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Seniors Skyrocket as Social Media’s Exponential Audience

Marketing to the senior living market via social media puts you directly in front of approximately 40 million US citizens at any given time. There are currently millions of seniors who comprise the exponentially growing demographics online this minute; chatting, searching for products, and seeking services you have to offer. Today’s technology makes marketing to this lucrative group of individuals easier than ever. The research is complete and the numbers are in. Your senior audience is online and waiting to hear from you.

The Senior Living Market: Ready, Willing, and “Online”

The Pew Research Center is known for its extensive research and fact recording regarding social media users and usage for over 10 years. Business News Daily referred to Pew’s research to gain information about the senior demographic currently using social platforms. Their quest led them to marketing professionals where they learned how successful their campaigns were when engaging older audiences on social media.

Savvy Social Media Tips

Formulating a comprehensive social media campaign requires a strategic plan designed to achieve your overall goal. In this case, your objective is to market your senior living community. Start by reaching out to both seniors and their adult children who may be actively involved in the various social media sites, or, searching for specific information.

Seniors on Facebook

According to the marketers contacted by Business News Daily, “Facebook is the most successful platform for marketing to a senior demographic. According to Pew, 62 percent of internet users ages 65 and older use Facebook, and 72 percent of 50 to 64-year-olds use Facebook as well. Facebook continues to have the highest number of users in these age ranges.”

Every small business should be on Facebook. With more than 2.27 billion monthly users, small businesses can use Facebook in a number of ways including:

  • Promote services
  • Increase customer support
  • Boost recognition

Facebook Marketing Strategy

Facebook encourages reviews and has an on-page review system that showcases honest reviews from current employees, senior residents, and families. The public is accustomed to and impressed by reading reviews and testimonials backed up by a personal profile.

To learn more about developing successful marketing strategies on Facebook, click this link supplied by Business News Daily: Facebook: Everything You Need to Know.

LinkedIn

Seniors love being online. But according to Pew, there are fewer seniors using LinkedIn. The following demographics could be useful in marketing to the more affluent children of seniors who’re concerned with future housing and care needed for a loved one. The LinkedIn site is a great way to reach 30 to 49-year-olds rather than individuals 50-and-older.

LinkedIn Marketing Strategy

Company Pages that are complete receive double the visitors. Companies that put up monthly posts usually gain followers up to six times faster than those that don’t. For more information on setting up your LinkedIn page go to LinkedIn Marketing Solutions portal and click the blue Create a Company Page button.

Pinterest

Many seniors look forward to “sharing” their past and present experiences using Pinterest as they can connect with like-minded communities. The Pinterest platform is totally visual, so posting current, well-cropped photos of your residents and facility can make a positive and memorable impression. Visit Pinterest for a business guide for more tips.

Pinterest Marketing Strategy

According to Barbara Bannon, Author Optimizing Patient Experiences, “Search for hashtags or keywords to find popular topics based on Likes, Repins and Comments. Post your comments regarding senior living on community boards to multiply the chances of being found and followed. Fill the board with pins related to senior care and the best care of your parents. Advantages to using Pinterest include:

Power – to go viral from a single picture or story.

Audience – demographics include aging Americans and their children.

Format – Visual stimuli register 60,000 times faster, making this social media platform an effective, lead generating tool. Using keywords and hashtags enable people to locate your content repeatedly.

Your Mission

Begin your marketing journey with authentic, verifiable facts, photos, and testimonials. Make it a point to post photos as part of your “story” including current residents (with permission) and share the details of their arrival, friends, activities, and what they like about you. When possible, show residents and staff participating in your facility’s amenities, or, just relaxing in a serene environment.

How to Avoid Long-Term Care Surprises by Planning Ahead

If you or a loved one needed a nursing home next week, would you know how to pay for it? Planning for long-term care is important. However, too many people fail to talk about it with their loved ones in advance and end up without a plan when the time comes to begin making decisions about long-term care.

