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Atlanta Caregiver & Home Care Articles

What is Hospice Care?

Posted by Debby Franklin on Jun 17, 2020 12:47:52 PM

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Making the decision to enlist Hospice Care for a loved one can be very emotional and overwhelming.  It signifies the end of treatment for a terminal condition and focuses on the quality of life for those with an advanced incurable disease.  Some people think using hospice means that they are giving up, but Hospice simply focuses on comfort, compassion, and gaining control of physical pain during the last stage of life.

Here are key points associated with Hospice Services:

  • Hospice is specialized healthcare whose focus is on pain management and comfort. Hospice care can be selected when it is determined that life expectancy for any terminal condition is 6 months or less.  There will no longer be treatment administered to "cure" the terminal health condition.  Please note, someone on hospice care can and many do, live beyond the six month time frame and they are still eligible to receive the services after being re-certified by the physician.
  • A person that is placed on Hospice can change their mind and leave Hospice and restart standard medical care at any time.  In some instances the Hospice care benefits the person receiving the care so much that they are able to extend their lives and leave the program.
  • Hospice can take place in a medicare approved hospice facility or in thee majority of cases, at home, assisted living or nursing facility.  If an in-facility care option is selected, the family should understand that charges for normal "room & board" will be the responsibility of the family.  Investigate out of pocket costs before making selection between in-home vs. in-facility. 
  • to qualify for Hospice Care at home, there must be a willing, able and available caregiver in the home.  Hospice provides some personal care assistance such as bathing and dressing, however, it does NOT provide full time caregivers.  Many families select professional caregivers from Home Care agencies.
  • The Hospice Care team will typically consist of a physician, nurse, social worker, counselor, physical/occupational/speech therapists, nursing assistants, and volunteers.  The regular physician can also be included as part of the team.
  • Under Hospice you will receive a host of services including: physician and nursing, medical equipment (hospital bed, wheelchair, walker, beside commode, lift, etc), drugs for symptom control and pain, homemaker services, therapy, social worker, dietary counseling, grief counseling, massage therapy, short term inpatient care if needed for pain and symptom management and short term respite care.
  • Once Hospice Care has been selected, the following costs will NO LONGER be covered under Medicare:  treatments intended to cure the terminal illness, drugs intended to cure the illness, care from any provider that wasn't established by the hospice team, room and board, care in an emergency room or ambulance, inpatient facility unless it has been set up by your hospice team.

Seeking hospice and palliative care isn't about giving up hope.  It's really about finding the appropriate level of care in one's final weeks or months.  For many, the comfort of home and spending time with loved ones is desired over the cold, sterile setting of a hospital room.  If you have made the decision to transition to hospice care and need information regarding In-Home care services, please contact Easy Living Services at 770-442-8664. We are here to help!

Atlanta Caregivers

Topics: In Home Care, Atlanta Home Care, Hospice, Caregiver Support

How Can Home Care Help?

Posted by Debby Franklin on Oct 9, 2014 1:00:00 PM

Loving Care in the Comfort of Home

At Easy Living Services, our clients rely on our office staff and caregivers as extensions of their own family's care team.  Since 1994, we've partnered with thousands of Atlanta area families in caring for seniors, the disabled and chronically ill adults in the comfort of home.  Easy Living's team of professionally trained and extensively screened nursing assistants are there when you can't be with reliable, expert care.  

Flexible, customized care options are available to accomodate any budget and are available on an hourly or "Live-In"/24 hr basis. Available service options include:Home Care, In-Home Care, Caregiver

  • Personal Care & Hygiene Assistance
  • Sitter Services at Home, Hospital or Rehab Facility 
  • Homemaker Services including Light Housekeeping, Laundry & Meal Preparation
  • Errands and Transportation
  • Alzheimer's and Dementia Patient Care
  • Respite and Temporary Care Coverage
  • Transitional Cardiac Care
  • Mobility & Safety Supervision
  • Cancer Home Care
  • Parkinson's Care
  • Post Hospital Transitions
  • Stroke Rehab Assistance
  • Post Operative Care
  • Cosmetic Surgery Care

Our clients enjoy our small office feel and personalized attention.  Nothing is more important to our team than the complete satisfaction of our clients and their families.  That’s why a caring Easy Living staff member is available 24/7 to discuss urgent needs and concerns.  Our agency is non-franchised which allows for flexible, customized care options; designed to meet each family’s unique needs and budget.  Care plans and service schedules are always client directed.   Contracts are never required; period. 

