Posted by & filed under Day Array Facility.

We are just coming out of the holiday season and chances are there were at least a few elderly people here in central Ohio who were the victims of a fraud scheme. Year-round the elderly are the prime target of fraudsters and scammers. Over the holidays, the number of victims goes up. Some scams are so devastating that they can literally cause financial ruin or worse, death.

A Woman Loses Life Savings – Commits Suicide a Week Later

Take the story of a Louisiana woman in her early 80s who was approached by scammers who told her that she had won a prize in some sweepstakes. In order to collect her winnings, she was told that she would have to pay the taxes and fees up front. She did it. But instead of then receiving a prize, she was asked for more money, and then more money, and then more money until she ended up taking out a reverse mortgage to cover the fees. She even cashed in her life insurance policy.

In the end, the elderly blind woman depleted hundreds of thousands of dollars—her entire life savings. It wasn’t until she took the humiliating step of having to borrow thousands of dollars that her family knew that she was in financial trouble. She hadn’t told anyone what she had done, initially because she was told not to tell anyone by the scammers, but then surely out of embarrassment.

Only a week after she had to borrow money from her family, the poor woman committed suicide. The scammers had taken everything but the $69 that remained in her bank account at the time of her death.

Elderly Victims Lose Over $35 Billion Each Year to Fraud

Anyone with a heart cannot imagine why, even for a scammer, why they would target such vulnerable people. The reason is simple – previous generations were far better at saving money than the current one. Many have thousands of dollars in the bank to live off of during their golden years. Often they may suffer from some sort of mental decline due to age and some are suffering from full on dementia.

Approximately five million elderly adults in the U.S. are targeted every year by scammers, stealing upwards of 35 billion dollars from them and some estimate the number is far higher. Worse, it’s not just professional fraud schemes that exploit the elderly. More often than not, it’s a relative or someone they know who takes advantage of them 90% of the time.

Baby Boomers were the largest generation of Americans for the longest time and now that they are retired and moving into their golden years, they are proving to be fertile ground for scammers and fraudsters. On top of that, it’s not just financial abuse the elderly are suffering from—they may be threatened or even physically abused to keep quiet.

Fighting Back Against Elder Abuse

When most people think of elder abuse, they think of physical abuse only. Yet financial abuse can be just as deadly. In fact, elderly victims of physical AND financial abuse “die at a rate three times faster than those who haven’t been abused.”

Last year the FBI rounded up over 250 suspected scammers and fraudsters who targeted the elderly—the biggest sweep of its kind in U.S. history. These evildoers abused a million Americans, stealing a half a billion dollars from them. Caught up in the sweep were these victims’ lawyers who exploited them, caregivers and guardians, and financial planners along with telemarketing scams and shady mortgage schemes.

There was not one state in the union where there wasn’t a victim and a perpetrator caught up in this sweep. In response, at the state level, legislatures in half of the states have enacted laws to counter the upsurge in elderly financial abuse schemes. These scammers don’t only go after wealthy seniors. They go after some of the poorest and most vulnerable, stealing Medicare and Social Security money as well as tax refunds and more.

What to Look For – And What to Do!

The elderly are some of our most cherished members and we want all of our people to be safe. There are things to watch for that can help prevent financial abuse and steps that you can take. Many scams have been identified and knowing what types of scams to look out for is half the battle.

One clue that you may become the target of an elder abuse scheme is something called “Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability (AAFV).” This relatively new term was coined back in 2015 to warn family members and caregivers of the elderly about what they should be watching for to determine if their loved one may be vulnerable to such schemes.

AAFV is defined as a “pattern of imprudent financial decision-making that begins at a late age and puts older adults at risk for material losses that could decimate their quality of life.” That means that even if an elderly person doesn’t suffer from diminished cognitive function as is the case with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, they may suffer from faltering “financial judgment.”

It can be something as simple as being contacted via e-mail and not understanding what they are doing – not because they don’t have the mental capacity but because they don’t understand new technology. When you start noticing your elderly loved ones making strange financial choices, it may be time to sit down and have a conversation about these things.

Click on this link to read up on the known financial abuse scams that target the elderly and tips for what to do about it. Stay safe this year and when you suspect that you or someone you love may be the victim of a financial abuse scam, don’t wait—get involved now.

“Hands from Heaven LLC was chosen in the Home Health Care Service category for Reynoldsburg Business Recognition.” – Blake Thompson, Reynoldsburg Business Recognition, Email: blake@inrecognition.org

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Winter weather can be a real hassle, even for able-bodied people. Just think of all of the work that goes into getting out of the door. You have to bundle up, shovel and salt, and that’s all before you even get to scraping off the car. Now imagine how much more difficult it is for someone with special needs. But that’s not all.

One thing we tend to forget is that just as severe winter weather can be a pain it can also be deadly, particularly for the most vulnerable among us. Included in that number are special needs adults—which includes many elderly people. As is the case for any emergency, the key to survival when severe weather strikes is preparation.

Knowing What You Face Is Half the Battle

The last few days of record-breaking lows across a quarter of the country are a stark reminder of just how bad winter weather can get these days. Sub-zero temperatures that plunge 20 degrees below are not only dangerous to the human body, they can cause your car to stop, pipes to freeze, and the heat to go out.

