Posts Categorized: News

What Is Chronic Care Management? 

Many individuals struggle with chronic health conditions on a daily basis. While challenging, there are services available like chronic care management designed to help individuals better manage their conditions and overall health.

What Is Chronic Care Management?

Chronic care management (CCM) is a type of preventive measure for individuals who have chronic health conditions. It was originally started by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to benefit both patients and physicians. 

This billable Medicare service ensures individuals have access to care coordination services outside of regular office visits. As a preventive service, chronic care management means it can also help prevent hospital or emergency room visits as well as reduce the chances of being readmitted after being released. 

How Is CCM Different From Typical Care Management? 

Both programs are designed to provide individuals with assistance and support. As its name suggests, chronic care management is designed specifically for individuals who have at least two chronic conditions. There are requirements regarding the length of time the condition is expected to last as well as how long the clinical time spent with the patient will be. 

Through this program, providers will be able to record and note changes in the individual’s health. By keeping care plans and sharing patient health information with other providers, CCM helps manage changes in an individual’s health. 

Typical care management can provide support to older adults who need ongoing assistance with managing their health and safety. These programs are especially beneficial during transitional periods, ranging from transitioning back home after a hospital stay or moving into a nursing home.

A client’s care manager essentially serves as their advocate, ensuring they have access to the specific services they need to live gracefully. While a typical care management program can include chronic care, it also includes a range of other services, such as:

  • Client education
  • Care research and planning
  • Care coordination
  • Medication management
  • Hospital-to-home transition care
  • Transportation to physician office visits
  • Memory care

What Conditions Qualify for Chronic Care Management? 

Chronic conditions are diseases and disorders that are long-lasting, not easily cured and can potentially get worse over time. Alzheimer’s disease is a common chronic condition that affects many older adults. 

With this disease, individuals could experience difficulty focusing, remembering and communicating. Symptoms range from mood swings to physical problems like general discomfort and poor coordination. Some may experience delusions and hallucinations, or they might have a tendency to wander. These symptoms can make it difficult for individuals — and their family members — to continue caring for them alone. 

Along with Alzheimer’s disease, CCM can help individuals with many other types of chronic conditions who may struggle with basic activities of daily living (ADLs), including: 

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Heart failure
  • Hepatitis (Viral B & C)
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • Stroke

How to Know When CCM Is Right for Someone?

Chronic care management is provided outside of regular office visits to help individuals manage their health and follow their care plan.

To qualify for CCM, a person needs to have at least two chronic health conditions that will last for a minimum of 12 months or the rest of their life. The condition must place the patient at risk for functional decline, acute exacerbation or death.

To be eligible, individuals must also first have a face-to-face visit with a Medicare-qualified provider. This visit can be:

  • An annual wellness visit
  • A transitional care visit
  • An initial preventive physical exam
  • Another evaluation or management visit

After the initiating visit is complete, individuals must consent to the program, and then they will receive an individualized care plan. Clinical time spent with the patient can vary, but it must be a minimum of 20 minutes. 

Find the Right Home Care for Seniors With Chronic Conditions 

At Corewood Care, our aim is to improve the way care is managed. Older adults and their families throughout Washington, D.C., and Bethesda, Maryland, have access to our care management services as well as other types of home care and care coordination services. 

Every client is unique, so we tailor our services to meet each person’s specific needs and goals. We specialize in an integrated care management and home care model, and our multidisciplinary team of professionals supports our clients and their families however they need us to. No matter what chronic condition individuals may be facing, our team is dedicated to improving health management by effectively cross-collaborating and mitigating potential health risks. 

Want to learn more about our care management solutions and how we can help you thrive and live gracefully? Contact us today to schedule a free assessment. 

What Is Transitional Care Management?

Transitional care management focuses on helping individuals transition between health care settings. This management system aids in improving health outcomes and ensures clients receive consistent services. 

At Corewood Care, we offer comprehensive transitional care management services for older adults to help our clients thrive and live gracefully. Schedule a free assessment to learn how our services can help an older adult obtain trustworthy support as they transition to a rehabilitation or home setting.

What Is Transitional Care?

Transitional care involves the management and coordination of health services as clients move between health care settings. Typically, clients undergo transitional health care services within 30 days of discharge from a medical facility. The goal of transitional health services is to help clients continue receiving a high level of attention and care to help prevent injury or a need for rehospitalization.

What Is Transitional Care Management?

Transitional care management is coordinating a client’s safe transition from one medical setting to another or to their homes. For transitional care management to be successful, providers, clients and families work together to ensure the transition is smooth while reducing the risk of adverse health outcomes. 

What Sets Transitional Care Management Apart?

