Posts Categorized: Corewood Care Blog

What Is Companion Care?

Companion care is a type of non-medical care for older adults. Companion care primarily provides socialization and emotional support. However, care providers can also help with custodial care services such as running errands, doing light housekeeping, performing household chores, planning activities, scheduling appointments, cooking meals, providing transportation and more. Companion care allows older adults to remain in their homes while receiving care.

Socialization is a basic human need, but it’s harder for aging adults to meet with friends and family for various reasons. This is where companion care providers can step in and offer support. While companion care is not a medically necessary service, it can significantly impact an individual’s health. Loneliness, depression and anxiety can bring about health complications such as high blood pressure and heart conditions. Companion care can help prevent these conditions and support an individual’s mental health. 

How Does Companion Care Work?

Older adults can receive companion care formally or informally. Friends or family members can informally provide companion care by visiting and helping with household chores. Local organizations and home care agencies provide companion care on a formal, paid basis. 

Care providers often assess an individual’s needs prior to providing services. This assessment allows them to determine what type of care is best for the individual, when they will need care and what type of services they’ll require. 

Companion caregivers engage older adults in conversation, listen to them, play simple card games or board games with them, take walks with them and join them in any other activities they may be interested in. They also provide transportation for errands, appointments or other activities. In some situations, they may cook for individuals or perform light household tasks that older adults struggle with. 

When working with a home care agency, the agency will schedule the companion care provider to weekly visits, while others may benefit from two to three visits per week. Some individuals may require daily visits because they need help with everyday tasks. 

Companion caregivers also keep family members informed. They communicate with other care professionals and family members to ensure older adults receive the care that’s best for them. Care team members use their time with individuals to monitor their physical, mental and emotional well-being to create personalized care plans tailored to each person’s needs. 

Benefits of Companion Care

Benefits of Companion Care

Companion care benefits older adults in various ways. It provides companionship, emotional support and improved quality of life. When older adults live alone and struggle to leave their houses, they often experience isolation and loneliness. They may not be able to meet with friends or visit family often. 

Companion care providers can alleviate this loneliness by spending time with care recipients and provide engaging conversation. They provide social connection, which is vital for a person’s health and overall well-being. Humans are wired for connection, and social interaction has the following health benefits:

  • Improved mental health
  • Controlled blood sugar
  • Decreased depression symptoms
  • Higher chances of cancer survival 
  • Lower rates of cardiovascular mortality
  • Lower blood pressure

Lack of social interaction negatively impacts one’s health and can lead to increased mortality rates. Companion care can help older adults live longer, healthier, more fulfilled lives. Companionship helps people feel understood, welcomed, valued and close to another person. 

In addition to spending time with care recipients, companionship providers can help them remain engaged and active in their community. Care providers can transport them to senior centers, community centers and other locations that offer activities for older adults. They can also help individuals plan fun activities such as going to movies, shopping, sightseeing and visiting friends. They can help keep older adults active and healthy by doing physical activities with them such as walking or swimming.

Companion care can also help grieving individuals cope with the death of a spouse. Some older adults lack family members or cannot see their relatives often. When some older adults lose their spouse, they lose their primary source of companionship. In these cases, companion care can provide the comfort and support needed when a person is grieving. 

Older adults living independently sometimes struggle to keep up with household tasks such as cleaning, doing laundry, cooking and running errands. Companion care providers can relieve individuals of these responsibilities by helping them complete tasks around the house or doing household chores for them. This assistance can help relieve stress and give older adults an overall better quality of life. 

Companion care allows older individuals to remain independent and enjoy the comfort of their own homes. It decreases the risk of isolation and depression, increases overall happiness and mental health, relieves the stress of household responsibilities and provides needed transportation. Older adults often look forward to visiting with companion care providers and find comfort in knowing that they have someone they can rely on for help with transportation and household tasks. 

Companion care providers also create consistency for older adults. Their services become a routine for older adults and something they can look forward to. Individuals can request care at times that are most convenient for them and enjoy the comfort of counting on a reliable companion.

