Category Archives: Aging

The Value of a Healthcare Navigator

Why is having a nurse navigator so important to the well-being of our aging population at home?

Many of us may not know it yet, or have not experienced it yet, but some day, as we or our parents get older are going to come face to face with a new and unexpected complexity in our lives: navigating the health-care and home-care systems.  These convoluted systems make a financial planner’s Monte-Carlo investment simulations look like a game of Shoots & Ladders.

The worst part is that people needing care or family members getting care for the loved ones feel helpless. This is compounded with the onset of old age or chronic illness. Often, older adults and their families can only hope their care providers in the health care system will treat them with their best interests in mind.  Too often doctors and nurses and therapists and other healthcare staff are overburdened and cannot offer the best care nor do their best work.  Remember, hospitals and the healthcare system are huge, and you are just a number in many cases.

In the future, families are going to need someone who can help them navigate these ever more labyrinth entities.  The complexity of the healthcare system in conjunction with the ever-increasing elderly population is going to give rise to a new type of professional known as a Geriatric Care Manager.

These individuals act as advocates and advisors for aging individuals both inside and outside a hospital.  According to a recent Market Watch article, “Is it worth paying an expert to help you navigate the health-care system?; a geriatric care manager is worth between $2,500 and $4,000 per year. These individuals do not personally provide care themselves. Instead they collect and present information, help to design a care plan, and navigate the health care system to implement and facilitate that plan on behalf of the family that pays them. They are guides for families who must travel the sometimes-bumpy modern road of aging.

The most experienced geriatric care managers tend to have years of experience at home health agencies delivering geriatric care management services.  While using nurses in this fashion is common with home health agencies, is rare to find this service used in private duty care. One company, Well Beyond Care has seen this need and offers, as part of its service, nurse navigators to any individuals who join.

“We understand that in-home care for the elderly is more than just getting a caregiver in the home,” states Well Beyond Care’s co-founded and Chief Nursing Offer Lauren Tarrant, RN. “We knew when we started Well Beyond Care that the value we were bringing with our nurses comes from their experience and knowledge of the complex healthcare system, and in helping families navigate their care needs on a personal level.”

“Part of the reason I started Well Beyond Care was because when I had to take care of my mother, there was no service available to help me deliver care from Austin to her in Alexandria, VA,” states CEO and President Jeffrey Fry.  He goes on to say, “there could soon come a time that navigating the morass of the health care system without a healthcare manager will seem just as foolhardy as diving into the legal system without a lawyer or the financial markets without a financial advisor.  We want our nurses to work toward the comprehensive well-being of our clients and their families; and provide them with the information to make well-informed decisions about their loved one’s care. Having this ability can save families thousands of dollars, not to speak of the well-being of their loved ones. Our nurses are there to lower stress and help families make correct decisions.”

Well Beyond Care gives caregivers and those who need care the tools to manage their in-home care online. Caregivers, registered nurses, certified nurse assistants, and geriatric care managers can use the website to be best matched with careseekers looking for care, set their wages, post their weekly availability, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Careseekers and family members looking for someone to give care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified nurses, CNAs and caregivers, are matched with a caregiver who can best can deliver care to specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules and payment online and receive personal support from the nurse that is assigned to them when they join. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com

Tips for Caregivers: Caring for Elderly Parents with Alzheimer’s Disease

Caring for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), resulting in dementia, can be a demanding experience due to their changing behavior. Every day brings new challenges and difficulties. A caregiver should have an effective plan in place to help them care for elderly patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Handling a person with dementia caused by onset Alzheimer’s disease or finding out that a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease can be stressful, challenging and frightening. Alzheimer disease is a progressive neurological disorder, affecting long and short-term memory, thinking skills, and human behavior. AD patients will forget how to perform basic daily tasks, but they also forget familiar people and places. Caring for a person with AD can become frustrating at times, but it is also extremely important because Alzheimer’s patients cannot usually care for themselves. Because our aging loved ones typically have such a hard time recognizing their surroundings, especially new ones, it is often recommended that patients stay living at home as long as possible rather than moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Benefits of hiring your own Caregiver for elderly patients with Alzheimer’s

The benefit of hiring a caregiver directly is that you can select the person you like the best, has the appropriate dementia training, and who is the best fit for your family. Hiring someone directly is usually cheaper than hiring through an agency, and it is typically orders of magnitude less expensive than placing them in a nursing home.