The main difference between transitional care management and care management and home health services is transitional services only focus on the period when a client moves from one facility to another or to their home. In contrast, care management and home health services focus on assisting individuals throughout their entire health journey.

Care management refers to a collection of services and activities to help clients with chronic or complex conditions effectively manage their health. While the main goal of health management is to help clients improve their health, it can also include smaller goals, such as improving how the providers coordinate service and enhancing engagement.

Conversely, home health services only focus on caring for a client at their home. With home health services, a client may have health care professionals visit them at their home to provide services.

While a care management plan or home health plan may include transitional management services, it is not the main focus, making it essential to have transitional care management services in place to ensure more complete care.

Is Transitional Care Management Ideal in the Long or Short Term?

Transitional care management is a temporary solution and typically ends after the client reaches 30 days after discharge. Since transitional care management aims to provide a seamless changeover, once a client reaches their 30 days, they are no longer in a transitional period and, therefore, no longer require transitional services. 

Situations Where One Would Need Transitional Care Management

For a client to qualify for transitional care management services, they must undergo a discharge from a qualifying service setting such as a hospital and have a medical record that indicates they require additional support. Some specific situations where an older adult would need transitional management services are:

  • Transitions within medical settings, like from a primary provider to a specialty unit
  • Transitions between medical settings, like from a hospital to a rehabilitation center or a home
  • Transitions across health states, like moving from curative care to assisted living
  • Transitions between providers, like moving from a general practitioner to a specialist

Find the Care Your Older Adult Deserves With Corewood Care Today

Having an older adult come home from the hospital or transition to a rehabilitation setting can include many challenges, including a higher risk of falls and medication mismanagement. At Corewood Care, we want to help your older adult be successful during their transition period through our transitional care management services. Schedule a free assessment to learn how our services can benefit you and your older adult.

When Professional Life and Personal Life Meld

My Dual Role: The Professional and The Daughter

A good portion of my time is spent reassuring older adults and their family members that I understand what they are going through. I am a Clinical Social Worker with a 30-year career in working with older adults and their family members. The primary focus of my work has been to guide and support older adults in the aging process to improve the safety and quality of their lives. My undergrad and graduate education is in Social Work and my PhD was earned as being the daughter of a fiercely independent mother. You see, my professional and personal life often collide at this time of my life.

Understanding the Aging Process: A Social Worker’s Perspective

I have been an advocate of the rights of older adults’ wishes while being mindful of the need to provide safety measures. Social Work school taught me that a client’s right to self-determination is an ethical principle that recognizes the rights for clients to make their own choices.

Marie’s Way: The Independence of a 94-year-old

That goes out the window when dealing with my 94-year-old mom. Marie lives alone in her home of over 65 years in Ohio, she walks to her church and volunteers once a week, she does her laundry and cooks her own meals. There’s no topic regarding her safety that I discuss with her that is not dismissed in 2 minutes. My suggestions for her safety and quality of life are always met with the standard saying: “ I’m not ready”. In my professional opinion, she is very ready: for a walker, cleaning help, a move to a senior community where she can play bridge, enjoy happy hour, and talk sports, however, she believes she is not ready.

The Siblings’ Support Network: United for Mom’s Well-being

She lives life on her terms, and I continue to worry from a distance. I’m not alone in this; I am part of a group. This caring, cautious, and nervous group consists of my sisters and brother. We’re on a group text and reach out to each other often. We text to update each other and discuss ways to keep her safe and happy. When we feel a subject needs to be proposed to my mom, we turn to my brother, the oldest and her only son as she will listen to him. Last year an emergency response system was proposed after a serious fall, she rejected the idea. After a sibling conference call, Steve was elected to speak with her, she begrudgingly accepted it and now has an emergency response system.

Lessons from Care Management: The Beauty of Watchful Waiting

The majority of my career has been in the field of Care Management. This is the perfect fit for me, working with older adults in their home, over the course of time. I am honored to be a part of their life at this stage, have meaningful conversations and listen to their concerns, fears and hopes.  

I have discussed the concept of watchful waiting with my siblings and my client’s children. Staying updated on our parents and being ready to assist when they are willing to accept it. As adult children, we are first responders; ready to spring into action and be the ultimate safety net.   

Reflections on Independence in Aging

I commend all of us for navigating this stage of life. In my mind, I hear Frank Sinatra singing “I did it my way” and it makes me smile. 

The Dilemma of Independence and Safety: A Personal and Professional Take

How do we protect those who want to retain their independence and what will we want when we are their age? It is a dilemma that I understand at a professional and personal level.  

Understanding and Preventing Caretaker Fatigue

You became a caretaker out of love and duty to a family member, friend or relative. You want the best for them and will give everything to help them live comfortably. However, what happens when caretaking duties become overwhelming and interfere with your role as a parent, spouse or friend? 

