Elder Care Options for Veterans

Veteran Elder CareWhether you’ve served in the Vietnam war or you’re a veteran who has served long years in the marine or army, you probably already know how difficult it can be to get proper home care these days, especially since not all elder care services have extensive benefits for veterans.

Nevertheless, there are many reliable elder care businesses that have made it their mission to cater to veterans, and ensure that they are able to spend the remaining years of their lives in dignity and peace.

What Can Veterans Gain from an Elder Care Service?

Senior care services offer a wide variety of dependable solutions, many of which can and do apply to veterans. Some of them include long term care options, geriatrics programs, assisted living solutions, independent living, skilled nursing care, as well as nursing home and residential care.

Aside from these, most veterans are also eligible for obtaining cost reductions and special service packages when applying to community nursing homes and living centers specially designed for them.

Benefits and Restrictions for Veteran Care

One of the major benefits that veterans receive when it comes to home care and assisted living has to do with the Aid and Attendance benefit. This $2,000 benefit is provided to help veterans support anything from home care to nursing home or assisted living expenses, and can also be available for the spouses of veterans (although they will qualify for a smaller amount).

Another benefit is the Housebound pension which applies only to veterans who are disabled and confined to their immediate premises.

These types of financial aid benefits can significantly help you in gaining access to superior home care options. Nevertheless, it is important to note some of the restrictions that are in place for veterans, before they can be considered eligible at least for Aid and Attendance:

  • First of all, you need to be a veteran who has served at least 90 days in active duty.
  • At least one day of wartime service is also required.
  • Veterans receiving the benefits of A&A must also have been honorably discharged.
  • Some income restrictions also have to be observed.

If you are bedridden, you have poor eyesight (5/200 visual acuity or less), or you’re a patient in a nursing home, A&A will cover your expenses. The pension can also cover expenses involving home care services for performing daily tasks, such as eating, dressing or bathing.

Unique Care Options

Unique care options are available for senior vets who can no longer live safely on their own. Special communities and medical foster home programs put together by the Veteran’s Administration (VA) are available today, where veterans can enjoy professional elder care and nursing care, while still remaining close to their communities.

Initiatives such as these are provided in parallel with services featuring elder care packages for veterans who can still live on their own, but with assistance from home care staff, and some home care programs are also available for bedridden vets.

Depending on your preference and immediate needs, elder care services and institutions can provide you with the necessary support, information and assistance for obtaining access to reliable and affordable home care or nursing care solutions.

How to Start a Home Care Business

Homecare BusinessStarting a home care business is no easy feat. If you truly want to help those in need while putting together your own business, it’s important to get all the facts about what steps need to be taken and how your business plan needs to be structured before starting out.

Market Research

Market research in the home care field is much more important than in many other industries. You have to know exactly who your clients will be and why their needs were not met in the past.

Another good strategy is to do some research on your competitors. Look up some of the successful home care businesses in the area, and see what makes them tick. Also, pay special attention to any negative reviews people may have written about these service providers in order to make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Your Business Plan

Based on market research, you will find that there are several ways you can go about starting your home care business: you can buy an existing company or franchise, start your own company from scratch or join a membership network.

Regardless of which path you choose, your business plan must be heavily based on the needs of your clients, as well as on your own budget limits and the licenses you are able to obtain, either at a short notice or in the long run.

Here are a few simple, yet highly essential tips on building your business plan:

  • Use information gathered from your market research to determine which practice areas and responsibilities your service will focus on;
  • Determine the number and level of expertise of your future employees;
  • Develop a marketing and advertising plan for the following months;
  • Set up a clear budget plan;
  • Form a networking plan for connecting to other businesses and franchises in your area.

After completing your business plan, you can get to work on setting up your financial system, obtaining the necessary licenses for your home care business, as well as focusing on recruiting work, advertising and quality control.

Employees and Quality Control

When hiring your first employees, the screening process is crucial to the success of your new home care business. You will need to use resources provided by the Department of Health to make sure both you and your employees comply with the necessary work standards and regulations, and you need to do your best to also provide employees with the necessary training and insurance.

After you’ve obtained your license, hired your employees and started to work as a business, it’s time to advertise more heavily through the internet, as well as radio, TV or local newspapers, and in parallel, also find out what you can do to gradually improve the services your staff provides.

Find out if you can obtain support from a franchise, and use the assistance provided by home trade care associations to improve your service and make sure your staff members get the qualifications and support they require – especially when dealing with elderly individuals or people recovering from injury.

Although these steps may seem complicated at first, you will find they are quite logical and straightforward, as well as necessary, and you’ll find help will always be given when your business is built on the noble goal of helping others.

Home Health Care Isn’t Just for Seniors

Home Health Care For Young PeopleYou probably see home health care services as a solution for seniors only, because, indeed, most of the beneficiaries are seniors. However, this does not mean that other categories cannot enjoy the benefits home health care has to offer.