The Internet makes it very easy to find an appropriately skilled caregiver near you. Using a fully integrated online service to hire a caregiver for your loved one is a new way to be matched with the best skilled caregivers, who are reliable, have a well-matched temperament, are verified, and affordable. Well Beyond Care makes hiring a caregiver simple and easy, allowing you to maintain control of your care needs or the care needs of a loved one.

Alzheimer’s Geriatric Patient Caregiver Tips

  • As a caregiver, it is vital to learn as much as possible about Alzheimer’s disease and what to expect from an elderly patient with Alzheimer’s, including taking as much training on AD and dementia as is available.
  • When possible, caregivers should learn about the elderly patient’s history and family. Surrounding the patient with items that remind them of their past or photographs or their loved ones may be beneficial to the patient.
  • A caregiver should not feel guilty if the patient is upset or confused. Always keep in mind that many behaviors associated with patient are due to the disease. Try to focus on their positive moments and good memories. Keeping a positive attitude will make helping the patient work through difficult times easier.
  • Engage the patient with games and books. Place more focus on having fun with the games rather than the patient’s illness. Entertain patients with interesting books to promote active listening.
  • Choose lively TV shows with simple story backgrounds to keep the patient occupied.
  • Play familiar music that the dementia patience likes to listen to. It has been shown that music is one of that memory functions to deteriorate with dementia.

About Well Beyond Care:

Well Beyond Care provides the tools that help you plan care and allow your loved ones to safely age in place.  It is the only company that teaches families and individuals how to find and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover.  Our platform combines the power of the internet with the personal touch of nurses to offer families a pathway to transitional care, allowing our elderly parents to safely age-in-place. This solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs.   Its online system combines the best in Caregiver matching (searching, screening, ratings & hiring) with all the back-office functions (time worked, payroll, scheduling, and notifications) to ensure safe, reliable, dependable, affordable care is obtained. It is the only company that gives each Careseeker access to their own local, personal nurse to help guide them through the hiring process. The Careseeker’s nurse provides advice on healthcare options and aids with transitional care.

Well Beyond Care to be Interviewed by Dr. Mara Karpel

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Lauren Tarrant, RN
COO/CNO
Well Beyond Care, Inc.
(512) 809-4057
lauren@wellbeyondcare.com

Well Beyond Care to be Interviewed by Dr. Mara Karpel

Founders Lauren Tarrant and Jeffrey Fry discuss how their Health Tech Company is Disrupting the Private Duty Industry

Austin, TX, September 10, 2017 –Well Beyond Care’s founders will be discussing how their company offers an alternative solution to the broken system of private duty care through its online service in an interview on Dr. Mara Karpel’s Your Golden Years radio show on Sunday, September 17th, 2017.

Well Beyond Care, launched in late July for 2017, is already operating in seven (7) states and fifteen (15) major metropolitan areas within their first six weeks of operations.  The founders will discuss the journey of getting this revolutionary service up and running and some of the hurdles they still need to overcome in the private pay, private duty caregiving marketplace.  You can find out more about this scheduled interview here.

Well Beyond Care is all about helping families hire affordable, compatible caregivers for their aging parents,” states the company’s Chief Operations Officer, Lauren Tarrant, RN.  Ms. Tarrant also states, “families are under a lot of stress when they discover that they need to have someone care for mom and dad.  In most instances, the adult children live out of town, and knowing that there is a nurse in the neighborhood is a great relief. We just want to keep the stress level down, and nurses are the best way to do that.”

Jeffrey Fry, Well Beyond Care’s CEO and President adds, “the only way we can support our rapidly growing client base is to combine the high touch of nursing, with the high-tech of our online application.”  He goes on to state, “the only way we can make families feel comfortable with our new way of delivering services on a nationwide level is to have a network of nurses helping with professional capability as part of our service.”

The Company has been working on this new application for over three (3) years, and its initial acceptance has been overwhelming.  Management added that they projection for 2018 will be to accelerate the hiring of more nurses to meet the demand for their services nationwide, and is also working with major organizations dealing with caregiving to alleviate some of the major shortcomings of private duty care.

