Monthly Archives

March 2012

Choosing A Nursing Home

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The decision is one of the hardest you will ever make. Your spouse, parent or another family member needs care that assisted living or home health care simply cannot provide. You need to choose a nursing home.

It’s a difficult and emotional task. The horror stories are well documented. Finding a good nursing home takes research and perseverance. You want a safe, engaging and pleasant environment with caring staff and solid medical practices.

Not to mention paying for a nursing home … another huge source of stress.

Medicare pays only for medically necessary care in a skilled nursing home, like physical therapy or intravenous medicine. It does not pay for custodial care — help with walking, eating, bathing and other daily tasks. Result? The majority of nursing home residents pay from personal money, long-term care insurance policies or, if they qualify, through Medicaid.

Unfortunately, the typical search for a nursing home is made under duress. Most admissions come from hospitals. The hospital is in a hurry to discharge and may move quickly to get the patient moved to an available nursing home bed, regardless of the nursing home’s quality or reputation.

The average cost of nursing home care is $200 a day, and that does not include additional fees for specialized services like care for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Start With The Data
Every year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services collect data on more than 15,000 nursing homes throughout the country. Health inspection data, staffing and quality measures are combined to come up with an overall ranking of one to five stars.

To look up nursing homes in your area, go to medicare.gov and click on the Nursing Home Compare Tool.

The site offers a useful brochure entitled Medicare’s Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home.

Visit, Then Visit Again
Nothing substitutes for what you see, hear and smell when you visit a nursing home. Be sure to visit more than once and at different times of the day and different days of the week. Be sure to take the Nursing Home Checklist with you!

Call Your Ombudsman
Each state has a federally funded long-term care ombudsman who is an advocate for nursing home patients.

This person can tell you if there are state rankings or surveys available in addition to the Medicare ratings. The ombudsman can also help you find the latest health inspection reports,
which are public information, on specific nursing homes. Ombudsmen can also tell you how many complaints the office has collected about a specific nursing home and the nature of those complaints.

You can find the ombudsman in your state online at the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center.

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Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.

Private Long-Term Care Insurance

By | Blog, Long Term Care Insurance | No Comments

Many consumers have never heard of long-term care insurance, and there’s a common misperception that long-term care is paid for by Medicare.

Big mistake. Long term care is basically “custodial” care, and it’s for those suffering the after-effects of a stroke, Alzheimer’s disease or other disabling condition.

Health insurance doesn’t pay for this kind of treatment. Medicare doesn’t either, generally speaking.

Who does? You do. The consumer pays out of pocket until his assets are exhausted, at which time Medicaid (not Medicare) kicks in. This is basically a welfare program — and it feels like it. Those on Medicaid often wind up in nursing homes, generally not a nice place to be.

Those with money or with a good long term care policy may be able to stay at home with the help of paid assistants or check into a comfortable assisted living facility.

Bottom line on The Dotted Line
It’s important to learn as much as you can before signing on the dotted line for this kind of insurance.

A good place to start is a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report. This report draws on data from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances and the 1996 Medical Expenditures Panel Survey to explore the feasibility of LTCI for working families and older adults. Specifically, the report looks at how many working-age families can afford LTCI, whether it is a sensible investment for people who are decades away from requiring long-term care, and how LTCI policies can be made more flexible, to keep pace with changes in long-term care delivery and financing.

The report also examines the affordability of LTCI for older people, what kind of policies make sense for seniors, and whether there are less costly products that might reach more buyers and still provide some meaningful protection.

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Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.

 

Resources for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

By | Alzheimer's Resources, Blog | No Comments

Alzheimer’s Association

> Additional Resources
> Best Websites for Family Caregivers

AlzheimersLocator
Customized list of pre-qualified memory care communities in your area. Information & support from a local Senior Care Advisor. Service is 100% FREE!

Senior Living Source
Browse listings complete with pictures, cost information, locations, nursing care reviews, and more. Request free information from communities of your choice at no cost or obligation to you.

ALZwell Caregiver Support
The original resource for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia caregivers since 1996.
“We don’t pretend that caring for a person with dementia is easy. It’s not. But it is doable and can be rewarding on many levels. Our goal is to give you the knowledge and wisdom to make the journey easier.”

 

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Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.

Dedicated Personal Emergency Response Center

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Professionals are ready to respond to any emergency 24 hours a Day – 365 Days a Year. Help at the push of a button ….

Press the medical alert button and a distress signal is sent, over your existing phone line, to the UL listed medical monitoring center. This signal opens up the line of communication between the monitoring center and your home.

Personal Response System
When the high speed (2-way) connection is complete you’ll hear the reassuring voice of a professional monitoring team member. We immediately check on your status and, in the event of an emergency, dispatch your local EMS.  Again, if needed, we’ll contact key holders/loved ones.

The Central Monitoring Station is listed with, and regulated by, Underwriters’ Laboratories for Protective Signaling (UL 1981).

Certified Emergency Medical Technicians
We are THE ONLY Emergency Response Center with CERTIFIED Emergency Medical Technicians. Why does this matter? Read HERE about The EMT Difference.

2-Way Voice Interactive Emergency Monitoring
When there’s an emergency, we call, listen, communicate and get assistance.

We arm the EMS with the knowledge of any existing medical condition or issues. This information helps prepare the EMS to assist our clients effectively and efficiently when needed most. This required contact and medical information is kept strictly private and collected prior to.

The Medical Alert connection is so sophisticated that we can communicate with you through-out your home. There’s never a need to struggle for a phone.

Help At The Push Of A Button

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Our Personal Emergency Response Systems come with everything you need to keep loved ones safe with instant access to EMT trained emergency personnel around the clock at the push of a button.

Falls and strokes are common among seniors – a personal emergency response system can save a life. Alert emergency personnel and family with the touch of a button, and stay independent in your home with the peace of mind and security our systems provide.

Your custom designed Medical Alert System Kit is delivered to your home with everything needed for the simple 5 minute self install.

Medical Alert Features

  • Bosch technology, known for its outstanding engineering and quality, with more than one million installations worldwide.
  • Two-way voice standard – talk directly to a certified EMT operator at the LifeCall Response Center
  • Suitable for temporary or permanent installations.
  • Excellent two-way speech quality in an attractive compact case.
  • Wrist/neck transmitters have a 1000-ft. “Open Air” range, the longest of any current system.
  • Its five-day battery back-up has the longest life of any current system.
  • The LifeCall US-based Response Center is the only center where all operators are certified Emergency Medical Technicians.

FIVE MINUTE INSTALL INFORMATION

 

 

You’re Never Alone With LifeCall

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Thanks to advances in wireless technology and state-of-the-art interactive (2-way) home medical alert system emergency monitoring,  thousands of older Americans have put their trust in LifeCall and now enjoy a renewed independence that just wasn’t possible for previous generations. And no matter where they live or how often they can visit, loved ones find certainty knowing that help, if ever needed, is just the push of a button away.

You’re Never Alone
The cornerstone of LifeCall’s Personal Emergency System is our UL APPROVED two-way interactive emergency monitoring coupled with equipment that is designed for reliability, function and ease of use. In the event of a medical emergency, our operator makes a direct connection to our client. It’s reassuring for us to know that our clients are safe, but even more important – for you to know that you’re never alone.