Where to turn for help with Medicare questions and senior care issues

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This Saturday, October 8th, 2016, from 9a – 2p, Michele will be providing SHINE consultations at   Grace Lutheran Church’s Health Fair!


When faced with daunting life challenges, know there are resources available to help face those obstacles.

Locally, and throughout Florida, SHINE volunteers can help with all questions related to health insurance/Medicare and Area Agency on Aging can help with a great many other issues facing seniors.


Summer “Respite” Stay

A “respite stay” is a short-term residency at an assisted living community lasting from a few days to a few weeks.

Included in the stay are: meals and snacks, daily events. programs and entertainment, and appropriate help with activities of daily living (ADLs).  With so many different assisted living communities in this area, there is likely to be a community that can meet your short-term needs.

Respite stays can be an invaluable asset to families that face any of these situations:

  • Family vacation
  • Out of town family emergency
  • Recovery from medical procedure
  • Recovery from a major illness
  • Unexpected business trip
  • Special, or extended, vacation
  • Need for a break to avoid caretaker burn-out

Another use for a respite stay is for a ”test drive” – trying a community for a brief time to see if it is a best fit for the family’s needs.

If you struggling to find a way to care for a loved one and deal with a sudden emergency, a “respite stay” can be an ideal solution and alternative to round-the-clock in-home care.

Contact us at your convenience to find out how we can help you find the right solution for your situation.

8 Essential Questions about Respite Care | Uplift Blog | CaringBridge.org

As summer begins to heat up, there are excellent options available for “respite” stays at many local Assisted Living, and Independent Living, Communities.

Assisted Living Navigator's Blog

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Senior Care Progression – in a nutshell

No need for a lengthy post – the graphic sums up the progression very nicely.

If, however, you have questions about how it may apply to your specific situation, we will be happy to answer your questions.


Home care and nursing home care – some facts

Guide to Long-Term Care blog

In the United States, over 65 million people provide home care to someone who is ill or disabled.

Elderly people who live at home and have trouble with 3 or more activities of daily living require an average of 9 hours of assistance per day (from paid or unpaid caregivers), and once they reach age 85  they require about 11 hours of assistance per day.

There are about 52 million caregivers assisting adults over age 18, with about 44 million caring for adults over 50; around 15 million family caregivers help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

ltcstudyTwo out of three (66%) people who receive home care rely solely on family members, usually wives or daughters. Another 26% receive a combination of family care and paid help; and 9% receive paid help only. Of family members caring for the elderly, 30% are themselves over 65, and 15% are age 45–54.


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Home Care/Assisted Living Cross-over

Cost of LTCRecently updated figures (emphasis, sadly, on “up”) from the annual Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

While every situation is unique and based on its own set of circumstances, note the potential cross-over point around $3,000 per month, where Assisted Living starts to make sense economically.  Certainly an aspect to weigh, but equally important are other medical, emotional and social considerations.  Always consider the complete scope of needs when making this important decision.

How to Pay for Assisted Living, part 2

Another excerpt from our Consumer Guide to Senior Living Options.

Costs vary from community to community, and from city to city.  Some charge a la carte for an array of care services using a point system, some charge for levels of care, while others offer only all-inclusive rates whether you need a little care or a lot of hands-on care.  It is important to know what is included in your fees and what is extra.

You can arrange for an in-home assessment to identify if moving into an assisted living community is the right next step for the health and safety of your loved one. 

We will share selections from the Guide, here at the Assisted Living Navigator™ blog, on occasion, but you may contact us at any time for your personal copy

How to Pay for Assisted Living, part 1

Another excerpt from our Consumer Guide to Senior Living Options.

Most assisted living is paid for privately by the resident and/or his family. 

For certain low-income residents with few assets, Florida’s Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-term Care (SMMC-LTC) program pays part of monthly fees at a participating facility.  Medicaid LTC program doesn’t pay for room and board but does pay a set amount for care services.  The family of a resident who qualifies for LTC may pay some or all of the cost of room and board without affecting the resident’s program eligibility. 

Not all assisted living facilities participate in Medicaid’s LTC program, and those that participate may limit the number of residents who particpate.

Low-income veterans or surviving spouses of veterans may also be eligible for Aid and Attendance or other benfits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which can help pay for assisted living.

We will share selections from the Guide, here at the Assisted Living Navigator™ blog, on occasion, but you may contact us at any time for your personal copy

Determine Your Loved One’s Needs

Another excerpt from our Consumer Guide to Senior Living Options.

 Your loved one’s living situation should reflect their personal, social and medical needs.  Start by asking your loved one where and how they would like to live, while assuring them you will try to accommodate their wishes.  Ask your loved one’s physician about their medical needs.  Discuss your findings with other family members to gain their input.   Finally, research home care agencies and assisted living facilities in your area to learn about the various services they provide; or consult with an expert in the field who can speak to the various options available locally.

 We will share selections from the Guide, here at the Assisted Living Navigator™ blog, on occasion, but you may contact us at any time for your personal copy

Benefits of Living in the Right Environment

Another excerpt from our Consumer Guide to Senior Living Options.

Living in the right environment can help your loved one prosper and live life to its fullest.  You can extend your loved one’s independence by providing an environment with the appropriate level of medical and personal care.  Accepting a little help walking, today, for example, can reduce the risk for a debilitating hip fracture, tomorrow.  Any senior living arrangement should be as supportive as possible, while still fostering a sense of independence.

A new home often brings new experiences, interests, and friendships in a way that combats loneliness and isolation, which are significant problems in older populations.

The right living environment provides peace of mind for you, your loved one, and the rest of your family.  Choosing the proper level of supervision for your loved one helps everyone sleep soundly at night.

We will share selections from the Guide, here at the Assisted Living Navigator™ blog, on occasion, but you may contact us at any time for your personal copy