Anticipate All of Your Health and Care Costs

The costs of medical care seem to rise with age. For adults who are 65 and older, Medicare can provide help with those costs, but coverage can be limited. That’s why most seniors who are eligible for Medicare opt for additional Medicare Advantage coverage. Medicare Advantage plans can help offset expenses for things like eye exams and dental care. You should do your homework to figure out whether Medicare Advantage coverage could help you or your senior loved one with medical expenses down the road.

One thing to keep in mind is that there is very little Medicare coverage for long-term care. If you have certain Medicare plans, you may be covered for short stays following a hospitalization or to treat or prevent medical conditions. However, for most seniors, the average annual costs of their long-term care needs will not be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other health insurance. You can expect to pay up to$100,000 each year for skilled care facilities, and you should expect to cover those costs in other ways.

Start Planning for Long-Term Care Costs ASAP

If you or a senior dependent requires a lengthy stay in a long-term care facility, you could be left footing a huge bill out of your own pocket. However, if you can plan ahead for those costs, you may have many more options for covering those high long-term care bills. For one, you can research insurance plans that may help you pay for long-term care. Long-term care insurance plans tend to be expensive, but if you sign up when you are younger, your premiums have the potential to be much less than if you shop for plans when you are older.

Opening an HSA is also a good option for adults who are planning for long-term care costs ahead of time. You can begin contributing to your HSA early, but those contributions must stop when you become eligible for Medicare. You can use the money in your HSA to help with care costs even if you are enrolled in Medicare.

Of course, financial planning is not the only way you can anticipate your long-term care needs. Better health choices, such as getting more exercise, can help seniors fight off health conditions that could require a lengthy stay in a long-term care facility.

Know How to Pay for Long-Term Care Without Planning

Many times, the need for long-term care is unexpected. Although most seniors will need some form of long-term care in their lifetime, many still do not plan appropriately for it. If you did not plan ahead, but you do own a home, you may be in luck: You could use home equity to get the cash you need for care costs. There are several different options open to homeowners, from taking out a reverse mortgage to selling your property outright. If you think you will be returning to your home, or if long-term care is needed by a loved one, a reverse mortgage may be your best bet. Make sure you know the pros and cons of taking this kind of loan out on your home. Confirm that you can handle the payments or you could end up losing your home.

Another funding choice for long-term care costs is to cash out life insurance. If you have tons of coverage or multiple policies, this could be a safe bet for you. Once again, read the fine print before you make any major financial decision to pay for long-term care.

Don’t let long-term care cause you unnecessary stress or derail your retirement plans. If you can manage it, make a plan for long-term care ahead of time. If not, do your homework to figure out a financial option that will work best for you.

Improving the Senior Resident Experience

For many Seniors the transition into a Senior Living Community can be a scary and daunting Assisted Living imageendeavor.  Of course it is.  Most of these individuals have spent sometimes upwards of 40-50 years in the same house.  They spent years watching their grandchildren run and play in the same backyard that their own children did and embracing every memory they could.  This was, after all, their home.

Now it is time for a new chapter in their life.  The transition into a Senior Living Community is a life-altering decision.  However, if the right community is selected, it can be the best thing that they have ever done for themselves and their family. Today’s competitive Senior Living world is all about the resident experience.  Many communities strive to create a wonderful resident experience that will not only improve the lives of their residents but hopefully help bring in more seniors.

Five Ways to Improve the Senior Resident Experience:

1.  No Odors:  There is nothing worse than walking into a Senior Living Community and being hit with an unpleasant odor.  This will not only greatly impact the happiness of the residents and their visiting families, it is also an immediate deal breaker for prospective visitors. Do whatever you have to do to get rid of the odor!

2. Quality Food:  A community can have lavish furnishings, exquisite artwork and fantastic views, but if the food is sub par, then the community will fail; this is an unfortunate truth.  Residents and family members demand good food.  The best thing a quality community can do is hire an executive chef with a Culinary Arts Degree or Certification. The quality of the food will make or break the community.