In order to prevent tragedy you have to be prepared for anything. We found a detailed winter weather checklist for seniors from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Here is a breakdown about what you face and what you will need to prepare for severe winter weather:

Understanding Winter Weather Alerts

In the event of an emergency, your local news stations will likely break in or scroll weather alerts across the TV or on the radio. However, many people do not know exactly what the different alerts mean. For example:

  • A “Winter Storm Watch” (like a tornado watch) means that the potential for a winter storm to hit your area within the next two days is likely. There are 3 other designations:
  • “A Storm Warning” means that severe weather is coming – up to six inches of snow or sleet (a quarter inch of ice) – within 24 hours.
  • A “Winter Storm Advisory” warns you about the road conditions and is meant to alert you that severe weather is on the way that will make the roads unsafe.
  • A “Blizzard” warning will also be accompanied with a weather emergency alert (level 1, 2, 3, or the highest, level 4 when only emergency vehicles are supposed to be on the roads). Blizzards are extremely dangerous because of the gusting winds and snow which can make it impossible to see when you are on the road.

Each of these emergencies presents a number of challenges. They can result in massive power outages. They can practically bury you, your car, or your house in several feet of snow. It can make it nearly impossible for emergency vehicles to reach you. You will need to prepare your house, your car, and your cabinets for these types of weather events by having the right supplies on hand.

 

Supplies You Will Need

First and foremost in a weather emergency, you will need to be able to get in touch with the outside world and for people to be able to get in touch with you. That can be a problem if there is a power outage. Most people now have a cell phone instead of a land line, but elderly and special needs adults may need assistance with communicating on mobile devices. Make sure to plan ahead:

Have a Communication Plan in Place – Make sure that your loved one has access to a charged cell phone and make sure that they have a portable charger, preferably one that doesn’t need to be plugged in to an outlet. Keep a battery-powered radio on hand so that you can listen to local weather reports. And have a contact chain with a list of people that can call or go check on you or the special needs adult in your care.
Have Alternative Sources of Heat Prepared – If the power goes out, you’ll need to stay warm. Do NOT use a gas stove to heat the house.The risks of carbon monoxide poisoning are too great. The best alternative is a fireplace, but if you don’t have one, you can use a portable space heater or kerosene heater. Again, heaters can be just as dangerous—especially kerosene. Make sure you have an up-to-date fire extinguisher on hand and a working smoke alarm.

Have Extra Blankets and Lighting – You may be used to keeping candles in the house in case the lights go out. Bad idea. Actually you’ll want to keep flashlights or lanterns on hand. They are much safer and run much less of a risk of starting a fire. You also should keep lots of extra blankets both in your house and in your car. Layer up clothes and coats if necessary to keep warm.

Have a Stock of Non-Perishable Foods – Any time an emergency is expected, grocery stores are ransacked. You can be prepared without having to rush to the store if you keep these staples in your pantry at all times:

  • A Large Case or Drum of Drinking Water
  • Bread and Crackers
  • Pet Food (if you have a pet)
  • Dried Fruit
  • Powdered Milk
  • Jerky
  • Nuts

Have Ice and Snow Clearing Equipment on Hand – Every winter, make sure you have a bag of ice melt or sand to melt snow and ice from your stairs and walkways. In a pinch, kitty litter works the same way. If you have a car, you will need a car charger for your cell phone, a spare tire, extra blankets and winter clothes, a shovel, road salt, a case of drinking water, snacks, and a really good emergency roadside kit.

If you have canned good stocked up, make sure you have a can opener too! And chances are you will need medicine or medical equipment. Make sure to keep your prescriptions nearby along with a first aid kit. You’ll also want to stow away a large pack of batteries for your radio, flashlights, portable heater, etc.

5 Important Safety Tips to Keep Our Elders Safe

Panic is the enemy when an emergency strikes. Preparation is the key. When you have all of the above on hand, you can rest with a little more peace of mind that you and your loved one can handle anything that comes your way when severe weather strikes. Here are a few more tips to keep our elders safe:

  • Kerosene heaters are the cause of many fires every year and therefore have been banned in some places. Make sure it’s legal to have a kerosene heater where you live.
  • Space heaters can be dangerous too. Never use a space heater near water, furniture, curtains, blankets or anything flammable.
  • Stay tuned to your local emergency broadcasts for instructions and updates.
  • Do NOT use a generator indoors—that includes the garage.
  • Let your faucets drip to keep your pipes from freezing. If they do freeze, use a hair dryer (if you have electricity) to unfreeze them.

Get Help Coping with Severe Weather

Besides the threat of weather and road safety, cold temperatures like the ones we have been experiencing can be lethal to the elderly. A simple cold or the flu could end in death. Trying to do it all on your own is not safe. A full 30% of adults 65 and older suffer from severe falls that cause injury every year. In severe winter weather, those types of falls become much more likely.

At Hands from Heaven LLC we provide escort transportation services or door-through-door help. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about our Adult Day Care services, contact us anytime—and stay safe!

“Hands from Heaven LLC was chosen in the Home Health Care Service category for Reynoldsburg Business Recognition.” – Blake Thompson, Reynoldsburg Business Recognition, Email: blake@inrecognition.org

 

Posted by & filed under Day Array Facility, Employment Opportunities.

Tomorrow starts our new Employee of the Month initiative! We begin accepting nominations on January 1 for the best employee of the month. Is there a staff member at Hands from Heaven whose winning personality and friendly disposition has made your days here with us great? That’s what we are looking for! We want to reward those who are giving our members the kind of exceptional care that they have come to expect from us.

