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Relieve caregiver stress during the holidays


Lighten your load as a caregiver this holiday season

Ah, the holiday season. It’s the most wonderful time of year- right? As we all know it can be a very busy and stressful time too. Between the shopping, cooking, and traveling it gets hectic. This is especially true for those who serve as a primary caregiver to a loved one. In particular, the “sandwich generation” may be caring for an elderly parent and bringing kids back from college for winter break. Caregivers deserve to enjoy Thanksgiving or Hanukkah or Christmas just as much as the next guy, if not more.

First comes daylight savings, then Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and just like that it’s December. Whether you need a few good hours to fight the Christmas shopping crowds or plan to travel; is it feasible to do so with a frail loved one living alone, who needs your daily attention? And for many caregivers, it doesn’t matter what season it is, there just are not enough hours in the day. However, here are several solutions that can make your life a bit more manageable.

Consider tech and other supportive services

First, there are some great technology solutions. An emergency call system, such as Philips Lifeline®, can be the difference between your loved one getting help immediately after falling versus laying there for hours before they’re discovered. The Lifeline with Autoalert can detect a fall and send a signal even if the user forgets or is unable to push the button for help. There are also versions of emergency call systems that work both in and outside the home. They feature GPS tracking technology, which is especially helpful for those with dementia who may wander. Apps and home monitoring systems like GrandCare® can provide a level of comfort and connectedness for loved ones near or far. Facetime, is available on most Apple devices or Skype are a few other ways to provide that vital face-to-face interaction.

If you have aversion to technology, another option is non-medical home care. Hire an aid to come stay with mom or dad for several hours or several days. There are number of non-medical home-care agencies around to pick from. Particularly, Messiah Lifeways at Home offers traditional home-care services like help with bathing, housekeeping, and cooking. They also provide unique home care services like replacing light bulbs and smoke detector batteries, organizing, (un)packing decorations, transportation, and even pet and plant care. Another great choice are Adult Day Programs. Messiah Lifeways Adult Day offers a day program where a loved one can come for a full or half day of activities, socialization, meals, plus receive assistance with activities of daily living. These programs are cost effective and offer great flexibility because your loved one can attend once a week or multiple days. What a great gift to give yourself, the gift of time and security.

Peace of mind for holiday travel

As family becomes more spread out, it leaves many caregivers with the predicament of traveling versus staying home for the holidays. What if your loved one can’t make the 10 hour drive or the cross country flight? This decision is tough. However, if you choose to go away for the holidays or any other time for that matter, a respite stay for the person you care for may be the answer.

Respite provides short-term or temporary care and is typically available at most personal care homes or assisted living facilities. As a respite your loved one can receive the same services a permanent resident would, like meals, activities, medication monitoring, and assistance with activities of daily living. You can arrange for the individual to stay for two to four weeks. Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village offers respite provides a safe, secure, and nurturing place for them to spend while you are out of town. Holiday activities and cooking, plus special events like Christmas concerts and celebrations make the time even more enjoyable. Respite can also include a combination of overnights in personal care, adult day services and or home care. There are many different options to consider.

Additional holiday caregiving tips

Senior Caregiving Help During the HolidaysUnlike Santa Claus, we do not have magical powers. You cannot be in multiple places in a flash. Ask for help from family and friends and learn how to delegate tasks. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Although it may be a hard choice, you may want to re-evaluate old traditions and family rituals that involve lots of travel or preparation time. Prioritize the things that matter most. You can’t be all things to all people and don’t feeling guilty about the things you cannot change. Schedule time to do the things that you like to do around holidays. You deserve to enjoy the holidays too. Set aside time to relax and talk to your loved one about the holidays and really listen to as they reminisce.

For additional information about the many options available to make the holidays more manageable please contact the Messiah Lifeways Coaching Office at 717.591.7225 or online at coach@messiahlifeways.org.

Adapted and revised from Nov. 24, 2015 version

Celebrating National Home Care Month

Each year, November is recognized as National Home Care and Hospice Month by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. During this month we feel it is important to take the time to celebrate and give recognition to the nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers who make a difference for the patients and families they support.

On November 16, Curt Stutzman joined our home care team members as they enjoyed a celebration that we provided for them as a way of saying ‘thank you.’

