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.

5-early-signs-of-alzheimers-disease

5 Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

You may have misplaced your keys before. Everyone does from time to time. You may have met someone new and immediately forgotten his or her name. Don’t worry. These are normal memory issues that everyone may deal with on occasion.

Memory loss that affects one’s daily activities, like missing scheduled appointments, or forgetting one’s way while driving in a familiar area can be symptoms of something serious. These types of problems can signal dementia, or Alzheimer’s, a common form of dementia. At that point, Alzheimer’s care may be helpful for your loved one.

Alzheimer’s disease is considered degenerative in nature. In other words, Alzheimer’s disease continues to worsen over time as with other terminal illnesses. There is no good prognosis for those in Alzheimer’s care. As this disease continues to ravage the brain in later stages, symptoms are easier to recognize, even to strangers.

Early signs of Alzheimer’s disease might be missed unless you know what you’re looking for in an older adult.

5 Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Loss of memory: Everyone retains a very small amount of what is learned daily, but someone in the early Alzheimer’s forgets more quickly. When someone asks you the same question over and over because they don’t remember that you’ve already answered, it’s a sign that there’s a problem.
  2. Changes in activities: When there are obvious changes in activities or daily habits, there may be cause for concern. An older adult may even state that he or she thinks something isn’t right, but can’t quite clarify what it is. Social activities might feel awkward and embarrassing, making the adult withdrawn.
  3. Money problems: When an aging adult makes mistakes, paying some bills twice, leaving other unpaid, there’s likely a serious problem. Eventually, checkbooks, paying bills, managing home or business expenses all become too challenging. When finances seem askew, money is given away, or pricey items are bought, but can’t be paid for, there may be cause for concern.
  4. Losing things: When you repeatedly have to help find the items your aging loved one stashed, it’s a red flag there’s something wrong. Even in the early Alzheimer’s stages, older adults might forget where they were earlier in the same day and are unable to recall, even with cues and additional time.
  5. Getting lost in a familiar area: Alzheimer’s creates loss of memory, sometimes making people lost in their own neighborhoods or other areas that have been familiar with for many years. When someone can’t find the local grocery store or their favorite café, there may be a problem.

When you imagine that your loved one might be suffering from Alzheimer’s, it’s frightening. Families oftentimes deny initial cues, but an early diagnosis is helpful for planning Alzheimer’s care in the future.


Call Home Care Assistance today to prepare a compassionate Alzheimer’s care plan for your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Senior home care provider reading a newspaper with older woman

Benefits of In Home Care vs. Nursing Homes in Carmel, IN

As aging progresses, even the most independent seniors might eventually need assistance. The need may be precipitated by a fall or accident, a diagnosis of dementia, or simply the noticeable process of aging. Regardless of the situation, how can one decide whether aging in place versus a nursing home is the best solution?

A nursing home may provide a safe solution when skilled medical care is needed, but aging in place is often a better solution. When people stay long-term in a facility, payment continues through Medicaid after patient money runs out. Medicaid doesn’t provide enough profit for the nursing care facility to sustain itself with the highest levels of care. Many nursing homes are moving away from long-term care options because of these financial reasons.

With declining availability in permanent care solutions, aging adults might find it difficult to find facilities with high standards. As a result, home care services have become more available and easier to coordinate. With a collaborative effort between the client, family members and medical professionals, a home care plan can be made for the senior to stay at home. Older adults usually prefer their homes to age in place where they can be around friends and family in their familiar and comfortable surroundings and community.

Home care options are often less pricey than long-term facilities, which cost an average of $6,500 per month. This is often an impossibility for a senior with an annual fixed income and limited assets.

Often, seniors only need a few hours a day with assistance in getting dressed, bathing or meal prep. These few hours a day can save thousands of dollars versus fulltime nursing home care.

The senior benefits with additional physical healing time with home care and is better off mentally and emotionally. His or her sense of dignity is maintained and can continue to have a higher quality of life. When staying at home alone isn’t safe, home care allows the elderly person to remain at home feeling independent for a longer amount of time.

There are numerous options for home care and nursing homes, but if you consider the cost savings, a lifestyle of independence, and maintained dignity, the in-home care option is likely the best one for you or your loved one.

Call the local Home Care Assistance office in Carmel, IN to review short and long-term options for you or your loved one. Consider the benefits of home care that will make life easier for you and your family.