Home companion care

Companion Caregiving vs. Personal Caregiving

Companion care focuses on having a caregiver assist with Instrumental activities of daily living such as social companionship, help with household tasks, cooking, assistance running errands, transportation, medication reminders, while personal care caregivers provide hands-on care and assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, fall precautions.

Personal caregiving provides the same services as companion care, but it also offers physical assistance with tasks such as toileting, dressing and bathing. Personal care providers provide non-medical care for chronic health conditions such as Parkinson’s and diabetes. They can assist with tasks such as the following:

  • Emptying catheter bags and other external urinary collecting devices
  • Bowel regularity assistance
  • Emptying colostomy bags
  • Incontinence care

Companion care is beneficial to individuals who need companionship and help with basic household tasks. However, if they also require personal hands-on care such as personal hygiene, grooming and toileting assistance, they will benefit more from personal care services.

Signs Companion Care Is Right for Your Family Member

Older adults who live independently are at risk of isolation and loneliness. Even if family members are able to visit them once in a while, they may require more help and companionship than their family can provide. This is when companion care services can help. Companion care is beneficial for older adults who feel isolated, struggle to keep up with household tasks and need help getting to and from various places.

If an individual experiences forgetfulness/cognitive decline, or they lose their ability to drive, they may need companion care to help them get around and complete tasks around the house. Another sign that a family member may need companion care is sadness, depression, anxiety or loneliness. If an individual often expresses feelings of sadness or loneliness, or if they simply don’t seem like themselves most of the time, they may be struggling with isolation.

Another sign that an older adult needs companion care is if their family members struggle to keep up with their care. Work, family obligations and other responsibilities can keep people busy, and they may not have adequate time to care for an aging adult. If you’re struggling with care tasks such as driving your family members to appointments, helping them with chores or entertaining them, companion care may be right for them. 

Companion care can relieve family members of caring for an aging adult so they can enjoy their time with them rather than stressing over care tasks. It can also give families peace of mind that their family member is taken care of even when they can’t be there. Companion care is also ideal for older adults who don’t have many family members or friends to spend time with them. 

If an individual spends most of their time alone, companion care can be a solution to reduce the isolation they feel. Companion care can be right for a person if they experience difficulties living independently but want to continue living in and receiving care in their own home.

Does Insurance Cover Companion Care?

Does insurance cover companion care?

Medicare, the government insurance program for American adults age 65 and older, does not cover companion care services. Medicare will only cover medically necessary services, and in some cases, it will cover short-term personal care if it is in combination with medically necessary services. Medicaid, the state and federal health insurance program for United States citizens with low income, offers different services based on where an individual lives. For example, Medicaid covers custodial care services in some states but not others.

Private insurance plans will sometimes cover more elder care services than Medicare and Medicaid. For example, comprehensive long-term care insurance policies will sometimes cover health services and custodial care to certain limits. For an insurance policy to cover these services, individuals must purchase this coverage before they actually need the services. 

How to Choose Quality Companion Care

When searching for companion care, individuals and families should make sure they choose an agency that provides quality care. People should look for an agency with the following qualities and benefits:

  • Trained, qualified and compassionate staff
  • Client care plans
  • Replacement staff when caregivers are unavailable
  • The option for 24/7 care

It’s important that companion care providers are compassionate and trained to provide quality care. Families should check with agencies to see if they create client care plans and involve families in the plans. They should also inquire about what services an agency offers and if they have replacement staff to fill in when regular caregivers are unavailable. Additionally, if individuals need 24/7 care or may require it in the future, families should find out if an agency offers it.

Schedule a Free Assessment With Corewood Care

Schedule a free assessment with Corewood Care

Aging adults need companionship to avoid depression and feelings of isolation. Companion care can provide them with social companionship, transportation and help around the house. This arrangement allows older adults to continue living independently in their own homes. Even though it’s not a medically necessary service, companionship can significantly impact mental, physical and emotional well-being. At Corewood Care, our goal is to help older adults thrive and live gracefully while receiving the necessary care. 

From companion care to home health care, our compassionate, qualified staff works to create individual care plans and tailor services to each person. Every person is different, so we monitor clients’ emotional, mental and physical well-being to meet their unique needs. Contact Corewood Care to schedule a free assessment and decide if companion care is right for your family member.

