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Aging Parents With Differing Care Needs? Here’s How to Tackle the Challenges

Aging Parents With Differing Care Needs? Here’s How to Tackle the Challenges

Handling the relocation of your aging parents is a big responsibility, particularly if one of your folks is declining while the other remains in good health. You’ll be managing the cost and logistics of finding appropriate living quarters for each of them while providing the compassion your parents need to bravely face these big changes. Here are some tips for successfully navigating this challenging situation.

Focus on Long-Term Requirements

Finding the ideal care facility for your ailing parent is a priority. Start by assessing what type of place best fits your mom or dad’s specific needs; typically, a nursing home offers skilled medical care while an assisted living center does not.

Be realistic about the future; although your parent’s current condition may be stable, it’s better to find a facility that provides escalating care if you expect his or her health to decline. Ask friends for recommendations, or consult referral services to find homes that meet your location, cost, and service requirements.

Review Financial Resources

Quality care doesn’t come cheaply, so examine all potential resources for covering the expense. Experts note that demand for long-term care insurance is increasing, but if your parents don’t have a policy, you may have to tap their savings, veterans benefits, or home equity.

Selling the family home is another way to provide funds for nursing care while relieving your healthy parent of the hard work of maintaining a house. If you go this route, keep in mind you may need to fix up the place to get it market-ready. While you can leave some cosmetic updates to the new owners, you should fix major issues like roof or foundation problems, leaky plumbing, and damaged windows to attract a wider audience of buyers.

Facilitate Downsizing

If you’re selling your mom and dad’s house to cover the cost of a nursing home for one of them, you still need to address other parents’ living situation. Moving in with you or one of your siblings, renting a smaller house, or settling into a retirement community are the main choices, and each likely requires downsizing.

Once they’ve found the best option, make the transition easier for your parent by hiring a mover for packing and transporting services. Some providers will even remove items for donation or disposal to make paring down less difficult. Find a local company with excellent reviews and recommendations on Angi.com so the move is handled professionally by a reputable team.

Practice Compassion

Throughout this process, it’s easy to let troubling emotions get the best of you. Anger, worry, and frustration may all wear on your compassion, causing you to lash out unintentionally.

Acknowledging that what you’re experiencing is normal can help you let go of hurtful feelings and focus on the empathy and kindness both of your parents need from you at this time. By actively showing compassion, you’ll also improve your own well-being so you’re better able to tackle the situation without giving into negativity.

From finding the right care facility like Regency Jewish Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation for your ailing mom or dad to transitioning your healthy parent into a new home, these tips will make these major responsibilities easier to handle. Just remember to maintain your sense of compassion as you manage these challenges, so you and your parents come through the process as successfully as possible.

Regency Jewish Heritage Achieves Milestone Recognition for Excellence in Healthcare!

In August, NJBIZ will shine a light on the heroes around us when they celebrate the 2021 Healthcare Heroes Awards.

Based off independent submissions from across the healthcare spectrum and chosen by a panel of independent and impartial healthcare experts and judges, the program recognizes individuals and organizations across 12 categories for their significant impacts on the health care industry and landscape in New Jersey.

Regency Jewish Heritage has made it on that list and we couldn’t be more proud!!

The prestigious Healthcare Association of New Jersey (HCANJ) has also picked this up in their recent news coverage!

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO READ THE COVERAGE:

Elder Attorney or Medicaid Specialist to Secure Long-Term Nursing Eligibility?

As part of the transition of our patients from short term to long term care, the families will typically apply for Medicaid on behalf of the resident (acting as their proxy) in order to secure a long-term payor source for 24 hour skilled nursing care.

Inevitably, Medicare is synonymous with short term rehab only.

Traditional Medicare is finite and only allocates up to 100 days of in-patient skilled rehab and based upon specific conditions and criteria.

However, Medicaid is the go-to long term payor source for all residents living in a nursing home, because they cover (long term) custodial care.

In securing Medicaid there are financial and clinical criteria to determine eligibility which sometimes requires a private pay ‘spend-down’ period. Thereafter, the patient must be considered ‘Medicaid Pending,’ which is the period during which the Medicaid application has been successfully submitted to the State, but not yet fully executed by the State.

In successfully submitting the application and in order for the application to be considered ‘pending,’ it must be correctly done and without any anticipated difficulties and/or penalties which would preclude the applicant from qualifying once the state takes a close look at the documents.

To this end, families will often require help from a specialist who is versed in the minutiae and tedious nuances of various State mandates and ‘look backs’ and information gathering etc.

There are two types of facilitators in the field of Medicaid applications; there are Elder Attorneys and Medicaid Specialists and families have the ability to choose one over the other.

What is the difference between the two?

Let us first understand the definition of Elder Law and what it encompasses.

What is Elder Law?

The practice of Elder Law is a specialty practice that encompasses a broad understanding of aging and the law, and the interaction between the varied issues which may affect the elderly.

Elder Law addresses a multitude of needs and issues, including:

  • Guardianships
  • Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Surrogate Designations
  • Planning for Long Term Care and Medicaid
  • Residential Alternatives
  • Special Needs Trusts for Disabled Individuals
  • Trusts – Revocable and Irrevocable
  • Preventing and Correcting Abuse, Exploitation or Neglect of an Elderly Person

What is a “Medicaid Specialist?”

Conversely, a Medicaid Specialist is usually a firm that specializes in the emerging niche market of facilitating Medicaid eligibility for elderly people by coordinating the entire effort to procure the appropriate and requisite documentation which the State requires and actually applying for Medicaid on behalf of the resident.

The Medicaid specialist is typically not an elder attorney and will therefore not specialize in (or otherwise pursue) estates, trusts and other such matters concerning the elderly.

