What is VA Aid and Attendance?

If you are a veteran overwhelmed with the high cost of long-term elder care, such as paying for assisted living facilities, home care aids, adult daycare, or skilled nursing, the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit could be the solution to help offset these rising care costs. A wartime veteran or their surviving spouse with limited income may be eligible to receive a non-service connected pension (this means that the need for care does not have to result from one’s military service).

There are three levels of VA Pensions:

  • Basic Pension / Improved Income – for healthy veterans over the age of 65 with low incomes
  • Aid & Attendance (A&A) – for veterans over the age of 65 that require assistance with their activities of daily living
  • Housebound – for veterans with a disability rating of 100% that prevents them from leaving their home, but does not have to be related to their military service.

The Aid & Attendance and Housebound pensions provide additional monthly income over and above the Basic Monthly pension. To be eligible for either of these pensions, one must also meet the requirements for the Basic Pension

 

Here at Perfect Solutions for Seniors we assist you with qualifying for VA aid and attendance, at  NO EXTRA CHARGE!

We want to assist you in your homecare needs, and know navigating the qualification process can be tricky, so we are here to lend our expertise!

 

Call us today!

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Live in Care

Live in Care – Perfect Solution For Seniors

At Perfect Solution for Seniors, we believe in choices. We always recommend interviewing 3 private duty companies prior to making your decision.
We also recommend to not make your decision solely on price. Ask about the companies hiring methods, their company culture, ongoing education for their staff, and specialty programs.
At PSFS, we are always striving to do the best for our clients and increase our employee’s knowledge base about our clients.
This is why our Administrator has created the Cognitive-Communication program. Francesca uses her skills as a medical Speech-Language Pathologist to stage a person’s cognition and dementia. With that vital information, she is able to train the CNA specifically what the client needs. Furthermore, she takes the time to provide extensive education to the family about the diagnosis of their loved one.
We are a no cookie-cutter approach system, and this is just one way we are changing the landscape of in-home senior care.

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Dementia and Dysphagia

What are Geriatric Care Managers?

Geriatric care managers are the point person to plan and coordinate care of the elderly and others with physical and mental impairments to meet their long term care needs and also improve their quality of life.
Geriatric care managers especially come in need when a senior loved one is far from their family, and that family needs an advocate to be there for their loved one.
At Perfect Solutions for Seniors, we always accompany our clients to important appointments but we often refer to a local geriatric care manager to be the point person for the whole family. With one person being the central person assisting the family on key points, there is less risk of confusion and more consistency of care.
With a geriatric care manager and Perfect Solutions for Seniors Homecare on your team, it is a stellar combination to ensure great care for your senior loved one.

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Dementia Tip

To Improve Safety for the Senior in Your Life, an Experienced Handyman Would Be a Better Option

You might be the classic, modern do-it-yourselfer. That’s a wonderful thing. Being able to do any number of home improvement projects on your own is not just a wonderful way to save money, but also feel satisfied. It’s a sense of pride for many men and women to be able to fix something in the house, repair a leaky faucet, or even open up a wall in the house to create a more open atmosphere.

When you have an aging senior in your life who may not be as safe as they once were because of health issues, injuries, or simply the natural process of aging, you may understand certain modifications can be an important improvement for them.

However, unless you have exceptional experience with home improvement projects, it may be best to hire an experienced handyman to do the work.

What kind of mistakes could an inexperienced do-it-yourselfer make?

Let’s talk about grab bars. These are not the same as towel bars because they are designed to hold up the weight of a full grown, healthy adult. A towel bar is most likely simply secured to the wallboard or tile. If you held onto that towel bar, put your full weight on it, what’s going to happen?

It’ll probably rip right out of the wall, damaging the tile or vinyl surface as it does. What would’ve happened if that aging senior tried to grab onto the towel bar when they were slipping?

It could very well lead to even more significant injuries as a result. Now, let’s say you understand the importance of a grab bar to keep this aging senior safe. Let’s say, also, that you installed it just as you would have a regular towel bar.

You may have used a device to try and find the wall studs so you could anchor them properly, but because of the tile and the type of wallboard, you got false readings. You didn’t fully understand those false readings, so you anchored the grab bar where you thought a wall stud was.

But it wasn’t there. Suddenly, a false sense of security was provided to that aging senior in your life and they grabbed onto it. It ripped out of the wall and they fell, suffering serious injuries.