What Is Elder Care?

What is elder care?

Elder care is specialized care intended for adults aged 65 and over. This type of care provides assistance to individuals as they transition into later stages of life. Some individuals may need help completing daily tasks in order to live independently and safely while others may need hands on personal care or skilled care. Some people may simply need companionship to fulfill emotional needs.

The level of care depends on one’s physical, mental and emotional health along with their individual needs and preferences. Older adults can receive elder care services in communities, facilities or in the comfort of their own homes. 

How Does Elder Care Work?

Older adults may face mental and physical difficulties that prevent them from performing their regular Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Elder care is a service that helps them with these challenges. Experienced healthcare professionals, hired care providers and even family members, can assist older adults in the recipient’s home or in more formal settings, such as memory-care facilities, full-service skilled nursing facilities or assisted living communities.

Older adults will receive different types of care based on their needs. Some people have debilitating or chronic conditions that require more hands-on care and attention than others. Many older adults need assistance due to memory loss. Some people may only need a little help remembering to take their medicine at the correct time each day, while others might struggle more with their memory and find themselves in unsafe situations. They might forget important tasks such as taking food off the stove.

What are the types of care for older adults?

What Are the Types of Care for Older Adults?

Older adults require different types of care depending on their physical, cognitive and emotional functioning. Some individuals require medical care for physical impairments or health conditions while others simply need help with basic tasks around their house or assistance running errands. Families are sometimes able to provide care for older adults, but this responsibility can strain their work schedules and other aspects of their lives.

Elder care services can provide care to individuals in their homes or in senior living communities to relieve families of these responsibilities.

Custodial Care and Skilled Care

Custodial care/Personal Care refers to non-medical care while skilled care refers to medical care. Custodial care/Personal Care provides older adults assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, showering, getting in and out of a chair or bed, toileting, walking and dressing. Custodial care also provides older adults assistance with instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) such as shopping, household chores, necessary business tasks and getting around for various purposes. Adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s usually need custodial care.

Skilled care provides older adults assistance with medical services such as administering IV medications, providing physical therapy and wound care. Only licensed or certified medical professionals can provide skilled care. Older adults can receive custodial care in an adult day care setting, at home or in a senior living community such as a group home for older adults, assisted living community or skilled nursing facility.

Memory Care and Assisted Living

Senior living communities may have residences with Memory care and assisted living. Memory care and assisted living provide residents with hands-on care and assistance. These communities also provide social activities, meals, medication monitoring, laundry, housekeeping, and a nurse on-site at all times.

Memory care is meant for individuals who have dementia from conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases. Memory care typically has a lower resident to staff ratio than assisted living because memory care residents need higher levels of care.

Memory care staff members are trained to work with specific needs associated with dementia, such as physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral issues. Memory care units implement increased security and restrict residents from unaccompanied outings to keep residents safe and prevent them from wandering. 

Adult Day Care

Adult day care is a service within a structured setting that provides care and supervision for older adults during the day. This service is usually offered during weekdays, and it’s typically meant to relieve unpaid family caregivers from their caregiving responsibilities so they can go to work or perform other necessary tasks. It’s also a form of respite care that relieves primary caregivers from their caregiving responsibilities.

Virtual Companion Care

Virtual companion care provides home care via the internet. Through this type of care, older adults use a tablet computer to interact with others and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Care providers communicate with older adults through the tablet to monitor their mood and safety and remind them to take necessary medications. Virtual companion care can be a more affordable alternative for older adults who live alone but don’t require hands-on care.

Palliative and Hospice Care

Palliative care and hospice care provide pain management and support for individuals who are terminally ill. These care types are different from medical care because their purposes are not to cure any underlying conditions. Palliative care offers relief from pain and suffering, and hospice care is a more comprehensive care type that includes palliative care. Patients receiving palliative care are not always hospice patients.

Home care providers help individuals by cooking, doing laundry, cleaning and accompanying them when they need to run errands or attend doctor's appointments

What Is Elder Care at Home?

