How to Find Nearby Nursing Homes in Washington Area

Nursing homes are a place with 24-hour monitoring along with providing on-site medical care and daily living assistance. Several nursing homes also include social activities for seniors to pass their time and learn new things. A nursing home is for any person who cannot be cared at their home due to any reason. The nursing staff is always present in nursing homes to ensure the safety of people.

If you are searching for nursing homes near Washington area, then read until the end to explore what you need to be vigilant about while searching for a nursing facility.

Compare QoL of Nursing Homes

Every nursing facility has one type of environment, which shows how your loved ones will be living there. The Quality of Life (QoL) in a nursing facility is defined by how they maintain hygiene, how they treat people, and other similar points. If you are visiting more than one nursing facility near Washingtion DC, then you must compare it with one another. This practice will help you to come up with the right option for your loved ones. QoL matters the most, so make the right choice.

Visit Nursing Homes

Do not act upon the word of mouth only. It is important to visit all the nursing homes that are in your list. By visiting you will be able to check everything with your own eyes that will allow you to make an informed decision. Often there are more positive reviews, but the opposite in reality. To avoid any mishap in the future, visit every nursing home for peace of mind.

Does it Meet Your Needs?

Coming to another important point, ask yourself if the nursing home meets your needs or not. The person that you are willing to admit in the nursing home should be the one putting forward their needs. Ask them if they are okay with the nursing facility or if it meets their requirement? Do not impose your decision upon them and let them choose where they want to stay for the rest of their lives. Once they are satisfied, then you can move to the next step, which is to finalize things.

Finalize

Once you have checked everything, now is the time to finalize the deal. Visit your favorite nursing facility and follow the procedure. Make sure to read everything that you have to sign to avoid any problems in the future. It will save you from a lot of trouble.

Conclusion

Choosing the right nursing facility is not simple or easy, you have to search for a long time to make a decision. Evaluate the place, the staff, hygiene, and several other things for your mind’s peace and your loved ones’ safety. Make the right decision at the end of the day by ticking all the boxes on your checklist. It is okay to take some time while deciding upon a nursing facility as it is not an easy decision. Select the best space!

Find the Right Senior Retirement Community Near You With Senior Advisors Plus

Senior Advisors Plus is one of the best places helping families and people requiring care in their old age. Choosing the right facility brings ease and comfort to both regimen and their families in the long term. There must be several retirement communities near you providing the same service, but how can you choose the best one? It remains an important question while selecting a senior retirement community for your loved ones.

Senior Advisors Plus can help you get in touch with the right senior retirement community that meets your needs. We offer two services: Referral Service and Advisory Service.

Our Advisory Service is the best option for you to analyze some of the top caregivers or retirement communities around you. Here’s how we help you find the right senior retirement community.

Evaluate Senior Care Options

Searching for a caregiver is a long process and it cannot be done by selecting the first one you come in contact with. Many senior communities in the society are tirelessly working for seniors; however, not all of them are suitable for you. At Senior Advisors Plus, we help families to build a strategy that works well for them. The strategy is based on the most important factors: the health of the senior, budget, preferred location, and lifestyle.

So, if you are looking for senior retirement homes near you, then these are a few important factors that we work upon. We will jot down a list of senior care options for you, which will help you in making the right decision.

Finding a Solution as Per Budget

As mentioned above, we work upon several factors; however, the budget remains our top concern. In our Advisory Service, we plan to pose less burden on the families, which is why we ask for their preference in all matters. While evaluating the right senior retirement facilities, we make sure that they fall under your budget with no hidden charges, whatsoever.

Meeting the Client’s Goals and Needs

Every senior have their particular needs and goals, which is important to fulfill if they want to spend a carefree and happy life in the retirement community. At Senior Advisors Plus, we find the right option for our clients that meets their needs and goals. For us, the satisfaction of our clients matters the most, so you can count on us for finding just the right place for you.

Why Should You Choose Us?

Senior Advisors Plus has years of experience in helping clients of all types with different needs and goals in their minds. We have several connections in the care industry, which will enable you to find a quick solution to your problem. We work side-by-side with our clients to ensure client satisfaction. Hence, if you are looking for a senior retirement community, then there is no better place than Senior Advisors Plus to help you in the process. Make sure that your seniors feel safe and happy in their community.

Decluttering and Downsizing: A Guide for Seniors and Their Loved Ones

This guide is designed to make the downsizing process as simple as possible for aging adults and their loved ones. It will help you prepare for the transition, as well as offer advice to loved ones on what they can do to help. Keep the lines of communication open, take it one step at a time, and don’t rush into anything before you’re ready.

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Senior care tax deductible

Senior Care Expenses Can Be Tax Deductible

The federal government postponed the date to file 2019 federal income tax returns to July 15, 2020. Many tax professionals advised their clients to wait to file their returns until the last minute. With the due date right around the corner, we wanted to make our readers aware that senior care costs may be tax deductible. For the 2019 tax year, there are two broad programs under which senior care costs may be tax deductible, the Federal Tax Credit for Other Dependents and the Dependent Care Deduction. This post will explain at a high level what these two programs are and how a family may qualify for them. To determine whether it’s better to file under one program or the other, consult your tax professional.