Our agency has recognized the need for more affordable In-Home Care options in today’s marketplace.   In order to make Home Care a viable long term care option for seniors, Easy Living Services introduced Total Care Plus.  This service plan provides complete, 24 hour care coverage for your loved one at an affordable, flat rate.  With Total Care Plus, it’s all covered; personal care assistance, homemaker services, supervision, companionship and transportation.  Total Care Plus is a excellent solution for persons with Alzheimer's and Dementia.  Now, seniors can make the decision to age at home with confidence, assured that a professional caregiver will be there to provide the supportive care they may require at an affordable rate. 

home Care, In-Home Care, Caregiver

At Easy Living, we understand that it's difficult trying to juggle everything when a family member needs care. Turn to us for the extra support your family needs to keep a loved one safe, comfortable and well cared for at home.   

We're here to help.  Call Easy Living Services today.

770-442-8664

To learn about Easy Living click the link below:   

OUR STORY

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Topics: Home Care, In Home Care, senior care, caregiver, homecare

Cost Of In-Home Care Likely to Rise Due to Overtime Laws

Posted by Jill Troman on Oct 8, 2013 12:11:00 PM

New regulations requiring payment of overtime wages for homecare aides, while well intentioned, will likely have some unintended, negative consequences for elderly clients.

Senior Care Without a doubt, nursing assistants, charged with caring for elderly clients at home, work hard and shoulder heavy responsibilities.  Caregivers deserve to receive fair wages for the essential care they provide.  The issue at hand involves payment of overtime for caregivers working on a "Live-In" basis for seniors. The term "Live-In"  applies to caregivers who go to an elderly client's home and stay for a number of days at a time.  This arrangement greatly benefits many seniors who prefer the security of having someone with them at night for urgent needs. Seniors with dementia or impaired memory function typically need Live-In care to insure safety and prevent falls.   "Live-In" care is only offered to clients who sleep well through the night and typically do not require assistance during night time hours. Clients who have frequent needs during the night are required to have care billed on an hourly basis so that the caregiver can also be compensated appropriately.  If 24 hr care is provided on an hourly basis, several caregivers are required to cover the shifts; (2) 12 hour shifts per day. While technically, present in the client's home for at least 24 hours, A "Live-In" caregiver is able to sleep 8 hours at night and has some downtime in the evening hours.  These caregivers are paid a flat, daily rate for this service.  Historically, they  have been exempt from overtime pay due to the fact that they have rest time and are not actively working at all times.   

How will this change affect Elderly Clients?

Clients receiving In-Home Care services will definitely take a hit in their pocket books. The former companionship exemption was a significant factor in helping to keep senior home care affordable.  With overtime pay now required for hours in excess of 40, clients will pay significantly more or get used to having numerous caregivers rotating in and out of their homes.  For most seniors and their families, continuity of care is considered critical.   A continuous stream of different caregivers can be confusing for an elderly client and possibly elevate anxiety levels. Communication regarding a client's changing needs is more challenging when multiple caregivers are involved.  Faced with these negatives, many families may decide to hire their own, private caregivers to care for their seniors.  Private caregivers may not have the training and credentials of those retained through an agency.  Hiring home care workers under the table could expose some seniors to abuse, fraud or substandard care since supervision and agency oversight is lost.  What is a senior to do when a private caregiver gets sick or doesn't show up for work?  In all likelihood, the elderly client will be left to fend for himself unless family or friends are available to step in.  

Due to expense or hassle, many families may turn away from in-home care altogether and turn to assisted living or nursing care institutions instead.  Research data indicates that given a choice an overwhelming majority of seniors would prefer to remain at home with assistance. Loss of independence and control combined with less personal attention make institutional living less appealing to the senior population. 