3. Robust Activity Calendar:  Walk into some senior living communities and take a look at the activity calendar.  If it says 10am Bingo, 1pm Bingo, 3pm Bingo, 6pm Bingo then this is not the place for your parents. A quality community will have many variable activities for all walks of life such as: book clubs, arts and crafts, card games, movies and aerobics.  Residents that are able to keep busy, interact with others, and share stories and life experiences will be happier.

4. Give a Voice to the Residents:  Executive Directors and Administrators that live in their own little bubble are not good managers.  The voice of the resident must be heard.  Provide a mechanism for residents and family members to voice their opinions and concerns.  This can be in the form of suggestion boxes, resident councils and customer satisfaction surveys.  Promote these vehicles and take the information seriously.  Quick resolution to issues and concerns will resonate throughout the community.

5.  Create a Family Culture: This begins at the top.  The Executive Director must promote a culture of kindness towards families, residents, and employees.  Treat your employees like they are special and they will, in turn, treat the residents special.  The best answer a resident can give when asked how do you like it here is, “The staff treats me so great.”   Treating a resident with kindness and respect will make a more lasting impression. 

Relocating to a Senior Living Community does not have to be a scary transition.  A great resident experience can make your community a place where residents and family members are proud to live and visit.

5 Things To Consider When Choosing a Care Taker For Your Loved One

by: Ben Philip

A few years back, people would inherit the cultural tradition of taking care of their loved ones when they would grow old even if they had to leave their jobs and education. Now times have changed, and the dynamics of caretaking have been transferred in the corporate world. You will be surprised to know that caretaking has become a business down the years, and professional services are provided against money. If you are looking forward to hiring a suitable caretaker for your loved one because of lack of time or your chaotic routine, hire a person who you believe is going to be the best after you. In this article, I will guide you through 5 things to keep in mind when choosing a caretaker for your loved one.

5 things to keep in mind when choosing a caretaker:

1. Check his/her social media profile

In this day and age, working professionals make the best possible use of social media to project their services and work. If you are hiring somebody online, check his/her social media profile thoroughly and do go through customer reviews. Some people even have their personalized websites where they post blogs about their work and offer services after you register there. Once you are sure about the veracity of the person’s services, only then position a meeting somewhere.

2. Conduct a background check

It is very crucial that the person you’re hiring must have a clean background in terms of having no criminal record at all. If you are hiring professionals from Home Care Calgary, you need not worry much because the company already hires people who have a clean background. However, if you are hiring somebody randomly based on online interaction or just because somebody suggested, you need to check the person’s address, criminal records, education, work experience, etc.

3. Don’t overlook the experience

To deal with older adults, one needs to be patient enough. Have you asked the caretaker about the experience at work? Are you sure he/she will be able to manage your loved one just the way you do? If yes, you’re good to go with that person. You also need to check the person’s behavior before hiring him/her. Fix a meeting between the prospective caretaker and the rest of the family. Ask several questions and tell about your family.

4. See if your loved one’s routine matches the care taker’s timings

Unless you don’t have a 24/7 caretaker at home for your loved one, you will need to check with the caretaker for his/her timings in compliance with the routine of your loved one. Keep in mind that older adults are like kids; they are stubborn at times and don’t like to change their routine. Explain everything to the person as you would to a doctor and choose a favorable slot when the caretaker can easily visit your house.

5. Consult about fees in advance

All the finances must be agreed upon before the initiation of the contract. Everything should be in written form, and nothing should be verbal. If you are hiring a caretaker through an agency, the dynamics of payment will be completely different. However, with somebody who randomly provides services at home, you need to be mindful about the fees plan, payment mode, etc.

Conclusion:

Lastly, keep in mind that nobody is better than you for your loved one. The love and warmth which you provide are unmatchable as compared to somebody who has been hired for the job.

The Power of a Familiar Face

The mind is such a powerful thing. Realizing that you may not have complete control over your mind and memories is enough to breed many

insecurities and fear.  Lack of control in your own mind is a betrayal of sorts. It often leads to the fight or flight response when the person is around anything unexpected or unfamiliar.