Senior home care provider having coffee with an older woman in Carmel, IN

How To Help Your Loved One With Eating After A Stroke In Carmel, IN

Providing Nutritional Help After a Stroke

Oftentimes, people in stroke care have challenges when eating. It could be a problem with chewing or swallowing, or it may be a matter of bringing food to the mouth. When a stroke creates memory loss, the stroke victim might even forget to eat.

Check with the doctor if you need help with a meal plan for stroke care and consider the following tips, as well:

Encourage Eating

  • Create daily meal times. Your meals will be more palatable if you dine with your loved one at the table, too. It can be an enjoyable routine to look forward to, as long as you maintain your patience, allowing your loved one to take as much time as needed with the meal.
  • Offer meals when your loved one is most likely to eat. Maybe late afternoon is better for dinner than the evening?
  • Offer nutrient-dense foods. Provide your loved one healthy, whole foods to rebuild strength.
  • Watch for preferences. Certainly, we all prefer certain foods over others so if he or she favors an item that’s easier to chew or swallow, plus it provides nutritional value, this is a good meal to offer!

Softer Food Can Be Easier

  • Fruits and vegetables: Try pureeing or blending nutritional whole foods with additional spices or flavorings for the best taste while assisting in stroke care.
  • Try yogurt: Yogurt is usually a good choice since it’s easy to eat and digestible.
  • Oatmeal might be easy: Oatmeal can be a better choice over grains like bread or rice that can be hard to swallow.
  • Easy eggs: Scrambled or soft-boiled eggs provide protein and other beneficial nutrients.
  • Custard and gelatin desserts: Most people enjoy something sweet on occasion but anything with a low nutritional value should be only offered on occasion.
  • Liquid meal replacements: Ready-made shakes high in protein or meal replacement supplements are easier for stroke care patients who can’t easily chew or swallow.
  • Avoid sticky or dry foods: Stay away from peanut butter, rice, or anything that becomes too sticky in the mouth, creating a problem with swallowing. Utensils with cushioned or specialized grips make it easier for a stroke victim to eat independently.

Don’t Hesitate to Seek Help

You may need outside assistance while offering stroke care to a loved one. Reach out to your local Home Care Assistance location in Carmel, IN at (317) 316-0804 to inquire about additional care or meal assistance during this challenging time.

Older man with a credit card on the phone in Carmel, IN

Protecting Seniors From Scams

Unfortunately, scammers typically prey upon persons in senior care because of the aging adult’s likelihood to be generous and compassionate. Financial scams may occur by phone, email, internet or even in person.

Retirees in senior care must be especially cautious about their financial security.  Older people are often on fixed incomes with smaller savings. Money scams can create a hard blow to their future lifestyle and wellbeing. When an older adult loses a great financial sum, their children or grandchildren may feel the consequences, too, as they end up helping out to cover the losses.

What can you do to keep your older loved ones in senior care protected from the scammers? Speak with your aging parents about the common scams so they can be wary of these tricksters. It’s easy to fall for schemes. They are so well-practiced that it can happen to people of any age. Remind them to investigate thoroughly before releasing any monies. Keep them comfortable knowing they can contact you for help any time something is suspicious. Empower them by reminding them to hang up on solicitors, don’t reply to emails from people they don’t know.

Scams have been around forever and there are some common ones that you and your family members can learn about:

  • Bogus winnings – fake lotteries, contests, or free prizes. These scammers really want account information, so they may request shipping or other fees in an attempt to retrieve credit card or bank account details.
  • Phony charities – relief from natural disasters or needed medical support. Certainly, there are donation sites that are wonderful supports for these causes, but there are also criminals who want to capitalize on the unfortunate situation.
  • Family impersonators – grandchildren, nieces, or nephews calling because of an accident, or even in jail. These callers say they’re desperate and ask for a prepaid gift card or a wire transfer. Keep in mind this is a red flag!
  • Door-to-door salespeople – Selling gimmicks, fake magazine subscriptions, or even roof or other home repairs. Those who get sucked in may have a lot to lose.

Scammers access money, credit cards, and personal information from people in senior care in a variety of ways. Keep your conversations open to aging loved ones and let them know you are just looking out for their best interests. Remind them to be skeptical of strangers and ask questions.

In-home care can provide an additional level of help because caregivers are trained to watch for signs of mail or phone scams for the person in senior care. Learn more about in-home care by contacting Home Care Assistance of Carmel, IN.