About Dr. Mara Karpel & Your Golden Years:
Dr. Mara Karpel & Your Golden Years radio program delivered its first show broadcasting from Blog Talk Radio, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. Since then, she has done over 100 broadcasts on topics covering aging, caregiving, and issues to improve your “golden years.” Dr. Mara Karpel is a licensed psychologist with over 25 years of experience working with adults of all ages who desire to reach their full potential, no matter their age or health condition. In addition, Dr. Karpel has a specialty of working with older adults and with caregivers.

Each week you can listen to the Live Stream of her show on Sunday’s from 5:00PM till 7:00PM (CST) on Blog Talk Radio as well as archived shows here: yourgoldenyears. In addition, her show is also broadcasted locally in Austin on AM 1350.  More at: drmarakarpel.com

About Well Beyond Care:
Well Beyond Care provides the tools that help you plan care and allow your loved ones to safely age in place.  It is the only company that teaches families and individuals how to find and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover.  Our platform combines the power of the internet with the personal touch of nurses to offer families a pathway to transitional care, allowing our elderly parents to safely age-in-place. This solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs.   Its online system combines the best in Caregiver matching (searching, screening, ratings & hiring) with all the back-office functions (time worked, payroll, scheduling, and notifications) to ensure safe, reliable, dependable, affordable care is obtained. It is the only company that gives each Careseeker access to their own local, personal nurse to help guide them through the hiring process. The Careseeker’s nurse provides advice on healthcare options and aids with transitional care.

Easy to use, and free to join, Well Beyond Care empowers Careseekers and those looking for care. More at: wellbeyondcare.com or at (844) 4WB-CARE (844-492-2273).

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More Baby Boomers Caring for Parents in Their Homes

Due in part to the fact that Americans are living longer, there are now over 70 million baby boomers who are now dealing with the reality of having to care for their aging parents or grandparents. Supplying geriatric care needs can affect these individuals on many different levels. Impediments such as arthritis, high blood pressure or increased blood sugar levels are just a few of the concerns that may require the attention of someone taking care of an elderly person. In addition to these medical conditions, incontinence and immobility may be additional burdening concerns, as well as comorbidities such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, CHF (Congestive Heart Failure, and Dementia.  With this in mind, aging adults may need the assistance of geriatric care professionals, in conjunction with skilled caregivers, in order to afford a safe, healthy, stress free environment for their loved ones.

Today, a number of geriatric care options exist for concerned baby boomers to choose from. There are nursing homes, assisted living facilities (ALF), independent living facilities, and in-home care service providers. Depending on the extent of service and assistance necessary, any of these geriatric care options could be a viable solution. While nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be more convenient for the responsible family member, these sorts of geriatric care options may also be cost prohibitive. According to Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of private nursing home care in the US is now $92,345 per year (or $235 per day). Assisted living facilities usually charge less, while in-home care is the least expensive option with flexible payment rates that can vary depending on the skill set and time required for the patient’s care.

Aside from these usual geriatric care options, there are those who choose to offer care for their elderly parents or grandparents personally. They are classified as “informal caregivers”, and provide in-home care for their loved ones without formal training or education in geriatric care. While this setup may be motivated by very noble causes, the physical, emotional, and psychological pressures associated with this kind of arrangement could become a very large burden for someone to assume. In addition to the pressure of caring for an elderly person, there may also be some legal implications if you cannot provide the level of appropriate geriatric care needed for your elderly relatives.

Just recently, prosecutors from the State of Pennsylvania charged an “informal caregiver” with allegedly committing “assisted suicide” to his chronically ill and aged father, in spite of the personal requests to end his life due to the fact the father felt an undue burden was being placed on his child. It is important to note that taking care of the elderly requires tremendous amounts of dedication, care, and caution on a daily and ongoing basis.

How Can I find the Best Caregiver for my Parents?

More than ever, we live in a long-distance society and finding the best caregiver for your parents requires a lot of consideration. To begin with, being far away and entrusting your aging parents in the hands of others may be a tough decision, but knowing that they are in the good hands of a trusted and qualified caregiver can lower stress, give you and your parents piece of mind, keep them out of the hospital, and actually prolong the length and quality of life for them.