If you overexert yourself, you may not be able to provide optimal care. You can become stressed, frustrated and ultimately exhausted. The name for these feelings is caretaker fatigue. Understanding caretaker fatigue is vital for healthily managing your responsibilities and preventing burnout. 

What Is Caretaker Fatigue?

Caretaker fatigue describes feeling physically and mentally exhausted due to caring for a family member or friend. Looking after someone can be a delicate and demanding task. They might require 24-hour support, including personal, home and medical care. 

Without proper support, balance and boundaries, caretaking can feel overwhelming. You might feel overstretched and tired, leading to poor mental and physical health. While you can support and care for your friend or relative, you must also care for yourself. Here are some common causes of caretaker fatigue:

  • Taking on more than you can handle on your own
  • Feeling defeated or angry about not being able to provide suitable care
  • Focusing all your time and effort on caregiving and neglecting other priorities 

Signs of Caretaker Fatigue

Caring for a parent, friend or relative can be an enormous responsibility. When caretaking becomes too much for you alone, it can impact your mood, actions, physical and emotional health, and eating and sleeping habits. Here are some common symptoms and signs of caretaker fatigue:

Anxiety

Anxiety leaves you feeling stressed or anxious about the day or tasks ahead. You might find it challenging to relax or enjoy other tasks after completing your caretaking duties. You could also feel worried about your family member or friend’s well-being when you’re not around. 

Depression

The responsibility of caring for someone else can impact your mental and emotional health. Although caretaking can feel overly demanding, you may also feel guilty about setting boundaries. You might feel stuck between your caretaking duties and wanting time for yourself. This conflict can affect your mental and emotional well-being and lead to depression. Signs of depression can include:

  • Snapping at someone or becoming easily irritated.
  • Feeling powerless, sad and defeated.
  • Experiencing sudden or frequent crying spells.
  • Having difficulty sleeping at night
  • Feeling constantly exhausted and sleeping more than usual. 

Poor Eating Habits

Taking care of someone can be consuming. While caring for another person, you might skip meals or overeat regularly. Emotions and stress can impact your eating patterns, causing you to gain or lose weight. 

Concentration Issues

Focusing on work, family, hobbies or watching TV can be challenging if you’re facing caretaker burnout. You might find it difficult to focus on your other responsibilities or follow through on daily tasks. 

Mood Changes and Intrusive Thoughts

When dealing with caretaker burnout, your moods may change uncontrollably, and minor inconveniences can trigger frustrated or angry outbursts. You might feel down or discouraged one minute and irritable the next. You may also start resenting your relative or friend, leading to intrusive thoughts. 

Weakened Immune System

Stress and burnout can affect your physical health and resistance to illnesses like the flu and the common cold. You might get ill often and find it challenging to recover. 

Self-Neglect and Avoiding Socializing

Intense stress can cause you to stop doing things you enjoy, like going to the gym, reading or watching TV, because you’re fixating on your relative or friend’s needs. You might also neglect needs like grooming, attending doctor appointments, vacationing or going out with friends and could find yourself spending more time alone. 

How to Prevent Caregiver Fatigue in Maryland

When you recognize the signs of fatigue, you can mitigate burnout. Here are some ways to prevent caretaker fatigue.

Prioritize Self-Care 

Making time for yourself is vital for maintaining your mental and physical well-being. You can be more present and provide better care for someone when you feel energized, healthy and motivated. You might go for a walk, take a run or enjoy a gym session to improve your mood, or you can engage in other enjoyable activities. Whether you like reading, listening to music or meditating, prioritizing self-care outside your caretaking tasks is essential. 

Write It Down 

While voicing your feelings can be challenging, it can help you work through and understand your emotions. Journaling is an excellent way to release your feelings healthily. You can set a time to write down your feelings or emotions daily so they don’t become too overwhelming. 

Take Breaks

Taking a break from your caretaking responsibilities is essential. Taking breaks can help you refocus and feel more ready for tasks ahead. For example, you can take lunchtime or weekends off. You can also arrange for another family member or friend to help while you take a holiday, or you can get help with respite or temporary care services. 

Prioritize Nutrition and Healthy Eating

A nutritious diet can help you feel more energized and strengthen your immune system. Eat at regular times and prep meals ahead of time to prevent missing meals. Adding more vitamins, minerals, fruits and vegetables to your diet can also enhance your physical health. 

Get Support 

Getting professional help for your mental well-being can help you deal with stress and emotions. You can speak with a therapist that specializes in family caretaking. Talking to people in your position is also an excellent support solution. You can join a support group and get helpful advice and tips for coping with different scenarios and feelings. 

