end of life care discussions in carmel, in

How to Plan for End of Life Care

Talking about how to plan for end of life care can be very difficult – we understand. But doing so will help give peace of mind, not only to you, but to your senior and family too. Even though this is a sensitive topic, talking with your senior to plan out end of life care options is the best way to honor your senior’s wishes when and if a time comes when they are no longer able to communicate their wants and needs. To ensure your senior’s satisfaction and dignity, end of life care planning is an important step to take.

Talk About It

One of the best things you can do to start end of life care planning is to just begin talking about it with your senior. This can be hard sometimes because we naturally do not want to think about death or dying. Yet having these discussions now will help eliminate any issues later on if your senior cannot speak for themselves. If and when this time does approach, you and your family can focus on spending quality time with your senior rather than having the burden of planning weighing you down.

Put Everything in Writing

Having an advanced directive and living will can help to make the difficult healthcare choices that can come with end of life care. Advanced directives give healthcare providers the details regarding the care your senior wants, if they are unable to convey what they want at this time. A living will is just one part of an advanced directive, and it will help define your senior’s wishes about medical treatment and what should or should not be done. Have this conversation with your senior. It will allow them to express their wishes now, which will greatly improve the quality of their end of life care. It is best to consult with a lawyer when setting up an advanced directive.

Don’t Wait

It is easy to put off the task of end of life care planning because we don’t like to think about death, and sometimes we may feel we are immune. Research even says that 54% of seniors in North America delay planning because they feel they are in good health, and another 48% say they simply trust their family members to handle their arrangements. But don’t wait too long to start planning. By having this conversation now, both family members and caregivers (for seniors who receive in home care) will be able to organize end of life care more effectively.

We understand that end of life care is hard to talk about. If Home Care Assistance can help you or your family in any way, please call us for a consultation.

Home Care for Disabled Seniors

Home Care Options for Seniors with Disabilities

It is no surprise that the aging process brings on new challenges later in life. But being a senior with a disability presents challenges on a whole other level.

Did you know?

25% of senior Americans ages 65 – 74 live with a disability. Home Care Assistance wants to tell you about home care solutions that may be good options to help your senior with a disability.

It first helps to learn about the various types of disabilities many seniors face daily.

Types of Disabilities

Physical: The most common type of disability seniors deal with involve limits on their mobility. That means that home care options become increasingly important.

Intellectual: Intellectual disabilities affect seniors’ abilities to communicate, learn, and retain information.

Sensory: Sensory disabilities affect seniors’ senses, such as hearing loss or blindness.

Mental: Seniors with mental illnesses and disabilities may experience changes in their behavior, emotional state, and overall thinking.

 Home Care Options

Although it can be difficult to watch your senior struggle with a disability, there are home care options that can help them thrive and live their best life. We can break these options down into two different categories: basic needs and advanced needs.

Basic Needs

Tasks like grocery shopping, housekeeping, cooking meals, bathing, taking medications, and transportation to doctor’s appointments all fall under assistance with basic needs.

Advanced Needs

If your senior requires advanced needs, that might mean assistance with any one of the following: Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke aftercare, hospice services, or recovery after a hospital stay.

Depending on your senior, they may require basic needs, advanced needs, or both. Regardless, Home Care Assistance is here to help your senior and the entire family. We offer flexibility by providing these services on an hourly basis that fits your senior’s schedule, or around-the-clock.

If you’re ready to discuss a customized care plan that’s right for your senior, please call Home Care Assistance to schedule your consultation.

senior care tax deductions

Senior Care Tax Deductions: Understanding New Tax Benefits for Senior Care

Do you and your family currently have a senior receiving senior care services? Will you be soon?

If so, it’s going to be important to learn how home care tax deductions work to your family’s benefit!

Before we begin, we want to mention that Home Care Assistance does not officially offer tax advice. We recommend that you seek the help of a professional.

Now, let’s get started learning about how this works.

The first thing to know is that the IRS allows family caregivers to claim individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption. They even allow them to claim friends as dependents. Both parties are required to meet the IRS requirements. Once they do, the caregiver can then claim the dependent and the credit for other dependents on their federal tax return.

In order to provide proof of a dependent, it is crucial to keep detailed of all expenses associated with caring for your senior. Sometimes, a detailed log is required to show that the dependent lived with you for at least six months. This log will include keeping track of all receipts and noting all related expenses. Maintaining the log will ensure that you don’t miss any potential deductions as well, and it will be added to your documentation if you should ever be audited.

For single or married taxpayers that do not live with their spouse during the second half of the year, adding a dependent who is related to you and lives with you will change your filing status to “head of household”. This change in status will mean your standard deduction will increase.

It’s also important to understand the special rule for parents. You can claim your parent as a dependent and receive the head of household status even though he or she does not live with you. Any other relatives must live with you for a minimum of six months to receive the head of household status.