Older individuals can receive care in the comfort of their own homes through homecare or companion care. Home elder care typically refers to unskilled or custodial care. Home care providers help individuals by cooking, doing laundry, cleaning and accompanying them when they need to run errands or attend doctor’s appointments. They may also help the individual bathe, get dressed or complete other daily tasks.

Home health care can include home care tasks such as completing household chores and helping individuals manage hygiene, but must be ordered by a physician, provided in conjunction with a skilled service, is for a temporary duration and the person receiving the care must be homebound.

Many older adults live alone or with family members and prefer the comfort of remaining at home. Home elder care allows older adults to receive care at home without moving into a care facility or attending an adult day social or adult day health care center.

Signs of cognitive issues include

Signs Elder Care Is Right for Your Family Members

Certain physical, cognitive and emotional signs can indicate that an older adult needs elder care. Families should consider and discuss elder care options as soon as they notice any signs that an older adult is experiencing physical, cognitive or emotional decline. Delaying assistance could put an individual’s safety and well-being at risk. Family members should schedule regular physical examinations for older adults and observe them for the following signs.

Cognitive Decline

Cognitive function and ability can change and decline as people age. When cognitive functioning declines enough to impair an individual’s ability to live safely on their own, they may benefit from elder care services. Signs of cognitive changes or decline include:

  • Language problems: Older adults may struggle to communicate their needs as they age, which can inhibit their ability to live independently.
  • Memory loss: Older adults may develop memory loss, such as forgetting to take their medications at the right times or forgetting to take them at all. They may put themselves in danger by accidentally leaving the stove on or wandering places and forgetting where they are. Occasional forgetfulness is normal but if it prevents an individual from living independently and safely, elder care may be necessary. 
  • Dementia: Severe memory loss can be a sign of dementia. 
  • Difficulty paying attention: Older adults may struggle to pay attention in certain situations, which can inhibit their ability to comprehend important information such as medication instructions and other medical or safety precautions they need to follow. 
  • Confusion: Confusion can impair an individual’s ability to function independently and remain safe. If an older adult experiences frequent confusion, they may need elder care services.

Physical Changes/Decline

Bodies become less resilient and more fragile as people age. Injuries, illnesses and chronic conditions can impair an individual’s ability to carry out daily tasks, move around or care for themselves. A person may require elder care services if they experience any of the following conditions:

  • Chronic health conditions: Chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and other conditions often develop as people age, and they can cause physical impairments that make it difficult to perform daily tasks. 
  • Physical limitations: Permanent or temporary physical limitations due to chronic health conditions or injuries can prevent older adults from functioning independently.
  • Difficulty walking: Impaired gait or stability can inhibit an individual’s walking ability and make them prone to falls and injuries. If someone is unable to walk independently or struggles to get around, elder care can help them with ADLs and other activities.
  • Sensory loss: Vision and hearing loss are not always obvious, but when these senses begin to decline they present significant safety risks. If sensory loss affects an individual’s ability to live independently, they may need elder care services.

Emotional Changes/Decline

As individuals age, they may feel unimportant or experience difficult situations, such as health complications, the inability to engage in activities they once enjoyed or the death of a spouse. Individuals do not always communicate their feelings, which can make it difficult for family members to identify when an older adult struggles emotionally.

Family members can look for the following signs to identify when an individual may need extra emotional support:

  • Personality or mood changes
  • Loneliness
  • Depression
  • Loss of interest
  • Social withdrawal
  • Suicidal thoughts

Social isolation and loneliness can increase health risks such as obesity, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, a weak immune system and death. Companionship can reduce feelings of loneliness, give individuals a sense of purpose and help them live longer.

Companionship can accompany personal care, home care and home health care services. Care providers can engage in conversations and build friendships with clients while they provide assistance or help them with daily tasks.

Does Insurance Cover Elder Care?

Regular health insurance does not cover most elder care services. Medicare is a government health insurance program for United States citizens over age 65 that covers medically necessary services. Medicare will cover home health or skilled nursing services if an individual needs them for medical or health purposes. However, it does not cover personal or custodial care services if these are the only types of assistance an individual needs.

Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health insurance for United States citizens with low income. In some states, it offers wider coverage for more services such as home health services and personal care services. However, individuals only qualify after they deplete enough of their personal savings. 

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) provides benefits to eligible veterans that can help with elder care services in certain situations. Veterans may receive health care benefits and pension increases for care services in some cases when they’re housebound. 

Individuals can purchase private insurance to cover certain elder care costs. For example, comprehensive long-term care insurance policies sometimes cover home health care, custodial care and care within assisted living settings. Policies like this cover services to certain limits. For elder care coverage eligibility, individuals must purchase policies before they actually need the services. Annual policy premiums may be expensive for some individuals, but premiums are cheaper when healthy individuals sign up for policies in their fifties or sixties.

Schedule a free assessment with Corewood Care

Schedule a Free Assessment With Corewood Care

Elder care helps individuals when they experience physical, cognitive and emotional changes that occur in later stages of life. At Corewood Care, we provide support, guidance and individualized care to individuals during life’s later transitions. Our home care services help people perform personal activities of daily living so they can thrive in the comfort of their own homes. 

We’re passionate about helping older adults live gracefully, and our compassionate staff is trained to provide medical care, personal care and companionship with a holistic care plan tailored to each individual. Schedule a free assessment with Corewood Care today to see if elder care is right for your family member.

What Are 4 Common Types of Caregivers?

Many people use the word “caregiver” to describe anyone who gives help to an individual. While this definition is a good start, not all caregivers are alike. Many have unique functions, usually depending upon their expertise and the needs of the person they assist.

To help you understand the vast world of caregiving, we’ve outlined four of the most common types of caregivers you’re likely to encounter. If you’re searching for a caregiver for you or a loved one, you may find a perfect fit among these descriptions.

1. Family Caregiver

Family caregivers have played an essential role in society for centuries. As the name implies, these caregivers are family members who assist their relatives. For instance, a 40-something daughter may serve as a caregiver to her elderly mother who needs help with activities like grooming, bathing or shopping.

Family caregivers may or may not be volunteers. In some cases, they earn their living by being a full-time caregiver. In other cases, they may only spend part of the time caring for a relative. Unless they’re medically trained and appointed to serve in a medical capacity, they do not deliver any kind of formal home healthcare services.

2. Private Duty Caregiver

If a family member is unable to provide care, a private duty caregiver with a medical or nursing background may come into the house.

Private duty caregivers are hired through trusted outside sources, such as a Home Care and Care Management services provider like Corewood Care. The family usually works with the private duty caregiver to determine a customized schedule. Some private duty caregivers stay throughout the night, while others concentrate their attention on care during the day.

Some families employ more than one private duty caregiver, especially if round-the-clock (or nearly round-the-clock) assistance is preferred.

3. Home Health Care Caregivers

It’s a common misunderstanding that individuals who need a caregiver today will need one in the future. Consider home health care caregivers. Generally speaking, they’re paid for entirely or partially by insurance to provide anything from physical therapy to home-based nursing.

Someone recovering from an accident or illness may see a home health care caregiver two or three times weekly. Though this type of caregiver can assist with anything from cooking to cleaning, the caregiver’s role is temporary. Ideally, the individual will get better to the point where the home health care caregiver is no longer necessary.

4. Virtual Caregivers

Does it seem as if the world has gone completely remote? It has, and that’s a great thing for many people who need a caregiver.

Virtual caregivers can provide a great deal of companionship from afar. While they might not be able to help someone put on an outfit or go to the store, they can act as a friendly face. Though virtual caregiving is in its infancy, it’s likely to become more popular with the rise in telehealth and telemedicine.

Which Type of Caregiver Is Right for Your Situation?

Now that you have more information on caregivers, you can consider which type is best suited for your or your loved one’s needs. Feel free to schedule a free assessment at Corewood Care. We’ll help you explore your caregiving choices to pick the appropriate fit.

Oral Health in the Elderly

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association points out the need for oral health in the elderly. The study says that older adults with tooth loss have a higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. The more teeth that are missing, the increased risk.

