26- Jul2016
Posted By: Tony Fischer

What Is A Senior Care Plan

No doubt about it America is getting older.  The largest generation this country has ever known is speeding toward retirement and the government is not prepared.  According to the Administration for Community Living the number of people over the age of 65 will surpass 55 million by 2020. As a result, Medicare and Medicaid programs are scrambling to find ways to reduce cost and get better outcomes for the American tax dollar. Often that includes closing loopholes and cutting back on benefits that seniors used to count on for retirement. It is more important now than ever to have a senior care plan to address these factors.

Baby Boomers are demanding more of healthcare providers than ever before.  The demand for more choices and better control over their healthcare has led to innovations in service and technology.  Once again the Baby Boomers are changing an major American industry.

But all of this breakneck change presents a challenge. How can seniors and their families plan for the future with such a rapidly changing healthcare system?  Planning!

What is a Senior Care Plan?

A senior care plan combines all aspects of healthcare into one seamless and flexible plan. It is a plan to age in place and remain happy and healthy at home. If done correctly the plan can also save thousands in healthcare costs.

How does all this happen?  A good Senior Care Plan considers all the factors that can affect a senior’s ability to remain at home.

  • Current Health Condition
  • Living Situation
  • Making the Home Safe and Accessible
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Types of Services Available/Needed
  • Cost of Services
  • Family Support
  • Financial Resources
  • Eligible Benefits
  • Legal Authority

It takes all of these factors, evaluates them for need and puts them in a plan that fills in the gaps of support.

Why do I need a Senior Care Plan?

One word…control. Seniors have the right to have 100% control over their healthcare decisions unless a disease like Dementia takes away their ability to make safe decisions. However a good senior care plan can still honor healthcare decisions even when the senior needs someone to help.

Without a senior care plan, an elder could end up in a healthcare setting they didn’t choose all because they weren’t prepared with a plan to handle changes in healthcare condition.  A senior care plan prepares seniors and their families with instructions on how to handle an unexpected accident or hospital stay. Simply put it can keep a simple accident from turning into a costly healthcare crisis.

How can Senior Care Sherpa Help You and Your Family?

Our Senior Care Sherpa’s are experts in the senior healthcare continuum.  They can help you understand services, insurance coverages, costs and develop a plan that meets the challenges of aging head on.

Fill out the form below to set-up a free consultation. One of our friendly and knowledgeable Sherpa’s will video conference with you and develop a senior care plan that meets you unique aging challenges.

18- Jul2016
Posted By: Tony Fischer

Hospital Discharge: Five Things You Need To Know

Going to the hospital is scary enough.  This is especially true if you are a senior.  An extended hospital stay could turn into a nursing home stay if the senior lacks support at home to help them recover.  In order to avoid this seniors should have a plan in place that springs into action when a healthcare crisis arises.

The biggest barrier to putting together a solid care plan is misunderstanding how the system works.  This post will focus on the hospital discharge process and highlight the five things seniors and families should know.

1. The Hospital Discharge Plan Begins The Day You Are Admitted

Discharge plans can be complicated.  In order for the hospital social worker to adequately plan they need to start planning right away.  Although they must evaluate medical tests and responses to treatments, the hospital staff begins thinking about how to successfully and safely discharge the patient pending the outcomes of those tests the minute they are admitted.

It only makes sense that seniors and their families begin thinking about who will help when recovering at home.

2. Check to Make Sure That You Were Admitted

Just because you are in a hospital bed overnight doesn’t mean you have been admitted. Sometimes hospitals will hold patients overnight for observation without admitting them. Be sure to check on your admission status with the charge nurse or doctor. This is critical because some insurance coverages will only be triggered after a hospital stay.

3. Hospitals Want to Prevent Readmission

Most people don’t realize that the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) has changed the way hospitals view successful treatment.  In previous years, Medicare and the healthcare system have used a cost control model to determine success. But the new law has changed the focus to that of outcomes and preventing readmissions.

In order for a hospital to prevent a readmission they must make sure patients have all the resources they need prior to discharge.  Resources include those in the community and those covered by insurance.  If the patient lacks a hospital discharge care plan, it’s the hospital social worker’s job to help develop one.

4. You Can Choose Your Own Care Provider

In process of trying to put together a hospital discharge plan quickly, doctors and hospital social workers will have suggestions as to which senior care service an elderly patient should use.  While some social workers may have good knowledge of how the healthcare system works outside of the hospital, most fail to understand the types of services available and how they are covered by insurance.  Social workers are among the hardest working professionals in the hospital but they often had very large case-loads. They don’t have time to keep up on services outside of the immediate hospital environment.

Remember even if the social worker or doctor recommends a services you don’t have to use it. Be sure to speak with a representative from that service to make sure they can meet your needs. If it is a facility be sure to tour.

Additionally, just because the service may be covered by insurance that doesn’t override your right to choose. In fact new healthcare law mandates each patient be given the opportunity to choose their own healthcare service.

If you feel you are being forced to use a particular service remind the hospital staff of your rights.

5. Check for Medication and Treatment Changes

Each time a patient is discharged from hospital they are given order from the attending physicians. These orders cover everything from medications to treatment instructions.

Patients assume that hospitals are able to pull medical information from their personal care physician.   However your doctors electronic medical records system may not be fully integrated with hospital system.

No one understands a patient’s medical treatments and medications better than the patient themselves.  Be sure to compare your hospital discharge orders with the care plan you have with your primary care physician, the hospital doctor may have made some changes.

Discharge plans have the best outcomes when the senior’s entire family is involved.  Be proactive and contact the social worker assigned to your case right away. Open communication will help you be prepared when the time comes to leave the hospital.