What We Are Looking For

This isn’t fast food. We are not going to base the qualifications for Employee of the Month (EOM) on things like how fast you get people in and out of the line. What’s important to us are things that make our members comfortable, happy, and engaged. Those standards are:

  • Exceptional Service to Members
  • Going Above and Beyond
  • He or She Exhibits a Positive Attitude
  • He or She is Noticeably Supportive and Caring of Co-Workers and Members

We believe that these qualities are necessary in order to provide world class care to special needs adults. We also know that when employees are recognized for their good work, it has a positive effect on the overall work environment.

While some of us at the facility are hard at work every day, we don’t want it to feel that way for our members. This is their day care facility where they want to be engaged, socialize, where they can enjoy a warm and inviting atmosphere. If our members are not attended to properly or cared for by our staff, they are the ones who will suffer the most.

How to Make a Nomination

That’s why starting on Jan. 1, we will start accepting EOM nominations. You can nominate someone who works within the agency or is a partner through one of our external agencies. If you work at the facility, simply pick up a recognition form, fill it out, and turn it back in to Maria Mock.

If you are a member or a loved one of one of our members, you can also make nominations by calling into the office. Remember, we are going to do this every month so if you aren’t selected as EOM for January 2019 – never fear – you have 11 more opportunities to achieve this honor!

Would you like to know more about our services at Hands for Heaven? Browse around our site or stop by for a visit! Click here for directions to our facility. Did you know that we are hiring? Check out our Facebook page for more information and to submit an application!

“Hands from Heaven LLC was chosen in the Home Health Care Service category for Reynoldsburg Business Recognition.” – Blake Thompson, Reynoldsburg Business Recognition, Email: blake@inrecognition.org

Posted by & filed under Newsletter.

Hands from Heaven is a full-service adult day care provider so we want to make sure that we are covering all of our members’ needs. In that spirit, we’ve just taken our transportation services up a notch. We are now providing escort transportation too! Learn what this means and why it is so important.

We already offer transportation services that cover the gamut from taking members to and from doctor’s appointments to taking them to the grocery store. But have you ever heard of a transportation escort? It’s our newest addition to our transportation services and a crucial one for our people who need more than just a ride somewhere.

Door-through-Door Escort Transportation

Many special needs adults like the ones that we care for at Hands from Heaven have physical challenges that go beyond being able to maneuver a vehicle. Up until now, we’ve offered certified drivers to pick up prescriptions, take members to social activities, pick patients up when they are discharged from the hospital, and more. But some need help before they even get in the vehicle – that’s where our transportation escorts come in.

Basically, a transportation escort rides along with the driver to help those being picked up prepare for their journey. That can mean helping to carry bags in and out of the car. It can mean help getting to the vehicle and around places where they are driven. It can also mean helping our members to put on their shoes or fill out paperwork or even act as a patient advocate at appointments.

Imagine a stroke victim who struggles to communicate and walk. Getting them to the appointment is only part of the battle. Once they are there, they may need someone to help communicate on their behalf with attendees and doctors, cashiers and pharmacists, whom all may struggle to understand them.

Some of our special needs adults are dealing with developmental disabilities like Autism where something may trigger an episode while driving from one point to the next. Drivers can’t assist those patients and drive at the same time. The transportation escort is there to help take care of passengers so that the driver can focus on driving and their charges can remain safe and secure.

For patients like that, there are four different levels of transportation escort services according to a report issued in 2005 for people who need what they term “door-through-door” escort services. Those levels are:

  • “Gentle Support: Opening doors and providing verbal guidance.”
  • “Physical Support: Providing physical support for the rider to assist with balance, assist in climbing steps or performing similar functions. This support may include delivering the rider to an attendant at the destination who then takes over the task of personal support and assistance. This “handoff” function is sometimes called “hand-to-hand” or “chair-to-chair” service.”
  • “Activity Support: The driver or escort stays with the rider and helps with the activity at the destination. For example, the driver or escort may assist the rider inside a grocery store, help the rider understand a doctor’s instructions or diagnosis or serve as an advocate for the rider’s travel needs.”
  • “Personal Support: The driver or escort may help the rider put on coats, shoes or boots, and help by putting away groceries in the rider’s home. Some drivers or escorts are, or become, friends of the rider and offer emotional or other personal support.”

Many special needs adults use public transportation to get around. Without someone there to help them on and off of buses or in and out of vans, it can be an extreme burden. Those people tend to become more and more withdrawn, isolating themselves because they can no longer easily move around.

By providing escort transportation services for those who need it to go along with our general transportation services, we hope to help our community’s special needs adults regain their independence. As part of our ongoing effort to make life easier and more fulfilling for special needs adults, we are proud to offer this new service to our members.

Driver plus Transportation Escort

These days, people have many more options for getting around. There’s Uber and Lyft, senior or disabled adult transportation, and public transportation. Those options are great for people who don’t struggle with environmental triggers or physical tremors so bad that they can’t even put on their own shoes.

For many, it is necessary to have a driver plus an escort while they’re being driven from one place to another. This frees up the driver to focus on getting everyone to their destinations safely while members are still being well attended.

Some transportation escorts oversee a van full of passengers while others are co-pilots assisting individual members to and from their destinations. There are a variety of reasons why and when a person may need a transportation escort. Most importantly it is crucial for improving the quality of life for special needs adults by preventing isolation and loneliness.