What went wrong? There could be any number of reasons why that wall stud finder produced a false result. If you don’t have experience, like somebody who has been doing this for decades, the result could be devastating. That’s why it may be best to depend on an experienced handyman for these home modifications when the safety of seniors is at stake.

If you or someone you know needs help with Home Care to Improve Senior Home Safety in Sarasota, FL, contact Perfect Solution For Seniors. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (941) 378-5553 for more information.

 

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General Tips to Improve Memory

General Tips to Improve Memory

1. Be alert and aware

You cannot remember if you do not attend to the item you want to recall. When you pay attention you will become aware of things you ordinarily will miss.

2. Visualization/ Association

Memory is based on associating new information to something you already know. It helps to link what you want to remember to a strong visual image. Example, people often remember the shape of Michigan because they associate it with a mitten. Or next time you want to remember someone’s name, associate it with someone you already know or a famous person.

3. Repetition

In order to place something in your memory bank, you must repeat it at least 3 times. Verbal repetition linked with a visual image can increase your ability to recall

4. Organize new information

Catagorize new information to help you remember or use acronyms.

5. Routine

Do things in the same order/time every day to help you recall

6. Write it Down

Use a planner

Use these tips in your daily life to help improve your memory. If you are you loved one is needing assistance with every day activities such as meal planning, dressing, toileting or even travel, give us a call. Perfect Solutions for Seniors offers in home care from Bradenton to Ft. Myers!

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Long Term Insurance

Did you know we will help you with making sure your long-term care insurance plan pays out?!

It can be a complicated process and at times with no guidance or assistance, your claim can get denied on a plan you have paid into for years. How frustrating!

We will sit down with you in your home, help contact your long term insurance company, and review with you what are the terms and conditions that need to be met to ensure you are reimbursed in a timely manner.

Do you know about an elimination period???

It is basically your deductible of your long term insurance plan, but instead of money its in days, usually about 90- 100. Most long term insurance plans have this requirement. Elimination period is the period of time between the onset of a disability or disease and the time you are eligible for benefits. Your hospital stay, rehab stay at a facility can usually qualify for this time, that way by the time you will be home, you will be eligible for benefits.

It sounds confusing and overwhelming, and that is why we have made it our mission to understand long term insurance and do the best we can to make sure your claims are paid.

We walk you through the process to make sure your home care needs will be paid for, so you can continue living in your home of choice with modified independence.

Furthermore, we do not have an additional charge for our assistance.  We want to support you in your goals to be home surrounded by loved ones and your memories you have cultivated over the years, and this is just one way we can help!

Our family taking care of yours!

To Know More: Click Here

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Dangerous UTIs Can Follow Hospital Patients Home

For the sick or elderly, a urinary tract infection (UTI) can prove deadly. With many vulnerable patients developing UTIs post-discharge, a new study suggests that better monitoring is needed after leaving the hospital.

Researchers at Oregon State University explored more than 3,000 at-risk patients. The study revealed that the risk of infection tripled once patients went home.

UTIs are the most common type of health care-related infection, according to the National Healthcare Safety Network. While the infection is usually harmless for the young, it can have deadly consequences for the elderly.

“If left untreated, UTIs can progress to more serious disease such as sepsis,” said study author Jessina McGregor, associate professor at OSU’s College of Pharmacy.

Catheters — thin tubes used to drain urine from the bladder in bedbound patients — cause most hospital-acquired UTIs, the report noted.

Though severe UTIs can cause symptoms such as vomiting, fever, shaking and chills, a mild infection can be difficult to detect at first.

“In elderly patients, diagnosis of urinary tract infections can be challenging since advanced age also results in some of the symptoms often attributable to UTI, such as increased urination frequency or urgency,” McGregor said

A constant urge to urinate and pain or burning while urinating are hallmarks of a UTI. Once discovered, the infection can be treated with antibiotics. But the issue is twofold: If a doctor misdiagnoses symptoms of aging as an infection, McGregor is unsure if the cost of treatment outweighs the precautionary benefits.

“We are worried about elderly patients being treated for UTI when in fact their symptoms are not due to an infection,” McGregor said. “Unnecessary use of antibiotics puts the patients at risk for drug-associated side effects without offering any potential benefits.”

The study showed that about 11 patients per 1,000 developed a UTI in the hospital. About 30 per 1,000 developed a UTI within a month of going home. As patients are experiencing shorter hospital stays than ever, improving the transition from hospital to home is essential to solving this problem, the researchers said.

