Agency vs Do It Yourself

When you go through an agency to find a home-care worker the agency will handle the hiring process for you: payroll, background checks, reference checks, and choosing who comes...

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Background Checks

When hiring a home-care worker you will want to conduct a background check, this can be done via the web. For employment purposes you must have the potential worker sign a...

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Veterans Benefits

If you or your loved one is a Veteran check the VA website VA services or call your local VA office to see if you qualify for assistance. Home care if covered for eligible...

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Alzheimer’s Takes a Toll

Posted on Mar 20, 2014

I read an interesting article today about Alzheimer’s and decided to check out the Alzheimer’s Association website. I could not believe the facts and figures they had on their site. It was shocking to find out how many people in the U.S. suffer and die each year and how it affects woman far differently than men. I decided to post some of the information for you below.

Facts and Figures taken directly from the Alzheimer’s Association

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s takes a heavy toll on woman. Woman are far more likely to develop the disease than men. One in six woman over 65 will get this fatal disease, compared to one in eleven men. Woman are also more likely to be a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s and face professional and personal hardships far more than men do. The Alzheimer’s Association has a breakdown of the toll caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can have, male vs. female caregivers. The breakdown is as follows: 20% of females had to go from working full time to part time- compared to 3% of men, 18% of females had to take a leave of absence- compared to 11% of men, 11% of females had to give up work entirely- compared to 5% of men, 10% of females lost job benefits- compared to 5% of men.

Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women. Woman are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than breast cancer and cases are expected to triple by 2050.  There are 2.5 times more women than men providing intensive care 24 hours a day for someone with Alzheimer’s.  More than 60% of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women, and many have to cut back on their own jobs, quit all together, or lose benefits.  There is also an emotional and physical toll when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.3 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2013. Nearly 60% of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high, and more than one-third report symptoms of depression.

In 2013, 15.5 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care valued at more than $220 billion. Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive condition in the nation. In 2014, the direct costs in the U.S. of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total an estimated $214 billion, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid.  Alzheimer’s will cost an estimated $1.2 trillion (in today’s dollars) in 2050. There is also a financial toll of Alzheimer’s on families with out-of-pocket spending for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias  estimated at $36 billion.

One in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease and there are approximately 500,000 people dying each year because they have Alzheimer’s.  Alzheimer’s is officially the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the 5th leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older. It kills more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined. Deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 68% between 2000 and 2010, while deaths from other major diseases decreased. Alzheimer’s disease is the only cause of death among the top 10 in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

Quote from the Alzheimer’s Association,

“The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will escalate rapidly in coming years as the baby boom generation ages. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may nearly triple, from 5 million to as many as 16 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease.”

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More Gadgets to Help People Stay Healthy at Home

Posted on Mar 16, 2014

I blogged a while ago about new devices coming to the market, or already available for purchase, to help people track their health and the health and safety of loved ones at home. Here a are a few more to add and they are pretty affordable.

AliveCor: At one time this was only available with a prescription but is now available over the counter. AliveCor is a heart monitor that is built into a smartphone case that can take readings of your hearts electrical activity in seconds. Approximate price- $200. A great device for anyone with a heart condition, especially those who live alone.

Body Media Armbands: This armband can track calories burned, steps taken, motion, sleep patterns, and skin temperature. Approximate price is between $70-$119 plus a $6.95 monthly subscription for online activity manager.

Withings Smart Body Analyzer: This scale measures your weight, body composition, heart rate, and indoor air quality. The information is then uploaded to your mobile device. Approximate price- $150.

I think the Body Media Armband and the Withings Smart Body Analyzer would be great additions for anyone who needs home care or for elderly who live alone.  These could help with lowering the cost of home care and help family caregivers monitor their loved ones when not at home. You can order these gadgets from there respected websites.

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Cuts In Home Health Care Funds

Posted on Mar 11, 2014

Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, cut the maximum allowed by law from home health care funds. It was estimated that 40 percent of providers would have negative effects and will have to close down or have to cut workers and services in order to make up for the loss of funds. Those cuts will put 498,000 jobs of home health care workers in jeopardy.

These 498,00 jobs are only the tip of the iceberg. The baby boomer generation is retiring and leaving even-more vacant home heath care jobs.  There is going to be a massive shortage…worse than the shortage we have now. It seems to me that the best choice is for home care workers to start there own businesses and leave the agencies. More cuts in funds will mean lower pay, less benefits (if you get benefits at all) and a severe shortage of workers. If home health aides work for themselves they can and will get more money, better hours, and will be able to afford benefits. The people who need a home care worker will be able to hire who they want, pay less, and have better workers. I hope people stop relying on the government for there long term care needs, the time is now to take control of your own care.

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