In fact, anyone who is ill or disabled, and their caregivers and loved ones, as well, can find such services really advantageous. The secret is to work with the right health care agency, one that has the necessary personnel and equipment to meet your specific needs.

Here is a list of home health care services provided by most of the agencies throughout the country and their specific:

  • Doctor care – Usually includes a preliminary consultation, diagnosis, treatment prescription and follow-up consultations.
  • Nursing care – Based on the doctor’s recommendation, this service could include anything from wound dressing, intravenous therapy, ostomy care and administering medication to general health state monitoring, pain control and health support services.
  • Speech, physical and occupational therapy – These usually focus on helping the patient recover certain skills and abilities after a severe illness or injury. They can involve daily or weekly sessions with a specialist, depending on the particularities of each case.
  • Medical social services – Various medical services are provided by social workers in order to help with recovery. They can include counseling, resources location and even case management for patients with complex health problems that need several services at the same time.
  • Home health aides services – The aides usually help patients with basic, personal needs, like bathing, dressing, walking and other daily routines. They can also assist registered nurses and provide specialized care if they receive specific training.
  • Basic assistance care – These services are usually required by patients who live alone and receive medical care, and they involve assistance with household chores, like cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry, etc.
  • Companionship – Patients who live alone or are bedridden may need company, supervision and moral support, and this is what these services are all about, although, in some cases, they may also cover some household duties.
  • Nutritional support – Many illnesses require that the patients maintain a strict diet, case in which a dietitian may come to their home in order to assess their eating habits and provide the necessary guidance.
  • X-ray imaging and laboratory tests – These services aim at exempting the patient from travelling to a hospital, clinic or practice in order to have tests done. They are performed at the patient’s home, by a specialized team, using portable equipment.
  • Pharmaceutical services Patients needing certain medicines or specialized equipment can choose to receive them at home. If necessary, training on how to administer the medicines or use the equipment can be provided, as well.

As you can see, these services have nothing to do with age, but rather with the health condition of the patients. Anyone can benefit from them, from children to young adults and seniors, from those recovering after an injury or severe condition to those temporarily or permanently disabled.

The advantages everyone can enjoy, no matter their age or reason for needing home health care services, include increased comfort, faster and safer recovery, more independence, freedom and privacy, lower costs compared to institutionalized care, flexibility and shorter hospitalization periods.

When Is It Time for Hospice Care?

Hospice CareBeginning hospice care is not an easy decision to make, neither for the patient, nor for the family. Choosing to receive hospice care often entails declining further treatments that might cure the patient. Instead, this type of care is focused on making the last months or days from the life of the patient as free of pain and comfortable as possible.

Doctors can offer advice as to when it is time to start hospice care, but the final decision is up to the patients and their families. It might seem cruel to talk it, but there is a time limit as to when a patient can be admitted in a hospice care program.

Usually, terminally ill patients that have six months or less to live and have a physician’s certification to prove it are eligible for hospice care, regardless of their age. If the patient’s state gets better and they survive the 6-month period, they can continue to stay in the hospice, based on the doctor’s recommendation, or they can choose to leave.

It is, no doubt, difficult to make such a decision, but it is better to start discussing the issue of hospice care early time than to be taken by surprise or have to find solutions against the clock. It would be both unpleasant and extremely stressful to deal with a crisis and make a rush decision, in the detriment of the patient. That is why specialists advise people to take their time when making such arrangements, to consider several hospice facilities and to choose the solution that best suits their needs.

The doctor might not always suggest hospice care, because it is a delicate subject to bring up, and they cannot anticipate the family’s reaction to it. If you, or someone close to you, are terminally ill, here are a few signs to let you know it might be time to consider hospice care:

  • Several hospitalizations within a short period of time;
  • Frequent trips to the emergency room;
  • Considerable increase in pain;
  • Recurrent nausea;
  • Regular breathing problems;
  • Significant weight loss due to major decrease in appetite;
  • Not being able to recover after a recurrence in one’s medical condition;
  • Functions decline – needing help for eating, dressing, bathing, going to the toilet or even walking;
  • Alertness decline – decrease in one’s comprehension abilities, increased sleepiness, signs of emotional withdraw.

In terms of hospice care, you can choose between elder care home services or a facility. Each have their advantages, but both aim for the same thing: to create a comfortable environment for you and your loved ones and allow you to enjoy as much as possible the time you have left together.

With a hospice care service, you can transfer some of the day-to-day responsibilities to the staff and you can dedicate your time to your loved one, without having to worry about distractions. Terminally ill patients cherish every moment they get to spend with their family, and so do their relatives.

With hospice care, these moments can be longer and more enjoyable, as the patient is no longer in pain. Choosing hospice care is a tough decision, but one that should be made as soon as possible, as it will make everyone’s life easier.