Before making any decisions, it is important to know your options in choosing the best caregiving means for your parents. There are a number of live-in facilities offering caregiving, and it’s up to you to decide which option best suits your parent’s individual caregiving needs. It is vital that you get to know each healthcare facility and what they have to offer, which will allow you to decide whether or not you are making all the right decisions for your folks. It is advisable at this juncture to try and locate a healthcare professional who knows the good versus poor facilities in your area.  You might be shocked at the exorbitant cost of housing your parents in a healthcare facility, and may decide that hiring a in home private caregiver is actually the best option.

In-Home Care: An Excellent Health Care Option

In most cases, having to leave one’s home to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility gives elderly patients unnecessary anxiety and stress. Alternatively, hiring an in-home caregiver to come take care of your parent in their home where they are comfortable and familiar alleviates this stress. They can get the same health care and assistance they require from the comfort of their home through personalized home health care services.

There are a number of different levels of home caregiving at a varying range of pricing that you can choose from, depending on the particular needs of your parents. You can employ a geriatric care manager to help you determine which level of care or qualification your parents might need. Qualification levels include Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN), Skilled Caregivers, and Companions or Homemakers. Their qualifications and expertise may vary, but these professionals and skilled health care workers provide assistance to their elderly home care clients in their clients’ own homes.

The responsibilities that these home health care professionals provide range from assisting their elderly clients undertake their daily tasks of living, such as taking a bath, using the toilet and administering medicine, to other routine activities that aging patients may need help with, such as going to a doctor appointment, grocery shopping and doing laundry.

What You Need to Know About a Home Care Provider

As soon as you have decided to hire a home health caregiver for your parents, the next thing you need to do is decide which duties that caregiver will need to perform to effectively care for your parents. For instance, you may address the following points concerning your caregiver of choice:

  • Skills or qualifications
  • Recommendations from past patients or clients
  • Number of years experience in caregiving
  • Accreditations and licenses
  • Confidentiality and client privacy policies
  • Records of inspections, ratings, and client satisfaction
  • Criminal background check

Apart from these concerns, you should also consider your budget. Hiring an in-home caregiver is typically much more affordable than nursing home or assisted living facility care. But more importantly, it is all about looking for a caregiver that offers the service that your parents require, at a rate you can afford.

Hiring an individual skilled caregiver is an excellent way to save money while building a close personal relationship with a high quality care professional.  But in saving money, make sure you are NOT endangering your parents by hiring an unscreened or unqualified caregiver.

Well Beyond Care gives both caregivers and those who need care the tools to manage their in-home care online. Caregivers, registered nurses and geriatric care managers can use the website to be matched with Careseekers and their family members who are looking for care, set their wages and weekly schedule, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Careseekers, or family members looking for someone to help care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to be matched with caregivers who best match their specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules, and make payment online and receive personal, local support from a local Nurse Care-Pair Manager. These Nurse Care-Pair Managers offer assistance in understanding what is available with care in your community as well as helping you navigate any issues you might run into using the Well Beyond Care website. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com.

Nursing Home Costs On The Rise Means More Jobs for In-Home Caregivers

Over the past eight years and despite the recession in 2008, the cost of nursing home care has increased by nearly 37%. According to Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of private nursing home care in the US is now $92,345 per year (or $235 per day). Just eight years ago that average was $67,527 per year. With such high costs, it is no wonder that more and more seniors and family members who are looking for care for their aging loved ones are now turning to in-home care as a better alternative.

This increased demand for in-home care means more job opportunities for private pay Caregivers, registered nurses, geriatric care managers and certified nurse assistants. According to the US Department of Labor, home care provider jobs are growing faster than in any other industry sector. This is good news for Caregivers and those who need care alike. With the demand so high and the increase use of the internet, more and more Caregivers are striking out on their own and setting their own rates, which are actually lower than that of going through a traditional private pay or private duty agency.  While rates for in-home Caregivers are increasing, because they are no longer burdened with the overheard of a private duty agency, they are actually much more affordable for elderly clients and their families. The difficulty is that until now, there were no good online tools for Caregivers to use to help them connect with those looking for care, and help them with the matching, interviewing, scheduling, and payment of care.