This can often create many challenges from clients in an adult daycare setting.

Never underestimate the power of the mind.  Our self identity is formed within our mind.  When tiny pieces of it start to betray us it becomes very scary, uncharted territory.  When pieces of our identity seem to fade inside of our own mind the outcome can come unpredictable.  Feelings and actions can then come unpredictable.

Something as simple as a photo of a loved one may bring some much needed comfort and security.  Their time away from home does not have to be unfamiliar.  Bring their world to them.  Recorded messages from their loved ones, photos, familiar songs, and home movies are all good ways to bring their comfort with them.

Visual aids will be one of the best tools you can use to communicate with your clients.  Even something as simple as having pictures of the drink options to point to instead of having to find the right words to reply verbally can help boost confidence.  

Make scrapbooks with the clients picture on the cover.  Fill it with pictures and messages from loved ones. 

A great program to start is family mail.  Each week send your client home with a few postcards.  Have their caregivers write a message and mail it back.  Stimulating the sense of love, and memory, and comfort are great pathways to unlocking the door to the comforts of home.  

Never underestimate the power of the mind, or a familiar face.

Stay Active During Retirement While Still Having Fun

by: Jordan Fuller

Why It’s Never Too Late to Pick Up Golf

For many people, golf and retirement go hand in hand. The goal of retirement is to move to a sunny climate like Florida, Arizona, or in Austin CCRC, live on a golf course and play every single day. Golf-centric retirement communities cater to these desires all over the South and Southwest: anywhere that it’s warm enough to  play year-round has houses filled with retirees lining the fairways of beautiful golf courses.

But if you’ve never played golf, is it too late to pick up the sport later in life? Not at all! In fact, many golfers who play every day in retirement never picked up a club until their 50s or 60s. The golf world has begun to cater specifically to these older beginners, with schools and equipment geared towards making the entry into the game smooth and entertaining. 

Health Benefits

While the stereotype of an overweight golfer riding around in a cart with a beer in one hand and hot dog in the other persists, golf is actually a great way to workout and stay healthy in your later years. Even if you ride in a cart, golf helps your heart health and sleep, keeps your brain stimulated to help prevent Alzheimer’s, and reduces stress all while being a fun activity with relatively low injury risk. 

Golf is the best kind of addiction: one that drives you to improve by workouts. Playing better golf is just plain more fun, so once you start playing and finding out how good it feels to hit good shots, you’ll be driven to get better. And that means more playing and practicing, which is more exercise. You’ll discover thatactivities like yoga and pilates help your golf swing and your mental game, as well as your general fitness and blood pressure. 

This snowball effect of golf is one that can transform your whole life. Spending a day outside easily getting 10,000+ steps and practicing yoga or pilates on your off days will enhance your physical fitness, sleep quality and overall mindset.

Healthy Competition

Science has demonstrated that competition is the best motivator for exercise. So whether you and your spouse play a friendly game or if you find a league of golfers to compete with, the competition will drive you to play and exercise more. 

Some couples love to compete against one another, and golf’s handicap system is a way to make it possible for spouses to compete on a level playing field. I’d suggest keeping it to a friendly skins game, but you know what’s best for your relationship. 

Bob J, a retiree in Bradenton, FL, taught his wife to play golf and they now play frequently together. “Rule number one is that no one cares how well or how badly you’re playing as long as you’re playing fast.  As a result, we could go out to the course in the afternoons and play in under three hours, especially on hot summer days when no one was on the course.”

But it’s also a great option to join a Mens or Womens golf group and play with them once a week (or more), if you can find the right group. It’s excellent camaraderie and can really help fuel your competitive fire. A seemingly easy two-foot-putt carries a lot more weight when it’s the deciding factor in a hard-fought skins game!

