Senior Health And Wellness

Caregiver/Patient Resources

Caregiver and Elder Patient Terms to Know

For people learning about caregiving or eldercare patients, there are a quite a few terms that you will need to know. Below is a list of the commonly used terms for caregivers and elder patients along with their definition.

Home Care

Rather than moving into a retirement or long-term care facility, you may prefer to stay in the comfort of your own home for as long as possible. Aging in place may be a viable option if you only need minor assistance with your daily activities, enjoy a close network of family and friends nearby, and can utilize the right home care services to cover your needs. By exploring the range of services available, you can decide if aging in place is the best way for you to maintain your independence and make the most of your golden years.  To find out more about area resources, please speak with one of CareMount’s social workers.  He/she can provide you with information about community resources, in-home assistance, housing, respite care, transportation, senior programs, and much more.

Home care services include:

Household maintenance.  If you’re finding it hard to keep up with housework, you may want to look into laundry, shopping, gardening, housekeeping, and handyman services. If you’re having trouble staying on top of bills and appointments, financial and healthcare management may also be helpful.

Transportation. As we age, health conditions may impact driving and we must find other methods for getting too and from our daily activities Transportation is a key issue for older adults. Maybe you’re finding it hard to drive or don’t like to drive at night. Having access to trains, buses, rideshare apps, reduced fare taxis, and senior transportation services can help prolong your independence and maintain your social network.

Home modifications. If your mobility is becoming limited, home modifications can go a long way towards keeping your existing residence comfortable and accessible. Modifications can include things such as grab bars in the shower, ramps to avoid or minimize the use of stairs, or even installing a new bathroom on the ground floor.

Personal care. Help with the activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, or meal preparation, is called personal or custodial care. Home health aides can provide personal care services that range from a few hours a day to around-the-clock live-in care. They may also provide limited assistance with things such as taking blood pressure or offering medication reminders.

Health care. Some healthcare services can be provided at home by trained professionals, such as occupational therapists, social workers, or home health nurses. Check with your insurance to see what kind of coverage is available, although you may have to cover some cost out of pocket. Hospice care can also be provided at home.

Day programs. Day programs or adult daycare can help you keep busy with activities and socialization during the day, while providing a break for your caregivers. Some daycare programs are primarily social, while others provide limited health services or specialize in disorders such as early stage Alzheimer’s.

 

Palliative Care

Palliative care is for any patient with a chronic illness who is experiencing a decreased quality of life because of symptoms related to their illness or treatment, like renal dialysis, oxygen therapy or chemotherapy.  Palliative care can be helpful at any stage of illness and is best provided from the point of diagnosis.

In addition to improving quality of life and helping with symptoms, palliative care can help patients understand their choices for medical treatment. The organized services available through palliative care may be helpful to anyone having a lot of general discomfort and disability very late in life. Palliative care can be provided along with curative treatment and does not depend on prognosis.

In palliative care, you do not have to give up treatment that might cure a serious illness. Palliative care can be provided in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient palliative care clinics and certain other specialized clinics, or at home. Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance policies may cover palliative care. At CareMount Medical, we have palliative care consultation teams who work with the patient, family, and the patient’s other doctors to provide medical, social, emotional, and practical support. The team is comprised of palliative care specialist doctors and nurses, and includes others, such as social workers.

 

Hospice Care

Hospice care is only for patients who are no longer receiving curative treatments for their illnesses, and want to focus only on quality of life.

Increasingly, people are choosing hospice care at the end of life. Hospice can be provided in any setting—home, nursing home, assisted living facility, or inpatient hospital. It is an approach to care, so it is not tied to a specific place.

At some point, it may not be possible to cure a serious illness, or a patient may choose not to undergo certain treatments. Hospice is designed for this situation. The patient beginning hospice care understands that his or her illness is not responding to medical attempts to cure it or to slow the disease’s progress.

Like palliative care, hospice provides comprehensive comfort care as well as support for the family, but, in hospice, attempts to cure the person’s illness have ended. Hospice is provided for a person with a terminal illness whose doctor believes he or she has 6 months or less to live if the illness runs its natural course.

Long Term Care

Long-term care services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own. These services include:

Residential Care Facilities (Group Homes)

Residential care facilities or group homes, are small private facilities, usually with 20 or fewer residents. Rooms may be private or shared. Residents receive personal care and meals and have staff available around the clock. Nursing and medical care usually are not provided on site.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is for people who need help with daily care, but not as much help as a nursing home provides. Assisted living facilities range in size from as few as 25 residents to 120 or more. Typically, a few “levels of care” are offered, with residents paying more for higher levels of care.

Assisted living residents usually live in their own apartments or rooms and share common areas. They have access to many services, including up to three meals a day; assistance with personal care; help with medications, housekeeping, and laundry; 24-hour supervision, security, and on-site staff; and social and recreational activities.

Nursing Homes (Skilled Nursing Facilities, SNFs)

Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), provide a wide range of health and personal care services. Their services focus on medical care more than most assisted living facilities. These services typically include nursing care, 24-hour supervision, three meals a day, and assistance with everyday activities. Rehabilitation services, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy, are also available.

Some people stay at a nursing home for a short time after being in the hospital. Post recovery, they go home. However, most nursing home residents live there permanently because they have ongoing physical or mental conditions that require constant care and supervision.

If you are a patient of CareMount Medical and need to go to a nursing home after a hospital stay, our Care Coordinators will help you find a home that will provide the kind of care that’s best for you. To read more click here.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), also called life care communities, offer different levels of service in one location. Many of them offer independent housing (houses or apartments), assisted living, and skilled nursing care all on one campus. Healthcare services and recreation programs are also provided.

In a CCRC, where you live depends on the level of service you need. People who can no longer live independently move to the assisted living facility or sometimes receive home care in their independent living unit. If necessary, they can enter the CCRC’s nursing home.

 

Rehabilitation

Physical medicine and rehabilitation includes various therapies to help a person restore function after illness or injury. These therapies can include

An inpatient rehabilitation facility is a facility licensed under state laws to provide intensive rehabilitative services. An inpatient rehabilitation facility will be able to provide more intensive rehabilitation than a skilled nursing facility or home-based rehabilitation service.

A patient who has a knee replacement may need care in a skilled nursing facility during the rehabilitation process, whereas a patient who has suffered a stroke or a spinal cord injury may need care in an inpatient rehabilitation facility.

Community  Resources

Senior resources vary from one area to another and while some are locally funded, others are state and federally subsidized. Many seniors’ limited budgets renders in-home care unaffordable, hence it is key to research all possible channels of aid available to you. Explore different options by speaking with a CareMount Medical social worker.

Hospital Discharge Information

At CareMount Medical, we believe this stage in the healing process is just as important as the in-hospital care. We take a structured and adaptive approach to this transitory stage in the patient’s treatment.  Our discharge team includes a patient’s doctor, caregiver, family members, physical therapists, social workers and many others. It is adaptive in the sense that every patient’s particular necessities such as rehabilitative care, medication, referrals, palliative care and transportation are taken into account and a tailored plan is developed. The key to successful hospital discharge planning is to give due consideration to all of its aspects, double check everything with specialists, and above all listen to the patient.  A CareMount Care Coordinator handles every detail and every step of the discharge process working with the patient, patient’s family/caregiver, and healthcare team.

Sources:  nia.nih.org; Medicareresources.org