Researchers reviewed records of 24,074 participants, of which 4,689 had cognitive impairment or dementia. They found that each missing tooth was associated with a 1.4% increase in the risk of cognitive impairment and a 1.1% increased risk of dementia. Those with 20 or more missing teeth had a 31% higher risk. Participants who had missing teeth but also used dentures were not found to have a higher risk.

The connection between missing teeth and these risks is not clear. Perhaps missing teeth create problems chewing food so much that nutritional deficiencies or chemical imbalances occur. If there has been poor oral hygiene, increased bacteria in the mouth or gum disease may also have a connection.

Or it’s possible that people who are experiencing cognitive decline become less able to take care of their teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. There’s still a lot to be studied on this issue but one thing is clear: aging adults often need more care. At Corewood Care, we serve seniors and their families with in-home care, allowing the elderly person to age in place in their own home.

Our caregivers are trained to help with the physical needs such as toileting, bathing, dressing and basic oral care, as well as help in the home with light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders, and companionship and compassion during every visit.

If you or a family member are struggling to keep up with the tasks of daily living, let us help. Contact us for a no-cost home consultation for senior home care services across the greater Bethesda and Washington DC region.

Local vs National Home Care Companies

If you’re looking for a home care service in the Bethesda-Montgomery County-DC Metro region, there are many options. Dozens of in-home care companies offer care for seniors. Some are large national companies; others, like Corewood Care, are locally owned.

What differences might be found between a corporate home care agency and a locally owned home care service? You may be more familiar with the big-name national companies. Several of them run nationwide TV commercials, hire well-known actors or former television news people, place ads in magazines, or send direct mail to your home. All of that costs money which is factored into the rate they charge.

Services that match you to a home care company, assisted living facility or nursing home can have very high fees that are paid for by that business. Those also have to be factored into the rate they charge for their services.

Locally owned senior home care agencies have a smaller management structure and less overhead cost. That means that if you ever have a concern, you can easily speak with top management or the home care agency’s owner. At Corewood Care, our company was founded by Mary O’Donoghue. Following her experience caring for her father in the family home on Corewood Lane, she believed in-home care for the elderly entailed more than physically helping the senior adult. She set out to build a company that employed caregivers passionate about helping people, caring for their emotional and physical needs.

It’s that desire to find the most caring and compassionate staff, provide excellent training and hands-on care management that often sets local senior home health care agencies apart. Corewood Care offers no-cost home assessments before we match a caregiver to the senior client. We work to make that a good relationship from the beginning, whether it’s for respite care, post-surgery care, or 24/7 in-home care.

Senior care services can help with dressing, bathing, medications, and activities of daily living, as well as light housekeeping, meal preparation and companionship. We’ll tailor a specific plan to help care for you or your senior family member, and always be available to make the senior care services meet your needs.

Loneliness in the Elderly

As people age, loneliness and social isolation can become very real concerns and create health risks for dementia and other medical conditions. A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) indicates that nearly one quarter of adults 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated. 

Aging seniors are more likely to live alone, often after the death of a spouse; and are more likely to experience the loss of family or friends who may pass away or move to another location. Chronic illness and loss of hearing also contribute to isolation and loneliness. A recent study found that social isolation increased the risk of premature death to nearly the same extent as smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.

At Corewood Care, we work to address the issues of loneliness and social isolation for our senior home care clients and their families. Often, we are brought into a senior’s home because they, or their adult children, recognize that they need help with bathing, housekeeping, or meal preparation. Our caregivers are adept at providing that physical, tangible assistance, but they are also trained in the importance of companionship while they’re performing other duties in the home.

That companionship is part of our company philosophy; it’s our mission to help our clients thrive and grow. That means we’re attuned to the issue of loneliness, and we make an effort to reduce those feelings in our clients during our visits. So while our caregivers help a client bath and dress, they try to engage each client. These conversations might be inquiring about the places the senior lived or the type of work they did; their families; the weather or news of the day. While our caregiver prepares meals for the senior, they might ask about their favorite meal or what memories he or she has of holidays, or about hobbies or interests he or she enjoyed.