The Genworth Survey also found that 78% of seniors prefer in-home care to nursing home care. Leaving their home and moving to an unfamiliar place can be quite stressful for elderly patients, who would rather be able to stay in their home where they are comfortable. Many seniors also like to retain some independence, which is easier to do living in their own residence assisted by a Caregiver rather than in a nursing home.

In the past, one of the deciding factors for moving into a nursing home rather than opting to hire an in-home Caregiver has been the difficulty of seeking out private Caregivers. Today, online resources that match Caregivers and Careseekers make the process easy and streamlined. Sites like WellBeyondCare.com not only offer a sophisticated matching and search function, but also include cool features like Caregiver ratings and online care plans; and detailed profile views so that Careseekers can assess a Caregiver prior to interviewing, and can determine the most qualified and better suited to help them with their specific care needs. In addition, the company has a sophisticated matching capability to help further aide in getting the perfect Caregiver. Another feature only offered by Well Beyond Care is when a creates a profile on line, they get a nurse navigator who is in the care recipient’s town to help with local resources.

By disintermediating the costs associated by hiring a private duty company, Careseekers and their families are better able to keep their costs low. For the Caregiver, the ability to set your own pay rate lets them control their income. For in-home care providers, online tools are a great way to access the many available caregiving jobs in their area, and they offer those looking for care an easy way to manage their care either from home or remotely.

Hiring A Caregiver: Direct Hire Vs. Agency Hire

Hiring A Caregiver: Direct Hire Vs. Agency Hire

If you or a loved one is considering hiring an in-home caregiver or private pay attendant to help take care of you at home, there are a lot of factors to consider. Many people choose to hire a caregiver through a private duty agency due to in part to the seemingly apparent ease of using one, but agencies tend to be very expensive. On top of having to pay your caregiver, you will have to pay fees for the agency’s services. In addition, you have little say on ‘what’ caregiver you get with an agency. On the other hand, hiring a caregiver completely on your own poses its own set of obstacles such as finding a trusted, qualified, reliable, quality caregiver.

 What Is the Alternative?

Using a fully integrated online service to hire a caregiver for yourself or a loved one is a new and revolutionary way to find top-notch and well matched caregivers who are verified, qualified and more affordable than using an agency. Sites like WellBeyondCare.com, make hiring a caregiver simple, easy and more affordable while allowing you to maintain control of your care needs.

When you use an agency, many elderly patients have trouble paying the agency fees, which can range from $10 to $25 per hour over what a caregiver is making. At the same time, private duty agencies will not always accept insurance or Medicare. Using an online resource, the individual who needs care is able to set their own price and still have the option of using Long Term Care Insurance or Medicare. This makes costs for the careseeker much lower and can relieve much of the stress of having to hire a private duty caregiver. A good online service should also be able to estimate taxes, do the automatic required deductions and provide the information you need to file tax reports when the time comes.

One other very important aspect of hiring a caregiver is ensuring that the person can be trusted and their work experience and references can be verified. Caregivers need to be reliable, show up on time, provide quality care and must be able to be trusted to perform the duties they say they can. A good online service will feature reviews and ratings for every caregiver who has worked for other careseekers provided by the careseekers themselves. They should also feature a system to get a background check and reference check, so you know the caregiver can be trusted coming to your home. This transparency gives careseekers and their family members peace of mind knowing that the caregiver they want to hire is dependable, reliable and meets their skill requirements.

One other feature that should be considered with an online service is the ability to remotely monitor the care from afar.  Families today are widely dispersed, and the ability to have multiple individuals be able to see what is being done with a care recipient by the caretiver is a crucial factor in reducing stress and providing superior service for any online platform.

With an easy-to-use website, helpful tools and personalized customer support, using an online resource such as WellBeyondCare.com to hire a caregiver is a new and great alternative to the old way of doing business. Save money and time by setting your own prices and managing all of your care needs from the comfort of your home.

WellBeyondCare.com gives caregivers and those who need care the tools to manage their in home care online. Caregivers, registered nurses and geriatric care managers can use the website to be automatically matched for caregiving jobs, set their wages and weekly schedule, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Careseekers, or family members looking for someone to help care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified caregivers, post a profile that outlines their specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules, make paymenst online, and receive personal, local support from the WellBeyondCare team of Nurse Care-Pair Managers.