Senior home care provider with an older woman in her living room in Carmel, IN

5 Benefits to Living with Caregiver Assistance

It’s not unusual for an aging adult to initially reject assistance after realizing that additional help is needed around the home. Once the advantages to senior care are understood, people are usually more agreeable and open-minded. A caregiver can increase the level of personal safety for an older adult, as well as offer additional social engagement. Both are vital to health and wellbeing.

Here are just 5 reasons to consider hiring a caregiver for a loved one’s senior care:

  1. A caregiver provides another level of safety.

As adults increase in age, there’s also an increase in the risks of living alone. The likelihood of falling, suffering stroke or heart attack is real. Fortunately, when there is a caregiver at home – whether in a private home or in an assisted living community – emergency support arrives faster because the caregiver is able to dial for help and communicate with emergency responders.

  1. Caregivers eliminate isolation.

Everyone needs to be engaged in conversation, but it’s especially important for those in senior care. A caregiver increases the social time of an aging adult. Loneliness is known to have negative emotional and cognitive consequences, and should be avoided. Isolation is even connected to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

  1. Visit more friends and family.

When an adult doesn’t drive, he or she might be left out of family events, simply because transportation can be difficult. A hired caregiver can drive the aging adult so he or she is more likely to attend family birthday parties and other happy occasions. An adult feels free and independent when not feeling like a burden.

  1. Caregivers can help with the home.

Tasks around the home used to be easy, but older adults needing senior care find it an impossible challenge. A private caregiver can help with the daily cleaning and meals. This can be the best solution for a tidy home with homecooked meals.

  1. Caregivers are the best alternative to assisted living communities.

Older adults needing additional senior care have the options of moving to an assisted living community or staying at home to age with caregiving assistance. Many older people prefer to stay in the comfort of their familiar home as long as they can. Caregivers are a perfect solution for someone who doesn’t need full medical care and attention.

Daugher with older mother in Carmel, IN

Caregiving: Why Is Routine Important?

A Quality Caregiver Will Prioritize Routine

Predictable schedules reduce stress for everyone, but especially the elderly. Have you heard the expression, “creatures of habit?” A caregiver that provides consistency will help aging adults remember what’s ahead and it brings a sense of comfort to them. If an older adult suffers from dementia, daily routines are that much more important.

Benefits of a Structured Routine

Structured schedules for dining, bathing, and dressing provide feelings of safety for most seniors. They typically sleep better with regular sleep and wake up times, as well.

A caregiver quickly realizes that elderly adults who suffer from dementia are less confused with routines, too. They may not remember what they did earlier that day, yet they seem to subconsciously sense what’s coming next in the day. This helps with behavioral challenges, as well, since regularly scheduled dining prevents extreme hunger and reduces stress and anxiety in dementia patients.

As a caregiver keeps a regular schedule, there’s less planning to do and more of each moment with the person being cared for is appreciated.

Plan a Daily/Weekly Routine

Consider the adult first 

If you are a caregiver, consider the person being cared for when planning meals, daily care or activities. Know the time of day when the person functions best. If the older adult already has a routine that’s been ritualized for years, why try to change it now? If waking up early for toast and coffee is what he or she is accustomed to, just follow this ingrained routine. Keep familiar routines as much as possible.

Flexibility is needed

A daily/weekly routine is vital, but flexibility will be needed, too. There will be occasions when the older person doesn’t feel well and they may need additional rest. On better days, an impromptu activity like a walk might be just right.

Keep variety with activities 

Schedule activities for each week, but offer some variety, too, like exercise, cognitive challenges, spiritual nourishment and social time. Discover hobbies that were pursued in the past. Perhaps there are modifications that can be applied to anything that is now too difficult.

Everything in its place

Rearranging personal belongings in the home will likely cause confusion and frustration for your elderly adult. Caregivers should only move things around as needed for safety.

Perhaps you could benefit from some assistance as a caregiver? Home Care Assistance can provide in-home care to help the older adult with as little or as much as you need. Call Home Care Assistance at (317) 316-0804 and get started.

Home care provider discussing delirium and dementia care with son and older mother in Carmel, IN

How To Tell The Difference Between Delirium And Dementia

Cognitive confusion and emotional distress can both be symptoms of delirium and dementia, making it easy for these two illnesses to be confused with each other. The two are distinctly different, however, and it’s a priority for caregivers, medical, and emergency support to understand the difference. Delirium is especially serious and common for older persons. It’s a common complication of hospital admission for the elderly.

