Monthly Archives: December 2011

Alzheimer’s Care: Why Decorating a Room Matters

Alzheimer’s Care: Why Decorating a Room Matters

Alzheimer’s Care: Why Decorating a Room MattersIt is simply not enough to hang a wreath on the door or throw a favorite blanket on the armchair. If you are transitioning a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia into a new room or apartment in an assisted living or a memory care community, you should take the job of decorating more seriously. …Read more ›

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Medicare Testing House Calls for Chronic Conditions, Accepting Applicants

Hoping sending a doctor to your house will save money, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is starting a house-calls study. It’s called the Independence at Home Demonstration. It will test whether giving certain types of patients primary care at home will both improve care and cut costs.

The program is accepting applications until February 6. According to a press release, participants must:

  • Have multiple chronic conditions
  • Be covered by original, fee-for-service Medicare
  • Require someone’s assistance with …Read more ›
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Find Cheaper Medicine With Online AARP Calculator

A little planning might help you or your senior parents avoid the dreaded Medicare doughnut hole. And AARP offers a handy dandy calculator that helps with that planning. Plug in your medicines, and get alternatives that may save you money.

From an AARP column featuring five tips to make the most of Medicare:

4. Be wise about prescription drug costs. Take time to learn about your lower-cost medication options. Use the …Read more ›

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Selling Your House? Retirement Communities Offering Free Home Staging

Some retirement communities are helping people find the funds to move in by helping their current homes sell. We talked about one such offer in May. Sun Health Life Care Communities would try to sell your house—and even buy it if it didn’t sell within a certain time.

Sun Health isn’t the only retirement community to offer such help. But more typical are smaller types of aid, reports The Wall Street Journal:

The …Read more ›

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Even With Long-Term Care Insurance, Care Can Be Expensive

Having long-term care insurance doesn’t always preclude paying an arm and a leg for care, suggests a post at the financial site

The author’s father needs some substantial in-home care—probably eight to 10 hours a day, including “nighttime needs,” which push up the hourly cost. The parents have long-term care insurance, but, the author says:

The LTC coverage doesn’t kick in for 90 days, which means they’ll have to foot …Read more ›

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Christmas and Elderly Parents: How to Open the Door to Difficult Topics

Christmas day may not be the time to talk about long-term care plans. But it’s a good time for a precursor conversation, says Bob Mauterstock, author of Can We Talk? A Financial Guide for Baby Boomers Assisting Their Elderly Parents.

He tells Mindy Todd on her New England NPR radio show The Point:

What I’ve learned is there’s two things that are most important to our elder parents. First is maintaining control of their lives and how …Read more ›

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Possible Signs of Alzheimer’s: Changes to Be Aware of During the Holidays

At Christmastime, many people visit elderly parents they haven’t seen for a while. And it’s not unusual to notice changes that may be surprising. You may wonder whether they indicate something serious, such as Alzheimer’s.

Ann Shields, executive director of Cypress Springs Alzheimer’s & Memory Support Residence in Tulsa, OK, goes over some potential signs of Alzheimer’s in an article in Tulsa World:

There are 10 warning signs, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, …Read more ›

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Overtime Proposed for Home Care Workers; May Increase Rates

Home care rates may be up for a raise if proposed regulations from the Obama administration go through, says The New York Times.

Right now, home care workers are lumped into the same category as babysitters, meaning they don’t have to be paid minimum wage or overtime, the article explains. Most do get at least minimum wage, but many don’t get overtime. It’s only fair that they be treated like other …Read more ›

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Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for Caregivers

If you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas gift for a sibling or elderly parent who’s a caregiver, check out “A Caregiver’s Christmas Wish List” at the AARP website. It’s written by Amy Goyer, who’s a family caregiver herself. She lists intangible items that would make a big difference in her life. For example:

So many very well-meaning people are quick to (lovingly) offer their opinion of what I should be doing …Read more ›

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#ElderCareChat 12/14/11 Recap: Holiday Stress Survival Tips

With less than two weeks to go until Christmas, this week’s #ElderCareChat tackled holiday stress – the kind that particularly hassles caregivers. And speaking of tackling, the discussion fittingly covered how to handle those “Monday morning quarterbacks,” i.e. visiting relatives who (non-constructively) critique caregiving efforts, usually with no intention of pitching in.

Participants shared mostly non-eggnog-related strategies for combating holiday stress (and tweets about what …Read more ›

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