Ask Us About Our Transportation Escort Services!

When our members need to go grocery shopping or make it to a doctor’s appointment, they rely on our CPR and first aid certified drivers. Now in addition to our general transportation services, we will be providing full-service escort transportation; going above and beyond to lend a helping hand.

Do you or someone you know need help getting around? Ask us more about our transportation escort services! Click here for directions to our facility and follow us on our Facebook page for more information!

“Hands from Heaven LLC was chosen in the Home Health Care Service category for Reynoldsburg Business Recognition.” – Blake Thompson, Reynoldsburg Business Recognition, Email: blake@inrecognition.org

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Our motto at Hands from Heaven is “lending a helping hand.” Now that the holiday season is coming to an end, it is important to remember that those in need are still all around us. Christmas is the season to be sharing and caring but what about the other 364 days of the year?

We believe that you can say happy holidays all year long just by lending a helping hand! When it comes to helping, Ohioans are very generous. The Adopt-a-Family program this year had filled its need for volunteers before November even ended and the LifeCare Alliance Meals on Wheels mission served an estimated 1,500 meals on Christmas day this year.

It is in that spirit that we are on our own mission this year – to make 2019 the year of giving! There are volunteer opportunities all the time that are rewarding personally and also uplift the community. So while we send out our Holiday wishes for a prosperous New Year, join us in giving back in whatever way we can at least once a month this year.

To help get you started, we’re highlighting 3 ongoing volunteer opportunities for people in need in our community throughout the year! Happy New Year everyone!

1. Get Involved at the Star House Warehouse

Some groups get together just for the holidays to put on toy drives, donation drives, and holiday meal deliveries. But what about on Dec. 27th or January 3rd when everyone has gone back to their regular lives? That’s when organizations like Star House Warehouse really shine.

This worthwhile organization takes volunteers every day, all day long. There are a few requirements for “indirect engagement” like you have to be at least 16 years old to volunteer. There is also a limit to the number of volunteers per shift to about 10 people.

For indirect volunteers for the warehouse, you will donate your time to help bring in donations coming to the warehouse. That means helping to unload cars, trucks, and vans. Located on 1220 Corrugated Way, if you have a working vehicle and a couple hours to spare, this is a great opportunity for getting involved – sign up here.

If you want to get even more involved, Star House Warehouse offers direct engagement opportunities for volunteers 18 years old and up. You have to go through orientation before you can begin and there is a limit of 6 volunteers per shift for this opportunity.

What you’ll do is serve the young denizens who make up the Star House. You can play games with them, talk with them, and generally be a pal. On top of that, they need you to help keep the building clean, the pantry stocked, and the linens washed. You can assist with the Star House Garden where they need volunteers to help grow and harvest produce. And if you fancy yourself a really good cook and you have a meal that serves 50, bring it in to the Star House a couple times a month and be a hero to young people in need!

“If you have any questions, feel free to text (preferred) or call Sarah Douglas, the Volunteer Services Director, at (614)753-5833 or e-mail volunteer@starhousecolumbus.org.”

2. Visit Patients in Hospice through AARP

Anyone who has ever spent any length of time in a hospital knows just how uninviting it can be. How much worse is it for those in hospice for months or even years at a time, rarely getting visitors? It’s awful. It doesn’t matter how great your family is, most loved ones can’t spend every waking moment at hospice caring for a patient. That’s where volunteer visitors come in!

Kindred Hospice partnering with AARP is looking for volunteers to be a part of their hospice care team. What you will do is visit hospice patients either at the facility or in their homes and spend quality time with them. AARP lists a few of the activities that volunteers perform for hospice patients, and they include:

  • Taking certified therapy dogs to visit patients,
  • Assisting with administrative tasks,
  • Baking birthday cakes for patients,
  • Creating & sending personalized cards to patients,
  • Knitting, crocheting or sew lap blankets, shawls and other comfort items for patients,
  • Sewing memory bears or pillows for bereaved families,
  • Being present with a patient,
  • Or providing grief and bereavement support.

Before you volunteer you are given training and orientation by the team at Kindred Hospice. They do require a background check and you have to be screened for tuberculosis for the safety of the patients – Kindred pays for it of course. If you have a background in mental health or doing arts and crafts, you are most needed! Kindred Hospice is located in Gahanna at 540 Officenter Place, #100, 43230. You can contact them by phone (open 24 hours a day) at (614) 414-0500 to learn more.

3. Provide Friendship and Compassion to Those in Guardianships

There’s hardly anything sadder than an elderly or disabled person who has no one to take care of them. It’s the downside of living a long life – everyone you know and love eventually leaves this world before you do and you’re left all alone, oftentimes in the most vulnerable state of life.

 

Many times what happens is a probate court will appoint a guardian from the GSB (Guardianship Service Board) when a person is unable to manage on their own and have no one else. These paid guardians handle the patient’s medical decisions, living decisions, and legal decisions. However, they are not paid to do one of the most important things for the quality of life for those in their charge – spend quality time with them.

That’s not to say that taking care of business for those who are no longer competent to do for themselves is not important. But what we know is that loneliness, isolation, and a feeling of abandonment are as detrimental to the health of special needs adults as illness or old age itself.