While Bob and his wife Nancy tried playing in a men’s and women’s group, he found he didn’t like the men’s group’s 8:30am tee times – “In retirement, who wants to get up that early?” – and she found the women’s group’s slow play and lack of golf etiquette maddening: “they would jabber when other players were about to hit, they walked on people’s putting line, they often failed to recognize whose turn it was to play.” So now Bob says “I’ve become known as the ‘guy who always golfs with his wife’ or the ‘guy who sleeps with his best golfing buddy.’”

Vacations are more harmonious when couples can find activities to do together, and playing golf on a beautiful oceanfront course is a perfect way to spend a day as a couple enjoying the scenery and exercising. 

Can you afford it?

There are many different options for golf in retirement with many different financial requirements. Some communities are built around the golf lifestyle, and simply buying a house in the community automatically comes with golf course privileges. Many places offer multiple golf courses to choose from, and even offer reciprocity with other courses so you can keep things fresh.

However, this may not be affordable to everyone. Even membership to a golf club carries additional costs: cart fees, food minimums at the clubhouse, guest fees for the grandkids, and monthly dues on top of initiation fees. Not to mention equipment: balls, shoes, clubs — it adds up! 

A lot of retirees find that getting a part time job at a golf course is the best way to make golf affordable in retirement. If you’re a people-person, a job in the pro shop or as a starter could be right up your alley. If you’re an early riser and don’t mind a bit of hard work, mowing greens and fairways might work too. 

You’ll not only earn a small hourly wage, but you’ll get as much free golf as you can play! Many courses offer 7-day-a-week access to employees, and some even offer discounted rates to the other members of your group. Tom D, 72, a starter at a municipal course in Bensenville, IL, took an interesting route to employment as a retiree at a golf course. “My nest egg wasn’t big enough for me to retire until I won a $600,000 jackpot in the Lucky Day Lotto. That extra cash allowed me to retire, but my fixed income didn’t provide enough for me to play as much golf as I wanted. Working as a starter for 15 hours a week gives me a little extra income, but more importantly allows me to play free golf 5 days a week at any of the munis in the county. And I’ve met some new golf buddies while I’m at it.”

So whether you’re a sometimes golfer looking to play more in retirement, the spouse of a golfer who’s considering picking up the game yourself, or just someone looking for a fun way to get outside and get some exercise, golf might be your perfect new obsession.

Tips for Caregivers Who Want To Be the Best They Can Be

If you are a caregiver or planning to be a caregiver in the near future, you should know that one of the most critical things you can do is make a conscious effort to stay productive. Continually work on yourself and don’t fall into a slump or routine that may cause you to burn out. Although the act of caring for one or several individuals each day can be very rewarding, it also can become exhausting. It can be difficult to understand the toll of juggling your personal life as well as the lives of others who need you. Here are some great tips for all caregivers that could help exponentially not only in improving your state of mind and well-being, but make your life simpler as well.

Stay Organized

Keeping your life organized is an essential part of being a caregiver. Not only do you have to manage your own life, but the life of one or more other individuals as well. Take time each week to pay your bills, balance your checkbook and prepare for the week ahead.

You may find it difficult to do certain things, such as getting groceries, picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy or going to the bank if you are a full-time caregiver, but always know there are ways to get what you need simply and easily. Order groceries and items you need from Amazon, which will deliver right to your door. You can order prescriptions online that will also be sent directly to your address, and now you can even manage your finances on-the-go. Don’t let yourself fall into a rut or make excuses that there isn’t enough time in the day. Stay focused and keep your mind busy.

Make Time for Physical Activity

If your patient(s) are immobile or spend very little time walking/moving in general, you may receive very little exercise throughout the day. It’s important that if this is the case, you make the effort after work to stay active and energized. It takes a lot of work and attention throughout the day to adequately care for a patient. If you find yourself becoming easily fatigued, anxious or developing depression-like symptoms, it could be due to lack of exercise. Working out at the gym or running outside can keep you from feeling isolated as well when you spend most of your day inside with your patient(s).