Retirement Age: Caring for Baby Boomers

200258139-001To date, over 75 million baby boomers are dealing with the reality of having to care for their aging parents or grandparents. Supplying geriatric care needs can affect these individuals on many different levels. Impediments such as arthritis, high blood pressure or increased blood sugar levels are just a few of the concerns that may require the attention of someone taking care of an elderly person. In addition to these medical conditions, incontinence and immobility may be another burdening concern, as well as comorbidities such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, CHF (Congestive Heart Failure, and Dementia. With this in mind, aging adults may need the assistance of geriatric care professionals, in conjunction with skilled caregivers, in order to afford a safe, healthy, stress free environment for loved ones.

Today, a number of geriatric care options exist for concerned baby boomers to choose from. There are nursing homes, assisted living facilities (ALF), independent living facilities, and in-home care service providers. Depending on the extent of service and assistance necessary, any of these geriatric care options could be a viable solution. While nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be more convenient for the responsible family member, these sorts of geriatric care options may also be cost prohibitive. According to the Genworth Cost of Care study, nursing homes can cost up to $6,390 per month. Assisted living facilities usually charge less, while in-home care is the least expensive option with flexible payment rates that can vary depending on the skill set and time required for the patient’s care.

Aside from these usual geriatric care options, there are those who choose to offer care for their elderly parents or grandparents personally. They are called “informal caregivers”, as they provide in-home care for their parents or grandparents without formal training or education in geriatric care. While this setup may be motivated by very noble causes, the physical, emotional, and psychological pressures associated with this kind of arrangement could become a very large burden for someone to assume. In addition to the pressure of caring for an elderly person, there may also be some legal implications if you cannot provide the level of appropriate geriatric care needed for your elderly relatives.

Just recently, prosecutors from the State of Pennsylvania charged an “informal caregiver” with allegedly committing “assisted suicide” to his chronically ill and aged father, in spite of the personal requests to end his life due to the fact the father felt an undue burden was being placed on his child. It is important to note that taking care of the elderly requires tremendous amounts of dedication, care, and caution on a daily and ongoing basis.

Considering the challenges and dilemmas baby boomers face regularly while fulfilling their obligations to provide geriatric care for their elderly parents or grandparents, they may still require the assistance of a geriatric care professional and a private duty caregiver, in one form or another.

Well Beyond Care:

WellBeyondCare.com gives those who need care the tools to manage their in home care online. Careseekers, or family members looking for someone to help care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified nurses and caregivers, post jobs that outline their specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules, and make payment online and receive personal support, local support from their personal Nurse Care-Pair Manager. Caregivers can use the website to search for caregiving jobs, set their wages, post their weekly availability, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com.

When are Patients “Unsafe” for Home Care?

Reprinted by permission from Elisabeth Hogue, Esq.; (877) 871-4062; ElizabethHogue@ElizabethHogue.net

CaringForCaregivers-CGS-largeDischarge planners/case managers are likely to encounter instances in which home care, hospice, and home medical equipment (HME) providers state that they cannot accept patients because they are “unsafe” at home. The use of this term may be confusing to discharge planners/case managers. What is it about patients’ homes that make it unsafe for them to receive services there? Aren’t all patients appropriate for home care?

First, discharge planners/case managers may not have provided services in non-institutional settings. If so, it may be difficult to make a crucial distinction between institutional care and home health services. Specifically, in institutional settings the provider controls the “turf” on which care is rendered. In post-acute care at home, providers have little control over the environment in which services are provided. In fact, patients have almost absolute control over the “turf” in home care because services are rendered in their private residences.

Consequently, home care providers often confront barriers to the provision of services that many discharge planners have not experienced. Staff have, for example, encountered “attack geese” when they arrive at patients’ homes and risk the consequences of a serious pecking in order to reach patients’ bedsides! Or they have come eyeball-to-eyeball with a pet alligator, named Bubba, in a mobile home in Louisiana!