How to Care for a Family Member in Bethesda, Maryland

You can care for a family member with help from respite and caregiver support programs. Here are some resources for caregivers in Bethesda, Maryland.

Respite Care Program

The Department of Human Services offers reimbursement for caregivers. They also provide temporary care services when family members need a break or face an emergency. Respite services can include care for children, adults and older adults with disabilities. You can apply to see if you’re eligible for respite care services in Maryland. 

Holy Cross Caregiver Support Group 

The Holy Cross Health Caregiver Resource Center offers educational resources like newsletters and support for caretakers. They also have caregiver support groups, providing a space for children, spouses, friends and relatives to share information and support regarding caretaking. 

Aging and Disability Resource Unit

The Aging and Disability Resource Unit offers helpful in-person and over-the-phone resources and advice for people with disabilities, older adults and caretakers. The unit can provide help with transportation and support services. 

Alzheimer’s Association 

The Alzheimer’s Association offers a support group to educate caretakers on living with persons with Alzheimer’s. Trained volunteers lead the group, providing advice on caring for your relative or friend with Alzheimer’s. 

Trust Corewood Care for Comprehensive Home Care Management Services 

If you’re facing caretaker fatigue in Bethesda, Mayland, Corewood Care can help. Corewood Care offers care management services individualized to each person’s needs. Our multidisciplinary team can provide respite, personal care, companion care, in-home care and older adult care services. 

We know how important it is to get suitable care and assistance for your parents, friends or extended relatives. That’s why we provide 24-hour care, including meal prep, light housekeeping service, companionship and emotional care, personal hygiene assistance, and overnight supervision. You can have peace of mind that the person you’re caring for will have professional and around-the-clock care while you’re away. 

Contact us today to schedule a free home care assessment. 

How Do Caregivers and Nurses Care for Alzheimer’s Clients?

Many people are affected by Alzheimer’s, whether personally or through someone close to them. However, few are prepared for this life-changing condition — fewer still have the necessary skills or time to become caregivers for those affected. 

Corewood Care aims to help. Our nurses and caregivers work tirelessly to remain at the frontier of Alzheimer’s and dementia care. We strive to use our knowledge to deliver consistent, compassionate services to those who need them most while helping them maintain their independence as much as possible. 

Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia

When you hear “Alzheimer’s,” you likely think of dementia, and vice versa. While Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia, the term “dementia” refers to a much broader range of conditions. Dementia encompasses any disease or condition that causes cognitive decline. This cognitive decline often impacts someone’s ability to remember things, complete daily tasks and regulate moods. 

Around 60%-80% of people diagnosed with dementia are ultimately diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Though major strides have been made in the fight against this disease, there is currently no cure. 

How Our Nurses and Caregivers Help People With Alzheimer’s

People diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can and do live fulfilling lives, and this is largely impacted by finding the right caregivers and medical team. The staff at Corewood Care focuses entirely on meeting the needs of our clients, helping them transition into this new phase of life and make the necessary lifestyle changes. 

Between rigorous study and on-the-job training, we know that Alzheimer’s care varies day by day. Our around-the-clock medical and nonmedical services mean we’re prepared for any situations that arise. Our care managers coordinate with nurses, caregivers, personal trainers and family members to communicate the client’s needs and advocate for the level of care they deserve. Below are just some of the dozens of care options we facilitate every day.

Medical and Nursing Care

Most of our clients come to us first and foremost for our impressive medical care services. Our registered nurses are prepared to handle anything that may pop up unexpectedly and manage day-to-day care through: 

  • Mood assessments: Nurses monitor mood and note any major changes.
  • Nutrition assistance: Nurses create meal plans and help with cooking to give clients balanced nutrients.
  • Mobility and memory care: Our team will help clients maintain as much independence as possible for as long as possible.
  • Pre- and post-treatment care: From doctor’s appointments to surgeries and injuries, our nurses make sure clients are ready for it all and recover just as well.
  • Hospital-to-home transition services: Coming home from the hospital can be an adjustment, and our team will help ease the transition.

Nonmedical Caregiving for Alzheimer’s Clients

So, what else do caregivers do for people with Alzheimer’s? Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s is as much about being there for them emotionally as it is about providing for their medical needs. While most family members and friends want to be there to offer this support to the person, there is no shame in recognizing that these needs are often much more than one person can handle. 

Caregiving for Alzheimer’s clients is a constant, and Corewood Care trains our team rigorously to manage any situation by offering:

  • Medication reminders: We’ll keep clients on a routine to make life a bit easier.
  • Self-care assistance: We offer help with bathing, brushing teeth and other daily tasks.
  • Companion care: Living with Alzheimer’s can be lonely due to the growing communication barrier. We do our best to keep spirits up by serving as close and trusted friends.
  • Transportation: Anywhere they need to go, we’ll be there right alongside them.
  • Future preparations: Our support will last for as long as necessary, and we are more than willing to talk through and help make preparations for difficult decisions. 