What about the truly wonderful people who have been earning their incomes as Live-In caregivers through In-Home Care agencies?   Will they actually benefit from the new overtime provision?  Probably not.  The overall demand for Live-In assistance will likely decline sharply as costs increase significantly.  These caregivers will likely be forced into  "underground" or private hire situations to find assignments without the numerous protections offered by reputable agencies. 

Who will really benefit from removing the overtime exemption for home care workers?  Its unclear but quite possibly the only benefactor will turn out to be SEIU, the largest and fastest growing member of the AFL-CIO.  Politics as usual?  Let's hope not; the lives of seniors, the disabled and chronically ill will be impacted. 

 


Topics: elder care, In Home Care, senior care, Atlanta Home Care, Atlanta Caregivers, Around-the-clock caregiver, 24 Hour Caregiver

24 Hour Caregiver Service

Posted by Debby Franklin on Sep 20, 2013 4:28:00 PM

24 Hour Caregiver, Live-In Caregiver, Around-the-clock caregiver, Atlanta Caregiver, Home Care, 

There's no question that evaluating 24 Hour Caregiver options for a loved one can be quite overwhelming, not to mention costly.  You might be surprised to learn that 24 Hour Caregiver service options can be among the most affordable and best values in senior care. 

24 Hour Caregiver Service refers to a caregiver that lives with the care recipient for a specified period of time (usually 3-4 days), providing 24 hour coverage. Typically when 24/7 service is set up 3 caregivers are selected to work with a specific client so that familiarity and continuity can be established between the client and the care team. The selected are team will rotate days providing what is typically called "Live-In" care. 24 Hour "Live-In" care is  billed at a flat, daily fee with rates ranging from $175 to $185 per 24 hour period.  24 Hour Caregiver Service rates are considerably less expensive on a per hour basis than standard hourly care.  In order to meet the qualifications for 24 Hour care, one of the requirements is that the client must sleep on average 7-8 hours per night without needing assistance.  If regular sleep is not possible for the caregiver, one solution is that an additional Aide can be brought in to provide nighttime coverage, on an hourly basis so that the 24 hour caregiver can get the rest needed to perform the duties during the day. Even by brining in an additional caregiver at night the total cost for care is normally much lower than hourly around-the-clock rates.

Before you dismiss 24 Hour care as too costly, consider how comprehensive the care is for the money.  Besides "hands on", personal care services such as bathing, dressing, mobility assistance and companionship, caregivers serve as Household Managers.  Consider the tasks listed below that are rolled into the job of a "Live-in" caregiver:


Household cleaning & laundry services--- a $540 per month ($135 per week) value

Personal Meal Planning/Shopping/Preparation Services--- a $450 per month value (30 home cooked, nutritious meals) 

Pet Care (feeding/walking)---a $270 per month ($9 per day) value

Errand & Transportation Service---a $320 per month value (2 local outings per week)

 

These extra services, of course, are in addition to the priceless benefit of one-on-one personal care and companionship in one's own home.  24 Hour care is especially economical for couples or those requiring significant levels of personal care.

As a word of caution---some might be tempted to search for 24 Hour Caregiver Service on their own. "A friend of a friend" may sound like an attractive option.  This person may be someone that you believe you would be comfortable around.  After all, concern about having a stranger in the home is a major hurdle for most.   You should question the motivation of people who claim they will move in on a permanent basis to care for all of the needs of an elderly person.  Professional Caregivers are real people with families, homes and their own interests. A professional, skilled caregiver will NOT be willing to move in permanently and give up their own lives without a break. He or she should possess the credentials/experience necessary to work with the elderly.  Be skeptical of those who are willing to accept room/board and tiny salaries in exchange for a loved one's total care.  Many seniors have fallen prey to dishonest "caregivers" who take advantage of the situation.

Instead, consider retaining the services of a professional In-Home Care agency. Agency personnel will handle the screening and make certain that the caregiver sent to care for your loved one is skilled, professional and has a solid track record.  Agencies also guarantee coverage if your primary caregiver must miss work.  Agency caregivers receive regular breaks so that when they return to care for your loved one; they are refreshed.