Eat a Well-Rounded Diet

Just as those you care for probably have a regimented, healthy meal plan that you follow for them, you should likewise have a meal plan to give you a well-rounded diet. Many find that meal-prepping at the beginning of each week gives them one less thing to worry about throughout the week. Making meals can be a strain, so doing it beforehand in equal portions for each day of the week helps make lunch and dinner easy. Eat multiple servings of fruits and vegetables, and avoid caffeine as much as possible to prevent yourself from crashing in the middle of the day.

Take Care of Your Own Well-Being

As much as you worry about your patient(s) health and welfare, you should be giving just as much if not more attention to your own. If you allow yourself to become completely immersed in your caregiver responsibilities, you may neglect your own obligations, whether that be as a parent, guardian or simply your personal commitments. Don’t isolate yourself — instead, make it a priority to spend time in social situations and don’t shy away from an active lifestyle.

You should also continue to plan for the future, and if you feel that you are becoming overwhelmed as a caregiver, this may not be the profession for you. At the end of the day, always keep in mind that this is simply a job, and you shouldn’t take the weight of your role as a caregiver home with you at night. If you are a full-time, in-house caregiver, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone needs help at some point, so be comfortable reaching out to others for moral support.

8 Strategies for Caregivers to Reduce Fatigue and Avoid the Burnout

by: Susan Ashby

You have become a caregiver. It may be a temporary need for help, or it may be a permanent situation. As a family caregiver, you have chosen to take on the responsibility for another person, and that decision comes with many stresses—especially if the senior you are caring for has dementia.

So, what is your first priority? Taking care of yourself! This may seem counterintuitive, but you will not be a help to anyone else if you are not healthy yourself. This includes mental and emotional health, as well as your physical health. The following 8 strategies will help you:

1. Research. The more you know about the cause for the need of a caregiver, the better prepared you will be to anticipate your senior’s needs. If the person has had a stroke, the emphasis may be on recovery of function, or adaptive equipment, or speech and physical therapy. You will need to know how to assist them toward being as independent as possible.

If the senior you care for has dementia, it is important that you know what the stages of dementia are and how to deal with each. Dementia is progressive, and you will have to be able to adapt to the changes that continue to occur over time. It is helpful to know what to expect, and you might want to think about how much you feel you can handle. There may come a time when professional help will be needed on a full-time basis.

2. Family help. Enlist other family members to help also. Some members of the family may be able to step in for you and care for your senior while you are gone  for a day or more. Others may not be comfortable with sole responsibility. Still, just a visit will give you the chance to read a book, watch a movie, or take a nap. You would still get a break, and he knows you are there if he needs you. Don’t forget the teen grandchildren. They could pick up groceries or mow the lawn, as well as visit with their grandparent.

3. Friends. Don’t neglect your own friends. Those relationships provide you with a break from caregiving. Even if you can only be gone for a few hours, that is time for a lunch date, a walk in the park, or a kayak outing. If your friends offer to help, take them up on the offer. Even if they don’t want to provide physical care for your senior, they may be willing to take Mom to her dentist appointment, clean up the flower beds, or help you with cleaning the house.

4. Meals. Ask each member of the family to make an extra serving of dinner each week and put it in a microwavable container. Then Dad can just pop it in the microwave and have a hot dinner every night. Friends can help with this also. If that isn’t going to work, enroll Dad in Meals on Wheels. Then a hot meal will be delivered each day.

5. Respite. At some point, you will need to use a professional service to be with your senior. You may get sick yourself and not be able to be with your senior, or you might have a scheduled event that you want to attend and no one in the family is available to step in. It is a good idea to have a relationship with a service that provides senior care before you need it. Have them care for your senior while you go out for a couple hours so that they can establish a relationship with your senior. Ease your senior into the idea of a professional caregiver being with them so, when you really need the senior caregiver, it is less stressful for both you and your senior.

6. Caregiver health. Don’t neglect your own health. Continue your routine checkup with the doctor and dentist. Get your flu shot every year. Make time to exercise and maintain healthy eating habits. Try new methods of stress relief like meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi. There are YouTube videos on all of these.

