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A Quiet ‘Sea Change’ in Medicare


Glenda Jimmo at home in Lincoln, Vt., in 2012. She was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit over whether Medicare should pay for treatment for people whose underlying conditions were not likely to improve.Ever since Cindy Hasz opened her geriatric care management business in San Diego 13 years ago, she has been fighting a losing battle for clients unable to get Medicare coverage for physical therapy because they “plateaued” and were not getting better.

“It has been standard operating procedure that patients will be discontinued from therapy services because they are not improving,” she said.

Moving in with grandma and grandpa: What to expect

By Barrier Free Architecturals Inc.

As baby boomers grow older, many families are making decisions on where their parents will live. Some living options include parents staying at home; intergenerational housing where parents move in with their children and grandchildren, or parents moving into a retirement home, supportive housing or a long-term care home. (more…)

I’d Rather Ask For Forgiveness Than Permission! – An Email From A Generous Best Bath Dealer

logo1_1022_004[1]We here at Best Bath Systems are constantly being reminded of why we love our Dealer network.  This is an email that was sent to our Mid Atlantic Sales Manager, Joe Hayden, from Ginny with Free Spirit Mobility, a generous dealer with Best Bath from Greer, South Carolina: (more…)

Westerners with Alzheimer’s find care abroad

By DENIS D. GRAY, Associated PressDecember 30, 2013

A Thai caretaker consoles Elizabeth, an Alzheimer’s patient from Switzerland at Baan Kamlangchay care center in northern Thailand. Thailand is poised to attract more Alzheimer’s patients from abroad.

A Thai caretaker consoles Elizabeth, an Alzheimer’s patient from Switzerland at Baan Kamlangchay care center in northern Thailand. Thailand is poised to attract more Alzheimer’s patients from abroad

CHIANG MAI, Thailand — Residents of this facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease toss around a yellow ball and laugh under a cascade of water with their caregivers, in a swimming pool ringed by palm trees and wind chimes. Susanna Kuratli, once a painter of delicate oils, swims a lap and smiles.

Watching is her husband, Ulrich, who has a heart-rending decision: to leave his wife of 41 years in this facility 9,000 kilometers (5,600 miles) from home, or to bring her back to Switzerland.

Their homeland treats the elderly as well as any nation on Earth, but Ulrich Kuratli says the care here in northern Thailand is not only less expensive but more personal. In Switzerland, “You have a cold, old lady who gives you pills and tells you to go to bed,” he says.


6.4 Percent Rise In Home Values Good For Home Repairs & Home Improvements – House Doctors CEO

Cincinnati, Ohio (PRWEB) October 21, 2013

The third quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Report shows the  U.S. Zillow Home Value Index standing at $163,000 as of the end of the third quarter. This is a good pace for the market and good for  home repairs  and home improvements says Jim Hunter CEO of National Remodeling Company House Doctors.


Aging in place: A New Frontier In Housing


The Costs of Long Term Care

Posted on Tue, Sep 10, 2013:

The Cost Of Long Term Care


Having an understanding of long term care costs is important for both the aging person who may need care now (or soon) and the Boomer adult who should be considering long-term care costs as part of retirement planning. Especially in light of the recent AARP study on the massive shortage of caregivers that will be available for the Boomer generation, we all need to be putting some consideration in to these issues.

Here are some quick statistics on nationwide average costs for long term care (from the 2012 MetLife market study of long term care):

  • The national average daily rate for a private room in a nursing home was $248, while a semi-private room was $222 up from $239 and $214 respectively in 2011.
  • The national average monthly base rate in an assisted living community rose from $3,477 in 2011 to $3,550 in 2012.
  • The national average daily rate for adult day services remained unchanged from 2011 at $70 in 2012.
  • The national average hourly rates for home health aides ($21) remained unchanged, while the homemaker hourly rate increased by 5.3% from $19 in 2011 to $20 in 2012.

