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.

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.