Home care is more than just a service we provide; for the majority of our home care clients, it means being able to remain independent and comfortable in their own home. Not only is home care important for the individuals who receive the care, but it is also extremely important for their family and loved ones who, in turn, receive peace of mind knowing that their loved one is safe and happy in the comfort of their own homes.

Below is a thank you message to our At Home team members from Curt Stutzman, Messiah Lifeways President & CEO:

Dear MLAH (Messiah Lifeways At Home) colleagues,

What an honor to celebrate you during Home Care & Hospice Month! I appreciate you all year-round, but it’s especially nice to pause during November – the month of thanksgiving – and shine a light on the ways you carry out our mission and help so many residents and clients maintain dignified independence. The care you provide is unparalleled – traveling to residences and truly being part of the fabric of someone’s life. You share some of life’s most personal and poignant moments – meals, holidays, and more. Thank you for giving your time and talent to help so many families care for aging loved ones. A former client shared that the At Home team provided quality of life for her Dad at a time when his overall quality of life seemed to be diminishing. Meals and laundry became more than practical chores – they were times of social interaction and companionship. These are invaluable gifts to give to a daughter, a son, a weary caregiver or relative. Thank you for being part of a special team and may God bless you as you continue to walk out our mission in homes around the region!

 

Gratefully,

Curt Stutzman, President & CEO

To learn more about Messiah Lifeways At Home call 717.790.8209 or visit MessiahLifeways.org/AtHome

Messiah Lifeways At Home: Always Growing

Growing our Team

Thanks to the high quality, compassionate home care services we provide to clients, the At Home team is in demand. Word of mouth is spreading, and our phone rings regularly with requests to take on new clients or requests to add time or services to existing clients. This happens because of the excellent job our caregivers do.

With growth comes the need for new team members. Do you have a hard working, compassionate friend or family member who is in need of flexible work and would be a great addition to our team? We would love to talk to them about working in home care.

Applicants for At Home need to be 18, have a high school diploma or GED, a driver’s license and reliable transportation. We provide all necessary training. If you or someone you know are interested in joining the team, please visit MessiahLifeways.org/AtHomeCaregiver or call 717.790.8228.

Growing our Services

More evidence of growth comes in the form of a broadening array of services we are able to offer to our clients. One particular service that we are particularly excited to be able to provide is certified feeding in skilled nursing facilities. We have many caregivers who have completed their feeding certification and are able to offer 1:1 feeding assistance at mealtimes. This service not only helps clients with their food intake but it provides valuable companionship during mealtimes as well. If you have a loved one residing in a nursing neighborhood and would be interested in more information on having a certified feeder work with your loved one at mealtimes, please contact the At Home office at 717.790.8209. To learn more about Messiah Lifeways At Home visit MessiahLifeways.org/AtHome.

by Christina Weber, MSW, LSW
Director of Home Care Services

 

Making Home Care More Affordable

Non-medical home care services are a great way to help aging loved ones or those with a disability live more independently and safely in their own home. It also gives primary caregivers a break from providing assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing, as well as chores like cooking and housekeeping. For many individuals who do not have family close by or have a strong support system, home care can become their primary care giving source. However, these services can be cost-prohibitive for many and are not covered under health insurance, except for short periods of time if someone is receiving home healthcare or hospice services. But again, this coverage is very limited. Thus, paying out-of-pocket is typically how you receive these types of non-medical services.

The national hourly median rate for home care is approximately $20/hour¹. Do the math and you can quickly see how expensive it can get on a monthly basis. For some, these costs can be handled and is a fair price to pay to avoid moving to a personal care home or nursing home. But, for many more, they must limit its use or simply go without it, which lays the burden of care giving directly on family and friends.

State & County Funding

Fortunately there is some financial assistance available to those who qualify. State and county funding vary from state to state. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program offer coverage to help pay or offset costs of a variety of services and goods including services like non-medical home care and other services to help older Pennsylvanians age in place. Each of these programs has its own non-financial and financial medical assistance eligibility requirements (click here for details).