Seek Alzheimer’s Care and Treatment With Corewood Care

The care managers and caregivers at Corewood Care are specialists in Alzheimer’s care. We believe in around-the-clock compassionate services that give you or the people you love the quality care they deserve. We do all this and more as we navigate this time together. Schedule a free assessment today to learn more about what we do and why we’re passionate about our work.

What to Look for in a Care Management Provider

Care management has evolved, providing clients with more options and services. Many people require more specialized care, especially as they age. Care management is essential for supporting older adults throughout various life areas. 

With various care management providers available, research and consideration are vital. Understanding a provider’s services, qualifications and approach is the most effective way to pick a care manager. 

What Is Care Management?

Care Management combines clinical services and activities to deliver holistic and personalized care based on each individual’s unique needs. Care managers support the health and well-being of clients by coordinating social, physical and emotional assistance. Clients can receive around-the-clock professional and comprehensive care through care management services and programs. 

Examples of care management services include:

  • Daily exercise in place
  • Grooming and bathing
  • Assistance dressing
  • Advocacy during hospitalization
  • Help to manage health crises
  • Clinical management
  • Professional recommendations for additional providers and services
  • Diet and nutrition insights
  • Assistance with chronic conditions

Why Is Care Management Important?

Care Management services provide clients with professional support and assistance in various life aspects. Care managers are trained in holistic care and can provide reliable and quality services like health care, physical exercise and advocacy. Care management can improve clients’ lives and give the families peace of mind while also providing individuals with a trusted provider to accommodate their specific needs and preferences without requiring around-the-clock help from a family member or unqualified person.

How to Choose a Care Manager

How to Choose a Care Manager

Deciding on a care management provider is a significant task and requires careful consideration. Care management services can vary, and understanding vital factors like licensing and staff training is one of the best ways to find what’s right for each individual. Things to consider when choosing a care management provider include:

1. Licensing and Certifications

Finding the right care manager should start with licensing and certifications. Care management providers must have various licensing and credentials to verify their services and qualifications. 

Providers and boards issue certifications and licenses to accredited care management providers. These certifications ensure a provider is reputable and can offer professional and knowledgeable assistance. They can also verify the quality of a care provider’s services, staff and facilities. 

Care management providers must have licenses with accredited boards like the Department of Health and home support agencies in their regions. Ensure a care management provider is certified by a reputable board association before moving forward. 

2. Staff Training Requirements

Understanding what types of training the care management staff undergo and their qualifications is essential. Care managers can have varying skills and disciplines in health care and ADLs. Some care managers are multidisciplinary and can assist with multiple needs, like scheduling health care appointments and educating clients on their conditions. 

Some care management providers ensure that all their care managers have professional health care certifications. With professional certifications, care managers may have training in rehabilitation, chronic illnesses and acute medical illnesses. Staff may also have professional credentials and training in nursing, nutrition, psychology, aging and social work. 

Care managers should also have training in daily living activities like grooming, bathing and scheduling physical exercises. Care management providers also use various methods for screening and vetting staff members. It’s essential that a provider has a screening process and can verify care managers’ qualifications and training. 

3. Service Availability 

Another essential factor is services and support availability. Consider the hours of care a care management provider offers. Understand when staff is available, how often they can provide care and if they are on call if needed. Care management that offers ongoing and around-the-clock support is essential for clients that require regular assistance. 

Providing emergency care and daily support is vital in care management. Many care management providers offer 24/7 care and flexible hours and are available throughout the day. They can also provide support as needed and respond in emergencies. 

Finding a care management provider that can provide convenient and ceaseless support is key for clients who rely on daily living assistance.

4. Technology Platforms

Communication between clients and providers is crucial when looking for a care management provider. Being able to check up on family members and get updates on care services, health care treatments and daily schedules is essential for families.

Technology and software platforms can help enhance communication between providers and families. Care management providers can have comprehensive platforms to record client information and track medical conditions and other information. 

Platforms can be accessible to families allowing them to stay updated with their family members’ health and care. Families need to communicate with providers and check up on their family members at any time. 

Care management platforms provide a convenient way of monitoring care providers’ services. They can also offer detailed information about caregivers, certifications and training. Platforms may offer client dashboards that families can access to view medical appointments, care plans and feedback from caregivers and care managers. They can also facilitate communication with the care managers and get assistance with health conditions and progress questions. 

Families can also access informative resources that help educate them on various health care requirements and services. Ensure that technology platforms comply with confidentiality standards and have security measures like client approvals and passwords to protect sensitive information. 

