overeating and help maintain energy levels throughout the day. Healthy snacks should be from whole foods, as opposed to prepared or processed foods that are usually high in sodium, fat, sugar, and/or preservatives. With a little foresight, you can prepare foods to keep on hand.

Here are some easy and healthy snack ideas to provide to an aging adult in senior care:

  1. Dehydrated apple slices
  2. A variety of hummus to be enjoyed with carrots, peppers, or cucumber slices
  3. Popcorn (with small amount of salt and butter)
  4. Fresh apple slices topped with almond butter
  5. Whole-grain crackers with a small chunk of cheese
  6. Oatmeal with strawberries or blueberries on top
  7. Celery sticks with almond butter, peanut butter, or cream cheese
  8. Tortilla chips with mildly spiced salsa
  9. Dried banana chips
  10. Avocado on whole wheat toast

Besides eating healthy whole foods, it’s vitally important for those in senior care to keep hydrated. Having enough fluids is good for the heart and brain, and it helps adults feel more energized, too. Many fruits and vegetables are high in water content, but senior care patients may need to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day for maximum benefit. Water infused with cucumber slices, lemon or other fresh fruit can be more palatable.


Call the Home Care Assistance office near you for senior care options that are mindful of the dietary needs of your loved ones.