How Medicaid Works For Seniors in San Diego CA

How Medicaid Works
By Joseph L. Matthews, Caring.com Author

Medicaid is a federal government program to help provide healthcare coverage to certain categories of people who have low income and few assets (other than the home they live in). Among those covered by Medicaid are people over 65 and those with disabilities.

Each state runs its own version of Medicaid, with slightly different rules and coverage.

The Medicaid program has several different parts:

  • Medicaid medical coverage includes most common forms of healthcare, as explained in this article. Medicaid medical benefits cover at least the same healthcare services that Medicare does, as well as some services that Medicare doesn’t cover. Medicaid also pays Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-payments for people who are enrolled in both programs.
  • A separate part of Medicaid covers long-term nursing home care.
  • Special Medicaid-funded programs cover long-term, in-home personal care. Income and asset eligibility rules for these long-term, at-home care programs are usually quite a bit looser than for regular Medicaid medical coverage.
  • In some states, a Medicaid-related program can pay some of the cost of assisted living.


Finding out about your state’s Medicaid programs

To find out exactly what Medicaid and Medicaid-related programs operate in your state, what they cover, and who’s eligible, contact a local office of your state’s Medicaid program.

To find a local Medicaid office, go to the federal government’s Benefits.gov website and choose your state. This will take you to a page with contact information for your state’s Medicaid program and information about local offices.

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If you or someone you know needs help with home care in San Diego CA and the surrounding area, contact the caregivers at Age Advantage. We provide quality and affordable in home care for many disabled and elderly loved ones in our community. Call us at 619-660-8881 for more information.

 

Senior Care San Diego CA: How Medicare Works

How Medicare Works
By Stephanie Miles, Caring.com senior editor

Medicare is the government’s contract to provide healthcare insurance coverage for Americans over the age of 65. But, as with all contracts, it’s always smart to read the fine print.

Medicare pays for about half of all medical costs for older Americans, including hospitalization, doctors, some nursing care, some prescription drug costs, and medical equipment and supplies. But there’s much that Medicare doesn’t cover, as well as an alphabet soup of coverages, premiums, deductibles, and eligibility requirements that can be difficult to navigate — especially for someone facing a health crisis.

Here are the basics everyone should know about Medicare, and where to look for more information if you need it:

What is Medicare?

Medicare consists of four categories: Part A covers hospitalization, some skilled nursing facility and home health care, and hospice. Part B covers doctors’ services and outpatient care such as X-rays, laboratory work, some home health care, physical and occupational therapy, and some preventive screening. Then there’s Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, which is Medicare received through a private managed care system such as an HMO (health maintenance organization) or PPO (preferred provider organization). When someone enrolls in a Medicare Advantage plan, they receive all the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B, as well as some additional coverage provided by the private plan. As with other managed care, however, Medicare Advantage plans limit where and how their members may receive care. Finally, there’s Medicare Part D, which consists of private insurance plans that partially cover prescription drug costs.

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Age Advantage caregivers are available to talk with you and your family about all of your care needs, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing in home care in San Diego CA and the surrounding areas.

With Cataracts, Misinformation Seems to Abound in San Diego CA

 With Cataracts, Misinformation Seems to Abound

(HealthDay News) — When medical experts talk about prevalence, they’re usually referring to how common a particular disease might be. But in the case of cataracts, they might just as well be talking about how common it is to uncover misinformation and misunderstanding about the condition.

Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness among seniors in the United States, with more than half of all U.S. residents developing the cloudy vision of cataracts by the time they reach 80 years old, according to Prevent Blindness America, a nonprofit group that focuses on eye health.

But eye experts say that people seem to believe things about cataracts that aren’t quite right, including when and how they should be treated. Misinformation often seems to develop innocently enough, with well-meaning folks spreading things they’ve learned by word-of-mouth.

"Sometimes friends give confusing and conflicting information because not every patient is the same or because they’ve heard something from someone else," said Dr. Cynthia Bradford, an ophthalmology professor at the University of Oklahoma’s Dean A. McGee Eye Institute.

Nonetheless, the misinformation sometimes leads people to delay treatment long past when it could help them or to expect too much from treatment for this widespread vision problem.

Cataracts occur when the lens of an eye grows cloudy, according to the U.S. National Eye Institute. Vision might grow progressively cloudy until the person has difficulty seeing, or the person’s vision might take on a brownish tint that makes it harder to distinguish colors.

And that leads to one of the first major myths — that cataracts are something that grow on top of the eye.