Instead, they focus exclusively on applying for Medicaid on behalf of their clients and on following up with the often time consuming process of seeing the application through to its successful conclusion.

Who to use?

There are benefits inherent in using or preferring each of these two different business models and much of it will be subjective and personal.

I will enumerate and highlight but a few of the differences for your considerations:

  1. Elder Lawyers offer a robust array of services including Medicaid applications, in the event that you wish to use one vendor for all of your senior planning.
  2. Medicaid specialists are often more competitively priced than attorneys and will also offer varied payment options and packages, including a flat fee per application and an hourly fee for consultation and implementation. Therefore, depending on the severity of the case, folks will do better financially by choosing one over the other.

In all instances, however, it is vital that you conduct proper research and do your due diligence before making an important decision of this magnitude.

 

Good luck!

Using Senior-Friendly Tech to Stay in Touch With Loved Ones

This is a continuation of THIS ARTICLE we published back in 2020.

This topic is more relevant in a post-pandemic world than ever before.

Staying in touch with friends and family is difficult when you are stuck at home, yet that is a situation that an increasing number of older adults find themselves in. Prolonged isolation can result in severe consequences for emotional and physical health, particularly for seniors. Fortunately, even when you cannot physically engage with loved ones, modern technology makes it possible to stay connected.

Take a look at our website at Regency Nursing Centers for authoritative content on this and other related  healthcare topics.

Explore Senior-Friendly Hardware Options

The right hardware choice depends on how (and how much) you plan to use your new device. Occasional users may be fine merely sticking with a smartphone and downloading a specific app, say for a favorite game, for social media or for video chatting. However, if you are planning to engage in lifelong learning classes in addition to occasional interaction with your friends and family, then you may want to invest in a more robust product. Familiarizing yourself with current hardware options will facilitate a decision.

Desktop computers are an excellent solution for anyone who uses their device in a set location. If you add a webcam and microphone, you can easily use a traditional desktop or all-in-one system for everything from email to video calls. They tend to offer more features for a lower price than more portable options, making them a reliable choice if you want a robust system that won’t break the bank.

A laptop can be slightly more expensive than a comparably equipped desktop but offers the advantage of portability. Shopping online opens the door to many great deals on laptops, especially if you are willing to forgo the newest advances for a more basic machine.

You don’t need to have a traditional computer to stay connected through technology. Tablets are incredibly lightweight and portable, and they offer a simple, intuitive user experience. Prices and features can vary. Thinking about how you will use it (for gaming, video chat, email, e-reading, etc.) will help you find the right model for your needs. Some models can be added to a cellular data plan, so you don’t have to worry about a separate internet connection if you don’t already have one.

Seniors who aren’t tech savvy and aren’t interested in learning have other options, too; there are monitor-type devices that are exclusively for video calls, or they can verbally command their automated assistant to place audio calls.

Play Games

The internet makes it possible to play games with your loved ones, even if they live far away. For instance, if you’re a wordsmith, why not invite a family member to hop online and play a round of online Scrabble? Or you could jump on the bandwagon of senior gamers and play a console game that’s designed to play with friends. Whether you play on the computer, your smartphone, or a device like a PlayStation or Xbox, make sure your internet connection is up to par so you have a smooth experience and play without interruption. 5G has become the standard for game play, so check with your local provider to find out if it’s available.

Try New Software Choices

As there are numerous programs offering video conferencing and video calls, a few software upgrades may be all you need to enjoy this no-longer-futuristic option. In fact, if you already have a smartphone, you might be surprised to learn that you also already have video calling capabilities. Downloading a video call app like Skype or Portal to your phone makes communication feel more personal. Business Insider notes video calls can be made between iPhones and Androids, too, thanks to several apps that cross the brand divide.

Seek Out Accessibility Features

Aging brings about physical changes that, while perfectly normal, can make using some technology difficult. While there is no denying that barriers keeping seniors from embracing technology do exist, you are probably already overcoming them in other aspects of daily life. For example, you may have adapted to presbyopia with reading glasses or a magnifier or rely on a jar opener to overcome arthritis-weakened hands. The same adaptability can help you find technology that accommodates any physical limitations while helping you meet emotional and social needs.

Manufacturers and developers have increased accessibility features in recent years, and you should look for them as you search for the right device. Choosing a senior-friendly font in a size, style, and color that is easy to read improves the user experience—Fonts.com suggests at least 12 point text—and voice recognition makes accessing programs and information virtually effortless.

Technology can help you stay in touch with family and friends, even when you are confined to home. Choosing the right hardware for what you want to do and then looking for compatible software that accommodates any barriers you face will help you stay connected and minimize some of the complications of isolation.

Regency Nursing Centers NJ Leads The Way During COVID-19

Dear Friends,

With the Regency vaccinations now (successfully) in the rearview mirror (we were in fact, from the first skilled nursing organizations in the state of NJ to vaccinate our residents) it is tough to believe that we are finally starting to turn the corner with the pandemic – and we are so very grateful!

From the very beginning of the pandemic, Regency was at the forefront of the effort to keep our residents safe. Our heroic caregivers stepped up to the plate in a big way to heal our patients amidst this global crisis.

We succeeded.

And we were recognized.

Our Founder and President, David Gross, demonstrated tremendous leadership with his constant email outreach and updates to keep our families informed and empowered.

The grateful letters we received were well received and resonate even 1 year later.

I’d like to remind you of this positively stunning letter we received last year on June 23, 2020.

I actually have it bookmarked because it is a source of constant inspiration for me and for my colleagues.

TAKE A LOOK

What inspires you?

Have a great weekend!

Judah