Volunteer Visitor Connection is a program offered by the Franklin County Guardianship Service Board to provide that all important ingredient to a person who is in a guardianship arrangement. You have to be at least 18 years old to volunteer and commit to at least 2 visits per month for a year – we don’t think that’s much to ask. If you are interested, the program takes place at the Franklin County Courthouse in Columbus, Ohio (43215). Charity Eilerman is the volunteer contact and can be reached via e-mail at caeilerman@franklincountyohio.gov or by phone at (614) 525-2233.

“Hands from Heaven LLC was chosen in the Home Health Care Service category for Reynoldsburg Business Recognition.” – Blake Thompson, Reynoldsburg Business Recognition, Email: blake@inrecognition.org

 

Posted by & filed under Day Array Facility.

As the Boomer generation ages into elderhood, their needs are growing more complex. Because Americans are living longer, elderly people and their families are paying more and more for longer and longer term care. With age comes more disabilities requiring special care.

Special needs adults face that same challenge. In just over ten years, it is estimated that there will be at least 500,000 people with autism transitioning into adulthood and the workforce. The numbers go into the millions when you add up the many other special needs adults and those with disabilites. Their care is even longer term than the elderly and will cost tens of millions of dollars over a lifetime.

A la Carte Services Shave Costs

Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities have become way too expensive for most families. The average income in the U.S. is close to $60,000 per year. Full-time health care on average costs close to $48,000 per year – a cost that the average family cannot afford for one year and certainly not for decades.

That’s why more than 30% of families are opting to care for their elderly parents in-home as opposed to sending them to a nursing home. Like the elderly, special needs adults want to retain as much independence as possible. It makes them happier because they are more comfortable and familiar with their surroundings.

At the same time, they are limited in what they can do. Be it laundry or bathing or driving to the store, most of the time, special needs adults care centers around the daily tasks of life. With just a little assistance, they can be more in control of their environment which leads to a better quality of life. A la carte services provide that.

Instead of paying for a room in a nursing home or hiring an aide for an entire 8 hour day five days a week, you can request certain services only. It takes a lot out of an already much more affordable bill. The cost of a la carte in-home care like the adult day care we provide at Hands for Heaven is closer to $18,000 per year – a much more doable number for the average American.

Where to Find a La Carte In-Home Care Services

If you choose a la carte in-home care, you have to be aware that you may have to cover a lot of those costs out of pocket. Medicare and Medicaid pay for post-admission care after a hospitalization that can last up to a month. But you may have to find a place to work with your private insurance to pay for that care.

One place you can try in your state is your local Goodwill. Something you may not know is that they also provide in-home healthcare services as well as clothing, food, and jobs. Goodwill is one of the “leading home health agencies in Colorado Springs” but not every city and state’s Goodwill provides that service.

They provide in-home medical health services from certified skilled nurses, therapists, counselors, and case managers. They also provide all of the daily essentials including housekeeping, hygiene maintenance, transportation, meal planning, etc. Their a la carte services include:

  • Paying Your Bills
  • Driving You Around
  • Watering Your Plants
  • Mowing the Lawn
  • Taking Care of Your Pets
  • Washing Windows

Cash, credit, and check only for these services. But at Hands from Heaven, we cater our programs to your specific needs. Consider us the bridge you need to make up the difference between what you can do for yourself or a loved one and where you need help. We offer a helping hand.

Would you like to know more about our services at Hands for Heaven? Browse around our site or stop by for a visit! Click here for directions to our facility. Did you know that we are hiring? Check out our Facebook page for more information and to submit an application!

 

“Hands from Heaven LLC was chosen in the Home Health Care Service category for Reynoldsburg Business Recognition.” – Blake Thompson, Reynoldsburg Business Recognition, Email: blake@inrecognition.org

Posted by & filed under Day Array Facility.

Almost everyone at some point in time will need in-home care. Over the last several years, as hospitals have had to work much harder to reduce the costs of hospitalization for patients, clinics providing in-home care have picked up the slack. Research shows that when a person who is able to be released from the hospital or nursing facility receives in-home care post-admission, readmission rates drop.

The positive results from acute hospitalizations are beginning to change the way that we think about long term care. Hospitals love this idea because it does reduce costs for patients and decreases readmission rates, reducing costs for hospitals. Patients are actually safer recovering at home rather than in a hospital where the risk of infection jumps exponentially.

Already, in-home care service facilities are springing up all over the place. We know how unique facilities like ours are in our area. For those same reasons, we envisioned a way to provide the same high quality of care for special needs adults that they would receive at a top facility. That trend is showing up across the country now.

Signs You Might Need In-Home Care

Many of the studies that we looked at dealt specifically with the elderly who share similar challenges with special needs adults. Whether it’s diminishing cognitive abilities or physical capabilities, special needs adults need more help with daily activities than around the clock medical care.

As long as they have someone who can cook for them, take them shopping, help them get bathed, and keep the house tidy, their quality of life stays high which leads to healthier outcomes – but of course, we are talking about $20,000 a year. So when should you start thinking about hiring in-home care?

First and foremost, when injuries occur as a result of a disability, it is time to think about in-home care, at least part-time. Falls, fires, and car accidents are all signs that it is time to think about hiring someone to assist with daily living.

Another sign is when a special needs adult stops eating regularly or is eating only hot dogs every day for example because they don’t have the ability or energy to cook anything else. If they are walking around in dirty clothes or are themselves dirty and smelly because they aren’t able to clean themselves on their own, it’s time to start looking at in-home care services.