"A lot of people think of it as a growth, but it’s almost like honey that’s become granulated," Bradford said. The lens itself is the problem, which is why cataract surgery requires that the lens be removed and replaced.

Source: Caring.com…continue reading

Age Advantage caregivers are available to talk with you and your family about all of your care needs, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing in home care in San Diego CA and the surrounding areas.

Elder Care San Diego CA: February is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month

Heart health is an area of grave concern among healthcare professionals, policy makers and the government. Heart disease has killed more Americans than any other diseases or chronic illnesses. It is the leading cause of death among patients of all race, gender and age. About 785,000 patients in the nation suffer their first heart attack every year and 470,000 of them have recurring heart attacks in a year. It has been estimated that heart attack affects one patient in every 34 seconds in America, costing a whopping healthcare bill of $316.4 billion a year. The risks of heart disease also dramatically increases with age affecting one in every five women above the age of 65 as compared to one in every 10 women between ages 45 and 65.

For 37 years, the American Heart Association tirelessly organized and campaigned for the fight against heart disease. February is the ‘American Heart Month’ where efforts are spent to increase awareness and raise funds for research and education on heart disease.

Heart disease is a lifestyle-related condition. Risk factors that can lead to heart disease or stroke are physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and alcohol. As more elderly patients tend to have high cholesterol, high blood sugar or high blood pressure conditions coupled by weaker immunity systems, healthy living to promote elderly health is one of the primary concerns during American Heart Month.

Good heart health can be attained by adopting change in lifestyle, diet and regular monitoring of one’s blood sugar level, cholesterol level and blood pressure. The following are five healthy living tips to good senior health that not only help keep heart disease at arm’s length but also increase one’s quality of life.

Regular Exercise or Physical Activity

Moderate exercise on a regular basis is the best remedy for elderly health and wellbeing. Walking, jogging, yoga, swimming, golf, dancing and others help to build strong healthy hearts and help to improve blood circulation. In fact, statistics show that a sedentary lifestyle is a leading threat to heart health; those who are physically inactive and seldom participate in regular exercise program are 39.5 percent more likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke.

Balanced Diet
Healthy living starts with balanced diets rich in fiber and low in trans fat, sugar and sodium. Elderly patients should also consume high nutrient foods that are good for the heart and body as a whole. Greasy food and food high in trans fat found in cooking oil and meat should be avoided to prevent gradual formation of blockage in the arteries especially among elderly patients’ whose body metabolism decreases with age.

Control blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level
Senior health checks should never exclude regular monitoring of seniors’ blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level as these are among the top risk factors to cardiovascular disease. Senior patients can perform regular monitoring of their conditions at home and take precautionary measures such as diet and prescribed medication if levels are higher than normal.

Maintain Healthy Body Weight
Being overweight can also lead to heart disease or stroke; it is as unhealthy to one’s heart as it is to one’s bones and joints. Excessive fats in the body can strain the heart and cause additional stress on the bones and joints. Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial to good senior health as it helps to prevent adverse conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol that can potentially lead of heart disease.

Stop Smoking and excessive Alcohol intake

Smoking and excessive intake of alcohol are harmful habits that are especially damaging to elderly patients. Smoking increases the chances of blood clot and accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, hence increasing the risks of coronary heart disease. It can also increase the chances of a relapse or recurring heart attack. Smoking is also linked to many elderly health conditions such as cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.

Age Advantage caregivers are available to talk with you and your family about your live-in home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable home care in San Diego and the surrounding areas.

February is Low Vision Awareness Month in San Diego CA

Cataract Awareness, Conditions And Treatment

The basic definition of a cataract is where there is a clouding of the lens of the eye. When this takes place the light that normally enters the eye is changed or blocked off. Behind the colored iris and pupil lies the actual lens of the human eye. This lens is basically transparent and helps to focus images viewed onto what is called the retina of the eye. The retina is the part of the eye which sends the images that people see straight to their brain to be decoded. The most basic cause of eye loss stemming from a cataract forces vision to become dim or sometimes blurry. So how often do cataracts affect ordinary people in the world? One of the top causes of blindness and poor vision amongst older adults in countries like the Unites States is a cataract. There is an estimated twenty million folks in the USA alone that are around the age of forty, and they all have a cataract. 

It has been proven that literally one half of the people in America will develop a cataract by the time they have reached eighty. There are even studies showing a cataract forming in newborn babies, and some percentage of young people. Nobody really knows the exact reasons a cataract forms, but it has been assumed that they generally come along with age. So the older a person gets the more likely they are to form a cataract. There are also a multitude of risk factors that can cause a cataract. These include diseases like diabetes, extremely hot temperatures, long periods of exposure to the suns UV rays, inflammation of the eye, genetic factors, prolonged use of steroids, diseases that form in the eye, injuries to the eye, and smoking all play a role in the risk of a cataract forming. 