If you are finding it difficult to juggle it all - work, family, errands and other demands that often leave you over taxed.  Where do you turn when a loved ones needs are more than you can manage on your own?  What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution?  We understand, in fact, we have been there.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care, Easy Living Services. Offering flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal care and attention to your loved one at home.

Finally, a real solution.  At last, peace of mind.  Call us at 770-442-8664.  

  Atlanta Caregivers

Topics: In Home Care, Atlanta Caregivers, Around-the-clock caregiver, Live-In Caregiver, 24 Hour Caregiver

New Caregiver Tool: The Alzheimer's Cafe

Posted by Jill Troman on Mar 6, 2013 2:19:00 PM

I am sure that you never imagined that you would one day become the primary caregiver for a parent with Alzheimer's Disease.  Your days are jam packed with doctor's appointments and personal care tasks.  You've found that taking a parent with Alzheimer's on an outing can be challenging; perhaps you've given up.  You've both become a little lonely and isolated.  This bleak scenario doesn't have to be your reality.  A fun, innovative outlet for alzheimer's patients and their caregivers is popping up all over the country (& world!)...The Alzheimer's Cafe. 

alzheimers support

The Alzheimer's Cafe movement started in the Netherlands in 1997 and has quickly been gaining popularity in Europe, the US and Canada.  Today, more than 200 cafes exist across Europe.  The first US cafe event was held in 2008 at the College of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Elsewhere, the cafes thrive in museums, adult day care centers, worship centers, and hospitals throughout many states, including California, New Mexico, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington.  

What is the Alzheimer's Cafe?  

Essentially, its a support group and social event combined.  In one sense, they serve to bring people together with similar circumstances to share, support and lessen the stigma of the disease.  The cafes have improved upon the traditional support group by incorporating recreation and entertainment. Similar to what you might find at a regular cafe, these gatherings are upbeat and leisurely where participants can relax, enjoy some music  and share experiences over a cup of coffee or tea. 

Some cafes have set themes with guest speakers, presentations or entertainment for each gathering.  Others are more flexible and loosely organized with arts & crafts activities, tea time, singing and poetry depending on the interests of the group. Some groups even welcome guest artists and musicians who invite participants to join in and learn the art form. 

Unfortunately, the cafes have not yet arrived on the Atlanta scene.   However, a great alternative is the "Arts 4 Alzheimers" program.  Geriatric experts believe that art is a great activity to tap into the imagination of Alzheimer's patients.  Even with the loss of memory, the capacity for imagination still exists.  The program gives people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia fun, creative and stimulating ways to communicate and express their feelings, and enables them to feel less lonely and isolated. "Arts 4 Alzheimer's" is ideal for people with early-stage memory loss.   Trained artists/educators facilitate the classes in a variety of mediums (such as painting, pottery, collage, music, and photography). Best of all, classes are free of charge.  Classes are held at the Spruill Center for the Arts in Dunwoody. Please contact Tania Becker at 404-492-6181 to learn more. 

Another function geared to Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers is the  "Rendevous" at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville.  The group meets the 2nd Monday of each month  and is free with advanced registration.  During the group's meeting time, the museum is closed to the general public, allowing participants to experience the art in a very relaxed, friendly atmosphere.  Specially trained tour guides lead visitors and their primary caregivers through the galleries and facilitate an interactive art activity.  Contact the Booth Western Art Museum for program specifics at 770-387-3849. 

Joining a "Forget Me Nots" group is another great way to get a break from the daily challenges of caregiving.  "Forget Me Nots" is a social support Lunch Group for early stage Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers.  Groups meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month at various restaurants across Atlanta.  Contact the Alzheimer's Association at 1-800-272-3900 for specific locations and dates.

Are you interested in forming an Alzheimer's Cafe in your area? Click the link for start-up guide...Neighborhood Memory Cafe Tool Kit.    

Do you need help caring for a loved one at home?

Call Easy Living Services at 770-442-8664.  We're Atlanta's Alzheimer's and In-Home Care Experts.         

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: Caregiver Information, In Home Care, elderly care, caring for a loved one, Atlanta Home Care, Atlanta Caregivers, Alzheimers, Alzheimers therapies