At-home care using home companions or home health aides is the single largest, yet informal system for the delivery of healthcare services in this country today accounting for an estimated 95% of care delivered. Families that hire caregivers or outside contractors such as home health aides or home companions to perform a variety of services may unknowingly be exposing themselves to a variety of risks that may not be covered through their homeowner's or general liability insurance policies. In addition, as an employer, there are certain tax consequences associated with the employment of a home companion for which they may be unaware.
Today's seniors enjoy a life expectancy longer than any generation in history. U.S. citizens have an average life expectancy of 78 years. And while additional years are generally considered a blessing, it is also true that the older one grows, the more likely it is that they will need healthcare and/or assisted living services.
Today's seniors, who often consider themselves among the best informed, would do well to learn about three crucial areas that pertain to their future healthcare needs:
· The potential that they may need long term care
· The cost of long-term care
· The limited federal and state aid available
Over the years I have been asked countless times by residents and families "Are the costs associated with the care they receive tax deductible?" While much of the tax code is subject to varied interpretations, and each individual should seek competent advice from their own professionals, it appears that the answer to this question is "likely."
There are few people on earth better equipped with the natural innate ability to make us feel guilty than our mothers. In our culture guilt has been instinctively crafted to an art form designed to influence our behaviors. It is a learned behavior passed on from generation to generation. Feelings of guilt can be self-inflicted or can be imposed upon us by other people. When guilt is legitimate, it spurs us to do better. When it is unwarranted, it only causes anxiety and hinders our ability to make sound decisions and provide quality care.
Evolve’s activity director Lori Wiswell believes that reaching those long-term memories is often a matter of channeling attention to target familiar images that we all hold onto during our lives. There is a palpable sense of enthusiasm bubbling from Lori: “Here at Evolve at Rye we offer a therapeutic, multi-faceted interdisciplinary approach to activities and social and leisure programming,” she explains. “Our goal is to provide specialized stimulation to create structure and support in meeting the physical, psychosocial, cognitive and spiritual needs of each resident. In this case, it’s through the imagery of art therapy.”
Dementia is a neurological disorder that affects the ability to think, speak, reason, remember and move. While Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, many other conditions also cause these symptoms. Some of these disorders get worse with time and cannot be cured. Other types can be treated and reversed.
The three most common forms of dementia are as follows:
Anorexia is an overall decline in appetite leading to decreased food intake, and consumption of inadequate calories. It is the major cause of weight loss and poor nutritional status in older adults.
Malnutrition and dehydration are associated with susceptibility to infections, cognitive impairment, poor skin and bone integrity, pressure sores and hip fractures. These serious consequences along with co-morbidities from chronic illness often lead to mortality.
A fragrance is an essence of long-term memories. One whiff of a childhood aroma can set the memory in motion, bringing back thoughts, faces, and feelings long forgotten. Fragrance consists of volatile molecules that float in the air. Millions of olfactory receptor cells line the nose, and aroma causes these nerves to fire and sends messages to the limbic area of the brain. From there, the messages travel to other parts of the brain, activating thought and memory. The pituitary gland is also stimulated to release chemical messages that travel via the blood to glands and organs that create physical body responses.