“During transitions of care, health care providers need to have open lines of communication to ensure they have a complete picture of a patient’s medical history when providing care,” McGregor said.

Dr. Thomas Finucane, a geriatrician at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, explained why providing antibiotics for unconfirmed UTIs isn’t favorable.

“We used to think the urinary tract was sterile; this was the basis for many decisions about giving antibiotics,” said Finucane, who wasn’t part of the study. “But now we know that the urinary tract has a microbiome and is, in fact, never sterile.”

The lack of sterility in the urinary tract could mean that some symptoms of a UTI can be present in healthy individuals. This idea implies that the UTI diagnosis is overused and patients don’t always need antibiotics.

“In most cases, if a young or middle-aged woman develops painful urination, it’s safe to take pain meds and observe carefully,” Finucane said. “But most of the time it gets better by itself.”

The study can’t prove that the infections were picked up in the hospital. But the link is strong enough to support further research, McGregor said.

The study was published recently in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

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Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

Featured blog is from our corporate partners Healthcare Straightup, an on line Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy company. Check out their full website here!

Mission: We are an industry leader in providing valued homecare services to the elderly population through education, compassionate care and promoting overall wellness to our clients. We are genuinely invested in providing improved quality of life for our clients, through educated and passionate CNA’s and caregivers who share our same values, as well as providing resources to our clients that allow them to stay in their home and community. Our goal is to be the premier provider of senior healthcare Solutions-leading, developing, and always growing

  • Family -owned and Operated for over 15 years
  • Two Levels of Care
    • Caregivers/Companions
    • CNA’s- Hands on Care
  • Our CNA’s and HHA’s are:
    • Fully screened, insured, bonded, licensed or certified
    • Have a minimum of one-year experience
    • On-going training for staff
    • Low turnover, with above industry staff retention for caregiver consistency
    • Bi-lingual skills available
  • Provide Daily (2 hour minimum), Weekly, 24/7 and Live-in care
  • Speech Language Pathologist as Administrator
  • Cognitive Enhancement Program for clients to maximize communication and well-being
    (see reverse side)
  • Servicing the following Counties:
    • Sarasota
    • Charlotte
    • Collier
    • Manatee
    • Polk
    • Hillsborough

Here’s What our Clients Say: 

“Thank you for your help with my dad. You were my guardian angel.”-N.Pease

“You and your staff were indeed, the perfect solution! Thanks for your help and care for our mom.”-M. Friedman

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Dementia Progression: The Simple Explanation

Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, Alzheimer’s and dementia are actually two different terms. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe several conditions, which includes Alzheimer’s, as well as other conditions with shared symptoms. More than mere forgetfulness, an individual must have trouble with at least two of the following cognitive areas to be diagnosed with dementia:

  • Memory

  • Communication and speech

  • Focus and concentration

  • Reasoning and judgment

  • Visual perception (including trouble detecting movement, differentiating colors, or experiencing hallucinations)

Although there are many people who suffer from dementia (approximately 14% of those aged 71 and older), no individual progresses the exact same way, but there is a natural course of the disease. And unfortunately, it can be guaranteed that with time, the ability to function will worsen. The progression of dementia disease is typically characterized into three levels (mild, moderate and severe) as typically used by the general public. Using these designations to identify the correct stage of your loved one can assist with determining the best treatment approaches. Read on to discover symptoms of each stage, where your loved one falls and how the progression of the disease often goes according to the symptoms they display.

Mild Dementia

In this earliest stage of dementia, individuals still function primarily on their own. They are able to travel to familiar places, recall familiar faces and are largely aware of time and place. Many of the symptoms seen in this early stage are typically connected to the normal aging process, with minor deficits in concentration and memory starting to surface. For instance, there may be a slight memory lapses for recent events or word finding problems, but they are still able to maintain a social life. In this stage, difficulties may develop with higher functioning tasks like planning, organizing and concentrating which becomes particularly evident for someone who may still be in the workplace. Difficulty performing instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) such as cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and paying bills may become more challenging. Simple reminders along with written to-do lists and schedules can often be enough to compensate for the deficits in this stage, although some may require mild assistance for some of the more complex tasks. Individuals may also experience changes in their emotions with decreased reaction to some scenarios and could start to withdraw from challenging situations. This is the time to ensure that all legal and financial matters are taken care of, should the need for more care arise in the future. Moderate DementiaThe middle stages of dementia are characterized by enough brain damage that deficits become more obvious to the layperson. Someone at this stage can no longer function independently. Symptoms such as difficulty expressing their thoughts, performing daily tasks and short term memory impairments start to become more troublesome. Many people develop some type of aphasia (the loss of ability to express or understand speech) and use jumbled speech such as word substitutions (“book” for newspaper), object description in place of the word (“thing you sit on” for chair) or nonsense words (“thing-a-ma-jig” for watch or any other object). As a caregiver, it is helpful to use to a clear, slow rate, supplement speech with non-verbal communication and provide prompts or assistance to maximize understanding and maintain an individuals safety during day-to-day activities.