Reasons Health Outcomes Improve with In-Home Care

Think about how bad it feels when you are sweaty and anxious to get cleaned up. Special needs adults who don’t have help often have to sit in their mess sometimes for days. Cleanliness makes you feel better and it makes them feel better too.

In-home care leads to better outcomes in part because of the hygiene factor. Not just personal hygiene assistance but housekeeping also keeps the living environment healthier leading to better outcomes. Food alone can save lives and dramatically reduce the chances of readmission to a hospital for someone suffering from diminished capabilities.

Special needs adults may not be able to safely prepare their own meals. Having in-home care both ensures that they are eating well every day as well as taking their medicines or doing their exercises. Over time, that will help special needs adults become more independent by understanding their limitations and having someone to help them complete those tasks.

Nervous drivers are dangerous drivers. Many special needs adults drive but it can be anxiety inducing for some. Having someone who will safely drive you where you need to go makes special needs adults safer along with everyone else on the road.

Just being there in case of an emergency is comforting for special needs adults. All of these things lead to better health comes and appears to be the future of health care for the special needs community.

Would you like to know more about our services at Hands for Heaven? Browse around our site or stop by for a visit! Click here for directions to our facility. Did you know that we are hiring? Check out our Facebook page for more information and to submit an application!

 

“Hands from Heaven LLC was chosen in the Home Health Care Service category for Reynoldsburg Business Recognition.” – Blake Thompson, Reynoldsburg Business Recognition, Email: blake@inrecognition.org

 

Posted by & filed under Day Array Facility.

Year-round 24 hour in-home care costs on average about $4,000 a month ($48,000 a year). But most special needs adults can get by with temporary or part-time daily support – or adult day care. It is by far the cheapest solution for the same quality of results, costing approximately $18,200 per year on average. So how do you choose the right home care provider, whether on a long term or temporary basis?

Get These Questions Out of the Way

To begin with you want to get certain questions out of the way that are simple and straight forward. That includes:

  • How long have you been an in-home health care aide?
  • What are your credentials and work history (and any of the aides that you use if dealing with an agency)?
  • (If working through an agency) May I see the aide’s references and insurance or bond certificate?
  • Do you have reliable transportation and are you yourself reliable and dependable?
  • Are you trained in CPR and to provide basic medical care like first aid?

These questions along with whether or not the agency or aide you are interviewing has experience dealing with a special needs adult in the same situation as you or your loved one (who is autistic, for example, or in a wheelchair) are fundamental. Beyond the basics, here are 5 of the most important questions to ask that you may not have thought about.

The 5 Most Important Questions to Ask When Interviewing In-Home Care Providers

You want an aide who is caring, professional, and dependable. How do you know for sure if you have the right team in mind unless you give them a trial? But why would you put you or your loved one at risk with someone who may or may not be up to the task? You shouldn’t. Asking the right questions can help you narrow down the field to the right person for the job.

1. What Are Your Most Pressing Outside Obligations?

Do they have to pick up kids by a certain time after work or is there someone who can do that for them? Are they themselves caring for an elderly or special needs adult and may be called away at a moment’s notice?

The purpose of these questions is not to pry but to be sure that your care provider is giving you or your loved one the best care. That means if something terrible happens while they are on the clock, like if your loved one has to be rushed to the hospital, you want to know that your provider will be able to go with them and bill you for the overtime rather than leave you or them alone waiting on someone to meet them.

2. What was the Most Difficult Situation You Have Ever Faced as an In-Home Caregiver?

You want to know that whoever you choose can be calm under pressure. Anything can happen – there’s a reason why you’ve chosen to hire home aides. But you want to know that if something unexpected, tragic, or dangerous happens, that whoever is taking care of you or your loved one can handle things in a crisis.

Asking about a real incident (since you want someone with experience first and foremost) where they had to use quick thinking helps get to an honest answer. If they don’t have an example of experiencing a crisis, ask them what kind of crisis scares or worries them the most and how they would handle that situation.

 

3. How Do You Feel about Doing These (List These and What You Want) Chores:

Not all in-home care providers are certified nurses who can take vitals and recommend medicines. Just like a non-medical in-home care provider is not a maid or butler. It is important to know what all is included when it comes to both medical and non-medical services. Particularly since long term in-home care is usually non-medical make sure that you get a good feel for whether or not your care provider will truly be okay with handling any or all of these chores:

  • Housekeeping – Not all home health providers offer this service and keep in mind that the ones that do are usually not providing deep daily cleaning like a separate cleaning service would. This service is usually light house work like vacuuming, cleaning the tub, and washing dishes – not steaming carpets and painting walls.
  • Errands – Some elderly and special needs adults are very active and largely independent but maybe can’t get around so well. Will you be okay going shopping, picking up subscriptions, walking around the grocery store, and going to Dr.’s appointments? If they seem uncomfortable or impatient, it may not be a good fit.
  • Can You Cook? – This is a more important question than most people realize. Meals on Wheels gives free meals to seniors over 60. But boxed and frozen dinners don’t offer the kind of nutrition that many special needs and elderly adults need. The best option is home-cooked meal preparation. Again, not all home health care services provide meal preparation. They may provide meal delivery or go shopping but the difference is huge. Food security for newly released hospital patients results in a big reduction in readmission rates and better long term recovery.
  • Can I Trust You with Money? – Some home health providers like Hands from Heaven even offer money management services. You want to use a service that is extremely trustworthy and credentialed to handle a loved one’s or your money. Most leave this up to a trusted relative but if you don’t have one, make sure that if the service provides financial management that they are reputable and able.

