Health Affairs estimates that 4 million older adults can only leave their homes with assistance, making accessing care challenging.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1.3 million Americans receive care in nursing homes. According to A Place for Mom, more than 810,000 reside in assisted living.Home health care presents an alternative to nursing homes and assisted living, providing care for homebound people. Those who receive home health care can remain in their residences, reducing expenses, preserving autonomy, and maintaining community ties.Although Medicare funds some home health care services, a recent study has found that Medicare beneficiaries are underutilizing the programs home health care options. Many older adults do not receive the home-based clinical care or home-based long-term services and supports that could benefit them.Medicare Coverage of Home Health ServicesMedicare Parts A and B cover certain home health services. Homebound individuals can receive part-time or intermittent skilled services. Part A covers home health care for people following a hospital stay or a stay in a skilled nursing facility. Part B provides home health care for homebound adults who need skilled nursing care.A Medicare beneficiary is considered homebound in the following situations:Because of an illness or injury, they have trouble leaving their home without help, such as a cane, wheelchair, walker, or crutches, special transportation, or another persons assistance.Their physician recommends staying at home.Leaving their residence takes a major effort.The program covers medically necessary part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care and health assistance, durable medical equipment, and medical supplies for use at home.Medicaid also covers long-term services and supports (LTSS), which include medical and personal care services that aid with activities of daily living (ADLs). These are the kinds of services an assisted living facility typically provides.Use of Home-Based Clinical Care and Long-Term Services and Supports Among Homebound Older AdultsA 2023 study published in the Journal of American Medical Directors Association looked into home-based clinical care and home-based LTSS among homebound older Medicare beneficiaries. The researchers examined the Medicare claims of 974 beneficiaries to shed light on their use of in-home services.The study found that while homebound individuals used these services, no group received high levels of all care types.Homebound individuals more commonly utilized LTSS services than home-based clinical care.Approximately 30 percent of participants received some home-based clinical care.About 80 percent of the sample received home-based LTSS.The researchers identified three levels of home clinical care and LTSS usage among older adults:Low Care and Services (46.6 percent). The largest group of participants received little home-based care. These individuals tended to be younger with fewer chronic conditions and functional impairments.Home Health Only with LTSS (44.5 percent). While this group used some home health services, such as assistance with ADLs, they received little home-based clinical care.High Clinical with LTSS (8.9 percent). Only a few participants had extensive home-based clinical care. In addition to tending to be older, they were more likely to have dementia and live alone.In finding that only roughly 9 percent of participants receive high levels of clinical care and LTSS, the study points to a gap between those who could benefit from these services and the care provided. Although in-home care and support could meet the needs of older adults, many homebound older adults do not take full advantage of the services available.Learn More About Your OptionsIf you or your loved one need help with medicare care of activities of daily living at home, contact Sharek Law Office at 412-347-1731 or click here to schedule a complimentary 15-Minute call to learn more about your options. This article is a service of Sharek Law Office, LLC. We dont just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Life and Legacy Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than youve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Life and Legacy Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge. Please note this is educational content only and is not intended to act as legal advice.
Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have each developed a vaccine to protect older adults from a virus known as RSV. People over 60 are at significant risk of serious complications if they contract RSV. Fortunately, with the recent FDA approval of Pfizers Abrysvo vaccine and GSKs Arexvy vaccine, along with practical safety measures, seniors can take steps to avoid the effects of this virus.What Is RSV?Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a respiratory infection that mimics the common cold. Most people recover from RSV within two weeks after initial exposure to the virus. However, the virus can cause serious complications in older adults.Symptoms of RSV can include:CoughingFeverSneezingRunny noseDecreased appetiteWheezingNew RSV Vaccines Are on the HorizonGSK has developed an RSV vaccine that has recently received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. It developed the vaccine Arexvy to prevent lower respiratory disease in older adults caused by RSV. Arexvy is the first RSV vaccine approved for use in the United States.The GlaxoSmithKline approval was based on positive data that included a showing of an overall vaccine efficacy of nearly 83 percent in older adults with at least one underlying medical condition.Before submitting its vaccine for FDA approval, Pfizer also conducted tests to determine its efficacy. The main clinical study found that Abrysvo had an efficacy of almost 86 percent in participants. The study also found that the vaccine significantly reduced the risks of adults older than 60 developing RSV-associated lower respiratory tract disease by about 83 percent.Some participants reported side effects that included injection site pain, joint stiffness, muscle pain, headaches, and fatigue. A small number of participants in the Arexvy studies developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). The FDA is requiring GSK to complete a subsequent study to determine whether there is a significant risk that users will develop Guillain-Barre Syndrome or ADEM.RSV is a seasonal disease, with a season typically beginning in the fall and peaking in the winter. GlaxoSmithKline reports