An individual in this stage demonstrates noticeable short-term memory deficits and might not remember their address, might be unable to recall their personal history and may get confused as to their location. They retain some memory of their past, but it is spotty and incomplete. They become disoriented with time and place and may not remember the name of their spouse, even though they see them daily. They are typically unable to count to backward from 10 to 1, and sometimes not even forward from 1 to 10. They may also become incontinent at this stage and require assistance for toileting and hygiene. They are no longer able to complete IADLs. Other common symptoms of this middle dementia stage include mood and behavior changes. Delusional thoughts and/or paranoia may develop, such as accusations of spousal infidelity, that the spouse is an imposter, that the house is not one’s home, or that someone is stealing personal belongings. This may result in anxiety, agitation or aggression even towards family and loved ones. Behaviors such as wandering and rummaging may pose safety risks and require more supervision. At this stage, many will present with repetitive speech, gestures, and mannerisms which can be difficult to redirect at times. Other symptoms such as difficulty sleeping or hoarding may also develop.

Severe Dementia

Someone in this last stage of dementia, also known as advanced dementia, will have significant issues with communication, often only using single words or short phrases when speaking, with an inclination toward parroting or repetitive speech. Towards the end of this stage, they may also become completely non-verbal. In this stage, both long term and short term memory often become affected and they may not be able to recall what they ate for lunch, who their family members are, or even what time period they are currently in, often times reverting back to childhood or another significant period in their life. Individuals may no longer be able to walk and will require extensive assistance with daily living activities, such as personal hygiene. They are incontinent of bowel and bladder.

Swallowing also becomes an issue in late stage dementia, and caregivers have to make adaptions, use strategies and alter food consistencies to keep their loved ones from potentially choking or acquiring aspiration pneumonia. Someone in this stage typically requires 24-hour care and will require physical assistance to complete most tasks, including transfers, eating, hygiene, and grooming. Towards the end of this stage, most individuals are bed bound with the inability to roll or sit up in bed, making them bed-ridden at high risk for bed sores. During this stage, caregivers will focus mostly on providing comfort and quality of life. According to the Alzheimer’s Association (2018), there are 16.1 million unpaid caregivers of people with dementia in the United States. While many Americans are caregivers for loved ones, many people also hire someone to provide care or supplement the care they are already providing. There are many options for care, such as in-home care, adult day care, and nursing home care, and there is also financial assistance available. It’s important to remember, providing care for a loved one can be stressful, and self-care is a must. Click here to learn about ways to deal with stress, finding support, and more.

While the exact symptoms described in each stage can differ between individuals, this can be used as a general outline to help families know what to expect and when to expect it. Is your loved one following this path? Share your experiences in our forum or leave your comment below.

 

BLOG CREDIT – Healthcare Straight Up

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National Safety Month

National Safety Month – Fourth of July Independence Day

With Fourth of July coming up, and many celebrations to enjoy, here are some activities to incorporate an elderly loved one.

1. 1. Include them in meal prep for the big barbeque. Have them toss together the coleslaw, or put the silverware together.
2. 2. Have them guide a craft activity for the little ones in the family. There are many pintables that are free online, and your loved one can easily follow to guide the little ones.

3. 3. Set aside a quiet room in the home where they can read out loud to the little ones or vice –versa. At times with too many people, the noise level can be overwhelming, so it is important to have a place for them to relax and have some one-on-one time with a family member. Remember this room is not meant to isolate.

These are just a few ideas but the list is endless! Remember to incorporate your loved one into the activities. They may need guided assistance or supervision but it is important not to isolate.

If the Holidays have you feeling overwhelmed with activities and caring for your loved ones, we can help! Perfect Solutions for Seniors offers respite care ( eldercare) to help families that need assistance only for a short time.

Our consultation is always FREE for our senior in home assessments. Give us a call, we would love to meet you! 941-378-5553

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