These programs include (click here):

 Veteran Administration Funding

Another form of financial assistance to cover the costs of home care and facility based care, which for many years went highly unpublicized, is the VA’s Aid & Attendance and Housebound Pension (click here). According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs it offers:

“Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to a monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to pension.

 Since Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances increase the pension amount, people who are not eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for pension at these increased rates. A Veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.”

Eligibility for this program is based on need, finances and military service requirements. Contact your local Pension Management Center (click here) to find out more about this pension program. You can also connect with your local VA representative by contacting your local county Area Agency on Aging.

Grant Funding

 Sometimes if you search hard enough you might discover a grant program that will help pay for a service like home care. One such program is that of the Cheryl Kay Foundation (CKF), whose mission is to improve the quality of living and independence for women battling breast cancer and senior citizens in financial need. The Cheryl Kay Foundation is a Mechanicsburg, PA-based family organization dedicated to affordable, dignified, and accessible home care services. They offer $1,000 grants to help offset the cost of care for qualified individuals. CKF eligibility requirements include any woman undergoing breast cancer treatment or individuals 79 years of age or older, who live alone or with a spouse, and whose monthly income is between $2,022 and a maximum of $3,635, aimed at helping those who do not financially qualify for the Aging Waiver mentioned earlier in the article.

CKF was founded in 2013 by the family of Cheryl Kay Stawovy, who passed away after battling breast cancer. The foundation seeks to honor Cheryl’s life and model the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor. They work with a limited number of non-profit home care providers to serve those in need, and Messiah Lifeways At Home (MLAH) is one of only two not-for-profit home care providers in Cumberland County, PA. The grant can allow clients to hire Messiah Lifeways At Home as an extra set of hands during the treatment and recovery phase of breast cancer or to eligible seniors to receive the assistance they need. These one-time grants can cover approximately 50 hours of care for people who otherwise might not be able to afford it. To learn more, please visit CherylKayFoundation.org.

Lastly, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) created a great website – BenefitsCheckUp.org. This free site provides an easy way to find a wide range of benefits, especially for older adults. It’s a very simple site that allows you to search for programs and services to help pay for benefits you or a loved one may be entitled to. Often people had no idea they were eligible for assistance or didn’t realize the aid even existed. Knowing is definitely half the battle.

This article is full of links that will take you directly to the program sites mentioned. If you need more assistance or have additional questions regarding home care services, please call Messiah Lifeways At Home at 717.790-8209 or visit MessiahLifeways.org/AtHome.

 

Home Care: A Cornerstone to Aging in Place

Every November, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) celebrates National Home Care Month all month long, and Home Care Aide Week, which runs from November 13-19, 2016. It is a time to honor the care giving heroes who make a remarkable difference in the lives of those in need. This year’s theme is “Caring in Action.”

November is Homecare MonthHome care lies at the core of helping aging and disabled Americans stay in their home for longer periods of time. It can potentially lessen the amount of time someone may spend in an assisted living residence, personal care home, or nursing home. Of course there are many other resources to help people “age in place or community.” Other options include home health care, which provides short-term medical care into the home, adult day programs, respite care, technology, home modification, and in-home medical equipment. Home care services combined with one or several of these other home-based resources can create a workable blueprint to help someone age in place.

The Evolution of Community-Based Care
There are a number of reasons for this shift toward community-based care. First is the government’s dwindling ability to fund healthcare. And with nearly 76 million baby boomers reaching age 65 in the next 20 years, coverage for institutional care will become harder and harder to get. Because of this, the free market is joining the movement away from an institutional model of care and pushing for more community support services. It is the direction health care services are headed in our country. This is why you are seeing more urgent care centers, home care agencies, and hospice providers popping up in the community. It is simply cheaper to take care of someone if they don’t have to be hospitalized or placed in a facility, which is what most people want anyway.