5. Additional Care Services

Many clients rely on care management services for comprehensive support. Care managers take on various responsibilities and can provide clients with additional daily services. 

Support and assistance in emergencies are essential services that different care managers offer. They can also provide transportation services and help with scheduling medical appointments. 

Holistic support is vital, especially as clients get older and require additional motivation and assistance with tasks. Creating and updating customer plans to meet each client’s needs is also an essential service care managers should provide. 

Custom plans may include additional activities and treatment recommendations to support clients’ physical, social and emotional requirements. 

Trust Corewood Care for Comprehensive Care Management Services

Trust Corewood Care for Comprehensive Care Management Services

Choosing a care manager is a delicate task. Corewood Care offers a comprehensive and personalized approach to care management services. 

We offer a holistic care plan and provide specialized services for each client. Our team of qualified and professional staff supports each client’s goals. We create custom plans based on every client’s needs, including health progress and physical activity goals. 

Using a care management technology platform, we can gather extensive data on each client to provide specialized care. We can also use data to monitor and enhance caregiver services and client experiences. We offer every client the highest quality care and support. 

Contact us online to speak to one of our team members about our comprehensive services. 

What Does a Personal Caregiver Do?

Everyone should have the right to thrive and live gracefully from the comfort of their own home. As years progress, this seemingly simple desire can become harder and harder to maintain as a daily reality. Personal caregivers are professionals dedicated to helping people who face limitations arising due to age or ability. 

Personal caregiving is more than a profession — it’s a calling. It takes a remarkable person to devote oneself to others so that they can live their life more fully. If you’re interested in improving the physical, mental and emotional outlook of those in need, read on to learn about a personal care assistant’s job description.

What Is a Personal Caregiver?

Simply put, a personal caregiver is an individual trained to assist others with activities of daily living (ADLs). Often, caregivers work with older adults who face limitations due to their age. However, personal care assistants may also work with younger clients who need support due to a physical or mental disability. 

Caregivers have the skills to offer direct physical support to clients and often work with a care manager who helps tailor the caregiver’s services to meet an individual’s goals and needs. The purpose is to help clients feel comfortable and safe in their own homes. 

Personal caregivers are known by many titles, including:

  • Personal care assistants
  • Personal care attendants
  • Private caregivers
  • Personal care aides

There are many types of at-home care services available to older adults who wish to age in place, including home companions. Personal caregivers offer more hands-on services than home companions. Companion care focuses on keeping clients company and offering general support. Personal caregiving is more active and may involve mobility support or medication management. Caregiving also differs from home health services, which provide professional medical assistance.

A Personal Caregiver’s Daily Duties

A personal caregiver is there to help with the client’s day-to-day needs, including managing the household and helping older adults with their everyday routines. They may also assist clients with other activities, such as running errands. Based on their client’s needs and goals, personal caregivers may provide any or all of the following:

  • Mobility assistance
  • Companionship
  • Facilitating social interactions
  • Meal preparation
  • Light housework
  • Transportation
  • Personal hygiene
  • Medication management

How to Become a Personal Caregiver

The entry-level educational requirement for personal caregivers is a high school degree. Many companies facilitate first aid and CPR certification as part of their employee training programs. Private caregivers undergo intense scrutiny, including a background check and workplace physical to ensure they can handle the more physical aspects of the job, such as mobility assistance. 

Personal caregivers make a real difference in the lives of individuals and families — especially in difficult moments. As such, it takes more than a certain level of education to be an effective caregiver. Character traits a personal caregiver should possess include:

  • Patience working with others who need support.
  • Sufficient empathy to assess a client’s mood or emotional state.
  • Strong communication skills to help understand a client’s needs and work with families.
  • The ability to be comfortable working in someone else’s home.

How Much Does a Personal Care Attendant Make?

Personal caregiving is a highly fulfilling career with lots of opportunities for advancement. However, pay for private care attendants varies from state to state. Salaries also depend on skill level, years of experience, schedule and many other factors. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, the need for qualified personal caregivers will continue to rise — elevating the level of pay qualified individuals can expect. 

At Corewood Care, we strive to reward our caregivers for the conscientious care they provide our clients. Our packages include competitive pay, benefits such as healthcare and a 401k, and even flexible schedules based on a caregiver’s preferences. 

Corewood Care: Bringing the Highest-Quality Care to Our Clients

Corewood Care continues to maintain the highest standards when hiring personal caregivers. The relationship between clients and caregivers requires a high level of trust. Our multidisciplinary team is uniquely positioned to manage our clients’ care with the utmost respect and decorum. 

We are always looking for qualified people who want to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Learn more about this life-changing profession and explore careers at Corewood. Or, if you would like to learn more about our personal care services, contact us to schedule a free assessment

How Much Does Senior Home Care Cost?