So what are the general symptoms associated with a cataract? It is well known that cataracts cannot cause conditions such as tears, pain, or redness, yet there are a few warning signs a person can use to judge if there is a possibility they have a cataract. These are things like feeling as if there is some sort of film cover, or ghost images and blurry vision. Also if there is a startling feeling that spawns from being exposed to very strong light. Also if the person often has a hard time seeing close-range objects. Sometimes it is even possible to physically spot a cataract, and they will normally have a sort of milky look to them and resemble a yellowish spot in the pupil. So what are some of the treatments that are available for older adults with poor vision? 

It is actually a common fact that most eye problems can be cured if they are treated as soon as they are discovered. Just like with any other disease if it is discovered early there is a much better chance of curing it, and avoid longer-term damages. The most important factor when it comes to safeguarding a person’s vision is taking part in eye exams regularly. Any person who is 65 and older should have a full eye exam completed at least one time every 1 to 2 years. This should be done even if there are no apparent eye conditions at the time. One more step to maintaining healthy vision is to ask the eye doctor for what is known as a dilated exam of the eye, and this just adds an extra level of safety against these sorts of conditions.

The caregivers at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about all of your live-in home care needs. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing quality, affordable home care in San Diego CA and the surrounding areas.

When Your Loved One Resists Care in San Diego CA

When Your Loved One Resists Care in San Diego CA
by Rich O’Boyle, Publisher

“How many times has your mother refused to change her clothes? Has your father resisted getting out of bed? Has your wife pushed you away when you tried to brush her teeth? Many times a caregiver will be particularly frustrated by her loved one’s refusal to help himself. At times she can’t help but think that the person she cares for "36 hours a day" is going out of his way to make her miserable! The increasing irrationality of individuals with dementia makes it even harder on the caregiver.”

When your loved one resists care, step back calmly and think:

  • Are there any environmental factors such as lighting, shadows, noise, commotion or other external influences that are causing the problem now?
  • Before you say something, think about what you are going to say. Check your emotions and frustration before you speak. Your increased frustration can contribute to your loved one’s agitation.
  • Put yourself in her shoes. Use your knowledge of her personal background to pinpoint patterns and reasons for her reaction.
  • Is this confrontation worth escalating? Choose your battles wisely. A head-to-toe bath is not necessary every day or even more than once each week. Similarly, clothes do not have to be changed every day if they are not soiled.

Continue reading from ec-online.net 

The caregivers at Age Advantage understand caregiver stress are available to talk with you and your family about all of your live-in home care needs and concerns. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing caring quality and affordable home care in San Diego CA and the surrounding areas. Call 619-660-8881 for more information.

When Siblings Step Up in San Diego CA

When Siblings Step Up
By ANNE TERGESEN

Sisters and brothers are finding new ways to circumvent old conflicts as they take on one of the toughest roles in their lives: caregiver.

When Rene Talavera’s father, Jesus Talavera, 69, was hospitalized for kidney and heart failure last fall, the 45-year-old Chicago resident and his four siblings were catapulted into an uncomfortable new phase of life: caregiving.

But even as the Talavera siblings absorbed the shock of their father’s illness, they set aside old conflicts and concerns to work together. "The common thread is that you all love your parent," says Rene Talavera. "It’s not about you or an argument you had 20 years ago. It’s about Dad and what you can do for him."

Family cohesiveness is a tall order at any time of life. But as parents grow frail, brothers and sisters often encounter new obstacles to togetherness—at precisely the time they most need to rely on one another.

Sibling rivalry can emerge or intensify as adult children vie, one last time, for a parent’s love or financial support. And even as parents grow dependent on children, the desire to cling to old, familiar roles can create a dysfunctional mess.

…continue reading from online.wsj.com
 

For information about how Age Advantage can help your family with home care and assistance for your loved one, contact 619-660-8881. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing caregivers and in home care in San Diego CA and surrounding areas.

The Caregiver Spotlight Is on Work-Life Balance in San Diego CA

Caregiver Spotlight on Work-Life “Balance”

by Isabel Fawcett, SPHR

There’s no avoiding stress in caregiving, at work or in life. Stress, both “good” and “bad,” will always be a part of our human existence. That’s all the more reason for caregivers to be proactive in managing stress. Shining a spotlight on your work and personal life is one way to identify and better manage stress. Be prepared, though. It requires serious commitment on your part.