7. Legal and financial. Questions about your legal and financial rights and responsibilities need to be addressed as soon as possible. This is especially true in the case of dementia caregivers. You will need to be reimbursed for expenses incurred on behalf of your senior. In the case of medical care, your senior retains the right to decide for themselves unless they have been deemed incompetent. If the senior has named the person they want to take on the role of health care or financial care, that legal responsibility may have to be activated before those named can act in the role. The sooner you can address these issues, the less stress they will cause you as a dementia caregiver.

8. Find a confidant. You need to have a person you trust that you can vent to, share with, and receive support from. This could be a friend or a relative, or you may choose to remain anonymous and go to an online chat line for caregivers. These will be people who are sharing similar experiences and can give encouragement, suggestions, and support in a non-judgmental format. It can be a great stress relief to know that you are not alone and that lots of other people are dealing with the same problems as other in-home caregivers.

Taking care of yourself is so important for both you and the person you care for. Don’t ever feel selfish when you take time for yourself. You can’t be a good caregiver if you are not healthy in mind and spirit. Caregiving, especially for someone you love and are close to, is rewarding and a privilege. However, it can also be challenging and exhausting at times. Hopefully, these tips will help you to deal with the difficult times and maximize the gratifying times as a caregiver.

What Are Medicaid Waivers

Answering Questions on the Medicaid Waiver Program

by: Matthew Boyle

As we age, our ability to perform day-to-day tasks weakens, in fact, some individuals require the help of an assisted living facility or caregiver in order to perform these daily functions. Unfortunately, the cost of assisted living, nursing homes, and caregivers can add up and in some cases, individuals cannot afford the type of care that they require.

With that said, there are options available for you or your loved one if you do need this type of care. For example, there are Medicaid waivers available in many states to help patients get the type of quality care that they deserve.

Understanding What a Medicaid Waiver Is

For those with limited financial resources, Medicaid helps some individuals pay for nursing homes. For people wishing to live at home or an assisted living facility, Medicaid will sometimes pay for care in some of these locations if it can be done at a lower cost than a nursing home.

Assisted living waivers are done in many states across the country, including Texas. These waivers help individuals qualify for a nursing home can often receive the same level and quality of care in an assisted living residence at a lower cost.

A Medicaid waiver is meant for people with limited financial resources, Medicaid helps pay for nursing home care. There are a number of different types of waivers depending on which state you are in. For example, in Texas, STAR+PLUS is in place to help disabled adults and Texans aged 65 and older that require nursing facility level of care. Under this waiver, both medical and non-medical long-term care services are covered.

Who Is Eligible for Medicaid Waivers?

Eligibility for these types of waivers is dependent on what the requirements are for each state. With that said, many of the requirements are fairly consistent. In Texas, for the STAR+PLUS, there are functional and financial requirements for receiving this type of waiver.

Candidates for a Medicaid waiver in Texas must have a need for services that are typically provided in nursing homes. Essentially, this means that people who are unable to properly manage day-to-day activities without assistance, some of these individuals may even require around-the-clock medical supervision that caregivers or assisted living facilities can provide.

Again, in order to qualify for this type of a Medicaid waiver, there are financial restrictions. The monthly income limit for an applicant for STAR+PLUS from Texas Medicaid is just over $2300. The income limits become more complicated for married applicants.

The Benefits of Local Medicaid Waiver Programs

Again, to fully understand the benefits and details of a waiver program, you need to look at your program that is offered in your state specifically. For the STAR+PLUS waiver program in Texas, there are a number of different services and benefits that are offered. Some of these benefits include:

Some long-term care and support services include things like helping people in your home with basic day-to-day activities, short-term care to give caregivers a break, help with getting tasks done, and more.

How to Apply for Medicaid’s Waiver Program

All of this is great and useful information, but what are the next steps? How do you apply to get these types of Medicaid waivers?