4. Does care-taking include talking and spending quality time?

Beyond chores and errands what most special needs adults need is help with the little personal things. They need someone they can talk to every day. They need someone who can get them out and moving around safely. They need someone who can help them stay clean and keep their hygiene on point – a huge factor in overall good health.

They also need someone who will show up every day on time and make sure that they are eating and taking their meds. Make sure that whoever you choose has a caring spirit about them when they answer this question and not just a professional one.

 

5. How Do You Feel about Me (or My Loved One)?

Most people would be embarrassed or at least hesitant to ask someone what they thought of them or their loved one, but it is a very important question. The 30% of home caregivers who use a service professional are trusting a basic stranger to take care of someone who is vulnerable and needs help with a lot of things from cooking and bathing to shopping and housekeeping.

If you like a person, you will be more inclined to do those things in a loving and caring manner. You want your person to be comfortable enough to be open and honest with their care provider and you also want the provider to be comfortable and at ease. Don’t be afraid to ask the uncomfortable question – it just might save you from a bad breakup down the road.

We Go Above and Beyond at Hands From Heaven

At Hands from Heaven, we do a lot of things that other home care agencies do not. We provide homemaker services as well as personal care for special needs adults. We assist with respite care and supported living patients. We offer non-medical transportation, adult day care support, and we even provide financial management.

Our dedicated and certified team of CPR and First Aid skilled drivers will take you to get your meds, pick you up from the hospital, drop you off at the airport, take you grocery shopping, and even take you to play Bid Whiz or Bridge!

 

 

Would you like to know more about our services at Hands for Heaven? Browse around our site or stop by for a visit – click here for directions to our facility. Did you know that we are hiring? Check out our Facebook page for more information and to submit an application!

 

“Hands from Heaven LLC was chosen in the Home Health Care Service category for Reynoldsburg Business Recognition.” – Blake Thompson, Reynoldsburg Business Recognition, Email: blake@inrecognition.org

 

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Seniors aren’t the only ones who could use in-home care. Many special needs adults face the same challenges that the elderly face when they are trying to maintain their independence. Many of the studies about seniors and in-home care apply to special needs adults too.

For one example, nearly 90% of seniors say that they would rather be home than in a nursing home or hospital “while aging.” We know this because of the surge of seniors retiring and moving into their twilight years. In fact, there will be twice as many seniors in 20 years than there are today. Because of that, experts in healthcare are trying to figure out the best way to care for seniors as they age.

In-Home Care Keeps Special Needs Adults Safer

In the course of researching this subject, we realized that the needs of seniors are practically identical to adults living with Autism, Down syndrome, and physical disabilities. MetLife’s Mature Market Institute recently conducted a survey in conjunction with the National Alliance for Caregiving and NY Medical College and found that there are an estimated 10 million working age adults (age 50 years or older) caring for an aging parent. That is three times the number of adults who were giving home care to an aging parent just 15 years ago.

One of the reasons adult children are moving their elderly parents in with them (or moving in with their parents) is to help them live longer. Americans have an average lifespan that is 11 years longer than it was 60 years ago (79 on average). There are many living even longer than that – the number of Americans age 85 years old and above total around 6 million people.

At the same time, living independently is dangerous; “30% of seniors who are over 65 years of age have a fall accident every year.” A bad fall is one of the most likely causes of sudden death for those 65 and older. For many, those falls result in permanent disability. Suddenly, caring for their daily needs requires more help than most working adults can provide every day. In order to make sure that their loved ones are safe many are turning to in-home care providers for help.

How Much Does In-Home Care Cost?

Frankly, there is no flat cost for in-home care. Every person will require different levels of care. Some will need 24 hour care but only on a temporary basis. Some will only need care for certain hours of the day while others will need daily full-time care long term. Those things will factor the most in how expensive in-home care services will be.

Also, where you live determines how much you’ll pay for in-home care. According to a survey reported by Consumer Reports, generally speaking, for full-time in-home care, you will pay close to $50,000 per year. That’s for a 40+ hour work week and is the same for both medical in-home care and non-medical in-home care.

Like most service providers, you’ll pay more for overnight and evening care, weekends, holidays, etc. If you need a home healthcare aide who is certified with particular medical expertise – physical therapy, nursing, counseling, etc. – you will pay more. And if you live far out in a rural area which includes rural or remote states, you will pay more.

Adult Day Care is the Most Affordable Option

At the end of the day, it turns out that out of all of the options, what we do at Hands from Heaven is the most affordable option. Most in-home care providers are hired to take care of non-medical daily chores like errands, personal care, transportation, shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping, etc.

In addition to the added safety, comfort, and convenience of in-home care, special needs and elderly adults have someone that they can talk to on a daily basis which has enormous mental and emotional benefits. Adult day care helps expose special needs adults to other people in similar circumstances. It helps them to get out and socialize which adds to the emotional benefits of daily care from a professional.

Even homecare aides who are not certified nurses are able to make sure that those in their charge take their medicine when they are supposed to, that they eat when they need to, and that someone is there to provide and seek help if, God forbid, a bad fall does happen. Better than that, they are there to help make sure that those falls don’t happen!