Furthermore, deductions can be made for any expenses paid to cover your loved one’s medical costs that are not reimbursable. When filing your yearly taxes, we suggest having a professional prepare or review your tax return before finalizing the details.

Read below to learn some of the allowable deductions:

  • Copays and deductibles
  • Acceptable therapies not covered by insurance
  • Eyeglasses
  • Physical therapy
  • Bandages
  • Hearing aids
  • Assisted living charges for medical reasons
  • Prescribed medicines and equipment
  • Insulin
  • Transportation to appointments or services
  • In-home health care worker, if you are working
  • Activities for older people with special needs
  • Home and vehicle modifications needed for safety or mobility

We understand that caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming. However, understanding all of the available benefits and tax breaks will help ease some of the financial burdens families often incur. If Home Care Assistance can be of further help, please give us a call.

senior care transportation

Transportation Alternatives for Seniors

As we get older, the way that we get around is subject to change at any given time. That includes how we get our grocery shopping done, run our errands, and even get the mail from the end of the driveway. All of these simple tasks can become much more difficult as we age, but that doesn’t mean we should have to struggle as senior citizens! Instead, we look to several alternatives to transportation for our seniors in senior care.

Before we get to our different options, let’s learn why some seniors may need to consider alternative transportation options.

Decreased Mobility – Whether it is due to injury, illness, or just old age, many seniors can often experience a lack of mobility as they age, which can be a reason for them to no longer transport themselves.

Deteriorating Eyesight – If your senior is suffering from impaired vision, this will greatly impede their ability to drive completely. We recommend that they always seek alternative transportation in this case.

Chronic Illnesses – Seniors struggling with debilitating diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, and Parkinson’s Disease are likely unable to drive and transport themselves given their various symptoms.

Short Distances

Due to some of the reasons listed above, your loved one in senior care may just not feel comfortable – or be able to – rely on or navigate public transportation anymore. Rather than that, we suggest having their caregiver or a family member help transport them for short distances to achieve basic tasks like picking up medication or going to a doctor’s appointment.

Or, if your senior is immobile or does not want to leave their home, a family member or caregiver can handle the task at hand for them if it does not require your senior to be present.

Long Distances

It can be more of a challenge to help your senior travel longer distances. You may encounter obstacles like not having a caregiver or a family member willing to drive long distances or the fact that the cost of traveling for longer times is more expensive. To overcome these, it can be worth your while to join a transportation network that is specific for seniors. Transportation networks are often created to serve a certain region or city and will help your senior to find the transportation required to travel long distances.

Are you thinking about enrolling your senior into senior care services? We would love to help you discover your options! Please call Home Care Assistance to schedule your consultation today.

in home care in carmel, in

Connecting With Your In Home Care Provider

If you have a parent or grandparent receiving in home care, they more than likely have a caregiver that you’re frequently interacting with. But sometimes, it can be hard to connect with that person. Home Care Assistance has come up with 3 solid ways for you to help build a positive connection with your caregiver!

Take a look below to begin working towards a great relationship with your caregiver:

Make Sure They Are the Right Fit

The first and most important step towards having a good relationship with your caregiver is choosing the right one for your senior’s in home care. If you do not feel a connection with the caregiver or think they will be a good fit for you and your family, it may be best to choose another and move on. To help choose the right caregiver, be sure to share items like your senior’s history, medical background, and likes and dislikes with them.

Start a Conversation

Communication is key! You should begin communicating with your senior’s caregiver often and early on in the relationship. Clear and frequent communication will not only help to establish your caregiver’s expectations of their in home care duties, but it will also help to build trust and avoid misunderstandings. When a caregiver knows what’s expected of them, they are more likely to have a positive experience working with you and your family.

But, Be Respectful of Their Privacy

Even though good communication is valued, you should still be respectful of their privacy and person life. While it may feel natural to be curious about their personal life, you do not want to pry and ask questions that may overstep professional boundaries and make them feel uncomfortable around you or your senior. Doing so will also help them respect your private life. Instead of asking the caregiver about their personal life, here are several conversation topics that do not cross the line instead:

  • Why did the caregiver choose this profession?
  • Where is the caregiver from?
  • What are the caregiver’s hobbies?
  • What kind of food, books, or movies does the caregiver enjoy?

If you are looking for personalized in home care services for your senior, please schedule your consultation with Home Care Assistance by giving us a call today!

senior care

Three Ways to Better Connect With a Loved One in Senior Care

Looking for different ways to connect better with your loved one in senior care? Home Care Assistance has come up with 3 powerful and effective ways for you to improve your bond and relationship with your senior. Take a look below.