that the Arexvy vaccine is effective across two RSV seasons.Who Is at Risk for RSV?Older people are more vulnerable to contracting RSV. As we age, our immune systems naturally weaken, and we become more susceptible to disease, including RSV. Seniors at the greatest risk of getting RSV are those with chronic heart or lung disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60,000 to 160,000 older adults are hospitalized and between 6,000 and 10,000 seniors die each year from RSV nationwide.Potential Complications for Older Adults With RSVRSV can lead to serious complications in people aged 60 and over, including severe infections that can lead to extended hospital stays.RSV is an illness that affects the respiratory system, so seniors with the following underlying illnesses may experience significant problems fighting off the RSV infection:Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)Congestive heart failureAsthmaExacerbation of pneumoniaSeniors Can Adopt These Practices to Help Stop the Spread of RSVRSV is an easily transmittable disease. Fortunately, seniors can adopt simple habits to contain the spread. Some of the following practices can save your life or the life of your loved ones:Stay Away From Public Places When Youre SickIt is critical to avoid public places like grocery stores, recreation centers, nursing home common areas, and the like when you are sick. RSV is highly contagious, so if you are ill, stay away from others to avoid spreading the disease. Clean and Disinfect Frequently Touched SurfacesClean and disinfect high-traffic areas. Be sure to wipe doorknobs, countertops, and other areas that are typically frequented in your home. Avoid Close Contact With Sick PeopleYou should avoid anyone that is sick. Again, RSV is highly communicable, and an older adult may face serious consequences if they are infected. Dont Touch Your FaceNever touch your face with unwashed hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Wash Your HandsWash your hands with soap and water frequently and for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, consider using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.Both vaccines are expected to become available in the United States in the fall of 2023.Contact Sharek Law Office at 412-347-1731 or click here to schedule a complimentary 15-Minute Call to see how we can help. This article is a service of Sharek Law Office, LLC. We dont just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Life and Legacy Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than youve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Life and Legacy Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge. Please note this is educational content only and is not intended to act as legal advice.
As our loved ones age, their health and well-being become paramount concerns. The complexities of managing their care, medical needs, and overall quality of life can be overwhelming for both seniors and their families. This is where the indispensable role of a geriatric care manager comes into play. Assisted Living Locators of North Pittsburgh understands the critical importance of these professionals in ensuring comprehensive and tailored care for seniors. In this article, we delve into the significant contributions of geriatric care managers and how they can make a positive impact on the lives of seniors and their families.The Multifaceted Role of a Geriatric Care Manager:A geriatric care manager is a seasoned professional with specialized training in gerontology, social work, nursing, or related fields. Their primary role is to act as a liaison between seniors, their families, and various healthcare providers, ensuring that the senior's needs are met holistically.Comprehensive Assessments:Geriatric care managers conduct thorough assessments of a senior's physical, emotional, and social well-being. By analyzing these aspects comprehensively, they create a personalized care plan that addresses the senior's unique needs and preferences.Expert Guidance:Navigating the intricate landscape of senior care services and resources can be daunting. Geriatric care managers serve as knowledgeable guides, offering insights into suitable care options, assisted living facilities, medical professionals, and more.Care Coordination:The coordination of medical appointments, therapies, and day-to-day care can become challenging as a senior's needs evolve. Geriatric care managers ensure seamless communication between various healthcare providers, streamlining the care process.Emotional Support:Geriatric care managers understand the emotional toll that aging can take on both seniors and their families. They provide compassionate emotional support and offer coping strategies for the inevitable transitions and changes that come with aging.Crisis Management:During emergencies or sudden changes in health, geriatric care managers act swiftly to address the situation. Their expertise helps mitigate crises and make informed decisions in high-stress situations.Advocacy:Advocacy is a crucial aspect of a geriatric care manager's role. They represent the senior's best interests, ensuring that they receive appropriate care, treatment, and support.The Assisted Living Locators Advantage:At Assisted Living Locators of North Pittsburgh, we recognize that geriatric care managers play an integral role in enhancing the lives of seniors and their families. Our team includes dedicated geriatric care managers who collaborate with families to create personalized care plans that prioritize the well-being of their loved ones. Here's how our approach sets us apart:Personalized Care: Our geriatric care managers take the time to understand each senior's unique needs and preferences, tailoring care plans accordingly.Vast Network: Leveraging our extensive network of trusted senior care providers, we connect families with the best possible resources, from medical professionals to assisted living facilities.Continued Support: We provide ongoing support, assisting families in navigating changes, adjustments, and any challenges that arise as a senior's care needs evolve.Geriatric care managers are invaluable allies in the journey of aging, offering expert guidance, compassionate support, and holistic care solutions. Assisted Living Locators of North Pittsburgh is proud to have a team of dedicated geriatric care managers who are committed to enhancing the lives of seniors and their families. Together, we strive to ensure that every senior receives the comprehensive care and support they deserve.