The Cost Of Long Term Care

More specifically, the average costs of long term care in Florida are:
  • A private room in a nursing home in Florida averaged $259/day, while a semi-private room (far more common) averaged $230.
  • The assisted living base rate averaged $3234/month.
  • Adult day services averaged about $60/day throughout the state.
  • Home care costs in Florida: the rate for a home health aide averaged $18/hour and for a homemaker companion slightly less at $17 (a homemaker companion provides non-hands on help only, such as light housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation and companionship).
Florida is relatively affordable in the range of costs compared with nationwide averages, though by no means the cheapest state (and slightly above average in nursing home rates). As in most states, these costs also vary fairly significantly by area, with larger metropolitan areas like Miami tending to have higher costs. Additionally, there is wide variation from lowest to highest cost and all types of options for receiving care (from large rooms at “luxury” assisted living facilities to smaller “Mom and Pop” ALFs with options like shared rooms).
Here are some important considerations about long term care costs and Florida eldercare as you look beyond these averages:
  • Assisted living rates are given as base rates. ALF contracts and billing vary widely, with some using a “level of care” model in which they determine the additional cost based on an assessment that places you within a certain level based on your needs or a la carte pricing for specific care services. Some use a more all-inclusive pricing model or may even use a combination of approaches.
  • Often care is closely tied in to other living expenses and comparing costs requires looking at a more comprehensive budget. For example, a person receiving care at home has normal housing and living expenses such as utilities, groceries, mortgage/rent and maintenance. In a nursing home, residents will generally not incur any of those costs unless they continue to maintain their original home. In an assisted living facility, a number of those items are rolled in to the rate, though there may be additional costs (such as paying for phone or cable or buying personal groceries or restaurant meals).
  • Related to the budgeting information above, long term care insurance will generally only pick up the costs of care. However, living expenses aren’t necessarily separated out in facility-based care (in other words, if you receive care at home, your LTC insurance will not cover utilities and home costs but a daily rate in a facility is more likely to include all of those costs).
  • What other expenses should you consider in overall costs? Do not forget, for example: medical costs/insurance, medications, travel expenses, quality of life items (newspaper subscriptions, snacks, getting your hair done, personal training services, extra companion/help), transportation costs.
  • Account for inflation. These are good estimates of today’s costs and you should expect prices to rise along with other living expenses.

A geriatric care manager can help you with understanding your potential long-term care costs, the options for eldercare and creating a projected budget. If you are a professional advisor, it may be worthwhile working in partnership with a care manager to help better prepare and advise your clients. A care manager can give you real insight about true costs so that you can really be as prepared as possible.

At the time of need, a care manager will help you access the care you need (and get the best care possible), assist with advocacy and claims, help you prepare a care plan for your budget and help you with eligibility for benefits programs. A care manager can also help you understand contracts and payment options, as well as negotiate and determine the appropriate level of care.


What Do We ‘Owe’ Our Parents?

posted by Suzanne Gerber, September 12, 2013

Talk about a hot-button issue. With almost 6 million Americans 85 or older, a number expected to jump up to more than 14 million by 2040, our country is struggling to provide adequate care.

Last June, More magazine conducted a nationwide survey of 751 men and women 18 and older with the hopes of giving some definition and parameters to this situation. In their September issue (and coming to on October 22) they published the results of this enlightening study.

If you could reduce the findings to one sentence, it would be that most Americans (81 percent) plan to help care for their aging parents. That’s the good news. But the not-so-good news is that more than a quarter said they didn’t know what was involved or how to plan for it.  (more…)

Score a Profit with Accessible Bath Features – How these safety products can appeal to your current customers

by Nate Jensen, Best Bath Systems


Best Bath Copper Tile Shower

In 2008, the CDC commissioned a report on unintentional, nonfatal bathroom injuries among persons 15 years of age or older; it stated that roughly 234,094 injuries were treated by emergency rooms annually (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012).

High ledges, abrupt edges, sharp corners and protruding metal combined with bath and shower water are factors in the recurring risks of injury, from slips and spills to more serious falls. More than 25 percent of the population is more than 50 years of age, making these common mishaps likely to occur more frequently. (more…)

September means ‘Healthy Aging Month’

September is the annual Healthy Aging Month when Americans nationwide are reminded to focus on the positive aspects of growing older and take personal responsibility for one’s health — physically, socially, mentally or financially. More than 15 years ago, the national health initiative, Healthy Aging was developed to provide people with helpful information for successful aging. Part of this year’s September campaign is the launch of the free, digital Healthy Aging® Magazine, which centers on older adults living their vibrant best. Right at Home, a leading provider of in-home companion and personal care to senior citizens and disabled adults, also shares this objective — to improve the quality of life for seniors. “Our professional home care services staff encourages clients of any age to stay as active as possible, keep following their passions and remain optimistic to what’s next in life,” said Joel Herdzina, Senior VP of Right at Home of Edmond. “We help seniors bring back vibrancy to every day living, whether we help them cook wholesome meals, participate in a sport, learn a new skill or take fun tours and trips.” (more…)