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3 AVOIDABLE MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE WHEN CHOOSING A SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY

Moving into a senior living community could be the second largest transaction one makes in his or her lifetime. It’s important to get it right; otherwise, a family may have to search for a new place, again, or risk depleting all their loved one’s assets. Here’s a list of three mistakes people make when searching for and choosing senior living communities.

  1. They don’t consider that their cost of care could increase. Many communities charge rates depending on the level of care that the resident requires. It’s common for a resident’s level of care to increase as he or she ages. As a result, costs are likely to increase during a resident’s stay at a senior living community, and by how much is something people generally do not consider. When selecting a community, it is a good idea to select one well within your income limit to avoid costs overrunning assets or income.

So, by how much should one account for costs increasing over their course of his or her care needs? It depends on the client’s age, diagnoses, level of care at the start of residency, and the home, among other things. This is a question we will help families account for in our process to find them the best place for their loved ones.

  1. They don’t find communities that specialize in their love one’s care needs. While some people may consider nursing homes and senior living communities all the same, those that are familiar with the industry know that they are very different. Not only are those two settings of care different, there can also be differences in the level of care at nursing homes and senior living communities. Meaning, not all nursing homes and not all senior living communities do the same thing. When selecting a home for a loved one, to maximize value, it’s important to choose a home which offers care tailored to your loved one’s needs. Homes can differ on what they specialize in based on diagnosis, such as people with dementia, or ambulation level.

When residents are properly matched with a home based on their level of care, they have a better chance to maximize the value of the home. For instance, a resident who is ambulatory who only needs medication management would probably be overpaying if he or she moved into a home that is heavily staffed to care for people who need two Certified Nursing Assistants (“CNAs”) to help them transfer from the bed to a wheelchair. In order for the home to be able to afford to pay its CNAs, it must charge its residents a premium above its rental expense. As a result, an ambulatory person will likely be paying for care he or she does not need. That’s why it’s important for people to search and choose homes that are tailored to their loved one’s needs.

  1. They don’t negotiate with the communities. In our opinion, many people don’t negotiate because they don’t know that they have considerable buying power over the providers or are frightened at the sign of confrontation. It bears repeating, moving into a senior living community, and hence signing a contract to do so, is likely the second largest purchase one will make in their lifetime. Negotiate!

To negotiate well, one has to know his or her negotiating position. When working with clients, we combine three things to develop a negotiating position: (1) our analysis of the client’s situation; (2) number of communities to choose from; and (3) knowledge of market indicators. By following this strategy, we have been successful helping many of our clients lower their costs.

If a family is successful at avoiding these three mistakes, they have a much better chance of giving their loved one the quality of life they intend. While any family can come up with a solution on their own, we strongly suggest they seek expert advice to avoid mistakes that naturally come with trying something new. We’re happy to set up a free consultation to talk about your circumstances.

Best Wishes,

THE RISE OF ASSISTED LIVING IN THE US

The US used to have more multi-generational households than there are today. Several generations under one roof made for a symbiotic relationship among the family members. For instance, the elders preserved the traditions of the family, shared their wisdom with the young, and provided caregiving to the infants.

Then as they grew older, the youngest child would stay home to care for their aging parents or grandparents, instead of searching for work when they became of age. When the elders passed away, the youngest would inherit most of the land and the wealth of the family. At the beginning of the 1900s in America, the average life expectancy at birth was 41 years1. Because life expectancy was short, it wasn’t long before the youngest would inherit the land and then proceed with raising a family of their own.

As real GDP per capita climbed, life expectancy increased, caregiving became more accessible, and families had fewer children, the value-proposition tilted towards children seeking independence over caring for their parents and grandparents at home. Additionally, today’s parents and grandparents have been fortunate to have access to social, retirement, and health care programs that have helped them remain independent longer. These historical trends have slowly increased the elderly’s demand to live in retirement communities.

Retirement communities in America date back to the 17th century when the English settlers brought the idea of nursing homes to America; they called them almshouses. However, almshouses were also open to orphans and the mentally ill. During the Great Depression, these houses became overwhelmed with residents, and the elderly complained2. The US responded to the complaints by passing The Social Security Act of 1935. The Act provided a small amount of federal and state assistance to what we now know as nursing homes3.

Nursing homes’ popularity accelerated later when the US enacted two health insurance programs, called Medicare and Medicaid. Modern day health insurance started in the Depression Era when Baylor University Hospital discovered a new way to charge its patients for health care. Prior to Baylor’s discovery, hospitals billed its patients directly, using a fee-for-service model. During the Great Depression, patients didn’t want to pay large, one-time medical bills when they had little-to-no income. Baylor thought that it could change consumers’ perception of health care by changing its payment structure. It began to charge patients a small amount of money each month in exchange for covering their cost of care. While that payment system is widespread today, the idea didn’t catch on quickly. In 1940, only about 9% of Americans had some form of health insurance3. However, WWII changed the health insurance marketplace.