These 76 million boomers represent a large and powerful generation whose demands and expectations of care will be very different from what we are used to seeing. Once more the idea of bringing services into the home and modifying homes will be the future for this rapidly growing number of seniors. Other factors compounding this evolution of care include our ever increasing life spans which require longer periods of care and funding. Secondly, over the last three decades, the number of family members, especially daughters, serving as caregivers has shrunk as our society becomes more mobile and career-oriented making a move out of town, state, or country more common. The way we used to care for our elders has changed. Just as nursing homes and personal care homes have provided surrogate care for aging loved ones over the last several decades, the idea of substituting care with home care aides has become more conventional. It helps working daughters (or sons), sandwich generation caregivers, out-of-towners, and spouses to replace or supplement the care they provide.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice states that demographic shift studies translate into some [troubling] data. The number of frail older people over 65 is expected to increase from 11 million in 2010 to 18 million in 2030. The percentage of frail older people who are childless is expected to rise from 14 to 18 percent during this period, and the ratio of frail, older people who have only one or two adult children is expected to increase from 38 to 49 percent. Most of these aging boomers will want to remain in their homes, but they may not be able to count on their families for long-term care when it’s needed.

Home Care Can Fill Many Niches
Not only has health care evolved to put a greater emphasis on community-based services, but home care itself is evolving. Traditional housekeeping, cooking, companionship, transportation and assistance with activities like bathing and dressing are generally offered by most non-medical home care providers. However, home care providers such as Messiah Lifeways At Home now offer a unique array of services that buoy one’s ability to live safely and more carefree at home. Some of these newer and less known options include: pet and plant care,  non-skilled home maintenance, downsizing services, assistance with home exercise programs, and technology/computer assistance.

Lastly, in a time where the expanding need along with the absence of consistent familial support continue to grow, home care staff fill a void and become more than just caregivers for their clients. They become almost like close friends or even family and are poised to play a key role at the center of caregiving in our country.


To learn more, go to MessiahLifeways.org/AtHome or call 717.790.8209. For information on home care services for the entire state, visit the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA) home care locator link [click here].

Originally posted November 2013- Revised for November 2016
by: Matthew Gallardo, Messiah Lifeways Coach, BASW, CCP

Marking National Home Care and Hospice Month with a Thank You

November is National Home Care and Hospice month so I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much the work you do means to Messiah Lifeways. Our mission statement says that “We are a ministry that responsibly enhances the lives of older adults with Christ-like love.” Nowhere is that mission more fully lived out than in the work all of you do on a daily basis. Messiah Lifeways At Home Care - MealsSince I started with At Home nearly a year ago, I have come to know so many of you and have been moved by the dedication to and Christ-like love you show for your clients. I have witnessed you rearrange your own schedules to stay with a dying client, agree to a shift last minute to help with emergency coverage, call the office out of concern for your clients, and lend a hand to help each other out through picking up shifts and even offering each other childcare coverage. The work you do can be physically and emotionally hard, and yet you rise to the challenge. Home care is growing, and your services are in demand. Word is spreading through the community that you do excellent work. Please know that it does not go unnoticed and that we are thankful for the efforts you put into being the hearts and hands of Messiah Lifeways to our clients.

Messiah Lifeways At Home Care - Maintenance  Messiah Lifeways At Home Care - Help with Errands

Thank you for ALL you do!

Christina Weber, Director of Home Care Services

 

To learn more about Messiah Lifeways At Home and how they can help you or a loved one age in place in the comfort of your own home, call 717.790.8209 or visit MessiahLifeways.org/AtHome

Everyone is a Potential Caregiver

A Caregiver Goes Above and Beyond

 

“An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.”

Lydia M. Child


As a caregiver working with older adults, often one may find that they spend a lot of time reminiscing with the person whom they are caring for. Their memories may take them to positive places emotionally, and sometimes they may provoke sadness or regret. Both the reminiscing and mixed emotions are an important part of this stage of life.

Recently, Sharon Harris, a Messiah Lifeways At Home caregiver, was working with a client who shared something from her past that was still troubling her. Sharon went above and beyond in her service to this client to address this concern, and the following letter was received from a family member in response to Sharon’s generosity and compassion.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend Sharon Harris, a Messiah Lifeways employee, for going above and beyond in her care and concern for my mother. Sharon has worked for Mom in the role of caretaker and also housekeeper for several months. During this time, she has been attentive to Mom’s needs, both physical and emotional.