These Medicaid waiver programs are available statewide in most states across the nation. Generally, these programs have a website to learn more about the details of the services offered. For example, the STAR+PLUS website has much more information about specific services that are offered and eligibility requirements.

After you apply, if you are accepted and approved for STAR+PLUs, you will get a packet in the mail that will tell you about the program and the medical plan options in your area. You will have 15 days to pick a medical plan

Overall, aging causes many problems and can lead to an inability to perform necessary day-to-day activities. When this happens, it is important to seek out resources like assisted living facilities or caregivers to help keep you or your loved one safe during this period. Assisted living programs can help provide your loved one with access to medical care and other services like memory care to help with any disorders, problems, or ailments that they may have. Moreover, many assisted living facilities can provide residents with access to social activities to keep them healthy during this period of their lives as well.

About The Author

Matthew Boyle is the Chief Operating Officer at Landmark Senior Living, a series of top-rated senior living communities in the Midwestern United States. He has been working in the healthcare space for 7 years and graduated from Duke University in 2011 Summa Cum Laude. Guided by a relentless pursuit of excellence, Matthew and the team at Landmark are dedicated to creating a supportive environment for the elderly.

Why Self Care for Caregivers Is So Important

Caregiving can take a toll on you, both mentally and physically. It is all too common to lose sight of yourself while spending most of your time dedicated to your patients. Although this will bring an immeasurable amount of joy into your life, it can simultaneously begin to have subtle adverse impacts on your wellbeing.

LIFE IMPACTS

Like most jobs, being a caregiver will naturally impact your daily life in many ways. However, unlike most jobs, the impressions can be slightly more severe on your lifestyle and wellbeing. Below we discuss what you should keep in mind as you go through your day to day while caregiving.

Stress

One of the main impacts caregiving can have on a person, is stress. Stress can filter into many aspects of your life, and for that reason many struggle to keep it under control. Stress can affect your mind, body and behavior and leaving stress unchecked in these areas can be dangerous. When left untreated it is all too common to develop issues such as racing thoughts and constant worrying which often cause insomnia. Luckily, there are many ways to address these issues such as holding open conversations with your primary care provider or trying out stress-relieving activities like meditation.

Healthy habits

Healthy habits tend to go by the wayside when caring for your recipient. From your sleep schedule being interrupted, to not having enough time to exercise, it can become extremely easy to lose yourself in the patients schedule. Unhealthy snacking is also fairly common. An easy way to avoid eating unhealthy is setting time aside on Sundays to pre-plan your meals and pre-package your snacks. This will allow you to avoid the desire to stop at McDonalds for lunch, as your meal will be waiting for you in the fridge, fully prepared!

HOW TO GIVE CARE TO YOURSELF

You can not pour from an empty cup. With caregiving, it’s detrimental for both you and the patient that you take care of yourself first. When you are feeling 100 percent, you’re able to provide your loved one or client with the best possible form of care. Take a step back in your busy schedule and look in the mirror, are you the best possible version of yourself?

Take time for yourself

Caregivers lives can become consumed by their time devoted to checking in on their patients well-being. Their self-care is easily pushed to the side, and left to deal with at another time. Spoiler alert; that time rarely comes. Sectioning out time to specifically focus on yourself is crucial, however sticking to that timetable is even more paramount. Go for a run in the morning or try reading a book before bed. Be sure you stop and do something for yourself throughout the week, and you will see changes in your overall mood and wellbeing.

Visit the doctor regularly 

Your life is filled with doctor visits, organizing medication, and physical therapy. All very beneficial health check-ins. However, as a caregiver, none of it is for you! With the amount of time you spend in a doctors office, you would think caregivers have a better handle on their health, yet they suffer from poorer physical health than their non-caregiving counterparts. Scheduling an annual doctor’s visit is a great place to start when it comes to putting your health at the forefront. Once that becomes habitual, healthy habits will ultimately follow.

To take a look at alternate options from at-home caregiving, refer here!