For the same 40 hour week of in-home care, you will pay less than half of that for adult day care according to the survey conducted by Genworth. On average, adult day care costs just over $18,000 per year. For that money, special needs adults get the attention and care that they need along with the emotional benefits of socializing with others. Short term in-home care is covered by Medicare and Medicaid, but long term in-home care is not. Most have to pay for that out-of-pocket.

By far, adult day care is a fraction of the costs for in-home care which can max out at around $240 per day or nursing home care and assisted living which can go anywhere from $375 a day to over $1,200. Fortunately, some adult day care programs can be paid for through Medicare and Medicaid.

Paying for In-Home Care

If in-home care is your only option, there are ways to at least cut some of the costs. If you are fortunate enough to have saved enough or have relatives (children) well off enough to afford about $4,000 per month, then you have nothing to worry about. You can afford the best in-home care possible.

But for most people, you will likely face a combination of out of pocket expenses, covered care, and perhaps even donations from a GoFundMe campaign or a non-profit like AARP. Veterans can find additional benefits through the Veterans Administration (VA).

To find out what benefits are available to you where you live, we found two good resources for you. First, when you go to benefits.gov you will fill out a questionnaire that asks several questions about the person in need of care and based on your answers it will pop out a list of resources and government programs available to you.

A non-profit, benefitscheckup.org was created by the National Council on Aging and is geared specifically toward seniors. This is a great resource for those living with special needs and who are now senior citizens to find money to help pay for quality in-home or adult day care services.

Would you like to know more about our services at Hands for Heaven browse around our site or stop by for a visit! Click here for directions to our facility. Did you know that we are hiring? Check out our Facebook page for more information and to submit an application!

 

“Hands from Heaven LLC was chosen in the Home Health Care Service category for Reynoldsburg Business Recognition.” – Blake Thompson, Reynoldsburg Business Recognition, Email: blake@inrecognition.org

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Costs are only part of the reason why researchers are now pointing to basic home care needs that can be provided on a temporary basis are better for patients’ chances for recovery. Particularly for patients who are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, food insecurity and “lack of access to nutritious food” are the reasons why the number of readmission rates go up among that population.

Food delivery service as part of in-home care covered by the same benefits have shown to reduce readmission rates as well as lower the costs to provide additional health services through hospitals and clinics. The Affordable Care Act for almost a decade now has required hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid to reduce costs for health services by reducing readmission rates.

In-home care does more than reduce readmission rates, but also leads to better post-operative results, recovery, and lower costs. Plus, patients are happier recovering at home as opposed to in a hospital room – no matter how nice it is.

Most Want to Stay at Home or Close to Home

 

Although elderly patients were the subjects in the NEJM study the results focus mostly on post-acute care and the rate of readmissions. For older adults, many who have special needs, many things in their own homes become health risks as they age, anything from falls down stairs to dementia-related injuries like fires and gas explosions. Yet one of the riskiest places for the elderly is the hospital where “hospital-acquired” infections can be deadly.

In-home care has proven to reduce the instances of readmission in those cases compared to the same acute-level post-injury care at a hospital. Health experts have known this for years but paying for that kind of in-home care through government benefits like Medicare and Medicaid has been a roadblock.

Effective last year, the Department of Health and Human Services implemented a model with billing codes that will allow hospitals to bundle acute-level home care as part of “transitional care” coverage through Medicare and Medicaid. The NEJM study used this payment model as a means to research health results from in-home care.

Researchers compared the results from over 200 patients recovering from an acute condition in the hospital (for about five days) versus nearly 300 who were provided post-acute care at home (for around three days). The results showed that after 30 days, patients who were treated in-home as opposed to a hospital “were significantly less likely” to be readmitted, have to go to the ER, or be moved to a nursing home.

Long-Term Hospital Costs will Result in More In-Home Care

 

Not all patients will be able to opt for in-home care. But the study shows that even patients that are so sick that they are admitted to the hospital can also be stabilized well enough to go home and receive in-home care. In-home caregivers will usually come by and check on the patient at least once a day if not more.

Some hospitals and in-home care providers are offering “telemedicine” where vitals can be monitored remotely. Caregivers are then left to focus on the daily essentials for patients – going to and from appointments, taking care of groceries and other errands, meal preparation, daily hygiene chores, and simple conversation and a caring touch.

This combination of care is much better for patients with the majority of study participants giving highly satisfactory feedback for in-home care versus in-patient care. In-home caregivers are rated much more highly by patients. Caregivers also find it more rewarding to provide in-home care services where their patients are most comfortable. Hospitals benefit from fewer emergency room cases and less crowded beds.

Many Elderly Adults Need Special Needs Care

 

Soon the largest generation (Baby Boomers) will all be counted among the elderly. The costs associated with hospital admissions as well as the risks that come with them are continuing to climb while demand for acute care services grows. In-home care options that can be covered for a fraction of the costs of hospitalization and readmissions through government and private insurance will increase the need for more in-home health care providers closer to where patients live.

We know at Hands from Heaven that the emotional element in special needs care is just as important as the medical support. As more elderly people become special needs adults, it is important to provide the kind of emotional and daily physical support that our loved ones need, especially after an acute illness or health crisis changes their quality of life. We are in-home care specialists.

Do you need in-home care services for a special needs adult? Hands from Heaven is here to help! Click here for directions to our facility and follow us on our Facebook page for more information!

“Hands from Heaven LLC was chosen in the Home Health Care Service category for Reynoldsburg Business Recognition.” – Blake Thompson, Reynoldsburg Business Recognition, Email: blake@inrecognition.org