The importance of home cannot be overstated. Yet, for many older adults who struggle with health or mobility issues, they are faced with a difficult choice — leave home for a community where assistance is available or stay and risk their safety. Home care services allow older adults to age in place with professional help and dedicated support.

Though their benefits are undeniable, family caregivers often find themselves wondering how to pay for home care services. If someone in your life could benefit from having an at-home caregiver, explore our frequently asked questions about coverage and payment for home care services to learn more. 

How Does Billing Work for Home Care Services?

Cost and billing for home care depend on a wide variety of factors, with location being the most significant. Costs can vary widely between states and even areas within the same state. You will also need to consider the level of care required and potential insurance coverage.

What Does Home Care Cost?

The total cost of having a professional personal caregiver come to your home depends on two factors — a client’s unique care needs and how often they use the service. This means that different types of home care have different cost considerations. 

  • Level of care: Many older adults are still quite mobile. In these instances, caregivers serve a practical purpose, providing companionship, transportation and help around the home with the activities of daily living. Other clients have more acute needs that require a higher level of care and a caregiver with more training.
  • Frequency: Some families use home care as a respite for a few hours a day. Other clients with more severe health issues may require more consistent services or 24/7 assistance.  

How Do Payment Plans Work?

Home care services usually involve monthly charges, and the organizations providing them will bill directly to third-party payers such as Medicare, Medicaid or insurance. Any uncovered costs are then billed to the client. 

Some clients choose private pay, meaning clients or their families pay out of pocket for home care. However, private pay can be funded or supplemented through resources such as the following:

  • Personal savings
  • Veterans programs
  • Health savings accounts (HSAs)
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
  • Pensions
  • Investments and annuities
  • Real estate
  • Social security benefits

Does Insurance Cover Home Care Costs?

Most health insurance will not cover home care — only home health. A doctor must prescribe home health care, as these services involve more medical attention. Here, a licensed professional provides care, usually for two to three visits per week for 21 days. Home care is often needed to supplement the limited nature of home health services. 

In some cases, clients with long-term care (LTC) insurance can receive coverage for home care services not covered by standard insurance policies. At Corewood Care, our services are covered by LTC. However, policies have different requirements for coverage. Call us so we can assist you with your policy and claim. 

Will Medicare or Medicaid Cover Home Care?

While Medicare may cover home health care services prescribed by a doctor, it will generally not cover home care. However, some home care services may be covered for a limited time if they are deemed medically necessary and delivered in tandem with skilled nursing or therapy. 

Medicaid is coverage for lower-income families and often pays for home care services for older adults. Because states administer their own Medicaid programs, eligibility requirements vary. To pursue Medicaid coverage for home care, you will need to work with your state agency. 

Are Home Care Services Tax Deductible?

Personal caregivers can be considered household employees. If you pay any taxes on their behalf, including state employment or social security, these costs may qualify as a medical expense deduction. If a personal aid eats with their client, that cost can also be deducted. Be sure to save every receipt you get and store them before tax season to claim itemized medical deductions. 

Learn More About Our Home Care Plans at Corewood Care

Corewood Care is here for you and your family. We will work with you to find the most cost-effective and beneficial option for the older adult in your life. Schedule a free assessment to learn more about our home care plans. 

Surgery Assistance vs. Hospital to Home Care

Hospitalization and surgery are common as people age, but that doesn’t make these experiences any less stressful. Fortunately, older adults do not have to face surgery or the transition from hospital to home alone. A trained personal caregiver with expertise in these areas can provide extra support and care.

At Corewood Care, we’ve designed two specialized care programs to help older adults who have had a recent hospital stay or surgical procedure. Our pre- and post-surgery assistance and hospital to home care provide similar functions. However, each service offers unique benefits to those in need. Read on to learn how these two programs differ so that you can determine what’s best for you.

What Is Surgery Assistance?

Preparing for surgery and recovering after a procedure can be difficult for older adults and the families who support them. Our surgery assistance service is designed to make this situation less stressful for all involved. 

At Corewood Care, we provide surgery assistance both before the surgical procedure takes place and after the operation. The period before surgery is important, as there is a lot to prepare for and consider. Our professional personal caregivers help older adults go into their procedure with confidence and understanding, providing services such as:

  • Appointment setups and reminders.
  • Adjustments around the home to aid the recovery process.
  • Guidance for informed care and lifestyle decisions.
  • Long-term planning to manage the client’s condition.
  • Transportation to the hospital.

Once the surgical procedure is complete, our caregivers adjust their services to ensure clients can focus on rest and recovery. At-home aids take care of all their client’s needs, including medication management and assistance with the activities of daily living. Caregivers also help clients follow the post-surgery care plan provided by their medical team to prevent infection, minimize pain and aid the healing process. 