One incident in particular reflects the caring exhibited by Sharon. In conversation, my mother apparently shared with Sharon the fact that my brother had died in 1988. His death was a delayed consequence of his service in Vietnam in 1967-68. My mother was not in possession of any records related to his service or his medals, a fact which saddened her. Sharon must have relayed this information to someone at the Navy Base because less than a week later, Mom received a letter and a commendation thanking Mom for the services of her son. The letter was on behalf of a grateful nation for the sacrifice made by my brother and his family.

These documents were undoubtedly sent to make a mother feel better about the death of a son almost thirty years ago. Only a caring and supportive caregiver would hear and understand the meaningfulness of this recognition. Sharon Harris has made it possible for my mother to hold in her hand a testimony to the sacrifice made by my brother. I want to thank her for that.”

Like Sharon, so many caregivers go above and beyond the call of duty, and we hear those stories from those we serve who are so touched by the fact that you have gone the extra mile. We know that you are not in this line of work because it is easy or glamorous, but because you truly care for other people. Thank you so much for ALL you do!

Christina J. Weber, MSW, LSW
Director of Home Care Services

Senior Caregiving Help During the Holidays

Make Caregiving Manageable During the Holidays

Ah, the holiday season. It’s the most wonderful time of year- right? As we all know it can be a very busy and stressful time as well. Between the shopping, cooking, and traveling it gets hectic, especially for those who serve as a primary caregiver to a loved one. In particular, the sandwich generation may be caring for an elderly parent and bringing kids back from college for winter break. Caregivers deserve to enjoy Thanksgiving or Hanukkah or Christmas just as much as the next guy, if not more. But sometimes there just are not enough hours in the day.

Whether you need a few good hours to fight the Christmas shopping crowds or plan to travel out of town to spend Christmas with your very first grandchild; is it feasible to do so with a frail loved one living alone, who needs your daily attention? As the holiday season quickly ascends upon us it’s good to know that there are some great options out there for those caring for an aging parent or loved one.

Beat Black Friday Blues

For many shoppers Black Friday is a holiday unto itself. Whether you think it’s a good idea or not, we know that people are determined to get up at the crack of dawn, get the best deals possible, and buy that “gotta have it” doll or action figure for the grandkids, which they will love and play with for approximately 3½ days.  You then realize as you plot your shopping trip, I need to sit with dad while he takes his shower plus restock his weekly pill box, even though he insists he doesn’t need your help.

If you have shopping to do or you’re just plain busy no matter what season it is, several solutions can make your life a bit more manageable.  Let’s explore. First, there are some great technology solutions. An emergency call system, such as Philips Lifeline, can be the difference between your father getting help immediately after falling versus laying there for hours before someone discovers him. The Lifeline Auto-Alert option can even detect a fall and send a signal if the person is knocked unconscious. Philips GoSafe emergency call system works both in the home and out featuring GPS tracking technology. Philips also offers the Philips Medication Dispensing (PMD) System, which can help dad manage his medications safely and effectively. Face time, which is available on most Apple mobile devices, or Skype can be a great way to provide face to face interaction as well to view how dad “looks” today.

If you have aversion to technology, another option is non-medical home care. Hire an aid to come stay with mom or dad for several hours or several days. There are number of non-medical home-care agencies around to pick from. Particularly, Messiah Lifeways at Home offers traditional home-care services like help with bathing, housekeeping, and cooking, but they also provide unique home care services like non skilled home-maintenance like lawn care, minor home repairs, transportation, and even pet and plant care. Another great choice are Adult Day Programs. Messiah Lifeways Adult Day offers a day program where a loved one can come for a full or half day of activities, socialization, meals, plus receive assistance with activities of daily living. These programs are cost effective and offer great flexibility because your loved one can attend once a week or multiple days. What a great gift to give yourself, the gift of time and security.

Peace of Mind for Holiday Travel

As family becomes more spread across the country, it leaves many caregivers with the predicament of traveling versus staying home for the holidays. This is especially true if the person you’re caring for can’t make the 10 hour drive or the cross country flight. This decision is tough. However, if you choose to go away for the holidays or any other time for that matter, a respite stay for the person you care for may be the answer. Respite provides short-term or temporary care and is typically available at most personal care homes or assisted living facilities. As a respite your loved one can receive the same services a permanent resident would, like meals, activities, medication monitoring, and assistance with activities of daily living. You can arrange for the individual to stay for several days up to a month. Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village offers respite in personal care for as little as a five day stay. It provides a safe, secure, and nurturing place for them to spend while you are out of town. Holiday activities and cooking, plus special events like Christmas concerts and celebrations make the time even more enjoyable. Respite can also include a combination of overnights in personal care or adult day services and home care to supplement care. There are many different options to consider.