Our hope is to not only provide home care but to make a difference. Senior home care is not just about physically helping the senior with activities of daily living as they age, it’s also about caring for their mental health by offering friendship and companionship. Corewood Care is a senior home care company serving Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland; Fairfax County, Arlington and Alexandria region in Virginia; as well as Washington DC area. Call on us for assistance with home health care services, 24/7 care, and respite care for your family.

Home Health Care vs Senior Home Care

If you are looking for care for yourself, your spouse or parent, it may be confusing to identify the exact service needed. You’ll encounter terms for home health care, home care, personal care, and companion care services. At Corewood Care, we provide these services across the greater Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington DC region, in accordance with our licensures; many companies focus only on home health care or senior home care.

Let’s begin with home health care. This term describes more in-depth, skilled medical care that is brought to the home so that the client doesn’t have to visit a doctor’s office or other medical provider. Home health care may be needed to treat a chronic health condition or during recovery from surgery or a serious illness or injury. These services are considered clinical or skilled care, so they are provided by a licensed caregiver, from a registered nurse (RN) to a certified nurse’s aide (CNA), according to pertinent licensure requirements. Home health care is usually covered by private insurance or Medicare/Medicaid.

Home care usually refers to making life better for a senior as he or she ages in place in his or her home, even if that is an independent living facility instead of their own home or apartment. Home care is non-medical care.

Chart of services for home health care versus senior home care

At Corewood Care, we tailor in-home care services to each client. Sometimes, home health care is a temporary need, such as wound care or skilled nursing care after a release from the hospital. Home care services, also often known as senior home care or personal care services, help the client with bathing, dressing, and toileting, as well as light housekeeping and meal preparation. Our home caregivers also help keep the senior client engaged during our visits with conversation and interaction. The term companion care refers to that more social side of home care; these clients perhaps do not need help with bathing or grooming, but benefit from someone to play cards with, reminisce, or engage in activities that keep the brain stimulated.

When you need help at home, Corewood Care can provide the customized in-home care you need. We’ve served clients across the region with home care services, respite care, and 24/7 care for many years. If we can be of service, answer questions, or help you find the right service for you, please give us a call, schedule a free home assessment, or use our chat.

Ten COVID Scams Older Adults are Falling for Right Now

Across the country, federal and local law enforcement agencies are warning older adults about COVID-19 scams and requesting personal information or making false promises about COVID-19 cures and test kits.

Corewood wants to make you aware of these coronavirus scams. We also want you to know that experts believe the number of new schemes will only increase over the coming months. Some of the most common scams include:

  • Individuals selling treatments for COVID-19 vaccine, cure, or insurance.
  • Online sales of high demand medical supplies such as N 90 or N95 masks.
  • Phishing calls, text messages, or emails from national or global health authorities asking for personal and/or financial information.
  • Calls or emails requesting contributions for obscure COVID-19 treatments.
  • Appeals for donations for individuals affected by COVID-19.
  • Unofficial COVID-19 apps and downloads that can potentially compromise a person’s computer or phone with malware.
  • Financial planners alleging they have “inside information” to prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19.
  • Scammers calling as contact tracers claiming the individual has been exposed to COVID-19 and needs to act quickly. They then request the person’s social security numbers, insurance information, or advanced payment for bogus COVID-19 tests.
  • Calls claiming to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA), claiming that benefits will be interrupted unless the caller provides their social security or bank account number.
  • Scammers impersonating bank employees who claim that banks are falsely limiting access to funds or alleging security issues with bank deposits.

Top TEN Tips for Avoiding COVID-19 Scams:

  • Discount claims about COVID-19 vaccine, cure, or treatment.If there is a medical discovery, it wouldn’t be reported through unsolicited emails or online ads.
  • Depend on official sources for current information on COVID-19.Review your state’s health department websites, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the World Health Organization for the latest developments.
  • Know that the safest place for your money is in the bank—your funds are physically secure and federally insured, something you don’t have when your money is outside the banking system.
  • Be on guard for phishing scams.  Do not click on links, pop-up screens, or open any attachments from sources you don’t know. NEVER share your password, account number, or PIN with anyone.
  • Investigate before donating. Be circumspect about any individual, charity, or business requesting COVID-19-related donations in cash, by wire transfer, gift card, or through the mail.
  • Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Using the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are your best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates to get the newest fixes.
  • Avoid bogus website links. Hackers embed malicious links into devices by tricking you into downloading malware or route users to bogus websites. Fraudulent links are often disguised by simple changes in the URL, such as www.ABC-Bank.com vs. ABC_Bank.com.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication for critical financial accounts. Multi-factor authentication is a second step to verify who you are. This often means you will receive a text message to verify your status before gaining access to a site.
  • There is a high potential for fraud presently. Be leery of any company claiming the ability to prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus.
  • Help others by reporting coronavirus scams. Contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov to report suspected or confirmed scams. The Federal Trade Commission also provides an updated list of the latest coronavirus scams at ftc.gov/coronavirus.