Although patients may not be adversely affected by pecking geese and may have a cozy relationship with Bubba, there may be other factors over which home care providers have no control that clearly jeopardize the well-being or safety of patients. These factors may make it impossible for providers to render services at home. Patients’ homes may, for example, be in such disrepair that both patients and caregivers are at risk. A home health nurse, for example, recently fell through the floor of a patient’s home as she approached the patient’s bedside. Patients’ homes may also be invested with roaches, rodents and/or vermin of various types and descriptions. Despite appropriate interventions from providers, patients may suffer repeated falls at home that make it risky or unsafe for them to remain there.

Despite these examples, discharge planners/case managers may still be unclear about why patients cannot be cared for at home when post-acute providers decline referrals on the basis that patients are “unsafe.” It may be helpful for providers to be more detailed in their communications. Specifically, providers could say, “The patient’s home environment will not support services at home for the following reasons….” When providers’ communications with discharge planners/case managers are vague, discharge planners might prompt clearer communication by asking: “What are the specific reasons why this patient’s home environment will not support home care services?”

Institutional care and home care services are fundamentally different models of care. Because the differences are so great, it is reasonable to expect that providers who practice primarily in institutions and those who work in home care may not always understand or account for important factors involved in different types of care. Clear, specific communication is, therefore, absolutely essential for the well-being of patients.

Well Beyond Care:

WellBeyondCare.com gives those who need care the tools to manage their in home care online. Careseekers, or family members looking for someone to help care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified nurses and caregivers, post jobs that outline their specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules, and make payment online and receive personal support, local support from their personal Nurse Care-Pair Manager. Caregivers can use the website to search for caregiving jobs, set their wages, post their weekly availability, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com.

A Simple Pineapple

pineappleThe pineapple is a member of the bromeliad family. It is extremely rare that bromeliads produce edible fruit. The pineapple is the only available edible bromeliad today.

It is a multiple fruit. One pineapple is actually made up of dozens of individual floweret’s that grow together to form the entire fruit. Each scale on a pineapple is evidence of a separate flower. Pineapples stop ripening the minute they are picked. No special way of storing them will help ripen them further.

Color is relatively unimportant in determining ripeness. Choose your pineapple by smell. If it smells fresh, tropical and sweet, it will be a good fruit. The more scales on the pineapple, the sweeter and juicier the taste.

After you cut off the top, you can plant it. It should grow much like a sweet potato will.

This delicious fruit is not only sweet and tropical; it also offers many benefits to our health. Pineapple is a remarkable fruit.

We find it enjoyable because of its lush, sweet and exotic flavor, but it may also be one of the most healthful foods available today. If we take a more detailed look at it, we will find that pineapple is valuable for easing indigestion, arthritis or sinusitis.

The juice has an anthelmintic effect; it helps get rid of intestinal worms.

Let’s look at how pineapple affects other conditions.

Pineapple is high in manganese, a mineral that is critical to development of strong bones and connective tissue. A cup of fresh pineapple will give you nearly 75% of the recommended daily amount.

It is particularly helpful to older adults, whose bones tend to become brittle with age.

Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme, is the key to pineapple’s value. Proteolytic means “breaks down protein”, which is why pineapple is known to be a digestive aid. It helps the body digest proteins more efficiently. Bromelain is also considered an effective anti-inflammatory.

Regular ingestion of at least one half cup of fresh pineapple daily is purported to relieve
painful joints common to osteoarthritis. It also produces mild pain relief.

In Germany, bromelain is approved as a post-injury medication because it is thought to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Orange juice is a popular liquid for those suffering from a cold because it is high in Vitamin C. Fresh pineapple is not only high in this vitamin, but because of the Bromelain, it has the ability to reduce mucous in the throat. If you have a cold with a productive cough, add pineapple to your diet. It is commonly used in Europe as a post-operative measure to cut mucous after certain sinus and throat operations.

Those individuals who eat fresh pineapple daily report fewer sinus problems related to allergies. In and of itself, pineapple has a very low risk for allergies. Pineapple is also known to discourage blood clot development. This makes it a valuable dietary addition for frequent fliers and others who may be at risk for blood clots.

An old folk remedy for morning sickness is fresh pineapple juice. It really works! Fresh juice and some nuts first thing in the morning often make a difference. It’s also good for a healthier mouth. The fresh juice discourages plaque growth.