Additional Holiday Caregiving Tips

Unlike Santa Claus, we do not have magical powers. You cannot be in multiple places in a flash. Ask for help from family and friends and learn how to delegate tasks. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Another thing to consider, and though it may be a hard choice, you may want to re-evaluate old traditions and family rituals that involve lots of travel or preparation time. You should also develop priorities for the things that matter most. You can’t be all things to all people and don’t feeling guilty about the things you cannot change. You should also schedule time to do the things that you like to do around holidays. You deserve to enjoy the holidays too. Set aside time to relax and talk to your loved one about the holidays and really listen to as they reminisce.

For additional information about the many options available to make the holidays more manageable please contact the Messiah Lifeways Coaching Office at 717.591.7225 or online at coach@messiahlifeways.org.

National Home Care Month

Celebrating National Home Care Month

Every November, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) celebrates National Home Care Month and recognizes it as a time to honor the caregiving heroes who make a remarkable difference in the lives of those in need. This year’s theme is “Home Care Delivers Freedom.”

Home care truly does deliver freedom and is at the center of helping aging and disabled Americans preserve their health, independence, and self-determination in the comfort of their own home. Furthermore, home care bolstered by one or more other home-based services or resources can create a workable blueprint to help individuals “age in place” and potentially lessen the amount of time one may spend in an assisted living residence, personal care home, or nursing home. Other community-based resources include home health care, which provides short-term medical care in the home, adult day programs, respite care, care based technology, home modification, and in-home medical equipment.

The Evolution of Community-Based Care

There are a number of reasons for this shift toward community-based care. First is the government’s dwindling ability to fund healthcare. And with nearly 78 million baby boomers reaching age 65 in the next 20 years, coverage for institutional care will become harder and harder to get. Because of this, the free market is joining the movement away from an institutional model of care and pushing for more community-based services. It is the direction health care services are headed in our country. This is why you are seeing more urgent care centers, home care agencies, and hospice providers popping up in the community. It is simply cheaper to take care of someone if they don’t have to be hospitalized or placed in a facility, which is what most people want anyway.

These 78 million boomers represent a large and powerful generation whose demands and expectations of care will be very different from what we are used to seeing. Once more the idea of bringing services into the home and modifying homes will be the future for this rapidly growing number of seniors. Other factors compounding this evolution of care include our ever-increasing life spans which require longer periods of care and funding. Secondly, over the last three decades, the number of family members, especially daughters, serving as caregivers has shrunk as our society becomes more mobile and career-oriented making a move out of town, state, or country more common. The way we used to care for our elders has changed. Just as nursing homes and personal care homes have provided surrogate care for aging loved ones over the last several decades, the idea of substituting care with home care aides has become more conventional. It helps working daughters (or sons), sandwich generation caregivers, out-of-towners, and spouses to replace or supplement the care they provide.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice states that demographic shift studies translate into some disturbing data. The number of frail older people over 65 is expected to increase from 11 million in 2010 to 18 million in 2030. The percentage of frail older people who are childless is expected to rise from 14 to 18 percent during this period, and the ratio of frail, older people who have only one or two adult children is expected to increase from 38 to 49 percent. Most of these aging boomers will want to remain in their homes, but they may not be able to count on their families for long-term care when it’s needed.

Home Care Can Fill Many Niches

Not only has health care evolved to put a greater emphasis on community-based services, but home care itself is evolving. Traditional housekeeping, cooking, companionship, transportation and assistance with activities like bathing and dressing are generally offered by most non-medical home care providers. However, home care providers such as Messiah Lifeways At Home now offer a unique array of services that buoy one’s ability to live safely and more carefree at home. Some of these newer and less known options include: pet and plant care, non-skilled home maintenance, downsizing services, assistance with home exercise programs, and technology/computer assistance.