Have questions? Feel free to contact Mary Ann Buckley, Director of Care Management, at maryann@corewoodcare.com. We’re here to help.

Is it time to get a vaccination?

2020 has brought us a wider variety of topics of conversation. 

Case in point! While having a social distancing get-together with 2 of my friends in a parking lot, one friend asked if we were up to date on our vaccines. She showed us that she got the flu shot in one arm and pneumonia shot in the other arm. My other friend had the flu shot and shingles shot already. We are all in our 60’s and I didn’t expect this to be a hot topic to discuss, but it was informative and interesting. 

We all seem to have the flu shot on our minds, you drive by grocery stores, pharmacies and signs are posted that welcome you in get the shot. Turn on the TV and you can hear the warnings on the news; urging us all to get the flu shot this winter.  We are cautioned on ways to protect ourselves from not only the flu but also Covid-19. What we do know is that we need to be up to date on medical recommendations and check in with our own Physicians. 

What my friends and I realized: you are never too old to get vaccinated. While we kept up to date on our children’s vaccinations, now we must keep up to date on our own.

The top 5 vaccinations recommended for adults by the CDC: 1. Annual flu 2. Pneumonia 3. Tetanus booster 4. Shingles and 5. Hepatitis A and B. The best advice is to speak with your own Primary Care Physician to discuss these vaccinations and follow their recommendations.

As we age, our immune system which helps us fight illnesses does not work as well as it used to when we were younger. We can control how we live our life: eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, get a good night’s sleep, and decrease our stress level to strengthen your immune system. Your Primary Care Physician will be able to recommend the best options for the dose and timing of these vaccinations based on your health history.

Vaccinations not only benefit our personal health, but it benefits our family members and other people in our lives. Keeping ourselves healthy and reducing exposure of illness to those we care about is important to all of us. Doing our part to reduce doctor office visits, hospital admissions, out-of-pocket medical costs and time away from family is key in 2020.

Costs of vaccinations? Most health insurances cover these preventive measures; be sure to check in with your specific insurance provider to find out.  

Stay healthy by speaking with your health care provider about vaccinations and add this topic to your list of great topics of 2020.  

Care Manager Success Story

Years ago, we were honored to help a woman decide a move from her home into a senior living community where her sister lived. The older sister was unrelenting in telling her younger sister to move to her community and as soon as possible. She told me it was reminiscent of childhood with her older sister bossing her around.

This situation was causing a rift in the sister’s relationship, and they both were stressed. The sisters went to the same Physician who learned of the disagreement from each sister’s viewpoint. He recommended a Care Manager to help the younger sister choose a senior community based on her desires, needs, and budget.

The Care Manager met with her and reviewed all her preferences for her ideal housing type to meet her needs now and in the future. She always visited her sister and enjoyed her community but was not sure it was the one for her.

The Care Manager identified three communities that met the younger sister’s preferences, and they toured all three with an open mind. They compared each community, even making a pro and con list, and discussed the long and short-term advantages.

In the end, the younger sister chose the senior community where her older sister lived, but it was only after she had the time to look at her options and make a decision that was best for her. She felt confident that the move was the right one for her and not what her older sister wanted her to make.

At times like this, a Care Manager can provide professional, impartial guidance and options to consider. The Care Manager also assisted the younger sister with all of the steps required to sell her home, downsize, pack/move, and settle into her new home at the senior community on a different floor than her older sister.

Call Us: (301) 909-8117