During the War, the US had a shortage of labor, so companies tried to increase their wages to attract workers. However, the US didn’t want wages to rise. Higher wages would translate to more expensive goods, which means a more-expensive war, and increased the risk of hyper-inflation. In response, the US passed the 1942 Stabilization Act to limit rising wages. Employers responded to the Act by offering their employees health insurance–if they couldn’t entice qualified workers with higher wages, then they had to attract them with better fringe benefits.

Harry Truman saw that access to health insurance corresponded to people living longer. He tried and then failed to pass a national health care plan in 1949. Inspired by Truman, Lyndon Jonson later signed the Social Security Amendments of 1965 at the Truman library. The law established Medicare and Medicaid, which provided health insurance to many Americans, in addition to funding to nursing homes. As nursing homes’ popularity surged, assisted living communities began to sprout. Assisted living facilities were designed as a variation of nursing homes. The idea of assisted living was to reduce environmental and organizational stress while promoting residents’ autonomy: the model includes private living spaces, a full array of services, and the residents’ right to make choices regarding daily activities and health care4. The success of assisted living in promoting independence, while offering supplemental care, has led to the constructions of over 28,000 assisted living facilities in the US.

GET THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF CARE

If you know someone who has had a surgery, you may know that when they first heard that they needed the procedure, they were bummed out. Chances are they got a second opinion in case another source gave them hope that there was an alternative. Similarly, anyone should get a second opinion before choosing a senior care provider.  Here’s why:

Senior care is very expensive. You should not rely on the providers to tell you what you or your loved one needs. Their opinions can be biased. That’s because providers typically generate more profit by providing higher levels of care. Before you choose a care provider, we recommend that you seek an unbiased opinion from a senior advisor, the benefits of which are more than just saving money.

While care providers typically administer an assessment, it can be incomplete. For instance, an incomplete assessment is likely to happen when someone who would qualify to live in an independent living community, applies to live in an assisted living community—a more expensive care setting. The nurse at the assisted living community will qualify the senior to live in assisted living; however, the nurse will avoid opining on whether the senior qualifies for independent living as well.

You never want to pay for more help than you need. The reason is that you will be over paying for care, and the person entering into care can prematurely lose their autonomy. If you take one thing away from this post, take this: it is extremely important to preserve a senior’s autonomy.

Karen Wilson, an original builder of assisted living communities, was inspired by her mother, because her mom wanted more independence than what she had in a nursing home. When Karen approached investors, they were skeptical of the assisted living concept, because they thought there was a tradeoff between health and freedom (i.e. more freedom meant worse health outcomes). Fortunately, she received funding and constructed an assisted living community in Portland, Oregon.

The community that Karen built supported impoverished elderly people on government support. When the community began to admit residents, she tracked their health, cognitive capabilities, physical function, and life satisfaction. Her findings revealed that the residents didn’t trade their health for freedom. In fact, their life-satisfaction increased, physical and cognitive function improved, and incidence of major depression fell. The program was a success from the cost side too: costs for those on government support were 20% lower than what they would have been at a nursing home. Karen believed that the assisted living community restored a portion of the residents’ independence, which boosted their quality of life and then drove positive health outcomes.

Granted, sometimes nursing homes are necessary. While nursing homes are for people who need a high level of care, the best ones creatively find ways to give seniors purpose. When Bill Thomas became the medical director at Chase Memorial Nursing Home, he enhanced the purpose of the residents when he purchased one hundred birds, four dogs, two cats, a flock of hens, a colony of rabbits, and hundreds of plants. Some of the residents got birds, some got plants, and some got both. Bill said that people who had been completely withdrawn and non-ambulatory started walking the dogs, and others, who he thought couldn’t speak, started to talk again.

Researchers studied the effects of Bill’s program over two years, comparing a variety of measures of Chase’s residents with those of residents at a nearby nursing home. Prescriptions-required-per-resident fell to half that of the nearby nursing home, total drug costs fell to just 30 percent of the comparison facility, and deaths fell by 15 percent. The study couldn’t say why, but to Bill it was obvious that the difference in death rates could be traced to the fundamental, human need for a reason to live. In this case it was caring for a plant or an animal.

The key take away from Karen’s story is that independence can actually improve health outcomes and quality of life. Bill’s story demonstrates that when given responsibility, seniors’ will-to-live increased. When someone is overqualified for a level of care, but he or she is given that level of care anyway, his or her autonomy can be prematurely stripped—the assistant performs more of the senior’s daily tasks than needed, which can have undermining effects on the senior. This may result in an expedited decline of the senior’s health, because the caregiver has just taken away something fundamental to that person, a sense of purpose.

Rather than asking a care provider if a person qualifies for a level of care, ask a senior advisor. A senior advisor will give you unbiased advice that could preserve a person’s quality of life and lower the bill.

This post was inspired by “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande. His book is a must read if you find this topic interesting. The stories herein are from his book.