Lastly, in a time where the expanding need, along with the absence of consistent familial support, continue to grow, home care staff fill a void and become more than just caregivers for their clients. They become almost like close friends or even family. They’re a large part of why home care is poised to play a key role as the center of health care in our country.


To learn more about Messiah Lifeways At Home go to messiahlifeways.org/AtHome or call 717.790.8209. For information on home care services for the entire state, visit the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA) home care locator link [click here].

Originally posted November 2013- Revised for November 2015 by: Matthew Gallardo, Messiah Lifeways Coach, BASW, CCP

 

 

Celebrating Home Care: A Key to Aging in Place

Every November, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) celebrates National Home Care Month all month long, and Home Care Aide Week, from November 10-16. It is a time to honor the care giving heroes who make a remarkable difference in the lives of those in need. This year’s theme is “Home is the Center of Health Care.”

untitledHome care lies at the core of helping aging and disabled Americans stay in their home for longer periods of time. It can potentially lessen the amount of time someone may spend in an assisted living residence, personal care home, or nursing home. Of course there are many other resources to help people “age in place or community.” Other options include home health care, which provides short-term medical care into the home, adult day programs, respite care, technology, home modification, and in-home medical equipment. Home care services combined with one or several of these other home-based resources can create a workable blueprint to help someone age in place.

The Evolution of Community-Based Care
There are a number of reasons for this shift toward community-based care. First is the government’s dwindling ability to fund healthcare. And with nearly 78 million baby boomers reaching age 65 in the next 20 years, coverage for institutional care will become harder and harder to get. Because of this, the free market is joining the movement away from an institutional model of care and pushing for more community support services. It is the direction health care services are headed in our country. This is why you are seeing more urgent care centers, home care agencies, and hospice providers popping up in the community. It is simply cheaper to take care of someone if they don’t have to be hospitalized or placed in a facility, which is what most people want anyway.

These 78 million boomers represent a large and powerful generation whose demands and expectations of care will be very different from what we are used to seeing. Once more the idea of bringing services into the home and modifying homes will be the future for this rapidly growing number of seniors. Other factors compounding this evolution of care include our ever increasing life spans which require longer periods of care and funding. Secondly, over the last three decades, the number of family members, especially daughters, serving as caregivers has shrunk as our society becomes more mobile and career-oriented making a move out of town, state, or country more common. The way we used to care for our elders has changed. Just as nursing homes and personal care homes have provided surrogate care for aging loved ones over the last several decades, the idea of substituting care with home care aides has become more conventional. It helps working daughters (or sons), sandwich generation caregivers, out-of-towners, and spouses to replace or supplement the care they provide.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice states that demographic shift studies translate into some disturbing data. The number of frail older people over 65 is expected to increase from 11 million in 2010 to 18 million in 2030. The percentage of frail older people who are childless is expected to rise from 14 to 18 percent during this period, and the ratio of frail, older people who have only one or two adult children is expected to increase from 38 to 49 percent. Most of these aging boomers will want to remain in their homes, but they may not be able to count on their families for long-term care when it’s needed.

Home Care Can Fill Many Niches
Not only has health care evolved to put a greater emphasis on community-based services, but home care itself is evolving. Traditional housekeeping, cooking, companionship, transportation and assistance with activities like bathing and dressing are generally offered by most non-medical home care providers. However, home care providers such as Messiah Lifeways At Home now offer a unique array of services that buoy one’s ability to live safely and more carefree at home. Some of these newer and less known options include: pet and plant care,  non-skilled home maintenance, downsizing services, assistance with home exercise programs, and technology/computer assistance.

Lastly, in a time where the expanding need along with the absence of consistent familial support continue to grow, home care staff fill a void and become more than just caregivers for their clients. They become almost like close friends or even family. They’re a large part of why home care is poised to play a key role as the center of health care in our country.


To learn more about Messiah Lifeways At Home go to messiahlifeways.org/AtHome or call 717.790.8209. For information on home care services for the entire state, visit the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA) home care locator link [click here].

Originally posted November 2013- Revised for November 2014
by: Matthew Gallardo, Messiah Lifeways Coach, BASW, CCP