What is delirium?

Delirium can be described as an acute problem with a display of confusion, disrupted attention, disordered speech and even hallucinations. Delirium is diagnosed by clinical observation of patient behaviors and medical help must be obtained immediately when a family member, friend or loved one displays potential symptoms. It’s usually temporary and most likely reversible once the underlying cause is treated.

The following are common causes of delirium:

  • Head trauma
  • Drug interactions
  • Infections
  • Dehydration
  • Liver failure
  • Brain tumors

Delirium is commonly found in facilities or hospitals that offer senior care. It can also be triggered by drug or alcohol abuse, UTIs, and pneumonia. Surgery or any procedure using anesthesia, high fevers, sleep deprivation, and severe emotional stress can be problematic, also.

Symptoms of delirium:

  • Behavioral displays of emotional disturbance
  • Fluctuating or drastic mood changes
  • Sudden behavioral changes (e.g. hyperactivity)
  • Inattention or distraction
  • Disorganized thinking or cognitive problems
  • Reduced awareness of the environment
  • Delusions or hallucinations

How can one recognize delirium from dementia?

Delirium and dementia at a glance may seem similar, but delirium starts abruptly and fluctuates in intensity, from day to day or hour to hour.

Dementia develops over long periods of time, beginning slowly with mental decline, and is irreversible.

Dementia and delirium both appear as mental confusion, so how can you recognize the difference?

Why is it important to understand the difference?

Delirium is many times a warning sign of serious medical problems. It may even be an adverse reaction to a medication leading to a medical emergency. Delirium must be quickly treated, or it may create permanent complications or even death.

Delirium goes too often unseen or unrecognized by medical professionals. The symptoms can be too easily attributed to dementia, instead of the acute problem that it is. Immediate medical help must be sought when symptoms of delirium are present.

Many dementia patients develop delirium during hospitalization, but all that one can do is create a quiet, safe and comfortable environment.

Does the senior in your life need dementia care in Carmel, IN?

Call Home Care Assistance of Carmel at (317) 316-0804 and let us provide you with a top of the line dementia care provider for your loved one.

Senior doing yoga outside in Carmel, IN

Keeping Active is Important at Any Age

Keeping active is important at any age. Physical activity improves balance, strength, and cardiovascular health. Additionally, active people reduce their chance of chronic disease. Anyone can increase their health and vitality, regardless of age!

Experts typically recommend at least 150 minutes of weekly exercise for adults. Start slowly and gradually increase frequency and intensity.

Walking is a Perfect Exercise

Walking is a perfect exercise for every age. No gym membership is required, and it’s free! Aging adults can walk in their neighborhood or find nature areas with trails. Walking becomes a social event when family or friends join along!

Do What You Can

Can you ride a stationary bike or walk the treadmill while watching your favorite TV show? Do what you can. Stand up for some stretching when there are commercial breaks or use hand weights to increase strength. Dance or jog to lively music to get your spirits lifted and your body moving.

Gardens Have Many Benefits

Enjoy the healthy benefits of herbs, produce and flowers from your own backyard garden! Your senses will awaken from natural fragrances. Enjoy walking, bending and stretching from planting, weeding and making cuttings for indoors. Getting out in the sunshine can provide a sense of wellbeing and efforts will literally bloom.

Golf

Walking on a golf course offers additional healthy opportunities. Get some extra bending when placing the tee and ball. Strengthen the arms and back muscles when swinging the golf club.

Swimming

Swimming is great for the cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal systems and it’s an ideal activity for anyone with arthritis or joint pain, too. Check your local pool schedule for water aerobics classes or times specifically for older adults.

Help is Available

Sometimes, older adults will need help. Seniors who want to enjoy good health as they grow older may benefit from local Home Care Assistance. Help is available for daily tasks and focusing on a more active life.

Expert caregivers can provide assistance with exercise or transporting an adult to a doctor appointment. Caregivers can make it possible for a loved one to go to a fun social event, allowing the adult to maintain a high-quality, independent life.

Family caregivers often eventually realize they can’t find enough time to engage in all the activities their loved ones want or need. Let Home Care Assistance help. Let the aging adult continue regular activities while you take a necessary, well-deserved break.

Caregivers are professionally trained in meal prep, assisting with physical activity, and personal hygiene for short-term or longer amounts of time. Specially trained caregivers are available to help seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s, too.

Call us today to learn more about our reliable in-home care for seniors.