Are you still with me?

What is Work-Life Balance?
 “Work-life balance” is a misnomer. In real-life, there is no such thing as equal balance – other than maybe on a well-calibrated scale. When humans are involved balance would be perfection. If you’re not a perfectionist, you know that human perfection doesn’t exist.

Although it may sound like an oxymoron, the word “tension” may be the better word choice. “Tension” has multiple definitions, including competing pressures that require learning how to better balance push-and-pull opposing forces. The push-pull tension of work competes with the push-pull tension of caregiving and other forces in each of our lives.

The force is truly with us, so to speak.
“Work-life balance” requires continuous prioritization by individuals, self-examination and seamlessly deriving pleasure or satisfaction in daily living. However you choose to reconcile and (de)value competing elements in your life is entirely within your control.

So much to do, so little time!
Doctors appointments, pharmacy runs, medical supplies, emerging symptoms, caregiver or elder general malaise, Medicare and other insurance tangles,  financial spaghetti bowls, family sparring, swirling emotions and more, will run caregivers into the ground if we are not mindful.

Caregivers’ Stress Management Tips
Stress management presumes gaining or re-gaining life control and greater balance. 

  • Check your blood pressure at least once monthly.  Discuss your monthly readings with your physician.
  • Schedule medical appointments early mornings or as late in the day as possible. Aavoid needless back and forth between work, home, and medical offices.
  • Consider taking pre-approved vacation leave on medical appointment days. Enjoy breakfast or lunch before or after appointments, whether alone, or with your loved one or a friend.
  • Treat yourself at day’s end. You’ll feel refreshed at work the following day.
  • Consider the most strategic use of Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) based on your own preferences in addition to your elder’s medical needs. Decide whether intermittent (working reduced hours at work) or consecutive FML eases competing elements in your life. If approved by your employer, consecutive FML is a block of leave as allowed under FMLA.
  • Leave home earlier than rush hour traffic. Leave work later than rush hour traffic. Take the long way home occasionally.

May the (right) force be with you!

Home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you about your live-in home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable home care in San Diego CA and surrounding areas.

Homecare After Hip Surgery in San Diego CA

Homecare After Hip Surgery in Seniors Increases Survival Rate, Study Finds

Seniors who received home care after discharge from hospital for partial hip surgery (hemiarthroplasty) were 43% less likely to die in the three months following the procedure, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). However, less than 16% of elderly patients discharged home after partial hip surgery in the study group received home care.

The study looked at 11,326 men and women aged 65 and older in Quebec who had partial hip surgery between 1997 and 2004. Those who were discharged with home care support were younger, more likely to have been treated in a teaching hospital and lower volume hospitals, and to have stayed more than 7 days in hospital. They were also more likely to have a trial fibrillation and acute renal failure. Men were at higher risk of death compared to women and those who stayed longer in hospital had increased survival rates.

Source: Science Daily
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Home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you about your live-in home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing affordable home care in San Diego and surrounding areas.

Home Care San Diego CA: Expert Panel Highlights Capacity of Home Care to Improve Health Systems

Expert Panel Highlights Capacity of Home Care to Improve Health Systems

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 8, 2010) – Following the release of the RAND Corporation’s report on issues and challenges facing home healthcare, a panel discussion was held today in effort to facilitate movement forward with this new knowledge. Royal Philips Corporation, which commissioned the RAND study, hosted the discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Read the report here.

Panelist Richard D. Brennan, Jr., M.A., Deputy Director of Government Affairs for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and Director of NAHC’s affiliate Home Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA), spoke at the event and set the stage of the present state of home healthcare and where it is headed. Right now, 33,000 home health care providers deliver healthcare to 12 million Americans annually and are recognized for providing high quality, cost effective care.

“The best way to thrive in a changing environment is to facilitate the change,” said Val J. Halamandaris, President of NAHC. “This industry is quick to adapt current technology offerings to patient care, case in point, 78% of home heath care providers utilize e-practice management systems and 64% use point of care systems.”

Care of the current and upcoming aging populations is of special concern as people are living longer with chronic diseases. Utilization of home care could diminish the need for some hospital visits and reduce rehospitalizations of chronically ill patients; maintaining the comfort of some patients, lowering bed days at hospitals and creating an environment for more efficient care. A number of the panelists today stressed that patients want to be in their homes rather than being institutionalized.

Source: National Association for Home Care and Hospice
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Home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you about your live-in home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable home care in San Diego CA. Age Advantage is an elder care agency providing Home Care in San Diego CA and surrounding areas.