Social Activities

A great way to connect with your loved one in senior care is to get involved in activities with them! Social activities can range from sports like water aerobics to board games like chess (which are also mentally stimulating). But, the most important aspect of getting social with your senior is that it can help improve both their emotional and physical health.

Emotional Health: Whether it’s with family or other seniors in senior care, having frequent interaction with others will positively impact your senior’s mood. Doing so can help prevent depression.

Physical Health: Being involved in physical activities will help to boost your senior’s overall physical health – Physical activities increase their strength, work up an appetite, and help them get plentiful sleep.

Using Technology

Technology will work to keep you and your senior connected – Even when you can’t be there physically with them.

Tablets: These are a great option for seniors! They are easy to use and can be very helpful. Tablets are perfect for simple things like browsing the internet, viewing family photos, making video calls, setting medication reminders, and generally keeping in touch.

Simple Computers: Another option to consider is an all-in-one computer that your senior can use easily. These are special applications that help make using email, video chats, and the internet a breeze!

Talking and Visiting

Last but not least, you can connect with your senior just by spending time with them and being in their company.

Share Memories: Look back on your favorite moments with your senior – It’s a great way to bond and it also help to stimulate their memory! This is a simple activity that reminds them of many good times with family and friends while also engaging their mind.

Ask for Advice: Asking your senior for advice reminds them that their thoughts and opinions are valued. This helps to relay the love and respect you feel for your senior!

To learn about our customized senior care options for you and your senior, call Home Care Assistance today to set up a consultation!

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Home Care in 10 Years: Trends, Predictions and Changes

Much like the US economy, senior living has it its share of ups and downs – and you can expect the industry to change in the next 10 years. Soon we’ll be seeing different housing options for seniors to remain independent, as a direct result of higher costs of assisted living. More “senior-friendly” homes will be popping up in neighborhoods too, as well as more amenities and technology for our seniors to take advantage of.

Wondering just what life will be like for senior Americans in the near future?

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends, predictions, and changes in home care:

More Amenities for Seniors

We’re going to be seeing a whole lot more programs in assisted living facilities that will cater to a new age of seniors – programs with cultural events, new fitness classes, and educational services! These will be implemented in an effort to sustain the assisted living model.

Green Senior Living

Green housing for seniors? Yes, that’s going to be big! Eco-friendly living is also more cost-effective because fewer utilities equal less money spent. Green housing is also a great idea for seniors to remain conscious of the environment.

Senior Co-Housing

Co-housing is going to be a big deal soon. Seniors will live in communes, where they will have independent homes, but also many shared spaces – Like gardens and recreational centers. Residents will benefit by being involved in the community. They’ll take action in making any “community” decisions, which will give them a sense of great purpose and belonging!

More Technology

No surprise here! Technology is the future, and it will be limited to the youth. Computer home systems that can track medications and vitals will be connected to wireless networks, allowing caregivers to stay on top of their senior’s condition. This will revolutionize senior home care!

Less Nursing Home Models

The nursing home model will continue to decline in lieu of more seniors wanting independent living and home care services. Such options offer lower costs and usually have the availability of specialized programs – like memory care, for example.

To schedule your consultation and discuss the home care options for you and your senior, please give Home Care Assistance a call – We’ll be happy to help you!

home care checkup in carmel, in

Five Key Questions to Ask Your Doctor at Your Routine Checkup This Year

Going for your routine checkup with your doctor may not always be your favorite thing to do… But it IS a good thing to do – Especially if you’re provided with home care services. Your annual visits to your doctor require a little more of your attention each year as staying healthy becomes a priority.

For your next annual checkup with your doctor this year, we’ve come up with 5 key questions you should ask to keep you healthy and feeling good. Make sure to note your doctor’s response!

What screening tests do I need?

At your routine checkup, your doctor will probably check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels like usual. But you should also ask them if any other screen testing may be a good idea for you. For example, prostate exams for men, and mammograms for both women and men.

What should I be eating – or not eating?

Healthy eating and focusing on your nutrition is always important. You can ask your doctor if you should implement changes in your diet if you are worried about your weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol levels.

How’s my weight?

If it’s recommended that you shed a few pounds to start feeling better, as your doctor to suggest healthy ways to go about weight loss. They can also tell you about how your weight can affect your health and risk for disease.

What should I do before my next visit?

Think of your next doctor’s visit as a milestone – Maybe you’ll have goals to achieve before your next appointment! If your goal is to lose weight, eat healthier, or exercise more, come up with a plan with your doctor so you’re prepared for your next checkup.

When do I need to see a doctor again?

Who says routine checkups must be performed annually? Your doctor will help you decide when the right time is for YOU to come back.

If you’re thinking about enrolling home care services or you’re looking to expand your options, we would love to consult with you at Home Care Assistance! Give us a call and we’ll discuss a plan that works best for you.

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!