What Is Hospital to Home Care?

Hospital to home care is similar to our post-surgical services. However, this program focuses on any hospital discharge — not just surgery. This option provides those struggling with chronic conditions the treatment and support they need to transition to home life after a hospital stay. 

A hospital discharge brings a sense of relief, but going home requires the proper care to minimize the risk of complications. Our experienced caregivers support patients as they transition back to daily life, helping reduce the risk of infection, fall or readmission to the hospital. Services include:

  • Transportation home.
  • Setting up doctor’s or clinician’s appointments.
  • Daily meal delivery or preparation.
  • Assistance with daily living.
  • Help with mobility.

Can These Two Services Be Used Together?

At Corewood Care, we tailor our services to each client’s unique needs, so our surgery assistance can be used in conjunction with our hospital to home care services. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of care, so we work with our clients to meet their needs and ensure they can focus on rest and recovery.

Which Service Is Best for You?

Our hospital to home and surgery assistance services are designed to ease the transition following a hospital stay. However, each has a different goal. Before and after surgery care focuses on mitigating complications following the procedure to minimize health risks. Our hospital to home program aims to make any hospital discharge more comfortable and convenient.

Find Tailored Care Plans at Corewood Care

For clients facing surgery or those who need a little assistance with transitioning home after a hospitalization, Corewood Care is here for you. We understand that each client’s needs and goals differ, so we tailor plans to whatever best suits each person. Schedule your free care assessment today to learn how we can help you. 

Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia Care

Watching a family member mentally decline is a difficult experience. Personalized home care from a professional caregiver can ease this experience, ensuring you have the tools to help your parent or spouse live their life with grace and dignity. 

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are two main types of mental decline that families must often face. While some refer to these two conditions interchangeably, they do have some differences. This is especially apparent in the type of personal home care services clients require. Read on to learn how the private caregivers at Corewood Care approach memory care vs. Alzheimer’s care. 

How Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease Differ

Dementia is not a disease — it is a general term that refers to mental decline that interferes with a person’s daily life. Dementia is not a normal part of growing older. Rather, it’s usually caused by a specific condition that damages brain cells, impacting thoughts, behaviors and feelings. The condition is usually identified by its symptoms, which include some or all of the following:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty understanding others
  • Changes in behavior
  • Growing need for help with daily tasks
  • Problems gathering thoughts or finding the right words for situations

Many types of dementia exist. However, 60% to 80% of dementia cases are identified as Alzheimer’s disease. Also referred to simply as Alzheimer’s, this condition is a progressive brain disease and a form of dementia. In many cases, the condition is present for some time before an individual begins to show symptoms.

As Alzheimer’s progresses, the more general hallmarks of dementia grow in severity and require specialized caregiving. Symptoms of later-stage Alzheimer’s include:

  • Delirium
  • Disorientation
  • Disturbing behavior changes
  • Inability to communicate
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Mobility problems
  • Incontinence

How Is Alzheimer’s Care Different From Dementia Care?

Eventually, Alzheimer’s disease causes so much damage to the brain that a person requires 24-hour care. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the difference between memory care and Alzheimer’s care. 

Dementia Care

Dementia care is often the first step before symptoms become too severe. The team at Corewood can help clients struggling with many forms of dementia. Memory care is a specialized program that focuses on progressive memory loss. As such, clients in dementia care can expect adaptable services depending on their unique needs. 

Beyond companionship and assistance with ADLs (activities of daily living), we work to create a familiar setting that contributes to our clients’ emotional and cognitive well-being. The goal is to help individuals struggling with symptoms maintain some level of independence. We provide dementia care clients with the following:

  • Activities that benefit physical, cognitive and emotional health
  • Mobility assistance
  • Physical safety measures to account for wandering or confusion
  • Medication management
  • Transportation services
  • Prompt appointment and medical reminders
  • Medical services when needed

Alzheimer’s Disease Care

In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, new challenges require a more intentional form of care. Alzheimer’s care services focus on maintaining a client’s quality of life and mitigating the impact of the disease. The intense needs of people with Alzheimer’s require specialized training. Our caregivers have the skills to provide all the services mentioned above, with the addition of the following:

  • Hygiene and continence care
  • Long-term planning
  • Crisis prevention
  • Family counseling

Specialized Care for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease at Corewood Care

At Corewood Care, we specialize in creating personalized care plans based on a client’s needs. From mild dementia symptoms to late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, our caregivers help clients age in place in the comfort of familiar surroundings. Schedule a free assessment to determine which treatment program is right for your situation. 

Call Us: (301) 909-8117