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

fancy compass 14

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.


That Time of Year: Natural Disaster Planning

FL regions County w Cities

Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs has a great site with resources to help plan for emergency situations like hurricanes and flooding, to name just two.  You can find it here, or click on the link: http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/disaster.php.

“The Department’s Emergency Coordinating Officer coordinates with the Florida Division of Emergency Management on emergency preparedness issues and post-disaster response. The Department ensures that the Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers have all-hazards Disaster and Continuity of Operations Plans to be implemented during a threat of imminent disaster.

Your safety in a disaster depends heavily on your own actions, and developing a survival plan is the first and most important step.

The sections on the site include:

Disaster Preparedness Guide for Elders

Be Prepared by Planning Ahead

Disaster Online Library

Useful Links and Information

All very good tools to help create and document your emergency preparedness plan.

It takes a … network

I am always impressed with the way the local, Tampa Bay-area network of senior care providers works so well together.  We just finished a referral that drew upon our resources, those  of our assisted living partner (who went above and beyond the call of duty), a senior move manager, a real estate agent and host of people helping find a home for a pet.  No one missed a beat and the family and resident are thrilled.  That’s cool!

Service chart with red marker
The word Service highlighted with red marker in a handwritten chart

New Array of Assisted Living Communities Focusing on Memory Care in Tampa Bay

There has been a surge, lately, in the number of new Assisted Living Communities around Tampa Bay that are focusing on providing leading-edge memory care.  Some of them are catering exclusively to individuals with dementia, whereas others are dedicating a portion of the community to memory care.

Blue DotThe new communities come in an array of sizes, amenity levels and price ranges. They range from the very new to the more established and/or recently renovated. New technological advances allow communities to closely, but quietly, monitor residents throughout the day and evening – adding an extra level of security and safety.

Contact us today for more details.  We would be happy to discuss how we can help you find the right community for your specific needs.

Recommended Communities

Our policy, and main differentiation, is to recommend only those communities which we have personally visited and evaluated.  

We offer a highly personalized service.  Our recommendations are tailored to match the specific, stated needs of our clients.  Needless to say, what works for one family may not necessarily fit for another family’s specific situation.  

As an open blog, the public is encouraged to offer their comments and opinions. A community’s appearance in this blog is not meant to be a recommendation or an endorsement.  Comments and opinions are those of the individual author, and do not necessarily concur with those of Always Best Care – Florida West. 

Assisted Living Navigator’s Blog

About: Assisted Living Navigator

To educate families on the best senior living options available to them based on their personal needs and desires, then to help them transition to their new home.

Families, in the greater Tampa Bay area, looking to find the ideal senior living arrangements for loved ones have a trusted source for senior care.

We can help navigate the abundance of choices and find the best match for your specific needs. We offer more than just lists or pictures on a web page.

We help families find the right senior living arrangement based on their specific needs and budget.

Today’s Term: Nursing Home (or Skilled Nursing facility)

Nursing Home

Facility licensed by the state that provides 24-hour nursing care, room and board, and activities for convalescent residents and those with chronic and/or long-term care illnesses. One step below hospital acute care. Regular medical supervision and rehabilitation therapy are mandated to be available, and nursing homes are eligible to participate in the Medicaid program. May be referred to as skilled nursing facility.

– from http://www.alwaysbestcare.com/assisted-living/important-definitions.aspx#Nursing

Holiday Schedule

New Toll-free number: 888-407-5212

We will be available throughout the next two holiday-filled weeks to answer your questions and address your concerns. If we cannot get to your call immediately, we will reply to voice mail within 24 hrs, or at your request. Email responses will be the same, if not quicker.

Senior Care Terms to Know: ADL and IADL

Activities of Daily Living: What Are ADLs and IADLs?

By Leslie Kernisan, M.D., Caring.com senior medical editor, and Paula Spencer Scott, Caring.com senior editor

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are basic self-care tasks, akin to the kinds of skills that people usually learn in early childhood. They include the following:

  • Feeding
  • Toileting
  • Selecting proper attire
  • Grooming
  • Maintaining continence
  • Putting on clothes
  • Bathing
  • Walking and transferring (such as moving from bed to wheelchair)

ADLs are often mentioned by geriatric-care professionals in connection with instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs; see below), which are slightly more complex skills.

What are instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs)?

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are the complex skills needed to successfully live independently. These skills are usually learned during the teenage years and include the following:

  • Managing finances
  • Handling transportation (driving or navigating public transit)
  • Shopping
  • Preparing meals
  • Using the telephone and other communication devices
  • Managing medications
  • Housework and basic home maintenance

Together, ADLs and IADLs represent the skills that people usually need to be able to manage in order to live as independent adults.

Doctors, rehabilitation specialists, geriatric social workers, and others in senior care often assess ADLs and IADLs as part of an older person’s functional assessment. Difficulty managing IADLs is particularly common in early Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Assessing IADLs can help guide adiagnostic evaluation, as well as determine what kind of assistance an older person may need on a day-to-day basis.

Helpful Vocabulary

Today’s Term … Assisted Living Community

In general, a state-licensed program offered at a residential community with services that include meals, laundry, housekeeping, medications reminders, and assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs).

The exact definition will vary from state to state, and a few states do not license assisted living facilities. They are generally regarded as one to two steps below skilled nursing in level of care. Florida does license and regulate its Assisted Living Communities.

Approximately 90 percent of the country’s assisted living services are paid for with private funds, although some sates have adopted Medicaid waiver programs. Might also be referred to as Personal Care, Board and Care, Residential Care, Boarding Home, etc., although some states differentiate between their definition of “Assisted Living” and these other terms.